Yarn Along

Yarn Along

What I’m knitting, and what I’m reading

Reading Stitches and knitting

I’m reading Stitches by Ann Lamott for my ladies book club. I don’t think it’s a book I would have picked up on my own, which is the whole point of the book club — to be exposed to new and different books. Although I’ve heard of her, I’d never read anything by Lamott before, so this was new.

I also finished the back of my never-ending-shell while at the cabin after Christmas (is there any better place to knit than in front of a fire at a cabin in the mountains?). And I even started on the front… Here’s to hoping I finish my first garment this winter!

Joining Ginny at Small Things.

Reading

Reading

I’ve actually been reading lately. And it feels oh-so-good.

My reading waxes and wanes over time. From a tentative child for whom reading was difficult, I became a voracious reader in middle school and high school. It was about fourth grade when I discovered the Bobbsey Twins and read dozens of those novels in a single summer. I remember first reading Jane Austen the summer after seventh grade. In college, text books put a bit of a damper on recreational reading, but not too much, and I became acquainted with Christian authors like A.W. Tozer and Oswald Chambers. In the summers I would read a novel a day. And post college? I didn’t have internet, or TV, or anything else to occupy me. I lived alone, my nearest friends were nearly an hour away, so I read. A lot.

In graduate school, I had to put it on hold, because those text books are tough. And the sheer volume of required reading incredible.

After grad school I picked it up again — interspersing short classics with contemporary novels, and re-reading old favorites. But recently, I’ve expanded my horizons and it feels like I’m spreading my wings for the first time in a long time.

I’m diving into hefty classic literature, and trying new authors like Emile Zola. And, I’m part of a book club for the first time. We’re reading a wide array of books, many of which I never would have picked up on my own. And I’m so glad.

Last night, I finished two books, Pot Luck and Stitches. I was almost gleeful as I finished the last page of each and realized that I’m just a few days from receiving my next two books in the mail: The Ladies’ Paradise (sequel to Pot Luck) and My Year with Eleanor (for book club).

As the majority (read: hundreds) of my books are still packed in boxes awaiting the day we purchase a house of our own, I’m delighted to discover and read treasures like these each month. When such an array of books is before me, it can be overwhelming and a book I had long sought may end up shelved and promptly forgotten. But when I have only two or three available, I devour them.

Husband claims I need a Kindle (he’s tired of moving all those boxes of books), but I refuse to go all digital.

I grew up in a house chock full of books. Friends were amazed and awed — many of their homes had nary a shelf in sight. And while my friends whiled away the days watching TV, playing video games, and flipping through magazines, I was reading. And so I will never get rid of my books, because I want my future children to also flourish as readers.

Now I’m off to track my Amazon package to see just what day my treasured books will arrive…

books

Yarn Along

Yarn Along

What I’m knitting, and what I’m reading

Knitting and reading West From Home

I have a feeling this first shell of mine is going to take me a while…I’m about 8 inches into the back right now. I’m glad that I love the yarn and look forward to seeing how the colors play out in the pattern, because otherwise this could be a very boring project.

Also, with little free time on my hands, I slowly making my way through West From Home by Laura Ingalls Wilder. I’m enjoying reading about Laura’s first trip to San Francisco, the things she experiences there are so far removed from her childhood of pioneering it’s amazing to see how things changed just in her lifetime. I also love hearing what she writes back to Almanzo about missing their farm and their dog, Inky.

Joining Ginny at Small Things.

Yarn Along

Yarn Along

What I’m knitting, and what I’m reading

Knitting a shell and reading West From Home

It’s been a while, but I’m picking up my knitting needles again. The crisp weather and a weekend camping trip inspired me to start again. I’m picking up where I left off in The Chicks with Sticks Guide to Knitting, beginning my very first sweater (just a shell to start with). I’m loving Lion Brand’s Amazing yarn, it’s a soft mix of wool and acrylic and the colors are just beautiful.

I’m also reading West From Home, letters from Laura Ingalls Wilder to her husband, Almanzo, during a trip to San Francisco to visit her daughter and see the Panama-Pacific International Exposition in 1915.

PS. I fell in love with knitting by lantern light in front of the campfire this weekend…

Joining Ginny at Small Things.

Yarn Along

Yarn Along

What I’m knitting, and what I’m reading

Felted scoop bag

I felted my first project! And it even turned out pretty successful =). I did a lot of checking and double checking every few minutes, but I’m happy with the way it turned out. So right now I’m waiting for it to completely dry before I work on sewing the pieces together. Next week I’ll have the bag completely finished!

And I’m currently reading In the Shadow of a Secret by Lance Wubbels, a historical fiction book that somehow came to be on my shelves. But one of my goals is to read everything in my library that I haven’t yet read (which really isn’t much in the fiction department), because what’s the point of having books you don’t read?

P.S. Check out my full review of Perfecting Kate that I mentioned last week!

Joining Ginny at Small Things.

Adventure: Cabining

Adventure: Cabining

Is cabining a word? It should be… because, really, what else could so accurately describe a rainy weekend tucked away in a rustic cabin along Glade Creek in West Virginia? Cabining.

Our favorite cabin

In Virginia Beach, Spring is in full swing. The flowers are a blaze of color, trees in full leaf, and all kinds of growing things are reaching for the sky. Our garden grows more verdant by the day, tiny seeds burst into green spindles, pushing up out of the rich ground. Spring is lovely.

But traveling to West Virginia last weekend allowed us to go back in time three or four weeks and once again watch the wonder of Spring as brown, dead-looking trees begin to sprout the tiniest, brightest green buds. And here and there a tiny wildflower turns its bright face toward the sun. That too is a beautiful, lovely sight.

The West Virginia Mountains

There’s something charming and elusive about a rainy weekend tucked away in a cozy cabin. We had reserved Cabin 8 at Babcock State Park–a favorite.

Babcock is a heritage that I’m just now learning about. Husband and his family have stayed at these beloved cabins for years, sometimes this group sometimes that. Sometimes hiking, sometimes rafting the New River, sometimes exploring the tiny town of Fayetteville. My first time here was when we were engaged, family came from all around–Virginia Beach, Washington D.C., Binghamton NY, Wooster OH–his family and mine, together for the first time, planning our wedding and getting to know one another. It was during that trip that I learned my father had often vacationed here as a child himself, coming up with his parents and sister from the suburbs of DC for a weekend away. See? Heritage.

The mill at Babcock State Park.

Path to Cabin 8

To reach Cabin 8 you have to walk a winding moss-covered path from the narrow road down to the bottom of the ravine where the cabin is tucked in right next to the rushing Glade Creek. The cabin was originally built by the CCC boys (Civilian Conservation Corps) in the 1930s, made of logs and chinking, with a great stone fireplace. In fact, although electricity, a tiny bathroom, and small kitchenette have been added, the cabin is still heated solely by the wood-burning fireplace. This is why we love Cabin 8.

To Cabin 8

To Cabin 8

Cabin in West Virginia

We didn’t mind the chill and the drizzly rain that defined the entire weekend. Really. In fact, we rather enjoyed it. It meant that we spent most of our time inside, in that snug little cabin, relaxing in the rocking chairs as a warm fire crackled in the large fireplace. This was bliss.

Rocking chairs in front of the fire.

Making cinnamon rolls.

We spent the majority of our time reading, writing, baking cinnamon rolls from scratch–in other words enjoying the beautiful things of life. But we did manage to get out a little. We stopped in the small town of Fayetteville to visit a favorite outfitters there, and explored a few back country roads. We chose a short hike that turned out to be quite the workout (2 miles of vertical trail–down, then back up).

Rocky Trail

Swinging bridge in West Virginia

Hiking Rocky Trail at Babcock State Park.

Hiking in Babcock State Park

Rushing creek

Hiking in West Virginia.

Swinging bridge

It was Husband’s birthday, so we also did a little antiquing with some money I had set aside just for him. We bought a shabby table and five almost matching wooden chairs. I’ll share more about that project as it comes along.

We also spent one night camping at Crabtree Falls Campground, a discovery from last year, and thankfully this time it did not rain several inches. And we visited a favorite antique shop, an outfitters in Waynesboro, and The Cheese Shop where we loaded up on all our most used baking goods–bulk flour, oats, brown sugar, yeast, cinnamon, butter, raw honey and, of course, our favorite Birch Beer. We only pass through here about twice a year, so we stock up.

Celebrating Husband's birthday.

In all, it was the weekend we needed–away from the grind of everyday life, a chance to renew ourselves, our relationship, our energy. Just enough time to begin missing out puppy and our own comfortable home. And so when we packed up it was with promises to return to Cabin 8, hopefully soon. And long off dreams of someday having our own little mountain hideaway, a rustic cabin near a lovely stream. Someday.

Cabin weekend

Linking up with Annapolis & Co.

Yarn Along

Yarn Along

What I’m knitting, and what I’m reading

Yarn Along reading Secrets by Robin Jones Gunn.

I’m still working on last week’s knitting and reading, but I also dove into a few new things this week. Robin Jones Gunn was one of my favorite authors when I was a teenager, and her books bring back many memories of sitting on the window seat in my bedroom for hours and hours with her books. And I decided to try out a new boutique yarn–Red Heart Boutique Ribbons–just for fun =).

Joining Ginny at Small Things.