Yarn Along (summer’s comin’ & my internet stinks…)

It’s Wednesday & that used to be Ginny’s Yarn Along day as most of you probably know (whether you knit or not), but Ginny discontinued the Yarn Along and, alas, I need to let go as well.  Blogging is something I really like doing–I don’t know if it makes me feel like someone out there is with me here in the trenches of motherhood when it can get kind of lonely despite the fact a mother is never alone or if I really just blog because I am TERRIBLE at documenting the childhoods of my children & feel like they will all disown me someday for not keeping a beautiful, meticulous babybook for each of them–but whatever the reason, I do like blogging, however, what I ABHOR is our horrible awful terrible ALLTHEBADWORDSYOUCANTHINKOF internet connection out here in the Iowa sticks!  Sorry for yelling, virtually, at you.  We cannot get highspeed internet.  The End.  Our neighbors have a satellite–it never works.  We cannot get cable, either.  We use our phones as hotspots & our phones barely work on windless days…this is Iowa, it’s always windy!  Argh.  I’ve been fighting this battle for going on a decade now & I am so over it.  We are NEVER going to get good internet, I’m sure of it.  We just aren’t.  Every time I write a post with photos it literally takes like ten minutes per photo to upload & with a toddler around I truly do not have time for that…my eldest is homeschooled & needs the computer constantly anyway.  I guess what I’m trying to say is that summer is coming & all the kids are going to be home all day, every day, so the blogging is going to really slip (like it hasn’t already, I know) & Yarn Along is definitely over forever now.  I have rediscovered Instagram using my Ella Mae Knits account & I really like using that–it’s quick, it’s pretty, it gets the job done.  And there are so many yarn/knitting holes to fall into on Instagram, it’s dangerous.  (Time sucks are real, people, I do recommend we all watch out for those.)  You can always check out what’s going on with us here at Being Bodeker this summer by stopping by my Ella Mae Knits Instagram page–it’s public so you don’t need Instagram to have a look & there’s a link on the right side of my blog page. 🙂

So most of these photos today have already appeared on my IG page.  I apologize if you’re like,”This is all old news, Ruby.”  I am currently test-knitting a pattern for Kathryn Folkerth.  I love it so far & I LOVE Quince & Co linen so it’s a win-win.  I can’t say exactly what I’m test-knitting as it’s a gift for Coralee for her birthday next month.  I’m also still knitting my Waterrock vest for myself.  Soon I will be casting on something to give to someone in need as I begin my project to knit every other thing for someone I don’t even know because the world could use a bit more love. xo

Finished Harmon’s shortie overalls this week & they are sooooo cute!  But he was sleeping when I went to photograph them today so this is the best I could do.  The pattern is a Debbie Bliss pattern called Florence.  It’s available on Ravelry.  Tomorrow I hope to take some photos of Harmon modeling his new overalls & I will post on IG. 🙂

Harmon really likes playing with cards.  And putting his sisters’ hair decorations in his hair.  Totally random facts I thought needed to be shared.

Coralee & I saw our first Sora ever last week at a wetland very near our house.  Hoping to bird a lot more once my daycare biz is wrapped up in an effort to help Coralee one day become the Young Birder of the Year.  Wouldn’t that be awesome?!!!  I think she can do it.

Harmon rocked some Lyle Lovett hair this week on IG and I playfully tagged the REAL Lyle Lovett in the photo (because I love Lyle & always have & tried to name Merritt after Lyle, but Brian wouldn’t let me)…then the real Lyle Lovett liked the photo so I can die happy now.

Summer days ahead!  Despite the fact I vowed not to sign my kids up for much we seem to have a never-ending pile of stuff to do all summer so I’m sure September is going to look really good come about mid-June.  Harmon turns 18 months in a week & I vow right here, right now to write an 18 month post for the hobbit, so let’s all meet back here in a week, ok?  Somebody virtually yell at me if I don’t show up. 😉

Advertisements

Yarn Along (not much knitting, new chicks, cat-chasing, old favorites renewed, & life changes)

I cannot seem to find much time to knit these days, which is a shame because my anxiety could sure use the medicine that is knitting.  Harmon caught a bug from one of my daycare girls & has thus been very clingy, very feverish, & plain old grouchy the last couple days.  I attempted to knit last night after he fell asleep, but he woke up practically the minute I picked up the needles, so, yeah, yarn along this week isn’t much of a yarn along.

Our chicks hatched!  Well, one egg out of five hatched.  Three were apparently not fertilized & the Cochin egg quit developing after only a few days.  So we hatched one lonely Iowa Blue chick & bought four Barred Rock chicks to keep him or her-Lucky Penny-company.  I do not like Barred Rocks at all–the roosters are nasty–but there were no other chicks available at our local feed store small enough to join our day-old chick.Harmon is not exactly enamored with the chicks–unlike June who bounds out of bed in the morning in order to play with the chicks.  He will air kiss the chicks when asked…

…but then he tries to shoo the chicks away.

Chasing the hens around the yard, however, is great fun for Harmon.

Until he sees something else…

Not now, Turken…

…there’s a kitty in the yard!  Too bad you’re allergic, Harmon, because you sure do love the cats around here.

I got out June’s old beanie–my original June Belle (pattern available for free on ravelry).  The brim is a soft fuzzy Malabrigo & the main cap is a super duper squishy Cormo from White Barn Sheep & Wool.  I love this cap, reminds me of many happy days spent with my baby girl June…


I have given notice to my daycare girls’ parents that I will be done with childcare at the end of June & my anxiety levels are lessening the closer we creep to that time…I will therefore be (fingers crossed!) reopening my etsy shop by the end of summer with some June Belle beanies for sale & another pattern I’ve been dreaming about designing for years, so I hope you will all join me for that release in late summer!  I’m also considering using my teaching license in a virtual capacity this fall & I continue to edit my father’s book.

I hope I can be a better mama to my own four children with this change in vocation…I’ve been extremely impatient & short with all of them for far too long, much MUCH more so on the days I babysit.  It’s hard work being responsible for someone else’s babies!  Kudos to those who successfully and lovingly run in-home daycares for years…I’ve spent the last 4.5 years watching someone else’s precious souls, but it’s definitely time to move on…perhaps this change will enable more “yarn” in my future “yarn along” posts!

Happy Yarning to all my knitting friends out there!  Joining in with Martha!

Giveaway! Aviatrix Cap No.5

IMG_1926[1]

In honor of Harmon smiling for the first time today (yippee!), I would like to give away his Aviatrix No.5 knit in sumptuous Blue Sky Alpaca Yarns ‘100% Baby Alpaca’ in a green-yellow colorway with a baby blue vintage button (& two button holes for adjusting).  Harmon will not wear alpaca, but I would love for someone’s baby to wear this cap & I don’t know anyone currently pregnant or with a new baby right now.  The color is a bit different, but the yarn is soft & the cap construction is one of my favorites.  Harmon has a fairly large head for an almost-two-month-old & this fits with room to grow.  I’m going to peg this at a 3-6 months+ sized cap–it all really depends on your baby’s noggin.

If you have a little baby in your life (or about to have one!) whom you think would love this cap, please comment below!  Comments will close & a winner will be randomly selected on Friday, February 5, 2016 at midnight (I’m positive I’ll be up, ha!).  The winner will be notified via email & announced within this post–so please don’t comment ‘Anonymous’ if you’d like to win.  I will mail the cap (shells & jar not included) for free anywhere in the world!  If only one person comments before next Friday, hey, you win automatically!

Happy Friday! ❤ ❤ ❤

Comments are Closed & the winner is #3–Katharine Blair!  Please email me, Katharine, at ellamaeknits AT gmail DOT com & I will get this Aviatrix on its way to you!  Thank you to everyone who commented!

friends in fiber {yarn along}

IMG_4649[1]

IMG_4650[1]

IMG_4647[1]

IMG_4648[1]

Northern Flicker, Yellow-shafted male

Northern Flicker, Yellow-shafted male

A dear friend of mine who moved away a couple years ago to NE Iowa (one of my favorite places!) sent Coralee & I a pair of Lenticular Mitts.  The package arrived over the weekend & the mitts fit both of us perfectly…so there has been a friendly tug-of-war going on here over who gets to wear the mitts & when. 🙂  Coralee has been wearing the set every day, all day in the house.  The windchill this morning is registering at -20’F.  Even with a fire, our house is cold.  Thank you so much, my dear friend, for this lovely gift!  It is truly tragic that we did not realize our shared love of fiber (& birds & steel-cut oats) until after you moved away!  I’m sure our friendship sprung up anyway because of fiber love–knitting minds just think alike. xx

I continue to stitch away on my pattern for Mountain Girl Yarns.  Watching the colors of Sierra Madre knit up in the round is fascinating.  So many different color brews, but each seems to compliment the whole perfectly.  How do dyers do it? Another treasured friend in fiber across the miles.

Not reading anything new at the moment.  We saw our first Northern Flicker at the yard feeders yesterday afternoon.  It is a very common woodpecker here in Iowa & there is a large population living in a stand of hickory trees about 300 yards west of our house, but they seldom visit our feeders.  They often fly across the drive in front of my car as I’m coming up the hill.  I catch a flashing glimpse of the brilliant gold-yellow underside to their wings.  Such an intricately-patterned bird.  I like to think that both of my friends mentioned in this post would appreciate a Northern Flicker sighting as much as I.

Joining in with Ginny.

Playing with color

IMG_4596[1]

IMG_4597[1]

Common Merganser, female

Common Merganser, female

IMG_4599[1]

IMG_4598[1]

IMG_4602[1]

IMG_4601[1]Coralee &I have been experimenting with color as of late.  She’s been hard at work on her latest edition of “A Prairie Girl’s Notebook,” writing about the owl we spotted over a week ago.  She also labored for countless hours on her entry for this year’s Junior Duck Stamp Contest.  I think the duck species she chose–the Common Merganser–is just beautiful.  I was flipping through her sketchbook & found the rough sketches to be just as engaging as the final copies.

Camilla (at Mountain Girl Yarns) & I are collaborating on a pattern this spring.  I spent most of Sunday afternoon playing with two of her splendid new skeins.  I am so excited to partner with her again–fingers crossed I can come up with something worthy of her superior dyeing skills!  She’s currently giving 15% off all yarns in her shop using the coupon code VAL2015.  One skein is perfect for a soft, lovely newborn baby vest, I’ve found.  A gift any new mother would treasure. xx

As I sat & stitched yesterday afternoon, June played on the back porch with her kitties (instead of helping her daddy stack wood).  Pepper sure loves the attention from her colorful little friend.  Winter in the Midwest is biting back hard this month after lying dormant for so long.  Time to drench your soul in color.

Tiny {Yarn Along}

IMG_3070[1]

IMG_3086[1]

bird feeders at rest, humbling sky

bird feeders at rest, humbling sky

IMG_3087[1]

IMG_3088[1]

tosh tea cakes

IMG_3069[2]

IMG_3068[2]

tiny flora’s tidy handwarmers

IMG_3072[1]

in my etsy shop

IMG_3071[1]

IMG_3062[1]

tiny newborn cap in Suri alpaca, in my etsy shop

I did not purposefully set out to find the tiny this week. I cast on some fairly hefty Christmas gifting projects this past weekend–a sweater for June & a starfish pillow for Merritt–but the yarn I chose did not match the projects as I had hoped & thus I ended up ripping out several hours worth of knitting by Saturday evening.

I found a box on Sunday of Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light mini skeins that I bought last year around this time & forgot about, evidently. The box is called ‘Tosh Tea Cakes’ & it is a kit for garland from Jimmy Beans Wool. I thought about knitting the garland, but instead found myself knitting up tiny handwarmers with the mini skeins for the shop. Handwarmers so small they will probably never sell–what newborn wears handwarmers???–but it felt right to work on something tiny.  Tiny stitches.

I recently found the most wonderful shop on Etsy for tiny paintings of foxes. Foxes wearing handknits. Foxes hanging out by a campfire. Foxes hanging out by a cabin, by a cottage. And the best part is the canvas the artist paints these tiny masterpieces upon is sized 3 inches X 3 inches & each comes with a little easel on which to display your tiny work of art. Tiny beauty.

Our feeder has been receiving a very tiny amount of birds this week.  As opposed to the very large number last week. It’s cold, but there is no snow anymore.  Tiny visitors in tiny numbers.

I found myself knitting a tiny newborn cap yesterday in the softest Suri alpaca I’ve been saving from an alpaca farm down the road that went out of business.  Suri alpaca is just so soft, perfect for those new bundles that arrive Earthside, of which I’ve personally welcomed three living.  A tiny pleasure indeed.

So why the tiny?  I really wasn’t sure & then I read Leigh’s post regarding the beginning of Advent.  Thank you, Leigh, for making my random tiny-ness make perfect sense. xoxo

Joining in with Ginny.  Hope you find some tiny pleasures, too, this month.

noro hand warmers, emk shop update, fox sparrow {yarn along}

IMG_2859[1]

IMG_2878[1]

IMG_2880[1]

IMG_2882[1]

IMG_2892[1]

IMG_2889[1]

IMG_2887[1]

“Seriously, Ruby, what good are hand warmers?”–I was asked this question last week after the release of my pattern Flora’s Tidy Hand Warmers. Until I actually knit myself a pair of hand warmers/fingerless gloves/mitts & wore them throughout the course of a day, I, too, felt the fingerless-anything was a frivolous waste of good yarn. But I have seen the woolly light & find hand warmers immensely useful:

*staying warm driving my son to & from school–my car is cold for at least 5-10minutes

*protection from temperature changes when working (hauling wood, delivering mail, feeding chickens, collecting eggs, etc)

*protection from temperature changes when using binoculars (we bird a lot) or knitting in the elements (soccer games, football games, etc)

*essential spring/fall accessory when full-blown mittens/gloves are too much

*cycling

*playing the trumpet in marching band in the fall (my daughter)

*cleaning your iPad/iPod/iPhone screen (my son)

*keeping the outer side of your hand clean whilst drawing with chalk, colored pencils or charcoal (my daughter–she has a pair of fingerless gloves specifically devoted to this activity)

*little ones who want to play outside & manipulate objects, but the bite of spring or fall is too much for bare hands

*drinking hot cocoa, hot tea, hot coffee, hot cider–save some trees, skip that cardboard coffee cup sleeve!

*looking like a hispter (husband, not me)

*looking like a really cool knitter (me me me, lol)

There are plenty of other reasons, these are just mine. I stocked my Etsy shop yesterday with three new pairs of Flora’s Tidy Hand Warmers ready-to-ship & pictured above, graciously modeled by my daughter.  I’m particularly fond of this pair.

Use the code REPEAT10 for 10% off anything in the Ella Mae Knits Etsy Shop if you’d like.

I found the combination of Mountain Girl Yarns sock weight with Quince & Co Chickadee (a strand of each held together) is an inspired combination for Flora’s Tidy Hand Warmers–creates a beautiful, squishy-soft & stretchy pair (last two photos).  I also experimented with Noro Kureyon (first photo) with my pattern & found it knits up beautifully…I just can’t decide if I like the fact that the pair is completely non-indentical.  Thoughts?

Coralee & I spotted a new species of bird at our feeder on Monday.  We spent some time with its identification as it was a very interesting bird.  A beautiful ruddy-colored, round-fat sparrow with amazing streaking on the breast, foraging under the feeder among a healthy passel of House Sparrows.  A Fox Sparrow.

Always feels good to positively identify a new bird.  I think the research involved in the identification commits the species to long-term memory, more so than when a birder more knowledgeable than I points out a new bird & labels it for me on the spot.

Joining in with Ginny.