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October 1, 2013

New Endeavors

Photo taken by my daughter.
As the seasons change, my gears start to shift from gardening and working outside to looking for cozy, inside projects to do.  My sewing machine usually finds itself on vacation when the warm weather and sunshine lure me outside during the spring and summer months, but now that the garden has almost come to an end, I am preoccupied with thoughts of sewing.  I've also decided to learn how to knit.  My mother taught me how when I was a little girl, and I made a few doll blankets and a couple of embarrassingly ugly scarves, but I haven't picked up a pair of needles since I was about twelve years old. I have wanted to reintroduce myself to knitting for some time now, but it wasn't until recently that I was inspired to really take the plunge and do it.

Three years ago our second eldest daughter saved her money and bought a beautiful merino/black face lamb, naming him Caspian, in hopes of starting her own fiber flock. She planned to sell his wool and in two years buy a ewe and hopefully have lambs the following spring. We all fell in love with Caspian, and we were heart broken when tragedy struck this past spring, and Caspian suddenly fell ill and passed away. We were all very sad and found it painful to think about what we would do next. No one spoke of sheep or wool at all this past summer, but time is a great healer, and I've slowly allowed my mind to wander back to thoughts of Caspian. We still have his first two fleeces, and I have been inspired to turn them into something meaningful, so that we can have a part of Caspian with us always. Although I have never worked with a sheep's fleece, and I can barely be considered even a novice knitter, I am ready for the challenge. I am going to study and research how to wash, pick, card, rove and eventually spin his wool into yarn with a final goal of knitting a keepsake from our first sheep. It's a large undertaking, and I know it will take me some time, but I am excited about it.

I decided the best place to begin was re-learning how to knit.  My mom gave me a basket full of odds and ends yarn that she would not be using with a pair of size six needles and reintroduced me to casting on.  I decided I would practice my knitting by making squares out of the random scraps of yarn and eventually put them together to make a quilt, similar to this blogger's project.  I figured working on simple squares will allow me to perfect my form, and eventually I can move on to following a pattern and knitting hats, sweaters, socks and mittens for the Littles. I have been researching knitting books for beginners and, so far, I like the looks of Knitty GrittyHow to Knit by Debbie Bliss, and Knitting Know How. (I would gladly accept any feedback on these books and/or other suggestions for other knitting books for beginners.)

I've only completed about ten rows on my first square, but I am already addicted to knitting.  I'm actually looking forward to my daughter's appointment with the orthodontist this week because I will have an hour or more of uninterrupted knitting time in the waiting room, and afterwards I am heading to the Goodwill to pick through their bucket of knitting needles.
Knowing I would be bringing my knitting with me, I started thinking about what I would carry it in, and a perfect bag came to mind.  A few years ago, I found a beautiful, vintage Margaret Smith handbag, made in Gardiner, Maine, for $2.00 at a local thrift store.  I loved the unique bird design of the fabric, and, although I wasn't sure I would ever use it as my every-day purse, I brought it home with me, knowing I would eventually find a use for it.

I think it is perfect for my knitting!  What do you think?

With a pair of borrowed needles, a basket of free yarn, a $2.00 bag, and an excitement to learn something new, I've begun my journey.  I hope you will be here with me as I take each new step to creating a memento of our sweet Caspian.

Linked with Coastal CharmThe Farmhouse PorchA Bowl Full of LemonsSugar Bee CraftsNap Time CreationsThe Blackberry VineHope Studios, Not Just a HousewifeThe 36th AvenueCreations by KaraSomeday CraftsThe REAL Housewives of RivertonThe DIY Dreamer


  1. That first image, of your little boy with the sheep, is beautiful. It's never too late to learn (or re-learn) to knit. I should know, because I've had to re-learn two times, now! And, I DO want to pick it up again. . .best luck to you.

  2. I love knitting! I am so envious of your chance to work through the entire process, from sheep to finished project- I look forward to watching your progress. Your bag is wonderful!


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