Friday, April 29, 2016

Amanda Makes - Episode 11

Thanks for all the love I've gotten on Instagram after sending out my very first skeins 
of hand dyed yarn and also being under the weather. I really appreciate it! 
Turns out a few slow days is just what I needed to get another podcast on the air! 
I hope you'll find me on Instagram (littlehousebigwoods) and Ravelry (AmandaMakes) so we can continue the discussion there. 

On the Needles

Yarn Acquisitions
Rowan Fine Art, Lapwing
Patons Kroy, Blue Stripe Ragg

Stitch Markers


Knitting Knee Highs by Barb Brown
Lila by Marilynne Robinson
The Other Daughter by Laura Willig

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Book Review - Hunting Hope

Spring has turned to summer this week and on the deck is the only place I want to be. Our bluebird pair is feeding their babies almost constantly and the yard is parched and dry. In two weeks' time, the spring semester will be over and our summer break will be sprawled in front of us with near limitless potential. It is wild to think how quickly this first year at Longwood has passed for Julian.

We are having a pancake party at the house Thursday night for all the students he has taught these past nine months. They really love him, think he's funny, and they spend way too much time loitering in his office when they should be doing other things. It's a good problem to have, I suppose.

So I am doing all the usual party prep things: baking in advance, coaxing the flowers to bloom, scrubbing floors, praying for rain, dyeing yarn, praying for good weather on the day. In addition to Julian being generally like-able, we want to show this college-aged, desperate-to-be-grown-up-but-still-not-sure-of-themselves crowd that you can do a million and one fun things without getting wasted, and that there are lots of people in this world who will love you for who you are, and that we are two of those people.

The opportunity to review Hunting Hope by Nike Maples comes at a perfect time for me. In addition to the fact that there is never a bad time to read a message of hope and gospel truth, it is a perfect time - as I am praying for these students as they go off to have their summer break and come back older to us in the fall - to add another arrow to my quiver of faith-based resources that I feel strongly enough to recommend. Here is my review of the book I posted on Amazon:

"I am always hesitant to give a book to someone who is struggling because so many "devotional" type books can make a struggling person's situation seem trite. Not this one! In the introduction {don't skip that part!} Maples points out that God created darkness and while He separates Himself from all spiritual darkness, He is alongside you in any situational darkness. The author equips you to know the difference between the two and then uses scripture throughout the book to show you how to find hope through the scriptural truths of God's character. The last 40 pages of the book are devoted to refining YOUR character so that you can be a person who knows joy and light through the trials and darkness of life. Great book. I think I'm going to sit down and read it all over again."

Oh I do hope they come here and feel good, feel at home, feel loved and looked after. Students unload a peculiar number of things on their favorite professors' shoulders and I just hope that we can do justice to the trust they give us and pray them through to the other side.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Knitting and Reading

bridal wreath bush :: no-knead bread :: morning tea slice :: sunset :: mrs. bluebird taking a break

The most exciting yarn-y thing I've got going on at present is my dye batch, on my previous post (check it out!) but I am happy to have a little bit of down time today to knit up the land of the land agent mittens. I say the last because I knit a pair to start with that was not to my satisfaction, but I didn't know this until after they were blocked... and felted... so there was no going back with that yarn.

So I re-knit, and here I am. They were a project for a friend and I have poked around with them because it is spring, right? No time now for wearing mittens. It was 26F this morning, 57F inside the house because we didn't bother to turn on the heat. Julian has been selected to represent the natural sciences at a campus "raft debate" in one week, so he has asked me to spend the day watching all the recorded raft debates the internet has to offer, from start to finish. I think I can handle that task, my dear!

I've been doing my house chores along with Marilynne Robinson's Lila and I like the book but it seems to have this author's characteristic way of not really telling a story with a standard plot but rather the main character's emotional arc. I'm only a little less than half way through and it seems this poor girl Lila is living life two steps forward, three steps back...

What are you knitting and reading? Show and tell with Ginny and the others through Yarn Along! If you're in the market for some beautiful hand dyed sock yarn, visit my previous post!