But I'm back now, with two kids in "big kid school" (--->long, quiet days at home for me!), a new plan for trying to be a real live grownup writer, a big blog reorganization, and excellent intentions for being much more active here. After spending several days (weeks) this summer brainstorming and playing with various blog options, I decided to make One Faithful Step my one-and-only blog home, which means here you'll see everything from craft stuff to knitting to reflections on the writing life to liturgical devotions. Everything will be purposefully tagged and organized for easy finding. The tabs at the top will take you directly to the posts you want to see. If you're looking for reflections on specific books of scripture, click around in the Bible books "cloud" in the sidebar.
This summer was a transitional one for our family. We moved from a hot state in the middle of the country to a hot state on the edge of the country; or, as I've been thinking of it, from breakfast tacos to shrimp 'n' grits. Since this is not our first rodeo (by a long shot) we know how to make home pretty quickly, and after the cardboard-box dust settled we had the rest of the summer to find the beaches and the coffeeshops and the ice cream parlors. We've visited churches and figured out the school routines. Looking back at the past two months of summer, from the time we arrived in town in June until school started today, I realize that most of what we did on our summer vacation was rest. We watched "Leave it to Beaver" and "Gravity Falls" and an unseemly amount of "Spongebob." We played Crazy Eights and Farkle and way, way too many hours of LeapPads and Nintendo DSes. We ate frozen waffles and Lunchables and a ton of cheap high-fructose-corn-syrup popsicles. We started feeling at home in our house and in our new city. And today, when our alarms went off to get us up for the first day of school we were So Ready.
So, so ready.
In the spirit of back-to-school, here's my report: What I Knit on My Summer Vacation (during all those episodes of Beaver and Spongebob). Click each project name to link to the pattern site!
GIANT SWEATER-SIZED SHAWL.
After gaining some (!) weight during our month of hotel stays and eating out between homes, I turned my knitting attention away from sweaters and toward some one-skein and stash-busting projects. To make me feel better about not knitting a sweater, I started the summer with this oversized wrap. I've had this funky shawl in my queue for awhile now, knowing that I wanted to use autumn-colored Berroco Ultra Alpaca to make it (though I think the original black/white/gray gives it a more edgy look that helps any shawl look cooler and not fogey-ish).
HATS and MITTS.
I also loved Ultra Alpaca for these two one-skein hats. I forget how much I enjoy making hats; they're very satisfying, fairly quick projects. Hats like these have plenty of interest but without the major commitment of knitting an entire sweater out of cables and/or lace.
There are always new patterns on Ravelry to try and to buy... one of my goals this summer was to knit from some of the many books and magazines I already have on hand. Both of these hats (and the mitts below) were from resources on my shelf. I'm trying to be a more dedicated user of the Ravelry Library feature to find great yarn + pattern matches that I already own!
I came to love fingerless mitts while we lived in Texas; they're perfect for not-too-cold wintertimes. I can't resist knitting with multiple colors... or plaid... or mismatched but perfect color combinations. These were an experiment in doing colorwork on double-pointed needles, and I adore them.
MY "FAVORITE" SCARF.
For a stranded-colorwork lover like me, this project was a dream. It's been on my "to make" list for a long time; I knew someday the stars would align and it would come together. It was a cheering-up project for me this summer, and a creative venture from start to finish: finding the images I wanted to include, creating charts when I couldn't find them, matching colors to patterns, remembering movie lines from "Dead Poets Society," "When Harry Met Sally," and "The Jerk," and fitting the quotes into 72 stitches of width. I started this scarf expecting it to take most of the summer; I finished it in 10 days. It includes plaid and argyle and houndstooth, anchors and waves, hearts and redbirds, sheep and yarn, houses and coffeecups, keys and teapots, and a Union Jack. Will I ever get to wear a 70-inch-long wrap-around double-thickness 100% wool scarf? Probably not. Do I care? Not a bit.
MY BLUEBONNET SHAWL.
This was another long-planned project; since October 2013, in fact, I'd been on the lookout for bluebonnet-colored yarns to make a Texas-remembrance wrap. This didn't turn out quite like I'd hoped (it is simply too small), but I think it's still wearable, and it's definitely display-able. The bluebonnet photo is one from the Photography Club of San Antonio's Palmer Drug Abuse Program (www.riserecovery.org), a gift from my Sunday School class. :)
AND FINALLY, A SWEATER.
It took me a month to gain (some) pounds, and about a month of food-counting and Couch-to-5K-ing to begin to lose them. Miles to go, still, before I sleep, but I've made enough headway that I felt ready to put my needles to another wearable garment. I wanted something that I could wear immediately (and not have to wait three months for fall-ish weather here in the sultry South); I've had a sweater quantity of Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool waiting for inspiration. After considering several different options I landed on this lace-bodied sweater. It's light and airy enough for now, but sleek and dark enough for cooler days.
And now, though the temperature gauge doesn't show it, it is fall. Back to school, back to routines and healthy breakfasts and reading logs and much less tv time. The kids are on a schedule, and I'm putting myself on one too; I'm scheduling (home) office hours, time to work on Bible studies and writing projects and blog posts. And for a little while every day I plan to turn on MeTV and watch "Leave it to Beaver," and enjoy the quiet house and the click of needles.