Wednesday, August 27, 2014


I've spent my free moments this summer working on a couple sweaters for my boy. This one--Gramps--makes me especially happy. That shawl collar will keep his little neck warm at fall festivals, and some soon-to-be-added pockets will be the perfect place to stash small treasures (acorns and rocks are particular favorites).

Shortly after I took this picture I discovered I'd picked up the short row wraps wrong, so that they showed on the right side. I struggled for nearly an entire nap time to figure out how to fix it (grr...that is precious time!) before throwing it aside in a huff. This is supposed to be my easy, relaxing project. After a few hours to cool down I did a quick search online and remedied the problem in a matter of minutes with the help of this Purl Bee tutorial on short rows. Now I just have to finish the button band and make those pockets.

* * * 
As for reading, I just finished J.K. Rowling's newest Cormoran Strike detective novel, The Silkworm. It was a fast, compelling read that made me want to figure out the mystery and drink copious amounts of tea. It's set in London and so many scenes include tea. 

A couple nights ago I cracked open Haruki Murakami's latest novel, Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage. I'm not far into it yet, but I already want to book a ticket to Tokyo. Oh, I miss Japan!

 * * * 
I'm joining in with Ginny's Yarn Along today. Are you? I'd love to hear what you've been making and reading.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

little loomhouse

I visited the Little Loomhouse a couple weeks ago and have been dreaming of it ever since. It's three cabins tucked away in a wooded neighborhood in Louisville's South End where weavers, spinners, and dyers create some of the most beautiful things from yarn and fiber. According to the Little Loomhouse website, Frank Lloyd Wright visited and described the cabins as "three board and batten cabins set in the dignity of nature under the mighty oaks of Kenwood Hill." The cabins have dream catchers in the windows and looms lining the tables, ready to go. Oh, there's so much possibility there!

Have you ever been somewhere and just thought, "I have to find a way to be here more"? Well, that's the way I feel about the Little Loomhouse. It was started as a weaving workshop in 1939 sponsored by Eleanor Roosevelt and continues its goal of textile education today. I felt inspired by the surroundings, both nature and textiles, and I'm excited to learn from the people I met there.

I'm already planning my next visit.

* * *

If you're local, be sure to check out the Little Loomhouse's workshop list. I want to try weaving and dyeing with indigo!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014


the last string of days has felt like a summer daydream realized.
little hands in the garden: watering, digging, picking.
"be gentle" is our garden mantra
so we don't end up with too many beheaded marigolds.

longtime friends visited from overseas.
i love them and who i am when i'm with them.
they're the people i can be weird with
and they're just as weird, in the most delightful way.

i have been knitting from evening right up till bedtime.
my linen sweater, a gramps cardigan, and some colorwork to be cast on tonight.
pots of fresh mint tea, chocolate, and marzipan round out my evenings.

also, yoga.
i know, this is a summer daydream, right?
i don't know where this came from
but these last few weeks i've found ways to fit yoga into my days
just a bit, but it's enough.

oh oh oh,
that's my own private mantra
"this is enough."
i've been using it lately to remind myself
that really, it is.

and my little guy--
these days we play an endless game of charades.
he has a handful of words that mostly all sound the same,
but he knows so much and has started to show us:

i need a new diaper.
i am hungry.
i am hungry for chocolate, but i'll take watermelon.
will you put the coconut oil on my feet?
there are goldfish in the vent!

* * *

i'm off to wind that pretty blue yarn and make my evening tea. i hope your days are dreamy, too.


Monday, June 23, 2014

first monday of summer in kentucky

jude's day started with yogurt, mine with coffee,
and we split a bagel smeared with avocado.

then it was on to water a garden full of herbs and weeds
with a toddler who, when beckoned, points out basil, calendula, and mint.
today he learned "bird poop" and we searched the driveway for white splatters.

nap time
for him, but laundry time for me,
two loads today,
and a few rounds of knitting on my blue socks.

but then he's up again and we read peter rabbit
while he bounces on the bed
he just learned that today
so it's still charming.

* * *

tonight on my desk sits a yellow teacup
warm milky tea with brown sugar to sweeten the evening's work.

i break to stretch my legs and find my husband at the window.

a hawk perched on the ridge of the house across the street,
unperturbed by the summer rain and the robins diving at him.
he shakes his head just once,
flinging the gathered rain from his feathers.

* * *

thank you to everyone who commented on my last post. i appreciate your thoughts and will have more to say about them in the future. i know i'll be referring back to them when i hit a rough patch in blogging.

the winner of the yarn giveaway is liesl.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

five year celebration: a yarn giveaway!

I started this blog five years ago. Five years. Oh my! That's a long time. I've met a lot of friends through blogging who have changed my life in both subtle and substantial ways. It's amazing how much inspiration and influence can come from people I've never met in person, yet whom I've spent countless hours with online.

I've changed in these five years. I married my college sweetheart, earned a graduate degree, found a career, discovered a love of knitting, bought a house, planted gardens, baked countless cakes, and became a mother to the most wonderful little boy.

As much as I've changed, it's funny to look back and see how I've remained the same. I started this blog with a quote from "Apples and Oranges," a short story by Alice Munro: "The list of things that Barbara doesn't want to do is as long as your arm. Apparently she wants to do what she does--read, and go for walks, eat and drink with pleasure, tolerate some company." I planned to write this blog as long as it was something I wanted to do.

I've been wrestling with what to do here on field wonderful. I love writing and crafting, sharing my life with you, and reading about yours. But I've been feeling uninspired lately. It's hard to find time to write here while taking care of a toddler all day and working at night.

A couple weeks ago I wrote a post to quit my blog. It was a fond farewell, but it also felt like I was breaking up with someone I still loved. I hit the save button and wanted to cry.

I lived with the idea of seriously ending my blog for a few days before deciding that field wonderful is still a place I want to be, still a place I want to come together and share with you all, but that I want it to change to fit me. I want to give myself the time and space to sit down and be creative here.

The blogs I love are the ones where writers share their personal narratives. I want to get to know people through their words in addition to their photos, which is why I shy away from other social media platforms. I know, I know, I feel like a Luddite saying all this. Deep down I'm an old lady stuck in her ways. Maybe I just need to collect addresses and send each of you a nice handwritten letter. To hell with all these screens.  

In the end, I decided to take a little time away and return refreshed and ready to write.

But before I go, let's have a giveaway. Shall we? Oh yes. To celebrate the time I've spent writing this blog and the time you've spent reading it, I have a small giveaway for you. It's a skein of Shetland wool yarn from Ballyhoo Farm that's made from the fleeces of a mother and daughter sheep: Thistle and Shamrock. It's 250 yards of worsted weight and smells wonderfully sheepy, if you like that sort of thing (I do!).

To win, simply leave a comment on this post telling me your thoughts on blogging. Why do you read blogs? Why do you write a blog (if you do)? Make sure I have a way of contacting you if you win.

The contest is open to anyone. I'll ship to the far reaches of the world if that's where the winner lives. I'll close the contest on June 14, 2014.

Be well, my friends, and thank you so much for reading!

Monday, May 19, 2014

summer crafting + links

The warm days have me reaching for lighter weight yarn and thread. I've got a linen Hitofude cardigan on the needles right now. It is slowgoing work for me. I have to keep myself from looking at the pattern in its entirety or else I might throw my hands up in defeat. This one is going to take forever. At least the lace pattern is emerging now, instead of just looking like I spilled oatmeal on my knitting needles.

I've also been crocheting daisies when the urge strikes. I hope in a week or two I'll have enough for a delicate daisy chain to decorate my mantel. I found the pattern on Her Library Adventures (via Moose and Bird).

And I decided I've become a little too precious with my handknitted socks; I rarely wear them because I don't want to ruin them. That's just silly and not why I made them at all. I'm making an effort to wear them more (or I will, come fall). I figure they'll last longer if I have more socks in rotation, so I cast on a pair of after-thought heel socks. I really like how the solid blue toe and cuff (and eventually, heel) tone down the variegated yarn.

* * *

I hope your week is off to a great start. Here are some links to inspire more good days:

I want to make mini fudge popsicles for my boy and me.

I started saving avocado pits and skins as soon as I saw Liesl's amazing natural-dyed yarn. It seems like a fun project for a summer afternoon.

I wish I could smell Melody's latest blog post. I love the delicate scent of lilacs!

Joanna has me thinking about vacation. Where would you go? I've been dreaming of San Francisco and Yosemite.

If you're local, you should go to the Starlight Strawberry Festival this weekend. It's one of my favorite festivals of the year. Get there early for the best berries!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

i'll have another (pair of pajama shorts, that is)

I was so smitten with my first pair of pajama shorts that I immediately sewed another pair. This time I made a size medium, which is a fantastic fit (Liesl said she up-sizes too for a comfier fit--something to keep in mind if you decide to make a pair for yourself). I went very von Trapp family with this pair because I used a vintage curtain I bought at the flea market a few years back. I love the fabric and have been saving it for something special. I hesitated to use it on pajama shorts, thinking maybe I should save it for something I'll actually wear out of the house, but decided that I'll get tons of wear out of these shorts and having this fabric in my daily life will make me happy. Really, can you look at that flowery pattern and not smile? I can't. It's a riot of color, and it brings whimsy to my days. That's a pretty big feat for a humble pair of pajama shorts.

* * * 

P.S. You know I've got another pair already in the works, right? I can't stop. I'm not sure how many pairs of pajama shorts is enough, but I haven't reached my limit yet. If you'd like to make your own, I wholeheartedly recommend Liesl's free pattern and tutorial.

P.P.S. I've found my crafting has shifted with the seasons more than ever this year. Now that it's warming up, I only want to knit with fingering weight yarn, particularly linen, I've been spending evenings at the sewing machine, and I've even picked up my crochet hook and thread again. Have your habits shifted much with the seasons this year?


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