a love letter to july

 My dearest July,

I realize that it is August 11, and my heart has moved on to love this beautiful month.  But I want you to know that you gave me some of the most incredible summer days that I have ever had the pleasure of living. 

Your slow mornings, your warm days and your beautiful evenings will always be remembered.  Did you know that you gave us time to put those new couches in our living room? (They look fabulous by the way.) And the full trees were cut to let more of your beautiful sunlight shine in through the old windows.  I scrubbed the cushions on our back patio furniture to make them look fresh and new.  I worked on my Lawrenson sweater knitting your sunlight into every stitch so that I will be reminded of your warmth come those cold evenings of winter.  Because of Covid-19 we didn't get to celebrate your 4th the same way we have in the past but you were warm and lovely just the same.  Our neighbor brought over fresh almond croissants and we filled our bellies while enjoying your sweet summer air.  

Your cool mornings alone at the pool are by far and away my favorite way to start a day.  July, please know that your weather is far and away the most special to me.  You were so wonderful to give us days for the men to work on building our lovely kitchen. (If only you could have made them work faster.) While I'm cooking and baking, in our new kitchen, I will think back to when the scraping and pounding filled most of your week days.  

You welcomed my girl home and then my oldest boy.  Their presence is welcome anytime, but you do know how to give us so much love and light!  Your sunshine gave the hydrangeas just enough warmth to blossom into a beautiful bounty of gorgeousness.  

Your days were there for us as we headed on a 16 hour road trip to the Florida sunshine and gave me the most glorious time alone with my children.  We so needed those lazy days just being together, getting sand on our feet and swimming in that beautiful ocean of water.  
Of course, I knit on everyone of your beautiful days.  I listened to my boy and his awesome music.  We had happy hours at the beach, and we swam as we watched the sunrise.  Remember the one day you shared with us as we spent it with my mother;  their grandmother. We kissed her all over her face like there wasn't a pandemic because Lord knows she would risk everything to feel our skin against hers.

I picked  a lot of basil that grew in your lovely light and tried to slow down the days with my boys and girl.  

I knew that our time together was coming to a close as I drove with my girl to Denver. We did this so that she, too, could move slowly into her next love, August.  She was so eager to meet August and start her new life as a school teacher.  I reminded her how we have to stay in the moment and live in the day we are given.  Time is fleeting and if we look too far in the future we will miss the glorious gifts that are in front of us. We stayed in that beautiful day having a picnic at Chessman Park filming aTikTok.  Oh how we laughed.
July, I was so happy that we weren't quite finished upon returning home. I had one more week with you as I drove to Lancaster and spent a couple of nights in a charming farmhouse.  And, to have one more day to watch Andrew play in his golf tournament.  Yep.  Grateful for that day, too.  We drove by corn fields and bought corn from a farmer who uses the honor system.  July, you are magical.  

I want you to know, July, that I care so deeply about you, still.  That you and I held something so precious that it will never fade and you will always occupy a place in my heart as well as my mind.  


With all the warmth and love I can give.

Leslie

tie dye

diy
I decided we needed a few more masks around here.  I have a lot of fabric but thought I needed something new.  Instead of buying more (and more importantly going to the store) I decided to tie dye  an old white sheet.
Have you tried the ice tie dye technique?  My friend Nadine (Hi Nadine!!!) told me about it.  I couldn't remember exactly what she said but knew it involved ice and dye.  (HA!)
I ended up crumpling the dry fabric and placing ice cubes on top.  Then I sprinkled the Rit powder dye on top.  (Thanks Betsy!)  This all took place outside in the grass and in the sunshine.  The ice completely melted and the fabric dried.  There were a few places where the dye was still a bit powdery, so I wiped that off with my hand (while wearing a glove).
A quick rinse with the hose and then into the machine it went.
I think the results are super cool. (Thanks Nadine!) I'd actually like to make something else now out of this fabric.
Everything I have learned from mask making here.  And, the Fabric Patch has a new YouTube Video of everything new they have learned here.

Stay safe, friends!

where i sit

Hiya Friends! Happy July!
Wanted to let you know I made another podcast.
It's up on YouTube if you are so inclined to watch.
I talk about that sweet knit with the fish motif if you are wondering! :)

Happy weekend!  I hope your needles will be busy creating something beautiful.  xx

be thankful cardigan

So, I had a little fun with my latest finished knit.
Since I couldn't try it on my sweet Libby (she is in Colorado) I tried it on my grandmothers dress form and pretended it was Libby.  You know, whatever it takes to get through these times.
"Here sweetie, let me straighten this for you."
"Oh, why yes!  We really must get a photo of us."
"Let's show how great these sleeves are."
"See how blousy they are?"
"Oh, how I love you sweet Libby."

This sweater is extra special to me.  I used buttons from my grandmothers stash.  I used yarn I found in my mothers stash.  I used my hands to knit it.  And my sweet girl will wear it.  Boy, I know she will gain strength from all the generations of women while wearing it.  I'm calling it her superhero cardigan!

Pattern:  be thankful cardigan
Yarn:  Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran
Needles:  US size 8
Size: 1

be thankful cardigan

Summertime knitting is here and I couldn't be more thrilled.  I do love the feeling I get from knitting at the beginning of each season.  And it is finally warm enough here to get outside every morning and enjoy a cup of coffee on the patio while knitting.  Pure bliss!
I wanted to mention that Lily Kate is hosting a Knit-along for the month of June.  Not a KAL on a specific pattern; you can choose any of her patterns to knit.
I decided to hop in and bring this love of mine into a sweet circle.
{April 1, 2015 when we traveled to London and the two girls finally met in person.}

You see, my Libby and Lily were pen pals because of this blog back when they were 12.  We all met because Lily's mom and I became friends from her blog, Joli House.  All because of knitting.  And now, they are 22.  Lily has become quite the knitter extraordinaire and not only knits beautifully, but designs many beautiful patterns as well.  She is truly a kind soul and brings so much inspiration and love to this knitting community.
When I heard of the KAL i just knew I needed to make Libby something during the month of June.
Libby chose the BeThankful Cardigan.  A simple knit with a gentle look.  I can't truly explain it, however, it's just one of those feel good pieces.  Like a gentle hug.
While in Florida last month, my sisters and I went through my mothers stash.  She had 10 skeins of Debbie Bliss cashmerino aran that we decided I needed to bring home.
What perfect yarn to use for this cardigan.
As I knit, I am mindfully feeling the yarn and these lovely humans I am thankful for.  It's going to be like a giant feel good hug for Libby every time she wears it.

Take a look at Lily's patterns if you would like to knit-along!

missoni accomplished

Stash knitting never felt so good. I made a sweater that I actually love and am excited to wear! This yarn has been in my stash for a while and is a Classic Elite linen blend.  Unfortunately, Classic Elite is no longer in business.  But this sweater would work in an array of yarns.
This is the Missoni Accomplished that made me truly feel accomplished.  This piece taught me how to knit both continental and english style knitting.  Two handed stranded.  If you haven't tried it, I highly recommend trying it.  Some of my stitches don't look exactly perfect, but I'm okay with it.
I shortened the sleeves to make it more wearable for this time of year.   But definitely would like to make a winter version in the fall.

Pattern: Missoni Accomplished
Yarn:  Classic Elite Soft Linen  35% Linen, 35%, 30% Baby Alpaca
Gauge:  5.5 = 1"
Needle:  US 5
Size: L