Friday, March 31, 2023


 If you have popped over to read my Friday Fave Fives for this week, I hope you will return later this evening.  I am out to a conference and will be home after the last session.

Friday, March 24, 2023

Fave Fives in Spring

 It's SPRING!  It's really SPRING!  It may be raining and there may be thunder and lightning outside, but, according to the calendar, it's SPRING!

Every week I focus on five things that have blessed me this week.  Susanne calls it Friday Fave Fives and hosts a bunch of us to post our five blessings we have chosen and written about in a post for the week.  (follow the link to join)  Here are mine---Willow's Week in Five Faves.

1.  Obviously, I did a spoiler in the first paragraph---it's SPRING!

2.  Saturday was the day we celebrated my birthday.  We decided to invite family to a local coffee shop/cafe for brunch.  This place has a loft area that people seldom use during the day, so we took it over.  Mostly, we just hung out and talked.  Instead of cake, I chose pie.  Triple berry and apple.  Yum!

3.  On Sunday, The Professor and I woke early and drove to Ft. Wayne, Indiana to attend a funeral/memorial service for a man we knew many years ago when we were in college.  This man was our choir director and the director of The Reflections, the small singing group I was part of for three years.  He left a large legacy of music in churches and colleges all over the US.  These photos were taken in 2016 at a Reflections reunion at the college.

Director Peter Kobe

Three of the original Reflections singers with Pete.

4.  On the way home, we stopped at the highest point in Ohio, Campbell Hill, to add this state's high point to The Professor's list high point places we have visited.

5.  This fave may seem like a small thing, but it was important to me.  I have a favorite tea that I drink almost daily.  Herbal Cold Care tea from Traditional Medicinal Teas.  I ran out last week.  All the local stores were out, too.  Finally, this morning, The Professor happened to be passing a grocery store in a nearby village where we seldom shop, and he popped in just to check for the tea.  The store had ONE box.  He bought it.  I am thankful for two things:  he thought about my wanting the tea and there was a box available.

Bonus:  I did write up a more detailed but short description of the cashmere sweater I finished knitting and posted it yesterday.  LINK for it.

Thursday, March 23, 2023

Cashmere, Anyone? Neckdown Pullover Sweater

 As promised, I am posting details about the red raglan sleeved pullover sweater I finished knitting last week. (there are advantages to being mostly confined to a chair resting my ankle)

The pattern I used, and slightly adapted, is published by Knitting Pure and Simple.  Here is a link to one place where the pattern can be purchased.  Knitting Pure & Simple

Yarn:  I used June Cashmere 100% Kyrgyz Cashmere, DK weight yarn, 150 yd, Scarlet.  I bought seven skeins and used almost all of the yarn.

Needles:  sizes 6 and 4, both circular and double pointed.

Last fall, I made a sample sweater in white, just to test out the pattern.  That yarn had been given to me from someone's stash, so I used it to find out how the pattern would fit and exactly what size needles I should use for my 'real' sweater.

This sweater is knitted from the top down in the circular, so there are NO seams to sew.  My favorite way to knit.  After the sweater was finished, all I had to do was weave in the ends of the various places where I had to attach new yarn, such as where the sleeves were added on.

The raglan sleeves are easy to make; you simply do increases at the joints.

I like the V neck knit-purl edge.

The only change I made was to the bottom edge.  On the sample sweater, I followed the instructions which made the sweater more of a tunic.  There is a slit made on each side and the bottom ribbing is finished off in garter stitch ribbing.

I like tunics and often wear them, but with this pattern, I chose to change to a knit one/purl one hem that matches the neck and sleeves edges.

I love my new red cashmere sweater!

Friday, March 17, 2023

St. Patrick's Day

 Happy Friday!  Happy St. Patrick's Day!  Happy Friday Fave Fives Day!  This last week of winter has been true to its name--winter.  Cold, Snow, Clouds.  But there is so much to find in grey and dreary weather to brighten my week and make my days shine.  Some weeks I have to dig deep or look hard behind the clouds.  But it is important that we do this--to find the blessings.  Friday Fave Fives helps me do that.  If you want even more encouragement, click the link and be inspired.

1.  Thinking back over the past week, I am constantly reminded of how The Professor cares for me.  Since I can't do basic chores, he has taken over doing all the laundry, dishes, cooking, driving.  He even makes me coffee and snacks and brings them to me where I am 'lounging' in my chair with my leg elevated.

2.  My broken ankle is healing well.

3.  I finished the red sweater! 100% Cashmere.  I am loving it!  Details coming in a separate post.

4.  We ordered fruit trees to plant in the back yard.  They arrived this week!  Yay!  I can't wait to get them planted in the ground.

5.  Younger Daughter has organized and started a fiber arts group that meets in a local coffee shop and the first meet-up was Saturday.  I think nine people showed up which is great for a first meeting.  So much fun to enjoy coffee, tea, or chai with people who love to knit and crochet.

Bonus: Today, St. Patrick's Day, is also my birthday!  Lots and lots of text messages, phone calls and notifications on facebook from people all over the world.  Lunch with The Professor, Older Daughter and Granddaughter at a cute little cafe.  Tomorrow is the day we will actually celebrate with family at a coffee shop/cafe.

Thursday, March 09, 2023

An Eventful Week

Some weeks just float past.  Other weeks are marked with surprising events.  This week was one of the latter.  Even in the midst of crazy weeks, there are things to be grateful for.  We just have to look for them.  And it is even better when you share them to encourage others, too.  That's why I join Friday Fave Fives every week. (follow the link for more encouragement) 

1.  We were able to meet two times this week with a very-long-time-ago friend who was in our area overnight because he was a guest speaker at a Perspectives class.  Marv and his wife were in our mission candidate school with us and we also served with them in Indonesia for several years.  And our kids all grew up together as only Third Culture Kids do.  Oh, it was great to just talk about all those old days and then find out when is happening in the lives of his family.

2.  We found the perfect little cafe for breakfast with our friend.  Cafe Creekside.  And yes, it is located right on the bank of the creek.  We will definitely be returning!

3.  On Tuesday evening, I joined Younger Daughter on a lovely walk with her dog Sawyer.  The weather was mild and only a bit windy.  It was great.

4.  UNTIL... I tripped and fell on the edge of the paved path.  Yep.  I did it.  I broke my ankle.  Nope.  That's not the fave.  The fave is that as soon as she realized my ankle was injured, my daughter went in to total nurse mode.  And then a couple walking the trail arrived and helped transport me to the parking lot where older daughter was waiting with her car to drive me to the ER.  (Where was The Professor?  with the grandsons at Trail Life.  He arrived asap.)

5.  The best part of this difficult thing is that the break could have been much worse.  Yes, I was able to get in for an appointment with the specialist Wednesday morning, and he confirmed that the fracture is more like a 'crack', so I am wearing a brace not a cast.  And I'm already actually 'walking' without the crutches.  I am so thankful!

And the daffodils are blooming all over!

Friday, March 03, 2023

March on in

I have a few minutes before I drive off again to pick up my granddaughter from track practice.  It may be raining buckets but there are ways to keep up the momentum in track even in the gym.  So I'm posting my Friday Fave Fives quickly.  Willow's Week was again busy with lots of activities.  But it is important to stop, breathe, and focus on the goodness in my life.

1. Two reminders that the 'Art Girls' shared as we talked about the book we are reading for Lent of how we should live:  Never hurry. Never worry.  Live in an attitude of gratitude. Great statements to ponder when I stop to take a breath during the week.

2.  We had several days this past week when it wasn't raining, so we were able to get out for some good walks/hikes.  There is a local park that has so many paved and unpaved trails that wind through the woods and around a small lake and up a few hills.  We love to walk there.  Bonus is that it has a dog park, so the crazy grandpup can get most of his wiggles out there first and then walk with us after.

3.  The daffodils in my garden are starting to bloom!  I brought two in and placed them in a vase so I can enjoy them all day inside.

4.  Lunch with a friend.  We both love Asian food so we met at a local Thai place.  An extra fave is that the people who own the restaurant speak Indonesian, so I had opportunity to use my second language.

5.  I saved the best until last!  Our older son is an Army Reserve Chaplain.  He has been deployed on active duty out of the country for several months.  Finally, I can say this:  HE'S BACK ON US SOIL!  It will be a bit before he is home, but this is a big step!  Welcome home, Chaps!