March Check In: When Everything Changed

When I wrote last month’s post, coronavirus was in the news, but I never thought it would impact my life personally, let alone impact the entire world. I knew it would be a big month, with my trip scheduled, but it took quite a different turn. I’m thankful for the way it played out, even as I walk through the stages of grieving over the massive loss and change we are all going through.

Like many of you, I have followed Elizabeth Zimmermann’s advice: “Knit on, through all crises.”


I’ve worked on a swatch and a hat I can’t show you, but mostly I’ve plugged away on my Ringle. Not that you can really tell.

I had most of a sleeve done when I tried it on and found the sleeves too small. I have since ripped back to the arm split and picked up again, adding more stitches.

I’ve not worked on it much in the last couple weeks. I was a little annoyed at having to rip the sleeve; I’d like it if that were the last rip on this sweater. It’s certainly not all the stockinette that puts me off, because I’m distracted by my new socks…

Which are all stockinette. But they are colourful handspun, and my sweater draws me much less now that the pretty handspun yoke is done. Ah, well, there are advantages and disadvantages to top down sweaters. Being bored with the bottom half is a disadvantage; being able to try on as I went was an important one.


Wow. What a month. I finished a bunch of 51 Yarns spins: self-striping, tweed, fractal, and gradient – basically the entire colour chapter. There’s more that I just haven’t had a chance to write up yet.

There was the 2 oz skein of sunflower-bright battling, which Rachel gave me to test out her wheel for the class I was going to take at Fibres West, which became a reflective spin over the weekend.

Then when I got home, I decided to suck it up and attack my Icelandic. After all, I figured, it would just take a couple of days for me to fill a bobbin; I didn’t have to commit to finishing it all at once. And wouldn’t you know, I managed two skeins.

Just two batts left. The end is in sight! I so want to finish before the summer.

Spinning and knitting have both been a bit of sanity. When things just aren’t right, sit and knit a bit. When I can’t seem to stop moving or worrying, sit and spin a bit. Remember my body; remember to pray. Don’t always listen to the news.


No new weaving this month, although a major weaving project was taken from cloth to finished object.

Which really belongs under:


I trudged through a little sewing this month, but not much. The bench cushions were a big deal; I’m glad those are done. I didn’t get far on the placemats. I repaired Stringbean’s tights.

Epic darning! That’s an egg-shaped rattle in there.

I did get one big item out of my repair basket, though it wasn’t in need of repair, and it wasn’t fixed by sewing. I turned this beautiful object:

Back into this.

Why do something so drastic? Well, I made it four years ago now, and I’ve never worn it. I made it just to make it, as part of the Lord of the Rings knit-through that went awry at every turn. This particular yarn took me three years to make. I would like it to be in something useful. I’m rather sick of the colour though; I might dunk the whole thing in a black bean blue to give it a fresh start.


This is a new category I didn’t think I’d be sharing this early in the year, but, you know. COVID-19 happened. Spring break ended a week and a half ago. School is supposed to re-start next Monday, but I have some doubts. So for the last week and a half, we’ve started on the AmblesideOnline plan that I had worked out for the fall. AO isn’t perfect, but it’s pretty excellent, and it’s easy to adapt to our northern context. It’s put together and maintained by moms, and it’s intentionally made with affordable and accessible materials to accommodate families in remote locations and with poor internet connection. I just about cried when I read that’s why they keep their website so simple – someone understands!

I’ve printed and hand-bound the key books for the year 1. I’ve got Math-U-See Alpha lined up (we were going to do it for fun because the girls like it). We’re missing a couple books but will make do.

It’s absolutely not necessary to do any formal schooling during this insane season. But for me, it’s helpful to have a little routine and some goals. Altogether we’re only doing maybe an hour and a half of school every weekday. The kids are playing a lot on, I’m trying to get them outside when it’s nice, and we throw in some art stuff every now and again. But that motivation to get moving in the morning is something I think we are all benefiting from right now.

I mean, the only real end goal is to get through this alive, right? If not, we have hope in Jesus. In this life, if we thrive, bonus. If not, we have grace. It’s a hard season. We need affection and good discipline in great measure. Let’s just work on making it to the end of April, in whatever way makes sense to you.

2 thoughts on “March Check In: When Everything Changed

  1. Aaahh!!! Sorry… just a little lightheaded after seeing that amazing shawl undone (R.I.P.)! Especially since I’m pretty sure that you were in the middle of the red section of that yarn when you and I were spinning together at OEV back in the fall of 2014, so I feel a vague sort of connection to it! I hope it tells you what it wants to be. (I’m trying to picture what a black bean bath would do to those colors. From yellow, red and brown to green, purple and… darker brown??? Grey??? Either way, I have to admit, I think I like it!)


    1. LOL sorry, yes it took me over a year to talk myself into ripping it! I’m thinking it wants to be a thermal vest. I’m hoping the red will get purpler, the yellow and green will get greener, and the brown will be deeper. Just the whole thing cooler. Yes I was definitely spinning this at least one year at oev!


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