Moving Day!

There’s a new place to hang out with me!  You can now get a whole lot more of me again over at Imagined Landscapes.

I don’t know if you’ve felt it coming, but this blog has been winding down.  Partly because the kids are older and more private about their days.  Partly because what I’m passionate about is pretty much all knitting these days and I’ve felt a bit weird dominating this space with my creativity when I’m not including homeschooling content.  This space hasn’t felt entirely mine anymore, which is odd, since it is my space in a very real way.

I’ve been working on the website between creating new designs (#4 & #5 are in testing now!) and painting the house.  It’s been a full summer, but a happy summer.  It feels good to have a space that is first and foremost *mine*.  I have thought and acted as a mama for so long, it’s exciting to be branching out on my own.  Sandra starts university this fall, and there is a similar feeling of starting my life, wondering what I want to be when I grow up.  Happily, I also get to buy school supplies!  It wouldn’t be September without a trip down the pen aisle.

I’m also switching over most of my social media accounts, too.




Will all of the old PrairiePoppins accounts and this blog be closed?  No.  I’m leaving them open just in case, but my energy and passion are definitely in the new ones.

So, over there you’ll find more of Sarah the person and a little less of Sarah the mama. Come visit me. The space feels a bit empty without all of my friends.


Crossed Furrows Hat Pattern

The genesis of this hat pattern is pretty straightforward: I had yarn leftover from the Crossed Furrows Cowl. It used three colours, but one of them had more of a supporting role and the third really only had a cameo.

I started wondering how to use up that leftover yarn and how to do the plaid stitch in the round, and suddenly I knew what to do with the leftovers. I would make a hat.

Crossed Furrows Hat pattern detail

Except that it wasn’t just one hat. I started wondering some more, and a two-colour version also sprang into being. And then a tester wondered about turning it into a slouchy hat, and suddenly two hats became four!

Presenting the Crossed Furrows Hat to use up the leftovers of the cowl, or any aran yarn you desire. Sized from Baby to Adult Large.

Crossed Furrows Hats knitting pattern aran

Use the code ‘staywarm’ at checkout to get 25% off until Sept 7. I’ve also made a little bundle of the two matching patterns – you get both for $6.50 rather than $8. It’s automatic, so if you’ve already purchased the cowl, you’ll get the discount too – and this deal doesn’t expire!

On a personal note, I was pretty excited to convince my mom to model with me!  We had a great time, and it made it a real family affair. Dad had taken the original photo of the crossed furrows, Mom was modelling with me, and my daughter Sandra was behind the camera for the photo shoot. She helped us stay very serious and focused.

knitting hats crossed furrows laughing


Want more details?  There’s a fair bit more about yarn, yardage, etc, at the pattern page: Crossed Furrows Hat

wheat field green black crossed furrows


Out of the house

Usually I walk Rainer to work then turn right around and walk home. Today I stayed to work because there are approximately 17 things I could have chosen to work on, but I needed to focus on my three MITs. (Most Important Things. I declare three per week and it has helped so, so, so much in getting the priorities done!)
First I did a little writing in the library. Nothing like a huge, rounded window in front of you to keep stodgy thoughts away. 

Then Rainer’s bullet journal took my bullet journal out for coffee. 
Seriously, we need to find a place that sells different cover options for our  Moleskines!  We use the ones with grid lines.

Red door

Red door found in an alley. Possible photo shoot location? 

I took myself to a cafe to work on a draft of a hand warmers pattern for test knitting. On the way home it rained a bit, and my white and black umbrella seemed to set off everything and help me see with new eyes. 

surprisingly, a Word of the Year

I haven’t set out to choose a word for 2015, but suddenly there is one. I didn’t choose it. It seemed to choose itself, rising again and again to the top of my thoughts.

At the beginning of the year if I had chosen a word it might have been ‘recovery’, as I floundered around in the grips of that horrible burn out/depression. I was on a healing journey, trying to bring back my energy and the pieces of myself I felt that I’d given away. I’d given of myself and my time to so many organizations and people that it was like a weary treasure hunt, trying to bring all those bits of me back and nourish them.
Now, as I feel fairly confident that I’m no longer in mental and emotional debt, there is a word. It comes to my mind almost daily. Gracious. Not grace, which I associate with physical expression of beauty in movement. Gracious: characterized by kindness and courtesy. I want a gracious life, a kind life, a gracefully and graciously charming life.

It’s a word that makes me breathe all the way down to the bottom of my lungs.

I want a few ordered and treasured possessions that are clean and tidy. I want to feel that I have enough time in every day for the things that will be done. I don’t want to cram tasks into my day. I don’t want to ‘hustle’. In fact, I am probably in fact trying to put myself on a No Hustle Plan. I think I’ve spent all my time hustling since I was 26: 40 pounds too heavy, surrounded in mess, and trying to keep up with young kids. I had a breakthrough that year and realized I would fire anyone who tried to run my life like that, and I’ve spent 15 years trying to remake myself into someone I would admire. But I have hustled partly out of fear that I’m lazy.

This second half of 2015 is about breathing room even within striving to make things better. I want a feeling of openness in the time I have, the space I occupy, a feeling that keeps surfacing with that word: gracious.  

There is a line in Princess Diaries (of all places) that also keeps surfacing in my thoughts: “A queen never rushes, she hastens.” This makes me smile, but it also hints at an important element I’m seeking. I don’t want to be a human whirlwind, dazzling and powerful but rushed and flinging things out the edges. I want to be a river – powerful but unrushed, moving forward with patience and always reaching my destination.

Questions still to be answered:

Within the concept of ‘striving’, is there an inherent poison? How can I find a way to challenge myself without judgement? To improve and change is woven right into my personality, but how to do it without a criticism of ‘Sarah now’?