Sunday 22 April 2012

Waving Goodbye To The Daffodils

Dear readers,
The dazzling flash of yellow forsythias, which offer a splash of fleeting colour after a hard winter, fade and drop in March hedges barely fulfilling our craving for a fix of colour.  Usually daffodils bring the next cloud of bright sunshine-yellow much to the delight of all spring revellers.  This April sadly I have not seen them. While walking in and around our village I could say truthfully my eyes have been drawn upwards to marvel at the countless orchard trees in blossom.  I should also write that my eyes and thoughts have been turned inwards searching for solutions.  I have reached the conclusion that I cannot be a full-time mother and continue to work on the growing list of 'to be made to commission' and 'to be written by a deadline' items after dark when my children are asleep. My body has been sending me cleverly crafted signals which have stopped me dead in my tracks: migraines!  Oh, the migraines I have had! It's hard to find solutions when your head hurts, your children cheerfully chatter, your puppy makes that face again and your dreams are waiting in the wings to be made real.  For an impatient, easily inflamed soul like me the answers need to snap into place quick sharp; no dawdling, please.  We all know however that solutions and answers will only come in their own sweet time.  And so I bide my time and learn the art of patience.
The best remedy of course it to walk and gather inspiration from Mother Nature. Fortunately I have found the vivid yellows and greens of daffodils in other splendid forms. The lichen-covered vines are bursting forth.
Primroses are abundant in the undergrowth flanking the vineyards.
And rows upon rows of tulips sway like balloons in the breeze in this hillside garden lovingly tended by the deceased owner's daughter.
I had the joy of re-reading Anna Parkinson's wonderful book Nature's Alchemist: John Parkinson, Herbalist To Charles I, recently.  John Parkinson was, in my opinion, patience personified.  His lifelong passion for plants was intimately bound up with the struggles of faith during the turbulent early seventeenth century.  Despite his regular presence at the court of Charles I and his central London apothecary he kept a low profile, being a Catholic, quietly growing an extraordinary range of flowers for delight and pleasure in his garden in Covent Garden.  He carefully recorded them all and had them engraved for his exquisite book Paradisi in Sole Paradisus Terrestris, first published in 1629.
John Parkinson's daffodil (no. 8) and those of his friends, illustration from Paradisus, 1629, taken from Anna Parkinson's book.
The most startling feature of John Parkinson's book, to quote, Anna Parkinson, "was that it was the first English book about plants to be devoted above all to their beauty".  He believed that one could create a paradise in the tiny enclave gardens to be found in the crowded city that London had become.  John also called this book his 'feminine' work, thinking of the gentlewomen among his clients for gynaecological remedies and beautiful plants who shared his love of flowers.  Anna Parkinson writes: "He often wrote about women's speech, their desires and their needs.  John's garden released feminine aspects of himself in which he revelled, such as his mircroscopic reverence for colour and detail. [...] When he recommended bulbs to his readers, he gave advice on how to care for them because 'I do wish all Gentlemen and Gentlewomen... to bee as careful whom they trust with the planting and replanting of these fine flowers as they would be with so many Jewels'.  Bulbs were expensive, especially tulip bulbs from Amsterdam, but for John these flowers were more precious than their mercenary value.  Working with his plants with the care and devotion that gentlewomen applied to their needlework, John wanted to show that nature could offer an equally satisfying result.".
The link made by John Parkinson between flowers and women's needlework fascinates me.  We all know how gardens lend themselves to a variety of art forms.  I am particularly drawn to how gardens may be transformed into bodily apparel.  The picture above of Daffy-Down-Dilly, taken from Salley Mavor's exquisite Pocketful of Posies: A Treasury of Nursery Rhymes and the garden inspired painting below by the artist Jess of Purpletreebird are both examples of what make me tick. 
As a tribute to those much loved and unseen daffodils and to ease my solution-finding mind I have knitted two cardigans using Rowan Tweed DK in Avocado Green and Rowan Fine Flecked Tweed in Leyburn Yellow.
One small,
One big.
One was knitted up in the blink of an eye whilst eating date and wholemeal scones and drinking Chai with my children.
The other required patience!  The Knitting Gods were laughing at my knitting zeal for halfway through my first effort I came to the sorry conclusion that - and you too will laugh - my tension was wrong!  Quick as a flash with a heavy sigh I switched from 3mm to 3.5mm needles and started all over again.  I could paint a poetic image here.  True, I spent a lot of time knitting this cardigan under apple trees in blossom over Easter but many hours were also spent fumbling through a haze of aching headaches.
Nevermind.  'Tis done now!

The human-sized cardigan is Orianna Eklund's Daffodil, which is a beautifully easy pattern to follow. The little folk sized cardigan is Claire Garland's doll clothes pattern conceived for her knitted Easter hare. If you aren't familiar with her enchanting blog dotpebbles to take a peek.
I leave you with a photograph of my constant companion's, Angélique's, helping hand. 

Thank you so much for patiently waiting for my return and your kind, kind words about my rabbits in the previous post.  I have been surprised and excited to see how in real life they seem to be in demand.  More on that later.

A bientôt,



  1. hellooo lovely- such a bright 'springy' post ;0)...love the woolly knits- love the wool combinations and that sweet childs book ;0)x
    beautiful print/painting too its so beautiful.

    lovely post,

    x kazzy x

  2. Bless you Stephanie, it is good to listen to your body and pace yourself. We, mum's, take on so much and are constantly juggling the vast array of challenges life throw's us. It's so easy to try and do everyting but I am pleased that our bodies just say NO sometimes and we have to slow down and take perspective! Beautiful yarn choices Stephanie, so gorgeous. I love both cardigans both big and small and the mustardy-yellow of the lichen is one of my favourite colours mother nature gives us. Take care and thank you for sharing the children's book and print with us. Beautiful! xox Penelope

  3. The sweaters are beautiful like a page from Nature herself.
    Take it easy and enjoy the beauty around you... it shall help to soothe the soul and hopefully make the headaches cease.
    Take care.
    Susan x

  4. Oh yes, I do believe our body lets us know when to slow and take stock. You poor thing, I do hope your migraines naff off pronto.

    Beautiful illustrations - I just love what I can see of that nursery rhyme and will follow your link in a mo.

    What a gorgeous cardigan, the colours are so perfect. I did grimace with empathy when I read you had to restart it though.

    I'm trying to create a paradise in my own little town garden but fear I have a lot to learn; mainly patience.

    Take care of yourself, Hx

  5. Oh Stephanie! I am more than honoured to be featured on your beautiful blog.:) It's unusual about your daffodils, we have more than our share of them here this year, primroses too seem to be more abundant than ever before. I travelled further north yesterday and some of their daffodils hadn't even flowered yet! Ours in the south have already flowered and almost finished now.
    The colours you've chosen for your knits make my heart sing! I'm knitting baby jackets at the moment and have had to unpick more times than I'd like to tell you. One finished, another on the way. :)
    I love those botanic illustrations and I do hope you find time to keep blogging, yours is one of my most favourite!
    Jess xx

  6. I have missed you so much.

    I too dearest, am experiencing tensions from withOUT while my soul within is rejoicing in the TRUTH that peace overcomes all stresses when we MAKE OUR DECISION to take one thing at a time, in the presence of nature.

    If you have time, ONLY if you have time, come see my post. I hope it speaks to your heart as it did when it came straight from mine.

    I quit my full-time job as a teacher in hopes of making a go of it as an artist and maybe one day, a writer. It will be a tough road, I know. But as I turn 54 on Monday 23 April, I realize that this is the time to do it. I have my degrees and licenses and if I REALLY NEED TO, I will go back to work; even in this economy, there is a high demand or French speaking teachers in the immersion programs here.

    YOU ARE SO RIGHT that nature is our friend. I look to nature to calm me, and in our urban garden, we are able to see much. Yesterday as we made our morning walk, we say rabbits, a HAWK and turkeys. My husband and I turn into little children when on such walks, for we forget the demands of adulthood.

    May you enjoy your world as it is in all of it's lovely splendor. Come to say BONJOUR. BISES, ANITA

  7. Take time to listen to that inner voice Stephanie it is telling you something for a reason. You are a very creative person and I love your sense of colour. Nature and nurture go together.

  8. What beautiful knitted creations!

  9. I say that nursery rhyme each year when I see my daffodils. I'm sorry to hear you are struggling, especially that the struggle is taking the form of migraine. The answers will come, I'm sure. Lovely knitting! It matches the lichen.

  10. Very beautiful post Stephanie, as a fellow knitter I am particularly enamoured with your lovely cardigans as they reflect Spring so perfectly. I will be heading over to Orianna's directly to take a look at her lovely pattern!

    Please take care of yourself.

    Janine xox

  11. So sorry to hear about your headaches, I have migraines and they knock the wind out of me. As I have gotten older the pain is less intense but the feeling that I have been hit by a train remains. I hope you find a solution soon, acupuncture has helped me immensely.
    Good luck,

  12. What a dream those primroses are, i remember seeing them as a child growing along the country lanes. I love your cardigan, i have been looking for a short sleeved pattern for a while so this may be the one x

  13. Gorgeous sweater and I love the name!! I bet you will will wear that cardi again and again :)

  14. What a beautiful post, and a beautiful sweater! I hope you soon find the balance you are looking for.

  15. Just love the cardigans, particularly the big one - just my colours.
    I'm not sure I know any mothers who've got that tricky balance just right. Good luck.

  16. What a wonderful post - thank you for sharing those lovely pictures. The sweater(s) look wonderful xx

  17. Stephanie, I'm sorry you have to suffer with migranes. I have a friend who did too, terribly,and finally they found it was from a hormone imbalance. She began Hormone therapy and they ceased right away. Deadlines and special orders can be a challenge, its a struggle and I understand.
    Your sweaters, the mossy greens, are so very gorgeous. Amazing work!

  18. Your knitting, your words, your photographs, the illustrations and authors that you bring to our attention... ALL of them so beautiful. I could keep reading your blog forever. I love illustrations in children's books that show characters dressed in natures garb. So I've got to go on a search for Pocketful of Posies!! And Jessica's card is beautiful. I have to look purpletreebird up too.
    So sorry to hear that you have had suffered from migraine headaches. Hope you find healing soon. Take care of yourself sweet friend.

  19. I'm sorry you have been feeling poorly, I hope those horrible migraines leave you soon.
    Such beautiful spring colours, I love the cardigans both big and small, the gorgeous primroses and the lichen, I do love the colour of lichen. :)
    I'm off now to have a look at that knitted hare, sounds like just my cup of tea. :)
    Happy Sunday Stephanie,
    Vivienne x

  20. Your writing, chosen wool and photographs are so beautiful, as always.
    I make my life as simple as I can... if not I get migraines ( the tiniest bit of worry, emotional upset, late night, exhaustion, and that is it a migraine occurs... I was made, I believe, for a rural, peaceful life and to take walks in nature daily... although my life doesn't fill all that criteria just yet, one day it will! )
    Much love to you.

  21. Glorious photos! And lovely words to accompany them. The yarn colors are so delicate...they remind me of how Spring looks as it approaches...misty and soft.

    Having suffered with migraines my whole life, starting in my youth, I totally understand how debilitating they can be. I well remember owning my quilt shop which was such a passion for me and yet the stresses that accompanied it only served to increase the headaches. I finally got my life back when someone invented Imitrex - first the injections and now tablets. They don't prevent the headaches but with the onset, one pill brings me back in control...a miracle to me. Moving to the country and leading a more simplified life has helped. Wishing you a release from this situation - take care.

  22. the ways we get to learn patience... as always i love reading your post i always leave your page feeling a bit more intelligent and wiser. i love your big cardigan, i wonder how long it takes you to knit one. i am not a knitter, i find it amazing that you can create something so beautiful...

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  24. It's funny, I've said it before, but I have always supposed daffodils were welsh and only grew in Wales....I know this isn't true now....I'm sorry they've not been there with you this year.....although your daffodil cardigan is just gorgeous and the colours you've chosen, perfect!

    I do love the way you write, it's transporting, I hope as you inspire others that you will be inspired as to how you can order things to suit you better....sometimes some things have to give a little, if only for a season, and as long as it's right for you, that's the way it should be. Feel better soon.x

  25. Dear Stephanie, your beautiful post leaves me so tranquil and at peace, you have a way with words....look to Nature for balance, I find immersing myself as much as I can in my garden always seems to restore my spirit, it has saved me many times....how I wish I could create such knitted treasures as you, I struggle with knitting...I am hoping you will be yourself again soon and I have missed you also....N.XOXO

  26. Oh Stephanie, I'm so sorry to hear about your migraines. A friend has then and they really are a bane and can be so dispiriting. I do hope they ease very soon

  27. yes, sorry to here about your migraines... thanks for your lovely comment on my blog and also the mention - I've pinned one of your pictures http://pinterest.com/pin/282178732872681645/ - hope you don't mind - if you do I'll remove it immediately... it's lovely!

    Have a good day,

  28. Oh yum wholemeal date scones! I do love the lichen tones woven through all the knitted wear...lichen & forsythia..lovely. Sometimes it is hard to get the balance & timing just right isn't it especially for those of us who are easily inflamed or just a tad sensitive. I don't seem to be making a very good job of my menopausal journey just now...but your honest comments enable me to breath just a little deeper & murmur to myself words of patience & kindness. I do hope you find a place of satisfactory peace soon. I thought that I might just suggest that you pop in to see my post about some secret hot springs & Katherine Mansfield as I know that you are quite fond of her: http://anangelinthegarden.blogspot.co.nz/2012/04/ although the story rather required two parts & the beginning can be found here: http://anangelinthegarden.blogspot.co.nz/2012/04/hidden-treasure-and-key-to-great.html Much love Catherine x0x0x

  29. Hello Stephanie...I think Mother Nature is taking over here and making sure you have some quiet time...I think we all have a problem balancing things today, don't we?...But we have to listen to those signals...
    I am loving those pretty pink and yellow tulips set against the green of the hillside garden (inspiring me to search through my yarns!)and your cardigans are beautiful...such lovely colours and textures.
    Anna Parkinson's book looks such an interesting read (another added to my list...Oh my, I have too many books Stephanie!)...It must have been very special indeed for her to write about her ancestor...
    Wishing you a happy and easy week,
    Susan x

  30. Dearest Stephanie...Again, I arrive at your corner of the world with such excitement to know what has occupied your days since my last visit. And once again, I am in awe...the beauty with which you see the world, the classroom you provide on each visit, and your lovely stitches (both large and ever so teeny) are delightful.
    I am concerned about your horrid headaches tho'...as you well know. I shall send positive thoughts and warm smiles to you on a gentle, ocean breeze. May your days be peaceful and pain-free.
    With gentle hugs from my beehive...
    Judy x

  31. Hope you will be restored to good health soon . Walking out and observing nature usually uplifts me . Was fascinated by John Parkinson. What an amazing man. Such insight and such respect for plants. Will try to get hold of that book as I want to know more. Take care.

  32. My dear Stephanie,

    I was unable to come yesterday or even this morning.....I am home sick and took advantage of this day to get some orders done to ship out tonight. I so loved your comment to me. When I read it yesterday, all your words rang so true in my heart. There is little time for ourselves, and I do believe that those of us with artist vision and the energy to make it all come alive are mostly stressed when we feel our days are not WASTED, but rather have slipped through our creative fingers. Well, I can tell you that my time has finally come to start exploring my artistic side. There is so much to tell, and I encourage you to start your Etsy shop as soon as you are ready. It has been a wonderful experience for me, but now I am being lovingly encouraged to start a website. All of that will happen in due time, but step by step, we really do start to see the vision unfold. What you are doing now will only be PART OF THE WONDER and beauty you create later. Truly....it will happen.

    So good to see you and if you have any further questions about Etsy, please let me know. It will be my grand pleasure to help. Anita

  33. Hello Stephanie, a lovely springtime picture you paint here. Your knitted cardi's are delightful. I do feel for you with these awful migraines. I have suffered with painful headaches all my life, they are not migraines, but can be very intrusive and debilitating. It is a very difficult thing to try and juggle a creative career with a family. I have come to realise that so many of us bloggers are creative spirits, trying to find an outlet. I am sure that you will find yours, try not to stress about it, but I know it is easier said than done.

    Thankyou for your lovely remarks on my blog, they are so very much appreciated. I do hope you are feeling a little better, much love to you, Linda x

  34. Stephanie, it is lovely to see what you beautiful things you have been creating despite those awful headaches, so sorry to hear that. I sometimes get them too and the worse thing often is feeling like I am missing important time. Perhaps truly a message for patience / or for slowing down. Sending you best wishes! xo Karen

  35. Hello Stephanie,
    Firstly I would like to say thankyou so much for leaving me such a lovely comment on my blog, it made my day!!
    It has been pure joy to read this post and feast my eyes on your beautiful photographs. Your words are so beautiful and I can relate very much to what you say. Whenever I need to think clearly or make any sort of important decision I always go out and spend time with mother nature, breathing fresh and pure air always helps me with headaches and migraines, and I love to relax my eyes on the beauties of nature. It also refreshes me and fills me with mini gardening inspiration :)
    I adore your bunnies Stephanie, and the cardigans you have made are both gorgeous. Also your profile photograph always warms my heart, it is wonderful!!
    lots of Love to you and I hope things will get easier for you soon,
    Vicky xxxx

  36. I do feel for you. Everything has a season and the time (sans small children) will come. I hope you are finding a way to manage or erradicate your migranes.

  37. Migraines are profoundly debilitating and also misunderstood.I feel like my brain is functioning on empty and my whole body is lacking energy and hurting. The biggest cause of migraine for me is stress. The stress that comes from outside of ourselves that makes me feel constricted and resticted, the things we feel we HAVE to do.The often unsaid pressure that nevertheless is relentless, no one asks or tells us what we must do but we feel it is so. It is surprising the things that make me feel squeezed, it's the things that I have no choice over or the things that have no benefit to me but feel I have to do with no end in sight. It's not hard work that is stressful to me, it's living up to others expectations (and I mean expectations, not hopes - there is no choice, you have to do what someone else is willing you to do,sometimes on and on and on). It doesn't happen that often but when it does I feel caught in a trap and I get relentless migraines. I like to dance to my own tune, only when I can do that I am not stressed and I have less migraines.

    I like to feel free. My life is tapered as I know I will bow under pressure. We cannot do it all, we have to choose and we have to say no.

  38. It is harder than anyone confesses to be a mother and a good one, as you clearly are, and to give time and attention to the things that make you more than a mother. I too struggled with it in my time and my children grew and are now the loveliest, most interesting adults you could imagine. I can hardly believe I raised them (with their father of course). So many times I thought I would die of frustration and so many times I swung the other way and thought I was neglecting them. Be true to yourself. Love and care for them. Don't lose yourself in the doing of that. You will be fine, I am sure, and if you are, so will they be. It all passes and now my daughter has a son. She parents so well I must have done something right. xx

  39. The juggling of children, chores and paid work does sound familiar, though thankfully in the past for me. And ditto the migraines. Mine - horribly debilitating, they'd land me in bed for three days - are very rare now ... an osteopath fixed them!

    Your knitting and your words are, as ever, a joy. Be well my friend x

  40. Hello there, Stephanie,
    I hope this little note finds you feeling well and enjoying a beautiful! It is so hard....SO hard to be a wife and mother and then whatever else it is that is your passion. I think its a unique struggle for all of us, and we seem to put many heavy expectations on our shoulders. I think it is so wise of you to listen to your body though, and ease up. A new balance may be in order, but I think once you find your groove again, you'll find much happiness too.
    And oh, those puppy faces :)

    Beautiful knitting, as always! Love the green you chose!~

  41. Life (and motherhood!) can be so overwhelming sometimes. All the more so when you are a perfectionist....which I can tell you are. I very selfishly have waited (rather impatiently!!!) for your posts---they are so wonderfully thought out, beautifully written, and truly bring joy. Thank you for sharing. I know they, too, take time from your busy life.

    Love seeing the knitting of course, but I just revel in the book "reviews". The love you have for these historical works just shines through.

  42. Stephanie, I clutched my chest when I read of your migraines because I know your pain. I have suffered migraines for the last 6 years (since becoming a mother, coincidentally) and unless you suffer from them there is no explaining the effect they have on your physical, emotional and mental health. I hope you are able to find your way through them and that you have support at home and work to deal with the ebb and flow they create.
    I want to thank you for your lovely comments over at FFHF. I feel like I'm reading a letter from a friend when you say hello! I so look forward to your posts and love your writing and photos. Take care, C

  43. My dear Stephanie,

    I'm so sorry to hear you've been suffering from migraines. I too get them and know how debilitating and soul-destroying they can be. (Sniffing peppermint oil brings some slight relief, but I am usually left with no alternative but to wait until bedtime and then knock myself out with several ibuprofen, hoping to wake up pain-free in the morning. Very hot baths, with cold compresses to the head, are also helpful.)

    Your husband and children are your most important job right now - and you're quite right to drop some of the other responsibilities. There is a time for everything. Your many ideas and talents and dreams will not be wasted; though they be put by for a time, they will emerge fresh and shining one day when the time is ripe for their fulfilment.

    I do love that fuzzy green yarn - it looks so warm and cozy and leafy; and those flower illustrations are delightful. What a lovely thought, to be as careful with flowers as one would be with Jewels.

    Take care, dear friend, and keep taking those walks. :)

  44. I have really enjoyed my browse through your lovely makes and delightful photos and your knitting yarn looks as though it was sensitively dyed using the lichens in your garden.
    I fully sympathise with your migraines as I suffered for years and it doesn't help when you have a busy life and family to cope with through it all. I immediately thought that with your love of plants you should consider using the natural flower remedies of Dr Bach. They really are amazing and I have so many books on the subject but my "bible" is "Bach Flower Therapy , The Complete Approach" by Mechthild Scheffer, which I find the very best.
    They do not cure physical problems but deal with the psychological elements and in turn stop us from becoming ill. I just wish I had discovered them earlier in life.
    Inspired by your rabbits and with seeing so many mad hares in Norfolk whilst on holiday last week I am trying to make some for my grandees. I wonder if you have a link to a pattern please, or did you make it up for yourself?
    Find time to rest and relax and respond to your own needs.......
    Wishing you sunshine and happiness,
    JoZarty x

  45. Hi Stephanie,
    I love your cardigan it is beautiful. I haven't heard of Daffy Down Dilly before the needlework is exquisite. Hope you are feeling better. Your dog looks so cute my grandparents used to have King Charles spaniels.

  46. Stephanie I am so sorry about your headaches, I only get migraines occasionally, I know how terrible they can be!

    Your knitting is incredible and I adore these lovely colors and patterns!

    ....I wanted you to know...I am featuring Anita, our Friend, Designer and Paper Artist with Castles Crowns & Cottages, & her Giveaway on my site!

    Art by Karena

  47. I was fascinated to read about John Parkinson and his desire to create a small heaven in a London garden.

    Your knitting is beautiful, the colours you have chosen are delightful and the way you have photographed them show your designer's eye.

    Children grow very quickly and puppies do the same, one day, when the time is right you will move on.

  48. Dear Stephanie, I'm so sorry to read about your migraines, do rest as much as possible (although so often impossible I know), my grown-up sons always remind me not to try too hard and I always forget ...
    I adore both cardigans and would simply say that a green cardigan is essential to life! Daffodil looks such a good pattern, one I had never noticed on Ravelry before, and felted tweed is just wonderful isn't it, so many adorable colors ...
    do take care,
    Barbara x

  49. What a beautiful cardigan, I just love how the colours blend in with the tree-trunks and litchen, complementing nature.

    Hope you have a lovely week.
    Fleur xx

  50. Dear Stephanie,

    I feel honoured that despite the fact that you are horribly busy and don't feel well, you found the time to reply to the same post on my blog twice. You are a treasure!!!!

    I felt sad to read you struggle with your time and it gives you so much pain in the head. I hope you will find a solution and be able to manage your time available. I know exactly what you mean when you find solace in nature. I find it in my family and garden too.

    Your cardigans look really sweet!

    The book by John Parkinson is not familiar to me, but it does sound interesting.

    Take care dear Stephanie. Hope you will feel better soon!

    Much love,

    Madelief xox

  51. Stephanie, your exquisite posts are worthy of any waiting and then we are blessed with this - so beautifully crafted (in more ways than one!)- albeit your struggles with migraine. To my cost I know how debilitating they can be. I hope your decision eases the demands on your time and thereby the tension and lack of sleep that can be a significant cause of migraine Keep well my friend.


  52. I have posted today about our visit to the gardens at Sissinghurst Stephanie - just read your comment on my previous post and thought you may be interested. I replied to your comment on my page also. What a small world it is!

  53. I do hope that you find a good solution to the migraines, namely, a way to deal with the demands on your time.

  54. Life does tend to throw too much at us to fit in! Hope you can find a way through so your migraines go away, I get migraines too and have to stop and listen to my body as it complains if I forget :-)
    Love the cardigans, the teeny one is so cute!
    Hugs, Lori xx

  55. Hi dearie,
    I know exactly what you mean about time. I only teach for about thirteen hours a week at the moment, but with Eliska and life in general, I don't seem to get nearly as much done as I would like.
    I hope you are ok and that you find a balance that makes you happy. Migraines are horrific. I do hope your needs will be sorted out. The pain must be horrendous.
    Thankyou for your comments. I am feeling better. I think you understand as some people think it is rose tinted glasses. It is so different to the UK. Casual racism seems much more common here than in the UK. I have heard a number of people here saying awful things about black people and it makes me so angry. There is an arrogance amongst a lot of people here, as if their language and culture is more important than anyone elses. People excuse it by saying that the Russians and Germans invaded, but I think it is no excuse. I think that is why no real friendships have been made. It is not because of the language barrier, it because I have yet to find people who are not bigoted!
    Right, must stop ranting. I do wish you lived down the end of the road or around the corner. If only Roman had been French, hee hee!
    I am still making dolly,sorry! I hope to finish her this week. I think my low moods sometimes stop me from doing things and make me very dispirited and think everything I do or make is rubbish.
    I am thankful to be in touch and have the internet. It is a life saver in a lot of ways. This is a beautiful country, but still so closed in many ways.
    I love the lady with the rosy cheeks in the book. Cute!
    Also extremely cute is the teeny cardi! I love the big one too. You are endlessly clever. I reckon your writing is brilliant too and you are indeed Superwoman.
    My new email is tracynko@gmail.com. I deleted the last one due to spam.
    Love to you and big hugs and thankyou for caring. It means a lot to me. I need it, I am not ashamed to say. xxx

  56. Hi Stephanie! You have treated us with another lovely, enjoyable post. I am always excited to see what kind if yarn you have picked for your latest project, and the green/yellow here looks so springlike. Your sweaters are just beautiful!
    Hope you find a solution to your migraines, I used to get them too, found out it was a medication I was taking. It's hard to get through the day when you are in pain, especially when you have children to tend to. Take care!

  57. such a very lovely post and sharing! thank you for the art and book you have shared. Your knitting is gorgeous and blends like kin with trees and moss, gorgeous!

  58. Ps! thanks for your reply... just thought you'd be interested that after the weekend's event we are trying to plan a trip to Nantes to the atelier of Royal de Luxe!! Hope it happens!
    JoZarty x

  59. Hi Stephanie, your posts are so wonderful-- the kind that feed my mind and heart. I love the historical connections to everyday life that you've written about. The cardigans are beautiful. Bless you for pushing through when you felt so badly. I'm so sorry about your headaches. I am, right now, keenly aware of how our bodies can stop us in our tracks despite our most motivated intentions. Pushing myself a little too hard has resulted in my having to stay in bed sick while the weather is so beautiful & is forcing me to exercise patience as well. Please take good care of yourself & get plenty of rest.
    Xo Keri

  60. Dear Stephanie,
    Your posts are always brimming with beauty and creativity! I think heading out into nature is the perfect way to relieve migraine headaches. A little sunshine, beautiful flowers, sweet air, and time to slow down and enjoy it all!
    Wishing you a lovely weekend!
    ~ Zuzu

  61. Thank you for sharing all those lovely things - the nursery rhyme piece is amazing, and I love the human-sized cardigan, it makes me want to knit.
    Helen S

  62. I can't believe how quickly you are rattling through your cardis, I'm just about to finish the jumper I started last April (the shame of it!). Your latest creations are as gorgeous as your photos.
    Kate xx

  63. I'm sorry to hear about your migraines Stephanie, I know how debilitating they can be, and it must be very hard having to keep up with your life and be suffering a lot of pain at the same time. I hope patience pays off, and they come to an end soon.
    I've just bought the pattern for the Daffodil cardigan, inspired by your cardigan, and those of others on ravelry. I didn't know of this pattern, and it's gorgeous, so thank you for leading it to me Stephanie. I love the tweed yarn you've used for your cardigan, you can't beat that tweed look and feel.
    Take care Stephanie, take care, and be gentle with yourself.
    Love Vanessa xxx

  64. Hi Stephanie,

    Thank you for your sweet comment on my blog. I wanted to let you know that I did a post on the books that were on my table. Especially for you and Nicola!

    Happy weekend!

    Madelief x

  65. That is a lovely, cosy looking cardigan, beautifully photographed here!

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