Hand, Heart, Hook and Yarn

Hello Farmgirls, I hope this find you all well and settling into 2016 with kindness to yourselves and celebration of your accomplishments!  I am proud to say that I have taken up an activity that I didn’t even know I wanted to learn.


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  1. Dori Troutman says:

    Good morning Alex!


    Oh my goodness, those little girls are so beautiful. Nothing like a precious new baby and sweet little “big” sister to make life complete.

    I learned the basics of knitting a number of years ago and just never could seem to enjoy it. The counting really got to me! 🙂 Last year I determined to learn to crochet. I basically kind of taught myself (YouTube is the best!) and designed my own dishcloth. (I wrote a post about it here: http://www.farmgirlbloggers.com/8165). So now, I use only my 100% cotton crocheted dish cloths because I love them so much. I have made hundreds I’m pretty, sure as they make the best quick gifts… a few of them tied up with string is a big hit! 🙂 My pattern is attached in that blog post above, you’ll have to try them. But beware. They are super, super addicting! So fun and simple to make.

    I’m so glad your Mom is still there. I was hoping! I got to stay with my daughter for six weeks when her first was born. That is some of the best memories of my life. Luckily when she had her second we had moved here to the South, so I’ve seen that little munchkin almost every day of her life (and she’s four)!

    Bug hugs… so glad you’re doing well!

    – Dori –

    P.S. I love the jelly fish. I must buy that book!

  2. What a fun project to crochet the jellyfish! I learned to crochet from my grandmother. She taught me the basics, then I jumped into many self-taught projects through the years. I look back and have to laugh at all of the odd crochet gifts I gave my mother when I first began. I particularly remember a “vest” that crossed over and really looked more like guerrilla warfare ammo belts. Mercy. She was always gracious with me. :^)

    Your daughters are precious!

    We’ve had more than our usual share of earthquakes in Oklahoma in the last year. I think that with tornadoes, we should be exempt from earthquakes.

  3. Denise Ross says:

    Your girls are gorgeous, Alex. I love your cute sea creatures you’ve crocheted. I’m sure all the kiddos that got them as party favours would’ve loved them. I haven’t crocheted in years but your inspiring me to give a go again. I’m also a very slow knitter, as In I take years to finish anything and not very good at it either, but I do try from time to time. I so love that knitting circles are coming back again – slowing down, connecting and creating all at the same time – definitely a plus in fast paced world. Scary about the earthquake! So glad you guys are all okay. Take care and enjoy the savouring in life 🙂

  4. Heidi says:

    I have, after 30 years of saying “I’m not creative”, decided that this is just simply untrue! So I am forming an Art and Soul community for folks to get together and create together. Through your blog, I give thanks to you for another affirmation, Alex, that this is such a worthy thing to be doing. I love your jelly fish, and hope the kid’lins all loved them!

    Dori, I will be taking your pattern to the first meeting, and hope there is someone there that I can call upon to help if I need it.

  5. Rebecca says:

    I love the jellyfish. I learned to knit and crochet the basics when I was 10 or so, but never really did much with it until lately. I prefer crochet; it seems to require less concentration, at least for me. I enjoy knitting too, but always end up holding my left hand knitting needle awkwardly. Real knitters would probably cringe if they saw me. I did knit a very pretty (if I do say so myself) Georgia afghan after finding the pattern in a book I was reading. It took me a few tries to get it started, but once I did, it was a very fun project.

    Your daughters are precious.

  6. Marilyn Collins says:

    I did learn to knit in Junior High School. I do intend to learn crochet.. Enjoyed the article. Your girls are beautiful.

  7. Marilyn Collins says:

    I did learn to knit in Junior High School. I do intend to learn crochet.. Enjoyed the article. Your girls are beautiful.

  8. Alex Darc says:

    Ahh, now you have to join Ravelry.com for all the fun patterns and community. I taught myself to knit right after my daughter was born, and have loved being able to make my kid’s toys and clothes. My daughter loved it so much she learned to spin. Now if we could only get our own sheep…

  9. Krista says:

    Oh my heavens! Your baby’s cheeks are adorable. How precious.
    I am actually learning how to crochet right now. I am working on getting my beginner level crochet merit badge. There is something so relaxing and enjoyable about crocheting. I haven’t completed a project yet but I am hoping to here shortly. I want to make some different things as well. Those jelly fish of yours are so cute and would be a cute toy for my little boy. Thank you for inspiring me to branch out and crochet something other than scarfs, washcloths and blankets! Enjoy your new hobby.

  10. Diane says:

    You are going to Love, Love, Love your new crafts of either Crocheting or Knitting. I too love crocheting more and have just basic skills for knitting. This year I have taken on a Prayer Shawl Ministry at my church in Fishkill, New York. I hope to have a lot of ladies in my church and community come to sit and create beautiful shawls that we can share with ours to bring them Hope, Strength, Happiness or just a HUG! Which I think of shawls to be if you make them big enough. Maybe you might consider this as a project sometime. Your daughters are beautiful and all the best of luck with the new addition. Now get back to that yarn and hook and start creating! It is truly a relaxing hobby. I will have to look up that pattern for the jellyfish – it came out great! See you are inspiring me!
    Enjoy your new hobby! Diane

  11. Deb Obermeier (DebO) says:

    I have a granddaughter that knits and crochets anything she puts her mind to without using patterns. In October 2010 on a visit to see her, she suggested we write a book. Pencil and paper and quiet spot, the concept of my now PUBLISHED book came to be. A SIMPLE STITCH, A COMMON THREAD is the story of small town living, a yarn shop owner with a knitting grout, her great-grandparents old homestead still in tact, and an uplifting chain of events that happen throughout the fall into the holidays. The blog subject and conversation made me think of all of you, as I wish I actually had a shop named A SIMPLE STITCH,

  12. Elizabeth Landin says:

    Your jellyfish look great! If you’re interested in more crocheting in your area, look up Ididachain Crochet Guild (I think we are on facebook). We meet in alternate months in Wasilla and Anchorage.

  13. Susabelle says:

    I have crocheted preactically all of my life. My most recent obsession is making enormous chunky rugs out of old sheets torn into strips. I even wrote a blog post about it with pictures and instructions! http://momilies.susabelle.com/?p=809

  14. April says:

    I’ve never taken to knitting, but I LOVE to crochet! I think I like having my hands more involved with the yarn; knitting feels more remote, transferring stitches from stick to stick. ;-p I don’t have the issues of even tension with crochet that I do knitting either. And what’s up with those knitting patterns that call for four or more needles going at one time?? LOL! I need simple. ;-p So glad you didn’t sustain injury or damage from that quake!

  15. Karen Pennebaker says:

    I “made” my grandmother teach me to knit when I was 9 because I had a part in a school play where I was supposed to sit in a rocking chair and knit…so she gave me a skein of horrid yellow yarn, a set of wood knitting needles and I knit and unraveled that skein of yarn all through play practice and the “real thing”. My teacher said “you didn’t have to know how to knit. You could have pretended.” My reply was “Oh, yes I did have to learn”…but I never made anything more exotic than hats and scarves…later, when my oldest son was a baby, I had a neighbor who made fabulous crocheted things. She taught me to crochet. And still, I’ve only made hats and scarves and rugs and little bags, other than the year I used fabric and made “Soft pottery” bowls…for some reason or other! (I love experimenting with “stuff”…) – My oldest granddaughter can crochet. I taught her when she was little. She now makes all sorts of things, including granny square blankets for her GOATS. (She is 25 and owns a herd of dairy goats). She has made a lot of fingerless gloves and scarf sets and sold them, too. Yarn is just FUN to play with. Lately, I’ve been using up all sorts of odd yarn weaving little bags (think cell phones!) on a frame loom I made from a set of canvas stretchers and a LOT of little brads!
    Keep on playing! And teach your girls how to play with yarn, too!!

  16. Karen Pennebaker says:

    Well, I typed in a whole paragraph, hit “post comment” and it told me I already sent a comment and deleted me. My grandmother taught me to knit and a neighbor taught me to crochet. Usually, when I asked grandmother how to do things, she said “you can read, look it up” but I was only 9 when I told her I needed to know how to knit. I never have really liked knitting but crocheting is fun. So is weaving. Yarn is addictive!! Teach your girls how to knit and crochet, too. They’ll have fun, as well.

  17. Sandy Zboinski says:

    My grandmother tried to teach me how to crochet but I am very left handed and she is not. 🙂 I decided to take lessons when I was diagnosed with RA as I thought it would be good therapy for my hands and heart. My first project was a prayer shawl for my sister-in-law who was going through chemo. I have been told that I knit left handed and backwards but it works for me and I love it. Yes yarn like fabric can be a bit addictive and I love the getting together to knit up with friends. I hope to learn crochet someday.

    Glad you are okay from the earthquake and blessings on your beautiful family.

    Sandy in Nevada

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Six More Times

4:00 p.m., Jan. 3: “I could do this six more times!” I exclaim to Evan, with that glimmer in my eye that only comes with huge waves of the love hormone–oxytocin.  The three of us are snuggled into a big comfortable bed, in a spacious, calming, green, woodland themed room, the lights low, while the midwives quietly clean up the area.  I am hearkening back to when Ava was born and one of the first things I announced was, “I could do this seven more times!”


A minutes old little babe! Is there anything more incredible than a whole new person?!?!

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  1. deb says:


  2. Deb Bosworth says:

    Congratulations Wilder family! Well done! It’s all just so precious and beautiful.
    Enjoy these tiny minutes…They are golden.
    Much Love,
    Deb ( the beach farmgirl)

  3. Nanette Boots says:

    Congratulations on a job well done! She is beautiful.

  4. Joan says:

    Praise God for the new life! She is beautiful and Ava is going to be the perfect big sister. Congratulations to your family of 4. God bless.

  5. Diana Henretty says:

    Beautiful birth and beautiful family, what a precious story

  6. Denise Ross says:

    Wow, congratulations Alex and Evan. So very excited to see and read of Opal’s safe arrival. I’m so excited and happy for you guys. She is adorable and I love all the photos you’ve posted here capturing the moments well. Be kind to yourself 🙂

  7. Susabelle says:

    Congratulations. She looks lovely and healthy, and so do you!

  8. Cindy says:

    Congratulations! Aww, what a sweet little baby girl. I’ve been waiting for an update. The four of you make a beautiful family. As the mom of one son who is 32, treasure the moments, enjoy the time with your girls, get out the rocking chair, read to them, have fun with just ordinary moments. No matter how much you cherish that time, when you hit a certain age, you just wish you could do it just for one more day, hour, or minute once again. Thank God for memories! Much love and happiness to all of you.

  9. Rebecca says:

    Congratulations. You have a beautiful family.

  10. Maureen says:

    Congratulations to all of you. Beautiful! Many Blessings!

  11. Rowena Philbeck says:

    Congratulations!! What a beautiful experience that you sent us thru. You did a wonderful job. I have had 3 but never at home. My first one was in 45 min and the second was in 30 min. My doctor said I was a good laborer…I guess!! Of course they were both 2 weeks late and when they were ready they shot out..LOL. My last boy was induced as they were worried since I lived so far out that it would be born in the car. Bad mistake as that was my 7 hr labor but it was great. Beautiful pictures and thanks for telling and showing us your wonderful birthing experience and enjoy your new bundle of joy!!

  12. denise says:

    Congratulations! she is adorable!

  13. Cindy says:

    Beautiful family ,! Congratulations!

  14. Bonnie ellis says:

    So excited for all of you. A beautiful family. So glad grandma was there too. God bless all of you!

  15. Laura R. says:

    That was such a beautiful documentation of quite important, blessed moments of your lives! Congratulations on living life well and feeling the sacredness of creating a family. And thanks for sharing it !

  16. Diana Nelson says:

    Congratulations to your beautiful family & thanks for sharing your joy. It sure it an amazing experience.

  17. Marilyn Collins says:

    Congratulations and blessings to the entire family.

  18. Bonnie B says:

    Oh Alex! congratulations. And thank you for sharing a very personal event with us. What a wonderful family you have. As the mother of two grown “girls” I know you will enjoy the journey as they grow. Savor the time.
    Best wishes to you and Evan

  19. Deedee mcdonald says:

    Congratulations!! She’s beautiful !

  20. Krista says:

    Congratulations to you and your family! I am so happy for you guys! Enjoy every moment of it. It’s such a precious time! She is adorable.

  21. Lynette says:

    Congratulations to the Wilder Family an the blessing of you new daughter Opal.

  22. Becky says:

    Awesome blog. Congratulations on your sweet baby. Enjoy!

  23. Molly says:

    I love your birth story Alex! You are so amazing!! Congratulations to you and the whole family. Opal is an awfully adorable name.

  24. Joy Pascarella says:

    Congratulations! What a beautiful family. Thank you for sharing! I loved it.

  25. Diane Van Horn says:

    What a wonderful experience and absolutely precious baby girl. Love her name. Bless you and your beautiful family.

  26. Alex,
    Congratulations! Beautiful baby, beautiful blog, breathtaking photos. Nothing sweeter.
    Farmgirl Hugs,
    Nicole (Suburban Farmgirl)

  27. Colette Aguirre says:

    How beautiful! Thank you for sharing your story! Love this family!

  28. Judy Mac says:

    Thank you for sharing these most personal moments in such a beautiful way. You have a beautiful family and seem to be living a good and true life. Oh, and by the sound it I think you could do it six more times.

  29. Carol says:

    Congratulations on the new baby girl. She is absolutely adorable!

  30. Dori Troutman says:

    Oh Alex,

    These pictures and your birth story are so beautiful. I had to read it a few times through the week! I hope you are doing well and that you get to “keep” your Momma there awhile to help you out!

    I love Opal’s name. And it goes beautiful with Ava. And speaking of which… you will LOVE having two girls! My daughter has two little girls and they are so sweet to each other. Truly they are best friends.

    Congratulations! Can’t wait to see her grow!

    Tight hugs – Dori –

  31. Susan says:

    Well, i was pretty sure it was going to be a boy! Congratulations!

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