Wool Painting

I finished phase one of my artwork for This Inspired That at Open Door Art Studio. I find fiber arts are often a mystery to people so I took a time lapse video of the wet felting process.

This still needs some work – at least a little needle felting to secure some of the rosettes, maybe some stitching (I haven’t decided), and then a hanging system of some kind. But I’m pleased overall with how this is coming out.

A Back to Blogging Q&A

I’m still not knitting much right now, but I got my peas and greens seeds planted in the garden. Then it snowed. Mother Nature told me, in a sing-song voice, that this would be the last snow this year. Or I might have dreamt that. She looked like this:

MotherNature

I have more seeds coming, so there’s more planting to do, and some baby seedlings to get started. I’m not sure how I’ll do that this year, since my grow house was damaged over the winter. I guess I’ll wing it, my go to.

Here’s a pic of the only plant to survive my attempt at a fall garden. I wonder if I’ll get any brussel sprouts? I’ve never grown them before, so only time will tell.Ms. B Sprout

After getting back from Boulder, I worked very hard on an exercise to get promoted at work! And I did! So that’s some good news.

I thought a Q&A would be a good exercise to get me back in the swing of blogging. This is from compassionknit.

Have you knit with a gradient yarn?

Yes.

If so, was your motivation partly due to the fact that there are no ends to weave in?

Probably. Also, I like watching the colors unfold.

Do you forbid your cats to sit on the table?

I don’t, but Bob (SO) does.

If you could go anywhere in the world this week, where would you go and who would you go with?

I would take Bob to Scotland.

Many of you suggested great shawls for me to knit next.  Thanks!  Do you want a few more that I found?

Sure! Although, I’m not sure compassionknit will be over here to read my answer. And I’m not a shawl fan, as a rule. I’d rather knit and wear a sweater. So it’s okay.

If you could pick two things that would grow well in your yard /garden/patio this year what would they be?

I will be growing snap peas, arugula, some kind of lettuce, and sorrel. Those are all heirloom seeds that I collected from the plants in my garden last fall. I will also be planting kale, tomatoes, basil, cilantro, german chamomile, lemon balm, dill, parsley (because Bob likes it), greek oregano, and some birds eye peppers that I collected the seeds from the last plant I grew from the last seed I had last year. Bob really likes these, so I’m going to try to grow several plants.

Bob Bob Bob. That’s all I ever talk about!

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Date night selfie.

What’s your favorite positive affirmation that you rely on to encourage yourself?

I engage in a lot of self talk, but nothing that I would call an affirmation. Just real talk from my real self to my real self.

Travel Knitting

Hello! I’m in Colorado for a work conference! I started the Brassica hat on the plane. I didn’t have the gumption to work on socks on double points. (After I left I remembered I could knit a sock on one long circular.) I did bring my Birds of Blendon hat to work on. We’ll see if I can squeeze that in.

When traveling, knitters like to visit local yarn shops. Fair Traders are the same way. The location for the conference is chosen based on a local Fair Trade shop. So we’re visiting it tonight. I thought you knitters would approve. I will still keep an eye out for a yarn shop, though.

Still Knitting!

My hat is still coming along. I had a stroke of genius on how to fix the top. (Just move the decrease over one stitch, duh!) I’m not crazy about the second bird section where they are left facing. Can you see them? Let’s just say they are high up in the trees and flying in the sky so they are harder to see. The rest of the motifs after bird and tree rows are diamonds and crosses that make me think of snow.

I’m getting ready to go out of town for work. I feel like I should bring some knitting but I’m not sure what. Something small and mindless, but I never did start those socks.

What’s your favorite travel knitting project?

New Sock Yarn!

I decided to embrace being an “over the pond” knitter and buy my sock yarn from over the pond. This blog post explains why long fiber, tightly spun wool makes the best 100% wool sock yarn, so I went for it. Plus it’s such a pretty blue!

I’m still working on my WHW club hat. I’m almost to the crown. I may need to redesign it so the pattern works with the decreases. I may not be able to enter the contest, but that’s ok. It’s been a good exercise.

I signed up to participate in an art show. It’s the first since 2015. I’m planning a felted piece. I’ll blog about that later.

Cats Like Bird Knitting

I am still pottering away at my Birds of Blendon Hat. I don’t get much knitting time, which is my own fault, I guess. JoJo likes to play with my yarn while I knit, so here’s another gratuitous kitty pic, only a little staged as I obviously don’t leave my knitting lying around like this for her to get into.

I’m falling for all the Carbeth hype. Everyone is doing it, and now I want to do it too. I’m only human. I think I should lengthen it a bit though, since I’m short-waisted. I might also add a hood. Why not? I love the color Between Weathers. I am a sucker for blue.

I’ve decided I need to learn to knit and walk, and although I don’t typically like sock knitting, a nice plain stockinette sock sounds like just the thing. I found a plain sock pattern I want to try, now I just need sock yarn. What is your favorite sock yarn? Inquiring minds…

On a personal note, my oldest son just moved into his own place. I’m so proud. My middling son will also be leaving the nest in a few months. Luckily my youngest son has a few years left at home. He is tinkering with a song on the pan flute right now. I wonder where he gets that pottering-tinkering inclination from?

And then the kitty couldn’t hold her head up any longer. It just fell “plop!” On my lap.

I love how there are already Black Panther patterns out there!

Sorry for the randomness. Do leave me some sock yarn recommendations though, if you please.

Birds of Blendon Hat

I spent some time knitting this weekend. I do love stranded colorwork and following charts. Very Zen. I should knit more Fair Isle patterns so I have a better idea how the colors should work together when designing.

This is coming along OK. As you can see I am not following the colors as I started charting them. Instead I wrote my color plans in the left margin.

I did a good job designing the motifs. It’s quite enjoyable to knit. If I don’t like the way the colors come out on this one, I could always try it again with a different color combination.

What do you think? It’s still early days.

Sunday Update

My Milarrochy Tweed yarn arrived and I started my hat!

Did I swatch? No. I got so strung out worrying about how to use the colors and coloring charts, and I was so excited about the yarn, I lost my patience and just started knitting!

It’s ok. I’m usually a pretty on-gauge knitter. Plus, I can always rip it out.

It’s a lovely yarn. It feels good and has a really nice sheen. I’m in love with the red color, Campion. I knew I would be.

Also the Haven Herbs launch party was today! This is the thing I was talking about that I didn’t feel I could talk about yet because it wasn’t official. But it is now!

It’s a woman-owned worker-owned herbal cooperative. We make and sell small batch, sustainable, bio-regional herbal preparations. I’m still with the fair trade organization, but this is a “side gig” that is also close to my heart. Check out our FAQ if you are curious.

We have a Go Fund Me if you would like to help us get off the ground!Each donation level includes a reward so you get a little something.

So, yes, this additional endeavor cuts into my knitting time, but I think it’s worth it. 😉

Valentine’s Day Field Trip!

This field trip had nothing to do with Valentine’s Day, other than I wanted to go, and Bob came with me. He’s a real trooper and a keeper. ❤ Are you ready for a treat? We went to Ohio Valley Natural Fibers!

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I have a Coopworth fleece I bought at Great Lakes Fiber Show many years ago. It is still dirty, stewing in its lanolin in a box.

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I think it’s pretty, though.

I did hand wash, card, spin, dye, and knit a small amount of it (just to say I did it). I kind of lost interest after that. It’s a big job! A job for professionals. So we took a little day trip about two hours south to Sardinia, Ohio.

The rooms were filled with gorgeous old equipment. It was like a step back in time.

The picker is from the 1880s, and the carding machines are from around 1916. The belts are made from buffalo hide! When they need parts, they ask the local Amish to make them, because everything on these machines is irreplaceable. I know they look like antiques, and they are, but Richard, the gentleman who gave us the tour, fired one up for us!

Here is the web, which is divided into what looks like yarn, but is actually tiny rovings, which are then plied.

This yarn is 3ply, as you can see if you look carefully. The machine is from post WWII, and was also used for plying parachute cord for the Vietnam War.

After plying, it can be wound onto cones. This machine is from the 1960s.

The yarn can also be put up into hanks. They don’t have a date on this machine, but Richard thinks it may be from the 18th century!

Here he is telling us how it works.

So we left my fleece and in 8-12 weeks I will have some nice clean batts ready to spin! I don’t have enough fiber for a yarn order. And, unfortunately, I sold my spinning wheel during the great studio purge. I am thinking about getting a new drop spindle. I was never very good at it, and it might be time to pick it up again. (Honestly, I was never very good at the spinning wheel, either, but I did make some beautiful thick and thin yarn.)

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Here is Diane, the owner and a local sheep farmer, with two hanks of yarn from her own Icelandic sheep. I bought these two, and they might be perfect to make the new West Highland Way design! Talk about synchronicity! I will swatch it and see how it knits up. Now I wish I had bought another hank, but I could order it and ask them to pop it in the mail to me.

We had such a wonderful time, and want to thank Richard, Diane, Sean, and Renicia for showing us around and starting up machines for us. I particularly enjoyed Sean showing us all the different kinds of fiber people asked them to process, like husky, cat, and elk!

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After the tour, Bob and I had a nice lunch at La Cascada and a little hike at Rocky Fork State Park, which was beautiful.

I hope you have a nice Valentine’s Day, if you celebrate! If not, Happy Wednesday!