Six More Weeks of Winter

I finally buckled down and finished the body of my Arrowhead Cardigan. Now it’s steeks, shoulder seams, sleeve and neckline knitting. It’s getting easier for me. I’m wishing I had it finished to wear this winter. It’s been so cold! According to Punxsutawney Phil, I’ve got six weeks.

I’ve finished the corrugated rib hem on Powdermill. I’m looking forward to starting the colorwork, but I think I’ll finish Arrowhead first.

I’m on the gusset of the second Merry Krampus sock. It won’t be long now!

In other news, I made vegan pho for the first time. It’s pretty good, for not beef. I’d like to tweak the recipe before sharing it.

I also left Facebook and am now completely off social media, except WordPress. (Is this social media?) I feel better. It’s making a difference in my mental (and therefore physical) health.

Are you ready for winter to end? I normally like winter, but I think I’m ready for warmer temperatures.

Saturday Sourdough: Biscuits!

I’ve been experimenting with sourdough biscuits. Although I’ve made decent gluten-free biscuits for a few years, I wanted something big and tall for biscuit sandwiches — like Jimmy Dean sausage biscuits. I’ve finally landed on a good recipe.

Gluten-free Sourdough Starter Biscuits

  • 3 cups gluten-free flour blend
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 10 tablespoons Earth Balance buttery sticks, cold
  • 1 tablespoon psyllium powder
  • 1 cup oat milk, or other plant based milk
  • 2 cups sourdough starter
  • 1 egg and oat milk for brushing (omit egg if vegan)

Warm the oat milk in the microwave for 30 seconds. You don’t want this hot, just slightly above room temperature. Add the psyllium powder and whisk well. Allow to set while you combine the other ingredients.

Blend the flour, baking powder, and salt in a food processor until just blended. Add the cold butter in pieces, about 1/2 tablespoon per piece. Pulse the mixture until blended.

In a mixing bowl, combine the flour blend, psyllium mixture, and sourdough starter. Mix until blended well, but don’t overmix it. You want some air in the dough.

Scoop the dough out in 1/2 cup increments. Gently shape into a ball with your hands, and then flatten into biscuit shape, about 1.5 inches high. Place on a cookie sheet on parchment paper. Once you’ve formed all the biscuits, cover them with a light cloth and set them somewhere warm to rise. (I usually leave them on the stove, on top of the oven, while it’s preheating.) They won’t rise very much, but this allows the dough to rest and open up a bit.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. When the oven is at temperature, whisk one egg with 1/4 cup oat milk. With a pastry brush, lightly brush the egg mixture on the top of each biscuit. Bake the biscuits for 20 minutes. Cool on a cooling rack. Makes nine large biscuits.

Friday Finish: Woven Wool Scarf

I finished weaving my scarf! Yarn is Gist Array in US sourced Corriedale and Columbia wool. Colors are Lotus 1, Ocean 1, Tangerine 2, Violet 3, and Daffodil 3.

I’m pleased with it. It is nice and long. That’s one of my pet peeves with scarves. I like them long enough to triple around my neck. It looks great with my blue coat!

I enjoyed weaving on the guild’s Schacht Wolf Pup 4-harness floor loom. As a thank you, I enclosed the accessories I made and purchased in a bag I sewed with black walnut leaf dyed cotton canvas. Another guild member made a raddle, so it will be nice to keep these things together for the next person who borrows the loom.

I am really enjoying being part of the guild. So many lovely people and some in person social time is doing me good.

I’m not sure I’ll make weaving one of my regular crafts. I prefer knitting, and I have so many things I want to knit. But I may consider a rigid hedge loom in another year or two. I’d love to weave dish towels for the house, and for gifts.

All the Reads

I finished Midwinter of the Spirit, book number 2 in Phil Rickman’s Merrily Watkins series. I described these to a friend as, “Vicar of Dibley meets Wicker Man.” I’ve heard them called Folk Horror and Paranormal Cozies. I enjoy these books so much, I wanted to move right on to the next book in the series. Then I looked at the stack of books on my nightstand and decided to try to finish a few others first.

I’m really enjoying Adrienne Dillard’s second book, “Keeper of the Queen’s Jewels.” I’m taking it one chapter a day. I’m particularly appreciative of her treatment of Queen Jane Seymour. Let’s face it, usually you love her or you hate her. This author really fleshes her out as intelligent, cautious, and dissembling. Who wouldn’t be in her situation?

I’ve started listening to Barkskins on audiobook, by Annie Proulx. This is the result of a rabbit hole I went down, starting with an episode of Not Just the Tudors about a demonic possession in New France (French Canada). I became fascinated with colonial Quebec and started searching, and ended up on Barkskins. I’ve also finished watching the series on Apple TV.

I haven’t made much progress on Threads of Life. I’m hoping to pick it back up.

I’ve started watching Mayfair Witches, and am thinking about rereading the first book. I wasn’t a huge fan when I read it the first time, but maybe my maturity will improve it for me.

I’ve also got Batavia: The Night Ship on reserve at the library. The author was recently interviewed on Not Just the Tudors, and I thought it sounded like something I would enjoy. I get a lot of book recommendations from the podcasts I listen to!

We had a big snow yesterday! Bob came into my craft office (that’s what I’ve decided to call it) and asked me if I wanted to go sledding? Yes, thank you very much. I would love that. We weren’t able to sled as our hills aren’t steep enough, so we built a snowman instead.

Sock It To Me Monday

I’ve been quiet lately. I was sick one week then we had a death in the family. But I’m back and I’ve finished one Merry Krampus sock!

I started these for me, but this is a new yarn and the gauge is looser than I normally knit for socks. Even though I knit them on a size 0 needle, these were still a little big for me. So I decided to make these for Bob. He really blows through the heels on socks, and I’m wishing I had tried a double knit heel on these. Maybe next time!

My My Here Come the Fuzz: a YOP Update

Look at that fuzz!

I finished my Peaceful Lodge Sweater. I absolutely love it. I can wear it without a shirt underneath, too. I was worried about that because of the kid mohair content.

Pattern is Lodge Sweater by Ozetta. Yarn is Peaceful colorway in Superwash Merino DK by Cornbread and Honey held with Aloft by KnitPicks in color Sydney.

I grabbed the Cornbread and Honey yarn last spring at the Wild and Wooly Fiber Expo in Cleveland. There were five skeins of this colorway, and I scooped them all up with the intention of knitting a sweater. This is one of those dream projects that came together without much planning. Just a lot of knitting, so nothing to complain about. Mostly stockinette, too! I knit it on US 9 needles to get the most yardage out of the yarn, plus I hit gauge and liked the drape of the fabric.

I cast on Powdermill this week and have completed one round of corrugated rib. Not much to see so here is a photo of my pins. Marilee and I are having a little Powdermill knitalong. She wanted to start the new year off with a bang.

I continue to make progress on my scarf. I weave at least one color repeat each day, meaning all five colors. The stripes are random, so it’s not a pattern repeat. The purple is my favorite, and I’m halfway wishing I had woven the entire weft in purple. This will be fun to wear, though.

Yesterday, for Saturdate, Bob and I played a new game: Horrified: American Monsters. It was a little complicated at first, but once we got the hang of it, it was really fun. We also watched After Midnight. We enjoyed this romantic horror comedy. I haven’t laughed that hard during a movie in a while.

This has been a Year of Projects update. You can read my updated project list at this link. You can find out more about the group on Ravelry.

Wednesday WIPs

I’m nearly done with my Peaceful Lodge Sweater. I’ve finished one sleeve. I thought it would take me a couple of days, but it took me a week! At this stage, though, I am obsessed with finishing. I’ll start the second sleeve today, and hope I can finish it this weekend. I’ve learned both the stretchy i-cord cast off and the sewn tubular bind off for this project. I may have done them before, but not recently or frequently enough to remember them.

My woven scarf is coming along. I’m choosing weft colors randomly from the same colors in the warp. I’m a little worried about my edges, but since it’s my first time weaving on a floor loom (second time weaving at all) I’m happy enough.

I hope you’re making progress on your projects this week!

It’s on Random: 6 Miscellaneous Goals for 2023

1. Continue Bullet Journaling

I started bullet journaling in October, and it has made a huge difference in my anxiety. If I write everything down, I don’t have to worry about forgetting anything. It also helps me organize my thoughts and activities by topic. This morning, I set up my January pages while listening to Not Just the Tudors: Birth of the Gregorian Calendar.

2. Try Brioche Stitch

This is one knitting stitch I’ve never tried, and I would like to learn it. I’m thinking brioche socks.

3. Knit Myself some Slippers

I’ve been wanting to do this for a few years. My last attempt was unsuccessful. Here is a list of the patterns I’m considering:

4. Read 1 Book each Month

It may seem like I’m lowballing, but I rarely slow down enough to read. And if I stay up watching movies, there’s no way I’ll get my bedtime reading in. So that’s my plan: go to bed weeknights in time to get at least one chapter read. Right now I’m reading: Keeper of the Queen’s Jewels, Midwinter of the Spirit, and Threads of Life.

5. Bake More

I’m doing well on sourdough scones, flat bread, and pizza dough. Above is my latest scone: cinnamon and crystallized ginger. But I’d like to bake more cakes and pies. So that’s my goal. One per month, I think.

6. Garden Plans

I’ve got my seeds, and this year I’m planning to grow a kimchi garden for Bob, as he makes really great kimchi. There will also be vegetables and herbs of course, but no new dye plants. Whatever survives. I’ll probably draw a schematic in my journal and share it. I’ve also got a galvanized shelf that I think will be perfect to hold seedlings in the south facing bay window. If only I knew someone who could send me a rooting of pondweed for my little frog pond. Any takers?

Happy New Year! Year of Projects (YOP) 2023

I’m ready to start the New Year right with an impossible list of items I will never accomplish. At the same time, having a list ensures I will be somewhat productive. I do love the feeling of checking items off a list. Perhaps I will start adding gold stars next to completed projects. Plus, it gives me an excuse to blog weekly when I can’t think of anything else to say.

I’m grateful the Year of Projects group is loosely organized, and I was able to take a break last year. My approach this year is to divide and conquer. I’ve divided my full list of knitting projects into separate lists for 2023 and 2024. 2023 (below) includes works in progress (WIPs), and new cast ons I hope to complete this year. Add to this list socks, since my plan is to knit a pair of socks every month this year. That’s not realistic, but that’s never stopped me from trying. Some of these WIPs probably won’t make it this year. There’s a reason I’ve set them aside, but I’m not ready to rip them out yet.

Knitting To Do List

Peaceful Lodge Sweater
  1. Arrowhead Cardigan in Lettlopi
  2. Powdermill (New Year’s cast on)
  3. Willow in Moonstone Arcadia
  4. Super Simple Summer Sweater in Cestari Ash Lawn
  5. Hansel Hap in Ramsay Farms fawn katmoget Shetland with Jamieson and Smiths for trim colors
  6. Summer Solstice Wrap
  7. Knitter’s Dude in Knitpicks Comfy for Bob
  8. Auchnaha in Schiehallion in Mooring
  9. Fall Favorites Sweater in La Bien Aimee Merino Sport (short-sleeved purple cats version)
  10. Cozy Autumn Socks
  11. That Old Christmas Moon Shawl in In Betwixt Yarn Advent (I want to be wrapped up in this by December 1.)
  12. Christmas Pudding Socks
  13. Streely Maid Trigger Mitts in Holiday Doodle Cowl colors
  14. Stash Aurealis
  15. Alaska Hat in Knit Circus kit
  16. Spisa Oven Mitts from stash (gift for Freya)
  17. Advent Scarf

Completed Knitting

Sewing To Do List

I’ve noticed my approach to sewing is to make a pattern to see if I like it. If I do, I make multiples so I don’t have to learn something new every time I sew. It’s more enjoyable for me if I can skip the instructions. So my plan for 2023 is to mostly make multiples. I recently acquired Lotta Jansdotter’s Everyday Patterns book. There are a couple of garments I really love, the Rui shirt and Pym pants. I have plenty of fabric in my stash for these.

  1. Rui Shirt in apricot linen
  2. Rui Shirt in Liberty blue paisley lawn
  3. Rui Shirtdress in yellow or red linen
  4. Pym Pants in Virginia cotton canvas
  5. Ophelia Overall shorts in Virginia cotton canvas with black walnut ecoprint accents
  6. Audrey Pants in black brushed cotton twill
  7. Martina Coat in black wool floral embossed coating

Weaving List

I’m going to finish weaving this scarf. That’s it.

Spinning List

I’ll finish spinning my Pumpkins for Sale BFL and maybe participate in Tour de Fleece. I think I would also like to dye my natural rovings and spin skeins for gift giving this year.

Happy New Year! We’ve had a lovely weekend, with a gathering at a friend’s in Canton, then an overnight stay with kids in Cuyahoga Falls. New Year’s Eve was spent eating pizza and watching Bloody New Year and Terror Train. Neither of us had ever seen these, but they were an enjoyable diversion. I impressed even myself with my facial recognition gift by pointing out John from Shaun of the Dead in Bloody New Year. (I have a gift for pattern recognition. I am currently using this gift in my role as part-time Remote Bookkeeping Elf — title my own. I log in to computers remotely early in the morning and work on other people’s bookkeeping while they are still asleep. They wake up and their bookkeeping is all done for them! I would love to have an afternoon job that is more creative, and I’m thinking about knitting pattern tech editing.) Today we’re going for a New Year’s hike. Bob will make black eyed peas and collards for dinner.

I usually choose a word for the year, although I don’t think I chose a word for 2022. I spent most of the year focusing on my mental and physical health, and made some progress. I was able to stop taking medications. I was able to get off social media except Facebook. I think about closing my Facebook account, but there are connections with family and friends there I would miss. In fact, a friend recently shared this article that plays into my word for 2023. My word is Voice. The goal is to recognize and reaffirm my own voice, and share it if I want to. No pressure, though, if I don’t feel like it. My resolutions for the year are to knit from stash and have more fun. We’re also having a “no buy” year, as we have a new furnace and electrical system to pay off. This means we can buy food and necessities, but not anything else. Bob pretty much lives like this, so I think we all know who is going to be struggling the most. This was my idea, by the way.

Also from the Wool and Fiber Arts group on Facebook. I’m in it for the memes.

This has been a Year of Projects update. You can find out more about the group here (Rav link) or here: Backstage Kath’s YOP bloggers list.

Boxing Day Round Up

I can now share my other gift make. This is yarn I knit into Rose City Rollers and a shirt we picked up while in Pittsburgh for Nova Scotia Nana who is a Steelers fan. Hi Nana! Yarn is Fibernymph Dyeworks Inversibles in black and gold.

Rather than list all my makes for 2022 — since I shared most of them on my Year of Projects Finale post — I thought instead I would share my totals and favorites.

I knit 15 projects and 8 miles of yarn in 2022. This is down from around 24 projects in previous years. It was a rocky year. My favorites are, below, Ocean Moon Shawl, Pumqueen Cardigan, Ghost Knitter’s Shawl, and Holiday Doodle Cowl.

I completed around 30 sewing projects in 2023, if you count multiples of the same pattern. This number includes project bags and shopping bags made as gifts or for sale in the shop. My favorites are, below, Plaid Flannel Shacket, Clare Coat, Spoopy Project Bag, Zero Waste Gather Dress, and Felix Dress.

I dyed fabric and yarn this year — some naturally, and some with low impact dyes. My favorites are the colorways for Chestnut Hills Farm and Fiber, the black walnut fabric with iron mordant, and the wool and cotton yarn dyed with tansy that is complemented by the Hi Summer colorway. (I’m going to knit a Visser or Halvis out of these, as they look so good together.)

I did manage to improve my spinning this year, and just started with weaving. Not much to show right now, though.

Hand spun local Blue Faced Leicester (BFL)

I will blog about 2023 plans in another post. I miss Year of Projects and am considering rejoining, even though I needed the break. If you are still with me — either on this post or as a subscriber — thanks for reading and sticking with me this year.

We had a lovely low-key Christmas Day with all the kids and Granddog Cannoli. I hope you enjoyed your day!