NYC: Yarn Secured

I went to New York City without knitting and came back with new yarn.

I always try to stop into Purl Soho when I’m there.

What am I going to do with my little hank of Cotton Pure in robin’s egg blue?

Socks. Socks I tell you. Little soft blue cotton footie socks. I will probably use the Purl Soho toe up sock pattern I purchased earlier this year.

We also ate New York style gluten free pizza and I scored a gluten free beer. Life was good.

Life right now is a little crazy, though. Not a lot of knitting going on.

I lay down to do some deep breathing and JoJo decided to join me and warm my lap. What a sweetie.

ETA: Oh I forgot to mention my fiber piece sold. Yay! It’s being shipped to a collector in DC!

Knitting Updates

I have been busy with work, and then sick the last two days, so I haven’t been blogging or knitting. But here are some updates.

You can see I’m just about ready to cast off the hem and pick up and knit the sleeves on my lilac heather cumulus blouse.

Celtic Myths border is coming along.

I made it past the ribbing on the back of Staghorn.

I hope to catch up on your blogs today!

Sundeee

I had fun in my studio today. I had intended to cut out one pair of Emerson Shorts in this natural linen, one pair of Emerson Pants in black linen, one Lily top in blue linen and one Lily top in the cotton bird print. I was so excited after cutting out the shorts to have enough natural linen left over for a tank top I just whizzed through and finished it and forgot all about everything else.

This is the same pattern as my tie dye Easter Twiggy tunic/dress, but instead of following it I made the front wider, added neckline pleats, trimmed the bust sides, and encased all the edges with a rough bias so that it will fray when washed. I’m pretty excited to wear this top as it has really been hot and I’ve been wanting a linen tank top.

Last night for Satur-date Bob and I went to see this adorable independent film Bite Me. The filmmaker is touring with the film and she was there for an intro, Q&A, and a “joyful vampire ball” for afters. We were supposed to wear “whatever makes you feel joyful” which is pretty much what we wear all the time, but there was a station at the ball with temporary tattoos and bling so I went for it.

I also picked up a new sweatshirt for October.

You may know that vampires are my favorite “monster” but I won’t say that anymore, because this is a fictional film about people who identify as vampires (there are people who identify as non-supernatural vampires in the real world) and the story is about love and acceptance. We really enjoyed it. If you want to watch it, it is all over the internet for a modest sum.

I feel like my life is more manageable now and at a pace I can maintain. Work is busy but rewarding, kids are doing the things that will lead them to being independent humans some day, I lost 5 pounds on my Noom plan, I am making things in my studio again, and Bob and I are thinking of buying a house.

I hope you are also having a great Sundeee! Toodle-loos!

Blue Ribbon Beanie

This went really fast and I love it. It’s the perfect beanie: a little tam, a little slouch, but not too much to be a beanie.

And I love the color!

Yarn: Malabrigo Arroyo DK Matisse Blue

Needles: 1 size US 4 16″ circular, 1 size US 6 16″ circular, Size US 6 double points, or size needed to obtain gauge

Gauge: 5 stitches per inch on larger needles

Begin Pattern:

Cast on 100 stitches on the smaller circular needle size. ( I use crochet cast on for elasticity.)

Place marker and join to knit in the round.

Begin K2 P2 and continue for 2 inches.

Change to larger circular needle and knit in stockinette stitch for 5 inches (total length 7 inches).

Begin decreasing on next round: K 18 K 2 together 5 times (until end of round).

K 1 round

K 17 K 2 together 5 times (until end of round)

Knit 1 round

Continue decreasing in this manner (decreasing 5 stitches every other round) until you are at K 12 K 2 together, or 65 stitches total.

Switch from circular needles to double points when stitches become too small for the circular needle.

Begin decreasing in the same manner EVERY round, starting with K 11 K 2 together, until you have 10 stitches total left on needles.

Break yarn, and use darning needle to run the tail through the remaining stitches. Tie off and weave in loose ends.

Voila! Blue Ribbon Beanie. Enjoy!

Down with Bad Stuff

I do not like summer. I have never liked summer. I don’t like the heat. I don’t like the break in routine. Summer makes me grumpy. Summertime is when I like to stay indoors in the AC and read and knit. Down with Summer.

Bob and I walked to the library yesterday and I browsed the knitting books, while also picking up more Tudor books. I can’t seem to get enough of the Tudors — fiction, nonfiction, audiobook, proper book, well written, badly written… it really does not matter. And what’s fascinating is every author has a different take on the subject!

Anyway, I enjoyed browsing the knitting books and bringing a few home, noncommittally. In the past, I would only check out the knitting books if I thought I could learn something from them or if there was a pattern inside that I wanted to knit. I was in my same old rut — looking through knitting books that I thought were pretty but would never knit anything out of — when I realized it was okay. It is totally fine to check out a knitting book, flip through it and enjoy the eye candy, and then return it. It’s even okay to do it intentionally! Down with self-limiting arbitrary rules!

“Protest Knits” has a very enjoyable Trump Pincushion crochet pattern, but I will never make it. Maybe I will make the Down with Bad Stuff water bottle holder!

I have a HUUUGE water bottle (see what I did there?) and I never take it hiking because it’s too darn big! But this would solve that problem and be fun, albeit rather vague.

I started my Blue Ribbon Beanie. It is a beautiful shade of deep cerulean Malabrigo DK. It’s 2X2 rib. I’m not sure how I will decrease at the top yet. Ribbing can be tricky to decrease.

Honestly, I started the beanie because I’ve lost the verve for my FIVE sweaters I have on the needles, and even Celtic Myths feels a little fussy right now. So I’ve fallen back on hat knitting just to try to stick with it.

I had to give up a few things this Summer. I gave up the herb business. It needed more than I could give. I gave up some of my blog subscriptions. I couldn’t keep up. But I only gave up on the ones where I felt there wasn’t a connection. I have had to give up pleasure eating and drinking wine and margaritas. I gained a lot of weight last year and even exercise couldn’t help me keep it off, so I signed up for Noom and am counting every calorie and even steps! I had to give up sewing for a while, until I no longer needed to use my studio as an office.

But I got my office back, which means I also got my studio back. I got to participate in an art show. I got my teeth cleaned today, which included a new toothbrush, floss, and props for excellent hygiene. I’ve lost 2 pounds in 5 days. My garden is producing scrumptious tomatoes. Up with good stuff, amiright?!

Summer Cold

I’ve really been dragging this week and I think I have a summer cold. Not much knitting going on here. But here are some pretty pics of flowers.

I received these orchids as a gift in April and they are still blooming. What’s my secret? Benign neglect. When it warmed up I thought they might enjoy the bright diffused light and humidity of the screened-in porch, and I was right. Also, I don’t pay too much attention to them as I hate heat and humidity so I stand inside in the air conditioning and admire them from afar. It suits us both perfectly.

This Christmas cactus is jealous and attempting to bloom in envy. C’mon. Just one flower. You can do it!

After work today I’m going to come home and watch Time Team until I fall asleep. After Bob and I watch the last episode of Dark, that is.

Saturdeee WIPs

I’m making a little progress on Staghorn from A Fine Fleece. I decided I want to try to finish it before Celtic Colours so I’m making an effort to work on it more.

Celtic Myths is also coming along. If I stick to my goal of knitting two chart repeats of the border every week, I should be done by October. The mussel shell bug is a handmade treasure from my stepdaughter. As a rule, cockroaches are something I cannot abide, but these are charming. Probably because they don’t move unless I move them.

Lilac Heather Cumulus Blouse is also growing. This is great TV knitting.

I ordered some new cotton yarn. The Nature Cotton is my favorite and I used to design with it, but it’s now discontinued, so I bought up what I could find. The multi is Tolhuaca and worsted, but I think if I knit with two strands it might match the gauge of the bulky. I’m planning to type up one of my old designs and put it on Ravelry. I already have photos and everything, so I’m hoping this is a good baby step for me.

Ancestry and DNA

I’ve been meaning to blog about my DNA test because I recently came across some new information.

These tests are only as accurate as the pool of DNA they have to compare it against. For example, I have documented French Huguenot ancestry, but DNA testing is outlawed in France, so there is no comparative DNA.

I found the West Asian DNA surprising, although you just never know for sure. But I was open to the idea, even though there is no family lore about it.

But I recently read about a man with documented Cherokee ancestry who had West Asian ancestry show up in his DNA test, but no Native American ancestry. The article went further to say that often people descended from Eastern tribes like Cherokee, Choctaw, and Creek will show up as West Asian, because that is their original and closest descent, while Western tribes will show up as East Asian/ Polynesian. This made sense because we have undocumented Choctaw ancestry according to family lore. There probably won’t be any way to verify this until more First Nations people choose to have their DNA tested.

ETA: I’ve done a little more research and it sounds like this West Asian – Native American connection is a bunch of hooey. Live and learn!

I suspect the Baltic comes from my maternal Grandmother’s Vance line.

Also, you might have ancestry that doesn’t show up in your DNA test because you didn’t get those genes.

Still killing time at the BMV…

Lavender Festival

When we arrived at Peaceful Acres Lavender Farm we were first greeted by this delightful cob house. I have had fantasies about living in a cob house but that stopped when I found out how much work goes into maintaining one. Maybe an adobe house in the Desert Southwest is in my future?

This was a small festival where you could pay $12 to cut your own English Lavender bouquet (well worth it), shop several handmade vendors, order a plant based lunch, buy handmade herbal products from the farm, and walk nature trails. In the end Bob and I walked the nature trails but didn’t buy anything. I was proud of myself.

There was, as you would expect, many Lavender plants (Lavandula angustifolia) and they were gorgeous and buzzing with bees. It was a bit off the beaten path but I got some knitting done and enjoyed the road trip.

After the lavender festival, Bob and I went to see The Dead Don’t Die.

We had been anticipating the release date as we are both Jim Jarmusch fans. The film did not disappoint. Although as far as horror comedies go, Shaun of the Dead is still my number one. Perfick.