2022-2023 Year of Projects

This is my new list for a Year of Projects 2022-2023. You can find out more about the group on Ravelry or Backstage Kath’s YOP bloggers list. I love being part of this group.

Knitting List

I’d like to get through the first 16 of these projects by July 1 of next year. There are several sweaters and knitalongs on this list, so I’ll try not to add any more of those. This gives me a little room to add a few more spontaneous projects since I normally finish about 20 in a year.

  1. Arrowhead Cardigan in Lettlopi
  2. Pumqueen Cardi in Cascade BFL
  3. Summer Solstice Wrap KAL
  4. Powdermill
  5. Knitter’s Dude in Comfy for Bob
  6. That Old Christmas Moon Shawl
  7. Auchnaha in Schiehallion in Mooring
  8. Halloween Livie
  9. Cozy Autumn Socks
  10. Taxus Mitts in Tukuwool Fingering
  11. Holiday Doodle Cowl
  12. Christmas Pudding Socks
  13. Willow in Moonstone Arcadia
  14. Super Simple Summer Sweater in Cestari Ash Lawn
  15. Seavaiger
  16. Hansel Hap in Ramsay Farms fawn katmoget Shetland with Jamieson and Smiths for trim colors
  17. Stash Aurealis
  18. Glenan in Tarheelbilly Farm Tunis (I may dye this)
  19. Skipwith in black Rauma Finullgarn
  20. Undulation Shawl in Shilasdair Tansy
  21. Straw Cardigan in Tukuwool DK
  22. ‘Onipa’a Shawl in Mindful Folk yarn
  23. Peerie Flooers. I have the J&S Shetland yarn for the original version of this that you can see in the show Shetland.
  24. Celtic Tree Handwarmers
  25. Long sleeve Treit in Foxglove
  26. Sunset Slouch
  27. Strom Cardigan
  28. Peace Fleece Ronan in Siberian Midnight
  29. Brown Felt Cowgirl Hat

Sewing List

I’ve added more tops and bottoms, which was the result of my Me Made May challenge. In addition to this list, I’d like to sew some underwear this year with my knit scraps.

  1. Free Range Slacks in black and olive linens (black are done!)
  2. Mocha Tunic in yellow linen
  3. Florence Top in cream floral linen
  4. Clyde Jumpsuit in indigo linen
  5. Ophelia Overall shorts in red linen
  6. Gather Dress in floral print linen
  7. Ottobre blouse in Liberty blue paisley lawn
  8. Lauren Boyfriend Shirt in aqua and apricot linens
  9. Two A-line Tees in batiked cottons
  10. One Hour Top in navy polka dot knit
  11. Audrey Pants in navy stretch cotton twill and gray cotton twill
  12. Ophelia Overalls in teal corduroy
  13. A Logan Shacket in navy wool flannel
  14. Ottobre Coat in black wool floral embossed coating

Dyeing

My goal for this year is to dye yarn in seasonal colorways for the shop. I also hope to dye with tansy flowers from my garden this year, and experiment with other natural dyes.

Spinning

Participating in Tour de Fleece will be a great start to getting back into spinning again. I will set a goal of spinning my Coopworth fleece this year. I don’t know if that’s realistic or not, but it’s good to have a goal.

Fiber Art

I will try again to harvest and ret the flax this year. If I succeed, I’ll spin and dye it, and weave it into a wall hanging.

Friday FO Giveaway and some WIPs

My Friday FO this week is this beautiful yarn I hand dyed, and this set of stitch markers I made!

To celebrate three successful yarn mystery boxes in the books, I’ve decided to have a giveaway!

“Gourd Party” is my debut fall colorway, hand dyed on natural organic merino yarn here at the studio. You could win 1 skein in fingering or DK weight (your choice) plus this set of three stitch markers / progress keepers. To enter this giveaway, sign up for my email list at this link. That’s it!

Want more chances to win? Share this post or tag a friend on Instagram! That’s three chances to win! Winner announced August 1, 2022.

I will also be adding this colorway to my shop as a dyed to order yarn in a few days.

I won’t be sharing my business posts here on a regular basis, but I know I have readers here who have purchased items from me, and I want to make sure you have a chance to enter this giveaway. If you would like to continue to receive news from Chestnut Hills Farm and Fiber, you can follow the blog here. And, of course, you can sign up for emails!

I didn’t manage a Wednesday WIPs post this week, so here are my knitting progress photos.

I’m nearing the colorwork on the bottom of my Pumqueen Cardigan, before the ribbing!

Not much progress on my Summer Solstice wrap. I enjoy knitting it, but it takes concentration.

Tour de Fleece starts today!

Free Range Slacks

I finished my first pair of Free Range Slacks. They won’t be my last. Here I am trying to figure out how to wear them with my birdie tank. I realized the top was too long for this silhouette. I cut two inches off and re-hemmed it.

Here’s how I ended up wearing them. It’s fabulous to be wearing pants without any pain. I’m planning to sew another pair in indigo linen, and a couple of cropped tops to wear with them.

Pattern is Free Range Slacks by Sew House Seven. This would be a great first slacks pattern for a beginning sewist. Fabric is a mid weight black linen from stash. There’s not enough left to make a matching top, but I get to wear my birdie tank, which makes me happy.

2021-2022 Year of Projects Finale

This is my finale post for a Year of Projects 2021-2022. My goal was to not deviate from the list too much, which is laughable.

Fiber Art

  1. I had a solo show in September 2021, and I made a body of work for this show. I finished ten pieces.
  2. I grew flax and tried to process it to weave an art piece. This was unsuccessful, as I over-retted the flax.
  3. I experimented with fresh leaf indigo printing from my garden.

In 2021-2022 I finished 21 pieces of knitting:

  1. Pride Socks for Bob
  2. The Lonely Heart is a Hunter Mystery Knit Along (Rav link)
  3. Milkshake Cardigan
  4. Cemetery Drive Cowl
  5. Nova Scotia Strong Hat for Margie
  6. Autumn Advent: Point Edwards Mitts
  7. Sleepy Hollow Socks
  8. Back Porch Shawl
  9. Number 9 Beanie
  10. Marled Alaska Cowl
  11. Christmas Ranunculus sweater in The Fibre Co. Arranmore
  12. Unbearable Hat for Henry
  13. Celtic Myths Showl
  14. Gourd Party Socks
  15. All Sass and No Squatch Hat
  16. Musselburgh Hat for Freya
  17. Clog socks
  18. Spring Thaw Bandana Cowl
  19. Vertices Unite
  20. Ocean Moon Shawl
  21. Blueberry Popover Day socks for Bob

In 2020-2021 I finished knitting 22 items, so this tracks. Although I now have 29 items on my knitting to do list. I hope to increase the number I finish this coming year. I’ve got three sweaters on the needles. Last year I knit two sweaters, but somehow I finished four sweaters the year before.

Finished Sewing

  1. Emerson shorts in natural linen
  2. Halloween PJ Pants 1
  3. Halloween PJ Pants 2
  4. Ophelia Overalls in Purl Linen
  5. Barcelona Dress in lavender linen
  6. Pietra Pants in dark blue chambray
  7. Piedra Dress in Headless Horseman fabric
  8. Plateau Joggers in olive French terry, black merino interlock, navy and gray speckle cotton fleece
  9. Mile End Sweatshirt in black merino interlock
  10. A Logan Shacket with plaid flannel
  11. Mile End Sweatshirt in Pink Velour
  12. Clare Coat
  13. Gray Speckle Piedra Dress
  14. Born to Knit Melba Dress
  15. Paranormal Day Dress
  16. Felix Dress in floral cotton voile
  17. Black Melba Dress
  18. Eggplant Linen Felix Dress
  19. Charcoal Melba Dress
  20. Spoopy Project Bag

It’s difficult to keep count of finished sewing since I tend to sew multiples of the same pattern. This year I made a lot of PJ pants, joggers, and dresses. Comfort has been key as I try to manage my health.

Spinning

I replaced my spinning wheel and took a class to get started.

Most Proud Make

I made a coat! It wouldn’t win any sewing awards, but it is wearable. I learned interlining and how to bag out a lining in a garment. I expect I will get a lot of wears out of it this year if we have a cold winter.

Favorite Makes

I can’t choose one. These are the items I find I’m using most. I guess I’m a shawl person now.

This is my final post for Year of Projects 2021-2022. You can find out more about the group here (Rav link) or here: Backstage Kath’s YOP bloggers list. I’ve enjoyed being part of this group. I’m thankful Liz mentioned it to me! Next week I will post my plans for 2022-2023.

Garden Meanderings

No finished objects this week. I haven’t been feeling well, and haven’t even been knitting very much. I’m better today, and spent the morning in the garden. I planted several soapwort plants. Also known as Bouncing Bet, I love their happy pink flowers. I used to make my own shampoo with soapwort, and that is my plan. Hopefully the critters will leave them alone. I planted them in different places, in an attempt to confuse and outsmart whatever it is that is digging up my plants. (Commence John Belushi swat team maneuvers.)

Mama Wren has been looking after her eggs in our felt caravan birdhouse. This couple was trying to make a nest in the porch eave on top of a hook, silly birds. So we moved the birdhouse over and they got the hint. I think this must be the same wrens that made a nest in the dryer vent last year.

We moved their nest, which we found out later we were not supposed to do, to a coiled recycled silk birdhouse. They did use it last year and I enjoyed hearing the babies cheeping away in there. That nest is empty now, so I’m going to clean the birdhouse out and try to find a place for it next year.

The soil along the back of the garden wall is mostly clay. I can’t get anything to grow back there, so I’ve moved some daylilies. I think they should do nicely there, and I’m seeing that others are hapazome printing with daylily flowers. I will give it a try today.

My dye plants are doing mostly ok. Only one Hopi Black Sunflower is still alive, but it has two stalks, so I’m praying for flowers and seeds for next year. The Black Hollyhocks are looking good, but still small. They are biennial and won’t flower until next year. Always a favorite, the calendula are starting to flower now. The indigo and madder are healthy but little. And I learned I can eco print with borage flowers. I love the little blue flowers, and they reseed themselves, so I have a few starting to bud now. The tansy is ready to flower and I should be able to dye with them this year.

I replanted flax in the same spot and it’s doing well. I will try processing it into linen one more time. Here’s hoping I ret it and don’t rot it, like I did last year.

I hid okra in the flax. Shock and awe!

In other news, gluten-free sourdough starter is taking over my life. I will start keeping it in the fridge during the week. I made some gluten-free sourdough muffins with it yesterday, and boy were they good with butter and marmalade! Bob is going to make sourdough pizza crust today.

Bleautiful yarn heading back home today!

Thursday Three: Fiber Arts Edition

A friend asked if I could dye yarn for her. She had white silk and kid mohair and wanted blues. We decided to try dyeing it in the ball. I was doing research about it, and this seemed to be a way to easily get a mottled effect. I dyed the balls using a low immersion process. The aqua dye exhausted faster than I expected, so I added a bit of a different blue. The result is lovely and we’re both pleased!

If you are fascinated by fiber processing, Osborn Fiber Studio shared this post about an Inuk owned Qiviut mill in Canada.

Fiber Arts by Carola has been sharing indigo cloth dyeing and resist design patterns. In Stitching Up My Blues, the artist explains the indigenous medicine practice of stitching and binding fabric as a way to process intergenerational trauma.

Tasty Tuesday: Gluten-Free Sourdough and Lentil Soup

Now that I have more time on my hands, I decided to try baking our own bread. There are two reasons for this: 1. Gluten-free bread is $8 a loaf at the store, and 2. Most gluten-free bread is not great.

Bob and I have tried gluten-free bread recipes with varied results. I thought a sourdough starter might be what is needed to give the dough a lift. I ordered the starter from Cultures for Health, and followed their instructions and recipe. I substituted white rice flour for brown, because we ran out of brown. The loaf is fluffy, soft, moist, and delicious!

We had lentil soup with sourdough for dinner yesterday. The soup was delicious as well, so I’m going to post the recipe here for future reference. I was surprised how delicious it was with such simple ingredients. How many times can I say delicious in one post?

Crockpot Lentil Soup

  • 4 1/2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 1/2 cups green lentils
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4 medium carrots, sliced
  • 3 stalks celery, diced
  • 4 sprigs of fresh thyme (1 teaspoon dried)
  • 3 sprigs of fresh oregano (1 teaspoon dried)

Add all ingredients to the crockpot. Tie fresh herbs into a bouquet garni and add. Cook on high for 4 hours, or on low for 6-8 hours. About 4 servings.

Année de Projets

Knitting: My goal was to finish Bob’s socks for Father’s Day, and I did!

Bob likes the socks I knit for him, which makes me want to knit them more. Yarn is Knit Spin Farm’s Blueberry Popover Day colorway in Targhee Sport. No pattern, just a recipe. For sport weight I used 56 stitches on size 3 US needles.

I also finished the yoke on my Pumqueen Cardigan. Now It’s rows and rows of blissful stockinette until the border.

I sewed and dyed last week, but won’t be able to share photos until the summer boxes are shipped and received.

This week I will be casting on a Summer Solstice wrap. I’m still fussing about the yarn colors, so today I think I’ll wind my yarn and label each one for the order. I’ll feel better if I have a plan.

For sewing this week, I’ve decided to try the Free Range Slacks pattern in black linen. I’ve been seeing them on Instagram, and they look very comfortable. If I have enough fabric, I’ll make a matching a-line tank to wear with them, like a suit. Will I really wear it that way? Who knows? But I like options.

For spinning, I’m going to participate in Tour de Fleece in July. I won’t be participating officially, as I’m such a noob. But I will spin every day, and I will watch the Tour de France. I should at least be able to get through the wool top that came with the wheel. On challenging days, I’ll ply, or maybe try color.

It’s unseasonably cool, which means it’s a good day to weed the garden. I check on my frog daily. I had two at one point, but it looks like we’re back to one. I worry about Croque. I really shouldn’t, since he chose to be there and can leave if he wants. I probably make him nervous, staring at him every morning, talking to him, “Bonjour, Croque! Ça va? Qu’est-ce que tu manges?” It’s a great way to practice my French. He’s very polite and doesn’t correct me.

This has been a Year Of Projects (Année de Projets) update. You can find out more about the group here (Rav link) or here: Backstage Kath’s YOP bloggers list. You can read my updated list of projects here.

Bonjour. Je m’appelle M. Croque

Liz at Highland Heffalump suggested I get a wee pond to possibly attract a frog to eat our plethora of slugs. I thought that was worth a try, so I picked up a small pond from the home improvement store and installed it yesterday. While digging the hole in the garden, I disturbed a frog already in residence! Luckily, it came back. Meet Monsieur Croque!

No, this is not a joke about the French being frogs. I love the French, and French Canadians! I took French for six years in my youth. This is a joke about the dish Croque Monsieur.

Anyway, here’s hoping Monsieur (or Madame) Croque finds the new habitat to its liking. I’m watching for mosquito larvae but hoping those will get eaten as well. If not, I’ll have to clean it regularly, or install a small circulator. I ordered a toad house, and the pond is sheltered in the shade of the Elderberry bush.

I love toads and frogs. I thought I was going to have to go tadpole hunting like I did when I was a kid. I love that M. Croque (to be known simply as Croque going forward) was already enjoying the slug buffet.

I’m not sure what type of frog Croque is. What do you think? Maybe a Cricket Frog?

Dye Hard: Yarn of Projects

I’ve been traveling and entertaining the last couple of weeks, as well as focusing on the mystery box stuff, so I don’t have much progress to show. I’m still knitting on the Blueberry Popover Day socks, my Pumqueen Cardi, and Arrowhead. But as promised, here are pics of my haul from the Mid-Ohio Fiber Fair, in order of acquisition.

BFL fiber for spinning
Darning Egg and Damsel Plum yarn in two weights from Knitting Notions
Bulky in Salmon Run and sock in Squash from Laughing Cat Fibers
Litha and Taurus from Dye Mad Yarns

Did I buy more superwash? Yes. I need to draw the line on superwash. It’s great for socks and summer shawls, but not warm enough for winter knits.

I have been editing and updating my Year of Projects list. I make minor changes to my knitting plans throughout the year. However, I made some significant changes to my sewing list. Me Made May taught me I need to make more tops and pants. I have enough summer dresses. Below is the new list. I’d love to finish the first three this month.

  1. Ottobre blouse in Liberty blue paisley lawn and black linen
  2. Two A-line Tees in batiked cottons for summer
  3. Pietra Pants in indigo linen
  4. Audrey Pants in navy stretch cotton twill and gray cotton twill
  5. Ophelia Overalls in teal corduroy
  6. A Logan Shacket in navy wool flannel
  7. Ottobre Coat in black wool floral embossed coating

Bob gave me this natural dyeing kit from Botanical Colors for my birthday. It arrived yesterday! I’ve never dyed with prepared natural dyes before, only from foraged botanicals or plants from my garden. I’m looking forward to trying this. Funds raised from the sales of this kit supports sending vital supplies to displaced children and families in Ukraine as well as supporting Botanical Colors’ BIPOC scholarships.

I have been dyeing hard lately. I’m going for another experiment on cotton yarn this week. And then I’m going to dye some wool yarn in fall colors for the shop.

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