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?!

Lavender

Bob and I are on our way to a lavender festival, and I hope to blog tomorrow about all things lavender. Technically my cumulus blouse is lilac heather, but close enough.

I finished my felt piece for the Mother Artists at Work show next month. It’s all natural wool except for the blues. It’s mostly Romeldale-CVM and Shetland, and is called “Sunbleach”. It’s about 16X20. I hope it counts toward my Shave’Em to Save’em finished objects.

The caterpillars are eating my dill, but I don’t mind. Are these Monarchs?

Work has been very busy and I haven’t had time to blog or read blogs. I am trying to catch up.

Hi

I finished my Farrow Dress.

It’s very frockish. Super comfy and cool in the linen. Maybe it will dress up a bit with some sandal clogs. (Yes I used “dress up” and “clogs” in the same sentence.)

It was a new method of making pockets for me. I’m calling it the “apron method.” There is another complete layer of fabric across the inside front from the seam down. Since this is a medium weight linen, it makes it a little heavy. It’s not a good pattern for French seams but I made it work.

Not bad. Do you like it?

I got a little work done on my art piece. Do you like it? I’m liking it. I guess the real question is how long will I do this before I go home and have a glass of wine?

Or should I bring the wine here and keep working?

This is my choice for selfie of the week.

(Edited: I replaced the gym selfie because I thought this one was more appropriate.)

Follow Up

Isn’t this blue linen pretty?

I originally bought it to make another pair of Emerson Pants. But I thought it was too pretty for pants. So today I cut out a Farrow Dress instead.

(Photo courtesy of Grainline Studios)

I hope to start sewing it together tomorrow. Shout out to my Mom who sent me some birthday cash which I promptly blew on linen fabric from Lithuania. (I’m so glad I did!)

I also worked on my felt painting today.

This is mostly Romeldale-CVM and local (Ohio) Shetland wool. I’m hoping to get to the felting part tomorrow. This is for a group show with Mother Artists at Work in July.

I even knit on my Celtic Myths today.

Today was a good day.

Mod Monday

I did a little research and you can wet felt raw wool if you want to, but Highland Heffalump made a great point about not wanting dirt etc up in there. So I washed about a third of the fleece in a bucket with Eucalan and rinsed it.

Isn’t it pretty? I’ve realized I’m going to need to card it, although I don’t want to overprocess it because I want to keep the colors as separate as possible. Maybe I should flick card it.

I brought my box of combs and cards up from the basement, and look what was in the box! Fiber from my old angora bunnies, Ziggy and Tiger! And a hank of merino and silk top! Surprise!

I’ve never been much for blending and spinning my own fibers. I did enough back in the day to make sure I knew what I was doing should I ever need or want to do it again. But I might play around with this fiber since I have it. I wonder if rabbit fur will felt with wool? It might be a fun experiment.

I finished my mod tie dye dress. I went all out with gathers in the front and a popped up collar. I struggled some with this as I didn’t have enough fabric for the casings. I cut bits along the bias and pieced them together. I wanted to finish it all off perfectly (inside and out) but ended up using the serger around the neckline and armholes. I did find a beautiful green button that was my Grandmother’s to use for the back closure. I think it’s pretty cute overall, and I don’t think anyone else will notice the flubs. Then I tried it on.

I love the colors. I was going for the Twiggy look because, hey, I have the haircut.

Then I put on a sweater.

It’s ok. It’s a bit tenty. I don’t look like Twiggy, that’s for sure! 😂

Looking for some Stockinette

When I get too busy to knit, I get a little weird. My brain works better when my hands are moving. So this morning I made sure to get a round of knitting in.

I got my first Shave’em to Save’em sticker for my passport! If this blog had smellovision you would be able to smell lanolin and sheep butt. This is going to be a wet felted art piece, but I have to wash the fleece first? It does get washed during the process, so I’m not sure, honestly. I might try felting it raw just to see what happens.

I travel every week this month.

I look forward to catching up on everyone’s blogs soon!

Studio Sunday

Bob and I had a lovely hike yesterday, and I got lucky with this photo, which I plan to make into a felt painting.

Today’s essay from Knitting Season Club is about losing yourself in the creative process. I don’t need any help with that as I am a daydreamer by nature, but she did share two songs from Alice Coltrane. How refreshing to be introduced to a female jazz great, and I now have a new favorite song which I am currently listening to on repeat as I swatch in the studio.

I have two design ideas for the Warm Hands competition. I am swatching for both today. One design is for Milarrochy Tweed, the other is for Ard Thir. These arm warmers were knit for me by my friend Marjorie (holla!) and they, along with this alpaca poncho from Bolivia, are my inspiration for one design.

The other is a spin off of a design I was already working on. I’m being careful not to put too much out there, because designs aren’t considered if they’ve already been made public.

And I got some new yarn this week!

This is Cabecou Lace in Sel Gris. I will knit Anne Hanson’s Dust Devils with it. This yarn smells really good, by the way. I had a hankering (get it?) to knit something lace this summer.

I’d better stop yapping and get swatching.

Remember When I…

Today’s blog post brought to you by Knitting Season Journal prompt, Facebook memories, and lunch time naval gazing.

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Remember when I turned the front room in my house into my first studio? The walls were a cheerful green, and I had Ikea cubes full of yarn, fabric, fiber, patterns, books, tools, sketchbooks, colored pencils, there’s even a statue of Indra up there. It was a very creative and prolific time for me. I was knitting and sewing, designing garments and knitting patterns, teaching, and making artwork, most of it knitted.

 

I had to scroll back through a decade of old Facebook photos to get these – back through other memories and times when I hurt so bad that I hurt all the way through, all the time. I felt that phantom heart pain as I scrolled – and tried to scroll faster so I wouldn’t feel it! Anyway, these dresses. I loved this dress so much I made two for friends and one for me. I wish I still had mine, the linen one on the right.

 

I made a lot of fun things. All of the things I’ve shown here, with the exception of the hand dyed, hand spun mulberry silk yarn and the linen dress, were birthday gifts for friends in my Mother Artists at Work group. It was friends that got me through those dark times. Thank you, friends!

Yeah, no.

I made a mistake when I bought this yarn for the Oa Hoodie. I probably could get 6 stitches to an inch with a DK, but would I want to wear that fabric? Stranded colorwork? Nope. I knew better. I can only blame myself.

My hope is to go ahead and purchase the yarn from KDD with my club discount and find something else to do with this lovely DK.

ETA: The yarn this pattern calls for is DK, but the pattern itself calls for sport weight. Very confusing! So maybe it’s a DK yarn knit tight at sport gauge? I tend toward loose knitting, so I’m not sure I would be able to get gauge with that yarn even if I tried.

I will be so glad when January is over. This month has really kicked my arse.

Enjoy some pics from my studio.