Soft: A Year of Projects Update

Fiber Art

My art show reception was last night, and it was wonderful to visit with family and friends who ventured out in support. I sold two pieces, which I’m over the moon about! Here is a gallery of the pieces in the show.

I’m proud I was able to produce this body of work, and was really pleased with the feedback. Many people were surprised to see artwork made from wool. Someone said the work was really comforting, which was my goal. I think we all need a little bit of softness in our lives right now. The gallery’s website is at this link.

In other fiber art news, I experimented with fresh leaf indigo printing, which I shared about yesterday.

Knitting

I’ve been working on my Point Edwards Mitts, which I am really enjoying. I finished my Cemetery Drive Cowl, which I posted about on Thursday. And I finished a super secret birthday present for my MIL Margie, which I posted on Wednesday. It was a banner week for knitting FOs!

My DIY Fall Advent bag yesterday was the Ixchel Cowl in Farmer’s Daughter Fibers Moon Sisters. I don’t know if you can see the bronze sparkles in this yarn, but it’s beautiful. However, I just finished a colorwork cowl, and I’m not in the mood to start another one. I’ll store this for another time.

Sewing

I’m currently working on some Pietra Pants in dark blue chambray. I also sewed a dress last week. It was not horrible.

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. You can read my updated list of projects here.

Wool Wins, Natch: a YOP Update

Fiber Art

“Coxheath” wool fiber, 16”X20”, 18”X24” framed, price on request from
Sean Christopher Gallery

I have finished, photographed, and framed ten pieces for my September show, called “Soft.” I drop them off on August 30th. The show event page is here: https://fb.me/e/5o19a4V68 You can see the show card on my Year of Projects page. I will share images of the work as the gallery makes them public.

Yesterday I tested fresh leaf indigo printing on scraps of different textiles. Wool is definitely the winner (far left), and I learned a few things about what kind of surface I should be working on (smooth) and what kind of stone to use for pounding (not one that breaks and imparts its own color, like sandstone, duh.)

What will I do with all this indigo? I’m thinking of bundling the leaves in my yardage of Virginia cotton, for a pretty leaf printed fabric to make — what else — overalls out of. But I need to do a little more research.

I also pulled up as much of the flax that I could find that didn’t have mature seed heads. It’s retting in water in this tub. Hopefully I wasn’t too late to get some fiber out of it.

I have also started harvesting the flax seed for the Rust Belt Fibershed project.

Knitting

I’m halfway through the final clue for The Lonely Heart is a Hunter mystery knit along! (Rav link)

I finished the first sleeve on my Milkshake Cardigan! (Rav link)

Sewing

I made some progress on my linen yarn ball overalls. These are looking like a clown suit. Do I care? Hell no. Will I wear them anyway? Hell yes. Yarny the Clown, that’s me! (Juggling yarn balls.) (Blows up two long balloons. Ties them off. Mimes knitting with them.) Now available for knit nights, fiber festivals, and private knitting retreats.

Plus look at these adorable yarn ball buttons that I found! (Calliope music plays in the background.)

But seriously, I love them. Just buttonholes, buttons, and hems to go.

Gardening

I harvested and put up some sage leaves to dry yesterday.

Bob just brought in this tote full of pears and apples from the trees in our garden. I want to make pie or preserves, but Bob wants to make his own apple cider vinegar. We use a lot of apple cider vinegar, so that’s a good idea.

This has been a Year of Projects Update. You can learn more about the group on Ravelry. You can read my updated list of projects here.

A Fairly Productive Week 2: Year of Projects

Knitting

In addition to finishing Bob’s Pride socks, I’ve made good progress on my Milkshake Cardigan, and have been keeping up with the clues for my mystery knit along.

Sewing

I finished my Emerson shorts. I’ve got some other sewing projects I’d like to get to, but today I focused on…

Fiber Art

I made a new piece today. I had the same problem with the felt not attaching to the prefelt backing. I think the prefelt backing is the problem, as all my fiber felted together really well. It just slid off the backing. So that’s more needle felting to do, and I’m not sure how I feel about this piece. It’s the remake of the one I don’t like. Why do I keep making it? Because I love the photo! It’s inspired by a photo I took in Iona, Nova Scotia. It’s just really hard to interpret in wool.

Podcast

A new episode “dropped” today, as the young folks say. In honor of Plastic Free July, I thought I would stick close to home and interview someone who inspires me a great deal. He has made a huge impact on reducing the amount of plastic waste in our home by creating almost all the soaps we use in our household from scratch. Listen in as I interview my husband, Bob, about soapmaking, the magic of science, and how to save money while saving the world. (It’s not as dangerous as it looks.) You can listen here or wherever you listen to your podcasts.

Listening to Music Intentionally

This one seems appropriate.

This has been a Year of Projects Update. You can learn more about the group on RavelryYou can read my updated list of projects here.

2021-2022 Year of Projects

This is my new list for a Year of Projects 2021-2022. My goal this year is not to deviate from the list too much. (Wish me luck!) 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!

Fiber Art

  1. I have a solo show in September 2021, and I need to make a body of work for this show. My goal is ten pieces. Ten are finished!
  2. I am growing flax, madder, indigo, and tansy. This year I would like to ret the flax and weave a wall hanging with the linen on my tapestry loom, maybe including some natural dyeing. Update: This was unsuccessful, as I over-retted the flax. But I will continue to experiment with natural dyes.
  3. I experimented with fresh leaf indigo printing from my garden.

Knitting List

  1. Cozy Autumn Socks
  2. Sleepy Hollow Socks
  3. September to October (Back Porch) Shawl
  4. Super Simple Summer Sweater in Cestari Ash Lawn
  5. Kiki Cardigan in Tarheelbilly Farm Tunis
  6. Arrowhead Cardigan (Ravelry Link) in Lettlopi
  7. Celtic Myths Shawl. I am so close to finishing this but procrastinating.
  8. Breton Red Cardigan to match my raglan plaid dress
  9. Skipwith in black Rauma Finullgarn
  10. Hansel Hap in Ramsay Farms fawn katmoget Shetland with Jamieson and Smiths for trim colors
  11. Peerie Flooers. I have the J&S Shetland yarn for the original version of this that you can see in the show Shetland.
  12. Hearth Rug in Black Welsh Mountain Bulky
  13. Celtic Tree Handwarmers
  14. The Oa (Rav link)
  15. Teal Niamh (Rav link)
  16. Pink Rhodes
  17. Seavaiger
  18. Long sleeve Treit in Foxglove
  19. Shoalwater Shaw (Rav link)
  20. Sunset Slouch
  21. Cabin Kitchen Towel Set (Rav link)
  22. Strom Cardigan
  23. Aurora Borealis Cowl
  24. Less Is More Cowl
  25. Peace Fleece Ronan in Siberian Midnight (Ravelry link)
  26. Taxus Mitts in Tukuwool Fingering (Ravelry link)
  27. Best Loved Shawl in Knitting Goddess Berry BFL-Masham (Ravelry link)
  28. Undulation Shawl in Shilasdair Tansy
  29. Straw Cardigan in Tukuwool DK
  30. ‘Onipa’a Shawl (Rav link) in Mindful Folk yarn

Finished 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

Sewing List

  1. Ophelia Overalls in teal corduroy and navy wool flannel
  2. A wrap skirt/kilt with this plaid flannel
  3. Two A-line Tees in batiked cottons for summer
  4. Pietra Pants in black and indigo linen

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

Listening to Music Intentionally

Contrary to how I was in my youth, I have become a passive music listener — listening to whatever is on our local NPR station during the day while working (which is usually pretty good). So I’m going to continue listening to music with intention as part of my Year of Projects goals. Recently, I got excited about the new Sparks Brothers movie coming out (which we are going to see tonight). I found out that some of my friends had never heard of Sparks, which surprised me. They’ve been around a long time. However, I hadn’t really listened to them since the 1980’s. So I have a lot of new Sparks music to discover! Here’s one that is new to me that I am enjoying right now.

2020-2021 Year of Projects Completed List

Fiber Art

  1. I have a solo show in September 2021, and I need to make a body of work for this show. My goal is 10 pieces. 8/10 finished.
  2. I dyed most of my own wool for this work.

Finished Fiber Art

Haze Over Maize: Granville 2020 for Mother Artists at Work Show

Litmus Cowl in Moondrake Advent yarn

Finished Knitting

  1. Spring Socklings in Bone and Birch Honeybees and Violets Please
  2. Anker’s Summer Shirt in Serpentine Blacker Lyonesse
  3. Water Shawl KAL
  4. Malabrigo Anniversario Rikke Hat
  5. Getting Warmer in Handdyed Red Kenyan Merino (silent auction prize)
  6. Kenora Toque
  7. Moondrake Advent Litmus Cowl (Ravelry project link)
  8. Blue Turtledove
  9. Franca
  10. Pride Socks
  11. Purple emPower Bandaner
  12. Shetland Tweed Throw
  13. Arachne Sweater
  14. Four Square Cowl
  15. Mistletoe Kisses Socks
  16. Pumpkin Spice Latte socks
  17. Broom Riding Cowl
  18. Halloween Socks
  19. Trans Pride Socks
  20. Accidental Autumn Barley Light Hat
  21. Rikkemas Hat
  22. Meep the Christmas Mouse

Finished Sewing

  1. Birdies summer top
  2. Knitting alpacas PJs
  3. Raglan Dress in blue shirting
  4. Ophelia Overalls in brown twill
  5. Water Shawl KAL project bags
  6. Raglan Dress in plaid flannel
  7. Poudre linen curtains.
  8. Coffee filters
  9. Knitting Sheep flannel PJ pants
  10. Halloween Rachel blouse
  11. Winter Solstice project bag
  12. Manatee tote bag

I’m going to try to continue to post music with my YOP updates, as a way to keep up with listening to music intentionally. Here’s an old favorite.

This has been a Year of Projects Update. This is my final list for 2020-2021. I’m pleased with how much I accomplished this year. You can find out more about the group here (Rav link).

Summer Solstice Year of Projects

Happy Summer Solstice! My flax is starting to flower.

Gardening

I found cabbage worms all over the cabbage and kale. I had intended to pick them off, but it was impossible. There were too many. There was no reason to leave the plants in the garden, so I pulled up all the cabbage and kale and took it to the compost pile.

I don’t know if you’ve ever eaten a borage flower, but they taste like cucumbers. Delicious!

Knitting

Happy Father’s Day to Bob, who is a wonderful Dad and Stepdad. I’m knitting Pride socks for him for Father’s Day, and I’m currently being overwhelmed by rainbow yarn barf. I’m hoping to finish these before July 1, when we start over for Year of Projects.

I ordered the beads for my MKAL and I thought they were not the right color for my yarn. Too gray! So I ordered three more colors. Then I took photos outside, and the color is more like I wanted initially. Hopefully one of the four bead colors will work. Every time I take these beads out of their bag, I lose five, so hopefully I still have enough if this is The One. I’ll knit another chart repeat on the swatch and knit the beads on as the pattern specifies. That should give me a better idea.

Fiber Art

I felted a new piece today. I like the way it looks, but the felt didn’t take to the prefelt backing. So I ordered new felting needles, because mine are old and breaking, and I’m going to have to do significantly more needle felting on this piece. I don’t know why it didn’t work, as nothing has changed. This seems to be the theme for my week. Is Mercury in retrograde or something?

Sewing

I didn’t have the energy for sewing this week, so I have nothing to report.

Music

Here is the song I am currently listening to on repeat.

This has been a Year of Projects Update. You can read my updated list here. You can find out more about the group here (Rav link). I’ve started a new list for 2021-2022, and I’ve created a finished list for 2020-2021. I will post these on July 1. I had to go back over my completed items, as I had a few slip in that were completed prior to joining Year of Projects. Oops! I see how I am.

I got a new pin. I ordered mine from Fibre Space, but they are sold out. You can get them directly from Nerd Bird Makery, though.

Sunday YOP Update

I updated my list today. I think June is when the Year of Projects (YOP) group starts over, but as I update my list as I go, there won’t be much to change.

Fiber Art

I’m excited to say I have seven completed wool felt pieces for my show. I hope to finish three more before the opening in September. Bob and I visited the gallery yesterday, and we chatted with the owner. I will send him my current list of pieces tomorrow. This is my first solo show in nine years, and my first solo gallery show, although in 2010 I had a combined gallery show with another artist. I’m really happy I asked for this opportunity.

Knitting

I’m focusing on my Milkshake Cardigan, but there’s not much progress since yesterday. Here are two photos of yarn I purchased for projects not yet added to my YOP list. 😁

Shilasdair for the Undulation Shawl
Tukuwool DK for the Straw cardigan.

Sewing

This morning I started working on my Emerson shorts in natural linen I cut out two years ago. It will be good to get those finished, and it will be nice to be able to wear them. I can tell it’s going to be a hot summer.

Gardening

Herb and Bee garden with a Strawberry Border

I think I’ve finally got the garden about where I want it. I planted some cosmos, tansy, oregano, lavender, and creeping thyme this morning. I am trying some short and dirty wool clippings around the transplants. I found slugs all over the baby kale this morning.

My one and only New Year’s Resolution was to listen to more music with intention. Bob and I watched The Leftovers, and Iris Dement’s “Let the Mystery Be” was used for the intro at various times. I’m an Iris Dement fan, but I hadn’t listened to her music in a long time. So I spent a week or two just listening to her music, singing along in the car.

This has been a Year of Projects Update. You can read my updated list here. You can find out more about the group here (Rav link).

Sock It To Me Monday

I finished my springy socks! We have an Iris blooming in the yard, and my socks match. Recipe based on Hermione’s Everyday Socks. Yarn from Bone and Birch. I do love plain sock knitting. Next up, I’ll try some Rose City Rollers (Ravelry link).

I have so many sweaters I want to knit, but I keep queuing cables and colorwork patterns. Then I balk because my brain is not up for that. I guess I’m still decompressing from the pandemic year. So I’ve decided to make a Milkshake Cardigan (Ravelry link). It’s the most basic cardigan ever, which I need to replace my thrift store cardigan that had started unraveling. Now I need to decide which DK yarn in my stash to knit it with. I’m leaning toward the Tunis yarn, because it’s so yummy. This is my first Joji Locatelli pattern to knit, though I’ve been following her patterns for sometime and have heard good things. I also purchased her new Straw cardigan pattern. It’s beautiful, but has cables on the shoulder seams. Nope. Not right now, anyway.

Part 2 of A Visit to Tarheelbilly Farm is live on The Just Craft. I had some sound issues, which I did not expect since recording in the fields — which I expected to be problematic — turned out fine. But recording on the porch of the house was much more complicated. It has me questioning my ability to make a good podcast, but I am going to try to think of it as a learning experience. I did the best I could with the sound in Audacity, reducing the noise and amplifying Charis’s voice. I felt that what she was saying was so important I had to do my best to get the episode out. She is very candid about her thoughts and feelings on racism in the knitting and fiber arts community (and the events of 2020 in general) and even though I struggled with the sound, I’m proud of this episode. I think I’ll take a break before I start the next one, though.

I’ve been steadily working on my felt art for the gallery show in September. Some pieces I really love, some not so much. Some get stitching, some don’t. It’s intuitive but I am finding that I tend to stitch on cultivated landscapes and don’t on wild ones. So there’s a method, even if it wasn’t conscious at the outset.

Oh, I forgot to mention I joined Kate Davies’ Bluestockings Club! Again, I think the first pattern may be a little more than I want to undertake at this time. But it’s lovely and I’m sure I’ll get around to it eventually.

Gardening and a YOP Update

This pretty yellow flowering shrub is not Forsythia! I thought it was, but I was told it’s Spice Bush, a native understory shrub, Lindera benzoin. (Someone commented on my Instagram photo and corrected me, thankfully.) We do seem to have a Forsythia on the other side of our property, though. Once everything is in full bloom I’ll do some pruning and take a photo so we can compare them.

This may not look like much, but I spent several hours digging up the weeds in the garden so I could plant the peas and cabbage and kale. Unfortunately, there’s a layer of clay under the top soil, and we haven’t had any new garden soil delivered yet. So even though I went ahead and planted them, we may not have any peas, cabbage, and kale this year. I’m really proud of myself for digging this up on my own and I only had a little help from Bob, who worked for 10-15 minutes to dig up a huge root system of some old ground cover. It looked like tree roots, it was so big! He broke the pitchfork handle trying to wrest it from its iron tentacle grip. Once he got it up, he shouted at it, “I beat you, you ol’ stump!” Which is a reference to my favorite scene in “Drag Me to Hell.” I haven’t laughed so hard in ages.

Fiber Art

I felted a new piece today. This is a peek at some unfelted fiber since I’m not showing the work until the show starts.

Knitting

When I started getting excited about knitting again, in 2018 I went to A Wool Gathering with my friend Sara. While we were there I picked up two hanks of this linen and cotton slubby yarn with the intention of making a simple drapey top to throw over tank tops in the summer. I finally cast on yesterday. I’m counting this toward design since I knit a gauge swatch, calculated the width I want, and cast on the number of stitches — even though it’s literally two squares of stockinette seamed at the sides and shoulders. The most basic design ever. Gotta start somewhere, right?

Other than that, I’m knitting away on Water and my Malabrigo Rikke hat.

Sewing

I don’t have any new sewing to show, but I’ve got Water KAL bags to make and I want to cut out my overalls this week.

This has been a Year of Projects Update. You can read my updated list here. You can find out more about the group here.

Yesterday we met one of our neighbors. He mentioned our lot might have been a cemetery at one time? Which explains the limestone pillars. It’s just a rumor, but hopefully we won’t dig up any old bones! No, our house isn’t haunted. I also got bitten by one of his dogs. This was not his fault, as she was on a leash and I stupidly reached down to pet her. His other dog, though, a bulldog named Hammy, was off leash but friendly and adorable. Have you ever been bitten by a dog? It was my first time. I have a small tooth shaped hole in my arm. I will be more cautious about dogs now!

YOPing on a Sunday

I updated my Year of Projects (YOP) list today, and it felt good — a reminder of why I should keep doing Year of Projects.

Fiber Art

I reached out to the gallery owner to share my work so far, and make sure the show was still on in September. And it is! So yesterday I looked through my photos for inspiration. I think I will spend some time sketching today. I have four pieces completed, although the fourth is in the still-hemming-and-hawing-and-stitching phase.

Knitting

I’ve been working on my Water shawl since I finished Turtledove. I’m almost to the short row panes.

I also need to cast on the Getting Warmer cowl (Rav link) for the silent auction winner for our fundraiser at work This will be a nice mindless knit for when Water is too challenging for my evening brain.

Sewing

📸 The Avid Seamstress

This is the raglan dress I’m making in the plaid flannel, although I think I will make the sleeves elbow length and a little more fitted than these.

📸 The Avid Seamstress

Here’s the short sleeved version which I will make in a blue cotton shirting. They have a tutorial on their website if you would like more information about this dress. Today my plan is to piece the pattern together.

This has been a Year of Projects Update. You can read my updated list here. You can find out more about the group here.

Bonus content: I am trying my hand at making vanilla extract. At work we are developing a partnership with a Fair Trade vanilla bean farm. Extract is super easy to make. I split the beans and dropped them in vodka. They have only been in there 2 days and it already smells amazing!