Thursday

I have been exhausted all week. I don’t know if I’m coming down with something, but other than working, all I really want to do is sleep.

I am still working on this Ohio Star Cowl which may be better suited to a giraffe once I finally get the short rows done on the front. I really want to finish it!

The bad news is… Kate Davies had to put the Knitting Season Club on hold due to health reasons. I’m not sure where that leaves the design contest.

The good news is… my first Ottobre arrived! There are a few things I would like to make, but that means I would have to buy fabric! That wouldn’t be so bad, but I already have sewing projects lined up.

I recently read this article which has me wondering why I always want to turn my hobbies into a job. Granted, when I was home with kids making and teaching and selling my wares at craft fairs, that line of reasoning made sense. But now I have a job, a good job I love, and I seem to be good at it. So why don’t I just let my hobbies be hobbies and enjoy them? I don’t have to justify or monetize them, do I?

Tea and Books, and a Swatch

I’ve noticed knitting blogs also have a tendency to run toward tea and books, so I thought I would share my new favorite tea.

I have been drinking Level Ground coffee for a couple of years, but this is the first time I’ve tried their black tea. It was on sale at work so I stocked up. It’s delicious!

I was worried about drinking black tea on top of coffee, but I notice I sleep better when I drink black tea. Bob says it’s the Theanine. I remember my ADHD psych telling me that if I’m not sleeping well, I’m probably undercaffeinated. I thought that was hogwash, but now I’m starting to wonder.

I am looking through stitch dictionaries to help me with my designs. Believe it or not I also owned the Vogue Knitting ones in addition to these -Interweave and Walker. I donated the Vogues to a knitting group for a potluck swap. The recipient was very happy. I got an Encyclopedia of Embroidery Stitches, so I was also pleased.

I do sometimes read non-knitting books, but not as much as I’d like. Right now I’m listening to Leviathan Wakes on Bob’s recommendation. Pam mentioned fandoms and I decided if I was going to have a “thing” I wanted to share it with Bob. So we’re trying to make The Expanse our thing and we’ve started watching the show. I’m a little disappointed with the show because I don’t feel it represents the diversity and social justice issues as well as the book, though I should probably give it more than two episodes.

I’m starting to wonder if we should make Godzilla our thing like Skeinherder. Honestly, I’m pretty sure horror is our thing.

I spent all of my knitting time yesterday working on this swatch in the round. I did a fair amount of improvising. I’m not 100% pleased but it’s a start.

If you have a holiday today, enjoy! If not, Happy Monday. 🙃

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.

Saturyay

February is that month when you’re supposed to finish it, frog it, or forget about it. I don’t normally follow prompts, but I realized I was avoiding knitting on my sock, probably because it was boring. So I frogged it.

I tried to get JoJo to wear it like a turtleneck, hoping she would run around and help me pull the yarn out, but no such luck. I kept saying, “C’mere! C’mon! It’ll be fun!” And Bob said, “Are you hearing yourself?” So I gave up.

I love this yarn and I have a couple of cabled clog sock patterns, so I’ll cast on one of those at some point probably. Although I’m more than a little smitten with the Purl Soho toe up sock pattern. The only pair of socks I knit that I actually wear were toe up, which makes me want to get the pattern even more.

I spent some time perusing glove and mitten patterns to see if I could get inspired. I wanted to knit myself some gloves this year from Milarrochy Tweed. I thought, “Perfect! I’ll design myself some gloves and submit the design to the contest!” But I’m completely uninspired.

I was hoping I would be able to get a sense of what my design aesthetic is by what I like, but my likes are all over the place! I like bright colorwork, subdued cables, comfy cozies, clever textures, funny graphics, and over the top cosplay.

I told myself, “Make a pair of gloves that you would enjoy knitting and wearing.” But I don’t know what that is. I currently wear knit alpaca gloves and mittens from Bolivia, and I would say they are very warm and on the plain side. I would get bored knitting them by hand. (Sock lesson learned!)

I would also like to make some thrummed mittens one day, and the Ard Thir yarn might be a good fit for that.

Today is date day/night and we are going hiking and then to dinner. I look forward to posting hiking in the naturehood photos tomorrow! Have a great weekend!

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!

Sunday Studio Time

I was good and completed my swatch for The Oa on the smaller sized needle. I haven’t steamed it yet. I also threw in a row of the green for color C to see how it would show up and I’m really glad I did, because it doesn’t! Show up that is. I also tried some knit 2 of A and C before binding off, just to be sure. Someone who has more experience with colorwork probably would have seen this coming. It’s ok, though. I ordered two balls of black and I’m sure that will work.

This week’s Knitting Season assignment was to write every day with the prompt, “Remember when I…” So I wrote about the time I dyed this silk top blue, spun it into yarn, and knit it into this tam. It’s a little beat up now. I wore it and so did some of the kids, which made me happy. It inspires me. I think I might like to save up and get a spinning wheel again.

I also spent some time working on this design for a colorwork Ohio Star Cowl and beanie.

And the original Ohio Star Bandandit is almost done, but I ran out of yarn! I ordered another 2 ounce hank and am looking forward to blocking it and wearing it. I want to knit another one with more texture work in The Fibre Co Arranmore Light in St. Claire, the bobbly tam yarn.

So it has been a productive week. I guess I am slowly but surely getting closer to reaching my goals.

People ask me how I do all of this on top of a full time job and my very part time work with Haven Herbs, and I can say with certainty it’s because Bob does all of the shopping, cooking, and cleaning. And he does it because he likes it. I do my own laundry and dishes, and clean the bathroom sometimes, but that’s really it. So shout out to Bob! ❤️ Also, I only have one kid still in school and he is super low key. ❤️

And I’m a much happier person when I am knitting. ❤️

ETA: I cut a steeeeeeek!

Practice

Today I backtracked a little on my Knitting Season Club assignments. I used the provided chart and tried experimenting with the colors and patterns. My main goal was actually to see if I could get gauge for The Oa with the Scout DK yarn, and as you can see, I did.

This is on size 3 needles and 7 stitches per inch! So I suppose I could have gotten 6 stitches per inch on a size 4 needle. But the fabric was stiff with no drape so I’m glad I didn’t try that.

The Buachaille yarn the pattern was written for yielded a much nicer fabric. I was somewhat surprised by this exercise. I expected the red and orange to run into each other, but the orange actually popped up a bit. I quite like it against the red and blue.

So I practiced. I think I botched the chart some, but since it was just an exercise I left it.

I thought I might try to design my own sweater with all over stranded colorwork for the Scout yarn, but now I’m not even sure I like the green and gray with the purple well enough. Although I just saw the Tensho Pullover and thought these colors might work well with a pattern like that.

My Ohio Star Cowl is coming along, but I am afraid I will run out of yarn.

Maybe “practice” wasn’t a great choice for my word of the year, as it seems 2019 wants to hold me to it.

I did order some Cascade 220 Sport for knitting The Oa, in silver, dark plum, and granny smith green. I hope I like the colors together!

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.

Cogs are Turning Again!

My new year got derailed by the stomach flu. But I am feeling myself again, and am back at my Knitting Season journal.

I set myself a number of goals for 2019. They include knits to make by other designers, knits to design myself, and a list of challenges.

Look at these cute and tidy pages.

Number one on the challenges list is to salvage yarn from a garment and reknit it into something new. I had imagined finding something at the thrift store, but talking about my magenta Le Smoking made the cogs start turning in the old noggin.

I really like the new Weel Riggit design that we received as part of the Knitting Season Club, but I’m not in a place to purchase a large amount of yarn right now, and I already have two sweaters ready to cast on waiting in the wings.

Then I realized the magenta Le Smoking is knit from aran weight yarn, some old Fingerlakes Soft Wool 3Ply.

Then I started looking around for something I could knit with it in the lice pattern. I don’t have to follow the pattern explicitly. (She uses four colors.) I can just be inspired and make my own pattern with two colors.

Then I realized I was looking at a multi yarn with magenta in it.

Then I realized I have an old wool sweater Bob’s Mom gave to me that has a little magenta in it!

What do you think? There is definitely some mohair in this yarn, but I think that might give the lice stitches a nice halo.

There might also be some acrylic in this, but I gave it the burn test, and it all burned and smelled like hair. So if there is any acrylic, it isn’t much. I guess that glisten could be the mohair.

I took the depiller to it to make it easier to pull out. Does anyone remember/still have one of these? Mine is from when I was still living with my Mom, so it’s from the 1980s!

Also, I might have gotten over treating my journal like it is precious. This is my Ohio Star Cowl design in progress. (Write, knit, rewrite, rip out, reknit.)

Wow, I blogged twice today!

Don’t Get Your Knitting in a Twist!

I was cranking right along on this design this morning (math + math = math!) and there it was… I’d gotten my knitting in a twist! Luckily I wrote down everything I did as I went along. Time to frog! 🐸

We have plans today even though we’re expecting Snowmageddon: White Out of Death 💀. It’s Date “Night” and we’re planning to go to an artist talk in town, and after that, dinner.

What are your plans this fine Saturday?