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?

Hi. My name is Alissa and I look like my Grandma.

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This was an accidental selfie that happened while I was trying to take a good selfie so I could show off my Carbeth and Brassica Hat with my new favorite flannel shirt. I was like, wow, there’s a photo of my Grandma. My sister says I’m her doppleganger.

The good side of this is I loved my Grandmother. I still love my Grandma, even though she is gone. I honestly can’t think of anyone I loved and trusted more. She was crafty (check) brusque (check) loving (check) controlling (check) funny (in her own way, check) and her hindsight was better than her foresight (check.)

The bad side is it is difficult to watch yourself age. 10 years ago I could take a selfie and feel pretty good about what I saw. Now every photo is, “Who is that old lady?!” I’m trying to accept it because there is only so much I am willing to do about it. I am focusing on my health and fabulous handmade, fair trade style… and not much else.

Here’s a photo of some yarn, just to keep this post on topic:

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Isn’t it yummy? This is what I am thinking of making the Ohio Star stranded colorwork design with, which will probably be a cowl and a hat. However, the new Knitting Season design came out today, and just look at it in all its loveliness and glory:

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Photo © Kate Davies

I could see this hat in my Better Breakfast fingering, couldn’t you? It would be a subtler differentiation.

I will probably stick to my original plan because I have an entire palette of Milarrochy Tweed with which to make this hat! I also want to make Peerie Flooers, so, my queue keeps growing.

I’ve been struggling all week, and I’ve finally hit a wall. TGIF.

Weds WIP… in Bed

Do you ever play that fortune cookie game where you read your fortune aloud, and then punctuate it with “in bed”?

I did make it to my studio today, but not for very long. Although I am feeling better, I fatigue easily. I came home, ate dinner, relaxed in a lavender bath, and crawled into bed.

I resketched my Ohio Star Bandandit Cowl. (This is what I call it in my head as I imagine wearing it over my nose and mouth like a bandit.) I think I’m ready to cast on. I’m not gonna lie, I saw the Purl Soho Bandana Cowl months ago on Ravelry and thought it was a clever idea, but I did not look at the pattern because I knew somewhere way deep down in my heart I was going to design my own one day.

I didn’t even link to it. So there. You can search.

The first pattern in the Kate Davies Knitting Season Club is a lovely sweater with a simple motif. The design challenge was to create your own motif. I think my Ohio Star qualifies, even though it is texture and not colorwork. I do love the sweater but will probably wait to decide if I will knit it, and if so, how.

I had forgotten what it is like to have to slow down to accommodate my body. I had been doing very well for a year or so.

I’m going to try to go to the gym tomorrow. Fingers crossed…

What are you working on? I think I’ll check out my reader and see what you all are up to…

Invisible Illnesses

Today started off wonderfully with an early trip to the sledding hill in hopes of being the first ones there- and we were!

Although my GERD was flaring up, I took some medication and hoped for the best. I wasn’t going to let it spoil my fun. And we did have a grand old time, howling with laughter and screaming down the hill as fast as we could make our little plastic toboggan go.

It was over in an hour, as my stomach and constitution couldn’t handle any more thrills. I had hoped for a good day of sledding, an aromatherapy event for Haven Herbs, and then some time in my studio.

Most of my days are good days. It’s rare now when I have to adjourn from life to the couch or my bed to wait while the worst passes.

I don’t know if it was something I ate or the accumulation of stress over the week, or most likely a combination of things, but I’ve had to accept that studio time isn’t going to happen today. And luckily I wasn’t needed at the aromatherapy event.

I wanted to work on my Ohio Star cowl, and I did spend some time with an app while I lay on the couch.

The gauge here is spot on for my Better Breakfast DK. The chart isn’t perfectly symmetrical as the top half is shorter than the bottom. That can be fixed.

The Ohio Star is a quilt block pattern, and I remember my Grandmother showing it to me when I was young. Because I now live in Ohio and the yarn is from Ohio, I started exploring this design for my cowl. I wanted something intrinsically American, and after perusing different First Nations and early American motifs, I decided this was a natural fit.

I also want to work it in stranded colorwork with the same yarn, but in fingering weight colors of Poppy Seed and Daybreak.

As you can see, I made the best of it.

Invisible illnesses are not only difficult because of the illnesses themselves, but also because it’s so easy to get into the “just shake it off” mindset, which doesn’t work and is psychologically unhelpful. Today I kept thinking I was going to feel better, and as the day wore on, I grew worse and worse.

I do a lot. I have many passions and I’m not the kind of person who can ignore the desires that drive me. But in order to do all the things I want to do, I have to know when to slow down, take care of myself, listen to my body, and let it all go… not forever, but for later.

So I’m back in bed with a cup of herbal tisane. Even knitting feels like too much. I may try a book.

Scrummy Studio Time

I’m getting ready for a marathon work inventory progress, so I treated myself to some quality time in my studio today.

I made a colored pencil palette In my Knitting Season journal for Milarrochy Tweed yarn, as was suggested by Kate Davies and other club participants. Once I started coloring, I didn’t want to stop, so I recharted my Birds of Blendon hat.

I also finished the brim on my Otter Ferry hat from Milarrochy Heids. I’m not sure I’ve posted about this project yet, but I have the loveliest ceramic button from artist Megs Levesseur I am planning to use. I’ll include a pic of the button next time. Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, I’ve misplaced it. I’m sure it will turn up.