Bob’s shirt is coming along. Just buttonholes and buttons to do now.
I’ve finally cast on the Ghost Knitter’s Shawl from Ambah O’Brien. I’m looking forward to knitting a triangle in yarn that glows under a black light. I’m using one of my Gloomy Erina sparkly coffin progress keepers from the Autumn Yarn Mystery Box.
I hapazome dyed some flowering indigo onto more Virginia cotton canvas. Is this a WIP? I guess so, since I’ll likely sew project bags with it for the shop. Unfortunately, the flowers didn’t stay purple after washing. They are still a lovely apricot color.
I stuck some Yukon Gold potato eyes into some dirt, and now I have potato plants! My plan is to winter them indoors as a houseplant and then plant them in a potato bin in spring.
I’m really jazzed with the results of my black walnut leaf dyeing. This fabric will make some gorgeous autumnal project bags. I enjoyed this process so much, I’m already planning to do it again with black walnut leaves but without iron mordant, and another set with indigo from the garden. That should keep me busy making project bags for the shop.
Hope you’re having a great day! Are you working on something crafty?
With headings, so you can skip the things that don’t interest you.
My combo endoscopy and colonoscopy is done. They found two polyps (off for biopsies), diverticulitis, and an ulcer at the base of my esophagus. They are also testing for a history of Celiac, which is funny because my gastroenterologist told me to stop eating gluten several years ago, and I did. Overall, nothing to worry about, except that my brain needs some kind of stimulant and I am not allowed caffeine. I’ll try regular exercise and see how that goes before resorting to meds.
I’m eco printing more of the Virginia cotton fabric today with black walnut leaves in iron mordant. My goal is black leaves on white for winter project bags for the shop. The mordant left red marks, so we’ll see how this turns out.
Movies… and Fiber Arts
I’m starting to notice knitting needles being used as murder tools in horror movies. Mostly, they are used by women against their attackers. As you can imagine, this makes my little knitting horror heart giddy with glee. Except when they attach a piece of crochet to the knitting needle!
If you are making a movie using a fiber arts tool as a weapon of destruction, but don’t know the difference between knitting and crochet, just stick the knitting needle in a ball of yarn! Or, ask someone who does know. Your mom might know. Let’s keep my suspension of disbelief alive.
Books and Tudors
Why do most works of historical fiction turn into romance novels? I suspect one of the reasons for my fascination with the Tudor period is because it was horrific: beheadings, burnings, plagues, politics. It was dark. I’m sure there may have been some people who fell in love, but had to marry someone else because it was arranged, then fell in love with that person, had lots of babies, most of whom survived, and lived happily ever after. My point is, I don’t read historical fiction because I’m looking for a love story. This honestly is not about any book in particular but more about my personal experience with the genre. Maybe I should stick to nonfiction? I know I’m the outlier here.
Speaking of Tudors, another podcast I like is Not Just the Tudors with Suzannah Lipscomb. Lots of Tudor history but also witches, werewolves, and the most recent episode I listened to was about a 16th Century executioner. It’s always fascinating. I learn something new every time I listen.
I got to hang out with my babies today. They are amazing humans.
I also had knitting nails done today in preparation for my trip to the Wisconsin Sheep & Wool Festival.
My stepdaughter Sydney does them and she is just amazing. It was good to spend time with her catching up while getting my nails done.
I told Bob that without caffeine and alcohol (not allowed that either) and off meds, I’m going to get weirder and weirder. He said he’d strap in. He’s a keeper. Have a great week!
Then why am I sewing so much? We could blame the weather, but I almost never leave the house.
After yesterday’s exercise in frustration, I needed a sewing win. Enter the Tekura Tee. This pattern popped up in my inbox from I Think Sew and I was drawn to its simplicity. I had some Born to Knit fabric left over from a Melba Dress, and decided to sew a “muslin” with it. I didn’t have enough fabric for a seam allowance, but I went with it. It’s a little snug. Adding a seam allowance for the next one should rectify that. I’ve got more knitting tattoo print interlock that will be perfect for this pattern, and maybe I’ll make a navy and white polka dot one as well.
I managed to get out into the garden this morning to weed and noticed it’s time to harvest the tansy! Tansy is one of those dye plants with natural tannins like indigo, so it doesn’t need a mordant. I decided to test a Hapazome print on the edges of my remaining indigo printed Virginia cotton.
I’m pleased with how this came out. Now I need to decide if I want to continue to print on this fabric, or order more. I think I will order more, as I want to experiment with black walnut leaves and iron mordant.
I may also kettle dye some Virginia cotton and wool yarn with tansy this week. Since this blend of fibers doesn’t take readily to acid dyes or fiber reactive dyes for plant fibers, a natural dye pot may be just the thing it needs!
My flax is also ready to harvest. There are a few stalks that are already too far gone with ripe seed heads, but most is still ok. So that’s another fiber art project this week.
I’m super close to finishing my Halloween Livie shawl. One more section then bind off!
I should finish my Gather dress and Bob’s Marvel shirt this week.
Since I came down with Covid, I didn’t spin for the last week of Tour de Fleece. I need to oil my wheel and get back to spinning.
I finished my Pumqueen Cardi this week! I hope to have finished my Halloween Livie shawl by next week.
I spent most of my week dyeing this gorgeous kit for an up and coming knitting pattern designer. We’re both pleased with how it came out. I’m particularly happy with the black. This is nonsuperwash merino and silk fingering weight yarn.
I had a black dye bath to exhaust, so decided to try my hand at dyeing fiber for spinning. This is some merino sliver from my stash. Of course I went for Halloween colors. I’ve dyed wool fiber for felting but not for spinning, so we’ll see how this spins up.
I finished spinning and plying this Blue Faced Leicester (BFL) fiber from a local farm, and I love it. I think my spinning is getting more even. I enjoyed working with this fiber so much, I’m going to try dyeing it and then offering it in the shop for spinners.
I custom dyed this kit for a knitting pattern designer.
Tour de Fleece is going well. I spun and plied this Targhee from Allegheny Fiber Arts. I really enjoyed spinning Targhee. It’s one of my favorite fibers. I still need to set this hank with a good soak.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.