I signed up for my first Mystery Knit Along (MKAL)! Raven Knits is hosting The Lonely Heart is a Hunter MKAL, and leads with the story of The Selkie. I fell for it hook, line, and sinker. (See what I did there?) I had some squishy Cormo lace in my stash, and dyed it with a mix of periwinkle and silver. I’m really proud of myself for using what I had. I’m also proud because my technical dyeing ability is getting better. I had intended to exhaust the dye bath with more fiber, but the dye was all taken up by the yarn!
I’ve started a new pair of socks for myself. I’m in love with this yarn, which is Honeybees and Violets Please from Bone and Birch. Other than the socks, I’m knitting on my Hansel Hap. I’ve just about talked myself into focusing on the Arrowhead Cardigan instead of casting on a new one, so that I can wear it in the fall.
My garden is exploding. This is the middle, where there’s a lot going on. I accidentally broke off a pea shoot yesterday while weeding, so I ate it. It was delicious!
Full length of the garden. Elderberries in front. I’m not sure how well they’ll do here, but we’ll give it a try. The sunflower transplants are struggling in the back. I found out what happened to all my seedlings back there. Slugs!
For Mother’s Day and my birthday, Bob put together a flower bed for me out of some old wood he found in the barn. We went to the local garden center yesterday, and while I did get the foxgloves and coral bells I wanted to attract hummingbirds, the bed is looking a little sparse. We’ll see how these do. The smaller two are ground cover, so maybe they’ll spread out.
I did get the lilac bush I wanted, and a rose bush too! I didn’t really want yellow roses, but these had the best scent so I couldn’t resist. I also got hollyhocks, coneflowers, and a Joe Pye Weed for under the bird feeders.
I’m trying out wool pellets in the lilac and rose bush plantings to condition the soil, along with some compost. I’d like to add the wool pellets to the vegetable garden, but I’m going to wait until it needs a feed.
These lilacs smell so good! I have a small bouquet by my bedside.
My new podcast episode is up for The Just Craft! I had a wonderful visit at Tarheelbilly Farm, and am releasing the episode in two parts. I am so grateful to Charis and her husband Ben for spending time with me. It was a lovely day.
The sheep in front is Hollis, whose fleece I knit my Paris Toujours Shawl with. I met Hollis! And a few other shweeties as well.
This is Charis’s hand knit sweater she made with her Tunis yarn. She spun the contrasting gray herself. It’s so squishy and lovely!
And I got a sweater quantity of yarn! I had already purchased two skeins of Clancy’s fleece, and the eight new skeins are from Julie. They are close enough that I think I could use them together if needed. Because I don’t want to dye the yarn and loose the sheep smell, I’ve decided to knit it au naturel into a cabled cardigan. And because I was so pleased with the Franca I knit for my Mom, I’ve decided to knit Kiki by Cocoknits.
Today Bob pruned one of our Apple trees and I saved the bark for dyeing. I’ve not done this before but I’ve been doing some research on it.
Our apple trees are old and neglected and they need a good prune. We think we can probably cut them back a little harder, but we’re going to look into it first.
I read that the best part to use is the inner bark and twigs. I focused on the green wood as there was a lot of dead stuff coming off. I have no idea what’s better for dyeing but the green shoots made sense to me.
It was suggested to soak the wood for about a week before using them in a dye bath. I used our double ceramic filtered well water to avoid any metals and other weirdness. I’ve got them sitting in a sunny window. JoJo is curious and also mad that we went outside and didn’t take her with us, which we never do. But if we leave the house, when we come back she yells at us for awhile to express her discontent. Or maybe she is just asking us where we went and why didn’t we take her with us? We’re always telling her it’s not safe out there for her (foxes, coyotes, falcons, crows the size of… well, the same size as JoJo) so she’s probably worried about us when we go outside.
I also dyed some wool with acid dye today. This color is silver and you can see I am able to recreate my results from a few weeks ago. The Merino takes the dye well. The Shetland is middling, and the Romeldale-CVM which is unprocessed and sunbleached takes the least color. I used vinegar in this bath.
These will be perfect for my next felt piece which is about a stormy day in Iona, Cape Breton.
I received what I think? is my last installment of my Fairlight Fibers yarn club. I guess she got a little behind on her shipments as I canceled in January after six months, which was what I had originally signed up for. But it kept charging me so I had to go in and manually cancel. I enjoyed this club but wanted to try some new ones. Anyway, this gorgeous yarn is 50/50 alpaca and rose fiber. That’s right. Rose fiber! It’s very soft and has a lovely sheen. Not sure what to make with it. Something special.
I hope you’re having a lovely Saturday, whatever you’re doing. I need to catch up on my Water shawl as all my KAL pals are way ahead of me!
I took a wonderful Breed Specific Knitting workshop from Longway Homestead yesterday. It was a gift from Bob for Christmas. I learned about breeds and wool and crimp and staple length and microns. Conclusion: I want to raise Shetland sheep.
I’ve updated my YOP list. I also rearranged the order to try to reflect a chronology. I will probably continue to do that as I make my way through the list. There’s not much else to say other than look at my beautiful Moondrake Advent Litmus Cowl! It’s knitting up fast. Knitting stripes is fun!
It’s a long weekend so I’m going to frame “Hay for Days,” start “Blue Moon,” and dye some fiber.
I received my first Noodle Club subscription yarn from Ramen Needles. It’s super fun. It also glows under a black light. Now I’m looking for a black light. I’m not sure what to do with it, so I will stash it away and percolate on it. It’s single ply merino and silk. Might make a nice Pembroke Scarf (Ravelry link).
I received my first breed specific yarn of the month from Longway Homestead. It’s soft, but not soft enough for neck wear. I’m thinking mittens or hat. I’m going to wait until I take the Breed Specific Knitting workshop before I decide, though. I think it will have nice drape. Can you smell the lanolin? Mmm… schmeepy. I’ve always wanted to try Finnsheep wool.
Speaking of grown in Canada, after yesterday, Bob was ready to make a run for the border.
Below is an updated half-year list that I will continue to edit as I complete and add new items. Scroll all the way to the bottom for my resolution. Don’t feel like you need to look at my list unless you want to.
I have a solo show in September 2021, and I need to make a body of work for this show. My goal is 12 pieces. 7/12 finished.
I’m dyeing my own wool for this work. Above is sky blue and a mix of spruce and kelly green I’m calling Black Forest. Next up is a deep, rich brown. These are two different fibers: merino and shetland. They take the dye a little differently.
I canceled my lessons because I wasn’t doing them. My new goal will be to practice fingering and scales when I feel like it.
Not into it right now. Back burner.
My One Resolution for 2021
I don’t normally make resolutions, but this year I’m going to listen to more music, intentionally. I normally listen to music all day while I’m working, but it’s the local public radio station. I like the music they play, but it’s passive listening. And I listen to Celtic fiddle music when I run.
For New Year’s Eve, Bob and I watched the first movie we bonded over. There’s a song in it by Gogol Bordello, and it’s kind of an ear worm, but I love it. So yesterday, I listened to a Gogol Bordello Essentials playlist while I vacuumed the house and had a really good time singing along.
My friend Sharon recommended I watch that movie, so she kind of started the whole thing. She’s blogging again, so check it out if you feel like it. I hope she will turn her comments on.
I’m not sure what I’ll make. It’s toothy, which I like, but that means a cowl is out. Maybe gloves or mittens? Or a hat?
I’m going to miss my special deliveries. I’m all set for December, as I’ve ordered a yarn advent calendar. But whatever will I do next year? At least next year won’t be 2020 anymore. That will be special enough.
I signed up for a Fairlight Fibers Yarn Club right before we moved. Because I need more yarn, obviously. But look at my very first skein! It’s Magnolia pink! Perfect. I thought a yarn club would challenge me to knit out of my comfort zone. And I really like Fairlight Fibers’ yarn.
It’s very soft. I think I’m going to knit a Willow Cowl with it. When I first saw that cowl on Ravelry, I didn’t think it would be very flattering on me. But Caz from the Wee Sew N Sew Podcast knit one and it looked smashing on her, so I’ve added it to my favorites. Another project for the list!