I Gotz Yarn

Look at this beautiful Tunis yarn I got from Tarheelbilly Farm. It’s from the sheep Hollis. I think I might dye it. I have 1000 yards. What shall I make? It is a Shave’Em to Save’Em yarn! If you are participating, get it while it lasts!

Here’s my turmeric dyed Cotswold. I fixed the color with vinegar and relanolized the yarn. Much better. The color no longer comes off on my hands and it’s softer. What shall I make?

All in for Shetland

When I was at my LYS a week or two ago I lunged at this yarn in colorway mossbank. I bought 10 hanks. At first I thought I might make yet another sweater but now I think I might knit up a throw blanket. This is the first yarn I’ve purchased in a long time without a pattern in mind. I was thinking maybe a gansey patterned throw but this yarn is so pretty I might stick with something simple. Maybe this Hip to be Square blanket?

I am feeling a little better but I tire easily.

Who wants to go on a knitters trip to Shetland?

2020 might be ambitious, but maybe 2021?

Solid Gold Sunday

Yesterday I got really excited about dyeing my Cotswold with turmeric, and I did it. I followed these instructions. It was simple and I love the color. It is still a little damp. I made a mistake by dyeing it at first while still twisted in a loose hank, so I untwisted and dyed it again, resulting in the beautiful gradient. So be like me and make a mistake and love the outcome. I don’t think I would like it as well if it were all the same color.

The dyeing process blew out the lanolin so I ordered some and I’m going to give it another rinse with lanolin. I had someone tell me recently that you don’t want lanolin left in your wool. Well, maybe they don’t. But I sure do. Especially in the Cotswold which got toothier after dyeing. The lanolin makes it softer and also moisture repellent. Why wouldn’t I want that?

With only 10 minutes to spare and my hands still yellow and smelling of turmeric, I rushed to the COWFG meeting. I got lost and was 15 minutes late, but still enjoyed most of the presentation by the owners of Oak Knoll Farm.

I knit on my Weekender and listened to wonderful stories about a sheep named Charlotte who goes into a trance when she gets sheared, and another one who wags its tail and follows you around like a puppy. Yes, I now want a hobby sheep farm when I retire. I want protective dogs and sweet Shetlands.

I purchased some of their fiber. You know they love their sheep when they include their photos on the product.

I also purchased this.

Do you know what this is? I’ll bet HighlandHeffalump does. I am going to take a class today and then I will share with you all about the mystery of this beautiful tool.

Random Thankfulness: Today I am thankful for our immigrant and refugee communities who bring their amazing food to our area, like baby bananas.

Saturdee Yarns

Shave’em to Save’em yarn. This is Cotswold from Phoenix Farm Fibers. It’s my second sticker for my passport. It’s sport. I’m thinking hat and mitts. I’m tempted to dye it.

These are my two yarns for Halvis. Problem is…

Might not be a good choice after all.

I keep missing Thankful Thursday so I’ve decided to post random bits of thankfulness. I have so much to be thankful for, I never know where to start.

I’m thankful for this sweet kitty who keeps my lap warm when I work. I’m also thankful for sweet potato tots. Have you tried them? They are even good cold.

Today I’m going to my first Central Ohio Weaving and Fiber Arts Guild Meeting in a long time. I’m thankful for that, too!

Vogue Knitting Live in CBus

I have to thank my local yarn shops for posting about this event. I didn’t know it was happening until a week ahead, and in the past when I’ve seen social media posts, I always thought it was a show for the industry, like TNNA. But it’s for everyone!

I really enjoyed the workshops I signed up for. They were educational and entertaining.

Designer Xandy Peters presented on sketching. My big takeaways were sketching is not drawing, sketches should be informative, and sketching is a way to work out designs and motifs before swatching.

Charis Walker of Tarheelbilly Farm presented on Heirloom Wool Production. She talked about her Tunis sheep and raising them for wool. I found her candor and humor delightful. If you are participating in Shave’Em to Save’Em, she is an official producer of Tunis fleece, roving, and millspun yarn. You have to get on a waiting list for yarn, though (which I plan to do.) I’m also planning to find out what other breeds are in my local fibershed.

And now for what you really want to hear about, my haul!

They had a “yarn tasting” table set up, and I did try out a couple of the yarns. I liked the Modeknit yarn so much I ended up buying three skeins. I have also met Annie Modesitt before (a long time ago at a Knitter’s Review retreat) so it made me happy to buy some of her yarn.

This is called “All the Lovely Things.” I am planning to use this for half of Halvis. I’m hoping the Forbidden Fibers yarn in charcoal I received as part of my first FibreShare package will work for the other half, only I can’t remember if it is sport or fingering. Oops! Well, if it doesn’t work, I will still use this fabulous yarn for something fabulous.

This is Magpie Fibers Solstice DK in Masquerade. I like that it is a mostly domestic yarn (except for the inclusion of some silk.) I plan to make a Sixty Years sweater with it. It’s a beautiful teal color and so soft. Funnel neck here I come!

There were booths and booths of hand-dyed. Everywhere I looked it was variegated, fades, and sets of mini skeins. The color was glorious, and I’m happy to tell you that speckles seem to be on the way out. But I had rather a time finding a solid Aran weight for a Farmhouse Cardigan. (Mildlygranola is knitting one and I want to do everything she does.) I ended up with this Blue Sky Fibers Extra in Java.

I remember when they were called Blue Sky Alpaca. I found these on the Yarn Byrd’s truck, where I enjoyed shopping in what felt like a shop version of a tiny house. I think it will be perfect for this cardigan. I wanted something rustic and cozy. I also love that it’s called “Extra” because that’s a word my step daughter uses to describe someone whose behavior is a little over the top. I try to work it into my own conversation whenever I can, and now I can say I’m knitting my Extra Farmhouse Cardi. It’s so Extra. (And it really is considering it makes sweater number seven in my queue.)

Here’s my new project bag from Daisy Bags. There were a lot of great bags to choose from in the marketplace, but the quote on this one clinched it for me.

I think this is a Hermione quote. (ETA: Nope, Ginny talking about growing up with Fred and George.)

I picked up this Vogue Knitting reference for a steal. They were having a show sale.

Well that’s my yarn allowance for 2020 blown, which is fine as I have seven sweaters to knit.

I also picked up this prefelt to experiment with for my 2021 show. I had ordered from Felted Sky on Etsy so it was nice to meet them in person.

What else can I share about Vogue Knitting Live? I only went to two lectures, but they were so good, I think next time I would sign up for more. I recommend going to one of these if you have the opportunity. I think the best thing that happened to me is I reconnected with the Central Ohio Weaving and Fiber Arts Guild. I hope to start attending meetings again and rejoin.

I didn’t finish my Weekender, but here’s my progress.

There’s a good chance I could be on sleeve island tomorrow. I wore my lilac heather cumulus blouse instead, and no one commented on it (because it looked that professional, I’m sure).

I have started writing my first episode of The Just Craft. (I really need to get a post up!) My son is working on a theme song for me. I hope to get it all recorded this week. It’s probably more difficult than I think it is, but I refer you to the Ginny Weasley quote above.

All The Things – A List

  1. Vogue Knitting Live is in Columbus this weekend, and I signed up for two lectures on Saturday. I was impressed by my own restraint. I signed up for Sketch to Knit and Heirloom Wool Production. These seem right down my alley. I did not sign up for any classes as I think I already know it all, and as we already know, I don’t. But there was nothing on the class list I felt compelled to spend three hours of my time on. I do plan to spend three hours in the marketplace shopping.
  2. I’m not sure if I told you this, but I also registered for Midwest Craft Con. It happens in late February, hopefully not while I’m in Kenya for work, which I think will happen in early February.
  3. When I returned from vacation, after catching up on work email etc, I turned around and traveled to Indy for work. It was a good and productive trip, but I’m knackered and I took today off since I worked events on Saturday and Monday. I’m a little under the weather, which always happens when I get stressed out, and one of these days I guess I’ll learn I can’t do all the things. I haven’t learned it yet, though.
  4. I love my handmade PJ pants so much, I want to sew some flannel ones for winter. This should be an easy thing to do, except I don’t have any flannel fabric. Where do I buy ethically made flannel fabric? I will try Sew to Speak today. I might also try Dabble and Stitch. Or maybe I will buy this unicorn fabric and call it a day? Done. That was way too easy.
  5. img_6679Here is my Weekender progress. Do you think I can finish this in time to wear to Vogue Knitting Live on Saturday? Unlikely, but it might be worth a go.
  6. img_6681My yarn arrived from Canada. (I had to ship it to myself as we only carried on one bag each.) I want to get started on these before my inspiration wanes. I think the merino bulky is too soft for thrummed mittens. I really like yarn for my mittens and gloves to have some tooth. Maybe I will knit a cowl? It’s super soft.
  7. I am currently listening to How to Be a Woman by Caitlin Moran on Audible. Not only is it hilariously written, it is also hysterically read by the author. I highly recommend. It is slightly filthy, so if you don’t love English potty mouth, as I do, then it might not be for you. Also, she does not mince words. I love this.
  8. I have my microphone and I have Audacity. It is time to record my first episode of The Just Craft.
  9. I am back down to my pre-vacation weight!

Chéticamp Style and a Book Review

Last night we went to the Coal Town Celidh and I learned there are different styles of traditional music even in Cape Breton. The first act was a trio of two fiddlers and a keyboard player. The fiddlers were local to Sydney Mines, but they learned to play in the Chéticamp (French Acadian) Style. You can hear the influence it had on Cajun Zydeco. Here’s the only video I could find of our fiddlers, and I’m sorry the French Acadian keyboardist is not included here.

Today is our last concert. I’m a little sad. I’ve learned so much about Celtic music.

I finished “A Dark and Stormy Knit” by Anne Canadeo. Mildlygranola asked me for a book review, so here goes.

Maggie owns a yarn shop in a small seaport Massachusetts town, where, as it turns out, all kinds of mysterious and untoward things happen: knit graffiti, university art department politics, and murder!

While Maggie and her group of knitting friends – which includes a young student who works at the yarn shop – try to suss out who is responsible for what, they knit fun projects and eat delicious food. Props to the author for including links to knitting patterns and recipes at the end of the book.

This was a light and fun read for a holiday. The mystery was enough to keep me interested but it was also easy to put down. I give it a 3 out of 5.

Now I am reading “The Mermaid and the Bear” by Ailish Sinclair, which I preordered on Amazon. It just came out. I started reading it and it is quite good, so I made myself finish the knitting mystery first. Now I can freely enjoy my historical fiction selection.

We’re going to walk down to the harbor this morning to see the Newfoundland Ferry before our concert at 2 PM. We wanted to take the ferry but it’s 9 hours to Newfoundland so it would have to be an overnight stay. Maybe next time.

On the knitting front, I’ve decided I want to make a Halvis. I called Baadeck Yarns to see if they had anymore Celtic Colours specialty dyed in fingering, because I thought that would be amazing with the charcoal fingering Forbidden Fibers I received in the last Fibre Share. No luck, though. They are sold out, of course. I still want to make it. I need to find a substitute for the Celtic Colours yarn. It’s more difficult than it sounds. Here is the photo they shared on their Facebook page of the Celtic Colours yarn.

(Sigh) They do have three more skeins left of the bulky. Hmm… what could I do with four skeins of bulky merino in this colorway?

Highland Village

Today we went to Highland Village in Iona, a living history museum about the Scottish settlers in Nova Scotia. Everywhere we went we were greeted in Gaelic, and told stories about the way of life on the island, starting with life in Scotland before the emigration.

As you can see I paid a lot of attention to the fiber arts. Every home had a spinning wheel and loom in the loft.

Bob’s Uncle Basil introduced us to Ruby the pig, the little flock of Suffolk sheep, and Myra the Clydesdale.

They even have Highland Coos, which we saw from a distance. Then he showed us some woodworking!

We had a great day on “the hill” and the weather was beautiful!

All Fiber Friday

Today we drove to the village of Baddeck for the Celtic Colours Fibre Festival. It was mostly weaving and quilting, which was lovely to look at, but it didn’t take long to find my treasure, this fingerless glove kit from Celtic Raven Fibres!

Celtic Colours has rules about not taking photos at musical events, but I asked when we arrived at the Fibre Festival and was told it would be OK. However when I took this photo, someone was a little prickly with me, so I didn’t take any more photos. But I did take home the kit!

We ran into family there and my Aunt-in-law, who makes the most gorgeous quilts, had these clever little cache stashers for sale. She said they were for your sewing table, for threads, but of course I realized they would also be wonderful yarn ball holders.

The weight holds it on the table (or couch arm) and also makes a great pin cushion.

I admired this one and was going to purchase it, but she gave it to me! That was so sweet.

I tried to see if she sold these online anywhere, and didn’t find anything. But her name is Theresa and she is on Instagram as Galloping Crow Quilts.

As if that wasn’t fiberlicious enough, I found out (from Theresa) that Baddeck has a yarn shop, Baadeck Yarns! I picked up their specialty dyed Celtic Colours colorway and this book, Saltwater Classics, Caps, Vamps, and Mittens from the Island of Newfoundland.

I want to make everything in this book, but especially these mitts and trigger mittens!

All that shopping made me hungry, so we stopped at Lynwood Inn for a Beyond Burger on a gluten free brioche bun, where I saw this sign and asked if I could photograph it.

I try to be the former instead of the latter. 😆

Our final stop in Baddeck was Victoria County Creates, a fun little gallery of art and handmade by local creators. One of the things I wanted to get was something that said Cape Breton on it. (I know, I’m such a tourist.) I hadn’t seen anything I thought was right for me until I found this shirt.

Phew! Hang in there, I’m not done yet! Here’s a scenery intermission.

It was so beautiful, we stopped to take photos both coming and going!

Okay, next stop, back to Sydney to the Cape Breton Centre for Craft and Design for another fibre festival where I found these gorgeous handwoven cotton tea towels and a catnip toy for JoJo.

This visit reignited my desire to weave.

My last stop was at The Bobbin Tree, a little Fair Trade / Rug Hooking / Yarn Shop in Sydney.

Adorable spot. Check out that bicycle! I pottered around in here while Bob checked out the comic store.

Hats off to Bob who supported me on my fiber quest today. It’s supposed to storm tomorrow, which is the perfect excuse to hole up and knit. If we do get out, I’ll let you know!