Lavender

Bob and I are on our way to a lavender festival, and I hope to blog tomorrow about all things lavender. Technically my cumulus blouse is lilac heather, but close enough.

I finished my felt piece for the Mother Artists at Work show next month. It’s all natural wool except for the blues. It’s mostly Romeldale-CVM and Shetland, and is called “Sunbleach”. It’s about 16X20. I hope it counts toward my Shave’Em to Save’em finished objects.

The caterpillars are eating my dill, but I don’t mind. Are these Monarchs?

Work has been very busy and I haven’t had time to blog or read blogs. I am trying to catch up.

Hi

I finished my Farrow Dress.

It’s very frockish. Super comfy and cool in the linen. Maybe it will dress up a bit with some sandal clogs. (Yes I used “dress up” and “clogs” in the same sentence.)

It was a new method of making pockets for me. I’m calling it the “apron method.” There is another complete layer of fabric across the inside front from the seam down. Since this is a medium weight linen, it makes it a little heavy. It’s not a good pattern for French seams but I made it work.

Not bad. Do you like it?

I got a little work done on my art piece. Do you like it? I’m liking it. I guess the real question is how long will I do this before I go home and have a glass of wine?

Or should I bring the wine here and keep working?

This is my choice for selfie of the week.

(Edited: I replaced the gym selfie because I thought this one was more appropriate.)

Catch Up and Q&As

“Three tomatoes are walkin’ down the street. Papa Tomato, Mama Tomato and Baby Tomato. Baby Tomato starts lagging behind, and Papa Tomato gets really angry. Goes back and squishes him and says: Ketchup!” — Pulp Fiction

I feel a little like Baby Tomato these days.

I finished my Emerson Pants. I’m pleased overall, but would like to suggest for the waistband that you fold it under on the inside and finish it by hand rather than what the instructions say. Because the pleats are thick I ended up with serger trauma.

It had been so long since I had sewn a waistband I didn’t think ahead on this one. I doubled-down on the stitching. Here’s hoping it survives the washing machine.

I am almost finished with the sleeve section on Cricket Hitofude and plan to be on to the next section today, unless my lilac heather cumulus blouse lures me away with its misty seamless stockinette lull. I finished one chart repeat on the edge of Celtic Myths, and it is so pretty. I look forward to diving into that monogamously at some point soon.

I bought two dress patterns from Grainline Studios and a custom fit jeans pattern from Bootstrap Fashion. I think I have enough natural linen left over to sew one of these dresses, but I’m hoping for an Etsy gift card for my upcoming birthday so I can order more linen from Lithuania.

This week I worked in my studio on some samples for our artisan partners in Kenya. I really enjoyed it and I’m hoping to be able to do more design work in future.

Today is my only day off this week so I’m parked on the couch with my knitting. Here are two Q&As from Karen and Kathy!

1. You’re sitting in your crafting chair or crafty couch, what else are you doing? Do you like to watch TV or maybe a movie? What are your favorites? Do you watch things more than once? Do you listen to podcasts? Do you prefer an audiobook?

I am usually watching a movie or tv show, preferably horror, sci fi, or UK/Euro mystery with beautiful scenery. I have recently started listening to audiobooks. The Shetland mysteries are my current favorite and I enjoy trying to say “murrrderrrr” like the narrator, and failing miserably every time.

2. What is your preferred drink? Are you having coffee, tea or maybe a tall frosty glass of beer? Do you have a snack? Do you like to reward yourself after a particularly long row or repeat?

Coffee or wine, depending on the time of day. I also like tea and shortbread cookies if it is afternoon. Sometimes I like herbal tea.

3. Do you craft alone or are you surrounded by your family and pets? Do they talk or whine while you’re counting? Are they understanding about the time you spend on your craft?

If I am crafting at home I am usually on the couch with Bob and our cat, JoJo. In the studio, where I do the majority of sewing and designing, I am usually alone.

1. What’s your favorite Pet movie?

I do not have a favorite pet movie.

2. Have you, do you play video games?

Not if I can avoid it. When the boys were younger they were always asking me to play video games with them, and I would only do so begrudgingly.

3. Discussing air travel with a friend recently, made me think about this question. Do you like take off and landings?  Do you enjoy the cruising time on a plane?

I enjoy the adrenaline of the take off and landing. I also enjoy the knitting/reading/sleeping time of the cruising. I enjoy air travel, except the waiting in line at the airport time.

4. Mason Dixon recently asked, Do you prefer fair isle or Duplicate stitch? So I’ll ask that of you as well.  Which do you prefer?

Fair Isle, of course.

5. Did you see the SNL skit last weekend about women who hate to shop for clothing?  It was spot on!  Do you like to shop for clothing?  Google it: The Shopping Experience for People Who Hate Shopping….

I did not but I will google it.

6. Some people love those interchangeable needles.  Do you?

I hate interchangeable needles because the yarn always gets caught on the join.

7. Have you ever called the Fire Department?

No, thank goodness.

8. Do you know anyone who had a home birth?  ( how random is this? at least the question is not did you call the fire department during your home birth.right?)

Yes I’m pretty sure I know several people who have had a home birth. My first two were born in a freestanding birth center, which was very like a home birth.

9. Boiled egg, Cadbury Egg, or Marshmallow Egg?

Marshmallow Egg.

10. When was the last time you rode on a bus?

Probably last summer. I enjoy riding on the bus!

Dang, now I wish I had a marshmallow egg.

Mod Monday

I did a little research and you can wet felt raw wool if you want to, but Highland Heffalump made a great point about not wanting dirt etc up in there. So I washed about a third of the fleece in a bucket with Eucalan and rinsed it.

Isn’t it pretty? I’ve realized I’m going to need to card it, although I don’t want to overprocess it because I want to keep the colors as separate as possible. Maybe I should flick card it.

I brought my box of combs and cards up from the basement, and look what was in the box! Fiber from my old angora bunnies, Ziggy and Tiger! And a hank of merino and silk top! Surprise!

I’ve never been much for blending and spinning my own fibers. I did enough back in the day to make sure I knew what I was doing should I ever need or want to do it again. But I might play around with this fiber since I have it. I wonder if rabbit fur will felt with wool? It might be a fun experiment.

I finished my mod tie dye dress. I went all out with gathers in the front and a popped up collar. I struggled some with this as I didn’t have enough fabric for the casings. I cut bits along the bias and pieced them together. I wanted to finish it all off perfectly (inside and out) but ended up using the serger around the neckline and armholes. I did find a beautiful green button that was my Grandmother’s to use for the back closure. I think it’s pretty cute overall, and I don’t think anyone else will notice the flubs. Then I tried it on.

I love the colors. I was going for the Twiggy look because, hey, I have the haircut.

Then I put on a sweater.

It’s ok. It’s a bit tenty. I don’t look like Twiggy, that’s for sure! 😂

Year of the Sweater

Hello! It’s snowing again. This should not surprise me. It’s March in Ohio.

I spent most of my studio time today preparing knitting for my trip to Oklahoma. Because I am taking four sweaters to knit on for the week. FOUR. The Oa, Midnight Merino Raglan, and two new ones: Cricket Hitofude and Meara XO.

I think we can safely call this The Year of the Sweater.

This is a merino and silk yarn in colorway Cricket for the Hitofude cardigan. This is my spring cardi I wanted to wear with my new tunic. It didn’t take me long to work out what I wanted.

Have you ever seen the Gilmore Girls episode when Lorelei is preparing for her wedding with Luke and all the planning falls together seamlessly so she knew it was meant to be? That’s what happened with this sweater.

If you’ve seen that episode, you know it turns out to be ill fated, but let’s stay positive and assume Cricket will come together seamlessly. The top of the cardigan is begun like a shrug. Have you ever knit a shrug?

Also, are you participating in Make It Yourself March? I am participating on Instagram, and one of the prompts later in the month is “most worn.” In preparation, I photographed myself in this shrug I knit about 10 years ago.

I wear this shrug every winter, most recently over this Mata Traders blouse. It’s knit from Knitpicks alpaca and silk, and the pattern may have been Knitpicks too. I can’t remember.

That first photo is a little goofy, but I never know how to pose myself in photos, so I typically ham it up.

It is also, according to Skeinherder, Malabrigo March. I thought that was the perfect excuse I didn’t need to buy a single skein of Malabrigo in my favorite color, cerulean. (That’s fun to say.) What will I make? I am thinking I will make the perfect beanie. When I know what that means, I will let you know.

Here is my tweedy Fibre Co. Arranmore yarn in colorway Meara. I’m calling the sweater Meara XO because it’s an all over cable pattern with XOs down the center front and back.

The pattern, Staghorn, is from the book A Fine Fleece. I like calling it XO because in The Expanse (and apparently the military) they call the executive officer XO. I secretly want my staff at work to call me XO as a term of endearment. But, as you know, nicknames cannot be forced.

Look at this hank of gradient yarn that turned out to be five different hanks of single color yarn. Boy do I feel stupid. I guess I’ll have to buy another hank of verifiably gradient yarn so I can knit my Bramen Cowl for the first lesson from Year of Techniques. (I copied Quiteayarnblog.) There were so many techniques on the list I didn’t know, I signed right up!

I think I’ll hold off on buying the yarn so I have an excuse to go yarn shopping in OKC when I’m there.

I’m still reknitting the bottom of my Carbeth. I’ve had to rip it out twice. But I think third time’s the charm on this one.

I’ve linked to two other bloggers in this post. I really blog for the community. Thanks for reading my blog and being part of my community!

Ohio Star Cowl

I finished my Ohio Star Bandandit Cowl. I’m pleased because it came out exactly as I designed it. So in that sense, it is a successful design.

It is also a successful garment. It fits, it keeps me warm, and it will stay up over my nose when I need it to.

The star motif is subtle and that’s fine. This isn’t a super exciting design, but it works. I mainly made this for hiking. The Bare Naked Wools Better Breakfast DK is also very soft and very warm. I think I’d like to knit an oversized cardigan out of it.

FibreShare and a Q&A

I signed up for FibreShare! I’m suuuuuper excited about it because I’ve wanted to participate for a while now!

Karen posted a Q&A, my favorite!

Q. What item did you make that was a complete win? You loved making it, using it and got compliments on it.

A. I’m just going to say hats. I seem to do really well with hats in general.

Q. How about a project that was a half win? You either loved making it and didn’t use it or hated making it but loved using it.

A. I loved making my Magenta Le Smoking, but I don’t wear it. There is no shaping in the shoulders, and it is too small to really wear comfortably. I love the color. I’m still thinking about frogging it.

Q. Have you ever resurrected a UFO, finished it and loved it?

A. Just the Birds of Blendon hat.

Q. Is there a technique that you’ve used in the past that you’ll never do again? How about one that you avoided and ended up liking? Do you use the items?

A. I tend to avoid intarsia. I don’t hate it, but I don’t love it either. I prefer knitting that has an intuitive rhythm to it. I haven’t knit intarsia in a long time. It was a sweater for my oldest son that had a star on the front. He really liked it. I guess I would knit intarsia again if there were a really good reason for it and I liked the finished product enough. But I think it’s clear that I’m more of a process knitter.

I need to get cracking on my Ohio Star Cowl. I skipped the last Knitting Season creative assignment, which consisted of knitting a stranded colorwork design in different colors, in favor of finishing up my Otter Ferry. I can see the point of the assignment, but my Knitting. Time. Is. So. Precious.

Do you prefer to spend your time knitting towards a finished object? Or are you happy to knit experimentally? Do you swatch a lot? Or just enough to get the gauge?

I’m in the latter category. What was it I said about being a process knitter? Maybe I am a product knitter, or a combination of both?

Otter Ferry Hat Success

I finished my Otter Ferry Hat from Kate Davies’ Milarrochy Heids!

I really love this design. It’s jaunty and fun, but still grown up, and is flattering on.

I had difficulty choosing the best contrast color to go with my Megs Levesseur button – Stockimuir (green) or Ardlui (blue) – so in the end I went with both!

This was the first time I had ever knit an icord bindoff. What a simple way to create a nice finished edge! I love it when I learn something new. I’ve been knitting so long, it’s not often that I do.

I’m so glad it’s Friday. January has been a rough month for me. I think I’ve been sick for two weeks straight. I look forward to February. Luckily it’s right around the corner!