Yes, Peas!

These are the first peas from my garden. They are delicious! I grew snap peas this year and their pods are a little more tender than the English peas.

Many of my garden plants haven’t fared well this year. Between the slugs and the groundhogs (and critters unknown) I’ve lost herbs, peppers, beans, Hopi Black Sunflowers, all of my okra starts, and my cucumber and zucchini are holding on for dear life. I picked up a few plants today that I’m hoping will be grown enough to withstand the onslaught: peppers, cilantro, basil, and dill. Everything has a cage around it.

My Blue Flax is flowering from the Spring Thaw box. 💙

Eggplant Felix Dress with a side of Kale Chips

I sewed another Felix Dress, this time in eggplant linen. It’s fully lined in the same fabric. I love a floaty linen dress in the summer. It looks great with my Ocean Moon shawl as well as my jean jacket. Pattern is Felix Dress by Grainline Studio.

I also sewed another Melba Dress, this time in charcoal jersey. I don’t think you need a photo of another plain Melba Dress. I do love wearing them, though.

I harvested all the greens from the greenhouse. It’s getting hot, and they are starting to bolt.

I tried out kale chips in the air fryer. I tossed one leaf in olive oil, pink Himalayan salt, and nutritional yeast. I left it in at 200 degrees F for 15 minutes. They came out great, except for the stems. Tear all the leafy parts off the stem first.

Throw a Steek on the Barbie: A Year of Projects Update

Knitting

I’m a few rows shy of the shoulder shaping and bind off on my Arrowhead cardigan! I had hoped to see the back of this project by now. (See what I did there?) I can’t imagine wanting to work on a Lopi coat over the summer. But, I would love to have this done by fall. I’m looking forward to cutting the steeks!

See how excited I am about steeking?!

I’m also nearing the toe on Bob’s Blueberry Popover Day sock, and have reached the jack o’lanterns on my BFL Pumqueen cardi.

Sewing

As promised, I sewed another spoopy project bag. It’s available in my shop. I don’t have plans to sell many handmade goods unless they are made from materials I already have, or that are leftover from personal projects. I’m trying to keep it small and sustainable.

I would like to get more Pietra pants sewn in the black and indigo linens I have, and a Felix dress from some purple linen in my stash. I’ve updated my list to include those. I would love to sew some pleated twill pants, but I’m undecided on a pattern. I’m looking at Style Arc’s Audrey Pant. I love their clear and concise pattern instructions and intuitive construction. I have gray and navy twills for these.

I have yet to finish my Me Made May challenges. I’ll squeeze at least one more in today or tomorrow.

Spinning

Nope. I look at my spinning wheel, a lot. But I prefer knitting.

Gardening

I mowed the front yard today. That’s why my face is red in these photos. Also, Bob was clearing a section of brush, and found wild roses. I love wild roses! I know a place is home if there are wild blackberries and wild roses. As far as cultivation goes, everything is planted except the okra and sorrel. I need to get them in the ground, because something keeps disturbing the starts that are in pots. I think they are looking for slugs to eat, which I applaud. I wish they would not disturb the baby plants, though.

This has been a Year Of Projects (YOP) update. You can find out more about the group here (Rav link) or here: Backstage Kath’s YOP bloggers list. You can read my updated list of projects here.

Wednesday WIPs: Pink Moons and Birthday Skeins

This week I’ve continued to focus on the Ocean Moon shawl, which is finished and blocking. I’ll post pics of that on Friday.

I also recast on Bob’s socks. I found the flips a little slippery, so I’m back to my Lykke Driftwood and magic loop method.

I’ve been practicing my dyeing. These skeins are inspired by an artists’ trading card I made years ago. They are 50/50 cotton and wool dyed with low impact acid dyes. The cotton content creates a heathery effect, as the wool takes up the dye but the cotton doesn’t. The three skeins shown came out as expected and are now listed in the shop.

Two skeins came out muted due to a less consistent dyebath temperature. I decided to try overdyeing them, inspired by the full lunar eclipse. (Image of lunar eclipse on right by friend Miriam Climenhaga.) I was hoping for a complex black with pops of red. Because of the cotton content in the yarn, there is no way I could get a true black with acid dyes. They are more gray, but a nice memento of seeing the Flower Moon eclipse in the sky on my birthday.

I don’t know whether to call it Flower Moon or Blood Moon. I guess it was a Full Flower Super Total Blood Moon Eclipse! It was quite a sight centered over the trees behind our house. I’m still singing “Pink Moon” to myself.

I’ve also been practicing with procion dyes for the Volunteer Sunflowers yarn mystery box, but won’t share images as they are a mystery! I’ve got a pretty good handle on procion dyes for cellulose fibers and acid dyes for protein fibers. It’s the blends I’m practicing to see if I can improve techniques there. I also want to make sure I know how to get the most vibrant colors possible for nonsuperwash yarns, as colors tend to be less vibrant than on superwash wool yarns. I’m experimenting with that, and ways to ensure the colors are well set and lightfast —all while trying to exhaust the dye baths and impact our watershed as little as possible.

I had a lovely birthday and received heartwarming cards and gifts. This is a small sample of knitting related gifts from friends. I can’t wait to start reading the Knitstrips comic book!

I also finished weeding and planting the garden. I planted less this year in hopes it won’t be such a jungle.

Today I hope to get some sewing done! What are you working on this week?

Me Made May and Year of Projects

Happy May Day! I hope you are dancing around a maypole or at least enjoying some spring flowers today. We are having thunderstorms, so I will likely be spending most of the day indoors.

Sewing

For Me Made May, my goal is to alter four handmade garments this month to get more wear out of them. I’m starting with something easy.

Before shot with long pants.

I made these Pietra pants last year. They fit great but are voluminous on my short frame. I’ve decided to hem them into culottes. The fabric is lightweight, so it’s not like I wear them in any other season except spring and summer.

After shot with shortened pants.

I’ve paired them here with an a-line tee made in deep stash quilting cotton and my Hitofude cardigan. I love the yellow dots in the top fabric. It makes me want to wear more yellow, and buy some yellow clogs.

I’ve enjoyed wearing my Melba dress, and have decided to make a black one. I don’t have enough fabric for facings, so I will bind the neckline and armholes instead.

Pattern pieces and brown floral fabric on a background of teal lining fabric with a Holly Hobby pincushion.

I’m also sewing a Felix dress in this floral cotton voile. It’s semi sheer, so I’ll be lining it in teal Bemberg. I need a nice dress for spring events. I really love the feel of this Bemberg lining fabric, which is made from viscose.

Knitting

I’ve only been working on the Ocean Moon mystery knitalong. I’m frustrated with how slow I am at knitting intarsia, though I love the result. I am hoping to catch up this week on the clues.

Gardening

Kale, broccolini, and lettuce growing in a pop up greenhouse.

I’m really pleased with all the greens that overwintered in my pop up greenhouse. This kale is ready to harvest. We’ve already eaten all the arugula and some of the lettuce. I have high hopes for the broccolini, kale, and cabbage starts that will be protected from moths under the greenhouse covered in netting. I’ve also planted some ginger root here. It’s my first time growing ginger.

This has been a Year Of Projects (YOP) update. You can find out more about the group here (Rav link) or here: Backstage Kath’s YOP bloggers list. You can read my updated list of projects here.

We’re coming up on the July 1 renewal for Year of Projects. I’m trying to decide if I want to continue to list my projects in a blog post, or share a spreadsheet with links to the completed project pages. I’ve started tracking my knitting projects and stash in a spreadsheet in Google Drive, and I like organizing my lists that way. What is easier for the reader? Do you ever reference the list of completed projects? Does it matter? Please let me know your preference, if you have one, in the comments. Thank you!

Bob and Alissa in front of the kraken from a 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea movie poster.

In personal news, Bob and I went to see the film Everything Everwhere All at Once for Saturdate yesterday. This movie was wack but also amazeballs. I laughed and cried at the same time. It also manages to be sentimental. Highly recommend if, like me, your brain likes a little exercise while being entertained. Two thumbs up. Thanks to Mackenzie for recommending it.

Cryptid soap from Tuft

I also wore my Born to Knit Melba dress to one of my local yarn shops for Local Yarn Shop Day. I purchased this Mothman soap, some lavender apple soap, and some stickers. Because cryptid soap makes me happy. I exercised extreme restraint and self control. I’m proud that I walked out without purchasing yarn. I really have to be careful with my purchasing now that I’m semi-retired.

Did you visit your local yarn shop for Local Yarn Shop Day? Did you make any lovely yarn purchases? I would love to live vicariously through you! 😊

Garden Update

Madder root?

I’ve been weeding the garden in patches. Today I cleared out the snap pea patch and put in their climbing supports. While most of the deep rooted weeds and vines are gone (there are still a few) we now have hairy cress all over the place. Also some kind of ground cover. So gardening is my exercise this time of year. If I worked out and gardened, that would be it for me!

I accidentally pulled up this plant which I think is madder root. My plant ID app disagreed with me, though. I put it back in the ground, just in case. I wasn’t sure if the madder survived since the indigo overgrew it. I’m pretty sure this little guy is madder, though. Fingers crossed! I might have a little root to dye with this fall if so.

New Me, New Studio Space

Mackenzie and Dan Bill moved out of the spare room ( 😔 We miss them) but I was able to fill the void with my craft room! It feels good to take up space.

I finished section 3 of my naturally dyed Vertices Unite. I’m really wanting to finish this before Saturday, when I will be starting the Ocean Moon mystery knit along. I think it’s possible if I spend several hours on it each day.

Most of my plant babies have germinated. The Dyer’s Chamomile and Madder haven’t come up yet, though. My garden is full of weeds, and I’ve already seen the first slug babies emerge. Preparing the garden for planting will be easier than last year, but still a slog.

What else have I been doing with my time? Healing. Journaling. Easing back into exercise. Logging my food. I confirmed some new bad-for-me foods: coffee, chocolate, turmeric, chili powders. I can’t promise I will never eat chocolate or drink coffee again, but I will definitely be making it more of an occasion. I’m already noticing a decline in my symptoms.

I need to revisit my Year of Projects list and my knitting project spreadsheet. I want to sew a dress this week. I want to practice my French on Babbel, and spin for 15 minutes every day. I’m trying to create a routine for myself that is more in tune with my natural rhythms, and I feel a little wobbly. Bob moved into the office, which opened up space for a dyeing area outside the kitchen. My business is going well. I put the Wool & Roses boxes in the mail yesterday. My heart is full, and I am grateful.

What are you working on this week?

Wednesday WIPs, Including Me

As I transition out of my job, and into focusing on home, my (very) small business, and my creative endeavors, I’ve been struggling to blog. Transitions are hard for me. It’s not that I don’t like change — and this will be a good change. It’s difficult for my nervous system to regulate change. I’m always surprised by the period of paralysis that is inevitable.

I couldn’t wait to cast on my Spring Thaw yarn. I’m making a Bandana Cowl Number 4 by Placemarker. I’m thrilled with the feedback I’ve received on the box. And I’m so grateful to everyone who placed orders, and to the talented makers who partnered with me.

I got a head start on my flax seedlings in my Megs Levesseur Ceramics pot.

I’ve been testing rose wax and lanolin candles for the Wool & Roses Yarn Mystery Box. Only a few days left to order! I can’t wait to see how Kelley at Dye Mad Yarns interprets this colorway in alpaca and silk yarn.

My Vertices Unite is coming along. I want to finish this before April 15, when the Ambah Ocean Moon Mystery Knitalong starts. That’s probably not going to happen, but I’m going to try anyway.

My Arrowhead Cardigan looks much the same. I try to knit a row or two a day, striving to get to the shoulder seams.

I finished the ribbing on my Auchnaha cardigan. I’ll probably put this away for a little while, until I finish Arrowhead. Although, I’d like to be wearing it now!

It’s supposed to be 75 degrees Fahrenheit today, after a low of 19 yesterday. I guess I’d better get my seeds started. I’m going to grow more natural dye plants this year.

What are you working on this week?

Year of Projects Update

The Elderberry plant survived the winter.

I’m not gonna lie, it’s been a rough week. We lost a beloved family member, Bob’s Stepfather “Poppy.” I got some tough news at work. Poor Dan Bill has a UTI and had to go to the vet. I still got some crafting done. Making things brings me joy, and helps me deal with stress.

Knitting

I’m loving the way Vertices Unite is coming out. I’m about 1/3 of the way through section two. It’s all naturally dyed merino and super soft.

Design

I’ve been working on a knitting design for my summer yarn mystery box. I told my therapist that trying to sketch ideas for designs was not working for me. She told me to try picking up the needles and yarn and start making something, so that’s what I did. And it worked! It won’t win any design awards, but it will be a nice, practical use for the yarn.

Sewing

I sewed two more pair of joggers — in speckled gray French terry and navy organic cotton fleece. Very comfy, and I should be good on joggers for a while.

This is my next sewing project, a Melba dress in this knitting print. I can’t wait to rock this.

Other than that, I’ve joined our local fiber arts guild and signed up to help, and I’m rediscovering the joys of our library system. I’m hoping to start baking and cooking again, and I needed some inspiration. And it will be time to start seeds and dig up the garden soon. I’ve planted peas and greens already!

This has been a Year Of Projects (YOP) update. You can find out more about the group here (Rav link) or here: Backstage Kath’s YOP bloggers list. You can read my updated list of projects here.

Put Your Bigfoot In: That’s What this YOP’s About

Knitting

I got Marilee the All Sass and No Squatch pattern for her birthday and then subtly suggested a knitalong. I may have gotten really excited and powered through. I just have the crown to do. You probably can’t see the gold stellina sparkle. When I finish and sew on the pompom I ordered, I’ll try to get a better pic. Can you see Bigfoot? It’s okay if you can’t. Bigfoot is elusive.

I’m making good progress on my Arrowhead Cardigan sticking to my one row a day.

Sewing

I’ve been wanting to sew a velour sweatshirt for a couple of months. What can I say. I’m a child of the 80s. I found some mostly cotton velour fabric. What color, you ask? Well, Valentine’s Day is coming. I thought, “I know. I’ll get rose.” Yeah. A pink velour sweatshirt. Good thinking. Except, it’s really pink. Will I go ahead and sew the sweatshirt? Or maybe I should sew a robe instead? I’m going to stew on it.

Spinning

Nothing to see here. Move along.

Gardening

I ordered some kale, broccolini, and German Chamomile seeds for the garden. The greens under the greenhouse are still alive but not in great shape. I do think that I can plant some kale and cabbage in there when I plant the snap peas, though.

I’m still getting over whatever virus this is that isn’t Covid. I may have had a secondary sinus infection. I’m fatigued. I’ve been working, knitting, and binge watching Scott and Bailey. It’s my new favorite show (after UK Ghosts and Beforeigners.)

How are your projects coming along?

This has been a Year of Projects update. You can find out more about the group here (Rav link) or here: Backstage Kath’s YOP bloggers list. You can read my updated list of projects here.