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! 😊

Wednesday: a WIP and a Win

I’m still plugging away on the Ocean Moon mystery knitalong, Clue 1. Clue 3 drops tomorrow! I hope to catch up this weekend. I am liking the yarn colors and the design. I’m getting the hang of intarsia again, though I’m slow.

I finished sewing my Melba dress. I feel very chic wearing it. It looks great with my clogs and sunglasses.

The fabric is organic cotton knit from Spoonflower. It says, “Born to Knit” and “Knitting Takes Balls.” I’m very happy with it. My only complaint is the boat neck is too wide. I’ll adjust that on the next one I sew.

Pattern is Melba Dress from Style Arc. This pattern also works with woven fabrics.

How are your WIPs coming along this week? Any wins?

Friday FO: Vertices Unite!

I absolutely love my Vertices Unite! The yarn is all naturally dyed, nonsuperwash, and so soft and squishy. I probably wouldn’t have chosen this pattern for myself, which is why it’s important for me to participate in knitalongs. Most of the time, I’m pleasantly surprised, and I learn I love something I wouldn’t normally choose for myself.

It’s super cute worn. I am definitely going to be wearing it with denim, and cotton knit dresses. I like how casual it is. Pattern is Vertices Unite by Stephen West. Yarn is (solids) March, July, and Color of Pomegranates from Oysters and Purls, and (variegated) Loon on a Lake and Turkeytail Mushrooms from Forest Lane Fiber Co.

The Bunny YOP

I’m pretty sure this isn’t the first time I’ve used Bunny YOP as a post title. Now that I’ve had a couple of weeks of down time, I’m ready to get back on the Year of Projects wagon.

Knitting

I’ve been primarily working on my Vertices Unite shawl. The yarn is naturally dyed, and although the colors are somewhat muted, I think they are great for spring. I was planning to use the pink for the border, but I’ve decided instead to bring in a new color — the yellowy green. I think this is one of those designs that will look better worn, so I will model it when it’s done. This photo also serves as a way to tell you that our porch furniture is out, and we are ready for porch season!

Sewing

I finally got the pattern cut out for the Melba dress. I decided to not use the expensive Spoonflower fabric for the facings, which will be inside the dress. So I’m waiting on some inexpensive cotton knit for that. I’ll use any leftover dress fabric for scarves for my Etsy shop.

I received so many lovely cards from the Global Gifts team after my last day. I thought it would be nice to commemorate them here. I miss working with my Global Gifts family every day, but I am enjoying semi-retirement, if that’s what this is.

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.

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?

Friday FO: Bandana Cowl

I finished my Bandana Cowl Number 4 in my Spring Thaw yarn from Cornbread and Honey. I love it! So soft, super cozy, and my favorite color. And the best part is it’s nonsuperwash merino!

It still needs a blocking, but I love the shaping. If you make one, be sure your cast on is super stretchy. I used the German twisted cast on.

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?

Happy Caturday

My name is Dan Bill, aka Daniel Billiam, aka Doob’n Boob’l, aka Doob’l, aka Mr Beans.

Happy Caturday! We learned yesterday that Mackenzie and Dan Bill got an apartment and will be moving out in early April. We’re excited for them, but they will be missed. The good news is I will be moving my studio into the spare room. Now I will be able to sew while Bob works because the noise won’t be a disruption. I will also have a nice cozy room to sit and knit and spin.

I got my first yarn mystery boxes in the mail this week. I can’t wait to read reviews and watch unboxing videos! I have been practicing my dyeing and designing for the Volunteer Sunflowers box. I also listed my Autumn Yarn Mystery Box which doesn’t ship until September. As much as I appreciate Etsy Seller tools, I regret they restrict my ship by date options. It might be a good reason to move forward with a commerce website. I haven’t because I can’t really afford that right now.

I joined the Ocean Moon Mystery Knitalong by designer Ambah O’Brien. It’s my first Ambah pattern. This is my yarn from Fiber Optic Yarns. I think I chose well. It’s five mini skeins from the Oceans Six gradient plus Ebbtide for the moon and Storm for the sea. I’m going full on with the intarsia version. It’s all Kashmir, which is merino, yak, and silk.

I swatched for a Lodge Sweater with Cornbread and Honey’s Peaceful DK with some KnitPicks Aloft in Sydney (on sale). I’m looking forward to knitting this, but I will probably wait until fall. I fluffed my stash yesterday while organizing my yarn. I have many sweaters waiting to be knit. I’d better get on it.

I made myself breakfast in bed today. Eggs and pie. The best! My sense of smell and taste are coming back after my January illness, and I’m enjoying coffee again.

My name is JoJo, aka Jo, aka Jolene, aka JoJoBelle, aka Miss PetiPaws, aka Pretty Princess, aka Queen. I am glad the interloper will be moving out soon, though I will miss the extra hooman.

Hope you have a great weekend!