Alissa’s Brag Book: A YOP Update

When I was little, my Grandmother had a photo album with “Grandma’s Brag Book” written on the cover. It was for photos of her grandkids, of course. Sometimes I feel like my blog is my version of the brag book, but for things I make. I would be posting pics of our kids, but most of them don’t like that. I have to ask for explicit permission including where it will be posted. I should draft some release forms for them to sign. 😘

Knitting

I’m very excited about my hand dyed Cormo lace yarn. It’s still damp, but I can’t wait to cake it up and swatch.

Sewing

I made a summer top from this fabric that’s been in my stash for a few years. The pattern silhouette is nice, but it calls for bias tape. Not my favorite way to go. Maybe I can make facings next time.

I cut out my next overalls in this amazing linen fabric with yarn balls all over it! You can’t tell, but the copper ones are metallic.

Garden

It’s been a long time since I’ve grown Borage.
My winter squash is still alive.
English Peas!
We’ll have zucchini soon!
My flax garden is super lush.

This has been a Year of Projects Update. You can read my updated list here. You can find out more about the group here.

Sign Me Up Saturday!

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 went to World Wide Knit in Public Day at Stitch and Skein in Marion, Ohio. I had a lovely time, and even won a prize! I am knitting a pair of Pride socks for Bob with Dye Mad’s June colorway. I also picked up a couple of skeins of Arrowhead Fibers.

Did you knit in public today?

Friyay!

My Milkshake Cardigan is now connected under the armholes. I will be knitting back and forth, increasing at the neckline, for a few more inches. Then it’s sweet, straight stockinette to the hem! Do you like my project bag? It’s from Harriet Wildwood Stitches. I love it so much, I’m hoping to get a sweater-sized project bag next. I’ve got some birthday money burning a hole in my pocket. (Thanks, Mom!)

I wish I liked to be out in public with people. If I did, I would go watch this band tonight.

Sunday YOP Update

I updated my list today. I think June is when the Year of Projects (YOP) group starts over, but as I update my list as I go, there won’t be much to change.

Fiber Art

I’m excited to say I have seven completed wool felt pieces for my show. I hope to finish three more before the opening in September. Bob and I visited the gallery yesterday, and we chatted with the owner. I will send him my current list of pieces tomorrow. This is my first solo show in nine years, and my first solo gallery show, although in 2010 I had a combined gallery show with another artist. I’m really happy I asked for this opportunity.

Knitting

I’m focusing on my Milkshake Cardigan, but there’s not much progress since yesterday. Here are two photos of yarn I purchased for projects not yet added to my YOP list. 😁

Shilasdair for the Undulation Shawl
Tukuwool DK for the Straw cardigan.

Sewing

This morning I started working on my Emerson shorts in natural linen I cut out two years ago. It will be good to get those finished, and it will be nice to be able to wear them. I can tell it’s going to be a hot summer.

Gardening

Herb and Bee garden with a Strawberry Border

I think I’ve finally got the garden about where I want it. I planted some cosmos, tansy, oregano, lavender, and creeping thyme this morning. I am trying some short and dirty wool clippings around the transplants. I found slugs all over the baby kale this morning.

My one and only New Year’s Resolution was to listen to more music with intention. Bob and I watched The Leftovers, and Iris Dement’s “Let the Mystery Be” was used for the intro at various times. I’m an Iris Dement fan, but I hadn’t listened to her music in a long time. So I spent a week or two just listening to her music, singing along in the car.

This has been a Year of Projects Update. You can read my updated list here. You can find out more about the group here (Rav link).

Stimming in Stockinette

My Milkshake Cardigan is coming along. I love the construction. It’s very straightforward. I love the gray. I love all the stockinette. It’s the kind of thing I like to knit, and like to wear. This sweater reminds me of the Kids in the Hall skit “Are Extraterrestrials Dull?” It will be a quality garment. Yarn is Kelbourne Woolens Scout in Heather Gray from my stash. I decided the Tunis yarn is too special and will still make up the Kiki with it, when I am ready for cables again.

The garden is burgeoning. I wish I had planted more flowers. I might try peonies in here somewhere. I am still fighting slugs. They’ve just about taken out my Gerber Daisies, and it was a mature plant going in. Maybe I should try cosmos since I could dye with them.

The indigo is up, but so far only one madder seed has germinated. No tansy yet. I think I need a trip to the garden center!

Sock It To Me Monday

I finished my springy socks! We have an Iris blooming in the yard, and my socks match. Recipe based on Hermione’s Everyday Socks. Yarn from Bone and Birch. I do love plain sock knitting. Next up, I’ll try some Rose City Rollers (Ravelry link).

I have so many sweaters I want to knit, but I keep queuing cables and colorwork patterns. Then I balk because my brain is not up for that. I guess I’m still decompressing from the pandemic year. So I’ve decided to make a Milkshake Cardigan (Ravelry link). It’s the most basic cardigan ever, which I need to replace my thrift store cardigan that had started unraveling. Now I need to decide which DK yarn in my stash to knit it with. I’m leaning toward the Tunis yarn, because it’s so yummy. This is my first Joji Locatelli pattern to knit, though I’ve been following her patterns for sometime and have heard good things. I also purchased her new Straw cardigan pattern. It’s beautiful, but has cables on the shoulder seams. Nope. Not right now, anyway.

Part 2 of A Visit to Tarheelbilly Farm is live on The Just Craft. I had some sound issues, which I did not expect since recording in the fields — which I expected to be problematic — turned out fine. But recording on the porch of the house was much more complicated. It has me questioning my ability to make a good podcast, but I am going to try to think of it as a learning experience. I did the best I could with the sound in Audacity, reducing the noise and amplifying Charis’s voice. I felt that what she was saying was so important I had to do my best to get the episode out. She is very candid about her thoughts and feelings on racism in the knitting and fiber arts community (and the events of 2020 in general) and even though I struggled with the sound, I’m proud of this episode. I think I’ll take a break before I start the next one, though.

I’ve been steadily working on my felt art for the gallery show in September. Some pieces I really love, some not so much. Some get stitching, some don’t. It’s intuitive but I am finding that I tend to stitch on cultivated landscapes and don’t on wild ones. So there’s a method, even if it wasn’t conscious at the outset.

Oh, I forgot to mention I joined Kate Davies’ Bluestockings Club! Again, I think the first pattern may be a little more than I want to undertake at this time. But it’s lovely and I’m sure I’ll get around to it eventually.

Mostly Gardening with a Side of Sock Knitting and Podcasting: A YOP Update

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.

This has been a Year of Projects Update. You can read my updated list here. You can find out more about the group here.

Cast On Thursday: Gauge Trouble

Yesterday, I knit two swatches in hopes of being able to cast on a cardigan. I need more cardigans in my wardrobe, but I keep casting on pullovers.

Frangipani Sport: 5.55 stitches per inch on size 4 needles
Rauma Fingering: 5.65 stitches per inch on size 3 needles

Frustratingly, my gauge was similar with different yarns and different needles, and not close enough to cast on either cardigan pattern. Boo. (I may throw caution to the wind and cast one on, anyway. If it’s a little big, that may work out okay. Right?)

Instead, I cast on my Hansel Hap with the Ramsay Farms Shetland. This pattern is fingering weight yarn knit on a size 8 needle. I’m hoping it’s supposed to be a very loose gauge, but I’m worried it’s too loose. It’s a shawl, though, so I’ll try to relax.

Sock It To Me Wednesday

I started some socklings for myself. I’m in love with this yarn which is called Honeybees and Violets Please from Bone and Birch.

I sewed myself some PJ pants. I purchased this fabric in the winter thinking — for some reason — it was cotton flannel and I would make myself the most adorable cozy PJs ever. Turned out it was quilting cotton. I hung onto it and now I have the most adorable summer PJ pants. I’m thinking of sewing a quick popover tee so I’ll have a set. I don’t like fussy PJs with buttons and all that.

I’ll see you tomorrow for Cast On Thursday! Is that a thing? I feel like that should be a thing.