Down with Bad Stuff

I do not like summer. I have never liked summer. I don’t like the heat. I don’t like the break in routine. Summer makes me grumpy. Summertime is when I like to stay indoors in the AC and read and knit. Down with Summer.

Bob and I walked to the library yesterday and I browsed the knitting books, while also picking up more Tudor books. I can’t seem to get enough of the Tudors — fiction, nonfiction, audiobook, proper book, well written, badly written… it really does not matter. And what’s fascinating is every author has a different take on the subject!

Anyway, I enjoyed browsing the knitting books and bringing a few home, noncommittally. In the past, I would only check out the knitting books if I thought I could learn something from them or if there was a pattern inside that I wanted to knit. I was in my same old rut — looking through knitting books that I thought were pretty but would never knit anything out of — when I realized it was okay. It is totally fine to check out a knitting book, flip through it and enjoy the eye candy, and then return it. It’s even okay to do it intentionally! Down with self-limiting arbitrary rules!

“Protest Knits” has a very enjoyable Trump Pincushion crochet pattern, but I will never make it. Maybe I will make the Down with Bad Stuff water bottle holder!

I have a HUUUGE water bottle (see what I did there?) and I never take it hiking because it’s too darn big! But this would solve that problem and be fun, albeit rather vague.

I started my Blue Ribbon Beanie. It is a beautiful shade of deep cerulean Malabrigo DK. It’s 2X2 rib. I’m not sure how I will decrease at the top yet. Ribbing can be tricky to decrease.

Honestly, I started the beanie because I’ve lost the verve for my FIVE sweaters I have on the needles, and even Celtic Myths feels a little fussy right now. So I’ve fallen back on hat knitting just to try to stick with it.

I had to give up a few things this Summer. I gave up the herb business. It needed more than I could give. I gave up some of my blog subscriptions. I couldn’t keep up. But I only gave up on the ones where I felt there wasn’t a connection. I have had to give up pleasure eating and drinking wine and margaritas. I gained a lot of weight last year and even exercise couldn’t help me keep it off, so I signed up for Noom and am counting every calorie and even steps! I had to give up sewing for a while, until I no longer needed to use my studio as an office.

But I got my office back, which means I also got my studio back. I got to participate in an art show. I got my teeth cleaned today, which included a new toothbrush, floss, and props for excellent hygiene. I’ve lost 2 pounds in 5 days. My garden is producing scrumptious tomatoes. Up with good stuff, amiright?!

Summer Cold

I’ve really been dragging this week and I think I have a summer cold. Not much knitting going on here. But here are some pretty pics of flowers.

I received these orchids as a gift in April and they are still blooming. What’s my secret? Benign neglect. When it warmed up I thought they might enjoy the bright diffused light and humidity of the screened-in porch, and I was right. Also, I don’t pay too much attention to them as I hate heat and humidity so I stand inside in the air conditioning and admire them from afar. It suits us both perfectly.

This Christmas cactus is jealous and attempting to bloom in envy. C’mon. Just one flower. You can do it!

After work today I’m going to come home and watch Time Team until I fall asleep. After Bob and I watch the last episode of Dark, that is.

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.

Happy Mother’s Day!

As you can see from this photo, I didn’t finish Cricket Hitofude in time to wear it for our ribbon cutting with Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hobsett.

However, today is Mother’s Day, and I plan to sit on the couch all day and knit. I might not finish it today, either, but surely I will finish it in the next few days.

I wish all you Mothers a wonderful Mother’s Day, and all the rest of you a lovely Sunday.

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.

Self-Care Saturday?

I have connected with a few of you over on Instagram, and you will already know I’m sporting a shiner right now. Yesterday I thought it was funny, but today I am over the novelty of it and feeling sorry for myself. It’s nothing exciting. Sty + vomiting = shiner.

I fell off my spending fast when I saw this gorgeous lavender wool and cotton yarn from Cestari while I was at Broad Ripple Knits in Indianapolis on Thursday. I got four skeins, enough to make a spring pullover. I had trouble finding a suitable pattern, but Instagram to the rescue. Someone posted the Cumulus Blouse, and although this pattern is categorized as lace, it’s knit with two strands together and the gauge is perfect for my new yarn at a looser, drapey gauge.

I’m currently trapped underneath my cat which is why she is a prop in my photo.

I’m making good progress on Hitofude. Only four repeats left and the sleeves will be done.

I looked at my Hollywood Pants pattern and realized I am too big for it now. Instagram overheard my dismay and presented the Emerson Crop Pant pattern. $12 later and I’m happily taping together the pattern pieces. You may remember I have some linen waiting to be sewn at the studio. I may make these full length instead of cropped. We’ll see.

I hope you have a wonderful Saturday full of crafty goodness. I have a little work to do, and then Bob and I are putting together new raised beds for Satur-date. ❤️

And of course I will squeeze in as much crafty self-care as I can!

Tea and Books, and a Swatch

I’ve noticed knitting blogs also have a tendency to run toward tea and books, so I thought I would share my new favorite tea.

I have been drinking Level Ground coffee for a couple of years, but this is the first time I’ve tried their black tea. It was on sale at work so I stocked up. It’s delicious!

I was worried about drinking black tea on top of coffee, but I notice I sleep better when I drink black tea. Bob says it’s the Theanine. I remember my ADHD psych telling me that if I’m not sleeping well, I’m probably undercaffeinated. I thought that was hogwash, but now I’m starting to wonder.

I am looking through stitch dictionaries to help me with my designs. Believe it or not I also owned the Vogue Knitting ones in addition to these -Interweave and Walker. I donated the Vogues to a knitting group for a potluck swap. The recipient was very happy. I got an Encyclopedia of Embroidery Stitches, so I was also pleased.

I do sometimes read non-knitting books, but not as much as I’d like. Right now I’m listening to Leviathan Wakes on Bob’s recommendation. Pam mentioned fandoms and I decided if I was going to have a “thing” I wanted to share it with Bob. So we’re trying to make The Expanse our thing and we’ve started watching the show. I’m a little disappointed with the show because I don’t feel it represents the diversity and social justice issues as well as the book, though I should probably give it more than two episodes.

I’m starting to wonder if we should make Godzilla our thing like Skeinherder. Honestly, I’m pretty sure horror is our thing.

I spent all of my knitting time yesterday working on this swatch in the round. I did a fair amount of improvising. I’m not 100% pleased but it’s a start.

If you have a holiday today, enjoy! If not, Happy Monday. 🙃

Weds WIP… in Bed

Do you ever play that fortune cookie game where you read your fortune aloud, and then punctuate it with “in bed”?

I did make it to my studio today, but not for very long. Although I am feeling better, I fatigue easily. I came home, ate dinner, relaxed in a lavender bath, and crawled into bed.

I resketched my Ohio Star Bandandit Cowl. (This is what I call it in my head as I imagine wearing it over my nose and mouth like a bandit.) I think I’m ready to cast on. I’m not gonna lie, I saw the Purl Soho Bandana Cowl months ago on Ravelry and thought it was a clever idea, but I did not look at the pattern because I knew somewhere way deep down in my heart I was going to design my own one day.

I didn’t even link to it. So there. You can search.

The first pattern in the Kate Davies Knitting Season Club is a lovely sweater with a simple motif. The design challenge was to create your own motif. I think my Ohio Star qualifies, even though it is texture and not colorwork. I do love the sweater but will probably wait to decide if I will knit it, and if so, how.

I had forgotten what it is like to have to slow down to accommodate my body. I had been doing very well for a year or so.

I’m going to try to go to the gym tomorrow. Fingers crossed…

What are you working on? I think I’ll check out my reader and see what you all are up to…