Fall Fiber Fête

This week I’m recovering from a wonderful weekend full of friends, fiber, and fun! We met up for Wisconsin Sheep and Wool, and spent the weekend frolicking with fiber. (All the F words today, because alliteration is fun.) (Maybe not ALL the F words.) I got to meet Liz and Marilee in person for the first time!

These shopping bags were one of the secret projects I was working on before the trip. I made one for each attendee as a gift, and included a packet zinnia seeds.

I was also commissioned by Jess, another attendee, to create and dye this yarn colorway as gifts for everyone (including me!)

And There Was More Yarn

I was fairly restrained with my purchases, but I did buy a sweater quantity of Weekend Wool from Green Mountain Spinnery. These will be a Mountain Mist sweater. Last year, making the Back Porch Shawl in this yarn was the knitting highlight of my fall, so I decided I should knit a sweater with it. Also, Green Mountain Spinnery is a worker-owned cooperative. Just one more reason to buy from them! Definitely my favorite booth at the show.

I also purchased a couple of skeins from the Ewetopia booth. I thanked the owner for offering nonsuperwash yarn. I carefully picked out a couple of skeins without a project in mind. Then I decided I could knit a slip stitch cowl with these, and they would be shimmery together. The skein on the left reminds me of the twilight color of St. Clair that I tried to knit into a bobble hat. The universe is giving me a second chance at this color.

The only superwash I purchased was this gradient “Something Wicked” from Knit Circus when we went to The Sow’s Ear. I’m a sucker for a Halloween gradient. This notions pouch was from Mitchell Wool Company. As I was explaining to another guest why say no to superwash, the owner told me I’m her favorite person. I didn’t get any yarn from Mitchell Wool, but I’m linking it for another time. They have some gorgeous Targhee I know Sarah enjoyed knitting into a hat.

Speaking of hats! This guy was purchasing wool for his felt fungi hat creations. I was impressed enough to ask him if I could take his photo.

Travel Knitting

I ended up frogging my fall striped sock. Even on a size 0 needle, the 64 stitch recipe was too big. I’ll try again with 60 stitches. Luckily, I brought a small cake of Qiviuk yarn: qiviut, merino, and silk and cast on, yep, another blue beanie. It’s so soft and I’m always happy in a plain blue beanie.

On Monday, everyone else headed home and I was on my own until the evening. I stopped by Fiddlesticks Knits to say hi to @superradleesha who I met last year. She gave me a tour of all her current WIPs that were on display with the yarn in the shop, which was so fun! The shop was brand new when I visited last year. It has really filled out with lots of selections! Also, there were boob candles. Yes, you can have your boobs molded into custom candles, which honestly I think sounds like a lot of fun.

I purchased this Woll Wichtel from Fiddlesticks, because nonsuperwash + autumn colors = happy Alissa.

I also stopped into Mad City Music, and look at the treasures I found! Although I can sing along with the songs from the other three CDs, Rockabilly from Hell has surprised me with my new favorite spooky season selections.

My last stop before the airport was a trip to Sanitarium Hill to get my paranormal on. This is a working building, so I didn’t try to go inside. Instead I walked the grounds and took some photos. I did not see any ghosts or feel anything spooky. It felt very peaceful to me. I also wanted to have a drink at a haunted bar, but unfortunately it is closed for business.

Madison is a really fun place to visit. I would go back there in a heartbeat. Have you visited? If so, please leave a comment of your favorite places!

Year of Projects Week 5/52 — Tansy Hapazome

Fiber Art / Natural Dyeing

I managed to get out into the garden this morning to weed and noticed it’s time to harvest the tansy! Tansy is one of those dye plants with natural tannins like indigo, so it doesn’t need a mordant. I decided to test a Hapazome print on the edges of my remaining indigo printed Virginia cotton.

I’m pleased with how this came out. Now I need to decide if I want to continue to print on this fabric, or order more. I think I will order more, as I want to experiment with black walnut leaves and iron mordant.

I may also kettle dye some Virginia cotton and wool yarn with tansy this week. Since this blend of fibers doesn’t take readily to acid dyes or fiber reactive dyes for plant fibers, a natural dye pot may be just the thing it needs!

My flax is also ready to harvest. There are a few stalks that are already too far gone with ripe seed heads, but most is still ok. So that’s another fiber art project this week.

Knitting

I’m super close to finishing my Halloween Livie shawl. One more section then bind off!

Sewing

I should finish my Gather dress and Bob’s Marvel shirt this week.

Spinning

Since I came down with Covid, I didn’t spin for the last week of Tour de Fleece. I need to oil my wheel and get back to spinning.

This has been a Year of Projects (YOP) update. You can read my updated list here, and my original list at this link. You can find out more about the group on Ravelry or Backstage Kath’s YOP bloggers list.

Volunteer Sunflowers: A Summer Yarn Mystery Box

I’m excited to share with you my new mystery box for summer. I’ll be dyeing the yarn myself, and including an original knitting pattern design!

Chestnut Hills Farm and Fiber

My newest yarn mystery box just dropped! The Volunteer Sunflowers colorway emotes a sea of emerald green foliage complemented by deep blues and pops of sunny gold. The Glow Box includes 100% cotton yarn from Virginia hand dyed here at Chestnut Hills Studio, summer sun skin care from Haven Herbs, and a glass progress keeper by Ann Tudor! The Shine Box also includes a handmade project bag, sewn from Virginia cotton canvas that has been Hapazome dyed by me with indigo leaves, and a knitting pattern to go with the yarn.

Only 10 are available. You can order at this link!

Enjoy the video below, which shows the dying of the fabric used for the project bags.

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And I Would YOP 500 More

Knitting

I’ve reached the point on Freya’s Musselburgh Hat where it’s round and round in stockinette. This is going to make great relaxation knitting. I can see why this pattern becomes addicting for some. I also learned the pinhole cast on, which is pretty great.

I am making good progress on Arrowhead now that I make sure to knit one row per day. I thought I would treat you to a photo of where the steek will be cut when the time comes. I love knitting in Lettlopi and will definitely use it again.

Sewing

Nothing new to report since my pink velour sweatshirt.

Spinning

I’m going to spend more time practicing my spinning today. It’s been a couple of weeks. I’m going to use up my wool top that came with the wheel before trying a new fiber.

Burns Night Supper Prep

Last year, Liz sent me a link to a virtual Burns Night event. I had never heard of it, but I’m all in for a holiday that’s basically an excuse to party in January. I decided this year to do it our way — in front of the TV with food.

Bob will make vegan sausage with neeps and tatties for dinner. (Neither of us is interested in vegan haggis.) I’m going to bake gluten free oat cakes and as Bob doesn’t drink, and I don’t drink whiskey (or any hard alcohol) I’m going to try to make a raspberry ginger switchel with Bob’s homemade apple cider vinegar. We’re trying to find a way to watch the movie Red Rose, as neither of us really knows anything about Robert Burns. If we can’t find it, we will look for a documentary. Also, we will be wearing tartans (flannel shirts most likely).

Bob says he remembers being taken to a Burns Night Supper as a kid and being bored to tears with the poetry readings. I definitely dinna want a rrrepeat o’ tha.

This has been a Yearrr O’ Prrrojects 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.

Seasonal Indecision

Hello. I have too many holiday projects I want to knit. I thought I would list them here so you can commiserate with me. All links are Ravelry links.

Image copyright Stone Knits

1. Christmas Pudding Socks. I ordered the solid yarn last year to make these, but then decided tonal yarns would be prettier, as shown in the photo. So I ordered some tonal yarns. I could be casting on by the weekend. I love the design, and it’s a good mix of colorwork and stockinette.

Image copyright Jamie Lomax

2. Holiday Doodle Cowl. I love the look of this, but it is allover color work. I have the yarn, which I ordered last year. I’m not sure I have the brain capacity for this one this year. Also, she’s updated the design, and I think I prefer the original version, which I have printed out.

3. Aurora Borealis Cowl. Work in progress. After I started it I realized how much I hate wearing one-sided stranded colorwork cowls because the floats on the back show. Not sure if I should forge ahead or frog a hasty retreat.

The yarn and needles for my first mitten ornament.

4. 12 Days of Christmas Mitten Garland. As I have constructed an entire advent ritual around this, I will definitely be making it. They’re tiny, too. I’m sure I can produce one mitten in an evening.

And then there’s my red Ranunculus. I’m on the stockinette now, so I should be wearing it by Christmas Eve!

Any tips on managing too-many-projects-not-enough-time syndrome? Project number three will probably be frogged. I’m thinking one and two will end up back in the drawer for next year. Or maybe one for Christmas in July?

You may have noticed I’ve been experimenting with backgrounds in my photos. I’ve been using the backgrounds I use at work for product photos, but I don’t want to continue to use them as I’m afraid I may damage them. So I’ve got some reclaimed barn wood heading my way for my small photography shots. Photography is for me part of the art of blogging, and a big part of my enjoyment.

Tuesday FO

I finished my Anker’s Summer Shirt (Rav link). Yarn is Blacker Lyonesse linen and wool in Serpentine. AJ finished hers as well, and it’s a similar color. Go over there and check hers out, too!

I tried really hard to get a good photo of my fabulous outfit. These are the linen Emerson Pants I made a few years ago. This outfit is so comfy. I feel ready for summer!

I had to share this one because my hair is fabulous and I look like a Breck girl.

Vacation is going well so far. I work on art in the morning. Then in the afternoon I knit. I’m going to knit a chart on Celtic Myths each day so maybe I’ll be finished by the end of the week. I cut out some PJs, but Bob is working this week and the sewing machines are too loud to use during the day. Bob and I walked yesterday after he got off work.

The garden is doing well. I’ve cloched the tender annuals for a few days until temps get back up in the 40s overnight. I have a few extra plants. I gave two to my oldest who is trying gardening this year.

Mother’s Day was lovely. My kids were here. We ate Mexican food. Bob made a custard tart. The kids will be back on Saturday to celebrate my birthday with me.

See you tomorrow for Sock It To Me Wednesday! I’m mixing it up for vacation week. Woo! Living on the edge!

Water

📸 notjustanybeth Instagram

Just a reminder that our Water shawl (Ravelry link) knitalong starts in about a month. In case you need to buy yarn. (Of course you do!)

I will be sewing a water themed medium-sized project bag for all participants who complete their shawl between March and June. The bag will be the same pattern as my winter solstice project bag.

Each bag will be cotton and/or linen, fully lined, with a wave ribbon. I’ve already picked out the fabric for my bag!

I realize Merpeople with attitudes may not be for everyone, so here are some other mix and match options.

I hope someone loves manatees as much as I do.
This is a pretty gradient with a teal linen base, lined with a gray watercolor.
Same but lined with teal watercolor.

If you have a preference for your bag, let me know in the comments. There’s a yard of each fabric so I can pretty much make any combination.

Marilee will be making stitch markers for participants who complete their shawl as well. I’m so excited! She makes the best stitch markers.

I feel that water is a great March to June theme, as the ice of winter melts into water and flows into spring.

Here’s my weekly music share, on theme.