The Outer Limits (of my mind)

I don’t know about you, friends, but I feel stretched to my limits. I am no longer capable of further complexity in my life. I made a silly mistake on my Farmhouse Cardigan and had to rip it out. I began some Wide Legged Pants only to be confounded by taping the pattern pieces together. It is important during these troubled times to recognize your limits, be gentle with yourself, and reach for what comforts you.

I decided patterns are a no go right now (although I wouldn’t turn down an oatmeal raisin cookie) and cast on a simple cowl. This is Knitpicks Swish Bulky in Saffron from my stash. It was a FibreShare gift. Sweet simple hygge bliss. I will make a hat to match! (And call him George and hug him and pet him…)

Why do we have a large hunk of quartz in our house? I think it was here when we moved in. Maybe it was meant to be a doorstop? It has migrated to the living room.

If you’ve watched a lot of Time Team, as I have, you will remember they find early medieval church altars made from quartz. Was this because it was believed to hold special properties? Was it because it was readily available and shiny? Did it raise the spiritual energy of the congregation? Do you believe quartz holds special metaphysical properties? I think I do believe it, as do many people of different cultural backgrounds. So what is the significance of this chunk of quartz in our house? Is it clearing out bad vibes?

Ooommmmm. I know you probably can’t tell what I’m doing, but it’s a face plant on quartz. There are definitely some weird things afoot at my house, and not just yours truly needing a mental clearing.

What’s bending our forks? Poltergeist?Misdirected quartz vibrations? Teenagers eating ice cream? (Or… aliens?)

I stopped by my LYS to show my support in these times of economic uncertainty. (It had nothing to do with me needing yarn therapy I assure you.) I did my patriotic duty and picked up the knitting game I’ve wanted since Christmas, plus yarn to match for good measure. It’s such a happy blue. Maybe another simple cowl and hat is in my future. At least there is some certainty to be found in knitting.

Weekend Quizzaroo

(Image credit The Knitting Goddess)

Karen posted a sock quiz! I’m a notorious sock knitting eschewer but quizzes are great for personal development and blog fodder.

1. Do you knit/crochet socks?

I want to knit socks. I have knit socks. But generally, no, I don’t.

2. If yes, how long have you been making them? If no, why not?

It doesn’t sound fun. I’m primarily a sweater and hat knitter.

3. What is your preferred method? Top down, toe up? Which needles? Do you have a preferred heel type?

I prefer toe up so I can make sure the foot fits well. I hate a baggy sock. I prefer fine yarn for socks but they sure do take a long time! I like a well-turned heel. I’ve never tried an afterthought heel. Are their more flaps than that? Double point needles for me.

4. Have you gifted socks? Were they worn, loved and appreciated?

Never! I am considering knitting a pair for Bob, though. It’s a lot of pressure.

5. Could you make nothing but socks for the rest of your life and be happy?

If I can knit one more pair of socks (I’ve made two pair in my life so far) I could be happy the rest of my life never knitting them again. Or, who knows, I might knit another pair and enjoy them so much I will want to knit more! That’s my hope.

6. One of the most addictive things about sock knitting is the amazing selection of fingering weight yarn that is available. What is your favorite yarn for socks? Do you prefer solid or multicolor yarn? Do you have a fiber preference?

For me it will need to be crazy hand painted colors or solid yarn with textured knitting. Wool plus silk (for strength) is my favorite fiber combo. Throw some cashmere in there and I’m hooked.

Well, that was fun and inspiring. Maybe I will cast on a pair of socks today.

February Frogs:

I’m pulling out the linen stitch cowl. It is taking too long and I am afraid I don’t have enough yarn for it. My Hogwarts yarn will make a great pair of clog socks though.

I’m pulling out this Bousta Beanie. It’s not happening.

Do you like my new photo prop? It’s Fair Trade and I picked it up at Pachamama Market when I was in Troy, OH for a work meeting.

I think one should feel good about frogging and this wool felt sunflower does the trick for me.

The new The Just Craft is up!

I am the Twilight

And JoJo is The Night.

I conquered my social anxiety and went to my LYS’s holiday party. It was fun and I got to chat with fellow Harry Potter nerds. There was a dirty Santa gift exchange and I “stole” this yarn.

I almost felt bad but it was the only yarn I liked, and I figured that’s what a Gryffindor would do. (And according to Pottermore, that’s what I am.)

I have a sudden desire to knit a Gryffindor hat.

Dyed My Own Fade

True to the internet’s word, the red cabbage didn’t do much to my Tunis yarn.

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You probably can’t tell, but it has a slight grayish stain.

Since I now wake up at 4:30AM every morning (WHY?!) I decided to overdye the yarn this morning with acid dyes. I mixed black and blue, and left each subsequent skein in the dye bath an additional 5 minutes. They turned out pretty good.

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Vinegar bath.

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I’m honestly not sure which of the darkest ones is the one which was dyed the longest. These are wet, and I don’t know if the color will lighten or darken as they dry. I do like how the skeins vary in blues and blacks.

I’m going to make Paris Toujours but I’m calling it Twilight Toujours. Clever, non?

This Tunis yarn is SO SOFT. I thought I might need to put a little lanolin back in, but it has really bloomed and fluffed. It will be a super écharpe!

Studio Sunday

I finally did it. I finally exceeded my yarn to storage tub ratio. This means one of the other tubs will need to be emptied, and I’m leaning toward the fabric tub.

I’m making decent progress on the Hitofude Cardigan. I think I’ll be mostly monogamous until it’s finished. It’s exactly the kind of pattern I like: repetitive, intuitive, but enough stitch pattern to hold my interest.

Although let’s be honest, I really enjoy a good stockinette project.

I signed up for the Shave’em to Save’em initiative. It will be a while before I start as I am on a spending fast, but I’m hoping to pick up some yarn from an Ohio farm.

I mended the neckline of Bob’s Gansey. It looks pretty good.

My new-to-me sewing machine is THE BOMB! Who needs a serger when you’ve got zig zags like that?

I’m not sure what to do today other than reorganizing. I think I’d like to start some PJs and start on the Bramen Cowl assignment.

I hope you’re having a good weekend full of craft magic!

Ohio Star Cowl

I finished my Ohio Star Bandandit Cowl. I’m pleased because it came out exactly as I designed it. So in that sense, it is a successful design.

It is also a successful garment. It fits, it keeps me warm, and it will stay up over my nose when I need it to.

The star motif is subtle and that’s fine. This isn’t a super exciting design, but it works. I mainly made this for hiking. The Bare Naked Wools Better Breakfast DK is also very soft and very warm. I think I’d like to knit an oversized cardigan out of it.

Slapdash Saturday

I ripped back several inches of the Ohio Star Cowl. As you can see here, my short rows were too steep.

It looks like a sleeve! I will reknit it, decreasing into a more shallow point at the bottom front. Here is a better look at the textured star, which I hope will block out nicely.

And here you can see my math scribbles on a corner of knitters graph paper because I forgot my journal.

Today I started sewing again!

Okay, no actual sewing, but some pattern cutting. I hope to get started tomorrow. I have plenty of fabric to match my plaids, but my goal here is a folksy mismatching of plaid, on the pockets at least.

I also decided I love my red Targhee sweater too much to not be able to throw it on over jeans- with no shirt underneath because it is super soft- which means it needs a handspan of length added to the bottom to cover my hips. I spent a good deal of my time ripping out stitches.

I stopped before ripping out all the ribbing because it was lunch time. I’ll finish tomorrow.

Here’s my swatch for one of the Warm Hands contest designs. I’ve decided to forget about the contest since it may not be happening, and I promised myself I didn’t have to put anything out there this year if I didn’t feel like it. And I’m not feeling like it. Ostrich Sleeves will have to wait.

Today I realized why I cram so much creativity in on the weekend. When I was working as a store manager, I used that part of my brain every day on photography and social media. Now that part of my brain doesn’t get much exercise during the work week, so I’m hitting it hard on the weekend.

After studio time it was Date Saturday. Bob and I went out for Mexican food, saw Green Book, and picked up Ethiopian food to take home for dinner. We ate out twice today! How decadent.

Sunday Studio Time

I was good and completed my swatch for The Oa on the smaller sized needle. I haven’t steamed it yet. I also threw in a row of the green for color C to see how it would show up and I’m really glad I did, because it doesn’t! Show up that is. I also tried some knit 2 of A and C before binding off, just to be sure. Someone who has more experience with colorwork probably would have seen this coming. It’s ok, though. I ordered two balls of black and I’m sure that will work.

This week’s Knitting Season assignment was to write every day with the prompt, “Remember when I…” So I wrote about the time I dyed this silk top blue, spun it into yarn, and knit it into this tam. It’s a little beat up now. I wore it and so did some of the kids, which made me happy. It inspires me. I think I might like to save up and get a spinning wheel again.

I also spent some time working on this design for a colorwork Ohio Star Cowl and beanie.

And the original Ohio Star Bandandit is almost done, but I ran out of yarn! I ordered another 2 ounce hank and am looking forward to blocking it and wearing it. I want to knit another one with more texture work in The Fibre Co Arranmore Light in St. Claire, the bobbly tam yarn.

So it has been a productive week. I guess I am slowly but surely getting closer to reaching my goals.

People ask me how I do all of this on top of a full time job and my very part time work with Haven Herbs, and I can say with certainty it’s because Bob does all of the shopping, cooking, and cleaning. And he does it because he likes it. I do my own laundry and dishes, and clean the bathroom sometimes, but that’s really it. So shout out to Bob! ❤️ Also, I only have one kid still in school and he is super low key. ❤️

And I’m a much happier person when I am knitting. ❤️

ETA: I cut a steeeeeeek!

Don’t Get Your Knitting in a Twist!

I was cranking right along on this design this morning (math + math = math!) and there it was… I’d gotten my knitting in a twist! Luckily I wrote down everything I did as I went along. Time to frog! 🐸

We have plans today even though we’re expecting Snowmageddon: White Out of Death 💀. It’s Date “Night” and we’re planning to go to an artist talk in town, and after that, dinner.

What are your plans this fine Saturday?