A Crafty Q&A from Karen

Karen, over at nothingbutknit, posted a Q&A! Here are her questions and my answers:

Q. What are your crafty plans for 2019? Are you going to try something new? If you could learn one new thing this year what would it be?

A. My crafty year will consist of knitting, wet felting, sewing, and beading- embroidery on an art piece I have been working on since 2015. Or, rather, an art piece I haven’t worked on since 2015 is what I should say. For something new, I am seriously considering learning macrame jewelry. I ordered two macrame necklaces on Etsy and I have two cabochons (moonstone and labradorite) that I would love to make into pendants or bracelets. I feel like this is something I should learn how to do. Maybe I will also try to knit wire jewelry again, but so far I have not liked the results.

Q. Do you have a special project planned for 2019? Are you going to make something special for yourself or someone else?

A. This year I have a few sewing projects in mind for my wardrobe. A pair of wool, wide legged pants (which I have loved ever since I bought my first pair from the J Peterman Company in the 1980s) a summer dress, and a summer tunic with pockets. I already have the fabric and patterns, and now that I have the space, I can make them! I have sewn the bibs from the Rosie the Riveter pattern twice before, but I have outgrown both pair! This year I’ve decided to grow a bit in maturity and sew the trousers. I purchased the dress pattern in 2012 because I had intended to use it for my wedding dress, but instead opted for another pattern.

Q. I’ve been wondering if you’ve ever donated something you’ve made to charity. Is it something you’d consider doing? Why or why not?

A. I would love to knit for charity, but I have such a long queue of selfish projects, I never get to it. I blogged about that time I knit a Peace Shawl as a silent auction donation, which left me feeling unappreciated. I’ll probably never do that again. But knitting garments for those in need is a very different thing. Maybe next year I’ll set a goal to knit one item for charity. I will never complete my projects planned for 2019 as it is.

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After blocking, I’m in love with my modified Carbeth even more and am wearing it over my second favorite flannel shirt today! I forgot to mention that I added a few inches to the body. I love this knit so much, I am considering ordering a Carbeth Swan Dance kit in a few months, once I have saved some pennies. That blue is just gorgeous. And although I love the styling of the rolled neckline, it would not flatter me, so I’ll stick with the plain rib.

Also, look how my hand dyed Targhee stripes just like the Manos Maxima on Harald’s sweater! Isn’t that funny? I am now thinking of this as a design element.

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As you can see, blocking didn’t improve the ease. Maybe it would be better if I didn’t wear it over a flannel shirt? Nevermind, it is so comfortable and wearable, I really don’t care.

Also, my underarm grafting did not turn out as well as I would have liked. Although the kitchener stitching worked out fine, and I even picked up a stitch or two on each end to graft, those loose corners get me every time. I ended up mattress stitching them on either side of the grafting, but it doesn’t look as nice as I want it to. I’m all about making a garment look as good on the inside as it does on the outside unless, of course, it doesn’t work out that way.

Today is my first full day back to work, so here I go!

Hello 2019!

As you can see, I didn’t have any trouble getting into my journal today. I transferred over my goals from my decomposition notebook into a list format with the help of a new stencil. After using said stencil, I’m not quite sure I needed it, but as I now have it, I’ll probably carry on using it.

I finished my Carbeth today. This is pre-blocking. Even so, in full knowledge that this does not have the required ease, I still love it and it is perfect over my favorite flannel shirt. I also chose to skip the rolled neckline, because jowls, and instead matched the ribbing on the hem.

Wow, I never thought it would be so difficult to get one photo of myself I felt was decent enough to post on my blog.

I have a full skein of yarn leftover! Super exciting, because I love this gorgeous red Targhee!

For my next cast on, I’ve decided to start Celtic Myths. I wound my skein of Cheryl Oberle’s Dancing Colours today, and as you can see, the colors are sultry! I am casting on with hopes of wearing it to the Celtic Colours Festival in Nova Scotia in October. Bob and I have a goal to get there and spend some time with his parents.

Bob and I went hiking on Sunday. I say hiking, but it was really wandering around lost in the mud. It was still a beautiful day, as you can see.

I really love the community here on WordPress, and I’m so grateful to have made so many new blogging friends in 2018. Thank you for reading my blog!

Happy New Year!

New Year New Club New Studio Same Me

I’m very excited for the new Kate Davies club. I received this beautiful journal and a bag full of Milarrochy Tweed yarn! I admit I feel intimidated by this gorgeous blank journal. I look forward to starting the club. Until then, I’m afraid to make a mark in it.

I am starting to look around for washi tape and stencils, even though I feel silly since I’ve never used a bullet journal before and have no idea what I’m doing.

I am mostly moved into my new studio, where the above photo was taken, on my new standing desk. As I was moving and sorting I found some old artwork. If it aged well I went ahead and set it out. Why not?

I’m currently knitting away on my holiday red Carbeth. I’ve just started the sleeves.

And here is a photo inspired by skeinherder.

JoJo insists on curling up in my lap while I’m knitting, so I should be allowed to have a little fun, right?

Also, do you remember how Charlie Brown had a kite eating tree? I have a knitting needle eating couch.

Christmas Knits

I finished all my Christmas knitting by the end of the day. That counts, right?

Harald’s sweater is massive, but he loves it and wore it all day. I suppose we could felt it a bit and shrink it a tad, but I think he really likes it as is. The stripes ended up looking okay as the entire back is like that.

I had to modify the Goats of Inversnaid hat pattern in order to use the Milarrochy Tweed yarn. I ended up knitting two more repeats of goats before starting the crown. (Look at me learning from my mistakes and listening to myself.) I really like how long and narrow the beanie is. It looks a little more trendy this way. And I’m pleased with how the crown came out.

We had a great day of Ethiopian food for dinner, presents, and Christmas movies. I’m surprised by how many we watched this year: Elf, Rare Exports, Krampus, A Christmas Horror Story, Christmas with the Kranks, A Charlie Brown Christmas, A Christmas Story, It’s a Wonderful Life, Black Adder’s Christmas Carol, SCTV Christmas Special, and Scrooged.

Merry Christmas! I hope your day was jolly!

Afterthought Sweater

I’ve started thinking of Harald’s sweater as the Afterthought Sweater.

  • I added mock cables as an afterthought.
  • I decided on set in sleeves as an afterthought (a mistake.) I should have stuck with drop shoulders, but I was afraid they would be at his elbows.
  • I still think I should have frogged those stripes when I noticed them.

Other than that, this is a very nice sweater, if a little large. I based it on measurements of his favorite sweater, which was oversized. It is blocked and wrapped and in the (mock) fireplace with the rest of the gifts.

I still have a hat to finish.

Merry Christmas!

Knit Like the Wind

Time to watch the Joe Bob Christmas horror marathon on Shudder and knit like the wind!

Sleeve number two is underway!

I only have one sleeve to knit, then I have to sew it on, then finish a hat, in two days! Do you think I can do it? I think I can do it. I’d better stop blogging and start knitting.

Also, Joe Bob was complaining about cranberry sauce, but it’s clear to me he’s never had homemade, whole cranberry sauce. I would eat that year round. Maybe I’ll extend cranberry sauce season to include New Year’s alongside black eyed peas and greens.

One and Not Done, and Lofty Thoughts on Fiber and the Environment

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First off, sleeve one is done. It took much longer than expected, and I knit like a woman obsessed while watching one after the other of Christmas horror movies (A Christmas Horror Story, Krampus, and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri – not a Christmas horror movie, but horrific in its own way, and you can only tolerate so much schlock in one sitting, after all. Although I would consider all of these movies dark comedies.)

I want to credit Ann Budd’s Handy Book of Sweater Patterns for helping me through the armhole shapings. I should really know how to do this by now, as I have sewn clothing and drafted my own patterns, but it has been a while, and this is for my son and not myself, and I felt nervous about it, and this is why next year my word for the year is going to be “exercise.” This includes physical exercise, but also exercising my design muscles with monthly challenges. I look forward to blogging about it.

Talking to Henry about the environment has me thinking about how sheep farming and the wool trade effects the climate. While I am not vegan – I am not even vegetarian – I believe factory farming is unethical – so bad for animals, people, and the environment – and I think small, family farming is the way of the future, and we should eat much less meat than we do. I would be happy giving up all animal food products, but I will never give up my knitting wool. There, I said it. I do try to source my yarn ethically, although the supply chain can be deep, so sometimes you don’t really know. I am looking at you, Berroco Chunky Alpaca. My guess is that alpaca farming is pretty ethical, though. In general, I find small yarn companies to be very transparent, which makes it much easier. Knitters have always cared about the sheep, and I think yarn companies know that and make sustainability part of their ethos.

How sustainable is wool? As a fiber, it is very sustainable – long wearing, biodegradable. And as far as land use, wool animals (sheep, goats, alpacas) can graze on land that is not suitable for farming, so that’s okay too. Yay, wool!

Of course, we have so much plastic that now it is being recycled into fiber for clothing. Think about that. Plastic clothing that will never get dirty and never wear out, like The Man in the White Suit. Would that be better for the climate? I guess it depends on how it is processed. And what happens to the animals, who now rely on humans for their survival? So, no thank you to plastic for my part. Plus, I like my clothing to breathe.

If you are still with me, thank you for reading. I needed to get these thoughts out of my head before I start my very busy work week.

Here’s my question for you, dear reader. Do you see those stripes on Harald’s sweater? Those lovely stripes that say, “Hi. I am a handknit garment of fair trade wool yarn that is hand kettle dyed by women in Uruguay, which is why I went a little stripey here. Don’t mind me.” Should I vat dye this sweater and try to mottle those stripes out a little bit? This is totally within my power. Let me know what you think. Thank you for sharing your opinion.

Carbeth

I finally cast on Kate Davies’ Carbeth in the red Targhee wool from Yarndaze. I decided I want to finish it before Christmas because it’s a gorgeous holiday red. I hear it’s a quick knit.

I hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving. We had a full house here, with lots of food, family, and friends. I had such a good time I forgot to take photos. We played a fun but morbid game called Gloom.

I’ve been working the last two days, but I am looking forward to a fall hike today, and baking and decorating gingerbread cookies with my youngest. It’s one of our traditions.

Sunday Off

Tonight I knit the neck ribbing on Harald’s sweater. I think I may have picked up a few too many stitches in the front, what do you think? Maybe it will block out? Maybe it’s because I chose mock cable rib for the chest panel? Maybe it’s close enough and I should move on?

Look at those lines from the kettle dying below the chest. I saw them when I was knitting them but decided it didn’t matter. I am still okay with it because it’s hand dyed yarn and a hand knitted garment. I hope he will be too. I might be in denial about myself being okay with it.

A friend of mine introduced me to Color Street nail polish strips. I never paint my nails because ugh! What a pain. But these are cute and really easy to use. Check out my “Fleece Navidad” Christmas sweater nails.

So fun. And you don’t have to wait for them to dry to start knitting again! Because they are already dry! I think of them as being like window clings when I am putting them on. It was my first time and I did pretty well.

It might be a little early for Christmas nails, but I rationalize it by calling them Fair Isle nails.

Today was my only day off this weekend. I tried to relax and do fun things. Middle Child and I watched Season 5 of Vikings since the new season comes out later this month. I am loving this cold weather and looking forward to a big Thanksgiving.

I see many bloggers knitting Christmas gifts. I am not ambitious enough to do that. What about you? Are you knitting any gifts this year?

Seaming Sweaters

I seamed the shoulders of Harald’s sweater today. I was a little put out with myself because I had forgotten to keep my stitches live during shoulder shaping so I could use the three-needle bind-off method. I rationalized myself out of ripping back by telling myself this knit is drapey and a little heavy (due to accidentally knitting on size 9 instead of size 8 needles) and the seams would give it more structure. That probably isn’t true but my seams turned out nice.

I fell back into mattress stitching as if I did it every day instead of once every few years.

When you really love something I guess it is like riding a bike. You never forget!

I have been trying to find more knitting blogs to read by looking at the knitting hashtag in my wordpress reader. Do you have favorite knitting blogs? Will you share them with me?