A Fairly Productive Week 2: Year of Projects

Knitting

In addition to finishing Bob’s Pride socks, I’ve made good progress on my Milkshake Cardigan, and have been keeping up with the clues for my mystery knit along.

Sewing

I finished my Emerson shorts. I’ve got some other sewing projects I’d like to get to, but today I focused on…

Fiber Art

I made a new piece today. I had the same problem with the felt not attaching to the prefelt backing. I think the prefelt backing is the problem, as all my fiber felted together really well. It just slid off the backing. So that’s more needle felting to do, and I’m not sure how I feel about this piece. It’s the remake of the one I don’t like. Why do I keep making it? Because I love the photo! It’s inspired by a photo I took in Iona, Nova Scotia. It’s just really hard to interpret in wool.

Podcast

A new episode “dropped” today, as the young folks say. In honor of Plastic Free July, I thought I would stick close to home and interview someone who inspires me a great deal. He has made a huge impact on reducing the amount of plastic waste in our home by creating almost all the soaps we use in our household from scratch. Listen in as I interview my husband, Bob, about soapmaking, the magic of science, and how to save money while saving the world. (It’s not as dangerous as it looks.) You can listen here or wherever you listen to your podcasts.

Listening to Music Intentionally

This one seems appropriate.

This has been a Year of Projects Update. You can learn more about the group on RavelryYou can read my updated list of projects here.

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.

Sunday Year of Projects Update

I haven’t been keeping up on my YOP updates. Since it’s been a while, I thought I should do that today.

Sewing

I finished sewing my Ophelia Overalls, and I love them. I’m going to sew a pair for each season. These are my spring overalls. I’ll sew a linen pair in summer, a corduroy pair in fall, and a wool flannel pair in winter. Pattern is by Decades of Style. Fabric is organic cotton twill from Koshtex.

Next I’ll sew another Raglan Dress in blue cotton shirting.

Knitting

Water is coming along. I get frustrated with the lace sections, so it’s in time out a fair bit. It’s not that it’s difficult. I think I’ve got it, so I stop paying close attention and then make a mistake. It’s not great TV knitting.

I’ve knit a gauge swatch for an Anker’s Summer Shirt (Rav link). AJ is knitting one, and it was in my queue, so I thought, why not? Impromptu KAL. My gauge is spot on in this Blacker Lyonesse linen and wool, so time to cast on!

I also knit a gauge swatch for Kate Davies’ new long sleeved Treit in Foxglove. I’m having trouble getting gauge so I think I’ll sit on it a bit.

I’m going to let Bob pick out some yarn from my stash, and then cast on a new pair of socks for him. He really likes his Valentine’s Day socks and wears them a lot.

Felting

I have a new piece finished for March, and meant to lay out my April piece today. But I’m tired after all the sewing, so I guess I’ll do that next weekend. I checked my wool colors, and I should be good to go. No colors to dye for the next one.

Design

My cotton and linen slub tee is coming along.

Podcast

My new episode “Grow Your Clothes: Rust Belt Fibershed” is available! I had a great time on this interview and ended up having to cut quite a bit, but may have enough left over for another episode. If you would like to give it a listen, look for The Just Craft on Stitcher, Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or Google Podcasts, or you can listen at thejustcraft.com.

Baking

I made some banana bread today! I like walnuts in my banana bread, but can’t have them (tree nut allergy) so I added pumpkin seeds instead.

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

Shout out to Kelley of Ramen Needles / Dye Mad for adjusting my yarn club subscription when I asked her not to send me superwash if possible. She sent me this gorgeous silk and linen this month. 💙

Eager Beaver Gets the Job Done

I feel like an entire year of pent up pandemic energy exploded this week!

The Just Craft is now available on Stitcher, Spotify, and Apple Podcasts. Google Podcasts had already indexed my episodes — which I didn’t know — but I’ve submitted the new feed to them. I‘ve got two exciting interviews lined up. And James is going to interview me for Podcast Tactics! Now I need to come up with a new logo concept.

I am the cow’s tail (as my Mother and Grandparents would say) on the Water shawl KAL. (That means I’m behind everyone else.) But I did finally finish the second lace short row section. It’s been a rough week, and I have to pay attention when I’m knitting this. The good news is that the lace is repetitive, and I think I can read my knitting now. That should make it go more quickly and easily.

I received my yarn for the Beaver KAL. I ordered Bougie Beaver but oops received Saturday Night Beaver. It’s really pretty and is very close to another yarn I have in my stash. Weirdly close. A little more gold, though. I really wanted Bougie Beaver for my Jessica Jones Cowl, so I ordered another skein, this time in Solo Fingering. I left an order note indicating to send me Bougie Beaver, please and thank you. I’m sure they are overwhelmed with eager KAL beavers.

I am making an effort to not order anymore superwash yarn after this. Here’s an article from Woolful that talks about reasons why superwash wool is not environmentally sustainable. This isn’t new information to me, it’s just that I hadn’t really wrapped my brain around just how many dyers are using superwash wool and how, now, if I order yarn online without paying close attention, it’s likely to be superwash. My eyes are agog at the colors, and I don’t stop to think about the environmental cost. I have purged my stash of some, but not all. I don’t even like the hand of superwash for garments for myself, to be honest. I may use what’s left in my stash for knitting for family and friends who will likely throw their garments in the washer and dryer.

Here’s my second Rikke hat I’m knitting in Malabrigo Arroyo. Oops. It’s sport weight instead of DK. I went down a needle size because my last Rikke was a little big and floppy. I hope this one fits! This is the Anniversario colorway, and it is really pretty.

This is my most recent yarn purchase. It’s my favorite wool from my favorite farm. And hopefully I will soon get to meet Clancy, the sheep. This is the same yarn I used to make my Paris Toujours shawl that I wear all the time. It’s my favorite garment. Maybe I’ll even get to meet Hollis, the sheep who provided the wool for my shawl? I need to decide what color to dye it, although it’s very pretty as is.

Squirrel! A YOP Update

Pumpkin Spice Latte Socks in WYS 4-Ply, Color Nutmeg

I’m making good progress on my Pumpkin Spice Latte socks. Nevermind that they weren’t on my original list. I chose the open twisted rib stitch for my cuffs because it reminds me of the frothy heart a barista would make with the latte foam.

Updated Arachne photo

You can see that I’m making some progress on my Arachne body. You can also see my floats are pulling a little, but I think it will block out. There is no way I have enough yarn for this and Quince and Co is out. I’ve signed up to be notified once it’s back in stock.

Other than that, honestly I haven’t been doing much other than work. I am journaling some. And I’ve started running at intervals, which feels great.

Something cool happened, though. The Livestock Conservancy reached out and asked if they could use my podcast on a grant application. That made me happy. C19 really knocked the wind out of my sails regarding the podcast. I’m not sure what’s going to happen with it.

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

Kenana Knitters

On the way to Eldoret we stopped at Kenana Knitters. Unfortunately we were there on a Saturday when the workshop is closed, but the Manager, Susan, met us and the founder, Patricia, came to meet us. I was able to interview both of them for The Just Craft, and I can’t wait to share it with you!

Susan and Patricia showing me one of their handmade spinning wheels made with a repurposed bicycle wheel.

They use locally produced wool for their yarn, and dye it with native plants! As you can imagine, I was totally geeked out.

They don’t allow photos of their products, but if you go to their website you will see what they make. It’s a wonderful workshop offering gainful employment and empowering programs for the local women.

I finished my first hat in Kenyan wool. What do you think about the tassel? Two tassels? No tassel? Pompom? I like how the tassel looks like a thistle and I am calling it my Thistle Tassel Hat. It’s a tad big (I have a big head) so it needs to be taken down by a couple of stitches. But it’s simple and a novice knitter could accomplish it easily, I think. I might add another tassel.

February! Wow!

First off, check out this Ace I made out of a remnant:

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I am wearing this to Kenya, and I told my Mom I will wear the funnel neck over my nose and mouth instead of a mask, to protect me against coronavirus.

Second, I did swatch my Black Welsh Mountain yarn:

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Finally, check out the newest episode of The Just Craft and my interview with Jay Jasper of The Alchemist’s Studio!

If I can blog from Kenya, I will!

Sundee

This is my Sunday: knitting, reading, cozy cat on quilt, and hemming some pants. I may stay in my PJs all day.

Yesterday I sewed a bag for Liz (part of her giveaway prize) based on this bag sewn for me by Sarah. I am thinking of it as friendship bread, the sewing version.

The Juki machines are nice. I am enjoying my sewing again. I still have a lot to learn about them.

I started my Hogsmeade Cowl. I really wanted to make a linen stitch cowl but didn’t have enough for Jessica Jones. I realized I had the power. I knit a swatch in linen stitch. I did math. I cast on. This will be my Kenya knitting. I will knit until I’m almost out of yarn, and then I’ll bind off.

In the upper left of the photo above, you will see a book by The Alchemist. I am savoring it, especially the photos of the gorgeous vases and the intro to Raku at the beginning. I will learn more next week as I have an interview with the artist for The Just Craft. One day I will buy a vase. I have my eye on Jovian Moon. Although A Horse with No Name and Apollo’s Song have also taken my fancy. Housewarming gift for myself? I have to buy a house first. Priorities!

I received some very nice hand-me-down clothing from friends for my household, and the boys are taking their picks. I have also claimed three pair of trousers for myself. I think I prefer men’s trousers. They are loose and comfy and high waisted for people with no waist. That’s me! Maybe I’ll start tucking in my shirts again.

I hope you have a wonderful Sunday. My main goal today is to not think about work so I can be fresh for tomorrow’s challenges!