The Doldrums of Creativity: A YOP Update

View from our driveway. We live here! 🍂🍁

I had so many creative plans for this staycation. Then, at some point last week, I stopped doing anything productive. I read an entire book in one sitting, and I hiked. I don’t regret it.

Felting

Haze Over Maize, Granville 2020: wool and cotton floss

I finished a piece for the upcoming group art show. I was trying to skip the photo stage and create something from inspiration. I spent a lot of time stitching on it. I enjoyed the process as it was very meditative, but am not thrilled with the product. I’m not sure what I would do differently. It is too big for my barnwood shadow box frames, so I had to order a new one. I’m tempted to try to make something else instead of submitting this, but I’m not sure that’s realistic. I think it’s fine but I wish it were better.

I tried felting angora yesterday, as an experiment, and it was a disaster.

Knitting

I’ve almost finished my first Halloween sock! 🎉 And I have cast on almost all the October things.

Today this blog post about The Doldrums of Creativity was in my inbox. (FYI When I share things, I do not get compensated in any way. I’m not an influencer or anything like that.) It was a helpful read. I really like the part about having faith in your ideas.

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

Blogville Knitters Skype today at 1PM Eastern! Then my kids will be here for tofu Sloppy Joe’s and Nightmare Before Christmas.

My mums did not disappoint this year.

Wednesday WIP and a Color Quiz

Foursquare Cowl in Chinook Fleece Artist Yarn

I needed a project change so I picked up my Foursquare Cowl, designed by Whit. The variegated yarn is the Celtic Colours yarn I purchased in Nova Scotia last October. The purple is the same yarn but a different colorway. I think these colors are really gorgeous and I’m looking forward to wearing this cowl soon! Fall colors are my favorite. Or are they?…

This is the perfect segue into Karen’s latest quiz about color!

We are all artists. We use our supplies be they fiber, yarn, beads or whatever to create pieces that express our vision. This vision can have texture or color. Let’s talk about color.

What is your favorite color? How is this color reflected in your crafting?

My favorite color changes. It was cerulean blue for a long time. But right now I’m really into orange and red. My favorite color to wear, however, is grey.

Do you prefer bright colors or more subdued shades?

I like deep, rich colors, especially jewel tones. But I feel more comfortable wearing neutrals. So whenever I’m choosing colors for myself, I vacillate between those two options.

Does your color mood shift with the seasons? Do you carry one color all year and just change the accent color?

My color mood shifts, especially in the spring when I favor white, pink, icy blues and pale greens.

Is there a color you avoid? Or maybe it’s underrepresented in your crafting?

Like others, I tend to avoid yellow. I really like yellow, but it’s a color I can’t see myself wearing.

When you pick out your crafting supplies how important is color to you? Is it the first thing you consider or is it a bit further down the list?

I rarely choose to knit something based on color. I’m more interested in the fiber content, garment construction, stitch pattern, and how the yarn feels. Color is usually the last thing I choose, and it’s a difficult decision for me. I’m not naturally gifted with an understanding about how colors work together, or how a color will make me feel when wearing it. So I deliberate over color choice. Unless it’s stripey socks, and then it’s all about color!

Do you ever consciously choose a different color palette just for the change?

If I try to consciously choose a different color palette, it becomes a very unnatural sort of 180 degree knee jerk move that usually doesn’t work out. That’s why I joined a yarn subscription, so I can be surprised by new colors and try them.

I’d really like to knit something in a rich chocolatey brown. Brown has been out for a while, and I’d like to see it make a comeback.

Feel free to answer in the comments or if you’re answering on your blog leave a link so we can all read about your opinions on color and how it pertains to your crafting.

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!

Christmas Eve Eve

Someone has been watching too much Great British Baking Show! I’ve never made mincemeat before, but I’ve tasted it, and it’s pretty gross. So Bob made his amazing gluten free pie crust and I made my own delicious and tart mincemeat! It includes Granny Smith apples, apple cider, butter, sugar, Bob’s pumpkin pie spice, crystallized ginger, and dried sultanas, cranberries, sour cherries, and figs. Also sunflower nuts and pepitas since I can’t have tree nuts. And orange zest and a pinch of salt!

My flavors are there, but the crust could have used another minute.

I’m going to eat one while watching the next episode.

I have a new-to-me favorite Christmas song. Enjoy!

Fabric Flubs

Look at this gorgeous fabric I ordered. Unfortunately it weighs a ton. It is bonded! If I made a jumpsuit out of it, I’d feel like I was wearing a carpet. I think it will make a nice coat, though. So I’ll look for a coat pattern on Seamwork. I think my last issue of Ottobre has a coat too.

In the meantime, maybe I’ll try to make the jumper out of some knit fabric I purchased for a dress but never made. Then I can put it on hold until spring.

Whenever I get any new fabric or yarn, I take it to my studio. Then I think, why? I’m moving out of here in less than a month! I’m sad about giving up my studio, but I know it’s the right thing to do.

I don’t know if I will be able to sew after I move out. I’m guessing most of my things will go to the basement. I think I will keep my studio membership which allows me to use the sewing machine and sergers there. There is also a local sewing business where you can go and rent the use of a machine for $10 an hour. The problem is I need to be alone when I sew. I don’t have the ability to sew and chat, unfortunately.

Are you a community sewist or a solo sewist?

When My Worlds Collide

One of our vendors recently traveled to Puno, Peru to visit the artisans they work with, and they shared these videos.

I love the way the artisans carry the yarn around their neck, and how quickly they knit!

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On the home front, my Boost Your Knitting book arrived. I’m so glad they put everything in a book at the end of the club, because otherwise I wouldn’t be able to complete all the lessons!

Ancestry and DNA

I’ve been meaning to blog about my DNA test because I recently came across some new information.

These tests are only as accurate as the pool of DNA they have to compare it against. For example, I have documented French Huguenot ancestry, but DNA testing is outlawed in France, so there is no comparative DNA.

I found the West Asian DNA surprising, although you just never know for sure. But I was open to the idea, even though there is no family lore about it.

But I recently read about a man with documented Cherokee ancestry who had West Asian ancestry show up in his DNA test, but no Native American ancestry. The article went further to say that often people descended from Eastern tribes like Cherokee, Choctaw, and Creek will show up as West Asian, because that is their original and closest descent, while Western tribes will show up as East Asian/ Polynesian. This made sense because we have undocumented Choctaw ancestry according to family lore. There probably won’t be any way to verify this until more First Nations people choose to have their DNA tested.

ETA: I’ve done a little more research and it sounds like this West Asian – Native American connection is a bunch of hooey. Live and learn!

I suspect the Baltic comes from my maternal Grandmother’s Vance line.

Also, you might have ancestry that doesn’t show up in your DNA test because you didn’t get those genes.

Still killing time at the BMV…

Follow Up

Isn’t this blue linen pretty?

I originally bought it to make another pair of Emerson Pants. But I thought it was too pretty for pants. So today I cut out a Farrow Dress instead.

(Photo courtesy of Grainline Studios)

I hope to start sewing it together tomorrow. Shout out to my Mom who sent me some birthday cash which I promptly blew on linen fabric from Lithuania. (I’m so glad I did!)

I also worked on my felt painting today.

This is mostly Romeldale-CVM and local (Ohio) Shetland wool. I’m hoping to get to the felting part tomorrow. This is for a group show with Mother Artists at Work in July.

I even knit on my Celtic Myths today.

Today was a good day.

Back in the Swing

I went to the studio today and made a linen tee.

I found this fabric rather challenging to work with. It’s a tissue linen knit. Since it’s almost transparent I doubled the fabric on the body. I didn’t have enough to make them the same size so I went with the fluttery look by making the top layer a little shorter.

I left the edges unfinished. I accidentally sewed the neck binding on backwards, but you can’t really tell. Especially now that I’ve washed it.

I bought this fabric to make pj pants, but now I’m thinking of making the Lily top with it. What do you think?

I’m designing the perfect beanie with this Malabrigo.

I re-cast-on my lilac heather cumulus blouse. I tried to fix the messed up raglan shoulder, but wasn’t able to make it work. So I frogged it. All shoulders are looking good now!

What are you working on this weekend?