Down with Bad Stuff

I do not like summer. I have never liked summer. I don’t like the heat. I don’t like the break in routine. Summer makes me grumpy. Summertime is when I like to stay indoors in the AC and read and knit. Down with Summer.

Bob and I walked to the library yesterday and I browsed the knitting books, while also picking up more Tudor books. I can’t seem to get enough of the Tudors — fiction, nonfiction, audiobook, proper book, well written, badly written… it really does not matter. And what’s fascinating is every author has a different take on the subject!

Anyway, I enjoyed browsing the knitting books and bringing a few home, noncommittally. In the past, I would only check out the knitting books if I thought I could learn something from them or if there was a pattern inside that I wanted to knit. I was in my same old rut — looking through knitting books that I thought were pretty but would never knit anything out of — when I realized it was okay. It is totally fine to check out a knitting book, flip through it and enjoy the eye candy, and then return it. It’s even okay to do it intentionally! Down with self-limiting arbitrary rules!

“Protest Knits” has a very enjoyable Trump Pincushion crochet pattern, but I will never make it. Maybe I will make the Down with Bad Stuff water bottle holder!

I have a HUUUGE water bottle (see what I did there?) and I never take it hiking because it’s too darn big! But this would solve that problem and be fun, albeit rather vague.

I started my Blue Ribbon Beanie. It is a beautiful shade of deep cerulean Malabrigo DK. It’s 2X2 rib. I’m not sure how I will decrease at the top yet. Ribbing can be tricky to decrease.

Honestly, I started the beanie because I’ve lost the verve for my FIVE sweaters I have on the needles, and even Celtic Myths feels a little fussy right now. So I’ve fallen back on hat knitting just to try to stick with it.

I had to give up a few things this Summer. I gave up the herb business. It needed more than I could give. I gave up some of my blog subscriptions. I couldn’t keep up. But I only gave up on the ones where I felt there wasn’t a connection. I have had to give up pleasure eating and drinking wine and margaritas. I gained a lot of weight last year and even exercise couldn’t help me keep it off, so I signed up for Noom and am counting every calorie and even steps! I had to give up sewing for a while, until I no longer needed to use my studio as an office.

But I got my office back, which means I also got my studio back. I got to participate in an art show. I got my teeth cleaned today, which included a new toothbrush, floss, and props for excellent hygiene. I’ve lost 2 pounds in 5 days. My garden is producing scrumptious tomatoes. Up with good stuff, amiright?!

Saturdeee WIPs

I’m making a little progress on Staghorn from A Fine Fleece. I decided I want to try to finish it before Celtic Colours so I’m making an effort to work on it more.

Celtic Myths is also coming along. If I stick to my goal of knitting two chart repeats of the border every week, I should be done by October. The mussel shell bug is a handmade treasure from my stepdaughter. As a rule, cockroaches are something I cannot abide, but these are charming. Probably because they don’t move unless I move them.

Lilac Heather Cumulus Blouse is also growing. This is great TV knitting.

I ordered some new cotton yarn. The Nature Cotton is my favorite and I used to design with it, but it’s now discontinued, so I bought up what I could find. The multi is Tolhuaca and worsted, but I think if I knit with two strands it might match the gauge of the bulky. I’m planning to type up one of my old designs and put it on Ravelry. I already have photos and everything, so I’m hoping this is a good baby step for me.

Lavender

Bob and I are on our way to a lavender festival, and I hope to blog tomorrow about all things lavender. Technically my cumulus blouse is lilac heather, but close enough.

I finished my felt piece for the Mother Artists at Work show next month. It’s all natural wool except for the blues. It’s mostly Romeldale-CVM and Shetland, and is called “Sunbleach”. It’s about 16X20. I hope it counts toward my Shave’Em to Save’em finished objects.

The caterpillars are eating my dill, but I don’t mind. Are these Monarchs?

Work has been very busy and I haven’t had time to blog or read blogs. I am trying to catch up.

Hi

I finished my Farrow Dress.

It’s very frockish. Super comfy and cool in the linen. Maybe it will dress up a bit with some sandal clogs. (Yes I used “dress up” and “clogs” in the same sentence.)

It was a new method of making pockets for me. I’m calling it the “apron method.” There is another complete layer of fabric across the inside front from the seam down. Since this is a medium weight linen, it makes it a little heavy. It’s not a good pattern for French seams but I made it work.

Not bad. Do you like it?

I got a little work done on my art piece. Do you like it? I’m liking it. I guess the real question is how long will I do this before I go home and have a glass of wine?

Or should I bring the wine here and keep working?

This is my choice for selfie of the week.

(Edited: I replaced the gym selfie because I thought this one was more appropriate.)

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.

Yep Yep Yep

Yep, it’s a shriveled up sweater, AKA lace. Cricket Hitofude is coming along. I hope to have it finished by this Saturday so I can wear it when I meet the Mayor of Indianapolis.

Yep, it’s a garden. We put in new beds and went to the heirloom plant sale today. They are a little wilty from being transplanted. So glad to have something of a garden, even though it’s smaller than I’m used to. I’m too busy to take care of a proper garden.

Yep, it’s some flick carded Romeldale CVM. I’m able to keep the natural colors more distinct this way. I won’t start felting it until next week.

More travel this week. Homestretch!

Catch Up and Q&As

“Three tomatoes are walkin’ down the street. Papa Tomato, Mama Tomato and Baby Tomato. Baby Tomato starts lagging behind, and Papa Tomato gets really angry. Goes back and squishes him and says: Ketchup!” — Pulp Fiction

I feel a little like Baby Tomato these days.

I finished my Emerson Pants. I’m pleased overall, but would like to suggest for the waistband that you fold it under on the inside and finish it by hand rather than what the instructions say. Because the pleats are thick I ended up with serger trauma.

It had been so long since I had sewn a waistband I didn’t think ahead on this one. I doubled-down on the stitching. Here’s hoping it survives the washing machine.

I am almost finished with the sleeve section on Cricket Hitofude and plan to be on to the next section today, unless my lilac heather cumulus blouse lures me away with its misty seamless stockinette lull. I finished one chart repeat on the edge of Celtic Myths, and it is so pretty. I look forward to diving into that monogamously at some point soon.

I bought two dress patterns from Grainline Studios and a custom fit jeans pattern from Bootstrap Fashion. I think I have enough natural linen left over to sew one of these dresses, but I’m hoping for an Etsy gift card for my upcoming birthday so I can order more linen from Lithuania.

This week I worked in my studio on some samples for our artisan partners in Kenya. I really enjoyed it and I’m hoping to be able to do more design work in future.

Today is my only day off this week so I’m parked on the couch with my knitting. Here are two Q&As from Karen and Kathy!

1. You’re sitting in your crafting chair or crafty couch, what else are you doing? Do you like to watch TV or maybe a movie? What are your favorites? Do you watch things more than once? Do you listen to podcasts? Do you prefer an audiobook?

I am usually watching a movie or tv show, preferably horror, sci fi, or UK/Euro mystery with beautiful scenery. I have recently started listening to audiobooks. The Shetland mysteries are my current favorite and I enjoy trying to say “murrrderrrr” like the narrator, and failing miserably every time.

2. What is your preferred drink? Are you having coffee, tea or maybe a tall frosty glass of beer? Do you have a snack? Do you like to reward yourself after a particularly long row or repeat?

Coffee or wine, depending on the time of day. I also like tea and shortbread cookies if it is afternoon. Sometimes I like herbal tea.

3. Do you craft alone or are you surrounded by your family and pets? Do they talk or whine while you’re counting? Are they understanding about the time you spend on your craft?

If I am crafting at home I am usually on the couch with Bob and our cat, JoJo. In the studio, where I do the majority of sewing and designing, I am usually alone.

1. What’s your favorite Pet movie?

I do not have a favorite pet movie.

2. Have you, do you play video games?

Not if I can avoid it. When the boys were younger they were always asking me to play video games with them, and I would only do so begrudgingly.

3. Discussing air travel with a friend recently, made me think about this question. Do you like take off and landings?  Do you enjoy the cruising time on a plane?

I enjoy the adrenaline of the take off and landing. I also enjoy the knitting/reading/sleeping time of the cruising. I enjoy air travel, except the waiting in line at the airport time.

4. Mason Dixon recently asked, Do you prefer fair isle or Duplicate stitch? So I’ll ask that of you as well.  Which do you prefer?

Fair Isle, of course.

5. Did you see the SNL skit last weekend about women who hate to shop for clothing?  It was spot on!  Do you like to shop for clothing?  Google it: The Shopping Experience for People Who Hate Shopping….

I did not but I will google it.

6. Some people love those interchangeable needles.  Do you?

I hate interchangeable needles because the yarn always gets caught on the join.

7. Have you ever called the Fire Department?

No, thank goodness.

8. Do you know anyone who had a home birth?  ( how random is this? at least the question is not did you call the fire department during your home birth.right?)

Yes I’m pretty sure I know several people who have had a home birth. My first two were born in a freestanding birth center, which was very like a home birth.

9. Boiled egg, Cadbury Egg, or Marshmallow Egg?

Marshmallow Egg.

10. When was the last time you rode on a bus?

Probably last summer. I enjoy riding on the bus!

Dang, now I wish I had a marshmallow egg.

Phew! Bizzzzzy

Last week was a travel week for work, but I still managed to accomplish some things.

I finished my PJ pants.

I started a dress. You can tell I was in an Eastery mood. I’ve had this material for ages – a gift from my friend Laurel – and today I decided I need a spring dress. (I’ll probably wear it over jeans though.)

I sold “Meditations on Wholeness” today to my friend Harvest, someone I know will treasure it as much as I do.

I pulled this little dude out of storage and fluffed him. He’s still in pretty good shape!

I went to Craftin’ Outlaws and had a lovely time. I saw someone selling her hand block printed textiles and it got me thinking about fair trade textiles from India that are block printed by hand, like my pillowcase, and how the desire to make beautiful things by hand spans all cultures.

I also bought these earrings.

I drank wine and talked with old friends and shared my plans to start a podcast, which will hopefully bear some fruit soon.

I am plugging away on Hitofude!

It will look so pretty with my new dress. Must! Knit! Faster!

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!