This week I’ve continued to focus on the Ocean Moon shawl, which is finished and blocking. I’ll post pics of that on Friday.
I also recast on Bob’s socks. I found the flips a little slippery, so I’m back to my Lykke Driftwood and magic loop method.
I’ve been practicing my dyeing. These skeins are inspired by an artists’ trading card I made years ago. They are 50/50 cotton and wool dyed with low impact acid dyes. The cotton content creates a heathery effect, as the wool takes up the dye but the cotton doesn’t. The three skeins shown came out as expected and are now listed in the shop.
Two skeins came out muted due to a less consistent dyebath temperature. I decided to try overdyeing them, inspired by the full lunar eclipse. (Image of lunar eclipse on right by friend Miriam Climenhaga.) I was hoping for a complex black with pops of red. Because of the cotton content in the yarn, there is no way I could get a true black with acid dyes. They are more gray, but a nice memento of seeing the Flower Moon eclipse in the sky on my birthday.
I don’t know whether to call it Flower Moon or Blood Moon. I guess it was a Full Flower Super Total Blood Moon Eclipse! It was quite a sight centered over the trees behind our house. I’m still singing “Pink Moon” to myself.
I’ve also been practicing with procion dyes for the Volunteer Sunflowers yarn mystery box, but won’t share images as they are a mystery! I’ve got a pretty good handle on procion dyes for cellulose fibers and acid dyes for protein fibers. It’s the blends I’m practicing to see if I can improve techniques there. I also want to make sure I know how to get the most vibrant colors possible for nonsuperwash yarns, as colors tend to be less vibrant than on superwash wool yarns. I’m experimenting with that, and ways to ensure the colors are well set and lightfast —all while trying to exhaust the dye baths and impact our watershed as little as possible.
I had a lovely birthday and received heartwarming cards and gifts. This is a small sample of knitting related gifts from friends. I can’t wait to start reading the Knitstrips comic book!
I also finished weeding and planting the garden. I planted less this year in hopes it won’t be such a jungle.
Today I hope to get some sewing done! What are you working on this week?
I’m in Oklahoma visiting family. I get to take my Mom shopping for Mother’s Day! (Hi Mom!) I don’t have much to share other than this yarn from Scissortail Yarn and Fiber Mill. Bob’s Mom sent me some birthday money (Hi Margie!) and I spent it on the oceany alpaca skeins on the left, and the wool variegated skeins in the center. My sister bought me the purple Gotland skein on the right for my birthday. (Hi Lori!) All the yarn was milled and spun on location!
I brought my Ocean Moon mystery knitalong with me and am halfway through Clue 4. I am loving the way my gradient is knitting up.
I’m still plugging away on the Ocean Moon mystery knitalong, Clue 1. Clue 3 drops tomorrow! I hope to catch up this weekend. I am liking the yarn colors and the design. I’m getting the hang of intarsia again, though I’m slow.
I finished sewing my Melba dress. I feel very chic wearing it. It looks great with my clogs and sunglasses.
The fabric is organic cotton knit from Spoonflower. It says, “Born to Knit” and “Knitting Takes Balls.” I’m very happy with it. My only complaint is the boat neck is too wide. I’ll adjust that on the next one I sew.
As I transition out of my job, and into focusing on home, my (very) small business, and my creative endeavors, I’ve been struggling to blog. Transitions are hard for me. It’s not that I don’t like change — and this will be a good change. It’s difficult for my nervous system to regulate change. I’m always surprised by the period of paralysis that is inevitable.
I couldn’t wait to cast on my Spring Thaw yarn. I’m making a Bandana Cowl Number 4 by Placemarker. I’m thrilled with the feedback I’ve received on the box. And I’m so grateful to everyone who placed orders, and to the talented makers who partnered with me.
I’ve been testing rose wax and lanolin candles for the Wool & Roses Yarn Mystery Box. Only a few days left to order! I can’t wait to see how Kelley at Dye Mad Yarns interprets this colorway in alpaca and silk yarn.
My Vertices Unite is coming along. I want to finish this before April 15, when the Ambah Ocean Moon Mystery Knitalong starts. That’s probably not going to happen, but I’m going to try anyway.
My Arrowhead Cardigan looks much the same. I try to knit a row or two a day, striving to get to the shoulder seams.
I finished the ribbing on my Auchnaha cardigan. I’ll probably put this away for a little while, until I finish Arrowhead. Although, I’d like to be wearing it now!
It’s supposed to be 75 degrees Fahrenheit today, after a low of 19 yesterday. I guess I’d better get my seeds started. I’m going to grow more natural dye plants this year.
This week I was listening to a Celtic music playlist — because Celtic music is my happy music — and in the middle of this playlist (at 29:25 to be exact) along came a song I recognized… from Napoleon Dynamite! If you are curious, the scene is at this link. Our family loves Napoleon Dynamite, and it is probably one of the most quote worthy films in our house, after A Christmas Story, and Raising Arizona.
I am still planning a gansey, knitting one row per day on Arrowhead, and stimming in stockinette on Freya’s Musselburgh. I’m angry about my Vertices Unite, probably because the indigo dyed yarn rubs off on my hands. And I had my nails done this week, which match my gansey swatch!
Since apparently I’m bored with my current knitting, I am going to knit a swatch for another project: Auchnaha. It’s a cardigan that is currently only available through Kate Davies’ Argyll’s Secret Coast Club, which I am really enjoying. On the left, you see Tukuwool DK in Rohto, which I have in stash. On the right is Kate Davies’ Schiehallion in Mooring, which I would have to order. I get a club discount though, and I like that this yarn is smoother than the Tukuwool. But the Tuku may knit up just fine, and smooth out during blocking, so I’m going to give it a try. Both yarns are a blue-green color that I thought would be nice for spring.
I have cut out the wool melton for my royal blue Clare coat, as well as the Thinsulate. I’m waiting on some interfacing before I do any more. I’ve also added a couple of new pieces to my spring wardrobe sewing: a Melba Dress in black cotton jersey and a Norman Jumpsuit in eggplant linen. I have the fabric, but I did buy the patterns — although one was a free bonus pattern with a discount code, which I felt good about.
My spinning continues to improve. I should do more of it.
I’ve been diligently knitting one round on my Arrowhead Cardigan every day. I’m also trying to finish up my Gourd Party socks. I’m hoping to have a finished object tomorrow.
What I’m Watching
The light of my viewing life right now is Beforeigners. Season 2 just started, so we have to wait a week between episodes. We are also watching Station Eleven, which is excellent if a little dismal. Interesting tidbit: Pam Allen’s daughter is an actress in Station Eleven. When she modeled for Interweave Knits, I wanted to knit everything she wore.