Squishy Mail!

With all the things going on in the world, I thought it was a good time to redeem my Fairlight Fibers gift card that Bob got for me for Christmas.

My main goal was to get the J&S yarn for the original Peerie Flooers hat colorway (center). I also splurged on some yak (left), tussah silk, and nettle blends (right) because I was curious. She has some great free patterns on her website too!

But right now I’m stitching on my Shetland Tweed Throw because no thinking is required.

The Outer Limits (of my mind)

I don’t know about you, friends, but I feel stretched to my limits. I am no longer capable of further complexity in my life. I made a silly mistake on my Farmhouse Cardigan and had to rip it out. I began some Wide Legged Pants only to be confounded by taping the pattern pieces together. It is important during these troubled times to recognize your limits, be gentle with yourself, and reach for what comforts you.

I decided patterns are a no go right now (although I wouldn’t turn down an oatmeal raisin cookie) and cast on a simple cowl. This is Knitpicks Swish Bulky in Saffron from my stash. It was a FibreShare gift. Sweet simple hygge bliss. I will make a hat to match! (And call him George and hug him and pet him…)

Why do we have a large hunk of quartz in our house? I think it was here when we moved in. Maybe it was meant to be a doorstop? It has migrated to the living room.

If you’ve watched a lot of Time Team, as I have, you will remember they find early medieval church altars made from quartz. Was this because it was believed to hold special properties? Was it because it was readily available and shiny? Did it raise the spiritual energy of the congregation? Do you believe quartz holds special metaphysical properties? I think I do believe it, as do many people of different cultural backgrounds. So what is the significance of this chunk of quartz in our house? Is it clearing out bad vibes?

Ooommmmm. I know you probably can’t tell what I’m doing, but it’s a face plant on quartz. There are definitely some weird things afoot at my house, and not just yours truly needing a mental clearing.

What’s bending our forks? Poltergeist?Misdirected quartz vibrations? Teenagers eating ice cream? (Or… aliens?)

I stopped by my LYS to show my support in these times of economic uncertainty. (It had nothing to do with me needing yarn therapy I assure you.) I did my patriotic duty and picked up the knitting game I’ve wanted since Christmas, plus yarn to match for good measure. It’s such a happy blue. Maybe another simple cowl and hat is in my future. At least there is some certainty to be found in knitting.

A Week in One Day

Sock it to me Monday

I started a sock! I decided if I don’t like knitting socks and everyone else does, then I’m probably not doing it right! I cast on a Blogville favorite, Hermione’s Everyday Socks. I am using some gorgeous Arrowhead Fibers Basic Sock from my stash, in Wintergreen. I started on two circulars as the pattern suggested, but switched to Magic Loop, which is slightly less stressful. There’s still a lot of needle flopping going on, but compared to stitch dropping on double points, maybe it’s ok? I’m knitting short socks for clogs and modified the ribbing. Keep me in your socky thoughts and knitty prayers.

Wednesday WIPs

I received the Chinook Fleece Artist in Jewel, my main color for Whit’s Foursquare Cowl. I cast on! This yarn is so soft and I think the colorways are perfect together. The variegated is my Celtic Colours yarn. This is a comforting and simple knit.

I cast on my Farmhouse Cardi in Black Welsh Mountain. This yarn has some VM in it. (That’s vegetable matter to us laymen.) I don’t mind picking it out. It reminds me this yarn is not far from the farm. It’s nice and squishy.

Still knitting on this Shetland Tweed Throw when I need something simple and chunky.

Friday FO

Oh yes I did! I finished my Seamwork Billie. It looks like PJs. It feels like PJs! It was a fun make. Next time I’ll pick a fabric that doesn’t make me wish I had a little red cowboy hat on.

Spooky Knitalong

Quiteayarnblog and mildlygranola are starting a knitalong for the Arachne sweater next month. I’m intrigued (or have FOMO) and if I frog and forget about The Oa, I could use this Cascade Sport. I could make a purple Arachne with green web, or a gray Arachne with charcoal web. I’m leaning toward gray because I’m boring that way. I have just under the needed yardage, so I’m not positive I’ll do it. I still love The Oa, but if I were going to knit it, wouldn’t I be further along by now?

Yes, there is purple in my hair.

Coasting on Friday Eve

Thursday always feels like going downhill. Like when Treebeard said in Lord of the Rings that going south feels like going downhill.

I am almost finished with Hans’ Tread. He wants an extra pattern repeat to make sure it covers his ears.

After that I will swatch for my Farmhouse Cardigan. I can’t wait to get my hands in the Black Welsh Mountain yarn. Maybe I will swatch for my Gryffindor Winter Ferns hat as well.

Then it’s Linen Stitch Cowl all the way to Kenya and back. Sounds like a trip to Naivasha is on the itinerary to meet the ladies with the wool!

Are you curious how I managed to afford the Black Welsh Mountain yarn? Basically I had $500 tied up in a savings account I didn’t have access to. I went to the bank and closed the account, moving the savings to our checking. And when I recalculated how much I needed for the cardi, it went from 1400 yards down to 1200, so that brought it down to $350. I still discussed it with Bob because that’s a lot to spend on yarn! But he agreed because it’s an investment in my happiness and cheaper than therapy if you divide it by hours spent knitting. I didn’t even have to use that last argument to persuade him.

It’s time to start thinking about the spring planting. Here’s a quiz from KathyB!

Have you gotten a seed catalog yet?

Yes, Seed Savers Exchange

Are you planning to plant by seed this year?

Probably, I usually do. Although last year we purchased some plants from a local urban farm.

Are you still giving away zucchini bread made from last fall’s harvest?

Nope, I didn’t grows Zukes last year.

When is the last time someone gave you flowers?

My Mother and Sister sent me a beautiful bouquet for my birthday last year.

Who taught you to garden?

My Grandmother

Are you months from these decisions, as I am, and just clinging to the rest of our blog pals photos of greenery and blossoms?

Since we may be moving, I’m holding off on gardening plans.

Did you know you can get gorgeous anemone in a flower bouquet?

I did not! What’s an anemonemonemeny? (Ok. Ok. Don’t hurt yourself.)

Have you ever knitted or crocheted a flower?

I don’t think so.

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!

Friday Eve

Work has been crazy busy, but I found time on Sunday to start my Billie Jumpsuit.

The bottom is looking and feeling very like kid PJs. About 12 years ago, I was sewing a lot and selling my wares at craft shows, and a friend suggested I should design children’s clothing. Maybe she was right?

I am hoping once I get the top on, it will look more like something a grown up would wear in public. If it doesn’t, I’ll add some feet and own it!

My sewing machine is giving me tension trouble. I thought I had fixed it with the use of the correct bobbins, but I was too optimistic. My old Singer has the same problem.

I think I’ll go ahead and get a new sewing machine and a serger. I’ll test them out on Saturday to make sure I like the Jukis I’ve heard so much about. I don’t want to damage my expensive fabric on a cheap machine. It isn’t worth it! Plus it’s frustrating and sucks all the joy out of my sewing time. Maybe I will find someplace to donate my old machines.

On the knitting front, I’m finishing up another Tread. I will start my Jessica Jones cowl before my trip so I can knit on the plane. I heard we struck wool in Kenya, and was told to bring my needles! I’m excited!

All the Updates

Hello!

I thought you might enjoy seeing the pattern I picked out for my plaid flannel fabric.

Eh?

I’m pretty excited about it. If I like it for winter in plaid flannel, I’ll make a linen one for summer.

Will I try to match the plaid, or will I funkily mismatch it? Probably the latter but I’ll have to see how it looks.

My orchid is blooming again. Apparently I’m good at orchids now. Who knew? Maybe I’ll try ferns again this summer. I have been a notorious fern killer.

I’m in a bit of a dither with knitting and not sure what to do next. I was going to knit a hat out of recycled t-shirt yarn as a sample for our artisan partners in Kenya, but it sounds like they will be banning the import of used clothing soon. Good on you, Kenya! We’ll figure out products that will support their textile economy. They are having a wool renaissance like we are, so maybe that will work out.

Maybe I’ll finish up the two remaining Tread hats, and then start Winter’s Fern. What knitting will I take with me to Kenya? Maybe the Jessica Jones cowl?

I adjusted my meds so I am now back on a low dose of one med (instead of two) that I take at night. It was good to get off them completely to see what my baseline is and readjust, and better for me physically. The side effects were killing me.

This pic is for my Mom. Hi Mom! I got my hair cut recently and I asked them to take my photo. They took me back to a little studio area where they do glamour shots. I started looking around for props. I would’ve taken someone down for a feather boa!

I’m Obsessed

A friend shared these videos with me on Facebook. I am casting them to my TV and watching them on repeat.

I have no desire to make something like this myself. But I am enjoying the magic.

Twilight Toujours is slowly getting finished. We are in transition crunch time at work, which is stressful, but it will be so good when it’s done. I may not get out of my PJs this weekend, though.

I found my coat pattern!

yates coat

(photo credit Grainline Studio)

This is the Yates Coat. It is appropriate for my wool fabric, and it looks like it will be a good choice for my first coat. Not easy, but easy for a coat.

Sarah is making an Oxbow Cardigan this year and wants me to sign on for a Thanksgiving knitalong again. I’m game, even though it’s not on my list (yet)!

I want to make a black cardigan. My wardrobe needs this. I want to choose yarn from an heirloom breed. I found some Black Welsh Mountain yarn and the farm is participating in Shave’Em to Save’Em. I calculated my totals for the Oxbow Cardigan. $450! (insert flabbergasted emoji here)

I know the yarn is worth it, and we need to support our farmers and heirloom breeds. But I simply feel like I cannot afford that. I mean, I’m holding off on buying a new serger and a better sewing machine. That cardigan yarn would be 2/3 of the way to a new machine.

So, I’m going to hold off on any black bulky yarn purchasing for now, but with the full intention of adding Oxbow Cardigan to my list this year.

And maybe if I am very very very good and do not spend any of my crafting allowance on other things and save it up, I could buy the yarn I really want? That’s still a lot of fed mouths. But it could be a sweater that lasts the rest of my life, so maybe a good investment? And I would feel good about the yarn I purchased. I will have a long think on it.

Check out my beautiful son wearing the hat I made him (which makes me happy) but giving me snark.

img_7447

Gotta go. He is introducing me to 8 out of 10 Cats Does Countdown.