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.

Wednesday WIPs

I’ve finished Clue 1 on my mystery knit along. I love how this yarn sometimes looks blue, sometimes looks purple, sometimes looks gray. I’m really enjoying this knit. Lots of repetitive lacework. Yes, please!

I’ve also finally picked my beads. I love the matte finish, and this color is perfect for this yarn. I think these beads have just enough glimmer to show up.

I also ordered two little glass mermaid beads, and made a stitch marker and a progress keeper to use with my shawl. I’m not very good at beading, but I think I’ve made it work with some zinc coated copper wire and parts from old stitch markers.

I’m ready to turn the heel on Bob’s second Pride sock. Maybe I’ll have a Friday finished object this week?

Year of Projects: Week 1

Fiber Art

I spent my floating holiday on Friday framing all my finished pieces for the show in September. I’m pleased with the exception of one piece, which means I need to rework or replace that one. In total, I have three pieces to complete in two months. I can do that, right? I can do that.

Knitting

Friday was the start of The Lonely Heart is a Hunter Mystery Knit Along (Rav link). I had to start over, but now my cast on is nice and loose and I have no mistakes in my knitting of the first repeat of chart A. I have one more repeat of this chart, and then chart B. Then that’s the end of clue 1! I have to say, I really like lace broken up like this. It’s been a long time since I’ve knit lace, but it’s like riding a bike. Also, this pattern is repetitive, which I like.

To get in the mood, I watched The Secret of Roan Inish on Friday, and Ondine on Saturday. I can’t believe I had never seen either of these films. Ondine was recommended by another MKAL participant. It’s a nice group. Usually, I am overwhelmed by Ravelry chat threads, but this one is smaller and more my speed.

I also decided to try one more time on the bead choice. Truth be told, I really like the matte beads. (I’m not really the sparkly type.) But the ones I have are too gray. I found some matte Tanzanite beads (the color, not the stone) and I think they will be perfect for this yarn. Fingers crossed!

I am also making good progress on Bob’s Pride / Father’s Day socks. I’m just about ready for the heel flap on sock 2.

Sewing

Nothing to report. Maybe I’ll try to work on my Emerson shorts today.

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

Porch Life: Wednesday WIPs

I took the afternoon off because I haven’t been feeling myself lately. It’s been quite cool where we are, so I knit on the porch, watched and listened to podcasts, and read the new book by Alys Fowler. You can see I haven’t made much progress on Bob’s Pride sock.

My Milkshake cardi is coming along. I skipped the waistline decreases because I figured those were for people with a waist. I will do the hip increases, though.

I cast on my swatch for The Lonely Heart is a Hunter MKAL. This lace pattern is repetitive, so I am enjoying it. I look forward to trying the beads with it when they come in the mail. I think I’m really going to enjoy my first mystery knit along.

My garden is a happy jungle.

The peas got a beating from a heavy rain earlier in the week. I’m hoping we can get some pods before the tops break. Even though they are English Peas, I’ve been eating them like snap peas.

Lots of lettuce.

Tomatoes are starting.

Apparently, I planted two different types of basil.

I’ll have calendula flowers soon.

Borage is in full bloom.

I saw a whitetail dragonfly in the garden. That’s a good sign, right?

Alissa’s Brag Book: A YOP Update

When I was little, my Grandmother had a photo album with “Grandma’s Brag Book” written on the cover. It was for photos of her grandkids, of course. Sometimes I feel like my blog is my version of the brag book, but for things I make. I would be posting pics of our kids, but most of them don’t like that. I have to ask for explicit permission including where it will be posted. I should draft some release forms for them to sign. 😘

Knitting

I’m very excited about my hand dyed Cormo lace yarn. It’s still damp, but I can’t wait to cake it up and swatch.

Sewing

I made a summer top from this fabric that’s been in my stash for a few years. The pattern silhouette is nice, but it calls for bias tape. Not my favorite way to go. Maybe I can make facings next time.

I cut out my next overalls in this amazing linen fabric with yarn balls all over it! You can’t tell, but the copper ones are metallic.

Garden

It’s been a long time since I’ve grown Borage.
My winter squash is still alive.
English Peas!
We’ll have zucchini soon!
My flax garden is super lush.

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

Friyay!

My Milkshake Cardigan is now connected under the armholes. I will be knitting back and forth, increasing at the neckline, for a few more inches. Then it’s sweet, straight stockinette to the hem! Do you like my project bag? It’s from Harriet Wildwood Stitches. I love it so much, I’m hoping to get a sweater-sized project bag next. I’ve got some birthday money burning a hole in my pocket. (Thanks, Mom!)

I wish I liked to be out in public with people. If I did, I would go watch this band tonight.

Stimming in Stockinette

My Milkshake Cardigan is coming along. I love the construction. It’s very straightforward. I love the gray. I love all the stockinette. It’s the kind of thing I like to knit, and like to wear. This sweater reminds me of the Kids in the Hall skit “Are Extraterrestrials Dull?” It will be a quality garment. Yarn is Kelbourne Woolens Scout in Heather Gray from my stash. I decided the Tunis yarn is too special and will still make up the Kiki with it, when I am ready for cables again.

The garden is burgeoning. I wish I had planted more flowers. I might try peonies in here somewhere. I am still fighting slugs. They’ve just about taken out my Gerber Daisies, and it was a mature plant going in. Maybe I should try cosmos since I could dye with them.

The indigo is up, but so far only one madder seed has germinated. No tansy yet. I think I need a trip to the garden center!

Mostly Gardening with a Side of Sock Knitting and Podcasting: A YOP Update

I’ve started a new pair of socks for myself. I’m in love with this yarn, which is Honeybees and Violets Please from Bone and Birch. Other than the socks, I’m knitting on my Hansel Hap. I’ve just about talked myself into focusing on the Arrowhead Cardigan instead of casting on a new one, so that I can wear it in the fall.

My garden is exploding. This is the middle, where there’s a lot going on. I accidentally broke off a pea shoot yesterday while weeding, so I ate it. It was delicious!

Full length of the garden. Elderberries in front. I’m not sure how well they’ll do here, but we’ll give it a try. The sunflower transplants are struggling in the back. I found out what happened to all my seedlings back there. Slugs!

For Mother’s Day and my birthday, Bob put together a flower bed for me out of some old wood he found in the barn. We went to the local garden center yesterday, and while I did get the foxgloves and coral bells I wanted to attract hummingbirds, the bed is looking a little sparse. We’ll see how these do. The smaller two are ground cover, so maybe they’ll spread out.

I did get the lilac bush I wanted, and a rose bush too! I didn’t really want yellow roses, but these had the best scent so I couldn’t resist. I also got hollyhocks, coneflowers, and a Joe Pye Weed for under the bird feeders.

I’m trying out wool pellets in the lilac and rose bush plantings to condition the soil, along with some compost. I’d like to add the wool pellets to the vegetable garden, but I’m going to wait until it needs a feed.

These lilacs smell so good! I have a small bouquet by my bedside.

My new podcast episode is up for The Just Craft! I had a wonderful visit at Tarheelbilly Farm, and am releasing the episode in two parts. I am so grateful to Charis and her husband Ben for spending time with me. It was a lovely day.

The sheep in front is Hollis, whose fleece I knit my Paris Toujours Shawl with. I met Hollis! And a few other shweeties as well.

This is Charis’s hand knit sweater she made with her Tunis yarn. She spun the contrasting gray herself. It’s so squishy and lovely!

And I got a sweater quantity of yarn! I had already purchased two skeins of Clancy’s fleece, and the eight new skeins are from Julie. They are close enough that I think I could use them together if needed. Because I don’t want to dye the yarn and loose the sheep smell, I’ve decided to knit it au naturel into a cabled cardigan. And because I was so pleased with the Franca I knit for my Mom, I’ve decided to knit Kiki by Cocoknits.

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

Cast On Thursday: Gauge Trouble

Yesterday, I knit two swatches in hopes of being able to cast on a cardigan. I need more cardigans in my wardrobe, but I keep casting on pullovers.

Frangipani Sport: 5.55 stitches per inch on size 4 needles
Rauma Fingering: 5.65 stitches per inch on size 3 needles

Frustratingly, my gauge was similar with different yarns and different needles, and not close enough to cast on either cardigan pattern. Boo. (I may throw caution to the wind and cast one on, anyway. If it’s a little big, that may work out okay. Right?)

Instead, I cast on my Hansel Hap with the Ramsay Farms Shetland. This pattern is fingering weight yarn knit on a size 8 needle. I’m hoping it’s supposed to be a very loose gauge, but I’m worried it’s too loose. It’s a shawl, though, so I’ll try to relax.