I managed to get to the second color on my Summer Solstice Wrap. But as I’ve said before, autumn is looming and I’m lacking interest in this project. I do want to make it, so I’ll pack it up for next spring.
I’ve finished knitting the body on my Halloween cardigan! I’ve reached the point where I only want to work on this— first the sleeves, then steeking the front, then adding the button bands. It won’t be long now!
I’ve also been spinning for Tour de Fleece. I finished spinning the wool fiber that came with the wheel, then dyed it with some extra dye I had in jars. I’m going to knit a lumpy-bumpy hat with my hand spun!
My Friday FO this week is this beautiful yarn I hand dyed, and this set of stitch markers I made!
To celebrate three successful yarn mystery boxes in the books, I’ve decided to have a giveaway!
“Gourd Party” is my debut fall colorway, hand dyed on natural organic merino yarn here at the studio. You could win 1 skein in fingering or DK weight (your choice) plus this set of three stitch markers / progress keepers. To enter this giveaway, sign up for my email list at this link. That’s it!
Want more chances to win? Share this post or tag a friend on Instagram! That’s three chances to win! Winner announced August 1, 2022.
I will also be adding this colorway to my shop as a dyed to order yarn in a few days.
I won’t be sharing my business posts here on a regular basis, but I know I have readers here who have purchased items from me, and I want to make sure you have a chance to enter this giveaway. If you would like to continue to receive news from Chestnut Hills Farm and Fiber, you can follow the blog here. And, of course, you can sign up for emails!
I didn’t manage a Wednesday WIPs post this week, so here are my knitting progress photos.
I’m nearing the colorwork on the bottom of my Pumqueen Cardigan, before the ribbing!
Not much progress on my Summer Solstice wrap. I enjoy knitting it, but it takes concentration.
No finished objects this week. I haven’t been feeling well, and haven’t even been knitting very much. I’m better today, and spent the morning in the garden. I planted several soapwort plants. Also known as Bouncing Bet, I love their happy pink flowers. I used to make my own shampoo with soapwort, and that is my plan. Hopefully the critters will leave them alone. I planted them in different places, in an attempt to confuse and outsmart whatever it is that is digging up my plants. (Commence John Belushi swat team maneuvers.)
Mama Wren has been looking after her eggs in our felt caravan birdhouse. This couple was trying to make a nest in the porch eave on top of a hook, silly birds. So we moved the birdhouse over and they got the hint. I think this must be the same wrens that made a nest in the dryer vent last year.
We moved their nest, which we found out later we were not supposed to do, to a coiled recycled silk birdhouse. They did use it last year and I enjoyed hearing the babies cheeping away in there. That nest is empty now, so I’m going to clean the birdhouse out and try to find a place for it next year.
The soil along the back of the garden wall is mostly clay. I can’t get anything to grow back there, so I’ve moved some daylilies. I think they should do nicely there, and I’m seeing that others are hapazome printing with daylily flowers. I will give it a try today.
My dye plants are doing mostly ok. Only one Hopi Black Sunflower is still alive, but it has two stalks, so I’m praying for flowers and seeds for next year. The Black Hollyhocks are looking good, but still small. They are biennial and won’t flower until next year. Always a favorite, the calendula are starting to flower now. The indigo and madder are healthy but little. And I learned I can eco print with borage flowers. I love the little blue flowers, and they reseed themselves, so I have a few starting to bud now. The tansy is ready to flower and I should be able to dye with them this year.
I replanted flax in the same spot and it’s doing well. I will try processing it into linen one more time. Here’s hoping I ret it and don’t rot it, like I did last year.
In other news, gluten-free sourdough starter is taking over my life. I will start keeping it in the fridge during the week. I made some gluten-free sourdough muffins with it yesterday, and boy were they good with butter and marmalade! Bob is going to make sourdough pizza crust today.
A friend asked if I could dye yarn for her. She had white silk and kid mohair and wanted blues. We decided to try dyeing it in the ball. I was doing research about it, and this seemed to be a way to easily get a mottled effect. I dyed the balls using a low immersion process. The aqua dye exhausted faster than I expected, so I added a bit of a different blue. The result is lovely and we’re both pleased!
Fiber Arts by Carola has been sharing indigo cloth dyeing and resist design patterns. In Stitching Up My Blues, the artist explains the indigenous medicine practice of stitching and binding fabric as a way to process intergenerational trauma.
I’ve been traveling and entertaining the last couple of weeks, as well as focusing on the mystery box stuff, so I don’t have much progress to show. I’m still knitting on the Blueberry Popover Day socks, my Pumqueen Cardi, and Arrowhead. But as promised, here are pics of my haul from the Mid-Ohio Fiber Fair, in order of acquisition.
Did I buy more superwash? Yes. I need to draw the line on superwash. It’s great for socks and summer shawls, but not warm enough for winter knits.
I have been editing and updating my Year of Projects list. I make minor changes to my knitting plans throughout the year. However, I made some significant changes to my sewing list. Me Made May taught me I need to make more tops and pants. I have enough summer dresses. Below is the new list. I’d love to finish the first three this month.
Bob gave me this natural dyeing kit from Botanical Colors for my birthday. It arrived yesterday! I’ve never dyed with prepared natural dyes before, only from foraged botanicals or plants from my garden. I’m looking forward to trying this. Funds raised from the sales of this kit supports sending vital supplies to displaced children and families in Ukraine as well as supporting Botanical Colors’ BIPOC scholarships.
I have been dyeing hard lately. I’m going for another experiment on cotton yarn this week. And then I’m going to dye some wool yarn in fall colors for the shop.
My weekends have been fairly busy, and I haven’t been able to post a Year of Projects update in a bit. So here’s a combo post!
I am working on sport weight socks for Bob, a Halloween cardigan, and my Arrowhead cardigan. The yarn shown in the featured image is from my stash and will be used in a Summer Solstice Ambah knitalong. I am also working on my knitting pattern design for the Volunteer Sunflowers yarn mystery box.
The Halloween cardigan is from the Fall Favorites Collection, Pumqueen version. The yarn is Cascade BFL, which I am really enjoying working with. I’m modifying the pattern to be a cardigan with a steek.
I am focusing on project bags right now. I hope to have a finish to show by Friday. But I did sew matching KISS pajama shorts for Bob and me.
I’ll be traveling this week so I started some socks for the road. These are for Bob, and are from the Knit Spin Farm Little Known Holidays monthly subscription. The colorway is Blueberry Popover Day. The yarn is sport weight Targhee, which is new for me for socks. I’m also using flips that Marilee sent to me, and am mixing it up with 2X2 rib. Living dangerously!
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.
Happy Caturday! We learned yesterday that Mackenzie and Dan Bill got an apartment and will be moving out in early April. We’re excited for them, but they will be missed. The good news is I will be moving my studio into the spare room. Now I will be able to sew while Bob works because the noise won’t be a disruption. I will also have a nice cozy room to sit and knit and spin.
I got my first yarn mystery boxes in the mail this week. I can’t wait to read reviews and watch unboxing videos! I have been practicing my dyeing and designing for the Volunteer Sunflowers box. I also listed my Autumn Yarn Mystery Box which doesn’t ship until September. As much as I appreciate Etsy Seller tools, I regret they restrict my ship by date options. It might be a good reason to move forward with a commerce website. I haven’t because I can’t really afford that right now.
I joined the Ocean Moon Mystery Knitalong by designer Ambah O’Brien. It’s my first Ambah pattern. This is my yarn from Fiber Optic Yarns. I think I chose well. It’s five mini skeins from the Oceans Six gradient plus Ebbtide for the moon and Storm for the sea. I’m going full on with the intarsia version. It’s all Kashmir, which is merino, yak, and silk.
I swatched for a Lodge Sweater with Cornbread and Honey’s Peaceful DK with some KnitPicks Aloft in Sydney (on sale). I’m looking forward to knitting this, but I will probably wait until fall. I fluffed my stash yesterday while organizing my yarn. I have many sweaters waiting to be knit. I’d better get on it.
I made myself breakfast in bed today. Eggs and pie. The best! My sense of smell and taste are coming back after my January illness, and I’m enjoying coffee again.
After sitting with the idea of a springy pink gansey, and not feeling at all comfortable with it, I stumbled across Willow by Pam Allen. I love her designs. I’ve decided this is the gansey for me. I purchased the pattern, but what to do for yarn? Yes, I really wanted to purchase a sweater quantity of yarn, but went stash diving instead. I found just the thing: this Arcadia DK in Moonstone by Less Travelled Yarn! I got gauge and it has great stitch definition. Problem solved! I’ll make a lacey throw over with the pink yarn for spring and summer.
What are you swatching these days, and how is it going?