I’ve decided this post will focus on my knitting, since my sewing and fiber art have been moving along nicely.
I’ve been working on my Arrowhead Cardigan in fits and starts for almost a year. This is a product knit for me. I can’t wait to wrap up in this Lettlopi coat in the cold of January. But each charted colorwork row is a different pattern, so there’s no muscle memory and repetition involved. That means I’m not enjoying the process very much. I think I will encourage myself to knit at least two rows every day. I’m trying these skein coats around the yarn to keep it in check.
Speaking of charts, here is the progress photo of my Cozy Autumn Socks (Rav link). Yep, procrastinating on the chart. This chart is more repetitive, though, so I might enjoy the knitting more, if I can break through the wall.
This is my most recent DIY Autumn Advent project. These are the Jaywalker Socks (Rav link) and the yarn is from Turtlepurl. These would be an easier knit than the Cozy Autumn Socks. Do I have enough socks on the needles? Should I cast these on? Or should I stick to what I’ve started?
There are a few other projects languishing in their project bags. Celtic Myths Shawl is another every row is different cable chart. The Oa is a colorwork hoodie, although the chart is more repetitive so I might enjoy it. The Aurora Borealis Cowl can wait until the holidays. That’s all for items already cast on and in progress. (All links are to my Ravelry project pages.) Edited to add: I forgot to tell you I am at the point on my Hansel Hap where decreasing starts on the center square.
To people who don’t knit regularly, it looks like I churn out finished objects right and left. But in reality, some projects are in progress for months or even years. Then suddenly I finish several within a few weeks.
My art show reception was last night, and it was wonderful to visit with family and friends who ventured out in support. I sold two pieces, which I’m over the moon about! Here is a gallery of the pieces in the show.
I’m proud I was able to produce this body of work, and was really pleased with the feedback. Many people were surprised to see artwork made from wool. Someone said the work was really comforting, which was my goal. I think we all need a little bit of softness in our lives right now. The gallery’s website is at this link.
My DIY Fall Advent bag yesterday was the Ixchel Cowl in Farmer’s Daughter Fibers Moon Sisters. I don’t know if you can see the bronze sparkles in this yarn, but it’s beautiful. However, I just finished a colorwork cowl, and I’m not in the mood to start another one. I’ll store this for another time.
I woke up waaaay too early this morning. 3AM! I did go back to bed at 5AM and slept until 7AM.
Bad news. I over-processed my flax. I think it was over-retted. Or over-dried. It’s crispy fried.
You can see the bast fibers, but they are brittle and break when I try to break off the woody stem on the outside.
Flax harvesting season landed right in the middle of summer cold season and colonoscopy week. That’s my excuse. I might try again next year, or I might try growing nettle for fiber. I’m still processing the seed pods I was able to collect.
I finished my Milkshake Cardigan this week, which I posted about on Friday. Other than that, I’ve been focusing on my Cemetery Drive cowl. I did cast on my Turning Leaves Point Edwards Mitts and am excited to knit them because they are DK and should fly!
I finished my second pair of Halloween PJ pants. I’ve cut out my lavender linen dress and will sew it today.
My garden is a mess! It’s too hot out there. I’ll leave the rest for the critters and clean it up in the fall.
I have finished, photographed, and framed ten pieces for my September show, called “Soft.” I drop them off on August 30th. The show event page is here: https://fb.me/e/5o19a4V68 You can see the show card on my Year of Projects page. I will share images of the work as the gallery makes them public.
Yesterday I tested fresh leaf indigo printing on scraps of different textiles. Wool is definitely the winner (far left), and I learned a few things about what kind of surface I should be working on (smooth) and what kind of stone to use for pounding (not one that breaks and imparts its own color, like sandstone, duh.)
What will I do with all this indigo? I’m thinking of bundling the leaves in my yardage of Virginia cotton, for a pretty leaf printed fabric to make — what else — overalls out of. But I need to do a little more research.
I also pulled up as much of the flax that I could find that didn’t have mature seed heads. It’s retting in water in this tub. Hopefully I wasn’t too late to get some fiber out of it.
I made some progress on my linen yarn ball overalls. These are looking like a clown suit. Do I care? Hell no. Will I wear them anyway? Hell yes. Yarny the Clown, that’s me! (Juggling yarn balls.) (Blows up two long balloons. Ties them off. Mimes knitting with them.) Now available for knit nights, fiber festivals, and private knitting retreats.
Plus look at these adorable yarn ball buttons that I found! (Calliope music plays in the background.)
But seriously, I love them. Just buttonholes, buttons, and hems to go.
I harvested and put up some sage leaves to dry yesterday.
Bob just brought in this tote full of pears and apples from the trees in our garden. I want to make pie or preserves, but Bob wants to make his own apple cider vinegar. We use a lot of apple cider vinegar, so that’s a good idea.
I was a little under the weather this week, so didn’t blog. I didn’t even knit for two days! But yesterday, I caught up on my mystery knit along. Ready to start Clue 3!
I also cast on the Cemetery Cowl (Ravelry link) for a little impromptu knit along. It’s Halloween in July! Also, I sewed myself a Halloween treat/project bag.
I had to rip out the cowl and re-cast on because I twisted my stitches, of course. I was really careful so I don’t know how I manage to do that almost every time I join to knit in the round. The yarn is BFL Mohair Fingering from Forest Lane Fiber Co in Pitch and October. I also recently purchased an Apothecary Collection, and I love everything!
Especially this tiny skull planter from Ice and Dust Pottery, which I planted with a tiny coffee tree.
The garden is overflowing with cucumbers. I’ve canned five quart jars of pickles, and we have one quart jar plus a bucket of refrigerator pickles. Yes, a bucket. I went into the garden this morning and came out with enough for three more quart jars, so I ordered some that I will pick up later. I will also have to stop off for some dill because there wasn’t any at the farmers’ market yesterday and I used all my garden dill. It’s a good thing we love pickles!
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.
I finished my Emerson shorts. I’ve got some other sewing projects I’d like to get to, but today I focused on…
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.
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.
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.
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.
Nothing to report. Maybe I’ll try to work on my Emerson shorts today.
I have a solo show in September 2021, and I need to make a body of work for this show. My goal is ten pieces. Ten are finished!
I am growing flax, madder, indigo, and tansy. This year I would like to ret the flax and weave a wall hanging with the linen on my tapestry loom, maybe including some natural dyeing. Update: This was unsuccessful, as I over-retted the flax. But I will continue to experiment with natural dyes.
Contrary to how I was in my youth, I have become a passive music listener — listening to whatever is on our local NPR station during the day while working (which is usually pretty good). So I’m going to continue listening to music with intention as part of my Year of Projects goals. Recently, I got excited about the new Sparks Brothers movie coming out (which we are going to see tonight). I found out that some of my friends had never heard of Sparks, which surprised me. They’ve been around a long time. However, I hadn’t really listened to them since the 1980’s. So I have a lot of new Sparks music to discover! Here’s one that is new to me that I am enjoying right now.