Nova Scotia Strong: Happy Birthday, Margie!

Happy September, and Happy Birthday to my Mother-In-Law, Margie! By now I hope she has received her gift in the mail. Earlier this year, Margie sent me this photo:

She wondered if I could make one for her. Of course I could! Unfortunately, the yarn was out of stock, and there wasn’t any information about the pattern. I put on my thinking cap and my can-do attitude, and found the yarn dyed-to-order on Etsy, and the pattern on Ravelry!

I finished the hat a couple of weeks ago, and popped it in the post for a birthday surprise. I hope she loves it!

Pattern is The Journey. Yarn is Fleece Artist Nova Scotia Colorway and another skein of Fleece Artist Chinook Natural. Pom Pom is from ThreadHead Knits.

YOP-a-doodle-doo!

I woke up waaaay too early this morning. 3AM! I did go back to bed at 5AM and slept until 7AM.

Fiber Art

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.

Knitting

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!

Sewing

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.

This has been a Year of Projects update. You can find out more about the group here (Rav link) or here: Backstage Kath’s YOP bloggers list. You can read my updated list of projects here.

My Milkshake Cardi Brings the Knitters to the Yard – Friday FO

I finished my Milkshake Cardigan (Rav project link)! Pattern by Joji Locatelli for Madeline Tosh. Yarn is Kelbourne Woolens Scout in Gray Heather. Buttons are natural horn from Lithuania (Etsy link).

My goal was to make a cardigan to replace my favorite thrift store Marks and Spencer lambswool cardigan that started unraveling at the elbows. I definitely succeeded! I will be wearing this over my favorite t-shirts, fall through spring.

In other news, I reorganized my craft room. All the fabric is now in a big tub that used to hold wool fiber. I’ve used up enough on my art that I was able to consolidate that to one tub. Moving the fabric freed up several smaller tubs, so I was able to put all of my yarn stash into tubs by size. I feel much more in control of my stash and projects now.

Have you finished any projects, or done any craft organizing lately? I would love to hear about it.

TLC Tuesday

Last week was busy at work. We took a trip to Cleveland to visit kids on Friday and Saturday. And then, I had a colonoscopy yesterday. So, I took today off as well to recover from the anesthesia. I don’t want to be making important work decisions with anesthesia brain.

This is my second DIY fall advent bag. I am definitely making these, but I haven’t started on the first project yet! I guess I can always rebag what I don’t get to for next year.

This is the first pair of Halloween PJ pants I’ve sewn plus a new seasonal shirt. I’m going to stay in PJs today. I’ve started calling JoJo “JoJo Binx.”

I worked on my Milkshake Cardigan yesterday as it’s pretty straight forward. Once I finish the second sleeve, just the button band to go! I look forward to wearing this cardigan when the weather turns chilly.

Last night we started watching Chapelwaite. It is so good, and is getting me in the mood for the spooky season! But before I immerse myself in autumn leaves and pumpkins please, I need to can some tomatoes.

The Lonely Heart is a Hunter MKAL: Friday Finish

I’m so pleased with my mystery knit along shawl The Lonely Heart is a Hunter, by RavenKnits (Rav link). Not only do I love the finished garment, but I enjoyed each clue along the way.

Yarn is Elemental Effects Cormo Lace. I kettle dyed it with Jacquard Acid Dyes in periwinkle and silver, deliberately adding some sprinkles for variegation. Beads are Toho of Japan Seed Beads, Size: 6/0 Color: Transparent Frosted Rainbows Light Tanzanite (lavender blue) Color Number: 6-166DF.

I had never participated in a mystery knit along before. I can definitely recommend RavenKnits as a designer for this format. (Rav link) I love that the fiber is Cormo wool. It’s so squishy! I was worried about the drape, but it blocked out nicely.

The little mermaid glass bead is on a progress keeper clasp. I have taken to wearing it as a closure for my magical cape. My plan is to sew a lavender linen Barcelona Dress to wear with this to my art opening on September 4.

Wool Wins, Natch: a YOP Update

Fiber Art

“Coxheath” wool fiber, 16”X20”, 18”X24” framed, price on request from
Sean Christopher Gallery

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 have also started harvesting the flax seed for the Rust Belt Fibershed project.

Knitting

I’m halfway through the final clue for The Lonely Heart is a Hunter mystery knit along! (Rav link)

I finished the first sleeve on my Milkshake Cardigan! (Rav link)

Sewing

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.

Gardening

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.

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

Saturyay

I’m still fighting a summer cold. My doc says 7-10 days is normal for a virus, so hopefully I’ll be right as rain by tomorrow.

My first canned tomatoes.

The garden is producing tons of tomatoes. No one seems to be eating them, so I started canning. This is my first batch. The pink is German Pink and the other two are Cherokee Purple. I wasn’t sure how the Cherokee Purple would can, but they peeled better than the German Pink, although you can see they are seedy. Will still be good in soups, I bet. I also canned two jars of Bob’s tomatillo salsa.

I finished clue seven of the mystery knit along early in the week. The last clue is out, so I plan to finish this up this weekend, if I can. Lots of beading!

Other than that, not very productive this week. Today I need to start collecting the flax seeds in the garden and will start retting some flax for fiber. It got away from me since I’ve been sick. And I want to sew on my overalls this weekend. Hopefully I’ll have something for a Year of Projects update tomorrow!

DIY Fall Advent: #1

Last year I realized I got so excited about fall and Halloween yarns and knitting patterns, I decided to make my own fall advent with yarns from my stash. The goal was to keep me from going overboard buying yarn this fall. I paired the skeins with patterns (some I had, some I purchased, most were free) and stitch markers from my collection. Then I sewed fabric bags and tagged them with the date I should open them.

This is the contents of the first bag. I love it! I don’t have any socks on the needles, so I may cast these on. This colorway is Fall Sangria from Cornbread and Honey. I have two weeks until the next advent bag!

Tomato Cobbler

Cinna Knits suggested I make tomato cobbler with my plethora of tomatoes from the garden. Tomato Cobbler?! What’s that?! I had to try it. I’ve never made a savory cobbler before.

I basically followed this recipe. However, I tweaked it a lot. So here are my instructions for a vegan and gluten free version.

Heat about 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat in a cast iron skillet. Peel and thinly slice 1 and 1/2 yellow onions. (Because that’s all the onions I had.) Add about 1 teaspoon of salt. Sauté until transparent, or go ahead and carmelize them, which is what I did.

While the onions are carmelizing, peel and mince two large cloves of garlic. Rinse and de-stem about 3 cups of cherry tomatoes. I used Igleheart Yellow Cherry from my garden. I also had a couple of larger Cherokee Purple that needed eaten, so I cored and cut them into quarters. Four cups of tomatoes? At this time I also pulled two bunches of basil leaves off the stem and cut them into large pieces.

Once the onions are carmelized, add the minced garlic and sauté together for a minute or two. Add 3-4 tablespoons (what I refer to as “a splash”) of balsamic vinegar and stir until the liquid has mostly evaporated. Add 2 tablespoons of flour. (I used a gluten free blend from Nuts.com, similar to Bob’s Red Mill.) Stir until the flour forms a paste. Or, if you are like me, you won’t have enough liquid for that. I didn’t want to add more balsamic so I added a little water.

Add the tomatoes and basil leaves, 1 teaspoon of salt, and remove from heat. Stir well. Set aside. At this point I covered it to get a little more liquid so it was easier to combine.

I had already de-petaled a few calendula flowers, de-leaved a few fresh thyme sprigs, and cut fresh sage leaves into slivers for my biscuit dough. I love cooking from my garden!

To make the biscuits blend together 1 1/2 cups gluten-free flour, 3/4 cups corn grits, 1/4 cup nutritional yeast (instead of cheese), 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt. Work in 4 tablespoons of Earth Balance vegan butter and the calendula, thyme, and sage. Once that was crumbly, Add about 1 cup oat milk with 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar, instead of buttermilk. I had to mess with the dry ingredients to get the dough consistency right. If you make biscuits a lot, you get it. (Or you can follow the recipe linked above.)

Once the dough was ready, and I had given the tomato mixture another turn, I scooped up the biscuit dough and dropped it onto the cobbler, still in the cast iron skillet. I ended up with six biscuit blobs.

Bake in a 375 degree Fahrenheit oven for 45 minutes, or until the topping is golden and the tomato mixture is bubbly. We’re having this tonight with burgers.

I have to say, it’s pretty tasty. It will be great with a bison patty.

Sorry if this is vague. This is how I cook, like my Grandma. “By guess, and by gosh… By guess I made it, and by gosh you’d better eat it!”

In other news, I have been sick twice in two weeks! This time it’s an upper respiratory infection. I was down and out for 48 hours. I’m feeling better today, but I’m trying to take it easy as I’m still fatigued. I do hope to get to some knitting this weekend. Sewing may be too strenuous.