Wednesday WIP and Watch

None of my knitting WIPs are exciting me, so I cast on a plain sock in a self-striping autumn leaves colorway. I am enjoying knitting a plain sock.

I love Wednesdays right now, because it means new episodes of Reservation Dogs and What We Do in the Shadows. Since Bob is hanging out with his youngest tonight, and we watch those together, I think I’ll watch some YouTube tutorials on bullet journaling. As usual, I’m late to the party, but Marilee is gently encouraging we try it again. Maybe tomorrow I’ll have a page to share? Although no promises, because my doctor pushed through an urgent colonoscopy for me on Friday, which means no food tomorrow. I’m likely to be cranky.

Anna Bolina my Favorite Ang Regina

In preparation for The Boleyns, A Scandalous Family, and also the 365 Days with Anne Boleyn lecture series next year, I purchased some Anne Boleyn Hever Rose Portrait fabric on Spoonflower. Thinking this print repeat was pretty large, I also ordered some red Tudor Rose fabric to use with it. Oops! The Tudor Rose print repeat is even larger!

My plan was to pay homage to the Tudor square necked gown by sewing a square neck Fern blouse, using the Tudor Rose fabric for the bodice and cap sleeves, and the Anne Boleyn portrait fabric for long flowy sleeves and an extended peplum. Since both fabrics have a large print size, I may need to rethink my plan.

I do love how the current fascination with the Tudor era is inspiring fashion!

Week End Wrap Up

Hey y’all, antidepressant withdrawal symptoms are no joke. I napped every day this week. I craved bacon and potatoes. I’m still battling taste bud malfunction. I haven’t knit a stitch in days! Here’s what I did get up to.

I ordered a new hula hoop. This is a beginner hoop named Mystic Dragon. She’s being patient with me. I can keep her going for a few seconds. I’m following another over 50 hooper on Instagram. She’s slow and gentle with her movements. I am encouraged!

We went to the farmer’s market today and picked up the first apples of the season. Thank you Covid gods for leaving my apple taste buds intact.

Chestnut Hills Studio (that’s me) is having an end of summer sale! If these cotton and wool babies don’t go, I’ll be holding onto the three variegated and three of the tansy dyed to knit a summer Halvis next year.

I heard an interview with author Adrienne Dillard on Talking Tudors and decided I needed to order this book. Her next historical fiction about Jane Seymour and Margery Horsman is coming out in November. Having just finished watching Becoming Elizabeth, I was really in the mood for this. So far, so good! Other books have been swept aside in the wake of this one.

I sewed two new Tekura Tees. Ready for October! Who am I kidding. I will wear these year round.

Many people don’t like that corporations and probably the government are tracking all your online activity. I could care less. I’m not doing anything anyone could be interested in. Except when the Coastal Grandma alert goes off and a company I have never heard of mails a paper catalog to me of everything I want. This is how they get you. Look at this jacket! Unfortunately, everything in the catalog is over $150. Fortunately, I know how to sew.

I found a pattern on Etsy for $3! And I have fabric that will work. At first I was thinking the teal corduroy. Now I’m wondering if the wool plaid would be better. I purchased it for trousers but it has a soft hand. Either way, I’ll have to buy a lining fabric. Which one do you prefer? I’ll probably go with corduroy. I’m not sure about quilting this wool fabric from Heavens to Betsy via The Woolery. Although I could quilt along the tartan lines, so there’s that.

Blog What I Want! ✊

I have appreciated everyone’s comments encouraging me to blog what I want. After all, that’s why we’re here. I think I’ve come up with a direction that feels natural to me.

I’ve decided to drop out of Year of Projects. I have loved being part of the group, but my participation has started to feel rote. Also, focusing on productivity is not where I want to be right now.

I’m going to restructure my blog around special interests. This will include knitting, sewing, and other fiber arts. It will also include movies, books, the paranormal, traveling, music, and whatever I feel like. I’ve been reading old posts, and most of this isn’t new to my blog. I will restructure the categories to reflect this.

I’d like to get back to a couple of old special interests that never went anywhere. One is learning the fiddle. Another is (hula) hooping. I will also be including the occasional thought on Tudor England as I will be taking a lecture series next year. Expect to see a combining of special interests, like sewing an Anne Boleyn blouse. (Already planning one.) Do not expect to see historic costume. I am super impressed with people who recreate period clothing, but I am not interested in doing it myself.

I wish I could share a pic of what I am working on right now, but it’s top secret. Instead, here’s a link to an old post from when we visited Cape Breton for Celtic Colours in 2019.

3 Rs Year of Projects: Ribbing, Reading, and a Rant

It was a rough week coming off of medications, full of unregulated emotions and unregulated body temperature. I didn’t get much crafting done, but I thought a lot about this blog.

I love making, and sharing my makes. But I feel like this blog has turned into, “Look what I can do!” Nothing wrong with being proud of what you’ve created. But to be honest, I’m a little bored. Don’t worry. I know now is not the time to make any big decisions, like changing my name or closing down my blog.


Desperate for the big hit of serotonin I used to get when casting on a new knitting project, I did just that. I reached for the simplest, softest thing I could get my hands on. This design is Lodge Sweater by Ozetta, in Cornbread and Honey “Peaceful” DK held with a mauvesque kid mohair and silk from KnitPicks I found on sale. This baby has a total of 6 inches of hem ribbing plus ribbing up the sides.


I know I’ve said this before, but reading and I are not on the same page. I do ok with nonfiction, but I’ve wanted a good chew of fiction. Fiction has to be really good for me to get into it, like Charles Frazier Good.

So what have I done? I’ve done what I always do when tackling the most difficult problems in my life: I hit it from all sides. Because if you throw enough at it, something will stick. From years of experience, I can say this is not true. But it doesn’t keep me from trying.

First up was Vampirella and Red Sonia Meet Betty and Veronica, which I checked out at the library. Vampirella was the comic queen of my youth, and one of the few comics I read because she was female and she kicked ass. And she was a vampire, and I have always loved vampires. This was not half bad. Not a gripping read, but fun. The authors spent more time on Red Sonia than Vampirella, which I didn’t like. Although Red Sonia is pretty cool, too. And of course I read Archie growing up. So this ticked a few boxes. I really loved how all perilous situations were solved by Veronica calling her rich and influential family. At first I thought it was poor writing and unrealistic, then I realized this is exactly how the world works for the rich and influential.

The next thing I did was purchase a paperback copy of House of Salt and Sorrows, because I saw it at the local bookshop on the staff recommended shelf and the cover was pretty. I read the back and thought, this sounds gloomy and marinal. Just the thing. I have been occasionally reading a chapter before bed, and it’s pretty good. Enough to want to pick it up again, not enough to want to spend an entire day on the sofa sucked into an alternate universe until I have to finish it.

Waiting in the wings is Long Live the Pumpkin Queen, which I found at the library. Somebody posted something about it somewhere online, and I thought, I’d read that. I like Nightmare Before Christmas, but I wouldn’t say I’m part of that fandom. But hopefully it will be Halloweeny enough to enjoy with low expectations. I’ll let you know.

A Rant

Covid. You bitch. You took my coffee taste buds then you took my tea taste buds. How am I supposed to caffeinate in the morning? And as someone with unmedicated ADHD, this is not optional for me! This morning I was rifling through the pantry and found two little packets of flavored instant coffee I received in a yarn advent last year. I decided to give it a try because if I can’t taste it, who cares what it tastes like? It was pretty good! I added some sweet oat creamer and I felt like I was drinking fancy gas station coffee. I know Bob is going to roll his eyes and call instant coffee an abomination, which it is. But if I point out how much cheaper it is than the whole bean coffee we usually buy, Homo Economicus may win the day.

Speaking of vampires, we recently watched a new favorite film: Vidar the Vampire. My love for this film is so great, I am recording it here for posterity. I am not recommending everyone run out and watch this film. It’s for sick people with a dark sense of humor, like me and Bob. If you do not have one, you will be offended. It’s also Norwegian, so if you don’t like subtitles, you will be offended. Whenever we watch something with tears of joy streaming down our faces, we look at each other at the end and say, “It’s a keeper!” And we add it to our library. If you still want to watch it after being warned that you will likely be offended, it’s free right now on Tubi.

I guess this has been a Year of Projects (YOP) update. You can read my updated list here, and my original list at this link. You can find out more about the group on Ravelry or Backstage Kath’s YOP bloggers list.

Can anyone tell me where I can find an instant coffee version of a pumpkin spice latte?

We’ve Been Here Before

AKA Time is Cyclical

This morning I checked my WordPress comments and noticed on my stats that someone had visited an old post. Curious, I clicked on the post to find it was a quiz. I clicked on the quiz tag and went down the rabbit hole of learning about myself. Although I lost myself a bit the last few years, I also haven’t changed much. Here’s what I learned.

  1. I still love a good quiz.
  2. I go on and off medication as needed, even though at the time I think whatever I decide to do is for forever. (I am newly off. I feel great.)
  3. I have an all or nothing approach to life. I’m an extremist. Just ask my mom.
  4. I prefer unmedicated Alissa’s intellect and humor.
  5. I prefer medicated Alissa’s ability to filter and edit herself.
  6. It’s possible 4 and 5 are mutually exclusive.
  7. Also, it’s Aliissa. Maybe it should be Alliissa. I’m changing my name.

I really am changing my name. This year is our 10th wedding anniversary, and I’m planning to change my last name to Bob’s, which is Musgrave. If I’m going to the trouble of changing my last name, the other two deserve a good ponder as well. Please vote for your favorite.

  1. Alissa Lynnette Musgrave (current first and middle names with new last name)
  2. Alissa Head Musgrave
  3. Alissa Lynnette Head Musgrave
  4. Alis Linnet Musgrave (my favorite)
  5. Alliissa Liinnet Musgrave
  6. Big Al the Bird Musgrave

To be clear, 5 and 6 are meant to be humorous.

If I change my name, I may need to change the name of my blog. I guess HeadKnits can mean more than one thing, which is why I chose it. But here are some new blog name options. Please vote for your favorite.

  1. MusMakes
  2. GraveKnits (I do tend to trod the spooky path)
  3. Big Al the Bird
  4. Friday(Not)Finnish
  5. StudioLinnet

All this name changing sounds exhausting.

Did you know? If I had been a boy, my Dad was going to name me Frederick Arthur Terrence Head and call me FAT Head? He may have been joking, but I suspect not. If I change my name to Big Al the Bird, people could call me BAB. Then we would be Bob and Bab Musgrave. BobNBab. Baobab. BobNWeave. BobNKnit. BlogNBlab. I’m cracking myself up here. I think we know where I get it.

Please post more quizzes so I can answer them on my blog and read about myself in the future.

Year of Projects Week 7/52: A Discovery of Stitches

One of the things I wanted to do this week was try out some of the stitches on my sewing machine. As a self-taught sewist who learned on a mostly manual Singer from the 1980’s, I’ve never taken the time to learn about the special stitches and presser feet on my Juki, other than for zippers and buttonholes. I think the few I may use someday include overcast, blind hem, and bartack. I never use the zig zag since I have a serger. Anyway, this was fun! Who knows. Maybe someday I’ll find a use for the letter stitches. Who doesn’t love a little personalization?

This has been a Year of Projects (YOP) update. You can read my updated list here, and my original list at this link. You can find out more about the group on Ravelry or Backstage Kath’s YOP bloggers list.

Zero Waste Gather Dress

I finished sewing my Zero Waste Gather Dress today. I’d been waiting on the buttons to arrive. They came in the mail yesterday, and I sewed them on today!

I absolutely love wearing this dress. It was also a fun sew, as the pattern is mostly measuring and cutting rectangles with no paper pattern. I didn’t make any modifications, except to skip the side hem facing insertion. I didn’t think it was necessary with French seams. This means this dress isn’t technically no waste, but it mostly is.

Pattern is Zero Waste Gather Dress by Birgitta Helmersson. I made Size 1. Fabric is printed floral linen in Poppy from Linen Dream Shop on Etsy. Buttons are Indigo Velvet Agoya Shell from The Button Bird.

Year of Projects Week 6/52: Born to Knit

Then why am I sewing so much? We could blame the weather, but I almost never leave the house.


After yesterday’s exercise in frustration, I needed a sewing win. Enter the Tekura Tee. This pattern popped up in my inbox from I Think Sew and I was drawn to its simplicity. I had some Born to Knit fabric left over from a Melba Dress, and decided to sew a “muslin” with it. I didn’t have enough fabric for a seam allowance, but I went with it. It’s a little snug. Adding a seam allowance for the next one should rectify that. I’ve got more knitting tattoo print interlock that will be perfect for this pattern, and maybe I’ll make a navy and white polka dot one as well.

I also finished sewing a shirt for Bob this week!


I dyed some Virginia cotton and wool blend yarn with tansy from my garden using an iron mordant this week. You can read all about it at this link.


On the knitting front, I picked up my Hansel Hap for TV knitting. I’m almost ready to start the center square decreases. I also started the colorwork on my 2 Spooky Halloween Hat.

This has been a Year of Projects (YOP) update. You can read my updated list here, and my original list at this link. You can find out more about the group on Ravelry or Backstage Kath’s YOP bloggers list.