Me Made May and Year of Projects

Happy May Day! I hope you are dancing around a maypole or at least enjoying some spring flowers today. We are having thunderstorms, so I will likely be spending most of the day indoors.

Sewing

For Me Made May, my goal is to alter four handmade garments this month to get more wear out of them. I’m starting with something easy.

Before shot with long pants.

I made these Pietra pants last year. They fit great but are voluminous on my short frame. I’ve decided to hem them into culottes. The fabric is lightweight, so it’s not like I wear them in any other season except spring and summer.

After shot with shortened pants.

I’ve paired them here with an a-line tee made in deep stash quilting cotton and my Hitofude cardigan. I love the yellow dots in the top fabric. It makes me want to wear more yellow, and buy some yellow clogs.

I’ve enjoyed wearing my Melba dress, and have decided to make a black one. I don’t have enough fabric for facings, so I will bind the neckline and armholes instead.

Pattern pieces and brown floral fabric on a background of teal lining fabric with a Holly Hobby pincushion.

I’m also sewing a Felix dress in this floral cotton voile. It’s semi sheer, so I’ll be lining it in teal Bemberg. I need a nice dress for spring events. I really love the feel of this Bemberg lining fabric, which is made from viscose.

Knitting

I’ve only been working on the Ocean Moon mystery knitalong. I’m frustrated with how slow I am at knitting intarsia, though I love the result. I am hoping to catch up this week on the clues.

Gardening

Kale, broccolini, and lettuce growing in a pop up greenhouse.

I’m really pleased with all the greens that overwintered in my pop up greenhouse. This kale is ready to harvest. We’ve already eaten all the arugula and some of the lettuce. I have high hopes for the broccolini, kale, and cabbage starts that will be protected from moths under the greenhouse covered in netting. I’ve also planted some ginger root here. It’s my first time growing ginger.

This has been a Year Of Projects (YOP) 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.

We’re coming up on the July 1 renewal for Year of Projects. I’m trying to decide if I want to continue to list my projects in a blog post, or share a spreadsheet with links to the completed project pages. I’ve started tracking my knitting projects and stash in a spreadsheet in Google Drive, and I like organizing my lists that way. What is easier for the reader? Do you ever reference the list of completed projects? Does it matter? Please let me know your preference, if you have one, in the comments. Thank you!

Bob and Alissa in front of the kraken from a 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea movie poster.

In personal news, Bob and I went to see the film Everything Everwhere All at Once for Saturdate yesterday. This movie was wack but also amazeballs. I laughed and cried at the same time. It also manages to be sentimental. Highly recommend if, like me, your brain likes a little exercise while being entertained. Two thumbs up. Thanks to Mackenzie for recommending it.

Cryptid soap from Tuft

I also wore my Born to Knit Melba dress to one of my local yarn shops for Local Yarn Shop Day. I purchased this Mothman soap, some lavender apple soap, and some stickers. Because cryptid soap makes me happy. I exercised extreme restraint and self control. I’m proud that I walked out without purchasing yarn. I really have to be careful with my purchasing now that I’m semi-retired.

Did you visit your local yarn shop for Local Yarn Shop Day? Did you make any lovely yarn purchases? I would love to live vicariously through you! 😊

Garden Update

Madder root?

I’ve been weeding the garden in patches. Today I cleared out the snap pea patch and put in their climbing supports. While most of the deep rooted weeds and vines are gone (there are still a few) we now have hairy cress all over the place. Also some kind of ground cover. So gardening is my exercise this time of year. If I worked out and gardened, that would be it for me!

I accidentally pulled up this plant which I think is madder root. My plant ID app disagreed with me, though. I put it back in the ground, just in case. I wasn’t sure if the madder survived since the indigo overgrew it. I’m pretty sure this little guy is madder, though. Fingers crossed! I might have a little root to dye with this fall if so.

Wednesday: a WIP and a Win

I’m still plugging away on the Ocean Moon mystery knitalong, Clue 1. Clue 3 drops tomorrow! I hope to catch up this weekend. I am liking the yarn colors and the design. I’m getting the hang of intarsia again, though I’m slow.

I finished sewing my Melba dress. I feel very chic wearing it. It looks great with my clogs and sunglasses.

The fabric is organic cotton knit from Spoonflower. It says, “Born to Knit” and “Knitting Takes Balls.” I’m very happy with it. My only complaint is the boat neck is too wide. I’ll adjust that on the next one I sew.

Pattern is Melba Dress from Style Arc. This pattern also works with woven fabrics.

How are your WIPs coming along this week? Any wins?

Friday FO: Vertices Unite!

I absolutely love my Vertices Unite! The yarn is all naturally dyed, nonsuperwash, and so soft and squishy. I probably wouldn’t have chosen this pattern for myself, which is why it’s important for me to participate in knitalongs. Most of the time, I’m pleasantly surprised, and I learn I love something I wouldn’t normally choose for myself.

It’s super cute worn. I am definitely going to be wearing it with denim, and cotton knit dresses. I like how casual it is. Pattern is Vertices Unite by Stephen West. Yarn is (solids) March, July, and Color of Pomegranates from Oysters and Purls, and (variegated) Loon on a Lake and Turkeytail Mushrooms from Forest Lane Fiber Co.

Tasty Tuesday: Vegetable Posole

Now that I’m semi-retired, I’m helping out more with the cooking. Yesterday I made vegetable posole with gluten-free flour tortillas.

I based my posole recipe on one from Rancho Gordo Vegetarian Kitchen. During the holidays, I stuffed my own stocking with a bag of their dried hominy. I loved hominy as a kid, so I decided to see if I still like it. And I do! But I wasn’t sure how to prepare it.

I felt the recipe was a little thin, so I added mushrooms and sliced Anaheim chilis, and also made a roux. The result was a deliciously chunky vegetable soup with chewy hominy. I think I would like the addition of scallops or shrimp. Bob and I both felt the stew needed more mushrooms.

The recipe I followed is not online, but here is a link to several of their hominy recipes.

You can see my gluten-free tortillas didn’t come out great. They tasted good, though, and were crispy enough to tear apart and add to the stew like a tortilla soup. I gifted Bob a tortilla press/grill, but I was the one to give this appliance the first go. We’ll have to adjust the recipe and try again. Here is a link to the recipe I followed.

I have three cups of cooked hominy leftover. I’m thinking about making grits for breakfast!

Have you tried any new recipes lately?

Me Made May 2022 Challenge

Me May Made is coming up! I have half-heartedly participated in previous years on Instagram, but thanks to Lucy of A Knit and a Cake, who has connected me with the origin of the movement at So, Zo, What Do You Know? I now have a much better understanding of the challenge, and I’m looking forward to participating in 2022. If you are curious about Me Made May, here is a link to this years’ write up which explains the challenge.

I’ve had a look at my handmade wardrobe, and have come up with a challenge that I think will be doable. I’ve identified four garments I’ve sewn within the previous year that I don’t love and rarely wear. Each week I will alter one with the goal of making it more loved and wearable. I will post a before and after photo of each. I also pledge to wear at least one outfit each week that includes a handmade garment — which may or may not include the altered item of the week, depending on how successful the alteration is. I will analyze my handmade wardrobe throughout the month, identifying what has worked, what hasn’t, where there are holes to fill, and outline a new sewing plan for my wardrobe moving forward in 2022.

Although Me Made May was originally intended for sewing, I think you could also apply this challenge to knitting as well.

The Bunny YOP

I’m pretty sure this isn’t the first time I’ve used Bunny YOP as a post title. Now that I’ve had a couple of weeks of down time, I’m ready to get back on the Year of Projects wagon.

Knitting

I’ve been primarily working on my Vertices Unite shawl. The yarn is naturally dyed, and although the colors are somewhat muted, I think they are great for spring. I was planning to use the pink for the border, but I’ve decided instead to bring in a new color — the yellowy green. I think this is one of those designs that will look better worn, so I will model it when it’s done. This photo also serves as a way to tell you that our porch furniture is out, and we are ready for porch season!

Sewing

I finally got the pattern cut out for the Melba dress. I decided to not use the expensive Spoonflower fabric for the facings, which will be inside the dress. So I’m waiting on some inexpensive cotton knit for that. I’ll use any leftover dress fabric for scarves for my Etsy shop.

I received so many lovely cards from the Global Gifts team after my last day. I thought it would be nice to commemorate them here. I miss working with my Global Gifts family every day, but I am enjoying semi-retirement, if that’s what this is.

This has been a Year Of Projects (YOP) 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.

New Me, New Studio Space

Mackenzie and Dan Bill moved out of the spare room ( 😔 We miss them) but I was able to fill the void with my craft room! It feels good to take up space.

I finished section 3 of my naturally dyed Vertices Unite. I’m really wanting to finish this before Saturday, when I will be starting the Ocean Moon mystery knit along. I think it’s possible if I spend several hours on it each day.

Most of my plant babies have germinated. The Dyer’s Chamomile and Madder haven’t come up yet, though. My garden is full of weeds, and I’ve already seen the first slug babies emerge. Preparing the garden for planting will be easier than last year, but still a slog.

What else have I been doing with my time? Healing. Journaling. Easing back into exercise. Logging my food. I confirmed some new bad-for-me foods: coffee, chocolate, turmeric, chili powders. I can’t promise I will never eat chocolate or drink coffee again, but I will definitely be making it more of an occasion. I’m already noticing a decline in my symptoms.

I need to revisit my Year of Projects list and my knitting project spreadsheet. I want to sew a dress this week. I want to practice my French on Babbel, and spin for 15 minutes every day. I’m trying to create a routine for myself that is more in tune with my natural rhythms, and I feel a little wobbly. Bob moved into the office, which opened up space for a dyeing area outside the kitchen. My business is going well. I put the Wool & Roses boxes in the mail yesterday. My heart is full, and I am grateful.

What are you working on this week?

Friday FO: Bandana Cowl

I finished my Bandana Cowl Number 4 in my Spring Thaw yarn from Cornbread and Honey. I love it! So soft, super cozy, and my favorite color. And the best part is it’s nonsuperwash merino!

It still needs a blocking, but I love the shaping. If you make one, be sure your cast on is super stretchy. I used the German twisted cast on.