Soft: A Year of Projects Update

Fiber Art

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.

In other fiber art news, I experimented with fresh leaf indigo printing, which I shared about yesterday.

Knitting

I’ve been working on my Point Edwards Mitts, which I am really enjoying. I finished my Cemetery Drive Cowl, which I posted about on Thursday. And I finished a super secret birthday present for my MIL Margie, which I posted on Wednesday. It was a banner week for knitting FOs!

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.

Sewing

I’m currently working on some Pietra Pants in dark blue chambray. I also sewed a dress last week. It was not horrible.

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.

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.

2021-2022 Year of Projects

This is my new list for a Year of Projects 2021-2022. My goal this year is not to deviate from the list too much. (Wish me luck!) You can find out more about the group here (Rav link) or here: Backstage Kath’s YOP bloggers list. I’ve enjoyed being part of this group. I’m thankful Liz mentioned it to me!

Fiber Art

  1. 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!
  2. 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.
  3. I experimented with fresh leaf indigo printing from my garden.

Knitting List

  1. Cozy Autumn Socks
  2. Sleepy Hollow Socks
  3. September to October (Back Porch) Shawl
  4. Super Simple Summer Sweater in Cestari Ash Lawn
  5. Kiki Cardigan in Tarheelbilly Farm Tunis
  6. Arrowhead Cardigan (Ravelry Link) in Lettlopi
  7. Celtic Myths Shawl. I am so close to finishing this but procrastinating.
  8. Breton Red Cardigan to match my raglan plaid dress
  9. Skipwith in black Rauma Finullgarn
  10. Hansel Hap in Ramsay Farms fawn katmoget Shetland with Jamieson and Smiths for trim colors
  11. Peerie Flooers. I have the J&S Shetland yarn for the original version of this that you can see in the show Shetland.
  12. Hearth Rug in Black Welsh Mountain Bulky
  13. Celtic Tree Handwarmers
  14. The Oa (Rav link)
  15. Teal Niamh (Rav link)
  16. Pink Rhodes
  17. Seavaiger
  18. Long sleeve Treit in Foxglove
  19. Shoalwater Shaw (Rav link)
  20. Sunset Slouch
  21. Cabin Kitchen Towel Set (Rav link)
  22. Strom Cardigan
  23. Aurora Borealis Cowl
  24. Less Is More Cowl
  25. Peace Fleece Ronan in Siberian Midnight (Ravelry link)
  26. Taxus Mitts in Tukuwool Fingering (Ravelry link)
  27. Best Loved Shawl in Knitting Goddess Berry BFL-Masham (Ravelry link)
  28. Undulation Shawl in Shilasdair Tansy
  29. Straw Cardigan in Tukuwool DK
  30. ‘Onipa’a Shawl (Rav link) in Mindful Folk yarn

Finished Knitting

  1. Pride Socks for Bob
  2. The Lonely Heart is a Hunter Mystery Knit Along (Rav link)
  3. Milkshake Cardigan
  4. Cemetery Drive Cowl
  5. Nova Scotia Strong Hat for Margie
  6. Autumn Advent: Point Edwards Mitts

Sewing List

  1. Ophelia Overalls in teal corduroy and navy wool flannel
  2. A wrap skirt/kilt with this plaid flannel
  3. Two A-line Tees in batiked cottons for summer
  4. Pietra Pants in black and indigo linen

Finished Sewing

  1. Emerson shorts in natural linen
  2. Halloween PJ Pants 1
  3. Halloween PJ Pants 2
  4. Ophelia Overalls in Purl Linen
  5. Barcelona Dress in lavender linen
  6. Pietra Pants in dark blue chambray
  7. Piedra Dress in Headless Horseman fabric

Listening to Music Intentionally

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.

2020-2021 Year of Projects Completed List

Fiber Art

  1. I have a solo show in September 2021, and I need to make a body of work for this show. My goal is 10 pieces. 8/10 finished.
  2. I dyed most of my own wool for this work.

Finished Fiber Art

Haze Over Maize: Granville 2020 for Mother Artists at Work Show

Litmus Cowl in Moondrake Advent yarn

Finished Knitting

  1. Spring Socklings in Bone and Birch Honeybees and Violets Please
  2. Anker’s Summer Shirt in Serpentine Blacker Lyonesse
  3. Water Shawl KAL
  4. Malabrigo Anniversario Rikke Hat
  5. Getting Warmer in Handdyed Red Kenyan Merino (silent auction prize)
  6. Kenora Toque
  7. Moondrake Advent Litmus Cowl (Ravelry project link)
  8. Blue Turtledove
  9. Franca
  10. Pride Socks
  11. Purple emPower Bandaner
  12. Shetland Tweed Throw
  13. Arachne Sweater
  14. Four Square Cowl
  15. Mistletoe Kisses Socks
  16. Pumpkin Spice Latte socks
  17. Broom Riding Cowl
  18. Halloween Socks
  19. Trans Pride Socks
  20. Accidental Autumn Barley Light Hat
  21. Rikkemas Hat
  22. Meep the Christmas Mouse

Finished Sewing

  1. Birdies summer top
  2. Knitting alpacas PJs
  3. Raglan Dress in blue shirting
  4. Ophelia Overalls in brown twill
  5. Water Shawl KAL project bags
  6. Raglan Dress in plaid flannel
  7. Poudre linen curtains.
  8. Coffee filters
  9. Knitting Sheep flannel PJ pants
  10. Halloween Rachel blouse
  11. Winter Solstice project bag
  12. Manatee tote bag

I’m going to try to continue to post music with my YOP updates, as a way to keep up with listening to music intentionally. Here’s an old favorite.

This has been a Year of Projects Update. This is my final list for 2020-2021. I’m pleased with how much I accomplished this year. You can find out more about the group here (Rav link).

Sunday YOP Update

I updated my list today. I think June is when the Year of Projects (YOP) group starts over, but as I update my list as I go, there won’t be much to change.

Fiber Art

I’m excited to say I have seven completed wool felt pieces for my show. I hope to finish three more before the opening in September. Bob and I visited the gallery yesterday, and we chatted with the owner. I will send him my current list of pieces tomorrow. This is my first solo show in nine years, and my first solo gallery show, although in 2010 I had a combined gallery show with another artist. I’m really happy I asked for this opportunity.

Knitting

I’m focusing on my Milkshake Cardigan, but there’s not much progress since yesterday. Here are two photos of yarn I purchased for projects not yet added to my YOP list. 😁

Shilasdair for the Undulation Shawl
Tukuwool DK for the Straw cardigan.

Sewing

This morning I started working on my Emerson shorts in natural linen I cut out two years ago. It will be good to get those finished, and it will be nice to be able to wear them. I can tell it’s going to be a hot summer.

Gardening

Herb and Bee garden with a Strawberry Border

I think I’ve finally got the garden about where I want it. I planted some cosmos, tansy, oregano, lavender, and creeping thyme this morning. I am trying some short and dirty wool clippings around the transplants. I found slugs all over the baby kale this morning.

My one and only New Year’s Resolution was to listen to more music with intention. Bob and I watched The Leftovers, and Iris Dement’s “Let the Mystery Be” was used for the intro at various times. I’m an Iris Dement fan, but I hadn’t listened to her music in a long time. So I spent a week or two just listening to her music, singing along in the car.

This has been a Year of Projects Update. You can read my updated list here. You can find out more about the group here (Rav link).

Sunday Year of Projects Update

Hello!

Fiber Art

I had an interesting experiment with the dye pot today. I tried Lanaset dye with citric acid and added some unprocessed wool to the dye pot as well. The merino did fine, but the Shetland (top left) and the Romeldale CVM (top right, unprocessed) did not take the dye well. That’s fine, because I dye the wool for art and I can always use odd colors. And I still got the brown I need for the next piece. Next dye pot will be Jacquard Aztec Gold and back to white vinegar for the acid bath. I also stitched on piece number three today.

Knitting

Knit knit knitting on my Litmus Cowl, which I’m now calling my Lucky Number Cowl, because the number of rows in a stripe is 14, my lucky number. This is great TV knitting. Round and round. And I’m making up for lost time on Turtledove. I hope to be back to my pre-kerfuffle progress soon.

This is my Black Welsh Mountain yarn. I love it, and was planning to make a cardigan with it. But I don’t think this is the right kind of yarn for Emma (Ravelry link). It’s pretty coarse. It would be a great coat, but I’m thinking I might knit an i-cord hearth rug out of it. We need a hearth rug. Did you know wool is fire retardant? It’s true. Wool is a miracle fiber.

This is the gansey I knit for Bob that I am now wearing, because it shrunk and felted and is too small for him now. I found a hole in it so I thought it was a good opportunity to practice my darning. I wanted to try to use duplicate stitch and the results aren’t too bad. I’m calling it “crazy darning” or “darn crazy.” Take your pick. Just remember, you heard it here first.

Don’t worry. I’m planning to knit Bob a new sweater (Ravelry link).

This has been a Year of Projects Update. You can read my updated list here. You can find out more about the group here.

Today is our Blogville Knitters Virtual Knit at 1PM Eastern. If you are new and would like to join us by Skype, please DM your Skype ID to me on Instagram or Ravelry. You might also leave a comment for me to remind me to go check my messages.

Last Day of Staycation: A List and some Pics

  1. I framed my felt piece and I love it. Thanks to everyone who left kind comments and bolstered my confidence. My friend Sharon said (in our Mother Artists at Work private group to everyone) “Be proud of your work!” She’s right. We should all be proud of our work.

2. I’m going to try to make 2-3 more pieces before the end of the year. This will help me gauge if a solo show next September is something I can manage.

3. I mended my favorite thrift store cardigan with the help of a Katrinkles’ Darning Loom. It accidentally? came out in the shape of Ohio. When Hannah told me she liked visible mending, I didn’t think I would like it. I was wrong. I like it! The gold is my turmeric dyed Cotswold. Also, elbow patch.

4. Bob and I hiked a total of 20 miles while we were on vacation. I will be applying these to my Move 4 Fair Trade mileage.

5. I voted by mail. I followed all of the instructions and took it in person to the post office. That was on October 7. I have been tracking my ballot, and it still hasn’t been marked as received. If my vote hasn’t been registered as counted by November 2, I guess I will be voting in person on November 3.

These are my anniversary gifts from Bob: a silly shirt that reflects my philosophy of life and the new Bill Callahan album.

Here is our Halloween watched list so far:

I will continue to add to this list and post it again at the end of the month.

Are you watching any spooky or spoopy stuff for Halloween?

Midweek Mentions

Finished PSL sock with DOUBLE EYELET RIB cuff

First of all, I need to apologize for sending you down the wrong pattern path on my Pumpkin Spice Latte socks. The cuff pattern is Double Eyelet Rib from Interweave’s Harmony Guides. It didn’t register that I had been giving the wrong stitch pattern name until I went to cast on the second sock and nothing made sense! You can find that pattern easily online. It was also easy to convert to a pattern in the round.

Rustbelt Fibershed and Praxis Fiber Workshop are hosting the One Year, One Outfit Project to make three wearables sourced from our local fibershed in one year. I want to do this SO BAD but I am also aware of how much time (and money) it would require. I can’t even keep up with my Year of Projects updates!

I bound off the bottom ribbing on my Arachne sweater, and I will start on the neck ribbing soon. Then I’ll knit the sleeves with whatever yarn I have left. I’m going to sew a Halloweeny shirt to wear under it. It’s almost fall!

Down with Bad Stuff

I do not like summer. I have never liked summer. I don’t like the heat. I don’t like the break in routine. Summer makes me grumpy. Summertime is when I like to stay indoors in the AC and read and knit. Down with Summer.

Bob and I walked to the library yesterday and I browsed the knitting books, while also picking up more Tudor books. I can’t seem to get enough of the Tudors — fiction, nonfiction, audiobook, proper book, well written, badly written… it really does not matter. And what’s fascinating is every author has a different take on the subject!

Anyway, I enjoyed browsing the knitting books and bringing a few home, noncommittally. In the past, I would only check out the knitting books if I thought I could learn something from them or if there was a pattern inside that I wanted to knit. I was in my same old rut — looking through knitting books that I thought were pretty but would never knit anything out of — when I realized it was okay. It is totally fine to check out a knitting book, flip through it and enjoy the eye candy, and then return it. It’s even okay to do it intentionally! Down with self-limiting arbitrary rules!

“Protest Knits” has a very enjoyable Trump Pincushion crochet pattern, but I will never make it. Maybe I will make the Down with Bad Stuff water bottle holder!

I have a HUUUGE water bottle (see what I did there?) and I never take it hiking because it’s too darn big! But this would solve that problem and be fun, albeit rather vague.

I started my Blue Ribbon Beanie. It is a beautiful shade of deep cerulean Malabrigo DK. It’s 2X2 rib. I’m not sure how I will decrease at the top yet. Ribbing can be tricky to decrease.

Honestly, I started the beanie because I’ve lost the verve for my FIVE sweaters I have on the needles, and even Celtic Myths feels a little fussy right now. So I’ve fallen back on hat knitting just to try to stick with it.

I had to give up a few things this Summer. I gave up the herb business. It needed more than I could give. I gave up some of my blog subscriptions. I couldn’t keep up. But I only gave up on the ones where I felt there wasn’t a connection. I have had to give up pleasure eating and drinking wine and margaritas. I gained a lot of weight last year and even exercise couldn’t help me keep it off, so I signed up for Noom and am counting every calorie and even steps! I had to give up sewing for a while, until I no longer needed to use my studio as an office.

But I got my office back, which means I also got my studio back. I got to participate in an art show. I got my teeth cleaned today, which included a new toothbrush, floss, and props for excellent hygiene. I’ve lost 2 pounds in 5 days. My garden is producing scrumptious tomatoes. Up with good stuff, amiright?!