Six More Weeks of Winter

I finally buckled down and finished the body of my Arrowhead Cardigan. Now it’s steeks, shoulder seams, sleeve and neckline knitting. It’s getting easier for me. I’m wishing I had it finished to wear this winter. It’s been so cold! According to Punxsutawney Phil, I’ve got six weeks.

I’ve finished the corrugated rib hem on Powdermill. I’m looking forward to starting the colorwork, but I think I’ll finish Arrowhead first.

I’m on the gusset of the second Merry Krampus sock. It won’t be long now!

In other news, I made vegan pho for the first time. It’s pretty good, for not beef. I’d like to tweak the recipe before sharing it.

I also left Facebook and am now completely off social media, except WordPress. (Is this social media?) I feel better. It’s making a difference in my mental (and therefore physical) health.

Are you ready for winter to end? I normally like winter, but I think I’m ready for warmer temperatures.

My My Here Come the Fuzz: a YOP Update

Look at that fuzz!

I finished my Peaceful Lodge Sweater. I absolutely love it. I can wear it without a shirt underneath, too. I was worried about that because of the kid mohair content.

Pattern is Lodge Sweater by Ozetta. Yarn is Peaceful colorway in Superwash Merino DK by Cornbread and Honey held with Aloft by KnitPicks in color Sydney.

I grabbed the Cornbread and Honey yarn last spring at the Wild and Wooly Fiber Expo in Cleveland. There were five skeins of this colorway, and I scooped them all up with the intention of knitting a sweater. This is one of those dream projects that came together without much planning. Just a lot of knitting, so nothing to complain about. Mostly stockinette, too! I knit it on US 9 needles to get the most yardage out of the yarn, plus I hit gauge and liked the drape of the fabric.

I cast on Powdermill this week and have completed one round of corrugated rib. Not much to see so here is a photo of my pins. Marilee and I are having a little Powdermill knitalong. She wanted to start the new year off with a bang.

I continue to make progress on my scarf. I weave at least one color repeat each day, meaning all five colors. The stripes are random, so it’s not a pattern repeat. The purple is my favorite, and I’m halfway wishing I had woven the entire weft in purple. This will be fun to wear, though.

Yesterday, for Saturdate, Bob and I played a new game: Horrified: American Monsters. It was a little complicated at first, but once we got the hang of it, it was really fun. We also watched After Midnight. We enjoyed this romantic horror comedy. I haven’t laughed that hard during a movie in a while.

This has been a Year of Projects update. You can read my updated project list at this link. You can find out more about the group on Ravelry.

Wednesday WIPs

I’m nearly done with my Peaceful Lodge Sweater. I’ve finished one sleeve. I thought it would take me a couple of days, but it took me a week! At this stage, though, I am obsessed with finishing. I’ll start the second sleeve today, and hope I can finish it this weekend. I’ve learned both the stretchy i-cord cast off and the sewn tubular bind off for this project. I may have done them before, but not recently or frequently enough to remember them.

My woven scarf is coming along. I’m choosing weft colors randomly from the same colors in the warp. I’m a little worried about my edges, but since it’s my first time weaving on a floor loom (second time weaving at all) I’m happy enough.

I hope you’re making progress on your projects this week!

Happy New Year! Year of Projects (YOP) 2023

I’m ready to start the New Year right with an impossible list of items I will never accomplish. At the same time, having a list ensures I will be somewhat productive. I do love the feeling of checking items off a list. Perhaps I will start adding gold stars next to completed projects. Plus, it gives me an excuse to blog weekly when I can’t think of anything else to say.

I’m grateful the Year of Projects group is loosely organized, and I was able to take a break last year. My approach this year is to divide and conquer. I’ve divided my full list of knitting projects into separate lists for 2023 and 2024. 2023 (below) includes works in progress (WIPs), and new cast ons I hope to complete this year. Add to this list socks, since my plan is to knit a pair of socks every month this year. That’s not realistic, but that’s never stopped me from trying. Some of these WIPs probably won’t make it this year. There’s a reason I’ve set them aside, but I’m not ready to rip them out yet.

Knitting To Do List

Peaceful Lodge Sweater
  1. Arrowhead Cardigan in Lettlopi
  2. Powdermill (New Year’s cast on)
  3. Willow in Moonstone Arcadia
  4. Super Simple Summer Sweater in Cestari Ash Lawn
  5. Hansel Hap in Ramsay Farms fawn katmoget Shetland with Jamieson and Smiths for trim colors
  6. Summer Solstice Wrap
  7. Knitter’s Dude in Knitpicks Comfy for Bob
  8. Auchnaha in Schiehallion in Mooring
  9. Fall Favorites Sweater in La Bien Aimee Merino Sport (short-sleeved purple cats version)
  10. Cozy Autumn Socks
  11. That Old Christmas Moon Shawl in In Betwixt Yarn Advent (I want to be wrapped up in this by December 1.)
  12. Christmas Pudding Socks
  13. Streely Maid Trigger Mitts in Holiday Doodle Cowl colors
  14. Stash Aurealis
  15. Alaska Hat in Knit Circus kit
  16. Spisa Oven Mitts from stash (gift for Freya)
  17. Advent Scarf

Completed Knitting

Sewing To Do List

I’ve noticed my approach to sewing is to make a pattern to see if I like it. If I do, I make multiples so I don’t have to learn something new every time I sew. It’s more enjoyable for me if I can skip the instructions. So my plan for 2023 is to mostly make multiples. I recently acquired Lotta Jansdotter’s Everyday Patterns book. There are a couple of garments I really love, the Rui shirt and Pym pants. I have plenty of fabric in my stash for these.

  1. Rui Shirt in apricot linen
  2. Rui Shirt in Liberty blue paisley lawn
  3. Rui Shirtdress in yellow or red linen
  4. Pym Pants in Virginia cotton canvas
  5. Ophelia Overall shorts in Virginia cotton canvas with black walnut ecoprint accents
  6. Audrey Pants in black brushed cotton twill
  7. Martina Coat in black wool floral embossed coating

Weaving List

I’m going to finish weaving this scarf. That’s it.

Spinning List

I’ll finish spinning my Pumpkins for Sale BFL and maybe participate in Tour de Fleece. I think I would also like to dye my natural rovings and spin skeins for gift giving this year.

Happy New Year! We’ve had a lovely weekend, with a gathering at a friend’s in Canton, then an overnight stay with kids in Cuyahoga Falls. New Year’s Eve was spent eating pizza and watching Bloody New Year and Terror Train. Neither of us had ever seen these, but they were an enjoyable diversion. I impressed even myself with my facial recognition gift by pointing out John from Shaun of the Dead in Bloody New Year. (I have a gift for pattern recognition. I am currently using this gift in my role as part-time Remote Bookkeeping Elf — title my own. I log in to computers remotely early in the morning and work on other people’s bookkeeping while they are still asleep. They wake up and their bookkeeping is all done for them! I would love to have an afternoon job that is more creative, and I’m thinking about knitting pattern tech editing.) Today we’re going for a New Year’s hike. Bob will make black eyed peas and collards for dinner.

I usually choose a word for the year, although I don’t think I chose a word for 2022. I spent most of the year focusing on my mental and physical health, and made some progress. I was able to stop taking medications. I was able to get off social media except Facebook. I think about closing my Facebook account, but there are connections with family and friends there I would miss. In fact, a friend recently shared this article that plays into my word for 2023. My word is Voice. The goal is to recognize and reaffirm my own voice, and share it if I want to. No pressure, though, if I don’t feel like it. My resolutions for the year are to knit from stash and have more fun. We’re also having a “no buy” year, as we have a new furnace and electrical system to pay off. This means we can buy food and necessities, but not anything else. Bob pretty much lives like this, so I think we all know who is going to be struggling the most. This was my idea, by the way.

Also from the Wool and Fiber Arts group on Facebook. I’m in it for the memes.

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.

Boxing Day Round Up

I can now share my other gift make. This is yarn I knit into Rose City Rollers and a shirt we picked up while in Pittsburgh for Nova Scotia Nana who is a Steelers fan. Hi Nana! Yarn is Fibernymph Dyeworks Inversibles in black and gold.

Rather than list all my makes for 2022 — since I shared most of them on my Year of Projects Finale post — I thought instead I would share my totals and favorites.

I knit 15 projects and 8 miles of yarn in 2022. This is down from around 24 projects in previous years. It was a rocky year. My favorites are, below, Ocean Moon Shawl, Pumqueen Cardigan, Ghost Knitter’s Shawl, and Holiday Doodle Cowl.

I completed around 30 sewing projects in 2023, if you count multiples of the same pattern. This number includes project bags and shopping bags made as gifts or for sale in the shop. My favorites are, below, Plaid Flannel Shacket, Clare Coat, Spoopy Project Bag, Zero Waste Gather Dress, and Felix Dress.

I dyed fabric and yarn this year — some naturally, and some with low impact dyes. My favorites are the colorways for Chestnut Hills Farm and Fiber, the black walnut fabric with iron mordant, and the wool and cotton yarn dyed with tansy that is complemented by the Hi Summer colorway. (I’m going to knit a Visser or Halvis out of these, as they look so good together.)

I did manage to improve my spinning this year, and just started with weaving. Not much to show right now, though.

Hand spun local Blue Faced Leicester (BFL)

I will blog about 2023 plans in another post. I miss Year of Projects and am considering rejoining, even though I needed the break. If you are still with me — either on this post or as a subscriber — thanks for reading and sticking with me this year.

We had a lovely low-key Christmas Day with all the kids and Granddog Cannoli. I hope you enjoyed your day!

Merry Christmas!

I finished knitting Henry’s Cthulu for Christmas hat. Pattern: Lovecraft’s Bane. Yarn: Banshee Fiber Arts, Yeti base. It’s wrapped up and under the tree.

I sewed new gift bags this year from quilting cotton I had in stash. The young’uns never really liked these, since they don’t get the full experience of ripping paper. But Bob and I prefer them since they can be reused. No pattern. I sew them the way my Grandma did, which is basically a pillowcase with a gusset, plus a casing with buttonholes for the drawstring closure.

I also sewed myself what I’m calling a “Christmas Lounge Suit” out of some green velour from stash. Tried and true PJ pant pattern from Ottobre. Top is Hemlock Tee from Grainline Studio. Rookie error: I cut the back of the pants with the nap reversed, which gives it a harlequin effect. Now I wish I’d done it intentionally on the top, too.

Merry Christmas Day. Happy eighth night of Hanukkah. Happy Kwanzaa tomorrow. And Glad Yule! 2022 completed Holiday watchlist below. We didn’t watch Elf?! 🤷🏻

  • It’s a Wonderful Life
  • Black Adder’s Christmas Carol
  • Christmas at SCTV
  • How the Grinch Stole Christmas (1968 animated)
  • Violent Night (new favorite)
  • A Christmas Carol (1938)
  • Pottersville
  • A Christmas Story
  • Bad Santa
  • Elves (Nisser, Danish 2021)
  • Die Hard
  • Becoming Santa (2011 documentary)
  • Batman Returns
  • Christmas with the Kranks
  • Joe Bob’s Ghoultide Get Together – Don’t Open Til Xmas
  • Bob’s Burger’s —The Bleakening
  • Bob’s Burgers – The Plight Before Christmas
  • Ghosts Christmas Special
  • The Adventures of Pete & Pete: O Christmas Pete
  • A Christmas Horror Story
  • Pee Wee’s Playhouse Christmas Special
  • At Home with Amy Sedaris Holidays
  • A Charlie Brown Christmas
  • All is Bright
  • Krampus
  • Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale
  • Hjem til Jul 1 & 2
  • Gilmore Girls holiday episodes
  • Great British Baking Show holiday episodes
  • Great American Baking Show holiday edition
  • A Christmas Story Christmas Movie

Winter Solstice WIPs

Happy Winter Solstice! The shortest day of the year has ended, and the longest night is upon us. It’s my favorite night of the year. I’ve started a fire, mulled some apple cider, and am settling in for an evening of knitting. Bob made chili and cornbread for dinner. For dessert I made mince pies!

My WIPs (works in progress) are coming along well.

I am meeting my goal of five rounds per day on Lovecraft’s Bane. I should be finished on Christmas Eve.

I’ve also picked my Peaceful Lodge Sweater back up, for mindless evening knitting. I’ve divided for the armholes and am working on the back right now. I hope to be finished and wearing it on New Year’s Day.

I wish for you good food, great company, and a long cozy night of knitting tonight, or whatever you love to do!

Advent Scarf

A few years ago I really wanted to knit this scarf:

📸 Tricia Weatherston

I still want to knit it! (That’s a tried and true test for spending my knitting time in a quality way.)

I’m late to start an Advent scarf. I have a cone of sport weight Frangipani gansey yarn (worsted spun with great stitch definition) in off white that I think would be perfect, though. Should I cast on? (I think the answer to that question is always YES.) Or I could add it to next year’s December knitting list, which is more rational and realistic, especially since I have a couple of gift knits to finish.

Are you a December Advent knitter? I like it as a way to count down the holidays. I didn’t put anything in my Advent chest this year. I was disappointed when I created my own yarn Advent with leftovers. I thought I was really clever, tricking myself. Oh well. Maybe next year I’ll purchase some new little things and fill in with chocolate.

Here is my updated Holiday Watch List of titles I’ve seen so far:

  • All is Bright
  • Krampus
  • Rare Exports
  • Hjem til Jul
  • Gilmore Girls holiday episodes
  • Great British Baking Show holiday episodes
  • Great American Baking Show holiday edition
  • A Christmas Story Christmas movie (a worthy follow up to the original)

Have you any new holiday movies or shows you are watching this year?

Holiday Doodle Cowl

I finished knitting my Holiday Doodle Cowl! I was worried I made it too snug, but I love that I can cover my nose with it and it stays up. (And ears!)

Pattern is Holiday Doodle Cowl by Pacific Knit Co. She has different versions of the pattern, so you have to make sure you get the charts you want. Yarn is Rauma Strikkegarn in 123 mid green, 100 white, 155 light blue, 144 red, and 198 light green. I ended up finding the red at Wool & Company, but I purchased the rest of my yarn from The Woolly Thistle.

I like this yarn a lot. It’s woolly, so not for someone who wants their wool super soft. But to me it’s warm and cozy. I have enough left to make some mittens, so I think I’ll do that. I’ve been wanting to make some trigger mittens from Saltwater Classics since our trip to Nova Scotia. They would be fun in these colors.

I also really enjoyed knitting the pattern. It’s fun, straightforward colorwork. I think this may be my favorite type of knitting, after stockinette. I’m also proud of my grafting, which you can see here. Or can you?

I’ve wanted to knit this since 2020, when I purchased the pattern on Ravelry. I’m glad I will have it to wear this holiday season!

Happy December!

My Holiday Doodle cowl is almost done! It’s so wide and thick, I’ve decided one loop is enough. Just a few more segments to knit!

For Thanksgiving, Bob and I and my two oldest kids spent the weekend in Pittsburgh seeing all the zombie sites: Evans City Cemetery, Monroeville Mall, and the Living Dead Museum. We also rode the Duquesne Incline, went thrifting, and went shopping at McWalker Yarns! I thought it was funny the yarn shop had “walker” in the name. I got to experience a Bavarian Christkindlemart complete with wooden stalls. We ended the trip with a fabulous dinner at Apteka — an Eastern European vegan restaurant. Their borscht is amazing!

I’m already listening to holiday music and watching Christmas movies and shows. Here’s my watch list so far:

  • Gilmore Girls holiday episodes
  • Great British Baking Show holiday episodes
  • Great American Baking Show holiday edition
  • A Christmas Story Christmas movie (a worthy follow up to the original)

It’s almost Krampusnacht! You know what that means, right? A viewing of Rare Exports, my favorite Christmas movie ever –possibly my favorite movie ever — and our “drinking” game where we eat gingerbread cookies every time a character takes a bite of gingerbread. This year I get to use my Krampus cookie cutters that Freya gave me for Christmas last year.

In other news, I ran the numbers on my little business, and I lost money this year. I promised myself if I had a loss at the end of the year, I would close up shop. So I did. I’m sad, but I tried, and I did my best.