This week I’m recovering from a wonderful weekend full of friends, fiber, and fun! We met up for Wisconsin Sheep and Wool, and spent the weekend frolicking with fiber. (All the F words today, because alliteration is fun.) (Maybe not ALL the F words.) I got to meet Liz and Marilee in person for the first time!
These shopping bags were one of the secret projects I was working on before the trip. I made one for each attendee as a gift, and included a packet zinnia seeds.
I was also commissioned by Jess, another attendee, to create and dye this yarn colorway as gifts for everyone (including me!)
And There Was More Yarn
I was fairly restrained with my purchases, but I did buy a sweater quantity of Weekend Wool from Green Mountain Spinnery. These will be a Mountain Mist sweater. Last year, making the Back Porch Shawl in this yarn was the knitting highlight of my fall, so I decided I should knit a sweater with it. Also, Green Mountain Spinnery is a worker-owned cooperative. Just one more reason to buy from them! Definitely my favorite booth at the show.
I also purchased a couple of skeins from the Ewetopia booth. I thanked the owner for offering nonsuperwash yarn. I carefully picked out a couple of skeins without a project in mind. Then I decided I could knit a slip stitch cowl with these, and they would be shimmery together. The skein on the left reminds me of the twilight color of St. Clair that I tried to knit into a bobble hat. The universe is giving me a second chance at this color.
The only superwash I purchased was this gradient “Something Wicked” from Knit Circus when we went to The Sow’s Ear. I’m a sucker for a Halloween gradient. This notions pouch was from Mitchell Wool Company. As I was explaining to another guest why say no to superwash, the owner told me I’m her favorite person. I didn’t get any yarn from Mitchell Wool, but I’m linking it for another time. They have some gorgeous Targhee I know Sarah enjoyed knitting into a hat.
Speaking of hats! This guy was purchasing wool for his felt fungi hat creations. I was impressed enough to ask him if I could take his photo.
I ended up frogging my fall striped sock. Even on a size 0 needle, the 64 stitch recipe was too big. I’ll try again with 60 stitches. Luckily, I brought a small cake of Qiviuk yarn: qiviut, merino, and silk and cast on, yep, another blue beanie. It’s so soft and I’m always happy in a plain blue beanie.
On Monday, everyone else headed home and I was on my own until the evening. I stopped by Fiddlesticks Knits to say hi to @superradleesha who I met last year. She gave me a tour of all her current WIPs that were on display with the yarn in the shop, which was so fun! The shop was brand new when I visited last year. It has really filled out with lots of selections! Also, there were boob candles. Yes, you can have your boobs molded into custom candles, which honestly I think sounds like a lot of fun.
I purchased this Woll Wichtel from Fiddlesticks, because nonsuperwash + autumn colors = happy Alissa.
I also stopped into Mad City Music, and look at the treasures I found! Although I can sing along with the songs from the other three CDs, Rockabilly from Hell has surprised me with my new favorite spooky season selections.
My last stop before the airport was a trip to Sanitarium Hill to get my paranormal on. This is a working building, so I didn’t try to go inside. Instead I walked the grounds and took some photos. I did not see any ghosts or feel anything spooky. It felt very peaceful to me. I also wanted to have a drink at a haunted bar, but unfortunately it is closed for business.
Madison is a really fun place to visit. I would go back there in a heartbeat. Have you visited? If so, please leave a comment of your favorite places!
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.
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.
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.
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 started knitting this last October, but realized pretty quickly I was not going to be able to finish it by Halloween. I was also annoyed that I had to take the stitch marker off every right side row and move it. Fast forward to July 2022: I loved knitting this! It was great TV knitting, intuitive and repetitive, and the whole stitch marker thing became part of the rhythm. (I guess I was more grumpy and stressed last year. Funny how that works.)
As much as I love a good wrap, let’s face it. I’ll be wearing it more like this.
I managed to get out into the garden this morning to weed and noticed it’s time to harvest the tansy! Tansy is one of those dye plants with natural tannins like indigo, so it doesn’t need a mordant. I decided to test a Hapazome print on the edges of my remaining indigo printed Virginia cotton.
I’m pleased with how this came out. Now I need to decide if I want to continue to print on this fabric, or order more. I think I will order more, as I want to experiment with black walnut leaves and iron mordant.
I may also kettle dye some Virginia cotton and wool yarn with tansy this week. Since this blend of fibers doesn’t take readily to acid dyes or fiber reactive dyes for plant fibers, a natural dye pot may be just the thing it needs!
My flax is also ready to harvest. There are a few stalks that are already too far gone with ripe seed heads, but most is still ok. So that’s another fiber art project this week.
I’m super close to finishing my Halloween Livie shawl. One more section then bind off!
I should finish my Gather dress and Bob’s Marvel shirt this week.
Since I came down with Covid, I didn’t spin for the last week of Tour de Fleece. I need to oil my wheel and get back to spinning.
I wasn’t able to finish knitting my Halloween Livie Shawl this week, but I’m getting close! Instead, I started some new sewing projects.
This Gather dress in printed linen is waiting for buttons and buttonholes. In the UK this is called a “Buffet Dress” because you wear it to the all-you-can-eat buffet. At least I think that’s what they mean. I’m looking forward to swanning about in it.
I’ve made a start on Bob’s Marvel shirt. We’re going with retro blue accent on the collar and pocket top, and probably blue buttons. My pattern matching skills are on point!
Did you finish anything this week? Or start anything new?
I’m recovering from Covid and haven’t been too productive. (Don’t worry. I’m fine. Just tired and snotty.) I spent all weekend on the couch binge watching Season 6 of the Great British Sewing Bee. Bob hung out with me on Sunday for a bit, and commented he wouldn’t mind having a men’s tropical shirt, which was one of the challenges for holiday week.
I’m on it! Besides, I was going to knit him a Knitter’s Dude cardigan for his birthday, but I haven’t cast on yet and his birthday is in September. Why not sew a shirt instead?
I looked around online, and found a new-to-me pattern company, Wardrobe By Me. I’m using the Tropical Shirt pattern. Bob is lanky, so I’m grading sizes between a Large in width and 2XL in length. It looks to be a pretty straightforward pattern. I have some Marvel superhero fabric on the way which he likes. I’m looking forward to practicing my buttonholes!
There is a good chance I will finish knitting my Halloween Livie shawl this week — at least if my arms stop feeling tired and rubbery from the ‘rona.
My next Halloween sweater will be the same pattern, but a short sleeved gradient pullover with purple cats!
This La Bien Aimée gradient has been in my stash since the great yarn hoard of 2020. I bought the purple to go with it, and over dyed the green. I wanted the green for the cat’s eyes. Now I’m thinking a pale teal would have gone with the set better. The original green of the yarn was too pale. This yarn is sport weight, but it’s superwash so it will grow. I’m also a loose knitter. Don’t worry. I’ll knit a swatch. Maybe that will also help me decide what to do about the green.