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.

Ribbing

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.

Reading

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?

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.

Sewing

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!

Dyeing

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.

Knitting

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.

Wednesday: It’s a Wrap! Or, a Haunted Hap?

While running through the haunted woods behind her house, the author’s shawl gets hung on tree branches. Should she turn and rescue it? Or keep running? What is she running from? Is it the Blair Witch? Hold on… Wait a minute… She IS the witch! Stop running, witch! Put your shawl back on and go home.

I finished knitting my Halloween Livie shawl! Pattern is Livie by Tamy Gore. Yarn is Spectacular from Knit Circus in Trick or Treat and Quoth the Raven.

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.

Year of Projects Week 5/52 — Tansy Hapazome

Fiber Art / Natural Dyeing

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.

Knitting

I’m super close to finishing my Halloween Livie shawl. One more section then bind off!

Sewing

I should finish my Gather dress and Bob’s Marvel shirt this week.

Spinning

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.

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.

No FOs Only WIPs. Plus Bad Pics!

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?

Wednesday WIPs: That’s Good Sewing!

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.

Friday FO: This is Halloween 🎃

I finished knitting my Pumqueen Cardigan, and I love it! Pattern is Fall Favorites Collection by Meghan Regan. Yarn is Cascade BFL. The yarn is a little toothy but silky, and has wonderful drape and stitch definition. Buttons from The Button Bird.

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.

Halloween in July: Wednesday WIPs

Kathy is hosting Christmas in July (or whatever holiday you like) and I am low-key participating with Halloween in July.

My Livie shawl is growing, and I’ve cast on my 2 Spooky Hat kit which I purchased last October. I don’t have a Halloween hat, and I’m on a mission to remedy that by October 1! I finished my Pumqueen Cardigan, which I’ll post about on Friday.

I’m still spinning (almost) daily for Tour de Fleece. I’m 3/4 of the way through this farm BFL braid. Tomorrow I’ll finish spinning it. On Friday I’ll ply. Then comes my favorite part: dyeing! What colors should I dye it? I’m thinking of experimenting with winter holiday colors.

What are you working on this week?

Year of Projects: Week 3

I had a good week this week. I cut my first sweater steek. I finished sewing my first Clyde Jumpsuit. And I started spinning some farm BFL that smells like sheep heaven!

I’m still waiting for the perfect buttons for my Pumqueen Cardi to arrive. Once they get here, all I need to do is sew them on!

In need of an easy knit, I picked up my Halloween Livie shawl. It’s perfect TV knitting! Plus I seem to be gravitating toward all things Halloween right now.

This has been a Year of Projects (YOP) update. You can find out more about the group on Ravelry or Backstage Kath’s YOP bloggers list.

Wednesday WIPs

I finished one button band on my Pumqueen Cardi and sewed ribbon to the facing. Once I’ve blocked it, I’ll hand stitch that down to the inside. I’ll start knitting the other button band today, but I’ll need to wait until I get the buttons to finish it with the buttonholes and everything.

I also cut out a Clyde Jumpsuit in indigo midweight linen. I barely squeaked it out of my three yards. Good thing I needed the short size!

I also started spinning some farm BFL roving today. I think BFL may be my new favorite fiber.