Saffron Cowl

Happy Sunday, Blogville! I hope you are all healthy and happy and enjoying your time at home. Are you knitting a lot? I haven’t had much time or energy for knitting, but I did finish my saffron cowl.

I love the look on Henry’s face in the second image.

I can’t say it was a very satisfying knit, but it was simple and it’s warm and comforting to wear. I’m ready to start an equally simple, warm, and comforting hat to match. Mmm… stockinette.

It was a rough week for me, as I’m sure it has been challenging for many. At work, we made the decision to close our stores temporarily. It was the right decision but a stressful one to make. We have remote projects that need to be done, so staff will have work and be paid. We also gave everyone an additional two weeks PTO should they need it.

Quarantine is not a big deal for me as I’m an introvert and work from home all the time anyway.

I did a little sketching today and it served to remind me why I don’t often sketch. I don’t enjoy it and I’m always disappointed with the results. I am trying to reframe my drawing as a process to work out design problems, as I learned at Vogue Knitting. I can apply that to any medium.

Kate Davies is having a design contest for Milarrochy Tweed. This time it is neckware. I would love to submit something, even if it’s just an exercise to design something, make it, and submit it without further expectation. The theme is “My Place”. I thought I could make a cowl version of my Birds of Blendon Hat.

Henry moves into his own place this week with a friend. That leaves Hans at home, and he is with his Dad half the time. They are leaving the nest! They all have birthdays in March but it was pretty low key this year. We did go to Bakersfield for tacos and margs on Harald’s birthday (my oldest.)

Mexican Coke for Hans.

What are you knitting? And what are you watching? We are watching Devs on Hulu — really good — and I started Valhalla Murders on Netflix. I love me some moody Scandi crime dramas. It was a diversion tactic to keep me from watching Shetland a third time.

Weekend Quizzaroo

(Image credit The Knitting Goddess)

Karen posted a sock quiz! I’m a notorious sock knitting eschewer but quizzes are great for personal development and blog fodder.

1. Do you knit/crochet socks?

I want to knit socks. I have knit socks. But generally, no, I don’t.

2. If yes, how long have you been making them? If no, why not?

It doesn’t sound fun. I’m primarily a sweater and hat knitter.

3. What is your preferred method? Top down, toe up? Which needles? Do you have a preferred heel type?

I prefer toe up so I can make sure the foot fits well. I hate a baggy sock. I prefer fine yarn for socks but they sure do take a long time! I like a well-turned heel. I’ve never tried an afterthought heel. Are their more flaps than that? Double point needles for me.

4. Have you gifted socks? Were they worn, loved and appreciated?

Never! I am considering knitting a pair for Bob, though. It’s a lot of pressure.

5. Could you make nothing but socks for the rest of your life and be happy?

If I can knit one more pair of socks (I’ve made two pair in my life so far) I could be happy the rest of my life never knitting them again. Or, who knows, I might knit another pair and enjoy them so much I will want to knit more! That’s my hope.

6. One of the most addictive things about sock knitting is the amazing selection of fingering weight yarn that is available. What is your favorite yarn for socks? Do you prefer solid or multicolor yarn? Do you have a fiber preference?

For me it will need to be crazy hand painted colors or solid yarn with textured knitting. Wool plus silk (for strength) is my favorite fiber combo. Throw some cashmere in there and I’m hooked.

Well, that was fun and inspiring. Maybe I will cast on a pair of socks today.

February Frogs:

I’m pulling out the linen stitch cowl. It is taking too long and I am afraid I don’t have enough yarn for it. My Hogwarts yarn will make a great pair of clog socks though.

I’m pulling out this Bousta Beanie. It’s not happening.

Do you like my new photo prop? It’s Fair Trade and I picked it up at Pachamama Market when I was in Troy, OH for a work meeting.

I think one should feel good about frogging and this wool felt sunflower does the trick for me.

The new The Just Craft is up!

Lavender Festival

When we arrived at Peaceful Acres Lavender Farm we were first greeted by this delightful cob house. I have had fantasies about living in a cob house but that stopped when I found out how much work goes into maintaining one. Maybe an adobe house in the Desert Southwest is in my future?

This was a small festival where you could pay $12 to cut your own English Lavender bouquet (well worth it), shop several handmade vendors, order a plant based lunch, buy handmade herbal products from the farm, and walk nature trails. In the end Bob and I walked the nature trails but didn’t buy anything. I was proud of myself.

There was, as you would expect, many Lavender plants (Lavandula angustifolia) and they were gorgeous and buzzing with bees. It was a bit off the beaten path but I got some knitting done and enjoyed the road trip.

After the lavender festival, Bob and I went to see The Dead Don’t Die.

We had been anticipating the release date as we are both Jim Jarmusch fans. The film did not disappoint. Although as far as horror comedies go, Shaun of the Dead is still my number one. Perfick.

Follow Up

Isn’t this blue linen pretty?

I originally bought it to make another pair of Emerson Pants. But I thought it was too pretty for pants. So today I cut out a Farrow Dress instead.

(Photo courtesy of Grainline Studios)

I hope to start sewing it together tomorrow. Shout out to my Mom who sent me some birthday cash which I promptly blew on linen fabric from Lithuania. (I’m so glad I did!)

I also worked on my felt painting today.

This is mostly Romeldale-CVM and local (Ohio) Shetland wool. I’m hoping to get to the felting part tomorrow. This is for a group show with Mother Artists at Work in July.

I even knit on my Celtic Myths today.

Today was a good day.

Take 2

I blogged before bed last night, and I deleted it in the wee hours due to a 1am panic attack. Don’t ask me to try to make logical sense out of it. There isn’t any.

Selfie a Day

5.26.19 Studio

A friend of mine posted a selfie on Instagram the other day. She looked great. Another friend has been taking daily selfies for years, although I don’t think she posts them all. She said it’s educational to watch how you change over the years.

I was taking photos of Bob, and he said his kids say there are more photos of him on my social media than there are of me. It’s true. It’s because no one ever takes my photo.

So I decided to start the selfie a day, though I’ll spare you from a daily post. I’ll pick the best one from the week to post.

Great Lakes Fiber Show

I purchased one pound of Shetland roving, some handmade birch dpns, and this wonderful orange basket from Ghana. All my baskets are orange. I just realized.

There were hanks and hanks of gorgeous yarn, of course. But I was controlled with my spending. I needed the roving for my art piece. I needed the dpns because I’m going to start knitting with wire again. And I didn’t technically need the basket, but I will put it to good use as my studio transport.

The Photo of Bob

Snapchat has the best stickers.

Ohio Star Cowl

I finished my Ohio Star Bandandit Cowl. I’m pleased because it came out exactly as I designed it. So in that sense, it is a successful design.

It is also a successful garment. It fits, it keeps me warm, and it will stay up over my nose when I need it to.

The star motif is subtle and that’s fine. This isn’t a super exciting design, but it works. I mainly made this for hiking. The Bare Naked Wools Better Breakfast DK is also very soft and very warm. I think I’d like to knit an oversized cardigan out of it.

Studio Sunday

Bob and I had a lovely hike yesterday, and I got lucky with this photo, which I plan to make into a felt painting.

Today’s essay from Knitting Season Club is about losing yourself in the creative process. I don’t need any help with that as I am a daydreamer by nature, but she did share two songs from Alice Coltrane. How refreshing to be introduced to a female jazz great, and I now have a new favorite song which I am currently listening to on repeat as I swatch in the studio.

I have two design ideas for the Warm Hands competition. I am swatching for both today. One design is for Milarrochy Tweed, the other is for Ard Thir. These arm warmers were knit for me by my friend Marjorie (holla!) and they, along with this alpaca poncho from Bolivia, are my inspiration for one design.

The other is a spin off of a design I was already working on. I’m being careful not to put too much out there, because designs aren’t considered if they’ve already been made public.

And I got some new yarn this week!

This is Cabecou Lace in Sel Gris. I will knit Anne Hanson’s Dust Devils with it. This yarn smells really good, by the way. I had a hankering (get it?) to knit something lace this summer.

I’d better stop yapping and get swatching.

Sunday Studio Time

I was good and completed my swatch for The Oa on the smaller sized needle. I haven’t steamed it yet. I also threw in a row of the green for color C to see how it would show up and I’m really glad I did, because it doesn’t! Show up that is. I also tried some knit 2 of A and C before binding off, just to be sure. Someone who has more experience with colorwork probably would have seen this coming. It’s ok, though. I ordered two balls of black and I’m sure that will work.

This week’s Knitting Season assignment was to write every day with the prompt, “Remember when I…” So I wrote about the time I dyed this silk top blue, spun it into yarn, and knit it into this tam. It’s a little beat up now. I wore it and so did some of the kids, which made me happy. It inspires me. I think I might like to save up and get a spinning wheel again.

I also spent some time working on this design for a colorwork Ohio Star Cowl and beanie.

And the original Ohio Star Bandandit is almost done, but I ran out of yarn! I ordered another 2 ounce hank and am looking forward to blocking it and wearing it. I want to knit another one with more texture work in The Fibre Co Arranmore Light in St. Claire, the bobbly tam yarn.

So it has been a productive week. I guess I am slowly but surely getting closer to reaching my goals.

People ask me how I do all of this on top of a full time job and my very part time work with Haven Herbs, and I can say with certainty it’s because Bob does all of the shopping, cooking, and cleaning. And he does it because he likes it. I do my own laundry and dishes, and clean the bathroom sometimes, but that’s really it. So shout out to Bob! ❤️ Also, I only have one kid still in school and he is super low key. ❤️

And I’m a much happier person when I am knitting. ❤️

ETA: I cut a steeeeeeek!

FibreShare and a Q&A

I signed up for FibreShare! I’m suuuuuper excited about it because I’ve wanted to participate for a while now!

Karen posted a Q&A, my favorite!

Q. What item did you make that was a complete win? You loved making it, using it and got compliments on it.

A. I’m just going to say hats. I seem to do really well with hats in general.

Q. How about a project that was a half win? You either loved making it and didn’t use it or hated making it but loved using it.

A. I loved making my Magenta Le Smoking, but I don’t wear it. There is no shaping in the shoulders, and it is too small to really wear comfortably. I love the color. I’m still thinking about frogging it.

Q. Have you ever resurrected a UFO, finished it and loved it?

A. Just the Birds of Blendon hat.

Q. Is there a technique that you’ve used in the past that you’ll never do again? How about one that you avoided and ended up liking? Do you use the items?

A. I tend to avoid intarsia. I don’t hate it, but I don’t love it either. I prefer knitting that has an intuitive rhythm to it. I haven’t knit intarsia in a long time. It was a sweater for my oldest son that had a star on the front. He really liked it. I guess I would knit intarsia again if there were a really good reason for it and I liked the finished product enough. But I think it’s clear that I’m more of a process knitter.

I need to get cracking on my Ohio Star Cowl. I skipped the last Knitting Season creative assignment, which consisted of knitting a stranded colorwork design in different colors, in favor of finishing up my Otter Ferry. I can see the point of the assignment, but my Knitting. Time. Is. So. Precious.

Do you prefer to spend your time knitting towards a finished object? Or are you happy to knit experimentally? Do you swatch a lot? Or just enough to get the gauge?

I’m in the latter category. What was it I said about being a process knitter? Maybe I am a product knitter, or a combination of both?