Gardening and a YOP Update

This pretty yellow flowering shrub is not Forsythia! I thought it was, but I was told it’s Spice Bush, a native understory shrub, Lindera benzoin. (Someone commented on my Instagram photo and corrected me, thankfully.) We do seem to have a Forsythia on the other side of our property, though. Once everything is in full bloom I’ll do some pruning and take a photo so we can compare them.

This may not look like much, but I spent several hours digging up the weeds in the garden so I could plant the peas and cabbage and kale. Unfortunately, there’s a layer of clay under the top soil, and we haven’t had any new garden soil delivered yet. So even though I went ahead and planted them, we may not have any peas, cabbage, and kale this year. I’m really proud of myself for digging this up on my own and I only had a little help from Bob, who worked for 10-15 minutes to dig up a huge root system of some old ground cover. It looked like tree roots, it was so big! He broke the pitchfork handle trying to wrest it from its iron tentacle grip. Once he got it up, he shouted at it, “I beat you, you ol’ stump!” Which is a reference to my favorite scene in “Drag Me to Hell.” I haven’t laughed so hard in ages.

Fiber Art

I felted a new piece today. This is a peek at some unfelted fiber since I’m not showing the work until the show starts.

Knitting

When I started getting excited about knitting again, in 2018 I went to A Wool Gathering with my friend Sara. While we were there I picked up two hanks of this linen and cotton slubby yarn with the intention of making a simple drapey top to throw over tank tops in the summer. I finally cast on yesterday. I’m counting this toward design since I knit a gauge swatch, calculated the width I want, and cast on the number of stitches — even though it’s literally two squares of stockinette seamed at the sides and shoulders. The most basic design ever. Gotta start somewhere, right?

Other than that, I’m knitting away on Water and my Malabrigo Rikke hat.

Sewing

I don’t have any new sewing to show, but I’ve got Water KAL bags to make and I want to cut out my overalls this week.

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

Yesterday we met one of our neighbors. He mentioned our lot might have been a cemetery at one time? Which explains the limestone pillars. It’s just a rumor, but hopefully we won’t dig up any old bones! No, our house isn’t haunted. I also got bitten by one of his dogs. This was not his fault, as she was on a leash and I stupidly reached down to pet her. His other dog, though, a bulldog named Hammy, was off leash but friendly and adorable. Have you ever been bitten by a dog? It was my first time. I have a small tooth shaped hole in my arm. I will be more cautious about dogs now!

Saturday Sewing

I struggled to get good photos today. But here I am wearing the new raglan dress I made, holding the yarn I ordered to knit a matching cardigan. It’s not a perfect match but I think it’s close enough.

Orange zipper for the win.

Pattern is The Raglan Dress by The Avid Seamstress. I recommend this pattern. I was able to sew mine in a couple of hours. It fits really well and I don’t want to take it off. Fabric is Mammoth Flannel in Adventure Blue by Robert Kauffman from Sew to Speak. I did try to match my plaids, but didn’t manage it as well as I would have liked. I’m definitely sewing this dress again. The only thing I didn’t understand is they don’t tell you to use interfacing on the neckline facings, but I did anyway.

My next sewing project will be these overalls in this brushed cotton twill. My goal is to make an entire wardrobe of loose clothing so I don’t ever have to wear anything tight around my waist again.

YOPing on a Sunday

I updated my Year of Projects (YOP) list today, and it felt good — a reminder of why I should keep doing Year of Projects.

Fiber Art

I reached out to the gallery owner to share my work so far, and make sure the show was still on in September. And it is! So yesterday I looked through my photos for inspiration. I think I will spend some time sketching today. I have four pieces completed, although the fourth is in the still-hemming-and-hawing-and-stitching phase.

Knitting

I’ve been working on my Water shawl since I finished Turtledove. I’m almost to the short row panes.

I also need to cast on the Getting Warmer cowl (Rav link) for the silent auction winner for our fundraiser at work This will be a nice mindless knit for when Water is too challenging for my evening brain.

Sewing

📸 The Avid Seamstress

This is the raglan dress I’m making in the plaid flannel, although I think I will make the sleeves elbow length and a little more fitted than these.

📸 The Avid Seamstress

Here’s the short sleeved version which I will make in a blue cotton shirting. They have a tutorial on their website if you would like more information about this dress. Today my plan is to piece the pattern together.

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

Bonus content: I am trying my hand at making vanilla extract. At work we are developing a partnership with a Fair Trade vanilla bean farm. Extract is super easy to make. I split the beans and dropped them in vodka. They have only been in there 2 days and it already smells amazing!

Enchanted Kimono Robe

Have you ever seen the film Enchanted April? I haven’t watched it in at least a decade or maybe longer. I hope there is nothing offensive in it. I sometimes think fondly on an old film and then rewatch it and find myself appalled by something I never noticed before!

Anyway, in the film, Josie Lawrence is wearing a lovely silk kimono robe. I’ve always wanted one. I have shopped robes but never found one I liked or felt good about buying. Then I decided to make one, and I shopped silk but couldn’t find quite the right thing. I finally settled on this cotton lawn with cranes and peonies (printed in Spain).

This was a very zen make. I didn’t follow instructions or a pattern. I measured and cut rectangles and sewed them together. I made the sleeves extra long for extra waftiness. Isn’t it great with the pink tile? I purchased this fabric several months ago, before I’d even seen the pink tile! Happiness score = 😃

Bob and I walked our local rails to trails bike path this morning. It wasn’t too far and it was a well kept path. I got all my steps in today!

I can’t wait to drink my coffee on my hammock swing tomorrow in my new robe.

Throwback Thursday

Remember way back in 2019 when I sewed this Farrow dress and these Emerson pants? They look great together! I may sew another dress like this in the mauve linen from Lithuania in my stash.

In other news, I am back up to the weight and size I was when I made these. I haven’t dieted or worked out all year. So I signed up for a program that’s free with my health insurance to help me get back on track. I did yoga and pilates today! Now I need to find a cardio workout I can do regularly. The roads around here aren’t the safest for walking or riding a bike. I could go into town to the gym, but I’m a little wary because of the Rona. I think I will drive 6 miles to the nearest park trail tomorrow and see how that goes.

I hope you have some fun socially-distanced holiday weekend plans! We don’t do anything for July 4, but on Sunday we’re hosting my friend Laurel for a birthday dinner.

Sunday Sewing and Survey

I finished my black linen lantern skirt!

On the downside, it’s too big. I have to wear it on my hips. On the upside, I can wear a stretchy tank top with it and not have muffin top. And it looks great with my tie dye duster!

I suppose I can take it apart and down a size if it bothers me. Right now, though, I’m happy to have finished something. And it’s always possible I may gain more weight, although I hope not.

Pants: A Survey

I need help deciding which pants to make. I have some navy stretch cotton twill and some gray cotton twill. These are the contenders:

Seamwork Nolan, from my previous post. High waisted mom jeans. They are in style and I know they will be comfortable.

Seamwork Callahan. Wide-legged high waisters. I probably wouldn’t top stitch the creases. Trendy and comfortable but would not transition into fall.

Ottobre Cargo Pants. Less trendy. More flattering for my mature figure. Would probably be able to wear them for more seasons.

Please leave your vote in the comments and please just vote for one! And thank you for voting.

Sunday is my day to blog about what I’m thankful for. So Sunday Grace today includes: Bob surprised me with coffee and breakfast in bed this morning, we are both still working, all the kids are healthy, and we live in an era where we can do so much remotely. It really is a marvel.

Sunday Sewing

I made a shirt today. I wanted a high (but not tight) neckline, 3/4 sleeves, short length (to go with high waisted pants) and a loose comfortable fit. And I wanted to get in on the floral trend. I modified the Ace pattern.

I found this knit fabric on sale, presumably because it is an autumn floral. I love the more subdued colors, but it is still a lot of color for me.

I tried to get a good shot without asking for photography help. This was the best I could do. It’s a little blurry, but you get the idea.

A Week in One Day

Sock it to me Monday

I started a sock! I decided if I don’t like knitting socks and everyone else does, then I’m probably not doing it right! I cast on a Blogville favorite, Hermione’s Everyday Socks. I am using some gorgeous Arrowhead Fibers Basic Sock from my stash, in Wintergreen. I started on two circulars as the pattern suggested, but switched to Magic Loop, which is slightly less stressful. There’s still a lot of needle flopping going on, but compared to stitch dropping on double points, maybe it’s ok? I’m knitting short socks for clogs and modified the ribbing. Keep me in your socky thoughts and knitty prayers.

Wednesday WIPs

I received the Chinook Fleece Artist in Jewel, my main color for Whit’s Foursquare Cowl. I cast on! This yarn is so soft and I think the colorways are perfect together. The variegated is my Celtic Colours yarn. This is a comforting and simple knit.

I cast on my Farmhouse Cardi in Black Welsh Mountain. This yarn has some VM in it. (That’s vegetable matter to us laymen.) I don’t mind picking it out. It reminds me this yarn is not far from the farm. It’s nice and squishy.

Still knitting on this Shetland Tweed Throw when I need something simple and chunky.

Friday FO

Oh yes I did! I finished my Seamwork Billie. It looks like PJs. It feels like PJs! It was a fun make. Next time I’ll pick a fabric that doesn’t make me wish I had a little red cowboy hat on.

Spooky Knitalong

Quiteayarnblog and mildlygranola are starting a knitalong for the Arachne sweater next month. I’m intrigued (or have FOMO) and if I frog and forget about The Oa, I could use this Cascade Sport. I could make a purple Arachne with green web, or a gray Arachne with charcoal web. I’m leaning toward gray because I’m boring that way. I have just under the needed yardage, so I’m not positive I’ll do it. I still love The Oa, but if I were going to knit it, wouldn’t I be further along by now?

Yes, there is purple in my hair.

Sundee

This is my Sunday: knitting, reading, cozy cat on quilt, and hemming some pants. I may stay in my PJs all day.

Yesterday I sewed a bag for Liz (part of her giveaway prize) based on this bag sewn for me by Sarah. I am thinking of it as friendship bread, the sewing version.

The Juki machines are nice. I am enjoying my sewing again. I still have a lot to learn about them.

I started my Hogsmeade Cowl. I really wanted to make a linen stitch cowl but didn’t have enough for Jessica Jones. I realized I had the power. I knit a swatch in linen stitch. I did math. I cast on. This will be my Kenya knitting. I will knit until I’m almost out of yarn, and then I’ll bind off.

In the upper left of the photo above, you will see a book by The Alchemist. I am savoring it, especially the photos of the gorgeous vases and the intro to Raku at the beginning. I will learn more next week as I have an interview with the artist for The Just Craft. One day I will buy a vase. I have my eye on Jovian Moon. Although A Horse with No Name and Apollo’s Song have also taken my fancy. Housewarming gift for myself? I have to buy a house first. Priorities!

I received some very nice hand-me-down clothing from friends for my household, and the boys are taking their picks. I have also claimed three pair of trousers for myself. I think I prefer men’s trousers. They are loose and comfy and high waisted for people with no waist. That’s me! Maybe I’ll start tucking in my shirts again.

I hope you have a wonderful Sunday. My main goal today is to not think about work so I can be fresh for tomorrow’s challenges!