Soft: A Year of Projects Update

Fiber Art

My art show reception was last night, and it was wonderful to visit with family and friends who ventured out in support. I sold two pieces, which I’m over the moon about! Here is a gallery of the pieces in the show.

I’m proud I was able to produce this body of work, and was really pleased with the feedback. Many people were surprised to see artwork made from wool. Someone said the work was really comforting, which was my goal. I think we all need a little bit of softness in our lives right now. The gallery’s website is at this link.

In other fiber art news, I experimented with fresh leaf indigo printing, which I shared about yesterday.

Knitting

I’ve been working on my Point Edwards Mitts, which I am really enjoying. I finished my Cemetery Drive Cowl, which I posted about on Thursday. And I finished a super secret birthday present for my MIL Margie, which I posted on Wednesday. It was a banner week for knitting FOs!

My DIY Fall Advent bag yesterday was the Ixchel Cowl in Farmer’s Daughter Fibers Moon Sisters. I don’t know if you can see the bronze sparkles in this yarn, but it’s beautiful. However, I just finished a colorwork cowl, and I’m not in the mood to start another one. I’ll store this for another time.

Sewing

I’m currently working on some Pietra Pants in dark blue chambray. I also sewed a dress last week. It was not horrible.

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. You can read my updated list of projects here.

My Milkshake Cardi Brings the Knitters to the Yard – Friday FO

I finished my Milkshake Cardigan (Rav project link)! Pattern by Joji Locatelli for Madeline Tosh. Yarn is Kelbourne Woolens Scout in Gray Heather. Buttons are natural horn from Lithuania (Etsy link).

My goal was to make a cardigan to replace my favorite thrift store Marks and Spencer lambswool cardigan that started unraveling at the elbows. I definitely succeeded! I will be wearing this over my favorite t-shirts, fall through spring.

In other news, I reorganized my craft room. All the fabric is now in a big tub that used to hold wool fiber. I’ve used up enough on my art that I was able to consolidate that to one tub. Moving the fabric freed up several smaller tubs, so I was able to put all of my yarn stash into tubs by size. I feel much more in control of my stash and projects now.

Have you finished any projects, or done any craft organizing lately? I would love to hear about it.

Wool Wins, Natch: a YOP Update

Fiber Art

“Coxheath” wool fiber, 16”X20”, 18”X24” framed, price on request from
Sean Christopher Gallery

I have finished, photographed, and framed ten pieces for my September show, called “Soft.” I drop them off on August 30th. The show event page is here: https://fb.me/e/5o19a4V68 You can see the show card on my Year of Projects page. I will share images of the work as the gallery makes them public.

Yesterday I tested fresh leaf indigo printing on scraps of different textiles. Wool is definitely the winner (far left), and I learned a few things about what kind of surface I should be working on (smooth) and what kind of stone to use for pounding (not one that breaks and imparts its own color, like sandstone, duh.)

What will I do with all this indigo? I’m thinking of bundling the leaves in my yardage of Virginia cotton, for a pretty leaf printed fabric to make — what else — overalls out of. But I need to do a little more research.

I also pulled up as much of the flax that I could find that didn’t have mature seed heads. It’s retting in water in this tub. Hopefully I wasn’t too late to get some fiber out of it.

I have also started harvesting the flax seed for the Rust Belt Fibershed project.

Knitting

I’m halfway through the final clue for The Lonely Heart is a Hunter mystery knit along! (Rav link)

I finished the first sleeve on my Milkshake Cardigan! (Rav link)

Sewing

I made some progress on my linen yarn ball overalls. These are looking like a clown suit. Do I care? Hell no. Will I wear them anyway? Hell yes. Yarny the Clown, that’s me! (Juggling yarn balls.) (Blows up two long balloons. Ties them off. Mimes knitting with them.) Now available for knit nights, fiber festivals, and private knitting retreats.

Plus look at these adorable yarn ball buttons that I found! (Calliope music plays in the background.)

But seriously, I love them. Just buttonholes, buttons, and hems to go.

Gardening

I harvested and put up some sage leaves to dry yesterday.

Bob just brought in this tote full of pears and apples from the trees in our garden. I want to make pie or preserves, but Bob wants to make his own apple cider vinegar. We use a lot of apple cider vinegar, so that’s a good idea.

This has been a Year of Projects Update. You can learn more about the group on Ravelry. You can read my updated list of projects here.

2021-2022 Year of Projects

This is my new list for a Year of Projects 2021-2022. My goal this year is not to deviate from the list too much. (Wish me luck!) You can find out more about the group here (Rav link) or here: Backstage Kath’s YOP bloggers list. I’ve enjoyed being part of this group. I’m thankful Liz mentioned it to me!

Fiber Art

  1. I have a solo show in September 2021, and I need to make a body of work for this show. My goal is ten pieces. Ten are finished!
  2. I am growing flax, madder, indigo, and tansy. This year I would like to ret the flax and weave a wall hanging with the linen on my tapestry loom, maybe including some natural dyeing. Update: This was unsuccessful, as I over-retted the flax. But I will continue to experiment with natural dyes.
  3. I experimented with fresh leaf indigo printing from my garden.

Knitting List

  1. Cozy Autumn Socks
  2. Sleepy Hollow Socks
  3. September to October (Back Porch) Shawl
  4. Super Simple Summer Sweater in Cestari Ash Lawn
  5. Kiki Cardigan in Tarheelbilly Farm Tunis
  6. Arrowhead Cardigan (Ravelry Link) in Lettlopi
  7. Celtic Myths Shawl. I am so close to finishing this but procrastinating.
  8. Breton Red Cardigan to match my raglan plaid dress
  9. Skipwith in black Rauma Finullgarn
  10. Hansel Hap in Ramsay Farms fawn katmoget Shetland with Jamieson and Smiths for trim colors
  11. Peerie Flooers. I have the J&S Shetland yarn for the original version of this that you can see in the show Shetland.
  12. Hearth Rug in Black Welsh Mountain Bulky
  13. Celtic Tree Handwarmers
  14. The Oa (Rav link)
  15. Teal Niamh (Rav link)
  16. Pink Rhodes
  17. Seavaiger
  18. Long sleeve Treit in Foxglove
  19. Shoalwater Shaw (Rav link)
  20. Sunset Slouch
  21. Cabin Kitchen Towel Set (Rav link)
  22. Strom Cardigan
  23. Aurora Borealis Cowl
  24. Less Is More Cowl
  25. Peace Fleece Ronan in Siberian Midnight (Ravelry link)
  26. Taxus Mitts in Tukuwool Fingering (Ravelry link)
  27. Best Loved Shawl in Knitting Goddess Berry BFL-Masham (Ravelry link)
  28. Undulation Shawl in Shilasdair Tansy
  29. Straw Cardigan in Tukuwool DK
  30. ‘Onipa’a Shawl (Rav link) in Mindful Folk yarn

Finished Knitting

  1. Pride Socks for Bob
  2. The Lonely Heart is a Hunter Mystery Knit Along (Rav link)
  3. Milkshake Cardigan
  4. Cemetery Drive Cowl
  5. Nova Scotia Strong Hat for Margie
  6. Autumn Advent: Point Edwards Mitts

Sewing List

  1. Ophelia Overalls in teal corduroy and navy wool flannel
  2. A wrap skirt/kilt with this plaid flannel
  3. Two A-line Tees in batiked cottons for summer
  4. Pietra Pants in black and indigo linen

Finished Sewing

  1. Emerson shorts in natural linen
  2. Halloween PJ Pants 1
  3. Halloween PJ Pants 2
  4. Ophelia Overalls in Purl Linen
  5. Barcelona Dress in lavender linen
  6. Pietra Pants in dark blue chambray
  7. Piedra Dress in Headless Horseman fabric

Listening to Music Intentionally

Contrary to how I was in my youth, I have become a passive music listener — listening to whatever is on our local NPR station during the day while working (which is usually pretty good). So I’m going to continue listening to music with intention as part of my Year of Projects goals. Recently, I got excited about the new Sparks Brothers movie coming out (which we are going to see tonight). I found out that some of my friends had never heard of Sparks, which surprised me. They’ve been around a long time. However, I hadn’t really listened to them since the 1980’s. So I have a lot of new Sparks music to discover! Here’s one that is new to me that I am enjoying right now.

2020-2021 Year of Projects Completed List

Fiber Art

  1. I have a solo show in September 2021, and I need to make a body of work for this show. My goal is 10 pieces. 8/10 finished.
  2. I dyed most of my own wool for this work.

Finished Fiber Art

Haze Over Maize: Granville 2020 for Mother Artists at Work Show

Litmus Cowl in Moondrake Advent yarn

Finished Knitting

  1. Spring Socklings in Bone and Birch Honeybees and Violets Please
  2. Anker’s Summer Shirt in Serpentine Blacker Lyonesse
  3. Water Shawl KAL
  4. Malabrigo Anniversario Rikke Hat
  5. Getting Warmer in Handdyed Red Kenyan Merino (silent auction prize)
  6. Kenora Toque
  7. Moondrake Advent Litmus Cowl (Ravelry project link)
  8. Blue Turtledove
  9. Franca
  10. Pride Socks
  11. Purple emPower Bandaner
  12. Shetland Tweed Throw
  13. Arachne Sweater
  14. Four Square Cowl
  15. Mistletoe Kisses Socks
  16. Pumpkin Spice Latte socks
  17. Broom Riding Cowl
  18. Halloween Socks
  19. Trans Pride Socks
  20. Accidental Autumn Barley Light Hat
  21. Rikkemas Hat
  22. Meep the Christmas Mouse

Finished Sewing

  1. Birdies summer top
  2. Knitting alpacas PJs
  3. Raglan Dress in blue shirting
  4. Ophelia Overalls in brown twill
  5. Water Shawl KAL project bags
  6. Raglan Dress in plaid flannel
  7. Poudre linen curtains.
  8. Coffee filters
  9. Knitting Sheep flannel PJ pants
  10. Halloween Rachel blouse
  11. Winter Solstice project bag
  12. Manatee tote bag

I’m going to try to continue to post music with my YOP updates, as a way to keep up with listening to music intentionally. Here’s an old favorite.

This has been a Year of Projects Update. This is my final list for 2020-2021. I’m pleased with how much I accomplished this year. You can find out more about the group here (Rav link).

Sock It To Me Monday

I finished my springy socks! We have an Iris blooming in the yard, and my socks match. Recipe based on Hermione’s Everyday Socks. Yarn from Bone and Birch. I do love plain sock knitting. Next up, I’ll try some Rose City Rollers (Ravelry link).

I have so many sweaters I want to knit, but I keep queuing cables and colorwork patterns. Then I balk because my brain is not up for that. I guess I’m still decompressing from the pandemic year. So I’ve decided to make a Milkshake Cardigan (Ravelry link). It’s the most basic cardigan ever, which I need to replace my thrift store cardigan that had started unraveling. Now I need to decide which DK yarn in my stash to knit it with. I’m leaning toward the Tunis yarn, because it’s so yummy. This is my first Joji Locatelli pattern to knit, though I’ve been following her patterns for sometime and have heard good things. I also purchased her new Straw cardigan pattern. It’s beautiful, but has cables on the shoulder seams. Nope. Not right now, anyway.

Part 2 of A Visit to Tarheelbilly Farm is live on The Just Craft. I had some sound issues, which I did not expect since recording in the fields — which I expected to be problematic — turned out fine. But recording on the porch of the house was much more complicated. It has me questioning my ability to make a good podcast, but I am going to try to think of it as a learning experience. I did the best I could with the sound in Audacity, reducing the noise and amplifying Charis’s voice. I felt that what she was saying was so important I had to do my best to get the episode out. She is very candid about her thoughts and feelings on racism in the knitting and fiber arts community (and the events of 2020 in general) and even though I struggled with the sound, I’m proud of this episode. I think I’ll take a break before I start the next one, though.

I’ve been steadily working on my felt art for the gallery show in September. Some pieces I really love, some not so much. Some get stitching, some don’t. It’s intuitive but I am finding that I tend to stitch on cultivated landscapes and don’t on wild ones. So there’s a method, even if it wasn’t conscious at the outset.

Oh, I forgot to mention I joined Kate Davies’ Bluestockings Club! Again, I think the first pattern may be a little more than I want to undertake at this time. But it’s lovely and I’m sure I’ll get around to it eventually.

Mostly Gardening with a Side of Sock Knitting and Podcasting: A YOP Update

I’ve started a new pair of socks for myself. I’m in love with this yarn, which is Honeybees and Violets Please from Bone and Birch. Other than the socks, I’m knitting on my Hansel Hap. I’ve just about talked myself into focusing on the Arrowhead Cardigan instead of casting on a new one, so that I can wear it in the fall.

My garden is exploding. This is the middle, where there’s a lot going on. I accidentally broke off a pea shoot yesterday while weeding, so I ate it. It was delicious!

Full length of the garden. Elderberries in front. I’m not sure how well they’ll do here, but we’ll give it a try. The sunflower transplants are struggling in the back. I found out what happened to all my seedlings back there. Slugs!

For Mother’s Day and my birthday, Bob put together a flower bed for me out of some old wood he found in the barn. We went to the local garden center yesterday, and while I did get the foxgloves and coral bells I wanted to attract hummingbirds, the bed is looking a little sparse. We’ll see how these do. The smaller two are ground cover, so maybe they’ll spread out.

I did get the lilac bush I wanted, and a rose bush too! I didn’t really want yellow roses, but these had the best scent so I couldn’t resist. I also got hollyhocks, coneflowers, and a Joe Pye Weed for under the bird feeders.

I’m trying out wool pellets in the lilac and rose bush plantings to condition the soil, along with some compost. I’d like to add the wool pellets to the vegetable garden, but I’m going to wait until it needs a feed.

These lilacs smell so good! I have a small bouquet by my bedside.

My new podcast episode is up for The Just Craft! I had a wonderful visit at Tarheelbilly Farm, and am releasing the episode in two parts. I am so grateful to Charis and her husband Ben for spending time with me. It was a lovely day.

The sheep in front is Hollis, whose fleece I knit my Paris Toujours Shawl with. I met Hollis! And a few other shweeties as well.

This is Charis’s hand knit sweater she made with her Tunis yarn. She spun the contrasting gray herself. It’s so squishy and lovely!

And I got a sweater quantity of yarn! I had already purchased two skeins of Clancy’s fleece, and the eight new skeins are from Julie. They are close enough that I think I could use them together if needed. Because I don’t want to dye the yarn and loose the sheep smell, I’ve decided to knit it au naturel into a cabled cardigan. And because I was so pleased with the Franca I knit for my Mom, I’ve decided to knit Kiki by Cocoknits.

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

Hi! Vacation Day 1 – All The SQUIRREL!

Today is the first day of a badly needed week of vacation. And… I have cast on block. I have so many things I want to cast on, I don’t know what to knit first.

Short List:

1. Arrowhead Cardigan – Colorwork and it’s a great week to pay attention. It’s cast on and ready in my basket. (All links are Ravelry links.)

2. Vintersol Sweater – My yummy new yarn is calling to me.

3. Celtic Myths Shawl – Cables and it’s a good week to pay attention. I’m so close to finishing it. I think I will try to knock it out.

4. Hansel Hap – since the start of this will be good TV knitting, I will cast this on later in the week so I have it ready when I go back to work and need evening wind-down knitting. The Ramsay Farm Shetland yarn is calling to me. So squishy and smells so good!

5. New socks for Bob. One should always have a pair of socks on the needles.

6. New socks for me. I have some very springy sock yarn I would like to knit into some shorties.

7. Onipa’a Shawl: “Stand Firm, Resolute. Be true to yourself.” I did and I was. I fell in love with this pattern and bought some gorgeous Finn and Kid Mohair yarn from Mindful Folk Farm during Botanica last weekend, dyed with Logwood, to knit it with. It’s gorgeous. Early birthday gift to myself.

8. Skipwith Cardigan: Number 1 in my queue because I would like to wear this and soon. It’s a fingering weight cardi. Even if I do cast on, is that likely to happen? 🙃

Okay, see now I’m overwhelmed and don’t know what to do.

In other news, it’s taking me forever to finish the body of my Anker’s Summer Shirt. “Just a few more inches,” “Just a… few… more inches!” “Ok, two more inches!” “One and a half more inches!” At least it’s short sleeved.

Things are popping up in the garden! It’s getting a little chilly at night and I’m worried. Hopefully the microclimate is a real thing and not a mass delusion by overeager gardeners in northern climes.

Last week I toodled around town with family that was visiting, and bought this pillow in a little shop. JoJo is not as amused as I am, but she does love our new-to-us couch.

Pete has emerged from hibernation. I planted all kinds of flower seeds here, but so far the only thing to emerge are volunteer sunflowers from the bird feeder. I think there are a few sweet peas, too.

Right! Time to sew a dress! 😂

Oh, yeah, I have art to make. 🤣

Eager Beaver Gets the Job Done

I feel like an entire year of pent up pandemic energy exploded this week!

The Just Craft is now available on Stitcher, Spotify, and Apple Podcasts. Google Podcasts had already indexed my episodes — which I didn’t know — but I’ve submitted the new feed to them. I‘ve got two exciting interviews lined up. And James is going to interview me for Podcast Tactics! Now I need to come up with a new logo concept.

I am the cow’s tail (as my Mother and Grandparents would say) on the Water shawl KAL. (That means I’m behind everyone else.) But I did finally finish the second lace short row section. It’s been a rough week, and I have to pay attention when I’m knitting this. The good news is that the lace is repetitive, and I think I can read my knitting now. That should make it go more quickly and easily.

I received my yarn for the Beaver KAL. I ordered Bougie Beaver but oops received Saturday Night Beaver. It’s really pretty and is very close to another yarn I have in my stash. Weirdly close. A little more gold, though. I really wanted Bougie Beaver for my Jessica Jones Cowl, so I ordered another skein, this time in Solo Fingering. I left an order note indicating to send me Bougie Beaver, please and thank you. I’m sure they are overwhelmed with eager KAL beavers.

I am making an effort to not order anymore superwash yarn after this. Here’s an article from Woolful that talks about reasons why superwash wool is not environmentally sustainable. This isn’t new information to me, it’s just that I hadn’t really wrapped my brain around just how many dyers are using superwash wool and how, now, if I order yarn online without paying close attention, it’s likely to be superwash. My eyes are agog at the colors, and I don’t stop to think about the environmental cost. I have purged my stash of some, but not all. I don’t even like the hand of superwash for garments for myself, to be honest. I may use what’s left in my stash for knitting for family and friends who will likely throw their garments in the washer and dryer.

Here’s my second Rikke hat I’m knitting in Malabrigo Arroyo. Oops. It’s sport weight instead of DK. I went down a needle size because my last Rikke was a little big and floppy. I hope this one fits! This is the Anniversario colorway, and it is really pretty.

This is my most recent yarn purchase. It’s my favorite wool from my favorite farm. And hopefully I will soon get to meet Clancy, the sheep. This is the same yarn I used to make my Paris Toujours shawl that I wear all the time. It’s my favorite garment. Maybe I’ll even get to meet Hollis, the sheep who provided the wool for my shawl? I need to decide what color to dye it, although it’s very pretty as is.