I have some gorgeous Fibre Company Arranmore that’s been languishing in my stash. The color is a beautiful red named Ruari. I think I’m going to make a Ranunculus. I looked at other projects for this pattern, and some have been made in Aran weight. It looks just the thing: top down, festive lace at the yoke for holiday cheer, and then loads of stockinette.
I’m really on a roll with my sewing. I have a bushel basket on my sewing table that I keep my current WIPS in, and it’s empty! I think I will pull out that plaid flannel that want to make into a wrap skirt. Having projects out inspires me to work on them. However, I am having trouble finding a pattern. It looks like I will have to take measurements and make my own pattern. This is a good exercise for me, as I haven’t done it in over a decade.
My first attempt. I’m going to keep practicing on the merino top they sent until I get something usable. Progress not perfection!
I’m not sure what I’ll sew next. I do have some navy wool flannel that I’m either going to turn into overalls or a jacket. I also have some plaid flannel I want to make into a wrap skirt. I guess I have plenty of options!
The yarn really makes it. Every stitch was scrumptiously soft and the autumnal colors are rich and warm. It was a relaxing, mindful knit. A perfect vacation knit! I will be wrapping up in this all winter.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.