Friday FO: Bandana Cowl

I finished my Bandana Cowl Number 4 in my Spring Thaw yarn from Cornbread and Honey. I love it! So soft, super cozy, and my favorite color. And the best part is it’s nonsuperwash merino!

It still needs a blocking, but I love the shaping. If you make one, be sure your cast on is super stretchy. I used the German twisted cast on.

Wednesday WIPs, Including Me

As I transition out of my job, and into focusing on home, my (very) small business, and my creative endeavors, I’ve been struggling to blog. Transitions are hard for me. It’s not that I don’t like change — and this will be a good change. It’s difficult for my nervous system to regulate change. I’m always surprised by the period of paralysis that is inevitable.

I couldn’t wait to cast on my Spring Thaw yarn. I’m making a Bandana Cowl Number 4 by Placemarker. I’m thrilled with the feedback I’ve received on the box. And I’m so grateful to everyone who placed orders, and to the talented makers who partnered with me.

I got a head start on my flax seedlings in my Megs Levesseur Ceramics pot.

I’ve been testing rose wax and lanolin candles for the Wool & Roses Yarn Mystery Box. Only a few days left to order! I can’t wait to see how Kelley at Dye Mad Yarns interprets this colorway in alpaca and silk yarn.

My Vertices Unite is coming along. I want to finish this before April 15, when the Ambah Ocean Moon Mystery Knitalong starts. That’s probably not going to happen, but I’m going to try anyway.

My Arrowhead Cardigan looks much the same. I try to knit a row or two a day, striving to get to the shoulder seams.

I finished the ribbing on my Auchnaha cardigan. I’ll probably put this away for a little while, until I finish Arrowhead. Although, I’d like to be wearing it now!

It’s supposed to be 75 degrees Fahrenheit today, after a low of 19 yesterday. I guess I’d better get my seeds started. I’m going to grow more natural dye plants this year.

What are you working on this week?

It Ain’t What You YOP it’s the Way that You YOP It

And that’s what gets results. I’m getting cornier and cornier with my post titles.

Knitting

I started some shorty socks to wear with clogs and white sneakers. Yarn is Cascade Heritage. It’s my first time using it, and it’s really soft.

I’m ready to start the armhole steeks on the Arrowhead Cardigan. Yarn is Lopi.

I’m the cow’s tail on the Vertices knitalong, still plugging away on my first section. This yarn is super soft, but the blue indigo dye is rubbing off on my hands. It’s naturally dyed merino from two different dyers. I do love the colors.

I’ve made minuscule progress on my Taxus Mittens. I doubt I’ll finish for the knitalong, but they were on my list anyway, so I’m happy to take my time. Yarn is Tukuwool Fingering. I’m not sure about the brown berries. I might tink those back. I think I’d prefer the first round of berries to be orange, like the cast on, what do you think?

Sewing

I finished my Clare Coat! Now I’m ready to start on some spring wardrobe sewing.

Spinning

Move along. Nothing to see here.

In other news, I put in my notice at work. I’ve been struggling with GERD for over a year — nocturnal vomiting at least two or three times per week. I kept trying to pin the cause down to food, but there were no consistent triggers. Turns out it was stress, which I suspected, but now I know for certain. I haven’t thrown up since I put in my notice a week ago. I knew the job was a bit of a stretch for me, but I didn’t know we would be entering into two years of a global pandemic when I took it. I love it, which makes it even harder, and love the people I work with. But I have to prioritize my health. I had a scare with inflammation and swelling in my throat, and then I knew I had to do something. I’ve tried medications, but they’ve never made any difference. I’m going to take some time off to heal, and work on my side hustle for a bit, to see if it grows. By the way, today is the last day to order the Spring Thaw box! And I’m working on a new box that should be suitable for Mother’s Day, as well as a summer box that will include an original pattern design (I hope).

This has been a Year Of Projects (YOP) 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.

Clare Coat Finish

I’m very pleased with my finished Clare Coat. It’s not perfect by any means, but it fits, it’s wearable, warm, and it’s my favorite color!

I would not recommend interlining your first coat with Thinsulate. It was a bit of a mess. I wish I had kept it simple the first time around instead of being so ambitious. But, I made it work in the end. I think my Grandma would be proud of me.

Pattern is Clare Coat by Closet Core patterns: a great first coat to make! They have lots of tutorials. Fabric is wool melton from Vogue Fabrics, and lining is China silk.

Clare Coat Update

All my hard work over the past few weeks is paying off. It’s starting to look like a coat! I still need to sew on the collar, the front facings,and then line it. So there’s a lot left to do.

And can I share how much I love my new Bohin Mechanical Chalk Pencil? I’ve always struggled with transferring pattern marks to fabric. When I used chalk, it rubbed off. But this miracle wonder tool solved the problem. I picked it up at Sew to Speak on Saturday, but it’s not on their website.

Bob and I are both off today, and we’re going to go for a walk. Outside. At a park! it will be nice to spend some time together.

Saturday Start: A New Venture!

One of my favorite things to do is curate gifts and collections. I once worked as a personal shopper, and walking around with customers and helping them select items was an absolute favorite activity. With this in mind, I have decided I want to combine my love of knitting and fiber arts, handmade items, natural fibers, and curating collections by starting my own yarn mystery box company: Chestnut Hills Farm and Fiber! This will be a part time enterprise. I’m planning to curate a mystery box seasonally, so just four times per year, at least at first.

The first box is called Spring Thaw, and is inspired by my original photo below:

I’m very excited to be including yarn from Cornbread and Honey, along with her fabulous lotion bars. I’ve always loved her color aesthetic, and she will be dyeing on non-superwash merino wool in a special colorway just for this box! There will be stitch markers by MAB Elements, who I recently discovered, and I am in love with her work. (Look for a shawl pin in a future box!) And for those who want a little more mystery, the Cultivate Box will include a special flower pot made by Megs Levesseur, also inspired by the theme! I will be including some seeds from my garden to plant in the pot, along with information about the seeds and season.

In future boxes, I hope to include original patterns, some of my own hand dyed yarn, and other goodies made by regional artisans I admire. I hope you’ll consider supporting me on this new endeavor! There are a limited number of boxes available for purchase, and you can also support by sharing this link on your blog, or resharing on social media. Thank you! This has been a long time coming, and I’m very excited about the possibilities of this enterprise.

YOPday, YOPday

Knitting

Arrowhead Cardigan gets a little bigger every week!

Sewing

Today I applied fusible interfacing to half of the fabric on my Clare coat. Dan Bill helped by hogging the sewing chair so I wouldn’t sit down. I’m not a fan of fusible interfacing, but since I’ve never made a coat before, I thought I should follow the instructions the first time. Applying fusible interfacing with a steam iron is hard work. I’ll do the other half next weekend.

Spinning

I bought a small amount of merino and angora fiber to try. I have a couple of bags of raw angora fiber from my bunnies that I used to have, and I want to card it with some other fibers to spin. I thought sampling a small amount of a blend would help me get the feel of it. I’m still working through my “wool top” that came with my wheel.

Felting

I knit a swatch with some felted wool yarn, then felted it in the washer. I’m planning to make a wide brimmed hat. I might try to felt the swatch a little more.

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.

It’s the Most Wonderful YOP of the Year

Knitting

I finished knitting Henry’s Unbearable Hat. It’s very large (I made the biggest size) but he does have a very big head (for his big brains). I tried blocking it, but it’s superwash wool, and it grew even bigger! Luckily, Marilee told me to put it in the dryer, and that helped. Yarn is Valley Superwash DK.

I’m off next week, and I’m going to focus on finishing up my Celtic Myths Shawl and working on my Arrowhead Cardigan.

Sewing

I finished piecing together my coat pattern. I’m not sure about the wool flannel jacket now. I may jump right into the wool melton coat, because that’s what I do.

Spinning

I’m waiting for my class so I don’t get used to making mistakes that I have to unlearn.

Gardening

There’s still some arugula and lettuce in the garden! The greenhouse seems to be working. Also, winter arugula is much milder tasting than summer arugula.

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.

Coat Update

After researching coat making, I realized my wool flannel fabric is too lightweight to use with a wool prefelt interlining, which is bulky. So I went ahead and ordered two yards of Thinsulate to make a warm jacket for spring and fall, which wasn’t very expensive.

While I was on the Vogue Fabrics site getting the Thinsulate, I took a look at their wool coatings. I have been researching them online, and they go anywhere from $30 to $70 per yard. I figured I would need to save up for that.

But Vogue Fabrics had a royal blue 100% wool melton on clearance for $12.50 per yard! I couldn’t resist at that price. (Plus my Mom is sending some Christmas money, so I’ll put mine toward the coat materials.) I can use the prefelt as an interlining with it, and I’ll get some practice on the flannel jacket before having a go at the coat later next year.

Today is the first day of my 10 day vacation! I’m going to make a Christmas pudding, knit on Henry’s hat, and piece together my coat pattern.

60 Miles of Yarn and a Wool Coat

My 2022 Knitting Planner

I’ve been spending some time this week organizing my knitting projects by spreadsheet and cataloguing my yarn. All said in total including stash, I have over 60 miles of yarn to knit! That should keep me busy for a few years.

Based on my project completion goals, I will knit about 8 miles of yarn in 2022. I think my goal is reasonable compared to the projects I’ve knit each year over the past two years. Which means I have enough yarn for 7 years.

This doesn’t mean I will never purchase yarn, because that’s not realistic. But my plan is to save my creativity budget and only spend from that account, and to use what I have as much as possible.

Unfortunately, I haven’t really felt like knitting the past couple of days.

Clare Coat (big snaps version) image copyright Closet Core Patterns

I’ve decided to sew a Clare Coat from my navy wool flannel fabric. I have the lining fabric too. I had planned to line it for warmth with Thinsulate, but I have plenty of wool prefelt I could use instead. Have you ever lined a coat with wool? I think it would work between the flannel outer fabric and lining fabric if I planned to quilt it, because it’s a lot like quilt batting. But, I don’t like the look of that, and I’m worried it will sag or tear as a lining without quilting. So, I’m wondering if I could felt it first and then use it. Or, maybe I could quilt the lining fabric to the wool prefelt instead of the outer wool flannel?

I could save for the Thinsulate, but I’d rather use wool if I can, anyway. Plus, I wouldn’t have to spend my budget on that.

Anyone have experience with this?