Dye Hard: Yarn of Projects

I’ve been traveling and entertaining the last couple of weeks, as well as focusing on the mystery box stuff, so I don’t have much progress to show. I’m still knitting on the Blueberry Popover Day socks, my Pumqueen Cardi, and Arrowhead. But as promised, here are pics of my haul from the Mid-Ohio Fiber Fair, in order of acquisition.

BFL fiber for spinning
Darning Egg and Damsel Plum yarn in two weights from Knitting Notions
Bulky in Salmon Run and sock in Squash from Laughing Cat Fibers
Litha and Taurus from Dye Mad Yarns

Did I buy more superwash? Yes. I need to draw the line on superwash. It’s great for socks and summer shawls, but not warm enough for winter knits.

I have been editing and updating my Year of Projects list. I make minor changes to my knitting plans throughout the year. However, I made some significant changes to my sewing list. Me Made May taught me I need to make more tops and pants. I have enough summer dresses. Below is the new list. I’d love to finish the first three this month.

  1. Ottobre blouse in Liberty blue paisley lawn and black linen
  2. Two A-line Tees in batiked cottons for summer
  3. Pietra Pants in indigo linen
  4. Audrey Pants in navy stretch cotton twill and gray cotton twill
  5. Ophelia Overalls in teal corduroy
  6. A Logan Shacket in navy wool flannel
  7. Ottobre Coat in black wool floral embossed coating

Bob gave me this natural dyeing kit from Botanical Colors for my birthday. It arrived yesterday! I’ve never dyed with prepared natural dyes before, only from foraged botanicals or plants from my garden. I’m looking forward to trying this. Funds raised from the sales of this kit supports sending vital supplies to displaced children and families in Ukraine as well as supporting Botanical Colors’ BIPOC scholarships.

I have been dyeing hard lately. I’m going for another experiment on cotton yarn this week. And then I’m going to dye some wool yarn in fall colors for the shop.

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.

Mid-Ohio Fiber Fair

I had a great time at the Mid-Ohio Fiber Fair today! Bob’s Mom, Margie, and I went for a couple of hours and shopped the booths. I got to see some of my favorite yarn dyers, and pick up a few precious skeins.

I was really excited to meet Catherine from Knitting Notions in person. You may know her from the yarnmama blog. I had a hard time choosing from her displays dripping with glorious tonal yarns, but I managed. I also picked up a cherry wood darning egg!

Next stop was Laura from Laughing Cat Fibers. I got to meet her husband Joe on this visit. Laura will be dyeing the yarn for my Autumn Yarn Mystery Box! I picked up a few skeins and a free pattern!

It’s always a pleasure to banter with Kelley from Dye Mad Yarns. I grabbed a skein of Taurus and another of Litha, for summer seasonal knitting joy. I also selected a Porch Goose magnet set for my refrigerator. I’m really glad I got one, because I’ve been wanting it for a long time. You need one too.

I met a new-to-me Ohio dyer, Lorna from Bewitched Pigments. Their yarn colors are stunning! I didn’t get any yarn from them at the event, but I did sign up for one of the clubs on their website.

I also got to visit with the ladies from the Central Ohio Weaving and Fiber Arts Guild for a moment. I didn’t have time to sit and knit in public, but I’ll be volunteering at a couple of events later this summer.

Sharon, above on the right, suggested I try spinning with BFL as I’m learning. So I brought home a braid of natural BFL, which I may dye before I spin. I will save photos of my acquisitions for another post.

Did you knit in public today?

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.

Happy Caturday

My name is Dan Bill, aka Daniel Billiam, aka Doob’n Boob’l, aka Doob’l, aka Mr Beans.

Happy Caturday! We learned yesterday that Mackenzie and Dan Bill got an apartment and will be moving out in early April. We’re excited for them, but they will be missed. The good news is I will be moving my studio into the spare room. Now I will be able to sew while Bob works because the noise won’t be a disruption. I will also have a nice cozy room to sit and knit and spin.

I got my first yarn mystery boxes in the mail this week. I can’t wait to read reviews and watch unboxing videos! I have been practicing my dyeing and designing for the Volunteer Sunflowers box. I also listed my Autumn Yarn Mystery Box which doesn’t ship until September. As much as I appreciate Etsy Seller tools, I regret they restrict my ship by date options. It might be a good reason to move forward with a commerce website. I haven’t because I can’t really afford that right now.

I joined the Ocean Moon Mystery Knitalong by designer Ambah O’Brien. It’s my first Ambah pattern. This is my yarn from Fiber Optic Yarns. I think I chose well. It’s five mini skeins from the Oceans Six gradient plus Ebbtide for the moon and Storm for the sea. I’m going full on with the intarsia version. It’s all Kashmir, which is merino, yak, and silk.

I swatched for a Lodge Sweater with Cornbread and Honey’s Peaceful DK with some KnitPicks Aloft in Sydney (on sale). I’m looking forward to knitting this, but I will probably wait until fall. I fluffed my stash yesterday while organizing my yarn. I have many sweaters waiting to be knit. I’d better get on it.

I made myself breakfast in bed today. Eggs and pie. The best! My sense of smell and taste are coming back after my January illness, and I’m enjoying coffee again.

My name is JoJo, aka Jo, aka Jolene, aka JoJoBelle, aka Miss PetiPaws, aka Pretty Princess, aka Queen. I am glad the interloper will be moving out soon, though I will miss the extra hooman.

Hope you have a great weekend!

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.

In Betwixt Yarn Advent

I was very pleased with my yarn advent from Lizzie Bird Yarns. It’s an “in betwixt” set for the days between Christmas and New Year’s. As you can see, it came with each skein lovingly wrapped, plus lots of special goodies, including a sweet set of gingerbread stitch markers.

I chose the Log Cabin set, and I love the subdued colors and gold sparkle. As fate would have it, I have a skein of Campfire Yarn’s Cranberry Forest with gold stellina that is a perfect match for this set. It was a gift, and I’m excited to put these together for a Yuletide shawl later this year.

I have to say, I am really glad I purchased a yarn advent and didn’t just go with my DIY idea — which honestly was kind of a let down. I love the advent chest, though, so I’ll try to come up with a different idea to use it next year.

Did you receive any yarn over the holidays? Are you already planning your holiday knits for 2022, as I am? I would love to hear about it.

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?

It’s Beginning to YOP a Lot Like Christmas

I haven’t posted for Year of Projects (YOP) in a few weeks. I haven’t really been focused on crafting. But I did update my list today.

Knitting

I added this cowl, which is the Marled Alaska Cowl (Ravelry link) in Moondrake’s Soft Shawl, colorways Driftwood and Zombie held together. I should be able to finish this up this week.

I had to frog my Stash Aurealis. After I got through the short rows and increases for the yoke, my stitch count was wrong. At first I was going to fudge it, then I realized that would be silly as it is a very small bit of knitting that I can certainly reknit quickly once my head is in the right place. So that project will be disappeared back into the yarn tubs for now.

I removed some projects from my list that I can’t see myself making anytime soon.

Sewing

I added my Plateau Joggers, which are now cut out and ready to sew.

Today I will make some Canada, Eh? flannel PJ pants for Bob. He has requested pockets, so I hope the pocket pattern from one of my dresses will do as a template.

Spinning

M’lady
M’lady Bug

I added spinning to my list. My goals this year are modest. 1. Relearn to spin 2. Improve my spinning.

Listening to Music Intentionally

I removed this from my list. I’ve been enjoying indie folk playlists on YouTube that are themed by season or mood. It’s like hygge Muzak and is really the opposite of listening to music intentionally. But it’s nice background music and helps calm my nervous system.

We had snow flurries yesterday and the holidays are right around the corner! I’ve finished my shopping. It was easy as everyone is getting a Fair Trade Subscription. It feels good going into the season without many have-to-dos. I’m going to bake Rosemary Shortbread Stars today.

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.

Back Porch Shawl

In my previous post I linked to my Back Porch Shawl on Ravelry, and I’ve just realized not everyone can view my project page. D’oh!

Pattern is Back Porch Shawl by Diana Poirier. Yarn is Weekend Wool from Green Mountain Spinnery in Pumpkin, Lichen, and Poppy, I used three skeins of each color.

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 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.