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. 🤣

Virtual Travel and a YOP Update

I’ve started signing up for virtual travel events. I guess cabin fever is finally getting to me. Last night I attended a Barn Chat with Wing and a Prayer Farm that featured Gudrun Johnson and MJ Mucklestone sharing information on their knitting trips to Shetland. I missed this at Knit City Virtual, so was glad to get a second chance.

Today I attended a Spring Skye Woolly Meander. This was a warm and welcoming group that gathered for a virtual trip of the Isle of Skye. I was very unsocial, which I felt bad about, but I didn’t expect to be on camera as I was still in my pjs! But it was a beautiful event and Bob and I are looking forward to visiting Scotland in real life someday. I also learned about Shilasdair Yarns, so that’s on my yarn wishlist now.

Speaking of yarn, I purchased new yarn from Wing and a Prayer Farm for my Vintersoll (Rav link). My gauge swatch worked out. This yarn is a treat to knit with. It’s called Thelma and Louise and is naturally dyed and toothy but soft. I can’t wait to cast on. I love this golden color called Dawn achieved with onion skins and madder root,which will be the main color of the sweater.

But first I want to finish my Anker’s Summer Shirt (Rav link) in Blacker Lyonesse, which is also a very nice yarn to work with in wool and linen. The color is Serpentine.

I finished knitting my Water shawl (Rav link). It’s a lovely pattern and an enjoyable knit once you get the rhythm of it. Yarn is Quince and Co Finch in Bird’s Egg.

Gardening news: the peas are up!

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.

Mambo! That’s Fun to Say: A YOP Update

Top 9 from Global Gifts Short North

When I was writing about my happy places, I was remiss not to mention Global Gifts stores. That’s where I work, but I work from my home office now. However, I was a store manager for four years, and the store was my happy place. It smells like incense and coffee when you walk in, there is global music playing, everything is handmade, everyone is happy, and there’s chocolate. Lots of fair trade chocolate. It’s a little different now because of the pandemic. There are masks of course, and no coffee samples. We’re at limited capacity to ensure social distancing. And now when I visit I realize I’m another potential germ carrier. So I make my visits quick, and shop online and pick up. I miss being in store. I can’t wait for COVID to end.

And to make good on my resolution-ish to listen to more music, here’s one that reminds me of Global Gifts.

Year of Projects Update

I’m on Franca sleeve island.
Litmus cowl: purple is coming
I’m ready to start the raglan increasing on my Turtledove.
I may sew some PJ pants today with this flannel.

I may also lay out the wool for a new fiber art piece and dye some brown.

I do have another resolution-ish for 2021, and that’s to knit as much yarn as I purchase, at a minimum. So outgoing has to equal incoming, although ideally outgoing will exceed incoming. Since I’m signed up for two yarn clubs, that means I have to knit 24 skeins minimum. I also may have just stress bought a sweater quantity of Peace Fleece. I’ve wanted to knit a Peace Fleece sweater for several years, so I bit the bullet and did it.

Therefore, I’ve added a couple of things to my list:

Peace Fleece Ronan in Siberian Midnight (Ravelry link)

Malabrigo Brambleberry Rikke Hat – I bought this yarn when I was in OKC. I’m not 100% positive on the colorway name but it is berry-related. Or maybe it’s their Anniversario colorway?

I wear my Christmas Village Rikke Hat all the time, so I’m going to need a new color, and this matches my coat. I love this stretchy German Twist cast on. It’s my new thing. I also learned a new stretchy bind off for Franca.

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

Today is our Blogville Knitters Virtual Knit at 1PM Eastern. If you are new and would like to join us by Skype, please DM your Skype ID to me on Instagram or Ravelry. So far, it’s been me, Sarah, Marilee, Liz, Kath, Bonny, and Laura. Our group is growing!

PS: JoJo loves Meep. Loves her to death with her murder claws.

Sheepy Finn Yarn Complete with VM

I received my first breed specific yarn of the month from Longway Homestead. It’s soft, but not soft enough for neck wear. I’m thinking mittens or hat. I’m going to wait until I take the Breed Specific Knitting workshop before I decide, though. I think it will have nice drape. Can you smell the lanolin? Mmm… schmeepy. I’ve always wanted to try Finnsheep wool.

Speaking of grown in Canada, after yesterday, Bob was ready to make a run for the border.

Finally, if you’re a Clara Parkes fan, you might enjoy The Daily Respite.

Noël d’antan

📸 Elyse D’Amours Designs

Because I took French in middle school and high school, around the holidays I sometimes randomly break into chanson française. My favorite is “Un Flambeau, Jeannette, Isabella”. I regret I can no longer speak French, but at least I can sing a song fluently… even though I may not know the meaning of the words anymore. Aren’t these Noel socks charming? I think holly is my favorite Christmas motif. Noël d’antan pattern by Elyse D’Amours Designs (Ravelry link)

During the holiday season, I listen to a lot of Kitka’s Wintersongs. This year in December they are releasing a YouTube video each day. Although I love the music the most, yesterday’s video was a sweet little story. Here’s a video with two of my favorites, which you may recognize.

If you like Celtic music, tonight at 6PM EST, Celtic Colours will have a live Christmas performance on their YouTube and Facebook channels. Bob and I are going to tune in.

Moondrake Yarn Advent Day 22

Needled

📸 Hunter Hammersen

Today’s HoliDaily pattern share is Needled by Hunter Hammersen (Ravelry link) These would be fun and festive to knit up with scraps, and I particularly love the addition of the beads. I’m still trying to figure out what kinds of holiday decorations I would like to knit, but I’m getting some ideas!

Moondrake Yarn Advent Day 22

I love the golds with these pinks. I think I’d make an entire sweater out of this! It’s such an unlikely combination but it really works.

Playing Those Mind Games

I got a little too excited about fall this year and bought a few too many gorgeous skeins of autumn and Halloween themed yarn. I clearly didn’t have time to knit all the things.

To prevent myself from ordering a lot more fall and Halloween themed yarn next year, but to still allow myself a yarny good time, I am making myself a fall advent calendar with yarn I’ve already purchased! I’m including an appropriate pattern and each package includes a Halloween or fall stitch marker. My short term memory is so bad, I probably won’t remember what’s in each bag. Hopefully I’ll remember I did this. I know, I’ll put it on my calendar. The best thing about it is I know I will love every one!

finished fall advent bag

I’m a genius! Or I’m crazy! I’m really excited about this either way. I’m allowing myself two weeks in between each advent bag to knit each project.

I do have two outliers. I didn’t include my Celtic Colours Mitts, which I still haven’t cast on. And there’s a skein of Accidental Autumn that I was thinking about knitting into a Barley Light hat. But I’m not 100% on that pairing and I’d kind of like to knit that skein up right away. I’m in love with it.

I will probably finish my Broom Riding Cowl tonight. Just in time! It’s Hocus Pocus night! Are you going to finish all your Halloween projects in time?

Year of Projects Update

Finished Arachne Sweater

I finished my Arachne Sweater! I love it! I think the cropped silhouette and short sleeves keep the vintage vibe alive. I had plenty of yarn and I look forward to making a Seamwork Rachel shirt to wear under it in this print.

Surely I’m not the only one whose YOP list stays the same number, or even grows?

I want to sew more Rachel shirts, one for each season. I want to customize the fit and make it my go to shirt pattern. I also want to do that with a pant pattern, but I haven’t found the pattern yet.

Our curtain rods should arrive today, which means my linen curtains just moved up on the sewing list.

Laura Kate asked me to share a sketch of my idea for my fiber art piece. I don’t feel comfortable doing that yet, but I am glad I have a more concrete idea. I will share something later, once I’ve made a little more progress.

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

Bob and I watched Driveways yesterday. Highly recommend. We shared our mutual love of Brian Dennehy. Then we watched the latest episode of Lovecraft Country. Highly recommend. Then I thought we were going to make it a Brian Dennehy weekend with a Lovecraft Country intermission, but Bob surprised me with an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer that was a Doug Jones breakout role. I don’t love Buffy (the show, although I love the movie) but we think a Doug Jones weekend is imminent. And I wouldn’t mind rewatching the first season of Buffy in October.

Is it too early to watch Hocus Pocus? It is, isn’t it.

Sock it to Me Monday: PSL Edition

Pumpkin spice latte sock #1

I’m enjoying my PSL sock. The garter stitch heel came out nice. I accidentally picked up the heel flap stitches before turning the heel, so I did it afterward and it’s fine. I find this yarn a little splitty.

New to us dining room table

We’ve never owned a proper dining room table. The one at the last house belonged to the landlord. We were excited to find this solid oak table and chairs on Craigslist. Now we can host family and friends, invite kids for Thanksgiving, and play RPGs in comfort and style.

My work trip went like clockwork. I’m happy to report I enjoyed the Vampire Knitting Club audiobook on my road trip and I’m going to get the next book in the series. I’m also watching The Spanish Princess, which is surprisingly well done (because Starz — I couldn’t watch White Queen, or White Princess even though I’m a Tudor nerd and Jodie Comer was in the lead) and we watched Seventh Son, which is ridiculous but it won me over in the end. Speaking of Jodie Comer, if you haven’t seen Killing Eve, I highly recommend.

What are you knitting/reading/watching?

Vintersoll by Jennifer Steingass

Guess what. I’m going to knit a Vintersoll… next year. I have Magpie Fibers Solstice DK in teal (Masquerade) and cream (Fior di Latte.) I still need to figure out the third color. I like this version though. Let me know if you have opinions.