July 30, 2019
This is the Sew Sweetness Baker Street Bag made from heavyweight undyed rustic linen (found here). I'm pleased with how it came out! The lining is some cream-colored cotton I had leftover in the stash from a kirtle I made a few years ago. The natural look and feel of the rustic linen suits me, though it might also be cute with some embroidery or applique. I've been carrying it as my purse for a little over a week, and I find that the size is good for me as well. Isn't it great when a project works out perfectly? That's not to say my sewing was perfect. Lordy no! But I'm happy with it, flaws and all.
June 27, 2019
Cynar and Astrid made it back safe and sound from their camping trip last week. I didn't get as much crafting done as I thought I might, partly because I decided to tackle a full-on laundry room deep-clean. Bleh. But...so much better now.
Not surprisingly, knitting has gone by the wayside these past few weeks. I hadn't done any crafting this month due to prep for the trip, which included alterations of three pairs of pants and three shirts, plus finishing the pair of pants I made for Cynar at the end of last summer.
I had to take a little break after all that last-minute cram sewing. But by Wednesday I was ready to get back at the machine. I've started piecing together a little handbag; linen exterior with a cotton lining. It's a bit more complex than I had expected, but it's coming along slowly but surely. :)
What are you working on?
Linking up to Crafting On
May 30, 2019
Can I just say how much I am in love with the sights and sounds and smells of spring right now? Every time I'm out in the world, I can't help but notice the long grass, the trees heavy with leaves, the ever-chirping birds, and the overwhelming burst of florals in the air. Everything just feels so alive. I just want to breathe it all in with every chance I get, because any minute the winds may shift. Everything changes, everything stays the same.
It's been too wet to do much in the garden, and my tomato starts didn't...well...start, so I've been hanging inside and working on my second shawl. It feels like life has been relatively quiet for us this time of year. Or maybe we are just procrastinating really hard. Either way, we've not yet dropped into the flurry of activity that typically precedes the annual summer outing. I like to think it is because we are getting more organized with every year that passes, but it could just be the rain. I did take Astrid out to an "orientation" for her art academy at the high school next year, which was really a display of the capstone projects for this year's graduating seniors. Some of the projects (and students) were quite impressive!
We're rolling into the last couple of weeks of school now. Astrid is busy finishing all of her projects due at year's end, and the teachers are piling on the work, trying to cram in everything to catch up. The kids are just done. ...and I'm wondering about summer. What to do? What to do?
May 20, 2019
Last week I dug through our fabric stash and found two good sized pieces of scrap linen to turn into napkins. It was a simple project using materials on hand that may help us save a little money on paper products in the future.
Cynar and I have been talking a bit about how we want to handle Astrid's summer break, and then into fall. It's been a challenge managing on one income for the past couple of years, and we know our current situation is not sustainable long term. But summer is nearing and neither of us is comfortable leaving Astrid home alone for long days, so for now we are looking at ways to cut costs a little bit more. Cloth napkins and homegrown veggies can help. Better for us. Better for the Earth.
I finally got the nerve up to clear out my raised bed. Two years worth of weeds and grass had settled in for a stay. It was no small task, and I was definitely feeling it next day! But I'm so glad I did it. It will feel so good to have something growing again. My tomato starts are sprouting, and will be ready to go out in a few weeks.
My Lola is coming along nicely. This is the second time I made it this far...the first I noticed some missing yarn overs (oops) and ended up frogging what I had done. Apparently I was asleep at the wheel that day. But! Things seem to be moving along now. I've learned my lesson about trying to knit when I'm just too tired.
I hope everyone had a lovely Mother's Day!
May 10, 2019
According to the forecast, our next nice, sunny day is next Thursday, so I decided to just make the best of it and get some photos of my finished shawl.
- this is the Simple Yet Effective Shawl made with stash fiber. It is American wool, hand dyed with goldenrod, purchased from Ginny's shop ages ago (before it was Little Meadows). The pattern is clearly written and was easy to follow, a great beginners project. I love the subtle color variation in the yarn, giving a simple shawl a little depth. I'm really happy with how it turned out.
The days are getting warmer, and it looks like the rain might be winding down for a spell. I'm trying to psych myself up for The Big Garden Bed Clean-out. I haven't put a garden in for the past two summers, and the space is completely overrun with grass and weeds. But it will be totally worth it when I am bringing in armfuls of zucchini, right?!
Also, did I mention it is wedding season? ...
I've enjoyed working on the shawl so much that I've set myself up to start on another one. I was thumbing through my pile of old Taproot magazines (everyone has one of those, right?) and I found the perfect project. This time I'm listening to the pattern-maker for once, and using the recommended fiber, Quince & Co. Lark in this gorgeous hot-chocolatey color.
Astrid has been sick the last couple of days so plans are a bit up in the air at the moment. If anything, it may be a good excuse to stay home and start that next shawl. :)
May 7, 2019
I finished my shawl! And I would love to share it with you just as soon as we can get some sun and I can get a decent photo. Spring for us is a lot of grey and rainy days, and busy weekends. It's wedding season, you know? And the Dagorhir season is starting. This is sort of how it rolls for us from now until mid-July. Mother's/Father's day, birthdays, weddings, and graduations. And let's not forget Ragnarok prep. Oy! This season for us is just as busy as the winter holiday season. ...and I haven't even thought about homesteading projects!
In the midst of all of this, Cynar and I are each doing our own version of a low carb diet. My energy has really been flagging lately, and I know I feel better when I am more mindful of what I eat. So I've committed to one week of Paleo, and I can decide at the end whether I want to continue.
In all my online digging I stumbled across the idea of a bitters and soda "mocktail" for those moments when you would like a little something. It's actually quite good and does the trick as a no-carb alternative to a boozy drink. Just a few shakes of bitters into a glass of club soda, maybe with a little dash of lemon/lime juice, makes a nice little refresher. Give it a try and let me know what you think!
I will share the shawl just as soon as I can!
April 27, 2019
Spring has definitely arrived this week in our area. Last week the trees started to bud. It seemed like it was only a handful of days between a dead brown lawn and one in need of a cut. Here's to praying that the mower starts and we don't have a repeat of last year. Oy!
There was a bit of making this week. While Cynar and Astrid were tied up with their respective work and school schedules, I was able to get a few things going. My first shawl is officially off the needles! Astrid has already tried to claim it. I should have it all spiffed up and ready to show in a few days.
I made our first loaf of zucchini bread this week, and I've become convinced that I *must* put in a garden this year, even if it's all zucchini. My garden bed has been unused for the past two summers and it is completely overrun with grass and weeds. It's going to take a bit of work to get it ready, but I have a bit of time. Our last frost isn't for another couple of weeks.
I put down (up?) a couple of jars this week. The first is an infusion of dill in vodka, taken from Taproot Magazine issue #9. It will be ready just in time for a little Beltane spring feast celebration. Pickled Bloody Mary's. Yes, please!
The second jar was actually inspired by a post on natural weed killer. I followed the beautiful mystery of the interwebs, and found myself at a simple idea for DIY non-toxic citrus cleaner. I've never used anything like this before so I'm giving the benefit of a full two-month soak before giving it a test run.
The rest of our day is full of fun social engagements. Cynar and Astrid are headed off to a Dagorhir event with friends, and I'm headed to a bridal shower for my cousin.I'm looking forward to catching up with my mom's side of the family.
What have you been making this week?
Linked to Ginny.
April 1, 2019
The spring making energy has indeed been spreading through the house!
Cynar's puttering in the basement turned into testing leather dyes, which turned into a new belt. The belt blank was one he pulled from his stash, and the buckle was salvaged a couple of years ago from an old belt. Astrid has been thinking leathercrafting as well. She has drawn up designs for a new mask. It should be fairly interesting if they can figure out how to make it work.
I think I might be getting the hang of this DPN thing (hopefully I didn't just jinx it!). I made it passed the seed stitching on the sleeve, which was my roadblock on previous attempts. I'm having my doubts that it will work out to be giftable, but the experience gained with DPN's makes the time worth it.
...and I may already be scrolling the craft blog archives for my next project. :D
Linked up to Crafting On. And Yarn Along.
March 27, 2019
Happy spring all!
It would appear that my knitting has taken on its own little taste of spring. It was really not intentional that my projects are each their own shade of pastel.
My first shawl is coming along nicely, with about 25 rows left to go, but it's going much slower now that they are so long. I can only get to a couple of rows at a time these days.
On Saturday I ended up with an unexpected afternoon home with Astrid, so we sat for a spell, each working on our own project...hers art, mine craft. I pulled some DK from stash and started my *third* attempt at this sweater. So far, so good...but I'm not getting too excited yet. It's really the sleeves that give me so much trouble so we have to see how it goes. My fingers have just not found their way with DPNs yet.
With the warmer weather comes a return of creative energy. Even Cynar wandered his way down to the basement to putter with his leathercrafting supplies. There's been talk of cleaning out the Florida porch for foamsmithing work. I've been eyeing my completely overgrown garden bed.
We've made it through another winter folks! ...and with a sigh of relief we look ahead to the new season and begin the work of the new year.
If you're like me and still trying to figure out what you want to work toward this year, you may enjoy this post I stumbled into recently: How To Set Homestead Goals You'll Actually Achieve
(linked up to Crafting On)
March 7, 2019
It's been a relatively quiet handful of days. Everyone is just plain ready for the winter to be over, waiting out this latest (and hopefully last) Arctic blast.
I started my first shawl on Saturday while Astrid and Cynar were at Dagorhir practice. This is The Simple Yet Effective Shawl in some goldenrod dyed wool from Ginny. You may recognize the fiber from that sad little sock attempt I made many moons ago. I just so happened to have exactly the right yardage, so it came out of the stash.
Cynar is headed downtown after work for a guys night, so I am in for an evening of clothes shopping with Astrid, Mediterranean food, and some more knitty time!
Linking up to Crafting On.
...and Yarn Along.
January 15, 2019
I made it to the end of the second ball of yarn on the brown baby kimono, another project started for our father-to-be acquaintance. In truth, the Gnomey hat happened because I got antsy waiting for my yarn shipment to arrive. As one does. And also...I found an old Joann's giftcard in my jewelry box, so more yarn! I'm going to take another stab at that placket neck sweater, only this time in a toddler size. It's been interesting trying to find DK weight lately. This was the *only* DK sized yarn I could find in the store, and this is the least feminine color out of all of my options. Slim pickin's.
Yesterday we attended an informational meeting for the high school Arts Academy run through our daughter's school district. First of all...high school! Ah hem. And second, we were really impressed by the offerings available to the students. They accept a limited number of incoming students, and selection is by lottery, so we will have to cross our fingers and see how it goes. Astrid was really inspired by the meeting, and excited at the thought of getting in. For now, we wait.
The weather has been mild, holding off on precipitation. We've barely had a dusting of snow, which is unusual this late in the year. But it's coming. We are expected to get six inches of the stuff on Saturday. If predictions are correct (which they rarely are), you can find me on the couch...under a blanket...knitting the sweater I may have cast on between starting this blog post and finishing it.
I have a problem. :)
Linked up to Nicole.
January 10, 2019
This is a little something I threw together just before Christmas. I found out that an old acquaintance is now a soon-to-be dad, and so I had to celebrate with yarn!
This is my version of The Gnomey Hat, pattern available for free on Ravelry. The yarn is some Lion Brand that was gifted to me last Christmas.
We are all a little more sleep-deprived than usual this week, but it was for a good cause! Or at least a fun one. On Tuesday we headed into the city to see the Red Wings play at the new Little Caesars Arena. It was my first time at the LCA and I can say I was quite impressed with the experience.
Looking forward to making some headway on my brown WIP this weekend, as well as picking up materials for a retry of the failed baby sweater. Only this time it will have to be a toddler sweater. Fortunately the patterns has a wide size range. :) I *think* I may have figured out my issue with the DPN's.
Linked to Ginny.
January 7, 2019
Happy New Year!
You know...I told myself at the beginning of the year that I wanted to be better about blogging my knitting projects in 2019, and here we are, a full week in, and I'm just coming around to it. Oy!
The holidays brought me two knitty books (yey!), two yarny gift cards (yey!), a book on goats, a set of interchangeable needles (double yey!), and some extra time to stalk the yarn sites. Darn Good! Knit Picks! Did you guys see that the Quince Quarterly sold out in like two days? ...and I'm thinking I may need to take some Blue Sky for a test knit. Truthfully, I've been geeking out about yarn a little more than is healthy.
My hands have been with fiber a little more frequently since the weather started to turn. I do have projects to share, just not pictures yet, so you'll have to settle for a sneak peak of my current WIP. Can I just say how much I am loving tweed right now? I may have to knit something with every color. Even that weird orangey-red color. But probably not pink.
We just came through the end-of-holiday-break crush of kiddie social events. Everyone was trying to cram them in before the drudgery of the dark, dull wintertime grind kicked in. On Saturday, our sleepover host asked if we could meet at her church instead of home, and we ended up hanging in for a very nice talk on the dangers of comparison, something I think we all fall prey to a little more easily in this season of New Year, New You!
If you are so inclined, you may enjoy checking it out... :)
Joining Ginny and Nicole.