[weaving] Free Form Tapestry

I don't think I ever shared a picture of the free form tapestry that I made during a class at the Vermont Sheep and Wool festival:

Free form wall hanging from a class at VT Sheep and Wool. Love the textures. Thank you, @anne.choi 🐑🐑🐑🐑🐑 #weaving #tapestryweaving #vermontsheepandwoolfestival

It's a riot of textures and colors and I love it. I want to hang it where people can touch it- because it does invite touching. Commercial yarn, art yarn, roving, fabric, fiber locks... It was very fun to make.


TGIFFFFF. It's been a mutha f'in week. Rhinebeck (NY Sheep and Wool Festival) is this weekend and I'm going to alleviate any FOMO feelings by spending the entire weekend crafting my brains out.

- Work on the cat couch and afghan
- Finish weaving practice coasters
- Warp for a set of 4 coasters
- Swatch for a toddler sweater
- Start a knit teddy bear
- Prepare fiber for a new spinning project
- Taking inventory of all the yarn and fiber and craft supplies I have and reminding myself that for god's sake I don't need any more stuff

We'll see how productive I end up being. I have a feeling I'll be snuggled into a couch and browsing the #rhinebeck #nysw hashtags all weekend.


[misc] Penny Thursday

Penny in nice, hot, fresh-from-the-dryer clean laundry. Now that the weather has cooled (it snowed last night!), she starts pacing and meowing around the dryer as soon as the cycle is done. 

She's feeling a little mad at me. She's been having some bad chin acne. She used to get the small blackheads and but it's gotten worse and I think it's from stress or over grooming. I've been consistently cleaning her chin every day and using a hot compress for a few minutes. It's visibly helping but she hates it and now runs away when I approach her. Still, if I'm sitting on the couch, she gets into my lap and she sleeps with me in bed at night... and she hung out with me in the craft room last night while I working on some weaving. But if I approach her with a paper towel in one hand and a hot cloth in the other, she runs and hides. Siiiiigh. :( 

Penny would probably be even more angry if she knew I was telling everyone about her chin acne.


[crochet] Starting the cat couch...

Last weekend I got a couple pounds of basic acrylic to start the cat couch...

Starting the cat couch

I'm having a bear of a time trying to prevent the fabric from biasing. I see the clusters are going in one direction, then I try to compensate my moving over a stitch or two. Then I have to move over a couple stitches to prevent biasing in the other direction. Sigh. You can see the pattern is a little wavy from these corrections. I'm annoyed but I'm trying to remind myself that I'm simply making upholstery for a toy couch. I doubt the cats will be like "Thanks for the couch... too bad the texture's all wonky, you moron." I mean, I hope they're not like that.

As written, the pattern has you do the underside in the clusters but the base is going to be on the floor, never seen, so I'm making the front/top/back of the main seat first. The bottom I will do simply in double crochet.

I'm making the fabric pretty dense and tight in hopes that the foam won't show through. Because of that, I can really only work for a few inches before my wrists start to get a little pained. To rest, I've started a little granny afghan to go on the back of the couch:

Sunny squares. Making a small cat-sized afghan using leftover sock yarns. #crochet #grannysquares

Little three-round granny squares in leftover sock yarn. I'm using up small bits of random colors, so this will be a ugly charming cat-sized blanket. The squares are piling up- tons of ends to weave in but Fox Paws cured me of ever feeling the need to bitch about weaving in ends ever again. I have a car appointment on Saturday, so I'm making square after square after square and will use my time in the waiting room to sew everything in.

Hoping I can finish this in time for Christmas. The progress is slow and I'm getting distracted by other (faster, easier) projects...


[knitting] Granny's Favourite Purple

After the quick tweed sweater from yesterday, I started another right away while the pattern was fresh in my mind.

Granny's Favourite Purple

The yarn is Nako Calico Jakar, a 50 Cotton / 50 acrlic blend. I bought 2 balls when I was in Mobile, AL last year and I used only 1.5 balls for this 2T size.

I found some ceramic purple buttons in the button stash:

Granny's Favourite Purple

This was a quick knit and I like the ombre migration of purple tones...

Granny's Favourite Purple

I'm ready for a new top-down toddler pattern appropriate for playing yarn chicken... I have two balls of Cascade 220 superwash and I'm thinking a stripey sweater would be in order.


[knitting] Granny's Favourite Tweed - finished

Finished a little tweed sweater:

Granny's Favourite Tweed

Pattern is Granny's Favourite in the 3T size. I used two 50 gr balls of Fonty Soft Tweed (all of it). It's short-sleeved and cropped but maybe it will work with a high-waist dress... with long sleeves. I don't know. 

I love the fox buttons:

Granny's Favourite Tweed

It's going onto the Christmas gift pile.


Had a good weekend. Finished up a bunch of projects, wound skeins of yarn, started the cat couch (and afghan), vacuumed the entire house, baked a pumpkin bundt, watched some football. I'm travelling next week so I've got to start thinking about a portable project-SOCKS. Socks. Okay, I thought of it. Now to narrow down a pattern...


[spinning] Tideline finished

Romney, all plied and washed and dried:

New handspun yarn. Club leftover grab bag by @helloyarn. Romney wool in ‘Tideline’, 8oz. #stashdown #spinning #handspun #handspunyarn

The two skeins are kind of fraternal twins. The one on the left is more barber-pole, the one on the right has some colors that line up. I might use them for different projects.

I'm just happy to get a big bag of fiber out of the stash. These were some bits and ends from Hello Yarn, leftovers from the fiber club. 


TGIF. Will be going over to my neighbor's to pick some concord grapes, so I'm trying to find recipes. Will try a pumpkin recipe this weekend. Maybe pie since I have single pie crust leftover from making the mushroom tart. Although... a quiche would be so nice.

I'm ready to ply the Jade Chopsticks over the weekend. Start spinning some new fiber. Both little toddler sweaters are done (buttons and everything)- just need to take pictures. I need to finish practicing weaving a couple coasters- I'm going to start the Wolverine: The Long Night podcast for something to listen to while I sit at the craft room table. 

I'm ready to start the kitty couch but I need a lot of yarn. I'd prefer not to buy anything but I don't have 1200 yards of a single-color wool/acrylic lying around. Will hit up the craft stores after work. I did pull out my sock yarn scraps last night, though, to start a little granny square afghan for the couch. It's going to be so cuuuuute.

Ready to start the weekend ASAP. 


[cooking] Shaggy Mane Mushroom Rustic Tart

Shaggy mane mushrooms finally appeared in the upper and lower lawns:

Shaggy Mane Mushrooms

I saw some start to pop up couple days ago but it's been raining non-stop. Yesterday was 80, sunny and dry and I was able to walk around to pick some that had not gone by yet.

These are also called "inky cap" mushrooms- as they mature, the caps drip away like black ink from the bottom to the top. Here's a cluster starting to get inky color at the bottom:

Shaggy Mane Mushrooms

Here are some pretty far gone:

Shaggy Mane Mushrooms

I think you can actually make homemade ink from these and use it for calligraphy. I'd rather eat them, though.

I cut away the bottoms, wipe away any dirt with a damp paper towel (my usual method for cleaning any mushroom) and quarter them lengthwise. I found two that were starting to get a bit gray at the bottom, which I could only see once I opened them up. I tossed those. I think it would have been fine but I don't use any that have grayness. Then I sautee in butter:

Shaggy Mane Mushroom Tart

I made some pie dough and rolled out one crust. Add a layer of panko breadcrumbs to the center (to absorb any residual moisture from the mushrooms), some diced gouda cheese, sauteed mushrooms and some grated Parmesan cheese. Fold over the edges and brush the crust with milk:

Shaggy Mane Mushroom Tart

Bake at 350 for 50 min.

Shaggy Mane Mushroom Tart

So good, but anything stuffed inside a pie crust is going to be good.

Shaggy Mane Mushroom Tart

These mushrooms are everywhere. I'll check on them this weekend- maybe pick a few for an omelette. And with all the rain we're getting, I should take a spin through the woods to see if I can find some chicken of the woods- and take some foliage pictures before all the leaves are done.


[spinning] Jade Chopsticks - in progress

Working on a new 4oz bundle of fiber; the colorway is called "Jade Chopsticks":

Next #spinning project. Polwarth / silk ‘Jade Chopsticks’. #hobbledehoy

85% polwarth / 15% silk by Hobbledehoy, purchased at 2017 Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival. Nice, easy, quick spin. Stash down!


Saw some nice shaggy mane mushrooms in the lawn this morning- will pick some after work and make a nice mushroom tart (or something) tonight.

Finishing up the second toddler sweater I'm working on. Ready to move on to the crocheted kitty couch.


[knitting] Seashore Lace Shawl

Finished and blocked shawl:

Seashore Lace Shawl

Pattern: Seashore Lace Shawl by Evelyn A. Clark

Yarn: Kollage Riveting Sport (recycled denim), two skeins

Needles: US 4

Seashore Lace Shawl

The pattern is bottom-up and there is no purling, which is nice. There's basically no wrong side to the shawl. The yarn is cotton and if I were to do this again, I would probably go with wool; I'm a little worried that this could get droopy. But I think a gentle machine wash/dry would bring it back and only make it softer over time.

I ran out of yarn and used leftover navy blue Wollmeise sock yarn for the last two rows, which I think looks just fine.

Seashore Lace Shawl

This only took a couple weeks. I mostly watched The First on Hulu (so sad... but I couldn't stop watching). 

Seashore Lace Shawl

I like the sashiko-inspired pattern and after doing a few repeats, it became intuitive and I was able to read my work and recognize if I was going wrong based on the row below. 

This will be gifted to my mom for Christmas.


Was a good, long weekend. I had a spa day on my birthday- which I've never had before. Foot soak, massage, sauna. It was soooooo relaxing and I want to do it at least once a month now. 

Looks like we're NOT going to get that truck we have up and running. Let's just say there was a fire... and leave it at that.

Had a septic guy come to the house yesterday to pump the tank. This was one of those learning experiences for home owners. We've never had it cleaned and it was... it was a learning experience. You know how after you smell a decomposing corpse, you're like, "Whew, I'll never forget that smell for the rest of my life. That is a distinct odor and it has been seared into my brain forever." It was like that.

Did lots of crafty stuff... knitting, spinning, weaving... Lots of pics to come this week.


[spinning] Tideline in progress

I have a couple bobbins ready to ply this weekend:

Hello Yarn Tideline


It's been a week. We're down to a one-car household. I'm saying goodbye to the old '02 CR-V today. It was a great car the entire time we've had it but the amount of work that it needs is waaaaaaay more than it's worth, so... sniff... so long, old buddy. We'll get a new car in a couple years- I want to ride out the '08 CR-V until it kicks the bucket as well. In the meantime, we're going to see about getting a dormant truck we have up and running. That will definitely be cheaper than getting a new car, right? I hope? *gulp*

Lots of crafty plans for the long weekend- plying the yarn above, starting some new spinning, playing with my new table loom to make some coasters or phone rugs, pictures of the seashore shawl... I finished the tweed Granny's Favourite last night and started another right away in different yarn. Football was on- I needed something mindless and the pattern is fresh in my mind. But I think I am all Grannied out- I need a new toddler sweater pattern to make half a dozen times.



[cooking] Apple Crisp

Finally made my first apple recipe of the season:

Apple crisp. Finally. 🍏🍎🍏🍎🍏🍎 #applecrisp #baking

Apple Crisp! There isn't too much prep with my apple spiralizer, which I have to praise every time I take it out. It peels and evenly slices an apple in 15 seconds. Come on. 

And since the dark rum bottle is out for the recipe, it's nice to have a few nips while getting everything together. Measure all the ingredients... take a swig from the Havana Club bottle that would make a pirate proud... cut the butter into the streusel topping... take another sip from the bottle and wonder- If it's a Puerto Rican rum, why is it called Havana Club?... add a splash of rum to the apples and say "some for you..." then take a sip and say "... some for me..." Giggle. Shove everything into a dish and pop it into the oven. Pour yourself a finger of rum before putting the bottle away.

An hour and half later, when the oven timer goes off, ask yourself, "Oh my god, what is in the oven right now?!" Remember that you made an apple crisp, take it out of the oven, let it cool and enjoy with vanilla ice cream. Then go to bed because you started it so late that by the time it finished baking and cooling, it's 10 pm.


[knitting] Granny's Favourite Tweed

Starting a new little cardigan for my niece:

Time for tweed... #knitting

Pattern is Granny's Favourite, which I've made twice already. I have only two 50g balls of this DK tweed, so it may will probably be a short-sleeved, cropped cardigan. I like this pattern because it's top-down and perfect for yarn chicken.


The Seashore Shawl is off the needles- all that's left to do is blocking tonight.

I think my next project after this cardi will be a couch for the cats. I have a pattern that is so flipping cute and I'm pumped to make it. And I did find a couple patterns for the scrappy handspun yarn- I've just got to wind the skeins. Which means I'll wind half a dozen more skeins, because I might as well while I have the ball winder and swift out... so I need to line up a few more patterns. It's Socktober and I'm tempted... I would love a new pair of bed socks... 


[spinning] Scrappy 3-ply from leftover bobbins

A couple weeks ago, I dumped out all the toilet pepper rolls of leftover single-plies from spinning that I've been saving for years.

Sunday project: years of bobbin leftover single-plies from spinning. Will spin into random three ply. 🌀 #spinning

I got the idea to randomly spin them up into a crazy, scrappy three-ply from this blog post.

I ended up with:

Scrappy three ply

Looooove. It's a mix of fibers and superwash/not superwash- a little bit of everything. Overall both skeins are bulky weight.

Scrappy three ply

I have the urge to knit with this soon. I think it would make a pretty cute teddy bear. I'm trying to find a pattern that would have a solid color for paw pads, inside ears and muzzle. That might tone down the overall craziness of the yarn.

Scrappy three ply

Nice to stash down! I dumped so many empty toilet paper rolls into the recycling bin after this. And this was a quick project- both skeins were plied on a Sunday morning. 


Speaking of spinning, I just spun an 8oz sack of Hello Yarn club leftovers. All that's left is plying. I'm trying to keep the wheel out and spin regularly, rather than once a year for Tour de Fleece. 


[vermont] Vermont Sheep and Wool Festival

Spent this past weekend at the Vermont Sheep and Wool Festival. I took an all-day weaving class on Friday and did my shopping/visiting on Saturday. So many fun things to see...


Yarn yarn yarn yarn yarn


Homemade soap

Needle-felted dragon:

Needle-felted dragon mat

Knit flowers:

Knit flowers at a vendor's booth.

The highlight for me was the Sheep Breeds: A World of Difference exhibit by John Crane. So amazing to go up and down and see/touch 71 sheep breeds' wool- raw fleece, spun yarn and knit sample:

Sheep Breeds: A World of Difference

Sheep Breeds: A World of Difference

Sheep Breeds: A World of Difference

Sheep Breeds: A World of Difference

Sheep Breeds: A World of Difference

Sheep Breeds: A World of Difference

It was so impressive.

And I saw the cutest needle-felted items. 



A porg:


They are on the same little mat- this is the porg's reaction to seeing BB8. I'm so impressed by the needle-felting entered into this festival every year.

Speaking of needle-felting, I did get a kit from The Spinning Studio. I've got to give it a try... Picked up lots of soap. Some skeins of yarn. Only one 4oz bag of fiber to spin. Buttons. Hand lotion. 

I didn't end up swapping as many stitch markers as I thought I would. I'll just keep the ones I made until next year. And use some, too. I just realized I should use my red skull stitch marker while watching Captain America: The First Avenger.

Great festival- can't wait for next year!


[misc] Murderface Thursday

In bed last night:

He’s so annoyed with me. I can hear a mouse and told him to do something about it... I don’t think he’s going to. Time to set traps. 🐭

I could hear a mouse scrabbling around in the bathroom and I told Murderface to get up and do something about it. This is his "YOU get up and do something about it- I'm like 75 in cat years" face. I did get up but it was inside the wall. Time to put traps out.


TGIT!! I'm off tomorrow for a weaving class offered by VT S&W. Looks like it might rain tomorrow but that's fine, I'll be in Tunbridge Town Hall all day. I plan on spending Saturday at the Festival. I'll be swapping stitch markers, buying all the soaps, visiting all the vendors, trying not to buy all the yarns and fibers, petting all the animals... 


[knitting] Wearing Nomia

First time wearing wool socks to bed this fall:

First night of the season wearing wool socks to bed. #knitting #sockknitting #woolsocks #bedsocks

Pattern is Nomia from Knitty Spring/Summer 2017. I finished these back in June but saved them for the fair. Now I finally get to wear them. The yarn is a really bright, lime green but the nighttime lighting in the bedroom makes them look much different.

I have about 20 craft projects I want to do but now all I can think about is making more socks. 

It was so chilly and rainy yesterday. I had to throw another blanket on the bed and last night Penny got under the covers with me. RIP summer, I didn't appreciate you enough. Now on to seven months of winter...


[knitting] Seashore Lace Shawl

The very beginning of a new shawl:

I'm much further along at this point. One of the things I wanted to try out during my week off was sashiko embroidery. I have all the tools/supplies, I just have to transfer a pattern to some large, navy pillow shams and get to stitching. But, like a squirrel, I hid the stuff somewhere in my craft room and then promptly forgot where. I didn't find it all until near the end of vacation.

My compromise was to start a new knitting project in the meantime- and this shawl pattern is inspired by sashiko designs: Seashore Lace Shawl by Evelyn A. Clark. I'm using a couple skeins of Kollage Riveting, made of recycled denim. I like the way the lacy fabric is working up but now I worry that the 95% cotton content of the yarn is going to make this a saggy shawl. We shall see.


[vermont] Autumn Equinox

Back yard sunset colors on Saturday evening, the autumn equinox:

Pretty sunset colors tonight. 💜💗💜💗💜💗💜💗💜💗💜💗💜💗💜💗💜:he

Was a good weekend. Spent a bit of Saturday and Sunday moving an upright piano. Saturday: moving it out of Dollar's sister's house onto his stepdad's trailer. Sunday: the piano was brought up to our house and moved into the basement. Now we have two upright pianos. Ask me how often we play the piano. The answer is 'never'. I don't know what we need with two pianos but [Kermit drinking tea meme] that's none of my business... 

Worked a bit on my lace shawl (I'm well into the 2nd skein- will hopefully complete it this week). 

Finished all the stitch markers I was making. I have a little over 50 for the swap and... I feel like I need to make more. JUST IN CASE. So I have to stop by the craft store after work today to get more beads.

Also took out a plastic bag full of leftover yarn singles from years of spinning and used up about 90% to make a scrap-yarn three-ply. Pics this week- the yarn is drying now. (And, since the spinning wheel was out, I pulled some Hello Yarn fiber club ends and will start spinning those.)

I've been making fall-weather food the past couple weeks. Homemade mac and cheese. Stuffed delicata squash. Potato and leek soup. I've got some apple recipes I want to do next...


[crafts] Stitch Markers

I've got a week to wrap up the stitch markers I'm making for the swap at the VT Sheep and Wool Festival. My supplies:

I don't really know what I'm doing but I saw some tutorials online. I'm using some colorful skull beads (looooooove) and some round stone ones that look like little Earth-like planets.

In terms of supplies, I already had a bag of so many plain gold stitch markers that I bought from Knit Picks ages ago- and I think I've only used one or two over the years (I prefer the hard or flexible plastic ones by Clover). I thought they'd be put to better use for this swap, so I bought gold headpins and tiny accent beads and sat down to give it a try. I also already had the jewelry making hand tools. 


Skull Stitch Marker


Earth(ish) Stitch Markers

They're so cute! I'll work on making up the rest this weekend. And either resist or cave into the temptation to run out to get more beads...


TGIF. It's a bit of a doomy-gloomy grey day today. I plan on knitting more on a lace shawl that I started last weekend and watching The First on Hulu. I'm only a few episodes in and it's depressing but good. Tomorrow is officially the first day of Autumn and it definitely feels like it- I have to wear actual socks and shoes when I got out now (so long, flip flops) and I wore a sweater AND scarf to work today. Sigh.


[knitting] Plaitwork Cowl

One project that I wasn't able to finish in time for the fair was a cowl made from handspun yarn:

Trying to squeeze in one more project in the next couple days... #knitting #handspunyarn

I started it the weekend before and while I did take the whole week off work, I spent Sun - Tue painting a few rooms in the house, which greatly chewed into my knitting time. Here's where it was by the time I had to drop things off at the fairgrounds:

I didn’t finish the cabled handspun cowl in time for the fair, but now I can finish it at a leisurely pace. #knitting #handspun #cabledcowl

The pattern is Plaitwork Cowl, a free one from Cascade Yarns. I only ended up using two skeins of my handspun, so I have enough for a matching hat.

All finished:

#braidedcowl #knitting #handspun #knittinghandspun

Pretty easy pattern. Nice and plush and squishy cowl. I'm ready for cold weather! And I used a cute little wooden stitch marker during this project:

Sock stitch markers

This is from Katrinkles, a maker of the cutest wooden buttons and ornaments and knitting tools. I've used her buttons for a couple projects, I have her needle gauge tool (the Vermont one, of course), too. I've seen her at past Vermont Sheep and Wool Festivals, Green Mountain Fiber Festival (now defunct), Slater Mill Knitting Weekend market in Pawtucket, RI. I always make sure to get something from her- she's so great.

Speaking of stitch markers, VT S&W will be having a stitch marker swap this year. I'm participating! I have jewelry making tools so I went to Michaels and got some beads and things to make some. Pics tomorrow.

I can't believe the festival is next weekend- I'm taking an all day free form weaving class on Friday and then spending Saturday at the Fest. I'm so excited to see a special sheep breed exhibit that will showcase 71 breeds of fiber, yarn and swatches (oh my!). If I thought Blue Faced Leicester was a funny name for sheep, I'm sure I'll see some 10x crazier.