I’ve been having a wonderful birthday month. (A little joke but I mean why not?) I went for tacos, a hike, and to a folk music festival with my kids. Bob and I drove to Oklahoma to visit my Mom and sister. I got to stop over at Bonny’s on the way there. I went to a yarn shop in Oklahoma City with a yarn-bombed bicycle in the window and — yes — bought yarn with birthday money. I even finished knitting a project!
I am keeping up with my Celtic Mists mystery knitalong. The designer makes the clues short and sweet! While I love alpaca’s softness and drape, I normally prefer wool for elasticity. But the way this yarn is spun keeps it springy. I love working with it!
For the last three weeks I’ve been applying for jobs, getting called back for second interviews, received a call from HR to presumably be offered one of them, and then my current employer offered me more work (and more income) so I would stay. And stay I did. It’s a remote position that pays well, is exceedingly flexible, and working for the nicest man in the world. Never underestimate the influence a kind and caring boss will have on your life. This week I’ve been training on my new responsibilities and my brain hurts. Not much crafting going on.
I’ve been knitting sporadically on Freya’s purple Lodge Sweater. I also cast on a blue beanie. The blue beanie is my reset knit, when I feel overwhelmed by life and don’t want to knit anything. I frogged my Who Ya Gonna Shawl. I wasn’t enjoying it. I think colorful, complicated shawls are stunning, but not my kind of knit. I was once described by a friend as an “Over the Pond” knitter. I guess that means I like classics and basics. Technically, I know it means UK, but I’m trying to put it into a style context. However, I like trying new things, so I don’t regret giving it a shot.
I’m so sad my casual cotton pants are too big. I love the fabric, and did a beautiful job sewing them. I need to rethink my sizing before cutting anymore cloth. I did just take my measurements, but the weight is coming off faster than I expected. It’s probably not a good time to be making things for myself.
I’ve been gardening mostly. It’s that time of year, and takes more brawn than brain.
Tudors Art and Majesty
I had a lovely day trip to The Cleveland Museum of Art with Bob to see The Tudors: Art and Majesty in Renaissance England. Other than the Hans Holbein sketch of Anne Boleyn, this small, mixed-media fiber work of Elizabeth I was my favorite piece in the exhibit. There were lots of textiles, though. Tapestries, especially. They were so grand, it was hard for me to take them in.
As you may have noticed, I’m experimenting with the title of my site. I feel I’ve outgrown Headknits. I tried Okie in Ohio, which I’m using on Instagram. But I also like Snakes & Cranes, because these are animals I’m fascinated by, and I like them as symbols. Other than that, it’s fairly meaningless, but rolls off the tongue and is memorable. (Although there is a martial arts film I clearly need to see.) (Also, it is meaningful — balance — but only in hindsight.)
Any votes for your favorite site title?
And I’ve switched to the Jetpack app, but only because they made me.
Today is our “date-iversary,” a celebration of our first date when Bob and I went out for mango sorbet. It was awkward and now we’re married. Bob agrees this statement is accurate.
This weekend we went to Cleveland to visit A Christmas Story House! We’ve wanted to do this for a long time, and finally made it happen. We brought kids and stayed with kids in their new house, so it was a wonderful kid-filled weekend!
The kids (including Bob) enjoyed getting into character. It was a lot of fun!
We also enjoyed the museum, which included a room filled with some of the costumes.
I was disappointed there was only one sweater.
Remember when I waxed rhapsodic about the handknits in the movie? I can’t find this old post, or I would link to it.
They have a fan art room, and I’m tempted to recreate Esther Jean’s stockings and donate them to the museum.
The gift shop was also a lot of fun. I picked up a few small things, including this charm I’ll use as a progress keeper!
I also got to meet a new family member on this trip, Cannoli. ❤️
Do you watch A Christmas Story every year, like we do?
I’m already listening to holiday music and watching Christmas movies and shows. Here’s my watch list so far:
Gilmore Girls holiday episodes
Great British Baking Show holiday episodes
Great American Baking Show holiday edition
A Christmas Story Christmas movie (a worthy follow up to the original)
It’s almost Krampusnacht! You know what that means, right? A viewing of Rare Exports, my favorite Christmas movie ever –possibly my favorite movie ever — and our “drinking” game where we eat gingerbread cookies every time a character takes a bite of gingerbread. This year I get to use my Krampus cookie cutters that Freya gave me for Christmas last year.
In other news, I ran the numbers on my little business, and I lost money this year. I promised myself if I had a loss at the end of the year, I would close up shop. So I did. I’m sad, but I tried, and I did my best.
Bob and I spent last week in Southwest Michigan celebrating our 10th wedding anniversary. We hiked, walked along beaches and piers, and ate delicious food. Bob even swam for a (very cold) second.
Here are my Beachcombing Slacks in action. They were perfect for long walks down Weko Beach. Someone in downtown St. Joe complimented me on them. It always makes me happy to have my making skills admired.
I’m so grateful they showed the FW Murnau silent version with correct timing and original score. The first time I watched it — late 1980s early 1990s I guess — I had checked it out at The Ken Cinema in San Diego. The Ken was a wonderful theater with attached video rental store specializing in independent and foreign film. As an art student at UCSD, going to The Ken was a type of pilgrimage. Unfortunately, the Nosferatu version available at the time was not complete. It was also hilariously timed too fast, and the score was… ragtime? Not spooky, anyway. I’m glad I finally got to view this as intended, although Herzog’s Nosferatu: Phantom der Nacht is my favorite. I also love Shadow of the Vampire, which I kept thinking about while watching Murnau’s Nosferatu. They are closely intertwined. I’ve heard Robert Eggars is planning a remake with Bill Skarsgard in the lead role. I can’t wait for the release!
We really love this area of Michigan. It’s beautiful, waterfront, with plenty for us to do, and it’s only a 6 hour drive from home. Next time, I think we are both interested in visiting the upper peninsula!
This week I’m recovering from a wonderful weekend full of friends, fiber, and fun! We met up for Wisconsin Sheep and Wool, and spent the weekend frolicking with fiber. (All the F words today, because alliteration is fun.) (Maybe not ALL the F words.) I got to meet Liz and Marilee in person for the first time!
These shopping bags were one of the secret projects I was working on before the trip. I made one for each attendee as a gift, and included a packet zinnia seeds.
I was also commissioned by Jess, another attendee, to create and dye this yarn colorway as gifts for everyone (including me!)
And There Was More Yarn
I was fairly restrained with my purchases, but I did buy a sweater quantity of Weekend Wool from Green Mountain Spinnery. These will be a Mountain Mist sweater. Last year, making the Back Porch Shawl in this yarn was the knitting highlight of my fall, so I decided I should knit a sweater with it. Also, Green Mountain Spinnery is a worker-owned cooperative. Just one more reason to buy from them! Definitely my favorite booth at the show.
I also purchased a couple of skeins from the Ewetopia booth. I thanked the owner for offering nonsuperwash yarn. I carefully picked out a couple of skeins without a project in mind. Then I decided I could knit a slip stitch cowl with these, and they would be shimmery together. The skein on the left reminds me of the twilight color of St. Clair that I tried to knit into a bobble hat. The universe is giving me a second chance at this color.
The only superwash I purchased was this gradient “Something Wicked” from Knit Circus when we went to The Sow’s Ear. I’m a sucker for a Halloween gradient. This notions pouch was from Mitchell Wool Company. As I was explaining to another guest why say no to superwash, the owner told me I’m her favorite person. I didn’t get any yarn from Mitchell Wool, but I’m linking it for another time. They have some gorgeous Targhee I know Sarah enjoyed knitting into a hat.
Speaking of hats! This guy was purchasing wool for his felt fungi hat creations. I was impressed enough to ask him if I could take his photo.
I ended up frogging my fall striped sock. Even on a size 0 needle, the 64 stitch recipe was too big. I’ll try again with 60 stitches. Luckily, I brought a small cake of Qiviuk yarn: qiviut, merino, and silk and cast on, yep, another blue beanie. It’s so soft and I’m always happy in a plain blue beanie.
On Monday, everyone else headed home and I was on my own until the evening. I stopped by Fiddlesticks Knits to say hi to @superradleesha who I met last year. She gave me a tour of all her current WIPs that were on display with the yarn in the shop, which was so fun! The shop was brand new when I visited last year. It has really filled out with lots of selections! Also, there were boob candles. Yes, you can have your boobs molded into custom candles, which honestly I think sounds like a lot of fun.
I purchased this Woll Wichtel from Fiddlesticks, because nonsuperwash + autumn colors = happy Alissa.
I also stopped into Mad City Music, and look at the treasures I found! Although I can sing along with the songs from the other three CDs, Rockabilly from Hell has surprised me with my new favorite spooky season selections.
My last stop before the airport was a trip to Sanitarium Hill to get my paranormal on. This is a working building, so I didn’t try to go inside. Instead I walked the grounds and took some photos. I did not see any ghosts or feel anything spooky. It felt very peaceful to me. I also wanted to have a drink at a haunted bar, but unfortunately it is closed for business.
Madison is a really fun place to visit. I would go back there in a heartbeat. Have you visited? If so, please leave a comment of your favorite places!
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!
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.
While this sock may look like an FO (finished object) I can assure you it is a WIP (work in progress) as it is awaiting its mate. I have cast on the second sock, but I’m still on the cuff ribbing. If it were Friday, I would have posted it as an FO, because that’s how I roll.
The only other things I’ve been working on are my knitting design and dyeing for my summer yarn mystery box. These are top secret, so I can’t post pics. Today I’ll be typing up the pattern and starting the project bags. Later this afternoon I hope to get back to knitting on my Pumqueen Cardi.
I went out to the garden to check on the new plants, and so far, so good. We have so many slugs, though. Last year, the beer traps worked about 80% of the time. But as I mentioned before, not all slugs are dumb. This morning I was quoting the movie Tremors, “This one ain’t falling for it. This one ain’t dumb.” I think the dumb slugs (or beer loving slugs?) have now been excluded by natural selection. I never put out the Escar-go! because it can harm small animals. I don’t want anything like that in my garden. If I depended on my garden for food, I would take more drastic measures.
Speaking of horror, I’ve started a new-to-me folk horror series by Phil Rickman. I am liking it! I have been struggling with reading lately, so it’s good to find an author and series that I like.
We’ve been to Cleveland and back, and had a really nice stay for Peyton’s graduation weekend. While there, I stopped by Longtail Knits and picked up this beautiful shawl pin that is perfect for my Ocean Moon shawl! We also ate delicious gluten-free crepes, and I had a gluten free scone at a coffee shop. Here’s an adorable pic of Bob and his Mom!
My weekends have been fairly busy, and I haven’t been able to post a Year of Projects update in a bit. So here’s a combo post!
I am working on sport weight socks for Bob, a Halloween cardigan, and my Arrowhead cardigan. The yarn shown in the featured image is from my stash and will be used in a Summer Solstice Ambah knitalong. I am also working on my knitting pattern design for the Volunteer Sunflowers yarn mystery box.
The Halloween cardigan is from the Fall Favorites Collection, Pumqueen version. The yarn is Cascade BFL, which I am really enjoying working with. I’m modifying the pattern to be a cardigan with a steek.
I am focusing on project bags right now. I hope to have a finish to show by Friday. But I did sew matching KISS pajama shorts for Bob and me.
My favorite days were definitely the ones spent in PJs at the cottage. I read a book! (It’s been a while.) It was a fun read that I blew through in two days. Bob and I celebrated our ninth wedding anniversary. We enjoyed eating at Buck Burger and The Mason Jar, and shopping in Downtown St. Joe’s.
It was a beautiful getaway, not too far away, and a wonderful anniversary!