I played around with my new Addi Express knitting machine. There’s good news and bad news.
The bad news is that it knits worsted weight yarn too loosely to make a usable fabric, unless you want air and drape. The good news is I think I can make slippers and mittens in aran and bulky weight yarns. I could use scraps and quickly knit these for myself and my family. I really need to work on my afterthought heel, though, as it’s too shallow.
The other bad news is that the machine is persnickety about which yarns it will knit successfully. I will have to experiment, but I think it prefers a smoother yarn. I don’t knit with acrylic, so it will be interesting to see if I can make it work with my wooly scraps. I’ll keep you posted!
I’ve progressed a few inches on my Arrowhead sleeves. I try to knit four rounds on each sleeve every day, which is a decrease repeat, but missed the last two days. I’m going to try to make it up today.
Freya liked my Lodge sweater so much, she asked me to knit her one with a few modifications. I told her it would have to be her birthday present. She wanted purple yarn, so we picked out this Cascade 220 superwash together in Purple Heather.
I wanted to join in on the Who Ya Gonna Shawl? knitalong, but needed the yarn to come from my stash. I decided on 80’s neon with this skein of black and red variegated, which I overdyed to be solid black, for the contrast.
To exhaust the dye bath, I grabbed a variegated skein from my stash which I’ve never liked. I think the resulting yarn is lovely: a deep charcoal with hints of the blue, yellow, and pink showing through. I see a beanie in my future.
I did sew my PJ pants in the floral flannel I shared last time. They came out great. I only had flimsy elastic, but in the spirit of using it up, I serged the elastic directly to the fabric edge to prevent it from rolling. I also sewed this gift bag for Bob’s Valentine’s Day present.
DIY Hair Care
I like natural skin and hair care products, but they are so expensive. I decided to start making my own. Today I made a natural conditioner from avocado and argan oils, emulsifying wax, and water. It seems good, but the real test will be how it performs on my hair tomorrow. I also made some beard oil for my middle child (another March birthday gift) based on his favorite kind, which he says is too expensive. This is a mixture of avocado, jojoba, and argan oils, which was easy. I scented both with bergamot and amyris essential oils. Next up is shampoo with Bob’s homemade castile soap, argan oil, and water. I found this website with some great recipes. Once I get the basics down, I’ll start experimenting with other ingredients, like aloe gel from my aloe vera plants and soapwort from my garden.
We had a couple of nice days this week, so I spent some time in the garden. I made a dent in the weeds and managed to get daikon radish, lettuce, kale, broccolini, and mustard planted under the greenhouse. Today, Bob and I moved the Elderberry bush out of the garden and into the yard. It was getting too big where it was, but not getting enough sun to flower. Hopefully it will do better in the yard. We picked a place where the drainage will keep the ground moist like it likes.
Yesterday, Bob and I had our Valentine’s date. We went to our favorite theater to watch Saturday Morning Cartoons: Cupid Edition. It included old cartoons from our childhood plus old commercials. Some were before our time. Included were Underdog, Pink Panther, Popeye, Schoolhouse Rock, and an oldie from the 1930’s. This one made me cry nostalgia tears. It was fun seeing them on the big screen. Then we went out for Thai food. I just received my gift, which is an Addi Express knitting machine! I’ll play around with it and report back later.
I finally buckled down and finished the body of my Arrowhead Cardigan. Now it’s steeks, shoulder seams, sleeve and neckline knitting. It’s getting easier for me. I’m wishing I had it finished to wear this winter. It’s been so cold! According to Punxsutawney Phil, I’ve got six weeks.
I’ve finished the corrugated rib hem on Powdermill. I’m looking forward to starting the colorwork, but I think I’ll finish Arrowhead first.
I’m on the gusset of the second Merry Krampus sock. It won’t be long now!
In other news, I made vegan pho for the first time. It’s pretty good, for not beef. I’d like to tweak the recipe before sharing it.
I also left Facebook and am now completely off social media, except WordPress. (Is this social media?) I feel better. It’s making a difference in my mental (and therefore physical) health.
Are you ready for winter to end? I normally like winter, but I think I’m ready for warmer temperatures.
I grabbed the Cornbread and Honey yarn last spring at the Wild and Wooly Fiber Expo in Cleveland. There were five skeins of this colorway, and I scooped them all up with the intention of knitting a sweater. This is one of those dream projects that came together without much planning. Just a lot of knitting, so nothing to complain about. Mostly stockinette, too! I knit it on US 9 needles to get the most yardage out of the yarn, plus I hit gauge and liked the drape of the fabric.
I cast on Powdermill this week and have completed one round of corrugated rib. Not much to see so here is a photo of my pins. Marilee and I are having a little Powdermill knitalong. She wanted to start the new year off with a bang.
I continue to make progress on my scarf. I weave at least one color repeat each day, meaning all five colors. The stripes are random, so it’s not a pattern repeat. The purple is my favorite, and I’m halfway wishing I had woven the entire weft in purple. This will be fun to wear, though.
Yesterday, for Saturdate, Bob and I played a new game: Horrified: American Monsters. It was a little complicated at first, but once we got the hang of it, it was really fun. We also watched After Midnight. We enjoyed this romantic horror comedy. I haven’t laughed that hard during a movie in a while.
I’m nearly done with my Peaceful Lodge Sweater. I’ve finished one sleeve. I thought it would take me a couple of days, but it took me a week! At this stage, though, I am obsessed with finishing. I’ll start the second sleeve today, and hope I can finish it this weekend. I’ve learned both the stretchy i-cord cast off and the sewn tubular bind off for this project. I may have done them before, but not recently or frequently enough to remember them.
My woven scarf is coming along. I’m choosing weft colors randomly from the same colors in the warp. I’m a little worried about my edges, but since it’s my first time weaving on a floor loom (second time weaving at all) I’m happy enough.
I hope you’re making progress on your projects this week!
I’m ready to start the New Year right with an impossible list of items I will never accomplish. At the same time, having a list ensures I will be somewhat productive. I do love the feeling of checking items off a list. Perhaps I will start adding gold stars next to completed projects. Plus, it gives me an excuse to blog weekly when I can’t think of anything else to say.
I’m grateful the Year of Projects group is loosely organized, and I was able to take a break last year. My approach this year is to divide and conquer. I’ve divided my full list of knitting projects into separate lists for 2023 and 2024. 2023 (below) includes works in progress (WIPs), and new cast ons I hope to complete this year. Add to this list socks, since my plan is to knit a pair of socks every month this year. That’s not realistic, but that’s never stopped me from trying. Some of these WIPs probably won’t make it this year. There’s a reason I’ve set them aside, but I’m not ready to rip them out yet.
I’ve noticed my approach to sewing is to make a pattern to see if I like it. If I do, I make multiples so I don’t have to learn something new every time I sew. It’s more enjoyable for me if I can skip the instructions. So my plan for 2023 is to mostly make multiples. Also, I’d like to sew a trench coat, but I don’t have the fabric for it right now. Maybe next year!
I’ll finish spinning my Pumpkins for Sale BFL and maybe participate in Tour de Fleece. I think I would also like to dye my natural rovings and spin skeins for gift giving this year.
Happy New Year! We’ve had a lovely weekend, with a gathering at a friend’s in Canton, then an overnight stay with kids in Cuyahoga Falls. New Year’s Eve was spent eating pizza and watching Bloody New Year and Terror Train. Neither of us had ever seen these, but they were an enjoyable diversion. I impressed even myself with my facial recognition gift by pointing out John from Shaun of the Dead in Bloody New Year. (I have a gift for pattern recognition. I am currently using this gift in my role as part-time Remote Bookkeeping Elf — title my own. I log in to computers remotely early in the morning and work on other people’s bookkeeping while they are still asleep. They wake up and their bookkeeping is all done for them! I would love to have an afternoon job that is more creative, and I’m thinking about knitting pattern tech editing.) Today we’re going for a New Year’s hike. Bob will make black eyed peas and collards for dinner.
I usually choose a word for the year, although I don’t think I chose a word for 2022. I spent most of the year focusing on my mental and physical health, and made some progress. I was able to stop taking medications. I was able to get off social media except Facebook. I think about closing my Facebook account, but there are connections with family and friends there I would miss. In fact, a friend recently shared this article that plays into my word for 2023. My word is Voice. The goal is to recognize and reaffirm my own voice, and share it if I want to. No pressure, though, if I don’t feel like it. My resolutions for the year are to knit from stash and have more fun. We’re also having a “no buy” year, as we have a new furnace and electrical system to pay off. This means we can buy food and necessities, but not anything else. Bob pretty much lives like this, so I think we all know who is going to be struggling the most. This was my idea, by the way.
I dyed fabric and yarn this year — some naturally, and some with low impact dyes. My favorites are the colorways for Chestnut Hills Farm and Fiber, the black walnut fabric with iron mordant, and the wool and cotton yarn dyed with tansy that is complemented by the Hi Summer colorway. (I’m going to knit a Visser or Halvis out of these, as they look so good together.)
I did manage to improve my spinning this year, and just started with weaving. Not much to show right now, though.
I will blog about 2023 plans in another post. I miss Year of Projects and am considering rejoining, even though I needed the break. If you are still with me — either on this post or as a subscriber — thanks for reading and sticking with me this year.
We had a lovely low-key Christmas Day with all the kids and Granddog Cannoli. I hope you enjoyed your day!
I sewed new gift bags this year from quilting cotton I had in stash. The young’uns never really liked these, since they don’t get the full experience of ripping paper. But Bob and I prefer them since they can be reused. No pattern. I sew them the way my Grandma did, which is basically a pillowcase with a gusset, plus a casing with buttonholes for the drawstring closure.
I also sewed myself what I’m calling a “Christmas Lounge Suit” out of some green velour from stash. Tried and true PJ pant pattern from Ottobre. Top is Hemlock Tee from Grainline Studio. Rookie error: I cut the back of the pants with the nap reversed, which gives it a harlequin effect. Now I wish I’d done it intentionally on the top, too.
Merry Christmas Day. Happy eighth night of Hanukkah. Happy Kwanzaa tomorrow. And Glad Yule! 2022 completed Holiday watchlist below. We didn’t watch Elf?! 🤷🏻
It’s a Wonderful Life
Black Adder’s Christmas Carol
Christmas at SCTV
How the Grinch Stole Christmas (1968 animated)
Violent Night (new favorite)
A Christmas Carol (1938)
A Christmas Story
Elves (Nisser, Danish 2021)
Becoming Santa (2011 documentary)
Christmas with the Kranks
Joe Bob’s Ghoultide Get Together – Don’t Open Til Xmas
Happy Winter Solstice! The shortest day of the year has ended, and the longest night is upon us. It’s my favorite night of the year. I’ve started a fire, mulled some apple cider, and am settling in for an evening of knitting. Bob made chili and cornbread for dinner. For dessert I made mince pies!
My WIPs (works in progress) are coming along well.
I am meeting my goal of five rounds per day on Lovecraft’s Bane. I should be finished on Christmas Eve.
I’ve also picked my Peaceful Lodge Sweater back up, for mindless evening knitting. I’ve divided for the armholes and am working on the back right now. I hope to be finished and wearing it on New Year’s Day.
I wish for you good food, great company, and a long cozy night of knitting tonight, or whatever you love to do!
A few years ago I really wanted to knit this scarf:
I still want to knit it! (That’s a tried and true test for spending my knitting time in a quality way.)
I’m late to start an Advent scarf. I have a cone of sport weight Frangipani gansey yarn (worsted spun with great stitch definition) in off white that I think would be perfect, though. Should I cast on? (I think the answer to that question is always YES.) Or I could add it to next year’s December knitting list, which is more rational and realistic, especially since I have a couple of gift knits to finish.
Are you a December Advent knitter? I like it as a way to count down the holidays. I didn’t put anything in my Advent chest this year. I was disappointed when I created my own yarn Advent with leftovers. I thought I was really clever, tricking myself. Oh well. Maybe next year I’ll purchase some new little things and fill in with chocolate.
Here is my updated Holiday Watch List of titles I’ve seen so far:
All is Bright
Hjem til Jul
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)
Have you any new holiday movies or shows you are watching this year?