I took (US) Mother’s Day weekend off. Did you miss me?
A good friend of mine recently sent me the link to this shirt:
It’s good to have friends who know you, oh so well. So I’ll give you three guesses what I did with some of that extra time.
First of all, I continued on with the Flying North socks I mentioned in Towards a Handmade Life I have turned the heel and I am almost done with them. By this time next week, they will be cast off (I promise!) and safely stored away for cooler seasons. Because I routinely use the Fleegle heel for my socks now, I am far more comfortable with that part of sock construction, but this is still the part of the pattern where I pause for a moment and make sure I have the proper focus so I don’t have any problems at this crucial stage. These lovely autumnal colors make me look forward to my favorite season even more than I already do.
This week I also broke out my crochet hooks for the first time in a long while. In fact, I had to go on a bit of a search to find my bag of hooks. My eldest daughter had requested that I make a pair of Ballet Slippers for her. Knitting is my game, but I do know how to crochet. I don’t feel as skilled at it, but I can pull it off. I think this first pair turned out reasonably well, although I feel the second one was closer to the pattern than the first. I did give them to her and they fit well, but I think, since I have enough yarn, I may make up a second pair for her just to satisfy myself.
No, her feet aren’t two different sizes, but now you see why I want to go for version 2.0 on this pattern.
This kind of started the crochet yarn ball rolling. This may shock you, but I have never made a granny square blanket. (Can I truly call myself a fiber artist?!) However, like most fiber addicts I do have a good sized stash of yarn perfect for this. So, after reviewing instructions on the granny square I got started. Once I got the hang of it, I could create a square in a matter of minutes. This has the perfect project to work on when I am tired and didn’t have the mental capacity to focus too closely. This is also a great project, since it will be ongoing, to work on once I have finished a pair of socks or some other project while I contemplate what I will cast on next. Not to mention a great stash busting project. So I can clear out more space. And what will I do with more space? Why get more yarn, of course.
Here’s what I have so far:
It will be a while before I drape a completed blanket over my bed, but I think it will be ready by the time an extra blanket on the bed is needed. I keep a couple of squares at my two most used knitting stations, by the tv and in the studio, so I can make sure the square sizes are lining up as I go.
Speaking of making room for more yarn, I may have splurged a bit this week. I visited a friend who is clearing out her stock of yarns from her recently closed shop. I have been wanting to make some socks using fiber more suitable for warmer weather, so I came away with this:
I have never knit with Tofutsies before, so I have no opinion yet other than I like the colors. They are a blend of 50% superwash wool, 25% soysilk and 25% cotton.
Opal is a yarn that is produced in Germany and is a 75% virgin wool and 25% nylon blend. Because of this blend, it will be another pair for the cooler months but I loved the colorway, so…
I think this is my favorite of this shopping spree. I am going to use the green for the toes and heels of this pair of socks. The minute I cast off the socks I’m working on right now I’m going to get started on this pair. The fiber is 55% cotton, 16% Bamboo, 21% Elastic nylon and 8% silk. I really cannot wait to get started on these.
The final part of this particular splurge (at the fabric store):
Cool constellation fabric most likely for some future project bag. I haven’t sewn anything in a while so I need to dust off the machine and get cracking.
In my homesteading life, things are moving along. My husband had to add a small door that I can raise and lower for the young chickens, no longer fluff balls but tweens. Like their human counterparts at this age, they are not always so good with fences or boundaries. so a higher gate was necessary. Although they are still not full grown they are feathered out. The two black chicks have a patterning of brown feathers that look really pretty. Since this post is a bit picture heavy I will save photos of these young ladies for a later post. Next order of business for these girls will be to set up an outdoor pen adjacent to the older ladies to give them some outside, foraging time as they acclimate to life outside the coop.
The seeds in both my vegetable and herb garden have taken root and showing themselves. There is a line of Calendula seedlings coming up in my herb garden, sent by my lovely friend, Keri that brings me particular joy. I understand the science of how a tiny seed grows into a full grown plant or tree or shrub, but it never fails to amaze me when I see the plants emerge. It is like magick every single time.
Of course, the seeds I’ve planted are not the only plants emerging so my husband and I have been working away at weeding and placing newspaper and mulch in the garden to keep the weeds at bay and the desired plants growing happily. I need to add some more marigold to the vegetable garden as I’m seeing some nibbles on some of my plants already.
The same friend who sold me that lovely yarn also happened to be thinning her black-eyed Susans and gave me several plants to add to my yard. They are very attractive to butterflies and beautiful in their own right. Since my daughter is trying to build a butterfly garden at her house I shared some of the plants with her as well. The day I got them was extremely hot so they were a bit droopy for a while after transplanting, but after some rain and cloud shade, they seem to be doing very well now. I should start seeing blooms around mid-summer.
She also gave me some catnip that was growing quite prolifically in her yard. I found a more remote area of my yard to place it in, knowing that it can really take over, but I really want this herb in my garden. I have used this herb for years included in teas when my family and I were fighting colds (I’m not a medical professional of any kind, I make no recommendations, this is simply what we do ourselves). Traditionally, catnip tea has been considered to have a very calming effect for a cough. For years I have blended an herbal tea using catnip, peppermint, and rosehips, this sweetened with some organic and/or local honey is very soothing when I have a cold. Besides the plants that I put out in the garden, I took several stalks and have hung them to dry for my herbal remedy shelf.
To the Magick,