Quarantine Life

How are you all doing today? We are getting through alright here. We are excited to report that we found actual toilet paper for sale in Kroger on Thursday! We were allowed to purchase two packages. My faith in civilization was restored just a little bit. LOL!

Making bread today

So, lots going on here at home to share with you this week. First of all we were notified that Jerry’s truck damage from the tornado was deemed a total loss. We thought it was going to be repaired all this time but the repair shop discovered after they began working on it that nearly everything was worse than they could determine at first. Mostly it was due to glass, probably not the glass from his truck but flying in the atmosphere. There was a huge debris ball and I suspect that was the culprit. Fortunately his truck was worth more than the payoff so we were able to get a replacement. He decided to go with something a bit different. He likes it a lot. It has a pretty awesome sound system!

2019 Nissan Frontier Pro-4x

I have made some progress on my Honeydew Lace Square fingering weight edition. I have five more rounds of the inner border and then it’s on to the edging.

We are trying to make the best use of our time during this quarantine/safer-at-home time. Jerry has been out in the shop a lot in the last week. He did a lot of tidying, re-arranging and de-cluttering. After that he got back to work on a big batch of Yarn Boxes that were all ready for sanding. We have some available on the website now if you were planning to pick up one at a festival this spring.

sanding, sanding, and more sanding

I have not been idle either. I have been cooking and baking more lately as is evidenced by the bread baking above. I have also been out at the dye pots a couple of times this week. New Era Fiber Mill has been keeping my busy (gainful employment which is appreciated more than ever about now). Here’s a batch I did the other day using my new work space, which I love, BTW. Did I mention my husband is amazing? Because he is. <3

Okay, stay well, and safe everyone! Make good use of your time and search for the silver lining! There is always something to be thankful for.

World Upside Down

It’s been quite a crazy couple of weeks since my last post. Where to begin?

On March 3 in the middle of the night, Nashville was hit by tornadoes, as most of you may already know. Our home and family are fine. The biggest effect on our family was that my husband’s workplace, Sysco Food Distribution warehouse was basically ground zero for the touchdown of the tornado that took out John C. Tune Airport and then proceeded to hit Germantown and East Nashville and beyond. Jerry’s truck was hit pretty bad. It’s in the shop and insurance is paying for the repairs fortunately. He is unable to work at his normal job though because the warehouse needs extensive repairs to be back online. We are receiving some lay off pay at the moment but the future is uncertain.

So, in the wake of this I left home on March 11 for Raleigh, NC for the Carolina Fiber Festival, and from there I had two more festivals. By the time I was setting up the booth the following day, both Stitches United and Pittsburgh Creative Arts Festival had regrettably announced their cancellations. I was 95% done setting up the booth, when the organizers of CFF had to deliver the devastating news to us all that the show was cancelled. We had to break back down and leave. Since returning home on the 13th I have been notified that Greencastle is also gone. I know this is all old news to a certain extent, but I am still reeling from it all.

I am trying very hard to be optimistic, because it’s my nature. I know we are all in this thing together and it is tough. It may get tougher before it gets better. I am thankful that I know my hope, security, and peace don’t lie in the circumstances of this world although they are admittedly important and impossible to ignore. My peace must remain in my God. No matter how bad it looks and even when we can’t see the purpose in our sufferings, He sees all the ends which we cannot and in the end His will is good. I am not being an escapist here. I am preaching this to myself most of all. Hopefully it will help someone else to be reminded as well. I am praying for my family, my country and the world. Oh, and taking all prudence to keep ourselves and others as safe from illness as possible.

So, we are unexpectedly, along with all of you, finding some time for doing stuff around the house. We have been spending this past week overhauling my “dye studio/work area” . Here are a few progress pictures:

Tearing out the old concrete pad where I set up my propane tanks and dye pots
Tamping down the paver base
Building the retaining walls.
Laying the pavers
Digging the holes for the concrete and roof posts
Posts in and leveled!
Roofing platform built
Roof on and landscaping done
Ready for work!

I am picking up some fiber from the mill today, so I will be testing this out soon. It’s at least something to be excited about. We can all use those little boosts now a days more than ever. Stay safe everyone!

Still Plugging Along

Wow, it’s March? How did that happen? Not that I am complaining mind you? The days are getting longer and it’s almost spring. Anyone who knows me, knows I am not a friend of winter. It has been a gray and wet winter here in Nashville, but at least no frozen stuff to speak of, so that’s good.

I have progressed to the inner border on my fingering weight re-knit of my Honeydew Lace Square pattern. I am halfway through that and making edits to the charts to update that pattern when I am finished. I just added the third skein so I may be able to complete the whole thing with only four skeins. That is what I hope for anyway.

The festival season will be starting back up for me in just 10 more days. I have three shows lined up for the second half of March. I will be at the Carolina Fiber Fest on March 13-14; from there I will be in Pittsburgh for the Pittsburgh Creative Arts Festival on March 20-22; and then it’s on to Hartford, CT for Stitches United on March 26-29. It’s a two drive home from there. I am working through my preparation list and have completed most of the tasks. I am mostly just focusing on that and trying not to think too much about being away from my loved ones for almost three weeks. :-( I enjoy what I do but that is the hard part.

Making Progress

Here’s a little something I cast on after New Years while I was deciding which color I wanted to use for the shawl you will see below. This will be another pair of long cuffed fingerless mitts in fingering weight this time instead of sport weight. I haven’t touched them much since then though because I cast on for the shawl a few days later.

I am making decent progress on my re-design of my pattern Honeydew Lace Square.

You may recall that I originally designed this from my Classic Merino Lace but since that was discontinued, I am re-knitting and editing the pattern to work with fingering weight yarn. I chose to use my Classic Merino Superwash Sock for the sample but the Classic Merino Bamboo would work as well. The difference would only be in the hand of the fabric since the gauge would be the same. I am using the Lavender and the above picture that I took several days ago when the sun was out shows off the color better. This was after one repeat of the chart.

This is after two repeats, that I took today. It’s an indoor picture because the weather is really gray and cold today so the color is a little dark. So far I have adjusted the cast on number to account for the larger gauge. The needle cable at the top is the one I am knitting with and the one at the bottom is from the provisional cast on. I used Judy’s Magic Cast On so I just leave it on the needle until ready to use those stitches when the center square is complete.

I am weighing the ball after every repeat to help predict the amount I will need and it looks like it will take 1 3/4 skeins to complete the center square. It’s harder to predict the amount for the borders yet since I haven’t swatched that part. I hope it won’t take more than 5 skeins for the whole shawl.

Ode to the Butterfly

I completed Ode to the Buttefly on New Years Day but it took awhile to get it blocked and then to have a good enough day weather-wise for photography.

Here is a bad lighting shot that at least shows the difference in before and after blocking.

I had a bit of struggle figuring out the best shape to block it. I started as I usually do by pinning the top edge straight across but it became apparent very quickly that was not going to work. The scallops on the edge where the stitch pattern changes weren’t stretching out properly. I figured out that I needed to bow the top edge down on each side some to get it to smooth out.

I also wonder if I had gone with the size 6 or 7 needle size (recommended in the pattern) instead of my go to 5 needles for fingering weight lace work, it might have helped with the blocking without needing to bow the top. I just hesitated to go that big with this yarn.

I have got two things on the needles at the moment but since I didn’t get a picture of either yet before it got dark today, I will save that for my next post.

Last Post of 2019

Here is the progress on my current project. In case you forgot, since it’s been a few weeks, I am knitting a new sample of Ode to the Butterfly shawl in my Classic Merino Bamboo yarn. I am only six rows from finishing this so my next post should be of the completed shawl.

It’s hard to tell what this will look like while it’s on the needles but it is a beautiful design and I can’t wait to see it blocked out in this yarn. That keeps me motivated to get this done. Also I need to get the re-knit of my Honeydew Lace Square on the needles. I don’t know how long it will take to knit and I am probably going to have to edit the pattern with new numbers for the fingering weight version so it won’t be too humongous. My ambitious goal is to have it done for the spring festivals.

Hope your holiday celebrations were wonderful and that many blessings come your way in the new year.

December Update

Wow, where to start? I knew it had been a bit long since my last post, but I didn’t realize until I looked it up today that it has been over a month. Here we are at the end of 2019 almost. Why are we always surprised by this? Anyway, we got the tree up yesterday, and Mimi is having fun driving me crazy bonking the ornaments and climbing on the presents.

So I’ll catch you up on my knitting since last month. First, I finished the Usonian II in my Classic Merino Superwash Sock yarn. This is the second one I have made and it’s just a really fun shawl to make. People are drawn to it too. It’s gets lots of attention in the booth.

So the next thing I did was to swatch for a reknit and possible rewrite/edit of my Honeydew Lace Square design from last year. The yarn that I used for this was my lace weight base which I had to discontinue this year due to the mill not producing it any longer. I decided the thing to do would be to try it with one of fingering weight yarns. Here are the swatches in my Classic Merino Superwash Sock from the above shawl.

Top sample is the Merino Superwash Sock yarn and the bottom is the original Merino Lace
Both samples in Merino Superwash Sock with different needle sizes

In the bottom picture I tested first my default lace needle size in fingering weight yarn, which is a US 5 (the blue yarn). I then tried a US 4 to see if I liked the definition and fabric better. It was a bit preferred, but I was surprised that the size/gauge of the overall swatch was almost identical. I will probably go with the US 4’s but haven’t decided what color I want to use.

So in the meantime I have another design that I used as a sample in my lace weight. It is a pattern one of my daughters wrote about 10 years ago called Ode to the Butterfly. I am re-knitting it in my Classic Merino Bamboo, which is a fingering weight. I am using my US 5 needles on this even though the pattern calls for a US 7. I have a Ravelry project page here.

Okay, so that’s enough catching up for now. Hope you are enjoying getting ready for the holidays!