Quick Sweater Update

It’s a bit hectic this week so I’ll be brief. I have still been neglecting the blanket hexagons and giving all my attention to Curio. I swear I will just get in one full repeat of the lace pattern for the body and then knit a set of hexagons.

It’s coming along nicely. I am much more at home with lace than garter I think. ;-)

Carrying On

I have gotten very little knitting done in the past month since my last post. I am up to the foot section on my second sock and I have completed a couple more hexagons.

The main reason for my lack of knitting and blog silence is that I have been struggling with a death in the family. My Daddy passed away on 9-18-2020 after a surgical procedure. It mostly unexpected but his health had been on the decline since a heart attack in June 2017 and diagnosis of mild diabetes.

I felt like maybe God had been preparing me for this but it was still a terrible blow. I just haven’t been able to write about it but it didn’t feel right to blog without mentioning either. So, I am finally feeling like I can talk about it.

It’s funny because we weren’t what most people would consider “close”but he was a very big influence on who I am. I always thought my Daddy was the smartest person in the world and that he knew everything. He showed me how to think and do things for myself, even when I didn’t want to learn those lessons. He always encouraged my love of books and music by his own example. He showed by example that caring for people when they need help is a priority. He supported my choices in the way we raised our family (having 10 children, home schooling, home births, etc…) and never made me feel like it was as nuts as everyone else thought. He believed in me. I miss him very much.

Daddy and me — Norfolk, 1966
My brother and I on a hike with Daddy to the summit of Mount Washington, NH, 1975
Mama and Daddy – Jan. 19, 1965
Daddy – Navy circa 1965

I guess the one comfort in all this was that I got to have all 10 of my children here plus my brother who I hadn’t seen for many years. Having family around to deal with all the cleaning out of the apartment, and dealing with all the financial and legalities. We also have to handle what happens with my mom. She has advanced dementia and we have to find her a place where she can get full time care. So we are working on that situation as best we can with me here in Nashville, Mama in Murfreesboro and my brother now back home in Las Vegas.

Taking Daddy’s ashes to be in nature where he loved to be
The whole gang minus 2 sons-in-law and 5 grandchildren, in our back yard

Recycling Yarn

Sometimes the hardest past about writing a blog post is coming up with a title. As you can see I failed at an interesting one today, there ya go. :-) Anyway, here’s an update on my sock progress; just the foot section left.

Here is the all the yarn from the afghan I ripped out on Thursday night. Surprising with a bit of help from my husband and my youngest it only took about 2-3 hours to get it into the balls above.

Then my little assistant and I got them all wound into skeins for washing on Friday morning.

I can tell you that I fully appreciated my tools (ball winders, yarn swift, and yarn box) for this task. I can’t imagine how much more time consuming and tedious it would have been without them. I wouldn’t have even thought I would need the yarn box, but the yarn being kinky made it annoying to pull from the center. It would stick and miss behave. So unwinding from the outside was better, but then it was jumping all over the place, winding around chair and table legs and so forth. The yarn box kept it nicely contained and made shorter work of the process. Who knew?

It was hot and sunny, so they were dry in no time. Then it was back to the yarn swift and ball winder.

Now don’t those look lovely? All recycled and ready for a new life. That little hexagon is what I am planning to do with all of this. You can knit one or many two up in an evening. I found it on Webs Yarn. I am only using the hexagon shape from the pattern and will be knitting my own color combinations and assembly when I get to that point. It’s a pleasant break from sample knitting at any rate.

Presenting…

Honeydew Lace Square all blocked and posing for the glamour shots.

This color is very hard to photograph because it really is a bit of a chameleon which changes due to light source. It is the Classic Merino Superwash Sock in Lavender. As I mentioned last time I used 4 skeins with 5g leftover using US4 needles.

Here is the original lace weight version along with the new version for fingering weight. I spent all of Saturday afternoon and into the evening editing and updating the pattern to include the new fingering weight instructions. I also made some corrections to the border charts and stitch counts for that section. The updated pattern is listed on the website and on Ravelry. If you already own the digital pattern, you will have gotten an update pushed to you. If you bought a print version at a festival and would like the update via email, please let me know and I am happy to send along the PDF. Contact me at knittingnotions@gmail.com.

Yarn Chicken

Well…is that ball of yarn going to last? That’s what I am about to find out. I weighed the yarn I have remaining. It weighs 11g. It’s gonna be close. I’m going to knit one repeat of the edge pattern and weigh it again to see how much yarn it eats up. I’m six repeats from the end. Each repeat is twelve rows long. Now, of course, I doooo have more of this yarn in stock but I will hate it if I have to use a new skein this close to the finish line. Wish me luck!

Before I go I want to show you a little sneak peek at a new product we are working on. I am pretty excited about them. 😁

Shawl/Hair Sticks

This Week’s Progress

I am getting sooooo close to the finish on this project. I am about halfway through with the final side. I got a fair bit of this knitting done last weekend when Jerry and I took a short overnight trip to visit my mother-in-law. It’s the most knitting time I have had in awhile, which explains the slow progress I guess.

On our trip home after an overnight in Evansville, we took a slight detour and spent about half a day checking out the Land Between the Lakes park. Jerry has wanted to try some off road trail driving in his truck and we discovered that they have some there. We tried that out and while it was a fun adventure we weren’t too impressed with their trail markings and didn’t want to get lost in there, so we didn’t go very far in. LOL! It was a fun experiment though. I got only one picture of the Bison. There are also Elk but we didn’t go on the drive where you can see them. I think it was still closed anyway.

Since we are on the subject of nature; here’s our yucca plant in full bloom this week. :-)

On the business side; I got all the Nostepinnes and Darning Eggs added to the website last week, and since I told you I would update you on that, consider yourself updated. :-)

We are working on a few ideas for new products at the moment that we are getting very excited about. More on that when I have something to show you. :-)

This Week’s Progress

I am finally nearing the finish line on my fingering weight re-knit and re-write of my Honeydew Lace Square pattern. It has been a long haul but it has been quicker than the first time when I was knitting the original in lace weight yarn. I have reached the third corner of the border which means I have knit 3/4 of the edging! I hope the yarn holds out and I don’t need to start a fifth skein when I am this close to the end.

I received and dyed a big order of alpaca from New Era Fiber last week. I needed to get my yarn labeled that I dyed last week (those six new colors I told you about; more on this next time) before I started work on the mill order. I got the fiber dyed the first half of this week. This was 45 lbs. of a huge lot. There will be eight colors in all and this was the first three.

So after that was out of the way I had a couple days free to get the Nostepinnes and Darning Eggs finished. This is not all of them. There are a lot more eggs that Jerry was still sanding while I did this. I do now have them all done.

I spent the afternoon with my photo equipment and new products so I can get all this stuff loaded on the website. I photographed all the new yarn plus the Nostepinnes and Darning Eggs. I have the yarn listed but the color pictures are not up yet. I need to do some editing. The tools will be listed as soon as I can.

It’s looking like my sub-contract work and our website sales may have to get us through this year so I am trying to make sure there is plenty on there. :-) I am sad so many festivals are still canceling. Sigh. I am trying to not let it discourage me too much. Things have to start improving at some point right? As my precious great grandmother Mamie was fond of saying “all things come to an end…both the good and the bad”. Well, it’s high time for the bad to move along, right? :-)

Wood Bowls Now Instock

Small sampling of the available wood bowls on the website

I spent a couple days last week getting the wood bowls added to the website. We have a lot of different sizes at the moment. They range from larger ones at the $55 price point which are big enough for holding a full ball of yarn down to some mini bowls ($20) which are perfect for holding small items like beads, stitch markers, coins, etc.

We will soon be bringing back some other wood tools we have not had in stock for quite a few years. Jerry had some big logs of walnut and cherry that he hadn’t had time to process. Well we have time now, so he started working on that this week after we returned from a little trip to the Smokies for Mother’s Day weekend. I’ll tell you more about that next post. :-)

After trimming up to turn-able size pieces

He is making some Nostepinnes at the moment and some of this will also be Darning Eggs.

So while this is keeping Jerry busy, I am planning some new yarn colors for 2020. I have decided to add six new colors to my palette. Here is a sneak preview.

I have made some more progress on the Honeydew Lace Square in Superwash Sock Yarn.

I have added the 4th skein and hope it will be enough to finish. I am almost to the halfway point on the edging.

See the stitch markers in the top right corner? That is the half way point. When did I start this thing anyway? Oh, wow. Ravelry says Jan. 06, 2020. Sigh. Perseverance is a virtue right? :-)

Okay more on our mini vacation next time. :-)

Yarn Boxes and Other Updates

We are keeping production going in the hopes that we can get back out there soon vending at festivals. So far we have lost 7 festivals from the first half of the year. Two more that are in late May and mid June in Ohio are holding off until next month to decide on whether they may hold the events. I am trying to remain hopeful that they will be able to happen. We do have our online sales, but that is such a small percentage of our income in comparison to festivals that it is not making up our losses. Maybe the second half of the year will rebound us all?

Finishing Yarn Boxes

Anyway, so we have finished up a large batch of Yarn Boxes, as you can see above. The finish is curing for a few days before we apply the final wax and labels. We have plenty on the website ready to ship if you had been planning to pick one up at a festival that cancelled this spring. :-)

At least spring didn’t forget to arrive in Tennessee. It’s one consolation to be able to walk around our property and see evidence that life does go on even in the midst of many upheavals. I have always appreciated the wild flowers on our lawns. I don’t mind a bit that it’s not all just grass. I think it’s much more interesting. Here’s one of my favorites that are usually blooming by mid March or early April in these parts. I love violets because I am a big fan of purple.

I wish you could smell these Mountain Laurels that we planted when we bought this house 22 years ago.

In other news, I have progressed on my Honeydew Lace Square in fingering weight yarn. I have begun the knitted on edging now. I am only on the first side, so quite a ways to go.

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.