“Empathy is really the opposite of spiritual meanness. It’s the capacity to understand that every war is both won and lost. And that someone else’s pain is as meaningful as your own.”– Barbara Kingsolver
It’s been raining pretty steadily here for the past few days. I figured now is a good time for a monthly update. Here in Nova Scotia we’ve had some devastating wildfires in parts of the province. Although this is nowhere near me, I live in the woods and thus, it is a concern for us every summer in the dry weather.
My heart goes out to those who have lost their homes and pets. I hope that others in this province will tone down the rhetoric and stop lashing out and pointing fingers at people who are no different than you. As an empath, mass blame and hysteria saddens me. I know there is a better way to process our feelings and fears. These attitudes are exactly why I finally left social media in 2020.
With that said, let me catch you up on what I have been working on this past month:
Although outdoor chores and gardening have been taking up much of my time, I’m still working on updating my product photos and adding short videos to all the listings. With that comes revamping and I’m now done the stitch marker section. I’m editing the final photos and will be listing the final revamped products throughout this month. Here’s the newest since my last blog update:
I have a few sets on hold while I wait for some new supplies to arrive. One thing I have done is varied the amount you get from set to set to hopefully cover all price brackets (smaller sets coming soon!). Check out stitch markers in the knitting bling and crochet bling sections, or the yarn/fiber/stitch bling section on Etsy.
What I’m working On
Frankly, I’m bored with the same old thing. Simple hats, simple socks, working on a blanket…I’m ready to expand my knitting (and crochet!) skills. As I’ve said before, I’m a spinner, not a knitter. I enjoy to knit and crochet, but the only time I have to do it is late at night when I’m winding down, or when I’m out waiting for my kids from one of their activities.
For that reason, I tend to stick with really simple patterns that I don’t need much brain cells for. I consider myself a intermediate knitter in knowledge, but really only and advanced beginner in practice. It’s time to put all this knowledge in my head to good use! I’ve been reviewing Interweave videos that I purchased over the years and also bought a few more during a sale recently. I love to have a visual aid that I can refer to over and over.
A Free-hand Slip Stitch Hat…from 1.5 years ago (!!)
I had the idea to make a hat from this easy slip stitch patterning using two colors. I’m just going for it and tweaking as I go, sans pattern. I used to make all my hats this way. The positive is the freedom of not having to follow the pattern, and I love the challenge of feeling how the hat should ultimately look. The negative is I can’t replicate the hat again if I like it.
So this time, I am trying to take more detailed notes so that I can make another hat just like it again. If I like it, I just might include the pattern here on the blog. Like I said, this is a very easy succession of stitches.
Here’s the thing: I started this hat during December break…2021! And this is the state it has stayed in 1.5 years. I picked it up again the other night and, seeing that it was almost midnight and my eyelids were getting heavy, I screwed it up pretty much right away! It pained me to put it down until the next night. I hate knowing there is a mistake in my knitting and not taking care of it right away. Hats off (pun intended) to all you knitwear designers: I can’t even seem to handle a simple hat…! :/
Shaping the crown will be the most challenging with the colorwork patterning. I may do the top of the hat in the solid dark grey color (which is a handspun superwash merino I hand dyed intentionally with light and dark patches). Hopefully, I will have a update (and finished hat!) for next month’s update.
I’ve been aware of thrummed mittens since getting a pair as a gift many moons ago (long before I ever had any interest in knitting). Only when I started knitting did I learn that they were called “thrummed”, and as a Maritimer, I should have known this style hails from Newfoundland & Labrador.
I never had any interest in making thrummed mittens, because I revere my hand dyed roving for spinning. However, I’m amassing a lot of leftover bits and pieces of top from spinning projects. So recently I thought, time to make some thrummed mittens and use up some of these bits!
This style of mitten is so super warm and I’m having fun making this pair. I’ve actually caught up the second mitt to this one, because like socks I hate having to start making its pair from scratch. Knitting two at a time makes it less daunting. I prefer to use super short DPNs (aka shorties) for my socks and mittens.
Another Great Use for my hand dyed top
It occured to me while making the thrummed mittens that this would be another great reason to by my hand dyed tops. At approx. 4oz per braid, that’s a lot of thrummed mittens for your friends and family. I developed these braids with felters and spinners in mind, but now I could also add knitters to that list.
Lengthening the first sweater I ever made
I made this sweater with some of the first handspun I ever made. The dark brown sections are alpaca that I processed from raw, then spun to merino top I hand dyed. I wanted a way to preserve this yarn, but honestly I was more into finishing this sweater than making it wearable. So, I’ve removed the ribbing and am currently making it longer, as I have some of this yarn left. I’ll report back once it’s completed. I have a feeling this one may sit around for awhile. One round on a sweater, even a bulky one, takes so much longer than a hat! 🙂
Staining 7 Colorful Wooden Chairs
Before all this rain we had a run of sunny days that I took advantage of to get to some neglected outdoor projects completed. The biggest project was re-staining these colorful Adirondack style chairs which are handmade here in Nova Scotia. After 7 years they were really looking worse for wear. Amazing what a fresh coat (or two or three) of stain can do!
I wish I had before and afters but I made the painting area a no-technology zone. It was nice to unplug and just listen to the birds, the bees and soak up a bit of sun. I thrive with a little alone time, just nature and my thoughts, barefoot to do some grounding. With seven chairs in total I aimed for 1 chair a day and it took me about 2 weeks between rest time for my sore back and rain delays.
Macrame Upcycle old Swing Chairs
We’ve owned these swing chairs since we owned our very first house 16 years ago. Recently, the fabric finally let go. The metal is still in good shape and they glide fine, so I spray painted them grey with Rustoleum. The metal was a dark brown color originally. I bought two huge cones of macrame thread online. There are many videos on how to do this on Youtube, and having crochet experience was definitely a plus.
I found cushions online exactly the size of the chair (what luck!) and I think these will be comfy and cozy. One is already completed, I’ll get a pic next month when it’s not so dark and grey out. We haven’t even gotten the chance to try it out yet with all this rain.
Last season I planted parsnip seeds in a bed that gets little sun. The trees have certainly encroached the space over the years. They never came up so I planned on ripping that bed out this spring. Wasn’t I surprised when I noticed a row of green popping out of the bed! I look forward to roasting these with carrots and honey.
Until next time, I wish you much compassion & creativity,