nesting material

 

nesting material

 

Yesterday, I gathered some nesting materials for the birds and hung it up outside. I used an extra suet box to hold the yarn, wool roving, embroidery floss, cat fur, and dried grass.

early november projects

mister winter circles

In two years, I feel like I have become a fairly accomplished crocheter. Complicated projects don’t scare me. I can read my stitches inside-out and upside-down. Learning to knit, for me, is completely different.

For a long time, I was too scared to try, especially intimidated by holding tools in both hands. Plus yarn. The idea still frightens the heck out of me until I actually start moving the yarn around with the tips. I’m not even remotely good at it yet. I can cast on, knit, purl, and awkwardly bind off. If I make even one mistake, I’m totally done and have to frog the whole thing and so I’ve only made swatches thus far. My next goal is to learn to read the knit, pick up a lost stitch, and unravel to a set point.

I am totally a continental knitter, sometimes called left-handed knitting or picking (as opposed to throwing). I think that it’s because I hold the fiber in my left hand when crocheting. If I had switched my yarn-holding hand when attempting to knit, it would have been just one more thing to think about while learning. And, learning I am… now and for quite some time in my future.

I have nearly enough motifs to begin crocheting together Mister Winter, which is Solveig Grimstad’s popular pattern, Flowers in the Snow. I made a mini version of this for my, ahem, cat last year. I really loved the design and decided to make a larger version for my sofa, in colors that remind me of winter in Sweden. I’m pretty firmly set on going with 192 squares. One of my favorite things about this design is that you don’t sew it together. The motifs are crocheted to one another. That said, I’m entirely ready to finish this puppy and get started on something new.

Like, maybe, knitting more than a swatch.

 

little yarn cakes

drop spindle + wool

The other day, I bummed a drop spindle from my friend. I spent most of the day and night spinning, until my thumb and forefinger were raw. It was a great deal of fun. I’m using the method seen in the video Spindle 7 by Susan Forste.

I am not sure if this will become a new hobby or just be a try-it-once sort of thing. I have to admit that I can envision doing this every so often and then crocheting up something super special with the resulting yarn.

recently woven

tote of many colors

In June, I wove the tote of many colors, which I like very much. One day while visiting a friend, she pulled out some kits for making toilet paper holders. While we have no intention of ever putting them in the restroom, they are rather cute and I’m going to find another use for them.

I am itching to weave something new. I have a lot of excess materials and I’ll attempt to whip up something with what I already have on hand.

baskets on path

finished things

spring woods shawl

In late May and early June, I crocheted a bit.

My shawl-turned-scarf turned into a shawl after all. Post blocking, it measures 76” x 10”. I made the Autumn Around cowl for my friend. I also blocked this and both pieces bloomed nicely as they dried.

I have had an urge to make plant hangers. I did a simple 10-knot one (not pictured), but wanted something less simple that wasn’t full-on macrame. I crocheted one, which turned out extremely small, yet also very cute. I crocheted one more (also, not pictured), but haven’t finished off the strings.

autumn around cowl

yarn feeder

spring woods in progress

spring woods scarf

This weekend, I firmly decided to change the status of my shawl in progress to that of a scarf in progress. I had to be realistic about the fact that I don’t wear sleeveless clothing, and that’s what would have been most appropriate with this design as a shawl. So, I’m hustling to finish my Spring Woods scarf before the season ends.

the bike basket diaries

the bike basket diaries

Okay, I have to admit that I’ve been taking a lot of photos with my phone lately, as evidenced by the fact that my bike basket hasn’t been documented with my camera. These are all Instagram shots.

I started weaving the basket last month, and then I became freaked out by the directions. I put it aside for a long time. Weaving fever just sort of took over and I finished it last weekend. I have no clue what I was doing with the rim; I just made something up as I futzed with the smoked reed spokes. Today, I stained it with a tea bath. Overall, I am happy with the basket.

Next, I am weaving a bag as well as working on my shawl. And, of course, spending plenty of time in the garden.

more, lately

 rainbow afghan + sweet dreams pillow

This spring is so different from any that I’ve known for the past 20-plus years.

I haven’t been working in the garden at all, save for one day in March, when it was technically winter but felt like summer. I’m glad that I have a good many perennials, be it herbs or flowers or asparagus and rhubarb, to provide sustenance and beauty during this downtime. My tomato plugs arrive late next week. I have ordered many of the varieties from last year, as well as a few new-to-me heirlooms. Otherwise, I haven’t planted a thing and it sort of haunts me. I shall be sure to toss some seeds in the soil while establishing the tomato plants.

I haven’t completed (or started) too many projects around here. I made a beach tote. I like it better for linens.

The shawl is coming along slowly. I’m at over 60 motifs and I’m thinking that I might need 150 or so. I try not to think about that and just focus on one stitch at a time, as I did with the rainbow granny stripe afghan that I finished last spring. I finally took a somewhat proper photo of it, and I also snapped it with a granny stripe pillow that I fashioned this winter.

I hope to be back on track with gardening and basket weaving and crocheting and cooking and other household projects soon. There won’t be a lot of quantity with regards to activity, so I will be, as always, focusing on the quality.

totally square beach tote

jen's antler baskets

My friend, Jen, made these antler baskets, although they were snapped at my house on a very cloudy day. These are just a smidgen of what she has weaved.

I’m not doing so great on the health front, with even more pain and less energy than usual. It’s been digressing this way for about eight months. I still plug away at my part, taking care of what things that I can, and that always includes balance. So, I do a little less of almost everything, a lot less of some things, and let unnecessary parts go completely.

In the past, life has always come back around and caught me for a bit. Granted, I have never fully gotten back any health that I’ve lost. Still I trust that my body will allow me some freedom and energy in the future, maybe tomorrow, to swing back into capturing what still exists, even grows, and preserving it here.

lately, around here

bike basket form

weaving in various stages

garlic in the 'hood

prepping for seeds

seed-prepping manager, kin

for rent

lately, around here