Last week was the LYS Tour in the Puget Sound. I didn’t make it to as many shops as I had hoped, but I stopped at some of my favorites. I tried to show restraint, but some yarn and fiber was just too lovely to resist.
Tolt Yarn and Wool
Fiber from Homestead Hobbyist (Mad Cow Yarn)
From Weaving Works for a small weaving project.
I also managed to start a few new things and get some yarn finished over the weekend.
Dyed yellow and gray braid for my Etsy shop.
Doing a little knitting in the sunshine and my new mug from Spincycle Yarns.
New handspun shawl on the needles. The pattern is the Quaker Yarn Stretcher by Susan Ashcroft.
3-ply natural gray Finn yarn. 150 yards, 2.9oz. This was super lovely spin, and it made a really smooth, dense yarn. Also available in my Etsy shop.
Spring has, seemingly, finally arrived in the Pacific Northwest. The winter was very wet and very long this year, and making really helped carry me through. I am, happily, continuing my making trend as spring rolls in.
Spinning – It is hard to explain how much I’ve been enjoying my spinning over the past few weeks. It is giving me such a sense of relaxation, and I’m just loving these yarns that I am creating.
This yellow roving is seriously like knitting up the sunshine ☀️
I picked up 2+ pounds of alpaca roving from a local farmer who is retiring. It was a bargain, but now I’m wondering what on earth to do with all of this alpaca!
I finished my Hitchhiker Beyond scarf/shawl out of handspun. This process was so incredibly satisfying, and I’m so happy with the result.
A little more handspun…
A 3-ply Corriedale cross that I spun and dyed in logwood. (Etsy listing here)
Dyeing – I’ve been dyeing up a storm. Mostly, I’ve been listing on Etsy, but I’m also keeping some for myself.
Roving dyed with logwood
Madder dyed yarn
Acid dyed roving
Knitting – Nothing big on the needles, but lots of little things. I’ve been in production-mode; I’ve been knitting for a local mill owner to sell finished items at the farmers market.
And just for fun, some snapshots of the garden/homestead
Find me on Instagram and Facebook @yarnbob
My brain is going in a lot of different directions this week. I’m feeling a rush of excitement to finish things and start new ones.
My Hitchhiker Beyond Shawl/scarf is growing! I’m a little worried that I’ll be playing yarn chicken, but what’s life without a little risk? I’m knitting this out of handspun, and I couldn’t be more excited about how it is knitting up. The colors scare and excite me all at the same time!
As a fun, quick project, I’m making some hats that’ll be going with a local mill-owner to our local farmers market. (No pictures yet…)
I’m also planning a lot more natural during in the coming days/weeks. I’ve added a few books to my library, and I’m so excited to dig into them. Next on the dyeing schedule is nettle-dyed roving and yarn.
Keep an eye on my Etsy shop for updates (in the past week, I’ve added in a skein of madder-dyed yarn and some recycled yarn).
I’ve also re-started a Facebook page for my sites, so you can find me there if you’re interested, as well!
Yarn BOB Facebook
This week has given me such an appreciation for my amazing husband! He was out of town on business, and as always, when he is gone, I’m reminded of what an excellent partner I have. My knitting time has been more sporadic, but I squeezed some in on my commute and in the evening after Little One went to bed.
I have finally picked up my Rosemont Cardigan to finish the button band. I have a major mental-block when it comes to button bands sometimes, but I’m ready for this sweater to be off the needles. My sweater mojo is returning, so hopefully I’ll get another one on the needles when I get this one finished.
I’ve also been working on my Hitchhiker Beyond from some handspun. These colors and the style of this piece are not part of my usual palate, but I’m enjoying it.
I hope everyone else is enjoying their knitting this week, too!
Spring was in the air in the PNW this weekend, so I decided a little natural dyeing was in order. I have some extracts on order and plants growing in the garden, so I’m anticipating doing a lot more dyeing in the coming months.
I love the yellow that onion skins give, so I dyed up a few skeins using onion skins that I had been saving.
I also experimented with using avocado pits to dye a skein. It is a more subtle color, but I love that this is what results from them.
Both of the onion skin dyed skeins are listed in my Etsy shop, and the avocado pit dyed skein will be available after it has had a wash and is dried.
If you’re interested in trying natural dyes on your own, CreativeBug has a few classes available on their site.
I am continuing to experience a great deal of making-mojo.
I finished 388 yards of handspun from a braid that I bought from Three Waters Farm. The colors are outside of my usual comfort zone, but I really love it.
I have been more motivated to explore bread-making recently. There’s something so satisfying about being able to make bread. I used the recipe for challah from the latest issue of Taproot Magazine, and I am so happy with how it came out. I’m looking for more recipes to try, so any suggestions are totally appreciated.
Little One was on spring break last week, so I took a few hours while she was relaxing to sit back down at my sewing machine. The pattern for this is the Lil’ Knot Bag. The top stitching around the handles was a little tricky, but I’m pretty happy with the result. It was nice to sit back down at my machine, and this project was a good one for working on some skills. It was much more manageable than some of my other endeavors at the sewing machine have been. After a little more practice, these might appear in my Etsy shop. I’m still developing the direction I’d like to take my shop in, but I have some ideas in the works.
I’m working on some mitts from handspun. Working with handspun has been hugely satisfying for me lately, as well.
I also found these super cute little charms at the craft store the other week, so I made some stitch markers. I bought some extra, and they’re available on my Etsy shop. I’m getting ready to do some yarn and fiber dyeing, so keep an eye out for updates!
I’ve finished quite a lot over the past few weeks. This, seemingly, never-ending winter has done wonders for my knitting mojo. It is feeling more like spring this week, but I’ve got lots in the works still, too.
Wildberry Shawl – I couldn’t be happier with this baby. I love the yarn and the pattern. I might have to knit another.
Gumshoe Cowl – This is a pattern by the ladies of Spincycle Yarns, and it was pretty well-suited to handspun. This is some yarn that I spun using a mixed BFL dyed by Port Fiber and some natural dark brown from Abundant Earth Fiber. This was my first two-color brioche project, so I’m pretty pleased with it.
Tread Hat – This is from the Within Collection by Jane Richmond and Shannon Cook. The yarn is Woolfolk Far. The yarn is unique and super soft. I was playing a little bit of yarn chicken with this one (it was a 50 gram skein), so next time I think I’ll get an additional skein to make it a little slouchier.
Quill Hat – I was so excited to knit this hat! I had the yarn, but had to spend a bit of time waiting for my issue of Taproot to arrive. It was worth the wait; I love it. The yarn is a 60/40 Rambouillet/dehaired llama blend milled at Abundant Earth Fiber. I will definitely be knitting this hat again.
I’m really inspired by the number of knitwear designers and yarn dyers who have developed products to raise money for causes that they believe in. Here are some patterns and yarns that might be interesting for some of you who are looking to funnel some of their craft dollars to good causes (while also feeding your stash). Feel free to link to more that you’ve found in the comments.
Knitted Witt Love is Love Colorway 10% of sales go to organizations that support the LGBTQ community.
Infinite Twist Love Still Wins Kit $5 from each sale goes to the Lambda Legal organization, which seeks to achieve “full recognition of the civil rights of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender people, and everyone living with HIV through impact litigation, education, and public policy.”
The Sight Is Life collection is a pattern collection that funds eye surgeries in the Congo. It features a bunch of wonderful designers and patterns.
The Peace de Resistance Mittens by Bristol Ivy. Bristol Ivy is donating proceeds from the pattern sale to a rotating list of charities. There are also several yarn companies providing kits for the pattern, and they are also donating to local and national charities.
Tin Can Knits most recent collection Heart on My Sleeve is a collection of sweater patterns by different designers, and part of the proceeds are going to the Against Malaria Foundation.
There are countless others who are, similarly, putting portions of their proceeds toward causes that matter to them.
I’ve often asked myself how something so quintessentially feminine aligns with my identity as a feminist. When you think about sewing and knitting, it often conjures images of women relegated to housework. Now, for better or worse, we are not responsible for making our own clothes, and women are not as directly responsible for clothing their families (I won’t get into fast-fashion in this post, which is a completely different can of worms). Making clothing is a choice for most of us in the United States, and choice is the essence of feminism. Feminism isn’t about rejecting things that are “feminine,” so I’m letting go of the notion that knitting and feminism don’t align. Creating things for yourself, family, and others can be extremely powerful, and it is a very feminist act.
Here are some ways I have found making your own clothes can be tremendously powerful from both economic and personal perspectives:
- It gives us a choice of where we funnel our money. Many of our LYS and small fabric stores are female-run and owned. There are also all of the pattern designers, indie-dyers and yarn producers that we can support through our purchases.
- It frees us from conforming to fashion trends and norms. We get to pick colors and fabrics that we like and are not limited to what is made available in the stores, which is often dictated by people who are not representative of the wider population
- We also get to customize our clothes to fit our unique bodies. It allows us to free ourselves from concerning ourselves with numbers and sizes. It frees us more from attempting to conform to sizing standards that are out of touch for many of us.
- By making clothes, we are decreasing our dependence on countries and factories where women are exploited for their work. The fast-fashion industry is, in many ways, very anti-woman, and it profits tremendously from our dollars.
- Making, for many of us, is an act of self-care. It gives us identity and balance outside of our roles in our households and jobs, which is tremendously important.
- It does allow us to connect with the women who came before us, and it gives us something to leave behind. One key example of this is the Pussyhat; it will be a long lasting symbol for the women’s movement, and it will provide inspiration for generations of women beyond ours.
I hope everyone is spending this day thinking of the women who came before us, the women who we know now, and the women who will come.