Tag Archives: home

WIP – moonflower rug

During the gift-along I absolutely fell in love with the moonflower mosaic by Valérie Miller:

knitted table cover with candles

I just want to move into that photo and sit down with a cup of tea. But I do not live the kind of live that includes knitted table covers (unless I really WANT to encourage my cats to sleep on the table.)

Instead I hatched a plan. My plan involves my very large stash of spinning fiber:

several trashbags full of unspun fiber

And some very large needles. I’m knitting this pattern out of roving, and felting down each tile as I finish it to make a bedside rug!

one felted mosaic tile plus slippers

The first tile shows that the different types of fiber are felting at different rates. I could probably have predicted that. It’s the equivalent of knitting with different types of yarn and expecting the same result.

two felted mosaic tiles

However I’ve been able to pair up some of the smaller petals with the larger ones upon seaming to balance everything out. This is about when I realized that the original pattern uses SIX petals per tile. And for reasons of gauge My mosaic tiles are working best with only 5 petals. So far that seems to be going ok, right?

two felted tiles and one unfelted, much larger

I’m showing here, with the third tile, how much these things shrink down with felting! They’re somewhere between 50-60% of the pre-felted size. They’re super thick and cozy too, which makes sewing them together tricky but the resulting rug is going to be very cushy and soft! (it will make an excellent cat bed.)

three felted tiles

Here are the three tiles sewn together. See that gap between the blue and red petals in the center where all three tiles meet? I’m pretty sure this is because I’m knitting 5 petal flowers instead of 6. Oops. I’m going to have to come up with a plan for filling in that gap. Right now I’m considering knitting a diamond and sewing it in. Or just needle felting a filler.

Oh right, because this project is letting me mix my crafts further! Along with using spinning fiber, knitting, and wet felting the fabric. I’m also needle felting extra fiber onto the joins to reinforce the sewing:
underside of rug showing needle-felted joins

I’ve only drawn blood with those needle felting needles once so far! I think that’s a pretty good track record…

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Tillies!

My collection of unusual house plants has grown again! Let me introduce my new air plants.

Air plants are epiphytes. Like orchids they don’t require soil, just water and sunlight.

I started out with just one little red guy who hung out with my succulents. Since moving to the kitchen counter he’s grown a tiny (but observable!) amount. These plants grow very slowly, so that growth qualifies as exciting.

Now that he has some friends I’ve set up a new display. Each air plant (tillandsia) got one spirally cradle. And then I added spirally hooks to a tree branch.

The tree branch was free, and the wires all came from paperclips.

Which made this a very low budget project. Thankfully.

I’m really pleased with the spirally bits. I can’t get decent photos of the whole setup though, because my phone camera can’t focus that precisely.

That little lady has a bloom coming soon!! I’m very excited.

Succulent love

My collection of succulents just keeps growing. I love them so much.

The newest teacup resident is named Rosetta. The first one I got, Willow, is starting to grow some offshoots, which is super exciting for me. I’ve never had a succulent happy enough to propagate that way before. The next one back (Gwen) had her offshoot when I bought her.

I call these little babies the Pleiades, even though there aren’t 7 of them. But there could be, I mean, there’s more space in that bowl! And another very happy succulent lives here:

But again, he was beginning to bloom before I brought him home.

Then there’s my home-grown succulent kinder-garden (thanks to Karin for that name!)

I got 5 out of 5 leaves to root! I’ve added another 6 to the plate recently. We’ll see how my success rate holds up.

This sweet one is too big for a teacup. So for now he’s still in a plastic pot, and nameless. (and apparently you can see my dirty sink in that photo too. Hooray?)

Space!

We made a space themed room for my future astronaut.

Windsor needed a twin sized bed. So I offered to help her put together a themed room, and she chose outer space! She currently wants to be an astronaut when she grows up, a dream I am (of COURSE) supporting and encouraging.

The majority of this design was done with some washi tape, a couple of posters, and some new books.

Overall it was a fairly inexpensive transformation, except for the mattress. Although I went with the online Tuft & Needle brand so even that could have been worse. (no reviews here – my 4yo doesn’t like to go to sleep. With her new mattress? Still doesn’t like to go to sleep. Is that the mattress’s fault? Probably not.)

Moving on

Big changes, my pretty and loyal rooster has gone home. He’s back at the farm where he hatched. I’m so glad he recovered, he was even back to crowing before we sent him home. I’m sure he was lonely here by himself. I miss eating our own eggs. And I miss watching the silly birds run around. But given the uncertainty in our future housing it just makes sense, not having chickens right now. Windsor clearly misses them too, she keeps talking about our sick rooster going to another farm to get better.

Not having to worry about the free ranging flock will make our next project easier.

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The landscaper is putting in our lawn, over the leach field we installed last winter. He’ll also scrape up all those brambles and saplings. We’re finally putting in the wildflowers we intended to plant over five years ago (apparently I could have a tag for blog posts of large earthmoving equipment in my front yard.)

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And my pretty sunflower kitchen has been normalized.

We’ve had our house on the market since November, and if we don’t sell in the next month we’ve decided to rent it out and find a place to rent ourselves. We need to move before next winter. Wish us luck.

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Oh. And I knit a whole sock! More on that later.

too

The weather has been TOO weird this month. We’ve had no snow, very little cold, and some really weird freezing fog.

foggy rosehip

I’m not complaining, because we’re putting in a new leachfiled* soon. And it’s not the sort of thing you choose to do in the middle of winter, unless you can’t avoid it. Since our current system is TOO old it is on the way out, and we can’t avoid it. But if the snow holds off so we don’t have to dig through it – that’d be really nice.

Maybe you’ve noticed, or maybe the world is TOO crazy, and you haven’t. But I’ve been a bit withdrawn. I’ve been spending less time on social media; even less time on Ravelry. Windsor has been very TWO these days. And with sleep issues, and learning how to use the word no, and all the joys and struggles that go with a toddler – my evenings have been consumed.

foggy cedar

But it’s not just the TWO year old. I’ve been spending TOO much time cleaning, packing, and trying to keep this house real-estate ready. Moving sucks. It’s stressful and emotional and time consuming, and slow. TOO MUCH.

And since the world has been TOO crazy it has felt pretty good to pull back, to focus on what is needed, and let the rest slide on by. I hope you don’t mind. I’m still here, just taking things at a slower pace, so I don’t put TOO much of myself into anything I can’t sustain.

foggy weed

To that end, the December Knit-Along for my book is going to be postponed. I haven’t had a lot of interesting and I’ve had even less time. I am shifting gears, downshifting, we’ll do chapter knit-alongs every other month. The Periwinkle Sheep fans are looking forward to January’s sweater already. And we’ll come back to December next year, so no loss – we’re just spreading out the book love so it’ll last longer.

So for the rest of the month I’m paring back. I will post when I have knitting to share, but not TOO much. No stress. I hope you’ll be kind to yourself as well. Take this holiday season to slow down, calm down, share some love, donate to charity, whatever it is that makes you happy. There’s TOO much anger and stress out there. Everybody breath. Take in the fog.

foggy seedhead

Our path will come clear, eventually.

*a leachfield is where all the household waste water goes, when you live in a rural place, like most of Vermont…

Playing catch up

What have I been up to? Well let’s review:

There’s been a whole lot of this
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And a long weekend of this
siding

And occasionally some of this
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It’s been a busy summer! Neil is on a new work schedule which means I have more evenings alone. I thought this would mean more design time. But it also means more of doing everything on my own. Sadly my Meristem vest is still here
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But I am down to the hems, so maybe by next week I’ll have something new to show off!

Access denied

Why does this chicken look so cranky?

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Because access to her favorite hang-out has been revoked. We had a new porch built last fall (but I should note: not sided or roofed…) And ever since the decking has been the chickens’ favorite spot to stand around. And poop.

We finally got the siding hung up this weekend! And then we made a gate.

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And the day after the poor birds spent a surprising amount of time standing on the stoop, looking confused.

They’re free range birds. The could go literally anywhere else. I refuse to feel badly for not letting them poop on the porch.

hung up

Little Miss is suddenly very mobile! She’s started crawling and pulling up in the last two weeks – and suddenly my long-term habit of leaving my knitting project in a basket (bag, box, pile…) on the floor by the couch is not working. Her little fingers can undo a neatly wound hank or ball of yarn faster than I can react.

A solution was needed, something to get the yarn up, off the ground.

hanging yarn

Turns out that old fruit basket is perfect!

Flyby

Wait, what happened to June?

Quickly now:
– I started some new knitting! I find I actually work on it because I’m not bored of this project yet.

– We’re also working on some house projects
House in progress
And by “we” I do mean us. I spent the weekend tearing off punky siding with my ever-helpful family. We did hire some guys for the roofing.

– It’s about 90F and 90% humidity out there. So of course we’re going camping.

– I’m sure we’ll learn how much Windsor likes lakes.

– At least the heat is good for my garden.

– I have even more gladioli than last year. Funny how that works.