A Very Overdue Craft Roundup

by Sarah Lake Upton in ,

In amongst all the farm visits I actually managed to get a fair bit of crafting done, though as usual I let myself be lazy about blogging. 

First up, I worked up a few more dye lots of my Straws Farm Island Sheep gansey yarn for the Netloft’s Cordova Gansey Project.  For this batch I experimented with larger skeins, and found that I actually quite enjoy working with them.  Anyone interested in this yarn should contact Dotty at the Netloft (and anyone interested in knitting ganseys should check out her site and the Cordova Gansey Project on principle).  

I let myself play with the darker blue end of the spectrum


While my indigo vat was in use anyway I decided to start messing around a bit with shibori.  I’ve only dyed the one piece so far, but I am very pleased with the result.  I will definitely be exploring this a bit more. 

 Next, for Christmas this year we received a generous Amazon gift certificate from a family member and with that in hand we decided to finally buy the sewing machine that we had been eyeing for months.  It arrived somewhere around the middle of my break, when the piles of indigo dyed gansey yarn were taking over every available craft space (and crafting moment) so it sat in its box, abandoned, until I returned home in April, at which point I very bravely opened it up and set to re-learning how to use a sewing machine.  

I have can’t explain why exactly, given that I was a fairly competent user of sewing machines in high school, but for some reason I find myself intimidated by sewing and sewing machines.  It may have something to do with all the beautiful handmade clothes on my Instagram feed: something that I used to do for a lark now comes with Standards, and The Right Way to Do Things, which always piques the interest of my internal, merciless, Editor of All Things Craft.  Once she starts paying attention, seemingly simple tasks become fraught with Great Import and I find myself ripping back rows and rows to address mistakes that only I can see.  My internal editor does make me better at craft generally, but she also kind of sucks the fun out of doing them.  I am working at achieving a balance, wherein I let her know that I appreciate her critical eye, but could she please just shut up sometimes and let me have fun.  We’ll see how that goes…. 

Anyway, I began to reacquaint myself with the sewing arts by tackling Grainline Studio’s Stow Bag.   My internal editor would like to point out a few wonky seams and some less than skillful use of bias tape, but I am overall quite pleased by the results. (I’ve also never sewn with bias tape before, so yay new skill!).  As a project bag the Stow Bag is everything I could want - simple, easy to knit out of, with just enough pockets to hide the fiddly little notions that tend to collect in the bottom of my project bags.  I am planning to make quite a few more when I get home this time, to keep practicing those new skills before I move on to clothing (gulp! maybe even involving fabric that I have dyed!). 


And then, as noted in my last post, I finally made my peace with the slightly rumpled ribbon on the button band of my Epistrophy by Kate Davies, which I then wore quite proudly to the New Hampshire Sheep and Wool Festival.

As always my rotation home went waaayy too quickly.  I am already plotting all the crafty things I want to try when I get home in July.