One of the few things still green here, these magnolia leaves were a colorful spot in the recent dreary winter rains.
If you throw the leaves into a fireplace, they crackle so loudly!
My aunt taught me the basics of crochet long ago, but I’ve only occasionally practiced since I was a kid. I know single and double stitch, but I can’t read a crochet pattern yet. I have some spare yarn in my 2019 Fabric Use-Up Project, and I needed to get more warm winter socks, so I figured now would be a good time to solve both problems at once. I found some instructions on the basics of sock-making and watched several videos of people crocheting socks to get the general idea of how it’s done. Then, I started on my sock making adventure! The result is a pair of blue socks. They aren’t beautiful, but they are warm. I intend to wear them until they fall apart.
By crocheting myself new winter socks when I needed them and by using yarn I already had (which was salvaged from things a relative was getting rid of), I am not adding to the demand for slave labor made socks from factories in terrible conditions in other countries, nor am I wasting resources by requiring still more yarns be produced for me to use. I’m also not spending any money on this project. It’s an all-around win!
The thick yarn makes my feet look huge, haha.
The first sock had a very boxy toe.
With the second sock, I managed to round out the corners of the toe for an improved look. I still have plenty of yarn to use up, and this sockmaking project will continue in a series until I have enough socks for winter.
After my pen case project, I went on to try weaving a pair of coasters. They have been in frequent use ever since I made them.
My first try is on the left, and the second try is on the right. You can see how I learned how thick to make the weave and how this affects the final pattern.
I struggled to tie the warp ends off properly, but I had a yarn needle to tuck in the ends for each time I switched colors.
I used a ramen box as my loom, with notches every 1/2 inch.
I quickly found that things work better when I cut the cardboard shuttle into a more traditional shape.
The weather was warmer when I took this, but holly is an evergreen, and thus related to the coming winter season.
The glass pen I’ve been using in some of my art needed a better storage than the long cardboard box it has been bouncing around. I have some extra yarn that I did not have any plans for, and decided to make a solution for the pen. I’ve been reading about weaving lately, so I decided to weave it rather than crochet, although I’ve crocheted some scarves in the past.
I took a large box that held bulk eggs I buy (about once a month. I try to cut down on grocery trips, just as I use reusable bags at some grocery stores.) I cut the flaps off the box and notched every half inch on opposite sides. I used the flaps to make shuttles and pieces to hold the warp in the correct positions. They started out primitive, but I quickly cut them into more standard shapes because, well, those shapes work better.
My mistake-that-actually-works with this project was that I beat the weft too much, and so it looks less than pretty, however, I don’t need something pretty for this project. It’s probably better that I have a homely pen case, as it might get ink spilled on it. The resulting material is very thick and provides adequate padding for storing my delicate glass pen.
While not strictly fabric, I count this project as a part of my 2019 Fabric Stash Use-Up Project.
On another walk, earlier in fall before all of the leaves had turned and fallen, I spotted this young oak. This is a particular breed of oak tree that grows in swamps. Supposedly, its roots are shallow and so the tree is more likely to fall over in a storm. I think that the leaves on this sapling are most interesting shapes, as they have a slight rippled texture to them that I believe was from the harsh summer we experienced.
I made these embroidered crocuses during a quiet moment. There wasn’t much of a plan in making them, but all the same it was a pleasant exercise.
This post may be slightly out of season, as the garden has now been put to bed, but as I plan the next year’s vegetable garden, I want to shine a spotlight on the delightful Mousemelon Vine I grew this year.
It was very slow to germinate, but managed to fight off weeds in my survival-of-the-fittest gardening style. This plant hails from the southern part of our continent, so it’s a bit slow to grow, in my opinion. The harvest was a small basket full- maybe a couple cups in total volume, and most were eaten in the garden. All the tiny fruits were eaten before I could make them into a dinner salad. Delicious. Being perfectly honest, I could have probably increased my harvest if I had spent more time cultivating and babying the vine, however, I prefer plants that are strong enough to make do on their own.
The fruit are so tiny and cute! They really do look like mouse-sized watermelons. The taste is a most refreshing blend of cucumber and lemon, though it is not related to either. You can generally find mousemelon seeds in the cucumber section of your seed catalog. Make sure you get a catalog that provides heirloom seeds. Not only will you be supporting our agricultural heritage and encourage biodiversity, you’re more likely to find unusual gems in their selection, such as this mousemelon.