Self-Sustaining Skills – Knitting

I am working my way through the Transition Town Skills List as I develop a more self-sustaining way of living.  The first skill listed under the category of clothing is to knit.  I remember learning to knit on a long car trip with my family.  I was using red yarn on gold single-pointed needles, probably about a size 7.  I kept knitting higher and higher and dropping stitches until what was supposed to be a square pot holder turned into a trapezoid.  I know many trapezoids until I learned how to control the yarn and to relax my hold on it.

I am now working on a series of ideas which will make it easy for people who want to learn to knit as a self-sustaining skill to make clothing.  My first project was a coat.

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I knit strips which were 10 stitches wide and the length from wrist to wrist on me.  I sewed the strips together horizontally, not vertically, the way the eye wants to see it.  The wrist to wrist lengths wrap around me to meet at the front of the coat.  The sleeves extend across the shoulders and are wrist-length.  I lined the coat so it would not stretch. I trimmed it by crocheting a textured yarn around the edges.  It is sill the warmest garment I own.

I am looking forward to sharing more ideas as I try them out.  It will be fun, I think.

© 2018 Kathryn Hardage


2017-7-23 New Weaving Project Using the 6th Draft

I am working my way through the projects which were introduced at my first weaving retreat in September of 2017.  This is the 6th draft and it is the first one I have been able to figure out on my own.  It is so wonderful when the new terminology, notation, materials and technology all finally make sense.

My tangled warp.




I am saved by the sections which were tied before it came off the warping board.


The warp divided into ten-thread sections.



Starting from the middle section.




The draft for “Feathers and Wings”, a type of “huck” weaving pattern.

The order for threading the heddles.  This is a ten-thread pattern and is why I divided the warp into ten-thread sections.

Next, thread the heddles, thread through the dent, tie on at the front of the loom, then begin weaving following the treading the pattern (photo when I get to that process).

© 2017 Kathryn Hardage

Canning Corn

Hurray!  I did it!

My husband cooked a bunch of corn right away to eat, but we still had plenty to can!

It takes three cobs per pint and I canned eighteen pints.

Two batches of eight pints, plus two which will become part of a canned stew.

First, my husband shucked all the corn and put it in a large box to carry out to the compost pile.






Then I cut the corn off the cobs using a new madoline.

We sterilized the lids, heated the pressure canner, packed the corn into pint jars and placed them in the canner.




Thirty minutes at pressure later, we had our finished pint jars of corn.




© 2017 Kathryn Hardage


Four in a Row Plus More

I enjoy my fiber and sewing activities with my groups so very much.

This week was such a treat.

On Tuesday, I went to Stitch Night with my knitting friends.  My husband made a chocolate cake with maraschino cherries for us to enjoy.

On Thursday night, I went to Sewing Sisters at Heavenly Notions in Granby and worked on my challenge quilt for the Newtonia Quilt Guild.

On Friday night, I completed my challenge quilt at Heavenly Notions, during part of my regular get-together at the quilt shop.

On Saturday, I met with my occasional sewing group to celebrate a member’s birthday, and I worked on my hand-quilting project.


On Sunday, I went to my Fiber Folks meeting in Joplin, for a program teaching members to knit and crochet.







This week, my husband is helping me do canning, cherries and sweet corn, separately, that is.





I am enjoying my new life practicing homesteading skills.

© 2017 Kathryn Hardage

Fiber Folks Meeting – Processing Fleece

At today’s meeting, we learned about processing fleeces.

We were introduced to a box picker,




five-pitch and one-pitch combs,





drum carder,









and shown how to use each one.

Several members brought different fleeces from different breeds of sheep to the meeting for samples of fine wool, multi-colored wool, locks of wool.

Experienced members demonstrated how to use the tools on different kinds of wool, and then let less experienced members try out the tools.

For show and tell, members shared weaving projects, knitting projects, lucent cording, and spinning projects.

© 2017 Kathryn Hardage


Weaving Study Group

Our weaving study group met in Aurora, MO at The Olive Grille.  We were able to spread out in their meeting room to share the results of our twill weaving projects.

One member brought his new eight-shaft loom on wheels to show us.

The innovative use of different threads and yarns by all the members was exciting and inspiring.

The “blanket yarn” from Joanne’s produced a really soft, luxurious touch.

Projects varied from fine threads for scarves to bigger gauge yarns for rugs.

Some patterns were distinct, some were hidden as members experimented with the same warp and different wefts.

I used a textured, light colored warp and a darker chenille for my twill and basket-weave.

Only by holding my scarf up to the light was the basket-weave visible.

The whole scarf is three yards long.

My smaller project, three cuffs, is a hound’s tooth pattern.  Hound’s tooth is my favorite so far.

I am weaving my way through the patterns I received at our Fiber Folks Guild retreat for September, 2016.  My twill and basket-weave is the fifth project from that retreat.

© 2017 Kathryn Hardage

The Pace of Life


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My “unsupervised” weaving trying out several different wefts.

Sitting in a waiting room, one of the clients described taking his grandmother to the movies for her birthday.  He had just offered me his seat.

Later, I went to the local coffeeshop to follow up on a recommendation for someone to help me with my bookkeeping.  The person with those skills was working there.

At the library, I was offered the opportunity to “buy” a construction vehicle to support the summer reading program.

I joined a friend who is a “member” of the local Friday night quilt “club” to go on a three-shop Quilt Shop Hop this weekend.  She drove us through the back roads.

On my way to my weaving class this evening, I will stop at the hardware store to buy a bristle brush and a resale shop to buy an old pot to melt wax to coat my first attempt at making a “hard” cheese.

At the weaving class, I will show my “unsupervised” weaving where I experimented with different weights of weft.  Perhaps, I will also get help winding a new warp for my Twill Study Group.

I am now reading my new library book.

Later, I will do a bit of housekeeping.

I have already cooked for myself for half the week, using ingredients from both a local farmer and the local Farmer’s Market.

I appreciate all the support and opportunities in my adopted small town.

I appreciate the courtesies which are extended to people who know each other and people who do not.

The pace of life suits me.

© 2017 Kathryn Hardage