At Last

After 2 years on the needles, my mystic waters shawl is finally complete.  It is done in silk from Textiles a Manos. It took about 1100 yards.  It has small beads scattered throughout.  I suspect if I had not done to beads I would have been done much sooner.  I am so extremely happy to be finished that I am almost inspired to work on another bane project.  Almost.  Perhaps I’ll work on something else for awhile though.

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This and That

Since my sink looks like this:

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Instead, I’ll show you that:

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This is mystic waters off the needles after 2 years. Quite the accomplishment. It is soaking and we plan to block it tonight.  That is a new cardigan I’ve been playing with.  Indian Summer Cardigan from Inspired to Knit.  I am working it in lamb’s pride worsted which has been in my stash longer than I’ve been knitting.  Another accomplishment if you ask me!

I’m Baaack

So, I know, I’ve neglected the blog.  I’ll own up to it.  I am well aware of it, but I just couldn’t muster the time!

The schedule lately has been a bit like this:

6:00 Get up and get ready for work

6:45 Get Bug up and get ready for school

7-7:30 Get Bug to school, get to work

7:30-4 Put in a full day of work

4-4:30 Leave work, pick up Bug from School

4:30 Get home, take care of J, wade through school stuff for Bug, prepare for the next day.  Make dinner and tea.  Clean up.  Take J and Bug out of the house since J has been cooped up all day. Take care of J’s wound. Grocery shop.

8:30 Get Bug ready for bed and prepared for school the next day. Get her to bed.

9:30 Fall into bed with an absolute crash after having tea with J.

Next day: repeat process.

As you can see, not much time for blogging or any internet access at all in there!  I just couldn’t manage it.  In fact, I couldn’t even get knitting done.  Sometimes I’d read a page or two of my book if we were at a coffee shop.

But, J has had to return home for meetings and Bug and I are in the process of putting our house back in order and finding our own schedule.  I am not going to assure myself that life has slowed down, but I do think I’ll have a few moments to do some of the things I like to do.

But tonight?  Again, no knitting.  It takes about a week for Bug to turn from excited about a new situation to anxious about it, feeling the transition.  We are at that point.  Yesterday was not a great day for her.  She came home from school, J was no longer there, and she was in tears a good portion of the evening.  The basic problem is that she is adjusting to new rules and routines and this seems to be a bit of a struggle right now.  She’ll get it, but we have to go through the growing pains first.

The before and after school care, which somehow I had become most concerned about, have become her favorite parts of the day.  She doesn’t really want me to come get her unless she can unwind in after school care first.  And every morning she makes sure we are leaving early enough for before school care.

In any case, tonight is Bugs night.  As much reading as she wants, as many games of “go fish” as she wants, and whatever she wants to eat.  The night is hers.  The only thing we have to do is clean up a bit and block a shawl. And after that, I promise to get back to blogging a bit more regularly.  I am not even kidding.  🙂

The most boring blogger.

Yep, that is me!

J is still in town and keeps extending his stay.  Which is great, because I think it is better for him to be where he can be taken care of a bit.  But, I don’t really knit at home right now.  I don’t have the time for it because by the time I get home, J has been sitting at home all day and wants to go somewhere.  Anywhere really as long as he gets out of the house.  So, knitting progress is almost nonexistent.

On the other hand, I do still get a bit of time to knit during the day on break from work, which is why I’ve been working on a simple sock.  It seems like a good time of the year to do it since it is nice and cool in the mornings and I feel like autumn may be fast approaching.  Nothing like a new pair of handknit socks to herald in the cooler weather.


This is a pair of francie’s for me, in koigu PPPM.  I am trying a pattern I enjoy in a yarn I love in hopes to rekindle my love for sock knitting which has been sadly lacking lately.


Bug has come up with some fun new words lately.  They’ve kept Mom and I laughing quite a bit.

When we returned from Vail she wanted to mother J a little.  So she took to getting his crutches for him. She told him “Let me get your stilts for you!”

Mom taught her to play “Go Fish” and she is avidly playing and following rules now.  She loves this little game and is quite quick to catch on to listening to who has asked for what so she can get as many matches as possible.  This is not overly surprising since both my family and her fathers family are avid card players.  What does surprise me is that she is not so competitive and really likes to encourage other players just as much as she likes to win.  I love this gracious spirit!

But the best part?  When she asks someone to shuffle for her she says “Can you freckle these?”

The Big Trip

All went well in Vail.  Surprisingly there was not the opportunity for internet access that I expected, which caused for my unexpected “blog blackout.”  Due to the nature of our trip, I actually did not see much of Vail, so we hope to return someday and explore it more thoroughly.

Once we got to Vail we had the opportunity to upgrade to a very comfortable condo style room with 2 levels and a full kitchen.  This helped a lot since I could prepare food myself rather than trying to bring in take out.  I did manage to take some pictures from our balcony:

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And we got a final picture in the parking lot right before we drove back to Denver.  This is me wearing my woven scarf which is my Vail souvenir:

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The drive up to Vail from Denver was tiring but rather fun.  I think that it didn’t differ much from the area I grew up in, lots of winding roads, steep grades, and tunnels through mountains.  I particularly enjoyed seeing some snow on the mountains.  The blight which is killing the pine trees was a bit sad to observe.

I did take some time to drive up another mountain on a back road during some free time and afternoon exploring in a small town west of Vail.  I’d have done it again but since it rained the next 2 days, I decided to wait.

I finished all but a last row and a cast off of my swallowtail shawl during this trip as well as half a book.  Swallowtail must be a fast knit because I barely felt like I had time to knit.  Since it is not blocked, I’ll show it off next week.  Life is still crazy busy around here with little time for hobbies.

First day

It is Bug’s first day of school.  What comes as great excitement for her comes with a great deal of melancholy for me!

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I have to admit though, looking at her pictures brings back that first day feeling…new clothes, new shoes, new backpack, new school.  It isn’t a bad feeling as a kid!

A shawl for a trip

As most of you know, we are headed to Vail tomorrow.  Since I have become quite annoyed with all my sock knitting, I decided I needed a specific project to tide me over on the trip (in addition to the kauni, which will go with me.)  I know that everyone has done the swallowtail shawl, but I have not.  I’ve decided to do it in a fingering weight yarn, and knit it as written.  This should give me a smaller shawl to use as a scarf in the winter.  I’ll be using mountain colors bearfoot, which is a new yarn to me.  I am hoping to have enough left over for a matching pair of glove and…if I am truly lucky…a hat.

The swallowtail is a perfect project since it both knits up quickly and isn’t so terribly complicated that I would have to tink frequently.  It will satisfy my lace knitting need, be a good project for the plane, and by the time I get home I should be seeing significant progress.

It was, of course, necessary to get it started already, so take a look!

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The Bane Challenge

Our friend Phyllis came up with a fantastic new challenge for us.  The Bane Challenge.  Where we knit on the projects that have become the bane of our existence once a week.  I, of course, have a few bane projects left from my super uber cast on crazy woman phase.

So I picked the one which has been on the needles the longest.  And to be honest, I’ve been working on it more than once a week, because I really am nearing the end.

Mystic Waters:

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Additionally, even though I am not sure it can be considered a bane project, I’ve been working on the kauni only when I have others around to entertain me.  Somehow the desire to work on it has slowed considerably. I am finally nearing the end of the first sleeve, and will take this with me on my upcoming trip in order to see how far I can get in a short amount of time.

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My biggest question now is if I want the sleeves to match or not.  I think…maybe not.  Because I’ll be missing too many colors if I match them.

All the Answers

At work I am known for being the person who has all the answers.  If I don’t have the answer they are looking for, I know whom they can contact to get the answer.  It is my job, but even more it is my identity here.  What makes me laugh is that all it has taken for me to become “the answer woman” is being observant and asking questions.  I like to think I train my students to learn how to gather the information they will need in the future, so I encourage them to ask me questions so I can point them in the right direction to receive their own answers.

So a common theme I overhear in the hallways or in the labs is “Ask Shells, she’ll know who to call!”

Today I apparently proved myself the answer woman beyond all shadow of a doubt when the following IM conversation took place:

Student:  Shells, is the network slow today or what?

Me: Not that I am aware of, everything is working fine on my end.

Student: Oh, maybe it is just my computer.

Me: (starting to get suspicious of why he thinks the network is slow) What exactly is running slow for you?

Student: Um…(sheepishly) I am not getting my twitter updates as I usually do.

Me: (providing a link to the related article) Twitter has been down all morning. It just came back up.

Student: Man, you truly DO have all the answers!

A Finished Shawl

So after dyeing a bit more yarn in an attempt to match the shawl, I finished in no time at all.  This is the largest shawl I have ever made, and I am loving how it just wraps around me so comfortably.

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And, just so you can see the small section of odd yarn:

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Not that noticible, I’ll live!

This was a fantastic shawl to knit, not terribly difficult, and I do love to knit from the longest point to the shortest.  I will certainly be working on a few more shawls from this book, but in the future.

A Case of the “If Only’s”

So I’ve been working on this shawl.  With 1400 yards of handdyed linen/silk laceweight.  What should be more than enough.

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Um…apparently not.  Apparently I am just a yard short.  Which is extremely disappointing!  There is no sense trying to track down the base yarn for this tiny amount, which led to my case of the If Onlys.

If only I had slipped the first stitch of each row, then I’d have enough.

If only I had not chosen to knit a row before I started the pattern, then I’d have enough.

If only I had not dyed ALL the linen/silk base, then I could dye some more.

But, that just isn’t the case and I needed a solution.  I had originally intended to spin some merino into laceweight and then dye it, but I really wanted to finish this weekend.

After talking it over with Ummeyusuf for a bit, we decided that I could perhaps dye some plain cotton crochet thread for the last tiny bit.  Now, I knew the cotton would not take the dye in the way the linen/silk would, nor would it be scrumptious and soft, but I thought I could make it work.

So I dyed up some cotton, I had to add tea to the dye bath because the white crochet cotton was so very white.  And I ended up with this:

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Stay tuned to see how it worked out!