Wrapping up the year

This year I knit over 13 miles of yarn, and spun over 4 miles of yarn. I blame complicated plying methods for the lowish spinning total, I concentrated on learning new things this year, and most of those new things required more intensive handling of the yarn. So the total seems low. In weaving, I did very little. Sadly. And my other favorite hobby, cycling, included mountain biking in Utah, which was truly amazing and terrifying. Along with that came an overwhelming desire to learn to ride my mountain bike better so that I would be less terrified on future trips.

What will the new year bring? Hopefully more Joji sweaters, more spinning in general, ideally there will be a collapse weave project, and in biking I am determined to go to at least one all women’s mountain biking clinic in order to further improve my skills.

Today I am sending out the old year with a massage, a first step in doing a better job taking care of my muscles and body so it doesn’t fail me when I need it to participate in all the activities I love so much.

We’ve had Mr. Ink’s family in town since Saturday so life has been a bit whirlwind, but very very good. He has a sister in law who is so much like me that when she’s around, the two of us Cannot Stop Talking. It’s uncanny. But pleasant. However, I’ve done so little spinning and knitting in this time frame. I did have some time to begin my sleeve cap on the funky grandpa sweater.

Both the grandpa sweater and the funky grandpa sweater have this type of sleeve cap, and it’s totally new to me. I figured I’d like to try the sleeve cap in stockinette rather than attempt it while adding cables. Now that I’ve done it once, I can say that adding cables should be no problem.


The sleeve cap is that black section of this unusual colored sweater. And what’s that behind it? Mr. Ink’s sister in law had us all shopping downtown, and I came across this fabulous rug. It was completely irresistible to me, as you all may know by now I absolutely adore color in every way. So, I got it for my living room, and it makes me happy every time I look at it.

I am thinking that I had better put down this sweater and get moving on the Grandpa cardigan because, as you may remember, I am doing that one as a KAL with Umme Yusuf, and I hear she’s already on her sleeves while I haven’t even finished the neck increases!

Happy New Year to all of you, I hope 2015 is one of your best!

The Last Spin of 2014

I finished up my rolags, plied them over 2 days, and am now looking at 480 yards of laceweight yarn.


It’s pretty pretty stuff, mostly yellow silk with tones of burgundy and green. It’s a little bit sparkly, and has a whole lot of depth, and I absolutely love it. It was a good final project for 2014.


There’s nothing so happy to me as a set of spindles full of singles. Bonus points for yellow.


Let the plying commence. I’ll need those spindles for more happy yarn!

It’s official, my spinning mojo is in full swing and my knitting mojo right out the window.

Stocking Stuffers

We aren’t quite done with Christmas around here, we’ve got another round on Monday. While our small family has opened big gifts, we’ve set a few aside for Mr. Ink’s extended family celebration.

I decided to add to that with two knit dishcloths. Mr. Ink uses these all the time, and it’s some of the very few things he appreciates me knitting for him. So, I knit two more to add to his collection.


One plain orange increase/decrease cloth and one with a bit of patterning for my sanity.

After I finished these last evening, I didn’t have an overwhelming urge to knit, so I got some spinning done instead. Today is a day full of cooking and baking, so doubtful I’ll get much crafty stuff done today as well. However, I always find I appreciate quiet days of cooking and baking and podcast listening, so it’s still a win.

Happy Christmas!

The final stocking this year, stocking #20 has been finished.


Bug has requested this one, so the stocking is currently stuffed with gifts, as it should be.

And, Bug’s previous stocking is wrapped and under the tree for Mr. Ink.

Happy Christmas, Happy holidays, and I wish you all a wonderful day and remainder of this year.

Done for the year

I am done working for the year. Or should I say, working at my place of employment. Done done done. It feels great. Now, to get the house in order for the holidays.

But, before  I work on the house, I figured I’d finish casting off the body of the Funky Grandpa sweater. To be honest, I want to start the sleeves of this one before I get to the sleeves on the Grandpa Cardigan. Believe it or not, new techniques totally worry me, despite having knit for ages and ages now. And so if I am going to mess up a sleeve, let it be a regular sleeve rather than a sleeve with cables on it!


I thought I would lengthen this, but in the end I followed the pattern exactly. The writer was so specific about placement of strips and so on that I thought maybe I should just imagine she knows better than I do and go with it. We’ll see!

I must say, we’ve had dreary rainy weather here, and no snow. The brightness of this knit is very welcome these days!


Yesterday I had goals. Goals to get stuff done around the house. Those just…flew out the window in the face of the Grandpa cardigan.

Once I got started on it, I just wanted to get it to the point where I could connect the fronts and back. Somehow once that’s done, I really feel like I am on my way to a new sweater. So, in the end, that became my large concentration.


It’s looking good! I’ve got less than an inch under the armpits done, and I am not done with the neckline shaping, but it’s coming along.

Today we’ve got a nice bike ride planned, and I’ve been making food lists to get us through the holiday, so grocery shopping will soon be necessary.

I do hope holiday planning for everyone is going well, and not too overwhelming!

Finally, a Beginning

Well, it may have taken quite awhile longer than I anticipated, but I am finally well on my way with the Grandpa Cardigan. The Rowan Felted Tweed DK is….maybe not the best choice but I am going with it anyhow. I do love the softness of the yarn, and I suspect I’ll really enjoy the finished object, but I don’t think it’s quite thick enough to really pop the cables properly.


I’ve got the back knit to the armpits, and one of the fronts knit to the point where I need to start increasing for the armpits. It won’t be much longer before I have the fronts and back connected.

It feels pretty good to have obligation knitting wrapped up on the last weekend before Christmas. I’ve one more stocking to finish and two or three itty bitty socks, but those are all easy to accomplish in the time I have left, so I get to do knitting that’s more selfish for now. Very pleasant.

Funky Update

Since I am still fighting with my grandpa cardigan and the latest yarn I purchased for it, I figured that now is a great time to give an update on the funky grandpa cardigan.


I am now into my second 440 yard skein of the main color, and plugging away at it. The pattern suggests 9 stripes from under the arm down, but since I am rather tall in height and long of torso, I suspect 9 won’t actually do. I’ve currently got 8 stripes, and I’ll try it on at 9, but I am pretty sure I’ll have to keep knitting.

As for the grandpa cardigan, I need to do some gauge checking to see if I can go down a needle size since my rowan felted tweed dk is not knitting into a nicer fabric than my last yarn did. Very frustrating!

3 Feet of Sheep

Last year I picked up a Three Feet of Sheep package from Frabjous Fibers. This year I’ve got it in my head to spin some energized singles and try my hand at a collapse weave project. Seemed that the Three Feet of Sheep package could make a rather interesting scarf.

I separated out the colors as I know I will not need 8 oz. of fiber for a collapse weave. I figure I’ll spin a bunch, size them, begin weaving, and if I need more, I can spin more.


I am about halfway through what I set aside for this project. However, it is unnatural for me to spin energized singles so I think I’ll run them back through the wheel once they are done to really give them some proper energy.

The fiber itself is spinning up just beautifully! It’s a darker toned wool dyed over with lovely rich colors, and that is going to make for yarn with a nice depth.

So I Gather Completion

I finally finished the So I Gather shawlette out of Marja’s handspun singles. I think it’s fabulous!

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The colors are amazing and rich, the yarn has sparkle and depth, the gathers were a ton of fun. Absolutely a winning combination.

I knit on it until I was running out of yarn and couldn’t complete another repeat, so it’s a great use of handspun.

Upcoming, I have 3 Christmas stockings to make in short order, and then I can get back to my grandpa cardigan. The one I didn’t continue because of the yarn being too thin. I got new yarn, it has arrived, and I can get started as soon as my obligation knitting is complete.


I don’t have any crafty photographs to show you today, and quite frankly, showing you my Funky Grandpa cardigan again would be practically pointless because now we are well into the slog down the body of the sweater and it won’t look all that different.

So, instead, I’ve decided to tell you about a conversation I had with Mr. Ink over the weekend. But it requires a little back story.

Now, Mr. Ink is a kind and generous man, but he’s not overly generous with his words. He tends to be very careful with his words, and indecisive about speaking them, and in the end this tends to make him a quiet person. On our first date we were really just trying to get to know each other, and sometimes conversation would lack segue. It was rather that deep discomfort of two introverts attempting to get to know each other in an unfamiliar situation. At some point during the evening he said “I am not that into yarn, you know.” I think my response was something along the lines of “You don’t have to be, as long as you don’t mind that I am.”

A couple months into our relationship, and after hearing him speak to other people very proudly of the things that I create, I decided to ask for clarification. I asked him why, if he’s just not that into yarn, he could speak of it so well, and be eager to listen to what I had going on, and deliberately ask me what projects I had going on. He said “Well, I love what you create, I just don’t want you to put it ON me.” So, we came to a non negotiable agreement. I would not knit for him, and wouldn’t even speak of doing so. This….is not a difficult agreement since I really have little interest in most things that I’d knit for a guy anyhow. And I’ve always got plenty of projects going on, and rarely time to fit much extra knitting into my life.

Last week, he asked for a pompom for the top of a hat that is starting to unravel. I thought that a bit unusual, and while I have not yet made the pompom, I was impressed he’d even remotely think of asking me for something that could be construed as knitting.

And then Saturday rolled around. We headed out to our local bike trail for Global Fat Bike Day. It was a cold day, but not nearly as cold as last year. Mr. Ink has recently realized that the biggest trick to keeping your feet warm is to wear loose shoes. If you’ve got a decent pair of socks and you can easily wiggle your toes, you will generally be warm. We were done with our cold ride, and he was talking about how his feet were cold and he suspected this was because his mountain biking shoes with socks and shoe covers end up being tight. But, that he’d worn heavier wool socks with his sneakers on our last cold ride and had stayed quite warm. I explained how I almost always have warm feet while biking, even when using my summer biking shoes, because I use a nice pair of heavy handknit socks. (Socks that Rock Mediumweight, for the record.) I then said something like “Someday, when you allow it, I’ll make you a pair to see if you like them.” This was completely off the cuff, I didn’t expect a response.

But a response I got. “Oh, I don’t think our agreement really applies to SOCKS….”

“WAIT WHUT DID YOU JUST SAY?!?!” I exclaimed. “Why didn’t you tell me sooner that the agreement didn’t apply to socks?!” He was quiet for a few moments, and then he said “I feared the slippery slope.”

Begging for another day

Our Saturday was so full. So full! I had exactly 2 hours of downtime that entire day, and that is NOT enough for an introvert like me. I NEED my weekend to recuperate so I can conduct myself like a normal person during the week.

Yesterday was Mr. Ink’s mother’s birthday, and he’d hoped we could get together for that as well. Thankfully for me, she didn’t want to leave the house, so I got a day of not leaving MY house. A blissful day.

And, I spent that day just as you might suspect. I did a bunch of around the house chores, and spent the rest of my time knitting. I worked on the Funky Grandpa cardigan, and got it to the point where the top was done to under the armpits. That sounds like a ton of knitting, and it would be with most other cardigans, but with this particular cardigan, there really isn’t a lot of fabric at the top. The deep V neck prevents that.


I have not really spent a lot of time worrying about what color my stripes will be, but so far, most of them are green toned. In the end, I suspect I’ll have a ton of leftover handspun on this one.

I am also weaving in ends on the stripes as I go. It’s a bit too far to carry the yarn, so there are a ton of ends. Best to get them done now.

I could really have used just one more weekend day with this project!

I Lied!

I was all “I am going to do the Grandpa Cardigan, not the Funky Grandpa cardigan!” And then? Well, I thought a bit more about the grandpa cardigan, and how the yarn was knitting up all loosey goosey and annoying, and discussed it with a friend of mine, and came to the conclusion that I would be VERY unhappy to knit an entire cabled cardi just to have loose cables that flop instead of pop.

So, I ordered new yarn for the Grandpa Cardigan, and now I have to wait.

In the meantime, until the yarn arrives, I’ve decided to get a head start on the Funky Grandpa.



It’s just a very little bit of the back. It’s bright and cheery and I have high hopes for it, even though it will be interrupted when the yarn arrives for the Grandpa Cardigan.


Knowing that today would be a very full day, I decided to spend last evening relaxing. I had a few things that needed to be done, I had to work on my bike and wrap gifts for a party Bug went to today, but mostly I spent my evening plying.

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And, I finished my 2 ply fingering weight Sunshiny Day skein. The fiber was from Enchanted Knoll Farms, I bought it ages and ages ago.

I fractal plied this to mix those colors up really well, and that seems to have happened. It should be perfect for funky stripes in the funky grandpa cardigan.

Today was Global Fat Bike Day, and so Mr. Ink and I met up with the fat bike riders for a lap at one of my favorite trails. I always joke that while I don’t have a fat bike, I still ride fat. This is the second year in a row we’ve gone, and as usual it was a fabulous day. While I cannot keep up with the riders on their fat bikes, I enjoy seeing the bikes, and the camaraderie of winter riders gathering together for a bike ride. Tonight we’ve decided to see Box Trolls again in the cheap theater, since it was so enjoyable the first time around. I am excited to already know the plot and have the opportunity to really concentrate on the art instead.

I hope everyone else is having a fabulous weekend. Be it busy or relaxing, I hope the weekend is exactly what you were hoping for.

Not a Funky Grandpa

But still a Grandpa.

I mentioned yesterday that I was spinning for the Funky Grandpa cardigan. But, I also cast on for the Grandpa Cardigan, by my current favorite designer Joji.

I am actually knitting this sweater as a knit along with my long time friend and “pen pal” Umme Yusuf. We’ve decided on a nice slow KAL as we are both busy with various other projects and personal things. However, KALs have been great motivators for us in the past and we’ve produced some lovely items that way. For instance:



There were quite a few more. But, I’ve gotten out of the habit of KALs in general, and I don’t feel that my knitting is very adventurous anymore. However, KALs if the pattern is well agreed upon, really can be quite inspiring.


I began my cardigan earlier this week. After the prerequisite false starts that plague me these days, it went pretty well. The cables are simple, and the construction is interesting. I’ve only gotten about 2 inches done, but I’ll be able to put in a little time with it this weekend.

I am not positive the yarn is the best choice for the pattern. It’s cascade 220 sport, which was listed as a dk weight yarn on the website I purchased from, but I’ll admit it feels a bit light.  If worse comes to worse, I’ll stop knitting and find a more appropriate yarn choice, and then try to catch up again.

Well How Did That Happen?

I sat down at my spinning wheel last evening to work on my Enchanted Knoll Sunshiney Day fiber which I haven’t touched since mid November. I had just over half done, but by the end of the night I was plying! I couldn’t quite figure out how that happened.

This is a fractal spin, though the color changes still should be relatively long. I am hoping to pair it with some laceweight held double to make a Funky Grandpa cardigan.


While I seem to have a desire to spin new and interesting things, I really felt strongly that I wanted to get this particular braid finished and in my stash so that if I had an overwhelming urge to cast on something new, all the pieces would be there.

However, I did recently cast on a new sweater, and it isn’t the Funky Grandpa. So, more on that tomorrow….

So I Gather

Progress has been made on my So I Gather shawl. It’s the ruched shawl I am creating out of Marja’s inglenook singles. I am on the last ball of yarn now, so I’d say 2/3 of the way through.

Since this is a shawl that just keeps increasing, the ruching rows are now extremely long. It’s great downtime knitting though, as there’s very little that’s actually difficult about this shawl.

I’ve brought it to work as I’ve got some stuff at home I really want to make progress on. So, I don’t have a brilliant outdoor photo, but here it is:


It’s really so much more sparkly than this shows. A very pretty piece.

Daily Grind

I always absolutely love time off from work, but I also always love returning to a familiar routine. It’s telling if you enjoy your job and work space enough to come back willingly for 9 years.

Speaking of routines, I’ve been making tiny socks as Christmas ornaments for Bug’s teachers since she started school. This is her last Christmas at that school, and she’s decided on 4 teachers and the principle as lucky recipients. So, I’ve been knitting tiny socks. I got 6 done and blocked, and I am hoping to finish a few more tonight.


Two of these have gone on our tree actually, and I’ll knit duplicates to replace them. I also need 3 for work, one of which I will fill with catnip and raw wool as the small stocking invariably ends up as a toy for my coworker’s cats. I do not consider this an insult, as she adores her cats and I feel certain this is more a compliment than an insult.