Moving Forward

I had one heck of a day yesterday. Here’s how it went. I left for the old house and work. I got to the old house, realized I’d forgotten my keys. Drove back home, picked up the keys, called in to work to let them know I’d be late. Drove back to the old house then to work. I opened a project I’d been working on in a system I am unfamiliar with only to find that all the work I’d done the day before was not saved because rather than saving in one place, there are two save buttons in two different places on the same page and you have to press both of them to get the work to actually save. I’d had a massage scheduled, but my massage therapist was a no show. I texted her, and apparently she hadn’t bothered to put the date and time she had offered me on her calendar. I can’t say I was pleased, and I am afraid I wasn’t terribly afraid to show it as flakiness has been a reoccurring problem. It’s just that she’s SO GOOD, and the only one in the area I’ve found who can really tackle my specific cycling related muscle issues. I also spent 2 hours using the shop vac on the old house as well as cleaning.

By the time I got to my house, I was absolutely done in. So, I got the dishes done. Mr. Ink shows up and says “The day you just had and your way of dealing with it is to do the dishes?!?!” I said “I just need ONE THING to go right today!”

It’s going to be another busy few days, and so I figured what I really need is a project that’s easy and comfortable to work on. And, a good friend of mine had mentioned the baktus she had on the needles. I love a baktus scarf, but I haven’t done one in ages! So I started one last evening, and worked on it through lunchtime today, and now I’ve got a nice start on an easy and comfortable knit out of handspun yarn that’s been in my stash forever.


It’s a 3 ply. And I feel better already.

Weekend Recap

It’s been another busy weekend at Shells’. As you know, I blocked Lizard Ridge, but that really was just the beginning.

We’ve been working on settling into the house, of course. We have blue walls in the kitchen and dining room. I had originally really disliked that, but then I managed to find a matching tablecloth within my own linens stash, and suddenly the entire color scheme quit bothering me.


We’d spent a lot of time trying to rearrange the room to our liking, and have finally settled on something we prefer. So it was time to put away the china. But, once I started unwrapping it all, I realized that I really wanted everything clean, so 3 dishwasher loads later…..

We’ve had lovely sunny breakfasts, where I shot these photos of the old dog:

IMG_2911 IMG_2910

He rather likes it here.

We spent half of Saturday and all day Sunday cleaning out Mr. Ink’s family home, but Sunday evening we took a break to grill.


It was so nice to grill in our own back yard.

I got the remainder of the furniture for my craft room and set about organizing that space. It’s not done yet, but it’s getting there. It’s so close that I can actually sit in there now and do some spinning. Or plying, in this case:


That’s a 2 ply on the wheel, out of a fleece my friend Mary had processed at a mill, and I got a few ounces of.

I hope no one was as busy as we were this weekend, I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. However, if you were, I hope it was a satisfying type of busy, like ours.

The Moment We’ve All Been Waiting For

When I finished my Lizard Ridge, I’d already packed up my iron and I couldn’t steam block the border and seams. In addition to that, I wanted to get into our new house and arrange the bedroom before I actually used this beautiful blanket.


Pattern: Lizard Ridge

31 skeins of Noro Kureyon used for this blanket, that’s 3400 yards of Noro. The border is handspun CVM Romeldale in a 3 ply. I used 775 yards for that. I worked on this project on and off for just a few months shy of 4 years. It really is one of my crowing moments in my knitting/spinning career.


There are 6 strips rather than the 4 the pattern calls for, and each strip contains 6 blocks. Construction wise, I knit a block, cast it off, then picked up stitches for the next block for each strip. I then wet blocked all strips. For the seams, I picked up the same amount of stitches per block on each strip, then I used a 3 needle bind off for a stable seam and a seam that would create a bit of a border between the strips. For the border, I picked up stitches on each side, and increased at the beginning and end of every other row. I did not cast off, but left each side on a cable until all 4 sides were complete. I then did an icord bind off for the edge, which really does make it look professionally finished.

Today I steam blocked the entire thing to make it lay flat, and then put it on our bed.

I am so fortunate that Mr. Ink shares my love for color, unusual items, and art. We don’t feel this overwhelming need for the traditional, and when I shared with him my vision for our new house, he was on board completely. We shall fill our new home with color and art and things which are beautiful to us. It won’t be traditional, but it will be what soothes our souls, and that makes it home to us.

And we started with Lizard Ridge.

May Socks

Hello all! Long time no see! Or at least, long time no knit.

I finished my May socks today, and promptly snapped a shot of them on the back patio of the new house.


They look pretty good! And it’s nice to have a finished object to show off. I don’t anticipate another one for awhile. Unless it’s Lizard Ridge, which maybe I’ll have a chance to block this weekend? I hope?


There’s been no crafting whatsoever.

Instead, we spent the weekend, or rather, quite a few days, moving into our new home.

First there was closing. I’ve been living without a washing machine for at least 6 months now. I’d cart my laundry to Mr. Ink’s house and do laundry there on the weekends. However, the last weekend before the move was busy with his family in town, so I figured I’d wait until closing, load up my car with laundry, and head straight to the new house to use my new washer. Oddly, I found this to be a really thrilling prospect and I couldn’t WAIT to get there.

Once I did, I threw in a load of laundry, only to have our ejector pump fail and flood the basement. The basement is unfinished, so it’s not really a big deal, but it was quite distressing! Mr. Ink was able to fix it easily and it’s worked ever since.

After that, there was celebratory bourbon from Miss Marja:


Mr. Ink says “Whiskey’s for closers.” It was certainly a¬†wonderful¬†evening, we moved a bunch of boxes into the new house, and we unpacked a few of them, showed the empty house to some friends, and we were even treated to a celebratory meal, rather unexpectedly, by Mr. Ink’s son.

Thursday evening I did just a bit more moving and organizing. And then on Friday I got up quite early, moved a load to the new house, and set myself up to wait for the utility appointments. I snapped this shot of our retaining wall flowers early Friday morning.


It’s the only phlox on the wall, and I think we are going to have to find a way to add some more. That wall is just beautiful!

Friday consisted of finishing the packing of my house, and then working on Mr. Ink’s house. At midnight, we were moving aquariums and area rugs since we were both too excited to sleep.

And then Saturday was the big day! I can’t believe I didn’t get a picture of our crew, but we had a good one, consisting of hearty cyclists. Thank goodness, because it rained all day long. We moved from 9:30-5:30, it was a very long day. And once that was over, we had a new house that looked like it belonged on the show Hoarders. Not ones to stop there, we just kept working on the house all evening and got ourselves to a pretty good place by the time we went to bed.


I had pulled out all our combined spices and set them on the dining room table because I knew there would be many doubles. Two people who enjoy cooking combining households, it’s not surprising the table looked like this! Sunday morning I couldn’t sleep past 4:45 am, my excitement was too high, so I made a cup of coffee, started a load of laundry, and then set about organizing the spices. I enjoyed even that moment way too much!

The new house is still unorganized but it’s come a long way in a short time! Things I love:

-Having my two favorite people under one roof.

-Having Miss Bug on the same level as me, easy to go sit on her bed and chat with her while she plays, easy to tuck her in and wake her up, it’s quite pleasant.

-The previous owners, original to the house, left the entire history of the house with us in a box. All associated paperwork. It’s wonderful! I went through it yesterday and got to get acquainted with the history of my home, and the land it sits on. I now know every time the roof has been replaced, and every update ever done to the home, every insurance claim they filed, it really is a tiny treasure box and I am so glad they entrusted me with it!

The one thing I have not enjoyed? Organizing my craft room. You’d think that would be something I’d just adore! But not so. I feel completely overwhelmed when I try to work on it. I am convinced this is because crafting just has too many tiny bits and bobs to find a place for. It’s overwhelming! And, I don’t have all my storage furniture in the new house yet. There are still two pieces yet to arrive. So, while some things get put away, the boxes still feel like they are piling up. Or maybe it’s just because the rest of the house is still in such a state that I am not yet inspired about it. We’ll see what happens later.

But the rest of this week? I have to clean the old place out. What a drag!!!

Not as Colorful

Yesterday I worked on some very colorful spinning. But, in my spare moments I’ve been working on something less colorful, though still just as rich.


Back when I purchased my grey CVM/Romeldale fleece, the one I spun up for the border of Lizard Ridge, my friend Mary purchase a CVM Romeldale fleece from the same shop. She wasn’t as enamored with the idea of processing her own fleece, and she’d found a mill she wanted to try. So she sent most of hers out to the mill, while I kept mine at home and did the dirty work myself.

I ended up trading her for some of her mill roving from that fleece. It’s been sitting in my stash for a couple years. And I craved something that I could work on that I’d not have to worry about colors with. So I pulled this one out.

I am telling you, it spins so fast! It’s lofty and bouncy and since it’s actual roving, it lends itself perfectly to long draw. The speed with which I am spinning this is just astounding! And makes me think that in the future, when I have a fleece, sending it out to a mill is absolutely a lovely option.