A New Hobby

Sometime last week I told Mr. Ink that I needed a new hobby. Not that I cannot knit and spin anymore, but because they don’t draw me in the way they used to. I don’t really get lost in a project, and anticipate getting home to work on it, and not want to do anything else. It’s just…different. A bit of a shift. It happened awhile ago, but the apathy persists.

When we were looking at houses, I never noticed that the trim around the garage door was peeling badly and in need of a new paint job. I had the blinders of house love on, and didn’t notice until we moved in. But, as soon as I started putting my car in the garage, I realized that it was in bad shape and it was going to annoy me daily.

We moved in April. It has taken me this many months to finally find time to work on that project. On Friday we had a date night, so we headed out for margaritas before hitting up the hardware store where I got everything I thought I needed for the project. Including paint computer matched from a paint chip I brought in. Date night looks a lot different when you own a home.

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And then Saturday morning, bright and early, I got started. I scraped and scraped and scraped. I pulled old caulk out of the edges and scraped some more. Then I sanded. And I realized that the gaps that I was uncovering with the caulk needed to be filled. I also learned that every single project has layers, and when you peel away a layer you find something new that needs to be done. I sent Mr. Ink back to the hardware store for spray foam to fill in the gaps. Saturday evening I got that done, so Sunday morning I was able to cut away the excess, sand, and caulk. Then back to scraping and sanding. I was struggling a bit because I’d scrape everything I could, then sand and realize large paint pieces were still falling. So I would scrape again. It was an ugly cycle and I got really tired of it.

Once I felt I was done as I could be, I taped in prep for painting. But, the caulk needed a full 24 hours to dry before I could paint over it.

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This was Sunday evening. I went to bed with a stiff neck, and arms that would shake when I tried to lift them over my head.

Monday after work I was back at it. And unfortunately, I spent even more time scraping. I thought I was done, but I was not. Then I got the first coat of paint on it. The paint is a primer + paint so I didn’t need a separate priming coat. I had spent another 3 hours working on it after work and I was beat! So naturally I helped Miss Bug out with her bedroom cleaning project. (A mother’s work just isn’t ever done.)

Tuesday evening brought another round of painting. This time the final coat! I am so pleased to have gotten this done, and so happy it looks that much better than it did. I no longer need to worry about wasps building their nests on the bare wood, and I can rest assured that the rains aren’t further damaging the trim. Even better, I love that this is a project that I started and worked on from start to finish, on my own home. What an awesome feeling!

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And I realized something else. I already have a hobby! My hobby is my home. I think I’ve said this before, but not really had that thing where I get so intense about a project that I cannot let it go. That happened with this project. I could not let go of the project, I just wanted to do it, to get it done, and work on it to the detriment of everything else, including proper meals. I have my new hobby, my new hobby is my house, and now I REALLY want to see if I can redo the kitchen and dining room floors by myself.

Loop bump!

I’ve had a loop bump on the wheel for a little while now. Not too long. I find that when I spin regular top for a bit, and then go back to a loop bump, it’s a bit of a learning curve. But, when I am spinning loop stuff exclusively, it spins too beautifully.

I divided this loop bump into two parts, ripping it down the middle. I then weighed the two parts, and pulled bits from them until they were an equal weight. It must have worked pretty well, because once I plied, I just had the tiniest bit of extra on one bobbin. I am not sure I’ve ever gotten quite that close before.

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You can see the end of the shorter single with it’s leader, and the tiny bit left of the longer single. That was a fun moment!

This one is thicker than usual. Over 5 ounces, 2 ply, DK weight yarn.

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It’s soft and squishy, as loop bumps so often are. I ended up with 370 yards, which feels like a good amount to make something fun with.

A Thing I Made

A long time ago I created a very fuzzy 2 ply yarn out of border leicester locks I cram pot dyed. As it was not the softest thing, I struggled to figure out what to do with that particular handspun.

And then I got it in my head that it would make a great warp for a wall hanging. So that is what I did.

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Using recycled sari silk as weft, I made a little wall hanging. It’s been on my loom for quite some time now, but I just don’t take the time to work in the loom room. This weekend I decided it was time to finish up. It doesn’t hang the straightest right now, which is disappointing, but it does look really interesting, and that part I love. I also love that it’s different. Something I don’t often do. I say this every time I have a woven finished object…..I really should weave more.

Halfway there

Why is it that when I finish spinning half a bump of singles I feel like I am halfway to my end product?

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It doesn’t really work that way, does it? I mean, not only do I have to do the second half of the singles but I also have to ply. Then skein, then finish the yarn in some way.

But, I am halfway there.

The end of the 2 ended candle

I’ve been burning the candle on both ends lately, and I know it. On Friday, with another adventurous biking weekend planned, I kept thinking “I seem to be developing allergies.”

Spoiler alert, it wasn’t allergies. We had planned on a weekend of biking and live bands. We were to drive separately because Mr. Ink worked Saturday morning. But once Saturday morning rolled around, I realized that I was sick, having developed a cold. So, we went out to the ride together, rode around the small town of Jefferson, IA and saw 3 bands. We went to dinner at an A & W which still had the old phones to order.

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And then we camped at the home of a biking acquaintance.

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What happened the next morning was stupidity on my part. When Miss Bug gets sick and can’t do something she really wants to do, I tell her that’s just the way it is sometimes. But apparently I don’t take my own advice, especially when there is money involved. I knew I would not be able to do the entire ride on Sunday, but I did believe I could at least manage 35 miles. This plan was made on Saturday evening.

Sunday morning I felt worse. But, I’d set my heart on 35 miles so we started out. Into a headwind. While sick. I just couldn’t manage to go very fast at all, and I was really suffering, and so slow that I couldn’t make it to the next town in time to see any of the bands. Very frustrating. But I made it 17 miles out, so I could turn around and get my 35 miles in, now with the wind at my back.

Should be easier right? IT WAS NOT. Mr. Ink had said something like “I bet we can do these 17 miles in an hour.” And I could have on a good day with the wind at my back. But this wasn’t a good day. And, even with the wind at my back I struggled to maintain 6-8 mph. And I had to stop. Toward the end, probably once every 2 miles. And the whole time I was hanging onto a hankie, using it to blow my nose when I sneezed, and then stuffing an end of it back into my bike shorts because I needed it too often and unexpectedly to put it away.

We’d said we would go drive to see the next band once we finished riding, but even that did not appeal to me by the time we reached the car. 35 miles while sick is TOO MUCH for me. Just too much. We got to the car, grabbed a bite to eat, and then we decided to drive the over 2 hours home. Just one problem, I was exhausted and miserable, but too worried Mr. Ink would fall asleep at the wheel to sleep myself. So I drove home too.

And then crashed and basically did very little for the next 24 hours.

That part felt pretty good.

And thankfully life gets to slow down significantly now. We have things planned, but we have breaks in between. No longer a constant state of being on the road on the weekends.

Nahant the Next

Miss Marja decided that she would like me to make her a Nahant scarf out of her handspun yarn. It was such a pleasurable project the first time around that I eagerly agreed.

The handspun is an inglenook batt set, and the transitions aren’t dramatic, but instead tweedy with small pops of color. Very pretty!

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I’d have to say I am about halfway done with this project, though I didn’t really weigh the yarn yet. This one is also going to be a stunner once it is blocked. If you haven’t tried this pattern yet, go do it!