A Much Needed Weekend

Guys, I needed this weekend so badly! Between everything going on at home and a huge work project that’s been giving me fits for 2 weeks, and stress even before that, I just didn’t know how much of a stress ball I’d become.

The work project finished up on Friday afternoon. I was able to go home and grab a power nap, then Mr. Ink and I mowed the lawn before a weekend of rain began. I did some weeding and some housework and we made an easy dinner, then settled in to watch a movie together while I knit on the pair of socks that need to be done by Monday.

I finished them.


It’s VERY rainy and dark today, this is as good a photo as I’ll ever get. These are for Mr. Ink’s sister in law, who is just one of those people who gets jobs done. She and I think alike, but I haven’t been in the family 30 years, so I don’t say that which I think. She says it for me. I can’t even begin to tell you how much I appreciate her. Also, she’s so knit worthy. I sent her home with a large cowl a little over a year ago, and she wears it ALL OF the time in the winter.  These socks are an easy way for me to say thank you for all the help and support she gives us.

If all goes well, I’ll have another finished object soon. But, as of right now? I am thrilled to report that’s one skein of commercial yarn out of my stash during my month of knitting exclusively.

I’ve been doing a lot of gardening lately, I got some gladiolus in the ground, and I’ve got some cannas waiting to be planted. I have moved a bunch of day lilies to another area in my yard in order to claim more space for my veggie garden. The veggie garden is mostly in, and I’ve planted a bunch of various plants in my shadier gardens, which were just mulch and no plants. Mr. Ink’s hill has gotten a lot of work lately as well, he’s been removing old dead roots of bushes long choked out by weeds he’s finally eradicated. He tells me the erosion out there is getting pretty bad but I’ll like the solution. I asked him what the solution was, and he said more plants, plants and rocks. That’s great, since I keep going to my favorite plant store and purchasing him plants that like rocks. I guess I get to continue!

I’ve got two more gorgeous blooms to show off, my iris bed is busting out now.


Irises are such elegant flowers for the time they bloom! And, I’ve got a beautifully established columbine which never had a chance to bloom last year, so choked out was that flower bed.


Now it’s blooming beautifully in the midst of siberian irises that haven’t bloomed yet. With all the rain we are getting right now, expect a lot more bloom pictures!

I Don’t Know

With all the upset of Mr. Ink’s mom starting directly after I decided to give up spinning for a month, I am not sure if I just find it relatively uninspiring to blog about knitting, or if I’ve just been too busy and lack the motivation to blog in general. I suspect I’ll need to try another month off spinning to find a better baseline in the future.


Here’s the heel of a second sock! I began, and knit the heel flap and heel, starting on Monday. Pretty good I’d say, for a couple days work. I thought that Mr. Ink’s sister in law would be arriving on Friday, but that didn’t work out as anticipated. She’ll be arriving on Monday instead. That gives me a weekend, a rainy one at that, to finish this sock.

Actually, I plan to knit about to the toe, and then leave it be. Once she arrives, she can try on the complete one, and I can either finish up, or make adjustments and finish up both socks to the proper size.

As for Mr. Ink’s mom, she’s now in a home for rehab, working on learning to walk again. We visited last evening and I was impressed with the facilities. They’d come highly recommended, so I shouldn’t have been surprised, but it was really nice to see how lovely they are. I hope the care equals the facilities. In the meantime, the next month brings us paperwork, and cleaning out her apartment. It’s been less than a year since we cleaned out the old family home, and I still have nightmares about it, so I am not exactly looking forward to this next clean out, despite the fact that it’s only 13 years worth of stuff, and a much smaller place.

Meanwhile, there are the regular inconveniences of differing opinions that different family members bring to the table in situations such as this. For instance, the one where some family members believe that all the stuff from  her apartment will be coming to my house to be stored. Those family members would be mistaken. I’ve got issues with “stuff.” I keep my level of “stuff” WAY down whenever possible. And clutter drives me right crazy. We are currently housing stuff for kids who don’t live with us, and that’s about my limit. I do believe that there are lovely things called storage sheds, and you can rent them by the month, and “stuff” can just stay in there.

And after typing all that out, I think it’s pretty clear that the mental exhaustion of each day right now leaves me little room for blogging about knitting. It’s not the knitting, it’s the situation.

Oh. Yeah. And also the huge work project.

OK, here’s the thing. Life is full of cycles, and the cycle for me is stress. Hopefully it’ll settle down soon!


The day before I got a call about Mr. Ink’s mom, I picked up a refurbished and now no longer made fitness tracker. I figured it might be fun to see my steps and it might also get me up and moving on the days I am not biking. But, then, I spent a bunch of time in the hospital, which really isn’t conducive to movement at all, especially if you may miss something important when you leave the room. And you are the only person there to hear it and help make decisions.

So, I took to sneaking out when Mr. Ink’s mom had asked for pain relief, knowing she would then sleep. The hospital she chose is just beautiful and on a beautiful campus. And right now? All the trees are in bloom. So I’d take a walk around the hospital, each time around gave me 2,000 steps.


And during those steps, I’d get to see such beautiful things!


Beautiful things along with the parking lots.

I went in yesterday to see her after blogging. I figured she won’t be at this hospital much longer, so I won’t get to take advantage of that lovely walk much longer. So I walked again before I even went in. Once in the hospital, I was VERY encouraged to see her up in a recliner, eating healthily, with beautiful color in her face. And chatty! She was very chatty. I was there for the orthopedist visit, where he told us surgery had gone just as well as possibly could be expected, and now the onus was on her to have a good recovery. It’s a long one, 3 months before she’ll be back to weight bearing on that hip. But seeing her up and in a chair already was so encouraging.

Now, this is a woman who has lived entirely by herself for the last 12 years, not really having visitors so often, and not driving, so unable to take herself out. We would see her when she needed to go to the store or the dentist or whatever, and we’d make sure she had a place to visit on holidays, but as a rule, she was alone. I had been thinking the day before that it must be SO overwhelming to go from that normal to the hospital normal where you’ve got people talking to you all day. So, when she told me I could leave any time, after having a lovely chat with her, I took that as her cue that she needed some alone time and stepped out. And took another walk around the hospital.

Being home most of the day yesterday was lovely! I got the house back in a reasonable order, and got some knitting done. Look at my hanami! I am well within the cherry blossom section now!


I am still knitting away on this every chance I get, and it’s still fun! I can’t wait to see it blocked.

We were also able to get a bike ride in, and mow the lawn, and I gardened. And, feeling quite indulgent, we also stayed up late, watched a movie, and made a nice dinner. It’s our last alone day in our home after all. At the end of the day? I had over 20K steps! That was so fun!

And all that gardening made me realize we’ve got our very first iris of the season blooming!


It was twilight when I snapped that photo. I’d been trying to pick that henbit out of the nearby ferns, a really irritating job. And then I realized there was a gorgeous bloom right in front of my nose and I hadn’t taken the time to notice it yet! That felt like a lovely end to the day.



Just when you say something like “speeding right along,” life throws you a curve ball.

And that’s exactly what happened with the end of my week. On Thursday afternoon while I was still at work, I got a call from Mr. Ink’s sister in law. She’d called over to his mother, and his mother reluctantly admitted to her that she’d fallen two days prior. And not told anyone about it.

Now, knowing that any fall in an 88 year old could potentially be quite serious, and not being able to get in touch with Mr. Ink, I headed over there. She was able to get to the door, and I was able to get her into the car. We headed to the urgent care which is practically next door to her, but they wouldn’t see her. So, we then headed off to the only hospital she seems comfortable with, which was quite a ways away, in rush hour traffic.

By that time I’d been able to get ahold of Mr. Ink and he met us there. I was so thankful we’d gone to an ER, as what I didn’t realize was that while I could get her IN my car, I was completely unable to get her back OUT of my car. But they had experienced staff to help with that.

We learned, once in the ER, that she’d not just fallen 2 days before, she’d fallen 2 days before, and then fell again the next day. On fall 1, she’d broken her hip. On fall 2, she broke some ribs. And naturally, she hadn’t been eating because she was unable to make herself food.

I REALLY don’t know how long she would have gone without telling someone, if Mr. Ink’s sister in law hadn’t called and then pried the information out of her. I spent most of the day yesterday at the hospital with her as she was poked and prodded by all manner of docs and nurses, just to confirm that she was fine for surgery. As it turns out, besides the hip, she really couldn’t be healthier. So we made some decisions about surgery, information was conveyed to Mr. Ink’s brothers, and then Mr. Ink arrived to take over for the actual surgery part.

She came through surgery just fine! She’s got a long recovery ahead of her, and no more living alone, but she also did very well. When we have to take her to an ER for something, it’s always really fun for me to listen to the doctors and nurses talk about her outside the door. “This is an 88 year old female on absolutely NO medications whatsoever, with no known health problems.” “WHAT?!” “Seriously. No meds at all. No known health problems.” And it always continues in that direction for awhile. She’s such an anomaly, they can’t, initially, believe it.

I will be headed back up to the hospital soon. Tomorrow Mr. Ink’s younger brother comes to town. At the end of the week, Mr. Ink’s sister in law will come to town. So, we will be having a full house again, which has been the case the majority of 2016 so far. But we’ll be very grateful for the help! And we continue to be grateful we’ve got a house large enough to have people stay at.

Here’s what I realized, as I sat in the hospital yesterday knitting on a sock. The sock I was knitting on was started for Mr. Ink’s sister in law. She’s our greatest support when it comes to Mr. Ink’s mom, even though she lives 1,000 miles away. And she wanted socks, and I was happy to make her some. But as I sat there knitting on it, I realized she’d arrive in a week, and I could present her with a pair of socks! Also, it was SO appropriate that I was knitting socks for HER while in the hospital with the person she helps us care for from miles and miles away.


I finished that sock (Though it may be too long, I can always pull back the toe once she arrives) and I’ll start the second sock on Monday. I feel confident I can finish it by Friday.

Speeding Right Along

I have to admit, ever since the weekend was over, the only knitted item getting any action is my Hanami stole. Since I don’t love knitting the basketweave lace portion, I set a goal to do one repeat a day. I figured it would keep me on task, and get me through it faster. On Sunday I managed two repeats, and by last evening I was into the transitional chart.


It certainly is growing quickly! Can you see the beads in the middle of each diamond? Beads are always so hard to photograph, and I suppose the pops of color in the handspun also hinder the view.

As of this morning, I am all the way through the transitional chart and halfway through the first of the cherry blossom charts.

I want to begin adding beads again, but I am not entirely sure where to put them. Certainly not at every cherry blossom, that would get exhausting and heavy. I’ll give it some more knitting time and maybe a solution will come to me.

I have also managed a tiny bit of work on the sock, and a little work on Drake the Snake, but both are so negligible as to be not at all photo worthy.

However, I do have another plant photo. Last year my extremely talented gardening coworker gave me a tiny little Lady’s Mantle. It did well in one of my shade gardens last year, but I was surprised just how early it appeared this year, and how full and large it is already!


It has established itself very nicely. I am looking forward to adding far more to this shade garden this year. It’s got this lady’s mantle, and then a bunch of fairly small hostas. It’s my intention to add a bunch of taller shade plants to the back of it and we’ll see what else.

I know I’ve mentioned it before, but I am going to talk about it again. When I was younger, I hated gardening with a passion. So it’s such a great surprise to me to love it in adulthood.

The Socks

It seems only reasonable that during a month of self inflicted exclusive knitting, I’d have a pair of socks on the needles. I started these mid March, as I needed another pair of “emergency knitting” socks.


I am photographing them in the car, because that’s where they reside! I keep them around for moments I might need knitting while I am out, but they get knit on most often when I decide I’ve had enough single track riding but Mr. Ink wants to do a bit more.

That was the case yesterday, and I got a bit further down the foot. 10 out of 13 repeats are complete on this sock.

Since the sock pic is a bit boring and I don’t have much progress on anything else today, can I show you garden photos?


Not entirely sure what this plant is on our retaining wall, but it’s in its glory at the moment. Really gorgeous! You can see, behind it, phlox peeking out. Here’s a close up:


It was far more abundant last year, that plant, but kind of got choked out. We are hoping that it fills in above a bit this year, and we are working on encouraging that.

Another phlox photo is one that Mr. Ink planted last year, and it’s just blooming like mad too!


It seems to be really enjoying it’s spot on the hill.

And finally, the tree we planted when our 17 year old dog passed away last year, the Coco Memorial tree, made it through the winter! It’s a red bud, and we weren’t entire sure it would make it. Not only did it make it, but it is exhibiting it’s first flower!


When we moved in to our home, we realized we had no trees. It’s a huge yard, and NO TREES! None at all. Now we have two. And another one arriving shortly. (And frankly, our rose of sharon is rather tree like. But it’ll never grow like a tree.)

After doing a bunch of yard work this weekend, prior to the current rain, I am highly inspired to get out and buy plants. I love that I’ve learned to enjoy gardening, and also love that Mr. Ink picks up where I slack in that department. But most of all, I love that gardening happens for a season, and then we get a break.


When I am exclusively knitting as a craft, it’s important for me to get something in the opposite needle size as to what I’ve currently got on the needles in order to avoid the claw syndrome. I saw this great little free pattern called Polar Opposites, a cowl created out of both bulky and laceweight yarn.

Now, the yarn that happened to start this month of self inflicted exclusive knitting was my pink corespun yarn. It was the skein I couldn’t fit into my handspun stash area. So it seems natural that it just never get in that area at all, and I knit it right up.


I paired it with a dark teal laceweight yarn from Estonia brought back by a good friend years and years ago. It is, quite frankly, amazing. I will knit right to the end of the corespun skein, and then decide if I want ot to be a scarf or a cowl, depending on length.

I will absolutely be making this pattern again. It highlights the crazy beautiful corespun texture in a way most patterns do not. It’s fun, it’s easy, and best of all? It’s making the softest fabric ever. I need so much more of this in my life!

This is a Knitting Blog

Somewhere along the line, I transitioned from Knitter and sometimes Spinner, to Spinner who knits. I don’t know when that happened, as I know that it sort of tipped back and forth for a very long time. But somewhere along the line, the spinning took a front seat.

I walked into Mr. Ink’s Den of Slack, where my yarn is stored, and got seriously overwhelmed when I tried to put away some of my handspun yarn. I am producing yarn at an alarming rate lately, and not knitting nearly fast enough to keep up with my stash.  In addition to this, the knitting I have been doing the most of is for Miss Marja who supplies her own yarn, so my stash is not getting used. And to top it off? Knitting for her is in trade for more of her handspun yarn! So, it’s gotten a little crazy.

Now, I used to do Month O’Socks, where I’d knit only socks for an entire month, leaving me with claw like sore hands, a minimized sock yarn stash, and a bunch of new pairs of handknit socks. Except for the claw like hands, it was a total win!

No more Month O’Socks for me, instead I am instituting a self inflicted month of knitting. On Friday, I put my wheel in the closet, tidied my fiber stash and put that away, and made myself a serious queue of projects, pairing stash yarn to them immediately.

It’s now day 3, and I’ve got 3 repeats done one a handspun hanami stole. I knit this pattern a long time ago, it was enjoyable, and the end result was stunning. But I gave it away. This time I chose a color that wasn’t black, and hoped that would make the process easier. But I forgot just how difficult I find the basketweave lace pattern to be. 3 repeats in, I am now not ripping back every patterned row. I seem to be on a roll now. Only 4 more repeats to go before I start a different chart!


The yarn is handspun singles I created out of my own batts. It’s mostly polwarth wool with the addition of silk and sari silk. The beads I am using match the silk and sari silk color pops perfectly.

The other thing I am hoping to accomplish during my month of exclusive knitting is to get up off the couch and get other stuff done. The reality, with spinning, is that I am so obsessive I can’t leave my wheel. With knitting, I find it much easier to put down, as I do get a little bored these days. So when I get bored, and don’t have spinning to go to, I think I’ll manage to get a few other things done around the house instead.

I hope everyone is having a lovely weekend! It’s been a pretty good one here!

Purple Batts

The second set of batts created from my latest drum carder obsession were a nice deep purple with some lighter purple silk add ins as well as some lighter purple sparkle, and some carded sari silk , and a few silk noils.


I absolutely love these batts, which is why I had a really hard time not starting them immediately. Despite being in the middle of another spinning project, I pulled out a different bobbin and began spinning these.

I ended up with a nice bouncy 2 ply yarn, it’s a gradient from a slightly brighter purple to a very dark one. And it has fantastic bits of interest! This was a pleasurable spin right fromt he start, and plying was fun, as I got to see how all those bits of interest came together in a finished yarn.


It’s great! I’ve got 550 yards of a heavy fingeringweight yarn. It’s bouncy and wonderful yarn, as I spun it long draw. It is going to be just as hard to leave this in my stash as it was to put the batts in my stash!

In other words, I can’t wait to knit this!!!


Awhile back I began a wall hanging, using the Forest Path Stole pattern, and this yarn:


Singles I spun out of some Loop! clouds.

It’s been a long haul, but a pleasurable one. I have knit and beaded and enjoyed the pattern immensely. But, the borders really bot to me. And I let it sit for more than a month with only about 6 rows and a bind off left to knit!


It’s done now, and the entire family is excited that it’ll be going up on the wall.


I really cannot resist showing you close up photos of the lace rectangles.


So pretty, so handspun, so colorful!


I would absolutely knit this pattern again, given the opportunity. I’d just take the knowledge of the border issues and do something different right from the start next time.


I am very pleased with it, and I look forward to seeing it up on a wall in our home in the very near future!


In my quest to work out of my Spinner’s Book of Yarn Designs, I began to learn to spin cocoons onto my singles.

I took a braid of BFL/Silk from Dyeabolical Yarns in the Kara colorway, and added cocoons out of Loop! leftovers. I got through 2 ounces of fiber this way, not really enjoying the process, and having the process hurt my wrist and put my fingers to sleep. The results are beautiful, but I really needed to stop!


So, I took the other two ounces, and decided to try to spin it out thin enough to get a 2 ply that is approximately the same weight as these singles. Ideally I could then pair the yarns together with an interesting look.

That went pretty well!


The 2 ply is about the same weight, and it’s absolutely gorgeous and rich and the best part? I got to enjoy spinning it.

In the end, I have 260 yards of 2 ply and 250 yards of singles, so I’d say I did quite well with both dividing out the fiber and with spinning it to equal weights.

I admit, after this project, my stamina for working out of the book is toast. I’ll get back to it later, but it’s now time for me to work on spinning some of the gorgeous batts I’ve been making and also accumulating. In a normal manner. Unless I corespin. Because, that’s just fun.

Is there a spinning technique that inspires you? Or that you found you really didn’t like?

Plying like mad

I got home yesterday from work, decided a bike ride wasn’t in the cards for the evening, and I finished plying my Kara singles.


See? Aren’t they stunning? I don’t think I am entirely done with this colorway in my life. But, I am done with the colorway FOR NOW. This 2 ounce skein came out so beautifully it made me wish I’d never done the cocoons on the other two ounces.

Then, I began plying my purple batt singles. The picture isn’t fantastic, but here ya go:


It was getting late! Soon after that I figured I’d better get something done around the house, so the purple batts didn’t get finished. But, it WAS absolutely a great evening of crafty goodness!

In Knitting

You know, it occurs to me that it’s been awhile since I’ve posted much about knitting in progress, what with the batts and the spinning and all!

I started a new little project. The pattern is called Drake the Snake, and it’s a two color scarf. The yarns I chose are both dyeabolical yarns, the green semi solid is the leftover yarn from my boxy and buttony sweater, and the pink toned colorway is a discontinued one called “We’re All Mad Here.


Since it was a discontinued colorway, I just wanted something lovely and not socks out of it! And also something large enough that I’d wear it regularly. The addition of the darker green makes that a possibility for me.

I am having a ton of fun with this one, I love short rows and I love seeing those wedges knit up. This one is currently residing at work, which means it gets a good amount of time devoted to it during the week (when mostly I spin or bike at night) and then it comes home on the weekends, when I am more likely to knit.

Speaking of biking, with the weather change, and an attitude change in me, we’ve been biking a whole lot more! I mentioned that over the weekend Miss Bug got my old mountain bike set up specifically for her. We’d told her we were going to take her out biking, and I had been thinking paved trails around a lake. But, she was most insistent that she doesn’t like riding paved trails, and wanted to go mountain biking. Sunday, Mr. Ink and I had just ridden a full lap of our favorite easy access mountain bike park. On Monday, we took Miss Bug as well. I figured she wouldn’t have the stamina to do much riding. But, as it turns out, since she’s also a little trail runner with her dad, she knew exactly where she wanted to go, and that was a whole lot more biking than I’d anticipated.

Gratuitous photo of Bug trail running:


Or, perhaps more accurately in this case, trail jumping.

As a mother, following her on her first big mountain bike ride, riding a new bike that’s rather big for her, I had to tamp down my instinct to tell her that she couldn’t do things. The reality was that she could do almost anything she tried, and she had very little fear. Anything we encountered she wanted to try, and often times she wanted to do it again.

It was also rather exhausting, as there’s a real change in how *I* ride when I am behind her. I have to slow way down, put myself in super low gear, do a lot of extra balancing to accommodate her slower speed, and then trying to maneuver whatever obstacle is ahead at such a slow speed, and slowing down for her unexpected needs is quite a challenge in power output on a bike. All of this being probably very good for me. And something I don’t expect to last, as her first time out was such a massive success that she’s likely to speed up beyond my own abilities very quickly.

I took along my phone but didn’t get any shots of her riding. However, I did get some great shots of Mr. Ink riding a large log skinny. I so rarely stop to take photos, it was nice to have that opportunity this time.


He nailed it, naturally. I really need to start riding those smaller logs, but at my age, I DO have a big case of fear and my brain is in the way more often than not.

All in all a great evening!



As I mentioned yesterday, Miss Marja left me with some fiber that was a bit less than gorgeous.


It is heavy on the silk, has a bunch of sparkle, and at the same time, it was quite boring. Just not something she wanted to spin or mess with. But, I thought about that fiber all night and through the morning, hoping that I could somehow make it into something I would love.

The first thing I did was remove just as much of the white silk as I could. Anything that wasn’t well blended got ripped out of there and set in a pile. I can always dye that silk at a later time and use it for something else.

Then I thought about it and realized that in order to tone down the summer day cloud theme, I’d really need to add a bunch of colors that were dark. I decided to mostly stick with blues. I also decided that the extremely silk and silky fiber heavy fiber really needed no more silk. So I went through my stash and pulled out ever single darker blue color that I could find. When I felt that wasn’t enough, I pulled out some dark purples and some dark greens as well. I wanted to cut the color in the original fiber down to under 50% of the batt.

Then I chose my add ins. I went really heavy on the blue sari silk thread, there’s a ton of it. And it’s absolutely the brightest blue in the resulting batts. And then I also added silk noil, that was a dark charcoal grey.

Now, not all the batts are the same color. The different colors of blues and purples and greens don’t repeat. But they are close. And I think I took it from bright summer sky colored to stormy sky colored.


It’s a MASSIVE improvement. My plan with these is to spin them up into a 3 ply as to blend the different colors as much as possible and get a fairly consistently colored yarn. It’s near to 8 ounces, so I should be getting some great yardage as well!

It was a fun experiment, I really enjoyed it. It’s good to know I can take something practically unlikeable and change it into something I’d want to spin. It’ll be interesting to see how it spins, since I sandwiched the white and light blue so well. It might be lighter in those batts than I currently anticipate. We’ll see!

But first, I’ve got two skeins of handspun to finish. And this gives me quite a bit of motivation to quit making batts and work on my unfinished spinning projects.

I hope you all had a great weekend full of good weather and lots of color!

Bits and Bobs

It’s not really been the type of weekend where I’ve really stuck to any one thing. So I can give you a run down of what I’ve been up to instead.

Friday night we went to a local hockey game with 80 of our closest friends. Miss Bug talked at me all night, our team won, cotton candy was consumed, and a photo was taken with the mascot.


It was pretty much exactly how a hockey game should go.

I had some time here and there to work on a little spinning, and did manage to get the 2 ounces of singles I needed for a 2 ply to coordinate with my cocoon yarn done.


No plying yet, I’ll probably spin up the purple batts first, and then ply both yarns. Having more bobbins means having more opportunity to start more projects, leaving more than I’d like unfinished!

Miss Bug had a friend over for a sleep over, and Mr. Ink fixed up my old mountain bike for Miss Bug to ride. Those girls were really pleased….


Right up until the moment that Mr. Ink went to adjust the friend’s bike and the derailleur fell off. Another has been ordered, and should be in next week. And no matter really, as we’ve got more than enough bikes around this house to spare one for her use until her bike can be fixed.

On Saturday morning, Miss Marja came for a visit, and to create some of her own batts. while she was here, I dug into her add in stash, and pulled some stuff out for my batts. Then, once she left, I made another set.


I like them! They are pretty, and they have some really interesting stuff hiding in there that I am eager to see how spins up. But, with 3 spinning projects already in progress, I am going to have to just wait a bit.

And finally, Miss Marja left me a challenge. She left me a bunch of odd fiber she didn’t want. As far as I can tell it’s white silk, white sparkle, and baby blue wool. It’s quite….interesting. I am determined to make it look better than it does, so I figured I’d take a photo of it at the outset, so you can see the improvement.


That’s all for today, I am sure there’ll be something to show off tomorrow!

A Finished Object!

And it’s even knit!


This is Marja’s Nahant scarf, all complete. It’s out of her handspun yarn, but knit by me. The fiber is Loop! clouds, the colorway 3 ring circus. I was loving everything about this knit, and I knew it would be special, but it’s EVEN MORE beautiful than I ever could have imagined after blocking. Taking those subtle stripes and putting them in an undulating and bias knit lace pattern is so perfect as to be almost ridiculous. I couldn’t like it more!

The Nahant pattern wins AGAIN, and again I sit here thinking “Oh, now I could just cast on another. Which yarn will I choose?!”

And that’s a sign of an amazing pattern, truly!

Wednesday Night

Wednesday night was a night I was supposed to be getting stuff done. But, it didn’t work out that way.


Because when I got home, I’d gotten an interesting package full of various types of silk. Specifically silk throwsters waste and silk laps. Since I’ve never seen either of those things in person, I was eager to mess around with them. Well, the laps anyhow, which I added to the drum carder, it’s the light colored sorta cloud looking stuff. I have no idea how it’ll spin up, but I suspect it’ll be rather textured.

The batts I ended up creating on Wednesday night are mostly merino wool. Nice merino wool, very smooth. And this is where I realize why I also had such a terrible time with the alpaca batts I made before christmas. My no name cheap drum carder doesn’t really like finer fibers. Now, the merino acted better than the alpaca, it’s doable. But, my carder really prefers wool with a little grab.

Which solidifies my theory that the previous wool top I was using, labeled superwash merino, are most certainly NOT superwash merino. Which is just fine with me.

I made 4 batts, it’s probably 5 ounces total but I didn’t weigh after I finished. They are all slightly different colors, and I think I’ll spin them all into separate skeins of 2 ply.


Then we can let the knitting create the gradient.

I am excited to start working on these! But considering that I have already 3 spinning projects in progress, I am just going to have to set them aside for now.


In my continued quest to work from Spinner’s Book of Yarn Designs, I decided to try cocoons. I used dyeabolical’s colorway Kara on BFL/Silk as my single, and Loop! fiber scraps for the cocoons.


Here’s an early photo. I had to spin thicker than usual for this, and short forward worsted spinning at that. Then there are all these hand maneuvers to create the cocoons. And to make a long story short, all of that REALLY hurts my wrists, and puts my fingers to sleep. So I have had to work on it in rather short bursts.

I ended up taking this fiber off the wheel last weekend because of those gorgeous purple batts I made, and couldn’t refrain from putting on my wheel. Then I got back to it after the first bobbin of the purple batts was complete.

The sad part is that at the point where I decided that this technique is most decidedly NOT for me was the point where I actually got a little better and faster at it.


The cocoons began to look nicer and more tight on the single, and I was liking the process more.

But not enough to keep going! I finished two ounces of the wool with the cocoons, and have now decided to make a 2 ply out of the remaining 2 ounces. I’ll do that at a much thinner single, hoping that my 2 ply will be about the same weight as my single with the cocoons. Then we can just call them corresponding yarns. And perhaps then a unique pattern will reveal itself.

Guys, I don’t think I’ve been this frustrated with my spinning in practically forever! I guess it was bound to happen. What were the odds I’d like every single technique in the book?!

Taking a Break

From spinning and batts!

I had some 4 ply yarn I made from Dyeabolical rolags quite some time ago. It’s pink and purple and sparkly and I REALLY enjoyed spinning it on spindles!



It’s a fairly small amount of fingering to sport weight yarn, pretty good, I’d say, for a 4 ply. I’d been looking for a perfect pattern for this yarn, assuming that a cowl would work out well. But, a perfect pattern never really materialized. So, instead, I just made a cowl.


Bam, done, a little lace patterning for interest, and I’ve got a cowl. It turned out pretty well, and now goes in a pile of stuff I’ve got to give away as gifts should I choose to.

I just kept at it

More drum carding from me!

So, yesterday I posted about how I took the purple ends off 4 braids of top and made purple batts. I also took the green ends off those same 4 braids and made some gradient batts.

Unfortunately that didn’t go quite as hoped for. I divided everything out evenly, hoping for a smooth gradient from bright lime green into a deep olive green. I made sure I kept the add ins the same for each batt, hoping they’d really work well together.


But, what I got was two bright green batts, one only slightly less bright than the other, and then a lovely transition between green and dark olive green. So, these aren’t quite a gradient, more a group of batts that could coordinate if spun certain ways. As to how I will spin them? Not sure yet, but it’ll be fun!

Add ins for these were silk noil, tussah silk, mulberry silk, some firestar, and a bunch of different merinos that coordinated nicely with what I believe to be polwarth.

And this is officially where I stopped with batts. For now. I’ve got another 8 ounces of blues from the same 4 braids, but I haven’t decided what to do with them. And a BUNCH of other wool. But, the weekend ended, and I’ve decided to put my efforts toward spinning up something else.


Guys, I am showing signs of an addiction. (I guess that’s not surprising, I do absolutely get obsessive over fiber pursuits.)


I had 4 of these braids. Same situation as yesterday’s braids, they are listed as superwash merino but they are not. And, while I love some gorgeously colored top, I love batts more, so I decided I was going to make a mess out of these 4 tops, and see what happens. I pulled an ounce off the end of each one, giving me 4 ounces of a nice dark purple.

Then I grabbed some tussah silk, some mulberry silk, some sparkle, some silk noil, and some carded sari silk. I drum carded those into batts, they are a bit of a gradient. One batt is lighter purple, one batt is darker purple, and then there’s two that are a midrange.


And as per usual, I couldn’t resist starting them! I mean, it was so overwhelming that I had to remove a project that I haven’t shown off yet, and sit outdoors spinning these batts.

I made it halfway through last evening.


And I grabbed a progress shot along the way. This is the lightest batt underneath, with the midrange purple on top.

I can’t decide if I want to keep these as singles or make it a 2 ply. I am currently set up for a 2 ply, but it seems that when I am spinning something I carded, I have a seriously hard time not leaving them as singles!

Either way, I think it’ll be gorgeous.

But the batt creating didn’t stop there…stay tuned!


The Drum Carder

Prior to my parents’ visit, I had told Mr. Ink that I was going to ask him for help taking apart my drum carder after they left. You see, I ADORE using the drum carder, and spinning the amazing fiber I make from it. But, early on when I bought it, I hadn’t really done quite enough research. I didn’t realize that overpacking it was no good, and consequently, a bunch of fiber had gotten into all the areas that turn.

I’ve had that drum carder for years, and just continued to use it that way. But, it needed an adjustment, and I figured if I had Mr. Ink’s help, I could also get it taken apart, truly cleaned, and put back together correctly.

We worked on that yesterday. Unfortunately, my cheap drum carder doesn’t really come apart in the places I need it to, so we tediously, used a utility knife, a pair of small fabric scissors, and a crochet hook to pull wool out of the small spaces it had gotten into.

It was a lot of fiber. Seriously.


And most of it was stuff from the very first time I used it, I’d recognize that brown fleece anywhere.

While we were cleaning it, I was telling Mr. Ink how I would like to sell this off brand carder and get a name brand carder that was bigger, since I truly adore carding wool. He nodded, and listened, and didn’t give an opinion. (That’s normal, he typically gives opinions much later than the conversation happened.)

Then we put it all back together, and I got out my wool and envisioned a project. Then I got started!


And I realized that this carder was working so beautifully, that I had no interest in a new carder. All I needed was a cleaned and adjusted carder to be happy with what I already have.

And from there? I made myself a colorwheel.


Guys? That’s an 11 oz. color wheel! I took two braids I didn’t like, dyed with the above colors in a gradient, pulled them apart at about 1 ounce intervals, divided them out by color, added a bunch of mix ins, and other colored fiber when I wanted to tone down or draw out another color, and then carded them lickety split, practically crowing in happiness the entire time.

Well, as lickety split as carding can go anyhow.

Here’s a picture of the original colorway.


The original fiber said it was superwash wool, but if that was superwash wool, I’ll eat those 11 oz. of fiber. For real, it felt a lot more like polwarth, and it certainly isn’t superwash anything. No matter, it’s gorgeous, the resulting batts are really beautiful, and I’ve got a working carder to play with.

And thus, I’ll leave you with an album of closer shots of those batts, and the promise of more beautiful batts to view tomorrow.


Corespun Yarn

I finished my corespun out of my pink batts. It looks great! It was a very highly textured batt with stuff in it that was completely undraftable. So, there are smooth sections and then very textured sections. This I love about it.


I used knitpicks bare lace as the core this time. All other times I’ve corespun, I’ve used a mohair core. I enjoyed the laceweight yarn, it left the yarn a bit smaller over all. Less bulky.

Let’s take a close up look, shall we?


Yep, I love it! And I love the bright spring colors on the grass that is greening right up!

As soon as I finished this, I knew I’d be doing another corespun soon. And I thought “Maybe I should check knitpicks prices and get some more laceweight!” Then I thought a little more about it, and realized that my laceweight stash has been mostly untouched since 2010, and maybe I could just use my own laceweight? So, I calculated just how many yards of corespun I could do using my own laceweight. And the amount was over 12 thousand yards.

Guess I won’t be headed back to knitpicks any time soon. At least not for THAT reason.

The Nahant

Or rather, The Nahant I am currently working on, because we all know this pattern is a favorite.


It’s coming along so well! The fiber was 3 Ring Circus Loop! clouds which Miss Marja spun, and I am now knitting. While knitting with the yarn, I see these individual pops of color and I expect them to be glaringly loud once knit. But that’s not the case at all! In reality, the black tones them down so much that the yarn, once knit, looks more tonal, or like it has gentle color shifts. It’s really fun to knit up!

I’ve still got quite a ways to go on this one, and also am trying to keep it as comfort knitting. I don’t know how long that will last, I love the pattern so much!