Weekend Work

Guys, I can’t show you knitting or spinning! Because precious little of it was done this weekend. We absolutely adore our home, and the yard is our passion, and as such, we spent the entire 3 day weekend out of doors, when it was not raining.

Mr. Ink finished planting his tree, and I forgot to get a picture of it finished. But, here it is in it’s spot, with Mr. Ink still crumbling clay like dirt to fill the hole back in. His hands hurt for days after that project.


We started out with absolutely no trees in our yard. Well, we had a rose of sharon that was tree like. But no other trees. We now have 6 I think? And more being shipped to our home.

On Saturday, we went out and purchased 13 boards, 14 feet in length, to fix our basketweave fence.


Some of the boards were rotting, or had broken, and it was time to make it look a little nicer. Or at least not have it in a situation where it would just come apart. The neighbors have dogs, and have been just pinning unstained lumber to the areas which were falling apart, and that didn’t please my eye at all, so I figured I’d prefer to fix it well, and that would also be a neighborly action.

On Sunday morning, I set out to stain the boards. Thankfully, a nice can of redwood stain was left in the house when we moved in, so I just used that.


Staining 13 long bards takes up a lot more time than I expected! It really did take me all day. Meanwhile, Mr. Ink had headed down for a simple job, trimming back the bushes on our bank so that I could see when trying to pull out onto our busy street. Well, this would not be the first time that we’ve found quite a surprise when trying to do some simple task. Mr. Ink has been carefully cultivating some lamb’s ear as ground cover, since it’s a much nicer look than dandelions. This year they are beautifully abundant, but they are also as tall as the bushes that he went to cut back. So he decided he’d better move them, and that’s when he realized that they were growing in a very thin layer of dirt that had built up over time on top of flat rocks that had been used in the landscaping. He then realized that under the rocks was a layer of landscaping fabric. So, the simple task of using a hedge trimmer on some bushes, turned into what he calls “a marathon of backbreaking labor.”


So, now he has spent all day on this, which is why I spent all day staining boards. (I’d really rather the boards, than the digging down by the road, I admit.)

On Monday, the day dawned hot and muggy! So muggy it was that kind of hard to breathe weather. But, it was also fix the fence day. Mr. Ink got outdoors before I did and started spraypainting an “x” on the boards he could immediately see needed to be removed. Then I went out, and showed him other boards that we’d inventoried earlier that needed to be removed. And already, we had more than 13 “x’s” on boards. Once we started pulling boards out, we found even more boards needing to be replaced.

We looked at our 13 boards, and looked at the mess we made, and realized that there was no way to finish the job that day. So, we made the decision to work from the ground up, thus staying neighborly in keeping the neighbor’s dog safely contained. Mr Ink even insisted on digging up the old boards which were halfway covered in ground due to years and years of erosion, and replacing them as well.


Here he is laughing because he’s just stated that yet again, we’d gotten ourselves into a project that was a marathon, as he’s digging out a trench to place a new board halfway underground.

I don’t have a finished fence picture, because it is NOT finished. However, there aren’t any gaps either, we just have top boards to put up now. Hopefully I can get the boards purchased and stained this week. Thankfully, while I thought the new boards would be ridiculously obvious, they aren’t. Your eye does sort of skim over the basket weave, and since it’s all one color you don’t make too much of a fuss about the new boards. That’s great, because I was really anticipating I’d want to replace the entire thing immediately after finishing the repair. But, maybe just a bit at a time is better.

The one thing we hadn’t realized is that the neighbor’s side of the fence is NOT stained. So, now the neighbor will have 20 red boards, and the rest just weathered. But, I did tell the neighbor I’d continue staining them on both sides, and eventually he will have a stained fence.

In any case, it was a great excuse to get to know our neighbor a bit. We’ve lived there over a year now, but this is the first time I spoke to him for any length of time. It’s clear they’ve been silently paying attention, there was much talk of my spinning on the patio, which I haven’t actually done for awhile. Mr. Ink and I decided that in interest of good neighborly interactions, we are going to start helping him mow the access area out the back of our garage. Since we use it regularly, it doesn’t seem fair that he’s the one who mows it by himself. He didn’t ask, but it’s the right thing to do and I know he won’t mind either.

All in all a terribly productive and busy weekend. I feel tired, but fresh like the outdoors, and happy, and a little bit sunburned!


I finished the first bobbin of greens this morning:


Then I decided to work straight into the double marl of the light and dark for the next bobbin.


I like it SO much better! I may even double marl the rest of the bobbins. It’s so pretty! And so much better blended.

We are having a nice slow weekend here. It’s one of those weekends where you aren’t sure if it’s going to rain or not, and it rains in fits and starts. I went for a walk yesterday, the rain started when I was furthest from home, but didn’t continue. When I got home, Mr. Ink was mowing in between rains, so I helped him with that. Good thing too, as it had begun to rain again when we had about 1/4 of the lawn left.

Today he was out there messing up my lawn.


He’ll be planting a nice tree there, but just as soon as he finished digging this hole, the rain began to come down hard and sideways. So, now he’s got a mess of wet dirt saved to place elsewhere, and a muddy nasty large hole with no tree in it. Hopefully it’ll clear again shortly.

I’ve got a bunch more plants to plant, and plants to move around, but until it quits raining and I can drown the slugs in some beer, I dare not plant them, so they are sitting around on our outdoor table just waiting for an evening lacking in rain.

It’s a quiet weekend here, and we wouldn’t have it any other way!

A New Project

Awhile back I made these batts:


They were meant to be a gradient, but, as you can see, that didn’t quite work out. So, instead I’ve decided to spin them up as a 4 ply. I’ve stripped each batt up into small pieces to work with, so that there will be a lot of color changes. I am considering doing a double marl on one bobbin to further blend these colors. Here’s the first bobbin:


It’s working up nicely! Pretty much on par for these batts I’ve been making that I love spinning so much!

Miss Butterfly and I have often been taking walks together in the neighborhood. Last evening, we walked by a cul de sac, and a little dog came out to greet us. He was unleashed, and very trusting and confident. He basically just went on a walk with us, acting like he was on a leash the entire time.


I’ve often wanted to borrow a neighbor dog to walk, as I miss being able to do that with our own. But this little bit of business was a complete surprise! He had a little red bandana, and was perfectly groomed. We decided we’d better walk back to his cul de sac after our walk, or he’d just follow us home. Even as we were trying to leave, he was looking over his shoulder to see if we’d be coming with him. I imagined him going back to his owners with us and saying “Can I keep them? Please please?!”  Unfortunately, he wasn’t terribly easy to ditch, as when we’d head home, he’d come with us. We had to get some of the neighborhood kids to hold him back. So cute, so sweet, he makes someone a very good companion. But, if I had that dog?  I would not be leaving him unleashed!

More Spinning


Since I had yesterday off for Miss Butterfly’s graduation, and I worked hard to get all my other chores and errands done, I ended up with some extra time to spin. Or, rather, ply.

I finished my next two skeins of yarn, together they are about 185 yards.


And if I put all 4 skeins together, it’s just under 400 yards of lovely coordinating yarn.


The weight is a dk to a worsted, certainly a heavier spin than I generally do, but I really like it! I am hoping to find something that will work very well with this interesting yarn full of color and add ins!

It’s raining again here, which is great for all my plants, and sad for my photos. I’ve got gladiolis coming up all over the place, at different rates, which will be wonderful for long term flower enjoyment. My cannas seem to be doing just fine too. I am enjoying the anticipation of later summer flowers.

Graduation Day

Wow was yesterday ever eventful! We went on our memorial bike ride for a friend we lost early this year. Mr. Ink and I decided to do the mountain bike portion of the ride, since that’s our preference and the weather was fantastic for it. And it’ll rain all this week, rendering the trails unusable again. It was a good ride, many riders, and even some that were slower than me! That was new. Unfortunately though, I took a pretty nasty spill, highly unusual on that trail, and will be paying for that little problem for awhile.

After the ride we went to the lunch, meeting up with the pavement riders. I had brought irises for people to take, since I have so many. I was able to get rid of all my irises, and a woman who I didn’t know even tried to pay me for some. “No no,” I said, “This is a situation where I am ready to pay people to take them off my hands!”

I have today off for Miss Bug’s graduation, after this I’ve got a middle schooler!

I was also able to cast off and block my Haruni shawl last evening, want to see?

I am thrilled with it! The petals are gorgeous, and my yarn looks great. I am very pleased with this one! It was a fun knit too, easier than I imagined it would be. The blocking of it was the hardest bit.

And on to gardening. I promised an after photo of the iris bed we cleaned out. Mr. Ink spent the time tilling that dirt, so it’s all ready to go, except that we want to edge it differently and expand it as well.


As for what we’ll put in there, I’ve no clue yet. But we are already pleased to have pulled out those irises.

And, I’ve been on rose watch for these red roses for quite some time. Last year they didn’t do well at all, I got about 3 blooms all summer long and that was it. I’ve got 3 blooms already and more on their way this year!

I look forward to seeing this rose come into it’s own.

And, that’s my weekend report! It was another very good one, extremely productive and outdoor oriented, just how we like them around here!


Sunday Spinday

This morning we head out earlier than usual for a bike ride. It’s the birthday of a cycling friend we lost in January, and a memorial ride has been organized. I am really looking forward to the ride, the community gathering, and honoring one who meant so much to us in a way he’d appreciate.

So, I doubt a lot of crafting will be done today, instead I’ll show off the bits of spinning I got done yesterday in between all the gardening. I started with the 3rd of the batts I spun last weekend.


This one is by far the darkest batt. Look at all that fun add in goodness! I kept at it, and pretty soon was also able to get halfway through the lightest batt.


I should have a completed project in the next few days, if I just stick with it.

I also plied up my yellow singles, because I just didn’t want that many singles left over from a project. I figured plying would give the yarn more life in my stash. I ended up with 140 yards of a 2 ply yarn.


I almost like it better as a 2 ply!

In gardening news, my yellow mini roses are now in a container, rather than inside.


We didn’t do much with containers last year, so it’s been fun putting some together this year.

And, I do believe I promised a picture of a large rock I found in the iris bed. It was obviously placed there as a decorative piece, but left so long that the irises just grew over it completely.


It’s very large, larger than my head, and it is sparkly. And it clearly needs a wash.

Mr. Ink tilled up all the dirt in the former iris bed yesterday and cleaned up my mess. (As well as grading a rather wet area of the yard and then laying a bunch of sod, and helping me fix the wooden garden edgers in the final iris bed that were navigating quite far from their intended places.)

Yesterday was a very at home day, but it was also a very productive and beautiful day! I appreciated it so much. Having a home that I truly love goes makes weekends particularly special.

Simply Gardening

I’ve been knitting too, I promise! But the longest rows of my haruni shawl are just not very interesting to photograph right now. However, once it’s done, it’ll be fun to show off. Until then, it’s gardening.

Mr. Ink and I decided today that we wanted to change up one of our flower beds. I’ve got tons and tons of irises, all of the same color. We decided to remove one iris bed, with the anticipation of expanding that bed, putting nice edgers in, and then planting other plants more our style in it. I think it’s likely that this iris bed has been around for 30-40 years, and it was madly overgrown. I had pulled out quite a few irises last weekend, but you wouldn’t know it when I started yanking in earnest.

Naturally, I forgot before photos, so these’ll have to do.

I kept pulling up one iris, only to come up with these immense root systems. Example:


Once all the living irises were out, I raked the entire bed out, and uncovered another layer of dead and rotting rhizomes underneath.  And a large flat rock, which I will take pictures of another time.

This afternoon, I intend to remove the one burgundy iris from my vegetable garden, and put it into the iris bed I am not touching. Then perhaps, in the future, I’ll just get in the habit of looking for and adding different iris colors in the one iris bed. That could be a fun project.

Miss Butterfly got a new hairdo! That’s our other news. Her father set up an appointment with someone he knows, getting her a very good and needed trim, and then they added a little color. She’s madly pleased with it!

And I think it looks pretty cute too! Since the start of show choir, she’s been really into trying to do her own hair. She’ll get out her curling wand, and does a good job on that all on her own, but has only just discovered my straightener, and is quite interested in that as well. All signs of tweeniness if you ask me!

And I can’t possibly leave you without a picture of our latest vase. Miss Butterfly decided that she wanted to also add in the flowers from my ferns, so it’s not just peonies this time!


We are so fortunate to have so much color in our lives!

Drawing to a close

We are drawing to the close of our school year around here, Miss Butterfly only has a few days left, and I am not sure any of those days are of any actual scholastic importance at this point.

Meanwhile, we are going through all the transitions the end of the school year brings for a tween, and the anticipation of a new routine until next year (and middle school!) begins. Right now, she’s desperately trying to finish up a book her teacher loaned her that she’s loving, but knows she needs to finish in just a few days.

She’s reading everywhere, and sometimes makes faces when I try to take photos. There should be a website somewhere that just posts photos of children reading, it’s basically one of my favorite things.

I’ve had a busy week too, awards nights and bike rides and social engagements. Not a lot of time for the knitting, but I’ve made progress on my Quadri. I am really enjoying this scarf. It’s pretty basic knitting, the yarn is gorgeous, and it’s a comfort knit.


I really look forward to seeing it blocked! But, it’s slow going.

Even slower going is my haruni shawl now. I average about 2 rows a day on it at the moment. Lots of stitches on the needles, lots of careful pattern reading. It’ll be stunning when it’s done, but it’s on the tedious side right now. And all scrunched up on needles, so not really in a place where I can manage to show it off.

In the gardening world, not much new to report. I’ll be heading to my favorite plant shop tonight to pick up a few things, but we are basically at the end of the first brilliant garden moments, and we’ll have to wait for the next surge. It’s a matter of taking care now.

Have a happy rest of your week!

The Results

I plied up the singles from yesterday’s post, and they are washed and dried! I got an opportunity to photograph them this morning.


These two colors actually look nicer together than I imagined they would! It’s a total of 212 yards of dk to worsted weight yarn. Very pretty stuff! I can’t wait to see how the other two batts turn out!

Just this short update from me, it’s been crazy busy around here and also rainy, so I can’t even entertain with pictures of flowers!

Spinday is BACK Baby!


Yep, I finished those singles yesterday. Two out of the 4 colors, and all that remains is plying. I didn’t spend a ton of time spinning, but these batts, and the slightly thicker singles, went pretty quickly.

And in the garden? I’ve got my first roses blooming on our front hill.


And my purple iris bed is looking JUST amazing.


It was a colorful day in my garden! I really spent a ridiculous amount of time pulling an invasive weed out by the roots on our front hill this weekend. It’s tedious work, but Mr. Ink suggested to just use weed killer on the entire area, which would kill the plants too. I don’t like that option, so I’ll take the tedious option. If I keep at it, a little each day, I’ll probably be victorious. At least, my experience with the henbit in my ferns tells me that’ll be the case.

It’s shaping up to be a busy week around here! Hope your week goes very well!

Spinning Again

Well, it’s the day I’ve been waiting for, the day I allow myself to spin again. And I’ve got a photo. No, I haven’t yet actually sat at my wheel, but this is something I never posted prior to my self inflicted month of exclusive knitting.


You may remember that I created these batts to coordinate with each other? I decided to spin a 2 ply, each batt a separate skein of coordinating yarn. I got started with the most saturated pink color, spinning half the batt onto one bobbin.


And…that’s where I stopped. But, it’s certainly pretty! And it’s a bit thicker than I generally spin. Which is nice.

We had an extremely productive day in the gardens. I started out transplanting 3 columbines all in different gardens that weren’t doing well to one garden that had a different color columbine doing very well. One of the transplanted columbines was in my veggie garden, an inappropriate place, the other was in too much shade and didn’t do well at all, and the third was in a great place but getting choked out by very well established Rudbeckia. We’ll see how they do next year.

Then I moved onto my peonies, and made an extremely full vase of them for the house.


Mr. Ink is not a peony fan, due to bringing ants in the house. But me? I just hang out next to the vase of peonies for awhile, and remove the ants and put them back outside. Small price to pay for such beauty and fragrance in my home if you ask me!

Then I decided it was time to divide out my irises, as some of them weren’t doing a great job flowering, so smashed in they were. Initially I tried to dig them up, and broke a plastic spade. Then I realized that they’d been neglected for so long that most of them weren’t even in the dirt anymore, they were just in the leaves and mulch on top, continuously spreading. That meant I never did have to dig. I just yanked gently, and the ones that wanted to pop out did so.


I transplanted some of them to a different area in the yard, used them to fill back in the areas in the iris garden that looked bare and the rest I will be giving to a friend.

I gave Mr. Ink the duty of spraying around the foundation for bugs. He went to do so, and ended up getting sidetracked by our beautiful retaining wall. He cleared some away from the foundation, and then realized that there was more dead in there than he knew, and he made a huge mess.


He trimmed the creeping junipers to a point where they had no dead remaining, he fixed the wall itself, moved the rock alyssum up higher on the wall, and then planted some moss roses in some of the bare space. When he started, you couldn’t see the rocks at all. When he finished?


Amazing! We also ended up with a wheelbarrow full of dirt.

I yanked weeds out of the other retaining wall while he worked on this wall, and I admit, I am hoping he does the same job on that wall he did on this one. What an amazing difference.

Will I spin today? Probably, but first, a wander through my gardens and a bike ride is in order!


One Month

One month of self imposed knitting only as a craft. It didn’t go quite as I expected it to.

To recap, Mr. Ink’s mom fell and broke her hip, and then we unexpectedly had two weeks of family in town to deal with that and with the clean out of her apartment since she won’t be going back there.

I also invested in a fitness tracker and began seriously upping my movement on non bike days. This requires a time commitment, time which I would have previously been knitting.

And on top of that, we had some of the loveliest weather for gardening, another hobby of mine, and most of my extra knitting time was spent gardening.

Nonetheless, I finished three projects, using 1 skein of commercial yarn, 2 skeins of handspun, and a portion of a skein of laceweight.

I also completed a scarf that required two skeins of yarn, except that it was done incorrectly and I had to frog it. So, that’s two commercial skeins that went back into my stash for another day.

And, I started 3 new projects, 2 of which are handspun, and one which is commercial yarn. So, I guess that’s technically 3 more skeins out of stash, bringing the total to 2.

I also managed to, for the first time in almost 9 years of using ravelry, make a serious queue, choosing patterns and linking in stash yarn to those patterns. I almost think that was the most productive bit of the entire month! Being able to look at that queue and see what I was thinking at the time I picked a pattern has gone a long way to easing some of my too much yarn anxiety.

Anyhow, there’s the purple shawl from the other day, but it’s also time to show you what else I am knitting. I began the Quadri stole out of some handspun:


It’ll be a gradient when it’s done. I should have used slightly larger needles, but can you see the thicker squares anyhow? I am really enjoying knitting this. A lot of plain knitting with the enjoyment of moments of interest. Of course, I’ve really only just begun.

And then there’s a pair of socks. I’ve got them cast on and a little ribbing made, but that’s it. I have no clue what pattern I’ll use on these, but, beginning is half the battle.

Up tomorrow? Spinning, and where I am. There was something on the wheel when I put it away, so I can at least show that off!


Not much new in the knitting department! I had to frog an almost completed project that went horribly wrong. That was two skeins of yarn in there! But, it wasn’t going right, I ran out of yarn, and decided I wouldn’t wear it anyhow. One of the great joys of having knit for more than 10 years is the realization that I can just frog and start again with very little lost in the grand scheme of things.

I did start another project, the Haruni shawl, out of my purple handspun. Isn’t it just the tweedy goodness?!


I know, indoor shot, and not great light. But, that’s what I’ve got today. I am, however, enjoying it.

In garden news, and oh is there ever garden news, I’ve got a bunch of photos for you!

My peonies, they are blooming!


These were the very first gorgeous blooms, and when I posted them on the book of faces, there was quite a bit of jealousy. However, what people need to understand is that I have probably 20 peony plants in my yard, all incredibly well established, so I am bound to have some of the earliest blooms in the city. It was only 2 days later that my absolute favorite peony bloomed:


And woah, she’s gorgeous again this year! I hope her blooms just continue for awhile! Meanwhile, despite having 20 peonies, I spent yesterday morning searching for more! Yellow, and coral, I don’t have any of those! But, I’ll need more garden space first. So I’ll have to wait a year or two.

One of the bushes we had when we moved in that never bloomed last year turned out to be a weigela. It’s in full bloom this year!

And to think we seriously considered cutting it out last year!

And then there’s the siberian irises, which have only just begun:


Until I moved in, I had no idea irises could be so tiny and delicate, yet still so tall!

This year, for the first year ever, I decided to experiment with some fussier flowers. I’ve always adored gladioli, but also felt that the idea of digging bulbs back up and storing them for the winter was overwhelming. This year, I picked up a bag of 30 bulbs, just to experiment.


Where I planted them is currently by a fence, right in the grass. Not ideal, but they are coming up anyhow! Not all of them, because I think I’ve got some squirrels that dig up and eat a few. I also put cannas in this year, and they, too, are already poking up through the ground. I am telling you, that back fence is going to be stunning in short order!

I guess you can tell where all my extra energy and introversion has gone, right into the garden. And I am just so pleased with it all. Mr. Ink’s been just as hard at work in the garden himself, planting trees, and attempting to plan a firepit, and working really hard at the front hill area. I bring home interesting plants, and he plants them on the hill. It’s a great arrangement, because as much as I hate shopping, as it turns out, I LOVE plant shopping. It’s like yarn shopping. So many pretty things, so little time!

My garden lacks yellows and reds, which are two of my favorite colors. It’s time to remedy that!



Finishing a Long Week

Today, for the first time in 2 weeks, we have the house to ourselves. This doesn’t mean I don’t like having company, especially the company of Mr. Ink’s sister in law, who calls me her sister by another mother, but when she’s here, I get VERY little sleep and there’s SO MUCH talking for this introvert!

In fact, I was thinking of calling in to work introverted. Taking a surprise vacation day just to deal with my social overload. But I didn’t, mostly because I’ve already taken a lot of vacation days to deal with other surprise emergencies or house projects lately.

Mr. Ink and I got a bike ride in, the trails are now mostly dry but it is supposed to rain again this weekend. So I was most insistent last evening.  Hopefully we’ll get an opportunity to ride those same trails with Miss Bug tomorrow morning as well.

As for knitting, it’s been slow going! But, I finished my polar opposites scarf this morning.

It’s REALLY long and beautiful, and looks best all curled up like in the second picture. It’s also all wonderful and crazy and soft. I love it.


A close up of the laceweight paired with the corespun crazy lumpy wonderful yarn.

I’ll absolutely be doing this pattern again, I really loved it.

And, if you are playing along at home, that’s 1 commercial skein of yarn out of my stash, 2 handspun yarns out of my stash, and some laceweight yarn out of my stash, though I’ve got a LOT more where that came from! Even with the major life upset, that’s still progress being made toward stash busting on my enforced month of knitting only. (And says nothing of the skeins of handspun I am not making during this time. But I sorta feel like that counts too!)

I’ve got one cute Miss Butterfly picture as well. She’s SO BUSY lately. Show choir, track, (Which she hates, but I told her she has to do it since she committed to it.) and friend activities. So, the other night she decided to make herself some soup. I walked into the dining room to see this:


I guess a watched pot never boils! She’ll sneak in her reading time when she can.

In fact, last night, she had been doing some yoga. (Our entire family is REALLY into yoga all of a sudden) She’d worked her way through two videos, and then she asked me “Mom, if I were not doing yoga right now, what would I be doing?” (I suspect she wanted to know if I were going to put her to work.) I told her “You’d probably be curled up on the couch reading.” She said “I’LL DO THAT!” And put away her videos and curled up with a book. Very cute.

And the Rain Continues

As does my finishing! I finished socks on Friday night, and my Hanami stole on Saturday. I blocked it before we even had dinner.


Don’t ever let anyone tell you that you cannot knit with handspun singles! That being said, I am aware that I tend to lightly spin yarn these days. After almost 10 years of spinning, I now know just how much twist must be added for yarn to stay together, and I tend to walk the edge of that most of the time, since even though it’s pilly, I love a nice soft handspun.


We’ve had an exceedingly rainy weekend. It’s very obviously spring rain mode around here. I had to get a run in on Saturday, which I did in the rain. But, thankfully it let up for awhile so I could wander around the yard in bare feet pulling weeds. This morning? More rain. I am hoping it chooses to quit long enough to grab a bike ride this afternoon.


In the meantime, I am going to enjoy relaxing with another project on the needles.


For the record, that’s one commercial skein gone from my stash, and one handspun skein gone. (Though, to be honest? I had way more singles than I needed for the Hanami stole, and I may make those remaining singles into a 2 ply, just to see what happens.)