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.

img_4310

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.

img_4312

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.

img_4311

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.”

img_4315

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.

img_4313

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!

Comparisons

I finished the first bobbin of greens this morning:

img_4306

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

img_4308

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.

img_4307

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:

img_4064

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:

img_4303

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.

img_4302

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

img_4295

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.

img_4296

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

img_4297

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.

img_4276

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.

img_4271

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.

img_4272

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.

img_4273

I almost like it better as a 2 ply!

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

img_4274

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.

img_4270

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:

img_4268

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!

img_4255-1

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