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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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And my purple iris bed is looking JUST amazing.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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:

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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!

Update

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?!

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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!

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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:

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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:

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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.

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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.

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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:

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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.