Much Celebrating, No Crafting

Last week we got notice that Mr. Ink’s step daughter would be getting married. So yesterday we took the afternoon off to head out to her town to witness her courthouse marriage, just a year and two days after they were legally allowed to do so. It felt fitting.

While secretly we think these young women are just that…a little young, we are in the position of being able to just support them in any way possible, and love them wholeheartedly, knowing that we don’t get to choose their life path for them. So, a huge congrats to them, and we wish them the absolute best.

I have not met the ex family, beyond Mr. Ink’s step kids. And they’ve really no reason to call me family. So, I repeatedly stepped out of family pictures, only to be told that I was family, full stop, and was to get back in the photos. Very very kind reception from a family that hasn’t any obligation to it. With an additional dose of commendations by the family for Mr. Ink’s part in the kids’ lives.

I’ve absolutely lucked out with his step kids, in the sense that both of them are young people I really enjoy spending time around. His step son has a sense of humor and way of detailing the absurdities of life that absolutely matches mine. His step daughter is one of the kindest and most helpful people I’ve ever met, just absolute sweetness, even when trying to come across as tough.

We got additional news that afternoon. The girls will be moving to our city very shortly, so we’ll get to see more of them. And, Mr. Ink’s step son is to become a father. Cue many jokes on my part about Mr. Ink’s upcoming “granddad” status.

One more goofy bonus picture the family wanted, a mockery of so many of the wedding photos seen online these days.


After the wedding, we headed back to the city to prepare for our “bike formal.” A large group of our friends get all dressed up and ride around the city in bowties and dresses, with various stops along the way. After such an eventful afternoon, it seemed fitting to celebrate all evening.


Outside a historic downtown building, waiting to go celebrate on the roof.


And then champagne on the roof! We had a great night, and a LATE night. It doesn’t seem possible it’s only Wednesday. We’ve had at least a weeks worth of news and events in just one day. Hopefully once we get to the weekend, we’ll have the opportunity to decompress a bit!




I got my errands done, and got an opportunity to do some plying! I love a good traditional 3 ply. And this bump was fun since it was basically two colors, turquoise and hot pink. Where the two colors met, there’d be a nice deep purple.

I divided the braid into 3 parts, then stripped each part very thin. I didn’t try to make colors line up or anything, I just 3 plied and let everything land as it was spun. It makes for a nice tonal yarn. There’ll be pinker tones, and purpler tones, and bluer tones, and turquoiser tones, but there is very little total pink or total turquoise.


I finished it! It’s pretty lightweight, I got 505 yards of 3 ply. And it is VERY pretty! I really love it. I am eager to see what it wants to become.

Mr. Ink and I went to a plant rescue in the morning. They will take our divided plants and sell them, raising money for local libraries and schools. They also get in donations from greenhouses. What is there is in pretty rough shape, but Mr. Ink and I are always purchasing rough looking plants just to bring them back to life. I got two flats of petunias, an already bloomed yellow asiatic lily, a hanging basket of osteospermum, and another osteospermum, for a grand total of $5! I went home, deadheaded everything, cut it back to an appropriate place, and replanted them. Then I went and dug up some more day lilies, which are in my car so I can enjoy a return trip later today.

We also did a bunch of digging in the yard again. My view has changed yet again, as has the ease of mowing in the backyard.


3 new trees have been planted by Mr. Ink. And yes, those stakes aren’t straight. And yes, they are meant to be that way, he doesn’t like straight trees. Eventually there will be a garden in that area, and he’s claimed it as “his.” A garden area that I don’t mess with, but he gets to plan. He’s already purchased a balloon flower, which is stunning, and laid claim to the allium bulbs I ordered and am waiting to plant in the fall.

I also repotted my begonia tubers into lighter soil so that the cheapo shepherd’s hook would work for me. I was certain the squirrels had done away with those tubers, but apparently not. I was also surprised to see signs of life. They might make it anyhow. At least a few of them. Once I noticed that, I couldn’t resist digging into the side of the pot with the caladium bulbs. I saw roots, so I left them be. Sometimes waiting is hard to do! But with my dahlias having made such a startlingly quick appearance, I guess I had this wishful thinking that the other two would be just as fast.

That’s about it for today, have a great week everyone!

The Birth of a Rose

My new rose officially bloomed for the first time. These photos are about 12 hours difference:

I was hoping these blooms would have a little more peach on the edges, but they are more of a cream color than anything else. I told Mr. Ink “It’s beautiful, but it’s not the rose I was looking for. I am afraid you are in for a lot more roses in your future.” He said “Well, I don’t really mind, as long as they are different colors.” So, with that approval, I’ll continue to hunt down my most perfect rose. I certainly do not regret this addition though!

Additional garden news, there are 6 dahlias out of 10 planted that are showing signs of life. Still no begonias or caladium. Those may be a lost cause. They were an experiment anyhow. My miniature rose is blooming, it should show quite a few new blooms shortly. I am looking forward to seeing it’s cheery yellow blooms all over the plant. And, there are more day lilies that I’ve never seen before! This one is about the size of a half dollar right now.


So diminutive, so beautiful. I’ve also found another kind of tall yellow day lily, but it wasn’t blooming this morning so I didn’t get a photo.

In knitting, I have been plugging away at my dangling conversation shawl. I was running out of beads. I looked everywhere locally for more beads, but could not find them. So, I headed to the all knowing internet. I typed in the exact brand, size, and color. They popped up, I paid too much for them, and had them sent to me. Only to find out that they were NOT the same color as what I had. They are far blacker, much less blue. No matter, I am entering into a section of black and they’ll have to do.


I don’t know that I’ll have beads for the bind off, but I don’t mind too much. And I am certainly not going to order another set!

We are back to the relentless heat again around here, mornings are not spent outdoors except for the morning garden tour. I got a 35 mile hilly bike ride in yesterday morning, and ended up walking in my house about 2 minutes before a drenching rain that lasted maybe 5 minutes, if that. I guess I would have managed ok even if I was still on the bike. It was great to get a nice long bike ride in, and even greater because I went with a friend who rides at a very similar pace as I do, rather than spending that 35 miles trying to keep up with Mr. Ink. I ended the day feeling like I genuinely could have ridden my bike all day long.

Today it’s an errands day. I am hoping that it doesn’t take ALL day! I’ve got some nice plying to do and it would be fun to do enough to take a few photos of that!

Cool Mornings

We’ve had another two cool mornings! TWO! It’s been wonderful. And I am off work today, so I got to truly enjoy this one. I’d show you pictures, but it would look like I was just reposting the last picture of patio spinning, because I am working on the same project, and it all looks the same. But progress is being made, I can show you two finished bobbins of singles instead.


One more bobbin to go, and then I’ll be plying a traditional 3 ply. It’ll be pretty lightweight, those singles are thin.

I have today off in order to spend a little time with Miss Bug before she heads to her dad’s, and then off to camp. She is still sleeping though, naturally, since she’s headed into that age that stays up later and sleeps in longer. So I am getting laundry done in order to have clean clothes to pack for camp. Later we’ll be enjoying a pancake breakfast, and then getting a load of rocks for the garden. And packing. There will be packing.

Because I had today off to do all the things necessary for packing, we got to spend some time in the woods yesterday. It was only 87F, so we headed out for a little mountain biking. It’s been about a month since our last ride, and the ride where I fell pretty hard. I divide mountain biking falls into 3 categories. Normal falls, which happen regularly, leave you a bit bruised, maybe scratched up, but ok to continue riding. Then there’s the more serious falls, leaving you injured and you’d probably do best taking a break. And then there’s the ones that require medical intervention. Thankfully, I have never had the latter, and I hope that I am a careful enough personality to never have that kind of fall. But, the last fall was absolutely the middle kind, and I can still feel the problem a month later, which slowed me down toward the end of the ride, and shook my confidence a little. But no matter, I took my time, and used the ride to put my brain, legs, and lungs into a situation where they had to work together properly again. It was a good ride, and I only had one “normal” fall, which was entirely because I was being too careful.

In the garden, which we haven’t been working on too hard, things are changing despite us. You may remember the rose I planted earlier this year, so full of potential? If you didn’t, here’s the picture:


Now let me show it to you, we have a bud!


It’s probably going to make it!

I’ve got dahlias beginning to come up, there are two out of 10 that I can see growth coming out of the ground. That’s great, since I really only planted them about a week ago. No signs of begonias or caladium yet. But, I was more invested in the dahlias anyhow, the begonias and caladium were more an experiment.


AND, there’s been another day lily surprise! I have seen some smaller yellow blooms, but I don’t think this HUGE yellow bloom appeared at all last year! Naturally, I am thrilled to be enjoying day lilies that are not the traditional orange tall blooms, since that’s what is so overgrown in our yard.

That’s about it from me. We’ve got a nice busy weekend planned, and a child free week after that. I am pretty sure it’s going to stay busy!

Another Blissful Morning

Last evening was nice and hot again, I wasn’t wrong in how fast that heat would return. We ran our errands, and visited Mr. Ink’s mom, and went out to dinner. That was a nice break from yard work. Upon our return, it was time to water, and then I basically fell in bed exhausted. That heat REALLY can take it out of you!

But this morning, with the wind, was about the same as indoors, so after my garden tour, my morning looked like this:


I grabbed my knitting and my beads and my coffee and sat outdoors. I got to enjoy a lovely half hour before I had to get off my bum and head to work. I couldn’t have enjoyed it more.


I am through an eyelet row, and into the brown portion of the shawl, and as you can see I’ll be working my way into a brighter blue post haste!


A Solstice Breather

Yesterday morning I woke up, looked at the weather, and saw that it was only supposed to get to 87F that day. So, I went outside for my morning garden tour, but it was humid and absolutely disgusting. And I said to Mr. Ink that I did not believe the weather one bit.

During the day, a line of storms rolled through. They didn’t really hit us, we got just a tiny bit of rain, but it did bring in some cooler weather. By the time Mr. Ink got home, it was 75F, cooler than the start of the day, and not humid. We had planned to visit his mother and run some errands, but I begged to stay home to mow in the far more comfortable weather. We didn’t stop yardwork until 9:30 p.m. Dinner was late. And fast. And postponing errands to work in the yard was a lovely solstice breather to the unrelenting heat. Don’t worry, I’ll continue to complain about the heat, it’s supposed to ramp back up again today.

I may not be loving the heat, but you know what is? My Cannas! I just love the way they grow, the huge paddle shaped leaves curled up and then unfurling with so much potential! I swear, I’ve never met a flower easier to grow. (Despite the fussiness of taking them out of the ground and storing them in the fall.)


I planted a bunch of them this year, and their numbers have probably doubled from what I started with. It’s wild! They love the fence line, they care not one bit about being in really cruddy dirt, and if I water them, they double in size it seems. Eventually we’ll get all the way around to them with the garden project, but for now they are doing JUST FINE as they are.

The break in heat provided me with a tiny bit of this:


Patio spin time! Mr. Ink decided to work on yanking out some paper mulberries, and I took the opportunity to first really clean off the patio, sweeping it well and rearranging, and then bring out my wheel. It wasn’t lengthy but it was lovely!

And, finally, a knitting picture. I did start that dangling conversation pattern out of a loop handspun skein. It has beads, and I was able to stash dive for them. They are large, as my yarn is a worsted weight yarn, and I don’t actually have enough to finish. So, on the list of errands I need to manage tonight is a trip to a store to get more beads.

img_4406You can see that I am now working my way into some brown. I am enjoying this easy, comfortable knit!

Garden progress.

It was another miserably hot weekend around here, completely unrelenting. Which is absolutely the theme of this year. Despite this, Mr. Ink seemed to be motivated to work on the garden wall again. As I saw him out there digging up sod, I realized that the sod digging was a bit of business that I could actually help with while he worked on placing rocks. So, I told him to outline me an area I could dig, and then I got to work. Thankfully, we had some unexpected rain the night before, soaking the ground enough to make sod digging a little less miserable than it could be. And, after I’d dug up some very nice rectangles of sod that he could place elsewhere in the yard, he decided I was far better at it than he was, and he’d continue on the rocks if I’d continue on the sod. Not surprising, as destroying things is always easier for me than building them. Our garden now has a wall, a border, a little more area for plants, and it’s ready for the next step.


It needs to head up toward those day lilies I planted just to keep them for the season, and then take a hard left to the fenceline. That’s a ton of sod digging. Thankfully, it’s supposed to rain this week.

Also of note, see those two hanging baskets up there? I purchased them because they are lighter and smaller than the last set, so I was assuming that they’d work for the shepherd’s hook that was sorta cheap. They had been working, until we got rain. And then? Well, that hook bowed just as bad as before. Mr. Ink says he’s going to make me some even lighter dirt, and we’ll see if that works. If it doesn’t? I have half a mind to take it back to the store and ask them what they are thinking, selling a shepherd’s hook for two baskets that has NO WAY of working for two baskets. (This is a pattern, I’ve gotten quite surly lately. Mr. Ink says it’s because I am almost 40, and getting surly is a pleasant result of ageing. He may be right.)

This weekend I got smart, and planned in some down time. We decided to drive out to a state park not too far away, a park that has a pretty decent water park area. We took Miss Bug’s friend, as we’d made the mistake last year of just taking her, and she didn’t allow us one moment of downtime. This year was much improved, we didn’t see the girls all that often, they checked in with us from time to time, and then off they’d go together having a great time. Despite applications of spf50 every hour, I am quite burned. Basically, with my skin, if I plan to be outdoors, it’s all about mitigating disaster, rather than keeping from burning. After swimming for quite some time, we had a picnic lunch, then back in the pool for about an hour, then headed home. The trip home, after a day of two girls swimming like crazy:


Very quiet, eyes hardly even open.

In the garden itself, we’ve got a new beauty opened, another lily.


It’s one of my favorites, it’s such a rich hot pink color! And, I brought these petunias back from the brink of disaster. I’d planted them in our sedum bed, which, as it turns out, has very very poor soil. I guess now I know why only sedum is planted there. These lovely petunias came so very close to dying, but I transplanted them to Coco’s tree once I added the edgers, better soil, and mulch. They are coming along quite well now!


There’s another I saved, I had to cut it all back off to the ground, but it has sprouted a new piece of greenery now. I don’t know what it’s color is, so I am waiting to see the first flower. And another two I had to cut back to the ground that may just be dead. We’ll see!

Spinning, and something a bit different

Anyone who knows me, knows well that I hate shopping. Even when it comes to things I like, flowers, or yarn, or fiber, I still hate shopping. I never shop just to look, there’s always a purpose. But, even when I have a purpose, I might not go shopping.

Mr. Ink is a shopper! Mostly a shopper with a purpose, but he has no problem going shopping. And he had some coupons, so we headed to the store. I desperately need some new clothes, both work clothes and play clothes. So, I managed to find some of those, and then I headed over to check out throw pillows.

You see, I have a couch and a loveseat that I got before Miss Bug was born. Since she’s almost 12 now, they are getting old and worn, but I am not really willing to invest in something new yet. Add to that the fact that we purchased a rug I am absolutely in love with when we moved in, with colors matching my couch set, and I have a vested interest in keeping with the current couch.

Probably the biggest issue with the couch is the matching throw pillows. They are beat up. They had a child grow up on them, there’s one with a hole in it that she cut with scissors, and one with marker marks, and then in general the seams are not doing so well. I’ve been on this quest to find new pillows but nothing has really pleased me yet. And, I am in no hurry because I don’t like to shop.

But today? Today I found the perfect pillows.


They match the couch perfectly, but even better? They match the rug perfectly.


These are the pillows that were meant to breathe new life into my couch. Unfortunately, I could only find two. Another two will be searched for soon.

In spinning, I started a new project. It’s a braid of merino top from The Dyeing Arts. It’s got absolutely rich saturated colors, and I am going to make a 3 ply.


A nice, thin, Shells Style 3 ply. I am looking forward to it!

Next Project

I find myself in the position of choosing two new projects all in a day. A knitting one and a spinning one!


I finished my first fat cat knits batt, and it is PRETTY! It’s bright and fun, and while I wasn’t sure how I felt about all the white in the batt, I think it really looks lovely in the skein! I ended up with 610 yards of fingeringweight yarn. It’s one I am enjoying the idea of having in my stash!

As discussed yesterday, the random number generator picked my next knitting project out of my Rav queue. And it didn’t disappoint, it chose a thicker yarn again. I’ll be knitting Dangling Conversation out of this handspun loop yarn:


I think that’ll suit me fine as I continue in the process of working on my handspun laceweight singles project.

In gardening news, not much new to report since Mr. Ink and I attended some live music rather than gardening. We’ll see what today brings us in that regard. But, a new lily has made it’s appearance.


It’s an all time favorite of mine! Something about those colors are so charming to me!

3 Way Fun

It really WAS fun! For real!

I finished the 3 way fun cowl out of handspun I made from batts I made on my drum carder. The batts themselves were quite chunky, full of noil and sari silk threads and so on. It made for a fun but chunky spin. So, it is SO surprising to me that the chunky bits blended so nicely into a very even yarn that knit up beautifully! Just because it looks chunky doesn’t mean it’ll knit chunky.

3 Way Fun pattern is a long tube meant to be doubled over for wearing. It’s a great pattern that gives you the option of a bunch of different yarn weights, I ended up using the worsted weight yarn instructions, and it worked perfectly. The versatility of the pattern is fantastic! There are also a couple different options for knitting, this one is the all stockinette version. But it can be done in garter stitch or a combination. I had intended to knit the combo, but once I got to the point where I should start the garter stitch, I just couldn’t be bothered. I was knocking out the pattern so fast as it was, so I just kept knitting.

Awhile back, when I did that month of exclusive knitting, I put together a pretty extensive queue in Ravelry for the first time ever. And then, when listening to Dyeabolical’s new podcast, Knit Dye Read, she explained how she picks from her queue using a random number generator. Whatever she picks, she has to either knit, or remove from her queue. Now, that sounded like a very fun idea to me! So when my laceweight singles project was becoming a slog, I gave it a try. Even though I knew it could mean that I would end up knitting ANOTHER laceweight singles project. Thankfully, 3 way fun was what came up. The perfect opposite to laceweight singles. I really liked the random number generator choice for my queue and will be using it again today.

And in gardening? Well, I did pick up another load of rocks and brought them home. But, in the end, Mr. Ink wanted to do some weeding, and I wanted to do a little more planting, and Miss Bug wanted to use the slip and slide.


So, we got her and her friend set up with the slip and slide, and just decided to do other stuff. (I enjoyed capturing this picture, but I didn’t realize what a cute interaction I was catching between Miss Bug and Mr. Ink on this photo, she’s got SUCH a mischievous look on her face!)

I’ve now been in the midwest long enough to know that there are just some years where the heat is truly relentless and almost unbearable. I think the last one was 2012, and in fact, there were a few in a row back then. And then we had a couple years where it’s been exceedingly wet, or cool, or both, and the unbearable days came more like a week at a time, with a break in between, and later in the year. We are already at unbearable, we’ve BEEN at unbearable, and there’s no end in sight to it, so we’ve hit relentless as well. So, we find a way to go about our business anyhow, and our business is outdoors most of the time, because that’s just how my family rolls. We’ll just make sure we are taking extra precautions as we go. Mr. Ink said last night “I don’t want to be outside anymore!” And I said “So go in! We are done here.” And he said “No. I don’t want to be outside anymore….EVER!”

I went for a walk at 10 p.m., hoping to beat the heat. The heat index was still 97F.

Unbearable. Relentless. And I am going to have to find a way to describe it that puts a more positive spin on it. Because it’s EARLY in the year to be feeling this way. At least my plants like it? When we can keep up with the watering that is….

Spinning and Gardening

I am never quiet sure what to start with, the spinning pictures, which is probably what you come here for anyhow, or the gardening, saving the spinning pics ’till last?

I guess I’ll go traditional this time, spinning first.


I moved from all green tones, to green with blue. Then moved right on into green/mostly blue/purple.


Good stuff! I am actually pretty close to done now, there’s really not that much purple. This is where it was this morning when I left for work. Spinning batts really is my favorite. Well almost my favorite. (Loop clouds are my absolute favorite.)

In garden news, I’ve got another evening’s worth of work on our garden wall. It looks so good!

And so so so different from the old, bowing wood edgers. It’s really SO much better! So, I am off after work for another load of rocks for Mr. Ink.

I, too, managed to get so much done in the garden last evening. When I got home last evening there were two packages. One for Mr. Ink and one for me, and both were plants. That’s what an addiction looks like. I had gotten a bunch of bulbs. It’s too late really, but they were on sale so I thought I’d give them a shot, even if I don’t get good flowers, they may live until next year if I can get them started once this year. Except the dahlias. Those should be just fine.

Now, I did something sort of dumb earlier this year. The thing is, I wasn’t thinking that we would get to making all around the edges of the yard a garden this year. I figured it would be in the future. So, I planted gladiolus and cannas right under the sod up near the fence. Now I am having to consider the idea of digging out sod while working it gently away from the plants in the next few weeks. So, when I went to plant the dahlias, I decided I wasn’t about to make the same mistake again, and I dug up the sod and gave it to Mr. Ink to plant elsewhere, then planted and fertilized the dahlias, and covered the dirt in mulch.


Since that all will become garden in the fairly near future, I’ve gotten a head start on the miserable process of sod digging. I did this in other sections of lawn as well, it took quite awhile. I also planted begonias and caladium, though I am not done with the caladium yet.

Our excessive heat has begun very early this year, which has been challenging. It was so sudden that we went from wanting to spend ALL of our time outdoors to being miserable outdoors while trying to continue on the yard progress. Every single day is a new heat advisory. Well, that means that we can no longer get away without watering our lawn. We were already working so hard to keep our flowers and plants watered, but now the lawn needs it too. So, Mr. Ink hooked up a very good sprinkler last evening that hit 3/4 of  our yard all at once. If you’ve seen our yard, you will know this is an impressive feat. But I had to dig up sod and plant dahlias! As it turns out, sod is easier to dig up when it’s wet anyhow, and with the heat so miserable, I decided to just go about my business, yelping every time that sprinkler came around. It worked! The sod was easier to dig, and I was less miserably hot at the end of the evening. In fact, not only did I find the heat tolerable, I was cooler once indoors and slept better too! I think I’ll just make a habit of gardening with a sprinkler on from here on out!


Something Quick

As a palate cleanser from the very long slog of handspun laceweight singles I am knitting, I started a 3 way fun cowl.


Guys? This pattern is ridiculously quick! And lovely! It’s handspun from wool that I blended on my drum carder, and it’s working very well with this pattern. Seriously, I can’t put this one down!

There’s also been some progress with those rocks. And I am so pleased. All the wood edging and wall is gone now, and we began the rock wall. We ran out of rocks, so I need to get another load tonight. But it has begun! And I am absolutely thrilled with it so far, it’s SUCH an improvement.


I had this moment of realization that I was losing garden space right there, I’ll only have the hosta left, my lady’s mantle won’t fit anymore. And then I realized I was losing a tiny bit of space here at the beginning, but gaining an entire yard worth of garden as I continue around the fence line! Plus, moving the garden away from the siding and appropriately to the foundation seems like a very good idea long term!

I am certainly having one of those days where all I want to do is get done with work. Tonight will consist of a load of rocks picked up, a shipment of bulbs and seeds to plant, bread to bake, and a wall to finish. What could be better?

A Spinning Post

I started a new project over the weekend, after the last lovely skein was completed. I’ve been adding batts from various creators to my stash lately, but I haven’t spun any of them. I’d been too interested in using my own batts I created at around the same time.

But, I’d also joined a 6 month fat cat knits fiber club, (probably more accurately a personal spinning subscription) and I had 4 batts in my stash, and another one on the way this week. I figured I’d better grab one of those batts and get started.


This is the batt in question. It actually has quite a bit of white fiber under the rich colors shown on the outside. I really struggled to figure out how to spin this one, but have finally settled on a rather thicker than normal (for me) single. Something that lines up with what my go to 2 ply would result in.


It’s a nice chunky batt, which I am really into these days.


And after 3 days of spinning, I am working my way into the darker green. It’s quite lovely at the moment, and I am enjoying the spin. It’s amazing how quickly my crafting productivity goes up as the temps get into the unbearable region!

But, my moss roses are loving the current temps:


I bought these plugs this spring, but wasn’t sure where to put them. When Mr. Ink did all his massive work on one of the front retaining walls, he ended up having a ton of space to plant in afterwards. That area gets a ton of sun, and moss roses seem to really enjoy the sun, so I gave them to him. I think they look fantastic by the junipers, and I hope they spread nicely over the year. I know that they are technically an annual, but I’ve had mine come back a second year in the past, so maybe we’ll see them again next year.

I am really hoping that I’ll have a little progress on my wall to post tomorrow, but it’s hot, so no guarantees! I hope everyone else is staying cooler than we are!

I AM Knitting!


Quite a bit actually! I just can never be bothered to bring this outdoors to photograph it. Plus, it just looks….sad…in its current unblocked state. I know it’ll be stunning once it’s done, but it is NOT stunning now. But the colors are lovely! It is a bit of a slog though, that’s laceweight singles that are handspun, and so its growth doesn’t seem particularly fast.

Despite saying we wouldn’t be doing anything over the weekend, we actually did something. We went out and chose stones for our massive garden project. Then we picked up the first load. This will be a long project, but we are just going to work at it bit by bit.


We did have a great time wandering around the stone place, and contemplating what we envisioned for the garden. I think we’ve got a bunch of great ideas floating around, it’ll just take time and hard work to put them together. Here’s where we’ll start.


This is my shade bed. I don’t know if you can tell on this picture, but that wood retaining wall has bowed out badly from the garage, and you can see where it is supposed to begin before the siding. It’s so far out from the siding right now! We’ll be replacing this with stone, then we’ll head up toward that red fence with the stone as edging. I have already moved the lady’s mantle there in the front, as there’s no way we can build a new stone retaining area with it sitting right there. I can’t wait to get this one done! I am really looking forward to not seeing that awful gap anymore. It really harshes my mellow!

I am feeling so fortunate at the moment that we purchased a house with things that could require updating, but nothing is immediately needed indoors. Or rather, we’ve done what immediately needed to be done, the kitchen floor and the bathroom shower. I know that both Mr. Ink and I would prefer to be outdoors in the summer, and choosing the yard over the house makes us happier people overall. Especially this time of year. I know that in the future we’ll redo the kitchen and the small bathroom, but for now? For now, we get to do the bits that make us happiest. And that’s good fun!


Weekend Update

It’s hot here guys! Very hot. I can’t say much other than basic watering and trimming has gotten done in our yard. In fact, the basic watering and trimming is all being done in very short bursts, and then I come indoors to cool off. The advantage to this is that I’ve let the house go a bit for all the enjoyment of getting stuff done outside, so this weekend has been a great opportunity to get so much done inside.

I’ve also spun, when not being productive.


Or rather, plied. In fact, I managed to finish 400 yards of two ply yarn, and that was quite exciting.


I am extremely fond of this yarn! It’s light and airy, and since it’s a fractal, the colors play so nicely with each other. I am well pleased!

And, now for a quick garden tour? We have this ridiculous lily. It’s as tall as my shoulder, but right out in front of the garden. It needs to be moved, and it will be. But for now, we are allowing it one more season where it’s at.


It’ll get moved once it’s done blooming.

Mr. Ink also found these on his bank:


He wanted me to try to figure out what they were so that he could decide if he should yank or keep them. We are perfectly ok with wild flowers, and from what I can tell, it may be a feverfew. As of right now, it gets to stay. The pollinators love it.

In a few minutes, I do believe that we are taking the truck and heading out to get some rocks. Rocks that will become the retaining walls of my shade garden. And once that’s done, we get to start a very long process of edging in all the garden I want. And I want a LOT of garden. Mr. Ink is worried I cannot fill the space. I can fill it. I assured him, I can fill it! I’ll be taking before and after photos as usual!

One Done

I finished a bobbin!


And that’s all I’ve got for you today due to riding bikes and time with friends and so on. Not a lot of time for spinning, and really nothing much has changed in my garden either. I do believe though, that may change soon. I’ll be at the flower shop if you need me….

All About the Garden

As I mentioned, over the weekend I purchased a shepherd’s hook and some hanging baskets. I was so excited to spend Monday evening at my favorite plant store, purchasing plants for those baskets. Which I did. I got home, and happily mixed peat moss and potting soil for those baskets, and then spent a lovely time putting all the plants I’d purchased into the hanging baskets. Mr. Ink suggested that I add some of the german ivy we’ve been tending too all year indoors, so I divided that out too. It was great fun!

I then picked up the baskets, and noticed they were quite heavy. In fact, I am fairly strong, but I had trouble lifting them up and placing them on the shepherd’s hook. And that’s when I had a problem. It quickly became clear that my shepherd’s hook was not up to the task of those two large baskets. It bowed out from the base, and wobbled dangerously. So I took the baskets back down, so disappointed!

I told Mr. Ink that I had a problem. In my head, I had already decided to find a heavier duty hook, I wasn’t about to replace the beautiful baskets I’d just created! And then he suggested exactly the same. But he thought I could not find a better shepherd’s hook at a big box hardware store, so we went out to the fanciest flower/landscaping shop in town, where we picked the MOST heavy duty hook we could find. This one was so heavy that I could barely carry it, it was good that Mr. Ink was there. We got it home, in it went, and I got to hang my baskets.


I need a couple more plugs of something that’ll hang off the other side, but they are looking pretty good! The bonus to this solution is that I now get to create two more baskets, albeit smaller, for over near the shade garden. That’s great news for me, since I really want a begonia and did not pick one up yet! And maybe a martha washington geranium. Or, you know, whatever catches my eye that day at the flower shop.

Mr. Ink and I are now talking about what we will do about overwintering many of our pretty plants. We already have many happy houseplants, so we are going to need an additional space near the front windows.

As you may have noticed, I rather love spiders, especially orb weavers. So, this morning I took my coffee out to do my usual walk through the garden and inspection of it, and noticed this:


Yep, overnight an orb weaver took up residence in my new hanging baskets. She must have known about me!

I came home yesterday and realized that our front yard was looking so pretty. The pink roses which bloomed nicely last year are about double the productivity this year. There are so many blooms that it’s actually hard for me to see where I need to deadhead.


And what else? One teeny tiny praying mantis on the side of my home.


Hello buddy! You are welcome here!

A Bit More Spinning

I took Miss Bug to camp on Sunday afternoon, and once home, tried to figure out if I wanted to do more digging, or just general clean up and relaxing. The general clean up and relaxing won out, surprisingly enough. Mostly because it was too late to start a new project and actually finish. Sometimes my inspiration to finish projects during the evenings on a week day is pretty low, so I like to have major stuff wrapped up if possible.

So, instead I wandered around my garden picking pretty flowers for a vase. They aren’t dramatic like peonies, but they ARE pretty. Yarrow, mums, coreopsis, and showy evening primrose.


It’s sweet and cheerful and makes me happy to see them in my home.

One of my favorite things about gardening is when plants show promise. And this is a fine example. We put a rose in this year, and I admit I was fearful it would never bother to grow. But it shows promise.


I really hope to see more soon, but this one tiny bit of growth makes me think it’ll be just fine.

Speaking of hope, that’s also the way I feel about a brand new spinning project.


Such as this one! Mad Hatter from BMFA, I am just in love with what is happening on this bobbin!

Green Batts

I started with this:


And ended up with 355 yards of 4 ply yarn, worsted weight.


It’s nice! Fairly well blended, the neon green doesn’t really stick out like a sore thumb anymore. I’d say there are very few spots where the neon green stands alone, it’s mostly blended with darker and more muted colors. I think I managed to accomplish my goal!

On Saturday when I’d picked up the edgers for Coco’s tree, I also decided it was time to put in a hook for hanging baskets. When I finished the yarn and it needed to dry, I realized that the point of the baskets was less about having pretty flowers, and more about the fact I’ve been missing having  place to hang my yarn since we moved into this house. For 8.5 years I had hooks on the porch for my yarn. During the first summer, I missed that immensely. This summer? I’d forgotten about it until I bought the hanging basket stand.


I do intend to fill those baskets today though!

One more moment from yesterday, the moment where after 2 weeks of hard work, we finished repairing the fence. It’s as done as it’s going to be this year. Next year we can replace old boards again, and maybe start fixing it section by section as well. But we are calling it good this year.


Hopefully by the end of this summer, that entire section in front of the fence will be gardens. It is my intention that I’ll have so much garden as to be almost ridiculous. As it is right now, I’ve already got cannas, gladiolis, purple cone flowers, irises, and day lilies up along that fence. I can’t imagine how much better everything will grow once we replace with better dirt in an actual garden!

Believe it or not, I’ve got pictures for a post tomorrow too! Right. Even I cannot believe it. 🙂

Actual Spinning Progress

I started plying all the green! It’s a 4 ply this time, in order to blend up the green as well as possible, as I was not at all pleased about the batt blending.


Fresh this morning picture. I think it’s going to be very interesting yarn once it’s done, there’s a lot of green tones, it’s overall well blended, and I kind of love the mint green silk noil throughout.

I also have a mostly finished picture of yesterday’s project, Coco’s tree.


Mr. Ink dug out around the tree, removed the plants, added dirt that was far better than our soil naturally is, replanted my plants, and then ran out of mulch! So it’s mostly done. And it looks so much better than it did. The true test, if it makes it easier to mow, comes today. It is PAST time to mow!

Mr. Ink, who I am starting to think just loves digging holes, started another project yesterday.


In the left corner you can see the new bald cypress, and behind Mr. Ink  you can see Coco’s tree.

Now we’ve got 3 new junipers between the two.


And that’s about it for updates from  yesterday! Today we are hoping to get the fence project finished, as we’ve 7 more stained boards to add to the 13 we put up last weekend. I don’t think either of us are looking forward to it, because we’ve been wandering around, doing yoga, and considering a nap at this early hour. Last week’s fence project was SO hot and muggy and miserable, it’s hard to get back at it.

Art and Garden and So On

We went to a small event a friend of ours was putting on called Artists in the Garden. Mostly garden art, all made by local artists. Another friend’s husband has been making metal art for gardens for ages, and I’ve always admired his sense of fun and imagination. We ended up picking up two things, the first of which is my favorite. Here’s Joe, our garden monster.


He’s currently residing in my shade garden, hopefully giving the rabbits a really good scare. From the same artist, I couldn’t resist a little garden spider:


I am really fond of all things spider, and this guy really made me happy.

Once we returned from the show, I got it in my head that I needed to edge our redbud tree. This is the tree we planted as a memorial to Coco the dog who passed on last summer. He even has a headstone. So I figured that I could use the headstone as an edger and work around it. I measured my radius (look at me using my high school math!) and figured out how many edgers I’d need, and headed out to the hardware store. I admit, I picked up the cheapest option, rather than something beautiful. My goal is just to make  it look nicer, cut back on the weeds, and make it easier to mow!


This is the before picture. I planted mums and petunias already, and they are doing ok. But, Mr. Ink had removed some sod behind the marker, and it filled in with yucky undesirable grass instead. I used some yarn and a can of spray paint to make my circle. I tied the yarn to the base of the tree, pulled it out as far as I wanted my circle, and then sprayed around the tree keeping my yarn taut.


Then I got to digging! It was a lot of work, between the digging and the bringing the stones up the steps and into the yard, but hey, it’s exercise.


Mostly dug up! Mr. Ink took all the sod pieces and put them in other areas of the yard that needed filling in. He’s really good that way, always reusing what I dig up. I also told him that now would be a good time to add better soil to that tree if he’d like, and he was thrilled. He’s recently tested our soil and found it severely lacking, so when I offered this, his response was “YES! I have been WANTING to do that!!!”  This is great, because it really meant all I needed to do was get the edgers put in, and he’d mess around with the rest.


Since this photo was taken, I’ve filled in the outside. I was instructed to fill in the outside with dirt from the inside. I asked Mr. Ink if he’d like me to remove the flowers, but he promised to work around them. Next time you see it, it’ll be properly mulched! I have the intention of adding crocus and hyacinth bulbs to this bed once fall comes along, it should be a pleasant pop of color in the springtime.

What else? Oh, that orange lily that I spoke of in my last post was wide open last evening!


I had to hold it still, it’s as high as my shoulder and was whipping around like mad in the wind due to an impending storm last evening.

That’s….about it from here today. I DO have knitting to show off, but I never seem to find the inspiration to just take it outside for a photograph. Tomorrow, perhaps.

Distraction with Flowers?

It’s today in my garden time again, because I’ve nothing else to show off. I mean, quite literally, no knitting or spinning has been done. It’s been gardening and staining boards and parenting, getting Miss Butterfly ready and packed for camp, summer doctor’s appointments, etc.


But, the spiderwort is blooming like mad, I love this plant so much in all it’s oddness. It looks like jewelry, or something. It certainly doesn’t look quite natural. I think this one will get divided this fall, it’s probably time, and it’s in a super odd place.

The first lily is up as well!


I’ve got just a few of these lovely yellow lilies, and quite honestly, I don’t know how many others I’ve given away or dug out. But, this one will stay, because these are the ones I love. I see an orange one about to bloom as well, maybe tomorrow even.


Actually, it seems to be yellow time in the garden, because the coreopses is out as well.

Speaking of growing, my kid just grows up before my very eyes. She absconded with my aviator sunglasses and made them hers. I snapped this picture, and realized she’s older than I think.


Maybe I’ll have time for some crafting this weekend! But…I wouldn’t count on it!

A Bit of Spinning Was Had

I got out and took a picture of that tree in it’s place yesterday evening, since I failed to get a picture to post before.


I have also finally learned that it is some type of bald cypress. It took me awhile! I’ve been informed that trees which were ordered last month are on their way, so I guess we’ll have more? Mr. Ink also showed me his master plan. Apparently he’s put the entire property on graph paper, identified what trees and shrubs he’s going to add, and made a key with little circles for the placement of the trees and a list of those trees.

I asked him if this had any effect on my garden plans. I was told that it does not. Thankfully! Because lately I’ve been making big garden plans as well. 🙂

We tried some bare root plants this year, 2 elderberry bushes and a rose. I was quite concerned that none of them would work, as seeing bare root plants is disconcerting at best! But no, they ended up being JUST FINE, there’s so much growth on both elderberries, and my rose is showing signs of growth as well. So exciting!

I had just sat down to do a little spinning last evening, out on the patio, and grabbed a photo:


When Mr. Ink said he was going to water, turned on the water, and realized that the outdoor faucet was broken. Ok then! Off to the hardware store we went, and while we were there, we purchased the final 7 boards we need for the fence project. I guess painting is on the list of things I need to do this evening. The faucet is now fixed, which is great news. But it’s another evening gone, and very little spinning done despite having set aside the time for it. Oh well! Finished home projects also give me joy. Thank goodness!