Sniffles and Sneezes

On Monday evening, I decided to work a bit on my batt that I’d begun on the wheel. An odd thing happened. My eyes started to itch and my throat got all scratchy and some sneezing was done. It took me awhile, but I finally realized that it was likely that I was NOT getting sick, but could have something to do with my fiber. To be honest, it had a very slightly musty smell when I took it out of the package. Probably not noticeable to the general public, but as Mr. Ink says, I’ve got an oversensitive nose.

Well, my nose, AS USUAL, was not wrong. I sniffled and sneezed through the rest of that batt, and then washed my hands and face, ate dinner, took a benadryl, and went to bed.

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There’s the resulting singles. They are quite pretty actually! But not sure they were entirely worth it. The unfortunate fact is…I’ve got 3 more of these batts! And, I just CANNOT toss them or give them away, I mean, fiber is an investment. So, I think I will spin them. I just have to pick a day that I am willing to power through them all at once, and deal with the resulting allergies.

I do think that once the yarn is properly washed, it won’t be a problem. I just have to get it to a point where it can be washed.

I do have a long weekend coming up, made longer by the fact I took an extra day off. So, I am thinking I may just pick one of those days as “the” day to finish the project.

In any case, that’s where I am right now! I admit that because of this, I haven’t been able to get tiny bits of spinning done in the mornings before work, lest I go to work allergic. And last night we had company. So crafting is slightly slow going at the moment. I AM hoping it picks up quite a bit over the long weekend!

An Easy Project

When I was a kid, I had so many stuffed animals! And one of the things I’d seen in a magazine somewhere was one of those hammocks you could hang on the wall and put your stuffed animals in. I craved one of those so hard! But it was not to be, and probably because stuffed animal ownership wasn’t exactly something my mother encouraged, due to a combination of dust allergies on my part, and my own tendency to keep every single thing that wandered into the house.

My kid follows close behind in the stuffed animal ownership department. She’s got a lot of them, and they drive me nuts, but she doesn’t have the allergies to really mess with her health, so the stuffed animals have stuck around. The other day I noticed a pattern for a crocheted plushie hammock, and boy I jumped right on that!

It was super easy to make, and I hung it using the 3m hooks that don’t ruin the walls.

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It’s large! And it’s now ridiculously full. Miss Butterfly got nervous actually, about having this over her head at night. “What if it breaks?!” She wondered. I said “Well, then you’ll be buried in an avalanche of stuffed animals. And I doubt that will even hurt.”

The observant among you may notice this is one of those extremely rare occasions when I decided to crochet. I’ll admit, I am always somewhat uninspired to start a crochet project, and I am certainly not particularly skilled at it, but I do love how fast it goes once I do start it!

Weekend Trip

Mr. Ink and I spent this weekend at a biking/camping/music festival. Quite frankly, the two of us have been so entirely focused on the yard that the summer slipped by, and we ended up looking around and wondering where it went, and why we hadn’t been out having fun. (Well, the yard is fun. BUT, that’s not the type of fun we ended up looking for.)

Last weekend, I decided to purchase a new to me, one of a kind, fat bike. Quite frankly, it’s maybe more like I am the bike’s foster parent, as the previous owner didn’t truly want to sell it. So, I have given her the option of purchasing it back in the future if she decides she’d like to. In the meantime, I have a cool new bike to run around on, and that’s great fun for me.

Now, fat bikes are still a bit of a niche item, and you don’t see that many of them on regular rides. Though there are more and more all the time. In part, it’s because they take a lot more energy and muscles to actually ride. Those thick tires really hold you back, and the frames are heavy as well. I decided to take my new bike on the jamboree with me, even with Mr. Ink’s questioning of my plan.

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Here she is, isn’t she the cutest? I ended up doing great! A little slower than usual, but Mr. Ink didn’t seem to mind at all, and agreed that it had gone better than he’d expected. The real bonus to these types of bikes is that you can roll over anything and you just don’t feel it. So, instead of avoiding sticks and cracks and bumps and fields, I head directly to them, running anything in my path over with my big fat tires, and it absolutely brings a grin to my face. Furthermore, the custom paint job on this one brings smiles to the faces of everyone around me. This is an awfully joyful bike! If someone commented on it at a stop, I’d let them take it for a spin, and the general consensus was that riding it makes you feel like a kid again, and that’s exactly the experience I had with it.

In the end, I rode 72 miles in 2 days on this bike. On a normal bike, that’s a long ride, but nothing to brag about for me. But on this thing? Yep, I am bragging!

The jamboree has a stop every 7-10 miles where you can rest and listen to live music, and then it culminates with a couple live bands in the destination town where we all camp. The headliner this year, and what truly sealed the deal on the trip, was Big Bad Voodoo Daddies. That just seemed like a fun show to see, and indeed it was!

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I don’t love camping, but even that went well. I slept okish, and the trip home the next day was great. It did NOT rain! We arrived home, and I took a look at the radar only to see a huge storm popping up over the trail we’d just been on, encompassing the entire 35 miles we’d ridden. Boy were we fortunate!!! And I am glad we’d decided not to dawdle, but get home and take care of business.

Once home, all sore, sweaty, and exhausted, we decided to mow while we were still gross. I think between 4 p.m. and 11 p.m. on Sunday evening we managed to pack an entire weekend’s worth of work. Maybe not quite, but it felt like it!

In spinning news, on Friday night, in between packing for our trip, I finished the entire 8 oz. of crown mountain farms singles I’d been putting on support spindles. I am not sure if this is the first time I’ve ever done 8 oz. exclusively on support spindles, but if I have, it’s really rare. Generally I start out on support spindles, get bored of having an unfinished project, and throw the remainder on the wheel. This time? That entire 8 oz is on the spindles.

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And, they look quite nice! I don’t think I’ll get an opportunity to ply these immediately though. I started a 3 batt project on my wheel before the wheel fell out of favor, and I suspect I’ll finish those singles first, then ply these singles after. I do actually have my heart set on a 3 ply, I think that will be the best use of these colors overall.

I hope everyone had a great weekend, now it’s time for me to catch up on your blogs!

 

Work Trip Knitting

I didn’t do much knitting on the work trip. While I used to knit at those events quite a lot, I find myself not really wanting to these days. Instead, I actually want to hear the lectures, learn more about the science. If the topics get so heavy my brain won’t understand even a little of them, I might do a little reading on my phone under the table. That might have worked this trip, except I forgot my phone charger. So, reading under the table wasn’t necessarily an option for very long.

Since I am an early riser however, I did get an opportunity to both go for a walk and get some knitting done in my room prior to the start of the morning session.

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So I worked on a new project. It’s a 2 color baktus scarf out of berroco lustra. I’ve had this in stash for ages, I tried to make it into a 2 color sweater years ago, but it didn’t work. My knitting knowledge was pretty light back then, and I didn’t realize that the lustra, being a yarn with very little give, would make a 2 color sweater extremely difficult. In the end, I used that lovely grey for a lacy sweater that turned out great, and have had the leftover red and grey in my stash since then. It is absolutely time to use it up! And this baktus scarf looks quite nice. I guess I picked those colors for a reason, almost 10 years later, I still love them together.

2 garden photos today, my next dahlia, which has more of an orange tone than the last one, and a zinnia that a bee is enjoying quite a lot. I have another dahlia blooming, but it seems to be tasty to a certain type of bug in my garden that is trying to eat all my nice flowers, so I didn’t bother to take a picture. Hopefully I can save the next bloom on that plant for a photo.

That’s about it from me, next photos will probably be from a biking music festival we are attending this weekend. Expect those photos to look bedraggled, as it’s supposed to rain all weekend. We’ll attend anyhow, I believe, and attempt to suck it up.

The Trip

My overnight work retreat was a smashing success. Which is great, since I planned it. In the planning stages, quite a few things went wrong, such as the sales person somehow thinking I wanted different dates than I had asked for, then completely failing to get me a contract in a reasonable amount of time. I got the contract about a month before the event, noticed the incorrect dates, and pulled out the email I had sent with the dates I had asked for. Then, naturally, they didn’t have space for us, couldn’t guarantee the rooms we’d asked for, etc. To which I just kept saying “I am sorry, without that, I cannot sign this contract.” Until they finally figured out a way to bring their mix up to a satisfactory conclusion.

It was highly stressful. And I was, I admit, bemused, since they’d been courting me hard for the past 5 years to do this event again. That’s right, it had been 5 years since we’d had the event. I remember being not overly impressed with the overnight rooms at the venue, as well as having other disorganization issues, so I wasn’t easy to court. The rooms were shoddy, and there were beetles in the corner of my 4th floor rooms both times I’d been there. I am not afraid of bugs, but seeing them in a hotel room does make you question a thing or two.

Thankfully, once at the venue, I realized that the rooms had all been updated and were quite tidy, no sign of any beetles. The event went beautifully, no issues at all with staff (Except for the one person who decided to vacuum the door frame on the outside of our meeting room WHILE the meeting was in session, what was that about?!?!)

We like to spend time on the deck of the venue in the evening, so I’d been concerned about a storm I’d been tracking all evening, set to hit at 6:30 p.m., ruining our outdoor social time. But it did not hit at 6:30, though there were multiple storms all around us. We socialized on the deck and watched the lightning everywhere, but the storm didn’t hit us until 11:30 p.m., right around the time where the group should have been headed to bed anyhow.

On Wednesday morning I woke up quite early, figuring I could get breakfast and a walk in before the session began again. I put on my sneakers and headed downstairs for breakfast, thinking that I felt something in the toe of my shoe. A rock, or some such thing, but I really wasn’t sure where I’d picked it up, I hadn’t felt it the day before, and hadn’t walked through any gravel. I ignored it, and didn’t feel it for awhile. I had breakfast, and took a walk. That stone bothered me, but not enough to make me sit down and do something about it. I got back and headed up to my room for a few minutes of knitting, which I did. Then, I thought “Before I forget, I really should get that stone out of my shoe.”  So, I took off my shoe, and dumped it out. Only to find that “stone” was a real live beetle. Still alive! He must have crawled in there during the night, thinking it a good place to live. I sure showed him.

He scurried off, and I realized that 5 years later, things might look fancier, but we were still in the wilderness.

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And really, there was only one thing to do. After the event was over, I took a nice long walk through the woods, and the surrounding areas.

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Exploring and seeing what there was to see.

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That’s not something I’d done before, so it was quite a pleasant endeavor and I am glad I did.

Mr. Ink stayed with Miss Butterfly, and it apparently went perfectly well. I was told that burgers, homemade french fries, and chocolate shakes during a movie were had. It’s nice, REALLY NICE, to be able to go away for work and just not worry.

Progress

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I am through the second ruched section on my stole, I think there’s only 3 ruched sections. Though, depending on my yarn amounts, I might be convinced to knit another, we’ll see. The yarn really is amazingly soft, and I can only imagine that the ruching will making it sit nicely on the shoulders. This sounds quite lovely at the moment, considering how cool the mornings have been. Not that I expect that to last, it’s a little early for cool mornings around here.

It remained a quiet weekend for me, I didn’t even get the fridge cleaned out. We did go on a nice motorbike ride for lunch, it turned out to be a highly pleasant endeavor, and I could have kept riding most of the day. That’s not a thought process I’ve had this year very often, so it was welcome.

Mr. Ink, however, worked on another big gardening project involving rocks. I’ll try to snap a photo tonight, as it looks amazing so far, and he’s not even done.

Early in the year we had sat down and made quite a few lists. Lists for house projects, yard projects, motorbike projects, and bike projects. Long term stuff that needs attention, as well as shorter term stuff that could easily get done without too much time investment. We promptly put those lists aside and didn’t look at them again.

Yesterday I was doing a bit of sorting and came across the lists. It was absolutely amazing to me just how much we did get done even without consulting the list. Of course, then we also took the opportunity to add to the list. Because that’s kind of how lists go!

I am off for a work retreat tomorrow, so we’ll see how that goes! I am hoping it brings me some extra knitting time, but I am not sure if that will be the case or not this time.

Feet up

On the couch, feet up, spinning. That’s how I spent a good portion of my day yesterday.

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I made good progress too! Here’s where I started:

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I began the project in March, and that’s exactly how far I got. as you can tell, I added to those two spindles, and then pulled out another 3. This is an 8 oz. project and somehow I’ve got it in my head that I should do it all on spindles. That being said, any other time I’ve said that, I eventually get bored with that idea, want a finished object, and spin the rest up on my wheel. We’ll see what happens this time.

As is always the case with Crown Mountain Farms, I tend to want to make a 3 ply since the colors are so crazy and different. But, it would also be fun to someday try a 2 ply. But, that’s hard to do when the fiber is so hard to come by these days in the first place. So, I haven’t decided if this will be my 2 ply or if I’ll wait and hope to get my hands on more CMF in the future. (Um, NOT counting the 3 bumps I have in stash currently.)

We did also do yard work, mowing in particular needed to be done, and I got a nice long walk in too. I am guessing we are looking at more of the same today. I know that cleaning out the fridge is on my list, due to a spill. However, despite the fact that I never WANT to do that job, it doesn’t actually take that long, I just avoid it on principle. But, I’ll also continue to enjoy my spinning today, maybe a little knitting too!