So Much Sleep

I’ve been feeling so run down lately, to the point where I began to wonder if something was wrong with me. I know that there are reasons for this, and in part, a severe lack of sleep running up to all the conference insanity was part of it. Plus, not having the typical recovery time, or really much recovery time at all, after the fact.

On Saturday, I slept. I woke up at about the usual time. I napped, longer than usual. Mr. Ink is a night owl, and I am an early bird, but on Saturday nights I TRY to stay up a bit later than usual so that we can enjoy some shows together. On Saturday night it wasn’t even 9:30 before I was crawling in bed unable to keep my eyes open, even with that nap. I got something like 9.5 hours of sleep, and got up Sunday morning ACTUALLY feeling refreshed. I mean, I didn’t even once feel like I needed a nap, I didn’t feel tired and grumpy, it was LOVELY to feel so alive and with it and GOOD!

We spent the day at a state park, Mr. Ink, Miss Butterfly, and one of her friends. We did some hiking.

Miss Butterfly really wanted to do more hiking, or really probably more playing in the creek. She really enjoyed herself.

Instead of walking all the trails, we did a bunch of exploring IN the creek, which means that there were lots of moments where we were crossing the water in rocks or downed logs. I found it hilarious that the kids were SO worried about my ability to cross. “Are you ok MOM?  Are you OK!?!” And really, I WOULD HAVE BEEN if it wasn’t for the fact that I had both hands absolutely FULL of everyone else’s stuff! Know what I mean? The mother’s curse. Everyone else is happily balancing across logs and worried I cannot hack it, while I am balancing across logs with both hands full and worried I am going to drop someone’s phone or camera into the water. NEXT TIME?! I’ll bring a bag.

Those of you who have followed the blog for awhile know that Mr. Ink has been waging war against the root systems of invasive mulberries for a year and a half now. While wandering around the creek bed, we found a recently toppled mulberry with their distinctive orange root system. And then it attacked!


We giggled over this photo for a great deal of time, after all, we get a little punchy when discussing those invasive root systems.

We ended our time there with a cook out and then roasting marshmallows. Miss Butterfly’s friend is a girlscout so we had the supremely easy s’mores modification of putting a roasted marshmallow between two thanks a lot cookies.


We had such a nice time, and absolutely made all the more special by the girls telling me that they were having such a GREAT time, and Mr. Ink commenting on how it was so nice to see kids playing with no phones in sight. I suspect both of those girls would have loved to hike even longer, and quite frankly? So would I. Next time!


Craft Update

Oh my friends, yesterday was good! I got a nap in, I got a bunch of spinning in, I got a nice long walk in, I got hanging out with my kid time in,  and I got to help a friend. And then I went to bed ridiculously early and slept in this morning. It was much needed!

Let’s wander through the spinning, shall we? First of all, I skeined this chain ply yarn up, the fiber is silky cashmerino from frabjous fibers, and it really truly is ridiculously soft! I chose to preserve the colors again, as these are all so pretty as well. I ended up with 370 yards fingeringweight yarn.


Forget the yarn, look at those mums!!!

Then I pulled out a fatcatknits batt and got spinning on that. The singles are now done.


But, instead of jumping right into a plying project, I pulled out another fatcatknits batt and spun that one.


These singles are also done. The colors are mostly yellow, purple, and white. And since I did a dyeing arts superwash merino in a similar color scheme awhile back:


I am hoping I can make them work together somehow. We’ll see once the yarn is officially done though, as the batt will be quite wild, and the merino is nice and smooth.

I also grabbed a snapshot of the rolags I put on spindles as well, they’ve really only just begun but they are nice and fun and full of texture which I love.


I guess you could say it is almost all spinning all the time around here! Today I’ll take a little bread, as we are headed out to a state park a little ways away for a hike and a cook out. Seems like a great thing to do when the weather is still pleasant but the leaves are changing.

Until next time friends, hope you’ve had a lovely weekend!

I’ve Been Crafting!

But I have not been taking pictures or really finishing things properly. I’ve got a full bobbin of chain plied yarn waiting to be hanked and washed. I’ve got another spinning project on the wheel and one on spindles. But I haven’t grabbed any photos mostly because it’s pretty much already dark by the time I run my errands or take my walks and get home.


But I do have this! Reversible Circles of Lace scarf is complete. I really enjoyed knitting this one actually, quite a pleasure overall. It was predominately my work lunch project. It’s out of Miss Marja’s handspun laceweight 2 ply, I think she had spun a batt for this one. It’s purple and red tones with a lot of light blue as well. I am not sure what else to say about it, it went straight for the gift pile, as really I just wanted to knit that pattern with that yarn.

Miss Butterfly had spirit week at school. Mostly she wakes up too late for me to catch a photo of her various dressing up, but I got one on neon day, mostly because she also wanted it to be 80s day and made sure I gave her a side ponytail.


It is still quite warm here, we had over 80F yesterday. Same for Monday, so no need to worry that the kids will be too cold during Halloween this year. Usually by this time it’s fire pits and gloves weather, but not this year.

For real, I’ll try to get with the program this weekend and get a bunch of appropriate photos taken. Things are still a little nutty around here. My good friend is still in the hospital, and probably will be for a couple more weeks. We’ve all been trying to make sure everything is appropriately taken care of, so this morning’s task is taking a couple lawn mowers, a weed trimmer, and a rake over to the house and meeting a crew of friends so we can get the lawn settled for the winter. If it ever arrives.

I keep expecting nuttiness to subside, but the reality is, generally when nuttiness shows up, it sticks around a bit, don’t you think?

Weekend Wrap Up

Well, it’s official, I FINALLY got a very relaxing weekend. It was just lovely.

I made a bunch of rolags:


7 ounces in fact! I used 4 ounces of fiber (2 different but similar colors) that I dyed and paired it with all sorts of stuff. Add ins of sari silk, silk noil, bamboo top, silk top, cashmere, and different colors of merino. They are good and crazy, which is just what I want.

I am about halfway through this spin as well, silky cashmerino from frabjous fibers:


This photo does not show the halfway point, I reached that this morning when it was dark. But you can at least see the colors! They are rich and lovely.

I also did a ton of planting of spring bulbs. I planted bulbs for hours. And, the biggest issue was that I kept digging up bulbs I planted earlier this year! Apparently every place I look at as a great spot to see spring color is also a spot I’ve also planted in. That’s not entirely true, I’ve got Coco’s memorial tree to plant around, and another garden bed I haven’t even remotely touched yet. It’s just that Mr. Ink was watering, and he got to those beds before I did, and I didn’t want to dig in the mud.

On the list of the things I planted were tulips, daffodils, hyacinths, crocuses, allium, star of nature, double snowdrops, a new daylily and a new regular lily. Oh, and some hardy cyclamen coum, and hardy gladiolus just to see what happens. The spring should be quite lovely and exciting in my garden.

The other task of the weekend was moving more flowers out of the veggie garden. I was able to give away some more mums, that was good. The rest will probably go in the yard waste bin at this point. I’ve done what I could to spread the love! Then, Mr. Ink took on the major task of moving the massive peony in the veggie garden to a new spot. This is a 60 year old peony, and Mr. Ink says that if I ever ask him to deal with another peony, he’ll be dealing with it with round up. Take a look at the size of those roots he’s holding!


It really did try to break the shovel, we could hear it cracking as he tried to dig it out. But, it did get done, and he cut it down to a manageable size and then put it in another spot. This is absolutely the last peony needing to be moved, so no round up necessary.

Unfortunately, that leaves the task for me of continuing to dig up other flowers. I’d kind of been waiting on digging some stuff out since the peony was so huge and those flowers were growing under it. Now I’ve got a lovely open space, and I need to get in there with a shovel and keep after it. Especially the orange daylilies that never go away!

In any case, a pretty good weekend full of things I love to do around here, and I hope yours was equally lovely!

A Little Bit of This

And a little bit of that.

My friend who has been in the hospital for the last 12 days is now in surgery. Waiting to see no longer was an option. So, I am spending my time today getting stuff done around the house and waiting for news.

I intend to get a bit of gardening done today. I’ve got two boxes of bulbs that need to go in the ground this fall, but today may be more about moving more flowers out of the veggie garden. I have a friend coming to pick up some excess mums today, which is great. I don’t have a taker for the elderberry bush that Mr. Ink has carefully tended but now does not want. Ah well.

I did do a bunch of spinning yesterday. Or rather, plying. I had been spinning up the singles on spindles for ages and ages. I never measured the amount of fiber before hand. So, I was quite surprised to find that I ended up with over 900 yards of 3 ply! I am guessing those little batts were more along the lines of 8 ounces instead of 4?


I did a nice long 3 ply gradient, moving the colors one to the next fairly seamlessly. It was a pleasant plying job, and I am glad to have my spindles free again in case I decide to work on another project.

I also spent some time with girlfriends, took a long walk, and made some rolags yesterday. All in all a very pleasant day. I won’t show the rolags yet, as I am only halfway through the project. I had assumed I was done, but then when I weighed the fiber, I only had just over 3 ounces, and you KNOW I kind of hate under 4 ounce projects. All in all, a pretty relaxing day which was just what I was looking for!

Picking up Dirt

Oh weekend, how I love you! I decided to start my weekend off right, with a 20 minute nap as soon as I got home from work yesterday. By the time I woke up, Mr. Ink was home. He told me he wanted to get the lawn done quickly, because he wanted to go pick up a truck load of compost, and the compost place isn’t open on the weekends. So, we hurried out to do that, and once my portion of the lawn was done, I sat down for a moment to begin plying my latest spinning project.

Mr. Ink rather sweetly asked if I’d like to go with him, and I thought “The weekend’s still young, why not?” So I hopped in the truck figuring he probably wanted to spend a little time with me. We get to the place where he wants to pick up compost, and then tells me that they don’t load it for us. And I look in the bed of the truck, and realize he’s thrown in two shovels. Uhuh. Well played Mr. Ink.

I definitely whined about it, the shoveling of a truckload full of compost, especially since I’d just had my flu shot earlier that day and was a bit sore. However, he shovels two to my one, his upper body strength is so much better, and I told him I’d remember this when it was time to get some good compost or manure for my veggie garden in the spring.

The reality is, we’ll be getting compost all next week if necessary, as this is the last week they are open until 7. And I’ll help. Once home, we began watching the latest season of Black Mirror and I got a lot of plying done, so I still got a pretty lovely evening to start my weekend!

I’ve got some yarn to show off! It’s 2 toned BFL, chain plied, 356 yards.


The colors on it are wickedly rich! It was a very fun spin.

I also have all these lined up and ready to ply.


They were a bunch of small batts, two each, and I spun them all separately. But surprisingly enough, I’ve decided to 3 ply them, making the colors shift in odd ways. We’ll see how it goes, I am about halfway through that project currently.

The mums in our garden are going nutty, which is lovely. Also, the petunias have had a rebirth of sorts, due to one overnight frost, they seem to have lost their budworm pests, and are now blooming like mad. I’ll tell you what, I’d really given up on them!


But, Coco’s memorial tree is looking amazing, the mums are so full now they are covering his stone. We’ve got pink mums everywhere too, but I haven’t gotten a photo yet. (Except you can see them a bit at the top of the yarn photo!)

This weekend is going to be one I am insisting a bit slow. I’ll hang out with a couple girlfriends, spend a lot of time alone, get my spring bulbs planted hopefully, and also move some more plants out of my veggie garden and into more appropriate spaces. I need to get the gladiolas dug up as well as the cannas, though the cannas are still going strong. I think I’ve decided against dahlias in the future though. This area is just too windy, and no matter how well I stake them, they end up falling and breaking and looking cruddy. Maybe I’ll try again in the future, but not next year.

Happy weekend friends! I hope yours is wonderful.

After a couple weeks

My Nahant out of crazy yarn has been finished and off the needles for a couple weeks now. But, I didn’t have the mental energy to block it until this week. Thankfully now that life has slowed down a bit, back to normal I’d say, I was able to get the nahant blocked.

Unfortunately, this late in the season, lighting is rather cruddy after work and nonexistent before work, so getting a decent photo is difficult. Hopefully this gives you at least an idea of the nebula look of the scarf. The nahant pattern is pretty much nonexistent, but it gives the colors a lovely diagonal wave, so I’ll call it good. And really, the pattern served its purpose by making me knit on something mindless and yet interesting.

When it was blocking, Mr. Ink commented on it. He generally does comment on the nahant pattern in particular, it seems to be one of his favorites too. I told him I was, quite frankly, currently uninspired by knitting, and so I thought maybe I’d just knit this pattern over and over until inspiration hit again. He thought this rather hilarious. So I said “Come on, you are an artist, but I KNOW you’ve had times where you are uninspired by painting.” He quickly responded “Yes, indeed I have, and that means that I just don’t paint. I don’t paint the same picture over and over until inspiration hits!” So I mentioned that it’s like painting your favorite picture with different colors each time. But, I don’t think he really bought it! In any case, each personality deals with lack of inspiration differently I suppose. And, I’ve got 3 relatively easy patterns on the needles right now, and I don’t think I’ll be starting another nahant until I clear those out of my works in progress.

How do you deal with lack of inspiration about your hobby?

A Good Night’s Sleep

Isn’t it amazing what a good night’s sleep can do? Or even just an evening to oneself? I got home from work last evening, took a quick nap to “reboot,” then blocked my scarf. Mr. Ink was clearly feeling it too, as he was home before 5:30, which never happens, and off to spend some time working in the yard. We were clearly interested in doing our introverted hobbies. Then we made dinner together early, while having a lovely chat with Miss Butterfly, had dinner, cleaned kitchen, and sat on the sofa with a glass of wine finally catching up with each other. It’s amazing how easy it is to disconnect from a partner when life is throwing curveball after curveball at you, but thankfully a quiet evening easily remedies that. I even slept amazingly well, which is SUCH a relief!


Here’s a picture of yarn! This is about 320 yards of sportweight yarn. I took a grey/black combo and plied it with a loop 3 ring circus cloud, which made a much more subtle black toned yarn with pops of color. This one was quite a lot of fun to ply! No clue what will become of it, but it was fun to make and it’ll be a joy to knit with too, with it’s color surprises.

I suppose someday I should spin 3 ring circus and actually ply it together, but the options for working with other colors were just irresistible. It’s quite a difference from this one that I plied with the fatcatknits batt.


Beginning Again

This is my first day back at work post conference. We have hosted 3 gatherings at our house in 4 days, had overnight guests 7 out of 9 days, and attended a lovely family gathering for Mike. Mike was an artist, and the family had brought in just as much of his art as they could. Rather than tons of flowers, the room was filled with tons of art. It was beautiful, and there were so many pieces I had yet to see. The family also put together a slide show of old photos. Mike had these piercing blue eyes that sometimes felt like they were searing into your soul, and it was interesting seeing those eyes over the years, always the same. We will absolutely miss that man, his friendship and the way he wore his heart on his sleeve, and the bear hugs and affirmations he was so quick to give.

It was also fun to see Mr. Ink’s “gang” of high school friends all together. It’s like they all grew up, and I am looking at adults, but they somehow didn’t quite lose all the punk that they were in the late 80s. We had fun strolling through old photos and even VHS videos that friends had taken way back when, and it was interesting to see Mr. Ink being exactly the same version of himself then as he is now. In fact, out of anyone, he’s probably changed the least. thegang

Mr. Ink got sick of waiting for a firepit (even though that’s his own project, he certainly has been busy with other jobs.) and just decided to drag the pit insert to where he planned to dig the hole in the ground and made a fire.


Now I am back at work, and I always forget just how much wrap up work there is from the conference. It’ll all get done, and probably in good time as I am still in that mode of thinking that there’s absolutely no time for anything so procrastination Just Won’t Do.

I did get my green yarn dry enough to grab a photograph yesterday. It’s 500 yards of 2 ply laceweight yarn, on BFL/silk that has GOT to be superwash but I don’t remember.


It’s definitely a tonal yarn in this case, and it’s very pretty. And very soft. And it absolutely was a yarn that kept my hands occupied while feeling stressed, which really is the best type of yarn!

The house is our own tonight, and I’ve got plans! Plans of cleaning up, and plans to block my nahant scarf, both hopefully before Mr. Ink even arrives home. The jury is still out as to if it’ll be time to mow. I got out of it last weekend due to the conference. But, with the weather in the 80s yesterday and likely to be even hotter today, you KNOW it’s going to grow fast again!

I, for one, am looking forward to a slower week, and a free weekend of gardening in the very near future. Have a great week my friends!

The Race

Yesterday was a day I had been looking forward to for a very long time. It was a bike race day, the participants were attempting 130 miles of hilly gravel and dirt roads yesterday. I was not a participant, but I had decided to volunteer, as two very dear friends of mine organize this race and I know just how much work they put into it.

The participants have to check in at different checkpoints along the route. This helps us keep track of everyone, gives us an idea of how long it’s going to take everyone to get through the course, and makes sure that we have everyone accounted for. These types of races are self supported. Meaning, there’s no food or water provided along the route by the organizers, and the participants are not allowed to have friends or family drive in along the route to bring them food or water. The participants can carry whatever they can with them, and they can stop at convenience stores along the way, but they are disqualified if they have organized outside help. So, it’s quite necessary for the organizers and volunteers to be as aware as possible of how participants are doing.

I drove an hour and a half away from home, into the middle of nowhere, basically a valley at the intersection of two very hilly dirt roads, on an indian reservation for the checkpoint I was scheduled to run. There was absolutely NOTHING out there. Except for us. Our checkpoint was at about 60 miles into the ride, and I was there from 10-2. I didn’t take pictures of riders, as I was busy checking them in and getting reports from them. Who had a flat tire, who missed a turn, who looking like they weren’t doing too well, and who may have dropped out. I was lucky to always have someone with me, and while waiting for the leaders to come through I had quite a few people with me. Including the race organizers, and I snapped a shot of their easy and comfortable friendship as they waited for the first bikes to crest the hill on the route.


These two guys are two of my best guy friends ever. They are amazing people, and I am so fortunate to know them both. I am telling you, nothing could have been more zen for me yesterday than sitting at an intersection in the middle of nowhere soaking in nature, sunshine, and friendship. It. Was. Good.

It’s been such an utterly odd week, to be honest. Between Mike’s passing, and the additional people at the house, and the gatherings of friends in the evenings, and we also found out that another one of my guy friends was in the hospital with quite a serious blood clot attempting to damage his digestive system. (He’s now out of ICU, and on his way to recovery, but that doesn’t mean there wasn’t a ton of worry during those few days!)

With all that, and with another good friend having had a double mastectomy and reconstruction last week, I think I’ve come to realize that we are all kind of heading into a new phase in life. We are getting older, it’s unavoidable and we are also being forced to stare it in the face. In my brain this year I keep saying “I am grateful our home has been a gathering place for friends and family during tough times, but could it maybe be a gathering place during some good times? Please?” And then I remind myself to be so grateful for the opportunity to provide that for people, and to be in a position where we are able to do so. And that the home is being used for what we wanted it to be used for. And life is truly about cycles, the celebrations and the gatherings of joy WILL come. This has just plain been our season for some tougher stuff.

And now on to lighter subjects. I have two more skeins of handspun hanging to dry. It’s unlikely to dry ANYTIME soon, because it’s so humid here right now, but by tomorrow I am sure! I’ve also got a finished Nahant scarf to block, so that should be featured this week sometime. But while we wait on those two things, I started a new spinning project and it’s basically just thrilling in it’s rich color!

The Good

When times are tough, look for the good, right? That’s what we are doing around here. We had a gathering of friends last evening. I got to meet a friend of Mr. Ink’s that he was very excited for me to meet, and she was indeed a lovely woman. Mike has managed to bring us together in a way, as that’s a friendship Mr. Ink has wanted to cultivate better as they’d lost touch over the years. Mike was the one who always kept in touch with his old friends, and now Mr. Ink will have to put forth more effort in that respect.

In any case, as she wandered through our house, seeing it for the first time, she took a look at my drum carder and was like “WHAT IS THIS MACHINE I MUST KNOW!!!” So Mr. Ink told her about my proclivities, she got quite excited and explained that she, too, is a knitter. I said “Just wait ’till you see the den of slack…” She took one look at the yarn stash and said “Mr Ink, she’s my new best friend!” It was a fun moment. We are headed over to see her house next week, and we’ve got some game nights planned. Plus, we are hosting another gathering of Mike’s friends tomorrow night when Mr. Ink’s younger brother gets in town.

I am, once again, so grateful for the home we purchased. We chose it in part for it being large enough to have gatherings of people, and I know that sounds a bit funny for two introverts. But, as I again flip the guest room quickly for the next guest, and sigh at my lack of alone time, I also feel a sense of relief that we’ve been able to use the home as we’d hoped, despite the fact that many times this year we hosted due to sad situations and life changes. This year has been highly busy in that regard. I do feel like this is a season though, and we’ll be able to host happy gatherings in the future.

Now on to the rest of the good. I’ve been knitting at that conference every other year for 10 years, and have apparently developed a reputation. One of the conference chairs this year, a woman I only ever see at the conference, decided she’d bring me something fun. It was a large bag full of wool!

Now the bad news, it’s not all necessarily something I can use. The white is angora, which I am quite allergic to. So, I’ll need to destash that. The red is very….red. And there’s a lot of it. On the other hand, I also know that I can easily throw that red on a drum carder and add to it so it has more interest for my taste. I’ll have you note though, this woman who is absolutely lovely, clearly has a thing for that red color. Every single day of the conference she had on a piece of clothing containing this very red colored red. And looked great in it! In any case, that was SUCH a sweet gift and thank you for the organizing, and really, only another fiber enthusiast could have picked out such a gift.

Yesterday I did make sure the house was in order, doing 3 loads of laundry, flipping the guest room, making beds, and doing general clean up. As I mentioned, the house is already in good order due to Christelle’s visit, I just had to straighten, which was a relief. I didn’t get a ton of crafting done, because honestly? I just needed time to sit. And I had a VERY long nap in the afternoon, which was so necessary as well. But, I did finally finish a bobbin of the black/grey I was working on that will be paired with the loop 3 ring circus.


In reality, I am not ENTIRELY sure it’s enough, but if it is not, I do have more of that wool, and can throw some more on a bobbin or spindle to finish the project. But today is going to be dedicated to working on plying those green singles first.

Miss Butterfly has today off too. I am looking forward to spending a bit of time with her, she certainly seemed annoyed after awhile that I was working so many hours. But as of right now? She’s doing that thing that 12 year olds LOVE LOVE LOVE to do. Sleeping in. And I am going to let her do just that. We can make some plans later.

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

But I’ll leave you to decide which is which.

The conference is over. I didn’t blog during, and you’ll understand why by the end of this blog post. It went well! I repeatedly heard that the quality of the talks were far better than the previous conference, and honestly things ran very smoothly.

My girlfriend Christelle flew in from NY to attend the conference, and fortunately she flew in early enough that we had a bit of time to hang out and catch up on each other’s lives. We saw each other last summer when she came to visit me at my parents home, and I’d say we generally see each other about once a year. So there’s lots to catch up on. She’s french, so one of the things we absolutely insisted on doing while she was here was going to the local french restaurant. We met up with another girlfriend for that, and it was a really wonderful evening out.

Christelle saw boudin noir on the menu, clearly wanted it, but was afraid she would spend the money and it wouldn’t taste right. She kept saying she’s been burned before with french food in the states. So, our other girlfriend got the boudin noir, Christelle tried it, and then immediately regretted not ordering it. Nevertheless, it was a lovely evening with good company and great food.

One of the most pleasant things about Christelle’s visits is that she’s a fellow introvert, so we can hang together talking or not talking and no one is uncomfortable. She had some additional studying to do before the conference, so while she did that I got to do some spinning.


That’s all my green singles ready to go as well as a bobbin of more 3 ring circus from Loop. I am more than halfway through a bobbin of black/grey to pair with the 3 ring circus but that fiber was so sticky I didn’t dare try to spin on it in the 20 minutes before the conference every morning for fear of getting it stuck all over my professional clothing.

Christelle and I also took lots of walks, as she wanted to get her steps in, and took a mild interest in my pokemon go game. On Saturday evening I got bit on the neck by a bug.

By Sunday evening that bite was a mess, huge, ugly, glaring red, and making the skin around it red and hard to the touch. This had, of course, the additional fun of making me highly embarrassed, as I still have quite short hair and there was no way at all to cover this thing up. Prescription antibiotic ointment overnight did help enough to get it pulled down into something I could cover with a bandaid, and helped the red lines crawling up my neck, but it was still a nasty sight. (I am going to go ahead and call this the ugly, because it WAS!)

But, the conference continued on despite my embarrassment. The food this year was really terrible, and I accused myself of being a grown up picky eater. But later Christelle said “You cannot call yourself a picky eater if the food is GENUINELY Not worth eating!” So I felt a bit better. We did have a nice banquet one night, off site, and that food was great. We also had a free night, so Christelle and I went back to the french place and she had her boudin noir.


I did get a little knitting done:


And a little spinning.


In fact, I had given myself the goal of 4 spindles of singles, and that got done.


I took walks when I had the opportunity to keep my brain fresh, and so garden viewing was also done.


(My current favorite shrub, I am hoping Mr. Ink will put one in for me soon.)

There was also a lot of chocolate.

(That second picture is flourless chocolate cake from a local european bakery that Christelle and I hung out at after the conference was over but before she needed to be at the airport. The coffee at that point was amazing too, as our brains were absolutely fried.)

And then there’s the bad. We found out right in the middle of the conference that Mr. Ink’s best friend, who he has known since childhood, took his life over the weekend. It’s…absolutely devastating news. And not completely a surprise. This is a man that Mr. Ink has nursed back to health in his own home from time to time over the years, and a man that we had been considering finishing our basement for in order that he might have a place to stay when needed. To say he had severe mental health issues would be an understatement. But he was also kind and loving, and he truly appreciated us and let us know regularly how much we meant to him. He was free with his kind words, he was free with his “I love you two” statements, and he tried. He REALLY tried. I’ve never met someone dealt such a terrible hand in life who has tried harder. When your brain isn’t a safe space to be, and you can’t ever get a break from that, you grow weary. We’ve understood over the last few months that he was growing weary, but we had also truly hoped he’d be able to continue on, as he WAS absolutely getting all the help that could possible be provided him. It wasn’t enough.

So, to say that my mind wasn’t on the conference is a bit of an understatement. I don’t think anyone could tell, I took a page from Mike’s book and tried my hardest to keep on, and the conference went as it should. But today? The day after the conference? I have put down my own mental load, took off my step counter, and am going to take it as easy as possible. We are going to have a small gathering of Mike’s friends here at the house tonight. I don’t even know if I am supposed to “do” anything besides make sure the house is in order, which thankfully it mostly is since Christelle was just here.

But today is for regrouping, and I cannot tell you how MUCH I have appreciated all of you over in blog land who have been posting. I am so enjoying reading the posts of my bloglife friends while sipping my coffee in a quiet house. That’s all from me today, we’ll talk again soon. I love you all. Be kind to yourselves, and to those around you. It’s very important!


Updates from the busy side

Work has gone just about as expected, and maybe a little worse. Long days, far past my normal work hours with seriously high stress. Thankfully, today I get to leave a few minutes early. Because after that? Well, then I’ve got 2 work days back to back next week that’ll be 15-16 hours long sandwiched between a late night work day and an early morning work day after a shortened weekend. It’ll be brutal, but honestly? Less brutal than what we went through yesterday, my coworkers and I.

That being said, I did grab pictures of a few things while it wasn’t raining. It’s going to rain again today, so that was lucky!


This is my current spinning project. It’s BFL/Silk that I dyed, and it’s spinning beautifully and I ADORE the color. I’ve got about 1/3 of the second bobbin done, and I am wishing I’d dyed more than 4 oz.


I started a knitting project, something easy that I can work on during the conference. The variegated yarn is Koigu KPPPM, and the solid is a rather old hank of Sanguine Griffon Bugga. I am quite fond of how this one looks, and it’s kind of a boring type of knit which should be about perfect for the conference. I will also take my circles of lace scarf for when I want something that has to be thought about a bit more. I did pack 4 spindles and 4 mini batts too, in case I feel an urge to do some spinning. Hopefully there will be conference updates if I can manage them!

In the garden, my peace rose put on an amazing show for me. It was just what I needed when I got home from work yesterday.

Just stunning blooms, looking so perfect and delicate.

And in gardening news, while I’ve been stressing out and overworked, Mr. Ink has been plugging away at building more garden space. He took this photo last evening of a new area he’s been working on. He says “good riddance to a few more square feet of lawn.”


He’ll keep working his way up the edge of that lawn, but he has mentioned it is quite hard work, and so the going is slow. That new hanging basket? In it is a spurge that Mr. Ink planted on the front wall, and that we both fell in LOVE with. It was doing so well there, and was such an interesting plant! Except upon further research, we found out that the sap is caustic and can cause quite a rash. Well, in interest of not having to try to yank it out of the ground when it spreads, as it was clearly trying to do, Mr. Ink decided on a hanging basket. This way we can keep it contained. And we know where it is, and we can take appropriate precautions when we deal with it. And, it’s so full and lush that it does look amazing in it’s hanging basket, it’s a great look! Mr. Ink has planted all his various evergreens in this section. Miss Butterfly and I had gone out shopping for clothing and shoes for us both, so we didn’t even get to see this in person yet. I can’t wait!

That’s all from here for now, have a great remainder of your week everyone!

Nutty Yarn

Well, I did it. That yarn was too tropical looking even for me and my love of crazy colors. So I decided to up the nutty factor even more, and add in dyed border leicester locks.


The base yarn itself is a worsted weight, but it’ll have to be a bulky pattern to accommodate those locks. I ended up with 192 yards of this, which is a fair amount when considering the bulkiness factor.

Considering the busy nature of work right now, I am plugging along pretty well. I finished my nahant stole that I’ve been working on last evening, but haven’t had an opportunity to block it. Maybe tonight. And, I started some upcoming conference knitting. I always desperately need an easy but large project to work on during the conference, as there’s a lot of down time. This year I am hoping also to take some short walks, especially when there’s no chance of anyone coming to bother me for periods of time. But, I feel certain there will still be loads and loads of downtime available for knitting. I might even bring a little spindle spinning!

I did start a new spinning project too, on the wheel. Since the project featured here was so nutty, I went with a very basic bfl/silk top smooth 2 ply project as a comfortable contrast. I’ll need to get photos of that pretty soon, but it’s supposed to rain all day so it won’t be today. I also need to get photos of the new section of garden Mr. Ink put in, but again, with the rain, not likely to happen today.

In any case, have a great week folks! I’ll try to get some more pictures up by Thursday!

The Weekend Relaxation

I’ve had quite a bit of relaxation. Mr. Ink and I went to a local mountain bike park so that he could ride bikes. However, there’s a problem with my mountain bike that he needs to resolve, so for the first time ever, I just decided to hike in there. And it was great! I saw so much that I miss on the bike, even though I was moving quite quickly on my hike. For instance:


So beautiful!

I finished the yarn from my first ever rolags from the blending board,


I love how they turned out! I ended up with 260 yards of 2 ply yarn. I’ll have to pay attention to how thick these are, as I really had it in my head that I’d like them to become a pair of gloves. There may be enough yardage, but I don’t have the time to research that much at the moment.

I made some more rolags. I wanted to put tropical colors together. I did so, and then wasn’t too sure I liked the resulting rolags.


To be fair, I didn’t think the pink rolags were going to spin up nicely either, so I knew I had to give them a try. This morning I finished the singles:


They are interesting! I am going to chain ply these, and I have to think on it a bit more, but I may even trap some dyed border leicester locks in the plies. It’s so bright and weird already, why not stay in keeping with that?

We’ve done quite a bit of cleaning around the house, much to my relief. And Mr. Ink has been doing some more gardening. We had a fish emergency yesterday as well. Mr. Ink was outdoors, and I looked at one of our aquariums. There was a dead fish, which I felt was odd, and then I looked at the rest of the fish. They were all at the very top of the tank, even the loaches, acting like they were gasping for air. So I ran out and got Mr. Ink since he’s the fish and aquarium expert. Now, Mr. Ink loves his fish, but he might love his aquarium plants even more And he brews what he calls “fish beer” for them. Basically a combo of water/yeast/sugar and then hooks that up to the filter so that the gas the “fish beer” produces gets sucked into the tank, making the aquarium plants very happy. Well, he was quickly able to determine that the filter had gotten clogged, which caused the fish beer to actually make its way into the water. Our fish were suffering from alcohol poisoning. We lost one fish and two shrimp, but the rest of the fish recovered very quickly simply with replacing some of the water. Now we’ve got an additional charcoal filter hooked up in hopes to grab the rest of the alcohol out of the water, but it sure was a strange moment for the aquarium.

I did some furniture rearranging and then grabbed this photo:


This is my current collection of lilies propagated from scales off my current garden lilies. I am really impressed with how well they are doing, and am having trouble deciding if keeping them indoors all winter and planting in the spring is best, or just putting them into the ground shortly is best. I’ve got a couple more scales planted in small pots, but there’s no sign of greenery on them yet. But, I’d say I’ve done pretty well with this experiment so far!

That’s about it from here. I am looking forward to taking some time out today and biking with Mr. Ink around some lakes on my fat bike. I am starting to think he needs a fat bike too, so that he slows down as well.

This upcoming week at work is the hardest week in 2 years. My eye is twitching a bit already. I am going to go at it from the place of knowing I just have to GET THROUGH it. Thankfully, last week I had 3 good days out of 5, and right now that seems like a total win. I’ll keep muddling through and doing my best and before I know it, it’ll be over and things will be back to normal. At least that’s what I keep telling myself!

New Endeavors

I’ve taken up a new endeavor. And it’s rolags. I picked up a blending board this week, and naturally, needed to sample immediately.

My drum carder is great at blending, and great at working with wools that aren’t particularly fine. But it doesn’t like merino, and it won’t really do a good job lining various colors up next to each other for a nice color progression in a batt. I don’t mind, it’s an off brand and it was inexpensive and I’ve gotten massive amounts of use out of it.

But sometimes a gal wants to try something else! So rather than a carder that is different than the one I own, I decided on a blending board. And the first thing I did was make a little over 3 ounces of pink toned rolags, using the bits and bobs I have for blending in stash and one of the grey romney dyed wools from last week.


I just pulled out a few to photograph because man can these things be delicate! But the first bobbin spun up so very nicely,


and I am already working on the plying! The rolags do a great job making a light and airy single, and I am eager to see how my first yarn turns out. However, I think the romney is better saved for my drum carder. I knew that the long staple of romney would probably not do a great job folded over in a rolag, but I guess giving it a try was still worth something.

Happy Weekend my friends! The plans around here are as always. Cleaning, biking, crafting, gardening. And that sounds exactly right to me, since work has continued to be pretty nutty!