Jaws

Yesterday Miss Butterfly and I went on a long pokewalk. What we’ve now come to call our long walks together which also involve pokemon hunting. To be honest, the game is about over for me at this point, as I have almost everything there is to have, and so it’s boring. BUT, she doesn’t, so we still hunt for her, and it’s a great way to convince her to head out with me.

Upon our return, she’d asked if we could watch some Lemony Snicket. I told her no, I didn’t really feel like watching anything right now. She took that “right now” over to Mr. Ink, and asked HIM for a family movie night. He agreed, and said he’d order pizza. I got a BIT annoyed because I’d just told her no, and she explained that she’d taken that “right now” statement as an indication that later might be ok. It was a little underhanded, but I can’t really resist family time.

In fact, she was unusually all up in Mr. Ink’s business yesterday. First she got him to agree to family movie night, then she got him to order pizza, then she wanted to go WITH him to pick up pizza. AND, they decided on a movie together. Which turned out to be Jaws. A movie she’s seen before, and thinks is hilarious. ¬†All fine with me, as really I just needed a few minutes of quiet prior to the movie.

Upon their return, I found out that Mr. Ink had scratched my new car! He scratched the mirror when trying to get the car out of the garage. It really IS a tight fit. I am simultaneously annoyed and relieved it wasn’t me who put the first scratch on the new car. He’s promised me touch up paint, and I’ll be holding him to that.

In any case, we had a lovely evening watching Jaws and eating pizza. And I knit, naturally. I worked on my duotone cowl because it’s awfully close to being done, and I figured it was a good one for “scary” movie watching.

I didn’t get photos of it though. I just have a photo of the latest reversible circles of lace scarf I am knitting. This one is another for Miss Marja project out of Miss Marja’s handspun.

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It’s looking good! It’s my current lunchtime work project. Which means it’s slow going as usual, but there’s no technical rush, and it’s such luscious yarn that it’s nice to spend time with it, if that makes sense.

That’s about it for around here. I’d hoped to report that I had another grant out the door, at least. I’ve got 4 due this week. But, sadly, I am sitting around waiting on people to give me documents and information. I am at a total stand still! It looks like the remainder of this week is going to get ugly quickly. BUT, it’ll be over soon? There’s that at least.

Another Week

After another relaxing day where I relaxed but also got so much done, it’s Monday. So far though, it’s a slow start to my morning. Which I appreciate.

We decided to go out of the city again yesterday, to a small town with a pet store that was supposed to have a certain type of aquarium plant that Mr. Ink has wanted to get his hands on for a long time. Unfortunately, once there, he determined that the plants were not in the shape he wanted them to be. Instead, we picked up 3 shrimp and 3 new sword tail fish. I am pleased about this, as I’d had a sword tail that we raised from an itty bitty baby, she was one of 6 and the only one to survive, but after having her about a year and a half, she mysteriously passed away. It was a bummer, as she was such a good tank cleaner and I loved watching her. I called her my spirit animal, as her near constant state of cleaning really resonated with me. (Thankfully I do not have to clean the house by eating all the dirt.)

Now I’ve got 3 sword tails to watch in the tank. And Mr. Ink and Miss Butterfly are enjoying searching for the shrimp.

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The aquariums, built and maintained by Mr. Ink, are indeed a constant source of amusement and interest.

I got some spinning time in. I worked on some yellow batts on my wheel, and got the singles done. I am saving the plying for Tuesday evening as my knitting is so interesting right now.

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And I managed another repeat on my new lace stole. While the first repeat took me all day Saturday, the second repeat wasn’t nearly so arduous. Thankfully. In fact, I’d say I quite enjoyed it. I may not be able to get a repeat done a night during the week, but it should go fairly quickly now.

In other news, gardening is right at the top of the list of conversations we are having around the house right now. Remember that burning bush that I loved for giving me a little privacy even though it was too large for it’s space and we had to keep cutting it back drastically? Here’s what it looks like now.

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I think we’ve officially decided to take it out and replace it with a fairly mature already smoke bush. And we are, of course, going to take out this retaining wall that annoys the heck outta me each time I look at it and replace it with something more aesthetically pleasing to us. The plan is to work on this nightmare in April, and get our smoke bush in May to put in. That burning bush stump is going to be a pain to get out, but since that wall has to come down anyhow, now is a great time. Then, Mr. Ink intends to pull out quite a lot of the dirt in that garden, and amending it appropriately, so that I can have the larger veggie garden I’ve been hoping for. And, we intend to reroute that downspout to be less of an eyesore. Mr. Ink has had his nose buried in the internet catalogs of various trees and has placed a few orders. He’s getting antsy. Apparently the gardening and landscaping bug bit hard, he’s not going to quit in this upcoming year. I guess it bit me too, because I’ve been planning out my veggie garden and looking forward to getting that established too.

And that’s it from here. It’s supposed to be a lovely day today so I am hoping to finally get a walk in WITH Miss Butterfly as that hasn’t happened in awhile and I miss it. And then we are full speed ahead into the work week!

 

Luxury Or?

When we have an outing to go to, I keep asking Mr. Ink if we are going in Luxury or Prudency. Now the cars have names.

We took Luxury out to where Miss Butterfly was performing her choir concert. After all, as Mr. Ink has stated, Luxury knows how to do cold well, and it had also begun to snow. So, we headed out of town for the concert yesterday afternoon. I was unable to get a photo of the group, but there were 140 middle school students from schools within a 2 hour radius of the concert. They did a WONDERFUL job. It’s so amazing what happens when you pick top talent from area schools and get them together. They practiced for about 8 hours, and then performed amazing music. I did get an after the concert photo from the choir room.

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She really did have a great time, loved the music, and after singing for 8 hours, and then performing, you’d think she’d be sick of it. I put her to bed and could hear her singing herself to sleep, as usual.

Today she’s been wandering around in her pink bunny onesie and making blanket forts. So, I’d say she’s craving some down time.

Yesterday, for ME, consisted of very little after my blog post. I’d told Mr. Ink that I was feeling so lazy and uninspired to get anything done. He, having heard about my rather difficult week not just with grants but with my staff as well, said “Well, I think you need that lazy day. I think you should just do nothing today. In fact, I ORDER it.” And indeed he did just kind of cater to me all day. Making me lunch, taking care of things around the house, giving me a back massage. I was quite spoiled. And, with taking Miss Butterfly out to dinner after the concert, he didn’t have to worry about cooking either. So we both had a mostly lazy day. Which means TODAY is about laundry and dishes and straightening up. But it was worth it!

I cast on a new project with my lazy day. The pattern is called Lighter than Perfume and it’s a nice lace stole. I admit it’s slow going, but I am enjoying the process. It’s got nupps which I haven’t done in awhile. But this time it only took me one row to get the hang of working them loosely enough to be easy. Hard to grab a photo of the entire thing, so here’s a close up of the motif.

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Yeah ok, that’s hard to see too. But I think it’ll be gorgeous once it’s done. I am using handspun on it, of course. It’s this one:

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I am also quite a bit further on the duotone cowl, now I’ve switched the main color for the remainder of the cowl. I haven’t worked on this at all since I cast on the lace piece, but it’s grown a bunch since I last grabbed a photo.

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I did also get to knit on the way out of town and on the way back. That was simply Mr. Ink’s sock since it’s so easy to just knock out round after round on. Oh, and I didn’t spin! Again! I really was feeling lazy. Jury is still out for today.

I hope everyone else is having an opportunity to relax as well. It really is a wonderful opportunity!

A Long Walk

I got up earlier than I would for work this morning in order to get Miss Butterfly together for her day of honor choir. Then, I walked her and her stuff up to school so she could leave ridiculously early. I figured since I was already up and had coffee, I might as well take a walk. It was dark when I left the school, and I got to enjoy the red morning sky as the sun rose over our city. It was very pleasant.

Upon my return, I figured I might as well continue my momentum by winding another skein of yarn and then taking photographs of the Rivenhall scarf that I love so much.

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It is SUCH a fantastic finished object. And I adore the colors. It seems to even fit right in with the winter colors on the wall out front where I snagged the photograph. As well as having matched the morning sunrise.

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This really was a fantastic spin and knit. I am very proud of this one and it’ll certainly go in my pile of stuff for me.

I’ve done so much already with my morning and it’s only 9! I told Mr. Ink that I need a nap. But, I think I’ll cast on that new project instead.

Happy knitting and spinning this weekend my friends!

The Draw of the New

Yesterday morning I had another doctor’s appointment with Miss Butterfly. I’d taken Mr. Ink’s sock to work the day before and left it there. I needed a new easy project to work on while waiting on the doctor. A thing that makes me absolutely crabby without knitting. So, I pulled up my queue and decided on a project.

The funny bit is that for all my whining about the last tube cowl I knit, my choice was another tube cowl. In reality, I was looking for something super easy and I knew this would be it. Unlike the last tube cowl, this one has captured my attention quite well. The pattern is Duotone cowl.

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And this is less than 24 hours after cast on, with the majority of that time being asleep or at work. Indeed it HAS captured my attention.

The yarn is handspun.

It was a particularly interesting project, as it was 60% wool/40% flax fiber. I spun it on support spindles and plied on my wheel. One fiber was orange/red and the other was blue/green. When I was done with both, I had 205 yards of one and 200 yards of the other. So, my spinning was nice and consistent. I knew they had to be paired together and the duotone cowl really seemed to be a good choice. And it is! Seeing as my interest in it hasn’t waned, this has about doubled in size since this photo yesterday.

I also managed to finish my Rivenhall scarf. All that yarn is knit up, and the ends woven in. But, it’s going to take a serious blocking, and I didn’t have the energy for that last evening. I did have energy last evening, but I spent it directing traffic so that the house would get nice and clean. (Meaning, putting my family to work. It was awesome.) Erm, to be clear, I directed traffic while I also cleaned. I didn’t just direct traffic while sitting and knitting.

As for this family, I can tell you that I got one of the load of grants due within the next 3 weeks submitted yesterday. I believe another will go in today. Crossing them off my list has vastly helped my stress level. I’ve been far more pleasant and motivated at home these past two evenings. And really, thank goodness for Friday! I am looking forward to my weekend so much! Miss Butterfly has honor choir. She was chosen as one of just 5 from her school to participate in an area state wide choir festival. She’s been learning her music for weeks, and working one on one with her choir teacher. Her teacher will take them all to a town about an hour away tomorrow and they’ll be with a bunch of other kids from around the state spending a full day practicing their music. Then we get to go out there to enjoy their performance, and bring her home. I am really looking forward to it. And, in part, because it’s a nice long drive in the new car. ūüėČ

Stocking 24

It’s hard to believe I’ve knit 24 of these stockings over the last number of years. That’s a lot of yarn, that’s a lot of colorwork, and that’s a lot of happy family members.

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In the end, this hazelnut colored stocking is mine. Meaning, I had a navy blue one for awhile. But, I wasn’t positive that my new nephew and his family would like the hazelnut one, so I sent the navy one off to them, and claimed the hazelnut one for me.

With this stocking, I am allowed to spin again. My knitting has overtaken my spinning yardage. However, I didn’t drag out the wheel yet. I did finish a batt I had going on support spindles, but it has a companion batt that needs to be finished. I figured I’d save that for the weekend. The rivenhall scarf is now so close to being done, I worked on that instead. And, since I have a doctor’s appointment with Miss Butterfly this morning but left my boring sock at work, I decided to cast on for a boring cowl to knit on during her appointment.

All in all, yesterday was a very good day. Work felt lighter. Busy, no doubt about it. But not as stressful. And, I had the majority of the evening to myself, with Miss Butterfly with her father and Mr. Ink at work or grocery shopping. It was just the evening I needed to replenish and get through the week.

Until Tomorrow….

The Other FO

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It’s Marja’s Ghazal Cowl out of her own handspun. Isn’t it pretty? Those pops of color are a ton of fun on the neutral base. This is definitely a pattern I enjoy, though I must also say that I do need to give this one a break for a bit as two in a short time frame is a little much. What is it about favorite patterns that make me want to wear them out? Sort of like comfort food I suppose. Anyhow, since my agreement with myself is that I can’t count knitting with Marja’s handspun FOR Marja in my knitting totals, this doesn’t count toward keeping my knitting and spinning yardage even. But, I believe I’ll finish something tonight that can go toward that total.

Miss Butterfly took a nice hot bath yesterday with her bath bomb, and was certainly feeling a bit better than the day before. She agrees with Salpal1 that if she keeps moving, walking, she feels better. It’s the mornings that are the most difficult.

She’s still eating VERY well for her, consuming food we’ve made for dinner rather than choosing to make herself something else, and then asking for ice cream. I’d blame that on the weekend as well.

As for me, my grant numbers are up to 11 between now and February 16. My grant team numbers keep going down. And, while I’d feel guilty sending one of my grants over to them, I might have to. Things are looking so dire. Last night I even had to work from home which never happens, and is frowned upon. But, the pace is unsustainable really. And it also means that my life, except for what Miss Butterfly is up to these days, is so so boring. And I really hate being a boring creature!

Choosing

I have two finished objects to show off now! And I am having trouble figuring out what to start with. Meh, maybe both?

I finished up this skein of 3 ply handspun. It’s a sport weight yarn and there’s 420 yards. It is, overall, a gradient but in addition to the one gradient bobbin I also did a fractal spin with the other two bobbins. It should make an interesting finished object.

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Of course, all the colors are pretty close in tone, so it’ll be subtle. I really loved this spin. It’s nothing like I expected it to be. It’s shiny, and sparkly, and wonderful. I spun this out of batts I created:

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I used throwster’s waste in these batts, and I expected that to kind of tangle. It didn’t at all! It’s an awesome subtle silk thread that shines through really nicely. Next batts I make are going to get a very large amount of throwster’s waste. There wasn’t NEARLY enough in these! I just didn’t know how it would act when I created the batts and didn’t want to go overboard. The testing was good, time to add more.

This actually brings me to another point. I was thinking about the spinning for Tour de Fleece this year. Yes, already. I wanted to figure out what I’d do that was different from years before. What is it that would be an interesting challenge. And, I am thinking that I may decide that during TdF I will have to create the batts or rolags I spin from my personal wool stash. That should make for a nice challenge! And it’ll work me through some stash as well.

Sadly, this spin put me over for spinning. You may remember that I am to be keeping my knitting mileage and spinning mileage even, or the knitting mileage has to be over the spinning. This puts spinning ahead, and I have to stop spinning so I can catch up with knitting.

Well, that answers that. There’s enough pictures and talk in this post to save my other finished object for tomorrow! In Miss Butterfly news, the poor kid is just miserable! Her legs are so sore, her hips and back are sore, her ankles are sore. Her dad called last night to give her advice on what to do for relief, which had her rolling a rolling pin all over her legs. I told her that next time she really SHOULD train for the event. She said “That’s what Dad said!” But she didn’t say “I am never doing this again.” Which was encouraging. Apparently the sense of accomplishment wins of the sore legs situation. I am hoping she finds relief from this soon so we can get back to doing that which we enjoy together, going for walks! She’s also still ridiculously tired and eating almost constantly. Those things too are to be expected.

Tomorrow, stay tuned for a cowl!

Less than 24 Hours

This post is ALL proud mamma, and no crafting.

Miss Butterfly did get back to the gym Sunday morning, and she DID do another half marathon. Here’s her post marathon in under 24 hours selfie.

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Pretty sure she’s wearing The Most Appropriate shirt.

And, if you’d like to see what her last moments of the challenge look like, there’s a video:

She’s certainly a well supported young lady these days, not only by her family but by those around her in general. After she completed, she had a dip in the pool and hot tub. Then she and her dad headed home. I received a message from her not long thereafter saying “Mom, could you please just this once come pick me up? Dad won’t bring me home for another hour at least because Football, and I have such a headache and I am SO tired.” Well, I think after a big goals weekend, sometimes you just gotta be in your OWN Space. So, we hopped in the car and drove out to get her. She immediately turned on the heated seats and dropped down and fell asleep.

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She stayed that way until we got home, sleeping through Mr. Ink’s trip to the grocery store. Once home, she crawled in bed again, and I filled a large water bottle for her to sip on when she felt like it. She stayed there for another hour, but then rallied to have a very lovely evening with us. Homework, a shower, and episode of Glee, a delicious dinner, and a bunch of pampering by myself and Mr. Ink was how we did the evening.

This morning I went in to wake her up. She’d consumed an entire huge cycling water bottle of water overnight, and was quite sore. But, she’s also eager to get to school and tell her PE teacher all about it. I told her to take some ibuprofen for her sore legs as soon as she had breakfast. And, she’s around her father and me often enough to know that when you are sore, the worst thing is to be still. So, she knows she’s gotta keep moving to sort out the soreness.

In a rather funny end to the story, her grandmother told her that she’d sponsor Miss Butterfly at $4 a mile. I mean, after all, her run last year was a 10K, so that’s what, just over 6 miles? So, to have her complete 26.2 was a bit startling. This brings her total raised as of right now to $1,259 for MS research. She came in second overall in fundraising!

We. Are. Proud.

Blown Out of the Water

The big news around here today is about Miss Butterfly. You see, for the past few weeks, she’s been raising money for MS research. She did so by agreeing to run more than a 10K on a treadmill during an event her father’s running group was hosting. She got started last evening.

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And, she blew that greater than 10K goal out of the water by running 14.83 miles that evening. I do believe she’s got some sponsors that are sponsoring her a certain amount of money per mile, so she doesn’t have her final fundraising total in yet. She took a dip in the pool before heading home with her dad, and she sent me this proud selfie from the car.

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This morning? She wants to get back over there and do some more miles, as the event is a 24 hour event and she seems to think she could do the equivalent of a marathon in the space of 24 hours. Seems ambitious, but she comes from persistent stock. We’ll see! She told me this morning she was annoyed because her father wasn’t getting up and around and over to the gym fast enough for her.

As for crafting, I did a little of it yesterday. I finished up the cowl I wanted to get done, that’s currently blocking. And I finished spinning the singles for my current spinning project.

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They look so cheery! I am looking forward to the plying job on these. I also went shopping, of my own volition. Not usual. But, I wanted to get some curtains for the master bathroom, ones that were not obviously homemade and falling apart. I did so, and now need to head back today for appropriate hardware for those curtains. I also need to iron them. Hah! I think the next to be updated would be the kitchen curtains. I’ve got ideas. We’ll see.

Hope everyone is having a lovely weekend as well, full of activities you love to do!

 

Updates

Want to see where I am on my WIPs? It’s nice to take account now and then.

I was able to finish one of Mr. Ink’s socks this week.

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Knitting the afterthought heel brought me to exactly where I needed to be to start the next pair with them matching. Hopefully there’s enough yarn. I worry about these things.

I’ve been knitting on Marja’s handspun Ghazal cowl for quite some time now. It’s out of her own handspun of course. All the little colors in it have been quite charming. This one has been at work with me. It would be done by now if it wasn’t for daily last minute grants (seriously. Daily.) interrupting my lunch breaks. But, I am so close to done now that I thought I’d bring it home and finish it this weekend.

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And the scarf that isn’t close to done, Rivenhall.

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It may not be close to done, but it is lovely and the yarn is soft with regularly changing colors. I think it’ll be fairly spectacular once it’s complete. And blocked. The repeats are long, but when I do have time to knit in the evenings I try to at least get one repeat done before moving on to something else.

I did also cast on another stocking, but there’s no rush to finish it at this point, since I made the decision to send my upcoming new nephew my own navy blue and white one rather than the one with hazelnut color. I am trying to get these projects off my list though, before I start new things. But there’s 3 skeins of yarn in the basement waiting to be wound into balls and cast on, the startitis is growing.

As for real life. As I mentioned, the grants situation is quite concerning. We’ve gotten last minute grants every single day this week, as well as last week. The worst one was yesterday around noon, finding out about one being submitted for that day’s deadline. Except…we didn’t find out through the person submitting the grant, we found out in a round about way. And with only 4 hours left to get the thing submitted, and him trying to submit without us thinking he knew what he was doing, we looked at the grant package and realized he was wrong. Very wrong. I’d left my Friday afternoon open for catching up on all the other stuff I needed to get done so that I’d have time to submit the 6 I have actually planned between now and mid February as well as the ones that we are certain will show up last minute. But, again, that afternoon just got eaten up by more poor planning.

So, I’d say that work isn’t going well. And, I think that’s why, in part, I get home and then am after my family to help me around the house. Miss Butterfly and I sorted a bunch of her toys, filling the back of my car with a load for donation, filling a trash bag full of actual junk, and her reorganizing what she had. I also did a lot of basement reorganization, you can now kind of move around down there and things are back where they should be. So now I have to get down there to actually clean. And then we need to move things around a bit to make it a better space to work in. But, the main agreement that I made with Miss Butterfly is that if she brings this into the house:

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Other stuff has to leave. Way to make the ridiculous work for me.

I’ve got my eye on new curtains for the kitchen and the master bathroom, that might be today’s mission, as well as dropping off the donation stuff. It’s nice to be feeling inspired about the house again!

Slightly More Focused

My crafting ADD continued into Tuesday evening. It was so severe that evening that I really didn’t end up crafting. I got stuck on the couch after my walk and couldn’t quite get motivated to do much else beyond help make dinner when it was time. To be fair, I’d also gone in early to work and stayed very late as one of my people was getting an award and I wanted to be at the ceremony. I’d forgotten that I was going to stay late, and thus I had intended to arrive at work late. But, the forgetfulness was serendipitous as I was forced to work on yet another last minute due that day grant I didn’t know about prior to my arrival at work.

So, basically my point is that my crafting ADD continuing into Tuesday evening probably just had more to do with mental exhaustion than anything else. However, what was born out of those two unfocused crafting days was the realization that I hadn’t been working with my support spindles lately, so I pulled out a Nunoco batt and did a tiny bit of spinning on it.

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The yellows and greys are a combo¬†I adore, and I am trying to spin pretty thickly on the support spindles as I don’t want the project to take forever.

Thankfully, Wednesday was a bit more gentle on my brain, and once home I got my taxes done, then Mr. Ink said “I am bored with the internet, let’s watch TV!” So we watched an episode of The Crown before dinner. I focused my attentions on his latest pair of socks and the Rivenhall scarf. I’d say that’s pretty focused.

Miss Butterfly was with her father last evening. And came home with this.

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She set it at the sliding glass door, knocked, and ran away. Mr. Ink was all “WHAT IN THE WORLD?!?!” Miss Butterfly said she’d also set it in the backseat of her father’s car, facing outward. So that when they’d come to a stoplight, she could watch the people do a double take from their cars, and then start giggling.

She’s ridiculously happy with this item. I did mention to her that she now has to start getting rid of more stuff because Mom cannot take the mess anymore. She agreed to at least sort and cull her basement stash of toys. I am afraid I did the bad mom thing and rained on her parade a bit. Meaning, her father and his family just buys ALL Of the stuff. And sends it home with me because nothing fits in their small apartment. And it’s SO wasteful. Furthermore, when it comes to Christmas gifts, she’ll get like one item from us, one item from my parents, one item from my brother, one item from Mr. Ink’s sister in law. All carefully chosen as things which she TRULY wants. Every year she says something to the effect of “I love Christmas at your house Mom, where I get less stuff but stuff that I actually want. Where people listen to me when I tell them what’s on my list!”

So hopefully she’s learning something about stuff and gift giving, even if I have to suffer through all these extra items in my home. I have, in the past, boxed up all the toys she no longer plays with, but that her father and his family got her, put them in his car, and asked him to figure out where they go next. I might have to do that again. In the meantime, I think our entire family needs to spend some time cleaning and organizing our basement so that I don’t feel overwhelmed each time I walk to the car!

Ice Day

I had a bit of crafting ADD yesterday, couldn’t really focus on any one thing after I assembled the baby moccasins. I flitted between spinning, knitting the Rivenhall scarf, knitting on Mr. Ink’s socks and planning my next project or two. I even pulled out yarn for projects, except that I really couldn’t be bothered to go to the basement to use the swift and ball winder. I was so antsy!

In the end, Miss Butterfly and I went for a walk. We waited until the ice really started to melt. I put on my proper winter boots and walked in the icy grass. Miss Butterfly refused to wear boots so she could slide on the ice. She wore trainers, and her feet were immediately wet, but she never complained about it because sliding on the sidewalks was too fun. It was still raining, so we also had umbrellas. In fact, between the melting ice and the rain, there were areas where the entire roadway was 2 or 3 inches deep in water. It was quite the storm! Here are the photos I took from our hour long walk:

I am glad I had the opportunity to stay home with Miss Butterfly, we did have a nice day despite my being a bit stir crazy. Area schools were cancelled yesterday afternoon for today. She’s fortunate to have another day home. But, to be fair, our driveway was almost dry this morning which is saying quite a bit, and they totally could have done school.

And now I am back at work, dealing with last minute grant submissions, again, and dreaming about the beautiful work of nature and the ability to be away yesterday.

Ah well. In any case, here’s some spinning!

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I made batts awhile back that are blue toned. Generally I love the batts I make so much I cannot even ply them. I leave them as thin singles as to enjoy them as long as possible. Not so this time! I am branching out and making a 3 ply. One bobbin done, the next one begun.

Ice

The ice storm certainly hit last evening, and it’s still raining today. We treated the driveway with salt before we went to bed, but it was all washed away before this morning and replaced with a thick layer of ice. Mr. Ink headed out to salt again this morning before work. I made the mistake of watching from the window. He’d salt in front of him and take mincing steps. He’d fall and slide toward our busy street, then quickly pour a load of salt in front of his body as he slid toward the street to stop himself. The back side of him was soaked as he finished up, so I know this was a disturbing trend this morning. I decided to stay home. He left in the civic. Most likely because it’s the older car and if the worst happened, it would feel less awful.

I decided to seam the baby moccasins I knit the parts for yesterday. And then I decided to go outdoors and take photos. I hugged the edge of the house as that’s where there’s no ice, and made it to the side garden to take photos.

These are the baby knits for my new nephew arriving in March. I made the moccasins last evening and seamed them this morning. I’ve never knit baby booties before, this was a first. I have to say, my initial impression is that they are simultaneously fiddly and satisfying. I am glad I made them.

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They wanted to slip all over that ice covered stone. In fact, they kept trying to slip into the muddy garden, so that wasn’t ideal. My photo was snapped as quickly as possible so I could move them to a safer spot.

I had finished the sweater days ago, and blocked it over the weekend. I kept thinking that I’d need to go out and get buttons, and as such, I’d not be able to show it off anytime soon. But, as I was wandering around the house yesterday unable to go shopping due to ice, I remembered that I have a rather expansive old button stash. I decided to shop there instead, and came up with 3 light blue perfectly matching buttons.

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I also knit a quick pixie baby hat, because they are so cute, and babies should have hats, and because they are a hat knit that is flat, since I rather hate knitting hats.

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I have a small ball of yarn leftover, but probably not enough to knit another item from. It was good fun to knit a few baby items from handspun all at once. I am eager to send these out the door along with the stocking. The hat is newborn sized, the sweater says 0-3 months, and the booties say 0-6 months. So, it’s entirely possible that none of these will fit at once. But, they’ll last for awhile, and that’ll have to do.

Miss Butterfly and I are hoping to be able to get out later and wander the neighborhood in boots on the grass. However, I just took a look at the radar and it looks like it’ll be pouring for ages and ages. We might have to call it a loss. We have other plans too, french toast breakfast, chores, and some tv watching. I think that’ll do for an ice day! Are you in the path of this storm? If so, how is it where you are?

 

Fortunate

Today we are anticipating an ice storm. There’s been tons of hype about it, and as such, it is hard to believe it’ll be as bad as all that. However, it seems that the weather service hasn’t put out a warning like this in 6 years, so it may not be hype after all.

Since today had the potential to be miserable, while Mr. Ink headed in to the shop with the new car, Miss Butterfly and I headed to a local lake to go for a walk. It really was a lovely day. Nice and sunny. Not too cold. We were there to get her some pokemon. Quite frankly, my game is a little boring right now, I’ve got almost everything that’s currently available, except for 5. And of those 5, it’s unlikely I’ll find them “in the wild.” So, now it’s all about getting Miss Butterfly her pokemon.

As has been the case since we began playing, really pokemon just gets us out the door. After that, it’s all about discovering the Real World around us. Miss Butterfly indicated that she’d like to walk on an ice lake, as she’s never done so before. The lake had ice fisherman out, and so I allowed her the opportunity.

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She was thrilled. And a little disturbed by the noises a frozen lake makes. Those are noises I love. Quite frankly, we didn’t wander far from shore as the ice was only 4ish inches thick and that’s a bit daring for me when it comes to having my child out there. I logically know it’s probably safe, but the mother in me keeps freaking out.

But, she had her opportunity and enjoyed it. We walked a little further and she found a good climbing tree, so she did that as well.

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Had it been warmer, she probably would have kept going. All in all, a fun morning of exploration.

If you are a regular reader you may remember that we needed to Do Something about our garage door. Mr. Ink finally made the decision to purchase a new lock mechanism for it, as he’ll be the predominate user of that door and has decided it’s no trouble to put the car in the garage “the old fashioned way.” The lock/handle mechanism arrived on Friday. Upon our return from the lake, Miss Butterfly opened the garage and broke the handle. (Not her fault, it was fixin’ to fail.) So, I put the car in the garage, took the handle upstairs, and told Mr. Ink his to do list for the day had just been revised. Thankfully it took him very little time to put the new lock and handle in, and I didn’t hear much hollering from the basement, so I think it went well.

As for the new car, it’s day in the shop got it an inspected cabin air filter (needs to be replaced), some undercoating on parts of the car that Mr. Ink wants to protect, and a fix of the dash noise that we’d heard once we purchased the car that he didn’t trust the dealer to work out. Oh, and of course, an opportunity for Mr. Ink to actually drive the car since I have hogged it completely since we got it.

And now for the story of my current handspun project. Miss Marja gave me those lovely rolags for christmas. And, since she knows me so well, she made them NICE and chunky. She had picked up some lovely chunky wool nepps in all sorts of great colors, which she added to my rolags, hiding them in there really well. Unfortunately for some reason, and I think it might be that these nepps are just so hard felted that they don’t have anything to grip the handspun with, 99% of those nepps were lost. They’d fly off the singles as I was spinning. I’d sweep them up. Then, I figured no problem on the ones left, they’d stick around. Oh no, during plying, the same experience happened. They’d just pop right off the yarn, even when I’d carefully try to trap them in the ply. Well, ok, there’s still some left right? So, those will stick around. Oh no! Not so. When putting the yarn on the niddy noddy, even more would pop off the yarn. In fact, I’ve still got a carpet full of nepps from the last skein I wound onto the niddy noddy. It was so sad! I don’t think she’ll be insulted that I am telling you this, as we’d discussed it on Friday night and she’d had the same experience with them. That being said, I was able to trap some of them in the ply, and so my yarn will have a chunky surprise or two as I knit it.

Turned out to be a great big skein! 540 yards or so, and I’d say DK weight overall.

There’s also been a ton of baby knitting around here. I finished the handspun sweater for my newphew, but it’ll have to wait for buttons before I show it off. And then I made a pixie baby hat out of the yarn, and today I intend to make some booties. And maybe another hat for a slightly older baby, as the pixie hat looks particularly tiny.

But FIRST, I gotta go get another walk in before the storm! It’s perfectly clear out at the moment, and this may be the last chance before Tuesday.

Talk soon!

Impressions

What has been occupying my tiny bit of free time lately you may ask? A tiny little handspun sweater.

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I have a nephew due in March. I wanted to make a handspun sweater for him. You may remember that I was spinning for the baby surprise jacket. Unfortunately, the yarn I spun turned out to be worsted rather than DK, and while I did cast on the BSJ anyhow and begin knitting on it, it was huge, and I would have worried about my yarn amount the entire time. So, instead of pressing onward, I stopped, reevaluated, and chose another pattern. The pattern is Wee Lima, and this is the back of it. Doesn’t it give the impression of an impressionist painting?

I haven’t had a ton of knitting or spinning time lately. To be honest, we keep playing games with Miss Butterfly. We’ve been playing “trash” and Fluxx in particular. We’ve rather gotten into a game habit and I can’t be more pleased. It’s like dessert, but healthier. Right after dinner we put the dishes in the kitchen and shuffle a deck of cards. Sometimes we play one game, but often we just keep playing until it’s time for Miss Butterfly to get ready for bed. Tonight is an official game night, where we have friends over to play games with us.

I told Miss Butterfly last night that I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if she got a snow day on Monday. It’s supposed to be a nasty ice storm. She informed me she had Monday off anyhow. Ooops! I’ve already been told that if the weather is terrible I can take a “surprise” vacation day. So, I might do that, and allow Mr. Ink to take the AWD vehicle. It’s been a heavy grant season, all our smaller internal grants have come due this week and next. I double checked our grant submission list, and noticed there’s only one due on Monday. I basically told my boss that if it doesn’t get submitted (as the person submitting always pushes the deadline) then that would have to be a learning experience. We don’t put the lives of our grants team¬†in danger on the road in order to get a grant out the door that he didn’t bother to work on ahead of time. In the ongoing fight I’ve got with deadline pushers, it would actually be a win for me if no one was able to get to work on Monday.

So, what I am trying to say here, is that I may even have an extra day for knitting and hanging with Miss Butterfly! It’s quite exciting.

Christmas is Over

But, I am not done with stockings. I just received, in the mail, the yarn for the 24th stocking as I finished up the 23rd stocking.

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This one can head off in the mail to it’s recipient, and then I’ll get started on the one for my upcoming nephew. For that one, I got a kind of chestnut color. It’s a departure, I’ve never made one in that color before and I hope my sister in law doesn’t think it drab or ugly. I think the contrasts will be lovely. Well, I guess I can always decide to keep the contrasting one for myself and send off a navy one I have in our own Christmas stash.

It’s been a busy week already. Miss Butterfly had her winter choir concert, rescheduled from prior to winter break due to an ice storm. It was lovely. Last evening we had a quieter evening in, with Mr. Ink making us dinner (as usual) and then playing games together before her bedtime. Mr. Ink has been working his way through his own personal to do list, which meant knitting time for me while he cleaned out the largest fish tank. While he cleaned (it took two evenings of work) we listened to Dune, which made the job rather pleasant. One might say the foot of the stocking is spice infused.

I am knitting along quite nicely on Mr. Ink’s socks. I had them set on the dining room table at one point, which created a cute little conversation. Miss Butterfly picked them up and then said:

B: I don’t even KNOW how you knit with these tiny needles, I can’t even move them!

Me: Well, for starters, you are holding the project backwards. Turn it around and it may start to make sense.

Mr.I: Hey! Maybe that’s not the project you should learn to knit on!

B: I KNOW HOW TO KNIT!!!!

Mr.I: Well, I love my handknit socks, they should have no mistakes!

B: Do you REALLY think that MY MOTHER couldn’t fix any mistake I made in her knitting?!?!?!?!

Yes, it’s true, every conversation is peppered with the incredulousness and drama¬†that only her age group¬†can consistently muster.

Have a happy week my friends! I just started a cute knit for my nephew, so more soon!

 

Still Rolling

We were supposed to ride bikes today. If I am honest with myself, I kind of knew yesterday it wasn’t going to happen. I mean, 16F, it’s still too cold for me to go biking this season. I didn’t bike when it started getting cold. (And to be fair, it never started getting cold, it just went from warm to 4F. So, there wasn’t an ease in period anyhow.)

So, I am still rolling through the rolags.

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Here’s the first half! I didn’t weigh the rolags to split them in half, so this is just a rough estimate. However, seems like a nice amount of singles for a rough half! We’ll see where I get with the second half today. I am also thinking that this cold day might want me to bake some molasses oatmeal bread. And play some more games with Miss Butterfly. She and I have been playing a card game she calls “trash” pretty regularly. It’s all chance and yet she seems to beat me soundly on the regular.

Mr. Ink spent the day looking over the new car. He took it into the shop to make sure there were absolutely no mechanical deal breakers. There weren’t. And he made a list of stuff that he felt he would make the dealership fix. And another list of stuff he didn’t trust them to fix and he would prefer to look into himself. He must be quite excited about the car because generally it’s like pulling teeth to get him to go in on a non work saturday but he was eager to be off with the car yesterday morning and is eager to take it in again in a week.

Miss Butterfly and I put away the christmas ornaments and Mr. Ink took down the tree. I am still finding stray missed decorations so that’ll be a chore for today. It’s nice to have my living room back though, I missed the wide open space. ¬†Mr. Ink then spent the evening drilling larger holes in our bathroom tile to firmly secure a new towel rack. The one we had regularly fell apart, and it was annoying us all. New towel rack with new hardware is quite secure and looks great. I’d say the entire day was madly productive for a day of “rest.”

Another beautiful COLD day of rest in the heartland today, and I hope your day is JUST as lovely.

Remember the Rolags?

Miss Marja gave me the prettiest rolags for christmas. I took a quick and not great photo of them and posted it before our vacation.

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They really are such a richer blue than this photo lends you to believe. I think I also mentioned they weren’t even going into the fiber stash, they’d sit by the chair and I’d begin them just as soon as I was done with the 3 ply baby sweater yarn.

I began them! And they are lovely. Miss Marja, naturally, knows my affinity for really weird and chunky fibers, lots of add ins. So, they are appropriately chunky and fun to spin! I’ve got a photo of what is on the wheel so far. It’s not a great photo, because it’s 8F and feels like -5, so I don’t want to go outdoors.

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Look at that chunky goodness! I love it!

Miss Butterfly went off to a sleep over last night. Mr. Ink and I spent a very quiet evening together. We are watching The Crown, which I binged while out at the lake in November, but enjoyed enough to watch again with him. We’ve had a really slow morning too. 2 introverts attempting to heal up after a weird vacation and a crazy week. Mr. Ink will be taking the new car into the shop today to give it a good look over, he wants to make sure it’s actually in the shape it should be prior to the 30 day warranty being up. I am jealous he’ll be driving it alone. Yep, I am absolutely in love with that vehicle. It’s been so cold that I haven’t been able to just sit in it with it running to pair my phone and change the time and so on. Until yesterday. I spent some time in it yesterday afternoon once I drove home from work. Phone is paired and working well, I can now listen to my podcasts easily, or pandora or audible, without hooking up the phone to a cord.

Mr. Ink is going to look into the XM radio. I cannot get it to work despite the fact we’ve got a free trial. Mr. Ink has been listening to XM radio at work as once you have an account, you can use it anywhere. But, as far as actually listening to it in the car, I haven’t had any luck. It’s unfortunate really, I was looking forward to annoying Mr. Ink with some opera or classical on those very nice speakers the car comes with.

Mr. Ink is doing a biggest loser challenge at his workplace, so of course I am playing along. It started on Wednesday. This means that despite the overwhelming cold, we really do have to get motivated to get outside and exercise. I’ve done fairly well keeping up with my walking, in part due to being able to walk quite a distance indoors on campus. But, this is going to require stronger stuff, probably bike rides. In the bitter bitter cold. We’ve done it before, but it’s hard to get started initially.

That’s….about it from around here! We plan to get the tree taken down today in addition to the other activities. I’ll be happy to have my living room back in appropriate order. The lack of space is kind of bugging me at the moment. And Mr. Ink’s plants want more light. Have a great weekend everyone, hopefully there’ll be more to show off tomorrow!

And It’s Done

We headed back to the dealership last evening to meet up with Bruce and finish our new to us car purchase. It was a surprisingly busy night at the dealership, and Bruce was unsurprisingly¬†slow. They’d told us that they wanted a copy of insurance papers, even though our bank didn’t require that. So, Mr. Ink dutifully added the new vehicle to his current car insurance using the prescribed parameters for cars under lien. This insurance ¬†expires in February, and we were plenty pleased by that because we need to make some adjustments anyhow. Gives us time to settle in with the car and then make our adjustments in a month.

Well, Bruce didn’t like this, and when he went to enter the insurance info into their system, he said “But we need the insurance to cover for 6 months!!!” ¬†I looked at Mr. Ink, Mr. Ink looked back at me, and I knit a little bit faster. Mr. Ink says “Well, then, I guess you should have mentioned that last night.” ¬†Which is QUITE a statement from Mr. Ink. Bruce continued, asking me the same question he’d asked me last night “What about your car, do you have a shared insurance, can we get your card?” Me, again, “NO, we cannot use my separate insurance for a car Mr. Ink owns. HOWEVER…” I say VERY firmly as I am really and truly at my limit with this guy “We turned in this very same insurance to the lienholder, who are the only ones who want the insurance anyhow, and THEY didn’t have an issue with it. So neither should you.” Honestly? I suspect this guy to have been “henpecked” most of his life. When Mr. Ink speaks, he argues. When I speak, it’s all “Oh, oh..ok then, we’ll just move on.”

I was beginning to believe that everyone at this dealership was similar to Bruce, we’d been so immersed in the irritation and nuttiness that was Bruce. So, when a manager came to handle the final sale of the car, I was pleasantly surprised to find him warm, friendly, intelligent, and very quick with the computer. I also had a giggle as Bruce kept hovering irritatingly, and then the manager reached the limit of HIS irritation and says “Bruce! Go check on the car.” Bruce quit hovering.

Naturally, as we were trying to leave, Bruce was still drawing our attention to various details of the car. And then when we were truly ready to leave, he said “Thanks guys, now if you know of anyone who needs a new car, please send them my way!” ¬†Yeah Bruce, we’ll get right on that.

Pretty car! It was 9F and snowing when I drove out of there. The roads were bad. It was precisely the type of weather that has Mr. Ink insisting I drive this vehicle. He had gone on in the civic to get some salt for the driveway while I went home. Up the snowy driveway this car went, and right into the garage with no issues. This morning, driveway still snow covered, I pulled out, turned around, and was off. No sliding sideways toward the busy street. Now I just need the weather to warm a bit so I can spend some time sitting in my car and pairing my phone with it, adding to the navigation system, changing the clock which is currently 2 hours ahead, etc.

Knitting? You want to see some knitting? Maybe that sock that made it so that I didn’t completely bite off Bruce’s head?

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This is what it looked like before we headed to the dealership last night. It’s twice the size now. It’s bold color choices for Mr. Ink. Miss Butterfly and I picked them. But, bold or not, I feel certain he’ll wear the socks, even if just around the house.

And the scarf I began, pattern is called Rivenhall. The fiber was BMFA sheep to shoe kit, can’t remember the colorway name. However, it’s not a colorway I’d normally have picked, and yet the way the scarf is knitting up is so stunning! I don’t remember loving the yarn nearly as much as I am loving how it looks knit up.

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The original skein looked like this:

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I am not positive that I fractal spun this, but the way the colors are working in the scarf seems to indicate I may have done so.

It’s shaping up to be an extremely busy and social month. But, now that the car is settled, I also feel like my time is a bit more free. Miss Butterfly is back to school today, routines are heading back to normal, sleep schedules are in line with those routines. It’s always fun to have a holiday, but it’s also equally pleasant to get a routine back. I am appreciating it quite a bit!

Patience Wearing Thin

The first time we walked out of the dealership that could get the car we wanted, I told Mr. Ink that if we ended up purchasing from them, and in particular, from our salesperson Bruce, I’d feel like I was doing a good deed. I mean, he clearly has no clue what he’s doing, is new at the salesperson job, and has previously been a lot manager. So, familiar with car dealerships but has never done sales before. He cannot manage the computer with any speed or accuracy, and it’s painful to watch. He doesn’t know the cars at all, so even test driving with him is rather painful. However, he also gave us a story about his heart transplant and divorce, not that we needed to know, and thus I felt like if my patience could survive, we’d have done a good deed and given him some experience. This was 20 days ago.

I know it was 20 days because that’s how long it was to take our car to show up, as we ordered it in from Texas. We’d found a specific low mileage vehicle there that fit our needs and wants exactly, so we paid to have it shipped to us. We, being rather excited about the car and a bit obsessive in general, have spent those 20 days preparing ourselves for this car. Meaning, we’ve both read the owners manual, we know where everything is located, we know how to operate its many bells and whistles. Not to mention, Mr. Ink is a mechanic. He’s accustomed to figuring out car systems quickly. He’s been doing thus for 20 years. So, we are READY for this car. And really, after the somewhat disastrous family vacation, it’s a thing we are really looking forward to.

Last night, we get the message that the car has arrived. We were hoping for that to be the case. Mr. Ink calls Bruce to let him know we will be coming in to look at the car. Bruce tells us he just does NOT have time for us tonight. We cannot possibly come in to look at the car. Now, if we are being honest, Mr. Ink communicates rather slowly as well, but this is HIS responsibility so I am attempting to stay out of it to the best of my ability. It’s about a 10 minute phone call, no exaggeration, for Mr. Ink to explain that we just want to come in to SEE the car. I hear him say “You don’t honestly believe we are coming it to purchase this car sight unseen do you? We just want to LOOK at the car tonight. We can come back and purchase tomorrow.” And FINALLY, Bruce gets around to the customer service oriented idea that maybe he could set us up with someone else so we could look at our car and make sure it’s exactly as we ordered?

We arrive at the dealership about a half hour later. Amazingly enough, Bruce now has time for us. He gives us a song and dance about how a vehicle for another couple didn’t work out and so he has time for us now. Really, I just want him to shut up so we can see our car. We get in the car, there’s a low tire pressure alert. Unsurprising, as the car was coming from a warm climate to a cold one. Mr. Ink knows that he can view the alert, using buttons on the dash. But, Bruce decides he knows better, so he’s also pushing buttons on the steering wheel. The buttons he’s pushing are changing the stereo, but because Mr. Ink is pushing buttons on the dash simultaneously, Bruce is sure he’s got it right, so he’s trying to tell Mr. Ink that this is how you view the alert. Mr. Ink is trying to correct him, but it’s not going well. Finally, Mr. Ink just lets him do as he wishes, while figuring out how to view the alert. We are basically just ignoring the guy.

We get in to test drive the car. Bruce is still trying to sell us the car. Despite the fact that WE are the ones who did the research, WE are the ones who know the car, and WE are the ones who chose it. He’s telling us features, he’s saying “Oh look! This one is fully loaded!” Like it’s going to be a surprise to US. I am telling Miss Butterfly where she can locate the back seat heater, and he’s surprised the back seats are heated. I am just like PLEASE TO STOP TALKING NOW OK BRUCE?!

We get back, we assure him that we do indeed want this car. Which means now we’ve got to PAINFULLY watch him work through the bill of sale. We don’t need to get all of it done, just enough to get the paperwork for our bank. But, he gets one started, and then messes it up, has to start again. Which means we’ve got to work our way through all the required info that the dealership has us look at to make sure we know what we are getting into, despite having looked at it once already. It’s a good thing I brought another sock to knit on! It was really what was saving me from flipping a lid. I mean, I had to tell him what to put in to his own order, and he’s saying “Well, I’ve only done this two other times you know.” OK so maybe get someone who knows to help you with it? So frustrating.

We got back in our car, and I say “I thought this could be a good deed, but I am seriously reconsidering. He’s a nice guy, but I am pretty sure if they send me a survey I am going to have to fill it out honestly.” Mr. Ink says “Well, here’s the thing. He’s inept. He is SO inept that he cannot possibly pull a fast one on us. You have to know what you are doing to pull a fast one. He has no clue. So, it’s probably the safest way to purchase a car.”

OK then! We’ll go with that. If all goes well, we should have a new car tonight, and we are both VERY excited!

Here’s some spinning!
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8 ounces, 405 yards 3 ply. It’s really quite thick, compared to my normal spinning. I was shooting for DK weight, but I think I may have achieved worsted weight. I mean, it puffed up so much after washing! I am still hoping it’ll work it’s way into a baby surprise jacket. We shall see!

Miss Butterfly had an orthodontist appointment yesterday. She’s now getting braces, top and bottom. She’s already had a brief stint with braces on her top teeth, but now it’s full on, making room for her final molars that are having trouble coming in. It’s been such a long haul with orthodontia so far, but she’s been very compliant over all, and I really appreciate that she understands the end goal, beautiful smile, no need to fix when she’s an adult and on her own.

After that we went to the LYS which is having their annual sale. I admit it, I bought a couple skeins of utilitarian sock yarn for Mr. Ink. Big skeins. Lots of yardage. I cast on mostly because I know that the car dealership always takes longer than you imagine. I mentioned to Mr. Ink that we’d chosen new sock yarn and I had a new pair started. He said “I knew it! This is what I was afraid of! Once you got started you wouldn’t be able to stop!” ¬†I reminded him that my knitting whims were fickle, so he’s probably safe. I’ll grab a shot of the latest pair of socks this evening.

That’s all around here! I’ve got two new knitting projects to take photos of tonight, so I actually have blog content for tomorrow as well. The knitting, it’s going pretty well these days!

Happy New Year!

I am ever so glad to be home!

Our trip was….interesting. I witnessed some next level codependent and dysfunctional family relationships real up close and personal. With bonus manipulation, gaslighting, and all out lying as well.

Needless to say, it was a bit exhausting. It caused a bit of a family split, leaving Mr. Ink and I with his mom for our vacation while the younger brother (who was the one doing the gaslighting, manipulation, and lying) took off with his fiancee to a hotel for the remainder of our time together. All because he felt “disrespected” because no one was willing to ignore his behavior and he was being called out on all his lies. Once they left, Mr. Ink and I did breathe a sigh of relief. It’s pretty tough to relax in a house that’s gone toxic. Though, I admit that I slightly and secretly enjoyed being able to walk into a room and clear it of one person just by being there. Pretty powerful.

Thankfully, Miss Butterfly was staying with Mr. Ink’s older brother and sister in law at a different house full of other children her age, and thus was MOSTLY kept out of the fray.

We ended up leaving the rental house early, Mr. Ink and I were invited to then stay with sister in law’s family. And that’s when the vacation got better. Sister in law is romanian with a huge family. The home we stayed in was about the size of 4 or 5 homes. Every room was packed full of family members. For instance, There was a bunk bed in one room, double bed on bottom where brother and sister in law slept. Top bunk, single, that their 20 year old son slept. Above THAT, was yet another bed in an attic like space, wide open, in the room. That’s where Miss Butterfly slept. We slept in a playroom that was like part of a hallway, but immense. Every space was full to the brim of people.

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There were children of all ages all over the place, and they were all just happy to be together. We took them ice skating, they played games together, they’d be off in the hot tub. What they weren’t doing was bothering adults. It was as if I’d created this space for Miss Butterfly by posting about my similar memories of cousins growing up. These new “cousins” absorbed her into their tribe so quickly. It was slightly overwhelming for her, from time to time. But it seemed quite natural for them.

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There also seemed no limit to animals as well. The neighbor brought over a baby pug, which Miss Butterfly loved holding but quite literally had to fight for.

There was food, SO MUCH FOOD, and tons of voluntary chipping in to make a new years eve party happen. For that, I really haven’t a CLUE how many people were there. We did stay up to ring in the new year for the first time in ages. Sister in law sweetly told Mr. Ink the best thing he’d ever done for her was bring me and Miss Butterfly into her life. So, TRULY, a lovely end to a very stressful “vacation.”

We’d put Mr. Ink’s mom in the room with Sister in law’s mom in a huge king sized bed. They’ve known each other now for years, thankfully, and seemed quite pleased with the arrangement. And, considering how they both are constantly asking for the thermostat to be turned up, the room with a space heater and heated tiles

seemed to suit them just fine. The next morning the family had a christening to go to, so Sister in law and I did some house clean up, got food out for guests to eat breakfast and lunch, and made sure everyone had what they needed while visiting with guests. Once Mr. Ink’s mother was picked up by the contingent that refused to participate, we headed back home. I was so happy to be home in my familiar, quiet house with familiar food made by Mr. Ink. But, we sure did enjoy the time with Sister in law’s family. And, I believe I may have ate my weight in baklava. Always a bonus!

I finished the pair of wollmeise socks for Mr. Ink.

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And I got to begin Miss Marja’s cowl out of her handspun. I enjoyed this pattern so much when I made it for me!

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And so now, just a couple more pictures from the vacation. The first night, Miss Butterfly, still a bit in recovery mode and it being quite late at night, received a gift of another onesie and some matching pink slippers. She put them on, and then wandered up to the loft, put the futon into mattress mode, and feel fast asleep. When I went up to go to bed, this is what I found.

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So cute!

One of the things we did while in KCMO was go to my favorite restaurant, the Korma Sutra. It was lunchtime, and the place was packed. And it was just as always, with the owner wandering around and giving us all freebies while saying “No Angry, Be Happy!” repeatedly. He gave Miss Butterfly a bunch of balloons, which she took back to the rental house, and hung up using static electricity.

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While the overwhelming tone of the vacation was….negative, there were still quite a lot of lovely moments to be had. So, I will attempt to dwell on those things and move on. Though I do feel like I need another week off to recover from it all!