Updates

I was trying to figure out what the heck to take a photo of in order to post something, anything, despite the fact that  don’t feel like I’ve made much discernible progress lately. I mean, I’ve been knitting. Oh, I’ve been knitting. But plugging away on the same lace stole doesn’t seem picture worthy.

And then I realized that the last photo I took of my Lighter Than Perfume stole I was only about 1 repeat in.

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So, I took an updated photo of that.

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Because I am now halfway done. Naturally, this one is going to see the best transformation when it is done and blocked. However, I am pretty sure you can get the picture when it comes to the progress I’ve made.

We had our little storm yesterday. And, I really do mean little. School got canceled the night before. Miss Butterfly was at a friend’s house at the time, and they decided then to just go ahead and have a sleep over. Mr. Ink had the day off in order to go to the eye doctor, take a load of yard waste to the yard waste place, and get some new ink. It was nice that his day off wasn’t interrupted by having her home and bugging him. I had a faculty candidate on campus so I had to go in to work, no choice but to do so. Mr. Ink and I both woke up about 4:30, probably nervous about the storm. He cleared and salted the driveway so I could get to work at 6:30 knowing that since the last storm hit at rush hour and I spent two hours in the car, I’d better leave plenty of time. Well, when I went in, the storm still hadn’t hit. The beautiful part about that was that I got to leave about an hour early on a Friday. (Naturally, I promptly took a nap.)

We ended up getting a couple inches of snow, but the roads were fine, mostly just wet. It didn’t hit during rush hour, and by the time afternoon rush hour hit it had slowed again. I suspect it’ll be gone by the end of the weekend. But it was nice to sit at work and actually see some good snowing going on.

Our biking friend who got hit by the tree made the newspaper. Thankfully, local friends who work with city services have asked that the trail in that area be looked at for dangerous trees.

That’s about it from me today. It’s early, I am feeling surprisingly groggy and tired, and my coffee doesn’t seem to be doing the trick. Hopefully I’ll rally later in the day! Have a great weekend everyone.

 

Color Block

I feel like I may turn into a bit of a boring knitter here. I’ve got my handspun lace stole going, and it’s progress is very slow. I’ve got Mr. Ink’s sock, but he doesn’t really need a new pair right now so I have been trying to save it for moments when we are out and about or when I am just too exhausted to knit anything but around and around on the simplest of socks.

I did start a boomerang shawl though. The pattern is Big Waffle. This is what I decided to use as a pattern for my cotton slub yarn collection. I really had a hard time making a choice! So much of what I wanted to do was garter stitch, and I didn’t think garter stitch would show off the slubs too well. Settling on basket weave seemed to work.

I then decided I’d just do color blocks. I took the balls of yarn and weighed them. Then I arranged them  in order of smallest ball to largest. I had to rearrange the colors a tiny bit to look better next to each other, and then I was off on my knitting journey. I am 3 colors in now, and I am pleased with the results.

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My plan is simply to keep knitting until I run out of all the colors. And then I’ll have this lovely scrunchy large cotton shawl to wrap up in on spring evenings. I can imagine it being a perfect shawl to take camping, or out by the fire, since cotton so nicely washes in a machine and won’t need a bunch of blocking to put it to rights. This one has really demanded a bunch of my attention lately. The pattern is great, it has a chart which is what I generally work from, but in addition, it has a lovely, clever, written pattern grid, which keeps everything perfectly logical as the pattern repeats, and it’s so easy to follow. For once, I am choosing to knit from the written pattern rather than the chart!

In general with the lovely weather I’ve been knitting less and being outdoors more. It is so much LIKE spring out there it’s hard not to do that. However, temps begin to drop tomorrow and it will rain, then snow Friday. So, this weekend may look a lot less like spring, and more like knitting season. We need it. The rain and the snow. Everything is so dry!

I would secretly love a snow day. But, even if Miss Butterfly has off, Mr. Ink had already taken that day as vacation so I should just go in, especially since I’ve got a lovely all wheel drive vehicle that makes the snow slightly less dangerous and a lot more fun.

That’s about it from this corner of the blogosphere. Hopefully more interesting things will happen this weekend. Not things like trees falling on friends though. I like some adventure, just not quite that much!

Long Awaited

The sweater is finally done enough to actually wear. Which is lovely. Except that it’s too warm here for a sweater! Next week looks better for sweater wearing.

I tried to wear the sweater yesterday, but maybe managed 10 minutes with it on, more as a jacket than anything else.

Nevertheless, I made Miss Butterfly snap a photo, which she did willingly while making me say the names of various pokemon, rather than the traditional “cheese.”

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There you have it folks, one completed sweater with extra long sleeves. Which I love. I also love that after years and years, it got done! I didn’t rip it out, give up, or throw it out. I did actually complete the project, persisting through quite a lot of confusion and time away from it.

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A few other things, this is my nephew! Isn’t he precious? I can’t wait to meet him this summer. Living so far away, I am fortunate that my sister in law is a photographer, so I do regularly get to enjoy viewing the most beautiful photos of their children.

Since we had some really fantastic weather this weekend, of course, Mr. Ink did some gardening. He worked on cutting down the spirea on the front bank. At some point, he came indoors with a branch from one of the spirea, and said “What is this thing on the branch?!?!?!” I was like “Oh, that’s a praying mantis egg sac, save those, people actually pay money for them. And so, he’s created small praying mantis nurseries all over my yard. For example, here’s my veggie garden:

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All spirea twigs without egg sacs went in the truck for a load to the yard waste place on Friday when he has a day off. All twigs with egg sacs stay at home. My coworker is worried that raccoons may get to these an find them tasty, but my thought is that there are tastier things in the garbage can, and it’s never been bothered. So, I think we are safe. We’ll see.

Also due to the gloriously lovely weekend, we went on a nice long bike ride with friends. It really began to seem like we should not be on bikes though, or like some force was telling us that we shouldn’t be enjoying ourselves quite so much. Stories from one day on the trail. Before we left we’d gotten word that some kids had strung saran wrap over the trail at neck level as a prank. So…I dunno what they expected to accomplish other than hurting someone severely? Then, as we were riding, a tree fell on one of our friends. For real. That happened. Fortunately she was not hurt badly, though she ended up with a cracked and dented helmet, and smashed handlebars. After a trip in the ambulance to a local med center, she was found to have no broken bones and they sent her home. We continued on our way, as we’d gotten a bit split up due to that accident. We had to figure out how to get the bikes of the two that went in the ambulance somewhere safe. The contingent that waited with the bikes continued on their way to catch up with us, where they were scared by a guy on a bike in a clown mask. (Seriously, that fad needs to end.)  And then on the way home there were a group of kids rolling car tires down the hill at cyclists. One would imagine that when taking trails rather than roads, a cyclist would be safe!!! But, not the case for us all on Sunday. It was still a lovely ride though despite the obstacles.

That’s about it from here. I’ve got my cotton slub yarn project going quite well and I look forward to showing that off tomorrow. It’s a simple knit that I am enjoying immensely. And, while I’ve been blog quiet for lack of stuff to post about, I’ve also been enjoying keeping up with the adventures of blog friends in blog land.

Let’s Talk

About one of my absolute favorite independent business owners. Dyeabolical Yarns. I would say that at this point, 80% of what I purchase (Which, sadly, is NOT a lot, due to having really overdone it in the yarn buying department in the past) is from Rachel’s shop.

You can find her here or here.

I’ve been following this shop since the very beginning of 2009. In fact, I can show you my first project. I’d picked the fiber up from a destash, and that’s the fiber that sold me completely. Here’s the in progress photo. And the finished photo.

At some point, I struck up somewhat of an online friendship with Rachel that I feel has benefitted me so greatly. I’ve been able to do sample knitting for her in the past, and try a new yarn or fiber from time to time. These are absolutely wonderful fun things for a person like me who really enjoys trying something new. There’s one shawl in particular I never would have tried without it being requested as a sample knit. It had linen stitch, no problem, and it had dropped stitches, again no problem, and then these weird stitches where you passed a whole bunch over another whole bunch, and I can’t even remember how that worked now. I just remember knowing I wouldn’t have even tried them without the request, and they were indeed fun.

My current spin project is, again, a dyeabolical fibers project. I have taken Fate, PhD and Steampumpkin colorways and combined them. I just finished the first bobbin.

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These are now retired colorways. I have to say that it’s always my goal to own every single one of her colorways at some point, though I don’t actually achieve that. However, if something is getting retired, I HAVE to pick it up lest I miss out completely and regret it for the rest of time. These were the two I chose from the latest retirement, though I could have filled my cart to the brim.

Since this is an 8 oz. project, it’s going a bit slow right now. Plus, you know, the whole weird and unexpectedly extra long sweater project.

But, another thing happened that involves Rachel this week. Way back when, she had this cotton slub yarn. When dyed in her wonderfully saturated colors, it made yarn that I loved so much!

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Here’s an example in action, with a close up of a young Miss Bug.She wore this all the time.

This yarn felt great to knit, and had such an interesting texture. I loved it so much. But sadly, the mill Rachel was using quit making the yarn, and that was the end of the cotton slub yarn opportunity. I still wax poetic about that yarn on the regular.

And look what arrived in the mail for me yesterday!

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That is…an incredibly generous gift from Rachel. It’s the last of her cotton slub yarn. I had originally thought maybe I could get a nice slubby stripy cotton sweater out of it. But, I think I’ve changed my mind. I want a nice big slubby stripy shawl instead. I just want to be able to wrap myself in it. I haven’t yet chosen a pattern, but I will! I think I’ll try to get a good handle on the yardage and then go from there. I have some ideas in mind, but such a sought after yarn should get a perfect pattern, so I don’t want to rush it.

I might also add the super cool knitting row counters she slipped into that package! You can get them here and I cannot WAIT to give mine a try!

Another thing Rachel is responsible for in my knitting career:

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Inspiration. My epic queen sized Lizard Ridge blanket. I saw the beginning of her Lizard Ridge way back when. And I HAD to knit it. I began collecting colors, and I began knitting it. She set hers aside for ages. I set mine aside for ages. It was only when she finished hers and posted about it that I HAD to finish mine too. I am so happy I did! It’s beautiful, and it’s the one we use daily, and it always gets compliments when we have company over who haven’t seen the house before.

Suffice it to say, Rachel has been a huge influence in my knitting and spinning over the years, and if you aren’t paying attention to her, you absolutely SHOULD be. She’s a fantastic person, in addition to being a consistently kind, fair, and honorable business woman. And, in a world of yarn and fiber small business owner drama, she’s a person you can trust. Not a hint of drama in all the years I’ve been following along. Simply amazing artistry combined with the ability to run a solid business.

In addition to all of this, she’s got a ravelry group, a podcast, and recently began a facebook group called Wool Ewe Please? where you can join and post whatever lovely knitting or spinning you want, and enjoy the posts of other like minded crafters. Go find her, follow her, and be inspired!

 

No Photos

This is a no photo post. I’ve got nothing new to take pictures of! I am plugging away at my sweater, working on the body of the sweater ribbing now so it’s getting close to button band time. I hope to have it done this weekend. Again.

But, there’s stuff to blog about. The new nephew has arrived! A bit early due to unexpected pregnancy related medical issues on the part of my sister in law. She’s now got the opportunity to recover, and little nephew is not very little at all despite being about a month early. So that was exciting news!

We got a call from Mr. Ink’s stepdaughter last night. She was hoping we’d be able to help her move a truck cab from a storage unit onto the trailer bed of a guy who had purchased it. You see, when she was a few years younger she bought a mid 70s era truck. It was old and brown and full of rust, and she had big dreams of fixing it up. So, she’d purchased the cab to go on the old rusty truck. But, she really didn’t understand what she was getting herself into, and got rid of the old truck soon after. Turns out with a wife and a job and a home to fix up, and a new car and so on, it doesn’t really leave much time for fixing up really old trucks.

So, we met her out at the storage unit, and waited on the arrival of the guy purchasing the cab. And when he arrived, we were subjected to one of the most absurd sights. Except it didn’t even hit us until after. This guy shows up in a mid 80s ford escort with over 500K miles on it, pulling a very small trailer. I honestly wasn’t sure that cab was going to fit on that trailer! But, we were successful on lifting the cab onto the trailer where it did actually fit. This guy had come from 6 hours away! And he was going to haul that truck cab on that little trailer with that more than 30 year old car back 6 hours? Insane. And also hilarious. Truly. We laughed about it the rest of the evening.

The other thing that struck me last evening was about Mr. Ink’s stepdaughter. He’s always described her as ridiculously nice. And she is. Truly. But it’s always fun to realize new things about a person you’ve known for awhile. What I realized last night is that she’s not just nice, she’s downright chivalrous. She is the most chivalrous person I’ve ever met. Let me describe last evening. We got to the storage unit, which we couldn’t get into due to it being locked up. So she came out and opened the gate for us. We headed back toward the unit, and she realized that Miss Butterfly was very cold, having not worn a coat. Again. So, she quickly herded us back to the unit, where she had her car running and heat turned up for her wife who has some chronic health issues. She promptly puts Miss Butterfly in the car with her wife so she can get warmed up. Then, we head over to the unit to lift the cab on the trailer. Mr. Ink and I hadn’t thought to bring gloves, but she had gloves on. The edges were indeed rather sharp. So, I just pulled my jacket sleeves over my hands and went to lift. But, of course, she noticed this immediately, stopped everything, and insisted I wear her gloves, the only pair of gloves available.

And then I reflected over all my time knowing her. Every single time we’ve ever spent time together she’s just the most helpful, kind, chivalrous person. The first one to jump to doing something for another person, never sitting back and letting someone else do the work. But also just plain care taking toward everyone around her. Courteous, considerate, gracious, loyal, all those words associated with chivalry, this young woman embodies. She’d have made a great knight. A Brienne of Tarth.

In any case, it was a rather unexpected and fun valentine’s day. We had no plans prior to the call to come help with the truck cab, and it got us out of the house. So we went to dinner after and had a lovely evening. Amidst giggles over 80s ford escort dude.

 

 

If you want to destroy my sweater…

Remember that weezer song? It’s a total earworm for me.

Well, you don’t have to  destroy my sweater because I already did. I posted my finished sweater yesterday, and it wasn’t even an hour later before I was cutting it all to pieces again. Maybe that’s dramatic. I removed the buttons and collar/button band, and then removed the bottom part of the sweater back to where I’d add another handspun stripe.

The thing is, I just couldn’t manage to imagine myself wearing the thing as it was. I mean, 2 years have gone by, and while I followed the instructions in how long to make the sweater, I didn’t take into account my personal preferences for fit. And, well, I am getting older and I like a longer cardigan. Trendy isn’t really me. I guess it never has been. On the upside, I have knit an additional 3.5 inches onto the body of the sweater, so it’s going ok.

And this time? I am NOT doing afterthought button holes. I appreciate that I was able to create them. I appreciate that I learned something new. But, I’ve little interest in doing it again unless I absolutely HAVE to.

Between the time of the sweater finish and the sweater destruction, I knit two baby hats.

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Mr. Ink’s stepson just had twin boys. So I knit hats. I chose hats simply because they are small and I had the yarn in stash and they knit quickly. Additionally, I am not entirely sure that dad has access to the babies at the moment for reasons I don’t really know. Lives are complicated. So, being unsure if the hats would even make it to the babies, I figured I wasn’t going to spend a bunch of time on them. The gesture, acknowledging this for Mr. Ink’s stepson is more important to me than the hats getting to the babies. The babies don’t care. So, I’ll send out hats today, and release them into the world. Where ever they end up is ok by me.

That’s it from me! Unless I lose focus, I’ll probably be forced into some sweater knitting quiet time again. I mean, I really WOULD like to wear the thing now! And preferably this season. And with a bunch of weather in the 50s and 60s, that time seems short. Though, with our luck, March will bring on the actual freeze.

A Finished Sweater!

After more than 2 years on the needles, and about 2 years in hibernation, I finished my funky grandpa sweater.

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The buttons are on, the afterthought button holes are created, and it’s a done deal.

BUT, if I could have a do over, I’d make it longer. I knit it according to the instructions, but I should have known that I don’t love shorter garments. At this point, to change it I’d have to remove the ribbing and the icord, and reknit the bottom of the garment. I am not entirely opposed to that idea, and I do have plenty of yarn for it. But, for now I’d like to give it a try as is and see how it goes. To be honest, I often have to reknit a portion of a sweater to make it something I would really wear, so it wouldn’t be out of the question or even particularly strange. But I do need a bit of a break! (At least I wouldn’t have to reknit the sleeves, THOSE are absolutely perfectly extra long and I love them.

Yesterday was fairly low key. Mr. Ink had to work in the morning, so Miss Butterfly and I went shopping and then for a pokewalk. Except that as so often happens with a 12 year old, she was so moody that we didn’t walk much. She’s talking about a walk again today, so I think we’ll get a do over. Mr. Ink came home with a couple new fish for the fish tank, and then we realized that one of our newer swordtails had a baby. I don’t know if it’ll survive, but it seemed to be doing a good job hiding out in the plants and was eating quite well. Mr. Ink got more gardening done, and I got some knitting and spinning done. Then we made dinner and I grabbed a dirty cookie sheet that was unused in order to wash it, except it had been sitting on the stove and heating up without my knowledge so I ended up burning my hand. That pretty much set me back for the evening, no more crafting. We played board games instead. thankfully, the hand is much better this morning, and I can avoid the burned areas while spinning, much to my delight.

In any case, rather a quiet sort of normal day. Nothing particularly amazing or interesting happening. And sometimes that’s just the nicest thing. Enjoy your Sunday friends!