An Evening of Spinning

I got home yesterday to Miss Butterfly and her friend doing homework on the couch together. Out back were two bikes they’d ridden home from school. I knew that this friend had lost her dog today, so we chatted about that. And we chatted about other things 12 year olds worry about. And then they were up and gone, biking around the neighborhood and seeing what there was to see. I realized that it’s really perfectly comfortable coming home to someone else in  your home, if it’s a kids you really really enjoy.

Once they had vanished into the neighborhood, I took my two spindles of singles outdoors for a photograph. And realized I could take a photo with plants. Because it’s a really nice spring we are having this winter.


Yep, I’ve got hyacinths making an early appearance. And in fact, from what I read, these new bulbs planted should be showing up later than usual. Not so here, they are well on their way. I have all sorts of stuff coming up all over the gardens in the yard. Unfortunately, or fortunately if you like surprises, I don’t even remember what I planted and where. There were tulips and hyacinths and crocuses for sure. And maybe some additional daffodils. And I know I’ve got grape hyacinths too. But there were other things too, and those, if they show up, should be a surprise.

As for those singles, that’s from a nice chunky fatcatknits batt. It has locks inside it, as maybe you can see from the purple. It should make a very interesting yarn. I took the remainder of the evening for spinning, working on my wheel project and then working on this project as well. I’ve now got 4 spindles of singles, though I feel like I may only be halfway through the batt. On the other hand, when I am ready to ply, I’ll be plying two projects instead of one, and that’s always fun!

Oh, and as an update. The tattoo, just as I thought, it’s a very remote reference. in 1956 there was an animated cartoon short called Rocket-Bye Baby. You can still find it on youtube, but it takes a little searching. It’s cute, and Mr. Ink apparently always loved and identified with that cartoon. He’d been talking about getting this particular tattoo for as long as I’ve known him, so it was fun to see it come to fruition for him. It’s basically a couple of birthday/christmas gifts rolled into one.

Tonight, if it does not rain, we’ll be on our bikes. Miss Butterfly has a running event she’s going to attend with her dad, she’ll be getting all sorts of rewards for the January MS fundraiser. She’s SUPER excited, as she should be. She’s also hoping for a new pair of running shoes, which will be massively marked down for the event. I am eager to hear all about it after she’s done. It’s been a pretty good week so far, despite the fact we are really early into it. Mr. Ink has gotten up early each morning to make us breakfast, which has been really fun.

In any case, more spindle pictures tomorrow, and until then, I hope your week is going equally well.

What a Weekend!

Guys, I’ve just had a truly relaxing weekend. I loved it! I really did actually stick around home all day on Sunday. I went for a walk, but that was just around the neighborhood. Other than that, I enjoyed just being in my own space.

I’ve certainly been feeling like with two larger projects on the needles, I am unable to post progress pictures that look different from the day before. However, if I have a long enough time at home in my own space, I no longer think “There’s no TIME to work on anything else!” And I just kind of naturally pick up other projects. I finally got some serious spinning done on my dyeabolical mash up project. Here’s my second bobbin. Looks like I might be about halfway through at this point.


I also picked out a batt and began spinning that on support spindles. That was later in the evening, so a photo of that will be taken after work today.

I refuse to start any new knitting whatsoever. The reason? I found my fade. I’ve been loving the pictures of that shawl all over the place. I’ve been contemplating it and wondering what I would choose if I chose yarn for the project. It’s really one of those addicting patterns to look at and contemplate. The last time I remember feeling that way was about the color affection shawl. And, my choices there did not disappoint, it has become one of those staple pieces in my winter wardrobe. You know what? I just tried to find good photos of it, and there are none! And my project notes say I didn’t like knitting it. I don’t remember that at all!

In any case, I found my fade, but my fade came from a shop. It’s a special order, so I have to wait until mid march for it to arrive. So, my hope is that I will not cast on anything new, so that I can cast on Find Your Fade as soon as that yarn comes in.

That shouldn’t be too problematic. I’ve got my cotton slub shawl, I’ve got the lace stole, I’ve got Mr. Ink’s socks, and I’ve got Miss Marja’s reversible circles of lace scarf. This should totally tide me over to mid march, don’t you think? And if not, there’s always spinning.

I’ve also been contemplating some various knitting techniques or projects I’d like to accomplish in the upcoming year. Either this year or next. On the list:

-Large circular lace shawl

-Colorwork mittens, lined

-Mosaic knitting

Doesn’t seem like a particularly tough list to manage, it’s just planning those projects out, deciding on patterns, choosing yarn, and sticking to the plan. It’s so rare these days that there are new techniques I’d like to try, so I owe it to my knitting journey to accomplish them.

What techniques would you still like to learn?


New Day New Color

I worked on the lace stole for a bit yesterday, took a walk with Miss Butterfly, did the tiniest bit of spinning, and then decided that my cotton slub shawl needed some love. So, I added another color, this one being a more muted yellow than the first yellow.


Next up is another blue, and then a purple. I am certainly looking forward to the purple since it’s been all blue and yellow so far.

As you can see, it’s a nice sunny day here. Yesterday was colder than expected so while there was much melting going on, the snow didn’t all disappear like I imagined it would.

I also grabbed a photo of Mr. Ink’s new ink:


Now, the reference for the picture here was quite obscure to me, so you’ll have to let me know if you know what it is. I’d love to see if it’s just as obscure to others.

In any case, he seems pleased with it. He used the same artist I did for my spider. An artist who is very talented but also extremely quiet. Mr. Ink, also being a very quiet person said he typically likes to use artists that will talk to him so he’s distracted. But, this guy’s artistry won out. I asked him how it went and he basically said that no one said a word once they got started, but that he played good music so that was helpful. I admit, it made me laugh. It went exactly as I imagined it would. I have already decided that if I use that artist again, I will be charging up my phone and bringing headphones and an audiobook.

In any case, it’s been one very relaxing weekend around here. And I’ve felt a need for that. I think today will be spent at home. Miss Butterfly and I may get a walk in, but I really want to just go nowhere. (Of course, every time I say that, Mr. Ink ends up convincing me that I really do want to do something else entirely. We’ll see.)



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.


So, I took an updated photo of that.


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.


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.”


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.


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:


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.


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!


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!


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:


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.


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.


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!

What’s Next?

This is a question I have been asking myself since I finished the sweater. I have been struggling to settle on anything really. And then I realized, maybe some spinning is in order?

So, I began a project I’d thought through and prepped prior to pulling out and becoming obsessed with finishing the sweater. Dyeabolical was retiring two of her colorways that I’d been admiring for awhile but never spun a few months ago. So I decided to pick one of each up, and then once I got them, I also thought they might make a fun mash up.


So, I’ve been spinning Fate, PhD and Steampumpkin together. I’ve got fun plans for this project and I am looking forward to seeing it through to completion. I started last evening.

I also knit a baby hat, but haven’t gotten a chance to weave in the ends. I plan to do one more in the very near future, before figuring out my next knitting project.

Today however, is for buttons and afterthought buttonholes. And for Miss Butterfly. We will be headed out together to get buttons and then go for a pokewalk together. The weather is quite pleasant, and we figured we’d take advantage of that.

On Wednesday we had a snowstorm here. Now, it wasn’t all that much snow, but our current city mayor has been perfectly abysmal about snow removal. And she just doesn’t learn from past mistakes. I’ve lived here for 12 years and in past years we’ve had far more snow, and still far fewer on the road problems. Wednesday morning I had to take Miss Butterfly to the orthodontist, then get her back to school and go to work. Seeing the snow in the morning made me double the amount of time it takes to get to the orthodontist. And so we set out. Except, since no snow was removed from the roads prior to rush hour (because it didn’t QUITE meet her required 2 inches of snow before plows go out) and the bulk of the snow HIT during rush hour, the entire city roads were basically a very large parking lot. And since they were a parking lot, there was no way for the plows to actually get through. We never went above 10 mph all the way to the orthodontist. Miss Butterfly played both our pokemon games the whole way, since at that speed you can do everything in the game. I bit my nails and ground my teeth and tried to tamp down the anger. The reality was that my new car was doing quite well in the snow, but with that many on the road, and many other cars doing poorly, there just was no way to speed up the process. It takes 10  minutes to get to the orthodontist. It took us 50 minutes. But once we got there, ridiculously late, we found out that all the other appointments had been late and the assistant hadn’t been able to get in yet either. So, in this case, late wasn’t actually a problem.

Yesterday, we hit 60F! So, it was so odd to walk in to work with snow on the ground, and out of work with no sign of snow whatsoever. The forecast for the foreseeable future is quite mild so we’ll just keep taking advantage of it. It’s really too bad Mr. Ink works today, as I suspect he’d be out gardening all day otherwise.

In any case, hopefully I’ll have finished sweater photos tomorrow. Have a great weekend all!

icording along

Yep, I am still working hard on the funky grandpa cardigan. I finished the sleeves this week, and started on the button band. That’s knit as well, and all I have left now is a tiny bit of icord bind off on it.


So, I’ll be able to soak and block tonight, and then by this weekend I should be able to search out buttons. The pattern calls for afterthought buttonholes, so that’ll be a new to me trick! However, I think I am up for the challenge. I decided that I probably had enough of the handspun for the icord bind off, and that would probably also draw everything together. I am happy to report that I really do have more than enough of the handspun, it’s now quite clear.

That’s about it for me, it’s all sweaters and grants around here, but no more sweater grant dreams thankfully. I am so close to being done with both! I really need to do some spinning for interest!



I don’t have a photo of a second sweater sleeve yet. But, I am CLOSE. I’ve finished the striping and am knitting with the handspun exclusively. I’ve 5 more decreases to complete, and then the ribbing and the icord bind off. I plan to be done with that tonight. I even brought it to work today. I am knitting in circles. Round and round on that sleeve. Stopping after each round to untwist my knitting. I think that’s the major thing I hate about sleeves. I’d rather knit them flat and seam them than have to untwist a sleeve after each row. No sense complaining about that now though, as I am so close to being done!

I took a photo, instead, of the circles of lace scarf I am knitting out of Marja’s handspun. It’s been getting some time during lunch time at work. Even though my lunches are desperately broken up right now, progress is still being made. So, I guess you could say, I am knitting in circles for a sleeve, and I am knitting circles in a scarf as well.


This is certainly not mindless knitting, and so when trying to find a netflix show to watch while knitting, I keep thinking a particular one looks good, click on it, and realize it requires I read subtitles. Now, I have NO ISSUE with subtitles, and I rather enjoy listening to another language while watching a movie and reading them. However, I can’t do that with this scarf. This has made me wonder just why I can’t figure out before I click on the show that it’s a foreign one. I guess I should look more carefully.

Yesterday we pushed a grant deadline right to the limit yet again. I stayed late to make sure it went in ok. It was another very busy day. That being said, I went home less stressed than usual, and I am not sure why. In could be, in part, my least favorite coworker had the day off, and so I didn’t have to deal with petty and constant irritations in addition to the grant deadline. The good news? One of the grants on my list has dropped off, to be submitted sometime in the future. That leaves me only two more to go, and a completion date of Monday next week. I can handle that!

The evening was spent knitting a sweater sleeve and being a bit pampered. The pampering is pretty much the usual situation on a grant deadline that goes late. Thank goodness! I am thankful that my family seems to be able to roll with the punches and realize that my irritation and unwillingness to deal passes quickly with a little TLC. I did come home to a kid with SO MANY words though. It’s probably actually the usual amount, it’s just that I feel bombarded after a particularly busy work day. Miss Butterfly did, however, acknowledge that I was far less grumpy than would normally be expected. She also went about entertaining herself quite well, even if she WAS talking the entire time.

That’s all from me, since grant deadlines leave little other stories to tell. I think I am leaving work early today, so perhaps today will be a little better in that respect. I am hoping to take Miss Butterfly on a walk!

Plugging Away

I am just plugging away at my second sweater sleeve. It’s completely uninteresting at the moment, no picture to be taken. I have 15 decreases every 7th row or so, until I can begin the ribbing on the cuff. And, I have completed 3 of those decreases. Things will continue to be completely uninteresting until right before the 5th decrease where I begin the stripes. That being said, I am very pleased with my progress! It has slowed some, but that’s to be expected after knocking out the first sleeve in a day and a half. After all, I really DO need to do things that aren’t knitting.

So instead, I will finally show off the wool/flax cowl that I finished last week! You may remember this is out of handspun 2 ply.


It’s the duotone cowl, and it’s another knit in a tube then graft tube together cowl. This one was far more fun than the last one and I wasn’t nearly so bitter about it. The gentle changes of colors in the handspun were interesting enough to keep me moving, and the needle size was appropriate for the yarn.

Knowing that the yarn was a bit on the itchy side, I did wash this one very well and add conditioner in hopes to soften it up. It didn’t help much I am afraid. It’s still a scratchy one, and will only be able to be worn over something else. Perhaps a nice turtleneck or something.

Yesterday, Mr. Ink and I went to the local botanical garden to take a nice long walk and pick up our family membership for the year. I am thrilled with this, as Mr. Ink gets so inspired about his own gardens when we are there. He takes a camera and takes photos of trees and labels so that he can look them up when he gets home. All the while grinning from ear to ear. It’s hilarious. I am mostly in it for the walk, and it really is a lovely place to walk at all seasons. Very quiet in the winter and on game day. We enjoyed seeing the magnolias forming their buds, discussed various trees, discussed our own garden, and all the while I kept hearing something strange, something right out of my childhood. I thought that someone was using a turkey caller, and wondered about it. Then, we came upon this:


This is perhaps just 1/8 of the flock. They were everywhere! And not particularly concerned about us humans walking around them. I could get within 3 feet from them before they started moving away from me.

We did enjoy a trip through the greenhouse before we left, even though we were mostly there for outdoor activities. I found this amazing bloom:


It was hard to get a good photo, but do you see that blue bit in addition to the orange? It was really incredible.

It was a good relaxing weekend! Plenty got done, but there was also plenty of time to just be knitting. Now I am back to grants, another deadline today and I’ve got one that has to go in and while it’s not as late as usual, meaning in pretty good shape, I do get nervous when we push even the deadline of that day. Thankfully, this leaves me with only 3 more for the month after today. The end could be in sight now!

One Down

Maybe I am not so ingenious after all. I mean, when I’d set out on the sweater project 2 years ago, I’d set aside the correct amount of yarn for the project IF I were to knit it with those black sleeves. As I began to knit the main color into the sleeve instead, it finally occurred to me that I might have a yarn amount problem. I mean, I do have to knit a button band as well! But then I remembered that I had some more yarn in stash. So I pulled that out. However, I also wasn’t sure of the handspun amounts. I wanted to have the lower sleeve be handspun after striping it with the main color. I still want it to be “funky” after all! Just not funky with a black sleeve. I weighed my skein of handspun and knit like the wind just so I could figure out if I’d have enough yarn.


This morning, I finished a sleeve! And I have enough yarn. I’ll be fine. And even better? It fits. I double checked once the sleeve was complete.

I truly and honestly cannot believe that I am about to have a finished sweater! I mean, this is the first finished adult sized sweater in about 2.5 years. I am so pleased. And so glad I went this direction instead of casting on something new. Who knows, maybe this will inspire me to complete the other half done sweater in my stash. The one I literally don’t even know where it is in my home right now.

Unfortunately I cannot devote quite as much time today to the second sleeve. And I still have to wind the other necessary skein. But, we also have plans to go to the botanical garden and arboretum as Mr. Ink is itching to look at trees again. And, well, I like him and I like taking a walk. Plus, while I like to say I knit a sleeve in a day, it was more like a day and a half, considering that I started Friday night and completed this morning. Nevertheless, this one’ll be in the bag soon. I am hoping to just keep my momentum until it’s done now.

The rest of the day yesterday was devoted to dishes, cleaning, laundry, bread baking, and small home repairs. Basically all the things that make us love being at home. Mr. Ink gardened, naturally. It was a nice day, and I did get a walk in. It was almost too warm for my regular coat! I even noticed peony sprouts coming up. I think they are massively confused. But, even confused peonies are gentle signs that spring is coming, and since Mr. Ink hasn’t really stopped gardening that makes me so excited for this year outdoors. What are you anticipating for spring?

Sweater Grant

Last evening I got home to a message that Mr. Ink was going to work late and then drive out to get our new cargo cover for the new car. This was something that he’d discussed with the dealership on Thursday, stating that a cargo cover that wasn’t broken was something we should have been given from the start. They went above and beyond, pulling some hooks from a new to the lot car to give to us as a stop gap until they ordered a new one, and then had the new one in for us the next day.

Well, with Miss Butterfly at her dad’s and Mr. Ink out of the house, what else could I do but start on the sweater dissection project? I honestly began it with a great deal of enthusiasm. I was easily able to get the black saddle shoulders removed and new saddles knit quite quickly and by the time Mr. Ink got home, I’d already cut out the black sleeve and picked up the stitches for the main color sleeve.

I was so excited about it! So, even though he isn’t “That into yarn.” I had to tell him all about it. “I did something crazy with my knitting and I want to talk about it!” I said. And I explained the situation, and what I had done, and he said “Well, I don’t think that’s crazy at all!” I said “No?” And he said “No, I think it’s ingenious!” Well, I’ll take that for sure. If there’s one thing we have in common, it’s loving to think through a puzzle until we figure out a solution. Maybe that’s just a human thing, I don’t know. But he certainly was able to appreciate what I’d done.


Here it is this morning! No black shoulder saddles, and a decent start to a sleeve. I worked on this all evening long while we watched “Bridge of Spies.” It was a very good evening.

This morning I woke up after having quite an interesting dream where work and knitting managed to get all tangled up. I’d been working on a grant in my dream, but the grant was a hand knit sweater. And in my dream I’d been trying to explain how if I didn’t get the pattern for the sleeves there was no way I could complete this grant by Monday. And I was being told to wash and block it and I am saying “That’s out of order! I MUST have the pattern to the sleeves, there’s just no sense washing and blocking before the sleeves are done!” Along with the panic over the idea that I could work all weekend on the sleeves if I had the pattern and maybe get the thing done but it’d be close no matter what. And then I was told “Well, hand it over to this person to weave in the ends.” And I am screaming “NO! There’s NO SENSE weaving in the ends before the sleeves are KNIT, so just GIVE ME THE PATTERN FOR THE SLEEVES! I can weave in the ends MYSELF!” All the while thinking that there’s no way this sweater grant can be done and dry by the due date of Monday at 5 p.m.

Can you tell it’s been a long work week and that I have a grant due Monday? And that everyone is pushing my buttons by failing to follow my directions, and not prioritizing documents that need to be prioritized? My brain just won’t leave it all alone.

But, hopefully I can let go of that this weekend and enjoy the sweater that seems to be ready to rise out of the ashes of hibernation.


Toga! Toga! Toga!

It’s Greek Olympics day at Miss Butterfly’s school. We managed to put the toga together fairly well.

And she’s ready to win!

Yesterday Mr. Ink took a vacation day. And by that, we mean he took a vacation day, but then on Wednesday he had a big job come in and he couldn’t finish, so he went in on his vacation day to finish. It happens like clockwork. But, he also got our new car registered and took it back to the dealer to have them resolve a few things he felt should be resolved. The dealer went above and BEYOND his expectations in a big way and he says he feels very pleased with his overall experience. Which is great. Because if you work at a dealership, you have pretty high expectations. This did mean though, that he was home when I got home, so he suggested we take a nice long walk. It was awesome. Thus, I didn’t get much knitting done.

I did manage to finish my cowl, as it was so close to being done anyhow. But, it needed a wash and a block so I am saving that for another day. Let’s discuss sweaters instead! Yesterday I mentioned that I had an almost finished except for the sleeves sweater. I thought it over a bit, and then decided to pull out the sweater and make an  honest evaluation of what is stopping me from finishing this.


The pattern is Funky Grandpa. I was trying to use up yarn from my stash. The main color of the sweater is two strands of laceweight yarn held together in similar colors. Those are wool. The stripes are my handspun. I LOVE the body of this sweater so much! It’s bright and cheery and absolutely a thing I would wear.

Then I began the sleeve. I got pretty far actually, as you can see. But, that’s when I gave up. So, upon evaluating what made me give up, it’s because I hate the black sleeve. I don’t like the color. And I don’t like the fiber either. I shouldn’t have chosen a different fiber. It’s alpaca laceweight held double. I hate how it feels differently than the rest of the sweater. It also knits differently. And that’s probably why I quit.

But, the biggest issue is that I began the sweater with that black arm in mind. So you can see at the tops of the shoulder that it was started with that black yarn. So, I either have to leave it there and have that black yarn there while using a different yarn for the sleeve, or I have to find a way to replace that. I took an honest look at it yesterday, and I’ve determined that I should indeed be able to replace it. I’ll cut out what I have in there, picking up the live stitches on either side, and knit a small piece that belongs, out of the main color, and graft it back on. Then I’ll just knit the sleeves out of the main color, beginning some striping fun further down the sleeve, and ending with handspun. I’ve got plenty. I think it’ll work.

I thought about ripping out the entire thing. But, I studiously wove in every end after working the handspun stripe. Like a good knitter should. Ripping it out would be a travesty! Let’s see if I can save it!

I looked up when I started this thing. December 4, 2014. Ok then!


I just adore yellow. I always have! Really, all the shades appeal to me. I also adore yellow and grey together. So, when I saw two sets of batts in the Nunoco shop, one set yellow, and the other set yellow and grey, they quickly made their way to my house.


And I spun them up! I am glad I got both really, because the grey skein has, overall, very little yellow in it.

Both skeins are 2 ply. The grey is far more uneven than the yellow, as I did one set of singles on support spindles, and my support spindle skills are crazy rusty right now. I’ve got 200 yards of the grey, and 240 yards of the yellow. Thankfully, this did NOT put me ahead of my knitting yardage for the year. I get to spin some more this weekend!

In knitting news, I seem to have a wild hare to knit a sweater. Again. The problem is, I’ve got a couple sweaters on the needles now that I haven’t finished. And, I haven’t finished them in part because the moment I hit sleeves, I get bored. So, it seems unwise to start a sweater. I don’t know if I’ll do it or not. However, I have a few picked out, and if I make one, I could use yarn I currently have. That’s the rule. I don’t trust myself to make a sweater completely, so I have to use stash yarn!

I’ve now got my weekly grant numbers down to two in two days. One I don’t think will be a big deal at all. The other is large, and I am working at it every chance I get. I am looking forward to the weekend!