Ghosts of Handspun Past

My Marled mystery has been done for a couple days now, though the weather has been less than cooperative for picture taking.

But, remember that day off I was going to give my kid if her braces were bothering her? Well, that sort of happened. Not a full day, but a half day. The nurse called yesterday to tell me she was struggling, and I went to pick her up. At that point, she’d had a wire that popped out that was tearing up the inside of her cheek, pain from getting them in the first place, and as did happen the last time she had braces, a mouth full of surprise canker sores. Not to mention the stretched chapped lips from getting them put on in the first place. Her pain killers had worn off, and so by the time I brought her home she was feeling pretty low.

She took meds, and rested for about 45 minutes. And then? She spent the rest of the afternoon doing the schoolwork she would have done at school. She made me teach her in the manner which her own teacher would have done that day. Then, when school was about to let out she decided she wanted to walk back to school to get a binder which had her language arts in it. We walked up there, got her binder, got home, and she proceeded to work on an essay that the class wasn’t even due to start until today.

We were back to the orthodontist this morning to fix the popped wire, so hopefully she’ll be far more comfortable in the near future.

In any case, that meant that I had a lovely free afternoon. Miss Butterfly modeled my marled mystery shawl for me.

She also wanted to show off her new braces. The shawl has quite a large wingspan, and it does seem to be getting used regularly by me or by Miss Butterfly, as I’ve just put it on the couch so anytime one of us feels cold we throw it over our shoulders. I really enjoyed the process of knitting this shawl. I am a pretty bold person when it comes to wearing color, but I am struggling to find the courage to actually wear it out of the house. It does look nice draped in the more kerchief manner. But it’s still a lot of weird.

That being said, what I love the most is seeing all the bits of handspun I’ve spun or knit with over the years. There’s lots of leftovers from projects, including some of Miss Marja’s handspun from leftovers. There are also a lot of handspuns I’ve done that just do not fit in any particular project or color scheme preference. Or, the samples were really too small once spun to actually become something. And so much of those handspuns are also things I created, whether that be something I dyed or created in the drum carder. There’s even some undyed handspun from a fleece I processed ages ago. So, the mystery shawl turned into a repository for memories. And that makes it worthwhile even if it never makes it out of the house.

Of course I did find more handspun in my stash that I could have used once the project was done and I was reorganizing my stash. That paired with quite a lot of scraps still left, I may end up doing another. Not in the near future, but again after I’ve finished up some more projects with appropriate handspun that I can add to the pile.

The other thought I had, and I may try this soonish, was that the bit that I liked the most was the brioche. So, I might also try a marled brioche scarf that is similar in nature to a baktus scarf at some point.

In any case, that was good fun, would do again.

Due to all the rain, not much has been happening in the yard. But, I did grab a photo of the rain barrel.


It looks ok there in my veggie garden! In the top is a place for soil and flowers, so it’ll get some annuals once it’s time to plant.

Last year, Mr. Ink and I made four long lists. One for the house, one for the yard, one for the motorbikes, and one for bikes. It was a list for short and long term goals. Mr. Ink requested we pull those out and look them over, so that’s what I did. Naturally, quite a bit that was to be done in the yard was already crossed off, or could be crossed off, or we had a good start on. We added some things. Then? The other three lists there was nothing on there that we could cross off at all. Not that we haven’t accomplished anything, just that nothing at all on the lists was accomplished. So, I think since Mr. Ink is so yard inspired, I am going to start on the house list and see where it gets me this year. Last year there were large yard projects I could assist with, but at this point there’s little left beyond just normal gardening for me to do. Yet I feel quite guilty spinning or knitting when he’s devoting so much time to the yard, even though it’s his hobby.

In any case, we are looking forward to the weekend again. Despite the fact that it’ll be another rainy one. To be honest, we could use that time to get some work done IN the house, so that’s my goal for the weekend!

In the Yard

No knitting posts yet again. I did finish my marled mystery shawl and I got it blocked but it was drying on the floor last evening. It has an insanely large wingspan! I had Miss Butterfly help me with the braid and the tassel, but I stopped at the one tassel. I don’t think I am that into them.

I can show you the progress Mr. Ink is making in the yard. If you are a regular reader, you may remember that Mr. Ink plans to remove a burning bush and a falling retaining wall. Here’s the photo for that:


He’s been digging out dirt around the burning bush for awhile now, as he’s needed it for other projects and we plan to replace the dirt in this garden bed with something more beneficial to vegetables. The other day I went out there, and it looked like this:


The wall is almost gone! And apparently the grass on that bank has also been killed, as this entire area is getting a Mr. Ink makeover. Later, he said “Come look at what I did!” So I wandered out doors and here’s what I was shown:


That is where a very large rain barrel will be installed, with repurposed stone from the leaning retaining wall. He did get that barrel installed last evening, quite late. A good thing too, as it began raining as he wrapped the project up, and it has been raining ever since.

Not too much new in the garden this week. Hyacinths are blooming nicely, crocuses are still blooming, and my funny little flowering quince is about to burst into bloom.

I’ve noticed that there are magnolias blooming all over our little town, so I am thinking a trip to our local botanical gardens is in order this weekend. Next year? I’ll have one in my own yard.

In other news, Miss Butterfly just got braces for the second time in her life. I always expect her to feel awful really, and with the cold and unending rain was ready to tell her we could stay home if she was feeling poorly. But, she got out of there quite pleased and just fine. So, no special care needed. Maybe it was me who needed a day off! Ah well, Friday is JUST around the corner.

The Week, March 27-April 2

Well, it’s been one week and I’ve done pretty well with my  list. I’ll have to be a bit harder on myself this week.

  • Knit through to the 5th color on Find your Fade shawl
    • Done but just barely. Not even worth a picture yet.
  • Finish spinning the first bobbin of brown luxury batts
    • Done, see below.
  • Begin plying the dyeabolical singles
    • The singles were plied and became yarn
  • Friday/weekend work on Clue 4 of Marled Mystery
    • I knit section 7, but there was a mistake in the first 3 rows. I was also distracted and not counting correctly. Basically fudged the end of the clue and decided to call it good. I knit section 8. No mistakes, counts were perfect. Then I could see where I’d gone wrong in section 7. Yanked all of Section 7 and reknit.
  • Hit step goal at least 3 times during week and once on weekend.
    • Done. By the time I made this list I had to really hustle, since it was to rain all day Friday, and it did.
  • Attempt to get in a bike ride around the scheduled rain over the weekend
    • This most decidedly DID NOT HAPPEN. It was cold, it rained all day Saturday, and on Sunday I decided to spend that time taking a long walk with Miss Butterfly, which counted for Sunday’s step goal as well as more than enough to make up for what I lacked in goal on Saturday.
  • Plant strawberries
    • Now I have 7 strawberry plants. I probably will need to fashion some sort of cage so that we actually get to eat strawberries before wildlife gets to them.

I finished the first bobbin of brown singles.


I was less than inspired to work on these to be honest, but I got it done. I really do not like removing bobbins that are almost done to start a different project, so I pushed through. Then, I worked on the dyeabolical singles in Jo Rides a Motorbike.


Those turned out just fine! 275 yards of sport weight yarn. I really like the richness of these colors together. That was it for the wheel, it’s standing empty at the moment. I am soured enough from pushing through the singles that I am thinking I might do a corespun project to cleanse the palate.

Mr. Ink had a ton of small errands to run this weekend, and I tagged along for all of them. Usually this makes me feel like my weekend is running out too quickly, but I’d also tried something else new. A completely internet free weekend. And that I think I’ll try again. The weekend really did feel longer. One of the errands was finally getting my birthday gift (early December) and his Christmas gift. We found a stovetop that’s easier to clean for me, and an office chair for him. The new office chair has the added bonus of being quite lovely. The stovetop matches not at all, but I am sick to death of cleaning an all white gas stove top with multiple different parts that get gunked up with no easy to clean solution in sight. So that’s a win for me. The stovetop is already installed, while the office chair is still in a box in the basement.

I did a major clean out of my yarn stash, pulling quite a bit of yarn to go to coworker’s bird house project. I gave some stuff I’d dyed myself, and she took one look at it this morning and said “Do you mind if I make something for me?” My response was “Of course not, once it’s in your hands, it’s yours to do with what you please!” The particularly nice part of this destash to her is that now I can fit all my yarn in one 9 cube storage shelving unit. All of it, even my handspun stash. This leaves me two empty book shelves on my bookcase. It also means that my more becoming finished objects than yarn going in stash is working pretty well.

On to the next list:

  • Let’s try for 4 step goals during the week.
  • Resume daily push ups.(I had to quit due to a shoulder injury, but I’ve been injury free for more than a week now.)
  • 30 days of biking begins on Saturday. That means I’ll need two bike rides this weekend.
  • Rearrange furniture in craft room and den of slack.
  • Finish Marled Mystery shawl and DO NOT CAST ON ANOTHER.
  • Work on Find Your Fade. Not making a goal, not sure how long that icord on marled mystery is going to take.
  • Photograph and list on Rav the pile of fiber in living room, then put it away.
  • Establish leftover yardage amounts from yarn used for find your fade, and put that away as well.
  • Spin a little bit.


The Yard

We are in full swing over at Chez Shells gardens, Mr. Ink got numerous trees and plants in the mail yesterday. I can’t tell you what each of them are as I am not entirely sure. He said something about a weeping redbud, that was the surprise tree. And another he said something about a dwarf of a dwarf japanese maple maybe? But it’s leaves were lime green. And then he got his almost holy grail. Again, not entirely sure what it is but I think it’s some kind of juniper. His holy grail of trees cannot be planted in zone 5. But, he says he’s still got that tree in his sights since he feels that global warming is so fast, we’ll be in zone 6 soon enough.


A Mr. Ink who is planting trees is an exceedingly happy Mr. Ink. And isn’t that a fantastic tree? Let’s take a closer look.


Here she is, in the ground. I offered to hold her skirt while he filled in the hole with dirt, as her long skirt kept ending up under ground. She’s really quite weird and fascinating, and we really love her!  No sense posting the other trees, they just look like sticks in the ground right now without their leaves. Hopefully we’ll get to see them looking a bit more pretty soon.

I’ve got hyacinths almost blooming!


I think I’ve realized why these two are so far ahead of the rest. They are right in front of the dryer vent! So, each weekend all winter long they were getting a number of hours of steady blast hot air. Seems to have made a difference. This section of garden is scheduled to get its edging makeover this spring, to match the rest of the gardens. Mr. Ink has removed the sod from the far end, and it should be edged in as soon as we are done with the burning bush stump and root system removal in April. As an update on that project, we’ve dug down deep enough to realize that the problem with the leaning retaining wall is entirely the burning bush root system pushing on that wall. Which would indicate to me it was very important for us to remove that bush. If it can do that to a retaining wall, what’s it doing to my foundation?!


Anyhow, that’s a wrap up of our evening. It was a pretty nice night. I’ve been feeling slightly under the weather, can’t be sure if it’s allergies or a cold coming on, so I went to bed nice and early and slept SO WELL. That’s just an all around nice set up for the weekend!

A Better Picture

Between work lunches, and a trip to the car dealership, and a trip to the orthodontist, Miss Marja’s Lintilla has gotten a little more work, and since it came home with me, it also got a decent photo.


One where you can actually see the colors as they are. If this shawl were at home, I’d probably never stop working on it. I love it. The color blending is fantastic, and it never ceases to interest me.

Plus, I just REALLY LOVE knitting the Lintilla pattern.

As mentioned previously, the small skein of chain plied yarn that matches this shawl is going into my crazy marled mystery shawl. New clue out tomorrow! All I have to do is choose which yarn to pair with it, which I don’t think I’ll bother to do until I actually get the clue and see what I am up against. For the clue that particular yarn goes into, for consistency, I won’t be counting yardage, because it’s “New Yarn.” I only get to count the yards from the yarn paired with it. Can you tell I am really enjoying making up pointless rules for my pointless game? Hah.

In the meantime, I worked my way into the 5th color on the Find Your Fade shawl. It’s not completely worked in yet, I am still alternating with the 4th color. But, I am close, as was my hope!

There’s a pokemon go event going on right now as well, plus a nests change, which should seriously inspire Miss Butterfly and I to get outdoors and walking around. We’ll have to do so tonight, as it’s going to rain all day Friday, according to forecasts.

Are you looking forward to the weekend as much as I am?

Fade Finding

I almost wrote the title as “fad finding” which would be entirely appropriate when speaking of the Find Your Fade shawl. I am well into the second skein of the fourth color now, and just completed the lace section last evening. The rows are very long. Thankfully, they are as long as they are going to get, I am no longer increasing stitches. But, I’ve 3 more colors to go after this one, so I’d better well get accustomed to these long rows!


My coworker, who is originally Finnish, and knows how to knit and crochet, but hasn’t made a habit of it over the years, has recently had a resurgence in her crafting desire. Last year I gave her some handspun yarn she had her eye on, and she was thrilled to bits. She crocheted it into a hat that I see her wearing almost daily.

IMG_3607After she made the hat, she decided she needed to crochet more things. Now, this is a woman who is a huge advocate for wildlife. And, she found some bird rehab/rescue places that were requesting various bird houses made out of yarn. She ordered some yarn from knitpicks, and set out to create birdhouses. She brought them in to me before sending them out, they were great! She soon ran out of yarn, but she says the itch to craft hasn’t disappeared and she was going to need to make another order. Well, knowing that I’ve got a bunch of one off balls of knitpicks hanging around from projects completed or gone by the wayside, I told her I’d donate to her cause. This means that 7 odd skeins of knitpicks yarn went to her this morning. She was thrilled, and I think that means I get to add 770 yards of “knit” yarn to my yearly total. Meaning  I haven’t been counting the knitting I am doing for Miss Marja, or the knitting I am doing with yarn that has arrived in my stash this year due to that not being “destash” yarn. I’ve knit far more than 770 yards that would fall under that category. But, in this case I destashed the yarn, so I get to add it as “knit.” Current totals, 3.88 miles knit, 1.75 miles spun. At the moment, what is leaving my stash is double what is going back in. That’s sort of where I’d like to be, overall. Can’t say I’ll be able to maintain that throughout spinning “season” but it’s a great start!

Miss Butterfly is getting braces again next week. We were in this morning for small spacers for her to wear this week, in order that she has the appropriate room for the mouth gear being installed next week. Also of note, she gets to throw out her retainer. Which is great, because it’s been used and abused so hard at this point that there’ve been bits falling off it for the last 6 months. The orthodontist didn’t want to replace it, as we were too close to phase 2 braces, so he’s been piecing the thing back together just to get us through those 6 months. If he could have used duct tape, I swear he would have. This is the second retainer she’s had, and amazingly enough we managed to get through both of them without losing one completely, or throwing one out completely, or breaking one beyond usability. I feel very fortunate. Then again, I told her from the start she has to buy the next one of she loses one. So, it might have been the correct incentive for her. In any case, I am as glad to be rid of the thing as she is at this point I think!

Tonight if it hasn’t rained too much (and it’s currently raining) we may try to get a dirt bike ride in. I have to admit, I’ve been less than inspired to ride dirt lately, so I am waffling back and forth between wanting it to rain hard, and wanting it to dry up so a dirt ride is possible. That being said, if I am not feeling it, I figure I’ll just take a nice dirt walk, and grab my step goal. That could easily make for a win win situation. It’s cold today, in fact the rain that happened this morning was really ice pellets at first. But tomorrow we are looking at 73? It’s so nutty out here in March!


The Week

You know, I’ve been admiring what Madgeface of Little Golden Notebook does most weeks. She lists some goals for the week, and then the next week she follows up with what she did on the list, and creates a new list for the upcoming week. While her lists don’t involve me in any way, I really like to read them. I guess there’s something universal about seeing something on a list crossed off! And, there’s a pleasant accountability as well, as she adds notes to the crossed off list items, indicating how that worked out.

The long and short of it is, I want to start doing little lists too! So I am, here’s my first list for the upcoming week.

  • Knit through to the 5th color on Find your Fade shawl
  • Finish spinning the first bobbin of brown luxury batts
  • Begin plying the dyeabolical singles
  • Friday/weekend work on Clue 4 of Marled Mystery
  • Hit step goal at least 3 times during week and once on weekend.
  • Attempt to get in a bike ride around the scheduled rain over the weekend
  • Plant strawberries

Naturally, I cannot at this point post about last week’s goals, but Monday will be fun!

No pictures today. Miss Butterfly was off school yesterday, and I decided to allow her to do laundry. I like doing laundry, mostly. But, I figured if I didn’t have other chores for her, she could do it instead. She did 4 loads, which is about the weekly average for our household of extremely active people. Between work out clothing and gardening clothing, it adds up quickly. When I arrived home, there was still a load in the dryer, done but not brought upstairs. So, I got started on folding my stuff, while asking her to please go get that final load. And she was like “UGH. MOM. I’ve been at the laundry ALL DAY!” Which made me giggle, because does it not occur to her that I do this weekly? Of course not. I think I’ll save laundry for days off again in the future, just to drive home the point! That being said, she did a GREAT job with it all. That was the ONLY complaint about it, and everything was done, and done well, and she made good decisions. “Mom, all that’s left are two towels, and it seems pointless to do them. What would you do?” “Leave them for next week.” I quickly responded and she said “Yeah, that’s what I figured should be done.” Laundry skills, certainly part of life’s lessons. In any case, between all the laundry folding, and kitchen clean up, I didn’t get a find your fade photo. I’ll try for one tonight.

This morning I had to drive the honda to work, as it is involved in the big airbag recall going on right now. I figured I’d leave work early and take it into the dealership. It’s so entirely Mr. Ink’s car now! The seat is so far back, and I won’t even change it because I know how annoying it is to have to get your perfect seat position back. He drove the honda with it in my seat position for years, never changing it. There was a used kleenex on the passenger’s seat, the window was down, heavy metal on the radio. I mean, it’s only been 2.5 months! But, most irritatingly, when I pulled the honda out of the garage, there wasn’t enough fuel in it to get me to work, then to the dealership after work! I am sure it wasn’t even remotely intentional, he hadn’t remembered that I was to take the honda this morning. But, it’s certainly not the thing I want to see when I am rushing off to work at 7 am! On the upside, driving the honda is the ONLY way I get to listen to the new Volbeat album, since it’s been firmly ensconced in the honda cd player since it arrived at our house. And, he did also mention that the dealership would probably try to get me to purchase brake work, and he just checked them, he’s got his eye on them, and they’ve got life left in them. I so appreciate those tips when I head to the dealership. (He also likes to see what else they tell me about my car, since he keeps it in perfect condition. He likes to see if a dealership is honest or not. Thus far though, this dealership hasn’t ever asked me to fix something that doesn’t need fixing. It’s got enough approval that it was one we used when we were car hunting in December.)

Meanwhile, I told Mr. Ink that while he had the murano at his dealership, he could go ahead and give it a car wash. He told me “You don’t get to have a washed car WEEKLY you know!” And it’s almost true, I do make him take it in every time he works on a Saturday for a wash. But, I reminded him that’s every 3 weeks rather than weekly, and I thought for sure I can have a car wash after it snowed, and that’s the mess that’s currently ON the car. Furthermore, if he won’t wash it for free at the dealership, I am just going to pay to have it washed. So, really, his choice! (His choice will ALWAYS be free.)

I guess that’s all the talking I can come up with when I don’t have additional photos to add!


Boy did I go off on a tangent this weekend!

On Saturday evening, when Mr. Ink was preparing to head out for his night of live music, I had wandered into my craft room, looked at the boxes of dyed wool, and the large box of add in bits and bobs for the drum carder, and decided I wanted to pull some wool out and prep, JUST PREP, for the next set of batts. I pulled out 4 ounces total of two colors of brown, one lighter and one darker. Then grabbed my add ins, and got started. The goal was to take the browns and make them relatively similar by using mostly the same add ins on each batt. Just a few differences of color, but nothing major. As I went about it though, I realized that I was putting quite a lot of luxury fibers in there, so these batts would turn out amazingly soft.

I set the fiber piles back in my craft room for future drum carding. And went back to knitting and TV watching while Mr. Ink was out. But, as the evening wore on and I tired of TV watching, I couldn’t resist putting one, just one batt together out of my 6 piles of fiber. It was awesome. The next morning, before Mr. Ink woke up, I thought “Let me just do one more” and then by the time he woke up I’d done 3 more. And after breakfast I finished them up.


These started with BFL/silk top. I added some firestar, some very soft alpaca, cashmere, camel, bamboo, and tons of silk. There are silk noils, mulberry silk, tussah silk, and then I also added a huge amount of my current obsession, silk throwsters waste. Last year, all my batts had large amounts of recycled sari silk. This year it’s throwsters waste. I can’t get enough of it. I love the texture. I love how some of it is like regular silk, almost like in mawata silk form, and then some is like long silk threads, which make for extremely interesting spinning.

Well, here’s the thing. Now I had almost 9 ounces of freshly created batts, and that’s something quite irresistible to me. But, I also had a braid already on the wheel, so I figured “let me just finish that up” and so I did.


Of course, I didn’t ply because I wanted to, you know, just TEST the new batts. And so I “tested” them, by spinning them. For a really long time.


At lunchtime, Mr. Ink asked if I wanted to go for a bike ride. It was an exceedingly lovely day so naturally I said yes to that idea, and we went for a lovely bike ride. I asked Mr. Ink if he’d mind if I took the fat bike, since I know I can be a little slow on that bike. He said he didn’t mind, so I took it. We did a nice long loop from the house, as the wind was nothing to sneeze at, and we started out going into the wind. But when we turned and had the wind at our backs, I got that fat bike moving over 20 mph on a flat! I was really flying. It was great fun, the sound of those tires is like a tractor, so everyone knows you are coming up behind them and just moves out of the way. And other cyclists see that silly pink fat bike moving that fast and just grin ear to ear. I even left Mr. Ink in the dust for quite awhile. I had been a bit worried about trying to get that bike up the very large and long hill back to our house, it’s a tough hill even on my regular bike and I’d never tried that hill before. But the fat bike is geared appropriately for such things, and I actually had no trouble at all. It took TIME, but at no point did I think “I won’t be able to make it.”  I think I’ll stop asking Mr. Ink if he minds if I take that bike now, it’s clear that I am almost as fast with it now, and I keep up just fine. And I do so with comfort and a great deal of fun.

Once home, I decided it was time to drag out the table and a couple chairs for the back patio. And then my afternoon looked like this:


Yep, with 83F weather, it was time for a little outdoor spinning! And flower watching. They were visibly growing yesterday, I gained about 3 inches on my hyacinths throughout the day. And take a look at these daffodils!


Mr. Ink continued digging up sod, replanting it by the road, digging up soil, amending it, and placing it back where he wanted it to be. He’s got a bunch of trees coming in the next few weeks and is prepping the yard for that. I am glad he got quite a bit done, as it is to rain all week, and he’d have gone stir crazy otherwise.

He also mentioned the crocuses again, saying that he thought they’d look great in a rock garden. I suspect my vision of crocuses all over the front hill just may work!

In any case, I went off on quite a spinning tangent this weekend, and it was lovely, and we had a beautiful day. I need to stop just enjoying these beautiful days, and get something done, like scraping, sanding, and painting the door frame and window frames of the shop. At least then I’ll feel more productive while Mr. Ink is madly working in the yard!

Wishing everyone a great week!

Completed Clue Three

It was a pleasantly knitting filled morning for me yesterday, and I finished my clue 3.


I am back to being quite enchanted with the crazy thing, and will be truly looking forward to Friday so I have what I need to compete it. At this point, I have run out of loads of colors. Not that I am hurting for color to add, it’s just that all the smaller balls of color are gone, having been knit into the 4 sections where color changes were fast and furious. That’s ok, if I am guessing correctly, and I could easily not be, the next sections will be quite large and I’ll need the back up of bigger skeins of color. Since two of the “colors” I’ve been using are actually large loop batt handspun with multiple colors in them, there’s no danger whatsoever of running out of yarn.

While yesterday began quite cold, by the end of the day it was sunny and in the 50s. Mr. Ink spent all day digging. This weekend’s project seems to be digging out sod, moving it and laying it in new areas, and then digging up soil and amending that soil in anticipation of all the trees that should start arriving any minute now. He had mentioned to me that the soil is just perfect for this job, it’s easy to dig and easy to work with. Plus, it’s supposed to rain all week starting tomorrow or Tuesday. Well, I decided if the soil is perfect, I’d get my propagated lilies that went dormant into the ground. I’ve got more lilies, but they never did go dormant and are going nuts in our living room. I’ll wait until the end of April to put those outdoors.

I got a pretty pleasant walk in. Mr. Ink decided to go see some live music, it’s not a band I like so I stayed home. I pulled out wool and add ins for some new batts, and got started on those instead. All in all an extremely lovely day.

Now I am back to knitting on find your fade, but I am at a point where the rows are super long! So, I keep knitting a row and then wandering off to do something else. Not the most efficient way of getting a shawl done, but it does help keep my interest.

Talk soon!

What a Mystery!

Clue 3 came out on the mystery shawl, and I got right home and got started! I was so excited!


That blue triangle was the first section in this clue, and the seed stitch to the right of it is the second section of this clue, though far from finished. I mimicked the color progression in the previous seed stitch section so far. I am about to veer off course though, since I have run out of the next yarn color. I’ll get back on course for a bit, and then I’ll be choosing new color combos again, as I’ll have far more seed stitch in this section than there was in the previous one.

This is also the clue in which I got to find out if my original first section mistake was going to be a problem or not. It looks ok, which is a great relief after ALL this knitting! Here’s the whole thing as it currently is.


This shawl really is ridiculous, but it’s also growing on me. I will be making the biggest size, and it really may be used mostly as a blanket. It’s kind of a memory blanket, in the sense that all of those yarns have knitting or spinning memories attached to them. And really, it’s a cool way to preserve that.

In garden news, the flood gates have opened, and we’ve got flowers opening all over the yard.

Knowing Mr. Ink isn’t as big a fan of flowers as I am, I asked him how he felt about all the pops of spring color in the yard. I asked him this because I secretly wanted to plant crocuses all over the front banks, as it looks SO BARE this time of year. Mr. Ink’s response was extremely positive, “My only complaint” he says “Is that there just isn’t ENOUGH of them!” I don’t think he quite realizes that I planted 50 bulbs. And that there are more on the way all the time. And that those 50 bulbs, providing they survive, will create more and more each year. But, I do think there may be a good case for planting them all over the front bank now, since the response was so positive.

We did also spend a little time on yard work yesterday evening. The weather was pleasant though windy. Can you believe we are already having to pull weeds as well? It’s a bit demoralizing to realize that already has to start. But any time in the yard is a good time in the yard I think.

I’ve been on a low carb diet for a solid 3 weeks now, and not feeling too overly annoyed by it. This morning I decided that I really needed to try something new, as I am so sick of eggs for breakfast! I tried soy flour pancakes, assuming I wouldn’t like them at all. I don’t like syrup, so I am not even remotely tempted to add carbs to my low carb pancakes. Well, they weren’t bad at all! They exceeded my expectations immensely. But they are extremely filling, so I’ll be saving that as a treat. It does leave me eager to try a soy flour flat bread recipe I found, so that might become tomorrow’s project.

I hope everyone is having a good weekend, that the east coast snow is beginning to melt, and that you, too, are subjected to signs of season change all around you.

Second Fade

Let me show you the second fade and third color in find your fade!


This was the photo I grabbed just after work yesterday. I immediately wound the yarn for the next section so that it would be ready to go when I needed it. I got my house chores done, and then began a marathon find your fade session. After dinner I still wasn’t quite done with the lace. Mr. Ink asked what I’d like to do before bed. I’d suggested a movie, and we got a look of consternation from Miss Butterfly, indicating that she’d asked for a movie night a couple times and we hadn’t done it yet. I argued that she was up late with Bestie overnight. Mr. Ink argued in Butterfly’s favor, saying that the girls had gone straight to bed exhausted from all the screaming and dancing they’d done, and he hadn’t heard another peep out of them. Not to mention the fact that she’s on spring break. So, I was quickly overruled, and we decided on Princess Bride. Miss Butterfly hadn’t seen it before. I told her that when I was her age, I’d been absolutely terrified by it, but of course she was not, thinking it quite funny. (Seriously, as a kid who watched nothing at all that was scary, the fireswamp was absolutely traumatizing.)

I continued on find your fade, assuming I’d get to add my fourth color, except that I ran out of the current color with 4.5 rows remaining on that color. I have the second skein, but I hadn’t wound it, and I wasn’t about to stop a movie to go do that. So, my Big Waffle shawl got a few unexpected rows knit on it. This morning I wound the second skein of color 3, and was able to get to the point where I added a row of color 4. That was quite satisfying. Of course, the third mystery shawl clue came out this morning, so Fade will take a back seat as I rattle off the next fun sections of the mystery shawl. Seriously, I CANNOT WAIT to get home. And I am crossing my fingers that Mr. Ink does not feel an overwhelming need to grab our bikes and go find the bike crew that will have been partying all day on bikes together while we were at work.

In other extremely exciting news, it’s official. Spring has sprung in our yard.


I went out to take a look around yesterday, and found this gorgeous, fully opened crocus. I planted some bulbs in the fall, and they are popping up all over. It’s so exciting! I have some yellow crocuses beginning to bloom as well, and a daffodil that has almost bloomed. This is actually 2 weeks late for the daffodil, so my consternation about our mild winter actually seems to be somewhat unfounded? Though I have a different theory, I believe that I’ve disturbed and replanted those daffodil bulbs so often in the veggie garden that they had a bit more trouble this year. Actually, it looks like some tulips may show up in the veggie garden. We’ve never had tulips there before, and I did not plant them there. So, I can only imagine that they were in there, laying dormant, and waiting for that garden bed to be cleared out enough to grow. We shall see! There’s also far far more daffodils this year than there were last year, despite the fact that I spent last year digging them up and moving them to different gardens!

I’ve also noticed that one of my garden beds is far behind the others. I think it just gets too much shade this time of year, even though it won’t get a ton of shade throughout the summer. It’s just perfectly placed for the garage to shade it this time of year. The exciting part of that means I’ll have another whole crop of crocuses and springtime flowers after the first initial blast I am seeing now.

Happy Friday my friends!

Lintilla Again

Last Christmas I made black alpaca batts with pops of colored silk in them for Miss Marja’s christmas gift.


I think there ended up being over 7 ounces or something, but I admit I didn’t pay too much attention. Since alpaca turns out not to be my favorite thing to spin, and I really can’t wear it too easily either, I was happy to make my stash of black alpaca fiber into something pretty to pass on. Miss Marja spun it into a traditional 3 ply yarn. And then I got it back, in order to knit it into a large Lintilla scarf for her.

Thing is, there were actually two skeins. One of the traditional 3 ply, and the other the remainder of the singles chain plied. Well, I really wanted to use up ALL the yarn. So I weighed my skein, and then began with the chain plied yarn. Here’s how far I got:


And that’s when I stopped. Because I could tell that the pops of color were not going to mimic the rest of the shawl in any way. So we’d have this start with these large pops of color, and then the rest of the shawl would have well blended silk colors. I hated it. And, really, I didn’t think Miss Marja would love it either. So, I put it down and knit her reversible circles of lace, because I needed Lintilla to have a time out.

Over the weekend I yanked out this bit of knitting, balled it up, and added to it the rest of the chain plied yarn. I then asked Miss Marja if I could add the chain plied bits to my crazy mystery shawl, which she quickly said yes to. Then I got started on the latest lintilla, which looks exactly as I’d envisioned, and I am very well pleased with the project now. The photo is not the greatest due to the lack of decent light at work. But, I think you can get the idea of the blending and much more subtle color shifting that is happening now.


In other news, Mr. Ink purchased tickets for Miss Butterfly to go see Panic at the Disco for a christmas gift. The tickets were for the three of us to go as a family. But, as the date of the concert drew closer, she decided she’d much prefer to bring a friend, and so she asked Mr. Ink if he’d be willing to take her and Bestie, rather than her and me. He thought about it for about 24 hours, and decided indeed he could do that if it would make her happy. So, I got an evening at home alone, which I promptly used to take a long, hot, relaxing bath and Miss Butterfly got to see her band the way she wanted.


First of all, I love these two lovely, excitable, screeching, intelligent, fun girls so much. For real. They are amazing children. And the man who would take those screeching girls to see a band he doesn’t even like is pretty fantastic too. I mean, I would totally be rolling my eyes if I had to do it, but I said to him “Have fun!” a bit sarcastically, as the girls were bouncing all over the house and being loud. And his extremely genuine response was “You know I will!”

I was asleep by the time they got home, so I’ll have to hear how it went today.

I am into the third color on the find your fade shawl, so I’ll be able to grab photos of that tonight. And then tomorrow? The next clue of the marled mystery will be revealed, so you know what my weekend will consist of! I know me, and I know that I am going to be just giddy to get home on Friday to work on it! In part because it’s a Friday, and in part because the shawl has been way too much fun. Happy Thursday Friends!

Beginning to Fade

I got home a bit late yesterday, but I was definitely looking forward to it as I knew my family wouldn’t be home at that time. I needed 2 more rows to complete the lace section I was working on in Find Your Fade, and I really wanted to get that section done prior to grabbing a photo. Unfortunately, I also fell asleep on the couch in the sun. Sometimes that’s just irresistible. After a quick nap, and thanks to the fact that it’s light later now, I grabbed a photo.


I am so pleased with this so far! I worked my way into the third color last night. Surprisingly, I really don’t love knitting the lace sections. I think it’s because they aren’t charted, and I really love to be able to “see” my lace and how everything should line up. But, thankfully, after two sections I am pretty sure I can see if I am going wrong quite a bit earlier than I could in the first section.

Other thoughts of note. I began this one with the size needles called for in the pattern. I hate how it looked, my stitches were loose and sloppy, the garter stitch looking so messy. I went down one needle size and got the above gauge, which is entirely appropriate, tidy, and pleasant. It’s so amazing to me that such a tiny difference in needle sizes could make such a dramatic difference in end product.

How did I end up with this yarn? Well, for the first time ever, a facebook ad got to me. Somehow it popped up in my feed, I fell head over heels for the color combo, researched the company Expression Fiber Arts, and found the color combo on their site. It was a pre order, it had a date listed about a month in the future as to when my yarn would be ready. It was indeed ready and shipped on the very date listed. The yarn is merino and tencel. It’s super shiny, soft, and slippery. Mr. Ink says it almost looks metallic, but that’s just the high shine of tencel. I can just tell already that this is a shawl I am going to get a ton of use out of.

My additional story of the day is about work. My boss has rheumatoid arthritis. Her shoulders often hurt. I can always tell when she’s having quite a bit of pain, though she always hides it so well. Yesterday it was cold in the office. She was out talking to us, with her suit jacket thrown over her front, holding it up to her neck with her hands. She mentioned she was cold, and I gave her a bit of a funny look, she immediately knew I knew, and she said “I am in so much pain I can’t even stand to wear my jacket, it hurts too much.” So, I pulled my insanely HUGE handspun shawl I keep at work off my chair and handed it to her. She immediately looked relieved, put it over her shoulders, and went and sat at her desk. She quickly looked so much more relaxed. The power of a hand knit, I am telling you! It’s a big deal. I told her to borrow it any time, as it just sits over the back of my chair and I rarely use it. But, now that I am thinking it through, I may eventually just make her one of her own. We’ve worked together for a good 10 years now, and have always been friends. Furthermore, her mother is a knitter and she wears her mother’s  handknits frequently, she’s certainly knit worthy.

The shawl in question:


In any case, it felt great to be able to provide someone with a little bit of comfort during her long day. I guess that, as a knitter, is something I hope for when I give handknits away.

Circles of Lace

Miss Marja’s reversible circles of lace scarf is complete!I used every last bit of her handspun on this one, one of the distinct advantages of this particular pattern.


Not quite sure what else to say about this one! The knit was completely unremarkable. It went perfectly smoothly. I knit it almost entirely at work during lunch breaks, and the reason it took so long is that I go out at lunchtime far more often than I used to, for my sanity. My current coworker/coworkers don’t seem to be able to exist at work without being disruptive, so headphones in and knitting isn’t a sign they read as “Leave Shells Alone.” In any case, the knit turned out fine, the yarn is lovely, and the project is finished. I think I won’t jump at doing this particular pattern again, even though it’s a very nice one. This was two circles of lace scarves in very quick succession, and I am not eager to knit it again right now.

Miss Butterfly got her best friend playing pokemon now too. Yesterday, Buterfly and Bestie were at my place, and we had to run out and get some snacks for a class party they have happening today. We headed off to the store and went shopping, of course this was punctuated by stopping frequently for Bestie to catch pokemon, along with much screeching. We then went out for coffee as well, and then did a little drive around to continue to catch pokemon. It ended up being a pretty fun afternoon with those two. I can see why Bestie’s mom always takes them shopping. It’s a great way to actually spend time with them, when at home they are just off doing their own thing. The reality is, they are both such super awesome kids that spending time with them is great fun!

The rest of the evening was completely unremarkable and quiet, which is just fine with me. I’ve got a find your fade shawl start that I will be able to show off tomorrow. I am very excited about it, and the yarn choice is downright amazing. My entire family has off work tomorrow, and I am feeling quite irritable that I still have to work. Ah well, I guess I took extra time off when I really needed it, and now that things have slowed down slightly, I am not feeling too overwhelmed anymore.

Happy Tuesday blogland!

And Again

And again with the inability to follow pattern instructions. I got almost finished with the brioche section of the mystery shawl when I realized I’d been decreasing at a rate that was double what it should have been. That was ok though, as I also wasn’t digging what I’d done with some of the colors. Ripping and restarting was a setback, but resulted in a section I prefer over what I’d had. In this section I held a grey stand of yarn throughout, adding other colors for 4 rows. I chose every 4 rows the second time around simply because it meant it was easier to keep track of my decreasing.


The grey yarn I had been using was a gradient that ended up green, and that transition is seen at the tip of the shawl. I also used as one of my colors some silk hankies I had spun. Those are fairly textured, so it adds some interesting texture to that section.

Now, I know I said that I was only going to be using handspun for this project. But, here’s a little story. Yesterday, Miss Butterfly was very happily playing quietly in her room. It was one of those moments where I refused to disturb her as it was such quiet and productive play and she was being so good. So, any of the morning activities, chores, and errands I had planned flew right out the window. I did my own around the house chores practically tiptoeing around the house in hopes not to disturb this beautiful moment in which I was completely undisturbed. Mr. Ink was at work, so that was even less distraction than usual. At some point, Miss Butterfly had said “Mom, do you have any string I can use?” To which I laughed and said “Do *I* have any string??!?!!” And she laughed, and said “Well, I mean that I can cut up and use.” Before I was even able to stop what I was doing and get her some, she’d remembered that she has a bag full of her own that I’ve given her over the years. She showed me her bag full, and I noticed some old Noro Taiyo in there, in shades of orange, yellow, and brown. I was like “Butterfly, can I take this?!?” And she quickly said yes, they weren’t really colors she was interested in.

And that is how I ended up adding commercial yarn to my mystery shawl. I decided that my handspun yellow would work very well with the noro leftovers, and so that’s what I used for section 4.


Definitely an interesting departure from what I had been doing. At this point, this shawl is so westknits that I am ready to call it a monstrosity. A monstrosity that no one but me would ever wear. But, there are times we knit something just for the process of knitting it, right? And this is certainly one of those examples. And honestly? The yarns I’ve used in this are entirely yarns I’ve had small bits of all skeined together waiting for something to do with them. Except every time I tried, I’d get annoyed that they weren’t all precisely the same thickness/texture. And then I would quit knitting on any pattern I began. Holding yarns double really does solve that problem. I can achieve fairly similar thickness by choosing which yarns to hold together, and I barely notice the different textures.

We did go out and see our movie yesterday, after Mr. Ink got home, and he took us out to lunch as well since he’d noticed I was in the middle of a deep cleaning of our stove. All in all, a pretty relaxing and comfortable day in our home. We’ve gotten a lot of those lately on the weekends, and I am ever so grateful!

Oh, here’s a photo of the shawl in it’s entirety so far!


I’ve pulled out Miss Marja’s circles of lace scarf, and am hoping to find time to complete that today in between our other chores.


Well, with the westknits mystery shawl on the needles and my find your fade yarn in, seems like all I am doing is projects where colors fade into each other. Not that there’s anything wrong with that…

I finished the first clue of the mystery shawl this morning, and grabbed a quick photo.


I ended up grabbing a bunch more colors out of my stash. Stuff I’d thought of as usable, as well as stuff I’ve had balled up but never used and really am unsure what to do with. Adding them in as well has been great fun. Still all handspun! The next little section is brioche stitch, which I enjoy knitting quite a bit so I suspect that little section will go quickly. Then we are on to garter stitch.

I also received my find your fade shawl yarn in the mail, let me show you it!


I saw these colors together and it was love at first sight. I kept avoiding purchasing them, but they needled me until I did. So now they are here and technically I could start this weekend if I manage to get the second clue of the mystery shawl done.

However, I am very close to being done with Miss Marja’s circles of lace scarf as well. So much so, that while I’ve been knitting on it at work, I threw it in my work bag after lunch yesterday to see if I could get it finished up. I think I’ll focus on finishing that scarf before starting find your fade shawl. I could really use a different work project, circles of lace was starting to get really old. Next up for her is a lintilla shawl out of her handspun, and I think that’ll also be  my next work project. After all, that’s a shawl I love knitting, and I think it’ll be very pleasant to have at work.

Mr. Ink ended up having to work this morning, and then decided since he has to go in anyhow, he’ll get some work done on our civic. So no movie this morning. Also, no snow this morning, the storm didn’t bother to hit us at all. As for me and Miss Butterfly, I think we’ll spend the morning getting chores done so I can feel free to knit at leisure for the rest of the weekend!

Happy Saturday friends!

Section Two

You know, for a gal who keeps saying “I am going to go straight home and knit” I don’t actually DO it very often! Yesterday was a little nutty. I’d indicated that I’d like to walk Miss Marja’s puppy Max at lunchtime, a task I do about once a week. It gets me out of the office at lunchtime, it forces me to take a walk and get fresh air, and it keeps Max comfortable with my presence, something that I expect to be helpful to Miss Marja over the years.

Well, this week and last have been so nutty that I’ve done things like switching vehicles, switching purses and work bags, etc. All to try to accommodate my busy schedule. What I failed to do yesterday was put my house keys in my work bag. Which meant, when it came time to walk Max, I didn’t have the keys to get him! So, instead we agreed I could go home after work, pick up Miss Butterfly, and then we’d head over to get Max and take him to a local park for a walk. Win win, right?

What we didn’t quite anticipate was the traffic. There was a major accident on the interstate that blocked off the interstate completely. It was causing major issues getting home, it caused major issues getting back to Marja’s, and it caused major issues going to the park. I’ve never seen traffic like that for so long without snow on the ground!

But we did make it to the park, and I think Max enjoyed both the car ride and his time with us.

We sure enjoyed our time with him! We had some trouble getting back to Miss Marja as well due to traffic, but once we left her place, the trip home was fine. And in the end, it was worth it! You can see the progression of Max’s comfort level. When we headed to the park he was like “I’ll just sit in the back, ok?” On the way home, he had his head sticking up between the front seats, so when Miss Butterfly offered a place on her lap, he hopped right up there quite contentedly.

By the time we got home it was getting a bit late. Mr. Ink headed to the store, and I had to assist Miss Butterfly with homework. Not a task we often have to do, but this time we did. I was still assisting when Mr. Ink returned home, and I was assisting when dinner was begun. After that, I worked on my part of the meal, we ate, and I looked at the clock and realized it was 9:30! So, basically after putting Miss Butterfly to bed, I fell in bed too. I’d really had enough. I am so glad today is Friday!

I did manage to get a photo of the shawl in progress though. Section 2 is seed stitch and I am nowhere near done with it. I doubt I am even halfway. But, it’s still fantastic and pretty and Clue 2 came out today and I am looking forward to figuring out what to do with colors next!


I plan to work on weaving in the ends this weekend in addition to making progress on it. I did see a post by the designer saying that if my right side looks ok even with the yarn ends over there, it’ll be ok to leave it that way, so I did decide that I wouldn’t restart the thing.

And that’s encouraging, because you know what is scheduled to show up tonight? My find your fade shawl yarn.

So, a weekend of knitting for me. Mr. Ink wants to take us to see a movie this weekend. I suspect I’ll be bitter about heading out of the house for that too. Maybe I can take my sock and work on that during the movie to ease the pain. 🙂 We are supposed to get some snow overnight as well. I doubt it’ll stick around for any time at all, but it’s nice it will be happening at a time where we don’t have to worry about cleaning it up to get to work!


Didn’t Read the Instructions

So, on Tuesday evening I had a visitor on campus, which always makes for a very full and stressful day. After driving her to the airport at the end of the day, I headed home where I had about an hour break before we had to make dinner and then get Miss Butterfly off to district vocal festival. Now, I don’t know how it happened, but I failed completely to write down the vocal festival in my planner at the beginning of the year. Before I figured out there was a concert, Mr. Ink had asked if I’d be willing to go see a band that night. I said I would, after checking them out and making sure it was something I’d probably enjoy. He bought the tickets. And that night I came home to Miss Butterfly talking about vocal festival on the same night. Ooops? The vocal festival started at 7, the concert at 8. Thankfully there was an opening band. Because we weren’t sure that Miss Butterfly’s dad would attend, I arranged to go to the festival, then have Miss Butterfly go home with her friend’s family while we left straight after her performance.

Well, that evening, Miss Butterfly came home to tell me that her friend hadn’t even been in school, she’s sick. And so she wasn’t sure that she could go home with her friend. Friend’s mom called and said “I’ll pick her up anyhow, I won’t leave you hanging!” but it was a moment of trying to figure out our options. In the end, her father did show up for the festival and could take her home, making it so friend’s mom was off the hook.

During that one hour break, I’d balled up the yarn for the Marled Mystery shawl, and gotten started. And I am telling you I was dead chuffed with the project. It made me want to dance around the living room! I loved it. And, as with any obsession of mine, it was very painful to be torn away from it that evening. I dutifully put it away though, and went to the festival. Then we got to the concert midway through the opening band. And I hated them. And it was hot and I was tired and my feet hurt. It was crowded and there were people touching me. (Unintentionally, let me clarify.) And I was just NOT in the mood to be there. Mr. Ink asked me what was wrong and I told him I was just not in the mood to be there. And he said “Uh oh, I am destined to be stuck with a miserable date tonight!” And I told him he was right. And that he’d done nothing wrong. And then I said “Actually, I think this has to do with the perfect storm of a day being way too long and busy paired with a knitting project I am currently obsessed with and I am feeling unreasonably resentful about being out when I could be knitting. It doesn’t happen often these days, but I think that’s what’s going on.”  Acknowledging that was half the battle. Once the band we were there to see came on I did enjoy them quite a lot, they were extremely talented musicians. However, after about 45 of even a good band and all I was hearing was noise. I think the long day and just plain feeling anxious due to stress had me hearing nothing but noise. I endured until their finale, but when they said they were back out to sing “a couple more songs” I told Mr. Ink I’d meet him outside. I’d just plain had enough.

So yesterday when I got home, I decided I would do my evening “my” way. I started with a nap, seeing as we’d been out late the night before. Then grabbed a photo of the start of my marled mystery shawl, and then proceeded to knit on it for the rest of the evening.


This was the piece of knitting that had me in the obsessive grumpy mood, unable to enjoy myself when out with Mr. Ink. Can you see why? I mean, it’s completely fascinating, and there are so many color combinations to try!

I finished this entire section last evening. And once I finished it, I realized I had not read the instructions. All those yarn ends are supposed to be on the left side! I am not sure if this mistake is structural or not, so I am leaving it for now and knitting the next bit of the shawl. I am aware that I might have to rip everything out and start over. I hope not. But it could happen. In any case, I am having a great time with this knit, and I’ll grab a photo of the next section this evening.

You know what the best part about this shawl is, right? Since I am stash busting, and since it requires that I hold two yarns together, this will basically count double in stash busting yardage.


First of all, I’ve got a new in progress photo for the waffle weave shawl. I’ve added purple and more muted yellow to it. After this? Two shades of pink, another brighter yellow, and then done.


It’s already huge. Really. But, I suppose that was my hope! I really like it though, it just feels good. But, it’s going on a back burner.


If you are involved in the knitting world, you probably know what’s coming next. The Marled Magic Mystery shawl from Westknits is taking the knitting world by storm, as his knit alongs so regularly do. I had been quite positive I wouldn’t get involved despite it being verrrry tempting. After all, I have that find your fade yarn on order and I wanted to begin clearing my works in progress in anticipation of find your fade. Then one friend fell into this madness. And when she posted progress photos, they were amazing. Then another one fell, and HER project photos were gasp worthy. And then ANOTHER went, and I loved her project too! And that’s when I realized that this knit along was going to be completely unavoidable. So, last evening I wound balls of handspun yarn, basically leftovers and one offs that I’d spun in the past. Though there are two of Miss Marja’s leftovers in there as well. There’s actually more, tiny balls of this and that I’ve got laying around the house. Not really enough to do anything with, but they are handspun so I can’t really part with them either.

Yesterday was very busy, I’ll tell you more about that tomorrow. But I did get the mystery shawl cast on, and I am eagerly awaiting the moment I can go home, grab a photo, and spend my evening on the project. We’ve already done two dentist appointments and a work evaluation, and it’s only 11! So, the evening “off” for me is entirely necessary.

Dreaming of…

I finished my Dreaming of Tomatoes spin, and it’s washed up quite nicely.


I am surprisingly fond of this yarn. I admit that I liked the batt when it arrived, but I wasn’t in love with it. It was part of a personal subscription batt club, so it was a surprise. And, I’d say over all this was the batt I liked the least. And yet, now that it’s done, it might be my favorite of the 6! It’s a 640 yards of laceweight singles, so that’ll make quite a nice shawl or stole or something.

I immediately began another project. This one is another dyeabolical fiber, colorway Jo Rides a Motorbike.


I’ll just make a simple 2 ply out of this, I needed a super relaxing spin. It’s just 4 ounces, and I am a bit over halfway through, though I haven’t had time to touch it since Sunday evening.

Yesterday was crazy warm during the day. I think it hit 78? But, this is the midwest, and basically if you look at the weather and see 78 one day and a high of 57 the next, you can make a pretty good bet that there’ll be some sort of nasty weather rolling through. That being said, I do not recall ever seeing a forecasted storm for yesterday. But, as I was sitting at my desk, we got an emergency crawl across our computer screens indicating severe thunderstorms headed our way. It was so odd, as my desk window looks east and it was just gorgeous out! Sunny and bright! So, I headed to the other side of the building, only to see some very nasty dark clouds. It was so strange to see two completely different skies from different parts of our building. The storms rolled through bringing 50 mph wind gusts that lasted all evening even though the storms passed quickly, as well as a precipitous drop in temps. And I came home to the flashing on our house on the ground. 2 pieces! With another piece threatening the same. And winds like that all evening.

Thankfully, today has dawned beautifully, and our third piece of flashing hanging on by a thread managed to stay ON the house, though it looks a bit worse for wear.

Miss Butterfly and I took the evening to head to the store and work on getting her a few pairs of shorts for the upcoming season. Shopping is basically one of my least favorite things, but I managed it without being grumpy the ENTIRE time. As it hit about 8 p.m. and we still weren’t home and I hadn’t had dinner yet, that’s when I began to get grumpy, but the project was a decent success, we did manage to find 3 pairs of shorts.

Tonight is a district vocal festival so we’ll be out all evening for that, Miss Butterfly has a solo and we are very proud of her. We can’t wait! This also means I might get a little sock knitting done on Mr. Ink’s long term project socks. I generally find my irritation and discomfort at sitting around on bleachers somewhat lessened if I can at least also be knitting.

In any case, that’s about it from my corner of the world! Happy Tuesday!

Dreaming of Tomatoes

Yep, that’s absolutely a thing I am dreaming of. I am doing so by spinning the fiber that shares that name, as well as working on ridding my veggie garden of ditch lilies, mums, and weeds. The mums won’t have time to flower before we completely remove the dirt from that garden and modify/replace it. The weeds should not be allowed to gain any foothold. And the ditch lilies act like weeds. One tiny little tuber results in more than one of these ditch lilies and they’ve GOTTA GO! This will be year 3 of digging those things out of the garden, and this will be the FINAL YEAR.

In fact, at this point, I am so annoyed with them that I’ll be removing them from the rest of my garden as well. I am done. So done.

Mr. Ink is clearly dreaming of tomatoes as well, or at least of spring. On Saturday he built his new compost bin, put together a rain barrel, and put together his new wood chipper. Yesterday he spent the entire day cutting down spirea on the front bank and feeding it through the chipper, then beginning his compost project. I, of course, added kitchen stuff to the compost, and so we should be well on our way there, with him already speaking of getting another bin to put next to the current bin. We have a LOT of yard waste due to the large yard. There are also new mysterious red paint circles all over the lawn. When asked about this, I was told that they are for trees that will be arriving this spring. It seems that this will be my last year of mowing, because there’s nothing I hate more than mowing around multiple trees. It’s up to him after this. I was told which tree would go where, until one spot where I was told “it’s a surprise!” So, we’ll have to wait to find out about that one. But, I can only imagine it’s one that I’ve bugged him about adding. Another magnolia? A rhododendron? Maybe a japanese lilac? I don’t know! We’ll have to wait for the surprise. In any case, it seems clear that despite all his back problems, Mr. Ink isn’t ready to quit digging holes.


I continued on the dreaming of tomatoes spin project, which I decided to leave as singles. This is almost done. I didn’t get a done photo, but the resulting yarn is hanging to dry so I’ll get a photo for tomorrow.

The other thing I did with myself yesterday that I was absolutely thrilled with, though it may be something people do on the regular, was learn how to remove the drain covers in both the bathroom sink and tub, in order to use one of those plastic snake thingies to clear out any hair and grossness. The tub was easy! The sink was a bit more complicated but it went well as it is clear that someone put in a new faucet right before we bought the place. Not much corrosion to deal with. Now the bathroom drain runs beautifully again, one of the things I’ve appreciated the most about my house. The sink drain? Well, that’s still a bit slow, and I am beginning to think the issue isn’t a plumbing problem, but rather a sink stopper problem. I may have to raise it up to allow water to drain faster. It’s a work in progress, but I feel good about the learning of a thing.

That’s about it for the weekend report. This week is gearing up to be QUITE busy. More so than I prefer. Miss Butterfly has her first choir solo, and it’s a doozy. It’ll be 5th grade choirs through senior choirs as well as all of the associated show choirs in a huge gym with all the parents and family in attendance. I believe that her solo is with someone else, or a few other kids or something, but I am just really impressed she tried out in the first place. And thrilled her choir teacher gave her the confidence to do so. It’s clear from every time we talk to him that he just so appreciates her in choir. I am very much hoping that she’ll also try out for show choir next fall, now that she’s comfortable with him and with auditions. I know that means MY life gets crazy busy, but we just get so proud of her, and that extra busy time doesn’t matter much in the end.



Another gorgeous day in the heartland. I got a text yesterday morning from my biking friend saying “I don’t recall it was to be this cold when we agreed to bike this morning!” It was 31. I told him I’d have to agree with that statement and then suggested we postpone until today. He quickly agreed and mentioned that his girlfriend could go too if we postponed, so a win for everyone. We’ll go this afternoon.

It ended up being 72 that afternoon! And I took myself off to a local lake and took a long walk. Mr. Ink built things. He built his new composter, and he built his new wood chipper. And then we played pandemic with friends that evening. A good day all around, plus, I did some crafting.

Here’s some more handspun! I have 290 yards of this. It is a 2 ply. It’s got locks and other chunks of good stuff in it, making for a very interesting yarn.


The spinning bug didn’t quit there, and I began to spin another fatcatknits batt called Dreaming of Tomatoes, which seems entirely appropriate for me, and for the time of year.

I either have to leave this as singles or chain ply. I’d say it’ll make a nice gradient as singles, and it will, but there are a lot of white sections among the color so it might not make the perfect gradient. I am currently undecided. And that’s ok, I am only about halfway through.

I’ve still been plugging away on my big waffle shawl out of cotton slub as well. After the current color, I’ve only 3 more to go. Of course, they are the three largest balls of yarn, but it’s still fun to realize that it’s coming to a close.

With the cotton slub, and with the purchase of the yarn for Find Your Fade, I’ve had to modify my “rules” for stash knitting/spinning. I’ve decided that any yarn that comes into the house during this year cannot count toward my miles knit. So, knitting with it could end up cramping my spinning style. However, if the goal is to decrease stash, not making this rule could have dire consequences on that goal.

Today, in addition to a bike ride, we are planning to head off to the hardware store, and then I am planning to dig up some of the ditch lilies that have again appeared in my veggie garden bed. Plus, I see some weeds. And I’d like to eradicate all of that before we get much further, since that bed is going to be mostly fallow for now.

I love weekends even more when the weather is ridiculously pleasant!


It took me 3 days, but I finally got the fate, phd and steampumpkin mash up completed. I held both singles together and chain plied them. I ended up with 340 yards of 6 ply yarn out of 8 oz. The yarn is certainly bulky. And round. Very round.


It’s also quite colorful. Quite frankly, this project gave me quite a bit of trouble. I felt like I was learning to ply all over again, with the ensuing frustrations that go with it. I guess sometimes I forget what it’s like to learn something and practice it. The plies would get tangled or one would produce a tag thingy and then I couldn’t easily get rid of it because the other ply would be at the length the plying felt appropriate. I sometimes I had to cut the entire thing and start over. To be honest, if I ever do this again, and I very well might because the resulting yarn is fantastic, I’ll make a plying ball and ply from that. That seems like it might keep the appropriate tension on the singles as well as working out the kinks ahead of time. In any case, I do appreciate the resulting yarn and I feel fairly certain that any kinks will be almost invisible to the untrained eye.

It took 3 days to complete this plying project partly because on Thursday evening, Mr. Ink and I went on a bike ride. Guys, it was COLD! In fact, when Mr. Ink got home, he said “I think I want to back out, it’s cold and it’s windy!” But I really wanted to go! Turned out, there were only 7 of us riding and I was the only girl. And we were all cold. The mild days don’t really last the night. The worst part was that we had ridden from our house to the start of the ride to get in some extra miles. So, once we finished our ride and gathered at a restaurant for dinner and to meet up with other riders who aren’t dumb enough to ride in the cold, we warmed up nicely. And then, we had to get back on our bikes and be completely miserable all the way home. The funny part about my consternation about this is that I regularly rode in that type of weather in the past, so it’s simply that I haven’t been doing it that I feel the need to complain.

At the restaurant, one of my riding friends who had been over for my 40th birthday party in December brought me a little something. She’d seen our house filled with art and fiber arts and color, and she’d partaken in the great knitting purge of 2016, going home with a handspun lace beaded stole out of my knit stash. As such, she decided that something she made belonged in our house. She’s a quilter. And she’d created and framed this little paper pieced block.


Apparently she’d really been struggling to figure out who to give it to until that evening. And then she put it in her car, waiting for a chance to give it to me. That didn’t happen until Thursday evening. And I love it! It was also fun to see the other cyclists notice it and ask her about her work. I have a lot to learn from her. She was quick to explain her process, and quick to show them what a large project that tiny block was. When non knitters ask me about my craft, I tend to downplay it so hard. I don’t know why. But she didn’t downplay her talent at all, and I think that I could learn from that.

In any case, it’s a lovely block and I can’t wait to find the perfect spot in the house for it. I think it needs a place of honor, but I haven’t yet figured out where that is. I need to straighten up the place a bit first. We’ve got a house full of stuff that belongs in the garage, as Mr. Ink’s stuff for spring garden projects arrive.

I’ve been plying the fatcatknits batt as well, it’s almost done. It’s a great easy plying project to sit down at in between things like laundry and dishes and all the other stuff of a weekend. But, pretty soon I am headed out on my bike again with a good friend. We are going to enjoy a slow cool ride on our fat bikes while Mr. Ink is at work. And the evening will be filled with friends and games again, so really it couldn’t be a better weekend as far as I am concerned!




Nice long blog post coming your way today! Because long term work is finally coming to fruition.


I finally finished the 8 oz. of dyeabolical singles from my fate, phd braid and steampumpkin braid. I began plying last evening. I am doing a 6 ply! An ambitious project where I hold those two singles together and chain ply them. It’s…well it goes well when I take it really slow. But, I’ve had to break the yarn a few times and reconnect because a little overspun single creates quite a large disaster. The resulting yarn will be quite interesting though, and I am eager to show it off once I am done and the yarn is washed.

I also finished my fatcatknits batt singles.


This is going to make some crazy colorful yarn, with loads of texture here and there, and mostly smooth two ply everywhere else. I am eager to see what it looks like once done.

That’s all I’ve got for my own crafting today. However, I received in the mail some handmade items from my cousin I am just eager to show off! He’s a carpenter (and a knitter) and appreciates the process of making by hand. He’s also an all around amazing person who raises chickens, gardens, etc. Our hobbies regularly overlap, and even when they don’t, there’s a distinct appreciation for them. I knit a christmas stocking for his new arrival (Now close to 2 years ago) and recently he sent me these:


This is his current obsession. He makes wooden spoons. At least one wooden spoon per day. And he makes them all out of just these three tools:


And quite frankly, I think that’s amazing! I told him I planned to display them and he told me absolutely not, they were to be used. And he showed me two wooden coffee spoons he uses, one older than the other with a lovely coffee stain patina on it. So, I caved, and this morning I used the smallest spoon in my coffee. You know what? There was something quite awesome about using that spoon. I don’t know if it’s just the tie to family and to making things by hand, or just the fact that it felt softer on my morning brain, not clanging against the side of my mug. In any case, it was pretty awesome. If you have any interest in following along with the daily spoons, you can follow him on instagram, at jhuntcarpentry.

And in garden news, I went to take a look at my veggie garden. That garden that I was to make sure had no more leftover bulbs in it? Failure. Complete failure.


This is only half! I think it likely that I’ll let the spring bulbs bloom again this year. However, I see more ditch lilies coming up, and those are going to go before they propagate themselves further. It’s just about time to break out that shovel again! This garden bed will get a major overhaul in general in April. Mr. Ink will remove the massive burning bush stump, remove the retaining wall holding it all in, and majorly revamp that entire section of the house. There’s a little grass hill there as well, and he plans to landscape it with natural stone. Where the burning bush once was, sitting around annoying the heck out of me every day, will be a smoke bush. and in front of that some type of thin evergreen tree. All the dirt in this garden, too, will be dug up and out, amended very well, and put back in so I can get my veggie/herb garden started.

It really is amazing to me, even this spring, how far we’ve come in less than 2 years in the house. It’ll be 2 years of living there on April 18, and looking at this photo today, I really do see how far we’ve come. It’s a nice hopeful feeling, rather than feeling overwhelmed. I can’t wait for spring, and another season of planting, tending, and landscaping.

Tonight I doubt any crafting will be had. Mr. Ink says bike ride then grocery shopping, which is a pretty tight, full schedule for one evening! Not that I am particularly upset about the plan. The weekend is looking to be glorious once again, so getting chores like grocery shopping done will go a long way to allowing us to enjoy that weekend.

Happy Thursday friends!