The Grind

I am right back to the grind at work this morning and it’s started out just about as it always does right now. Predictably unpredictable and irritating! I realized at some point that I was feeling full of rage actually, but then remembered that we didn’t have enough breakfast foods in the house this morning for Mr. Ink to get up and make me breakfast as usual. So, I hadn’t eaten yet. I headed out to our little convenience shop, they were severely under stocked due to the holiday, but I was able to find something that would work and the rage portion of the irritating morning dissipated. That being said, I got one of our grants off my plate already this morning, which sets me up nicely over the next few weeks of insanity.

I managed to ply and dry both skeins of loop cloud yarn last evening.


I got 285 yards of this lovely grey. I am seriously completely head over heels for it.

And then this one is fantastic as well.


320 yards in this skein, and it’s so rich and beautiful!

Now that I am back at work I’ve vowed to put away the wheel for a bit, spin on support spindles, and work on some knitting. Though a particularly nice evening might change all that, there’s something about spinning on the patio this time of year when it’s not miserably hot that calls to me and I feel I should take as much advantage as possible.


Mr. Ink? Well, he dug a hole. Please don’t mind those rocks there, they aren’t all the actual retaining wall. Mr. Ink realized he was lacking in a certain size of rock, and the rock place was not open yesterday. So, he decided to dig out the bank instead. Now, he’d sprayed that bank with weed killer early in the season, and he’s decided it was the best decision he’s ever made. Much easier to remove than sod.

Another set of neighbors were over yesterday to take a look at what was going on. They were having a holiday picnic in their yard, and all they could see what that Mr. Ink was standing in a hole. So, they came to check out what he was doing and admire it, despite the fact that it looks like almost nothing at the moment. He sure is getting quite a lot of cheering on for all his hard work. He’s hoping to head to the rock place tonight as we’ve got tonight and tomorrow without rain, then we are in for a storm, which is going to cause an epic mess for this project.

I’ve been working on my joji mystery knit along project, I am almost done with clue 3. I am hoping to be done tonight, if time allows. I am also itching to get something out of handspun cast on, it’s such a struggle to use all commercial yarn even if I did dye some of it myself. I clearly have a preference at this point. I really am also toying with the idea of doing an entire month of knitting again. Maybe June? I guess that’s coming right up!

I do hope everyone had a lovely long weekend, providing it was a long weekend for you!

This Week, May 29-June 4

Last week’s list:

  • Finish current wheel project
  • Finish clue 2 of mystery stole, start clue 3. (Last week it came out on a Thursday midday,  which is right at the point where I start vacation.)
  • Finish spinning current batt on support spindles and get an additional batt spun
    • Well, I finished the current batt and got halfway through the next, but I focused on the wheel while on vacation.
  • Work on scraping garage door frame, sand and paint if weather and time allows
    • Weather and time allowed, but I didn’t do it. My current excuse is that there are too many large plants waiting to be planted in front of that garage window. It’s true, but I could have moved them.
  • Work on the never ending weeding situation
  • Go on a long bike ride with friends!
    • It was pouring at the start of the ride, and we didn’t go.
  • Renew car registration (Why is this type of simple task always SO difficult to remember to get done?)
  • And just a lot of yard work in general, whatever I can help with in the yard should be pretty exciting.

Yesterday Mr. Ink said that he had to go back to the rock place to get more rocks. I decided to tag along because even though he doesn’t say he needs my help, he says he appreciates it once we get home. We picked out large boulders this time, as well as much smaller filler rocks.


This is where he’d gotten to last evening with placing the rocks. However, late in the evening he came inside and said he’d messed up and needed to start over. So, this is not the final placement of the rocks.

Our across the busy street neighbor who is a lovely little old lady who went to school with the previous owner of the house came across the street to see what Mr. Ink was up to. She really likes Mr. Ink, even though I have never met her. She brings him fresh veggies from her garden, and comes over to talk to him fairly regularly. Since Mr. Ink is the one to work out front, I rarely do, I am sure she tries to figure out what he’s doing, and this project really has been a large and time intensive one. He explained his vision, and her big comment was that it was just wonderful to see someone taking such an interest in their house and yard.

I took on a large project of my own. My iris bed has some sort of ground cover in it that is just absolutely overwhelming. I have not been able to get rid of it, and picking up the small new sprouts was doing nothing to stop it. So, over the past two days I’ve taken out every iris, dug 2 feet down in the bed, yanked out all the offending root systems (as much as I can find anyhow) replaced all the dirt, replanted all the irises, and mulched it all. I had to remove rocks from the little garden rock wall to get at some of the roots. The roots had so entangled themselves with the irises that I had to pick through every iris root and tuber in order to remove the offending roots from them. They would grow through the tuber even! So, I’d break off that part of the tuber and discard it. The bed looks pretty good now, and I am very pleased with the work I did.

I also got quite a lot of spinning done yesterday.


The rest of the grey is done and I am about halfway through the second bobbin of burgundy.

This week:

  • Ply the two skeins of loop cloud yarn
  • Finish clue 3 of the mystery knit, start clue 4
  • Bike ride with friends on Thursday evening? We really gotta get out and socialize.
  • Keep up on the household chores, with the addition of cleaning the outside of the fridge and microwave! (Outdoor work has the fridge looking pretty gross since dirty hands keep coming in for ice and water.)
  • Summer clothing shopping for Miss Butterfly. She needs boots for camp, shorts, and a new bathing suit.

That’s about it, I’ve got quite a lot of other stuff going on and a good portion of next weekend is already shot. So, I am thinking this provides a decent amount of stuff to do, manageable, keeps me on track, but I won’t feel like I cannot get it done.

And then it was gone.


There was a burning bush. Now there is none. Mr. Ink spent another day on it, tracing root systems 4 feet down and then following them back up again. It’s out now, at least the most major roots. There are thinner roots under the driveway still, and we can just hope they’ll never find a purchase as we cannot get to them. This morning Mr. Ink is working on fixing his truck, then we are going to head out to the rock place again and get some larger boulders for the bottom of the retaining wall.

Meanwhile, I have been working on my own root system issues. My iris bed is also full of this ground cover that I hate. I don’t even know what it is, but I haven’t been able to eradicate it because the roots are all tangled in with the iris roots and so I end up leaving the ground cover roots behind, and then I get to do the whole thing over again the next year. This year I’ve had it. I am digging up every iris, and removing the roots from between the iris roots, and digging way down to get to the heart of the root systems. It’ll probably take years to get the job done, but I am going to give it a big head start this year.

I did some spinning yesterday, of course. I worked on another loop cloud. I figured since I have 2 loop clouds, and 4 bobbins, I could switch between the two colors and then ply two projects one right after the other.


So I worked on this burgundy colored cloud yesterday. I got halfway through it. Today I am hoping to get the other half of the grey done, Monday I’ll try for the other half of the burgundy. And then I can ply during the week.

And that’s it from here. Hopefully we’ll have retaining wall progress pictures to show off tomorrow. But, now I am off to work on that nasty root system eradication project. Have a good one!

Staying Busy

We started our day yesterday with a trip to the local botanical garden in hopes to see a corpse flower in bloom. It didn’t work out, it still wasn’t blooming. They were hoping for that evening. I will have to try again on Sunday. In any case, I got this photo of Mr. Ink humoring me.


We have a membership there, so we go whenever we can. But, due to the corpse flower, admission is free so it was quite busy. We did spend time wandering around outdoors anyhow, and found that the other end of the gardens were quite a lot less busy than the entrance. The rose garden was completely in bloom, and the peony garden still had some blooms, and we had a great time as usual.

Once home we mowed and trimmed, since Mr. Ink’s hands are still torn up from his hours and hours of stump removal. Then, we headed out to the rock store to pick up rocks for the retaining wall he’ll be building in place of the leaning one near that burning bush stump. That was quite a chore, I haven’t picked rocks since last season and forgot what a dirty sweaty mess it is. But, I am glad I went along, since that was one less load that Mr. Ink had to pull.

We got home from that and did quite a lot of “puttering.” I did some cleaning and laundry and weeding. Mr. Ink did some planting and watering and a bit more stump removal. We didn’t concentrate on anything particularly long, and I interspersed my time with some spinning.

Remember how I said I needed to spin less? Maybe I need to start that next week. Because I got halfway through another loop cloud.


I decided it would be particularly sad to not enjoy the exceedingly pleasant weather on the patio. It’s not likely to be this gorgeous all summer. Indeed it isn’t, since this morning it’s raining like crazy again. There’ll be no patio sitting this morning, nor any puttering around my plants and weeding, and a bike ride is even unlikely. (Though I am genuinely not complaining, I do love a good rainstorm and the downtime it brings.)

With that, I’ve got a few garden shots. My poppies are looking stunning. I took this photo yesterday. Looked out the window this morning to see another orange bloom and a yellow bloom on there. But, with the rain, a photo wasn’t in the cards.


I also grabbed a quick shot of my lady’s mantle.


I love flowers, but I love good greenery just was much and lady’s mantle really has greenery to show off! I also repotted one of my geraniums yesterday. It had done so well at work over the winter, but when I brought it home and attempted to acclimate it to being outdoors, as well as trim some of its legginess, it started to look really rough. Upon further investigation, it was totally and completely root bound in the pot it was in. I lifted it out by the stem and all the dirt came with it leaving a clean pot. So, I put it in a much bigger container, and it already looks much better. I am sure it’s enjoying the current rain quite a bit.

Miss Butterfly is off with her dad’s side of the family. That kid is becoming so responsible! She’s currently at her grandmother’s house taking care of her toddler aged second cousin. Her grandmother has been taking care of Butterfly’s great grandmother who is currently in the hospital quite a bit, and that’s severely cut into the time that the baby is cared for. So Miss Butterfly is there and on call for that sort of thing. In fact, her grandmother has just asked if she could come over for 3 days next week now that she’s out of school in order to help out and be on call as a sitter when needed. I love that they feel she’s responsible enough for the job, and that they want her over because she’s helpful, rather than being yet another burden on her grandmother. So, apparently Miss Butterfly’s first summer vacation activity is babysitting, and I suspect it’s a role she’ll be very happy in.

That’s about it from here! Not sure what today will bring in way of photos and projects but I look forward to whatever the day brings.


Back Breaking

After a full day of this:


We are still left with this:


Blisters are forming on Mr. Ink’s hands and his back is, as usual, a royal mess. We’ve decided he needs two days off from the project. The root system goes all the way under the driveway, and that’s still a sizable chunk left to remove. We tried to use the truck a second time, but nowhere on the remaining stump pieces was a place which wouldn’t break when we tried to pull it. So, we really have been stuck resorting to manual labor. And by we, I mean he. I did wander through that garden digging up more bulbs and weeds while he was on stump removal duty, but in the end, my major job was making sure he was hydrated.

I started yesterday morning with fresh singles.


This is another loop cloud project, the colorway was kimono I believe. I got the plying done yesterday and the drying done overnight.


So now I’ve got another 300 yards of 2 ply. I am actually thinking I need to slow down on my spinning, or do another month of knitting exclusively or something. My fiber stash is disturbingly low at the moment. That being said, I do have lots of dyed fiber and add ins I can create on the drum carder still. But, my fiber cabinet which is typically full to bursting is only half full at the moment.

The third clue came out on the starting point mystery knit so I got started on that last evening. I am not very far in really, downtime was quite limited.

Plan for Mr. Ink’s days off from the stump include the local botanical gardens where a corpse flower is almost in bloom, and mowing. We also should be traveling to a bike ride tomorrow, and that should be an all day social experience. That is, providing it doesn’t rain all day.

That’s it from here, on day 2 of a nice long weekend.

And We’re Off!

I got home from work yesterday after an extremely long and arduous day, despite the fact I didn’t work late at all, to see the new mailbox in and a chain hooked up to the burning bush stump I’ve been wanting taken out. I guess Mr. Ink had a long and arduous day as well!

Mr. Ink had drilled a hole right through the stump, fixed a huge long bolt through it, and put the chain on both sides. He then hooked it up to the old pick up, and I took a video while he yanked that stump out with the truck. It actually worked very well.

Though we did have to use the truck to pull the stump up to the higher level in the yard, it was so heavy. And, there’s quite a bit more live stump still in there. It worked, but there will still be a lot of digging involved. Nevertheless, major progress was made and it was an awesome start to my vacation. Mr. Ink spent the remainder of the evening carefully yanking all the dirt out of the stump and saving it, a process I personally will never understand. Now it’s a stump that’s waiting to be washed in the rain.

Meanwhile in the garden the first lilies have bloomed.


I can’t decide if I am disappointed with these or happy. They were supposed to be all dark. Maybe next year? Or, maybe there’s black lilies still in there, and these are lilies that are a surprise. I don’t know, we’ll have to wait and see.

The rose bush is blooming beautifully too.


I guess you can see behind there that there’s road construction nearby, causing a traffic jam outside our house during rush hour. We actually were worried about yanking the stump yesterday, thinking that we may distract tired drivers causing an accident. It’s happened before when we were doing less interesting tasks in the yard.

As for knitting, I am done with my second clue in the starting point mystery knit along.


I still don’t really know where she’s going with this stole, though I hope it’s not how I have it currently laid out! Adding that extra color sorta messed up what could look like an interesting diamond.

Now it’s time for more vacation tasks. Talk soon!

This Week May 22-28.

Last week’s list:

  • More scraping around garage window frame
    • This did not get done due to having only 2 days of non rainy weather. One of them was spent desperately trying to get a handle on the mowing, and the next nice day the yard waste, full of rotting grass clippings, was so rancid smelling that I couldn’t stand to be anywhere near the garage.
  • One bike commute if weather holds
    • I got that done the day we mowed, it was a very busy day. The woodland phlox are blooming along the trail and at one point I got pretty close to a deer standing in them. Such a pretty morning sight.
  • Back on track for extra indoor work, especially if it really does rain all week
    • Yep, this got done, in part due to having unexpected company on Friday.
  • Finish weeding/mulching the rose of sharon garden bed
    • I am not sure this garden bed will ever be done! I did spend many hours weeding it throughout the week, but there’s no done about it.
  • Finish spinning current wheel project
  • Finish clue 1 of mystery stole

One of the things I find the most fun about Mr. Ink being at home during the day is just how much gets done. I mean, I go home and I get to wander around the yard to see what happened while I was gone. It should be a pretty good week actually, since his tree/plant purchasing habits resemble my old yarn purchasing habits. More show up than can possibly be planted. Yesterday we came home with a tree and another rose bush, only the tree made it into the ground. And there are at least 4 more trees hanging about waiting for their place as well.

The big burning bush stump project will get done shortly. We have to move our mailbox before pulling the stump. I am hoping the mailbox move happens today, as the hole is already drilled through the stump and I am hoping to get a bunch of photos and video of that stump coming out.

I did get a bit of spinning done this weekend, about half of the singles for another loop cloud.


This one is turning out so differently than I expected. It’s quite a bit more black, I’d anticipated a lot more of the colored bits. It’ll be another 2 ply, so I am eager to see the finished product. There’s really no controlling the color in loop clouds, and the end result is always quite a surprise.

Miss Butterfly has two half days and one full day of school left this year, that’s it! And in fact, she is off school today. Her favorite teacher passed away unexpectedly last week, and she’s going to the funeral rather than going to school for the half day of locker clean out and so on. I think it’s a valuable trade off.

I have two extra days off this week as well, and I cannot wait! It’s been very busy at work again, there’s quite a lot going on and I need the break. I’ve arranged my work very carefully and handed it off to a very competent coworker and I know in her hands that’ll work out just fine.

On that note, my list can be slightly longer due to the extra time off!

  • Finish current wheel project
  • Finish clue 2 of mystery stole, start clue 3. (Last week it came out on a Thursday midday,  which is right at the point where I start vacation.)
  • Finish spinning current batt on support spindles and get an additional batt spun
  • Work on scraping garage door frame, sand and paint if weather and time allows
  • Work on the never ending weeding situation
  • Go on a long bike ride with friends!
  • Renew car registration (Why is this type of simple task always SO difficult to remember to get done?)
  • And just a lot of yard work in general, whatever I can help with in the yard should be pretty exciting.

That’s all from here, hope everyone has a great week!

Big Waffle Shawl

It rained all day yesterday. Cold, miserable rain. In the few moments it wasn’t raining, it was spitting. I got a few weeds pulled here and there between the rain storms, but overall feel like I really did lose an entire day in the yard.

We were supposed to go biking this morning. It’s dry. We could do so. Except that it’s also cold and extremely windy. I went outside with my coffee to take a photo of my cotton slub shawl and then take a tour around the garden. I grabbed the photo, and realized I needed to put the shawl on. As I toured my gardens with my coffee I became more and more sad I wouldn’t be spending the day at home in the yard.

I headed inside where Mr. Ink had been looking up the weather report for the day. He was distressed that it wasn’t about to STOP being extremely windy. So, I called it. I said I’d prefer to stay home and catch up in the yard. So that’s what we are doing. Once it gets warmer, that is.


I am very happy to report that I finished the big waffle shawl. It’s extremely large, with the longest point easily hanging to the ground when I throw it over my shoulder. I wore it yesterday morning when the house was cold and I’d refused to turn on the heat. I caved later on and turned on that heat, no regrets. I wore it this morning to tour the garden. It’s getting quite a bit of use already.

Not all was lost due to rain yesterday. After the movie, I cleaned up my craft room which badly needed it, then moved the bookcase out of Mr. Ink’s “Den of Slack” that needed to go in my craft room so that Mr. Ink could add in some furniture he needs to rearrange. My job in that room is done, now it’s up to him to work on it. I then rearranged some knitting and weaving books and magazines on the bookcase in the craftroom so that the living room bookshelves could look slightly more decorative rather than completely and utterly packed to the point of bursting.

I am hoping to get new furniture in the near future, and then move the chair that’s in front of the living room shelves into Mr. Ink’s Den of Slack. So, making those bookshelves look nice is a priority, as they’ll likely no longer be hidden by an oversize chair.

Of course with all the moving things around the house, I did the deep cleaning as well, when you move furniture, it’s easy to see what you’ve missed! I enjoyed using all the various attachments on my new vacuum cleaner for this purpose. And on that note, I am off. Hopefully to continue to have a productive day and weekend!

Dark and Stormy

We are just getting so much rain the past few days. It’s been dark and dreary. When I woke up this morning it was, again, pouring so hard. It’s pretty cold too, overall. The amount of rain is so heavy in fact, that our small tree limbs are so soaked that they are quite dramatically hanging low. Mr. Ink has begun propping up limbs with bamboo sticks in order to hold everything together.

Mr. Ink started vacation on Friday after work. We started off well, in my opinion, as we had a friend come visit who recently moved to Florida. It was great to see her, and Mr. Ink made her dinner, then made sure she had extra food to take home for the remainder of her visit.

I finished my big waffle shawl, though I haven’t gotten photos yet. And, I finished my spinning.


This is loop cloud fiber colorway amber agate. I have 310 yards of this, and I think it’s just gorgeous.

Miss Butterfly and I have been hanging out all morning, listening to podcasts, and I’ve been cleaning or crafting, as has she. She even made chocolate chip cookies, much to our chagrin, it doesn’t fit our diet at all. But she rarely asks to cook or bake, so we figured she should be able to. We are off to see a movie next, since the rain won’t quit. After today things are looking up, weather wise. I am hoping for a bike ride tomorrow, and then I am truly hoping that we can get that burning bush stump out of the ground. With it as soaked as it is today, it should be at the easiest point. And with minimal rain in the forecast, Mr. Ink will have time to redo that area without me having a mud pit at my garage door.

I guess that’s about it from here today, the rain has us moving very slowly, and I find myself without too much to say!


Let’s start with the pretty plants.


The peony collection is open! Of course, now that we’ve had storms, they are probably all flattened. I’ll have to check it out after work. We were too busy last evening for me to get out there and cut a bouquet, so it’s entirely possible I will have completely missed peony season. So short lived as it is, even with pleasant weather.


And that rhododendron is now fully blooming in the most amazing way. Just Wow.

Disclaimer: If you are doing the joji mystery KAL, spoilers are below



Last evening we had severe storms rolling in, AND, it was Miss Butterfly’s spring choir concert. I hurried to finish the second clue 1 piece from the current mystery stole project.


I wanted to grab photos before those storms started. I must say, even in the photo the light is already looking strange, even though those storms didn’t roll in for more than an hour.

The yarn here is a merino/silk that I dyed myself. I had purchased it way back when intending to use it for a big colorwork sweater. It was listed as a sport weight yarn, and that’s what the pattern required. However, once I received the yarn, it turned out to be far more of a fingering weight yarn. I dyed it up anyhow, seeing as I now had a ton of undyed yarn, and it’s been sitting in my stash ever since. I did make the Westknits mystery shawl Doodler out of 3 of the colors:


Remember this goofy thing?!

In any case, I pulled out those skeins, and chose 5 colors. Then, I thought it would be entirely possible that I didn’t have enough green leftover, so I added in the peach from the doodler shawl as well. I am currently using 6 colors rather than 5, but the peach color will be pretty limited in the end. There’s just not much of it there, so I’ll only be able to use it enough to tie it in to a colorful shawl, but it will be more of a pop of peach rather than a theme.

In any case, I did enjoy the beginning of the joji mystery knit along. I’ve realized that if I have the yarn in stash and it’s not technically earmarked for something else, I find a mystery knit pretty much irresistible.

So, we had Miss Butterfly’s choir concert last night. Mr. Ink was running late, so as soon as he got home we had to hop in the car and get her over to the high school. I told him we’d better take the honda seeing as storms were rolling through, and it would be way better to make sure the new car stayed in the garage. We got halfway to the school when the tornado sirens began. At that point, it was easier just to go to the school, so that’s what we did. The sirens were back off by the time we got there, so Mr. Ink said “At this point, I’d better drop you two off, head back home and get everything outside in, sounds like it may hit soon.” So, we went inside so Miss Butterfly could get situated, and Mr. Ink headed home, moved all the unplanted trees, flower pots, and hanging baskets inside as well as secured the garbage can and the outdoor furniture.

I spent the 45 minutes prior to show time knitting and talking to a mother of one of Miss Butterfly’s friends tell me the harrowing tale of her teen son’s new very old truck, and attempting to get it up and running. Old trucks that young teens can afford generally have a whole host of problems, so it was a long story, but was also quite entertaining.  It was great knitting listening.

When Mr. Ink left the house to come back to the concert, it still hadn’t rained. But, in the short time it took to drive over, that storm hit, and it hit hard. Between the parking lot and the entrance, he’d gotten completely and utterly soaked. Dripping so hard he could barely see. He said “I could really use a tissue!” Well, I rarely carry a purse, and when I do, it’s for keeping my knitting, so I didn’t have one. I mentioned he might wander off to find a bathroom with paper towels, and he did wander off only to find the bathrooms all locked. I assure you he was not the only person who attended who was soaked to the skin and dripping. And with the AC blasting due to the 94F weather we’d had most of the day, those people were quite chilled as well.

It had lightened up by the time we got out of the concert, and we were able to get home and assess any potential damage. We had one weeping redbud put in this year, the wind took the top of that one off. It’s now a stick in the ground with 2 leaves at the top, no branches. Quite disappointing. But it’ll likely survive.

Still no water problems in the problematic area in the basement. I don’t know why this still surprises me, but it does. We continued to have storms all night long, but nothing severe like the initial one.

Tonight we’ve got a bike ride planned. But, we’ve also the potential for severe weather. So, we are playing it by ear! Would be great to get a ride in though!

This Week, May 15-21

I am just going to start right off saying this week was less than amazing, productivity wise.

  • Second coat of paint around garage door frame
    • I did get this done immediately on Monday evening. And as an added bonus, I got some scraping done on the first window that needs to be repainted.
  • Finish plying current spinning project
  • Commute by bike once this week
    • For various reasons, some of them legit and some of them excuses, this didn’t get done. To be honest, work got nightmarishly busy again, and I hit a pretty solid wall by Wednesday last week.
  • If it rains, set the timer for the extra half hour of house chores
    • I didn’t get that done in the evenings once work got nutty. However, I really did make up for that lost time this weekend.
  • Finish planting
  • Remove creeping buttercup (Pretty, but apparently invasive.)
  • Schedule a service appointment for the AC

Ok, maybe that didn’t turn out quite as badly as I thought. My portion of planting got done yesterday afternoon, I kind of pushed myself to do it even without inspiration since I really wanted to cross something off my list. And, I didn’t want Mr. Ink to have to keep watering all the plants in small containers any longer. I guess I am really giving myself grief mostly over the lack of bike commuting and the inability to get motivated about extra house chores.

I don’t have much to report, no new photos of crafts. With the planting and housework I didn’t get my new mystery stole clues done. However, I can tell you what we did for mother’s day. My family, they know me well. They know that traditional mother’s day activities aren’t going to be my favorite. I mean, brunch is nice and all, if you leave me home alone with my coffee and YOU go out to brunch. That kind of thing. So, in looking for a non traditional mother’s day activity, Mr. Ink decided to take us all to see Flogging Molly. Perfect.

Now, this was Miss Butterfly’s first live show that is “our” type of show. She already likes the band, so that was a sure bet. However, her two big concerts have been arena style concerts, which is so so different than small auditorium, packed in, standing the whole time and potentially getting knocked around quite a bit. She did great! We experienced the show from every angle really. We started out way up front, crushed in with the crowd. She stayed there about 4 songs, if the crowd got to moving and pushing, she’d grab my arms and put them around her, but was content. There was a pretty wild pit that had formed behind us, with one row of people between us and the wildness. But, when a drunk guy about her height pushed his way up beside her and decided there should be a pit where he was, she decided that was enough, and I pulled her out of the crowd.

Then we watched from the wall on the side. She was enjoying watching a woman dancing clearly in her own little world. The couple next to Miss Butterfly noticed her watching the dancing woman. With the music too loud to talk, the guy from the couple tapped her on the shoulder and winked at her, communicating that they were enjoying the show as well. She was very surprised.

Then she decided she wanted to head up on the balcony, mostly she wanted a better look at the pit of wild people, she wanted to see how that worked and what was going on. So many questions. So, I took her up there and she got to see the wild group doing its thing, including Mr. Ink from time to time. She was quite bemused about it really. “They are just going in circles, and they push each other but as soon as someone falls over, they lift him back up again. What’s the point of pushing him in the first place?”  She was also delighted to see another woman she’d been watching dance earlier in the evening fully participating in that pit, really one of the only women doing so.

After that, we wandered off and bought her a concert t-shirt which she is proudly wearing this morning. Then, the next stop and for the remainder of the show we settled in near the sound techs, so she could see both the concert and that portion of the event.

We all had a pretty good time. I had fun showing her around one of “our” type of shows. I also have always been struck by how fun it is to take her somewhere new, she is just so insistent on understanding how everything works. Once out of there, she had lots more questions for Mr. Ink, and then she told us she didn’t think she needed to go to another one of those anytime soon. I think that’s perfectly valid. She said she really enjoyed it, and she was glad she’d gone, as she’d really WANTED to go. But she can skip it next time.

Our experience really was punctuated by quite a lot of nice concert goers. Meaning, in the press of the initial crowd, we had a tall guy behind us who first wanted to know if we understood how wild it might get, and then vowed to protect Miss Butterfly from the worst of it if it did get wild. I thanked him for his kindness, and told him at the first moment in which she wanted out, we’d be out. I had numerous people come wish me a happy mother’s day since I was clearly with my kid. People were overwhelmingly respectful of her space. We were quite fortunate in that respect, not every crowd is particularly kind, but this one was.

We are all a little tired today, and will have to make up for that with an early bedtime. This week continues to be particularly full.

Oh, I did get one picture! My rhododendron, while still not planted in the ground, is blooming.


List for the week:

  • More scraping around garage window frame
  • One bike commute if weather holds
  • Back on track for extra indoor work, especially if it really does rain all week
  • Finish weeding/mulching the rose of sharon garden bed
  • Finish spinning current wheel project
  • Finish clue 1 of mystery stole

In Progress

I didn’t feel too well yesterday morning, my back was really bothering me and I took it very slow all morning. I made arrangements though with Miss Marja, as we wanted to get to a furniture store to pick out some new furniture for her. Or rather, get some ideas for new furniture. I did finally perk up a bit at lunchtime, and once at the furniture store I was very happy to be there. We had an excellent time wandering about, looking at furniture, trying out beds, and taking photos of stuff we liked.

I even found what *I* want for a new set. I’ve had my current set since before Miss Butterfly was born, and it’s definitely looking and feeling the wear and tear. Plus, I don’t love it for the space, I think we could certainly do better. So, we’ll see, I want to get Mr. Ink back in there to take a look at it shortly. This time I plan to forego the loveseat option entirely, leaving space for two chairs instead of one, and a stand for all Mr. Ink’s indoor plants.

The other thing that happened yesterday was that my new vacuum was delivered! I had for years a vacuum I adored. I brought it with me to the new place 2 years ago, even though the bottom base had broken. I found that I could order a new base online, and I did so. Mr. Ink then spent an evening of time and foul language putting the new base on it. It then died less than 6 months later, it’s last gasp occurring in the last room to be cleaned of Mr. Ink’s family home during the epic clean out to put it on the market. It just went in the dumpster along with everything else that needed to go.

Due to our extreme time constraints, I had to run to a shop and grab another vacuum cleaner without doing much research. I didn’t spend much money on it at all, and I have HATED it with a passion these past 2 years. In fact, I would say that I’ve left 90% of the vacuuming up to Miss Butterfly due to this hatred. Clean floors are very important to me, it really makes a difference in my comfort level in my home. And a month or two ago, I had absolutely HAD it with the vacuum cleaner. I told Mr. Ink in no uncertain terms I would be purchasing a new one.

He seemed completely unsurprised, saying “You have said right from the start that this vacuum cleaner was a temporary solution.” I did a bunch of research, and picked out something I thought would work for us. It arrived yesterday and I took extreme delight in using it, cleaning all the floors thoroughly and relegating the old vacuum cleaner to the basement for clean up of the car or the unfinished basement floor. Since we have mostly hard floors, with only area rugs and one installed carpet in one room, I picked something that works fairly seamlessly on both, and that was such a joy. I also have a hardwood floor vac that may go in a future garage sale at this point, so easy is it to use the new one.

Miss Butterfly just wants to know if it means she doesn’t have to do that chore quite so often.

The cleaning of the floors did set off a string of indoor chores, so despite a really tough and slow start to the morning, the evening was wonderful in it’s productivity. Mr. Ink managed to finally finish working through his truck load of compost, so we’ve even got an empty truck bed again, useful in removing hard to deal with stumps, and, you know, MAYBE even for bringing a new couch home. HAH!

I worked hard yesterday morning on my Joji mystery shawl, I am almost done with the second section (Of clue one, the pattern instructs us to make two) so I am going to wait to show that off tomorrow. But, I also started another spinning project on the wheel. This one is a Loop! cloud, colorway agate.


I am not sitting at the wheel all that much right now, but the work I’ve done on it has been pleasant.

Yesterday’s weather was warm and windy, and we had a surprise rain storm this morning fairly early. I think I got up at around 6 as Mr. Ink was already up and about. It was nice not to have to be bothered with a morning watering of plants.


My huge line of peonies are beginning to bloom! I may even pick a bouquet today. My family hates this due to the ants, but I leave it outside for a bit, picking the ants off before bringing it indoors, and that seems to help immensely.

And in other pink news, my Wine and Roses Weigela is blooming. Mr. Ink helped it along a bit last year and while it looks a bit scruffy, it has doubled in size. This was already in when we arrived, but I was annoyed it didn’t resemble the lovely kind of drooping weigelas I see elsewhere. Now? Well, it looks like in a few years it may begin to fill in and droop nicely.


If we get the higher heats that are expected today and at the beginning of the week as well as all the rain in the upcoming week, things should be taking off even more dramatically than they already are.

Happy Mother’s day out there!



I brought home my Big Waffle shawl done in various colors of cotton slub yarn, as I am now on the last color and it’s been awhile since I grabbed a photo. I’ve had this one at work to knit on during work breaks. Here’s where it was last time I showed it off, ages ago now, before Find Your Fade and the Westknits Marled Mystery:


It sort of feels like I haven’t spent all that much time with it since then, but I must have, because here’s where I am now.


This thing is so large! The yellow on the end is the last color, so I just have one more chunk of color to knit and then it’s time to bind off. I clearly went overboard with this project.

Speaking of overboard, like everything else in this family, Mr. Ink is spending some time as my personal landscape artist, sitting in the morning sun doing more landscape planning. I told him to leave me lots of room for more flowers. He said “Yeah yeah” and kept drawing.


I am struggling with a very sore back, and really haven’t managed to accomplish much toward the end of this week. However, the garden has been producing pretty things despite my lack of tending. The purple iris bed is up and running, with light purple irises, and then tall thin dark purple irises behind it.


I am really eager to add a yellow iris into the mix over here, I think it’ll be the perfect contrast. (I am also eager to finish wedding and mulching, but that’s clearly a no go for me this weekend.

In knitting news, I’ve been unable to stop myself from casting on Joji Mystery Wrap. You know what? These mystery knit alongs will be so much less enticing when I don’t just happen to have perfectly appropriate yarn in stash. I guess I’ll have to keep knitting until that happens. In any case, I am using a bunch of my own kettle dyed yarn for the project. I’ll show it off once I’ve got the clue done, probably tomorrow. So, at the moment I have 5 different knitting projects surrounding me, and I seem to be switching back and forth between all of them.

And in spinning? I started a new wheel project to add to my support spindle project. I guess I am having a solid weekend of crafting. Not too bad so far!



They may be called support spindles for a reason, but this week I am taking a new meaning to that word. These spindles are supporting me through a crazy week. They are making my evenings relaxing and bearable after some crazy days.


I am now onto the second batt and third spindle.

The fiber is one of my own creation that I drum carded recently.


It is, quite frankly, a LOT of fiber, especially for support spindles. But, I am also approaching it as if there’s no rush, just for relaxation purposes. So, while it may take some time to get through all that fiber, I don’t feel like I need an end in sight either.

I mentioned that I’d be taking more pictures of the current blooming peony. Yesterday I came home to take a look around the yard. The peony has so many more flowers open!


Looks like I’ve got another plant encroaching on that peony, I’ll have to take care of that. I have noticed that particular peony is powdery mildew prone when it’s stuffed in with other plants.

We are headed to a members only plant sale at our local botanical garden tonight, and we are quite excited about it. They gave us a list of what they’d have in stock, and there’s quite a few of the things that we plan to have on it, so we are excited to pick up some of the plants on the long term perennial list.

Mr. Ink got a rhododendron in last night, it’s another of the plants on my personal wish list and I am very excited about it. We keep having this argument about rhododendron. He’ll tell me he sees them in the neighborhood, he’ll point them out, and I’ll say “That doesn’t look like a rhododendron.” Now, it may be. But, it’s not what I personally picture when I think rhododendron. Then, he bought me what he called a rhododendron. A red one. And, while it was very nice of him, it wasn’t what I wanted, and it certainly did NOT look like a rhododendron. To me. He then started calling it a red azalea, and he returned it to the store. So, we finally had a discussion as to what *I* envision when I say rhododendron. I said “Woody plant, HUGE shiny green oval leaves. Preferably purple or magenta flowers.” So, Mr. Ink set out to find the perfect rhododendron with the biggest shiniest oval leaves, in the perfect color. He got me a Pearce’s American Beauty, it showed up yesterday, and it is amazing. Ridiculously dramatic. It’s about to bloom, so there may be photos. Though, the rich magenta color is going to be very hard to photograph with my phone camera.

That’s about it from me! I’ve been working on my huge big waffle shawl at work, and I realized that I haven’t photographed it at all recently. So, I am going to do that today. I have come a very long way from when I last took a photo so hopefully that’ll be interesting. Happy Friday!

And Then the Spinning

I am hitting my midweek wall. Work is insane again, so many tasks in the air and I am just trying to pluck at each one here and there, hoping that nothing slips. It’s all too important to miss, so I can only keep going and hope for the best. A quick nap after I get home, 10 minutes or so, seems to help refresh me, reboots my brain, and I can enjoy the evening. But early bedtimes prevail at the moment.

We were to go visit a friend, bring her dinner, and plant some plants for her. She’d wanted some of my cast off plants, but knowing that she’s been in chemo treatments for more than 6 months made us feel that we’d prefer to do the planting for her. She’s back at work for the first time, and I got a text from her saying she was headed home to sleep and wanted to cancel. I admit, I couldn’t have been more relieved. I was going to do it anyhow, but with the rain all day it would have been muddy and work was kicking my butt.

It ended up being a good thing, because Miss Butterfly also had like 5 hours of homework. Now, I don’t quite understand how she can go with so little homework for so long, and then end up bogged down by big projects all at once. She has more than a day to complete this work, but she’s got plans with her dad this evening and didn’t want to be burdened with all that work. So, she spent 5 hours, minus two walks around the block for a breather, on those projects, and didn’t get them completed. One project due Friday and the other due Monday and she was determined to get as far as possible with both.

I did get a photo of my handspun though. This is the yarn wench braid that I added to the leftovers from the 3 braid combo.


I ended up with 670 yards of 2 ply yarn. It might have been one of my best plying jobs yet. It hangs beautifully straight after finishing, and the fiber had such a lovely bounce to it that just came back beautifully as soon as I put it in the water and hung it out to dry.

I seem to be mostly knitting with commercial yarn at the moment, and all I WANT to do is cast on these handspuns I’ve been creating. I think once I finish my current commercial yarn projects I need some serious handspun knitting time again. It’s great to use up commercial yarn stash, and it’s not like the handspuns with disappear without me knitting them, but maybe I need to make sure I don’t cast on all commercial yarn all at once at this point!

That’s about it from here, I MIGHT have something handspunish to show off again tomorrow. Due to being totally exhausted and wanting to put my feet up and do something mindless last evening, I pulled out my support spindles.

Chores, then play

Got home last evening and decided that Miss Butterfly and I would tidy up the house. I’d kind of warned her the night before that I wasn’t going to let her run off with her friends, that she’d be at home with me. So, she didn’t fuss at all when I asked for her help, and we got things straightened up nicely. Then I set her to cleaning her room, which was badly in need of it, and I headed out to mow.

Our yard is nice and wide, being on a lot and a half. I used to love mowing. Truly. I’d square up the odd bits at the edge of the yard and then just make long passes across the wide back of the yard until it was done. It was very soothing. Not so any more! With 5 trees, a garden bed with another 3 trees in it, and a huge planter where the firepit will eventually be, all in the middle of the yard instead of the edge of the yard, I am struggling with enjoying the process. Sometimes it feels like Mr. Ink is single handedly trying to make me hate the job. I mean, usually it takes the high heat of August/September for my mowing enthusiasm to wane. But I am already so so over it. And it’s simply because now I have to mow around things, and nothing has a proper pattern, everything is all screwed up.

It’s likely time to start enclosing 4 out of the 5 trees into one large island garden bed. It’ll still be mowing around something, but that’ll eliminate some of the irritation.

In any case, after the mowing chore was done, I grabbed a photo of one of my latest knitting projects. I began the Tibetan Clouds stole out of laceweight handspun singles. But, I didn’t read the charts too well, not noticing that some of the patterning was every row, rather than every other row. So I ripped it out. “No matter.” I thought, as I’d been annoyed with my cast on as well. That little circle was too gapped. So, I pulled out some videos with the cast on trick where you can tighten up that circle once you get started. I cast back on. And proceeded to cast on another 7 times, but being unable to get it to look right, line up right, not twist, etc. And every time I pulled that back out, the precious handspun would knot up, and I’d have wasted a section of yarn.

I gave up. I went to my stash, and I got out some dream in color jilly. I started over. I had no trouble, first try.


And I tightened up that cast on circle with no problem as well, securing the yarn and weaving in the end.

The 9 inch circular needle I purchased for things like sweater sleeves came in handy here, I was able to use it for a good long while before moving to magic loop.  I am still in magic loop mode, but as you can see, I’ll soon be done with that too. I have decided to skip the beading on this one, I think it looks just fine without.

However, the ease at which this is knitting up, after the handspun laceweight singles fiasco, makes me almost feel like I am cheating! I am sure I’ll find something else more appropriate for those singles.

In any case, things are moving quickly in the garden right now. Those two higher heat days really kicked things in high gear. Today? Big rain storm, so you know we’ll keep heading in that direction.

I’ve got a new color iris! It’s not that different from the bulk of those I’ve had. It’s almost all burgundy, with a tiny bit of yellow. The ones that came with the house are more of a purple toned burgundy with a distinctively yellow middle. Here they both are:

While the new color is very similar to the first, I am thrilled with it. I am sure this is the only new color in the bed, so now I know what to choose to plant next. Yellow. I totally want yellow irises. In this iris bed, as well as the other iris area that isn’t in bloom yet, so I can’t show off yet.


My favorite peony is blooming! No other more traditional looking peonies have bloomed yet, but the favorite one has begun! You’ll see more of this one, there’s a hanging basket above it that makes that area look particularly charming. Oh, and do you see that lily at the bottom left? It’s another stray lily coming up. I’ll let it go this year, as it’s very young. I must have left a scale in the ground when I moved the two tall lilies last year. Who knew I could just dump the scales in the ground and get a propagation? I mean, maybe I didn’t need to spend QUITE that much time over the last 9 months working on my lily propagation project? But, I suppose we’ll chalk it up to a learning experience.

I’ve been getting very annoyed with the hyacinth and crocus greenery lately, as it’s really looking sloppy. Thankfully, it looks like it’s browning down all of a sudden, so I’ll be able to cut that back and tidy things up shortly. I also need to get the mums pinched back, they are growing like mad, and it’s TOO EARLY!

Well, that’s it for me. I did my chores, I got to play, and tomorrow I should have a photo of some finished handspun. Hope you are enjoying the midway point in your week!

This Week May 8-14

Good morning all! Last week’s list.

  • Commute by bike two more times this week. (I did so this morning, it was glorious.)
    • Total and utter failure. Just didn’t do it. I was very tired and chose the extra sleep, breakfasts with Mr. Ink, and waking Miss Butterfly up instead.
  • Get to the yarn shop, get more yarn for Mr. Ink’s socks, and complete them. (I am tired of looking at them, I want them off the needles.)
  • Get all the plants that are waiting to be planted into the ground. (Pretty sure we just finished the final cold snap of the season.)
    • Not QUITE done here. All the bulbs are in the ground including a new garden area with sod dug up for my canna garden. But, there are still a few things that need to be put into the ground.
  • Start scraping paint around garage door.
    • I did this. I scraped, I sanded, I caulked, and I got the first coat of paint on the garage door frame. If the rain doesn’t show, I’ll get the second coat on tonight.
  • MOW!
    • Done, and of course it needs to be done again.
  • Commit to half hour of house chores in the evenings. Set timer for it.
    • SORTA? I sorta did this? Meaning, every day I didn’t work on a large outdoor project, I did this. But, with the scraping/sanding/caulking/painting project going on, I simply did the normal house chores to keep us an operational house the past 3 days.

It’s been one BUSY weekend! On Friday, I started scraping paint in earnest. Then, Mr. Ink made dinner and we went to see William Elliott Whitmore, one of my absolute favorite musicians to see live. I am never sure if Mr. Ink is going to enjoy himself attending a show by this artists, but he always seems to, in the end. I asked him about that, and he said “When I see him live, I am not sure I am buying what he’s selling. But, by the end of the show, I am ALWAYS buying it. So, a very good time was had by all.

Saturday morning Mr. Ink had to work, so I got right back in the groove with scraping and sanding. Before Mr. Ink came home, I had that door frame wiped down and ready for caulk. Miss Butterfly and I went out to do some grocery shopping and stopped to pick up caulk. I got the door frame caulked, and then put everything away for the day, knowing it would be 24 hours before painting. After that, it was digging up sod, putting bulbs in the ground, getting areas mulched and weeded, all around a good time.

I did get some spinning done too. I pulled out my second braid of Yarn Wench fiber, almost the same colorway as the one I used in the 3 braid combo. The new braid had a little more yellow. Since I’d had a considerable amount leftover from the 3 braid combo, I figured I could spin the singles from braid two, and use that and the leftovers for a 2 ply yarn.


Leftovers are in the middle.

On Sunday, I had told Mr. Ink that I wanted to go on a training ride with my bike group. I haven’t been at the training rides much in the past few years, Mr. Ink and I have concentrated more on mountain biking. But, I decided this year I’d like to get back into it. Mr. Ink’s bike is out of commission, so he rode the pink fatbike again, while I rode my more streamlined yellow bike.  Now, these training rides are long. And they are punctuated by what we call the 3 “H’s.”  Heat, high winds, and hills. Now, we really only had 2 out of the 3 “h’s” going for us yesterday, it was only 84F so we wouldn’t consider that particularly hot here. But we had the high winds/head winds/cross winds that felt as if you might be blown off your bike and made you concentrate as much on balance as you were on riding, and, we had the hills as the area of Iowa we train in is incredibly hilly.

Quite frankly, a fatbike for a training ride was an unwise choice, but Mr. Ink did fine with it. And got much adulation about trying it, as no one else would have attempted that, no matter how strong a rider. He’s been contemplating getting a fat bike sized for him as his all around normal ride, so trying this training ride on one was a great idea. He’s still not completely sold, but at least he also knows he can do it.

There’s one incredibly steep hill out of the town we have brunch in that I worry every time I’ll have to walk. It’s at the top of a long 2 mile hill climb, so riders are already exhausted from that long climb when you have to switch into your easiest gears and reach down deep inside yourself to give that steep portion of the hill everything you’ve got left. I’ve seen riders, GOOD riders, fall on that hill from being unable to pedal fast enough to keep going, and being suddenly unable to get their foot unclipped and onto the ground. Since I wasn’t using a road bike this time, I worried that this would be the time I couldn’t make that hill. I made the hill! I was dead last, but I made that hill.

We rode 30 miles of hills and high winds. It felt great. These rides take up most of the day, but I always find them deeply satisfying as well. It’s not just the exercise, and pushing myself to the limit, it’s the social aspect. The fact that we are all in it together, all pushing equally hard. It’s a lovely camaraderie that I have missed.

After those 30 miles of hills and high winds, we got home, I changed, and immediately headed back out to pick up paint for the garage door frame. I remember my mom saying something about how a good paint brush made a big difference when painting. I got a good brush. And I also got the best exterior paint I could find, spending a bit of extra cash to make sure I was working with something that would stick around. It worked so well! I could actually free hand the garage door frame, rather than spending a bunch of time taping everything. I am really hoping it doesn’t rain this evening so I can get the second coat on, and then be done with it.

I also inspected the garage windows a little better yesterday. I’d noticed the two on the front needed scraping and painting. But, the two on the sides I hadn’t paid attention to. I was surprised, and genuinely pleased, to see that the two side windows have siding around them, rather than wood frames. No need to paint! So, that cuts the misery down by 2 windows. (I don’t like scraping and painting, not even a little.)

In any case, once the paint was on, I did a little more weeding, and then sat back at my wheel to get the tiniest bit of plying done ever.


It may not be much, but it was satisfying to know I am headed in the right direction.

In the garden, the irises are making their appearance.


This is the iris color in the main iris bed. I am hoping for a new color as well, as I had planted a new color last year. IF they managed to survive, it should be lovely to see a variety in that bed. In fact, I plan to see what colors I get this year, and add to them in the future.

List for this week:

  • Second coat of paint around garage door frame
  • Finish plying current spinning project
  • Commute by bike once this week
  • If it rains, set the timer for the extra half hour of house chores
  • Finish planting
  • Remove creeping buttercup (Pretty, but apparently invasive.)
  • Schedule a service appointment for the AC

I think that’s all I am going to list out. There’ll be plenty to get done, and I am sure knitting will get done as well. I am not going to plan on starting to work on the garage window frames yet, I think I need a scraping and painting break in between times. In any case, I am thrilled with the highly productive weekend that was had, it does feel like it’s setting us in the right direction for the year. Energy tends to wane, but this is prime forward moving energy weather!

That’s a Wrap

Or a pair of socks rather.


Mr. Ink’s socks are done. They are over 10 inches of leg, and for size 13.5 wide feet. In the end, I had to purchase another skein of Cascade Heritage 150 prints, despite the fact that each skein has 592 yards in it. I did make them match, but that wasn’t the reason I ran out of yarn. In order to make them match, I only had to pull out less than half a stripe twice. In order to complete the socks, I had to use an additional 8 stripes from the new skein.

Unfortunately, this means I’ve got a skein of yarn for socks in the same color. And at the moment, I’ve NO interest in knitting that color again. I guess it goes in stash.

In other knitting news, I began the Tibetan Clouds stole from Knitter’s Book of Wool. I figured that could be my complicated lace knitting. I was so eager to show it off, as I’d made my way through enough rows to begin to see its potential. Except then I realized I’d been making a mistake in the pattern. I was sad, but I also realized that I wasn’t completely pleased with my cast on either, so in the end I got over it. I am not good at following charts when I cannot cross off the row I just completed. So, working out of a book isn’t good for me. I have now made a copy of the chart, and should have far better luck when I begin again.

And in house news, I began scraping the peeling paint around the garage door. Then I moved to the windows and scraped at them a bit. While I spent at least an hour at it, this was mostly a reconnaissance mission. I wanted to really see what I was getting myself into. Now, I’ve been hemming and hawing for a year now about purchasing a heat gun for this project, but never brought it up with Mr. Ink. I found a good 7 layers of paint peeling around the windows though, and I thought “I most certainly need that heat gun.” So, when Mr. Ink came home from a grocery store run, I informed him that I was planning to purchase a heat gun. He said “No need, I’ve got one at work I can bring home for you!”  Now, why didn’t I ask for this sooner?!?!  He then asked if a heat gun worked better than chemicals, a question I’d asked myself as well. I said “Well, I don’t really know, but if you already own a heat gun, I can try that first before spending money on chemicals for the project.”

The reality is, I want to do this project once, and well. I mean, I know that scraping and painting is a thing that must be done from time to time, but I want a really good fresh base start. I was able to do that with the attached garage 2 years ago and I’ve no signs at all of peeling paint there. But, that was one layer. This is multiple layers and a real mess. If I can get back to the wood, sand well, and start over I think that’ll be the best plan of attack.

So, now I’ve got a plan of attack, and a start to the project which is more than I’ve had for a year. (Though to be fair we had the big fence repair last year, so it’s not like I had no big project.) The hard part for me, I think, will be focusing on one frame at a time.

It’s Friday, the weekend is calling with beautiful weather around here!

A Start

I had mentioned recently that I planned to knit my boss (and friend) a shawl, due to her often borrowing mine at work. Once the idea was in my head, I was eager to get started even though I had quite a few projects on the needles already. To be honest, it actually really helped me begin to draw a bunch of those projects to a close, not allowing myself to start the new shawl until they were done.

I did manage to get out to the yarn shop to get more yarn for Mr. Ink’s socks, which is the one additional project I desperately wanted to finish before I began the shawl. However, it took me awhile to get there and I had completely run out of yarn for the socks before I did so. Which means, I began the shawl.


This is yarn from my stash, naturally. The pattern is Lillia Hyrna from Knitter’s Book of Wool. I have knit the pattern before, and that’s the shawl my boss borrows.


I am playing fast and loose with the colors on the new shawl, since I’ve got limited yarn amounts, and both cannot and do not want to buy more. Meaning, the yarn is from a now defunct dyer, and I don’t have any interest in trying to acquire more in a more complicated manner. So, what I have will have to do.

It seems to be moving along quite quickly, though this might be that deceiving start to the triangle shawl. In any case, it really hits the mindless knitting desire, and I am quite enjoying it. Easy to pick up and put down, during a time when I tend to be focusing outdoors. I suspect I’ll want to start something a little more complicated as well, something lace from my queue, but this is working for now. And it’ll certainly work at least until Mr. Ink’s socks are done, which should be tonight.

At Her Request

Miss Butterfly decided she needed some hats that accounted for her rather long ponytail. What she doesn’t appreciate is her ponytail laying on the back of her neck when wearing a normal hat. With all the messy bun hats lately, I figured I could probably make her something that would work for her. She was on board with this idea, even though it’s too late in the season to wear them this year.

I let her into my yarn stash and showed her a bunch of appropriate handspun yarns for the project. She chose this one:


It’s a fun choice, but it’s also a very long gradient from yellow into turquoise. She liked the turquoise best. I began with the yellow, but didn’t make it into the turquoise. So, I ended up making her two hats. One I knit according to pattern, though I used size 6 needles for the body of the hat after the ribbing, and the other I allowed a bit of a larger ponytail opening. The pattern I used was called, simply, ponytail hat.

She decided that a goofy face was in order for these pictures, and it was funny enough I couldn’t resist snapping the shots anyhow. I think these should keep her nice and warm next cold season. They were also great fun to knit, the cable braid added interest and they were super fast due to the worsted weight yarn. Also of note, one of the reasons I really hate knitting hats is the decreasing at the top of the head. I get annoyed with it, and it always hurts my hands. These have only 2 decrease rows, which I can totally handle. Part of me wants to knit 10 more of these ponytail hats. But, I guess that would be excessive.

This Week, May 1-7

I had to keep a personal list off the table until work could straighten out a bit again. With two huge due dates done and dusted, it’s time to get back to it. It was one of those weeks where I’d work late, then work from home, even though that’s not “allowed.” It was just my reality anyhow. It’s still busy, but not with the looming deadlines that we had last week. So, now I get to make a list.

  • Commute by bike two more times this week. (I did so this morning, it was glorious.)
  • Get to the yarn shop, get more yarn for Mr. Ink’s socks, and complete them. (I am tired of looking at them, I want them off the needles.)
  • Get all the plants that are waiting to be planted into the ground. (Pretty sure we just finished the final cold snap of the season.)
  • Start scraping paint around garage door.
  • MOW!
  • Commit to half hour of house chores in the evenings. Set timer for it. (This has worked in the past, and I often would work longer than the timer ran for. This time of year it’s too easy for me to just work on outdoor chores, leaving inside to languish while I feel underlying irritation about the state of the house.

That’s it from here! I don’t have any photos, but I will have one tomorrow, as I finished a couple small projects. Have a great week!

A Marathon Project

I blame the rain for the ability to finish my 3 braid combo spin. Even though I was out of the house for most of the day on Saturday.

Here’s my in progress photo from the weekend:


This is the third braid, Iris You Were Here from Dyeabolical Yarns. So, all together:

And I plied and plied and plied on Saturday evening and all day Sunday.


Shall we take a closer look?


I genuinely believe that the best of all three braids shows through. I cannot believe the number of different color combos I got on this spin, and the way the colors played together was just amazing. I am sorry I didn’t have an opportunity to count yardage yet, but I am so ridiculously happy with this spin, I hope it makes something amazing!

This was one of those weekends that it rained so hard that there was some serious boredom and wandering going on around our house. Sometimes chores were done out of boredom, meaning I just couldn’t sit at the wheel or with knitting anymore. Our grass has grown by leaps and bounds with no ability to do anything about it because it never dries out. This week is likely to be a bit busy in the evenings. Mostly, I’d just like our outdoor plants to go back outdoors!! Thankfully that looks hopeful after today.