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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

Stormy

Let’s start with the pretty plants.

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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.

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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.

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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:

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

 

Overboard

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:

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!