Taking a Beating

We didn’t! But most of the city did, with golf ball sized hail. Mr. Ink said “I think we might just thread the needle on this one.” While looking at the radar. 2 storms touching, and our friends to the north and south got hit so hard. We got massively heavy downpour but no hail. We were relieved, but I think it’s going to be another messy day for our city in clean up efforts. Seems to be a very stormy year so far. I used to get so excited about severe storms! But, now that I own my house I feel a bit less thrilled with them. Damage is a real pain in the butt.

There were amazing pictures on twitter from the area. Pictures of hail, pictures of broken car windshields, and home skylights. But my favorite? Pictures of glasses of bourbon with hail in them. Hah!

Mr. Ink had not looked at the radar before going outside and watering plants and spraying for weeds. He’d told me he’d be working on his rock collection, so I assumed that’s what he was up to and didn’t remind him of the impending storm.

I had decided to do three things last night. The first was finish the linen stitch scarf:

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It’s washed and blocked even! It turned out really nice.

The second thing was to make pesto from the garden. I planted 2 basil plants and they needed trimming back. Now, I don’t know what possessed me to do this, but I made a huge batch of basil but I probably tripled the amount of garlic I typically use. I think this happened because as I was opening garlic cloves, I realized that they were sprouting badly. So I thought “Well, let me just get these used up!” And I did. But it was way too much, and left me with a stomach ache. So sad, because it was REALLY great pesto!

And the third thing I decided to do was to do some patio spinning.

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This is the fiber I’d started on spindles, here’s the reminder photo of that:

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I actually have about 6 spindles full now. I had originally said I’d keep this one as a spindle spin, but the reality is, I don’t love doing numerous spinning projects at once. I’d rather have a project on both spindles and wheel and then finish it up faster. So, I guess this is what the start of TdF is going to look like for me. Very green. Because I’ve got over 11 ounces of the stuff, which is quite a large project. And quite frankly, my next planned project is also green.

I told Mr. Ink I really needed to get it together today. I mean, I’ve got errands to run, Miss Butterfly comes home tomorrow, and I seem to have used feeling under the weather as an excuse to just put off all chores. So, tonight is my night. Errands, lawn mowing, and hopefully ironing and hemming new curtains. If I could get those things done I’d feel very accomplished.

Happy Friday!

Gradient

Oh goodness did we ever have a good evening. We headed up to visit with Mr. Ink’s stepdaughter and her wife. We brought a birthday gift for stepdaughter and we took them out to dinner as it was their 1 year anniversary. We saw their place. As wife mentioned, “We are kids, you can’t expect it to be tidy!”  We didn’t. We were also informed that we were the first “adults” they’ve allowed in the place. So, naturally we felt pretty good about that. It was a perfectly serviceable first home, and the yard was well kept. The neighbors? Wow. Not so awesome. Very boundary breaking. But, they seemed to be handling it pretty well. We brought stepdaughter a weed trimmer, as she’d mentioned hers didn’t work. She was absolutely thrilled! Wife mows their small patch of yard with a reel mower, and stepdaughter had been trimming the weeds with scissors to keep it tidy. I think she’s appreciate that trimmer quite a bit. The “not tidy” bit was certainly along the lines of what I’d have called acceptable at that age, when I was working super hard more than one job to keep afloat. They may consider themselves kids but they are adulting perfectly appropriately for their age I think.

I told Mr. Ink we should head up there more often as we’d had such a great time and both the girls seemed to be even more comfortable in their element. Wife often looks vaguely uncomfortable and awkward at our place, but out at their town she was perfectly comfortable, which made it all the more enjoyable.

I’ll have to ask them if they want any plants at their place. Next time we are uprooting things we could take them up there and build them a nice little garden space.

I did get my gradient yarn soaked and dried last evening, thank goodness for the heat and wind.

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I ended up with 255 yards of 2 ply. It’s probably around a sport weight yarn, and it’s super soft. Somehow, despite the fact I’ve been making nice soft yarn for years now, it still amazes me. I guess I spent too many years making high twist slightly ropy yarn to realize that I changed a number of years back. The gradient blue has these hints of gold sparkle, sort of like someone gilded the plies here and there.

I’ve also been working on a great linen stitch scarf. I mentioned it awhile back, that I’d wanted a linen stitch cowl but “be careful not to twist” bit me, and a few rows in I realized that I’d twisted and had to yank the entire thing back out. In any case, I decided to just do it as a scarf, horizontally.

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And gosh it’s coming out pretty ! So, the yarn is a super scrappy 2 ply that Miss Marja created simply to practice on her new wheel. I saw the finished skein on her coffee table and practically begged for it. As I was helping her move furniture at the time, she quickly handed it over, and I took it home, washed it, and balled it up for knitting almost immediately. She was worried that the yarn was a practice mess, but it was actually really awesome yarn, quite soft, pretty even, and I loved all the surprising color changes. Linen stitch has been fun with this yarn because it seems like each ply color really pops separately, while still maintaining a blended overall look. I am about a row and a bind off away from being done with this scarf now, it’s been a few days since I took this photo, and I admit I can’t wait to see it off the needles. It’s all bunched up on too short circs, and I want to see this thing in it’s glory!

That’s about it from here! Hope everyone is having a decent week. I am really looking forward to the weekend and my short time with Miss Butterfly. I get to pick her up at camp Saturday morning and then I’ve got a brief time with her before she spends a little time with her dad and then heads east. Can’t wait!!!

Spinning Time

Well, we had plans out and about last evening. Unfortunately, I am still recovering, and while I could have headed out last night, I got home and immediately fell asleep until Mr. Ink got home. He walked in the door looking pretty rough, and asked if we were getting ready to go. I asked him how he felt about it, and he said “I had a REALLY difficult day, and I am going to have difficult days for the rest of the week. What I would prefer to be doing is messing around with my rocks and doing backbreaking simple labor.”

Well OK then. Not how I relax, but it’s how he relaxes. We stayed home. I did feel considerably better yesterday. I had napped after work but didn’t immediately need to fall into bed at 9:30. I feel better again today, which is good because we WILL be going out to see Mr. Ink’s stepdaughter and her wife. It’s their 1 year anniversary, and it was recently her birthday. Plus, we haven’t seen them in awhile, and they have a new place to live that we want to check out too. And gifts, we want to bring them gifts for the house.

So last night I had a suddenly free night, and after wandering around the yard doing some simple chores like deadheading, weed pulling, and japanese beetle eradication, I decided it was cool enough to spin on the patio. The neighbor kids were out but I was feeling better so the extra noise was less annoying. I did some plying.

It was nice! Once Mr. Ink was done with his rock project, I told him to order food rather than cook, there’s only so much time in the day and he was exhausted. I guess I really should take a photo of the latest progress there!

It was a good and surprisingly relaxing evening, which was necessary I think. It’s nice to be finally feeling better! And rested. The best part? I did get my plying done, so I’ll be starting TdF with a fresh project on Saturday!

A Surprise

I finished a thing! Actually, I’ve been knitting on it for awhile at work during my break, and just didn’t realize it was finish length until yesterday lunchtime. Once lunch was over, I stuffed it in my bag and cast off when I arrived home.

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This is a very soft scarf out of handspun 2 ply I created out of rolags Miss Marja made for me. Here’s the in progress photos:

I chose a very simple stitch pattern since the yarn was very busy, and I really like how it turned out. I also probably used needles a little too large for the yarn, which makes it extra soft, while still being able to accommodate the large chunky pieces.

I have plenty more yarn left for a matching hat and maybe even a pair of fingerless mitts. We’ll have to see.

I grabbed a photo of one of the garden areas last evening, since the balloon flowers are blooming nicely and the allium is beginning to bloom as well. Unfortunately, the spiderwort which has been blooming nicely isn’t blooming in the evenings when I can grab a photo. The 3 trees Mr. Ink planted last year have grown considerably this year. It’s very exciting!

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The blank area to the right is a sad moment where Mr. Ink pulled what he thought was a weed, but it turned out to be his double balloon flowers. They didn’t survive the resulting replanting. I am so glad I am not the only one who does that! He’s added a couple more plants to this garden this year, so next year it’ll look different yet again. Those balloon flowers though, they are really quite amazing and prolific at the moment.

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And I snapped a photo of the first of my calla lilies. This is the first year planting them, and I just bought a mix so I don’t know what all I’ll get. But this first pink one is very gorgeous!

That’s about it from around here today. I am still fighting off the sinus infection, and while the weekend was pretty good because I could rest, Monday was tough, as I was truly exhausted during the second part of work and after work. Practically useless. Which leaves me a bit nervous about tonight’s event. I am just not sure I’ll have the energy for it. We’ll have to see.

 

This Week June 26-July 2

Last week’s list:

  • Finish the first side of Tibetan Clouds stole, and complete the set up for the second side. (I’d really like to have the entire stole complete by July 1, but I am not sure that’s going to happen without hating the project.)
  • Keep up on the daily tiny bit of weeding, it’s so effective!
    • This was mostly done. Not sure I hit every single day, but most of them. Trouble is, there aren’t that many more weeds to pull now! Which shows the effectiveness of the 5 minutes a day schedule.
  • Get Miss Butterfly packed up for her second week of camp.
  • Start thinking about packing her up for her trip to visit my parents. (The turn around time between second week of camp and her trip east is disturbingly short.)
    • I haven’t really done this properly. I mean, I’ve thought about it, but I haven’t moved toward doing what needs to be done.
  • Work on getting my step goals again, I’ve been falling down on this particular job lately.
    • I got them most days, and I would say that’s pretty good.

Yesterday we did something we haven’t done in about a year. We went on a motorbike ride together. It’s been so long that all the valuable muscles I had built in my left hand and arm to work the rather difficult clutch on the old bike I ride have disappeared. The day was glorious, the ride was amazing, and now I can’t knit. I am quite sore and I’ll need to begin riding regularly again in order to build up my strength. Preferably short rides initially.

So, that means I spent the evening spinning on the patio. The neighbor kids weren’t out, so it was quieter back there, and I got through my nunoco batts I’d started quite some time ago. I’ll post the start and finish pictures.

I am looking forward to plying them! It really is a very pretty gradient.

I haven’t worked on the tibetan clouds stole since I finished the first side and did all the set up rows and charts for it. But, I started a linen stitch scar, horizontally knit, and am really pleased with it at the moment. It seems that when not spinning, my knitting whims wander quite a bit. While I have spinning projects going I tend to be fairly monogamous in my knitting. Not so when I am not spinning. In any case, I’ll grab a photo of that scarf tonight for tomorrow’s post.

It’ll be a crazy busy week around here, I won’t have a night “off” until Thursday. While our plans are fun and should involve photos, I am preemptively getting nervous about social overload. And tonight? I have to go shopping, and we ALL KNOW how much I HATE shopping.

This Week:

  • Get a “bike prom” dress.
  • Finish all details for Miss Butterfly’s trip.
  • Pick Miss Butterfly up from camp, do all the laundry, repack her for her trip to my parents.
  • Hem and iron new kitchen curtains.
  • Motorbike to work once this week. If the weather holds.

That’s it. I am not making other plans on a busy week, and especially not making knitting plans right now. Whatever happens, happens. It’s not like I am on any type of deadline!

My Quiet Morning

Miss Butterfly is off again at camp, and Mr. Ink is sleeping in. I’ve got the house to myself and it’s delicious!

I finished up my little handspun project. I like it more than I ever imagined I would actually, it looks really nice when worn. I crocheted a little flower for it as I had enough handspun left over. I may make another of these if I find I’ve got the correct handspun in stash.

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I’ve been trying to set aside knits to give away to my family as our upcoming vacation is a family reunion, and I had intended for this to go in that box. But…I think this one may have to stay with me a bit longer.

I had a slow moving unproductive day yesterday. I didn’t even spin on the patio! The neighbor kids were out and very loud, and while I don’t begrudge them their time outdoors in the least, it’s also not what I want to be listening to necessarily. So, no patio spinning for me. We’ll see how today goes.

But, another day lily has opened in my holding area.

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It is certainly going to get saved and put in the day lily garden. Such a nice creamy yellow.

That’s all from here this quiet Sunday morning!

Inspired?

I was rifling through my stash again recently, and pulled out a few skeins of handspun. You see, I have this serious problem with figuring out what to do with low yardage skeins. I think this is because I really don’t love knitting hats. Hats are the perfect thing to knit with a low yardage skein of handspun. But, I refuse to do that. Instead, I have done my best to purchase larger amounts of fiber when I want to create thicker yarns, rather than be stuck with a small skein.

But, it’s also really pleasant to knit something quickly. As long as that something isn’t a hat, that is. So, when rifling through the stash I was trying to pull out some low yardage handspun skeins.

I pulled out this one:

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This is falkland top from a spun right round fiber club I joined awhile back. It’s heavier than worsted weight yarn, and I only had 150 yards. So, I chose the Anthro-Inspired scarflet which claims to use 120 yards of aran weight yarn.

It’s moving right along.

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I snapped this photo early last evening, but have worked my way through the neck portion now and will start the end shortly. If I’ve enough yarn leftover at the end, I will probably crochet a flower for it. I think it’s pretty cute. I don’t know that I’d wear it, so it will likely go in the pile of things to gift to people who would choose to do so. However, it’s been fun knitting it for sure.

I have completely given up on the idea of finishing Tibetan Clouds before Tour de Fleece. I mean, I think I did mention that if the weather was going to be pleasant, I was going to be spinning on the patio despite the fact that this is a month of knitting. With a high of 75 today, a high of 80 tomorrow, and a high of 76 on Sunday I plan to be spinning on that patio when I can!

The “under the weather” feeling FINALLY turned into something. I was getting concerned after 3 days of one side of my neck being swollen and VERY painful, with no other symptoms other than feeling a bit “off.” But yesterday evening I could feel it turning into a sinus infection. Finally something to account for that lymph node going strange on me. The painful neck symptom is much improved today. Still irritating, but I don’t have to take ibuprofen to get through the day. While a sinus infection is no treat, it’s far preferable to that sore neck I’ll tell you. That also explains why my brain was feeling foggy and I didn’t want to work on the complicated tibetan clouds! Just give me a bunch of plain knitting and I’ll muddle through!

Happy Friday folks! We are certainly pleased we made it through this week!