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:


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.


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


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!


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.


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.


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.


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!


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.


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.


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.


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!


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:


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.


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!

One Side Done

Yesterday was very hot, and I’ve just been feeling under the weather lately. I didn’t sleep well the night before, woke up at 4 a.m. yesterday morning and couldn’t get back to sleep. So, I basically told Mr. Ink that I’d be spending the evening indoors knitting. He said he wanted to plant one of his trees and to expect a late dinner because of it.

So with that settled, I set out to do that knitting.


And I finished on side of the tibetan clouds stole! I also did all the set up rows for the other side, and am now one row in to the main chart. So, just, you know, 8.5 repeats of that and a another chart for the end and I am DONE! (Never mind that I can only get in one repeat a day if I’ve nothing else going on, and it’s ridiculously boring, and so if I really DO want to finish this stole this month I am going to have to get used to boredom over the next week.

I decided I didn’t want to be bored last evening, and once done with the set up rows I started something new. It’s…another one of those projects where I pull a skein from stash and try to make it fit. I’ll show you tomorrow.

Mr. Ink came in around 9 and decided we’d have to order some food in. Because he wasn’t even done. So we ordered some pizza, and then Mr. Ink headed back out to work on his planting project. He was at it again until 1:30 a.m.  That guy’s got motivation. Want to see it?


You’d think that tiny tree in the ground wouldn’t take all evening, but he had to dig up all that sod where the mulch now is, and then he did his normal dig way down and amend the soil trick. Extra problem was with the edger on the left side, it popped out and he’s not ready yet to yank all those stones out so he had to install it again. One more small bit of garden space down. And this one in particular is great as it eliminates mowing over the side of the bank. That was a really irritating section of yard.

I’ve been told this tiny tree will really shine in the winter. That it’s needles turn a bright yellow. He’s really excited about this one, though I am not sure which trees he’s not excited about.

I took another quick photo.


Last year Mr. Ink put this little garden area in to hold a couple of his evergreens and a peace rose. That rose did not make it. Mr. Ink is currently trying desperately to keep a new rose, so he planted this year’s rose. I can’t remember what it’s called, but it is a little bit heartier, and it’s a lovely coral color, which is actually what I most wanted there. The blooms on the thing when we purchased it were HUGE. Mr. Ink planted it, the blooms went all dead and I kept deadheading it for a bit in order to allow it to work on acclimating rather than blooming. It looked a little shocked for a bit, but now is throwing up these tiny little blooms of perfect color. I’ll take it! It looks like it’s doing much better as well. If we can get this one to last the winter, we may plant more. I still want a peace rose, and we have hopes for something VERY red.

That’s about it from this corner of the world! This weekend’s BIG plan is to mulch my new veggie garden. Mr. Ink says he’s going to get a truck load for that project. Probably needs it! I think my current stack of mulch would MAYBE cover 1/3 of the veggie garden, and a truck load is easily the cheaper option. But most of all, while it is supposed to be cooler this week, summer has only begun and I need that garden to hold moisture, which it is most decidedly not doing at the moment.


One Promised Photo

We are heading back into pretty warm weather around here. We got the mowing done anyhow, which is great because no one will want to do it today, at almost 100F! I got a little bit of weeding done as well, as per the list. And my step goal. Because of the mowing.

And I grabbed a photo of my latest finished project. I started this on Sunday evening when we were volunteering, and finished it midday during my day long training. I started with this handspun yarn:


I didn’t check on the yardage because I was basically walking out the door and didn’t have time. Turns out I only had 180 yards! Thankfully it started and ended with the same color, so I just seamed up the ends and made a cowl, since it certainly wasn’t long enough to be a scarf. The cowl will easily wrap twice around the neck, so I consider that a perfectly fine success. The patter is one row handspun scarf again, as I wanted something super easy to work on during both events.


It turned out beautifully! It’s super soft as well. Great easy project, great success, and I may do this again with smaller amounts of handspun. Though I’ll do a provisional cast on in the future so that I can avoid the unsightly seam.

Today I am not planning on anything productive. Except perhaps watering my plants. I did yank a few weeds this morning and did some deadheading of flowers, as I knew that doing so after work would likely be a no go. We’ve got two days of high heat and then it looks like it’ll be down to a nicer temperature again, so we just have to get through it.

I am just a few rows away from finishing the first side of the tibetan clouds stole now. Having said I’d like to finish it before Tour de Fleece, I seem to have kicked myself into high gear. I am working on the edging charts now and will have that portion cast off tonight. Then all that’s left is the second side, and I think I’ll get started right away. So, it may be a pretty boring blog week around here!

This week June 19-25

I am a day late, I know. I blame the full, longer than normal day of training yesterday.

Last week:

  • 3 more repeats on the sides of tibetan clouds, I have 3 repeats done on the first side. I need 8.5 before the final border charts.
    • I did this, and then promptly put it down to cast on ALL THE THINGS!
  • Clean out work bag! It’s a desperate situation at this point, I can’t find anything.
  • Commute by bike once this week. (Maybe this time I’ll get it done?)
  • Deep cleaning of the bathroom. I’ve been neglecting it. Mr. Ink has been doing so much planting that scrubbing down the walls feels pointless, as the next day there’s mud on them again. Sort of like the fridge door. But, this is NO excuse to fail to get the job done!
  • Some weeding of the rose of sharon garden bed? JUST SOME? Maybe the issue is that it feels overwhelming so I don’t even start.
    • The advice of starting with 2 minutes a day was highly effective. Almost every day I spent about 15 minutes on it. On one day I spent quite a bit more time on it, including laying a little more mulch
  • Get photos of all the trees for 2017, and put them in an album for comparison next year.
    • This is done, but I also want to take additional pictures. Some of the ones I have are just utilitarian. I kind of want to get a few pictures of some trees where the garden is also in full bloom.

I have pictures to share, but no crafting photos. I will have one tomorrow.

It was a pretty good weekend, and Sunday was certainly a day with Miss Butterfly. She really does color our world. And I think you’ll be able to see that in this series of photos.

Miss Butterfly and I began our Sunday with chores after breakfast. We got quite a lot done. Mr. Ink had decided that he wanted to go to Golden Corral for lunch on father’s day. (*HORK!*) So, at some point we had gotten hungry, and wandered out to see what he was up to. He was busy making a larger cage for his weeping redbud. Of course Miss Butterfly had to get right in the middle of that.


I told Mr. Ink it was the perfect father’s day photo, he’s building her a cage!

After annoying him for a bit, we went out to lunch. I can tell you one thing I HATE with a passion are buffets. Miss Butterfly had never been before, well, neither had I and it’s too bad I couldn’t keep it that way. To me, it’s like feeding cattle. Everything is done as fast as possible to consume as much as possible with very little nod to good food. The plates are inevitably dirty and wet and you are stuck inspecting your silverware as well, just in case. It’s distasteful.

Miss Butterfly loved it. Most specifically because she could get cotton candy.


I think Mr. Ink was pleased too, and I guess that’s what counts since it was his day. Though….I told him that from here on out every time he takes me to a place like this, I am going to require that we also go to my favorite little french bistro. I think it’s a fair trade.

We went to a garden center, of course, just to look around. Then we made it home with JUST enough time for Mr. Ink to fix his bike, and then head off to our next adventure. Which turned out to be an adventure even getting there. A couple years back I purchased a bike rack that holds 3 bikes. We finally, for the first time, put it on my honda. Then we loaded the bikes. And then….we realized that 3 heavy bikes makes my trunk warp. At that point we were already supposed to be on the road. I took the bikes off the honda, and Mr. Ink pulled out the truck. Then we had to unload all the large rocks that were stored in the truck bed before we could put the bikes in. Then we loaded the bikes and were on our way.

You see, it’s college world series time here. And being a decidedly non sports person, this has done nothing for me but make traffic terrible and interfere with my work life when I cannot get a guest a hotel room. But, a dear friend of mine organizes bike parking downtown, run by volunteers. I tend to not volunteer for that. But I got a text from him saying that his wife’s grandfather had passed away and they had to head out of town for the funeral. (Unfortunately, funeral is a word that seems to keep making a regular appearance on this blog, it would be great if that would stop for awhile.) So, he was desperate to find some help for the weekend, help he trusts, so he could travel without concern. He said “I know this is super not your thing, but please?” And I said “The whole family will be there.”


We all went down and checked in bikes in front of a completely open and terribly loud bar, across from the very busy ball park. It was super not my thing. But I got to knit. And spend time with my family. And get a little bike ride in, as we parked far away and rode in together.

We stayed up too late, but everything went smoothly, we didn’t have any issue with people failing to collect their bikes at the end of the night. We didn’t have to make any phone calls. And the weather was downright perfect, not hot, not too cool, breezy, clear.

And then I went in early for work the next day for a full day of training that was ridiculously boring, but I finished some knitting that is currently blocking, and did some more knitting, and when I got home I was so grumpy that Mr. Ink thought something terrible must have happened at work. But no, it was just that I was SO tired and headachey and just wanted to go to bed. So, Miss Butterfly and Mr. Ink stayed up and watched a movie together while I was in bed by 9:15.

I’ve got a few garden photos.

Day lilies have begun to bloom. The one on the right is from my actual day lily garden spot. The one on the right is from the holding area. I knew that most of what I put in the holding area would be of the ditch lily variety, but I ALSO knew I had some pretty colorful ones in there. So, I lined them all up by the fence and waited a year. I am not disappointed, there’s at least 3 in that area I’ll move to my regular day lily garden. Now I’ll flag the lilies that are “good” and wait until they are done blooming to move them.

I thought I had a photo of our balloon flowers blooming, but I guess not! I’ll try again later. After all, that garden bed is about to be in overdrive. It’s SO CLOSE to fully blooming.

Anyhow, the list for this week:

  • 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!
  • 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.)
  • Work on getting my step goals again, I’ve been falling down on this particular job lately.

That’s about it from here, it’s going to be another busy week and weekend. I’d love to stop saying that, but it’s looking unlikely any time soon at this point!

Why I Spin

No, don’t expect some philosophical thoughts on the subject. I am going to show you in a picture.


This is why I spin. To create yarn with colors that move in interesting and unpredictable ways. I absolutely love knitting with handspun, as I find it endlessly fascinating.

The yarn on this project is this recent handspun:


I really liked the way it turned out, and so I found a project I was hoping would be fairly intuitive and easy. The pattern is called Fiona, and at least at this stage I am not finding it particularly intuitive. It’s easy knitting, but I do have to keep following the pattern. So it’s not one I can have out and about.

Since we are volunteering tonight and I suspect there’ll be knitting time, I cast on another project yesterday. I had this great yarn of Miss Marja’s, it’s sort of scrappy with tons of different samples all spun into a 2 ply yarn. So I figured a fun linen stitch cowl would work perfectly. I don’t have a picture yet, I just don’t have quite enough on the needles to show it of in any big way. Hopefully tomorrow.

Our volunteer project is outdoors in the sun, so I am exceedingly thankful that our high today is supposed to be 82 only. It’ll be an amazing evening to be forced to be outside. Since the recent storm, there’s tons of volunteer opportunities this weekend, and I’ve been wishing I could fit more in. But since we’d already committed to this one, this is the one we’ll have to stick with even though it isn’t my favorite type of event. I’ll take some pictures.

As for now, I think it’s time I get some outdoor work done! Might as well take advantage of this lovely weather while it’s here.

The Calm After the Storm

We had a pretty major storm slam through last evening. Our family and house and trees are fine, but the entire neighborhood was without power, except us. Our power flickered and surged many times during the storm but held strong. So many not as fortunate as us, those with mature trees. The winds reached something like 120 mph, and there was a tornado just south of us. Many photos today of friends in the area with every tree in their yard down.

After the storm rolled through, Mr. Ink and I went out to clean up branches that had flown into our yard. Branches from neighborhood trees that had whipped through alarmingly, but stayed away from the house itself. And we looked up and noticed the sky. It was so amazing and spectacular. The heat had broken, the wind was still blowing and the clouds and sunset were enough to bring tears to your eyes. Mr. Ink took some pictures, but nothing compares to actually being there.

In the end, we brought our lawn chairs to the front yard, grabbed a glass of wine, and sat out front watching the sunset. (And listening to the cars honk in rage as the stoplights nearby weren’t working.) It was a pretty spectacular evening, and as the sun went down I realized that there were fireflies all around us. Just an amazing top 10 summery moment. The top of the hill might not be the best place to be when 120 mph winds roll through, but it sure is the best place to be to see the amazing sky. We’ll take it.

I went to pick up Miss Butterfly early this morning from camp. That area got hit pretty hard as well, all of camp is without power, and without water. So, it’s a bit of a nightmare for them right now, and picking her up was unexpectedly tricky as well because they were so discombobulated. But, on the way home I found out that Miss Butterfly skipped a level entirely this year, is now an advanced rider, and gets to begin jumping her horse next year. It’s awesome! I really wish we had the kind of cash to send her to lessons year round, she just loves it so much and she’s so comfortable with those animals.

I finished up a scarf and got it blocked before the storm rolled through, so I snapped a picture this morning.


Turned out pretty well, I have to say! Once again, this is Miss Marja’s handspun, and the pattern is one row handspun scarf.

And that’s it from here! Miss Butterfly is off with her father at the funeral, and I’ve got quite an extensive load of laundry to do. I am basically hoping to do the laundry and then get it right back into the suitcase as she’s at camp again after this week. We are also doing some volunteer week tomorrow evening and have a housewarming party to attend tonight. Mr. Ink works today and somehow in between all of that, we have to fit lawn mowing and yard work in. This is a weekend that’s going to fly by in a heartbeat!

More Trees

I didn’t grab any photos of knitting last evening. There’s not much new to show. Nor did I do much knitting yesterday. I did get my more than 15 minutes of weeding done. I finally told Mr. Ink that I was trying to commit to that each day. Surprisingly, his response was a very genuine “Wow! I bet you are seeing great progress!” Surprising because he weeds for hours on end.

He headed out to look for another shrub. He’s nutty, I cannot believe he’d want to plant another thing. He didn’t find what he was looking for after 2 different stores, but he came home with a new watering can and a very nice pair of little clippers for deadheading.

Sometimes he reminds me of my grandfather. I seem to remember that during his retirement, my grandfather used to listen to my grandmother talk, not really say much about it, and then suddenly the thing she wanted would show up at the house. Oftentimes in this case, handmade. Mr. Ink is like that. I’ll mention that I need a new something or other. And, then he’ll come home with “surprises.” It’s pretty awesome. Anyhow, after my weeding, me and my new titanium clippers went out and did a ton of deadheading and cutting plants back.

Today we are off to the funeral of one of Mr. Ink’s coworkers who passed away in a terrible accident. It’s a double service, as his partner was also involved. I won’t know anyone, but Mr. Ink worked with this young man for 12 years and doesn’t want to miss it. Then I found out last evening that Miss Butterfly’s great grandmother did indeed pass away this week. The funeral is set for Saturday morning, so we’ve arranged to get her picked up from camp early so she can get home, wash up, get changed, and head to the funeral. She’s going to be rather startled I think, but I know she wouldn’t want to miss the funeral. What a week!

So, all I’ve got now is photos of a few more of our trees. Not all of them of course, but a few.


This is one set of trees that will hopefully over time grow enough to give us extra privacy and help cut down on road noise. Mr. Ink put them in at the end of the first summer I think, so they are closing in on 2 years here. They didn’t grow much in year one, but we are seeing lots of new growth this spring. They are pretty happy. Beyond that is my weird weeping spruce monster. I purchased it quite cheap last year, and as it turns out, that’s because the top of it was broken. When we got it, it was desperately root bound, and a definite weeper. Such droopy branches. Once planted, it perked up quite a bit, the branches lifted, and it almost looked as if it were dancing. I call it our dancing monster. It’s a SUPER weird tree. I do hope the top fills in a bit, as Mr. Ink is training a couple of the branches to stick straight up in hopes it doesn’t look weird forever. It’s a dwarf, it’s probably already 10 years old, and likely won’t grow all that much.


This one, too, is closing in on two years old. It was just a ridiculous spindly thing the first year and has filled in very nicely. I don’t love that it’s crooked, but Mr. Ink likes to train his tree trunks into weird shapes, so it’s starting this way and over time will probably change. It’s Kousa Dogwood, which has some really amazing buds but this one hasn’t done so yet.


The green one in front is a vine maple, with the japanese maple behind it, and then a fothergilla behind that. The fothergilla and the vine maple are new this year, the japanese maple one year old.


Right in front there is a Korean Fir tree. It’s a year old. These trees prefer more shady cooler weather, so it’s a bit of a stretch in this area. Mr. Ink had an elaborate set up to shade it last year. It grew not at all last year but this spring it’s got some new growth which is very exciting. To the right in the half finished garden bed is a black lace elderberry which has luckily tripled in size this year. And another interesting evergreen thing that I can’t remember the name of. There’s a whipcord toward the back under the hanging basket, not sure how big that is supposed to get.

And, that’s about it for today’s tree tour. I am slowly gathering all the tree photos for 2017. I’ve got one or two more to take and then I’ll be done. Sometimes I take a photo, and then think “This particular shrub will look better in a few weeks, let’s wait!” So, there’ll be more in the future.


On a Wednesday

Again with the rain by sheer force of will. I spent all last evening watching some storms on the radar. They were pretty far west, and I wasn’t sure they were going to make it here. But this morning it’s raining beautifully, and I am thrilled to pieces that our plants and ground are getting a much needed soaking.

It was even hotter yesterday, with crazy wind. Even so, I forced myself into 15 minutes of weeding, and you know what? That rose of sharon garden is looking pretty decent. And after today’s rain, it’ll be even easier to pull those weeds.

On that note, guess what those weeds are? Those millions of weeds? They are new little rose of sharons. Apparently I wasn’t aware of just how much they like to reseed. This year I’ll take the copious amounts of time to deadhead that thing as high as I can reach. I don’t really want to do this type of weeding again.

I had hoped to commute by bike this morning, but the morning rain made that a fail. Unfortunately, this means I won’t make my goal of commuting by bike once this week, as we’ve got a funeral to attend midday tomorrow, and Friday I get to walk Max, Miss Marja’s dog. So car is needed. Because I couldn’t commute in, I had extra time in the morning.


And that means I was able to finish repeat 5 on the first side of the tibetan clouds stole. I committed to 3 repeats this week and I’ve already knit two. I really think this thing is going to be absolutely glorious once blocked!

I also finished up the next ball of yarn on the purple scarf, as I’d hoped. Now I’ve only 4 balls of yarn left to go on that. I am feeling mighty accomplished with my knitting right now. It’s nice. With Tour de Fleece right around the corner, this bodes well for my stash.

The one thing I’ve noticed this week with Miss Butterfly at camp, despite really missing her company, is that it is true that I just plain have more mental energy to get stuff done with her gone. I’ve been productive around the house and with other stuff that just plain needs to be sorted, and it feels really good. She’s got another week of camp coming up, as well as her annual trip to visit my parents, so I am just going to take advantage of that mental energy and work with it.

I guess that’s about it from here, happy halfway through the week!


I keep joking that I made it rain yesterday by the sheer force of my will. We woke up to what looked like storm clouds brewing, but often summer storms dissipate right before they hit our city. And, when it’s mid 90s already, we call them summer storms. Thankfully they did not dissipate. The rain we got wasn’t hard rain, but it did do a good job watering our plants for us, and went a long way toward filling our rain barrel. This meant that Mr. Ink and I got an evening “off.” Because at this point our gardens are so large that watering them properly really can eat up an evening.

Despite the fact that the rain made everything super humid, I decided to go out and weed the rose of sharon garden bed. Now, yesterday Bagheeracr at Experiencing Local made the comment that maybe I could set the timer for 2 minutes and then get on with it. I figured I’d do myself 3 minutes better and set the timer for 5 minutes. And, I figured if I do that every evening I can, I am likely to feel less overwhelmed. So, I set my timer for 5 minutes, weeded for 10 or 15 minutes, and made decent progress without feeling overwhelmed or miserable. In fact, even in the humidity, that amount of time wasn’t enough for me to break a sweat.

So, I am going to try that trick again. But next time with a bucket rather than throwing the weeds on the lawn, which always annoys Mr. Ink even though he comes by and picks them up anyhow. (The patience of that man is quite amazing, so we try not to take advantage of it too often.)

If I was really smart, I’d go out and weed first thing in the morning before work! In fact, I wandered out this morning to look at the garden very briefly, to see my huge lily beginning to bloom!


Isn’t that wild? I thought “I should really plant some more of those” and then I realized that those are ones which I propagated, so I’d better not. With any luck, I’ll have more in a few years, and they’ll get overwhelming quickly.

This garden bed is a constant work in progress. You can see that we’ve still got lots of area to fill in. And I’ve got to get my mums pinched back again. Mr. Ink just bought a plant for that garden, but has planted it so far back it’s hard to see. I think he’s going to be moving it forward so it doesn’t just smoosh in with everything else. There’s some stuff in there I am allowing to stay for now, but will be removed in the future. But, it’s a pretty vast improvement on last year. img_4534

This. This is what that garden bed looked like last year. (And what you don’t see are the huge volunteer tree roots that we kept cutting back but really needed digging up. We still find them sometimes.)

I was pretty motivated to work on the list from yesterday, getting my work bag cleaned out and more than half a repeat done on the tibetan clouds stole, in addition to regular keep the house running chores. I always get irritable at the thought of having to put away dishes while Miss Butterfly is away, it’s her job. But then I realize that Mr. Ink and I use fewer dishes overall, and I really only have to run the dishwasher twice when she’s gone for a week.

After those things were done, Mr. Ink and I finished our listen to A Man Called Ove while he made dinner and I worked on this new project:


The pattern is the One Row Handspun Scarf, and the yarn is some of Miss Marja’s handspun. I’d tried to make it into another scarf awhile back, but could tell I’d run out of yarn. Let’s see if I can find a photo:


There we go. The ruching ate up way too much yarn, so I had to rip it back out. I still want to make the above pattern at some point, but I’ll save it for something with more yarn. I the meantime, I really love how the one row handspun scarf pattern is showing off the yarn. I started with 7 balls of yarn, and I am currently knitting on my 3rd ball of yarn. I bet she made this yarn on spindles, because all the balls are about the same size. Which means at the rate of one ball of yarn per day, I’ll have a completed scarf by the end of the weekend.

A week or so ago I think I expressed that I really wanted to work on something out of handspun, rather than working on all my projects out of commercial yarn. Now I’ve got two handspun scarves on the needles, which really helps scratch that itch! I am enjoying my month of knitting. Earlier this year I was able to get my yarn stash down to JUST ONE cabinet. Since my spinning picked up again, I was struggling again. But, with this latest month of knitting I’ve got everything put away in that one cabinet again, much to my relief. I never want to expand beyond it! In fact, I’d like to get it down to such a reasonable level that I can easily move yarn about in the storage cubes, making each skein easier to see. Right now they are sort of stuffed in there pretty tightly.

I guess that’s it for around here! I am pretty pleased with my progress yesterday evening. So much so I’ve made myself an additional list of other stuff I need to get done, like purchasing plane tickets for vacation and stuff. Let’s see if I can be equally good at getting that one done!


This Week June 12-18

Last week:

  • Clean the outside of the fridge and microwave and keep up on other normal chores.
  • Get herbs and veggies and get them planted.
  • Weed rose of sharon garden bed. Again.
  • Finish center square on the tibetan clouds stole.
  • Work on final clue of mystery stole.
  • Commute by bike once this week.
  • Finish up the shopping for Miss Butterfly, and get her prepared and packed for camp.

I am not making excuses for the two that I didn’t get done!

Let’s talk instead about that mystery stole that I finished this weekend! You know what? I couldn’t have imagined a better way to pull it all together.

It turned out great, I really like it. And I enjoyed knitting it. It’s quite wide really, which will come in handy. The yarn is a high silk content merino, so it’s really very soft and drapey as well.

As for yarn use, I got VERY lucky. You may remember that I thought maybe I was pretty light on the green amounts, so I added in a bit of coral as well? At the end of the stole I had just enough green left to crochet the end in very carefully. Not even enough to use a darning needle for weaving in the end. And, I had less than half a row worth of the coral left. So, I really pushed it, but was also not terribly nervous because I figured I could easily throw in a bit of one of the other colors to make up for whatever I lacked. I just didn’t have to. So, because of the color differences, my stole is not symmetrical. But I don’t think it matters one bit. It’s still lovely. It still uses yarn I dyed by hand. It still uses up quite a lot of yarn from my stash. All things I expect out of my knitting right now.

For this week:

  • 3 more repeats on the sides of tibetan clouds, I have 3 repeats done on the first side. I need 8.5 before the final border charts. I am struggling with this one a bit. The lace is complicated, I can’t memorize it, and it’s not intuitive either. I need to look at the pattern for both sides, it’s not a straight purl back either. So, it’s slow going and I am tiring of it after 3 repeats. It goes on the list, and I can just keep after it until it’s done.
  • Clean out work bag! It’s a desperate situation at this point, I can’t find anything.
  • Commute by bike once this week. (Maybe this time I’ll get it done?)
  • Deep cleaning of the bathroom. I’ve been neglecting it. Mr. Ink has been doing so much planting that scrubbing down the walls feels pointless, as the next day there’s mud on them again. Sort of like the fridge door. But, this is NO excuse to fail to get the job done!
  • Some weeding of the rose of sharon garden bed? JUST SOME? Maybe the issue is that it feels overwhelming so I don’t even start.
  • Get photos of all the trees for 2017, and put them in an album for comparison next year.

Miss Butterfly is off at camp, and I’ll tell you what. I am already eager to go get her on Saturday. It’s so weird, her getting older. I don’t have that “I need a break desperately” feeling at all anymore!

That’s it from here! I’ve got a full day of work training (read full day of knitting) and am off to that in just a moment. I am oddly excited about this prospect!

Sunday Update

We had a wonderful busy Saturday. That kind where so much gets done, and you just pretty much enjoy all of it.

We started with morning mowing. We knew it would be a hot day so we figured we’d get it out of the way. I tried something new, and something I really should have tried before this. You see, Mr. Ink and I have two mowers. We each brought one into the relationship. And it’s worked well for us, since I don’t mind mowing, I like the exercise, and it helps me feel like I am actually really helping with something practical in the yard. Now, I know I’ve been complaining about all the trees lately, and mowing around them. But, I don’t want to stop mowing, I want to keep helping.

So, it was much to my surprise yesterday when Mr. Ink talked about getting rid of his mower. “It’s too heavy” he said. “I repaired a plastic wheel last year and now another is broken.” He complained. I panicked, talking about how it’s nice to have two mowers and get the job done fast. He said “Oh, I’d get another!” So of course I tried to figure out how we would keep both.  Then I remembered something. His mower is self propelled, even though it’s a feature he never uses. So, I agreed to switch mowers this weekend, and try the self propelled feature. And guess what? A self propelled mower zooms right around those trees nicely. The parts of the lawn Mr. Ink takes care of are on steep banks, and the self propelled feature doesn’t work well there. So, making the switch seems to have worked quite well.

We had some lunch, then headed to the plant store to pick up a few things. And browse. And take pictures of plants we may want in the future. It’s pretty much like going to a local yarn shop for us, but we both get to enjoy it. I brought home two more delphinium and a lily to add to my collection, in addition to that elusive cayenne pepper.

Then we were off to a friend’s home. He’s having surgery this week, and so was on call for work this weekend and couldn’t leave the house. We headed over there to visit with him, and drink his home brewed beer with him. He had 3 great delicious beers on offer, we tasted each and then chose one, and then sat and socialized with him and his girlfriend. Our social time has been severely lacking lately, and perhaps theirs as well, as evidenced in that all 4 of us introverts couldn’t stop talking.

Once back home we grabbed a quick nap, then I had some iced coffee, and we got back to work in the yard. It was hot and humid, so a bit miserable. But, I had stuff I really wanted to get done! I moved my purple coneflowers, they’d grown too large for the spot I’d put them in. I removed a large hosta to keep my delphinium clear. I planted my new lily, planted the pepper and another basil plant, and then watered everything and called it good. By the time Mr. Ink was done with his yard work it was late and we went out to dinner. (At 9:30 p.m.!)

I managed to enjoy a bit of knitting time and quite a bit of indoor clean up time in there as well. This morning I finished my mystery stole, so once that’s dry I can grab photos. I also started something new.


I took that wild and crazy yarn I was using last week and began a very simple mindless scarf. I think this will show off the yarn and not be too busy at all for it. It’s also fairly mindless, which is great since tomorrow I’ve got a day long training that I suspect I’ll be able to knit through if I keep it under the table. Plus, I needed something for today! I may be socializing again, amazingly enough. A girlfriend of mine decided she wanted a day at the lake so she’s invited a few cyclists out for a gravel bike ride and some lake time. I figure I’ll bring my knitting if I go.

That’s it from here, I am hoping we’ll have a dry mystery stole in short order because I am so eager to show it off!

Trees and More Trees

I haven’t any knitting to show off today. Thursday evening the final clue came out on the mystery stole and I’ve been knitting away on that ever since. I am about halfway through the final clue. Depending on my speed and the speed of blocking, I’ll have a finished object tomorrow or Monday to show off. I can tell you this though, connecting the two pieces is AMAZING. It looks great! I can’t wait to show it off. But it’s so amazing that I am not going to even post a photo of where I am now on the knit. It’s a surprise!

In the meantime, I took some photos of some of the trees we planted last year. I mean, it’s so valuable to try to compare them to what they looked like last year, so much do they grow in a year.


See the cypress behind the rose bush?


It seems almost as if it’s doubled in size, and boy has it filled in! Can you tell it’s windy? The wind is whipping it around in this photo.

At the beginning of last year, we also put in a japanese maple. Just a plain traditional one. We’ve put in a bunch more since them, specialty items Mr. Ink researched and fell in love with. However, this one was the first, and I really loved it. But, it didn’t do well last year. In fact, there was a point where the japanese beetles ate it completely down to nothing, there were no leaves on it at all. Just a pathetic stick in the ground. Once we managed to fix that issue, (regular application of neem oil helped) the poor thing then got bag worms, before we figured out what bag worms were. Thankfully this year we know what to look for, and the japanese maple I fussed over all last year looks great this year.


I am thrilled with how well it’s doing! Mr. Ink threatened numerous times to get rid of it, but I’ve put a hard stop to that and I think it’s here to stay.

Up next, Harry Lauder’s Walking Stick Tree. I love this one. Mr. Ink pointed one out at the botanical garden last year, and then we came right home and got one. It’s on one of the front banks. This is not a tree that gets overly large from what I can tell. In fact, none of our trees get overly large. In any case, this one is amazing for it’s odd, twisted, contorted branches, and ours is doing that quite nicely.


I’ve spent a lot of time this winter being semi critical of all the trees Mr. Ink was planting. And, I am highly critical of them when it comes time to mow. But, the other day I was wandering about the yard. I looked at the paperbark maple, new this year, and said “That’s my current favorite tree!” Then I said “No! No, my odd weeping pine is my favorite.” Then I corrected myself again. “No, that’s not true, my favorite is the cypress. Or maybe it’s the new weeping redbud. Or the walking stick!” And then I realized something. I am not actually critical of the trees at all, in fact, I can’t seem to make up my mind about which one I love best. I guess I’ve come around to the idea of our yard being a forest of odd trees.

We’ve been in an all out war with the weeds the past few days, that’s what’s going on in the garden right now. It’s so amazing really. I mean, it’s hot here. And we need rain. The plants droop without it, and yet the weeds NEVER droop! It’s like the revel in it. They are thrilled. They love it, it makes them all the stronger! I’d like to make a stop at the plant store, I never did get there after work this week. I need a cayenne pepper plant! And, I want a few more delphinium. Mr. Ink agrees. They look great, and if they like our soil, we should plant more.

That’s about it from here. Miss Butterfly is with her dad and then headed straight to camp tomorrow. We are having quite a bit of quiet around here. Mr. Ink is puttering in the yard, and I am hoping we manage a bike ride and a little socializing later. Though that’ll depend. The heat will be in the mid 90s and the wind is whipping at 20-30 mph. Not ideal biking weather, that’s for certain. We might just do the socializing part. I can’t decide!


Couldn’t Resist

When I decided to only knit for a month, I knew that might be slightly difficult if the weather was particularly pleasant. And, quite frankly, holding myself to some self imposed monthly goal is a bit silly. So, when it was 81F and exceedingly pleasant last evening, and I had actual downtime, I pulled out my wheel and allowed myself about an hour of spinning last evening.


This is from a nunoco batt set I have in stash. It’s spinning up far nicer than the yellow and grey ones I had spun earlier. It’s smoother, and I love the rich tones.

I did also do a bit of knitting on my tibetan clouds stole. I am finding it to be a pleasant knit, but a bit complicated. I am very happy I didn’t bother with beads.

I didn’t get a photo of the new rose yet, it was looking a little bit shocked from going from the pot to the ground. I told Mr. Ink it looked “droopy” and he claimed it has always been droopy. I disagree. Not that droopy. But, a little shock is pretty normal.

We also had to remove our black tower elderberry, it was dying in the spot we had it in. I am not sure it’ll recover. But, Mr. Ink is going to try. I guess we are still looking for something appropriate in a spot that’s both boggy and shady. There’ll be SOMETHING out there! The ferns we have in there are doing well, and I just planted a toad lily there too. But we’d like to plant something larger.

In any case, I need to pick up a few plants tonight and then home to help Miss Butterfly pack for camp. We’ll do the final packing push tonight, even though she doesn’t leave until Sunday. I hate leaving it until the last minute, and there’s absolutely no reason in the world it cannot be taken care of early. (We’ve got clothing all pulled out and labeled and almost everything necessary is checked off the official list, so we are doing quite well!)

I guess I should check in on the list I created on Monday since I am really feeling like I’ve got this week under control!


I’ve got no better title than that.

Yesterday was brutal, but brought to a close another very busy time period at work. I worked late, and when I got home I grabbed a quick nap before getting the veggies planted.


It’s not much this year, since I’ve gotten such a late start. (And I keep mint and dill in a box so that they don’t completely overtake the garden.) I need to plant one more thing, I thought I brought home a cayenne plant, but it turned out to be a hungarian wax pepper. I don’t know what the heck I’ll do with hungarian wax peppers, but we’ll see. Now it’s back to the shop for a cayenne, I can’t live without those!

In other garden news, the rhododendron is in, and I love it!


We are hoping that it covers that phone box nicely. To be honest I think it has the potential to grow rather large, and I think it’s planted too close to the house. However, I also have realized that Mr. Ink will generally come around to my way of thinking and fix it soon enough.

I believe my new rose got planted as well as a few other things yesterday, as I was working my way through the veggie garden. So, more pictures to come.

In knitting news, my big goal this week on the tibetan clouds stole was completed. I wanted to finish the center square. I finished it last night, and this morning I got it ready for the sides before work. I grabbed a quick photo. I think this is going to be really delightful once it’s done and blocked!


Miss Butterfly and I have been continuing to get her ready for camp. We’ve now gotten clothing labeled and everything set out for packing. Tomorrow night we’ll get it all in a suitcase ready to go. Today she gets to spend the day with her dad and her uncle in from out of town, as they go visit her great grandmother who has been doing poorly. I am getting the impression that great grandma is suspected to be at the end of life, though I am not sure Miss Butterfly knows it. Since she’s gone a good portion of the summer, I am glad she’s getting to spend some time with great grandma this week.

That is about it from this corner of the world, I don’t know if I’ll have any more interesting knitting pictures, but I’ll probably have more garden photos soon.

Getting Things Done

After work last evening, I dropped by my favorite local plant shop and picked up herbs and some peppers for my new veggie garden. Then I drove home, had a cup of iced coffee, grabbed Miss Butterfly, and we headed off to get the final two things on her list of stuff we needed to shop for.

Over the weekend we’d purchased a pair of boots for her horseback riding this summer. Unfortunately, once I got them home I realized they weren’t going to work. The other issue was a bathing suit. It is SUPER hard to purchase a suit for her age and we’d already gone to like 4 stores and had absolutely no luck. I hate shopping with a passion, so all I did was get increasingly grumpy about it.

Now, I am the type of person who has one or two cups of coffee in the morning and that is IT. I sleep better that way, and I appreciate my sleep. However, that cup of coffee after work? I think it really kicked me into high gear. We got in the car and headed out, and I felt FAR less grumpy about shopping than I usually do. And we had a successful trip! We had to visit two stores, but we found boots and a suit, AND I was able to return the boots we’d purchased over the weekend that weren’t going to work.

This leaves tonight for me to plant my peppers and herbs! I am so pleased about that project. And, it’s going to be almost 10 degrees cooler tonight than it has been lately. Or so they say. I am, personally, banking on it.

I snapped a photo last evening of the handspun project I began over the weekend.


Unfortunately, this one may now be destined for the frog pond. Two problems. The first being that the yarn is really busy. It’s tweedy in the over the top sense, rather than in the slightly added interest to a solid color yarn sense. So, the gentle lace patterning in the scarf is lost. Also? I read the pattern incorrectly and made a mistake a few rows back without noticing. Know what? With over 300 stitches on the needle, tinking back is really not possible. So, frog pond I think. I really love the pattern and I fully intend to knit it, but in a more appropriate yarn.

As for this wonderfully tweedy yarn? Well, this one needs a pattern that’s SUPER gentle to show off all those amazing bits and bobs in the yarn. It’s back to the drawing board with this one I fear.

So, once I figured that out, I put this project down until I have time to find a different pattern, and I picked up the tibetan clouds stole, since I gave myself the goal of finishing the middle square this week. Got a few rows done on that, but not too much.

I’ve currently got Mr. Ink listening to “A Man Called Ove” on audio book with me. We listen in the evenings as he does his stretching to fix his back after all his digging. You may remember that I’ve talked about how he’s so busy digging lately that he never rests. Well, he was stretching and I was knitting, and I guess I didn’t notice. But, we came to another particularly funny part of the story and I realized he wasn’t laughing. It was a part he absolutely SHOULD have laughed at, so I looked over, and he was fast asleep on the floor. I turned off the book, woke him up, and suggested he head to bed. It was far earlier than usual, so I got less knitting done than I had anticipated as well. But I got sleep, and that’s quite valuable.

Until next time…

This Week June 5-11

Last week’s list:

  • Ply the two skeins of loop cloud yarn
  • Finish clue 3 of the mystery knit, start clue 4
    • I even finished clue 4!
  • Bike ride with friends on Thursday evening? We really gotta get out and socialize.
    • We didn’t do this. I wasn’t feeling too hot at the end of last week.
  • 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.)
    • I kept up on the chores, but didn’t clean the outside of fridge. This is entirely because I spent 4 evenings after work sorting bins from the basement, choosing stuff to get rid of, and then tidying it all up. I feel that was enough for “extra” chores.
  • Summer clothing shopping for Miss Butterfly. She needs boots for camp, shorts, and a new bathing suit.
    • We did go summer shopping. We got everything but the suit. However, I am not happy with the boots, so we may end up looking for a different pair.

Mr. Ink was a crazy man in yard projects again. He properly edged my veggie garden. Then, he dug off all the top soil. And he dug the hard awful clay stuff under the top soil down about 5 inches and removed it. He put the top soil back in, and then amended with manure, peat moss, and sulfur. I then planted the tomatoes I’ve had limping along in tiny pots waiting for the veggie garden to be finished. He also amended the soil and planted a smoke bush where the burning bush was.



The space in front of the rock retaining wall still needs work, and apparently another tree will go in there. I am not entirely sure what the plan for that section is, but we’ll have to wait and see.

This means that I get to go buy more veggies and herbs to plant! Finally!

He also got my rhododendron planted this week, and has a major goal for this upcoming week to get everything he has in pots into the ground. I am telling you, this would be a MAJOR accomplishment. There’s so much!

My weekend was somewhat more relaxed. I did get quite a bit of knitting done as well as some outdoor chores. It was hot and humid and I found myself quite irritable about being outdoors. Which is silly, since it’s just the beginning around here, and I should get out there and get used to it. I did get the mowing done, but I did my half early in the morning, and I think I am going to make that my habit from here on out. It was FAR more pleasant, and completely shaded, than my experiences in mowing in the evenings.

I grabbed a photo of my astilbe blooming for the first time. I planted two astilbe plants last year, they were small and neither bloomed. This year they are much larger, and the first one has bloomed. I did also plant a third in front of the original two, and it looks like it may bloom this year as well. (It started out much larger than the first two from last year.)


This garden is one of those gardens that stays shady, has really cruddy and gravelly soil, and is in that section of house that’s ugly. With meters and so on. When we moved in, it had absolutely nothing in it. They’d put landscaping fabric over the gravelly soil, put top soil on that, a rather thin layer, and then mulch. So, when I went to add these plants in, I had to pull up top soil and mulch and cut out landscaping fabric. Only to find the cruddy gravelly soil underneath. That being said, they seem to be doing ok back here! The garden is green and filling in nicely, especially all the ground cover I added.

No knitting pictures. I finished both clue 4 pieces and now just have to wait until Thursday evening for clue 5. Doing these mystery knits really pushes me to keep up, and then I feel like I have a finished object in record time. That might be my favorite part about them. I did cast on another scarf out of handspun yarn. I was so itching to use handspun! I brought my sock home but didn’t work on it. Instead, I brought stitch markers to work so that should fix the problem of my stalling out on it. I’ll get a photo of the handspun scarf, but since it’s knit horizontally, it just looks like a whole bunch of squished up stitches at the moment.

This week:

  • Clean the outside of the fridge and microwave and keep up on other normal chores.
  • Get herbs and veggies and get them planted.
  • Weed rose of sharon garden bed. Again.
  • Finish center square on the tibetan clouds stole.
  • Work on final clue of mystery stole.
  • Commute by bike once this week.
  • Finish up the shopping for Miss Butterfly, and get her prepared and packed for camp.

Ever look at your list and think “Dang, it’s gonna be a busy week!” That’s me this week.


You know, I am beginning to think that my garden has special garden gnomes that plant lilies just for me. Or somehow makes one lily into two. It’s totally magic!


Last year I planted one yellow lily. I’d gotten it from a plant rescue, and never saw it bloom even though I did know that it would bloom yellow, according to the tag picture. This year? Two yellow lilies. I swear I only planted one. It’s so pretty! I think that I am going to become an avid lily collector.

The lily I had that is tall is this year taller than ever. It’s taller than I am, Mr. Ink made me go stand next to it. It is still a ways off from blooming but I’ll put Miss Butterfly in the photo when it does, so that you can see the perspective. In any case, it certainly didn’t mind being moved last year, or getting scaled in hopes for more tall lilies. I was told that after I removed scales I might not see blooms the next year. But, it’s got buds on the tall stalk.

It’s been a slow weekend, crafting wise. But, I did manage to work my way through clue 4 of the mystery stole. At least one one half.


2 more colors and patterns added. I actually have the purple done on the other half as well, just have to finish up the blue.

Today is yard work day first, with a bunch of mowing right off the bat. Then, I have to go do my least favorite thing, shopping. Miss Butterfly desperately needs some new things. And she needs them before she heads off to camp. So I have decided today is The Day for that chore. I just don’t want to have to keep thinking about it over and over, so I am going to get the chore done so I can cross it off my list and stop spending mental energy and worry on it.

And that’s about it from here. I am having one of those weekends where I wish it were longer. Blame the 5 day weekend last week! I miss it and I want to do it again.


I’ve been working on something and haven’t bothered to take a photo. It’s my skew sock!

I won a skein of dyeabolical’s watercolor stripe yarn recently and it took me awhile to get it cast on. It also took me awhile to figure out what sock I wanted to knit in the first place. But, once I remembered how much I loved my last pair of skew socks out of noro kureyon sock, which are no more because I wore through the heels as I couldn’t stop wearing them, I decided that would be a great project for self striping yarn.


Look at that! It’s so pretty. So rich in color, as is typical for dyeabolical yarn.

It’s been my work project thus far, but I think I’ll take it home this weekend in case I want to keep working on it. It would be convenient to get the heel done at home where I have everything I need to complete the heel turn. I need more stitch markers, I need dpns, I need a needle to kitchener the heel. None of that I keep at work. So, perhaps that’ll be the goal of the weekend, to get myself past the heel by Monday morning when I can bring it back and work on it at work again next week.

I am still in this mode of “allergies or cold?” right now, and I can’t seem to shake it. I feel pretty good in the mornings, but by the time evening rolls around I don’t feel good at all. Last evening I continued my work on the closet and dresser clean out, continuing to sort and put away, and hang up, and purge. I am pretty much done now, there’s a pile of clothing for Miss Butterfly to sort through when she gets home tonight, and then I’ll be able to put the final bin in the basement, having completed the job. I didn’t really expect this to take 4 nights of work!!! But, I also haven’t gone through my closets in 2 years, and it really should be an every 6 months or so task, I think. (The fact that I have WAY more closet space in the new house means I somehow failed completely to do this job for 2 years.)

That’s about all from here! Happy Friday everyone.


Last evening, I embarked on quite a task. Rather unexpectedly. I’d begun going through my closets the night before, pulling things out that I really didn’t wear. Then I got it in my head that I needed to go get the bins in the basement and sort them. I decided I wanted to do that from the comfort of my living room, where I could distract myself with TV, rather than staying in the basement. So, I brought 6 bins up from the basement, pulled everything out of them, sorted them into piles, put quite a bit into a pile that I plan to get rid of, and so on. Then, a few of the bins went back to the basement after sorting and packing back up.

I noticed partway through that I wasn’t feeling too good, with a runny nose. Now, everyone at work has been sick with a cold and cough, so naturally I figured I must be coming down with it too. After dinner, I told Mr. Ink that I planned to go to bed early with a couple benadryl in hopes that it was allergies and not a cold. I told him I’d be leaving him to his evening alone.

Now, prior to dinner, he’d been spending his time after work working on his retaining wall. When I announced I’d be going to bed at 9:30, he said “Well, maybe I’ll go back out and work on my wall then!” Talk about hyper focus. He turned on all the outdoor lights and opened the garage and just continued to get on with it. I’d taken a picture prior to dinner, but since he’d worked on the wall until 1:30 am (!!!) I had to get an updated picture this morning!


I am still not entirely sure I understand his vision right now, to me it looks like a pile of rubble. However, I also know that he’ll be adding plants and trees and probably all the dirt in between the cracks will hold succulents, and it’ll probably look great. Plus, this portion is just the beginning. So, I am trying to withhold judgment, while certainly being quite nervous about the whole thing.

Due to my surprise closet clean out over the past two evenings, as well as heading to Miss Marja’s house to help with a project of hers, I really have gotten very little knitting or spinning done. And now it’s June, and I am not even sure I’ll be spinning this month. (Though I also refuse to put myself under hard and fast rule about that right now.) Usually I would try to show off the joji mystery stole, both sides at once. But, I am 2 rows from being done with the second side, and I really just cannot wait anymore.


This is complete through clue 3, and clue 4 comes out later tonight. I am oddly worried about yarn amounts, even though I really did start with enough. Well, I always worry about yarn amounts.

The delphinium I planted last year began to bloom yesterday!


It’s still a small plant, and somewhat weak, but it’s getting there! Next season I need to remove a hosta it’s right next to. The hosta keeps getting bigger, and I don’t want it to crowd the delphinium. And if I can grow this one, I may add more.

That’s about it from around here! I’ve still got a couple bins in the living room and a lot to sort and put away, so my unexpected project continues on. However, I am hoping it will be a lot less allergy inducing now that I’ve finished step one. I am enjoying the fact that it’s a short week since we had Monday off!