Replenishing the Fiber Cabinet

I finished up another set of batts to replenish the fiber cabinet with. These have lots of fun add ins because I love all that stuff. They took me a few days to complete because I’ve just been working on them here and there in between everything else.

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It’s funny, when I look at them I realize they look fairly close to the last set I did:

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I think it’s the decision to start with a very muted base and add brightness. One was a grey romney dyed green, and the other was a grey romney dyed turquoise. With both, I added much brighter wools and silks. I guess it’s time to start moving away from the whole blue/green thing though, I need to add some different colors in there!

I don’t have more doggo pictures today, but I do have a funny little story. Now, Lizzie has been one of those dogs that is just not afraid of anything really. Storms don’t stress her out. She doesn’t need to retreat to a cave. With her, no one is a stranger, she’ll visit with any human or dog. Though…exuberant dogs overwhelm her and she wants her space. Cars are no problem, even when they are moving right along, which naturally worries me a bit! The most reaction I’ve ever seen out of her is when I open the extra lock on the sliding glass door in the mornings. It makes a rather loud popping sound, and the first couple times I put my foot on the lock to release it she flinched. Now when I put my foot on that lock, she just backs away and waits for it to be over.

We did realize she doesn’t particularly LIKE the vacuum cleaner. However, she’s a long haired shedding dog, so the vacuum cleaner is regularly run. Yesterday afternoon, I asked Miss Butterfly to get a good vacuum done on the living room rug. She did so. I guess Lizzie decided that was enough. She kept trying to avoid the thing, but it would just keep coming back into her space. We saw Lizzie looking like she was mustering her courage, and then she charged it. After that, she backed up, gathered her courage, charged the vacuum cleaner again, and bit it! Naturally, this set Miss Butterfly and I into fits of giggles! After that incident, there was no more charging and biting.

When Mr. Ink came home, I decided to tell him the story of the vacuum cleaner, and he had his own story. Apparently after 2 weeks in our home, she’s learned when Mr. Ink is heading to work. He’s almost always the one to put her in the kennel when he leaves for work later than the rest of us leave the house. So, now after 2 weeks, when he puts his big work boots on, she sees the boots and goes to get right in her kennel and waits for him to close the door. Such a good girl!

That’s it from here, hopefully there’ll be a spectra scarf to show off on Saturday. It’s done, but I was unable to get it blocked due to having gone on a nice long bike ride with friends last evening. I’ve a long list of stuff to get done this weekend that’ll make me feel like I’ve really accomplished something, and I am really looking forward to that!!! Have a good one!

Just a Dog

I’ve got no other photos except for Lizzie Bean.

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From this morning where she was impolite, jumping up on my lap, on my knitting, with her cold wet paws without even asking! But who can resist this cutie anyhow? Actually, she’s been getting far more bold the past two days. I also think she might be losing weight, because she can jump a lot further than she used to be able to. Yesterday Mr. Ink came home and sat down, and she jumped right up on his lap without prompting. This is highly unusual, as she tends to be the most skeptical of him out of all of us. He was VERY pleased.

We need to get to work on her fur this weekend, Mr. Ink and I. The fur between her pads is growing back quickly, only 3 weeks after her professional grooming. It’s making her slip and fall on the hardwood floors.

I didn’t get any more batts done last evening. Miss Butterfly had show choir auditions, then we had a bunch of house chores we’d been neglecting, and then Mr. Ink and I went out shopping to find a bathrobe so I can easily take Lizzie out in the backyard in the morning since she’s so uninterested in staying in the bedroom once I leave for my morning shower. Trial run of new routine worked just fine this morning, and everyone seems more happy with the arrangement. Though when I went in to wake up Mr. Ink, he said “The dog wasn’t in here, but I dreamed she was on the bed and it woke me up anyhow!” I was like yeah, I can’t really help you with that!

Anyhow, that’s about it from here. But, I can say that one of those spectra scarves is a few rows away from completion! I didn’t realize I was that close, but I can assure you that being done with one of them will be wonderful. The other one is about halfway completed, but it sits at work for my lunchtime knitting so it can go as slow or as fast as it goes. One more project off the needles before I even get started on Miss Marja’s next handknit!

This Week August 28-September 3

I am a day late! I was so excited about all my finishes that I forgot to post my list. Last week:

  • Daily step goals
    • Easy peasy with the addition of a dog in the mix.
  • One bike commute
    • This one failed. I’d not been sleeping well the week up to and after we got Lizzie, I find adjustments difficult. I could have bike commuted on Wednesday but didn’t because I slept in a bit. I was completely prepared to commute on Friday, the only other day I could, but woke up at 5:30 am to a large storm rolling in. It poured all morning.
  • Finish marathon knitting. I think I can do it! That would be cool!
  • All the planner tasks. ALL OF THEM!
    • Yes, and some done ahead of schedule. And, some not completely complete, but they were worked on and I am now waiting on other people for responses, so that counts.
  • Take Lizzie to the dog park. (We tried this weekend but it was way too muddy when we wanted to go!)
    • We did this on Saturday! She…wasn’t all that enthused. She doesn’t like to play outdoors or in public. She doesn’t care about other dogs. I mean, she’ll spend time with them but not in play. She visited all the strangers, and spent a ton of time sniffing around. It was nice though, to let her outdoors off leash somewhere, and it was fun to watch and interact with all the dogs. Lizzie let us know when she was done. After about an hour, despite being very far from the entrance, she sniffed her way back to the gate and waited for us there. So, dog park isn’t 100% a favorite thing, but probably still good to do from time to time to keep her mind bright.

I took a look in my fiber cabinet, a cabinet that used to be stocked nice and full, only to realize that I have very little fiber left in my collection. Now, I am sure I’ll purchase more in the future, but for now, I thought maybe I should start bulking up my collection again by making my own. I dyed a bunch of wool top awhile back for this purpose specifically. So, I think I’ll try to make batts every couple of days for awhile. Here’s the ones from the weekend:

I started with a muted grey green. The base was a grey romney wool that  I’d dyed green. Then I added quite a bit of lighter blues and greens to brighten it up significantly. Turned out pretty well! There are, of course, some fun add ins and sparkle, but I didn’t go overboard on this set. A bit over 4 ounces, though I didn’t actually weigh them once they were done.

This week:

  • Daily step goals
  • A bike ride with friends and a bike commute, or two bike rides with friends.
  • Work with Miss Butterfly on her room, and reducing the “slime situation” in the house. Things are getting out of hand with the slime fad in our home and I have reached a limit.
  • Measure rooms for moving the large area rug.
  • Work on cleaning out basement.
  • Get a load to donate out of the basement.
  • Make batts.

I think I’ll stop there. With show choir auditions this week, things are already a little tight. But thank goodness for a long weekend!

Now the Hanspun Finish

So, I was working on those purple batts before the Color Craving yarn arrived. I’d spun all the singles, and had plied half of them. But, that half sat on the wheel with the other half of the singles still on the lazy kate, until Color Craving and Tibetan Clouds was done.

Then, in short order, I finished the plying. I washed the yarn yesterday, hung it outside to dry, and then we all went off to buy new living room furniture. (WOOT!!!!)

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Once back home after many hours away (furniture choosing is QUITE a marathon) the yarn was dry, so I got my photo! This is 972 yards of 2 ply fingering weight yarn.

And now my crafting is mostly at a standstill. I have pulled out a braid of wool top to put on the wheel, but I wasn’t so inspired to get started. I ended up spending a lot of time not knitting, and when I did knit, I worked on one of the in progress spectra scarves. What do I have here at work today to knit? The other in progress spectra scarf. I think I’ll keep at these until I get my hands on the yarn for Miss Marja’s new project.

Anyhow, as I mentioned, we picked out new furniture yesterday. Actually, I’d picked out furniture a couple months ago. But, once I showed it to Mr. Ink, and he realized we could have ANY fabric out of all the fabrics for that collection, his indecision kicked in. We spent hours, all 3 of us, going through fabric collections, making combinations, and making furniture choices. It was actually quite fun. In the end, we got the sofa and the chair that I wanted, but we completely changed up the color/pattern I’d chosen. The second chair I’d picked out was switched out with a simple and fairly non recliner looking recliner that matched well enough, in a matching fabric. Now, my living room colors since before Miss Butterfly have been olive greens and burgundy, which was quite a popular color at the time. I’ve tired of it quite a lot, but what I had chosen new would still go with our very nice living room rug, even though it would have been a departure from the burgundy/olive green. But, what we ended up with was grey and yellow! Honestly? I liked the grey and yellow pattern right from the start, but hadn’t been paying attention that I could get it on the style I wanted.

So, out of all the various patterns which we deliberated over for long periods of time, we ended up, both of us, thinking that the grey and yellow would look quite nice and be a nice departure from what we have. We had to special order it, so it won’t be in for a few weeks. When our sales person went to put our order in, she mentioned it would take awhile so we marched over to the area rug section with our fabric swatches and spent another hour over there deliberating over that. We got quite creative with various choices, but in the end we were already on decision overload, and so we wrote down our 3 top choices and decided to wait on a rug until after the furniture arrived and was in the house. After all, our real reasoning for having such a large area rug now was for the old dog Coco, who could barely walk on the hardwood floors. We….don’t have that problem now.

Since the current rug is actually such a nice piece, I think we’ll keep it and move it into either my craft room or our bedroom. I am leaning toward the bedroom to be honest. Since our bedroom theme seems to be “all the colors” really anything at all will work. And, the rug I have in there now is a purple thing I got on the cheap as a floor sample, again, for old Coco. It sheds terribly, and when we vacuum in there, which is frequently, it fills the vacuum with purple shedding, and no matter how often we vacuum over the years, it never does get better.

In any case, that was our half a day adventure yesterday. Once home I mostly relaxed and played with Lizzie until she was exhausted, and Mr. Ink worked in the yard. We have some upcoming vacation, and he’s marking out his projects for that time off. Big things will again be happening in the yard!

One last Lizzie story. She was so tired last evening, as we have kept her as active as she needs to be. She’s a very licky dog. Mr. Ink and I refuse to let her lick us, but Miss Butterfly often allows it. Lizzie was absolutely conked out on the living room floor for awhile, while Miss Butterfly and I watched one of her shows. Then, at some point Lizzie opened her eyes, spotted Miss Butterfly’s knee hanging off the end of the couch, and wobbles over there half asleep. Then falls asleep licking that exposed knee. Hilarious.

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She kept falling toward the floor with her tongue still trying to lick that knee. She’s such a goofy thing, and always brightening our lives!

Another One Done

When I began Color Craving, I was 23 rows and a bind off away from a finished Tibetan Clouds stole. So naturally, as soon as Color Craving was blocked, I finished it up right quick. I blocked it yesterday and had Miss Butterfly help me get a few photos this morning.

The yarn is Dream in Color Jilly I had in stash. The Tibetan Clouds pattern is full of errata, so if you choose this pattern, be sure to check it thoroughly. I did not add beads to this one, figuring the gorgeous medallion in the middle and the nupps would be decoration enough. I feel that they indeed were.

This really is an absolutely stunning stole, and despite how complicated it was, and how long it took me to finish, I am very pleased I worked on it. This one has been 4 months on the needles, though I did take many breaks during the process.

What else? Well, As soon as Tibetan Clouds was finished and blocked, I pulled out my wheel as I had a batch of purple singles left to ply. Another almost finished project halted by Color Craving. This was the first time Lizzie had seen me work on the wheel. Now, Lizzie is certainly “my” dog, and she likes to have access to me at any particular time. The wheel was a bit strange for her, and she’d back away from it. By this morning though?

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Yeah, not afraid. One paw on a treadle, full up in my business as usual. I was plying, so I had my singles on the floor between my feet. I suspect that if I am just spinning, she’ll plant herself between my feet, as that is her favorite place to sit.

The garden is gorgeous as ever, it’s been really loving the milder weather and sometimes rain we are currently experiencing. Both roses in the front are amazing, blooming like mad. I told Mr. Ink it’s time to start thinking about a deeply saturated red rose and he quickly agreed. While roses can be a bit of a pain to get established, and annoying for their thorns, the fact that they truly will bloom all summer long has them a bit of a priority for us both now.

The hibiscus is beautiful this year, Mr. Ink made me come out and get a picture of another bloom.

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So pretty!

That’s about it from here, but I did finish that handspun, it’s drying right now. So, that’ll be tomorrow’s blog post. After that, who knows?

And Done

The details. Pattern is Color Craving from Westknits. Yarn is Dyeabolical’s Super Ego BFL base, Colorways Howl at the Moon, Shifter, and Timber Wolf. It took a week and a half to complete, and I didn’t completely quit my life to do so!

The yarn was really wonderful to work with, and I am sure that’s part of why I was able to complete it so quickly. I mean, garter stitch in a yarn that doesn’t split and totally knits up nicely? Easy peasy.

It’s been awhile since I’ve worked on a marathon knitting project, and as such, I really enjoyed this. I don’t think it’s a pattern I’d go out of my way to knit again, mostly because the severe turns where the large yarn over holes are were very irritating to work around. However, the finished object is quite interesting, and I did really enjoy those long garter wedges around the outside of the two color section.

I had to get a bit creative once I was finished to make the cast on look good. In the instructions, it said something about not using a slip knot when casting on. I totally ignored that. As soon as I got through a couple large yarnover holes I could see why, it left an ugly knot in the middle of the cast on edge. So, I used a scrap piece of yarn, threading it through the stitch moving back from the cast on edge, pulled the cast on yarn out, undid the knot, made it look like the rest of the yarn over holes, and threaded it back through, removing the waste yarn. Worked like a charm, and now everything looks exactly as it should!

Now I can finally finish tibetan clouds! And, then I’ve got a fun project for Miss Marja out of her yarn scheduled. I can’t wait!

Lizzie headed in to the vet on Thursday evening, that was a success. She was very good and not at all nervous. We were told she needs to lose 5-7 pounds! Which seems like a lot. But, we were given tips how to keep her feeling full during the process and also instructed to not allow her to lose more than half a pound a month. So, this process is a bit of a long game. Still, every day she wants to play more, and is busier than the day before. This weekend we are hoping to get her to the dog park. Mr. Ink is so happy she’s a playful dog that almost every day a new toy comes home with him. She’s oddly skeptical of new toys, but she also has a tendency to destroy toys too, so she has to get used to the next. We are really having SO MUCH fun with her!

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Last evening, Miss Butterfly said “I learned how to make soft pretzels at school, can I make soft pretzels? And so, while Mr. Ink and I took Lizzie on a long walk, she made soft pretzels all by herself. And, if your kid makes soft pretzels all by herself, you cease to care about low carb diets and you eat them. Mine was a bit over salted, but also quite delicious! I need to get her some proper pretzel salt for the future.

And, one last thing. I am kind of into spiders, in general. I think they are fascinating, and I love how they are useful, how they keep irritating bug populations at bay. My absolute favorite is the Argiope aurantia, the black and yellow garden spider. I even have one tattooed on my arm. But, the don’t frequent the city. Out here they are called corn spiders, farmers see them regularly in their corn fields. I’ve never seen one in my yard. Until last night, when Mr. Ink came tearing in the house to tell me he’d found one, right in our spirea!

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I’ll need to get a better photo. But she’s a perfect specimen, look at that web, great stabilimenta!

In my attempt to get a photo, I disturbed her and she went to hide so we left her area so she could go back to the business of freeing our yarn of pests. (They catch mud dauber wasps!) But truly, we have the best yard. It’s so exciting!

That’s about it from here! Have a happy weekend friends!

Last Before Finish

Here’s the last photo I can give you before the finished object photo on color craving. This is with the blue section done, but without the grey border and bind off.

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I couldn’t stretch it out too well, as it’s only on 2 circular needles and since next step was to get it all on one circular needle and join in the round, I wasn’t about to add a third needle to it at this time. The good news is that I finished the border last evening, and I began casting off this morning. I am using the picot bind off suggested in the pattern. With one gajillion stitches on the needles, the 8 picot bumps I managed to make this morning feels pretty discouraging. I know it’ll get done, but at the moment, the bind off looms never ending in my brain.

Last night Mr. Ink and I mowed the lawn, while Miss Butterfly stayed in with Lizzie (she really doesn’t like being alone, that dog) and vacuumed the floor. After I was done mowing, Miss Butterfly headed outdoors, and I sat down on the couch with my feet up and a glass of ice water to cool off. Lizzie comes over to the couch, all excited. Bouncing and happy. I was like “What do you want? Do you want to get your toy?” She ignores the question. Then, she hops up on the couch, and for the first time ever, crawls all the way up on my stomach like a lap dog.

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Excuse the gross mowing clothing, isn’t she a funny thing? She’s SO pleased with herself. This lasted like, two seconds because directly after I took this photo, Miss Butterfly took it upon herself to knock on the back door in order to get Lizzie all worked up, barking and growling. (This family thinks this is fun…) So, Lizzie used my stomach as a launching pad to jump from as she tore off toward the door carrying on. *sigh*

The hardest time we have with her is in the morning. I want her to stay in the room with Mr. Ink while I get my shower, then I can get dressed and take her outdoors. Unfortunately, Lizzie gets a bit stressed out when she knows that I am around, but she’s not with me. She gets up on the bed with Mr. Ink, which helps for a bit, but then she’ll get to whining and he’ll end up having to get up and take her out. She’s got a bladder of steel, so it’s not actually a matter of needing to go out. She just can’t stand that I am up and around and she is not. (Never mind that if she were out of the bedroom, she’d just be laying in the hall whining anyhow, she doesn’t know this.)

So last night we decided to try to keep her awake longer. She usually falls asleep in the living room soon after Miss Butterfly goes to bed, and then moves into the bedroom when I do. Last night we both got down on the floor with her and bugged her until we went to bed. She’d go to lay down, and her eyes would be shutting without her wanting to go to sleep. Like a little kid fighting it. Once we moved to the bedroom, she actually tried to use her dog bed as an actual dog bed.

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Fighting sleep again here. This lasted less than a minute then she was back on the hardwood floor for her sleep. But the good news? When I headed out the door for a shower this morning, I only heard one “STAAAAHHP!!!” from Mr. Ink, and when I got out of the shower she was still quiet in the bedroom waiting for me. Better. I guess we just need to try to revise her schedule a bit.