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.


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


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.


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!!!!)


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.


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?


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.


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!


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!


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.


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.


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.


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.

Nearing Finish

As I imagined, I didn’t quite manage to finish the blue section on my shawl. But, I did get through a good portion of it, and I think I’ll be able to finish that section tonight. We do have to mow. But, I didn’t manage to bike to work today, so I’ve got time to work on it at lunchtime.


That blue section on the left side is what I am currently trying to complete today. After that? A grey border and a bind off. So, I think it’s pretty definite that I’ll be able to finish this weekend and get it in the mail on Monday. If the weekend is pretty gentle on me, that means a couple more potential finishes as well. I’ve got half those purple singles left to ply, and I’ve got tibetan clouds ridiculously close to being done. Life is good in the crafting world, and since this current project has been “for hire” Mr. Ink has really tried to make sure I’ve got all the time I want for it. He certainly doesn’t complain when I want crafting time, but because this is a piece for someone else, he actually goes out of his way to keep my schedule clear. It’s fun!

Lizzie continues to show us daily what a joy she is to have around. We noticed that when she began playing, she’d get worn out so easily, having to stop and pant for a good long while before she was able to continue. We do know she probably could lose some weight, and we knew this was probably affecting her play time. But, we’ve now come to the conclusion that being active just hasn’t been a part of her life. We’ve had her for just over a week, and each day she plays more and more. It’s like what she really needed was consistent play time to build endurance. We’ve been trying to keep her very active, which she always seems to enjoy even though it’s a bit hard for her. But on Monday? She officially wore ME out. We played fetch for a long while, we went for a long walk, we played fetch some more. And, every time I’d sit down, she’d bring me her toy and ask for more fetch. Miss Butterfly would take over for a bit, then she’d take Lizzie for another walk, then they’d get back, and Lizzie would bring me her toy. So, then I began throwing it for her again, and Lizzie was so worn out she’d walk to the toy, bring it back, and let me throw again with none of the crazy exuberance she generally shows, as she was just too tired. But, she didn’t want to quit either.

It may be the case that the slightly lazy chill dog we THOUGHT we were going to get is not the dog we got at all. It may actually be a case of getting a dog that needed the correct amount of attention to build her endurance. And she’s certainly getting that now! We have a vet appointment tomorrow to see where we stand on her weight and feeding, and we are all quite eager to figure out a good plan for her increasing energy levels. This is where she’s not at all like Coco. Coco truly did not play. He spent his entire life not playing. Mr. Ink would wish for a dog that would play. Now he’s got one and keeps bringing home new toys to try out on her. I am going to have to make a toy bin for this dog!

That’s about it for here! We’ve been having a very pleasant week!


One Week In

It’s Tuesday, which means that this is the last day of a week worth of knitting on the Color Craving shawl. And, I think I really am achieving marathon status. After all, I have now finished section 3. It took me only 24 hours to finish section 3, and I even went to work during that time period! I feel pretty good about that.

I couldn’t get decent photos, it was late when I finished last evening, and then this morning after overnight storms, it was very wet. So, all I can give you is a poorly lit living room floor photo.


In order to stretch it out that far, I had to use 3 separate circular needles. I am certainly not going to be able to do the last blue section in 24 hours. The rows are really getting long now. Plus, I want to use tomorrow as my bike to work day. And that means I will need to leave the knitting at home. Without that 45 minutes of knitting at lunch, I am sure it cannot be done in a day. That being said, it seems to me like this one may be done this weekend! Wouldn’t that be amazing?!  And then I can finish tibetan clouds too and have a second finish in no time at all!

In home ownership joys type news, on Monday evening I heard the main bathroom toilet running off and on without anyone using it. This happens from time to time, and Mr. Ink generally fixes it. It stays fixed for a couple months, and then I will notice it running again. It’s become a joke actually, when we all hear it running, Mr. Ink will look at me and say “You didn’t hear that!” because he never wants to deal with it.

Well, on Monday night, he ignored it until about 11 pm when we had decided to stop the movie we were relaxing with, and begin getting ready for bed. (Actually, I’d finished up the grey section on the shawl and determined that this was the perfect stopping point, so I refused to watch more movie.) Mr. Ink finally went in to deal with the toilet again, and I crawled in bed. Only to have him say “Well, now I’ve really broken it!” So, we were all relegated to using the master bathroom until he was done with work yesterday.

Yesterday evening he headed to the hardware store to pick up parts for the toilet. Then he used the water shut off valve for the toilet in order to save it from running the entire time he was working on it. Except, it was weird, the shut off valve didn’t actually stop the water. So, I go down to the basement and turn off the water to the entire house. Now Mr. Ink can work on the toilet.

He does so, fixes it up, turns on the water in the basement, goes back to check on the toilet, but now realizes that the shut off valve is leaking. *sigh*  So, I turn off the water to the house again, and Mr. Ink heads back to the hardware store and picks up more parts. He gets back, goes in the bathroom to work on the shut off valve. It seems to be taking awhile, and it’s getting late. And he hasn’t spoken in a long while, and that’s unusual. I can feel that fury is rising over the situation. We haven’t even begun to think about dinner yet. He comes back out of the bathroom holding up the new valve and saying “There’s 30 million to choose from and I got the wrong one.” As he’s stomping back out the door to go to the hardware store for the third time, I say “How about I order us some food?”  He thinks for a moment, and then says “Yeah. That might be good.” He often thinks it’s his “job” to make sure we are fed properly, and will do that at all costs, even when an evening goes totally awry, like it did last night.

So, I went out and got food while he headed to the hardware store again. When I returned, he was back and working on the valve again. As soon as I got back he said “IS THAT THE FOOD?!?!!” And then realized he had no way to wash his hands. I made him some “wet wipes” with a paper towel and bottled water. Once fed, he felt much better about the situation, and everything seemed to go smoothly. Before Miss Butterfly went to bed, the water was turned back on and she was able to go about her evening routine. A busy evening, a bit stressful for Mr. Ink, but it all turned out ok and we are back on track with the house.

I do hope your evening was less stressful than ours!

This Week, August 21-27

Last Week’s List:

  • Daily step goals
    • I am counting this. I missed it on Saturday by 1,000 steps. But made up for that with an extra 4,000 steps yesterday, so it counts.
  • One bike ride
    • I didn’t get this one, but I did go swimming for hours, so that kind of works!
  • Work on knitting marathon
    • It’s been less than a week since I began this, and I am on section 3 out of 4. Or maybe 5 if you count the border and bind off. Any way you look at it, I am rocking it.
  • Get all the stuff in my planner done. (Let me just go add to that now!)
    • Sort of? I mean, I got the stuff that truly counted done. There are a couple bits and bobs that I need to accomplish that got pushed to this week.
  • Clothing donation. I need to get about 3 very large bags of clothing out of the house.
    • They may have wandered around in my car for 4 days, but I did get this done. I do need to make another larger donation soon. Maybe I should add that to the list!

On to the shawl progress update. I finished section 2 yesterday. I worked hard on it, and I admit that the long garter rows were great for really banging out this section. Because I’d been sitting and knitting most of the day, Mr. Ink and I took Lizzie on a very long walk. Then we decided to go swimming in the afternoon, we take a once yearly trip to a local state park that has an aquatic center. We didn’t stay as long as we usually do, we had gone because it was supposed to be in the 90s, but turns out it was only in the low 80s and windy. So, we were frequently kind of chilly. Since we decided to go at the drop of a hat, we couldn’t find Miss Butterfly a friend to go with her. So, she used us as her friends. Which is fine, but a bit tiring. Mr. Ink, at some point, said “I feel like we are Marilla and Matthew, and we just got Anne Shirley.” There were a lot of words. So many words. But also a lot of fun and laughter. I knit on the way to the park and the way back. I knit once we got home. And before the light was over, I had section 2 complete. That was good, because this morning it was pouring and I wouldn’t have been able to get a photo. I did begin section 3 last night, and while I started out not loving knitting the shawl, these sections are exactly the type of knitting I enjoy.


I’ve got this broken out on two needles so that it can sort of be seen, the entire project as it currently stands. I am enjoying adding the yellow in section 3 now, and am already rather eager to complete it so I can see how it all comes together!

Mr. Ink’s obsession with trees has continued. I guess his back was feeling too good, and his hole digging tendencies needed some action, as he added two more trees to our yard. One is looking lovely where the ferns, toad lily, and my brand new jacob’s ladder are:


We’ve been eager to continue filling in that garden bed, so I am quite pleased with how these look.

The next tree is the one he’s been eager to put in on the bank he reworked this year.


I caught him still working on it, but couldn’t resist a photo. It’s really filling in beautifully. There’ll be lots of lovely privacy in my veggie garden in a few years!

This week’s list:

  • Daily step goals
  • One bike commute
  • Finish marathon knitting. I think I can do it! That would be cool!
  • All the planner tasks. ALL OF THEM!
  • Take Lizzie to the dog park. (We tried this weekend but it was way too muddy when we wanted to go!)

I think that’s about it for this week. I am looking at my planner and realizing, much to my relief, it’s a pretty light and comfortable week/weekend for me! Looks like we are settling in to our back to school routine quite nicely.

Color Craving Day 4

I didn’t take a daily photo yesterday morning. Sorry! I had only managed to knit 2 stripes on Friday evening so it was just not worth it. I figured it would be more fun to knock out a good portion of it on Saturday for a post for today. My goal was to get through the stripe part, take a photo, and that would be that.

I worked on it off and on all day, and I did get through the striped portion. But, by the time that happened, it was too dark to take a good photo. I figured I’d get one this morning. But, I also didn’t want it to stall out so I started the third color.

This morning it has been raining. I’ve been up since 6 and knitting on the third color while waiting for the storms to pass so I could get a photo. They finally have, and unfortunately, I am not at a point where I can spread it all out to show off. So, now you get a photo of a bunched up shawl on the needles. But, at least you can see color 3 in there!


Great progress was made yesterday!

Today we are going to go swimming I believe, so I’ll lose half a day to that. And by lose, I mean knitting time. Family time isn’t loss. We were hoping to take Lizzie to the dog park this morning to wear her out before we left to swim. Unfortunately, with all the rain the dog park is a guaranteed muddy mess. So we are tabling that.

Having us home during the day really wore Lizzie Bean out yesterday. She got so tired she even slept through cooking. So, I think we’ll take her on a nice long walk this morning and that should do the trick for the time we are away.

Lizzie has proven herself, again, a skilled alert dog. One of the many odd things about living on a very busy street is the number of times someone’s broke down car ends up in our driveway. When it happens, I generally go out and say hi, and ask if the person needs anything. It’s almost amusing how desperately apologetic people are about being stuck in our driveway, but thus far it’s never happened at a time where we have to get out to go somewhere. If it happens when we need to get into our driveway, we just park out back and walk in. Yesterday’s breakdown was a lovely classic mustang. Silver with two fat blue racing stripes up the hood and over the top. Mr. Ink was not home (otherwise he could have helped) so I went out and said hi, and asked if he needed anything. He says “This is the first time I’ve had it out all year!!! My wife was following behind me so she’ll be around in a moment. We’ll try to get it started.” Well, he couldn’t get it started, so he came up on the front stoop and even before he could ring the bell Lizzie Bean was barking and growling and carrying on. I was really surprised, she’s such a silent dog! Thankfully she hushed right up when she knew I was taking care of it.

This poor guy had to go get jumper cables and fuel, but did manage to get his gorgeous car back on the road without calling a tow. Every time he’d get that engine revved up, Lizzie would carry on. I don’t know how she could tell it was in “our” space, since there’s road noise almost constantly, but she knew!

With that story, here’s two Miss Butterfly and Lizzie photos from the weekend. They are fairly inseparable when Miss Butterfly is home and awake, just as it should be. And Miss Butterfly loves caring for “her” dog.

Day 2 Color Craving

Well, I think this knit is one of those knits where you knit and knit and feel like you aren’t getting anywhere, and then bam, you are done. Meaning, I knit during lunch break and I knit at home, and I felt like I really hadn’t made any progress even though I knew I had added 2 yarn over rows. Which makes 3 out of 5 yarn over rows done.


But, then when I compare it to yesterday’s photo, I realize I made stunning progress.


I mean, I went from 15 stripes to 25 stripes, which is great! Today I get to walk Max at lunch, so no knitting for me. And tonight we are out of the house, so this evening’s knitting will also be limited. But then I’ve got the weekend stretching ahead of me! And it’s full of no plans! I mean, no major ones anyhow. Mr. Ink has to work, and he’s going to have to fix the dryer for me too. But, I may get started on the laundry before he’s done at work anyhow, since I’ve discovered the phone line as clothes line to be rather effective.

We took Lizzie Bean out to a pet store last evening to get a few more supplies. I think we are basically set up to have a dog now, anything else is just extras. I set up a vet appointment yesterday to make sure she’s on track for her weight loss. To be honest, we are worried she’s losing too quickly at the moment. She seems quite hungry and already seems thinner than she was. I think we’ve kicked up her activity levels dramatically and we need a little bit of direction taking that into consideration.

Miss Butterfly has really done a great job perfecting her commands, so now she’s trying some more difficult ones. Miss Butterfly is eager to get her to roll over on command, So we are doing that in short bursts. We really have to wear her out first, she’s got so much wiggly energy in that little body, especially when treats and her humans are involved. So, if we can wear her out first, the entire process is a little more productive.

And as for today’s Lizzie picture, I filled her kong in a bit more complicated manner yesterday after work. We had a nice big play session, then I gave it to her. She was totally engrossed, really enjoyed the process.


While we were out, we also got her a pretty serious dental treat, hoping she’d be into it. When we first gave it to her, she carried it off but didn’t eat it. So, it lay on the floor. Then later in the evening, Mr. Ink picked it up to see if she’d done anything at all with it. I said “Maybe we put it in her kennel tomorrow?” He thought that was a good idea, and dropped the treat back on the floor. Then Lizzie was like “Hey, what’s that?!?!” And promptly spent time working on eating it. Ok then! Just needed the right calm time and place.

She’s adjusting better and better all the time. She’s finding her favorite spots in the house to sleep. She’s exploring areas she wouldn’t go in alone. And best of all, she doesn’t need to be all up in my business all the time anymore. She’s always going to be a people dog, but she’s getting comfortable enough to wander off on her own a bit. She didn’t get on the bed last night or this morning, much to my relief. She has a very nice dog bed we bought her, but she couldn’t care less about it. That may change come winter, but at the moment she likes to lay on the hardwood floors. Last night Mr. Ink came in to see her laying on the floor with her head on the dog bed. He’s like “Oh, what a nice $60 pillow we bought you!”

That’s about all from here! We’re looking forward to the weekend for certain. Happy Friday!

And I’m Off!

The yarn for the Color Craving shawl I am making for Dyeabolical Yarns arrived yesterday!


These are the colors I get to use for the project, aren’t they beautiful? And Rachel said she didn’t mind which I chose for the stripe section. While I adore yellow and grey together, I couldn’t resist putting the blue and the yellow together in this case. So, as of this morning, after working on it last evening, here’s where I am:


I’ll be honest, this is NOT my favorite knit so far. The yarns are WONDERFUL of course. But, knitting something with that dramatic of a turn in it is kind of a pain in the butt. I brought it to work today, so hopefully I’ll get an hour to work on it today. Though to be honest, work breaks have been few and far between lately. In any case, I’ll try to post daily progress photos during this process, because it’ll be all this project all the time until I am completely done.

In your daily Lizzie update, we are adjusting very well, all of us. I didn’t take new photos last evening. But, we are getting a solid half hour of fetch/tug/jump time after work. And, Mr. Ink says she does it at lunchtime too. Between that and a nice long walk in the evening, her activity levels are dramatically increased. Mr. Ink commented that she looks hungry. We were told to keep her food amounts down so she could get back to a reasonable weight. However, we weren’t told what that reasonable weight is supposed to be. Plus, with increased activity levels, she may need more than we were instructed to feed her. As such, we’ve decided we need to set her up with a vet appointment, just so we can get some of those specifics. Plus we need to get her preventatives anyhow. Between now and then we’ll have to make a list of questions to ask the vet.

Miss Butterfly was the last one out the door yesterday, and it was Lizzie’s first day in a kennel. I asked before I left if she was comfortable putting Lizzie in the kennel. She didn’t really like doing it with Coco, but Coco was stubborn. She thought she wouldn’t have any trouble with Lizzie and agreed to do it. Once done and she was out the door, I had to hear how bad it had gone, she (Miss Butterfly) was in quite a lot of distress over leaving her. But, she went to school anyhow. I warned Mr. Ink about it, that reports were that Lizzie didn’t like being in the kennel, but that he should evaluate with the expert eye. At noon, I got a message from Mr. Ink. “Miss Butterfly decided Lizzie should have her water bowl in the kennel too. You can imagine how that went!” So, Lizzie probably had an uncomfortable and wet morning. Thankfully we picked a kennel pad that’s waterproof, so the outside needed drying, but the foam core was completely dry.

The more time we spend with her, the more I am convinced that she had some very good training at some point. She never goes near the garbage. She might want to get up on the couch, but she’ll go to the couch, and then look at me, waiting to tell her if it’s ok to go up there or not. If I don’t indicate, she doesn’t jump up. She never begs at the table, she’s never underfoot and begging while Mr. Ink is cooking. She’s lost a little of her politeness when we go for a walk, so additional training will be necessary there, and perhaps a harness. The only other time she’s a little insistent is when I go to bed and Mr. Ink hasn’t gotten there yet. With no prompting or asking, she gets up on the bed with me. Now, when I tell her to get down, she will. But, she certainly doesn’t ask. This morning I got out of the shower and headed back to the room to get her, and noticed she’d jumped up on the bed with Mr. Ink once I left. Now, Mr. Ink always wanted Coco to be more than a floor dog, but Coco was a solid floor dog. We used to try to put him on the bed from time to time, but all it would do was stress Coco out. So, naturally, Mr. Ink complained NOT AT ALL when Lizzie got on the bed this morning. In fact, I walked back in the room and they were both grinning from ear to ear about it.

The biggest news of the evening was that we got a visit from Miss Marja and Max! IT went quite well actually, about as well as can be expected. There was no growling or territorial behavior. Just a lot of sniffing at each other, and tail wagging. Miss Marja brought some lovely treats and a toy, though Lizzie wasn’t interested in showing off her play skills. At one point I was feeding both Lizzie and Max treats, they were pretty close together, and neither of them were trying to steal food that belonged to the other out of my hands. So, I am going to say it was a good success, and we’ve brought two very good dogs into our lives.

More Lizzie

Yesterday was all about Lizzie, which is just as it should be. However, after we took a long morning walk, she was ready for a nap, and I got to knit. So, just for a quick update on tibetan clouds, I finished the main pattern repeats. Just the final edging and a bind off now! I can’t believe it’s almost done!  I didn’t get the yarn for the upcoming project yesterday, so I had plenty of time on my day off to work on tibetan clouds.

Now on to Lizzie Bean. We had a pretty low key day overall. Lizzie slept quite a bit, which I think is pretty normal for another big change. She was rescued on August 1, so she’s dealing with two big home changes and a lot of shuffling in a 2 week period. I, of course, continued to take photos.


Because those ears! Those funny ears!

She found her voice. She’s a very quiet dog overall, and since Coco didn’t bark at all, and she’s been so much like Coco, we wondered if she’d ever bark. Mr. Ink came home for lunch. When he walked in the door, she let out a lone, quiet “woof.” He greeted her, and then went to the kitchen to figure out what to have for lunch. He absent mindedly tapped on the fridge door. She tore out of the living room toward the door barking and growling! It startled us both quite a bit. Then we realized she thought someone was knocking. We weren’t looking for a guard dog, and we are glad she doesn’t bark much, but we’ll happily take the alert from her! Of course, after 17 years with a dog that didn’t bark, Mr. Ink thinks it’s great fun to instigate the barking. I told him he’d likely regret it if he kept it up.

We went to walk Miss Butterfly home from school. As soon as we got outside to do so, we had to spend 3 minutes rolling in the grass.


This was the case every time we went outdoors.

It rained yesterday, and we realized that she doesn’t particularly want to be out in the rain. I went to take her outside, but when she realized it was raining, she noped right back into the house. I didn’t fight it, it was a precautionary trip outside. She’s totally housebroken, but she doesn’t indicate when she needs to go out so you have to just do the remembering for her. I think once she settles in, we’ll be able to read that better.

Mr. Ink and I went out to a pet store to pick up a few things. We needed a dog bed, and a kennel pad, as we threw out the one that Coco had. He had gotten so old and feeble toward the end that he was really struggling to not have accidents. So, a new pad was wise. While there, we picked out a soft squeaker toy and a kong. Since she had major work done on her teeth recently and is still on antibiotics, I wanted gentle toys. And, I didn’t want to spend too much, as the foster home told us she didn’t really play. So, we started with those two things.

Once home, Mr. Ink kind of teased her a bit with the soft squeaker toy. And then quite suddenly she began a very energetic game of fetch with Miss Butterfly, complete with jumping high in the air, and intermittent tug of war. We were absolutely delighted! We also need a more sturdy toy. I could hear it tearing as she tugged and tossed her head around with Miss Butterfly holding the other end. I guess her teeth aren’t hurting either?

She’s such a ridiculously polite dog. It’s almost as if Mr. Ink had to convince her it was ok to have a moment where she wasn’t perfectly good and polite. And then all bets were off for awhile!

I am back at work today. I wish I was able to take more time off with her, but I also realize she’ll have to get used to the routine of us being at work during the day. I am glad Mr. Ink will be home at noon to make sure she’s ok. I am also glad it’s Wednesday, not much longer before we have a weekend. Mr. Ink has to take a few more days off in September, so I plan to join him in that. So, Lizzie Bean will have people at home as much as is possible in the coming month! And you’ll probably be seeing a TON of her.


Big News!

At least it’s big news in our family! Hold on, this’ll be a long post!

Last week, after about a year’s worth of discussion, Mr. Ink and I finally decided we’d start looking for another dog companion. Coco, the 17 year old sweetie, left us 2 years ago and I’ve so missed having him around. One of the caveats to getting a dog was that a new dog would have to be “like Coco.” Of course, it’s hard to identify what that means exactly. And, in the end, we decided a new dog would have to be pretty calm, and good, and sweet. And not a puppy, no way! It MUST like other dogs, as Miss Marja’s Max is super important to us, and we didn’t want to make Max unwelcome in our home. That part is actually different from old Coco who couldn’t care less about other dogs.

So, I came across a dog from a local rescue group, and she looked like just the thing. Her foster mom’s descriptions were very Coco like. I showed her to Mr. Ink, and Mr. Ink immediately said no. Because she was long haired and he didn’t want another long haired dog. I kept pushing, I admit. I mentioned that this dog seemed like Coco. I pushed again. He showed me other dogs. I rejected those dogs. I kept looking at THIS dog, and giggling at her photos. And, I showed him more photos and he’d giggle too. Then I reminded him that unlike his 17 years with Coco, he’d have me to share her care with. And he looked at her photos again and giggled. And then he said “Well, she makes me laugh. And that’s probably the best thing you can ask of a dog. Let’s go for it.”

We filled out the adoption paperwork, got accepted, and met Lizzie on Friday night. We went without Miss Butterfly, because if Lizzie wasn’t our dog, I didn’t want a disappointed kid. As it turns out, she was ABSOLUTELY what we were looking for. Mr. Ink agreed wholeheartedly. So, on Saturday, we had Miss Butterfly’s dad surprise her by bringing her to a meet and greet the rescue was holding. None of us would tell her where we were going ahead of time. She, too, loved  Lizzie and was eager to have her in our home.

Next step was the home visit, which we scheduled for last evening. This rescue asks for a home visit with all family members there. We didn’t really know what this would entail, as there was very little indication on their website. We used it as an excuse to organize and deep clean, something that always makes me happy anyhow. Miss Butterfly even cleaned her room really well. As it turns out, the home visit consisted only of hanging out in the living room, and then signing adoption paperwork and getting our photo taken.


And then, the blue eyed mini aussie shepherd was ours! She’s 7 years old. She’s so Coco like it’s almost uncanny. Except that she’s way more confident. She loves everyone! She’s a wiggly ball of energy, but thus far we haven’t seen her do much in the way of actual playing. She adores other dogs, but if they get overwhelming, she backs right off and finds her humans.

After the foster mom left, we took a long walk together. Then we got home and Mr. Ink cooked dinner. Lizzie Bean was tired, and so she decided to watch him cook while laying on the floor at the entrance of the kitchen.


She then finally settled in the living room for much love and pictures.


She surprised us by being about to jump up on Miss Butterfly’s bed. That bed is really high! But she can make it, and then get right back down. Once Miss Butterfly went to bed, Mr. Ink and I hung out with her quite a bit. Then we went to bed, not quite knowing what the night would bring. I crawled in bed, and Mr. Ink headed to the shower. Lizzie took that opportunity to claim a spot on the bed, and she would not be pushed off. So, I lifted her off the bed, and indicated where I’d like her to sleep. I’d set out a folded puffy comforter with one of Miss Butterfly’s blankets over top. She then took the blanket off using the EXACT same method old Coco used to use.

Lizzie slept really well. I….couldn’t sleep again. TOO much excitement for me! But, I did love seeing her sleep stretched out on her side with her back against the bed frame….just like Coco. I took today off to help her settle in at home. I just couldn’t leave her home alone the first day! So, we were all up for breakfast this morning. Lizzie was right there in the kitchen watching Mr. Ink cook!


I suspect all his cooking will look like this now. But, she doesn’t beg. Not while he’s cooking, and not at the table. We really haven’t got any bad habits to break yet!

It was Miss Butterfly’s first day of 8th grade. Woohoo! So, we walked her to school and met up with friends. And once we left her at school, we took a nice long walk together. Thus far, and awesome day.

So, we got a dog! A 29 pound bundle of fur, the exact size of Coco. It’s uncanny. I am sure at some point I’ll start feeling like this is what Lizzie does, rather than this is what Coco used to do. But today is not that day. We feel like old Coco would have approved.

This Week August 14-20

From last week:

  • 3 repeats on the tibetan clouds stole. I am REALLY getting eager to finish this one. Also, I am bored with the two spectra scarves, but I don’t want to start anything new.
    • So, I did 5 repeats! I have 2.5 left before the edge pattern, and then I am done. It’s slightly possible this could get done before the yarn arrives for my “drop everything and knit” marathon.
  • Accomplish all the stuff in my planner.
    • I did this too, though with varying degrees of success. Despite having done much of it, I have to move some things to the next week to redo.
  • Go on a bike ride. With friends, a bike commute, doesn’t matter. Just, go on a bike ride.
    • Got that one too! It was pretty short, as we were riding with someone new to biking and another one just back on the bike after major abdominal surgery this spring.
  • School open house, and get all the stuff that belongs in the locker into the locker. (This’ll take a couple bags, not just one book bag.)
  • Get step goals on days that I do not ride bike.
    • I am counting this one as well. Basically, there was one day I didn’t quite meet my step goal. But, I had done way more the day before, and I took that into consideration the day after and did way more that day too. Which meant I got more in than I would have had I just taken the time to meet the goal the day I did not. It counts!

In addition to that, the entire house has had a very big deep cleaning. All except for one toilet bowl, as I ran out of toilet bowl cleaner. I do have one last thing to do tonight, I need to wash the kitchen floor.

I also went to the container store, which was awesome. I got a bunch of things that really helped organize our bathroom. I didn’t even get all that I had planned, the storage I did get was so good that I ended up with lots of extra room with just what I did get. I am thrilled! In a month or two, reorganizing the linen closet will be next! For the record, both Mr. Ink and Miss Butterfly are thrilled with the reorganization as well.

Mr. Ink went around the house and fixed all the small things that have piled up this spring and summer. You know how it goes. One little thing will break and one might say “I’ll get to that soon” but it falls off the radar, and then another thing breaks, and that goes in the same pile, and so on, until you have quite a lot of work to get done! The only thing not fixed was his bike tire, and that’s likely because I made him go for a bike ride. (He took the bike without a flat.) So truly, this was a wonderful busy weekend full of getting stuff done that was beneficial to all of us!

For this week:

  • Daily step goals
  • One bike ride
  • Work on knitting marathon
  • Get all the stuff in my planner done. (Let me just go add to that now!)
  • Clothing donation. I need to get about 3 very large bags of clothing out of the house.

That’s…about it. I mean, I could probably add to it, but I am EXHAUSTED! Hah!

Extra Hours

You know, I am often looking for extra hours in the day, but I so rarely find them! Yesterday though, someone must have snuck a few extra hours in. In part I am sure I felt this way due to a case of insomnia. I went to bed Friday night at 11, but woke up very early Saturday morning and couldn’t get back to sleep. I finally got up, wound some yarn, worked on tibetan clouds, and finally was able to sleep again at 4:30 am. Which was about the time Mr. Ink woke up and couldn’t get back to sleep. But apparently we didn’t need that sleep? Because I woke up at 7, and got a wild hare to deep clean the house. Which I did. Except for the bathrooms, those are on the agenda today.

I got started right after breakfast, we had an appointment at 11, so we did that, then back home for more cleaning. After lunch I decided to get started on the laundry. Now, Miss Butterfly had told me that she thought there was something wrong with the dryer, but I told her the problem was that the washer sometimes leaks water back onto the clean and spun clothes, so if she doesn’t pull the clothes immediately, the dryer takes FOREVER. She was like “No. That’s not it.” So, I decided to do a test run with laundry, and she was correct, something was wrong with the dryer.

I called Mr. Ink in, and I suggested that maybe our first step be to see if the exhaust tube was clogged. So, we took that off and cleaned it. This is a chore I’ve wanted to get done for about a year, so I am calling it a big win. Plus, it smelled vaguely of wet dog when we cleaned it, and we haven’t had a dog in 2 years so it REALLY needed to be done. But, that wasn’t the problem. So, Mr. Ink began exploratory surgery on the thing. Thankfully, he doesn’t think it’s terminal, but at 4 pm all the appliance parts places were closed, so he couldn’t go get the part he needs. (Let me just say here what a pleasure it is to live with someone mechanically minded? Oh my goodness, home ownership would be so much more expensive without him!)

So, I hung up the clothing, indoors, and then outdoors on the telephone wire that isn’t used. Unfortunately, the test run of laundry I did was not the one that most needed to be done. Mr. Ink’s work clothing still needed to be washed, so I did another load, and hung those all over the house too.

Now, anyone who has followed my blog for any amount of time knows that I’ve been wanting to rearrange Mr. Ink’s den of slack. I mean, he was so slack in there, that you could no longer walk. There was an extra desk in there that was meant to replace the one he had his computer on, the chair was broken and we bought a new one for him early in the spring, but that has just sat in the basement waiting for the room reorganization. There were plastic bins and boxes full of stuff all over in there, because a certain someone who is not me never bothered to unpack. And to be fair, at one point there wasn’t anywhere to PUT it. But, with the addition of a dresser in there, we did have room, he just didn’t feel like doing the work. Well, I nagged a bit, and when that didn’t work, I tried sweet faces and kind words, and then I even resorted to goofy faces. Which finally did it.

Guys, that room was so dirty! We got the old desk out of there, and then I even made him pull up the rug and turn it around so he could wear down the other side with his dirty shoes and office chair. And I could clean under it. It was a big job, no question. And it’s not done really, there’s still a lot that needs sorting. But, the bins and boxes are gone! The stuff that was meant for donation is gone! And it’s looking pretty good. Want to see?

This is the 360 view. There’s even plenty of open space! He said he wanted to add a large plant in that open space, so I had to remind him that his goofy colorful chair was going there when I eventually get new furniture for the living room. Now that we got that far, I realize I need to reorganize my yarn stash too. I’ve let it slide mostly because if the room is a pit, why bother? Now the room is so much less of a pit!

Meanwhile in all that work? I managed to finish up the singles on bobbin 3 and spin the singles for bobbin 4 of my purple batts!


Seriously, I couldn’t believe it. So, after dinner I got started on plying. I finally settled on a 2 ply for this one. 10 ounces of 2 ply yarn will be amazing yardage, maybe even to the tun of sweater amounts. And, the yarn is turning out so nice! It’s so rich looking.


I am hoping for another day with extra hours today, but I am not sure one can get so lucky for 2 days in a row of this! I left the bathroom deep cleaning for today in part because I want to get to the container store to see if I can find a way to make the bathroom more organized in a user friendly manner. The current set up isn’t working for any of us and is just making us all a little frustrated. Seems like between that and general errands, my day should just fly by! And, I don’t even mind because it’s been awhile since I’ve been so inspired to get things done in this manner!


I am stalled out on new photos. I mean, about 15 minutes of knitting when I get home will have me through the completion of 4 repeats (out of 8.5) on the second side of tibetan clouds. But, for the most part, it looks just the same as always. I have still been spinning my purple batts, and constantly changing my mind about how to ply them, but they look just like the previous photo of the finished bobbin. Really, I am stalled out.

So, I am going to break from the norm. For Miss Marja’s christmas gift last year, I made her some red batts.


I can’t remember what all I put in there, but silk, sari silk, bamboo, all of those were certainly included with the red mohair base. Miss Marja has been spinning these up on support spindles over the past few months. Every once in awhile I go over there and see another ball of singles hanging out. I think it was a pretty big batch of fiber, so it’s no surprise it has taken awhile, but she sent me a photo to post here of those singles being plied! (Thank you Miss Marja for fixing my stalled blog!)

Marja's red

Isn’t that pretty! It looks so nice, especially on that gorgeous wheel!

We’ve been continuing along on our busy week, it’s going just fine despite the busy. We had open house at the school last evening, which basically consisted of me following her around the school while she touched base with teachers old and new. While following, you can imagine me gasping at the size of the boys and the way they would smile at my kid! Seriously. Because the gasping did happen.

We are glad it’s Friday around here. Mr. Ink’s finger is much improved, and he lanced it himself on Wednesday, which was such a relief to him. He’s taking good care of it, wearing nitrile gloves when watering the garden or working in the kitchen, and while it’s still pretty swollen, improvement is seen daily. Nevertheless, we’ve decided to skip the weekend bike ride. It’s just not sounding appealing after a busy day, and not being able to prep for it since Mr. Ink wasn’t sure he’d be able to ride.

In other news, I’ve taken on a project that should provide a little blog interest shortly. I will be doing a Stephen West shawl with a very quick turn around time. This will be the type of project where the knitting must go everywhere with me, so it should see considerable daily progress. So with that in mind, I’ll be taking daily progress photos as soon as the yarn arrives and I get started. We will see just how fast I can knock out a project while also holding down a full time job and a busy life!

The Promised Picture

We had a lovely evening yesterday, despite being a bit sleep deprived. Once home from work, I grabbed a quick nap, and then when Mr. Ink got home we headed to the local botanical gardens and met up with Miss Marja and wonderful Max the dog. We took a walk through the gardens and laughed at Max’s antics. Mr. Ink wandered around seeing all his favorite trees. This was a great distraction for someone who got no sleep the night before and was in more pain last evening than he had been before. It also kept him out of the dirt and wet of the garden, which is what his doctor wants.

Tonight the plan is to go to our first pub trivia with teams we don’t know. We participated in one pub trivia event at a birthday party, which made it a great, low key way to compete. We both loved it, so we are trying again with another couple who play regularly. Again, this is designed in part to keep Mr. Ink out of the dirt and wet. And ideally distracted.

Though to be perfectly honest, I suspect he’s going to need to go back to the doctor. This is day 2 of meds, and it’s only getting worse. We discussed it this morning. He mentioned he’d prefer not to go back, because he’s worried they’ll want to lance it. But if you ask me, if that’s what needs to be done it would be a relief. We’ll have to see what happens.

As a follow up from the sleep over, I told Miss Butterfly no more sleep overs for quite some time because I needed to trust she’d obey my simple directives, and I needed to trust her and her friends to do as I say when they are in my home and I am asleep. She tried to play this off as they accidentally fell asleep in the living room, but I told her that the amount of blankets and pillows in there indicated fully that this was pre planned. She knew she was caught and didn’t even remotely fuss or sigh about it actually. I then asked her to clean up her mess all over the house, which she also did with no fussing or sighing. So, I guess that’s good? Though she’s also aware that she has to be extra special careful after a sleep over because I often think the exhaustion leads to attitude problems that wouldn’t otherwise surface, so I already don’t allow them often.

Despite keeping ourselves busy in the evenings, I’ve managed to rock out about half a repeat on tibetan clouds already. I am shooting for 3 repeats this week, but if I could get more in, that would be amazing. It’s been a strong start.

And now enough of the chatting, here’s the yarn photo.


That’s a really great purple! It’s very rich. I had originally thought to do this as a cabled yarn. I divided the batts into 4 piles. However, I just don’t have enough in the way of bobbins to do that easily. I may need to invest in another jumbo bobbin or two, another regular size one, and a kate that would accommodate them. I think I’ll wait, could be a good christmas gift. So, this bobbin may not be completely done after all. I will need to add a little more fiber to it in order to make the final yarn a 3 ply instead. In any case, it’s just beautiful and is going to make a very fantastic yarn. The biggest problem really is that it’s messy. The batts are ridiculously messy, and I do end up with fiber all over me when I spin this. So, I am tending to save it for days where I am at home and not leaving the house again. That’s not been the case much since Sunday.

It’s only Tuesday, and feels like a Thursday. We were supposed to be away all weekend on a bike ride, but with Mr. Ink’s finger, I don’t think that’s wise. At least, we are holding off making the decision for now. We’ve learned our lesson in the past, and we didn’t purchase our tickets this time, figuring we’d work that out closer to the event. I am feeling quite grateful for that!

Hope everyone is having a decent week!

This Week August 7-13

From last week:

  • 1 repeat on Tibetan Clouds stole
  • One bike ride with friends
  • Back to school shopping with Miss Butterfly
  • Work on new spinning project (will explain more tomorrow.)
  • Do ALL THE THINGS in my planner that are work related and not work related. 

So, I got all the things done! That being said, I am also aware that my list was deliberately light. I knew it would be a busy week, and as it turned out, it was far busier than I’d imagined. I feel so happy to have gotten the list done anyhow.

It’s been a bit nutty these 24 hours. First of all, I allowed Miss Butterfly to have a sleep over. With the caveat that I had to be at work this morning, so they needed to not make a bunch of noise. She’s pretty good about that generally so I wasn’t too worried. They’d hoped to put a tent in the living room and sleep there, but I told them they could not, as I needed to be able to have my morning before work, spinning and knitting as needed.

At some point yesterday, Mr. Ink showed me that his finger was a bit red, swollen and painful. Now, this guy never complains. He doesn’t go to the doctor. Even when something is VERY obviously wrong, he won’t go. Later in the evening, he again mentioned that his finger hurt, and I took a look at it. It had gotten more swollen, both joints were swollen. I investigated it for streaking near what seemed to be the infection site, and thankfully saw nothing because I knew that the mental energy I’d have to go through to get him to GO TO A DOCTOR would be pretty overwhelming. I went to bed.

Mr. Ink came to bed later on. At 3 am he got up. He wandered out of the room, he wandered back in the room, he laid down. I kind of just kept trying to sleep. Until he said “My finger REALLY hurts. I am sort of thinking maybe I should go to the ER?”  I said “Well, it seems to me that if someone who doesn’t ever go to the doctor and doesn’t complain of pain is telling me he needs to go to the ER, HE SHOULD GO TO THE ER.” That was all it took, he was back up, dressed, and out the door in no time. He was back home around 5:30 am which I think is really good. With antibiotics, because yes, he had a nasty and quickly spreading infection.

I get up, and look at Miss Butterfly’s open room door. I stick my head in, and immediately get worried because the girls aren’t in there. Then I look in the living room and see that they are asleep on the floor, just like I told them not to be. I asked Mr. Ink, “Did you tell the girls they could sleep in the living room?” “No…why?” is his response. So, I tell him we aren’t making any extra attempts at quiet because I told them to sleep in her bedroom.

We made a big breakfast, I ran the dishwasher, I ran the garbage disposal, I put my shoes on early, we turned on lights, we went about our business as usual. Unfortunately, the girls really did seem to sleep through ALL of that. At one point Mr. Ink sees me drinking coffee and looking at them there in the living room. He says “You seem to be seething in their general direction!” Yes. Yes I was! I couldn’t get over them to get my knitting or spinning, and I was planning on taking photos this morning! So irritated.

All that to tell you that I don’t have new photos. I did start, and got pretty far into a new spinning project using these batts I made earlier this year.


I may not have photos of the singles, but I can tell you that it’s making some really amazing yarn!

For this week:

  • 3 repeats on the tibetan clouds stole. I am REALLY getting eager to finish this one. Also, I am bored with the two spectra scarves, but I don’t want to start anything new.
  • Accomplish all the stuff in my planner.
  • Go on a bike ride. With friends, a bike commute, doesn’t matter. Just, go on a bike ride.
  • School open house, and get all the stuff that belongs in the locker into the locker. (This’ll take a couple bags, not just one book bag.)
  • Get step goals on days that I do not ride bike.

And, on this little sleep, that’s all I can think of right now! So much tossing and turning last night. Today is going to be LONG, but hopefully punctuated by an after work nap.

Final Impression

455 yards of 2 ply fingering weight yarn.


So, it’s super pretty. But, do I think the monet spin makes any difference as compared to doing a regular fractal spin from wool top? No. I really don’t. I guess I went into this with super high expectations, but I just don’t think it made a difference other than making one ply less even since I’d screwed up the direction of the locks when blending. But, the caveat still is that I might not know what I am doing. Unless I find out more about this type of spinning, I’ll table it.

Miss Butterfly and I had a lovely day out school shopping. It pretty much took most of the day. Her aunt had given her some money for a “shopping spree” in Boston for her birthday, but she didn’t spend that money. She decided that once home, she’d like to go to the vera bradley outlet and get a bookbag for school this year that is “her” pattern. We, unfortunately, showed up on vera bradley’s birthday, and the line to check out snaked all through the store so much so that we couldn’t even shop. We squeezed through and she found her bookbag in her pattern, and she stood in line while I hit up a few more shops. It was too insane in the store. That being said, because of this extra sale on already sale items, she got that bookbag for a pretty sweet deal.

We then went and did some fun shopping, then went out to lunch, and then we did the final push of school shopping. Once home we got everything organized and packed up to head to open house where we can get her locker set up this week.

I have been thinking that I need to take a photo of Mr. Ink’s almost finish on the old retaining wall project. I grabbed a photo this morning.


Left to be done are the pavers that run up the side of the driveway, and moving the downspout behind the smoke bush. There are now some decorative grasses growing. The 3 rocks in the middle will have a tree behind them once spring arrives and we can get our hands on it. We’ve also been discussing other plants to put in there. So, we went from this:


Ugly old retaining wall with too large burning bush roots pushing on it, and lawn on the bank, and a poorly placed mailbox, to a lovely new garden area. The best part? Mr. Ink was also able to repurpose the old retaining wall rocks and the edgers in various ways in the veggie garden project. And truly, look at this gorgeous smoke bush!


It’s so beautiful and so happy at the top of that garden, and it’ll grow beautifully to allow me some privacy when working in the veggie garden.

Mr. Ink has done such a lovely job with this section, and I am thrilled with it. I can’t believe I called it a pile of rubble awhile back, as it really has come together nicely. And it is such a vast improvement.

I guess that’s about it from around here this morning. It’s another beautiful day, comfortable weather continues and we really couldn’t be soaking it up any more than we already are. I hope that you, too, are having a lovely weekend.

One of Those Weeks

So, the week was busy right from the outset. I managed to be very organized about it and I made sure everything was properly in my planner. But, it’s been one of those weeks where stuff just keeps coming up. Important stuff. Friend stuff. Things that are…emergencies of the social kind. So, I’ve been going going going all week and have invested tons of mental energy into the week.

And I am tired.

But, it’s Friday! And, the weather is pleasant around here. I don’t say that all that often. But, when I arrived at work this morning it was only 60F. Which is amazing.

Last night I sat on the patio for a long while. First to sneak in a bit of spinning, then to listen to a friend who desperately needed an ear. Mr. Ink knew to make himself scarce for awhile, so went on a bike ride. I was secretly slightly jealous.

After I was alone again, I was able to finish up my singles on the monet spin.


The bottom bobbin is the blended stuff, and the top bobbin is the singles direct from the dyed top. I didn’t even get a chance to ply, because as I was bringing this indoors Mr. Ink got back home from his ride.

I was hungry and exhausted (I’ve had to skip lunch twice this week due to work) and I told him I was feeling sad after my conversation and was going to need dinner, Tom Waits on the stereo, and slow dancing in the living room. It’s good to be able to tell your partner exactly what you need. It’s even better when he can provide that. I am truly fortunate. And also, thank goodness for a weekend!

Impressions Day 2

I quickly finished up the portion of my monet spin that required hand cards, and am on to the part that is spinning straight from the dyed top. I am closing in on halfway through that part.


For comparison, this is yesterday’s photo of the blended bobbin:


In part, beyond fuzziness, I am not entirely sure that there’s much difference. Of course, I could just totally be doing this entire project incorrectly as well. We’ll see what we get once it’s plied.

On that color theme, here’s a photo of my current garden obsession, the toad lily that I had Mr. Ink get me this spring.


These things are so tiny and delicate, and just how I imagined they would be. I love them. These were a stretch, as they like shade and bogginess. We put them in a fairly shaded boggy area, but it does get quite hot and dry here. Apparently they’ve been tended well, as they are doing just fine.

And one more garden photo, my black eyed susans are going crazy right now, and I am thrilled with them. I think next year when they need separating, I’ll just plant them in various areas around the yard. So bright and cheery, so easy!


Those phlox to the left side too, they are wonderful. So fragrant. I am really pleased with the gardens this year. Much more can and will be done, but it’s been a very good year in the garden!


During TdF, while wandering through all my followed blogs, I came across a blog post at A Little More Abstract that described something very intriguing to me. It was a description of a Monet spin. Now, in the blog post it is indicated that the spinning technique is inferred, without the book or article. But, the description was interesting to me, whether it be accurate or not, and I wanted to give it a try.

As my fiber stash is getting dangerously low, and I wasn’t sure I had what I wanted for this particular technique, I chose a couple colors from Dyeabolical’s shop. I actually picked up two colorways I thought would work well with this technique, in case I really liked it.

The first is Sophia, the colorway in today’s post.


Now, the technique as I understand it is to split the fiber in half, spin one half as is, in top form, and the other half gets blended on hand cards. So, I got this colorway on targhee wool as I figured it would be easy to work with while retaining a nice bounce.

I split the wool top vertically. I then split the “as is” half into 6 strips. I then began blending the other half. My hand card technique is rusty rusty! My rolags aren’t amazing this time, but I don’t think it really matters. The idea is to get a blended color, and I got that.


It’s certainly far more muted than the original dyed top. I am pretty close to being halfway through the first half, and it’s going well!


I am quite eager to see how this bobbin looks next to the one spun straight from the top.

I’ve kept this a pretty thin spin, I think in part because I have this feeling I am going to love the technique and want just as much yardage as I can possibly get!

I’ve got a few more vacation photos to share. Now, when we were kids, all the cousins were thick as thieves. Just having an amazing time together. For awhile there, the cousins were having a baby a year, collectively. So, at the reunion we had ages 13-17 represented in second cousins. It took them a bit to warm up to each other but by the final night, they too were thick as thieves.


I got this quick shot of them all on the hammock, before they ran off and climbed out on the house roof. Just like us cousins would have been likely to do.

We spent some time with my newest nephew, only 5 months old. He’s an extremely happy and content baby. A ton of fun, full of smiles, and very engaging. Not much fussing out of this guy!

And of course my older nephew adored Miss Butterfly and wouldn’t leave her side.

In the first photo, they are “hiding” from Mr. Ink, who was chasing them around the house as some sort of monster. Very cute. I also grabbed a great shot of my brother with his boys which I loved.


It’s no surprise to me he’s such a good dad, he’s always made a great uncle to Miss Butterfly.

One last shot of Miss Butterfly and Mr. Ink having ice cream at quincy market.


Mr. Ink’s exclamation: “I THINK I JUST PAID $30 FOR ICE CREAM!” It wasn’t quite that bad, and they needed a snack. I don’t care for ice cream, so I got a homemade lemonade instead, and of course they suddenly thought they should have sips of that too. No.

I think this wraps up my vacation photos finally. Less than a week after we came back, so not too bad!