Finishing Weekend

I finished Miss Marja’s very long gorgeous scarf! But, it’s soaking and blocking. So that’s not on the list of things I can show off today. Tomorrow maybe, if it doesn’t rain all day.

But I also finished a sock. I guess that’s not truly finishing, I mean, I’ve got a whole other sock to knit. But, because finishing the first sock means you get to try it on and be sure it actually fits as it should, it’s a type of finishing.

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This sock fits as it should. Which is to say, it’s a little large. Mr. Ink is going to see his brother and sister in law at the end of October, and I wanted to send a pair of socks out to sister in law. These are most decidedly NOT her colors, but I often make her stuff in pink. There’s a story behind that. She had a dear friend who passed away a few years ago. This friend used to tell her she needed more pink in her life. So despite the fact she doesn’t generally choose pink, when she does choose pink, it reminds her of her friend. Most of her handknits from me contain pink, but not her socks. It was time for pink socks. So, a little large means perfect for sister in law.

I started the second sock last evening, but will not continue much over the weekend, as I’ve got work training in the upcoming weeks that allows for secret under the desk knitting to keep my hands occupied. These socks, on my tiny circs, are perfect for that.

The other big news of the week:

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This is…my own office. I’ve been in an absolutely lovely corner back of the room cubicle since 2009. Surrounded by windows on two sides, and very well hidden. Because of our very large work load, we had to hire a new person. Which means we also needed more space. So, I was given my own office. I have yet to figure out if I like it, to be honest. First of all, from my cubicle I could see my favorite coworker in her office, and we could make faces at each other. Especially when people were annoying us. This was sometimes the best part of my work day. Secondly, I have way less desk space in the new office. I am hoping this keeps me from “spreading” as I did at my old desk, where stuff would head behind me and I wouldn’t look at it again for a long time. But it’s hard to tell if that will be the case. Thirdly, now I am right in the middle of the office and people can see me! I’ll have to be more helpful and I will probably be interrupted more often. On to the positives though-I can now play my music and hum along without anyone noticing. During the time in which the conference is being worked on and I need high levels of concentration, I’ll be able to shut the door. We have an open door policy, but for a project like that, I feel certain I’ll be able to alter that.

And, the biggest reason that I am not sure about the new office is that the windows face north. How am I going to keep my geraniums going all winter?!?!

Ah well, things change. And we learn to adjust, or we don’t, and we get left behind. The coworker who took my old spot has made it look great, and I am sure she’ll be quite happy there.

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and I get to come home to this goofball every day! She’s hanging out in the yard with me after we mowed, as I needed to cool down and drink some water before heading back in. Lizzie Bean has gotten very good at going outside off leash in the yard. It’s nice, so nice. She’s well under my control with vocal commands now, and sticks to me like glue anyhow. So, heading out to sit on the patio doesn’t mean adjusting a leash while she wanders around my chair. Next? Spinning on the patio with her out there. Soon. I could do it now I think, if I had any interest in spinning at all right now.

Happy Weekend Folks!

My Handspun Vest

It’s done! And I really love it. I am wearing it today actually, as I can get away with it, it’s slightly cool.

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It really turned out so nicely. I am thrilled with it. And the best part? I was left with 400 yards of this yarn! So, it goes back in stash and I get to enjoy the pleasure of it again.

I’ve been pretty averse to knitting garments lately, so I am really thrilled with how this turned out. Maybe there will be another garment in my future! I do have one more sweater I need to figure out if I will knit or rip.

I was finally able to get a photo of Mr. Ink’s firepit/landscape project. He worked late into the night on Sunday night, into very early Monday morning, because we knew it would rain all day Monday. He wanted to see how much of his driveway dirt pile he could get into the new project before the rain. Turns out, probably 2/3 of it. It did indeed rain all day Monday, and right into Tuesday morning. He’s not sure when the dirt will dry out enough again for him to work with it.

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So, the firepit is in. The sand, gravel, and rocks are in at the bottom of the pit. I am not sure if anything else gets done with the pit itself. However, we have a metal firepit insert that will go in that hole when we have a fire. When not in use, the pit will have the container of decorative grasses. Of course, around the pit much more is to be done.

The top ring needs quite a bit more dirt, and then will contain trees/shrubs. And who knows what else. I am unclear still as to how that will look. But, we’ve taken out another large section of my mowing responsibility, so I’ll call it good!

Life continues on at a mad pace, we’ve got parent teacher conferences already tonight. My new employee starts Monday. My hours change for a month. We’ve got tons of things planned this month. It’s kind of nutty, but in a good way I think. I am almost done with Miss Marja’s scarf. Not much of a point in showing it off right now I don’t think, I should be able to show it off completed by this weekend, hopefully. I ordered some yarn for the next westknits mystery shawl that begins Friday. My yarn won’t quite be in by then, but pretty soon after I think. I can’t wait to see what is in store, it’s always weird and wonderful!

And that’s it from here, hope everyone is having a lovely week!

Weekend Updates

I have no pictures of the firepit progress because that got worked on late in the evening. This morning was too dark for a photo, so I’ll grab a photo when I get home tonight. MUCH has been done, and Mr. Ink worked well after my bedtime on it.

It was rather an eventful evening at our place. I ordered pizza late because Mr. Ink wouldn’t stop working. I got the cash ready for pizza delivery, opened the front door and turned on the lights, and heard a large bang. Mr. Ink was coming around the corner at that time, and saw what happened. A car on our busy street had hit a raccoon really hard. The car didn’t stop. A cop was behind that car, and took off after the car, I am assuming because it didn’t stop. But now we’ve got a raccoon in front of our home, still alive, but not moving much. Mr. Ink decided he’d better move it, I told him he’d better not do it with his hands, we do not need a raccoon bite on top of this. He went to get a shovel, and thankfully during that time, no other cars hit the poor thing. When Mr. Ink went down there with the shovel, the raccoon hauled himself up on the side of our yard and went back down. So, we decided to call animal control. It sure looked like it was hurt, and we didn’t want it suffering and dying in our yard.

Animal control showed up about half an hour later. We’d kept an eye on where he was, though he was moving about a bit. The animal control officer went to take a look at the raccoon and the raccoon ran off! The officer observed it for a bit, and then told us he wasn’t going to catch it, as it seemed to not have any broken limbs. He told us that sometimes they are just really stunned after getting hit, it looks alarming, but then they turn out ok and it is their policy to let them be, which I totally agree with. He told us what to look for in order for him to need a call back, like the raccoon hanging out in our yard during the day.

So, quite an eventful evening overall. The day was lovely, though hot. Mr. Ink actually spent a good portion of the day dealing with his new japanese maple. He’d purchased a very large one, only to find that it was completely root bound in its pot, and it may have been a bad decision. He treated it with the type of aggressive TLC he treats all plants and trees. Meaning, he took this terribly root bound plant and basically cut away all the bad roots, gaining 8 additional inches of height on the tree, so poorly had it been potted and left that way. When we purchased it, 3 men could not lift the pot into the back of his truck, it took a skid loader. When he was done, he was able to lift the tree himself.

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It’s now in, and hopefully it will appreciate its new home, and work on rooting itself in the soil. I suspect it being tied up will be very necessary in the upcoming months. There’s just so little root system left on the thing. It is pretty there, against the neighbor’s evergreens! It has a look about it like evening sunlight is lighting it up, even when that’s not the case. When evening sunlight is lighting it up, it’s completely stunning.

I will try not to be too bitter about the fact that Mr. Ink removed a bloodgood japanese maple from that exact spot, to add this maple. The small maple he removed we’d been nursing along for the past 2 years, so I would like to find another spot in the yard for it. Of course, no spots are in “the plan.” It might be time for a tree diet, like a yarn diet. One cannot change up their trees every 2 years!

In other around the yard news, last year Mr. Ink purchased me some gorgeous deep red mums. Let’s see if I can find last year’s photo.

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There it is! Well, once they were done blooming, I replanted them by Coco’s memorial tree.

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And they have just been gorgeous this year! Now, I am finding that area to be a bit difficult overall when it comes to appropriate flowers. I get some spring flowers, as I’ve put bulbs in there. But, while last year I had a whole host of petunias going nuts in there, this year’s petunias didn’t really produce. I suspect this is because the redbud has filled out beautifully and it’s just too shady for them. The mums though, they are loving the afternoon sun and the heat. I’ve got some pink mums in another area of the garden, I think I’ll replant some of those in this garden bed, and maybe pick up some purple ones this year too, that can go in there. Then I’ll just have the spring bulb display, and the fall mum display, and be pretty happy.

We’ve got orange mums starting to bloom on the front bank as well. I couldn’t remember for the life of me when we got those. Then, all of a sudden it hit me. Last year I’d been to a grocery store late in the season. There were free plants, including orange mums, in terrible shape. I brought some home, of course, because we would run a plant rescue if we could. Looks like Mr. Ink took that one pot, split it in 3, planted it on his front bank, and now has 3 lovely bunches of orange mums coloring the front bank! Good deal for free flowers!

Know what I did yesterday? I finished the body of my vest. I know, I am knitting very exclusively right now! I sewed up the shoulder seams this morning and tried it on. Looks like it is going to fit absolutely beautifully! Salpal1– I’ll have you know that I took your advice and experience and applied it to my vest by decreasing all the way down to the size smaller than the one I was knitting once I began decreasing for armholes and shoulders. Seems to have worked well! So, now I just have to finish neckbands, armhole bands, and buttons. So close!

That’s all I’ve got around here, just a few tree photos and a story or two. Heading into the work week with anticipation. This week and next is a grants deadline, AND, on Friday I get my own office. Crazy stuff happening around here this week! Hoping to do some serious clean out of my current space in order to make Friday’s move a bit less tedious.

Sunday

Not too much new to report, but I figured I’d give an update on the firepit/landscaping project as much was done yesterday by Mr. Ink. Plus, I think much will also get done today. So it was worth documenting. When last I showed the project, it looked like this:

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We were at the point where Mr. Ink needed more large rocks. He got more rocks, though they are not in place yet. However, the largest amount of progress is on the pit itself.

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There’s been even more progress since, another layer of the cement edging was added, since the fire pit itself didn’t fit well enough for Mr. Ink’s contentment. Then dirt was backfilled out from the edge, which served the additional purpose of getting more of the dirt pile out of the driveway. I did have quite a giggle yesterday when Mr. Ink had begun making another pile of top soil, then came inside and said “Look at it! Just look at it! There’s too much dirt in this earth!!!!”

As for my projects, or project as it seems, the handspun vest continues along. I’ve divided for the front and back and am working my way toward a finish now. Much was done yesterday. In fact, we stayed up well past my bedtime watching Cloud Atlas, an absolutely terrible and way too long movie. However, it did help me get quite a lot of knitting knocked out. When Mr. Ink and I finally headed to bed, I said “Well, netflix was right. It said that if we liked The Giver, we’d like Cloud Atlas. We hated The Giver. So it’s only natural we would hate Cloud Atlas.” We were both tired, and this set us to giggling in that way only being overly tired can do.

Of course, despite wanting to sleep in, Miss Lizzie Bean Who Will Not Be Ignored woke us up by jumping on us at 7:15 this morning. She and I went for a nice long walk, and sadly she got stung on the face by a bee. Poor thing howled, and rubbed her face in the grass over and over for awhile. Thankfully it doesn’t seem to be swelling so I think we are in the clear.

That’s about it from here! It’s another hot one today, but predicted rain tomorrow and then more autumnal weather is in the forecast. That’s sounding pretty good to us around now!

 

A New Project

Ever since we moved into this home, I have said I wanted to make macrame plant hangers. In a home such as ours, solidly from the 60s, with paneling we have no intention of getting rid of, it would be perfect. But, I didn’t want big crazy thick macrame, I wanted something a bit thinner and delicate.

Right after we moved in, I purchased some hemp and some beads, with the intention of making plant hangers with it. But, right about that time was when my work began to be crazy and I mostly quit doing new things. I put the beads and the hemp away, and every once in awhile Mr. Ink asks where his macrame plant hangers are, and I tell him very politely to shove it, and we move on.

I finally did it! I made one. This is my first attempt, and I kept it fairly simple. I am sure I could do better next time. But, I like the result here, and I am glad I finally gave it a try.

Isn’t the spider plant in a macrame plant holder against wood paneling just so very PERFECT?! As you can see, I’ve another hook to fill. Actually, this spider plant will go back on that hook and I’ll do a longer one with green hemp next.

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Here’s one last vacation picture from last week. I took Lizzie over to visit Miss Marja’s Max while Miss Marja was at work. I wasn’t sure how walking two dogs at once would go, but it actually went quite well. Max was thrilled to see Lizzie at his house, and they seemed to really encourage each other on while walking, at times Max would be bouncing and running next to Lizzie. It was super cute and fun!

That’s about it from here, I’ve mostly just been enjoying knitting loads of stockinette on the vest. The handspun is pretty and while stockinette isn’t that interesting, I feel pretty invested in having a new handknit garment come cooler weather.

Last day

And so much to share. I guess we finally got in the vacation groove in time to go back to work! But, it’s only one day of work and then the weekend.

I mentioned yesterday that I interviewed someone for our team last week, and am so pleased to report that she accepted our offer and will be joining us very shortly. You know, my work situation has been awfully bad for over a year, and I’d say if I were truly honest, closer to 2 years. Bad enough to look for other jobs, bad enough to leave everything I’ve worked for in the past 12 years. That’s pretty bad. But, I can now see the situations improving, and even knowing they’ll likely improve has got me feeling so much less stressed!

How did this impact my crafting world? Well, I quit trying new things. I quit knitting sweaters, or more complicated stuff, because I just didn’t have the mental bandwidth for those things. Simple knitting and spinning were par for the course, punctuated by a few more complicated projects that stretched my brain a bit, but weren’t actually learning new things.

I started a brand new to me project this morning. Not knitting, weaving, spinning, or crochet. I’ll show it off when I get finished, hopefully tomorrow. How’s that for extra bandwidth? I mean, I guess you could say this is vacation talking, but I’ve had multiple other vacations over the past 2 years and haven’t really been able to do anything new during them.

Let’s check in on the galiano vest, shall we?

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Much progress was made. We sat down last evening to watch There Will Be Blood, I’d forgotten just what an amazing movie it is. And, I was able to knock out some serious rows. I just began the increases of the body shaping.

And shall we have a tiny look around the yard? Let’s start with Mr. Ink’s projects. He’s been meaning to make us a firepit/landscaped section for an awfully long time now. He finally began. Prior to vacation he spray painted a rough idea on the lawn, and then set about killing the grass.

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Miss Butterfly and I joked that he was clearly decorating for easter, it just looked like an easter egg to us. Thankfully what we see and what he sees are very different things.

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After a bunch of work yesterday, we now have an actual pit. And apparently our own little stonehenge. He put poles in the pit because he already fell in once. I appreciate the safety measure, as it’s straight out from the back door, where I take Lizzie out in the dark.

He’s worked beyond the easter egg because he decided to make that section larger to accommodate my choices in evergreens that he purchased for me as a surprise. But, now we wait as he needs to purchase more rocks, and he’s working on another project right now. Also, he needs to take my car in and get an estimate for the woman who hit it the other day.

In other yard news, my new rose is just amazing. I mean, it’s gone from this tiny little plant to larger than my old established rose. And it’s stems are beautifully thick and healthy. Mr. Ink thinks maybe he has gotten the hang of roses, and if so I plan to have him use that knowledge some more.

A before and after photo.

That’s about it from around here! I guess I should get myself up and around and get some chores done before I head back to crafting and puttering. Hope you are having a great week!

Vacation

It’s been an odd kind of week. Mr. Ink ended up not going in to work on Monday, but it rained all day preventing anything productive happening in the yard. I admit though that I didn’t mind having a fairly quiet day. I spent some time with a girlfriend I rarely get to see these days, and Mr. Ink puttered around the house getting a few things done indoors that had gotten shoved low on his priority list.

He did have to work on Tuesday, and that was basically an all day situation despite the fact he’s on vacation. We went and picked up a lovely japanese maple early in the day, but after that he worked. I puttered, and got my hair cut, and fixed the tire on one of my bikes, and went out and bought a new collar for Lizzie who has lost enough weight that the old one is too big.

We then went for a bike ride with a bunch of friends. That turned out in an interesting manner. We’d headed out of the city to a small town where one of our bike group lives on a lake. We planned a nice 20 mile route, and then to end at our host’s home with a fire in his fire pit, overlooking the lake. We got about halfway through our ride, encountered some construction that should have been fine, except that a construction worker truck decided he had time to do a uturn right in front of the bike group. He did not. He caused an accident, our host ended up on the ground with a broken rib after a nasty fall. So, local fire department and EMT’s were called out to take him off in the ambulance and we cut our ride short.

I have to say though that the response times of the local all volunteer department were fantastic. Small town EMT’s and firefighters don’t get near enough credit, in my opinion! We take them for granted until we need them. They dropped everything and took great care of our group, even getting our host’s bike back to his home for him. I do hope that the construction company is held accountable in some way for the accident their employee caused, it would have been nothing for him to wait the few more seconds for our group to go by before he did a uturn. And, as a construction worker, he’s gotta be well aware of how dangerous it is when you are on a road and exposed.

Today is a slow day, we had dentist appointments this morning. Miss Butterfly has her first cavities (that she’ll remember) but the dentist stressed that these aren’t ones that she could have prevented, her oral hygiene is just fine. And they are surface and easily fixed. She’s had so much work on her teeth lately with the braces and so on that she’s sort of shrugging it off in general. What’s one more thing at this point?

I can hear Mr. Ink outdoors digging, so he must have started on a project. The other night he was sifting dirt, and Miss Butterfly and her best friend went out to help him. This prevented them from shrieking in the house, which has become rather commonplace, and apparently it was pretty helpful to Mr. Ink as well.

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I did start a new project. Remember this yarn I spun early in the summer?

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First I cast it on as the falling waters stole. After knitting a few rows, I decided I would prefer that particular stole as a scarf, and ripped it out. Then, I decided to knit a vest. I chose the Galiano vest, which I saw knit by Salpal1 recently. Looks great in handspun, and I should have plenty of it. I admit I winged it though, I haven’t even checked gauge which really could bite me in the butt.

I am sure you’d like to see it though, right?

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Here’s the thing. When it’s so long in between garment knits, I tend to forget just how LONG it takes, especially when knitting the back and the fronts at the same time. ┬áBut, it’s also great vacation knitting, there’s nothing complicated about this one, I can knit a row, put it down, get some chores done, pick it up, knit a row, and so on.

That’s about it from here. I just heard from work and got some good news, the person I have been interviewing and very much want hired has gone through further interview processes and has passed with flying colors, and they’ll be making her an offer. She’ll fit in beautifully with our office culture I suspect, and I am eager to get her started and get her trained. And quite frankly, with another round of grants coming up, this is perfect timing. Best yet? She was eager, at her previous position, to do more with grants, which means that this is something she wants to learn. As I am sure you know, teaching someone something they want to learn is a heck of a lot easier than teaching someone they have to learn. I told boss to please call me once she had a response from this hopefully new coworker, as that will put my mind at ease greatly.

Have a good one! I’ve got one more full day of vacation left and you know what my calendar says? It is blank. TOTALLY BLANK!!!