Totals and Plans

Last year my goal was to knit as much as I spun. But, I then decided I wanted to do better and tried to double the amount I knit to what I spun. I did well.

18.6 miles knit, 9.46 miles spun.

My rather large yarn stash was knit down fairly well, even with the yarn that arrived from Miss Marja or those rare times I found something I couldn’t resist. It’s now all in one cabinet. My fiber stash was pretty much decimated this year, and I’ve had to work to build that back up. I gave away a bunch of yarn that I wasn’t going to use to a coworker who built bird and small mammal houses with it for wildlife rescue organizations. I think that’s a great use of that which I was unlikely to ever dive into. She made it extra fun by bringing in what she crocheted to show me my yarn in the finished object.

This year the plan is to TRULY knit double what I spin in hopes to TRULY work on the stash. Meaning…if the yarn is purchased in 2018 and is knit in 2018 it doesn’t count. Only that which is knit from stash gets to count toward the knitting totals.

Other crafting goals this year…knit more garments. Knit them out of yarn I really like. Pick the pattern then pick a very appropriate yarn for the garment. And you know what? This is TOTALLY at odds with the above goal. Hah.

I worked yesterday on my lovely legends of the fall sweater out of koigu. In the ribbing portion, all 6 colors make an appearance. I’ve knit in 4 of the 6.

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I am feeling slightly nervous about the color choices of yarns 5 and 6 so it would be good if I got a chance to knit those in today. Just to make sure. OR, just to say no and purchase something else.

But, we also need to go see a movie, as per Mr. Ink’s request. So, I plan to bring a sock along to work on through that.

A very happy new year friends, I am hoping the best things for your upcoming year.

Materials

First of all, the big news! Lizzie let me sleep in until 7:30 this morning!!! It was amazing! She generally has me up at 6 or 6:30. I couldn’t believe it. Another holiday miracle.

Of course, I’ve got a lot to do today and am a bit behind because I “lost” an hour.

I finished my singles yesterday as expected.

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Miss Butterfly and I really did take the slowest day. It was very nice. Of course, at some point she got bored and told me that she’d like to go shopping after all. But I’d let Mr. Ink take the car that was in the garage and I did NOT feel like scraping the one in the driveway. Plus, we were experiencing “freezing drizzle” which…I don’t even know how that happens at 19F?…but I didn’t want to drive in it.

I didn’t begin to ply these, nor did I begin to knit my new sweater with the yarn I purchased for it the other day. I just worked on my new handspun scarf as that was the easiest option late in the evening. I’ll get the yarn wound for the sweater hopefully at some point today.

But, want to see that yarn?

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The point of the sweater is to choose 6 yarns that are different colors, but fairly similar and then stripe them every 5 rows or so. This gives a sweater that looks striped and also not striped and very colorful and beautiful. I’ve seen them and I always love them. I’ve been drawn to peachy colors lately and I think that was reflected in my yarn choices here. I am so eager to see how this works up! But also, winding skeins to start has me uninspired. It’ll get done, soon.

Today is another full day. I am hoping we get out for some area rug shopping. Absolutely everyone is annoyed at the purple dust bunnies floating around the house and the fibers that stick to our clothing every time we sit down on the current stop gap rug. I am so hoping I can find something I really like!

Increasingly Difficult

The increasing difficulty has nothing to do with anything other than grabbing a decent photo of works in progress. I finally found that the backdrop of our siding seemed to show off the color of my spinning best. It isn’t pretty, but it’s a lot better than what happens when I put the project somewhere with snow as backdrop.

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What is not proving difficult? Hanging with my kid this week. There’s the usual irritations of life with a teen, but I’d say after I removed sleep overs and friend gatherings (It helps that most friends are out of town) from the potential activities completely, what I am left with is a kid who also wants her vacation to be decent. So she too plans her day accordingly. I told her that we could go shopping today and she said “MOM! Seriously, even *I* am getting sick of shopping.” So we are staying in today. Or at least until Mr. Ink gets home. Naturally he was pleased to be able to take the nice warm car. We haven’t even turned on the TV once! Miss Butterfly has been doing puzzles, and taking baths using her new bath bombs, and I’ve been spinning, as you can see.

I am about halfway through the final bobbin for this spin, which means all in all this project hasn’t taken much time. I plan to finish spinning the bobbin, then let it rest before beginning to ply in order to start my legends of the fall sweater.

Ok back to it. We are vacationing so hard right now!

Cold Days

Today is balmy, a highly pleasant 21F. Isn’t it amazing how perspective changes the weather? It’s the warm before some very cold weather. In fact, I keep looking at the forecast for new year’s eve. I first noticed it when it was predicted to be -18 overnight. Now the prediction is -22. I am keeping an eye on it, but I don’t think we are going to go out that night at this point. Better to stay home and make sure everyone and the house is safe.

We’ve been starting off our mornings like this:

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Miss Butterfly and I managed to get some errands run yesterday afternoon, and again this morning. And we baked. Homemade pita bread yesterday and some lovely time and labor intensive cookies today. Miss Butterfly is really into putting puzzles together right now, so we also picked up a couple puzzles for her. And we went to the yarn shop, where I purchased enough koigu kpppm for “Legends of the Fall” sweater. I can’t wait! My color choices are on the orange side, much to Miss Butterfly’s irritation. But, I am still eager to spin at the moment and haven’t would the yarn and cast on yet.

I had Miss Butterfly take a few photos of the hitofude.

It’s large and long and comfy and quite frankly extremely warm. The kind of sweater one throws on around the house to stay warm in this cold and it REALLY works. It’s also nicely work appropriate with proper pants. I really could see me knitting this again.

Back when I first met Mr. Ink his old dog Coco was not wanting to go out in the cold. At 15 and arthritic, he decided he was super over it. I knit him some booties, and it changed his cold weather life. Mr. Ink would put those on, and old Coco would prance around and go for walks with them on.

After Lizzie had 24 hours of limping after a cold weather walk, I asked Mr. Ink if he still had them. He did, and was easily able to pull them out of his desk drawer. I put them on her, and she spent 10 minutes making snow angels before we could even go for a walk yesterday!

She loves those booties! If we ever lose any, I’ll make the next ones out of fluorescent yarn though, as these are hard to see, and she does tend to lose them off her feet and they aren’t easy to see once they are gone.

It’s been a pretty fantastic vacation so far. We’ve been busy but quite happily so. Keeping busy at those things which keeps us a family as well.

 

Vacation Again!

Isn’t that wonderful?! One day of work and then more time off.

We had a slow day at work though it ended up being a bit busier than expected. I also was too warm all bundled up in my hand knits. Apparently the heat in the building was working just fine! It’s -8F this morning, so I am THRILLED to not have to run out in that cold! I’d generally be leaving for work right around this time. If it doesn’t warm up a bit it’s unlikely I’ll leave the house at all today.

Lizzie Bean took 3 steps out into the cold this morning, turned back around and decided she could hold it. Even she was unimpressed. But, here’s some cute pictures of her from yesterday. This didn’t happen when I was home, Miss Butterfly and her friend captured these. They heard her scritching around near the front door and couldn’t figure out what was going on. When they went over there, they realized that the dog that refuses to use a dog bed had made herself a bed out of my woven rug.

Such a goofy little rascal!

I did manage to grab a quick photo of a bobbin yesterday by sticking my hand out the front door and taking a photo from inside.

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The entire bobbin seems to be bathed in the warm glow of late afternoon sunset. One bobbin down, 2 to go! I am actually about a third of the way through bobbin 2 at this point.

I had a whole list of errands and tasks for Miss Butterfly and I today. Pita bread making, cookie baking, yarn shop hopping, but if we don’t get a break in the cold not much of it will happen. (The baking requires a trip to the store.) Cross your fingers for 10F today. I could manage 10F.

One

One handknit wool sweater, one handknit wool hat, one pair of handknit wool socks, one pair of handknit wool gloves and one very large coffee are what is getting me through this one degree day, my one and only day of work this week.

Precisely one other person is at work with me. There’s no one else here. It’s VERY quiet. And it’s pleasantly warm in the building.

On Christmas morning, Mr. Ink and I got up and did our personal holiday tradition. Miss Butterfly is always at her father’s home so we get to make ourselves funnel cake!

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It was absolutely delicious. Light and fluffy and amazing. Lizzie even got a few scraps.

We had a quiet day. I took Lizzie for a cold cold walk. I listened to A Christmas Carol on audiobook, something that really needs to become a tradition. I spun the first bobbin of the second 3 braid combo spin. I had a nice nap.

At some point, during some indoor play, Lizzie hurt her paw. She’s now limping and I am not sure what the problem is. I didn’t step on her, and it’s not her leg that’s the issue. I’ve done everything I can to make sure it’s not a piece of salt or other irritant between her paw pads. I washed her paw in a bowl of water, making sure to get up in her paw pads and have a good feel around. She’s been extremely patient with me. But I’ve got no solution at the moment. I think this is a wait and see situation for now. Poor girl is pathetic, clearly wanting to play but hurting, so she just carries her favorite toy around everywhere while she limps. We got out old Coco’s handknit booties for her when she went out in the evening. She tolerated them well, so they’ll be used regularly when there’s ice and snow. Though they may be harder to get on her when she’s feeling fine, I mean, I can barely get her to stand still enough for a harness on a regular day!

As I mentioned above, it’s 1F today. Now, a few weeks ago I told Mr. Ink he’d better move the motorbikes to the upper garage so that he could park in the lower garage during the winter. He said “Is it even going to snow this year? It barely did last year.” To which I responded “I don’t know, but ice is something we always get, along with cold.”  He didn’t move the motorbikes. Last week we got ice, and he had to park in the lower driveway. Plus, he couldn’t get the motorbikes up the iced over driveway even if he wanted to. This morning I was feeling sorry for him, having to go out to that cold cold car, scrape windows and suffer through driving to work. Then I remembered that he had ample time to fix this issue for himself, he just didn’t take it. I rode in my nice warm car with heated seats and a heated steering wheel.

Miss Butterfly returned last evening around 8 pm bearing all the gifts she’d received from her father’s family. I am telling you, this is a family that buys stuff just to buy stuff. It never ceases to amaze me just how much junk she comes home with that ends up in my basement and then at goodwill. I hate it. She had more than one shoebox full of candy she cannot eat because of her braces, so Mr. Ink won on that one. The things I do rather like is when she brings home candles and nice handsoap, those do get used. Though I still have some from previous years. Even after the accusations of telling her family she wanted nail stuff (still not true!) she ended up getting enough stuff that she decided this was the best christmas ever. I guess she was pleased.

We had very little under the tree, we are probably the opposite of her father’s family. We prefer experiences and larger more practical gifts. Mr. Ink got a cord of wood from my parents for the firepit, and I got an akerworks kate (SO EXCITED!!!). We got Miss Butterfly a weekend at camp in the spring and Mr. Ink got her a couple classic music cds, like Stevie Wonder, to appropriately expand her collection. I got Mr. Ink silverware. I’d picked up a couple forks because we are constantly out of forks. I didn’t want to buy a full set. I mean, who wants salad forks? NOT ME!!! But, he liked the forks I got so much that I ended up buying that style in new silverware. But one at a time, so that we don’t have salad forks. NO SALAD FORKS!!!!

I am getting a living room rug for christmas, but we have to get better about going out and hunting for it.

Oh, and Lizzie got a christmas gift too. She’s funny, again, she was an outdoor dog so she isn’t afraid of outdoor stuff. But wrapping paper and gifts? THEY ARE TERRIFYING!

Lizzie is looking at me to see if it’s ok to be near Miss Butterfly now that the gift is unwrapped. She got a treat puzzle. She has to slide those little wooden disks around to get to the treats. It was a hit! Though she does keep thinking that the treats might be under the puzzle itself, which is hilarious.

I began a new project late last evening out of handspun. Let’s see if I can find the picture of the yarn…

Look at that! I found the yarn AND the batts I’d created to make the yarn. Anyhow, I’ve got four small skeins totaling 400 yards. I am knitting this into a bias knit scarf with a simple lace pattern and nice color changes.

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Here’s a photo of the start, since I am not about to go outside in this weather today to allow my photo to be taken of the hitofude. I think you’ll all understand!

Tomorrow my favorite local yarn shop begins it’s annual sale. I plan to go and get a sweater amount of yarn. For a specific sweater. It’ll be colorful. I can’t wait! Plus, bonus day with Miss Butterfly hopefully running some errands and making cookies or pita bread, not sure which.

A White Christmas

I admit it, I think the best christmases are the ones which have snow involved. So waking up yesterday to the news we were to get snow was absolutely thrilling to me! It snowed on and off all day, most of it not sticking much, though it did help to cover the remaining ice making it easier to walk Lizzie. I worried that I was getting my hopes up, but in the morning? We had a nice cover. Would I have liked a lot more? Heck yeah, but we did well and I am happy with what we got.

I made a loaf of homemade spelt grain bread last evening and Mr. Ink made chili so it really was a warm and wonderful evening. I never did finish that cardigan, I gave up with half a final row to knit and then a bind off. I got up at 6 this morning to do that and enjoy a cup of coffee in the quiet by the tree.

The cardigan is now blocking and I’ll get to wear it to work on Tuesday. Yep, that’s right, I have to work but just the one day. I am hoping to get photos that day as well. And, in January I am setting myself a challenge. I am going to start actually wearing all the wonderful sweaters and cardigans I’ve made over the years. I just sort of forget about them sometimes and it’s kind of silly. I might need to rearrange so that I can get to them easier in order to wear them.

Once I finished the cardigan I realized that left me with just one sweater amount of yarn in stash still. That’s it! Except…I tried to knit it into something and realized a key thing. That yarn is not destined to turn into a garment. I just don’t like it in garment form. I’ve tried multiple times. It’s going to have to be something else. My plan now is to very carefully decide on yarn and pattern combos. Nice yarn with a good pattern only. Not find a cool pattern and get the cheapest yarn. I am going to start on Wednesday actually, I’ve a sweater in mind and I’ve been itching to make it for ages.

I did also start the next 3 braid combo but haven’t gotten far at all. I yanked out another beginning of a handspun scarf I didn’t like. And now I am wandering around online trying to figure out what to knit next.

I did get a nice long walk with Lizzie in today, she has no problem at all with the snow but may need some booties. We would walk until she’d get a piece of salt or a ball of snow between her paw pads. Then she’d come to a complete halt, and hold up that paw until I dug it out. There was no limping along, there was no hiding it. She would just stop. Again, not one to be particularly shy about getting her needs met.

Miss Butterfly is having her weekend with step family and dad’s family. Apparently she’s gotten a ton of stuff related to painting nails so far. And, that prompted the following text exchange, which was so indicative of her age and stage.

Butterfly: Why did you tell everyone I wanted stuff to do my nails?

Me: I didn’t?

Butterfly: I don’t DO my nails, YOU DO. So I can’t see why you told everyone that.

Me: I didn’t. I talked to one person about what you wanted, that’s your step mom, and I told her make up and bath bombs. I didn’t say anything about nails.

Butterfly: SO WHY DO I HAVE A WHOLE BAG OF NAIL STUFF?!?!?!

We are definitely at the age of everything is mom’s fault right now. I mentioned that if she wanted specific stuff she needed to communicate that with her family. I got a “Well it’s HARD!” out of her. Then I reminded her that I have extremely little control over what happens on her dad’s side of the family. I do however hope that she gets some cool stuff tomorrow, and I really hope that she was gracious about the nail stuff at least. (Though knowing her, she wouldn’t have dreamed of being ungracious. She’ll just take her irritation out on me.)

So, I am really hoping that vacation together goes well. There shouldn’t be a ton of distractions around if I keep her phone out of her grasp. Her friends are all with their own families at the moment. I’ve got a whole list of baking we can do together and of course there are also errands to be run that she should enjoy well enough.

Have a wonderful christmas morning!