Look at that!

So, when you follow a pattern, and I mean actually and truly FOLLOW THE PATTERN, things generally work out.


Flat. No bunching. Same size needles. I know it’s not much but I left this project in time out all weekend, just where it needed to be.

Lizzie is getting better after her latest exuberance injury.  Seriously, that’s what this is. She just won’t calm down, and then hurts herself. But, after a few days, we can see she’s putting quite a bit more weight on that leg and I’d say the limping is just about over now. In fact, I think she’ll even get a short walk tonight, something which will thrill her to pieces and make me much happier too, as she will not settle down in the house and lay down/be still unless she’s expelled energy.

We are running errands tonight,  Miss Butterfly and I, in preparation for the upcoming trip. (Yesterday there were pictures of a blooming clematis from where we are going, can you believe it?!?! Makes one almost want to move south!) In light of the weather forecast, I am also hoping to have time to pull out a pair of capris from the storage bins. We’ve played at packing but haven’t really done much of that either, so I am hoping that we’ll get a chance to work on that too. I have to investigate what Miss Butterfly is bringing so that I can tell if she’s going overboard or not. I really should learn to leave myself a bit of downtime on either end of a trip. Going away for 4 business days? How about make it 6, and have a down day on either end? I bet I’d be FAR less stressed if I’d just get in that habit.

Mr. Ink tells me that he and Lizzie are going to get up to all sorts of adventures while we are gone. I told him that he needs to take photos and send them so I can see what they are up to. He’s not so good at that, but he also knows I’ll miss the dog so maybe he’ll come around.

That’s all from me for now! I’ll be sure to take lots of pictures on our trip so there’s tons to post upon our return. Have a great week and weekend!

Big Oops

Sometimes I am startled at just how wrong one can go even if one has been knitting for more than 10 years and considers herself fairly skilled. I haven’t had a particularly large fail in awhile, so now I am going to own up to one. Remember the Easy shawl?


And how it’s bunching right here and how I changed needle size to help? Well, spoiler alert, it’s not bunching because of needle size. So, I switched needle size, and knit and knit and knit until I was almost done. And the entire time, I am like “The yarn amounts on this pattern really don’t reflect what is necessary, OR, I really miscounted my yardage on this half of the handspun! I can’t believe I have THIS MUCH left over, that’s ridiculous!” Meanwhile, I noticed that while the middle seam was bunching less due to needle size, it was still bunching. I went back to reread the pattern, and said “Ok, I am doing this correctly, let’s just keep going.” Despite the fact that it felt wrong. So wrong.

I wasn’t reading the pattern correctly. Not at all. I should have been using double the amount of yarn per row, decreasing fewer seam stitches per row than I had been. THAT is why I had so much yarn left over and THAT is why it was bunching and THAT is why it felt like I flew through the second half in a day rather than many.


I ripped the entire thing out again, picked up my stitches AGAIN, went back down to the original needle size, and put it aside because I just can’t right now. This can have a time out. I don’t need that irritation in my life.

Instead, I cast on something new.


This is the beginning of the Quaker Lines shawl in a gradient handspun I created out of two braids of The Dyeing Arts Sugar Skull colorway. I picked it because it looks like easter, which is coming right up. And I picked it because it’s easy, which could make for good travel knitting. And it has been in my queue for awhile, since I really wanted to see what Sugar Skull was going to look like when I knit it.

However, I can’t guarantee that this will be the only thing cast on this weekend. I’ve got other things up my sleeve as well, and I’ve got a serious case of castonitis.

Want to know what else is happening around here?


Hope is happening around here. These pretty things haven’t quite officially bloomed yet, but we are getting awfully close. Of course, it’s cold again today, it rained quite hard last night, and when I looked at them this morning, the blooms were all shut back up tightly. Nevertheless, close.

Lizzie Update:

I took this photo crowing over the fact that I am the only one in the family who can put bare skin so close to this dog without getting attacked by licking. Because I am the boss and she does exactly what I tell her to do. But while I was taking the photo I was really surprised she was so snuggly! She’s not really a snuggle dog. Then after, I realized it was an hour past her dinner time and I hadn’t fed her yet, and the snuggles were really just hopes that I’d remember that she needed to eat. Never mind, not that sweet of a moment after all.


While she doesn’t love dog beds, she’s taken to finding a stray throw on the floor when my family doesn’t clean up after themselves, and she definitely likes those:


Here she is all cuddled up and waiting for bedtime to happen.

In other Lizzie news, she sprained her paw yesterday (again) this time worse than before. It’s pretty sad really, she’s limping, and doesn’t want to play. However, she does still want to jump, which is her favorite. So, she just holds the injured paw in the air and jumps with 3 legs. It’s super pathetic, and clearly takes concentration, but that’s how she wants to operate. I am hoping it resolves pretty soon. The rescue where we got her has an alumni page, and it does seem like most folks with active dogs do deal with this from time to time so I am not too worried yet. But I hope it resolves itself soon since she seems so irritated by it.

That’s about it from here, it is bound to be a busy weekend, but I am so happy to HAVE the weekend I can barely contain myself.

Heading it off at the pass

A problem, that is. I got to the second side of my easy shawlette, and ran into a bit of a snag. You may remember that I am using handspun, the first side a single with cocoons, and the second side would be the same colorway in a 2 ply. Well, I began the second side, but as I was knitting it looked like this:


See how that section is seriously pulling in and bunching? I wasn’t positive it would block out, so I quit and ripped it back. Then I spent a day thinking about it, and realized that if I just went up a needle size, perhaps I could get this to quit acting dumb. I began that process last night and it seems to be working, what a relief! So, this time rather than assuming it’ll block out, I’ve actually stopped, evaluated, and course corrected.

I am kind of in a place with my knitting where I both want to start ALL the projects and not really knit at all, which is an odd place to be. I also don’t seem to want to spin either, the spinning wheels have been sitting in my craft room and I haven’t had any desire to drag them out. Let’s call it spring fever, because I feel like I don’t know what to do with myself but it’s not actually warm enough consistently to be outdoors playing and having fun in the garden.

I also seem to be struck by a little bit of allergies. Now, when I was a child I had terrible allergies. Thankfully between growing out of some of them as I got older and moving to the midwest where somehow there are just fewer allergens that bother me, I’ve been fortunate to feel healthier overall most of my adult life. So, what this means is that when I do end up with allergies, I don’t recognize them very quickly. Their impact is different, more subtle. But, after suffering from a headache and strange feeling sinuses, and a stiff neck for 3 days, culminating in a very moody and tired Shells last evening, I finally took a benadryl last night and I feel amazing today! To be honest, I still hadn’t quite figured out what was going on, but Miss Butterfly was thinking maybe she was coming down with a cold, except she felt fine, and then I realized we were probably both suffering from some seasonal allergies.

Allergies aside though, I am going to assume this means we are headed in the right direction after what seems like an abnormally long winter around here. I have crocuses about to bloom, and hyacinths are popping up all over too. I am so eager to see spring arrive! As an added bonus, we are traveling next week, to Alabama and I’ve seen photos, it’s MUCH greener there than here. I can’t WAIT to see trees budding and green. Just…green! It’ll be wonderful (despite the fact that at the moment it also looks like it may rain the entire time.)


A Tiny Preview

So, I did manage to finish my Jaina cardigan yesterday evening and even got it soaked and blocked. I think I am absolutely going to love it, it’s warm and squishy and soft. And the colors are wonderful. And the preblocked fit was extremely promising for a sweater that I was hoping would be fairly large and casual. I am waiting for the thing to dry, and maybe we’ll get enough nice weather that I’ll get a few photos in this weekend, we shall see.

I don’t think that my Easy shawl is any more interesting than the last post, though it has grown a bunch. So, I didn’t grab a photo of that. But clearly I am a little bit on a Martina Behm kick, because I am still plugging away at my Magrathea shawl as well.


It’s still at work, I am still knitting, and I am very close to doing the edging. I don’t have high hopes for not running out of yarn completely but we’ll see how it goes. Since I haven’t actually been hugely interested in knitting, or what knitting produces for me, it won’t hurt me too much to have a big rip session to redo it at a stopping point a bit before what I am currently going for. I’ll be ok with that.

What have I really been into lately? This will totally surprise anyone who knows me, in fact, it already has. Make-up! Well, to be fair, it started with Miss Butterfly. She’s 13 now, and supremely interested in make-up. She’s also always been a fairly artistic kid. She’s not allowed to wear it out of the house at the moment, but she’s still super interested, watching tons of youtube videos, and experimenting with all she’s got right now, namely super cheap palettes she’s received as gifts in the past number of months. She wants to do my make-up, she wants me to do my make-up, she wants me to watch the videos with her, she wants me to wear her make-up to work, and in the end her excitement has been pretty contagious. At this point we both get super excited about researching the best drugstore products available, and then hunting for them on the weekends. It’s been a very fun quality time activity for us, and now amazingly enough I am wearing daily make-up. So, if you’ve ever wondered what I’ve been up to in my spare moments while I am not blogging or crafting, that’s what I’ve been up to. There’s really nothing to show for it beyond saying that’s what we are up to. But, that’s what we are up to. It’s an activity that has stuck around for months now, so it seems to be here to stay.

That’s about it from me!

Early Sunday

The dog has a bad habit of getting up really early. I guess it’s ok, because I have that habit too. But every once in awhile you just want to sleep in past 6:30, right? Mr. Ink tries to sneak her out and feed her at 5:30 in order that I can sleep in, but inevitably she’ll need to go out again after she eats and that’s my cue. Once I am upright, I am up, so going back to bed is not an option.

So anyhow, it’s early and I am sitting, groggy, with my first coffee. And ready to show you a start of a shawl!


So, this is the half with the singles, where there are little pops of cocoons hanging around. I’d say there’s about as many on the other side as there is on this side. It’s kind of goofy looking, but also interesting.

I took this photo yesterday morning, but then rushed off to hang with Miss Marja and didn’t get an opportunity to post later. I DID get a bunch more knitting on this done while hanging with Miss Marja, so it’s moving right along.

Meanwhile, I am still slowly plugging away at that inner collar on my jaina sweater. I hope to have it done this weekend, it would be lovely to finish it up. And then I think maybe a break from sweater knitting is in order for a bit. Mostly because I’ve no sweater amounts left in stash. Perhaps I’ll get bit by a spring spinning bug again, that would be nice!

That’s about it from here, I am looking forward to what I hope is another nice quiet day to top off my weekend.


It’s been QUITE a week folks. Large event went well but had enough hitches to make me an anxious mess. I am glad it’s over. So yesterday I was thinking about how I get to leave work early today, and will get my hair done, and then get some photos of knitting to show off. But….we’ve got copious amounts of rain that is supposed to stick around all day. By copious I mean a true spring storm, it’s so windy that the pouring rain is hitting our windows sideways here at work and making a deafening racket. Upon arrival to work this morning I had to roll my jeans up to my knees, and my umbrella just turned inside out so it was useless. Perhaps spring has arrived? I won’t hold my breath, I think we will still get snow in the upcoming weeks.

I can talk knitting though. My handspun jaina sweater is coming right along. I finished the first collar this week. It was right during the event time and I was struggling to pick up stitches for the second collar layer, because my brain was shot. So I put it down. No, that’s not true, I put it on. Unblocked, with ends hanging off it all over, I put it on for the rest of the evening because it was so soft and warm and scrumptious. And I started something else.

Way back when I had the mental energy for interesting spinning, I made these. One is a handspun single with those cocoons on it, and the other is a 2 ply. I decided to knit these up into an “easy” shawlette. I started with the singles, so I’ve got this fun garter stitch with pops of weird thick cocoons. I am loving it so far. Can’t wait to show it to you!

With the second section being a plain 2 ply I think it’ll make a very interesting scarf!

And with that, I am off to enjoy a lovely half day out of the office. In beautiful weather. Not. But, a half day is a half day and I’ll take it!


It was an extremely busy week, in prep for a large event downtown I am putting on this week. I expected a busy week, but it was busier than even I anticipated. I think things are in good shape now though, and it’ll all be over Wednesday evening. I can then concentrate on the next big event which isn’t until July. I should also get a nice little extra long weekend, since I’ll have worked too many hours Tuesday and Wednesday and will need to dump a few. Oh, and did I mention I have a grant due this week too? Hah. I am not too concerned about the grant though, I think that’ll go smoothly.

Last week, on the worst of the busy days, I got home and I was grumpy for very good reasons. I admit I had a nice vent with my family, but remained quite grumpy. I also found that I couldn’t do anything. I was just really off center. I couldn’t even knit! I was at the portion of the sleeve on my sweater where I do a tiny bit of pattern. I knit and messed up and ripped and reknit 4 times. And then I put it down and decided some nights you just don’t even knit. Mr. Ink told Miss Butterfly he thinks I might be cracking. Close Mr. Ink. Very close.

I did get that sleeve done the next evening though, and started on the second sleeve. Here’s where I am now.


I also sewed down one of the pockets, which is seriously not my favorite thing. So I didn’t do them both. I’ll do the second one when I get inspired again.

During the actual event next week, I’ll probably have knitting time available to me. I am having trouble deciding if I’ll just take a sock already on the needles, or if I will try to take a newer easy project. I am leaning toward sock at the moment just because it isn’t bulky and would be nice and simple. But I could still change my mind. But between now and then? Looks like it’s all sweater knitting all the time. It’s still pretty cool outside, I could get use out of this one this season still!

A little bit blizzardy

It may have been a lovely weekend weather wise, and the upcoming weekend may be predicted to be lovely weather wise, but in between we deal with yuck. A storm rolled through last evening and into today, we’ve had super high winds for days, but now we’ve added snow to the mix. There’s actually not that much snow on the ground. That’s because it’s all sticking to my sliding glass door due to high winds. I must have arrived at work at the perfect time, since I left early and was on time, but everyone else who arrives later left early and was desperately late, and complaining of terrible traffic, closed interstate, and accidents all around them. I love my “new” car every day, but this winter has proven just how much it deserves my love. The snow has been almost weekly, and just enough to cause problems on a drive.

Prior to the overnight snow I did get a photo of my jaina cardigan in progress.


So, it’s moving along quite nicely. I was able to get the full cardigan out of the first dye lot handspun with a bit left over that I saved for the inner collar. I started the second dye lot on the arm, and I am glad I did. To be frank, the second dye lot is also spun with a bit more twist as well, which is a bit annoying to me as I am knitting but hopefully won’t be too noticeable when wearing, or looking at it from far away. I do see quite a lot more green in the new dye lot, which is exactly what I worried about when spinning it. It’s all quite interesting!

I am still quite inspired on this knit, even though I am working on the arms. I do think that 9 inch circs work very well for me for sleeves, I do stay more inspired to finish the sleeves when I am working in the round that quickly. Add to that the fun of the sleeve cap, which is different than working in the round, so breaks up the monotony, and the sleeve doesn’t seem like such an epic slog at all! In a few more inches I’ll get to do another little cabled detail, so even that will add a bit of interest to the process.

In any case, I’ve loved this project quite a lot and I am glad I decided to make it. I’ve sized it up a bit to make something truly snuggly, and I really can’t wait to wear it even though it will probably be too warm by the time it’s done.

That’s it from me! We’ve got district vocal festival tonight which will be Miss Butterfly’s final show choir performance. It’ll be a long concert, but I’ll have my sock knitting with me. Have a great week!

Too Busy Knitting

This weekend was the first weekend in a month where I wasn’t either sick, or bundled under blankets due to furnace issues. It was a WONDERFUL weekend. On top of just the fact that I felt good, the weather was amazing! Very windy, but so so mild. I’ve got hyacinths popping up in the yard near that house, and I can see the start of crocuses too. Spring is coming to the midwest, though I think we probably still have some less than favorable weather to deal with.

Did anyone else catch that it was a free all you can watch craftsy weekend? I tried to get in a few knitting videos I hadn’t seen. I watched one on seaming, one on color, and one on intarsia. I think I’ve pretty much decided that my next sweater project will be something I’ve never tackled before. Intarsia. I’ve got the Kaffe Knits Again book and I’ve always been intimidated by it, despite the fact that I am not generally intimidated by anything in knitting. With as eager as I’ve been to knit sweaters this year, this may be a perfect year to try something completely new.

Speaking of sweaters, while I failed to get a photo of it, I have finished the fronts and back of the handspun jaina cardigan I’ve been working on and am partway down the first sleeve now. I’ll get a photo this afternoon if it quits raining.

I also grabbed a photo of my magrathea.


It’s looking pretty good as well! So, this is one of those knits where you weigh your original ball of yarn, knit until you’ve got 25% remaining, and then do the final border. Now, the other day I saw the ball band from the yarn and thought “I don’t need this anymore!” And I threw it in the recycling bin. I was sure that I’d written down the starting weight of the yarn somewhere. I looked on the paper pattern copy I was using, no weight. Looked my electronic pattern copy, no weight. Looked at my ravelry project page, no weight. That’s when I remembered this is why I saved the ball band. For the weight. Except, now it was long gone. So I looked up the yarn on ravelry. Except, the put up of the yarn I have is about double the amount that’s listed in the database. SO…..I just have to guess. It’s back at work since I don’t need a scale for guessing. I guess I could take the entire thing off the needles and onto scrap yarn and then measure the total weight, but that seems like a bunch of trouble. (Not as much trouble as losing yarn chicken, but I guess I am gonna try that method.)

I did a lot of outdoors stuff too, Lizzie and I went on really long walks both weekend days. She was thrilled. And she’s so funny, if the wind is particularly gusty, she runs faster. Yesterday we walked around a lake and she was practically dragging me once we got up on the dam part of the place, completely exposed to all the wind. It feels good to be seeing bits of green, and it feels good to be out and about again, without having to bundle up. And this weekend even dried out enough that it wasn’t completely muddy. So pleasant! If all predictions remain the same, the next weekend should be similar temps and pleasantness, despite the fact we may get snow tomorrow.

Happy Monday folks, have a great week.