Painting Honeycombs

In my ongoing but somewhat delayed goal of knitting all the shawls in the Painting Shawls book, I finally finished the second out of thirteen projects. This is painting honeycombs (small) shawl.

I used alpaca from my stash, it’s been in my stash for over 10 years. I paired that with a recently finished handspun 3 ply and I just knit the pattern until I was out of handspun.

I worked on this project during my work lunches which means that it’s hard to get sick of it since it’s just a “bite or two” at a time. An hour here, and hour there. But I admit I was pretty glad when it was done as it felt like it was dragging on.

Oddly, the day I finished this I soaked and blocked it and then sat down and finished my third shawl out of the book. I’d been keeping that one at home to work on but have had so much other stuff going on that it took me an equal amount of time to finish. It’ll be a while before I have a place to block that shawl so I won’t be able to post it for a bit.

I did start my 4th shawl from the book over the weekend so that I could bring it to work for my newest lunch knitting project. And, if I have time this evening I’ll start the 5th shawl from the book to have as my at home project. However, I see that westknits mystery shawl info is going to come out soon, and I do plan to take a break and do the westknits mystery shawl again this year. We will see how far I get on shawl 4 and 5 before that consumes my knitting time.

In Spinning

I’ve been doing a fair bit of patio plying over the past few weeks despite the fact that we have newborn puppies in our home. For the first two weeks, Mama dog did the vast majority of the work, we were mostly there for clean up duty and to keep mom hydrated and fed.

I had been working on this large two braid combo spin for ages. I made a 2 ply yarn out of it, and there’s over 1700 yards of laceweight now.

While I had been letting the singles rest for the above project I began spinning the singles of a loop bump I had recently purchased. Once I finished the laceweight plying I immediately chain plied the loop singles so that I could finish a second yarn.

I think this one turned out very pretty even though it is by no means perfect. I took such a long spinning break that much of my yarn feels like I am trying to recapture skills I once had. Which is fine, there’s only one way to recapture that and it is to practice. The yarn is a worsted weight though it does have a fair bit of variation.

22 in 2022 Project Pan Update #8

It’s been another month and that means another month of use on my project pan items. Here’s where I was last month:

I was feeling good about progress on some items last month but was perplexed about the lack of any pan at all on the blush. Here’s where I am this month.

Tons of pan on that blush!

A quick overview of the other items. The Stila lipstick is very close to being done now. I feel confident I could finish that by next update. The tarte jelly glaze is done. The makeup forever lip liner is done. I had been very careful not to put the cap on too far so that I could use up the last dregs of the liner but at some point it got stuck in the cap so there’s nothing I can do about that now. Honestly it was extremely close to being done.

I believe I’ll be done with the powder by next month or the month after. Same with the blush. Unfortunately I haven’t used the foundation at all and I have used the supershock eyeshadow extremely sparingly. I have been using the brow gel daily though so I know good progress is being made despite the fact it is not visible.

In the end, while there are some products I thought at the beginning of the year I’d like to pan, I just haven’t. And so the “bonus” list has been great since I’ve kept working on some of those instead. I’ll still hit my 22 despite having lost all desire to work on a few products on the original list.

The list:

  1. Hourglass Dim Light powder
  2. Bare Minerals Bare Pro Powder Foundation
  3. Cerave sunscreen
  4. Juice Beauty primer (deluxe sample size)
  5. Bite Beauty lipstick
  6. Sephora green color corrector
  7. Tarte Amazonian Clay color corrector
  8. Colourpop supershock shadow Frog
  9. Benefit eyebrow pencil
  10. Elf putty primer (deluxe sample size)
  11. Ilia lip balm (deluxe sample size)
  12. Tarte lip balm (deluxe sample size)
  13. Tower 28 gloss (deluxe sample size)
  14. Sleek Face Palette (darkest contour shade only with use of the light bronzer shade as well)
  15. Makeup Forever Lip Liner
  16. Makeup Forever powder (deluxe sample size)
  17. Laura Mercier secret brightening powder
  18. Coola spray (sample size)
  19. Maybelline setting spray (travel size)
  20. 1 mascara of any type
  21. Benefit tinted eyebrow gel
  22. Ofra liquid lipstick travel size any color

Bonus items:

elf eyebrow wax
Stila lipstick
Pan of blush
Mac foundation
Clinique eyeliner
Pretty Vulgar powder

The Grand Reveal

A puppy story!

Our sweet Fishbone foster dog had her puppies on Saturday. When I got up Saturday morning I noticed she was acting not quite normal. And I knew it was the day because we’d been tracking her temps and her temps dropped as they are supposed to right before labor and delivery. She suddenly didn’t want to be in the living room, didn’t want to be around our dogs, and wanted to be somewhere private.

So, I spent all morning in the puppy room with her while she did her work of laboring. By around lunchtime I could visibly see her contractions. After lunch she had curled up in my lap for comfort, but then had three extremely strong contractions in a row, all of which she yelled through. She thought I did them TO her so she ran and hid in her kennel. After I got her calmed down, I got her out of her kennel and shut the door as I didn’t want a baby born in a kennel.

She ended up having her first puppy on the floor of the puppy room outside her whelping box at 3:23 pm.

A little blue boy with a full tail we called Dirty Walt, weighing 7.5 ounces. Fishbone wanted nothing to do with him and that was perplexing, so I did the work of getting him out of his sac and moving. I then got into the whelping box myself. She promptly followed me in to the box which was good. What I didn’t realize in that moment was that she didn’t want much to do with Dirty Walt because she was about to have her largest puppy. She was concentrating on that. Only 14 minutes later at 3:37 pm, Marlin arrived a whopping 9.5 ounces at birth.
He’s a brown boy with a full tail and a black face. He’s also got a little bit of white on his chest. Now mama Fishbone was able to get down to work at mothering her puppies. Which she did, absolutely beautifully.

For the first puppy, I was on my own. It all happened so fast, and I’d called to Mr. Ink that we were going to have a puppy but apparently he thought he had more time. After this, Mr. Ink took the yelling Fishbone was doing seriously and he got back in the room for the puppies. As someone completely green to the process, after Fishbone hollered through the birth of two puppies, I assumed it was normal and no one had mentioned it to me.

After Marlin, Fishbone got a bit of a break. And the rescue owner was able to get there so we had an expert on hand. Fishbone settled in with her first two puppies while we waited. And waited. Eventually we decided we needed to get her up and moving as it had been an hour since her last puppy and we never want to go two hours between puppies. After I took her out, I could visibly see strong contractions again which was encouraging. Finally, at 5:09 pm she had her third puppy.

Sturgeon is a little red boy with a white blaze and a bobbed tail. This was when we began to realize that these puppies were just going to be a surprise in their coloring! Honestly, I’d expected brindles and black puppies. But these puppies just weren’t that! Sturgeon weighed in at 8.2 ounces.

Fishbone’s contractions remained strong so we were delighted to welcome our fourth puppy at 5:34 pm. He turned out to be the runt of the litter. Our rescue owner was still there supervising. I did with our runt what I’d done with the other puppies and mama did what she’d done with the other puppies but suddenly our rescue owner said “Ok that’s enough, hand him over!” He’d gone too long without breathing and she’d been watching that. I hadn’t quite known he wasn’t breathing, he was moving, and I was just going on autopilot. But she was able to hold him upside down and rough him up and I was able to suction out his mouth and nose enough to get him going.

Our tiny Loach weighed in at only 6.5 ounces. He matches Marlin in coloring right down to the white chest but has a bobbed tail.

At this point, our rescue owner decided that we were doing great on our own with this birth so she headed back out to her own obligations. I am so grateful she checked in on us, total newbies to dog labor and delivery.

It took over an our for our 5th puppy to make an appearance, we got Fishbone up and moving again so that she could progress her labor. At 6:47 pm she had the first little girl! No huge color surprise here, but she is lighter than her brown brothers and her face is more brown than black. She also has a bobbed tail. Mr. Ink was so surprised by a girl after 4 boys that he insisted I turn her back over and check again. Then, when I confirmed she was a girl, HE turned her over and checked again. Finally satisfied she was a girl, he documented that on the paperwork we were keeping.

We named her Dace, she was born at 7.7 ounces.

We again had to wait almost an hour for puppy 6 who was again a massive color surprise. Dolly Varden was born at 8.3 ounces a total blondie! She was born at 7:38 pm.

She also has a bobbed tail and she has a white blaze. Super interesting coloring on her and I am interested to see how she looks as she grows up. At this point I was just thinking what other colors could we possibly get? And also, how is it that among this litter we’ve had no brindles at all? Mom is a wonderful brindle color, where is it reflected in her puppies?

After getting Dolly Varden situated, which actually took a bit of time because she was a huge whiner but somehow couldn’t figure out she had to open her mouth to get a nipple, Mr. Ink and I decided we needed to figure out what to do about dinner. Knowing that we likely had 8 puppies coming I told him I could not leave her, so maybe some fast food was the way to go. He headed out to a local fast food chain to bring back food and I got mama up and moving a bit again. By this time, obviously, we were both getting pretty tired. Mr. Ink said “Of course you are! You’ve been at this for 5 hours!” To which I told him it had been much longer than that. After all, Fishbone and I had been laboring in that room since like 7:30 am. We just hadn’t had puppies until later.

At this point, Fishbone also started shaking like a leaf. I knew that could be part of the process and part of losing energy. But also, the process had made all the towels in the whelping box soaking wet. So, I decided to give her a full refresh. I put the 6 puppies in a box with a heating pad and then pulled out all the wet towels and put down fresh dry towels. I was delighted to see that this warmed Fishbone back up and she stopped shaking.

Mr. Ink brought back food and put it on a plate for me. Fishbone showed a lot of interest in my food, so I shared my fries with her and she was delighted. So after I finished eating, I got her to eat some kibble. And then Mr. Ink brought in a special treat, an ice cream pup cup for her. She enjoyed that as well, and once refreshed, her energy level returned so she could have her 7th puppy. Snook, a third girl, was born at 8:40 pm and while it’s hard to tell in this photo, I finally got the brindle I had been anticipating. And in another surprise, Snook doesn’t even have a tail at all!

Snook was 8 ounces at birth and secretly this was the point I was seriously hoping Fishbone was done with puppies. On her x-rays I never saw all 8 puppies the vet did and I was truly hoping the 8th wasn’t there. I should have trusted the expert, the vet.

Since my back was really struggling having sat near or in the whelping box all day long, Mr. Ink decided to take over. He wanted me to relax and rest my back but like, there was still so much to do!? So I got a load of grody laundry started figuring that would be the best use of my time. After all, I knew I’d need clean towels again for the whelping box later on and again in the morning. After that I did lay down, sent some photos of puppies to the rescue owner, and express my hope that we were done.

Mr. Ink got Fishbone up and moving and outside again, and it looked like she was pushing again. So back in the whelping box she went but Mr. Ink stayed with her. And then I heard the yell she’d let out with every single puppy so far so I ran in to find puppy #8 had been born. It was 9:57 pm.

Goby was yet another color surprise! He was born 8 ounces and was another with a bobbed tail. Mr. Ink and I argued and argued about his coloring and then determined we were just going to have to wait and see the next day. I called him blue but he wasn’t blue like the first puppy. Mr. Ink called him tan but he wasn’t really tan. We have now determined that it’s likely he’s an odd genetic anomaly called lilac. But we’ll see as he gets older.

Once Goby arrived, I was able to settle down a bit, knowing it was likely we were truly done. Mr. Ink took Fishbone outside again and I moved all 8 puppies to the warming box. I then did a full refresh of bedding for them. I set up the heating pad in the whelping box so the puppies could use it to regulate their body temps when not with mom. Then we got mom and pups all back in the whelping box. I set up the puppy cam so I could keep an eye on them remotely through the night and then headed to bed. Mr. Ink stayed up to listen for more yelling on the off chance mom was going to have a surprise 9th puppy but we are ever so grateful that did not happen.

All in all, a very successful whelping. First puppy at 3:23 and last puppy at 9:57 so overall that’s a pretty quick delivery. Mama Fishbone is a great mom which definitely makes our job easier. The biggest thing I learned after the fact is that Fishbone was having some very large babies for a 25ish pound dog. Apparently it is not normal for a mom dog to yell through all the puppy births. I think we were a little fortunate we didn’t need any intervention. I only had one puppy that did not gain in the first day, little Dace didn’t gain while the rest of the litter gained about an ounce in day 1. Thankfully, in day 2 Dace did a great job making that up with some big gains right along with her siblings. It is utterly mystifying to me that they can grow so fast! I am sure I’ll keep posting photos as they age. While I am not going to turn into a dog maternity foster home, we are grateful to have been given a new adventure in our lives.

Patio Spinning

The past couple of evenings we’ve had some very decent weather so we have been able to spend a little time outside.

I’ve been working on a loop bump while resting the singles I’d been working on previously. I finished the singles for the loop bump last evening.

This has a nice gradient color and I do plan to chain ply it to preserve the color changes. It’s also a little thicker than I usually spin so it should make a nice fluffy yarn.

Once finishing the loop singles, I set them aside to rest and pulled out the singles I’d been working on in order to ply them for a 2 ply laceweight yarn.

I got it started but by the time I quit it was too dark to take a photo. But it was really delightful to be able to sit outside working on a little spinning after all the heat we’ve been having. I hope for more of the same tonight but the temps are back up today and it doesn’t seem likely.

Meanwhile we are still on puppy watch and our Fishbone foster is still cooking them with no signs of giving birth yet. She’s getting larger and doing all that a normal pregnant mama dog does. We can see the babies moving when she’s hanging out on the couch so they are clearly gaining strength as well. We are kind of hoping they keep cooking through the weekend, but I think we’ll likely be cutting it close.

Meanwhile she is doing a great job learning our routines and fitting into our family. She is a little nervous but has gained a lot of confidence in the past week and a half. She’s now happily playing with chew toys and is happy to go outdoors when it is time instead of trying to hide inside. And she’s just so very cute!


This post is continued from yesterday’s post where I discuss our surprise pregnant foster dog and how we agreed to take on her and her puppies despite never even having fostered a puppy at all.

The photo of the dog in question, Fishbone.

Our home is not particularly large. It does not have a finished basement. We have 4 bedrooms but each bedroom is quite small. The master bedroom is a little larger, but the largest of the other 3 is less than 8′ by 12′. One of the smallest bedrooms has our personal dog’s kennels in it and it serves as Mr. Ink’s den with his computer and bookshelf and some storage drawers. The second smallest is Miss Butterfly’s room. Since she’s often out of the house these days we moved her into a smaller room so that I could have the largest of the 3 rooms as my craft room. And when I say craft room, I mean craft/makeup/hobby/home office room. To say the room is packed is an understatement. But, everything has it’s place and it works for me. When we have a foster dog we generally also put their kennel in the craft room, so we are accustomed to using my craft room as a foster dog room.

But, in order to have a foster dog who is having puppies, I needed more space. We needed space for a whelping box and space for mama dog to leave the box but still have free access to her puppies. In preparation I cleared out the makeup corner of my craft room, moving my vanity and a credenza into the living/dining area. I had been hoping that would be an appropriate space for the whelping box. But, when a rescue friend came over, she indicated it was too close to the AC vent. So, we moved my new comfy leather chair and put the whelping box where the chair was.

We’d also chosen this room because it had the most “expendable” flooring. Meaning, at some point, we fully intended to get rid of the white carpet, even though we weren’t planning to do it any time soon. Well, our rescue friend seriously turned her nose up at the idea of leaving the carpet, and she suggested that we purchase a roll of linoleum to place over the carpet. She felt this would seriously improve the quality of our lives as we’d save a lot of time and energy on clean up.

So, later that day Mr. Ink went out and purchased a roll. Once home, we also decided that my brand new leather chair needed to leave the room as I’d be very upset if anything happened to it. So that headed to the living room as well. Now, our living room and dining room are stuffed to the brim with extra furniture which definitely annoys me. In order to sit at my makeup desk which I do every work day morning, I have to push the chair aside. There’s really no other way about it unless we put the furniture in the basement but honestly I don’t have the energy to break my back doing that when in 3 months I’ll just have to bring it back up when I put my craft room back together.

The new set up with the linoleum does seem a better option though. What you can’t see is my sit to stand desk which I’ve put in a standing position so that we can keep items up there and dogs cannot access them. The linoleum did not reach all the way across the other side of the room, so we moved a bookcase over there and we plan to put a puppy pen system up across the far end of the room to block off the door and keep the total dog access smaller. That way the only access given is to areas with linoleum covering the carpet.

Closer to the time she has her puppies (probably a little over a week left) I’ll remove the dog bed and add a bunch of soft bedding for her to nest in and rearrange. But for now, we just want her to be comfortable hanging out in the whelping box, eating some of her meals there, and getting in and out comfortably. She’s a nervous girl so it’s taking a bit of time to get her to be comfortable with the different spaces in our home.

So, that’s where we are right now in our preparations. Now we wait, x-rays on Friday to see how many puppies we may be having, daily temperature taking begins wednesday so that we can see the drop that indicates labor may start, and in the meantime, we bond with Fishbone and keep integrating her into our home. I’ve been doing some simple training with her and she’s very smart and happy to train. she also loves doing zoomies in the yard with our dog Rose and likes to roll in the grass in the evenings. And she snuggles. She absolutely loves to snuggle. She’s a great little dog and I am so glad she’s entered our home for the next few months.

Foster Dog #15 (and then some!)

After our previous foster who was adopted by her forever home toward the end of May, we took a bit of a fostering break. I knew that we had some busy life stuff going on so I gave myself the date of end of July and then I just volunteered as much as possible in June and July.

When we began fostering over 2 years ago we always said we weren’t going to take puppies. Only female dogs (who won’t pee on Mr. Ink’s landscaping) who are smaller so that our particular dog Fury appreciates them. Over the years the age of the dogs has become younger and younger, I think the youngest we’ve taken was 6 or 7 months old. When we agree to a dog this young it’s usually due to some medical issue, and in the case of the youngest dog, she’d needed a leg amputation (and she had been starving so we needed to bulk her up.) She was one of our favorite little fosters so we definitely didn’t mind that she was on the young side for our home.

Due to some unexpected mill releases there was some foster dog shuffling in our organization and we ended up agreeing to foster this lovely small dog who looks a little like a tiny boxer.

She’s about 10 months old, so a little younger than we typically take but within our comfort range of ages. We agreed to her a few weeks before she was due to arrive via transport, so I prepared myself as I usually do to accept a new foster in our home and we waited in great anticipation for Saturday, her arrival date.

On Thursday I got a message from the rescue that said “Call me.” Which, honestly, was an alarming message! I called, and we were then told that no one at the shelter we were pulling from had noticed that our little foster dog was pregnant. I was shocked, let me tell you! The rescue made the immediate decision to save her anyhow whether our family was willing to keep her or not. Having puppies in a shelter is awful on the dogs and often fatal for the puppies. But now our family had to make the decision, were we willing to foster her and her litter of puppies or did we need to let someone with puppy experience foster her? Factoring in to this was that there was no other appropriately aged and sized dog that we could take, so we’d be giving her up just to take an even longer and unintentional foster break.

Mr. Ink has always been the major driver behind the no puppies in our home policy. So, I told the rescue I’d run it by him and we’d see what he said, but I was not at all hopeful that the answer would be yes. Then, after work, I went home and spun on the patio waiting for Mr. Ink to come home. Miss Butterfly also came home from her job to be there when Mr. Ink received this news as she wanted to be involved in the decision. Once he came home, we told him our very surprising news and asked him what he thought. And to my surprise, he did not save me from myself, but instead expressed a desire that we have the litter of puppies at our home.

I told the rescue we’d take her anyhow as long as they were willing to provide the support and knowledge we needed to get through this experience we were totally unprepared for. The other foster homes asked later how Mr. Ink was taking the news, so I asked him. And he expressed that while he has been a stepfather 3 times over, he’s never been a father and never experienced the miracle of birth. So he figured this is his chance. We then got to work making a list of names for our puppies.

Fishbone, our tiny little foster dog, 28 pounds and about 2 weeks away from giving birth, arrived on Saturday afternoon. She’s a gorgeous and extremely sweet dog. She gets along beautifully with our dogs. She’s a nervous girl. I don’t think she’s ever been inside a house before. It took about an hour of training to get her to enter our home on Saturday, all of which was done by Miss Butterfly. Which I fully appreciate because I can’t be carrying a pregnant dog in and out of the house every time she needs to potty which is pretty much every half hour because being pregnant is hell on a dog’s bladder in the same way it is for a human.

We spent the remainder of the weekend prepping for our anticipated little school of fish. I have been given some literature and I am caught up through birth and about the first month before my brain was just too full for more information. I’ll talk more about getting prepped in a different post.

But suffice it to say, our family is going on a grand adventure together this year without ever leaving our city.