Day 10

I am going to complain for a moment. Complain that I am now on day 10 of this cold, and really, aren’t they only supposed to last 1 week? I am none too happy.

I have done a ton of reading over the weekend, and not terribly much knitting. I noticed for a brief moment this morning I could smell my hand lotion, so I want to say I am on the mend.

Here’s what I have knit. A progress report on the scarf I showed off in the last post.

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It did come a long way over the past week, but I haven’t touched it through the weekend. It is fun, however, to randomize the colors and not know which one you’ll get to knit in next. The grey has been the least used color, but I think that’s ok as I have the least amount of it anyhow.

When I wasn’t reading, I spent a ton of time trying to decide what to knit my large load of 3 ply handspun purple combo spin into. It wanted to be a sweater, and I spent a ton of time figuring out what it wanted to be. I began knitting:

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But then I loved the way the colors weren’t really stripey but more subtle washes of color, ripped it out, reevaluated, and began a different sweater. This sweater start that no longer exists will eventually become a Jaina sweater. That’s a sweater I’ve had in queue for just about ever, I’ve always loved it’s sweet relaxed look and subtle details. So, off I go on another long sweater journey. It seems to be the thing that’s holding my attention right now.

In Lizzie news, Mr. Ink put her bike cart together this weekend, and she went for her first ride with him. He kept it short because she was a bit concerned about this new development, but knowing her it won’t be any time at all before she’s jumping for joy at the idea of a ride.

This was a photo from Saturday. On Sunday the weather was well into the 50s. Then Monday ice, and Tuesday morning ice thunderstorm. So, it’s been interesting around here.

I guess that’s about it from here, otherwise this’ll never get posted! I can’t tell you the number of times I manage to try to get a post up and it ends up sitting in drafts right now.

Settling In

I took the day off from work today. The grant that was due this week fell through completely, and my other large obligations were over yesterday late. I got home quite late, and exhausted. So today can be spent at home. Know what that means? Good natural light.

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Here’s the handspun scarf I finished a week or so ago. It’s made out of my own handspun yarn which was spun from batts I created a few years back. I spun the batts into worsted weight 2 ply yarn, keeping each batt separate so I needed to be able to combine the colors in a manner that complimented the 4 together. This pattern, called Secret Beach, worked nicely for that. The pattern was easy to memorize and enjoyable, and so the bulk of this was done on work lunch breaks. I didn’t block it aggressively, just pushed it into position allowing the lace to open a bit, and I think it looks fairly nice and textured that way.

I also settled into a project. It’s one I’d already had on the needles as I’d cast on during a weekend where I was bored with knitting sweaters. But I quickly put it down again in order to finish up said sweaters. Then once the sweaters were done, I wanted little to do with it. It’s another Lamina pattern in scarf form, and I am using leftover yarn from my Find Your Fade shawl. I knew I’d have plenty left over for another project, and the high tencel yarns are just so shiny, pretty, and rich toned. The biggest problem is switching yarns so often, it’s hard to imagine my ends staying woven in properly. We shall see.

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I started out by adding in all the colors once, but now I have set up my colors in an order, and am using a random number generator to choose the next color. There are yarns which I may run out of, so it’ll be interesting to see it going from many colors to only a few I think. No matter what, it’ll be pretty and shiny!

Despite my cold, we are not canceling our Valentine’s Day plans, as some friends managed to find a sitter, a rare treat for them, and we don’t want to now cancel on those plans. I think it’ll be a nice evening, and I’ll rest well this afternoon in anticipation of it. That’s all from here! Happy Valentine’s Day my friends!

 

Sneak Peek

Since I continuously don’t take photos of my finished 2018 sweaters, of which there are now two, I took quick sneak peek ones of them being worn. Yep, I am wearing them. I am also worn out, and don’t get home ’till late and the light is crap and there’s snow on the ground and every photo looks dumb.

So I took these in my office for sneak peeks.

I also finished a scarf out of handspun. So as of right now, I am quadruple the amount knit as was spun. Naturally, with three spinning projects in progress that won’t stay long but it’s nice for now.

I woke up Sunday with a cold, which was a bit frustrating. It’s amazing to me that I can go an entire year without getting sick at all from time to time, sometimes longer. But this year? Well, there must be a lot going around, as this is cold #2 this season. And it’s annoying. I had a grant due this week and I’ve got an awards ceremony to attend, so I’ve been at work even with the cold. But, the grant has fallen through so maybe I can get a sick day in tomorrow. Naturally, when one is already feeling a bit off her crafting game, one feels even more off when one is sick. So, I didn’t knit or spin last evening.

A nostepinne is a good tool for those days when you don’t want to knit or spin, but do want to play with yarn. I balled up two skeins of handspun on my nostepinne just to keep me occupied.

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Bonus photobombing dog. I pulled out tons of other handspun as well, since I couldn’t get inspired about anything, and I spent a lot of time looking up patterns hoping I could make something work for the yarn I had pulled out. Hopefully inspiration will hit again soon, but this sustains for now.

For Valentine’s day, we aren’t really interested in celebrating, and we have a bunch of similarly minded friends so we are getting together for a game night, providing my cold does not get worse. All players know about the potential for cancellation so we are keeping it quite casual, but it would be nice to have the type of valentine’s day we had as kids, where friendships are celebrated. I like that concept so much.

Have a great week!

In Spinning

It’s no secret my desire to spin wanes in the winter for whatever reason. Perhaps it’s the cold weather and wanting to knit/wear handknits? I really couldn’t say. But, spinning certainly tends to stay on the lighter side for me. This season, when I sometimes don’t even want to knit, it feels like I really don’t make yarn at all.

So, this season I’ve approached spinning differently. I am kind of just allowing myself to do whatever seems fun in the moment, with no particular goal in mind or time line for new yarn. This has led to both wheels out right now, as well as spindles. And last night I took indoor photos in decent light so I could show those things off.

First up, I’ve got a loop bump on the prelude. It’s going along quite nicely. I actually have two of these bumps, but I am not at all sure if I am going to combine them, three ply one and save the other for some other time, some odd combination that I haven’t thought of…I just don’t know.

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BUT, the yarn is coming out quite nicely. It goes from black to pink in various rich shades. That being said, I joked on instagram that it’s as black as February feels sometimes.

So, because of that, I’ve got something a little more playful on the rose. You know, there was that whole fatcatknits going out of business thing awhile back, but she’s still been making batts for her etsy shop which has been fun to see! (I was going to miss her terribly if she was out of the fiber business forever.) The other day she posted an extremely colorful batt that also included quite a lot of good chunky stuff, and I decided it should be mine. I purchased it and it made its way to me in short order. There was only one thing to be done, corespin it. In the end, it’s SO colorful that the colors are getting a little bit muddy, but the fun chunks of stuff really stand out nicely. I am enjoying this one!

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I really should do way more corespinning than I do because I always adore the result! And I’ve got so much corespinning appropriate core yarn to use up. The core on this one is a mohair laceweight I got from my aunt, but it just doesn’t hold up well for knitting at all. It would just break, it was so delicate. Probably why she sent it my way, as she’s a weaver and there’s no way it would hold up for weaving either. But, I can easily cover the places where I have to reconnect the core in fiber, so it really works perfectly for my purpose here.

And then over the weekend when I was particularly bored with knitting and everything else that I could possibly be doing, I pulled out some of my own batts and began spinning them on a support spindle. I didn’t exactly get very far, but it’s pretty so I’ll show it to you.

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As with all the batts I create, I adore the little pops of color and fluff fairly well blended, so this has been a fun one to play with in spare moments. No clue what I’ll do with it beyond getting it on support spindles, that decision can be made later.

Last night was parent teacher conferences, but so much easier to manage without snow and without show choir dance camp. This morning it had snowed, but the roads were fine as it was a light dusting rather than the 3 inches they had anticipated during drive time. There’s a chance that it may be bad heading home, and we’ve got a meeting with Miss Butterfly’s homeroom teacher next year to set up her schedule, but I’ll worry about all that later. With Mr. Ink at home today, I feel confident that the driveway will be just fine.

Tomorrow, weather permitting, I’ll go shopping with Miss Butterfly. She’s still growing fast and is down to three pairs of pants in her wardrobe so it’s time to find a few more. And as I’ve mentioned, right now, shopping with her is really the best way to hang with her so it’ll probably be reasonably fun. I’ll take a sock to knit on during those times which I am waiting for her to try things on. That’s about it from here, we are REALLY looking forward to the weekend!

And then something gives

A few things happened after my rather desperate sounding post yesterday. The first one was that it did NOT snow yesterday. It’s not supposed to snow today either. And despite the cold, this meant that the roads finally got clearer. Some intersections were still messy yesterday but the roads themselves pretty good. This morning? All clear.

The second thing that happened was that I got a text from Miss Butterfly saying that she didn’t want to do show choir next year, she’s not sure it’s her “thing” and she’d prefer to do debate team. Which meant that she wasn’t going to audition dance camp. Which meant that I got to go straight home after work, even though I worked late. And because she isn’t going to audition, and because regular show choir rehearsal was just for those who would audition, that was off the table as well. That left me with a rapidly clearing schedule.

Gratuitous photo of Miss Butterfly and her favorite friend right after they signed up for debate team a little over a week ago:

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The third thing was that we got a big grant submitted at work, early, and that always makes me feel more relaxed.

The fourth thing was that while I did get home late, Miss Butterfly was able to walk the dog, and I fell asleep in my chair. She got home, realized I was exhausted, and took the dog into her bedroom and I promptly fell back asleep. That was likely much needed rest.

Miss Butterfly ended up spending the evening as a kid. Meaning, I think she was seriously burned out from a cruddy schedule too. She never once picked up her phone. She spent the entire evening playing Hide and Seek with Lizzie. She would bring Lizzie to the living room, tell her to sit and stay, and then go hide somewhere in the house. Then she’d call the dog, and the dog would run off searching for her. The dog and the kid were clearly LOVING all this. And no treats were involved! Sometimes Miss Butterfly would hide under blankets and when Lizzie would finally locate her, Lizzie would pounce on her, causing fits of giggles and booty wagging. (Lizzie has no tail, so her whole back half wiggles like mad). This lasted for hours. Hours of fun for both girl and dog, and was JUST what we all needed. After so much fun, Lizzie decided to follow Miss Butterfly everywhere, something she generally only reserves for me. And now, a gratuitous Lizzie photo from last evening, one that Miss Butterfly took in her room. (That’s my way of saying that’s not my floor that’s dirty!!! Though if truth be told, Miss Butterfly located all our dusty areas by hiding in them and then showing me her black leggings covered in dust, I’ll have to get on that this weekend.)

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This dog is seriously the sweetest and most charming little thing. Even when I am stressed out to the max, she keeps making us laugh and brightening our days. And seriously, finding a toy that a teen will play with that isn’t a phone? That’s the best part I think.

OH! And, in knitting news, a down day was also effective for me in that I finished a sweater sleeve! Just one more to go on my second sweater of 2018. Pretty impressive for someone who hasn’t been knitting!

 

So Tired

I definitely owe knitting photos, but I just don’t have them. This is how my days go right now. Wake up at 5:30, get to work by 7:30, work all day, often late, submitting grants. It has likely snowed during the day, so I get in the car and it takes me more than double the normal amount of time to get home. Feel panicky, because I am not actually going home, I am going to pick up Miss Butterfly and her friend at the high school as they’ve got show choir dance camp in anticipation of hopefully making the team in high school. Auditions Friday. Be late, and receiving multiple “where are you?!?!” texts from Miss Butterfly, while both hands on the wheel trying to not get in an accident on slippery roads full of nervous drivers. Get the girls, take them to a fast food place, bring them to my place, but be unable to access driveway due to snow. Park out back. Walk to home. Drop off girls and instruct them to eat. Go out and shovel snow enough for Mr. Ink to get in the driveway. Take dog out, make her run/play/etc so she’s not a nut. Go back in, get girls, walk them to show choir rehearsal for THIS year. Hopefully find a snack somewhere in there. Sit for 2.5 seconds and try not to feel guilty that I am not helping with the driveway. Walk to go get Miss Butterfly from show choir at 8. Come home, eat at 9. Fall into bed. Bonus additional activities in addition to the above, Thursday parent/teacher conferences and Friday evening creating Miss Butterfly’s school schedule in a meeting with her 9th grade homeroom teacher. And it’s to continue snowing. It’s truly amazing how just the simple act of snow on the road and needing to shovel throws SUCH a wrench in a full schedule.

Blogging, crafting, creating, I just don’t have it in me at the moment. Things are happening but only in that 2.5 seconds, and they aren’t very interesting if I am not getting photos!

Maybe next week looks better.

A Weekend

I haven’t blogged since Tuesday. And I can tell you that’s entirely due to the legends of the fall sweater. I just felt as if I didn’t have much to say, and it was moving along so very slowly, that I said nothing at all.

I’ll be honest, I’ve really struggled to complete the legends of the fall sweater. The turtleneck came close to doing me in, and each night I’d come home, knit a few rows on it during knitting time, and then go do something else completely. It was GREAT for getting stuff done around the house. It was terrible for completing the sweater.

I even took the On the Beach sweater to work and left it there so I wouldn’t be tempted to work on it at home.

Thankfully, by Saturday I was setting in the sleeves. Now, this pattern calls for seaming the sleeves onto the sweater with a single crochet edging. I set in the first sleeve and fought with it terribly. SO MUCH FIGHTING! The trouble seemed to be that I bound off too tightly when I finished the sleeves so I was trying to make the sleeves fit the armhole opening. I got one sleeve set in and tried the sweater on. I was trying to ignore the puckering. But it was there. I set it aside and worked on On the Beach for awhile.

Then I realized that the problem maybe could be fixed? So, despite the fact I used size 3 needles for this sweater, I grabbed a pair of size 6 needles, ripped out the sleeve cast off, then cast off again using size 6 needles AND that nice stretchy lace shawl bind off. I figured one of two things would happen. Either it would be perfect, or I’d have gone completely in the other direction and now the sleeves would pucker. I set in the newly bound off sleeve. And it was SO MUCH EASIER! Everything was lining up nicely. On Sunday morning, I ripped out the too tight sleeve, and started on that one. Pretty soon, this is what I was left with:

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A gajillion ends. Thankfully the only ends left were those around the armhole, as I’d resolved every other end on the thing prior to starting the seaming of the sleeves. So it ended up going fairly quickly.

I found myself to be way too lazy on Sunday to get motivated to get a shower and show off the sweater though, so it’ll have to wait. I am wearing it today!

We can talk about other stuff until the great reveal. On Saturday, in a continued effort to avoid the sweater, I took Miss Butterfly shopping. Here’s the thing, I may not like shopping but it’s a thing we are doing so often right now because it seems to be a thing that we can do together which gets her off her phone and talking to me. I also made a nice big list of chores around the house and we rattled those off too. One of our stops was at the Lindt chocolate outlet store:

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There was Lizzie time:

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These two had their heads together under my chair for so long I really did wonder what they were up to. No one knows.

There was knitting, in fact I was able to divide the sleeves of my On the Beach sweater, which was totally exciting. Take a look!

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How much faster a sweater on size 8 needles goes than one on size 3 needles! It’s really amazing.

And finally, a Lizzie story. Now, ever since we got her 5 months ago, she’s been playing with this cute plush pineapple. It’s got a tug rope, a squeaker, and some crispy paper in it to keep her entertained. This is by far her favorite toy. So much so that when the first pineapple showed signs of dying, Mr. Ink went out and bought two more. We went through the second pineapple and 2 days ago we called it done and threw it out. I figured we wouldn’t pull out pineapple 3 for awhile, allowing her to use some of her other toys first. She quickly destroyed one toy we’d picked up, played a bit with a few others, and then yesterday I noticed that she was kind of oddly depressed seeming. She was laying around and sighing. Or she was acting weird, staring at me and bumping her butt on the floor repeatedly for attention, but nothing we did alleviated her angst. She had a number of walks yesterday so I knew it was not a problem of no exercise. Then I realized she hadn’t played in a day. So I pulled out a toy and initiated play. She played fetch for a bit, but it was clear she wanted to tug. I used the toy I had chosen for this purpose but it was really killing my hands. So, I grabbed the third pineapple toy out of the closet. And Lizzie went crazy. I mean….completely insane. Running up and down the hall, squeaking the squeaker, shaking the toy all around, throwing it in the air and catching it. It was so loud and so over the top that both Mr. Ink and Miss Butterfly came out of their respective rooms to see what the commotion was all about! I guess I finally figured out what that goofy dog really wanted….

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And doesn’t she look thrilled?