Dangerous

The kids are off school today due to cold. It’s in the negative numbers again and feels like -20 so it was the right decision for the schools. Tomorrow we begin to see a serious upswing in temps again, and it looks like “normal” cold will prevail through the foreseeable future. (The foreseeable future being the 10 day forecast.)

So, today? It’s a sweater feature day. Here’s what I am wearing:

We go back to 2014 for this one, a boxy and buttony sweater featuring dyeabolical yarn and Czech glass buttons. This is perhaps one of my all time favorite sweaters and I wear it quite frequently. It’s made an appearance at work regularly this winter.  It’s so wearable, and the yarn I chose for it also feels fine to wear even without layering. Not at all itchy. So it makes for a great everyday sweater in the winter, not being too warm. On a day like today I can still layer it for extra warmth without feeling bulky at all.

In my sweater clean out and rearrange, I realize that I have sweaters I could be wearing if I’d just…do a little work on them first. I am considering making a pile of the handknits I don’t wear because they need work and then trying to fix the problems they have if possible in order to make them something I actually want to wear. Maybe I’ll make a month of it. A month of repairing handknits. (I’ve got at least a pair of socks to do this with as well.)

Despite the fact that the kids were off school yesterday and today, Miss Butterfly had show choir rehearsal as they’ve another performance on Friday. Despite living less than a block from school it was so cold that I wimped out and drove her there, and drove to pick her up. I usually walk her and take the dog. But, I just couldn’t manage it in the cold, despite feeling like a wimp. I realized last evening that Friday’s performance means taking off work to get her there as it’s pretty darn early. When I picked Miss Butterfly up she said “It’s ok mom, I already made arrangements with M’s mom, I can ride with M that day and you can get me after performance is over.” Well, that’s that! I may complain about teenishness sometimes, but they do seem to be nicely balanced with these moments.

In crafting news, the sleeves of my sweater should be done this week. I divided the sweater body and am now working the back armholes. It feels like it’s moving pretty fast at the moment. And I am still very much enjoying the knit! I don’t know why, I think stockinette should be boring, but it’s not for me right now. It’s perfect. I think it’s the colors. As soon as the second sleeve is finished, I intend to block the sleeves. I have a feeling this is a sweater that will do best blocked prior to assembly.

AND, that’s it from here. I am out. Despite the cold I am having a pretty pleasant week. I love that. I hope your week is looking pleasant too.

 

Starting Again

First of all, I must tell you about my love for my new instant pot. Oh my goodness, yesterday it really shone. Mr. Ink headed to the store and I asked him to pick up extra eggs so I could make hard boiled eggs for my week. They are so great to have around for snacking, for egg salad, and Miss Butterfly actually eats them sometimes too.

When Mr. Ink arrived home, I grabbed a container of eggs and got them started in the instant pot. Then he handed me some potatoes and asked me to make mashed potatoes for dinner. So, I figured I could do those in the pot too. While the eggs were cooking, I peeled potatoes. When the eggs were done, I put them in ice water and got the potatoes into the pot. While the potatoes were cooking I peeled the eggs and got them in the fridge. Mashed the potatoes and we ate dinner. Then I put the remainder of the potatoes in a container for Miss Butterfly to enjoy throughout the week, cleaned the pot, and poured a gallon of milk in there for Miss Butterfly’s yogurt for the week, which was done this morning. Prior to this I would never have attempted all these items in one evening, but that pot makes life so easy.

When I woke up this morning, Mr. Ink got up too and made breakfast. I said to him “Does this signal the beginning of our low carb diet again?” And he said yes. So, I brought the extra loaf of bread in to work to give to my coworker, I think she’ll appreciate it. And I got my brain prepared for low carbing again. To be honest, I wanted to start on Friday but Mr. Ink said he wasn’t done with carbs yet. Now we are starting on a Monday morning and I get to enjoy the associated brain fog that ALWAYS happens for me a few days in. (I guess it’s better than the leg cramps that Mr. Ink gets while he adjusts?) In any case, we’ll try to stay better hydrated this go ’round.

It’s cold here again. 3 when I walked in to work. So, I am wearing a handknit sweater again. Here’s what I am wearing:

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That’s the sweater that was on the needles for years with unfinished sleeves. The one I also ended up ripping the ribbing out and adding a significant amount of length to the body. The too long arms may look a bit ridiculous but they are SOOOO comfortable at work and my hands stay nice and warm. This was also the sweater that started me back on the path to garment knitting after 3 years off. So it’s kind of a big deal. I think what I love the most about this sweater is the handspun details. I mean, sometimes it’s really hard to find a way to use handspun yarn in a garment without spinning large amounts. This was just a 4 oz. skein of 2 ply fingering weight yarn. The main color was two different colored skeins of laceweight yarn held double so it was also a fantastic stash buster.

We have one more day of the super cold weather so I’ll have to pull out another option from the sweater stash.

In other news, Lizzie got to experience chasing a fox out of our yard! That was quite a surprise. I told Mr. Ink about it and wondered what the heck it was doing in the city. I said “Maybe it’s just that cold and it thinks it can find food?” And Mr. Ink said “Do the neighbors still have chickens?”  Why yes, yes they do. This would be a good reason for a fox to find our yard appealing. It also explains why I keep feeling like I am picking up about double the amount of dog waste for the amount Lizzie produces. In any case, the fox can stay as far as I am concerned, maybe he’ll pick off a few of the irritating rabbits while he’s scoping out the hens next door.

That’s all from here! Have a great week!

Will I Ever Learn?

Two “Will I ever learn?” situations for this weekend.

The first, will I ever learn that I miscount when baking bread, always, and that erring on the side of caution is the wisest choice? Yesterday I decided to bake some bread. Mr. Ink had another super hard work day, I think the job is slowly killing his soul and it’s really hard to watch someone go through that and not be able to help. So, I decided to bake his favorite bread. Because comfort food. I KNEW I’d miscounted the amount of flour I was putting in there, but somehow just kept going, gaslighting MYSELF into thinking I really hadn’t miscounted. Naturally, I ended up with extremely dense bread, as it had probably a cup and a half more flour than it needed. Ugh. When will I learn? I do this ALL the time.

When will I learn situation 2. I have a dog now. WHEN will I learn to put my knitting up when I get up from my chair? I consistently set my knitting on my ottoman, despite having a perfectly nice out of the way knitting basket, where Lizzie then, in her excitement and play, runs into it, dragging the knitting and yarn all over the house and getting herself well trussed up in the process. Today I had to chase her down while hollering “SIT LIZZIE!! SIT!  SIT LIZZIE!” and she’s not a very still dog, so she’s still squirming while she’s sitting. I extracted yarn from over her eyes, her muzzle, two hind feet, if she’d gotten any more tangled she’d not have been able to run anymore!

Thankfully no harm done to the knitting itself on it’s fast drag through the house, which was sleeves of the legends of the fall sweater again. I finished the increases today and now I am putting the project away to take to work. I need to knit in 4 more colors and then the sleeves are done. It’ll be a great mindless work lunch project so I am saving it for that and will begin working on the main body of the sweater at home again.

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As you may begin to notice, it snowed here again. I spent a good portion of the morning shoveling with Mr. Ink. While he doesn’t ever request my help, I decided I needed a little out of the house time, and it’s 20 instead of 9, so it feels far more mild today.

I guess that’s about it for me, the weekend has been so quiet that I am venturing into “too quiet” territory and will require a walk myself, much to the happiness of Lizzie I am sure. I am caught up on podcasts, I was reading a book but it’s long and expansive and I haven’t ever been sure I liked it even though I’ve pushed through and am nearing the end. I hold out hope that it could redeem itself. The TV mini series Mr. Ink is turning on from time to time I don’t care for even though it seems like one I should like. I don’t think any of the characters are particularly likable, and though sometimes I love that in a show, this one I do not. I guess if one is not particularly pleased with any entertainments indoors, the solution is to get outdoors!

My Morning

I told Mr. Ink on Thursday “Are you ready for a quiet weekend? Because after show choir, Miss Butterfly will be at her dad’s and we’ll have a quiet weekend.” After my week, and his week which was much much worse than mine, it was needed. Except there were a few wrenches thrown in. First was that he informed me that he had to work. So much for a quiet weekend for him. Then, midday Friday Miss Butterfly’s dad informed us that he had to be out of town for work this weekend. Missing his weekend with her and her first show choir performance.

Well, we did show choir, 5 choirs from our schools performed. I honestly thought it might be tiresome, but it was fantastic! TRULY fantastic. Such great fun. I am so glad my kid is a show choir kid, and watching the high schoolers perform made me thinking “I hope she sticks to this.” She has try outs already for high school show choir at the end of this month.

Miss Butterfly’s stepmom came to her performance too in hopes to record it for her father. After it was over, Miss Butterfly informed me that she had every intention of having a weekend at dad’s even though dad wasn’t home. This surprised both me AND her step mother, who may also been looking forward to a quiet weekend. In the end, the compromise was made that she’d spend until this afternoon with her stepmother. I truly couldn’t be more grateful for her relationship with her stepmom, but I was also surprised at the decision.

So, what does that mean? That means that Lizzie and I are doing Saturday like:

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For real, it’s so quiet in this house right now with no one else in it! It’s super cold outside so it’s not tempting to go out right now, I’ll extra walk Lizzie tomorrow when it’s up to 32F. Right now it’s 9F and my breath catches when I try to breathe. I’ll run her in the house, we’ll play when she starts to feel up for it and that’ll help.

Yesterday morning I realized that to survive all the show choir waiting (Seriously, I have to have her there an hour ahead of time for make up and dress, and then there’s getting decent seats so no time to go home in between but better be sitting in the auditorium seats to save them!) I was going to need a new sock on the needles. I don’t know how I forgot this fact until early Friday morning. It didn’t give me a lot of time. So, I didn’t want to waste time trying to wind a skein into a ball. This meant that I chose the yarn Kathy at Compassionknit sent me in our trade this fall. Conveniently already in proper yarn balls, and with my needles still out from the last set of socks, I set about casting on and getting the ribbing knit prior to the performance. I finished up the ribbing while waiting for the girls to get dressed, chatting with another choir mom the whole time. Then was working on the leg while saving seats for Miss Butterfly’s stepmom and Mr. Ink. By the time the performance was over, I already had 5 inches of sock leg.

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It’s been SUCH a long time since I’ve knit a sock that fast! Now, these little skeins of wonderful workhorse sock yarn are generous. 230 yards each. I think I’ll just knit a real nice long leg on these, maybe even as long as Mr. Ink prefers, to see if I can make the yarn stretch of a Mr. Ink pair of socks. If I cannot, they’ll work just fine as a pair for me or anyone else with slightly smaller feet. If I put the heel in last, I can always use a different yarn for it.

My only regret? You know how when using a striped sock yarn you kind of want to knit and enjoy the color changes? I never got that opportunity here. There was no point at which I was looking at the sock overly much and enjoying it because it was all knit while chatting animatedly with other show choir moms or knit in the dark during the performance. On the other hand, there are a ton more performances coming up, so the opportunity to keep knitting on this, perhaps even finishing it pretty quickly, will be great. And even better? This small oval shaped single sock ball fits perfectly into my smallest purse, so no need at all for a special project bag or anything else. Just shove it into the main purse pocket and I am out the door with entertainment to boot. I am sure Kathy had no clue how perfect this sock yarn would be for this season when she sent it to me, but it really is absolutely perfect.

As for the rest of my knitting, I finished one sleeve of the legends of the fall sweater. I am working on the second one. And it’s nice because I did already begin the second one, giving me the illusion that the sleeve is knit faster than the first. I am not going to lie, I am a bit tired of sleeves right now and am reminding myself that at any point I am welcome to put them down and start a new project or go back to working on the body of the sweater. So far, just reminding myself of this fact is working well enough to keep me after it in between chores. We’ll see how things progress.

In spinning, nothing at all. I am just trying to stay with my goal of doubling my stash knit over stash created, and so far I am way behind. The sweater will help immensely but it’s not done yet, so it doesn’t count yet. This is also the time of year I find that my desire to spin wanes a bit, so I am just working with that.

Stay warm my friends! It’s cold here, and I am having trouble imagining it is warm anywhere else.

First Finished

First finished object of 2018.

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A pair of socks that have been on the needles since July 2017. They are knit too large for my feet so that I can give them away. The yarn is dyeabolical’s we’re all mad here colorway. I did these on 9 inch circs, and just saved them for every time I wanted to knit but couldn’t look at my knitting. Obviously that wasn’t very often since they’ve been sitting around since July, but whatever, they served their purpose.

I’ll cast on the next pair very shortly.

I did finally get the day I was hoping for last evening. I got home, it was 51F out! No sign yet of the impending snowstorm. I took Lizzie on an extra long walk since clearly that was the only thing to do, knowing that the weather was going to be awful today. I don’t know what was going on out there, but she wanted to stop and sniff all the things, and the walk became very long. I did notice tons of other dogs out being walked, and they were acting similarly. So there was clearly something in the air that was making every scent amplified for them. We stayed out in the yard a bit upon my return puttering around it was so nice out.

Miss Butterfly was with her dad and Mr. Ink worked late so despite having quite a few chores, I still had the house to myself and that was extremely pleasant. I did work on the sleeve of my sweater, all the increases are now complete and I am just knitting around and around until 21 inches of sleeve knitting has been achieved.

Due to that storm which was impending, Miss Butterfly has off school today but I am stuck at work. She’s got one million chores to keep her busy. She also decided that because she was off today, she wanted Lizzie to sleep with her last night. She promised to be responsible and get up if Lizzie needed to go out, which she did at 5 am. I didn’t like the idea of not having my dog around, but I’ve stopped thinking in that direction now that I have experienced such a great night’s sleep!

Anyhow, getting a relaxing evening and a good nights rest has gone a very long way in improving my attitude today. I had a sketchy stormy drive in to work, but all the other drivers were being just as careful and logical as I was so even that wasn’t as bad as it could be. No clue when the storm will quit but it would be great if that happened well before I leave today.

The true bonus of today? Due to the storm, our boss said “Yep, wear jeans to work” and so we all did and we are all happy warm and comfortable.

Crazy Little Thing Called…Life

Yesterday I kept telling myself during the work day that all I had to do was hold out and I’d have a nice free evening to decompress, with no problems on my plate. Just home, decompression, some knitting.

I went out at lunchtime to walk Max, Miss Marja’s dog. It’s always such a lovely time with him, he’s happy to see me and I get a break from the work day. But as I left her neighborhood, I heard an awful sound. I knew immediately I’d need to check my tire. Turned back off the main road and found a place to park where I found this:

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Yep, that’s like…the worlds largest bolt in my tire. It made quite the racket when driving. But, the tire seemed to be holding air at that time, so I gave up on the idea of driving to find lunch somewhere, simply hoping to get back on campus and then find out what Mr. Ink wanted me to do about this.

Now, Mr. Ink has been so very busy all year at work. The extreme cold temperatures we experienced brought out every car problem all over the city. He’s working extra hours daily and so is everyone else in that garage. So, it’s not like he could drop everything and come get the car. He was worried that the tire would lose air pressure over the course of the afternoon and I didn’t really like the idea of trying to drive it home with all the racket of that tire anyhow, so I decided best course of action was to see if someone in my area could patch the tire. Well, I called a garage that’s just on the corner of campus, within walking distance, to ask them if they’d be able to fit me in. I was told to bring the car down immediately, which I did. And they had it patched by the end of my work day, and refused to even take my money! I couldn’t believe it!

So, while I really didn’t need the extra headache of this problem, it turned out pretty well in the end, and I did get home not too long after I normally would. It’s just…I am in that place where my brain just doesn’t want to handle anything extra right now, and this was SO EXTRA.

Anyhow, once home I still had enough light to grab a photo of the legends of the fall sweater in progress.

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It’s looking pretty good! I didn’t actually knit on it though, as I wanted to finish a pair of socks. I’ll get a photo of those tomorrow.

After the socks were done, Mr. Ink was trying to get some grocery shopping done after his busy day, and I wandered into Miss Butterfly’s room to check on her. I ended up sitting down and working on her puzzle with her. It’s HARD! She doesn’t love doing puzzles that are that many pieces, I think this one is 750. But she’s making good progress and I helped. Once Mr. Ink came home we took a break to help him put away groceries. Then she actually asked me to work on it with her again until dinner time. Well, when your 13 year old actually wants your company, you comply. So I sat in there until dinner time getting a few more pieces placed. It was not the evening I imagined, but it was a good evening.

Tonight I am again hoping for a good evening. An evening in which there isn’t much going on except walking the dog. An evening where downtime rules. I feel good about it, it could happen this time.

It’s That Season

It’s that season. You know the one. Or many. Where you are so busy. Or, rather, WE are so busy.

It’s grant season. I am training team members, and I am training new submitters. And I am doing my own work. It’s so busy.

It’s show choir season. First performance Friday, many performances to come, and then competitions. I’ve got pics of rehearsal later.

It’s sick season. Not us, not our family thankfully, since we seem to have done ALL that between October and December. But, this does often mean light staff, missed meetings, missed training sessions, and additional work for those who can actually stay healthy. And TONS of disinfectants.

It’s the season where I forget EVERYTHING. Keeping just what I need in my brain and dumping the rest. What does that mean for you? No knitting photo. I meant to take one of the sleeve I am working on. That’s right, one sleeve. Because after I showed off the cuffs the other day, I realized that I much preferred working with the tiny circs, and decided to proceed on just one sleeve at a time. I don’t yet have two size 3 tiny circs in my needle stash. Anyhow, point being, I forgot repeatedly to get a photo. I also forgot to bring the sleeve to work to knit on during lunch break. Twice. Ugh.

It’s that season.

Yesterday was full dress show choir rehearsal. I had exactly 10 minutes at home to grab a snack and change after work before we left for rehearsal at the high school. Thankfully Miss Butterfly was mature and helpful, making sure she walked the dog and did some chores so that I didn’t fall completely behind in my evening. And so that Lizzie didn’t suffer too much from her extended kennel stay. (Poor girl!) Off we went to rehearsal, the one and ONLY rehearsal they’ll get in full dress and on stage before Friday’s performance. I got to stay and knit during rehearsal. There was a gal in front of me recording the performance and knitting too. Maybe that’s how many people get started knitting. There’s this thought that grandmas knit. But maybe they started when they had to do SOMETHING while waiting on their kids during activities. And then it stuck.

Photos from rehearsal. I’ll be honest, when they were blocking and doing run throughs  of problematic parts, I was a little worried about them. But then when they ran through the entire performance? Well, that was a different story entirely. They had it together, they were reasonably good, they NEED to sing out more. The last soloist was such a surprising young woman, she got up there and belted it out and it sent shivers right down my spine. Nice job girl. I’ll tell her for real next time I see her, but apparently Miss Butterfly has already expressed to the soloist that this is the part of the performance that really shines. Miss Butterfly left the stage and got changed, arriving at the car a hot sweaty mess.

We got home, where we had….exactly 10 minutes to prepare for heading out for pub trivia night. We’d made a team of 6, some friends and I. But one canceled last minute, and Miss Butterfly was then invited. At halftime we were in 3rd place tied with 2 other teams, there were 3 teams tied for 2nd, and two teams tied for 1st. We were content to accept the idea that we weren’t going to win this one. UNTIL WE DID! We must have made a serious comeback in that second half, because we tied for first and then won the tie breaker. Miss Butterfly said “CAN WE COME BACK NEXT WEEK?!?!” And really, she was quite helpful, knowing all the pop culture a 13 year old knows. We really kicked butt in the song portion of the night, thanks to her.

We went out to dinner as a family after trivia, not arriving home until 10. We were all extremely exhausted. Just absolutely DONE. And poor Lizzie became a nut as soon as she got out of her kennel. We all ended up going outdoors (she likes everyone to be in one place) and stood there while she ran all over the yard, never stopping unless it was to bound up to one of us and jump repeatedly. Then back to tearing around the yard like a maniac. Once we went in she did everything in her power to get us all playing with her, including making up new games on the spot. Miss Butterfly went to bed, then I tried to fall in bed only to have a dog prancing back and forth on my bed. Then trying to settle down as she normally would but then panting so hard the entire bed shook. Finally Mr. Ink took her out of the room and gave her another walk, and made sure she stayed up with him for a few more hours. And there’s the price we pay for having a dog. (Since this is the first time we’ve had an evening like that since we got her 6 months ago, I think we can assume it’s a rarity.)

During trivia I got smart and grabbed my in progress sock to work on while thinking of answers. It was perfect. After all, these socks have been on the needles since July now, and I’d like to be done with them. I had pulled them out for the latest star wars movie and gotten well down the body of the foot so I knew they were nearing the end. Let’s just say next time I’ll make sure I’ve got more to work on during trivia! After all, I finished the body of the foot completely during trivia and had to put it down. This morning I knit the toe. Tonight? I’ll get that heel done and have a new pair of socks ready to be sent out.

Anyhow, that’s it from my crazy corner of the world! I’ll probably get that sleeve photo tonight as well, so stay tuned! I plan to spend the evening in my chair with a throw or something, ideally moving as little as possible after chores are done. I am TOO exhausted, and most of it’s people exhaustion. The kind an introvert feels so acutely. Tonight a recharge is in order.