The Weekend

Guys, it turned out to be such a nice weekend! By Sunday I was Actually Feeling Better. Like, quite a lot better. This was good, because we had Lizzie’s most energetic day ever. Mr. Ink asked me “Have you been feeding her something new?!” because she was just a complete and active nut the entire day. Jumping in the air, spinning around in circles while in the air, playing all day, just a nut!

After multiple walks trying to ease some of her high activity levels, Mr. Ink and I decided to take things one step further. We dressed her up and took her to a state park for some hiking.

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Even getting in the car was a high adventure and she almost fell down the basement steps because she was so excited about going for a ride.

We got to the state park, and that turned out to be so nice because once down in the trails we could take her off leash. She’s such a good dog, never running off, and always happy to catch up if she gets behind and we call her. She really enjoyed going on more complicated trails, she’d watch carefully where Mr. Ink would step, and then attempt to use those same spots. Mr. Ink would repeatedly say “I don’t think she’s going to be able to make this one.” And then she just would. She’s a better hiker than I am, I think.

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Soon after I took this picture, she climbed right down that section with no problem.

We wanted to use the creek stepping stones to cross the creek repeatedly. She didn’t bother. We found out that she’s a perfectly happy dog wading in the creek.

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And apparently getting a drink when she needs. Thank goodness for the peace of mind the lepto vaccine affords me.

We wore her, and me, out quite completely. Once home I ended up needing a nap, as Miss Butterfly had woken me up quite early via text! (ugh) Lizzie decided to nap with me, and never moved a muscle. But once I got up, she was right back to the super active dog ways, running around the house and playing and bouncing. I was quite grateful when Miss Butterfly arrived home to take over play duty. I don’t know what got into that dog yesterday, but it was by far her most active day in our household yet. That being said, we really enjoyed that she keeps adding to her interest in our household. We’d have no trouble at all going on a pretty complicated hike with her, she’s really good at it. I have always wanted to have a dog that would go on a run with me, and yesterday she really acted like she could be that type of dog. So I might try that at some point as well. Meanwhile, we’ll continue to enjoy seeing new sides of this goofy dog that has joined our lives.

I worked pretty hard to get a full bump of fiber into singles on support spindles. It was good to pull out my spindles and give them a whirl, they were dusty!

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These will get plied later this week when I get the chance. I have tons more support spindles though, and was tempted to grab another fiber bump to see what I could do with the rest of the spindles! I didn’t though. I got back to work on my pullover.

Speaking of the pullover, it’s ALL boring stockinette in the round now. It’s moving along pretty fast, but that much stockinette does wear on the nerves after awhile. I got a nice chunk done Saturday night when Mr. Ink suggested watching The Magnificent Seven. It was great, nice and tense, great for rounds of stockinette that I didn’t even have to look at. Loved it!

That’s it from here! Hope everyone has a great week!

The Reveal

I finished my mystery shawl. Saturday morning I kitchenered the last of the icord then soaked and blocked. I left it in place until this morning in order to make sure I was getting just as much length as possible out of this project.

I’ve got one million complaints about this mystery shawl. They may not be popular opinions, and I’ll follow up my complaints with final thoughts and pictures. I don’t feel that this pattern had quite as much attention to detail as it could have, and these generally do. The icord bind off really should have been written to be done from a wrong side row. Not only does this make the icord look nicer, it would have helped maintain the directionality of the brioche stitches. Probably details that only a knitter would notice while knitting, but that’s part of the joy of knitting, making sure those details are in place.

The final shawl is odd, the jagged edges I find extremely jarring. Now, I understand that I am going to end up with something odd during one of his mystery knits, and I am generally on board, but I seriously considered frogging the thing once clue 4 came out and I began seeing the finished objects. But I also felt that I was too far in at that point, having kept up with the clues pretty well. I’d knit SO MUCH on it already! So I soldiered on.

The yarn amounts are not, I believe, particularly accurate. I had accurate yarn amounts. I had a proper swatch. I even went down in needle size in order to be absolutely certain I would have enough yarn. I ran out of main color 1 and 3 before even completing clue 3. So much for extra pattern repeats! And of main color 2? I’ve half a skein left over. I don’t mind the leftovers at all. I do mind the running out part, quite a lot. In the end, I was able to finish a row using leftover main color 2, when I ran out of 3, and it’s not noticeable, but I didn’t like it.

I also feel like it wasn’t as large a shawl as one usually gets with these knit alongs, and especially for a shawl that was supposed to use that much yarn!

Toward the end I made a few changes. I didn’t do the changing icord color pops. I just bound off with the reddish color I’d started and finished clue 1 icord with. I guess by that point I wasn’t enthused anymore about the color pops. I didn’t bother with the color pop crochet edging on the large holes either. I like it as is, it’ll do. And if I were to go back and fill those in at some point, I’d just use the red again anyhow, keeping things consistent.

Anyhow, that’s a LOT of talk this morning to get to the basic point, which is to show off the finished object. Here it is in it’s entirety.

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My color choices, I believe, were completely on point. And they blended really well. I love the turquoise, absolutely love it. Now, here’s where I tell you how many of my irritations and concerns were mitigated in the end. I felt the shawl was too small for all the knitting, but with a severe blocking, it ended up being very proper shawl size. I forget how much garter stitch can open up with a good hard pin blocking. My too small shawl fears were not realized.

I guess that sort of mitigates the yarn amounts thing too? I mean, I have a proper size shawl even without having finished all the repeats on the pattern.

I also feel that with careful blocking and pinning, I was able to ease some of the jarring nature of the jagged edges. I mean, when I now hold it up, fingers holding the very tips of the top “U” I have something that falls into a shawl, those jagged edges don’t really show up when worn.

Over all, I like the thing. I bet I’ll wear it, probably even more than I wear doodler. I’ll still knit these crazy mystery knit alongs as well, because they are a fun process and I think that the mind bending nature of them is actually good for the brain. It’s also good to be forced out of the box in thinking. So, I am not put off completely, but I had more irritation over this particular mystery knit than I ever have before over one of his shawls.

Here’s a final photo, an up close of the brioche section.

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It’s pretty. It’s got many lovely elements to it. In the end, I am glad I participated.

Icord Forever

Guys, clue 4 came out. It is, indeed, icord bind off of the 822 stitches on the needles. I laugh, because I do think it’s what would look the best, and I don’t mind icord for miles, but I am sure it’s sending shivers down spines of knitters all over.

However, I don’t have pictures of that yet. Because I got the clue this morning. Instead, I’ve got some more spinning.

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Once I finished clue 3, and by finished, I mean knit until I ran out of yarn, earlier than I had hoped, I decided I needed some support spinning time.

This is some fiber out of roving (true roving, jumbled up fiber all in different directions) I received from the lovely, but sadly quiet lately, introverted knitter.  It seems to have wool and silk in it, the brightest green being silk. It works fairly well on the support spindles, as long as I don’t get too concerned about how even the yarn is.

With Mr. Ink being in the midst of the worst of his cold, and me still recovering, last evening was spent fairly quietly. Basically, we ate junk and we watched Mad Max Fury Road. I was left wondering exactly how many times I’ll have to watch that movie to get tired of it. Hasn’t happened yet, and we’ve watched it over and over. Every single time, we end up having a Discussion about it. We both notice new subtleties every time. It’s great, I love it. I spun throughout the movie and got a fair bit done. I guess I’ll have to table this project now, until those 822 stitches are bound off! But seriously, I hope that’s tomorrow so I can keep spinning and working on my striped pullover.

I am also hoping to feel better, REALLY better this weekend. I’d like to get the dog washed, I’ve been saying that for weeks now and I keep putting it off. I’d also like to take her on a nice long walk at a lake, we keep doing the same route through the neighborhood over and over, and she’s such a happy dog when she’s in the car it’s time to go exploring elsewhere. Plus, she’s increased her endurance quite well and I won’t have to worry about her tiring out too much.

That’s about it from here, hopefully next I’ll be showing you a new shawl! Though if I am realistic I know that the bind off and the washing/blocking will take longer than I expect!

A Tiny Bit

I spent most of my sick day napping and knitting. I have completed 4 (I think) repeats of clue 3 of the mystery shawl. I don’t mind knitting it, but it’s a lot of same. It’s really a matter of just cranking out that knitting at this point. But I am excited to have a finished object soon. These mystery knits really go faster than I expect them to.

At some point two things happened. Well, 3. I got really sick of knitting, I realized that it was super nice outside, and netflix quit working. So I took my wheel outside and spun on it for the first time in ages. It was pretty close to the time that Mr. Ink was to come home, so I figured I’d wait for him on the patio. Miss Lizzie alternated between rolling around in the grass, and trying to sneakily wander off to parts of the yard unknown. One good “Lizzie!” brings her running back, so I just have to keep my eye out. When Mr. Ink got home, he was eager to be outdoors in the nice weather too, so had his after work snack outside and we chatted about the yard.

Here’s the spinning I did:

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I am working on a classy squid batt, and intend to chain ply it when it’s done.

Unfortunately, the pirate bugs that are so prevalent here in October were out in force, and quickly drove me inside again.

I am off work again today, and plan to keep after my mystery shawl. I am at a point I think it’s pretty clear I won’t be able to do all 10 repeats, in fact it might be really pushing it to get the 7. Though I admit I am tempted to make a 2 color brioche into a one color brioche, just adding in the second main color as I run out of the first and third. We’ll see. I want a big as possible shawl!

When I called in to work yesterday, my boss said “I am not surprised. I think you caught this because you’ve been working so hard, there’s no way you aren’t completely exhausted.” It was nice to have that noticed. Then, I called in this morning and she said “I sent you a meeting invite for Friday because I really didn’t think you were going to be better today.” So, certainly feeling noticed at the moment, which I appreciate.

Anyhow, catch you all later! Hope you have a great remainder of your week.

Spoilers!

This post will contain spoilers of the clue 3 westknits mystery KAL. Be warned.

But first up, my chair and ottoman.

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It was hard to get this photo, none of the lighting was right, and now I see that I left a couch pillow sideways and it annoys me. But I am leaving it. Because it was hard enough to get the shot in the first place. I love my chair. This is the chair that sold me in the first place, though when we went to the furniture store it had a different pattterned fabric on the back of it. The grey remained the same. The fabric it did have leaned toward tones of burgundy and olive green again, and after 14 years of that, I just needed a serious change. So, in the end we found we really liked the yellow and grey combination.

I’ve begun, again, searching for area rugs. I actually don’t absolutely hate the purple that’s currently there, but I do hate the rug itself. I bought it deeply discounted a few years ago, mostly to keep old Coco dog from waking us up in the middle of the night clicking around on the hardwood floors. It was basically nothing but a needs must purchase, having been a floor sample in our local furniture store. It sheds like mad. Every time I vacuum just this area rug, it fills the container with purple fuzz. After 4.5 years, that should have stopped, don’t you think? If you sit on it, your clothing will get covered in purple fuzz. I turned my ottoman upside down to assemble it, and the top of the ottoman was covered in purple fuzz. It’s not ideal.

As soon as we are feeling better (Yep, Mr. Ink came down with this cold too) we’ll have to get back out there and figure out an area rug. It’s tabled for now.

Speaking of feeling poorly, (and really, as far as head colds go, this is certainly not the worst one I’ve had) I am taking a much appreciated sick day. Finally. My grant, due today, was submitted yesterday afternoon, much to my joy. That means a sick day today, maybe even another tomorrow. So, I plan to get some rest finally. After all, Miss Lizzie got me up this morning at 5:30. She was most insistent. I thought “Dog, if you have gotten me up and you don’t absolutely NEED to go out, I am not going to be pleased!” But, she did need. And it’s good to know that she WILL be insistent if she does need to go out. We are still learning about each other.

In between naps I am hoping for knitting. I have completed 2 repeats on clue 3 of the mystery shawl. The pattern calls for 7 to 9 of them. I am worrying about yarn amounts a little bit. And, I would really like to get all 9 repeats in, since I do love a big shawl. But also, those rows are so so long. 822 stitches on the needles all at once is ridiculous. I have knit and knit and knit and knit to only get those 2 repeats done. Want to see? I think you do.

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Here’s the right side, with the pretty little triangles and the huge holes and the brioche stitch after the huge holes. Color 3, which is my solid, is making the brioche knit line up the front of that section, and I couldn’t be happier about that. But it looks great on the reverse side too, where color 1 shines:

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No matter how you look at it though, that’s a lot of knitting. It’s certainly taking up all the time I have to knit. And I fear losing momentum right now, so I am going to keep after it until I am done. Clue 3 should easily take me until Friday when the final clue comes out. So, expect to be seeing this project pretty exclusively until I am finished!

Sneak Peek

So, soon after posting on my blog yesterday, we pulled out the truck and loaded up the old sofa and loveseat. We took them to a good friend’s home for their second life in his basement. We had a bit of trouble, as they are large pieces, and we couldn’t fit the sofa through the garage door into the house. We contemplated it for a bit, considered bringing it in through the front door, but we were worried we wouldn’t be able to maneuver a corner in his split level ranch home, and then looked at each other like we were all idiots, realizing that he had a sliding glass patio door to work with out back. In went the sofa through the larger door and soon after I got this photo:

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That’s sweet Arty cat giving his approval to the set. I am glad this 14 year old set will get more use, and it was particularly nice to be able to give them to a friend who will appreciate them.

Once the delivery of the old furniture was done, we headed to pick up our new furniture. Apparently it’s some assembly required! But, everything was packaged nicely in really good packaging, so at least I didn’t have to worry too much about the dirty truck bed.

We got home and got smart, using the various carts Mr. Ink uses for hauling rocks to haul the furniture. So much easier than all that heavy lifting. And then? Nothing. Mr. Ink didn’t want to open it up and put it together right away! It was so painful!

So, instead, I did the thing I felt would work the best to encourage the assembly of the furniture. I took my knitting and my spinning and settled into his den. Guys, it worked! First he put together the couch, and said “Now will you remove yourself from my den?” I said “Oh no! My chair and ottoman are what would make me consider removing myself from your den.” So, those got assembled too and I moved my stuff back to the living room. Mr. Ink’s recliner stayed packaged up until all three (four? Do we count the dog?) of us decided to watch a movie. It was at that point the recliner got assembled.

I will take more photos later, when the living room is a bit more in order. I still haven’t moved pieces of furniture back where they belong, and the rug needs vacuuming again. I am glad we waited on purchasing a rug though, it’s a lot easier to envision something now that the furniture has arrived.

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Lizzie and Miss Butterfly approve of the couch.

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And here’s Mr. Ink looking real smug about his well deserved recliner. I spent the evening in my chair as well, and really loved it. All is pretty well! Just need a plant stand that holds a lot of house plants, and that new rug and we’ll be all set.

Here’s another sneak peek:

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A spindle with some singles. It’s been a long time since I spun, but I did get bored enough to want to on Sunday. Not well enough to use the wheel, but a little spindle spinning was exactly what I needed.

I’d be at home today, recovering, if I didn’t have another grant due this week. Hopefully it’ll get submitted tomorrow. In which case, I’ll probably go home and take some time off. It would be well deserved. On that note, my new needle for the westknits shawl should arrive at my home today. If I have the brain power, I’ll be able to get started on those super long rows!

 

Stripes

I really took it easy yesterday. I stayed at home, I did a bunch of organizing, I knit, and I did a tiny bit of spindle spinning. We also moved area rugs around, though we ended up with the purple rug that was in our bedroom in the living room. Meaning, I went to move it, decided I needed to lay it out in the living room for a really good vacuuming, and then realized that it might be wise to leave it there until we get a new area rug in order to save the wood floors. So this morning I’ve been attempting to rid the former bedroom rug of it’s dents. We’ll see how it goes, I am attempting the ice cube trick on a few spots to see if it works.

Today is new furniture day, I am very excited. I can’t wait to sit in my new chair with my feet up on the ottoman. I’ve always loved a wingback chair, so I can’t wait to enjoy my own. And a sofa that you don’t need to sit sideways in to be comfortable, that’ll be cool too!

Since I did a lot of knitting yesterday, I was able to divide out the sleeves on my pullover. It’s a lot of knitting. I forget just how long those rows get when one is working on something with contiguous sleeves. I have to admit though, even now that I’ve divided, the rows seem pretty long! Or maybe I am bored. Which is why I pulled out a tiny bit of spinning to occupy myself. I didn’t get a photo of that today, but will do so soon.

Here’s my pullover:

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Again, tough to get any type of decent photo of those rich colors. I guess I should try an indoor shot and see if it helps. Anyhow, it’s moving right along. I keep waiting to get to the point that I’ve knit as much on this pullover as I did on the pas de valse that I frogged, but it’s not looking like that’ll happen any time soon! I really had sunk quite a lot of knitting time into that thing.

That’s about it from here! I’d better get myself ready for some furniture hauling. Maybe I’ll just start with the ibuprofen right now. Have a great Sunday!