Skewed

Guys, what a good week in knitting this has been! I frogged something, I started something, and I finished something!

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I finished my pair of skew socks out of dyeabolical’s watercolor stripes yarn. I love them. When I took this photo, I had already worn them all day. I am wearing them again today. I am going to need another pair of skew socks.

Here’s the thing, I had a pair a long time ago.

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They were out of noro silk garden sock. I wore them all of the time! I wore them until they developed enough holes they couldn’t be saved. So, I don’t really know why I failed to knit more once these were gone! Now I have more, and I’ll probably treat them exactly the same way.

But, I’d like to get another pair knit in the near future as well. I like the fit of these so much. I like how they stay on my feet so well. I like knitting and knitting and knitting and then suddenly there’s a completed heel with one simple kitchener bind off.

I realized, as I was sitting in a chair near my yarn stash this morning, that I’ve got very little sock yarn left in stash! This is….amazing news. I mean, I’ve worked really hard to knit down my rather extensive yarn stash. Especially the sock yarns, since I don’t knit socks with abandon anymore. For a long time it felt like I was getting absolutely nowhere. Now all of a sudden? I’ve got less than half a cube left. 10 skeins. That’s it! It’s kind of amazing. And really, much of it can be knit into scarves or shawls, it’s not really designated sock yarn anyhow. I even have 3 of those skeins set aside for another striped sweater, if I ever get to it.

It’s now mid October, and I’ve kept up with my knitting more yarn than I spin goal. In fact, I’ve knit more than double what I’ve spun. I feel quite good about that. Over the summer, my stash went from residing in two furniture pieces to one. My fiber stash is super low. I am really enjoying this, the fact that I am moving toward having less and appreciating what I have more. It’s been not just a good week, I think it’s been a good knitting year.

Frogged

This post is going to be heavy with Lizzie pictures. If you come here for Lizzie, you are in luck. If you think I post too many pictures of my dog these days, I must apologize!

We are getting honest to goodness cool weather. In fact, it did frost last evening, all my plants are droopy. With the onset of cooler weather, Lizzie is beginning to do what I’ve hoped all along she’d do. She’s become a bit of a cuddle dog.

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Yesterday morning before work, this is what the end of my couch looked like. She usually wants to come up on the couch, but stays there less than 3 minutes. This time she was there for ages, so much so that I wanted to skip work to see how long it would last!

Last night I had to get a blanket out for our bed, since I refused to turn on the heat, it’ll warm up again a bit today. I’d been telling her to try out her bed, which she did, twice, but she really doesn’t like it. The third time I told her to go to bed, she jumped up on our bed. And there she stayed at the end of the bed keeping my feet warm until Mr. Ink came to bed hours later. Throughout the night she was in her own bed quite a bit. I think she’s turned the corner, enjoying a little extra warmth and comfort as the weather cools.

Yesterday while Mr. Ink was home from work at lunchtime, the recycling truck stopped by. Lizzie began barking and carrying on, so Mr. Ink showed her how to look out the window to see what was going on. Apparently she then would just bark for fun. I keep saying we are ruining the dog, because we allow her to do “bad” behaviors she didn’t arrive with. However, she still hasn’t taken to doing these behaviors at times when we aren’t encouraging it, so it’s probably ok.

Then, Miss Butterfly decided to take a little video of what life is like at home when the whole family is home but I haven’t arrived yet. She says to Lizzie “Where’s Mama?” And Lizzie begins running all over the house looking for me and whining. Miss Butterfly asks again, “Where’s Mama?” and Lizzie hops up on the back of the couch.

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Just like Mr. Ink taught her. Then settled in for the wait for me to arrive at home.

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The new furniture isn’t going to allow for this behavior, it’ll be interesting to see what she does when it arrives.

Last post, I discussed my Pas de Valse sweater, more than halfway done, but I was worried that I couldn’t figure out where I was in the instructions after 2 years of hibernation. I was correct. I couldn’t figure it out. That sweater pattern isn’t particularly intuitive, I don’t think. I do still want to knit it, I love the finished object, but I am going to have to do so at a time when I am powering through an entire sweater at once. Putting it down is the death of that pattern.

I felt a bit sad ripping it out. But, it was either that or let it sit another 2 years on the needles and then rip it out. I knew I’d never finish. And now I am glad I did, because without ripping it out, I’d never have thought to pair that blue that’s almost a purple with a purple that’s almost a red.

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In reality, these are darker colors than they appear in the photo. It’s hard to get a good color match on these two. But, I can tell you that the color combo is an absolute win.

I’d spent some time wandering around Ravelry on Monday evening, trying to come up with a new sweater pattern after I’d frogged Pas de Valse. I had favorited Drijfhout at some point, so when I went back to look at other people’s FOs, I realized that I’d done so because Fibergeek56 over at Yarn, Books & Roses made one that was absolutely stunning, 2 tones of grey with some red details. I’d been completely enamored of that sweater so I figured I’d try my hand at one. I yanked the other skeins of wollmeise out of my stash to see what might pair with the intense blue, and this is what popped out.

I am super excited about this knit. Also? The instructions are simple and easy to follow, so if I put it down to complete my mystery shawl, it’s not going to end up in a 2 year hibernation because I wanted to switch projects for a bit.

That’s it from here. It’s been a busy week, I had one of those crazy super long and frustrating work days yesterday. The ones that are busy, stressful, and somehow also emotional. Then I got home and had to turn right around to head out to Miss Butterfly’s choir concert. I was so dead by the time we got done, pretty much just sat on the couch waiting for dinner, and then sat on the couch waiting for it to be an appropriate time to sleep. Thankfully I feel pretty renewed today, and hope to maintain that throughout the day if possible.

No Spoilers Here

As expected, I was able to finish my clue 2 yesterday. Partway through the day, I wasn’t positive it would get done. I mean, Mr. Ink dragged me out to a movie, Blade Runner 2049, which was wonderful. Then upon my return, he wanted to go on a motorcycle ride. I was like “Hey, you already dragged me out, and I’ve got 6 loads of laundry to complete, and I wanted a little time IN this weekend. So you’ll have to ride alone.” Which he did, and that was awesome because I switched out a load of laundry and then took a nap. Miss Butterfly got home from her sleepover, and was in a surprisingly good mood! I always hate the day after a sleepover because of grumpy kid, but she wasn’t. We had some good talks, and fun time together, and she helped me with the laundry. We had JUST planned to take the dog on another walk together when Mr. Ink got home saying “I forgot I planned to mow today!” I groaned, because this again meant changing my plans. But, mowing is the one thing I do help with outside, and it REALLY needed doing. So, I got myself together and mowed.

Later on in the evening Mr. Ink said “You really should have made me do all the mowing, that wasn’t very nice of me to spring that on you.” I was like “I considered it.” But, then I would have sat inside or paced inside feeling guilty that he was mowing and I wasn’t helping. It was easier just to get the job done. And because I helped, HE was able to go grocery shopping before cooking dinner.

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I think I promised a close up shot of the new garden area, the mound behind the fire pit. The new tree is pretty awesome, I really like it. And now you can see my weeping hemlock too! It’s pretty mature, but I am hoping it grows up a bit now that it is in the ground. This garden area is certainly evergreen heavy, it remains to be seen if Mr. Ink decides to add to it a bit.

When I was getting sick of all the knitting of clue 1 of the mystery shawl, I cast on a cowl just for easy knitting. It IS easy knitting, but it is worked in pattern on both sides, so even the purl rows have a pattern to follow. This means I really do need to keep my eye on the pattern as I knit. So, it’s not as easy as I had hoped. The pattern is called Thorny, and I suspect it’ll knit up quickly in the handspun 3 ply of mine that I chose for it.

Here’s the yarn:

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And the project in progress:

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I definitely think it’ll block out particularly nicely. I admit that while pattern knitting on both sides is a bit of a pain, I always really enjoy the results. The lines are more dramatic and it’s really fun to look at. I guess I’ll have plenty of time this week to work on this, with the waiting until Friday for clue 3 and all!

I’ve also been considering pulling out an old WIP. It’s now 2 years on the needles, and I am not even sure where I am with the pattern. Pulling out the pattern and the WIP, checking it out, and seeing if I can figure out where I am is step one, right? IMG_3529

This is what it looked like last time I took a photo. Bright, right? It’s that wollmeise I was using. The pattern is Pas de Valse. I seem to remember being at the point where I needed to divide for the front and back. I also remember the instructions being a bit complicated.

Here’s the thing. Either I knit it or I frog it. I seem to be having a desire to knit garments again. And wear them again. My success with the vest was pretty inspiring. And I had the success of finishing a long ago started sweater this spring as well. There’s one garment in particular I would like to knit. It would require purchasing yarn for it. And I just feel like I cannot do that until I finish or frog everything currently on the needles. This is the last partially begun sweater still outstanding. Bonus, regaining the needles! Finish or frog, either way I’ll get that benefit.

That’s all from here! It’s another busy busy week, work wise and personal life wise. I had to tell Mr. Ink that if he wanted to go on a bike ride tonight, he’d have to do it alone. With the current work hours and some other stuff I’ve committed to in order to help out friends, I just cannot get home in time! But, I am looking at next week and thinking “Gosh, those evenings look nice and quiet. YAY!”

Happy Monday folks!

Not Linen Stitch

After so much time doing chores and running errands, I was finally able to start working on my mystery shawl clue 2. In looking over the instructions, I assumed that the next section was a linen stitch blending the 3 main colors. This would be pretty logical. I did, however, worry about how tight linen stitch can be and was already anticipating needing to change my needle size.

Except…it’s not linen stitch. I don’t know what stitch it is, but the stitches are slipped at the back of the work, and the pattern rather looks like columns of knit stitches are being woven over and under lines of yarn. That’s not what is happening, the lines of yarn are actually purl bumps. But the effect is quite interesting.

Picture to keep away spoilers.

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This clue is quite a bit less knitting, which I am thankful for. I suspect I could even have it done today, which leaves me an entire week for something else!

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It’s amazing. The blending is so very pretty! So far, this is my favorite westknits mystery knit! I mean, I adored marled mystery, but more for the process than the finished object. I think this one is really going to be one I love for the finished object as well.

That’s about all I’ve got from here. Miss Butterfly was off to a friend’s house for a birthday sleepover last evening. She decided to “spoil” her friend, she baked two kinds of cookies and made “puppy chow” for her and bought candy. There were 4 girls at the sleepover, so I imagine that things were pretty nutty with all that sugar! And, their evening activity was heading out to a huge area haunted house/grounds. So, spooked teens on sugar. Sounds like I am glad I wasn’t there.

It’s going to be a beautiful day in this heartland, so I think instead of knitting and hanging around on the computer, I’ll go take the dog for a walk. Have a great Sunday!

One Week

One week ago I started the speckle and pop mystery knit along. One week ago my yarn arrived. One week ago I spent a ton of time winding all my yarn. One week ago I was swatching and changing my yarn choices. One week ago I was anticipating two upcoming grant submissions and training a new staff during my work week.

It feels so long ago! But, the week, though very long, was also pretty good. Both grants went out the door, one appropriately early and the other with only 15 minutes to spare on the deadline. New staff training went beautifully. So far so good. It’s a great relief. I would get home and crash though, having very little energy left for anything. On Friday, I spent the day mostly not training and trying to catch myself up on my own work. It was madly productive and left me in a good place for this weekend. So all in all, a pretty good week.

It’s been raining for 2.5 days though. The area is under flood watch, though we, up on this hill, aren’t having any issues. Our neighbors have been asking if we are having basement wetness and drainage issues, but we keep telling them no. Mr. Ink fixed our drainage issues by gardening. Or rather, landscaping. We joked at the breakfast table this morning that Mr. Ink tries to fix everything by gardening. Stress at work? Try some gardening. Basement drainage issues? Try some gardening. Electrical problems?  Well…it doesn’t always work but we know he wishes it did.

Speaking of rain, here’s what Lizzie thinks of it.

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This is a highly unusual picture. It was storming again last night. She’s not afraid of storms. Since before us, she was an outdoor dog, outdoor stuff isn’t too intimidating. She tends to be afraid of indoor things, like the vacuum cleaner, the iron, door locks…odd things. But, she was so done with the rain. And she’d gotten up on the couch with me and stuffed her nose under the couch pillow. She never gets under anything. Ever. But she was sick of it all.

Clue 1 on the mystery shawl was intense. It was a lot of knitting for a first clue! My hands actually hurt from working so hard to get it completed. I didn’t knit on anything else, and was only able to complete it today because I took it to work a few days this week to work on during my lunch break. If you don’t want clue 1 spoiled, you’ll want to leave off here.

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The swatch, again, for hiding purposes.

Guys, I love it. I wasn’t sure I would, but I REALLY do!

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It’s a fantastic fade! Really bright, really dramatic, but also fairly well blended! I am so happy with it. Clue two is out, and I’ve looked at it and I think it’s going to be a great and exciting clue. Lots of color blending, with linen stitch, to really showcase these three yarns. I am SUPER excited about it! But, I refuse to get started until I get some chores done today. And those chores have to do with shopping. Blech.

Plus, it means we have to be out in this rain too! Double Blech. But once it is done, I can be in for the rest of the day.

Have a great weekend friends!

Busy!

It’s day 2 of new coworker, and 2 days before a major grant deadline. Thankfully, new coworker is being trained on some stuff I am not involved with, so I was able to get a grant out the door first thing this morning. Yesterday was so crazy! But in a good way.

In the evening we took Lizzie to the local botanical gardens again for their dog night. It was great, and she loved her time out. Though sometimes I think it’s the car ride she’s really after.

My new work hours seem to have worked out just fine yesterday. Lizzie was a bit confused but she’ll adjust in time. It was odd getting home after Mr. Ink, but that won’t always be the case as he often works late.

It got quite light out before I left for work today, which means I got a photo of Mr. Ink’s work on the fire pit area.

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I absolutely love the tree Mr. Ink put in there. I’ll have to get a close up sometime. It’s nice and weird, and I do love weird trees. It’s probably tough to see, but behind the new tree is my funny hemlock mound. Then there are two other small evergreens that are also dark green with lime coloring.

Next thing, if you prefer not to have your speckle and pop mystery shawl spoiled, now’s a great time to end your reading. Picture to hide what comes next.

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I’ve knit through the first color, and the fade into the second color. I’ve done only 2 rows of the second color only.

My pops aren’t very poppy, and my speckles aren’t very speckled, because I don’t actually like speckled yarn. My yarn is variegated thus far, but will end in a solid. And my pops are solid. So, the pops will pop with the solid turquoise. It should be an interesting effect. With that, here’s my in progress photo:

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Even though it’s a bit strange, I really like it! I think it’ll be a very lovely bright finished shawl, and that works for me.

That’s all from here! I’ll have to take a few more garden photos, Mr. Ink has done a great job with the front retaining wall garden, some more plants have gone in there and it really is lovely.

The Reveal

I finished Miss Marja’s scarf and it’s just stunning!

It’s extremely long, just like she prefers scarves to be. The colors are amazing, though I had nothing to do with that at all. The pattern was absolutely perfect for a bunch of small balls of handspun yarn. The pattern is Ambah O’Brien’s Lamina Wrap, but I removed many of the repeats so that it would be a scarf instead. I had more than enough yarn for a wrap, but too many wraps become unwieldy when what you are really looking for is a scarf.

So, that’s done! I am really pleased with it, it looks just gorgeous and I think it’ll get a lot of wear. It’ll go with so many things!

And that’s all I’ve got for today. New person to get oriented at work today, so that’s quite pleasant but busy. I am hoping to have a nice update on both the fire pit area and the mystery shawl. Happy Monday!