Final Impression

455 yards of 2 ply fingering weight yarn.

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So, it’s super pretty. But, do I think the monet spin makes any difference as compared to doing a regular fractal spin from wool top? No. I really don’t. I guess I went into this with super high expectations, but I just don’t think it made a difference other than making one ply less even since I’d screwed up the direction of the locks when blending. But, the caveat still is that I might not know what I am doing. Unless I find out more about this type of spinning, I’ll table it.

Miss Butterfly and I had a lovely day out school shopping. It pretty much took most of the day. Her aunt had given her some money for a “shopping spree” in Boston for her birthday, but she didn’t spend that money. She decided that once home, she’d like to go to the vera bradley outlet and get a bookbag for school this year that is “her” pattern. We, unfortunately, showed up on vera bradley’s birthday, and the line to check out snaked all through the store so much so that we couldn’t even shop. We squeezed through and she found her bookbag in her pattern, and she stood in line while I hit up a few more shops. It was too insane in the store. That being said, because of this extra sale on already sale items, she got that bookbag for a pretty sweet deal.

We then went and did some fun shopping, then went out to lunch, and then we did the final push of school shopping. Once home we got everything organized and packed up to head to open house where we can get her locker set up this week.

I have been thinking that I need to take a photo of Mr. Ink’s almost finish on the old retaining wall project. I grabbed a photo this morning.

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Left to be done are the pavers that run up the side of the driveway, and moving the downspout behind the smoke bush. There are now some decorative grasses growing. The 3 rocks in the middle will have a tree behind them once spring arrives and we can get our hands on it. We’ve also been discussing other plants to put in there. So, we went from this:

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Ugly old retaining wall with too large burning bush roots pushing on it, and lawn on the bank, and a poorly placed mailbox, to a lovely new garden area. The best part? Mr. Ink was also able to repurpose the old retaining wall rocks and the edgers in various ways in the veggie garden project. And truly, look at this gorgeous smoke bush!

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It’s so beautiful and so happy at the top of that garden, and it’ll grow beautifully to allow me some privacy when working in the veggie garden.

Mr. Ink has done such a lovely job with this section, and I am thrilled with it. I can’t believe I called it a pile of rubble awhile back, as it really has come together nicely. And it is such a vast improvement.

I guess that’s about it from around here this morning. It’s another beautiful day, comfortable weather continues and we really couldn’t be soaking it up any more than we already are. I hope that you, too, are having a lovely weekend.

One of Those Weeks

So, the week was busy right from the outset. I managed to be very organized about it and I made sure everything was properly in my planner. But, it’s been one of those weeks where stuff just keeps coming up. Important stuff. Friend stuff. Things that are…emergencies of the social kind. So, I’ve been going going going all week and have invested tons of mental energy into the week.

And I am tired.

But, it’s Friday! And, the weather is pleasant around here. I don’t say that all that often. But, when I arrived at work this morning it was only 60F. Which is amazing.

Last night I sat on the patio for a long while. First to sneak in a bit of spinning, then to listen to a friend who desperately needed an ear. Mr. Ink knew to make himself scarce for awhile, so went on a bike ride. I was secretly slightly jealous.

After I was alone again, I was able to finish up my singles on the monet spin.

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The bottom bobbin is the blended stuff, and the top bobbin is the singles direct from the dyed top. I didn’t even get a chance to ply, because as I was bringing this indoors Mr. Ink got back home from his ride.

I was hungry and exhausted (I’ve had to skip lunch twice this week due to work) and I told him I was feeling sad after my conversation and was going to need dinner, Tom Waits on the stereo, and slow dancing in the living room. It’s good to be able to tell your partner exactly what you need. It’s even better when he can provide that. I am truly fortunate. And also, thank goodness for a weekend!

Impressions Day 2

I quickly finished up the portion of my monet spin that required hand cards, and am on to the part that is spinning straight from the dyed top. I am closing in on halfway through that part.

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For comparison, this is yesterday’s photo of the blended bobbin:

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In part, beyond fuzziness, I am not entirely sure that there’s much difference. Of course, I could just totally be doing this entire project incorrectly as well. We’ll see what we get once it’s plied.

On that color theme, here’s a photo of my current garden obsession, the toad lily that I had Mr. Ink get me this spring.

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These things are so tiny and delicate, and just how I imagined they would be. I love them. These were a stretch, as they like shade and bogginess. We put them in a fairly shaded boggy area, but it does get quite hot and dry here. Apparently they’ve been tended well, as they are doing just fine.

And one more garden photo, my black eyed susans are going crazy right now, and I am thrilled with them. I think next year when they need separating, I’ll just plant them in various areas around the yard. So bright and cheery, so easy!

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Those phlox to the left side too, they are wonderful. So fragrant. I am really pleased with the gardens this year. Much more can and will be done, but it’s been a very good year in the garden!

Impressions

During TdF, while wandering through all my followed blogs, I came across a blog post at A Little More Abstract that described something very intriguing to me. It was a description of a Monet spin. Now, in the blog post it is indicated that the spinning technique is inferred, without the book or article. But, the description was interesting to me, whether it be accurate or not, and I wanted to give it a try.

As my fiber stash is getting dangerously low, and I wasn’t sure I had what I wanted for this particular technique, I chose a couple colors from Dyeabolical’s shop. I actually picked up two colorways I thought would work well with this technique, in case I really liked it.

The first is Sophia, the colorway in today’s post.

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Now, the technique as I understand it is to split the fiber in half, spin one half as is, in top form, and the other half gets blended on hand cards. So, I got this colorway on targhee wool as I figured it would be easy to work with while retaining a nice bounce.

I split the wool top vertically. I then split the “as is” half into 6 strips. I then began blending the other half. My hand card technique is rusty rusty! My rolags aren’t amazing this time, but I don’t think it really matters. The idea is to get a blended color, and I got that.

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It’s certainly far more muted than the original dyed top. I am pretty close to being halfway through the first half, and it’s going well!

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I am quite eager to see how this bobbin looks next to the one spun straight from the top.

I’ve kept this a pretty thin spin, I think in part because I have this feeling I am going to love the technique and want just as much yardage as I can possibly get!

I’ve got a few more vacation photos to share. Now, when we were kids, all the cousins were thick as thieves. Just having an amazing time together. For awhile there, the cousins were having a baby a year, collectively. So, at the reunion we had ages 13-17 represented in second cousins. It took them a bit to warm up to each other but by the final night, they too were thick as thieves.

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I got this quick shot of them all on the hammock, before they ran off and climbed out on the house roof. Just like us cousins would have been likely to do.

We spent some time with my newest nephew, only 5 months old. He’s an extremely happy and content baby. A ton of fun, full of smiles, and very engaging. Not much fussing out of this guy!

And of course my older nephew adored Miss Butterfly and wouldn’t leave her side.

In the first photo, they are “hiding” from Mr. Ink, who was chasing them around the house as some sort of monster. Very cute. I also grabbed a great shot of my brother with his boys which I loved.

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It’s no surprise to me he’s such a good dad, he’s always made a great uncle to Miss Butterfly.

One last shot of Miss Butterfly and Mr. Ink having ice cream at quincy market.

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Mr. Ink’s exclamation: “I THINK I JUST PAID $30 FOR ICE CREAM!” It wasn’t quite that bad, and they needed a snack. I don’t care for ice cream, so I got a homemade lemonade instead, and of course they suddenly thought they should have sips of that too. No.

I think this wraps up my vacation photos finally. Less than a week after we came back, so not too bad!

 

 

 

This Week, July 31-August 6

I’ve neglected my lists lately. Things got busy and I forgot, then when I remembered, it was about time for vacation and I wasn’t about to work on lists then! So, at the end of this post will be a list for the week.

But, first let me show off my last vacation finished object.

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412 yards of worsted weight yarn from batts I made myself. I think it’s an interesting color. It seems rather neutral in person. Not my favorite color, but I think it has its place.

A few more vacation photos, on Wednesday we went to Harvard’s Arnold Arboretum. That place is HUGE! We walked and walked, I ended up with 20K steps that day, and we didn’t even remotely see all of it. Mr. Ink checked out the trees he specifically wanted to see, and we beelined for those. At some point we wandered into the area with all the rhododendrons. There was a small rocky stream, and Miss Butterfly and I had a great time doing some creek stomping. It was humid there, and the cold water felt amazing!

I am back at work for the first time in a week and a half. It’s tough! But I’ll keep busy and the day should fly by.

In the meantime, here’s a list:

  • 1 repeat on Tibetan Clouds stole
  • One bike ride with friends
  • Back to school shopping with Miss Butterfly
  • Work on new spinning project (will explain more tomorrow.)
  • Do ALL THE THINGS in my planner that are work related and not work related. There are quite a few. I am hoping to do them and NOT postpone any of them since that will really help next week look a bit slower.

Last Day

It’s my last day of vacation and a busy one too, but should be pleasant. We’ll be heading to a birthday party to play pub trivia. I’ve never played before, but I think it’ll be a good time!

Yesterday not a ton was done in the crafting department, but I did manage to finish spinning the orange singles.

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I did some on my wheel, and some on the support spindles while on vacation. There’s quite a lot, I think I had about 7 ounces to begin with? So, it’ll be a longish plying project as well. However, when I woke up this morning, the weather on the patio was beautiful. That’s unusual for a summer out here, it’s almost always too humid and hot already to hang out on the patio in the morning, which also gets morning sun.

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I got a fair amount done while enjoying my cup of coffee.

Let’s see if I can pull out a few more vacation pictures. On Monday, when we headed back up to Boston to visit with Mr. Ink’s family, it was cold and raining. It rained all day long, and so our plans for mountain biking and beach time were a complete bust. Instead, we wandered off to Harvard Museum of Natural History. We wanted to check out a lovely display of glass flowers. These models were made in the 19th century and were used for teaching botany. They were incredibly beautiful and it was so difficult to tell that they were glass.

Pictures were hard to get since these were in glass cases under lower light.

Of course, once in the museum we continued to look around, and I enjoyed looking at bugs as well.

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Easily as beautiful and colorful as flowers, if you ask me!

That evening we had dinner on the porch. It got so cold that we all had to bundle up with blankets, and at some point in the evening, we realized we could see our breath. Quite an odd feeling in the summer for someone who lives in the midwest!

Back

Actually, we returned Thursday evening, but I do not go back to work until Monday so I am solidly in vacation mode still. On my last night in Boston I accidentally stayed up until 2:15 a.m. talking with my sister in law while relaxing in the hot tub. It was cool enough out there during the second part of our trip that we actually had to turn the heat on in the hot tub!

On Thursday we had our trip to the airport in Boston all appropriately planned out, or so we thought. My sister in law insisted we were leaving in perfectly appropriate time to catch our plane. What she wasn’t counting on was an accident in a tunnel, bringing our car ride to a complete halt, in a tunnel, with absolutely nowhere to go. As I tried to tamp down my anxiety, while sitting not moving in the car, I refused to let ANYONE talk about it since there’s absolutely nothing we could do. I warned Miss Butterfly that once we arrived she was going to have to LISTEN, and PAY ATTENTION, so that we could possibly make our flight. After a very harrowing half hour, we did begin to move again, and we made it to our gate just as the plane was boarding. What a relief! With the exhaustion I was feeling from being up so late, I was very quickly asleep. Our return was fairly uneventful after the first flight.

So, on Friday I decided to just do stuff around the house. I did laundry, unpacked, mowed lawn, did some cooking, and took two naps. It was a pretty nice day. I also knit and spun. And I finished something!

So, despite the fact that I really believed I’d be bringing two spectra scarves with me to work on, when push came to shove, I ended up bringing my partially completed lillia hyrna shawl. I am so glad I did. Turns out, the plane was the perfect place to complete super long rows of shawl pattern knitting, and I returned home with only 5 rows and a bind off left.

So that was my goal yesterday. Complete the final 5 rows, bind off, block, and show off today.

And there you have it! This is the one I made for my boss to keep at work. In all honesty, I had a lot of this yarn, 3 skeins of the blue, one of the pink, and I’ve been trying to get rid of it for ages. It’s gone now! In fact, I had to fudge the crochet bind off a bit to finish, I had absolutely no blue yarn left, just enough to weave in the final end. Since this one has been on the needles since the end of April, I am very happy to have completed it.

I did also manage to finish up TdF.

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This is my second spindle of the orange fiber I brought with me. A photo taken on my aunt’s deck while drinking coffee and waiting to go for an early morning swim in the ocean. Both days of the reunion we got up early and were in the water by 8 a.m. ¬†On this particular day, we got back from the ocean, rinsed off, and headed to my other aunt’s home for outdoor family yoga. It was an exceedingly good morning.

After yoga? We went for a sail.

It was a rather windy and choppy day, my favorite kind of sail. Miss Butterfly, however, was not so used to being in a boat that tipped quite that much and we scared her quite well for awhile. If she hadn’t been there, we’d really have moved much faster and tipped more dramatically, but we didn’t want to turn her off to it either. As you can see, she eventually became more comfortable, sitting up on the bow of the boat. It was quite an odd day really, because we’d been moving along so fast, and then my cousin asked how much longer we wanted to be out. I said “I think we can do another half hour or so.” and exactly at that moment, the wind completely died. We ended up having to motor our way back to the marina. Kind of a disappointing end, but the wild beginning was great.

I’ll have many more vacation moments upcoming, I’ll just start with this one. Hope everyone has had a decent week, I look forward to finding the time to do a big blog reader catch up next week!