Not Quite What I Expected

But still pretty good! It was a pleasant evening in our area. A bit windy as it often is, but it was capris and tshirts weather. I took a quick 10 minute nap after work. Miss Marja was unable to come over, so once Mr. Ink arrived home he made us a snack, then he went out to run errands and I brought Lizzie and the Prelude out to the deck with a glass of wine.

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I got a bit of spinning done, which was lovely. And Lizzie did some relaxing on the lawn.

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That is until she started hearing the neighbor’s son doing some yard work. Once she began to hear him, she kept wanting to investigate. So I’d have to call her back to me regularly. Then, once he was in view, she sat there grumbling at him, sometimes barking. The funny thing was, he’d wave at her, which I thought was funny. Turns out, she’d been grumbling him at lunchtime too, so Mr. Ink had taken her over to meet him.

Actually, springtime seems to have her a bit out of sorts. I had the sliding glass door open, utilizing the screen to add some fresh air to the house. She was super alert to all the sounds outside, and then displaying some of her more anxious behaviors. A little drooling, and she got out on of Miss Butterflies shoes to lick, which might seem funny but apparently it’s anxiety. Hopefully she’ll adjust to the sounds of spring quickly! And in the meantime we’ll have to work at keeping her busy.

A very happy Friday! We are SO looking forward to the weekend!

Spring has Sprung

At least for now.

These are photos from my gardens. The daffodils are 3 weeks later than usual. The hyacinths are generally quite a bit taller than this year, their growth stunted by frequent freezes and snows. I am just happy that I didn’t lose them completely. the crocuses are blooming here and there, though every time it freezes we lose blooms. These two flowers are in hot spots, there are so many more that aren’t even close. But we take what we can get!

We are predicted snow this weekend so again with the roller coaster. We take advantage when we can, and last evening that advantage came in the form of a little bike ride. I told Mr. Ink that I wanted to get out on the bike. Didn’t have to be a long ride, just a ride to get out on the bike. While I walked Lizzie, he prepared the bikes. As we left, he said “I put my wallet in my pocket in case we want to stop for dinner.” I said “I am not prepared for that, I don’t have lights so we have to be home before dusk.” Well, we rode some neighborhood hills, weaving our way south. And then Mr. Ink got a flat tire. He said “Well, let’s see if I can make it back to the restaurant in town, and you can ride home and pick me up.” It’s almost as if that flat were a set up! I mean, he had his wallet but no tire tube and bike pump with him. Of course, we had to have dinner at the restaurant after I rode all those hills back home, put the bike rack on the car, and went to go get him.

That being said, I have to say that this is a pattern for spring biking with Mr. Ink. Hills, flat tires, and margaritas. It takes him awhile to remember that he HAS to bring his bike bag even on a short ride since anything can happen. “Do you have a spare tube?” He asks. “No, I have a fat bike tire tube.” I respond. Then “Did you bring the bike pump?” “NO!” I say, “It’s in YOUR bike bag.” And then eventually the bag goes on the bike every time again and we start riding longer distances safely.

Due to our evening adventures, not much knitting last night. However, I did manage to add the third color to my cowl, so that is worth showing off I think.

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That teal is just as rich and gorgeous as the lime green and purple.

Anyhow, that’s it from here. I have plans for some spinning with Miss Marja on the patio tonight, so I think that’ll be highly pleasant, and it should also offer an opportunity to post another boring bobbin photo. I call them boring bobbins when the color transition is so slow that the next bobbin looks a lot like the first. Anyhow, that’s probably happening, and I am looking forward to it. Catch you soon!

On to the next thing

The next thing in knitting is going so fast I need to be planning my next next thing already.  From a project completed long ago, I had some leftover laceweight cashmere silk blend. At some point, again, probably closing in on two years ago now, I picked up another skein of cashmere silk blend to add to the mix so that I could make a 3 color cashmere cowl.

Now, my yarn choices were in laceweight instead of fingering weight yarn, but I didn’t figure it would matter all that much. Would the cowl be even lighter than the pattern called for? Yes, but with that long of a tube, it wouldn’t likely be a problem.

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And here’s where I am so far. This is SUCH a soft project! And it’s going so ridiculously quickly that I think I’ll be done this weekend, depending on how much spinning I choose to do. I can’t wait to add that third pop of color!

That’s about it from here again. Miss Butterfly and I went out last night to do some shopping for the upcoming wedding in Alabama. I got a dress, not sure it’s THE dress I’ll wear, but I got one that’ll work if I don’t find something else, and if I do find something else, it’ll work for work. And I got some shoes. Miss Butterfly got a gorgeous dress, but we still need a pair of shoes for her. Shopping went pretty well for us last evening! Once we were home we ate dinner and then she headed back out shopping with Mr. Ink because she felt like she didn’t have enough of her favorite foods in the house. She really should do that more often, he always indulges her in all her favorites so she was super thrilled when she got back from that trip! She’s certainly keeping us busy and out of the house right now. We’ve got loads of shopping planned for this weekend including not one but two stops at places to return stuff she decided she didn’t like after all. I won’t get too annoyed about that since, again, it keeps us busy and together.

Anyhow, we have nice weather today and the next two days, then snow on Saturday. It’s a roller coaster spring, that’s for certain! Have a great week!

More Finishing

I finished my Easy scarf over the weekend, and I can tell you right now I’ll be knitting another of these. Or, perhaps 10. It’s a truly fantastic pattern and I love the finished object so much. Since I don’t have much else to blog about, let’s review the history of the project.

Back when I was super interested in exploring interesting spinning techniques from Spinner’s Book of Yarn Designs, I began working on singles with cocoons. Fairly quickly realizing that I didn’t love making them, I decided to quit. Thankfully I’d divided the braid I was working on in half. So I finished spinning cocoons on the half I had started and then called it good. For the second half, I changed my ratio and spun thinner singles, then plied them into a 2 ply. The weight of the 2 ply was pretty close to the weight of the cocooned singles. And amazingly enough, I had fairly equal yardage. Only 10 more yards of the 2 ply than I had of the singles. I couldn’t believe how that worked out!

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Here’s the two ply on top of the cocoon singles. I used Dyeabolical’s bfl silk (I think!) in colorway Kara for the fiber, and the cocoons are all scraps of Loop! fiber I had in stash for blending into batts.

I began the shawl using the cocoon yarn, knowing that I had a little less of that. On the second half, I misread the pattern not once, but twice, leading to a ruffled edge that looked like crap.

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I think I’ve only got the one photo of that mistake. Anyhow, it took me two times making this mistake to figure out what I was doing wrong. Once I got it, I was off with a much nicer looking scarf.

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Everything laying flat and not puckering as one would hope for in a knit item.

And now for the final finished object!

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It turned into a great looking and interesting scarf! I love it! A couple of things. If I were to knit this again, I’d slip the stitches under a cocoon to make the cocoon lay flat, alternating between laying the cocoons on the front and the back as to keep both sides cocoony. This would have showcased the cocoons far better than just knitting them in as I did, but when I thought about doing this I was FAR too involved in the knitting to rip it back out. Anyhow, it was really fun to showcase the difference between knitting up spun singles and knitting up spun 2 ply. You can really see the effect of the two ply muddying up the harsher stripes, keeping everything far more gentle in color transition. The only other thing of note, when I knit this one again, I’ll bind off a little bit more loosely. While I tried to think loose, it’s still a bit on the tight side for the project. Doing a lace style bind off would be too loose, but going up a needle size or two probably would have fixed the issue entirely.

Anyhow, that’s about it from here, as there’s been nothing new or interesting to report since last post. I’ve got a new project I am working on and it’s going well, and going quickly, so I should have a photo of that to post tomorrow. Have a great day friends!

Some Spinning!

Believe it or not, in the past few days I’ve done a bit of spinning.

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This is a bobbin full of singles from a loop bump I’ve had stored in my fiber closet for absolutely ever. I’ve got two bumps to spin, then I can ply them together. So it’ll be a long process. However, I am about halfway done with bobbin 2 out of 4.

This weekend was a lovely at home weekend for the most part. Miss Butterfly was off with her father. Mr. Ink had to work Saturday morning so I had the house to myself for a bit. He was feeling under the weather the remainder of the weekend, so we really did have an introverted weekend, necessary after being away. I did some various house cleaning that desperately needed to be done, as well as a major clean up of my craft room which had TRULY gotten out of hand. Once I cleaned that up, Miss Butterfly and I moved our makeup collection to a desk in that room. She’s kind of excited, as this means we can sit side by side and practice together when we get the urge. We are still working on finding a mirror solution but we did enjoy ourselves even without the mirror last evening.

Enough of the now stuff, it’s cold and gloomy here. Let’s take one last look at sunny Alabama:

A collection of kids with chickens. The one Miss Butterfly is holding is named Mark, and she absolutely adored him, carried him everywhere when out there. In fact, she loved the chickens in general really, they were pretty tame. Every extra chance she had, she’d go out to visit them. Two mornings she was the one to let them out for the day as the other kids weren’t up yet.

Check out these stunning barn cats! They were feral when they arrived. Now they are quite friendly, and are big protectors of the outside around the home. In fact, there are stories of 7 large snakes when they moved in, but once the cats showed up, they made quick work of the snakes. The second photo was their ingenious way of grabbing some fresh water. They’d go stand on the pool cover until the water seeped through, and then get a drink. They didn’t even seem to mind they were waist deep in water.

The neighbor had a horse that the girls could ride, much to Miss Butterfly’s happiness. When I went over there, after they’d been riding a bit, the owner of the horse kept asking me “Where did she learn to ride? Where did she learn to ride? SHE’S GOOD!” That was fun to learn, since she clearly loves it SO MUCH.

And one more funny photo. My cousin still hides the easter baskets for the kids. He’s not kidding around either, he takes great joy in hiding them so hard the kids can’t find them.

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This is one not too happy, still sleepy kiddo having finally realized (through the hot and cold game) that her easter basket was actually IN the duct work.

In about a month, we’ll be back there for a wedding. Miss Butterfly and I plan to drive. I always love a good road trip and she’s now at the age she can probably manage one too. We’ll do the drive there in 2 days and the drive back in one. I think May will still be lovely there, and we are looking forward to it!

Finished Object

I got home from work last evening and immediately grabbed my blocking Quaker Lines shawl in order to get a picture quick. Because we were predicted to get snow. Which turned out to be true, it’s currently snowing. So, don’t believe for an instant that our yard looks nice and sunny anymore. We are also predicted to get a record low in the teens tonight too, so goodbye blooms.

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Despite my bitterness about the weather, this project turned out beautifully. I love the look of the handspun 2 ply, spun in a fractal pattern. I love the shape of this type of shawl. I love how bright and cheery the colors are, and I am wearing this today. I guess the bonus here is being able to still get some wear out of knit projects since it’s cold. It’s not enough bonus to keep me going.

Enough of the bitterness, let’s keep talking about vacation. On Saturday my cousin’s family took us to Lacon Trade Day. He asked me later how I would describe it. I told him it was like a microcosm of a microcosm. He agreed this was an apt description. It was completely fascinating. A whole bunch of run down shacks, a whole bunch of makeshift tables, and a whole bunch of people just selling stuff off the back of their trucks. We certainly were able to keep ourselves occupied by the sights and sounds. Miss Butterfly and I were particularly enjoying the section of animal sales. A few cows and goats, but mostly various birds and rabbits. Also some bonus puppies.

Miss Butterfly asked if she could hold a chick, and this was allowed so she was thrilled.

Now for a “weird weekends” picture. (Seriously, if you want fun, weird travel pictures along with interesting and creative craft endeavors, go read his blog, it’s so fun!)

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My mom actually pointed out this particular combination of things being sold in a shack, and then I grabbed a photo. We…didn’t go in.

Saturday was a bit chilly in the morning but warmed up absolutely beautifully. After trade day, we didn’t go out to do anything else, we hung around the farm and enjoyed extremely delicious lunch of steak and baked potatoes. In the evening, my cousin took me on a bike ride. He wanted to show me a hill he calls “the gates of hell.” I knew before we got there that if I saw the hill, I’d have to pedal the hill. And so we did. I haven’t been on my bike much at all and the bike I was riding was not my own, so I did worry about my ability to climb it. Especially toward the end when I was really suffering. But climb it I did, and we got to enjoy the long fast downhill afterward. And we immediately made plans for another bike ride.

Tomorrow-many photos of teens and chickens. Happy Friday!

Where everything is blooming

So, we got back from Alabama where everything is blooming on Tuesday evening, where a grand time was had by all. I genuinely believe this was one of Miss Butterfly’s and my absolute favorite vacations. We had a wonderful time.

We flew in on a Thursday, meeting my parents at the Atlanta airport, then flying on to Alabama together where we were picked up by my cousin and his family and taken out to have some BBQ lunch straight away. It was pouring rain, but not too chilly, and we could see more green than we’ve seen in ages even in the airplane.

Later in the evening the storm passed, and while everything was still quite wet the kids were able to get outdoors and play around in the woods.

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This right here is the first picture of kids in wellies, you’ll see many more over the next few posts.

I was able to get out and take a photo of a blooming clematis, which I just couldn’t get over.

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The next morning we had a breakfast that couldn’t be beat, and wandered off to the botanical gardens, where quite a lot was blooming nicely and we got to soak it all in. It was cool and windy, but not raining.

 

Once too hungry to keep going, with many beautiful sights soaked in, we had lunch and then went to a very large art place in an old warehouse. I didn’t take many photos here, but enjoyed taking a quick photo of this piece, a care bear.

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This was also on a tshirt and I should have gotten it. But was stuck in that mode of “Do I buy something now and find something else I want to buy later or just let this one go?” I let it go, and kind of wish I hadn’t. This happens to me ALL the time on vacation.

There were places for snacks as well, first we stopped for homemade popsicles, which I didn’t feel the need to have but the kids loved:

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I think the adults enjoyed them too. Then we stopped at a homemade chocolate/candy shop, where I found the prettiest chocolates ever.

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They were delicious as well!

We enjoyed a lovely day out but were also grateful to get back to the house as well to relax. It was a great first full day. And now I’ll leave you with some knitting, since this is a knitting blog after all. This is where I had my Quaker Lines shawl worked to on the very last day of vacation prior to the airplane trip home. I wanted to grab a final photo using a lovely leafed out japanese maple for a backdrop.

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Spoiler alert, I finished this last evening and it’s blocking this morning, so a final finished object post should be up shortly. Unfortunately it won’t be featured on something as pretty as a properly leafed out maple, since I am back home in the cold again.