Spring Color and This Week April 17-23

  • Ride Bike Every Day
  • Finish Lintilla shawl
  • Finish brown batt plying project
  • Work on some corespun yarn
    • I finished this actually, and I’ll show that off tomorrow.
  • 3 repeats of Lighter Than Perfume shawl
    • This was quite a slog actually. Even with the extra days off, I had trouble completing this.
  • Work on something off the master house list.
    • Windows were washed, the outsides of them anyhow.
  • Rearrange furniture in craft room and den of slack (Weather permitting)
    • Nope nope nope. It was supposed to rain all day Saturday. It didn’t rain at all. We spent all our time outdoors. It’s getting bumped from the list at this point, as next weekend looks to be lovely.
  • Get Miss Butterfly a haircut!
    • Not only did I get this done, I also went so far as to set up her next appointment so that we don’t get to the point where we cannot run a comb through her hair again.

When we last left off, the girls were dyeing easter eggs after having a living room tent sleep over. I’d found eggs for 50 cents a dozen, so I boiled a dozen and a half for dyeing, anticipating plenty of had boiled eggs for egg salad and other yummy things. I really should have known better, of course our young guest wanted to take her decorated eggs home! I don’t know why I imagined she wouldn’t! Plus, the girls were eating eggs as well as decorating eggs. At least they were well fed.

After they were done with the 13 cups of dye (!) I threw some silk hankies in some of the dye cups and microwaved them. The girls had a lot of fun watching that process as well. I mixed cups of dye, which gave me some variegation in color.

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I got a nice assortment of springlike colors out of leftover dye. I am glad I thought of my 2 oz. of undyed silk hankies laying around in the undyed fiber stash.

Later on, I’d decided to start a new spinning project. Miss Butterfly caught me contemplating my stash, as I was having a lot of trouble deciding on a fiber. She quickly made a choice for me, and the colors absolutely reflected the easter eggs she’d just dyed.

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This is “sugar skull” from The Dyeing Arts. It really reminds me of candy buttons, remember those? The little dots of sugar candy on paper? I remember my cousins purchasing them at the five and dime store, and wanting to like them, but really secretly hating most sweets. In any case, I’ve gone off track. The fiber is superwash merino with 10% nylon and 10% sparkle. I have another 4 ounces in addition to this, which is just superwash merino. Should make a fun 2 ply yarn, and it’ll be a fractal spin. I began this on Saturday, and as of this morning I am about 3/4 done with the second bump of fiber. It’s busy tonight, but I should be plying by Tuesday or Wednesday.

This week:

  • Ride bike every day
  • Finish “Sugar Skull” spin
  • 2 repeats of Lighter than Perfume
  • If weather continues to hold beautifully…scrape, sand, and paint around shop doorway.
  • Commute by bike one day this week.

That’s it! Can’t wait to catch up on all the blogs I’ve missed this weekend.

The Past 24 Hours

Guys, I am having such a lovely vacation! Yesterday it was supposed to rain, but it didn’t. Miss Butterfly and I left the house by bike at 8:45 in the morning and didn’t get back until almost noon, having gotten a lot of sun, a great bike ride, a bunch of pokemon playing, and lots of wonderful time together. We took a bit of a break once we were home to do our own thing, had lunch with Mr. Ink who comes home from work at lunchtime, and then headed out again to run errands. We got Miss Butterfly’s hair cut, went to a shop to get a new bike tire for the fat bike, stopped at a creamery for ice cream, and then went to my favorite farmer’s market to buy plants.

Once home, we got lettuce planted, and then a bunch of little flowers we’d picked up as well.

The orange poppy was Miss Butterfly’s choice. The other two were for me.

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I began working on a corespun project using a very chunky sparkly batt with tons of extra dyed locks thrown in. I do love a good corespun! And, in the project of using up more stash than I spin up, I figure corespun is a neutral. I make new yarn using yarn that’s already in stash. Pretty cool.

In the evening it was sleepover time. Miss Butterfly and her friend set up the tent in the living room and “camped in.”

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The house is a ridiculous mess right now, and I can’t even care they are such good kids.

This morning I boiled a bunch of eggs before the girls woke up so that they could have a marathon egg dyeing session.

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I got them an extra large dye kit with an assortment of various decorating supplies included, and Miss Butterfly had leftover dye from last year as well. You may notice I’ve got some undyed silk hankies hanging out on the table. I am figuring I’ll throw those in the dye cups and microwave them a little later. Can’t hurt to use up the dye in another way!

This morning was beautiful! And once Mr. Ink left and I finished boiling the eggs, I was able to spend a good amount of time spinning on the patio and listening to the birds. Unfortunately it is now raining quite heavily and looks to do so all day. We are hoping for a short break so we can go walk Miss Marja’s dog Max. I don’t think he likes the rain too much, so if it could settle down for a bit, that’ll be good.

I may not have gotten much on my list done, but none of that matters right now due to all the good fun and memories we are making.

Unsuccessful

Since I’ve been unsuccessful thus far in staying off the internet, I figured I’d get a quick post in. There was just unexpectedly a little too much going on last evening to put the phone down and leave it. I’ll try again later today.

In the meantime, I can show off the Lintilla shawl! It’s done. I rocked that edging awfully hard the past two evenings.

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I am thrilled with it! I love how the touches of colored silk wander diagonally through the shawl. And I really do find the ruffles on this so charming. A good success and well chosen pattern for the yarn, I think.

We are headed off on a bike ride, Miss Butterfly and I. And we’ve got a full day of chores planned after that. Mr. Ink and I put my pink fatbike back together last night after the massive tire blow out, only to discover that my tire is toast. Even patched, it won’t hold together enough to ride. The tube is fine, but the tire has a large hole in it. On our list of things to do today is to take that wheel into the bike shop and find a new tire. Perhaps even one that’s a little more capable of handling abuses.

Have a great weekend all!

Ooof

When I began the Lintilla shawl out of Miss Marja’s handspun, I knew I had a really large amount of yardage so I knew the shawl would be big. Knowing this, I brought it to work even though I would not typically bring to work a project that requires one to weigh the remaining skein to figure out when to begin the edging.

I knit and knit and knit during work breaks, quite happily enjoying the way the yarn was knitting up. At some point I looked at it and said “Yep, that’s getting large!” But I would say “Just to the end of this work break” and then forget to bring it home and weigh the skein.

Once I did weigh the skein, I realized I had far less than the 25% required for the edging. However, I’ve fudged that number pretty hard in the past, so I was willing to give it a try rather than ripping back out. There was a time there that I really felt like I was going to make it! Spoiler-I didn’t make it.

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You can see at the top right that I have only a few stitches left to finish, but I ran out of yarn. Ooof. Despite knowing this was the likely outcome, I still felt like I’d have to let this hibernate for a long while before I started again. But, after an evening of biking and mowing lawn, I was ready to sit down and do the mindless work of frogging and picking up live stitches. I’ve already begun again.

In biking news, Miss Butterfly and I headed out on a quick ride due to the many yard chores needing to be done while the weather was pleasant. We rode down to a local park, rode around the park, and then headed back another way. We were riding over some quiet roads with narrow streets and no sidewalks. I am teaching Miss Butterfly to ride roads from time to time so she can be confident with it, since often doing so is actually safer. As we were riding these narrow roads, we heard an SUV come up behind us, it was revving it’s engine and I could hear it going way too fast for the area. I couldn’t tell if it was driving aggressively because of us, or if that’s just how that person operates. It’s common here and probably most other places to encounter cruel car drivers who believe it’s their sole purpose to scare people on bikes. This SUV passed us quite fast, and then I heard a police siren. I thought “It cannot be that the cops are after the SUV that just passed, could it? That would be too wonderful.” But it was true, the cop passed us, and pulled that SUV over. I don’t know if the traffic stop was due to us or previous bad behavior, but it’s always nice to feel vindicated when one is following the rules of the road by bike. We didn’t figure we wanted to try to pass the SUV even with the cop there, so we headed up a different road and went home.

My 3 ply yarn from the brown batts is done and dry!

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That’s 615 yards of I’d be willing to guess DK weight yarn. Sport to DK. It’s good and chunky but even enough to easily work into a project. It’s got a lot of fantastic depth in color yet retains the overall earth tone nature of the original batts. I am quite pleased!

I am taking two days off to spend extra time with Miss Butterfly. She’s off school and so we have many errands planned, a sleep over with a friend, and I keep planning a bunch of chores. I mention this only to say I think I am going to try an internet free vacation. Doing so for a weekend was so helpful in feeling more relaxed and as if I had more hours in the day. I would promise to take lots of pictures for next week, but it looks like it may just rain the entire time in which case pictures may be mostly impossible. In any case, have a great rest of your week, and I’ll do my blog post catching up early next week!

 

Gardens

I failed to take any photos last evening. The temps dropped a ton yesterday, quite dramatically, and once I got home I took my quick bike ride and then bundled up indoors.

But, I do have photos I took this weekend. First from my own garden:

The tulip and funny looking peach daffodil are ones I planted in the fall, and they are looking great! I am very pleased with them. I’ve got them in various places throughout the yard. Now, one of the things that seems to be a pattern recently is that Mr. Ink cooks a late dinner after working in the yard all evening. We all eat together, and then we sit around pouring over plant catalogs. A new one came in last evening. Mr. Ink was flipping through the daffodil section. He pointed to the ruffly peach daffodils on the page of the catalog, scrunched up his nose, and said “EW! Look at these!!!” I said “We already have those in the yard, they are blooming right now!” He says “Get them out!”  I told him in no uncertain terms that if he hadn’t noticed them at this point, then they stay!

I planted the primrose last year. I then spent the rest of the year trying to protect it’s petals from being eaten by rolly pollie bugs. I had a serious problem with them last year, I suspect in part to the decaying wooden garden edgers. We got rid of all of those rotting edgers, replacing them with stone. And, I had an influx of those darn bugs. Due to their large numbers, they really went after all the fresh and tender garden plants. This year seems better so far. The primrose bloomed this year, to my absolute delight!

The last one, the white flower that just won’t photograph well at all, is an anemone I planted in the spring. Again, it didn’t flower last year, and even looked like it would die off completely. But this year I see tender shoots and a few flowers. It seems to like it’s shady home near the lamium. All the tending I did of these tiny plants last year has paid off this spring. Can’t wait to see what’s next! I’ve got a bleeding heart and delphinium from last year’s spring planting that seem to be coming up nicely as well, even though they struggled along last year.

Over the weekend we also went to the botanical gardens. We have a membership now, so going for a short period works just fine. I failed to take pictures of all the nicely blooming magnolias. But, I couldn’t resist a picture of this guy:

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We were right next to him, and he was unconcerned about us.

They also have a lego display going on right now, and Mr. Ink made sure to take me in to see my favorite spider.

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A Lego Argiope aurantia! It’s quite fantastic. However, I failed to check out the other side of that lego display. Both sides of this spider in real life are really wonderful, but I didn’t think to see if the backside of this display mimicked the underside of the spider. I guess we’ll have to go again soon!

That’s about it for today! I’ve got some upcoming time off with Miss Butterfly at the end of the week. It’s supposed to rain the entire time, so I am not entirely sure what we’ll plan. But, with as fast as the weather changes around here, I wouldn’t be surprised if we end up with outdoor activities anyhow. I am willing to bet by the weekend I can have the Lintilla shawl done. That is, if I don’t get myself super involved in some around the house project that takes over everything!

This Week, April 10-16

Last week’s list:

  • Resume daily push ups.
    • Failure. I think I might take this off the list for now.
  • Rearrange furniture in craft room and den of slack
    • Failure, we really need a rainy day for this and thankfully we didn’t get one of those this weeked. I’ll leave this on the list for the upcoming week as it currently looks like rain on Saturday.
  • Finish Find Your Fade
    • Success!
  • Establish leftover yardage amounts from yarn used for find your fade
    • This is also done. Bonus, I had to have Mr. Ink help me with the math, weighing the skeins in grams and figuring out what that would equal in meters using the amounts listed in the entry for this yarn in the yarn database on Rav. I am not so math minded, so for me this was kind of a big deal.
  • Work on Big Waffle, get into next color at least
    • I did this, worked my way into the next color and that’s about it. I then moved on to a couple different projects.
  • Spin a little
    • More than a little, I spent most of the weekend spinning, you’ll have to see those updates below.
  • Ride Bike Every Day!
    • Did this too, and there are stories.
  • Work on something from the master list of house projects
    • My master list house project work was to move plants out of the veggie garden and rehome them elsewhere. There are a couple tulips left, but I want to see what they look like before I rehome them.
  • Commute to work by bike one time this week
    • Did not manage this one. It seemed like such a good idea, but on the days I actually could do this, it was 33F in the morning, and I just…couldn’t bring myself to do that.

Spinning:

I did a whole bunch of spinning this week, bringing my current batt project far further along. I finished the singles.

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They were a pleasure to spin, and they are both smooth and chunky, and definitely luxurious. I did also begin plying, while hanging out on the patio in weather in the high 70s.

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I am more happy than I thought I would be with this 3 ply, the yarn has a ton of depth, in addition to it’s chunky bits. Far more color than I imagined seems to be making an appearance. I got this large bobbin finished, but didn’t get an opportunity to start another bobbin. It should be done in the very near future, if not tonight.

Biking:

There’s quite a lot to talk about for both Friday and Sunday’s rides. Saturday’s ride was just a simple one around the block, as between gardening and going to the botanical gardens, we’d already been on our feet all day.

On Friday, Miss Butterfly and I drove to a local park, then hopped on our bikes to ride to another bigger park. There were pokemon there she wanted to get, so we knew it would be a slower roll around the park, with numerous stops. It was getting pretty late as we wrapped up our trip, and she was about to get one last pokemon when it happened. I heard what sounded like a gunshot, and then the hiss of high pressure air leaving my tire. My fatbike got an epic flat. It scared Miss Butterfly quite a bit, and as she turned around she said she could see sticks on the trail flying to the sides, so large was the hole to release air pressure.

Quite frankly, there’s no turning back from that kind of flat. I could have tried to fix it, but first of all, I didn’t have my supplies as I knew this to be a short trip, and the likelihood of being able to do so anyhow is pretty slim with as large a burst as it was. In fact, I didn’t even look at it. I phoned Mr. Ink, but I knew I wasn’t going to catch up with him, he’d have been out gardening. And then I started walking, pushing my bike. Miss Butterfly wasn’t too upset, she entertained herself by riding slowly and doing tricks on her bike. We got home far later than anticipated, but in the end no harm done.

Once in the car, we hit every single red light on the way home, further annoying me. I got home, took the bikes off the car, and put my fat bike away without even bothering to look at the flat. Of course, Miss Butterfly headed right out to Mr. Ink to tattle about it, telling him he’d better watch out, I was annoyed! This was really only half true. I was annoyed, but I wasn’t taking it out on my family!

Saturday morning I took a look at the tire. I had a larger than half inch gash in the tire itself, and the tube was looking terrible as well. I didn’t have a spare tube for that bike, so I pulled out my patch kit. Unfortunately, the glue on it was dried and unusable. We will patch both the tire and the tube, as fat bike tires are ridiculously expensive. I’ll keep the patched tube as a spare, as a good friend of mine had a spare fat bike tube from her bike which she just converted to tubeless tires. I should be up and running on the fat bike again shortly.

Next Up, Sunday’s ride. We had planned to ride as a family from our house to meet up with a small group of cyclists for a family friendly jaunt around town. We decided to ride to a restaurant first to have lunch. We left the house, headed down our long hill, and got on our trail. Now, I am sure I’ve mentioned it before but in case it’s been forgotten, I hate snakes. REALLY hate them. And, I recognize them very quickly. Mr. Ink was pretty far ahead of Miss Butterfly and me when I looked at what was in the road and yelled “SNAKE!” By this time, Mr. Ink had already gotten past it. Miss Butterfly and I came to a screeching halt far away from the large bull snake over the trail.

Mr. Ink tried to get it to move along, but in true bull snake bad attitude form, it decided to do it’s impressive impression of a rattlesnake instead, coiling up, hissing, rattling its tail, and acting like it was going to strike Mr. Ink. In fact, soon it had him fooled, even though in our area of the country, rattlers are very rare. Other cyclists passed by as well, not noticing what we were stopped for and it was rather comical to watch them startle and their bike shake and swerve as they came right up on a coiled snake. In the end, Miss Butterfly and I walked through the grass, giving that thing a really WIDE berth. Mr. Ink wanted to take a photo, but thankfully he hadn’t brought his camera.

After that rather shudder worthy encounter, we had quite a nice day. Miss Butterfly saw a ground hog, and we got quite close to geese on the trail, and she decided she enjoyed seeing wildlife by bike. We had lunch, we met up with friends and Miss Butterfly participated in her first ever group ride. She followed our fearless leader very nicely, staying a couple feet away from the leader’s back tire the entire time. She was an extremely consistent rider. We did some trails, some road riding with a bike lane, and even a little road riding without a bike lane and she didn’t get too upset about any of it.

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We’d gotten a bit ahead of our group so we stopped to see a fun cement art installation and she wanted a photo. This is about 2/3 of our way through our ride. We ended up with over 17 miles yesterday, a personal record for Miss Butterfly. She got home with sore legs and couldn’t wait to make herself a large smoothie. We are all slightly burned today, and have that residual next day hunger from a nice long hilly bike ride. (I had to get up at 4:30 a.m. to have food, as I couldn’t sleep through my hunger!)

All in all, a great family oriented weekend. I’ve got photos, just a few, from the botanical garden as well. It’s a bit of a problem going there, as we always find new plants that we want to add to our own garden.

List for this week:

  • Ride Bike Every Day
  • Finish Lintilla shawl
  • Finish brown batt plying project
  • Work on some corespun yarn
  • 3 repeats of Lighter Than Perfume shawl
  • Work on something off the master house list.
  • Rearrange furniture in craft room and den of slack (Weather permitting)
  • Get Miss Butterfly a haircut!

Find Your Fade

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With my fantastic model!

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And one on its own. The tencel is indeed heavy, but the shawl is large enough that this makes it drape nicely and stay put, rather than be fussy. I am, overall, highly pleased with this knit. It turned out beautifully, feels soft, looks rich, and has so much interest in it’s odd construction. I am glad I added this surprise yarn and pattern combo to my year of trying to knit mostly from stash.

I was so tired last evening. I mean, we’ve been going full force for a couple days, with very little downtime. That’s not my ideal really. Miss Butterfly and I got a short bike ride in before her dad picked her up. And by short, I MEAN it. My legs were exhausted from the combo of daily biking hills and then rollerskating the night before. I was also just plain TIRED.

After the bike ride, I settled in on the couch but couldn’t even knit. Miss Butterfly left, and I closed my eyes for a nap, but then Mr. Ink got home earlier than usual. And what did he suggest for an evening activity? A bike ride. I looked at him and turned up my nose at that suggestion. He decided he’d go ride alone. I began to knit a bit but soon found my eyes closing yet again. I let them. Only to quickly be interrupted by Miss Butterfly texting me about her pokemon game. So, a nap was clearly out of the question.

I knit about half a repeat on the lighter than perfume shawl before castonitis completely took over, then I balled up this yarn:

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And I began a cape out of it. Now, the pattern I am using is for super bulky yarn. And this is Just bulky. I had to go down a couple needle sizes, which meant I had to increas the number of stitches needed as well. I’ve got it on the needles while not being quite sure it’ll fit well in the end. If it doesn’t fit me, it will fit Miss Butterfly though. Not sure she’d wear a cape, but maybe? We’ll see. I guess, in the end, I am back to knitting just to knit.

In the end, even knitting in the quiet home couldn’t keep me awake. I went to bed early, quite soon after Mr. Ink headed out for some grocery shopping. And I slept SO well. I am again just waiting for that weekend to arrive!