icording along

Yep, I am still working hard on the funky grandpa cardigan. I finished the sleeves this week, and started on the button band. That’s knit as well, and all I have left now is a tiny bit of icord bind off on it.

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So, I’ll be able to soak and block tonight, and then by this weekend I should be able to search out buttons. The pattern calls for afterthought buttonholes, so that’ll be a new to me trick! However, I think I am up for the challenge. I decided that I probably had enough of the handspun for the icord bind off, and that would probably also draw everything together. I am happy to report that I really do have more than enough of the handspun, it’s now quite clear.

That’s about it for me, it’s all sweaters and grants around here, but no more sweater grant dreams thankfully. I am so close to being done with both! I really need to do some spinning for interest!

 

Circles

I don’t have a photo of a second sweater sleeve yet. But, I am CLOSE. I’ve finished the striping and am knitting with the handspun exclusively. I’ve 5 more decreases to complete, and then the ribbing and the icord bind off. I plan to be done with that tonight. I even brought it to work today. I am knitting in circles. Round and round on that sleeve. Stopping after each round to untwist my knitting. I think that’s the major thing I hate about sleeves. I’d rather knit them flat and seam them than have to untwist a sleeve after each row. No sense complaining about that now though, as I am so close to being done!

I took a photo, instead, of the circles of lace scarf I am knitting out of Marja’s handspun. It’s been getting some time during lunch time at work. Even though my lunches are desperately broken up right now, progress is still being made. So, I guess you could say, I am knitting in circles for a sleeve, and I am knitting circles in a scarf as well.

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This is certainly not mindless knitting, and so when trying to find a netflix show to watch while knitting, I keep thinking a particular one looks good, click on it, and realize it requires I read subtitles. Now, I have NO ISSUE with subtitles, and I rather enjoy listening to another language while watching a movie and reading them. However, I can’t do that with this scarf. This has made me wonder just why I can’t figure out before I click on the show that it’s a foreign one. I guess I should look more carefully.

Yesterday we pushed a grant deadline right to the limit yet again. I stayed late to make sure it went in ok. It was another very busy day. That being said, I went home less stressed than usual, and I am not sure why. In could be, in part, my least favorite coworker had the day off, and so I didn’t have to deal with petty and constant irritations in addition to the grant deadline. The good news? One of the grants on my list has dropped off, to be submitted sometime in the future. That leaves me only two more to go, and a completion date of Monday next week. I can handle that!

The evening was spent knitting a sweater sleeve and being a bit pampered. The pampering is pretty much the usual situation on a grant deadline that goes late. Thank goodness! I am thankful that my family seems to be able to roll with the punches and realize that my irritation and unwillingness to deal passes quickly with a little TLC. I did come home to a kid with SO MANY words though. It’s probably actually the usual amount, it’s just that I feel bombarded after a particularly busy work day. Miss Butterfly did, however, acknowledge that I was far less grumpy than would normally be expected. She also went about entertaining herself quite well, even if she WAS talking the entire time.

That’s all from me, since grant deadlines leave little other stories to tell. I think I am leaving work early today, so perhaps today will be a little better in that respect. I am hoping to take Miss Butterfly on a walk!

Plugging Away

I am just plugging away at my second sweater sleeve. It’s completely uninteresting at the moment, no picture to be taken. I have 15 decreases every 7th row or so, until I can begin the ribbing on the cuff. And, I have completed 3 of those decreases. Things will continue to be completely uninteresting until right before the 5th decrease where I begin the stripes. That being said, I am very pleased with my progress! It has slowed some, but that’s to be expected after knocking out the first sleeve in a day and a half. After all, I really DO need to do things that aren’t knitting.

So instead, I will finally show off the wool/flax cowl that I finished last week! You may remember this is out of handspun 2 ply.

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It’s the duotone cowl, and it’s another knit in a tube then graft tube together cowl. This one was far more fun than the last one and I wasn’t nearly so bitter about it. The gentle changes of colors in the handspun were interesting enough to keep me moving, and the needle size was appropriate for the yarn.

Knowing that the yarn was a bit on the itchy side, I did wash this one very well and add conditioner in hopes to soften it up. It didn’t help much I am afraid. It’s still a scratchy one, and will only be able to be worn over something else. Perhaps a nice turtleneck or something.

Yesterday, Mr. Ink and I went to the local botanical garden to take a nice long walk and pick up our family membership for the year. I am thrilled with this, as Mr. Ink gets so inspired about his own gardens when we are there. He takes a camera and takes photos of trees and labels so that he can look them up when he gets home. All the while grinning from ear to ear. It’s hilarious. I am mostly in it for the walk, and it really is a lovely place to walk at all seasons. Very quiet in the winter and on game day. We enjoyed seeing the magnolias forming their buds, discussed various trees, discussed our own garden, and all the while I kept hearing something strange, something right out of my childhood. I thought that someone was using a turkey caller, and wondered about it. Then, we came upon this:

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This is perhaps just 1/8 of the flock. They were everywhere! And not particularly concerned about us humans walking around them. I could get within 3 feet from them before they started moving away from me.

We did enjoy a trip through the greenhouse before we left, even though we were mostly there for outdoor activities. I found this amazing bloom:

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It was hard to get a good photo, but do you see that blue bit in addition to the orange? It was really incredible.

It was a good relaxing weekend! Plenty got done, but there was also plenty of time to just be knitting. Now I am back to grants, another deadline today and I’ve got one that has to go in and while it’s not as late as usual, meaning in pretty good shape, I do get nervous when we push even the deadline of that day. Thankfully, this leaves me with only 3 more for the month after today. The end could be in sight now!

One Down

Maybe I am not so ingenious after all. I mean, when I’d set out on the sweater project 2 years ago, I’d set aside the correct amount of yarn for the project IF I were to knit it with those black sleeves. As I began to knit the main color into the sleeve instead, it finally occurred to me that I might have a yarn amount problem. I mean, I do have to knit a button band as well! But then I remembered that I had some more yarn in stash. So I pulled that out. However, I also wasn’t sure of the handspun amounts. I wanted to have the lower sleeve be handspun after striping it with the main color. I still want it to be “funky” after all! Just not funky with a black sleeve. I weighed my skein of handspun and knit like the wind just so I could figure out if I’d have enough yarn.

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This morning, I finished a sleeve! And I have enough yarn. I’ll be fine. And even better? It fits. I double checked once the sleeve was complete.

I truly and honestly cannot believe that I am about to have a finished sweater! I mean, this is the first finished adult sized sweater in about 2.5 years. I am so pleased. And so glad I went this direction instead of casting on something new. Who knows, maybe this will inspire me to complete the other half done sweater in my stash. The one I literally don’t even know where it is in my home right now.

Unfortunately I cannot devote quite as much time today to the second sleeve. And I still have to wind the other necessary skein. But, we also have plans to go to the botanical garden and arboretum as Mr. Ink is itching to look at trees again. And, well, I like him and I like taking a walk. Plus, while I like to say I knit a sleeve in a day, it was more like a day and a half, considering that I started Friday night and completed this morning. Nevertheless, this one’ll be in the bag soon. I am hoping to just keep my momentum until it’s done now.

The rest of the day yesterday was devoted to dishes, cleaning, laundry, bread baking, and small home repairs. Basically all the things that make us love being at home. Mr. Ink gardened, naturally. It was a nice day, and I did get a walk in. It was almost too warm for my regular coat! I even noticed peony sprouts coming up. I think they are massively confused. But, even confused peonies are gentle signs that spring is coming, and since Mr. Ink hasn’t really stopped gardening that makes me so excited for this year outdoors. What are you anticipating for spring?

Sweater Grant

Last evening I got home to a message that Mr. Ink was going to work late and then drive out to get our new cargo cover for the new car. This was something that he’d discussed with the dealership on Thursday, stating that a cargo cover that wasn’t broken was something we should have been given from the start. They went above and beyond, pulling some hooks from a new to the lot car to give to us as a stop gap until they ordered a new one, and then had the new one in for us the next day.

Well, with Miss Butterfly at her dad’s and Mr. Ink out of the house, what else could I do but start on the sweater dissection project? I honestly began it with a great deal of enthusiasm. I was easily able to get the black saddle shoulders removed and new saddles knit quite quickly and by the time Mr. Ink got home, I’d already cut out the black sleeve and picked up the stitches for the main color sleeve.

I was so excited about it! So, even though he isn’t “That into yarn.” I had to tell him all about it. “I did something crazy with my knitting and I want to talk about it!” I said. And I explained the situation, and what I had done, and he said “Well, I don’t think that’s crazy at all!” I said “No?” And he said “No, I think it’s ingenious!” Well, I’ll take that for sure. If there’s one thing we have in common, it’s loving to think through a puzzle until we figure out a solution. Maybe that’s just a human thing, I don’t know. But he certainly was able to appreciate what I’d done.

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Here it is this morning! No black shoulder saddles, and a decent start to a sleeve. I worked on this all evening long while we watched “Bridge of Spies.” It was a very good evening.

This morning I woke up after having quite an interesting dream where work and knitting managed to get all tangled up. I’d been working on a grant in my dream, but the grant was a hand knit sweater. And in my dream I’d been trying to explain how if I didn’t get the pattern for the sleeves there was no way I could complete this grant by Monday. And I was being told to wash and block it and I am saying “That’s out of order! I MUST have the pattern to the sleeves, there’s just no sense washing and blocking before the sleeves are done!” Along with the panic over the idea that I could work all weekend on the sleeves if I had the pattern and maybe get the thing done but it’d be close no matter what. And then I was told “Well, hand it over to this person to weave in the ends.” And I am screaming “NO! There’s NO SENSE weaving in the ends before the sleeves are KNIT, so just GIVE ME THE PATTERN FOR THE SLEEVES! I can weave in the ends MYSELF!” All the while thinking that there’s no way this sweater grant can be done and dry by the due date of Monday at 5 p.m.

Can you tell it’s been a long work week and that I have a grant due Monday? And that everyone is pushing my buttons by failing to follow my directions, and not prioritizing documents that need to be prioritized? My brain just won’t leave it all alone.

But, hopefully I can let go of that this weekend and enjoy the sweater that seems to be ready to rise out of the ashes of hibernation.

 

Toga! Toga! Toga!

It’s Greek Olympics day at Miss Butterfly’s school. We managed to put the toga together fairly well.

And she’s ready to win!

Yesterday Mr. Ink took a vacation day. And by that, we mean he took a vacation day, but then on Wednesday he had a big job come in and he couldn’t finish, so he went in on his vacation day to finish. It happens like clockwork. But, he also got our new car registered and took it back to the dealer to have them resolve a few things he felt should be resolved. The dealer went above and BEYOND his expectations in a big way and he says he feels very pleased with his overall experience. Which is great. Because if you work at a dealership, you have pretty high expectations. This did mean though, that he was home when I got home, so he suggested we take a nice long walk. It was awesome. Thus, I didn’t get much knitting done.

I did manage to finish my cowl, as it was so close to being done anyhow. But, it needed a wash and a block so I am saving that for another day. Let’s discuss sweaters instead! Yesterday I mentioned that I had an almost finished except for the sleeves sweater. I thought it over a bit, and then decided to pull out the sweater and make an ┬áhonest evaluation of what is stopping me from finishing this.

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The pattern is Funky Grandpa. I was trying to use up yarn from my stash. The main color of the sweater is two strands of laceweight yarn held together in similar colors. Those are wool. The stripes are my handspun. I LOVE the body of this sweater so much! It’s bright and cheery and absolutely a thing I would wear.

Then I began the sleeve. I got pretty far actually, as you can see. But, that’s when I gave up. So, upon evaluating what made me give up, it’s because I hate the black sleeve. I don’t like the color. And I don’t like the fiber either. I shouldn’t have chosen a different fiber. It’s alpaca laceweight held double. I hate how it feels differently than the rest of the sweater. It also knits differently. And that’s probably why I quit.

But, the biggest issue is that I began the sweater with that black arm in mind. So you can see at the tops of the shoulder that it was started with that black yarn. So, I either have to leave it there and have that black yarn there while using a different yarn for the sleeve, or I have to find a way to replace that. I took an honest look at it yesterday, and I’ve determined that I should indeed be able to replace it. I’ll cut out what I have in there, picking up the live stitches on either side, and knit a small piece that belongs, out of the main color, and graft it back on. Then I’ll just knit the sleeves out of the main color, beginning some striping fun further down the sleeve, and ending with handspun. I’ve got plenty. I think it’ll work.

I thought about ripping out the entire thing. But, I studiously wove in every end after working the handspun stripe. Like a good knitter should. Ripping it out would be a travesty! Let’s see if I can save it!

I looked up when I started this thing. December 4, 2014. Ok then!

Yellows

I just adore yellow. I always have! Really, all the shades appeal to me. I also adore yellow and grey together. So, when I saw two sets of batts in the Nunoco shop, one set yellow, and the other set yellow and grey, they quickly made their way to my house.

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And I spun them up! I am glad I got both really, because the grey skein has, overall, very little yellow in it.

Both skeins are 2 ply. The grey is far more uneven than the yellow, as I did one set of singles on support spindles, and my support spindle skills are crazy rusty right now. I’ve got 200 yards of the grey, and 240 yards of the yellow. Thankfully, this did NOT put me ahead of my knitting yardage for the year. I get to spin some more this weekend!

In knitting news, I seem to have a wild hare to knit a sweater. Again. The problem is, I’ve got a couple sweaters on the needles now that I haven’t finished. And, I haven’t finished them in part because the moment I hit sleeves, I get bored. So, it seems unwise to start a sweater. I don’t know if I’ll do it or not. However, I have a few picked out, and if I make one, I could use yarn I currently have. That’s the rule. I don’t trust myself to make a sweater completely, so I have to use stash yarn!

I’ve now got my weekly grant numbers down to two in two days. One I don’t think will be a big deal at all. The other is large, and I am working at it every chance I get. I am looking forward to the weekend!