Updates from the busy side

Work has gone just about as expected, and maybe a little worse. Long days, far past my normal work hours with seriously high stress. Thankfully, today I get to leave a few minutes early. Because after that? Well, then I’ve got 2 work days back to back next week that’ll be 15-16 hours long sandwiched between a late night work day and an early morning work day after a shortened weekend. It’ll be brutal, but honestly? Less brutal than what we went through yesterday, my coworkers and I.

That being said, I did grab pictures of a few things while it wasn’t raining. It’s going to rain again today, so that was lucky!


This is my current spinning project. It’s BFL/Silk that I dyed, and it’s spinning beautifully and I ADORE the color. I’ve got about 1/3 of the second bobbin done, and I am wishing I’d dyed more than 4 oz.


I started a knitting project, something easy that I can work on during the conference. The variegated yarn is Koigu KPPPM, and the solid is a rather old hank of Sanguine Griffon Bugga. I am quite fond of how this one looks, and it’s kind of a boring type of knit which should be about perfect for the conference. I will also take my circles of lace scarf for when I want something that has to be thought about a bit more. I did pack 4 spindles and 4 mini batts too, in case I feel an urge to do some spinning. Hopefully there will be conference updates if I can manage them!

In the garden, my peace rose put on an amazing show for me. It was just what I needed when I got home from work yesterday.

Just stunning blooms, looking so perfect and delicate.

And in gardening news, while I’ve been stressing out and overworked, Mr. Ink has been plugging away at building more garden space. He took this photo last evening of a new area he’s been working on. He says “good riddance to a few more square feet of lawn.”


He’ll keep working his way up the edge of that lawn, but he has mentioned it is quite hard work, and so the going is slow. That new hanging basket? In it is a spurge that Mr. Ink planted on the front wall, and that we both fell in LOVE with. It was doing so well there, and was such an interesting plant! Except upon further research, we found out that the sap is caustic and can cause quite a rash. Well, in interest of not having to try to yank it out of the ground when it spreads, as it was clearly trying to do, Mr. Ink decided on a hanging basket. This way we can keep it contained. And we know where it is, and we can take appropriate precautions when we deal with it. And, it’s so full and lush that it does look amazing in it’s hanging basket, it’s a great look! Mr. Ink has planted all his various evergreens in this section. Miss Butterfly and I had gone out shopping for clothing and shoes for us both, so we didn’t even get to see this in person yet. I can’t wait!

That’s all from here for now, have a great remainder of your week everyone!

The Weekend Relaxation

I’ve had quite a bit of relaxation. Mr. Ink and I went to a local mountain bike park so that he could ride bikes. However, there’s a problem with my mountain bike that he needs to resolve, so for the first time ever, I just decided to hike in there. And it was great! I saw so much that I miss on the bike, even though I was moving quite quickly on my hike. For instance:


So beautiful!

I finished the yarn from my first ever rolags from the blending board,


I love how they turned out! I ended up with 260 yards of 2 ply yarn. I’ll have to pay attention to how thick these are, as I really had it in my head that I’d like them to become a pair of gloves. There may be enough yardage, but I don’t have the time to research that much at the moment.

I made some more rolags. I wanted to put tropical colors together. I did so, and then wasn’t too sure I liked the resulting rolags.


To be fair, I didn’t think the pink rolags were going to spin up nicely either, so I knew I had to give them a try. This morning I finished the singles:


They are interesting! I am going to chain ply these, and I have to think on it a bit more, but I may even trap some dyed border leicester locks in the plies. It’s so bright and weird already, why not stay in keeping with that?

We’ve done quite a bit of cleaning around the house, much to my relief. And Mr. Ink has been doing some more gardening. We had a fish emergency yesterday as well. Mr. Ink was outdoors, and I looked at one of our aquariums. There was a dead fish, which I felt was odd, and then I looked at the rest of the fish. They were all at the very top of the tank, even the loaches, acting like they were gasping for air. So I ran out and got Mr. Ink since he’s the fish and aquarium expert. Now, Mr. Ink loves his fish, but he might love his aquarium plants even more And he brews what he calls “fish beer” for them. Basically a combo of water/yeast/sugar and then hooks that up to the filter so that the gas the “fish beer” produces gets sucked into the tank, making the aquarium plants very happy. Well, he was quickly able to determine that the filter had gotten clogged, which caused the fish beer to actually make its way into the water. Our fish were suffering from alcohol poisoning. We lost one fish and two shrimp, but the rest of the fish recovered very quickly simply with replacing some of the water. Now we’ve got an additional charcoal filter hooked up in hopes to grab the rest of the alcohol out of the water, but it sure was a strange moment for the aquarium.

I did some furniture rearranging and then grabbed this photo:


This is my current collection of lilies propagated from scales off my current garden lilies. I am really impressed with how well they are doing, and am having trouble deciding if keeping them indoors all winter and planting in the spring is best, or just putting them into the ground shortly is best. I’ve got a couple more scales planted in small pots, but there’s no sign of greenery on them yet. But, I’d say I’ve done pretty well with this experiment so far!

That’s about it from here. I am looking forward to taking some time out today and biking with Mr. Ink around some lakes on my fat bike. I am starting to think he needs a fat bike too, so that he slows down as well.

This upcoming week at work is the hardest week in 2 years. My eye is twitching a bit already. I am going to go at it from the place of knowing I just have to GET THROUGH it. Thankfully, last week I had 3 good days out of 5, and right now that seems like a total win. I’ll keep muddling through and doing my best and before I know it, it’ll be over and things will be back to normal. At least that’s what I keep telling myself!

So Over It

I am SO OVER sock knitting.

And even though there has been sock progress, I’ve got other stuff to show you.

First of all, the spindle spinners on Rav are spinning green for St. Patty’s day. Well, I’ve been spinning green (and lavender) FOREVER. However, I didn’t want to continue to spin that to mark the month. So instead, I decided to do a batt. A study in green batt. I took pictures, and then decided I should also take pictures of the floor as it looks when I start messing around with color blending.



This is my floor with a ton of dyed border leicester. You will see the cord to the vacuum cleaner there too, because drum carding this particular border leicester makes a bit of a mess. I just make sure when I pull out the drum carder I’ve also got the vacuum out. This way I can’t space it or become unmotivated to clean up.

I got the border leicester so cheap it was amazing. However, with cheap wool comes some stuff you’ve got to sift through. It was dirty, full of VM, and has a ton of second cuts. Despite this, it was WORTH IT for the price. Still is. I can’t even get annoyed by the VM falling out of the drum carder, or the fact that I have to pick some second cuts out of my batt while spinning. The border leicester is lambs wool so it is softer than most, the locks are amazing, some quite long, and it took color in a gorgeous way!

For my study in green batts, I basically took every green color I had with the border leicester, added some other colors from other fiber, and then added silk. It is interesting to me that though there is no white in this batt at all, the lightest green looks white compared to the more saturated colors.

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I haven’t decided if I will spin this in a gradient or if I will try to blend up the colors. However, not a bad little project for a snow day!


Fleece Club

So, in my spindle spinning board I came across a very interesting club. It is a fleece of the month club, you sign up and receive, for 3 months, 4 oz. washed locks of fleece which you can then process yourself for spinning. This idea thrilled me, as it is a chance for me to try some breeds I would probably never purchase an entire fleece for. So I signed up, for both the longwool and the merino clubs. It also comes with a card that gives a bunch of info about the breed and the characteristics of the wool, with even a space to add a sample once it is spun.

My first shipment, to be honest, didn’t thrill me overly much, but I knew I could experiment with what I had anyhow. My second shipment however thrilled me to pieces. And so I figured I’d better get the two shipments photographed and posted, before the third shipment shows up in January.


This picture is the two merino breeds I received. At the top is Rambouillet wool, and at the bottom Saxon. The Saxon is absolutely the most beautiful wonderful soft, bouncy wool I’ve ever felt. In fact, I’d say you could just pick up a lock and spin it with no prep whatsoever. Amazing stuff!


And then there are the longwools. At the top, Border Leicester, and at the bottom Leicester Longwool. I’ve never spun longwool before, nor have I prepped it. I am rather excited about these.

To top it off, they all come in a cute little burlap sack.


I love the burlap sacks, and feel certain I can use them in the future!

The Saxon I’ll leave as is, but the rest are destined for the dye pot. I’ve been itching to try “cram pot” dyeing for months now and these seem the perfect fibers for such a thing. Then, my plan is to spin them with minimal prep. Maybe just a comb through with a flick carder to loosen the fibers before spinning. My last shipment will include Romney, and I believe delaine merino.

Taking something and making it better

That is what the drum carder has allowed me to do.

I had some fiber I didn’t like. On the right is a high quality merino I kettle dyed. The color is ok, but it has no depth. It looks flat. It is, consequently, the fiber I used to make my thrums in the thrummed mitts. On the left is some tussah silk I’ve had in my stash FOREVER. I was just not too impressed with the colors, but also couldn’t part with the silk. So, I grabbed my drum carder and blended the two together. I ended up with this:

A gorgeous pinky mauve batt with high silk content and high sheen. Much much better!

And just to show it off, I received the first of 3 fiber club offerings from dyeabolical. BFL that needs no improvement whatsoever:

Another first

I participate in a fiber swap each month, and it has been a completely enjoyable experience.  I canceled my fiber club subscription because I enjoyed the swap ever so much more.  Now, you may remember my participation in hush hush handspun hootinany last year, where I received this lovely package.  Well, she also organizes the monthly fiber swap and she was my spoiler for this round.

Somehow she always picks things that I fall in love with!  Take a look at the firestar/merino/BFL batts she sent this time!  Along with some silk of the same color!


I’ve only worked with batts the one time which she sent them to me, and I loved it.  I’ve never worked with firestar.  I’ve never spun silk beyond those silk hankies.  Needless to say, I am very excited about this package!

Unfortunately, I will have to wait to spin this until I get back from vacation….leaving Tuesday!!!