Woad Dyeing

Since I’ve been generally uninspired about a lot of knitting/crafting lately, I’ve been trying to fill my time with other creative pursuits when possible. Meaning that even though I know many of those creative pursuits won’t stick the way knitting and spinning did, doing them makes me feel more creative and probably works my brain in a way that is healthy.

This weekend I had a woad dyeing class at our local botanical gardens. Woad is like a lighter version of indigo, grown in Europe, and while it doesn’t get as rich and deep a blue, it does get a nice denim blue.

We learned to make a vat of woad dye and we were given a hemp apron to dye. We were then shown a few shibori dyeing techniques and allowed to go to town on our apron.

Here’s what my apron looked like before the first dip in the dye bath:

I used clothes pins, tongue depressors, chopsticks, and rubber bands to create my negative space. I went in quite aggressively with my negative space as our instructor told us that more is better.

And here’s what I ended up with!

This is currently in it’s unwashed state, and the white may get brighter once I wash it.

We were also given the opportunity to bring something we’d like to add to the dye vat, and so I brought some white handspun I’d created years ago. It’s a 2 ply laceweight yarn out of a corriedale fleece I processed.

This also turned out so beautifully! The skein is also in a prewashed state so it may fade down a bit, but honestly, I will probably knit it up like this and then wash it before blocking.

There were only 3 attendees in this class due to the pandemic. I have to say, being willing to take some classes during this time frame has been nice, each class I’ve taken gets more individual attention than any of these classes might get otherwise.

But, the other thing I am noticing is that I haven’t got the passion I used to have for fiber arts in general, and that’s a bit odd for me. The other attendees were quite passionate about dyeing and natural dyeing and fiber arts in general and wanted to talk about what wheel I have and what kind of fleece I used and so on but I just wanted to create this new thing I’d never done before, without getting into the weeds about my other hobbies. But I recognized myself in them, I was them, wanting to hear all the details and discuss different wheels and so on. I just have lost my passion for it right now, and that’s strange, disappointing, and leaving me a bit bereft, what am I if not someone who works with yarn in some way?

Maybe I still am, but it certainly doesn’t feel like it right now. While I have had, previously, times in which I feel like I lose mojo for a bit, this one is so much more pronounced. I know I keep complaining about it, but it’s just so odd!

The class was fun. I’ll not be taking up natural dyeing. This was not my new passion. Maybe I’ll take the basket weaving class next.

Festival of Stitches update

It’s been nice to get a little knitting mojo back after such a long break. First it was video games, then it was just having so much to do in the evenings after work, interfering with knitting. Things are slowly calming down a bit and progress is being made.

For my Festival of Stitches shawl, I have now worked through “clue 3” which takes us to the mosaic stitches on both sides of the shawl. I like how the pattern is written, with one side having the green color as the background color and the other side having the pink color as the background color.

As you can see at the top on the right hand side I have also begun clue 4. This clue is a cable clue, and while it was written to be done in the pink color, I have chosen to knit it in the green since the pink color isn’t likely to cable all that well. The handspun is just enough thinner to make it not ideal for a cable clue. I don’t think that changing the color will change the overall effect of the colors in the shawl, and I’ve plenty of yarn. This pattern is particularly good at indicating how much yarn to use of each color during a clue so it gives me confidence that I can continue knitting in the colors I prefer.

I am still enjoying this project and even though I haven’t had much in the way of finished objects this year, I think I may get a nice amount of use out of this one once it is complete.

Updates Again

Just some updates with what is going on around here. First and foremost, our lovely foster dog, who was with us for more than 2 months, found her forever home!

We will absolutely miss her cute face and antics. We will NOT miss having what is, technically, a puppy around the house. While she was over a year old, pregnancy happened while she was still a puppy, and that plus mothering kept her from continuing on as a puppy like she should have. So she picked up where she left off in our home. Her new family will love growing with her and I am so glad she found her place.

Miss Butterfly, who had been begging for a foster dog break prior to our foster dog finding her home, immediately decided she wanted a new foster once she was gone. While that’s not how it works, we did end up saying we’d babysit another foster, so this little guy is with us at the moment.

He’s not really afraid, he makes himself at home in any situation. He’s not a puppy. And he likes Mr. Ink, something our previous foster never could manage to do. So, we are pretty pleased with our short time with him.

I’ve been doing some knitting again. Still working on the festival of stitches I showed off last time I posted about knitting. It’s come a good way since then! I am really enjoying the progress.

Mr. Ink has a week of vacation this week, and while I am trying to get at least one day off, work is busy enough that it may not happen. It’s fascinating to me that despite a pandemic, things are moving along so quickly at work that I cannot afford to take time off. Crazy!

That’s all from here, until next time!

A Bit of Knitting

I did manage to find a new project that I could get inspired about. I had seen a finished Festival of Stitches stole on instagram and decided that was one I could really get interested in.

I immediately chose three handspun yarns that would work for the stole and began winding them. And there they sat for at least a month while I went through my no knitting period.

Then when I started knitting again, I acted like I couldn’t read a pattern and had to restart the project at least 4 times. I don’t know what my major malfunction was but there was certainly a brain block I needed to get through.

I am on my way now and have knit the center triangle.

I am not sure I ever expected to knit baubles voluntarily but I really do like the look of them in there. Now I get to begin the next section.

But maybe after a little video gaming.

My Knitting

I’ll tell you what, I mentioned in a recent update post that I haven’t really been knitting lately, and that is certainly the case. However, I did have a project on the needles for a time and I finally finished it.

It’s another Nighshift shawl, once done with the first colorful one I was inspired to knit another since I had the yarn for it. That being said, I kind of ended up going on a tangent in regard to the color transitions. I planned them out how they’d best work for the yarn I had rather than what the pattern called for.

This one was far more pink and purple toned than the previous one, and I planned it that way. I again truly enjoyed knitting this and also very much enjoyed using all my leftover handspun yarns for it. And now I have nothing on my needles at home and haven’t had for about a week. At work I’ve got a project but I haven’t worked on it since at least March. It may be some time before I manage to post another craft related photo. And for me, that’s a little odd.

Updates

It’s been some time since I’ve done any sort of update that wasn’t makeup or project pan related. And the reality is that this has everything to do with not crafting much at all. There are full weeks that go by without any knitting or spinning done at all. Many days are just busy, but I am also playing a lot of a video game instead as well. It’s kind of funny because back when I started knitting obsessively, I had decided to stop playing video games because at the end of the day I didn’t have anything to show for it. At least, in my mind, my creativity with knitting had a tangible object at the end of it. And so it’s been for 14 solid years. If it wasn’t knitting, it was spinning, processing fleece, dyeing yarn and fiber, sometimes even weaving, but always with the tangible item at the end.

The reality is that I am often overloaded with tangible items. They go to charity fundraisers and family and friends and still I have more tangible items than I need.

I have found that the current state of the world means that I just don’t have the energy to even think of what I might knit next. My brain is fried and even trying to find a pattern or read it or even download it is too much. So, I am back to video games and quite frankly, I could not care less about having a tangible item at the end.

In any case, today I do have a tangible item. Back at easter time I dyed some grey locks from a fleece I had processed with leftover easter egg dye. I didn’t do a fantastic job really, many of the locks were really muted in the end and I really would have done well to heat them higher with a longer period of soaking. But, at the same time, I had a cousin over and we were getting ready to go to the dog park and I really didn’t care.

I began flick carding those locks pretty soon after I dyed them but the project has sat in my living room unfinished ever since.

This morning we got a break in the heat. I am extremely sick of looking at that project unfinished in my living room. So, I sat outside and worked on it:

Oh yes, while outside I was also blocking a project I finally finished, more to come on that once it’s dry!

Out with me is our current foster dog. Poor gal is about a week into her forced kennel rest after heartworm treatment and she’s pretty miserable. There’s a ton o f whining and crying and not much at all of fun for her. She finds that even in the kennel she wants to be where the people and dogs are. We’d let her rest on the couch without the kennel as we did with our previous foster, but she doesn’t know the word rest outside the kennel. She’s young and extremely active and we can’t risk complications by letting her roam free and play. So we are all a little miserable during this time. Her bored and us sick of the whining and crying. In fact, the whole family is ready for a bit of a foster break after this darling finds her new home next month. Anyhow, point being, we just brought her entire kennel out to the patio so she could have a change of scenery while I worked on my project.

We did this last night while cooking too, just brought the entire kennel to the dining room so she could watch us cook. This little darling is a fantastic dog, active and fun and playful. Which means that it’s all the harder for her to be calm and makes me feel all the more guilty for forcing it even though it’s what is best for her.

In any case, I did finish the project! So I grabbed a shot of all my rolags from the project together.

Do I have any clue what these will be and how I will spin them and when? Nope, I do not. But, they can go back in the craft room and no longer live half done in my living room after 5 months of hanging out there and me working around them or trying to ignore them.

That’s it for today. It’s end of the month so it’ll be a fresh lot of makeup and project pan related posts shortly but somewhere in there I’ll also be able to post one precious finished object which feels like it’ll be the last for a long time. But who knows, perhaps my whims will switch again.

Delays

I took a much needed 2 weeks off. Most of that time was spent at home, obviously, with Miss Butterfly. Mr. Ink also took time off to be at home for part of my two weeks. I had projects around the house I felt I wanted to get done, but in the end, I didn’t do many of them.

The reality is that I really needed that reset of my brain and my work attitude. And it worked! I am no longer stuck in the loop of checking my email while I am at home and worrying a lot about work items that aren’t mine to worry about on off hours.

I have a few blog posts planned, and I had this finished object to photograph, but just couldn’t be bothered to get to it. I finished this likely about a month ago actually.

It’s really lovely! It’s a combo of handspun that I made, the grey tones, and handspun that Miss Marja made, the colored yarn. I believe the two yarns really look perfect together, and I am glad I made the choice.

Today was supposed to be a post of my pan those eyeshadows roulette update, but I just didn’t get photos in a timely manner. Returning to work this week has been exhausting. Hopefully I can get that post up soon though as I am still going strong on my project and still enjoying it quite a bit.

That’s the quick update from me today, hope everyone is having a decent week.

What’s In Progress Today?

When I finished up my nightshift shawl, I wasn’t in the mood to go hunt down a proper pattern and yarn combo. So, I used a couple things that were already wound up and sitting near my living room chair. One was a chain ply yarn that Miss Marja made, and the other was a 3 ply yarn I made out of fleece I processed myself.

I decided on the simplest of the simple scarves, and just did a 1×1 rib knit alternating the yarn colors. It’s always a hit.

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I’d say it’s coming along quite nicely and I definitely appreciate the pairing of the grey with the greens and purples. I am approaching the halfway point, according to the amount of Marja’s handspun I have available for it. I had 2 balls of yarn and I am almost done with the first.

At some point, I’ll need to take a closer look at my stash and my patterns to see what I want to knit next, but this will definitely do for now.

Nightshift

I’ve been following a lot of folks who have made the nighshift shawl and I’ve always enjoyed how they turned out. I finally decided instead of just following and drooling over finished objects, it’s time for me to knit one of my own.

I did not end up following along with the proper color sequence. Instead, I decided to use a bunch of handpsun yarn I had, most of which had 100 yards or less per color.

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It turned out bright and cheery and scrappy. I enjoyed it so much that I have another shawl’s worth of handspun already wound up and waiting for me to start one with predominately pink and purple tones. I doubt I’ll start it today, but likely at some point this week.

In other types of news, I really enjoy blocking a shawl in the summer. Once soaked, I can often set it out in the sun and it’s done drying in no time since the heat is so high here!

We were looking forward to our next foster dog, a blue-eyed gal that I’d already fallen hard for. But, alas, her mental health just isn’t what it needs to be to come to us and get adopted out. I am thankful for the rescue she’s currently at being honest about the situation and not putting us and our dogs in danger. I hope for the best for her. Sometimes rescue is sad.

But, our rescue, knowing how much we were looking forward to our next foster dog, hooked us up with a mamma dog that needs placement. Her puppies are also coming to our rescue and will go to a different foster home. So, we again get to look forward to fostering and are hoping that an arrangement can be made for our foster dog to be here soon!

Between the Pans

I am still knitting, though I had been dividing my time between two different projects so progress looked slower. Now that I think about it, the second project never even made it to an in progress photo and blog post. It is close enough to being done now that I will just wait until I have another finished object to post.

But, I did show off my striped bias shawl made out of laceweight silk and a leftover ball of gorgeous handspun I had in stash. Now it’s complete.

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This is a strong “will knit again” project. I like the drape of it, I like the pops of color in the handspun, the knitting of it was very pleasant, and it’s soft and going to feel fantastic around my neck in the winter. And in fact, I do have enough of the laceweight yarn to pair it with another handspun ball of leftovers.

Strider

Here’s a finished object I quite enjoyed knitting in the most mindless of ways.

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This is the Strider scarf and boy did it turn out beautifully! The yarn is Miss Marja’s handspun. I was 2/3 of the way through when Rosie dog got hold of the ball of yarn and ripped it up pretty good. I was able to untangle enough to finish the scarf properly without too much loss. It’s still a nice beefy scarf. But, I would have appreciated having all the yarn to devote to it of course.

This is most certainly on my list of items to knit again. Absolutely.

In Process

So, I finished up the flatten the curve scarf over the weekend and realized I hadn’t shown the other project I’ve been working on. The pattern is called Strider, and it’s a very simple modular scarf/shawl. I am, again, using Marja’s handspun from my stash. This one is a nice deep green gradient. The long rows of this knit show off that color beautifully.

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The rows are long, the increases are simple, and it’s all garter stitch. I should be bored. I am not.

Flatten the Curve Scarf

I decided to use some of Miss Marja’s lovely handspun to knit a flatten the curve scarf. Sadly, I did not read the pattern correctly and missed some of the garter ridges. But, it’s still a pretty scarf.

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Half of it is knit flat and the other half on the bias, which is pretty clever, I think. That being said, this really needs a garter border down the length of the side, as the edges on the flat side want to curl in.

I really enjoyed the changing colors of the handspun yarn though, isn’t it pretty?

In Progress

Recently I am generally knitting only one project at once, but this week I ended up casting on two new projects.

I think I chose to do so because when I started the one which was laceweight, I quickly got bored knitting laceweight stockinette, and had to do something which had more interest to me.

Here’s the laceweight stockinette project:

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The pattern is Striped Bias Shawl but I cut down the number of stitches to make it into a scarf instead. I had plenty of laceweight yarn, but the thicker handspun I wanted to use was lower in yardage than what was called for. So, I decided to make it a scarf instead.

This should be a very soft scarf, the laceweight yarn is silk and the handspun has a high cashmere content. I like pairing two textures together, I often think this is one of the best uses of handspun. So, I think I’ll be particularly happy with this project when it is done even if I am not thrilled with the knitting of it.

Because I quickly exhausted my motivation for laceweight silk, I cast on a Flatten the Curve scarf out of Miss Marja’s handspun. It’s handspun I’d had my eye on for a very long time in her collection. During our holiday time spent together, she decided it was one she would allow me to knit up. I am loving this scarf, no motivation problems here at all!

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I am sure that’s part color change and part slight interest with the bias section and simple pattern. This is one of those patterns that wants to knit itself. If I had to do it over again, I’d make a garter border and a bit of a garter stitch edge on the straight knit side, as those pieces want to curl. But, it’ll be a nice warm comfortable scarf once it’s done.

I haven’t managed at all to work on any new spinning, but I think that’s probably ok for now. Current projects and foster dog care are pretty sufficient to keep me occupied at the moment!

Brights

I’ve been doing a bit of spinning lately. I finished up 8 ounces of 2 ply over the weekend, and it was very pleasant to work through. Want to see it?

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I ended up with a sock weight yarn, and it’s 685 yards or so. I really like the brights!

Then I did a little more plying. I’ve been saving up my scrappy ends of singles for well over a year. I used a mason jar, and every time I had extra I’d ball it up and throw it in the jar. The jar was full, so I decided I’d get a skein of scrappy yarn plied.

I just love love love the craziness of a 6 ply yarn. I’ve done them as chain ply yarn holding 3 singles together before, but this time I just wanted to do a full 6 ply yarn.

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I ended up with 125 yards of bulky 6 ply yarn and it’s just so pretty! The common thread in this skein is that there is one navy blue single all the way through. I have enough navy blue singles to do at least one more skein, but I need more scraps, so it’ll have to wait. I’ll fill up my mason jar again, and then do another ply session. It’ll be quite some time before that can be done, but since handspun yarn does tend to live in my collection for a good long time, that shouldn’t be a problem.

I’ve started a few knitting projects and look forward to showing them off this week. Again, handspun will be a major component in both of them. And I do think I’ll start another spinning project soon. In the meantime, stay well!

 

Spinning

Here’s the thing. I didn’t do much spinning last year. I was trying to work through some yarn stash and didn’t want to add much too that. In the end, I added a ton to it, through Miss Marja’s handspun, but didn’t really get to enjoy my own spinning projects.

I am going to attempt to let that not be the case this year. I have really been craving some wheel time lately. So I made time.

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I don’t currently have a knitting project on the needles at all. This is my only project. I don’t know how long that will be the case, but it’s working for me for now. This’ll be an 8 ounce project, so it should take me a little while.

Spinning

I don’t remember the last time I finished a skein of yarn, but I did finish one this week. Quite exciting.

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This was a batt I had in my stash, I THINK it was fat cat knits, but I don’t remember. It was a gradient batt, and as such, I turned it into a gradient yarn. I spun this on support spindles, and I spun very thin. So, now I’ve got a 2 ply laceweight gradient with about 900 yards to it. I admit, this spin was extremely satisfying despite the fact that it took me many months to actually complete. Now, I am excited to start another project, this time fully on the wheel, and am preparing accordingly.

Quarantimes Part 11

I worked from home today, but will not be able to do so all week. Miss Butterfly has begun to babysit the dogs as they’ve become too attached to me while I’ve been home. She’s prepping for when I am gone. I think she’s being wise.

Here’s my list for last week with what I did actually accomplish:

  1. Don’t work during off hours.
  2. Bake bread (Like really, DO THIS!)
    1. I did this and it was delightful.
  3. Teach Miss Butterfly how to make yogurt.
  4. Hang decorative hooks for dog leashes.
  5. Get one piece of peel and stick wallpaper hung in the kitchen in order to make a decision about it.
  6. Start plying the singles that were spun before interior painting projects began.
    1. I actually finished the yarn, it’s drying and I’ll get to show it off soon.
  7. Adding to the list, fix a cloth mask to wear to work next week
    1. I began fixing that mask, but then received a few more from a relative, so didn’t finish the fixing project.

I don’t have a photo of the yarn yet, but last evening I did something I haven’t done in so long! I spun on my back patio. Actually, it was plying, but same difference.

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As you can see, Mr. Ink had recently mowed the lawn and it was an absolutely beautiful day! He didn’t finish playing in the yard until 8:30 pm. We didn’t have dinner until after 9. Then he had to go back outside to clean up. I am fairly certain this was one of his all-time favorite yard days.

I have been working on a little knitting as well, the Metanoia wrap was just too pretty (and free) to pass up!

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This is out of two different handspun yarns, both of the yarns are Miss Marja’s handspun. I am getting very close to the portion of the scarf where the colors change, and I am really looking forward to seeing the lacier portion done in the solid purple color.

I believe this brings me to the end of my weekly lists. I’ll keep a few going in my head, but with being back at work, I am probably not going to need them to keep me motivated. It was tough during those beginning days to figure out which way was up, but I don’t think that’s the case anymore. I’ve got a routine that works for me whether working from home or physically at the office, and I think a routine was exactly what I was craving while not quite knowing how to make one for myself while working from home.

Quarantimes Part 10

I finished a scarf!

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I made this out of Miss Marja’s handspun yarn. Originally I had set out to make a Winter Wine cowl, but as I kept knitting, I realized that I had enough handspun for a full scarf. So, I just kept knitting until I ran out of yarn, that was fine for me.

My list for this week sits thus:

  1. Don’t work during off hours.
  2. Bake bread (Like really, DO THIS!)
  3. Teach Miss Butterfly how to make yogurt.
  4. Hang decorative hooks for dog leashes.
  5. Get one piece of peel and stick wallpaper hung in the kitchen in order to make a decision about it.
  6. Start plying the singles that were spun before interior painting projects began.
  7. Adding to the list, fix a cloth mask to wear to work next week.

That’s it, that’s all I’ve got for today. Tomorrow and Saturday will both be project pan posts, as it’s the beginning of a new month. I admit, there won’t be a bunch of progress anywhere with those!

 

 

Quarantimes Part 8

Here’s where I am in my list:

  1. Don’t work during off hours
  2. Make dog treats
  3. Bake bread
  4. Start prepping craft room for painting. Get started if possible.
  5. Move fridge to paint behind, finishing the kitchen.
  6. Clean fridge.
  7. Bring spring clothing upstairs, move winter clothes to basement

So far, it’s been kind of a massive fail this week. But, we don’t get too upset over failure during quarantimes. We are all just trying to get along as best we can.

Mr. Ink is on vacation currently and working on some projects around the house and yard. It’s funny, I hear complaints from coworkers in how their partners think that if they are working from home, they are not actually working, and feel that they get all access to chat and do things around the house. I do not have this problem. Mr. Ink is the exact opposite, extremely respectful of the work boundaries, makes me lunch and serves it so I can keep working, generally leaves me alone, and then discusses things he overhears during dinner time. It’s quite delightful!

I have largely taken a break from painting at this point, though I really do need to get back to it. I figured my hands and my mind needed a bit of a break. I’ve still got the fridge to move, and I do want to get to it, but I think I’ll save it for the weekend.

I did finish a project though!

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This is my own handspun, and I took it in the evening fading light. It’s a lot more brown and green than it appears here. Never mind, you get the picture! This one is longer than the previous one, and I really like it!

And now I leave you with a photo of one of my coworkers.

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Sometimes she hangs on to my arm as I work. She’s awfully cute!

Quarantimes Part 7

It is now Sunday and about time I took a look at what I had intended to accomplish to see how I stayed on track. Or didn’t. To be honest, I did not look back at the list I’d made at the beginning of the week, so I am sure there are things that I didn’t bother to get to. But I think there will be other things which I managed to get done over and above what I’d listed.

My list from the beginning of the week:

  1. Don’t work on off hours. (Mostly achieved, though there were times I did need to work in the evenings. It was unavoidable in those cases. There weren’t many of them.)
  2. Bake 2 loaves of banana bread to freeze and one loaf of regular bread. (I baked one banana bread loaf. The other loaf was off the table as Miss Butterfly ate the overripe bananas. I did not get a proper bread loaf done.)
  3. Go to the hardware store, get paint for interior.
  4. Start painting! (I took Tuesday off to get a solid head start on the project.)
  5. Make more dog treats.
  6. Find yarn and a pattern for a new knitting project.
  7. Finish spinning singles on current handspun project. Begin plying. (I finished the singles but did not ply, and there’s good reason for that which I will get to below.)

So, I purchased interior paint and supplies. I decided that I would get paint for 5 rooms all at once, as we are supposed to be limiting our store visits. I took Tuesday off and on Monday evening after work, Miss Butterfly and I began our large project. We painted all day on Tuesday. On Wednesday I painted during my lunch break and after work. Miss Butterfly painted in the afternoon by herself. At that point, she completely crapped out, and the painting has been all up to me ever since.

I finished the living room, all except for a section of wall behind Mr. Ink’s fish tank. He plans to rehome the fish, and then remove the tank. Once he has removed the tank, we will fully finish that room. The hallway has one coat of paint and needs a second coat, which I will finish tonight. The dining room is going to be finished tonight. The kitchen is close to being done, but the fridge needs to be moved.

Here’s a little story to go along with the dining room and kitchen painting. I ended up choosing a very cheery peachy color for the dining room and kitchen. In the end, it needed 3 coats to fully cover the blue that was the previous color. At once point, I came around a corner to a LAN line phone jack in the house. We’ve never had one, so I decided to remove it and then fill in the holes. When I removed the fitting completely, much to my surprise, the previous owners had chosen the same color at some point! Take a look!

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This ended up putting the painting in the kitchen on pause a bit, as I needed to patch this hole and another as well. So, I had to wait to get back to a hardware store to purchase some patching materials.

On Thursday evening we ended up getting about 8 inches of snow in quite a short amount of time. It was so pretty. It started in the afternoon while I was still working from home. I could see it coming down and accumulating from where I was sitting. The backyard just filled and filled with snow. But, it was one of those spring snows where it never really accumulated on the pavement and no shoveling was required. On Friday, it melted just as fast as it had accumulated, which I also got to watch with delight from my work from home spot.

Knowing this, I figured on Saturday the dog park would be very muddy and I’d rather like to stay out of it. We talked to a friend who allowed us to use his fenced back yard to bring the dogs to. We had a lovely time sitting in the sun and fresh air allowing the dogs to play in the back yard. I wish we had that opportunity in our own yard. On the other hand, Fury proved why that won’t be possible, as she tried to dig around the base of each mature tree to sniff whatever she could find!

I chose and knit a scarf. I figured the best thing would be a project with thick yarn. I found a ruffled pattern, paired it with yarn from Miss Marja, and soon had a cool little scarf.

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This project was so delightful that I cast on another one right away out of my own handspun yarn.

I ended up skipping the plying of my handspun this week because I realized that after such an intense push to get the interior of the house painted, I’d been struggling with sore hands, hands that were falling asleep at night. That’s fairly typical for me, but my goal is to take care of them, rather than make them worse.

So, now on to this week’s list.

  1. Don’t work during off hours
  2. Make dog treats
  3. Bake bread
  4. Start prepping craft room for painting. Get started if possible.
  5. Move fridge to paint behind, finishing the kitchen.
  6. Clean fridge.
  7. Bring spring clothing upstairs, move winter clothes to basement

That seems like a more than fair list. To be honest, I was supposed to have a good portion of this week off for a trip to Lake Tahoe, obviously that’s not happening. I canceled my work vacation time, but Mr. Ink did not. I might take a day or two off to make sure I get a little extra done. It wasn’t just the painting this last week and weekend, Mr. Ink has also been madly productive. If we can keep that up, it’ll be very nice! I still have hopes and dreams of getting so far into the interior painting project that I even *gasp* paint the bedroom!

 

 

Quarantimes Part 6

As a follow up from Saturday’s post, I had anticipated a deep cleaning of the bathroom. I am pleased to say, mostly because I needed to report back here, that did get done. In doing it, I ended up giving Mr. Ink a bunch more to do. First, the showerhead hasn’t been running particularly well. I asked him if it could be fixed. He tried. It could not. So, we need to get a new one. Then I asked him when the furnace filter had last been replaced. He told me “spring.” I said “It IS spring and I KNOW you didn’t just change it, do you mean LAST SPRING?!?!”  He said, “let’s go down stairs and take a look at it.” We did so, and turns out it probably has actually been a year. In going downstairs to investigate the furnace filter, I noticed some leaking water. That turned out to be a leaky faucet on the hot water heater.

Funny part was, I’d just asked Mr. Ink if he needed to go to the hardware store, and he’d told me that he did not. But as it turns out, he did need to go, he just didn’t know it yet.

That leads me to this week’s list.

  1. Don’t work on off hours.
  2. Bake 2 loaves of banana bread to freeze and one loaf of regular bread.
  3. Go to the hardware store, get paint for interior.
  4. Start painting! (I took Tuesday off to get a solid head start on the project.)
  5. Make more dog treats.
  6. Find yarn and a pattern for a new knitting project.
  7. Finish spinning singles on current handspun project. Begin plying.

I feel like this is a fairly sufficient list. Since we are painting 3-4 rooms plus the hall, I don’t think loading up the list with a bunch of other busy work makes much sense. Should be a good week!

And why do I need to find another project? Because I finished the largest Lintilla shawl I’ve ever made.

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I prolonged this project just as long as I possibly could. I just didn’t want to finish, it was such an enjoyable knit. And that’s why I chose it, I knew it would be! Plus, I didn’t feel like trying to figure out what to knit next, nor did I feel like trying to figure out how to knit whatever pattern I chose. I am hoping I can come up with something that is as enjoyable as this over the next week.

Quarantimes Part 4

I did it again, wrote and scheduled too many posts so that now this post from the weekend is coming at you on a Tuesday.

We had a really low key weekend. I guess most people are having a low key weekend. But, I really made a point of it. We are increasing our hunkering down even though our state doesn’t have full lock down restrictions. We are limiting the number of household folks going to the dog park. One per dog is sufficient. Since Miss Butterfly doesn’t get out much these days, I sent her with Mr. Ink on Sunday. I missed seeing the dogs have a great time, but I did rather enjoy the house to myself, I made myself lunch and napped in the sun. It was lovely. I am sure I’ll get to see the dogs play during the course of the week.

One crafty project I did get to start is working with the easter egg dyed wool locks. I decided to go the “old fashioned” route and hand card them. This has proved to be a good decision for these locks.

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These rolags are soft and fluffy. I am only giving them two passes on the hand cards as I had flick carded them all prior to dyeing them and they are already in great shape. Basically, hand carding them just puts them in a form that I can use and keeps them nice and consistent looking.

I am fortunate to be able to work from home this upcoming week. We’ll see what happens this week, I am wondering if our state illness numbers go up dramatically, we will then see a statewide lockdown, keeping me at home more.

The one thing I noticed in the previous time period I worked from home (only 3 days) was that I had a tendency to work way MORE than I would if I were at work. Instead of my proper shift, I was signing on about 45 minutes ahead of schedule, working through my lunch break, and then staying signed on about an hour after my scheduled shift ended. I think it’s because I couldn’t quite figure out what to do during those time periods. I am fortunate that Mr. Ink comes home for lunch and generally makes me lunch as well. So, food prep in any manner wasn’t a thing I had to worry about. I am always up early and since I wasn’t commuting, I spent my commute time working.

I would like to change that up this week. And because of that, I am going to bring back something I used to do ages ago on this blog, accountability lists. Here’s what I want to accomplish this week.

  1.  Don’t work during time off.
  2. Wash windows outside.
  3. Deep clean bathroom.
  4. Rearrange living room furniture.
  5. Begin deep cleaning bedroom.
  6. Get items I need to finish painting garage window frames.
  7. Bake bread.
  8. Bake dog treats.

I think that’s about sufficient for a week of full time work as well. But, I think it’s fair to expect that I could rattle off a number of these things in those times I would previously be commuting or taking a break at work. I did not include anything at all about crafts, as I find that crafty stuff continues on no matter what in the background, and I don’t want to stress over any crafting at all right now.

I will do an update over the weekend or early next week indicating which items I was able to accomplish. Making a list feels really nice at the moment. Soothing even.

Quarantimes Part 3

This post is coming a little late, as our activities were done last weekend, but I had already written and scheduled so much other content, this was the first available day to get a post up. Ultimately that’s a far cry from what this blog had looked like recently, so I was delighted to just roll with it.

We decided that a fun activity to do would be dyeing eggs. Miss Butterfly picked up two kits while we were out, a tie-dye kit and a regular kit. The tie-dye kit was a lot of fun, we really enjoyed using it.

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This had the added benefit of giving me something to eat during the day, as I had to be physically at work this past week. There are no more vendors allowed on campus, and I don’t want to bring back or spread anything in the hospital cafeteria. So, I try to stay in our building, and prior to this had been surviving on cereal and oatmeal and fruit during the day. Oatmeal for lunch gets old pretty fast, and this addition to my work diet was extremely welcome!

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I used the remainder of the easter egg dyes to dye some plain grey wool from a fleece I processed ages ago. I am looking forward to hand carding these and then spinning them. It should be a fun little project! 2 years ago I worked hard at getting my dyed and undyed wool stash to a manageable level, moving stash into either ready to be spun status, or spun status. This bag has been hanging out waiting for something to happen to it, and I am thrilled I had the idea to dye this and move it into another part of my collection.

Plus, added bonus will be that once I find and drag out my hand cards, I should have more blog content, right?

 

 

Quarantimes Part 3

After three precious work from home days, I have mustered the energy to pull together a bit more blog content. It’s amazing how the brain works. When you can get a break from the constant questions and planning, get slightly more time for downtime, since you are no longer commuting, get slightly more sleep for a similar reason, get somewhat used to this new type of normal even though it’s pretty awful, and have the space for bigger work projects requiring time, quiet, and creativity, thus making you feel productive, suddenly you’ve got a little more left to give to your other hobbies. And that’s what happened for me in the past few days.

At the end of last year I had begun a little spindle spinning project. I am almost positive I didn’t blog about it, as I wasn’t blogging much due to being both busy and mourning Lizzie. I might have, and if I did, I apologize for presenting this as new. But, I’ve been working on it again in the past day or so. This will become a gradient laceweight two ply yarn. As of right now, it’s a very enjoyable spindle spin.

I cannot immediately remember who the batt is from, but I suspect fat cat knits.

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It’s a lovely neutral toned batt with some interesting pops of silk and flax. I am feeling rather eager to be doing some spinning again, and with the weather warming, that feels like the right time to be eager to do it.

Speaking of the weather warming:

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These lovelies survived some snow and a serious 2 or 3 day freeze to bring us this color and joy during a difficult time.

I’ve noticed all over the yard signs of flowers peaking their way out of the ground in anticipation of the beautiful spring blooms. This year it feels all the more beautiful, even the tiny shoots of green, as we need to be able to take whatever we can get to make us feel like life is moving forward and going through its normal cycles. This spring I am grateful for each and every one of them.

That’s it from here today. We are keeping a quiet day. It’s cloudy (again) and sometimes rainy, as it is spring, and we do need the rain. This will make the dog park out of the question today, but hopefully, we can get a little walk done during the breaks in the clouds.

Quarantimes

I recently read that people who enjoy writing should be daily logging this experience so that they could look back and have it on record. Quite frankly, there’s nothing I’d like to do less, despite the fact I enjoy writing.

I think we all develop coping skills and strategies that ideally work as best as they can for us, for some that will be writing. That’s not the case for me. Thus far, my coping strategy has been working 100% of the time I am awake.

I am classified as a healthcare worker. I do not work directly with patient care. But they have deemed us critical even so, and I get it. I have spent the past two weeks working on plans to split my team in two in order to have half work from home and half physically at work, switching weekly. In part, this is to ideally keep my entire team from getting sick at once. We are also aware that if things go completely pear-shaped, we will be called in to work patient care in some manner though we are all hoping it will not come to that.

We move to the split shifts this upcoming week and I am hoping things run as smoothly as possible because I think we are in this for the long haul now, and I am hoping my team works together to prove we can operate in this manner.

Planning for work situations is where my brain is right now. If I am not directly working, I am thinking about work and what I/we can do to help. I am really struggling to turn that off, and since I can’t turn it off too well, I tend to end my days completely exhausted. I appreciate my understanding family.

Mr. Ink is in danger of losing about half his hours, or more, as the shop begins to make moves toward splitting their team as well, plus parts warehouses are in danger of shutting down completely. We are extremely thankful for my stable job right now, even though things might get tight.

All this is to say, in part, that I haven’t had a lot of time or energy to be working on knitting or crafting projects. Before this all started, I’d cast on a lintilla shawlette as I wanted something mindless out of my handspun, and lintilla is one of those knits that really brings me peace and joy.

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It is already the size it would be if I was using 4 ounces of fiber, but I am using an 8 ounce handspun so this one is going to be mega-sized. I am totally ok with that. I can knit on this forever and not get bored. And I greatly appreciate having this long term piece to knit on when I am feeling like attempting stillness.

I do hope you are all quite well out there, and are holding up in place and aren’t putting others in danger no matter how hard it is. We are in it for the long haul, and like everything, this too shall pass.

Handspun Scarf

You know that feeling, when you are a knitter, that you just gotta cast something on but you really don’t want to think about what and how? I had that feeling lately. I wanted the simplest of projects with yarn that was already wound into a ball, and I wanted to do exactly zero research on what that project would be.

I landed on a 1×1 rib scarf, alternating two colors of handspun yarn. They are both shades of green, one darker, one lighter. When I ran out of the lighter yarn, the scarf wasn’t long enough, nor was I done with the darker green. So I just kept knitting the 1×1 rib, leaving me with a darker edge. I don’t care. It’s fine. I knit, and at that time, that’s what counted.

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But, it did turn out fine, and it’s another for the donation/give away bin. I don’t need it in my life and I hope that someday it brings someone else joy.

That’s it from me this week, see you next week!

Knitting and Updates

Hi all! I’ve been fairly absent around here, for the usual reasons. I just don’t have a lot of time for blogging, or haven’t, and also haven’t had a ton of photos for the blog either.

A few updates in this post as well as a finished object. First of all, one of the reasons that I have been absent is that I recently received a promotion at work, but along with that comes having to learn a whole lot of new things, leaving me pretty much an exhausted puddle of brain by the evenings. I also had to change my work hours for a time, and since I was working later, just wasn’t home at all while it was light enough for a decent photo. My hours are back to normal, I’m beginning to absorb and get more comfortable with new work tasks, and it’s beginning to get lighter outside. I’d say we are on the upswing.

As for content, Mr. Ink and I purchased each other new computers for christmas as we both needed an upgrade desperately. Once I had a new computer, I quickly purchased a video game that I am pretty obsessed with right now. Like everything else I’ve ever been obsessed with, I know that I can ride this wave and it will slow down at some point. But, for a time there, I really got pretty intense. And honestly, it was a good mindless way to occupy my brain goo evenings.

In other things, we’ve actually been going out more and socializing more than we had been there for quite some time. This is because a cousin of mine moved to the area. It’s been a delight. One way to gain an appreciation for the city I’ve lived in for years now is to show it and share it with someone new. Mr. Ink has also found this to be the case. So, now, if I want to grab lunch during work hours with a friend, I can call my cousin and we go grab lunch. When we want to have company for dinner, we can give her a call and Mr. Ink will make us dinner. Earlier this month she asked if we’d like to go see Tig Notaro with her. We did very much want to do that, and then some. So, we took her to one of our favorite local dive bars, a place where we can order food across the street and have it delivered to the bar. Much talk of all the other places we’d like to share with her ensued. Then off to see Tig Notaro and laugh until our cheeks hurt. Mr. Ink and I agreed that this was one of our favorite nights out in quite a long time, and continued to grin the rest of the evening.

We’ve also had some issues with the dogs. Fury has allergies and itchy skin which we are trying to get a handle on. It wakes her up at night multiple times which means it wakes us up too, so we run on less sleep than normal. We’ve also had a few episodes of Rose and her ongoing digestive upsets, the one she had this week came to a head and required a trip to urgent care, antibiotics, and stomach protectant. Thankfully she’s now on the mend again. Luckily the dogs are doing great together, play together regularly, and really show no discontent with each other, so Fury as an addition has been fantastic. I was doing training with her which she passed with flying colors, and I need to pick another class but also I was so tired from all the things so I decided to take a little break. We’ll get back to it shortly.

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There’s your obligatory dog photo.

And now on to the knitting. Anything I have been knitting lately is with Miss Marja’s yarn. For this one I used a bulky 3 ply and wanted to make a scarf, but ended up with a cowl instead.

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I very much enjoyed the gentle color changes in this one. I used the one row scarf pattern, and once I realized that I didn’t have scarf amounts, I just sewed the ends together.

And after all that, that’s it from here. It’s the end of the month so tomorrow will bring the first of two project pan posts and then I do have one more finished handknit to show off. Hopefully, I will get motivated enough to start something else new and that would be a good photo op as well. Have a great weekend!

Another paintbox cowl

I had a great time working on Marja’s paintbox cowl. We chose a solid blue handspun and paired it with a chainply handspun, both Marja’s yarn creations. It took me a lot longer than it typically would, mostly because I am not knitting a ton right now, as I just want to play computer games when I get home. I know myself well enough to know that like any other hobby obsession, it’s good to just let it run its course.

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So, here’s the deal. I took this photo midday while at work because trying to take a photo in the dark doesn’t show off the yarn very well. But, it looks wrinkly. Sorry about the not-great photo, it does look great when worn!

 

Quick Knitting Update

I haven’t got too much to say at the moment, I played computer games this weekend way more than I knit. But it’s been awhile since I’ve shown off this project, I got two more chunks done since the last photo.

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As of today, it lives at work. I am desperately close to finishing the previous work project, so hopefully, I’ll have an update on that this weekend. I am just loving how the colors flow on this project, really fun, pretty, and interesting!