Starting Again

First of all, I must tell you about my love for my new instant pot. Oh my goodness, yesterday it really shone. Mr. Ink headed to the store and I asked him to pick up extra eggs so I could make hard boiled eggs for my week. They are so great to have around for snacking, for egg salad, and Miss Butterfly actually eats them sometimes too.

When Mr. Ink arrived home, I grabbed a container of eggs and got them started in the instant pot. Then he handed me some potatoes and asked me to make mashed potatoes for dinner. So, I figured I could do those in the pot too. While the eggs were cooking, I peeled potatoes. When the eggs were done, I put them in ice water and got the potatoes into the pot. While the potatoes were cooking I peeled the eggs and got them in the fridge. Mashed the potatoes and we ate dinner. Then I put the remainder of the potatoes in a container for Miss Butterfly to enjoy throughout the week, cleaned the pot, and poured a gallon of milk in there for Miss Butterfly’s yogurt for the week, which was done this morning. Prior to this I would never have attempted all these items in one evening, but that pot makes life so easy.

When I woke up this morning, Mr. Ink got up too and made breakfast. I said to him “Does this signal the beginning of our low carb diet again?” And he said yes. So, I brought the extra loaf of bread in to work to give to my coworker, I think she’ll appreciate it. And I got my brain prepared for low carbing again. To be honest, I wanted to start on Friday but Mr. Ink said he wasn’t done with carbs yet. Now we are starting on a Monday morning and I get to enjoy the associated brain fog that ALWAYS happens for me a few days in. (I guess it’s better than the leg cramps that Mr. Ink gets while he adjusts?) In any case, we’ll try to stay better hydrated this go ’round.

It’s cold here again. 3 when I walked in to work. So, I am wearing a handknit sweater again. Here’s what I am wearing:

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That’s the sweater that was on the needles for years with unfinished sleeves. The one I also ended up ripping the ribbing out and adding a significant amount of length to the body. The too long arms may look a bit ridiculous but they are SOOOO comfortable at work and my hands stay nice and warm. This was also the sweater that started me back on the path to garment knitting after 3 years off. So it’s kind of a big deal. I think what I love the most about this sweater is the handspun details. I mean, sometimes it’s really hard to find a way to use handspun yarn in a garment without spinning large amounts. This was just a 4 oz. skein of 2 ply fingering weight yarn. The main color was two different colored skeins of laceweight yarn held double so it was also a fantastic stash buster.

We have one more day of the super cold weather so I’ll have to pull out another option from the sweater stash.

In other news, Lizzie got to experience chasing a fox out of our yard! That was quite a surprise. I told Mr. Ink about it and wondered what the heck it was doing in the city. I said “Maybe it’s just that cold and it thinks it can find food?” And Mr. Ink said “Do the neighbors still have chickens?”  Why yes, yes they do. This would be a good reason for a fox to find our yard appealing. It also explains why I keep feeling like I am picking up about double the amount of dog waste for the amount Lizzie produces. In any case, the fox can stay as far as I am concerned, maybe he’ll pick off a few of the irritating rabbits while he’s scoping out the hens next door.

That’s all from here! Have a great week!

Updates

I finished a skein of the next 3 braid combo.

The new skein is on the left, the old on the right. Colorwise, there are some differences. The new skein is a bit bluer, and certainly has more greens, specifically light greens. The yarn weight is fine though, matches well. I didn’t count the yardage yet, I figured I’d just wait until the final skein was complete. I am ALMOST done. So, if these skeins are combined into one garment I’ll have to be careful to switch them out regularly in order that the colors get blended well.

Next up? My legends of the fall sweater. I love this! I started on a sleeve yesterday to keep at work, but as fast as I am going through the sweater (and the yarn quite frankly) those sleeves are going to have to be knit at home. Here’s where I am with the body of the sweater.

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Aren’t those colors so weird together? So interesting? I want to knit on it FOREVER! I want to knit ANOTHER ONE! And I haven’t even worn this one yet. I am sure that my passion for this project will hit an eventual wall, but I am just not there yet. I’ve got a couple more inches on the body before dividing for the front and back. I did take a break to work on that plying project.

And what am I wearing today? Another sweater that really got into my brain and I adored knitting.

Just back to August 2014 for this one. I loved knitting this sweater, it was extremely interesting. It was also a fantastic stash buster, as that brown yarn is laceweight I’d had in stash for years, held double for the sweater. It’s actually really soft so it was a great choice. The other color is handspun 3 ply yarn. I’d spun it on spindles and wheel, and had 8 ounces of it. Let’s see if I can find that photo as well.

There we go, the handspun used, finished and in progress, as well as the Trillian shawl I made out of the leftovers. Oh that was a very good time in my knitting life. Great memories of this project!

This has certainly been a craft heavy post. I am SOOOO looking forward to the weekend. We plan to start it by taking Lizzie in to get her claws trimmed. It’s time. With the cold, she’s not out walking quite as much and so they are actually growing. Not being worn down as they should. The place that trims them on Friday nights donates back to her rescue organization so I feel like that’s a great reason to go pay someone and not try to do it ourselves.

I’ve also made myself quite a list for Saturday, we’ve got tons of errands to run. I did try to get a head start on the weekend by getting some extra chores done last evening. I am not sure if it worked or not, but the house looked nice when I left this morning!

Anyhow, that’s it from around here, hope your week went well! Do enjoy your weekend!

A Review

You know how sometimes you have an idea or memory in your mind and it’s totally…not reality? Well, that’s what I’ve done with the past year and my goal to knit from stash. Meaning, I’ve felt a ton of guilt over “all the yarn I bought.”

So, I figured that today I could review my year and take a look at all the yarn I bought. First up, there’s this project. On facebook of all places I saw this yarn advertised! And it was so gorgeous, and it had a most charming name of “succulent set” advertised with various types of succulent plants. So charming, the advertising totally got to me. After a quick wander around the internet to make absolutely sure that the company was legit and that there weren’t a bunch of problems with the company, I purchased the set. It’s a merino/tencel yarn, and I was so very excited to use it in a Find Your Fade shawl. Which I am wearing today actually. That was in March. I knit the shawl right away, at the same time I was working on a westknits marled magic mystery shawl using all handspun scraps (Total knit from stash win.) and I felt pretty good about my decision.

Then there was this:

Because I am a complete sucker for westknits, I just had to do another mystery shawl. I purchased yarn for this shawl as well, 3 skeins, though in reality I knit two of those skeins paired with one of my own from stash. This purchase happened at the end of September. I have mixed feelings about this one, mostly because the shawl shape is odd. But the yarn pairings were amazing. And, I ended up with enough left over of the middle color that paired with another half skein in stash, I could easily have a full pair of socks.

Now, I am not gonna lie, I also purchased another 3 skeins of sock weight yarn from dyeabolical’s christmas specials, and those haven’t been knit yet. But, I think it’s fair to say I didn’t completely overdo it after all. And I’ll try to keep it down to an even smaller amount this year. Furthermore, my knit from stash game was serious, and I got very creative in pairing various in stash yarns to create something unique.

And even more amazingly, I knit sweaters…from stash! 3 of them! And a vest!

And all that was after not knitting garments for myself AT ALL for a very long time. Since the end of 2014 actually. In the end, I think it’s been a pretty bang up year for knitting from stash, and knitting in general.

 

Materials

First of all, the big news! Lizzie let me sleep in until 7:30 this morning!!! It was amazing! She generally has me up at 6 or 6:30. I couldn’t believe it. Another holiday miracle.

Of course, I’ve got a lot to do today and am a bit behind because I “lost” an hour.

I finished my singles yesterday as expected.

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Miss Butterfly and I really did take the slowest day. It was very nice. Of course, at some point she got bored and told me that she’d like to go shopping after all. But I’d let Mr. Ink take the car that was in the garage and I did NOT feel like scraping the one in the driveway. Plus, we were experiencing “freezing drizzle” which…I don’t even know how that happens at 19F?…but I didn’t want to drive in it.

I didn’t begin to ply these, nor did I begin to knit my new sweater with the yarn I purchased for it the other day. I just worked on my new handspun scarf as that was the easiest option late in the evening. I’ll get the yarn wound for the sweater hopefully at some point today.

But, want to see that yarn?

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The point of the sweater is to choose 6 yarns that are different colors, but fairly similar and then stripe them every 5 rows or so. This gives a sweater that looks striped and also not striped and very colorful and beautiful. I’ve seen them and I always love them. I’ve been drawn to peachy colors lately and I think that was reflected in my yarn choices here. I am so eager to see how this works up! But also, winding skeins to start has me uninspired. It’ll get done, soon.

Today is another full day. I am hoping we get out for some area rug shopping. Absolutely everyone is annoyed at the purple dust bunnies floating around the house and the fibers that stick to our clothing every time we sit down on the current stop gap rug. I am so hoping I can find something I really like!

Increasingly Difficult

The increasing difficulty has nothing to do with anything other than grabbing a decent photo of works in progress. I finally found that the backdrop of our siding seemed to show off the color of my spinning best. It isn’t pretty, but it’s a lot better than what happens when I put the project somewhere with snow as backdrop.

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What is not proving difficult? Hanging with my kid this week. There’s the usual irritations of life with a teen, but I’d say after I removed sleep overs and friend gatherings (It helps that most friends are out of town) from the potential activities completely, what I am left with is a kid who also wants her vacation to be decent. So she too plans her day accordingly. I told her that we could go shopping today and she said “MOM! Seriously, even *I* am getting sick of shopping.” So we are staying in today. Or at least until Mr. Ink gets home. Naturally he was pleased to be able to take the nice warm car. We haven’t even turned on the TV once! Miss Butterfly has been doing puzzles, and taking baths using her new bath bombs, and I’ve been spinning, as you can see.

I am about halfway through the final bobbin for this spin, which means all in all this project hasn’t taken much time. I plan to finish spinning the bobbin, then let it rest before beginning to ply in order to start my legends of the fall sweater.

Ok back to it. We are vacationing so hard right now!

Vacation Again!

Isn’t that wonderful?! One day of work and then more time off.

We had a slow day at work though it ended up being a bit busier than expected. I also was too warm all bundled up in my hand knits. Apparently the heat in the building was working just fine! It’s -8F this morning, so I am THRILLED to not have to run out in that cold! I’d generally be leaving for work right around this time. If it doesn’t warm up a bit it’s unlikely I’ll leave the house at all today.

Lizzie Bean took 3 steps out into the cold this morning, turned back around and decided she could hold it. Even she was unimpressed. But, here’s some cute pictures of her from yesterday. This didn’t happen when I was home, Miss Butterfly and her friend captured these. They heard her scritching around near the front door and couldn’t figure out what was going on. When they went over there, they realized that the dog that refuses to use a dog bed had made herself a bed out of my woven rug.

Such a goofy little rascal!

I did manage to grab a quick photo of a bobbin yesterday by sticking my hand out the front door and taking a photo from inside.

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The entire bobbin seems to be bathed in the warm glow of late afternoon sunset. One bobbin down, 2 to go! I am actually about a third of the way through bobbin 2 at this point.

I had a whole list of errands and tasks for Miss Butterfly and I today. Pita bread making, cookie baking, yarn shop hopping, but if we don’t get a break in the cold not much of it will happen. (The baking requires a trip to the store.) Cross your fingers for 10F today. I could manage 10F.

One

One handknit wool sweater, one handknit wool hat, one pair of handknit wool socks, one pair of handknit wool gloves and one very large coffee are what is getting me through this one degree day, my one and only day of work this week.

Precisely one other person is at work with me. There’s no one else here. It’s VERY quiet. And it’s pleasantly warm in the building.

On Christmas morning, Mr. Ink and I got up and did our personal holiday tradition. Miss Butterfly is always at her father’s home so we get to make ourselves funnel cake!

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It was absolutely delicious. Light and fluffy and amazing. Lizzie even got a few scraps.

We had a quiet day. I took Lizzie for a cold cold walk. I listened to A Christmas Carol on audiobook, something that really needs to become a tradition. I spun the first bobbin of the second 3 braid combo spin. I had a nice nap.

At some point, during some indoor play, Lizzie hurt her paw. She’s now limping and I am not sure what the problem is. I didn’t step on her, and it’s not her leg that’s the issue. I’ve done everything I can to make sure it’s not a piece of salt or other irritant between her paw pads. I washed her paw in a bowl of water, making sure to get up in her paw pads and have a good feel around. She’s been extremely patient with me. But I’ve got no solution at the moment. I think this is a wait and see situation for now. Poor girl is pathetic, clearly wanting to play but hurting, so she just carries her favorite toy around everywhere while she limps. We got out old Coco’s handknit booties for her when she went out in the evening. She tolerated them well, so they’ll be used regularly when there’s ice and snow. Though they may be harder to get on her when she’s feeling fine, I mean, I can barely get her to stand still enough for a harness on a regular day!

As I mentioned above, it’s 1F today. Now, a few weeks ago I told Mr. Ink he’d better move the motorbikes to the upper garage so that he could park in the lower garage during the winter. He said “Is it even going to snow this year? It barely did last year.” To which I responded “I don’t know, but ice is something we always get, along with cold.”  He didn’t move the motorbikes. Last week we got ice, and he had to park in the lower driveway. Plus, he couldn’t get the motorbikes up the iced over driveway even if he wanted to. This morning I was feeling sorry for him, having to go out to that cold cold car, scrape windows and suffer through driving to work. Then I remembered that he had ample time to fix this issue for himself, he just didn’t take it. I rode in my nice warm car with heated seats and a heated steering wheel.

Miss Butterfly returned last evening around 8 pm bearing all the gifts she’d received from her father’s family. I am telling you, this is a family that buys stuff just to buy stuff. It never ceases to amaze me just how much junk she comes home with that ends up in my basement and then at goodwill. I hate it. She had more than one shoebox full of candy she cannot eat because of her braces, so Mr. Ink won on that one. The things I do rather like is when she brings home candles and nice handsoap, those do get used. Though I still have some from previous years. Even after the accusations of telling her family she wanted nail stuff (still not true!) she ended up getting enough stuff that she decided this was the best christmas ever. I guess she was pleased.

We had very little under the tree, we are probably the opposite of her father’s family. We prefer experiences and larger more practical gifts. Mr. Ink got a cord of wood from my parents for the firepit, and I got an akerworks kate (SO EXCITED!!!). We got Miss Butterfly a weekend at camp in the spring and Mr. Ink got her a couple classic music cds, like Stevie Wonder, to appropriately expand her collection. I got Mr. Ink silverware. I’d picked up a couple forks because we are constantly out of forks. I didn’t want to buy a full set. I mean, who wants salad forks? NOT ME!!! But, he liked the forks I got so much that I ended up buying that style in new silverware. But one at a time, so that we don’t have salad forks. NO SALAD FORKS!!!!

I am getting a living room rug for christmas, but we have to get better about going out and hunting for it.

Oh, and Lizzie got a christmas gift too. She’s funny, again, she was an outdoor dog so she isn’t afraid of outdoor stuff. But wrapping paper and gifts? THEY ARE TERRIFYING!

Lizzie is looking at me to see if it’s ok to be near Miss Butterfly now that the gift is unwrapped. She got a treat puzzle. She has to slide those little wooden disks around to get to the treats. It was a hit! Though she does keep thinking that the treats might be under the puzzle itself, which is hilarious.

I began a new project late last evening out of handspun. Let’s see if I can find the picture of the yarn…

Look at that! I found the yarn AND the batts I’d created to make the yarn. Anyhow, I’ve got four small skeins totaling 400 yards. I am knitting this into a bias knit scarf with a simple lace pattern and nice color changes.

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Here’s a photo of the start, since I am not about to go outside in this weather today to allow my photo to be taken of the hitofude. I think you’ll all understand!

Tomorrow my favorite local yarn shop begins it’s annual sale. I plan to go and get a sweater amount of yarn. For a specific sweater. It’ll be colorful. I can’t wait! Plus, bonus day with Miss Butterfly hopefully running some errands and making cookies or pita bread, not sure which.