Spinning and Garden

Time for a creative eye look was not forthcoming this morning. I woke up a little late and had to keep things low key. Thankfully, I took plenty of photos yesterday to get a blog post up this morning.

First of all, my spinning. I am working on the singles for a 3 ply. I have 6 ounces of this fiber, and I am spinning it as thin as the last progress. So, I am pretty certain I’ll have a nice sock weight yarn when I am done.

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This is not a typical color combo for me, but I really like it. It’s so dark! I am about halfway through the third bobbin at this point.

After I grabbed these photos I decided to do a little walk around the yard and take photos. As you can see above, it was raining. But only a little rain. It was predicted that it would rain all last evening and all of today as well. That didn’t happen. But, I’d taken photos in anticipation that taking photos wouldn’t be possible today. (Who knows what kind of rain we’ll get this afternoon, hard to say.)

Anyhow, let’s take a look at what is blooming in my garden!

My two variations of columbine are blooming and looking lovely. I really want to put more in at some point, but I should really take a look at my seed stash to see if I have seeds. It’s so easy to grow from seed here, so I don’t want to buy a fully fledged plant if I don’t have to.

You’ll see a burgundy iris in the orange columbine photo. Here’s another gorgeous iris!

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I think I picked up this one last year to go with my regular purple irises, but those are not blooming yet. I am still searching for the perfect yellow iris for this particular iris bed.

Mr. Ink’s allium is on the left and a gift from Mr. Ink on the right. I thought the right-hand flower was just so pretty and dramatic when I saw it at my favorite farmer’s market. Mr. Ink didn’t like the price so I didn’t purchase it. He apparently found it elsewhere for a price he preferred and brought it home for me. (I believe this is a Centaurea called amethyst in snow.)

Now for some ground cover:

On the left we have 4-year-old sweet woodruff in the front and two varieties of lamium in the back. This garden bed, when we moved in, was completely blank. When I dug down, I realized the bed was actually a thin layer of topsoil over the landsccaping fabric. When I dug through the landscaping fabric, it was just gravel and sand. So, I knew that I wouldn’t be able to plant much that wasn’t fairly hardy there. It’s on the very north side of the house, it’s always shady and wet, and the soil is crap. So, it’s amazing to me that 4 years later we’ve got ground cover that looks so lovely! I also have 3 varieties of astilbe in there that are doing just fine, though I did amend the soil around them so that they could grow appropriately.

On the right, that’s thyme as a ground cover and something else purple I can’t remember what. These are things which grew from seed that Mr. Ink planted just last year. All last year there was just the hint that the thyme would take, but this year it’s ALL over. Looking amazing.

And then there’s the garden anticipation. We should see flowering of the first of my peonies this week. My lovely clematis I planted JUST last year which stayed very small last year is now waist high and ready to bloom, I can’t believe it! We might be dealing with gloomy cool days and plenty of (needed) rain, but it is clear that around here, spring really has sprung.

Good Coffee Morning

I’ve been suffering through not great coffee for a few weeks. I decided life is too short to keep suffering, so I asked Mr. Ink to get me better coffee the next time he was at the store. He came home with better coffee on Friday evening. Saturday morning we had to leave really early for the race. I figured I’d keep drinking bad coffee because I wouldn’t have much time to enjoy it anyhow. It was more utilitarian than relaxing at that point. But THIS morning I cracked into my good coffee and I have nothing pressing that I have to go do.

It’s a good morning. For the record, I mixed the bad and good coffee, so hopefully the upcoming week will be more pleasant but I’ll still use up all the coffee I don’t care for.

This weekend I finished my 8 ounces of 2 ply project. I have 1500 yards! That’s certainly enough to do just about anything with!

I am thrilled to pieces with this skein. It’s a huge project but very satisfying. Naturally, I am already on to my next spinning project. Still no knitting in sight, at least at home. But, I have been getting bored enough with spinning from time to time to get regular household chores done. This means the spinning bug is leveling somewhat. For a while there, all I wanted to do was spin. I am thankful that the worst of the obsession has passed.

We went without power for a number of hours yesterday afternoon. No telling why. There was a storm system south of us but I don’t think that could have been it. I think our area was fortunate, as we only went without power a little over 3 hours while many of my local friends suffered more than 6 hours without power. It is so strange just how quiet the house gets when there is no power. We live with so much ambient noise. Meanwhile, the road outside our house gets quite loud, it is heavily traveled and when the stoplights quit working the traffic backs up miserably. I was so glad I had nowhere to be other than home! And, if you have to go without power for a time, better on a day of pleasant weather. In any case, I feel privileged that going without power for a few hours a day is an anomaly enough to complain about, that’s not the case in many parts of the world.

I hope everyone is having a fantastic weekend!

The Neat Trick

The Neat Trick about keeping a project at work and knitting through lunch hour is that you may end up with a finished object even when you feel like you really aren’t knitting at all lately.

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That is how I ended up with another spiral scarf. The yarn is Miss Marja’s handspun and I really enjoyed knitting the gradient of it!

This brings me to 48% of my goal of knitting 40 projects this year. Very helpful when the other goal is to knit down stash and all I am doing right now is adding yarns to my stash through spinning.

In other news, the dogs and family went out early this morning to participate in a run to support local dog rescues. It was good fun! We sent Rose with Miss Butterfly’s dad so she could run fast with him, and then the rest of us walked with Lizzie. Rose’s nerves did quite well, there were a couple of difficult moments but by and large she seemed to have a great time. Miss Butterfly’s dad says she did pretty well overall, and really got the hang of it in the second half of her run. Despite the fact he’s a fast runner, he struggled to keep up with her, which is no surprise to those of us who take her to the dog park regularly. I do hope he wants to run with her again. We were fortunate to have a break in the rain so that we didn’t get wet, though the trails were very muddy. We were also fortunate that the temperature was extremely pleasant.

Mr. Ink had to work after that, so we had to grab both dogs and head home while Miss Butterfly and her dad and step mom stuck around to visit the vendors and pick up free treats for the dogs. Now I am getting that enjoyable rare opportunity to have the house to myself with two extremely sleepy and quiet dogs. It’s been a pretty lovely saturday so far!

Plying

That 8 ounces of wool spun up pretty darn quick, and I am not surprised. I was having a great time with it! So now I ply.

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And ply and ply and ply. I am only about halfway through at the moment.

I am already wondering what spinning project will be next while not even thinking about working on any knitting. That spinning bug always hits me hard every spring.

We’ve had a slow start to spring around here. Last year we were slow to start and then immediately hit temps in the 100s. This year is a more appropriate slow start. But, it is looking like we will get “spin outdoors” temps happening this week, so if I can make it happen, that’s what I’ll do. Of course, there are other things that need doing as well, things like getting the dogs to the dog park and basic chores. Next week looks to be rain on a fairly consistent basis so it’s tempting to just take advantage of the hot weather and ignore everything else!

The Desire to Spin

The floodgates have opened and I am spinning all the time now. I haven’t picked up knitting at all lately.

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I am working on an 8-ounce superwash wool top project at the moment. I had decided to make a 3 ply yarn, but then I split the top and spun it into two sections not three. Boy am I out of practice! So, now it will be a 2 ply yarn and I think it’ll be lovely that way. I am about 1/3 of the way through the second bobbin.

The fiber in question is from Alisha Goes Around, which honestly I’ve never heard of before. I purchased it off a destash because it was pretty, that’s the only reason I have it. It is pretty, and it is spinning up beautifully as well.

Miss Butterfly and I are having an absolutely lovely quiet morning around the house. I took Rose to the dog park yesterday so we’ve got sleepy morning dogs which allows us to really have quiet time. Rose stays nice and sleepy even the next day after a dog park trip. Not much has been in the plans for this weekend and that’s just how we like it!

All of That Plying

I got it all done!

Exhibit 1:

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These two skeins I spun to go together, as I think they look nice together. I have 335 yards of the green and 435 yards of the orange. I have no clue what to make with them but I am super happy with the resulting yarn. If I don’t find a pattern that works with them both, then it’s entirely possible I’ll split them up. Only time will tell! But for now, they are one project.

Exhibit 2:

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My rolags all spun up. I super love this yarn. I ended up with 720 yards. These are the colors of the sky, all blue and grey and a little yellow like it’s been kissed by the sun. I am so happy with this!

The spinning bug has hit hard and I am already part way through another 8oz project. I haven’t wanted to knit at all. After 8 months off, I am not particularly surprised. (I guess that’s somewhat disingenuous as I did do the tiniest bit of spindle spinning during that time, I just never completed a project that way.)

In any case, it seems like this blog may be makeup and spinning more than makeup and knitting for a bit. We shall see!

I’ve Got Some Work

It seems I’ve got some work to do.

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See all those singles? That’s a lot of singles. The orange ones were already completed, but I was waiting to finish the green ones before I plied the orange ones. WHen I brought out my wheel and finished the blue ones I decided to do the remaining green ones on the wheel. Now I’ve got enough to ply three different yarns! Though I did design the orange and green to go together.

I am going to have to be a lot more careful than this sudden influx of handspun if I want to get my yarn stash under 100 this year!

Nevertheless, the spinning has been utterly enjoyable and I can’t wait to do more.

You may also note that I am using the brand new wedding gift patio table to photograph those singles and it just looks so lovely! I am really enjoying it.