This Week June 26-July 2

Last week’s list:

  • Finish the first side of Tibetan Clouds stole, and complete the set up for the second side. (I’d really like to have the entire stole complete by July 1, but I am not sure that’s going to happen without hating the project.)
  • Keep up on the daily tiny bit of weeding, it’s so effective!
    • This was mostly done. Not sure I hit every single day, but most of them. Trouble is, there aren’t that many more weeds to pull now! Which shows the effectiveness of the 5 minutes a day schedule.
  • Get Miss Butterfly packed up for her second week of camp.
  • Start thinking about packing her up for her trip to visit my parents. (The turn around time between second week of camp and her trip east is disturbingly short.)
    • I haven’t really done this properly. I mean, I’ve thought about it, but I haven’t moved toward doing what needs to be done.
  • Work on getting my step goals again, I’ve been falling down on this particular job lately.
    • I got them most days, and I would say that’s pretty good.

Yesterday we did something we haven’t done in about a year. We went on a motorbike ride together. It’s been so long that all the valuable muscles I had built in my left hand and arm to work the rather difficult clutch on the old bike I ride have disappeared. The day was glorious, the ride was amazing, and now I can’t knit. I am quite sore and I’ll need to begin riding regularly again in order to build up my strength. Preferably short rides initially.

So, that means I spent the evening spinning on the patio. The neighbor kids weren’t out, so it was quieter back there, and I got through my nunoco batts I’d started quite some time ago. I’ll post the start and finish pictures.

I am looking forward to plying them! It really is a very pretty gradient.

I haven’t worked on the tibetan clouds stole since I finished the first side and did all the set up rows and charts for it. But, I started a linen stitch scar, horizontally knit, and am really pleased with it at the moment. It seems that when not spinning, my knitting whims wander quite a bit. While I have spinning projects going I tend to be fairly monogamous in my knitting. Not so when I am not spinning. In any case, I’ll grab a photo of that scarf tonight for tomorrow’s post.

It’ll be a crazy busy week around here, I won’t have a night “off” until Thursday. While our plans are fun and should involve photos, I am preemptively getting nervous about social overload. And tonight? I have to go shopping, and we ALL KNOW how much I HATE shopping.

This Week:

  • Get a “bike prom” dress.
  • Finish all details for Miss Butterfly’s trip.
  • Pick Miss Butterfly up from camp, do all the laundry, repack her for her trip to my parents.
  • Hem and iron new kitchen curtains.
  • Motorbike to work once this week. If the weather holds.

That’s it. I am not making other plans on a busy week, and especially not making knitting plans right now. Whatever happens, happens. It’s not like I am on any type of deadline!

My Quiet Morning

Miss Butterfly is off again at camp, and Mr. Ink is sleeping in. I’ve got the house to myself and it’s delicious!

I finished up my little handspun project. I like it more than I ever imagined I would actually, it looks really nice when worn. I crocheted a little flower for it as I had enough handspun left over. I may make another of these if I find I’ve got the correct handspun in stash.

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I’ve been trying to set aside knits to give away to my family as our upcoming vacation is a family reunion, and I had intended for this to go in that box. But…I think this one may have to stay with me a bit longer.

I had a slow moving unproductive day yesterday. I didn’t even spin on the patio! The neighbor kids were out and very loud, and while I don’t begrudge them their time outdoors in the least, it’s also not what I want to be listening to necessarily. So, no patio spinning for me. We’ll see how today goes.

But, another day lily has opened in my holding area.

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It is certainly going to get saved and put in the day lily garden. Such a nice creamy yellow.

That’s all from here this quiet Sunday morning!

Inspired?

I was rifling through my stash again recently, and pulled out a few skeins of handspun. You see, I have this serious problem with figuring out what to do with low yardage skeins. I think this is because I really don’t love knitting hats. Hats are the perfect thing to knit with a low yardage skein of handspun. But, I refuse to do that. Instead, I have done my best to purchase larger amounts of fiber when I want to create thicker yarns, rather than be stuck with a small skein.

But, it’s also really pleasant to knit something quickly. As long as that something isn’t a hat, that is. So, when rifling through the stash I was trying to pull out some low yardage handspun skeins.

I pulled out this one:

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This is falkland top from a spun right round fiber club I joined awhile back. It’s heavier than worsted weight yarn, and I only had 150 yards. So, I chose the Anthro-Inspired scarflet which claims to use 120 yards of aran weight yarn.

It’s moving right along.

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I snapped this photo early last evening, but have worked my way through the neck portion now and will start the end shortly. If I’ve enough yarn leftover at the end, I will probably crochet a flower for it. I think it’s pretty cute. I don’t know that I’d wear it, so it will likely go in the pile of things to gift to people who would choose to do so. However, it’s been fun knitting it for sure.

I have completely given up on the idea of finishing Tibetan Clouds before Tour de Fleece. I mean, I think I did mention that if the weather was going to be pleasant, I was going to be spinning on the patio despite the fact that this is a month of knitting. With a high of 75 today, a high of 80 tomorrow, and a high of 76 on Sunday I plan to be spinning on that patio when I can!

The “under the weather” feeling FINALLY turned into something. I was getting concerned after 3 days of one side of my neck being swollen and VERY painful, with no other symptoms other than feeling a bit “off.” But yesterday evening I could feel it turning into a sinus infection. Finally something to account for that lymph node going strange on me. The painful neck symptom is much improved today. Still irritating, but I don’t have to take ibuprofen to get through the day. While a sinus infection is no treat, it’s far preferable to that sore neck I’ll tell you. That also explains why my brain was feeling foggy and I didn’t want to work on the complicated tibetan clouds! Just give me a bunch of plain knitting and I’ll muddle through!

Happy Friday folks! We are certainly pleased we made it through this week!

One Side Done

Yesterday was very hot, and I’ve just been feeling under the weather lately. I didn’t sleep well the night before, woke up at 4 a.m. yesterday morning and couldn’t get back to sleep. So, I basically told Mr. Ink that I’d be spending the evening indoors knitting. He said he wanted to plant one of his trees and to expect a late dinner because of it.

So with that settled, I set out to do that knitting.

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And I finished on side of the tibetan clouds stole! I also did all the set up rows for the other side, and am now one row in to the main chart. So, just, you know, 8.5 repeats of that and a another chart for the end and I am DONE! (Never mind that I can only get in one repeat a day if I’ve nothing else going on, and it’s ridiculously boring, and so if I really DO want to finish this stole this month I am going to have to get used to boredom over the next week.

I decided I didn’t want to be bored last evening, and once done with the set up rows I started something new. It’s…another one of those projects where I pull a skein from stash and try to make it fit. I’ll show you tomorrow.

Mr. Ink came in around 9 and decided we’d have to order some food in. Because he wasn’t even done. So we ordered some pizza, and then Mr. Ink headed back out to work on his planting project. He was at it again until 1:30 a.m.  That guy’s got motivation. Want to see it?

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You’d think that tiny tree in the ground wouldn’t take all evening, but he had to dig up all that sod where the mulch now is, and then he did his normal dig way down and amend the soil trick. Extra problem was with the edger on the left side, it popped out and he’s not ready yet to yank all those stones out so he had to install it again. One more small bit of garden space down. And this one in particular is great as it eliminates mowing over the side of the bank. That was a really irritating section of yard.

I’ve been told this tiny tree will really shine in the winter. That it’s needles turn a bright yellow. He’s really excited about this one, though I am not sure which trees he’s not excited about.

I took another quick photo.

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Last year Mr. Ink put this little garden area in to hold a couple of his evergreens and a peace rose. That rose did not make it. Mr. Ink is currently trying desperately to keep a new rose, so he planted this year’s rose. I can’t remember what it’s called, but it is a little bit heartier, and it’s a lovely coral color, which is actually what I most wanted there. The blooms on the thing when we purchased it were HUGE. Mr. Ink planted it, the blooms went all dead and I kept deadheading it for a bit in order to allow it to work on acclimating rather than blooming. It looked a little shocked for a bit, but now is throwing up these tiny little blooms of perfect color. I’ll take it! It looks like it’s doing much better as well. If we can get this one to last the winter, we may plant more. I still want a peace rose, and we have hopes for something VERY red.

That’s about it from this corner of the world! This weekend’s BIG plan is to mulch my new veggie garden. Mr. Ink says he’s going to get a truck load for that project. Probably needs it! I think my current stack of mulch would MAYBE cover 1/3 of the veggie garden, and a truck load is easily the cheaper option. But most of all, while it is supposed to be cooler this week, summer has only begun and I need that garden to hold moisture, which it is most decidedly not doing at the moment.

 

One Promised Photo

We are heading back into pretty warm weather around here. We got the mowing done anyhow, which is great because no one will want to do it today, at almost 100F! I got a little bit of weeding done as well, as per the list. And my step goal. Because of the mowing.

And I grabbed a photo of my latest finished project. I started this on Sunday evening when we were volunteering, and finished it midday during my day long training. I started with this handspun yarn:

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I didn’t check on the yardage because I was basically walking out the door and didn’t have time. Turns out I only had 180 yards! Thankfully it started and ended with the same color, so I just seamed up the ends and made a cowl, since it certainly wasn’t long enough to be a scarf. The cowl will easily wrap twice around the neck, so I consider that a perfectly fine success. The patter is one row handspun scarf again, as I wanted something super easy to work on during both events.

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It turned out beautifully! It’s super soft as well. Great easy project, great success, and I may do this again with smaller amounts of handspun. Though I’ll do a provisional cast on in the future so that I can avoid the unsightly seam.

Today I am not planning on anything productive. Except perhaps watering my plants. I did yank a few weeds this morning and did some deadheading of flowers, as I knew that doing so after work would likely be a no go. We’ve got two days of high heat and then it looks like it’ll be down to a nicer temperature again, so we just have to get through it.

I am just a few rows away from finishing the first side of the tibetan clouds stole now. Having said I’d like to finish it before Tour de Fleece, I seem to have kicked myself into high gear. I am working on the edging charts now and will have that portion cast off tonight. Then all that’s left is the second side, and I think I’ll get started right away. So, it may be a pretty boring blog week around here!

Why I Spin

No, don’t expect some philosophical thoughts on the subject. I am going to show you in a picture.

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This is why I spin. To create yarn with colors that move in interesting and unpredictable ways. I absolutely love knitting with handspun, as I find it endlessly fascinating.

The yarn on this project is this recent handspun:

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I really liked the way it turned out, and so I found a project I was hoping would be fairly intuitive and easy. The pattern is called Fiona, and at least at this stage I am not finding it particularly intuitive. It’s easy knitting, but I do have to keep following the pattern. So it’s not one I can have out and about.

Since we are volunteering tonight and I suspect there’ll be knitting time, I cast on another project yesterday. I had this great yarn of Miss Marja’s, it’s sort of scrappy with tons of different samples all spun into a 2 ply yarn. So I figured a fun linen stitch cowl would work perfectly. I don’t have a picture yet, I just don’t have quite enough on the needles to show it of in any big way. Hopefully tomorrow.

Our volunteer project is outdoors in the sun, so I am exceedingly thankful that our high today is supposed to be 82 only. It’ll be an amazing evening to be forced to be outside. Since the recent storm, there’s tons of volunteer opportunities this weekend, and I’ve been wishing I could fit more in. But since we’d already committed to this one, this is the one we’ll have to stick with even though it isn’t my favorite type of event. I’ll take some pictures.

As for now, I think it’s time I get some outdoor work done! Might as well take advantage of this lovely weather while it’s here.

The Calm After the Storm

We had a pretty major storm slam through last evening. Our family and house and trees are fine, but the entire neighborhood was without power, except us. Our power flickered and surged many times during the storm but held strong. So many not as fortunate as us, those with mature trees. The winds reached something like 120 mph, and there was a tornado just south of us. Many photos today of friends in the area with every tree in their yard down.

After the storm rolled through, Mr. Ink and I went out to clean up branches that had flown into our yard. Branches from neighborhood trees that had whipped through alarmingly, but stayed away from the house itself. And we looked up and noticed the sky. It was so amazing and spectacular. The heat had broken, the wind was still blowing and the clouds and sunset were enough to bring tears to your eyes. Mr. Ink took some pictures, but nothing compares to actually being there.

In the end, we brought our lawn chairs to the front yard, grabbed a glass of wine, and sat out front watching the sunset. (And listening to the cars honk in rage as the stoplights nearby weren’t working.) It was a pretty spectacular evening, and as the sun went down I realized that there were fireflies all around us. Just an amazing top 10 summery moment. The top of the hill might not be the best place to be when 120 mph winds roll through, but it sure is the best place to be to see the amazing sky. We’ll take it.

I went to pick up Miss Butterfly early this morning from camp. That area got hit pretty hard as well, all of camp is without power, and without water. So, it’s a bit of a nightmare for them right now, and picking her up was unexpectedly tricky as well because they were so discombobulated. But, on the way home I found out that Miss Butterfly skipped a level entirely this year, is now an advanced rider, and gets to begin jumping her horse next year. It’s awesome! I really wish we had the kind of cash to send her to lessons year round, she just loves it so much and she’s so comfortable with those animals.

I finished up a scarf and got it blocked before the storm rolled through, so I snapped a picture this morning.

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Turned out pretty well, I have to say! Once again, this is Miss Marja’s handspun, and the pattern is one row handspun scarf.

And that’s it from here! Miss Butterfly is off with her father at the funeral, and I’ve got quite an extensive load of laundry to do. I am basically hoping to do the laundry and then get it right back into the suitcase as she’s at camp again after this week. We are also doing some volunteer week tomorrow evening and have a housewarming party to attend tonight. Mr. Ink works today and somehow in between all of that, we have to fit lawn mowing and yard work in. This is a weekend that’s going to fly by in a heartbeat!