This Week

It’s been a rough week. Work-wise, anyhow. Grand deadlines paired with all sorts of other scenarios have me really stressed out. I am exhausted each evening. The chest cold continues to make me cough and wheeze and feel less than 100%, so on top of all that stress, I feel cruddy. I am not the most pleasant person to be around right now.

Now, Mr. Ink is really one of those most solid of all solid partners. As he ALWAYS does, he’s doing whatever he can to support me through this. He’s been known to run out and buy chocolate, make favorite meals, employ a margarita to lead to a good ol’ vent session he can listen to, etc. He’s been up every morning early to make me breakfast before I head out the door. And, he is the type of person who may exclaim as I put on my coat something like “You look beautiful!” or “Your outfit looks so stylish!” or “What an amazing color combination!” or “You always look so elegant!”

These are the things that give that extra boost of confidence as I get in my car to head to work.

And then the workday drags on and gets increasingly frustrating and I come home fairly defeated and wishing I could run away for a while. And then we start the entire process again. I’ll go to bed early, try to get more sleep, practice good knitting “self care” and when that doesn’t work, watch a comedy TV show (Letterkenny is a current favorite) or read a book. I’ll have another margarita vent and some good food and parent my teen and try to keep going with so little in the tank that I’m just holding out for a weekend, as well as knowing full well that these things are cyclical and I’ll get through this time and it’ll be better in a week or a month or whatever.

Well, all of this came to a head last evening. I was so exhausted. Miss Butterfly needed me for a million things, and that is fine, part of the job. At some point, I’d decided I just needed a cast-on, so I pulled out some yarn. Specifically, Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks that Rock Lightweight. Circa, maybe, 2010. The color is Rosemary Rocks and I have always loved it so much that I just can’t knit it into anything. But, I’d decided on a sock head hat. I thought it would be great on my super short hair and uncovered ears for winter mornings when I am heading to the dog park or whatever.

I decided to wind that yarn by hand because I’ve been doing so as a rather meditative exercise with all my yarn. It’s nice. I get to spend time with beautiful yarn before I even start knitting.

And the yarn was gorgeous. As I balled it up by hand I could see that it was just going to make SUCH a stunning finished object! The colors were melding together so nicely and I was soooooo excited to use it!

Mr. Ink called for dinner when I got about halfway through. I put the skein and the ball on my ottoman, knowing Rose would be safely under the table during dinner. After dinner, while Mr. Ink was in the kitchen cleaning up (doing my job, basically), I wanted to check in on Miss Butterfly in her room doing homework. To be honest, I’d snapped at her earlier and needed to apologize as well as discuss something she’d brought up as something she really wanted to talk about. So I did that.

After that was done, I came out of her bedroom and wandered into the living room. Mr. Ink was in his den, and that’s when I saw what had happened while no one was looking. Rose had taken that beautiful ball of yarn, still connected to the skein, and played with it. destroyed it. Shredded it. All over the living room.

I was so frustrated! As I picked up the various piles of desperately tangled and shredded yarn I yelled to the household in general that I was “GOING TO BED EARLY AND NO ONE ELSE IS ALLOWED IN THE BEDROOM INCLUDING THE DOGS!” I dumped the mass of destroyed yarn on the kitchen table and flew to the bedroom, shutting the door behind me.

This was about 8:50 pm. My family, bless them, knew when to leave well enough alone, and they left me alone. I took a nice long time with my bedtime routine. I read a book. I could hear music coming from the living room, which I found slightly odd as Mr. Ink would typically spend time watching a show at that time of night. At around 9:30 I decided I’d given myself enough of a time out that I could walk out to the living room, apologize for my grumpiness, and then properly go to bed.

I walked out into the living room to find my husband listening to music and carefully untangling that mass of yarn.

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Not gonna lie, this guy makes every single day of my life better.

And a Finished Object

On Saturday evening, I finished my handspun laceweight shawl. It took me a day or so to get around to soaking and blocking it, but I finally did so. Then, I took a rather sad photo.

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The light is crap, but it does look pretty true to color I think. The yarn is handspun, the pattern is Pyropa. It has little beads throughout, and I do rather like those even though they don’t show up too well in the photo.

This brings me to 90% of my yearly goal, this is project 36 out of 40.

I am pleased that I got this one done, I am nervous about the last 3 projects. Maybe if I get some weaving finished, that’ll help. But, weaving time has been not so forthcoming. I’ll try for this weekend. I do have my work lunchtime project that is nearing completion, so I know I’ll at least have that one done. I guess the other factor is that I could probably take a little time off in the upcoming months so that’ll provide me with a little more crafting time. On the other hand, I generally spend the deep winter time off deep cleaning the house. We’ll see how it goes!

Attention Captured

Last night was another long night of coughing. I am hoping it turns out I am over the true worst of it now. It got so bad that Mr. Ink, who always goes to bed much later than I do, came in and asked if there was ANYTHING he could do to help. Even offered to go out and get some nyquil or cough suppressant. I am really hoping that the coughing means everything is now draining, and that’s why I was feeling particularly miserable.

So, what’s been really nice during this rather prolonged cold process is that I’ve had a piece of knitting that has really captured all my attention when I am resting. Now, yesterday I was feeling pretty good (until the evening coughing began) so I was highly productive. I’d told Mr. Ink that my plan was to be highly productive while being inside and introverted. I did a bunch of laundry. I packed away my summer clothing and laundered and folded and put away my winter clothing. I did some basement rearranging and sorting. I did some sorting in the main areas of the house and a whole bunch of clean up. I walked the dogs, though they were still quite exhausted from our previous day’s activities. I made myself soup for lunch and made apple crisp for dessert with Miss Butterfly. It really was an all-around lovely and productive day.

And in the midst of those moments, I knit.

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This is about halfway through the day, I am well into the third color here. By the end of the day, I’d made it into the fourth color. That color is really just a deeper shade of the third color. My interest does not seem to be waning in any way at all. Since the shawl just gets larger and larger, the rows are longer and longer. I rather enjoy the rhythm of the lace at this point. I cannot memorize the pattern completely, but I just need a prompt every line of the pattern and I am off and running. I need to make more like this!

 

And Some Socks

I finished yet another pair of socks!

These are a sick day finish. I’d gotten bored of my lace project and needed something mindless. The toes and heels of a pair of socks were perfect for that.

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These were mostly a stash buster style project. I had two skeins of yarn of different colors, but not enough to complete an entire pair of socks. Striping them was my solution. You can see the original yarn colors on the heels and toes of the socks.

This brings me to 88% of my goal of 40 projects this year.

I think it’s likely these are the last socks you’ll see out of me for a long time. I only have 8 sock yarns left in my stash, and none of them are really purchased for sock knitting. And I couldn’t be happier about it! I’ve knit that stash down so far now that I will have to choose sock yarn just for me in order to knit more socks when I want to. Or decide that one of the current sock yarns in stash will become socks instead of shawls or scarves or something to weave with. That’s something that feels great, and while I haven’t knit my yarn stash to under 100 items this year, this is a good indicator that I have managed to make some serious progress. (Stash items sitting currently at 101, but also doesn’t account for the weaving cotton I brought into stash, so isn’t actually up to date at all.)

Another interesting thing about the current stash is that only 24 stash entries are now commercial yarn. (Again, not counting the weaving cotton. There are 6 weaving cottons that haven’t been entered into my stash.) Everything else is handspun yarn. I’ve transformed my stash from commercial yarn with a spattering of handspun to handspun yarn with a spattering of commercial items.

In any case, I do think I’ll hit my project goal this year, but I am not certain I’ll hit my stash goal this year. But, I really could have the same goal for next year and see where it takes me!

Can’t Remember

Here’s a quick tale of handspun yarn. A very long time ago I made some handspun singles out of a beautiful blue wool/silk blend. I loved it so much that I always wanted to knit it as singles into something gorgeous and lace. After many years went by, I decided it was time to knit with it, so I wound that yarn into a cake. This was about this time last year. I tried a few patterns but never got past the first row or two, and then our very new to us puppy Rose got hold of that yarn cake and ripped the heck out of it.

So, I salvaged as much as I could and set it aside.

The reality was that I already knew it wasn’t going to knit well into a project as singles. And that ended up being especially true once Rose had worked her magic. I had already been thinking I should ply it with something else in order to make it a better yarn. But, it took me another year or so to end up doing that.

Once I had all the blue singles complete, I figured they’d pair nicely with a wool/silk blue single! Here are the singles on spindles I’d been working on:

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Once plied with the wool/silk, I ended up with 925 yards of 2 ply.

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The only trouble? Somewhere along the line it looks like I managed to spin a single “backwards” to what I expected and it seems like the bulk of this is an opposing 2-ply yarn. Which isn’t a problem for the project I have in mind. The project I have in mind also requires more like 1700 yards, so this is not enough. No matter, I have more blue singles on spindles and more blue batts, and I don’t think it’s overly necessary to have these singles and the new ones match perfectly for the project I have in mind. I also have 2 bumps of commercial blue/black/white fiber if I really can’t manage to finish with what I have between this yarn, the singles, and the other blue batts waiting to be spun. But I think I’ll probably be ok even without breaking into the commercial fiber. In any case, it’s nice to have a spin where I have a project in mind, that’s fun!

That’s it from here today, we are on day 5 of our colds, and Mr. Ink coughed all night so I am not feeling particularly rested. The show must go on!

Day 3

I am on day 3 with this lace project, still sick, and I stayed home from work today. And boy I am glad I did! I hear the irritation of my staff when one arrives sick and should have stayed home, I don’t want that directed at me! The mornings are full of coughing, the mid-mornings are full of sore throat and wanting to sleep. It’s “just” a cold, but even a cold is highly irritating.

So, I am resting and working on my laceweight project and really enjoying it. Though, I am getting a bit bored at this point. At least I’ve worked myself into the next color. Here’s the yesterday photo next to today’s photo.

Progress has certainly been made. For the record, today’s photo is more the actual color of the yarn. I took yesterday’s photo pretty late in the day.

Yesterday was definitely a day in which we didn’t do much at all. I was very ok with that. We managed to get to a store to get some shoes for Miss Butterfly. I had a coupon that was expiring that day and wanted to be able to use it when we got her much needed new shoes. Sadly, since they were name brand, the coupon didn’t work anyhow. On the other hand, her shoes were on sale, so it worked out in the end. She’s been wearing the same pair of sneakers since the 8th grade and the soles were peeling away from the shoe. She loves those sneakers so she didn’t tell me about this for a time. Not until it got too bad. I am hoping we have found a pair she can love for the next few years. Other than that, it was hang out with the dogs, knit, and nap. I’ll do more of the same today, but without the shopping.

That’s it from here. I’ve got some handspun yarn to show off soon. I finished it last week but didn’t have the motivation to pull it off the wheel once I got sick. That being said, I may already have a project picked out for it, so that could be fun!

This Time

This time it wasn’t allergies.

That’s right, Mr. Ink and I are both sick. On Friday I thought “Gosh, my allergies are really acting up today!” But, by the evening I knew it wasn’t allergies. Yesterday morning we took Rose to the dog park to make sure she had a whole bunch of running time so we could relax. I did chores around the house when I could and then worked on my knitting. Mr. Ink planted things. Then he asked me if I wanted to go on a bike ride. Which caused me to exclaim “You and me do sickness VERY differently!”

Later on, I realized why. We do sickness differently because I have asthma and he does not. Any sickness means my lungs are shot and even climbing stairs can make me need an inhaler. He does not have this issue.

I decided that I needed a new project for a cold. I decided on the Pyropa pattern with some handspun laceweight singles. Seemed like something I could sink my teeth into when feeling like I wanted to ignore the symptoms.

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I know you can’t really see the lace pattern without it being blocked but it’s very pretty! I am enjoying the choice. The handspun is a gradient so I am looking forward to the other colors that appear as I continue. I am working on my sock project as well when I am wanting something a little less taxing on the brain, but it has been fun to have something complicated at the moment.