Riot of Color

I did a lot of spinning yesterday! In fact, I’d say both Mr. Ink and I had a relatively lower key day than is usual for the weekend. We picked up more rocks for the rock wall project but didn’t bother to get them in, I did some house cleaning, since I’d been on a kick for that with company, but neglected the rooms company doesn’t see, and we decided that the poor lawn desperately needed watering. We don’t typically water the lawn, just the plants. For the most part, the lawn manages on its own, with the rain we get naturally. But, after the dome of heat, and no chance of rain in sight, Mr. Ink decided it was time. But, he also didn’t want to water any weeds, so he spent the better part of the day picking weeds out of the lawn by hand before watering it well.

Now, I will tell you this. Mr. Ink likes to tease me for being very obsessive. I obsessively deadhead my flowers, pick off japanese beetles, search for bagworms and bud worms, to the point where I just cannot leave those plants alone. But yesterday? As he was picking weeds out of the lawn? I reminded him that I am not the only obsessive person in this relationship.

After his weed pulling day, he mentioned that he’d like to eliminate as much lawn as is possible. I reminded him that this has been my goal from the start, that I’ve been consistently planning and working on removing sections of lawn. I’ve actually got bigger plans than my current big plans, but I don’t want to overwhelm him, so I am just working toward the original plan, in hopes we can manage to get that done initially, then I’ll keep suggesting other lawn edits.

I did also take out the rose from the rose of sharon garden that I hate. Mr. Ink mentioned that the weeds were established in the rose and asked me to remind him what we were going to do with the rose. I told him to cut it off at the base, and then once that was done, I just had to dig it out. Then I mentioned that there was no way for me to weed that bed without taking out the phlox as well. Mr. Ink, from his seat on the lawn picking weeds, said “Is that another plant genocide I hear beginning? Sure sounds like it.” Sure enough, I removed the phlox so that I could also remove the weeds. I REALLY do need to get in there to mulch, but we are out of mulch at the moment.

I also spun! On the patio, and indoors. Just, every spare moment was spent spinning.

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I am totally and completely in love with this riot of color! It just makes me so happy, and I am so eager to work on it all of the time!

I also have a finished object to show off.

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This is the Themeda Shawl (or scarf really) out of some of my friend Marja’s handspun. It’s gorgeous! I love the handspun, and I think the pattern is beautiful too. I got started on this pattern by using my queue and a random number generator, as suggested by Dyeabolical Yarns. It’s….quite frankly, brilliant. I quit hemming and hawing, and I just use the number, wind the yarn, and get on with it. In fact, I so just get on with it that I don’t even bother to take in progress photos!

And finally, I had my first anaheim pepper harvest.

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Aren’t those just stunning? We made chicken and cheese stuffed peppers with mole sauce. It’s one of our favorite dishes, and it’s all the more fun when you don’t have to purchase the peppers!

That’s about it from here! It was a busy weekend, but for me? Also a short week. We are taking a little vacation time at the end of the week, and I am so eager for it.

 

 

As Per Usual

Spinning and gardening, as per usual. We got our house back to ourselves around noon yesterday. I hear Mr. Ink’s mom is safely settling in her new home. I think it’ll be a good change for her. The first thing we did once company was gone was gather up all the rotting wood and put it in the truck. This included time with the chainsaw attachment on the weed trimmer, as a lot of those wooden edgers wouldn’t fit in the truck. Then we mowed, and headed off for a trip to the dump. Directly after that, we went to the place where we get our rocks, and got some rocks for a new project.

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This is the area in which we are having erosion problems. One of the areas, that is. Our neighbor’s property sits higher than ours, and when it rains, that rain just pours into our yard, and one good rain displaces the dirt from the garden onto our lawn. It’s HIGHLY irritating. There’s another issue as well. The neighbor has a long line of railroad ties behind that fence which hold a bed of lilies. But, there’s a gap between the fence and the ties that no one takes care of. So, it’s just an area for weeds which grow rampant, and through our fence. We are also hoping that this rock edging along the fence will help that little problem. The section of grass up there you see will eventually become garden space, so there’ll be the line of rocks across the back, and then the edgers we’ve slowly been adding in front. Mr. Ink had to take out more plants in that garden, the former rudbeckia garden! The sedum is now almost gone. Mr. Ink replanted a small section of it, but I told him I wasn’t the least bit attached to it anyhow. I’d just left it in to help with the erosion issue.

We then worked on a different garden section. Remember this mess we made when trying to remove the spiderwort?

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Now it looks like this:

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It’ll get another layer of rocks for the wall, and then we’ll edge up to the patio. But we are out of rocks again! I am so extremely fond of these sweet little walls that are going in. And, while Mr. Ink works to the point of extreme back pain on them, he spends the rest of the evening muttering “Such and improvement. SUCH an improvement!”

Last night he decided he’d better do some stretches for his back before bed, so I told him I’d stay up with him, and knit while he did that. All of a sudden, I heard what sounded like sleeping. I look over and thought “He can’t POSSIBLY have fallen asleep while stretching?!” But, it was true, he had. I decided to just wait it out, I continued knitting, and then when he woke up, just burst out laughing. That man works SO HARD around the yard. I am extremely grateful that I have someone in my life who participates in this at the level I do or beyond, meanwhile never acting like he’s been nagged into doing so.

In spinning! I did pull out a new batt. It’s a fat cat knits batt, from my personal spinning subscription. It has a ton of color, this picture is the inside and outside of the batt.

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It’s also got great chunky stuff in there, and it sort of reminds me of Loop!’s Three Ring Circus clouds. I have a set of those as well, and I am thinking I’ll ply the two together. Here’s what it is looking like on the bobbin:

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Pretty slick! I am enjoying it.

Despite the constant state of digging, and rearranging, the garden continues on. Here’s my latest photo of caladium. This set with smaller leaves, but more leaves. Just as charming, in my opinion!

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And then, I’ve got glads in all sorts of colors now:

Naturally, just as much as I’ve got beauty, I’ve got pests. The japanese beetles are working hard to overtake my rose again, so that needs tending, and most of my in the ground petunias are being eaten by some sort of caterpillar. I found one that had chewed straight through a rosebud too! So, I’ll need to get out there in a bit and figure out what to do about that. As of right now, I’ve just been hand picking the pests, but this morning it’s looking like larger measures are now needed. Who knew that tending a large yard so carefully could also bring so much joy?

 

 

Actual Knitting Content (no FO!)

We had a lovely visit with Mr. Ink’s mom, brother, and various family members. I am sitting around this morning with Mr. Ink’s mom waiting for brother and wife to stop by, as she’s moving to Oklahoma to live with them. She seems rather excited actually, it’s probably time she had a little adventure. But mostly, she’s happy to be out of the home where she was for her rehab of her broken hip, and a month early too! She’s got a clean bill of health and she can get around quite fine with her walker. I’d say, it turned out as best as it possibly could for an 88 year old woman with a broken hip. Better than I ever imagined.

It’s still the kind of miserable hot that takes your breath away. The flowers are still melting. And yet, it’s the weekend, and Mr. Ink and I are eager to get started outdoors. We’ve got mowing on the list, and a trip to the dump, and a trip to the rock store for more rocks. He’s outside wandering around, I can tell quite antsy to get a move on, despite the fact we still have company. I am eager too, but not at the expense of time with family. Those chores will all get done. Family won’t be here long.

I snapped a photo of my current knitting project. Do you remember this handspun?

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It’s an inglenook 2 ply then plied with a silk hankie single. I loved it. And, I started knitting with it, and now I love it even more.

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It’s got this really rich, rustic look. That silk hankie single gives it a lot of variegation and color it wouldn’t otherwise have. This will be the Foxy Loop cowl once I am done with it.

I DO have a finished object, but just as imagined, I haven’t had a moment or a space to block it. Hopefully it’ll be done tomorrow. Spinning definitely hasn’t taken a front seat, I didn’t even get one spinning moment yesterday. The wheel sits lonely in the corner.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Finishing TdF

Yesterday was a little coconuts! I got home, the feels like temp was 116! Mr. Ink had watered in the morning, and had watered at lunchtime, but by the time I got home, everything was looking totally wilted still. I watered in that hot mess outdoors, and wishing to get inside ASAP. I told Mr. Ink later that my flowers, especially the ones that were close to blooming but not there yet, really looked so….ugh. And I made a whole body demonstration, because I couldn’t even think of the words for how they looked. And Mr. Ink said “Everything just looks like it’s melting.” Yes. Yes. Including me!

We have company in town, they arrived last evening, but stayed at a hotel. Now, this company isn’t known for mad organizational skills, and communication skills also somewhat lacking. For the record, this is the company of the “I helped myself to stuff in your craftroom” fame. They have invited people over for a party tonight. I decided that since everything was last minute, I was going to stay out of it. I kept saying “I will have the house clean and company ready. The menu is up to you guys and Mr. Ink.” Despite this, I’ve been dragged in repeatedly, and there have been about 5 iterations of a menu, the 3 menu planners not communicating with each other about it, and trying to go through me. I do NOT like triangulation, so I keep saying “That’s up to you, speak amongst yourselves.”

I thought I had tonight, before guests arrived, to finish with the cleaning chores. Last evening I was informed that they would be arriving mid day, to use the house and to cook. Thus, all cleaning needed to be done last evening. I found this out at 9 p.m.

Guys, I was on a roll last night! I’d already been cleaning and tidying, and sitting down to ply when I got irritated. I ended up finishing my loop project, and left it on the bobbins for later. Once I finished up ALL OF my cleaning chores, Mr. Ink said “Hey, I am going to make chocolate chip cookies, want to stay up for that?” Well, how could I resist? OF COURSE I want to stay up for that. So, while waiting for warm chocolate chip cookies (And a little dough!) I skeined and soaked my yarn.

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It’s like….the most amazing. I love it! So much! It’s 1050 yards of 2 ply heavy fingeringweight yarn. It’s better than I could have even imagined. I can’t believe I got that from these:

Spinning is just so fascinating to me!

Funny story. I got up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom, where this skein was hanging to dry. I’d JUST cleaned the bathroom for guests, and I walked in and there was this smell. This SMELL! And, I got myself into a bit of a panic, I mean, I’d just cleaned, what could it be? And, where is it coming from? Maybe I have a leak under the sink? OH NO! A LEAK! I am going to have to pull everything out from under the sink and it’s gonna be moldy and we have COMPANY coming and OMG! Because this is how my brain works at night.

I got up this morning, wandered into the bathroom to smell the terrible smell, and realized it was wet wool. That’s all! Just, wet wool, a skein of yarn drying. A smell I’ve encountered countless times in the last 10 years.

I do believe this is about it for my TdF. Meaning, I cannot possibly complete another project with company in town, so, while I’ll try to get some spinning in, it’ll all be long term project spinning.

Happy Friday everyone!

Road Trip

Yesterday, Mr. Ink and I took part of a day off work to head to Kansas City for a concert. He didn’t want to take an extra day off and spend the night, so it was just an out and back trip, getting us home about 2 a.m. Not….ideal for me. I am one of those people who pretty much ceases to function after 11 p.m., and while I am generally the primary road trip driver, I told Mr. Ink from the start that I could not drive home.

We headed out, and I got a little knitting time in before my driving shift. There’s a project on the needles that I haven’t even taken a WIP picture of, and I got it to the point where I began casting off. So, soon, actually knitting content again!

We ended up at a beautiful theater in Kansas City, not one either of us had been to before. We like seeing live music in Kansas City, the crowds are generally happy and free and moving around. They always have a really nice crowd vibe. This time, we went to see Chris Isaak.

It was an amazing show. I knew it would be! Made even more amazing from the ease in which we arrived. No traffic on the interstate, we found the theater easily and without the use of my phone’s gps, we even found a free parking spot about a block from the theater! And, when we got out of our car, a kind young man let us know that we had to tuck that car in a little farther, as the free parking was next to a trolley line, and that trolley might hit our car, and the city would do nothing for us. So, we tucked the car in to the curb even better, and enjoyed the benefit of the free parking and the kindness of a stranger.

The theater was beautiful! Really that old style theater that’s so ornate that even the exit signs are stained glass. Mr Ink had gotten us extremely good seats, though we were packed in there a little tight. But, the people who were to sit next to us didn’t arrive, so we were able to spread out a bit, keeping the people on the other side happy, as well as ourselves.

And thus, we settled in for a night of the crooning tones of a great musician. And we got exactly that. We got the full sequined suit, and the great, classic style show complete with band banter, and yet a show that still felt modern. We got Chris Isaak hits, and new stuff, along with other great hits from the ’50s and ’60s. He repeatedly told the band to add songs to the set list, since the theater sounded SO amazing to him. “Music sounds SO GOOD in here!!!” He kept repeating, and we could feel his excitement and love for what he was doing. So, we also felt like we got more than we paid for. He even came out into the crowd more than once, and at one point was singing so close to us that there was only one person between him and us.

All in all, a fantastic night. I got a bit of sleep on the way home, thankfully, and kind of suffered through the rest of the car ride, miserable and exhausted, and worried that I would be a mess today. But, I am not feeling TOO bad. Thanks in part to the large coffee I picked up from a local coffee shop I am sure.

The added bonus? One of these super hot and miserable days we spent almost entirely indoors and comfortable in the AC. The car was nice and cool, the theater was nice and cool, the car was parked so close to the theater that we didn’t feel miserable between the two. When I got out of the car at 2 a.m., it was still 90F here. Hopefully our current dome of extreme heat will move on soonish.

A bit of spinning was done, as I managed to get home a bit sooner than Mr. Ink yesterday.

One full jumbo bobbin, and the next jumbo bobbin started.

Mr. Ink’s family will be in town tonight, so getting home from work means nap, then cleaning. But, I am hoping I can manage to sneak in a bit more plying time. I am so near the end now! But, I can tell that the bobbin full of singles on the bump I spun all of are more than the one I pulled white off of. So, I’ll be plying to the end of the lesser amount of singles, then spindle spinning up additional singles to finish the remainder of the skein.

I will finish this by the end of the tour though. I will, I will!

All Work and No Play?

The work I get paid to do has been extremely busy lately. I never seem to have anything come my way these days that doesn’t have a hard deadline staring me in the face. I think it’ll slow down again at some point, but I see this being the case right through October.

Because of this, it seems like other things keep getting missed. Small errands that need to be run, but I don’t have the energy for at the end of the work day, things like that. Yesterday, after an extremely busy work day, I also ran two errands. I got home, and I was beat.

It was supposed to be gross out, but we’d had a surprise storm, keeping the temps a bit lower than expected, though the humidity was still very high. Once home, I eagerly checked our stop gap measures on an erosion problem, and they seem to have worked! I wandered about the garden a bit, surprised at one of my pots seemingly having a particularly luscious bloom cycle.

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The petunias and the alyssum are going nuts! Too bad there’s no proper red geranium bloom to support all that white. I couldn’t quite figure this pot out. WHY does it look so much better than all the rest? Then I remembered, a couple days ago I added some slow release fertilizer to it, and it’s been raining daily since then. I bet that fertilizer released! Maybe I’ll get another geranium bloom before too long.

After wandering the garden, and after Mr. Ink came home, I decided I wasn’t up for much. I took a walk around the neighborhood, did a few household chores and got laundry started, and then settled in for some plying.

At some point in the evening, sitting out on the patio in the humidity but with enough wind to be comfortable, I realized I was feeling ridiculously relaxed. I’d done enough in the garden in the last few weeks to feel accomplished and I wasn’t berating myself for not being more productive.  (I know, I know, we are productive. But that doesn’t stop me from often feeling like I should be more so.)

It was me, and a podcast, and my wheel, in my garden. Just the way it’s supposed to be. Just the way we’ve been working so hard on the gardens to achieve. It might not be perfection in the garden, but last night that didn’t matter even a little bit. It was very good.

I don’t anticipate much spinning tonight. I leave work early so that Mr. Ink and I can go on a short road trip. We’ll be headed back the same evening, but we are eager to get out of town, and do something that we enjoy that’s out of the house. And then the insanity of Mr. Ink’s family in town begins.

I guess I did last evening exactly correctly for the busy few days ahead.:)

Actual Knitting Content

I finished a thing! For real! I actually finished it awhile back, but couldn’t be bothered to block it. And it desperately needed blocking. It’s my Quadri stole, out of handspun laceweight singles. I am thrilled with it!

It was an enjoyable knit, although a long knit. The stole is just about the correct stole size, even though I did the 4 rather than 6 blocks across. I love love LOVE the navajo knit squares in it, and I suspect I may knit this one again, maybe in scarf size, with each and every block containing a square.

I had a pretty quiet garden day. I cleaned up the mess of erosion the overnight storm had left us, putting all that dirt back INTO the garden bed. Mr. Ink quickly made a stop gap at the fence line to make sure that didn’t keep happening, until we can get some stones in there for a permanent solution. Neither of us were overly interested in doing much gardening, Mr. Ink killed some weeds, I deadheaded and pulled garden weeds and then went in to spin.

However, we did have a new garden surprise! I blackberry lily is blooming!

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This is one of the plants given to us by a friend recently. I planted these in two different places, both of which are iris beds, because the leaves and root system looked like irises. So, you can imagine my surprise to find them blooming! As it turns out, they are blackberry lilies! I think they can stay where I planted them, blooming late in a surprise show after all the early blooming irises are done.

Since I was rather gardening uninspired, I got some plying done yesterday. And, I love the results! I think this is going to be a pretty fantastic skein of yarn when it’s done.

I admit, with the heat and humidity climbing, I find my garden enjoyment tanking. Maybe that’ll change, if we can get more used to this heat, but I am not sure. Or maybe it’s just a really busy week, so we don’t have time to devote to it in the first place. All I know is that I’d really prefer to just spin. (Might also just be the end in sight of a project so I don’t want to put it down!)