The Trip

My overnight work retreat was a smashing success. Which is great, since I planned it. In the planning stages, quite a few things went wrong, such as the sales person somehow thinking I wanted different dates than I had asked for, then completely failing to get me a contract in a reasonable amount of time. I got the contract about a month before the event, noticed the incorrect dates, and pulled out the email I had sent with the dates I had asked for. Then, naturally, they didn’t have space for us, couldn’t guarantee the rooms we’d asked for, etc. To which I just kept saying “I am sorry, without that, I cannot sign this contract.” Until they finally figured out a way to bring their mix up to a satisfactory conclusion.

It was highly stressful. And I was, I admit, bemused, since they’d been courting me hard for the past 5 years to do this event again. That’s right, it had been 5 years since we’d had the event. I remember being not overly impressed with the overnight rooms at the venue, as well as having other disorganization issues, so I wasn’t easy to court. The rooms were shoddy, and there were beetles in the corner of my 4th floor rooms both times I’d been there. I am not afraid of bugs, but seeing them in a hotel room does make you question a thing or two.

Thankfully, once at the venue, I realized that the rooms had all been updated and were quite tidy, no sign of any beetles. The event went beautifully, no issues at all with staff (Except for the one person who decided to vacuum the door frame on the outside of our meeting room WHILE the meeting was in session, what was that about?!?!)

We like to spend time on the deck of the venue in the evening, so I’d been concerned about a storm I’d been tracking all evening, set to hit at 6:30 p.m., ruining our outdoor social time. But it did not hit at 6:30, though there were multiple storms all around us. We socialized on the deck and watched the lightning everywhere, but the storm didn’t hit us until 11:30 p.m., right around the time where the group should have been headed to bed anyhow.

On Wednesday morning I woke up quite early, figuring I could get breakfast and a walk in before the session began again. I put on my sneakers and headed downstairs for breakfast, thinking that I felt something in the toe of my shoe. A rock, or some such thing, but I really wasn’t sure where I’d picked it up, I hadn’t felt it the day before, and hadn’t walked through any gravel. I ignored it, and didn’t feel it for awhile. I had breakfast, and took a walk. That stone bothered me, but not enough to make me sit down and do something about it. I got back and headed up to my room for a few minutes of knitting, which I did. Then, I thought “Before I forget, I really should get that stone out of my shoe.”  So, I took off my shoe, and dumped it out. Only to find that “stone” was a real live beetle. Still alive! He must have crawled in there during the night, thinking it a good place to live. I sure showed him.

He scurried off, and I realized that 5 years later, things might look fancier, but we were still in the wilderness.

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And really, there was only one thing to do. After the event was over, I took a nice long walk through the woods, and the surrounding areas.

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Exploring and seeing what there was to see.

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That’s not something I’d done before, so it was quite a pleasant endeavor and I am glad I did.

Mr. Ink stayed with Miss Butterfly, and it apparently went perfectly well. I was told that burgers, homemade french fries, and chocolate shakes during a movie were had. It’s nice, REALLY NICE, to be able to go away for work and just not worry.

Progress

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I am through the second ruched section on my stole, I think there’s only 3 ruched sections. Though, depending on my yarn amounts, I might be convinced to knit another, we’ll see. The yarn really is amazingly soft, and I can only imagine that the ruching will making it sit nicely on the shoulders. This sounds quite lovely at the moment, considering how cool the mornings have been. Not that I expect that to last, it’s a little early for cool mornings around here.

It remained a quiet weekend for me, I didn’t even get the fridge cleaned out. We did go on a nice motorbike ride for lunch, it turned out to be a highly pleasant endeavor, and I could have kept riding most of the day. That’s not a thought process I’ve had this year very often, so it was welcome.

Mr. Ink, however, worked on another big gardening project involving rocks. I’ll try to snap a photo tonight, as it looks amazing so far, and he’s not even done.

Early in the year we had sat down and made quite a few lists. Lists for house projects, yard projects, motorbike projects, and bike projects. Long term stuff that needs attention, as well as shorter term stuff that could easily get done without too much time investment. We promptly put those lists aside and didn’t look at them again.

Yesterday I was doing a bit of sorting and came across the lists. It was absolutely amazing to me just how much we did get done even without consulting the list. Of course, then we also took the opportunity to add to the list. Because that’s kind of how lists go!

I am off for a work retreat tomorrow, so we’ll see how that goes! I am hoping it brings me some extra knitting time, but I am not sure if that will be the case or not this time.

Feet up

On the couch, feet up, spinning. That’s how I spent a good portion of my day yesterday.

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I made good progress too! Here’s where I started:

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I began the project in March, and that’s exactly how far I got. as you can tell, I added to those two spindles, and then pulled out another 3. This is an 8 oz. project and somehow I’ve got it in my head that I should do it all on spindles. That being said, any other time I’ve said that, I eventually get bored with that idea, want a finished object, and spin the rest up on my wheel. We’ll see what happens this time.

As is always the case with Crown Mountain Farms, I tend to want to make a 3 ply since the colors are so crazy and different. But, it would also be fun to someday try a 2 ply. But, that’s hard to do when the fiber is so hard to come by these days in the first place. So, I haven’t decided if this will be my 2 ply or if I’ll wait and hope to get my hands on more CMF in the future. (Um, NOT counting the 3 bumps I have in stash currently.)

We did also do yard work, mowing in particular needed to be done, and I got a nice long walk in too. I am guessing we are looking at more of the same today. I know that cleaning out the fridge is on my list, due to a spill. However, despite the fact that I never WANT to do that job, it doesn’t actually take that long, I just avoid it on principle. But, I’ll also continue to enjoy my spinning today, maybe a little knitting too!

The Promised FO

Friday evening was full of rain. I had gotten home from work just about the time it started pouring, after another completely nutty day at the office. Mr. Ink was home early, as he was supposed to be at a half day outdoor concert, but that had gotten canceled. He used his extra time gardening, and I pulled into the driveway just in time to witness another one of his mad dashes to the workshop to put away his gardening implements.

He asked me what we should do with our evening, since he now had a free evening and it was raining. I told him that *I* would really like to order pizza and watch TV all evening like normal people. And so that’s what we did. Naturally, this meant a lot of knitting time for me, and I finished, soaked, and blocked the cowl I’ve been working on for Miss Marja out of her handspun.

Turned out quite beautifully, those colors really compliment each other nicely.

This morning I woke up pretty early, checked the temp, and realized it was a very cool comfortable 60F outside. I rolled over and told Mr. Ink it was 60 and I didn’t want to miss it, so I wasn’t going back to sleep! I opened all the windows and doors, and enjoyed a quiet morning walking around my garden with my coffee. While I know I’ll have to get some mowing done, I’ve been taking it pretty easy this morning, really just enjoying the quiet and the lack of stuff that truly needs to be done. I did dig out some more day lily sprouts in the veggie garden, but that’s really about it so far. Meanwhile, I’ve enjoyed some spindle spinning today. I don’t feel like wheel spinning at the moment, and am bored of knitting. So, I pulled out my 8 oz crown mountain farms project I started ages ago, and got a little more on that done. I guess kicking back with my feet up is my perfect place at the moment. What’s your favorite way of dealing with an overwhelming work week?

Almost Done…

It’s a little painful when you get SO CLOSE to the end of a project but have to stop and work on real work!

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That’s just a few yards left and a kitchener stitch, soak, and block between me and a finished object! On the upside, that means a finished object is likely for this weekend! Happy Friday everyone!

Stole My Heart

I’ve been a bit blogging quiet this week. I haven’t felt like I had much to post. Or, perhaps, the sheer exhaustion of every day right now is making me rather uninspired to go that one extra step of taking photographs. I’ve got huge work projects that will culminate with an event mid October and basically, my life is not my own until then.

And I think that’s why a very simple ruched stole has stolen my heart.

I cast this on last weekend, put it down for our overnighter, and then have been knitting on it exclusively at home. I am using 1,000 yards of my own handspun yarn. Two skeins which are supposed to match but do not, because I spun them at different times and the colorways may not be from the same batch of fiber. (I also received that fiber at different times from different places, so that seems likely.)

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As you can see, one of them has far more saturated colors than the other. The more saturated one was spun first. Both skeins were spun on spindles, but the earlier skein was at a time when I was less skilled at keeping my yarn even. So, there seem to be loads of differences between the two skeins. In order to make that less noticeable, I decided to alternate rows with this project.  It seems to be working fairly well. There’s what looks like a stripy bit at the beginning, but then it begins to blend pretty well.

I do believe that the exhaustion of the work week right now lends itself nicely to unwinding with super long rows of just plain knitting and purling.

I did begin a little spinning before we left on our overnighter last weekend. I am spinning up some nunoco batts I had in stash, and they are spinning quite smoothly. I am trying for a thicker yarn, since I often complain about being unable to spin thicker yarns.

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Now that I look at it, I am not sure how well I am doing! But it will be a 3 ply, so we’ll see.

In garden news, Mr. Ink brought home 8 boulders, and seems to be using his spare gardening time to prep an area where they will sit. I can’t quite understand his vision right now, so I am looking forward to the end result which I feel confident will be lovely. As for me, my gardening time has been pretty light, but the dahlias I planted rather late are just beginning to bloom, here’s my first one:

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Flowers are so exciting and charming! I’ve got a total of 9 dahlias, and they were an assortment, so each one will be a surprise. Though…the other one that looks like it may bloom soon looks like it could match. I need a way to tag my bulbs so I can know which colors I have in the future! We’ll see if I can come up with a system this fall.

One last item of note, I have a new monster in my garden.

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I’ve been eyeing this monster for quite awhile now, years! I finally decided the gnomes in the garden could no longer go unchecked, so here we are. He’s currently rampaging among the caladium, but I am not sure it’s his final home yet.

I hope everyone else is having a less busy week than I am, but if not, take heart, the weekend is soon! And I hope to have a finished object to show off at that time.

An Overnighter

We decided, this weekend, to get out of town. Meaning, it’s the end of the summer season really, and we suddenly seem to have decided that gardening ISN’T all there is to life after all! And we have this urge to pack everything into the short time left of summer. Of course, since Miss Butterfly is back in school, we also have to plan those things on the weekends.

We had originally planned for this weekend a 5 hour drive and a camping/tubing trip on a river with some friends. But, Mr. Ink couldn’t get Friday off, and I wasn’t overly eager to take Miss Butterfly out of school after she just started either. The idea of leaving on Friday night, driving 5 hours, setting up 2 tents, sleeping, getting up early to make camping breakfast and then to head out on tubes for an entire day on the river, then making camp food, sleeping, waking up the next morning to pack it all up and drive 5 hours home sounded….well…not that fun. I need a little more time for that trip than we had, so we decided to let go of our deposit for the trip and choose something else instead.

I thought Miss Butterfly would protest this mightily, as she’s the big proponent of camping around here, and really enjoys the tubing trip. However, we also realized the group that we’d be going with had no other children going this year. We kind of count on our group having kids in it, for Miss Butterfly to hang with. Once she realized that no kids were going, she, too, was in for a change of plans.

We left Saturday afternoon, heading to Kansas City. I really enjoy KCMO and have been there many times, so I chose the restaurant that night, we went out for indian food. Basically, it’s much better there than anything we have here. We had a great meal and then went to find our hotel.

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It had this great little window seat that Miss Butterfly enjoyed so much. She sat there as late as we allowed, then went to bed. When I woke up in the morning, she was up on that window seat again.

Our outing was a visit to  Schlitterbahn waterpark. We’ve always wanted to go, and it’s certainly something that can all be done in one day, with a drive home after it closes. We spent a lovely day there. The weather was about 87F, so not too hot, the water was plenty warm but not too warm. There were a lot of people there in the middle of the day, but it wasn’t too bad at the beginning and end of the day. We were able to do all the things we wanted to do and then some. Miss Butterfly and I spent a lot of time later in the day just swimming, enjoying the lazy(ish) river without a tube.

We then hit up a local Chili’s, since that seemed fast and easy after a day of swimming.

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Unfortunately that poor restaurant was dealing with a major staffing issue that night, only 3 people in the kitchen and 4 on the floor. They were struggling, and as such, we’d gotten quite a lot of free stuff. Here’s Miss Butterfly unwinding and munching while we waited on our food. She looks a little red, but the reality is that this morning, she’s not red at all. She’s such a lucky kid to have her father’s genetics. She just tans right up. Meanwhile, my skin didn’t get so lucky. I am tanned (for me) from gardening, but that wasn’t quite enough, I did fairly well, overall, as not burning is a major challenge for me, but the tops of my feet (Which were whiter than snow and had gotten a lot of sunscreen) burned up pretty well, as well as my knees. Stuff sticking out of the tube really!

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She’s playing Sim City here, and I interrupted. It wasn’t so welcome.

We drove home, or should I say I drove home, to the sounds of snoring from Miss Butterfly and Mr. Ink. I’d say it was a pretty pleasant day!

I did get to knit a tiny bit, but not much. Not worth showing off at this time anyhow!