And a Restart

One night of cooler air and good sleep has left me groggy, but ready for the weekend.

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I am still doing a lot of dyeing wool. And I am going to list what the wools are, mostly for my own record. I know I’ll forget otherwise. The dark purple is a grey romney dyed with purple. Everything else but the mallard green is BFL. The mallard green is falkland wool.

I’ve got another bump drying in the basement and a bump in the crock pot. I think I’ll just keep at it today, as I don’t think there’s anything major going on, and Mr. Ink and I are anticipating some storms, so we aren’t planning yard work either.

Also in anticipation of the storms, I took a wander through my garden and took a few photos. One in particular I want to show off is my newest dahlia bloom.

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Another stunner!

That’s it for today. I’ve been spinning singles like mad, so if all goes well, I’ll have 2 bobbins, almost 8 ounces, and a start to some plying.

Halt!

Crafting came to a quick halt yesterday when our AC went out. It’s still over 90 here this week, so you can imagine our dismay! Yes, I know, Mr. Ink and I both don’t tend to let the heat stop us much, but that’s mostly due to AC and the ability to get indoors and cool off.

That wasn’t the case yesterday. It was quite irritating. I’d had a meeting downtown at the end of work, and while already downtown, figured I’d hook up with friends who live downtown for happy hour. I’d gotten a message from Mr. Ink that the house was quite warm, but I wasn’t alarmed at that point, since we’ve got some deal with the electric company that they can remotely turn off our AC twice a year during the day, saving them power and us money. We’d caught it happening earlier in the year, and figured it was our second go ’round.

But…that wasn’t the case. The AC wasn’t running at all. Thus, all yarn dyeing, laundry doing, dishwasher running, and food cooking also went on halt. It was a slow evening of sitting, and a long night of sleeping poorly.

Thankfully, it’s a lot easier to get a tech in at the end of the season than it is at the beginning of the season. I got a tech in this afternoon, took a half day from work, and let them do their work. Thankfully it was about an hour and a half of work, and a fairly inexpensive fix. (As inexpensive as these things ever are, we don’t need a new unit, and for that I am extremely grateful!)

So, I don’t have much to show you in the way of crafting, but in interest of getting a blog post up, I do have pictures of Mr. Ink’s latest garden area. Now, originally, I would mow around the front of the house. But now that there are 4 trees to mow around, I refuse to mow the front. It’s too much of a pain in the butt. I do the back and the side, and Mr. Ink has agreed to take over the front now.

Well, he got sick of mowing around stuff too, but his nemesis ended up being the downspout. So, he made a new garden.

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I believe the idea is to chop back the downspout a bit, but he’s quite pleased with this arrangement, and is already talking about what annuals he’ll plant there next year.

Want a closer look at that new rose?

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That’s my peace rose! Mr. Ink got it for me while he was on vacation. A local nursery was having a huge sale, and I’d had my eye on it since the beginning of the season. It seems to be taking it’s new home quite well.

Mr Ink has been digging more sod up recently, so I suspect more garden is to go in shortly. He’s also got a plethora of interesting evergreens in pots on the patio. But, much to our chagrin, it’s supposed to rain all day tomorrow. This will halt our progress quite a bit. Well, there’s always the basement needing a clean out!

Happy Friday friends, Talk tomorrow, when I can add photos of dyed wool.

Correct Color

I went back and photographed yesterday’s fiber again, along with two new bumps. Let’s see if this looks a bit more accurate!

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For the record, the two new bumps are the ones on top. The one that LOOKED like the one on the top left yesterday, is the middle left. I think the colors look far better here. It always takes some time to adjust to the different light when it starts to get dark faster.

I also took a new picture of the handspun I finished. It’s also more accurate, so I can post now.

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8 oz of fiber, which is BFL and silk, 290 yards 4 ply yarn. I may have no idea what to do with it, but I do LOVE it. I love the roundness of a 4 ply, and the way the colors mix up. I don’t love picking a pattern.🙂

I got two more fiber bumps dyed yesterday evening. I had thought that all I had left of commercial top to dye was a pound of undyed BFL silk, but when I went to open the cupboard where I store that, numerous bumps of undyed commercial top fell out. So, I might be at this a little longer than I had anticipated. That’s ok, despite not enjoying dyeing all that much, I haven’t found the crock pot method I am using to be too terribly irritating. More of a set it and forget it process.

The whole point of getting this dyeing done is to get rid of some of the dyeing supplies and dyes because I am not in love with it. I want to scale back majorly. I have already been able to throw away 2 small dye containers, despite having far more dyes than I had actually realized. I have paired down my equipment as well, though there’s still a little more work to do in that department.

Having moved to a new house has really scaled back my desire to work with dyes as well. In the old rented house, I can’t say I cared much about screwing up my kitchen with dyes. After all, it hadn’t been remodeled since the 50s and desperately needed to be. But now? I have to live with the kitchen I have for awhile, and it’s my own. So dyeing has been relegated to the unfinished basement. It needs a clean out, and a year of living has created a fairly buggy space, as is typical for an unfinished basement. There are cobwebs hanging from everything. It’s…unpleasant. And, my only water access down there is the creepy basement shower, which works but isn’t particularly enjoyable to use for dye purposes.

As I write this, I think to myself that maybe finishing that basement WOULD be a good idea. Finish it into a studio, rather than a rec room that would never get used. But, it’s probably a bigger job than I’d like to take on at the moment.

In any case, now I’ve blathered, and bored my readers. Suffice it to say, there’ll be a lot more pictures of dyed fiber in the near future as I work through the undyed stash. That’s all.

Just Keep Spinning

That should be my motto I think. It’s how I act on a bike, no matter how tough the ride gets, and it’s how I go about my time at home too, if I’ve got free time.

I’ve decided to wait to show you a picture of my finished 4 ply. The picture I took yesterday turned the entire skein blue, and that wasn’t happy for me. Instead, I’ll show you what I got done in the dyeing department.

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The green and the gold are on a light grey romney, the wine color is on a dark grey romney. Another great addition to my collection. I dyed up two more yesterday, but have to wait for them to dry to take photographs. That leaves me with one more 2 oz. bump of dark grey romney, and then I’ll be working through a pound of BFL/silk.

Since I finished my 4 ply, I needed another wheel project. I kind of try to alternate between wool top and batts, since I like batts better, and the danger is failing to work through the tops in my collection that I DO love, even though I tend to spin batts more readily. Well, the 4 ply was 8 oz. of top, so now I get to spin some batts, and I chose the over 7 oz. of batts of my own creation. The story of their transformation from some pretty lackluster top to great batts is here. I read that I had originally intended to spin those batts as a 3 ply, but I’ve changed my mind. These are becoming a 2 ply. I am quite pleased with the singles thus far!

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This one? The photo looks just as rich and beautiful as it looks in real life. I think I’ll just keep spinning.

The Kind of Weekend

I had that kind of weekend where I relaxed so well and stayed in so much that coming back to work felt like it was actually ok with me. That’s exactly what I was looking for. We are less than 3 weeks out from the big conference, I have two grants due between now and then, and I need to feel eager and inspired to get to work. So my weekends are going to be all about hibernation from now until the conference is over.

Yesterday I was able to begin plying my 4 ply yarn:

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It’s actually done now, but hanging to dry. It turned out great, and I’d say it’s an aran or even a bulky. Certainly not even as light as a worsted weight yarn.

I also decided to begin doing some dyeing. You see, awhile back I experimented with dyeing my own yarn and fiber, but even when only doing so about once a year, I realized that I just didn’t enjoy it enough to keep it up. However, I do have plenty of undyed fiber laying around, and I DO love blending fibers on the drum carder. So, I have decided that it’s time to use my dyes and dye up 2 ounce portions of different colors in anticipation of using them for blending.

I had 2 grey undyed colors of romney wool, one lighter grey and the other darker grey. I started with the light grey, threw it in the crock pot in 2 ounce portions and added dyes. I actually got 4 light greys and a dark grey done, and I plan to continue tonight, but I only got photos of two.

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I think those will serve their purpose quite well! I’ll photograph the others tonight.

Miss Butterfly spent the majority of the weekend at her friends house next door. She ended up helping set up a large consignment sale with the neighbor, and for all her hard work (All day long those girls worked!) She earned herself a Halloween costume that she loves. Well, since she’d spent most of the weekend away, I decided it was time for her to spend some time with me. We went to a local lake and took a walk around it, looking for pokemon. We saw pokemon, and we saw other real life fun stuff too! Most notably, this baby snapping turtle (I think it was a snapper, I was told it was a snapper.) which Miss Butterfly INSISTED I pick up so she could see the underside of it. I tried to tell her she could pick it up, but she was having none of that. In any case, we moved the poor thing off the trail in hopes that it would head toward the water rather than get run over on a busy recreational area.

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It’s a pack in and pack out park, but I can see from this photo that many are not packing out. Next time I go, I’ll grab a bag and pick up some trash while I walk. I say *I* because Miss Butterfly decided there are too many grasshoppers for her to return just now. But they don’t really bother me and I fully intend to enjoy another walk there soon.

And now it’s back to the daily grind! No telling if I can make it an entire week!

Productive Relaxing

Since yesterday was a surprise alone morning, I took full advantage by doing house chores and crafting. And a tiny bit of gardening. Once Mr. Ink got home, we hit up a garden shop and a hardware store for a couple things and then I got back to it with the crafting.

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I’d say it went well! I am hoping to finish the 4th bobbin today and perhaps start on some plying. But, I would also like to get a load of stuff to goodwill and take a nice long walk. But for now? Coffee, blogging, and relaxing.

While at the garden shop, I was enjoying all the glorious mums, they look so amazing this time of year. However, I’ve got three different kinds of mums in my garden already, and I didn’t feel an overwhelming need for more. Until I saw these red mums.

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Mr Ink was in total agreement that they were glorious, and so we got them. At the end of the season I’ll divide them up and put them in the garden to see if they make it another season. All we have in there is pink, purple, and white so I think the red are a wonderful addition. There was another I really liked that was cream into coral, but I figured one a year with the mums is plenty!

My day was exactly what I needed yesterday, so we will see if I can manage the same today!

A Wonderful Day

Miss Butterfly, Mr. Ink, and I all had/took yesterday off. Mr. Ink has been on vacation all week, getting various projects and yard work done around the house. Miss Butterfly had a scheduled day off school. While I could not take the entire week off due to work projects, I was able to sneak in a Friday off. This will be it, I think, prior to the large conference coming up mid October.

Mr. Ink had suggested a zoo visit, but, while I don’t really know what’s wrong with me, I never really enjoy visiting the zoo. We have an amazing zoo here! But, it makes me feel hot and sweaty, it’s stinky, because that’s the way zoos are, and I always feel like the hot sweaty stink clings and I come home with it all sticking to me. Seriously, I have no idea what’s wrong with me, but it doesn’t make a pleasurable experience for me. So instead, I suggested the local botanical garden. Mr. Ink and I never had been there, and so he said maybe we could do both. I didn’t think we could, so I said “Let’s start with the botanical gardens.”

We got in there, and Mr. Ink realized just how large it was. We spent all day, we ended up leaving for lunch around 2 p.m., eating at a local long established restaurant, then headed back for more botanical garden fun. At the end of the day, Mr. Ink decided that a membership would be in order for us, as we are all quite interested in plants and gardening, and it seems likely that we could easily go at least once each season, enjoying different blooms.

I didn’t take many photos during the day. Most of Mr. Ink’s photos were ones of labels on plants for future reference. Mostly though, we just took it all in and came home full of beauty and ideas. And we didn’t even see it all!

Once home, and after I took a quick nap, I got to do some spinning. I finished up a bobbin. This is another 8 oz project, and it’ll be a 4 ply yarn.

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The early morning light has this looking a little more neon than it appears in real life, but I am just impressed I got some spinning done!

This morning was a bit of a surprise. Miss Butterfly headed to a friends house last night for a sleep over. And then I realized that Mr. Ink returned to work this morning rather than Monday morning like I had expected. So, I ended up with a surprise quiet morning! In which to do laundry and other various household tasks. But, there’s still something quite delicious about doing those tasks in a thoroughly quiet home.

How’s your weekend going?