Friday? Again already?

I am not sure where time goes!  I do know that when it was so hot (as in all summer up to today) I had little interest in actually moving, and so sat and knit and spun a whole lot.  Last week I laid out such a nice chore list for myself on my Friday off.  I did OK with the list (it nearly killed me), but did nothing extra.  This week, I did not have the luxury of Friday off.  So, because we did very little this week as far as chores go, in spite of impending company – less than a month away! – I have lots to do this weekend.  I hope I really can get a chunk of work done tonight and Sunday.

Saturday we are going to Bangor in the morning for a car appointment and to visit A’s niece T, the one we moved a few weeks ago.  She wants some help deciding on furniture arrangements, and so we will head over there to see the new place while they work on the truck.  We will take both cars so we are not tied to the service departments’ schedule, and so I can zip down to knitting in the afternoon if we are still in Bangor.

Since the humidity has broken, and the weekend promises to be clear and dry, I am going to try to force myself to do a few things best done when the humidity is not 99%. Things like some yard work, and painting the shelves of the book cases.  I might even start tidying up the craft room.  But probably not.  Let’s not push things, OK? Naturally, there is laundry and kitchen and bathrooms to clean, as there is every week, and the grocery shopping.  Ugh.  I am already tired.

So here are a few things I worked on while it was so blooming hot and humid last week –

The spinning is 8 ounces of worsted weight, combining two colorways to make 4 different skeins that I spun last weekend.  That is drying now, so I will get final yardage later on today, and plan to knit it up as a baby sweater. there was another skein of yarn made last weekend, but I didn’t get a photo of it yet.  The Durrow square is coming along.  I have committed to at least two rows a day, and I hope to get this square finished by the end of the weekend.  Then in a silly fit of wanting to do something completely different, I cast on a scarf for my stepbrother J.  At least, I think it is for him.  I promised to knit him a scarf to thank him for all the work, and I always intended to knit him more than one.  So this might be one of them.  It is yarn I made from some BFL fiber I dyed quite a while ago.  I was learning and experimenting about color and spinning, so have four mini skeins.  I think they will make a cheerful soft scarf.

As you can see, it was too hot to move, so I basically just sat and played with fiber and yarn.

And that reminds me!  It is dry enough now that I can block the frieze cowl and show you how that came out.

 

By the way – A got through her test.  She is uncertain how she did on the morning section, she did not feel good about it, but she is more confident about the afternoon section.  If there are sections she passed, she doesn’t have to take them again to get her certification.  That is what she is hoping for now, to pass at least half of it.  I still hold out hope that she passed the whole thing, but she doesn’t think so.  To celebrate, we did nothing that night, but went out the next night with Mom and B to a local lobster pound for dinner.  We were singularly unimpressed with it, though the food was fine.  Won’t go there again.  I did have fun with A – she as a joke wrote on the grocery list “chips cookies chips cookies chips cookies” which is very unusual for her. So, I got lots of chips and cookies and piled them all at her place at the table.  It was quite a mountain, and she cracked up when she saw it.

Another thing I did for her  us  myself was get the air conditioner upstairs and almost set up.  Years ago, we got one of those units on wheels, thinking we could use it to cool off the bedroom.  It worked that year for the two days we needed it, and we stored it down cellar.  A couple of years later we needed it again, hooked it up, ran it for a few hours and it flooded the bathroom! So, it went back downstairs never to be thought of again.  But with this hot and humid weather, it was really bothering me that we couldn’t use it.  So I gave it lots of thought, and decided that if I set it up IN the bathtub (we have a separate shower), then if it flooded, so what?  That seemed good.  But then window by the tub is up quite high, and the hose is supposed to head to the window relatively levelly.  So I thought I could stack up two of the picnic benches A made us and that would do the trick.

I lugged that AC unit upstairs Friday, keeping it level, no easy task! and got it into the bathroom.  Got the benches stacked in the tub.  Then realized I could not lift the unit up onto the benches alone!  Bummer.  When A got home, she helped me get it all rigged, and we started it right up.  It did a great job, cooled off the bathroom and bedroom just fine. The cats hate it, the door is closed, it makes noise, bad bad bad.  I do not care.  The best part?  No leaking whatsoever!  I suspect that the drain plug in the back had not been in tight the second time we used it.  Now that the weather has cooled off again, we will dismantle the tower, but leave the unit upstairs in case the humidity comes back again. It was nice to be able to come home, get the room cooled off before we went to bed, and then get to sleep before the heat got in there again. Because you know, I live with the cat charmer. We were not allowed to leave the bedroom door shut at night, because the cats need to be able to come and go. I suggested we put a cat door in the bedroom door, but that was met with eye rolls.  If we ever build another house, it will have real air conditioning.  For those few summer days that we need it, it will be worth the expense.

I love summer when it is just warm and soft, not brutally hot and humid.  Like this weekend will be! But climate change is real and it sucks.

 

 

 

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It’s been a long time!

Sorry to be away so long, I have no excuse.  Just lazy!

Last week I wound up the TDF (tour de fleece, for you non-spinners).  I was pretty sure I was done on Friday, finished all the Three Waters Farm fiber I had, and as I was on their team, what we spun was to be at least 50% their fiber.  But I was having such fun spinning that I just kept going and spun one more braid, not TWF, so not in my official count, but still fun and pretty. I tried a traditional 4 ply.  Never did that before. It is an interesting yarn, quite firm and dense.

So here is all my spinning.  I figured up the yardage, and it is about .9 miles spun in just about three weeks.

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And the blue that I finished up on Sunday – sorry for the poorly lit photo – not sure what the phone was doing with colors…the blues are brighter than that, and the counter is gray. Go figure.

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I picked out a few more braids to spin up, but haven’t started them, time to get back to knitting.  Durrow has been sadly neglected, so I am plugging away at it.  I love how the medium purple is looking with the navy.  Can’t wait to link it to the squares done with the darker purple.

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That is really is for crafting since I have seen you last.  finished but haven’t blocked the frieze cowl.  I missed my window of dry days this week, we are back to the muggies now.

I have been trying to work in the yard a bit here and there, but the weather has been so awful to work with, I just do five minutes some times and can’t see for the sweat pouring off my head.  I did manage to get this to happen, with very little effort on my part – put the plant on the porch and water it now and then, and voila – a bright summery miracle!

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I planted sweet peas and morning glories beneath the trellis that you can see, and one on the other side of the porch.  On this side, that gets morning and mid day sun, they are literally 2 inches high and haven’t budged in weeks.  I water them, truly I do.

On the other side of the porch they did the same thing until about a week ago, now they are growing like mad, and have started climbing the trellis.  That side gets afternoon sun.  I am hopeful for some pretty, sweet smelling flowers there soon.

In front, I am working on clearing weeds and putting down soil and mulch along the outside of the new path.  I have literally gotten about 4 feet done. Many more feet to go.  Sigh.

The pool effort comes along.  I feel like I am finally making progress, though there is still al lot of sediment in the bottom that stirs up when ever it is touched, I think the amount is being reduced each time I get in and stir it up, them run the filter. I do that about twice a week, though with the weather so awful and hot again, I might do it more this week. It should be clean by September!  I am definitely getting the bigger, more powerful filter and vacuum for next year.

Other than that, I have been working. A lot again this week, enough that with only 2 hours of vacation time, I have Friday completely off.  I love when that happens, as you know! A is taking classes all week, culminating with a certification test Friday, so she is studying all of her waking hours.  We are not very exciting!

Last weekend we had a visit from nephew D and his wife A, they have recently relocated from Colorado to Vermont, and are taking advantage of the summer good weather to come to Maine fairly often to visit family while the traveling is easy. He is a teacher, so has been enjoying his summer vacation. It was great to see them and hear more about their lives and work.

This weekend looks to be a nice one – Whorls and Purls on Saturday, and then we are meeting Mom and B for supper on Saturday night.  We will go to a local seafood place and they will all have lobster.  I am not sure if I will have crabs or scallops, but I won’t have lobster, that is for sure.  🙂

And with Friday off, you know you get a bit of a list!

  • Laundry  – I will get it rolling, I am sure A will wind up finishing it Sunday.
  • Bathrooms – the darned things need cleaning every week and it is annoying.
  • Grocery shopping – I usually go on Saturday after knitting, but it has been really awful there the past few weeks, so I am hoping that Friday will be better. Maybe the morning?
  • Hair cut if there is no line.
  • Post office – while I am out, what is one more stop?
  • As much front yard gardening as I can get done before the sun is overhead and too hot.

That should be enough chores to get me hot and cranky, so I will jump in the pool to cool off, then come inside for knitting and spinning on the porch for the rest of the day. I want to make good progress on the Durrow square, and then start spinning the next thing. I should go upstairs and start cleaning and organizing in the craft room, but not sure I will have the energy.  Between work and the heat, I find that we are both just drained and don’t have a lot of energy for anything that doesn’t absolutely have to be done.  But maybe I will do as my friend Deb suggests and tackle one small section at a time.

Also, I have to think of something fun and celebratory to do for A after her test. She will be tired, it is 8 hours long, so the celebration can’t require expending energy.  Maybe I will bake her a cake or something.  Got any good ideas?

What are you guys doing to celebrate summer this weekend?

 

 

Are you missing your humidity?

I think I found it.  Just tell me where to send it, I will be glad to hand deliver it.

The mugginess is back.  I noticed it yesterday – got up early, thought it felt nice and cool, went out to water the gardens, and came back in absolutely dripping wet.  Not from the hose.  It wasn’t hot, but the air is just overwhelmingly full of water.

So, I didn’t do any more gardening.  I really have to get moving on working on it, but I am feeling uninspired.  Instead, I just kept spinning and knitting.

Frieze cowl is nearly done, just need to finish the ribbon and knit the cord.

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I like it, mostly.  I don’t like the visible jog at the end of the row.  I think I know how to fix it on the next one. It will be on the side or back of the garment so I can live with this one.  Not ripping it out and doing it again.

I made the large, and it is taking the whole of the navy blue skein (color A) and likely a bit more.  Luckily I was able to buy more, and it is a color I will happily use again. I also got some different colors to make a few more.  I will make them smaller, and shorter.  I think that will make them more useful to people.

I did lots of spinning, as Tour de Fleece (TDF) demands…or inspires.

This spin is a fun one.  I want to make a nice thick yarn, and I have 7 ounces, combined, of these two braids.  The Three Waters Farm one was a gift from a friend, and the Purple Fleece one I had purchased.  I spotted it deep in my stash as I was digging about, and I thought they would look fine spun up together.  The Purple Fleece one (Sweet Dreamz) is 3 ounces, so I had to augment that half of the spin with a little bit of the TWF (Iron Blue), but I think when they are plied together it will just be blue. I am calling it Sweet Iron Blue Dreamz.

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Here is my end of day Saturday shot:

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And my end of day Sunday shot

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This is once again BFL and silk, and I do love it.  Spinning thick yarn is a challenge for me, I expect I have too much twist in most of it, and it is not particularly even.  But I have the wheel on the largest whorl, and I am trying to remember to treadle slowly.  Whatever it is, I know I will love it and be happy with it.  With 7 ounces, I should get enough yardage to do something fun with it.  And I should get it this week.  I finished filling this bobbin this morning, so will ply tonight, then refill both bobbins.  That should get me to the end of TDF.  And I then I will be spinning up some of the great rovings of the month I have been collecting from the Purple Fleece.  I think I am meeting my goal to spin more than comes in, yet I seem to not be keeping up with spinning the most recent ones.  I get distracted by stash.  Then I see what my fellow spinners do with the braids, and I wonder why I put it off. 🙂  I need more hours in a day, I think. (I just checked Ravelry.  I actually am ROCKING the whole spin more than comes in thing.  I have started and finished 11 braids since January 1, this will be the twelfth. And only 7 have come in, so I am down 5 from stash! We won’t talk about how I am doing with using up yarn, lol) )

Other than this, I did NOT MUCH this weekend, in the way of chores.  I did finish up the laundry, and I did clean the bathrooms, you will be happy to know.  I did go to Whorls and Purls (SUCH a chore – not!) and the grocery store ( a bigger chore each week – here comes a rant – the clueless tourists have shown up.  Our store has very narrow aisles.  If you stop in the middle to get something, all flow in the store stops.  Natives know this and pull over so people can pass.  Tourists, operating as the center of the universe, do not know, nor do they observe everyone standing around staring at them while they look for something you can’t get here. They frequently get annoyed if you ask them if they would mind moving over.  And then you meet them at each aisle. I do see why old time Mainers referred to tourists as “summer complaints”  Kinda like black flies. )

Sunday evening, I had to attend a fundraiser to take photos for work.  It was an absolutely lovely event, and I think I got some fun photos. While I was there, the rain held off, though it sprinkled.  After I left, I guess it really rained, and so volunteers were bustling about holding umbrellas over the wait staff.  I probably should have stayed longer to get that photo!  But all the patrons were under cover, so I think they had fun.

Now it is Monday, and I got to go to work and sit in an air conditioned office, and so life is good!

Mostly I spun

I didn’t do so well on the list.

I let the bugman in and learned the ants we were seeing are carpenter ants, so good I called! No signs that they have moved in, they likely were exploring. He refilled the critter bait stations which were empty after one month! Yikes. No wonder we hear creatures in the walls.

I did change the bed and towels and get most of the laundry done.

But really I just spun.

Finished foggy fall morning on bfl/silk, and got 564 yards before it’s bath. Just under 4 ounces. I had quite a bit left on one bobbin, I could have made a small skein, but just added it to my 2018 frankenbobbin, which is almost full! Not sure how I will finish that…Maybe cake it and make a 2 ply? Or chain ply? It will be interesting to see all that is on it!

I did no yard work, so will pay for that today and tomorrow.

Today is continue to work on the list, go to whorls and Purls followed by the grocery store. Exciting stuff!

3…2…1… and we’re back!

Here we are looking at another weekend already!  I love how the weeks fly when I only work 4 days.  This will be hard to get over when five day weeks return next week, but it is worth it.

This week I took Friday off so that the bugman could come and eliminate the ants.  Rememberr I called him last Friday?  Well, this week he is coming between 9-11.  I decided to just take the day off.  So glad I have lots of vacation time stored up so I can do this kind of thing.

That means I will get up and dressed at the usual time.  A has to go see a client, so she will be out of the house most of the day.  That gives me loads of time to putter about and play with fiber.

My list is pretty standard, I think, this week.

  • SPIN! It is still TDF (Tour de Fleece), and I have been spinning as much as I can each day.  Somedays that is not much, but I think I can finish off the second bobbin of this spin and start plying. It is foggy fall morning from Three Waters Farm, and is destined to be knit up with the tree bark colorway I finished spinning last week.  This one is BFL /silk.  My next spin will be half Three Water Farm and half Purple Fleece.  And will be kind of amazing.  But I will share that with you when I finish this one!  NO getting ahead of myself. Though this photo shows only one bobbin full, I am about halfway to filling the second one.

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  • Knit.  Although I am focused on spinning, I have been making progress in small bits on my frieze cowl.  It is definitely potato chip knitting, hard to put down.  I already have yarn for another one.  This is Plymouth Galway, by the way.IMG_3035[1]
  • Garden.  Though the pathway is complete, I want to put a few pavers down at the start of it, to hopefully kep the nice pea gravel away from the glacial messy gravel that is the driveway.  I also wan tto start creating the beds on the ouside of the path.  Don’t have anything much to put in them, but I think it will look nicer with the pile of dirt and old blue tarp gone.  And if I am going to do that, I might as well clear out the junky volunteers and put down the good dirt and mulch.  Then next year I can move things into it and expand it.
  • Pool.  The pool guys came, and said I can upgrade the filter, yeah!  But not this year, as there is no pool budget at the moment.  So this year I have to keep on stirring it up and letting the filter run, and changing it when it clogs, as it does quickly with all the sediment I stir up. That means getting in it, which it makes sense to do AFTER the gardening, right?
  • Change the bed, change out the towels, start the weekend laundry.
  • Clean the bathrooms.
  • Not sure if I will go out, but if I do, I will go to the PO, and possibly the grocery store while i am out.
  • Oh, and I will let the bug man in when he arrives and follow him around.  And ask him how we get what ever is bowling with acorns in our bedroom ceiling all night OUT once and for all.

I think that this will fill up my day, and I will wind up in the afternoon in front of the spinning wheel catching up with season one of Victoria. It’s a little bit anticlimatic, as I watched season two already.  And spoiler alert – I knew before the show ever started that she would, in fact, marry Albert.  But I still like watching it.  Learning a lot about early Victorian times in England.  Afghanistan was an issue even then.  What kind of people can survive in a place where there is near constant war for more than  200 years? Yikes.

What are you doing this fine Friday?

 

How I did with the list and the rest of the weekend, too

Here’s the original list:

  • Get the weekly laundry going.
  • Plant the lemon lilies Mom brought over from her garden last week.
  • Start plying the tree bark polwarth silk.
  • Call the bug man.
  • See if A is willing to take some photos of me in the completed handspun Fine Sand sweater.
  • I suppose I should do a little house cleaning, too. Sigh.

Here’s how I did:

  • A was home and offered to do the laundry, since I did it all the past several weeks.  I graciously accepted her offer, and
  • went right out tot he garden while it was still cool, I thought, and moved a stell d’oro daylily out of the way to plant the lemon lilies.  then replanted the lStelle d’oro and watered everything.  By then I was dripping wet. It was cool but humid.  So, I went inside and
  • started plying the tree bark.  Later in the day I finished it.IMG_3021[1]

About 460 yards after it had it’s bath.  A lovely two ply, light fingering.

  • I called the bug man.  He comes sometime Friday, so I will have another list for you this week.  After I called, we saw no ants for two days, but they are back.  Now also the tiny ones are around, so glad I made the call.
  • A did.  She is getting better about telling me if my clothes are on straight, but not that my hair is a wild hot mess.  thus, these are headless shots.  I love my new sweater!
  • I did no housework.  I call that a win.

 

Friday we also did all the little errands for the weekend, together!  We don’t usually do that, but it was nice.  We also had lunch at a new restaurant.  It opened a few weeks ago, we waited to give them time to settle in.  It was good, service was good, but it was a bit pricey, we thought.  Still, it is a year round venture, which is exciting to us.  Another errand we did was go to the pool place and talk about my pool.  turns out I am not doing anything wrong.  The pool filter that came with the pool is simply inadequate to handle the volume of water. There is a larger one for a couple hundred dollars, or a REALLY BIG ONE for $500.  They came over this morning to see which one will work on my pool, and amazingly, they think I will be happy with the smaller one.  Not sure if I will get it this summer, but definitely in the spring if not next month.

Saturday we were up early and off to help niece T move, with what was the last of it.  A had helped her the week before, and thought she was nearly done, but there is always more, right? We made a few trips with car and truck, then we rented a carpet cleaner and I cleaned the one room downstairs with carpet while T and A moved heavy furniture.  Again, it was hot and muggy.  Ugh.  I had intended to go straight to Whorls and Purls, but by the time I was done, it was a good idea to go home and wash up and change my shirt.  🙂  So I was late to W and P but I made it.  Sitting and knitting was a nice relief!

Sunday, Mom and B came over and we finished up the walkway.  I still have tidying to do, and more gardens to dig out on the outside of the path, but I think their work is done.  Mom and I also dug daylilies out of the bank and put them in the garden.  Most of these are minis which I have never seen bloom, they had gotten swallowed up by sweet fern and black berries almost as soon as they were planted originally. I decided to let the sweet fern and black berries have the bank, and put the flowers someplace where they could thrive.  I hope we found it.  We also dug up buckets of sweet ferns for my sister, who wants them on her own bank.  And who PAID MONEY for one this spring.  I hope she never does that again.  We have enough to fill her entire yard.

By Sunday afternoon, we were completely wiped out, and promising each other that next weekend would be relatively quiet.

Time will tell.

Friday the 13th

I have a new policy about work. If I work late during the week, I store up the hours and use them to get Friday off, even if I have to add vacation time to make it add up to a whole day.

Last night we had a party to celebrate ten years of one of our programs that is strongly supported by donors, so I had an extra long day. That means with a few hours of vacation time added I have most of today off. I just need to sort out the photos and send some off to the papers with the press release I have ready. 😉

And THAT means that you get a Friday list!

So. I hadn’t given it a whole lot of thought until this morning, but here’s what hits me as things I can do.

  • Get the weekly laundry going.
  • Plant the lemon lilies Mom brought over from her garden last week. They are flowers with a story, once again. Many years ago Mom lived in western Maine, and she found an old abandoned cellarhole with gardens all around, overgrown and forgotten. She used to spend lots of time there, wondering about the people who had built the house and created the pretty garden. She began referring to it as “Susanna’s garden” At some point she did some dividing of the lemon lilies, and put some in her own garden. When she moved from there to eastern Maine, she brought some with her. They continued to flourish and again, when she moved, some came with her. My sister and I have been eagerly awaiting their next division, which came this year, so I got a bucket of Susanna’s lemon lilies delivered last week!
  • Start plying the tree bark polwarth silk. I finished the singles yesterday and got the new jumbo flyer on and adjusted yesterday morning. I went back and forth with whether or not to ply this with itself or wait and ply it with the next spin, which I bought at the same time, to go with it. I finally decided to spin them as two separate yarns and knit them together.
  • Call the bug man to see why we are finding ants in the house, everywhere. First year ever on this one.
  • See if A is willing to take some photos of me in the completed handspun Fine Sand sweater. Before it gets too hot!
  • I suppose I should do a little house cleaning, too. Sigh.

That’s what I’m coming up with for today!

I’ll let you know what I really do. 😉