Catching up   22 comments

Whoa, time is flying by!  And I seem to have little to show for it. Oh, I have a sock and a half, for sure – this hand knit yarn is so much fun to knit with that my socks are flying off the needles (it helps that it is also a tiny bit thicker than traditional sock yarn so inches happen faster.)

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And the sweater lengthens. But of course, because I am knitting both fronts and the back at once, it feels like progress is slow.  I expect to finish these three pieces this week, and then I will block and seam them and make sure it is all fitting before I launch into sleeves.

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I did a little maintenance around my chair this week, and discovered found dug out excavated was reminded that I have a half finished shawl from the great shawl cast on last summer (if you recall, I cast on 4 in a day.)

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This is High Country Crescent by Mary-Anne Mace.  I won the pattern in a blog giveaway, and love it. Not sure why I stopped working on it – Christmas maybe?  Anyway, it is back in the rotation, and so gets a row or two or three an evening, depending how exciting the basketball is.  The shawl is only mindless every other row, the sweater and socks are completely mindless. Some of the basketball is also mindless, other games require my complete attention.  🙂  And what of the other shawls, you ask?  Well, one was Mirno, and one was Oaklet, and those are both finished and worn regularly.

The fourth was Biophilia, also by Mary-Anne Mace.  I wasn’t loving it in the yarn I was using, so I frogged it, and will use that yarn in my next shawl.  That will be Moon and Sky by Jem Arrowsmith, which I received as a surprise gift not too long ago (thank you, Saffronk!) I think the yarn will work well for that one. And so will the pretty beads I was going to use.  And I have a lovely lace weight silk I could use for Biophilia… or not.  There is always some more yarn to try a pattern with, right?  I also am dreaming of creating a beaded silk yarn to knit a shawl – I have the pattern already for that one, too (Chain Mail, in case you are wondering).  And the fiber.  And the beads.  Just haven’t made the yarn yet, lol. Still working on the big combo spin. S-L-O-W-L-Y.

What else is happening?  Oh, just some work.  It is the crazy busy time of year – town meetings all over the map, tax clinics in the opposite direction, important but not exciting meetings, and the regular work as well. So last week, I was in Machias – an hour and a half THAT way – for a meeting in the late afternoon, making a twelve hour day. Tuesday it stormed, so I rescheduled Wednesday’s tax day in Stonington – on hour in the OTHER direction – which meant I spent the morning on the phone lining up all the appointments for the same time, a day later. Because Stonington is on an island.  To get there, you go over a huge high bridge and then a low serpentine causeway.  I don’t want to drive over either in a storm or even on a nice day following a storm if there are high winds, which there were. Thursday I did go to Stonington for a ten hour day.  Friday was a tax day in Milbridge, an hour back in the first direction, and an eleven hour day.

LUCKILY I reviewed my time sheet Wednesday morning, and even with leaving early for the storm Tuesday, I knew I would go into OT if I didn’t adjust, so I went home a couple of hours early on Wednesday, too.  That quiet time mid-week was much appreciated. Even if I did spend a chunk of that time shoveling.  I might have made this for the cats.

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They are indoor cats who are really missing their screened porch this time of year.  So I made them a  track, and let them out on it one at a time.  They really loved it – Allie bustled about looking at everything.  Zumba emulated Ferdinand, and just sat smelling the smells. And for most of the time, they acted like they knew they should not go over the snowy walls. When they stopped acting like that, in the house they went.

Saturday I did some household chores and went to Whorls and Purls and we had a rollicking good time!  There was so much laughing it was hard to knit.  And there was pizza – very unusual but a fun change.

Sunday we took my sister-in-law S out for breakfast to celebrate her retirement last Friday!! We let her choose the place – Denny’s was her choice, and we had a huge meal before going to her second requested stop – AC Moore.  She received bountiful gifts from her coworkers, including some AC Moore gift cards.  It was so much fun to watch her shop without having to worry about the cost.  She makes delightful crocheted and embellished gift bags, and so she spent a lot of time in the yarn aisle, tossing in some of every color when she found a yarn she liked. All of her life she has had to be frugal, and she looked so happy filling that cart.  We carried several large bags out to the truck, and the look on A’s face when she realized it was all yarn was priceless.  Even better was the look on her face when she found out it wasn’t mine.   I told A I was really looking forward to retirement if it meant I could go yarn shopping and get everything I wanted.

Apparently that isn’t going to happen.

I’ll let her think that for the next few years.  🙂

That’s about it – another crazy work week this week, and a good chance I have to go to a town meeting on Saturday, sigh.  I will knit there, but it won’t be like going to Whorls and Purls.  No pizza, no laughing. No fiber to drool over.  Next time I will share with you the latest fibery goodness I have acquired – I don’t think I have shared with you the past few months of Roving of the Month club.  They are yummy.

 

 

 

 

 

Pet Peeve: Reply all   23 comments

My opinion:

When one person writes an email inviting 30 or 40 people to provide feedback, it would be entirely acceptable for those people to provide the feedback directly to the author by hitting “reply” and let the author decide if they want to compile the responses and share them with the original group.

It is entirely unnecessary for each of those people to use “Reply All” to say something like

“looks good!”

or

“I would reword the second sentence of the 14th paragraph to eliminate the word “and””

thus clogging up the in-boxes of everyone concerned.

 

You would be amazed at how many of my coworkers do this.

I do not need to know if they will be at a certain meeting or if they have submitted all their receipts for the month to Finance.

It’s just thoughtless in my mind.  Nine times out of ten, it is unneeded.  And thus, that tenth time, I am likely to miss the important thing that is being shared with the group.

 

Done venting. Thanks for listening.

 

 

 

 

Posted March 15, 2017 by salpal1 in what I am thinking about

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Quick shot of a finish and a few random things   28 comments

I finished my blue socks, and don’t think I shared them with you.  Time to remedy that!

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They are made with Caper Sock in the Stella Blue colorway from String Theory Hand Dyed Yarns in Blue Hill, ME.  The pattern is Fun-damental Toe-up Socks, which you have seen before if you have been reading for a while.  Love that pattern!

 

I immediately cast on my next pair:

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These are the same pattern on the foot, but the leg pattern is the stitch pattern from Hermione’s every Day Sock. The yarn is my own creation.  The toes are Plymouth Happy feet that I dyed hot pink, and the rest is yarn I spun.  The fiber is merino/nylon, and the colorway is Three Waters Farm’s Garden Center.  I spun it with the intent of making socks, spinning two plies with Z twist and one with S twist, the plying it with S twist.  What does all that mean?  It means that two plies are balanced and soft and the third is crazy energized, full of over-twist.  The end result is supposed to mean a harder wearing sock – we shall see!  But I can tell you that the yarn feels a little bit harder than typical merino sock yarn.  It almost feels like it has some cotton in it.

I notice that the stitch definition is more pronounced than with my usual sock yarns, which is why I decided to put a bit of pattern on the leg.

These socks are so bright and cheerful, it makes me happy to knit on them.  I might speed up my one sock per month schedule if I keep working on them for the fun of it.  🙂

Other knitting and spinning:

I haven’t done much spinning this week, I have been tired.  I had a sleep test Monday night (so didn’t sleep as much as if I just slept!) and that has thrown me off all week, I am really tired after work. Luckily my cardigan is pretty easy straightforward knitting at this point, so I plod along on that.  No photo at this time, but I will get you one soon, I promise. I did have to rip back to the waist on the front section to better space out my bust dart increases, but now I have done that, and am back on track.  Soon it will start going much faster as I decrease for the armholes and v neck. I can’t wait to try it on and see if I got the math right…

This weekend we are going to meet Mom and B for dinner Saturday night – her birthday is Sunday, so we were surprised she was available Saturday night.  Usually she gets all booked up with celebrations, so we lucked out!  They are spending the weekend at some local cabins for a change of scenery, so they are closer to us than normal, which is quite nice.  Sadly, Mom was hoping to be able to get out and walk the trails and beach and get some fresh air, but we are going to have a weekend just like last weekend – temps below 0 over night, never out of the single digits, and howling winds.  That means windchill is projected to be MINUS 50 degrees!  Crazy!  I hope her little cabin is warm enough. I don’t think she will really be leaving it.

Other than that, I think it will be an ordinary weekend – I’ll go to knitting at the Purple Fleece on Saturday while A stays home and “does chores”  (read: plays with cats and watches basketball.)

Sunday we will both be watching basketball – it is March Madness, in full swing now.  We have seen a few of the women’s games this season, but not as many as we would like to.  That will change this month, and I should get LOTS of knitting and spinning done as I watch my UConn Husky women go forth and do what they do so well – WIN!  🙂

Not Spring yet!   22 comments

I took this photo this morning, and of course, posted over on Instagram immediately.

Isn’t it interesting?

It’s the pool.

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The beloved swimming pool.

Frozen.

Solid.

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I reached in and pulled a leaf off the surface, and found this great outline of it left behind.

Hard to believe that in a couple of months I will be in the pool scooping leaves out of it.

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Or that a month or so after that, I will be swimming in it for fun.

Right now it is a 20 foot diameter, 3 foot deep block of ice.

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Hard to believe.

But isn’t it pretty?

Posted March 10, 2017 by salpal1 in what I am thinking about, What I love

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Quick update   33 comments

Spinning is progressing quite nicely! After spending loads of time on it on Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday:

I finished filling the three bobbins.  This beauty joined the first two.

 

Then I plyed them together until one ran out, got over 700 yards of thin yarn, lace or a light fingering.  I’ll know better when it dries.

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That yarn is now drying off from it’s bath, and I will commence filling singles bobbins again.  I should be able to fit all the remaining fiber on the bobbins now.

I will be so excited when it all has gone from this:

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to this!

 

There are so many pretty color combinations in here.  Of course, it came out thinner than I intended, so it might not get paired with that lovely yarn that is in the first photo, but I am OK with that.  I should have plenty of yardage to do something with it.  🙂

 

Friday I did most of what was on my list, and ALSO stopped at our local bookstore on a whim.  I saw the sign that they were having a Cabin Fever Reliever sale, that was all the encouragement I needed to stop in and pick this up:

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I read it cover to cover and then did the whole photo/body shape thing she recommends, updated my measurements, swatched the yarn I want to use and dug into rewriting a basic cardigan pattern to include shaping that matches my body – novel concept!

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The yarn is some Briggs and Little Heritage in Gray Heather.  I have had it for MANY years, but was pleased to learn they still make it.  I might order some more  if this sweater works out well.  I have loads of this color, and one skein each of a light and a medium gray.  I decided not to do colorwork on this sweater, but I still want to at some point.  So I might order a dark gray for future use. This sweater will be just this one color, which in fact is several colors, there is loads of green and gray in the skein.  I love how the fabric softened up with the first washing, it is becoming quite soft, which you would not guess from the raw swatch.

So, pattern rewrite complete, yarn swatched and (mostly) dry, I cast on the sweater.  It will be a while before there is anything to share, but it will happen, I promise.  🙂

Sock knitting continues to happen, I missed my goal to finish the blue socks in February, because I let spinning have my attention, but I will finish the socks before the weekend, and then cast on the next ones – out of my own handspun!  I am looking forward to seeing how it goes.

Last thing to share from the weekend –  the finished Soli deo Gloria shawl.  I took it with me to Whorls and Purls, and Debbie nicely took some photos of it and me for me.

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I am loving it and will get loads of use out of it.  And isn’t her gradient yarn gorgeous?

 

Loads of finishes this week, don’t get used to it, these things have been in progress for a long time.  🙂

 

 

Posted March 2, 2017 by salpal1 in how it came out

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A rare Friday list   20 comments

I know you have missed these almost as much as I have missed having Fridays off from work. 😀This week was a bit unusual at work, with late meetings, and a fundraising event this Sunday. So, to keep my hours to 40, I am able to stay home today.

What will I do with myself you ask? Here goes:

I am doing a bit of spinning this morning, working on filling that third bobbin.

Have to go out and get a haircut, long over due. While I’m out, I’ll go to the PO, and maybe, if I am feeling adventurous, the dump. We’ll see about that last one.

Back at home, there is always laundry to get started, a few dishes and some general tidying to do.

Then knitting. There are some photos I need to take for you, if the weather cooperates. And I dug some yarn out of the stash for a sweater, so I will be working on a swatch and a plan for that. And winding lots of yarn.  The yarn is Briggs and Little Heritage, picked up many years ago in New Brunswick. The color labels say “dark gray heather” “medium gray” and “light gray.”

I get the latter two, but the first looks very green to me. It looks nice with the grays, though, which is all that counts.

I even found the pattern I was going to make originally – a simple yoked sweater with colorwork in the yoke and at the bottom of the sweater. It is pretty, but I think I want a cardigan, and I don’t want a round yoke.  I dove down the Ravelry rabbit hole for a while, and when I was done with that, I decided I want to make my standard raglan top down sweater, with stripes. I toyed with the idea of making a turtleneck sweater I have made before, but I realized that the one I have is almost the same color. Oops! So, I dug out the old pattern, an ancient Candide one. This is my second copy, pretty worn out, and it cost a dollar. I wonder if it is still available, and how much it costs these days? It might be time for a new one.

Anyway… I also will work on the blue sock, which is getting closer to done – working on the leg. My goal is to get it done by Wednesday, then cast on the next pair, which will be knit with the Garden Center yarn I spun with an opposing ply, can’t wait to try that! Which reminds me, i might cake that today.

That’s really all I have planned for the day – not a lot but that leaves me loads of time for that knitting and spinning. And thinking about yet another sweater…that turtleneck still seems like a good idea, I wonder what other yarn I have in my stash? Add that to the list – more stash diving!

 

 

I’ve been here, really.   34 comments

Just been too lazy to power up the computer or to try to write a post on the phone (WHY is that such a tedious chore?  Work on it, WordPress, please?)

 

Loads of knitting has happened and some spinning, and a day away from shoveling, and a long weekend.

Here’s the spinning:

Filled a bobbin with the second color of my planned three ply.  Now the two filled bobbins await the third, which I started yesterday.  This is going to be some crazy yarn!  Or really awful, time will tell.

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I worked on socks – plan to finish this one up before March 1, according to my 6 pairs a year plan.

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I finished the Corrugated Hat to match the Corrugated Cowl, these will go on Etsy sometime soon. I still had yarn left, so I am doing a striped hat in the same colors.  Not sure if this will be an Etsy listing or a donated item.  Time will tell.

I finished knitting the Gloria del Sol shawl in Purple Fleece’s Aquamarine Radiant gradient – OMG , I love this thing.  Wait until you see it blocked.  It was a challenging knit, and I didn’t bead it, but if I ever do it again (and I am thinking I will when I forget how challenging it was) I will add beads, if only to help me count the crazy long endless repeats.

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I have to dig around in yarn and queue to see what I will cast on next – or maybe dig out an unfinished something to finish it.  I have a couple of things that could use some attention, I know.

Saturday I travelled down to  Mom’s so I could hop in the car with her and B, and drive over to western Maine, Bridgton, to be exact, to have lunch with my two cousins who live there.  Brother N and SIL D joined us as well, and it was a very nice time.  So good to sit down with the cousins we usually only see at funerals.  Afterwards, we went to visit a friend of Mom’s for an hour or so, then drove all the way back.  A 13 hour day for lunch?  Yup.  But it was a nice change of pace, and of course, I knit the whole way there and back, as B drove.  And let me tell you – I thought we had snow – they have literally two or three times as much on the ground as we do.  Truthfully, mom and I both found it really depressing, even though the sun was shining and the sky was a beautiful bright blue.  It took us both back to the years we lived there, and how endless the winters felt.  Mom said “This is why I moved to the coast” which I had never known, I knew she loved the ocean, but not how much she hated deep snow that never stops and there is no where to put it. So naturally, she moved to the part of the coast that regularly gets slammed by the coastal storms.  But at least she has a bigger yard and some place to put the snow.

Sunday we finished cleaning up around the driveway and paths and decks, which was great, to let everything melt in the warm spring sunshine – amazing weather! Hard to believe this is one week ago: (That’s my car to A’s left.)

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We were both glad to be done with it – A even has shoveling blisters – ugh. So yesterday we enjoyed our holiday by having me work on our taxes and clean the pellet stove while she worked on clearing out files and folders.  Fun, fun!

As you can tell, it has been the same old low key life around here the past few weeks – and I like it that way – no drama, no unexpected surprises, and loads of fun with fiber.

How have you been keeping busy lately?

 

 

 

 

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