Friday list

I just found out that A will not be working at her regular Friday office this week, so she will be working from home. That means that I won’t be, and will have a day free to putter to my heart’s delight. So I thought about what needs to get done and what wants to get done. Here’s what might get done:

Some vacuuming. Roomba needs to be let loose in the living room.

Some laundry. Where does it come from?

I will work some more on warping the loom. Though it seems to be taking an eternity to do, I can see progress.

I might cut out a skirt. I found some summer fabric I forgot I had, and so I should work it up. I don’t need as many skirts as in the past, but they are cool and comfortable in the summer. And if I get it done in time,perhaps it will do for the wedding next weekend.

And on the chance that I won’t get it done in time, I want to replace the elastic in the skirt I probably will wear to the wedding.

Then there is the grocery shopping. That needs to happen, and early in the day is better for that.

So it seems like a full day, but not an overwhelming one. And you know I will manage some knitting time in there as well, right? My odds and ends blanket is growing and my sweater is not. I need to reverse that.

This might be why I haven’t been writing much

It feels like there is nothing much newsworthy or of note to share with you all!

I have been knitting away at a few projects – my Gramercy Park lace sweater, which I am making slow but steady progress on; my newly started memory squares blanket, from sock yarn and other fingering weight scraps. I started it while I was waiting for Gramercy Park to dry (I had to wet block to double check my progress) and I am finding it very hard to put down. I think I have knit 10 or 11 little squares. I also have socks which travel with me and get rows knit now and then.

We saw Mom, A’s sisters, and her niece for brunch at my SIL’s house yesterday, girls only – so that was a fun way to spend a beautiful Mother’s Day. It was also exciting because we got the extra dining room table out of our house and over to my SIL’s at long last. It has been sitting in our living room since around Thanksgiving time, when Mom gave us her old table. We have not had a free and dry Sunday since then, if you can believe it? The few that were dry, we were busy, or my SIL was. But it all worked fine yesterday, and now our house feels empty!

That is seriously all that has been happening around here. I have been puttering away at cleaning and clearing, but nothing noteworthy. Nothing even worth listing on a Friday, sorry about that! I expect a list this Friday, though, as I have to get serious about unearthing the guest room. Company coming in just a few weeks!

I had a long chat with my brother on Saturday, he is really struggling, dealing with Dad’s messy estate. I think he is finally having to admit that he needs help from the rest of the siblings to get things as cleared out and documented as possible for the probate court. There is a family member who is actively working to block him from accomplishing this, and he thought he could cope alone. We three have offered to help, but he has wanted to spare us. I think he is over that, and will let us each come support him with our own special superpowers. My sister’s is a calming superpower, which might come in handy with said family member. But if it doesn’t work, then my superpower is that just seeing my face makes her irate, so I can keep her out of everyone’s way by merely existing, and standing away from them. She will be focused on me, and they can get on with the work. My other brother’s superpower is a strong back and an ability to get people to cooperate with him (people like dump people and permit people and the like.) So I think you can see how this can work, when it has to. My sister can calm me down so I can stand to be screamed at and followed everywhere (literally, into the bathroom, even, one time) so that everyone else can work unimpeded. This is something to look forward to. I feel pretty sure I will be sharing with you the outcome of that trip when it happens.

Before that, though, we have a memorial gathering and a wedding to attend. My uncle passed away in late winter, his memorial will be this coming weekend. Then next weekend, my niece will be getting married in PA, so we have a road trip that will be for fun coming right up. One of my nieces said, when told of my uncle’s passing “What is this, the sequel to Four Weddings and a Funeral? Three funerals and a Wedding?” We keep on hoping she got the three funerals right, because this is the third one…

Now, what to wear to the wedding?

Enjoying a flexible schedule

This has been a very social week so far. Sunday, we had A’s sisters, brother in law, niece, nephew, my mom, and stepdad over to celebrate A’s birthday. (Yes, I managed, with A’s help, to have the house passably clean. This pandemic has not been good for housework!)

We had a nice time, it was good to see everyone. Mom was especially glad to see A’s sisters, since she hasn’t in more than 2 years.

Monday I worked a bit in the morning, and then drove to Portland to my sister’s, to see my niece E perform at her spring concert. It was very well done and professional, quite nice! You never know with these things what you are getting, but the Portland Symphony does a good job with the junior and youth orchestras. I would have liked to stay overnight, but I had an appointment in Ellsworth Tuesday morning, so I drove home after the concert; got home a little after midnight.

This is where the nice flexible part comes in. 🙂 After my appointment, I was so beat, I came home, had lunch and slept all afternoon. A luxury!

Today I am back at the computer, mostly working, but clearly not just working! I really am enjoying this phase of my work life. I get it done, but there is almost no schedule.

Friday I did manage to do everything on my list, which was nice. I worked on warping the loom, which seems to be going so very slowly, I am still not halfway done. I might have to focus on that sometime soon.

Over the weekend, I finished knitting a made-up cowl with the odds and ends of several malabrigo leftovers. No photo yet, it needs blocking. I had more than I thought, so it is tall, but I like it. Basically, I did seed stitch with the heavier yarn (rios) and linen stitch with the lighter yarns (arroyo) so the difference in weight would seem to be intentional. 😉 And I love how linen stitch blends the colors. The colors I used were bobby blue, cameleon, anniversario, and fuscia. It could have been very loud and awful, but I think it works. When I get a photo you can see if I got it right.

Well, I should go back to work now, I don’t want to fall behind. Lol!

Friday 4/22 list

I realized I never updated you on my list from a few weeks ago. I think I did everythingI wanted to from the list, though it took a few days. I always have such great ambitions for my Friday’s!

I will try to keep it under control today. A will be working from home, doing a zoom training, so that rules out vacuuming, yea!

I will start the morning with a few hours of data entry, if the internet allows it with the zoom thing happening. We bought a second laptop and monitor so that theoretically we can both work at the same time. we will test that right off.

I already did the laundry and some general tidying, so there won’t be a lot of housework on the list. But we have company coming on Sunday, so a few additional things need to get done before then. I will putter a bit and get them done.

I am back in the groove of knitting my Gramercy Park, so though I have another cowl on the needles, I no longer need to bribe myself to knit on the sweater. It is coming along, and though it might be a tight race, there is a chance that I will get it done in time for niece B’s wedding in one month. A slight chance… so I plan to work on that for an hour or so.

The dish towels are still not all the way on the loom, though I have done some work on that over the past few weeks, there is still more to do. Maybe I will get to it…

A’s truck is up in Bangor getting new tires and an alignment; we will have to pick it up at some point in the afternoon or Saturday morning. I should slip away and get her something nice for her birthday. If only I knew what that something is…

That’s it, a pretty reasonable list, I think. What are you doing today?

P. S. Here’s a little knitting photo for you… a cowl I finished last week.

The pattern is earthshine, and it is so fun to knit! And wear, too. It’s warm and stays put.

A Friday list!

I realize that the week is over, so I thought I would put together a Friday list for you.

A. is working for several hours today, so I am home alone. Here’s the big long impossible list of things I could work on.

-A couple of hours of data entry

-Call the insurance company to make sure they got the April payment. I have a receipt, but the portal shows no payment. This could eat up some time. Luckily I can knit while on hold!

-I would like to work on warping the loom for the next set of dish towels. I started a few weeks ago, but haven’t been able to get back to it. I doubt I will finish it in one sitting; the height is wrong for me and after an hour or so, my back aches.

-And I need to set a schedule for myself with daily goals to knit my Gramercy Park sweater. I really want to wear it this spring, so it needs to get knit! The back is done, I am working my way up the front, I am almost to the waist. So it’s possible, with goals.

-Then there is housework. 😆 I will let Roomba loose in the mud room, this time of year, it is an aptly named space. And someone needs to clean the bathroom. Since I am home alone, there is a good chance it is me!

I think that will keep me busy enough to not get into any trouble! I hope you have a good day, and get done as much as you want to.

2021 in knitting

I promised you some knitting content, and there was a lot of it last year. But before I get into it, I want to say thank you to all of you who commented on my last post. You really brightened my day. I missed you, too!

Now for the knitting… I use the challenge feature in Ravelry, so I can tell you that I hit my goal of completing 35 projects. I went back to look at them in prep for this post, and I noticed something that should not surprise me. I knit lots of small, portable projects. 15 hats, 5 pairs of socks, a baby sweater and baby booties, two gnomes and a mini tree, a cowl and 4 shawls. I knit two sweaters for me, and rounding out the year were 4 weaving projects, a scarf and three sets of dish towels. Yes, that adds up to 36, because I put the 2 gnomes together in one Ravelry project.

Throughout the year, I felt like I wasn’t knitting as much, or my usual things, but when I look back through other years, it actually lines up pretty well. I typically knit 6 pairs of socks, and a couple of sweaters. Normally I might knit more shawls and fewer hats, but it was pretty close.

So what were all these things? Well, top of the list is the never ending ocean currents finally finished and delivered. It came out lovely, if I do say so myself, but not sure it was worth the slog.

Although the smile behind that masks says it was!

The hats ran the gamut from simple beanies to the “Capitol” which required paying lots of attention And I joined the throngs who knit Musselburgh, which should count as two! (https://www.ravelry.com/projects/salpal1/musselburgh if you want to see the project on Ravelry for that.) But I think my favorite is this one, a made up pattern I knit for a coworker who let me pick through the yarn she inherited from her mom and take as much as I wanted.

I love experimenting with a traveling icord accent.

Shawls were not as prolific as I would have liked, but I enjoyed knitting them, including my handspun nightshift, which I finished in January 2021. I could not get a good selfie of that, but here is the best effort!

It is rather like a small blanket!

What I did not finish, and might explain the feeling I had that I wasn’t being productive, were my Gramercy Park sweater and the year long Japanese Sampler Scarf MKAL. Both of those required more brain cells than I could muster at the end of the year, so they got put down in September. I have since finished the scarf, and am working on the sweater, so am feeling better about them. And I decided not to join in the MKAL for this year’s scarf. Still not ready for pressured knitting.

That’s the highlights… if you want to see more of the various things, check out my Ravelry project page. (If you aren’t doing Ravelry, but want to see something, let me know, I can pm you project details)

https://www.ravelry.com/projects/salpal1?set=&page=&search=&sort=status%20completed_%20status_changed_&view=thumbnail

And if the settings won’t let you look, let me know. I think I have everything set to public, but the gray matter still struggles sometimes.

Where to start…

As you might have guessed from my disappearance here, we had quite a year. It’s a long story with which I won’t bore you completely. Suffice to say that Dad passed away December 18, 2021, after a long, hard battle. His family worked very hard to give him what he wanted, so he was at home for most of the year, bar two weeks last March when he had some strange complications.

Two of my siblings and I worked well as a team, the fourth offspring did his best, but wasn’t able to be as involved in Dad’s care as the rest of us. The stepmother was herself, and we worked around her. (Now that Dad is gone, I think she is realizing that having us in and out, paying all the bills, doing the grocery shopping, cleaning small areas, etc wasn’t the horrible torture she thought it was at the time. ) The pandemic made all of that a special torture, especially early on, when my brother N and I were alternating weeks staying at Dad’s…we were always quarantined somewhere because we “traveled” — if you can call driving as fast as possible for 6 hours, not stopping anywhere for anything, travel! We were so grateful when we were able to get vaccinated!

All that family stress was matched by stress at work, with changes in top management. I could not tell if that was really worse, or my capacity to deal with it was diminished. But either way, I left that place of employment of 25 years in February 2022. I am not sure if this is a hiatus or if I am semi-retired, but the amazing relief I felt immediately upon giving notice told me it was the absolute right decision. Can’t quite afford to be retired yet, so after a month off, I started doing some data entry for A. I can do it part time, the hours are totally flexible, and I work from home. It is perfect for me right now.

The year held a lot of knitting, I will share that with you soon. But in case you have wondered, I did, indeed finish ocean currents. Photos next time. Which hopefully will be in less than a year!

Popping in

Just to say hey! I am hanging in. The horror slowed down for a bit, to low grade stress. It will ramp up again when Dad’s situation changes, but for the very moment it is not a cyclone.

And I finished something! A’s Christmas mittens are done, blocked and wrapped. Under the tree, even.

They should be nice and warm, the lining is two strands, held double, one is cashmere merino, the other angora merino. I hope they will felt into a soft warm hug for her hands.

I have been knitting tiny stars as well, no really good shots of them, but you get the idea here. They keep me sane, and distract me from Ocean currents which slowly progresses. I am thinking of adding beads to tonight’s star…

I started this on the 16th… that was a while ago!

Dad is at home. There is home health for the moment, and he really needs it, so here’s hoping no one changes his/her mind about allowing them in the home. Whew!

There has been lots of knitting on tiny things. The gnome is done, but as the MKAL is not, you will have to go over to my ravelry project page to see the completed object. I apologize if you aren’t able to do that. I will try to remember to post a photo here after it ends and everything isn’t so secret.

I also have had fun knitting little stars – the pattern is Scintillation by Hunter Hammersen. I tried adding beads, but things didn’t go as planned. I wanted to add them so they radiated out, but the beads I chose were of the cheap variety, and they would not cooperate. So instead I added them at the cast on, thinking that they would sparkle around the edge of the star. They did. But what an incredible chore that was! So I think I will retry my original plan someday with better quality beads. But not today. the one off by itself has beads, but of course, in artificial light the clear beads are nearly invisible. There were several more stars made, but they went off in packages. I still do want to make enough for a garland of stars. It might take me a few years.

I cast on Steel Creek at last on Dec 21, at the start of the Yarniacs Self-indulgent Knit Along (SIKAL). I have been wanting to knit this thing for at least 9 months, but wouldn’t let myself cast on until some needles got cleared off. As I am down to only Ocean Currents as a long term WIP, and a pair of socks as a travel project, I felt like I could. I started Steel Creek with the sleeves, so that I could use them as a confirmation swatch, and also to avoid sleeve island at the end of the project. I used a provisional cast on, and didn’t do any of the pretty cuff. I will wait and see how long they need to be, then knit the cuff downward.

I also want to cast on Nightshift, which I spun all that yarn for, but I am making myself wait until Ocean Currents is done. It may never happen! I have about 54 inches done on that, and at a minimum it is supposed to be 70, but I think it may need to go longer, so she can use it as a stole, not a scarf, if she wants to.

I haven’t been spinning lately, but I hope to do some in the next few weeks – my planned vacation was to start today and run all next week, but a big RFP came out on November 27 (that’s right, the day after Thanksgiving) that is due December 29th! Yesterday we got word that the due date got changed to Dec 30, but that is pretty immaterial at this point. Only the government would do this to people. So my vacation has been shifted from the middle of this week to the middle of next week. I will make sure to spin and sew during it. And if civil servants could be voted from office, I would definitely do some clearing down there in Augusta. This is the second year in a row that they have released major program RFPs due in December. Clearly, they have no consideration for the lives of the grant writers of Maine! That, or no clue how arduous it is to comply with their RFPs. Either way, they are on my naughty list again this year.

That’s about it – pandemic rages on, we work and stay home. Despite this, the numbers climb. I suspect that the minute Christmas is over, Governor Mills will shut us down again. I hope she does. As hard as that is, it is harder to deal with the results if she doesn’t.

Quick update

Thanks so much for all your kind comments, hugs, prayers, words of wisdom. They mean a lot.

We are hanging in there as best we can. Things in Connecticut are progressing slowly but steadily toward an outcome. What that outcome will be is yet unknown. But we will get there. Advice for you all: keep your things in order. Make sure you have your health directives and POAs up to date and that someone else knows how to find them. Don’t rely on just one person for everything. Getting old can really suck, but it doesn’t have to be a 💩storm.

That being said, the siblings are all still getting along and supporting each other. Silver lining!

I am finishing a sweater today, I do believe. I promise to share pictures when I do. And my little gnome is keeping me occupied. I might cast on some stars or a tree today, too. I need some little cast ons.

Thank goodness November is over

Guys, this was a really dark month for me. Not just because the time changed, though that is part of the trouble. Every time I felt like I was recovering my equilibrium, more bad news came down the pike. And on top of that – or perhaps underlying it – there was a pandemic.

Look at me cross-eyed, I will cry. Be nice to me, I will cry. If that is hard for you, think how it feels to be me? Ugh. I don’t like it.

Something good happened? Very exciting! But then multiple bad things happened to match it. I won’t give you the litany of things that happened this month, just know that loved ones were lost or soon will be, and people are sick in hospitals out of state. Hospitals which allow no visitors, even if I could figure out how to do the logistics of the COVID test, the quarantine, sort out safe lodging and eating, the hospital still won’t let me in. So here I sit, making phone calls and trying not to bother the wonderful, wonderful nurses too much.

And yes, I have been knitting, a little bit. And spinning, a little bit. But I have not been as productive as normal, or as I would like to be. Everything just feels like a whole lot of work.

One good thing has come of all of this – I have had closer contact, and better communication, with all of my siblings than I have in ages. We are not all on the same page yet, though I think we will be, but we are talking and listening to each other, and reaching consensus on the things that must be decided now, and consciously deciding what to hold off on deciding, with a plan for taking things up later. It is amazingly good. I hope it lasts. We are sharing the work of communicating with out of state family and the hospital. So glad we can do it.

Anyway…

Thanksgiving – how was yours? Ours was quiet. I cooked a turkey and stuffing and potatoes for us, and made bread for the inevitable (anticipated, actually) turkey sandwiches. We saw one of A’s sisters on the screened porch early that morning, and we saw the other in her backyard on Friday, on our way to a picnic at Mom’s house. My sister and her family also came to the picnic, and we sat out in the chilly wet yard for a couple of hours. Mom provided blankets and chairs, we all brought our own food and sat in our own pods. It was so good to see everyone, even if there were no hugs. My niece E the younger brought her brand new spindle, and a grocery bag overflowing with brightly colored fiber that she got for her birthday a few weeks ago. She happily spun away, and is making loads of interesting yarn.

Now it is December and we are back at work after a week of vacation. Hunkering down and waiting for everything to come around right again. Wondering about Christmas picnics… ? will Mother Nature allow?

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