I took the day off to even out from last week’s crazy hours, and so you get a Friday list this week. (You lucky thing!)
Oh, such a simple list!
Get up and dressed in a very special fair outfit, meet up with niece B, head off to meet Mom, then go to the (Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association) Common Ground Fair!
It is supposed to be a rainy day, so the very special fair outfit involves shorts, sneakers and warm socks, a t-shirt, sweater or sweatshirt, a raincoat, and a ball cap. All of which seriously impedes the ability to shop as all these layers fill the day pack when they are not in use! A towel, shoes, and socks go in the car so that the ride home can be warm and dry.
This year we are going to Thorndike to catch the train to the fair – a ten minute train ride that hopefully saves lots of traffic congestion and walking from distant parking lots. We would rather spend our walking around energy AT the fair, not getting TO the fair. Conveniently, the train drops us off near the flush toilets! Mom planned this change, can you tell?
Mom and B will want to spend loads of time with the farm animals large and small. Fortunately, the animal barns are always located fairly near the fiber and yarn tents. I am excited this year to check out spinning fibers by local dyers. Still not ready for a whole fleece (haven’t got hand carders!) so I won’t be lugging three bags full of wool around the fair. Maybe next year? But I do plan to get some pretty, unique yarn and fiber.
And who knows what I will find in the Maine-made artisan tents? So much great stuff is made here.
We have a new family rule this year for the fair, though, that I have to keep in mind – if you buy it, you carry it. So maybe I will leave a layer of clothing off so I can carry more. We’ll see how cold it is.
Then there is the food – ! Cousin B will likely be selling his wood-fired pizza, so delicious – and there is so much more. The food has to be Maine-sourced, which can make an interesting meal – but we harvest crab meat, and grow potatoes, and make maple goodies….I am hungry just thinking about it. I will take pictures there and pictures of the things I buy, and share them with you as I do each year – it will be like you came with me to the fair – get ready for a fun day!
At least as far as work goes! Vacation was such a slow nice time, we did NOT MUCH after the pellets were stacked, it was hot and humid and we didn’t have to. We puttered and visited friends, we ate out every single day. There was no cooking on vacation.
Then we went back to work.
This is my work organization’s 50th anniversary, but we are a Community Action Agency, so we have like, you know, no money for fun stuff.
Still, we wanted to celebrate with our partners and especially with our clients. And while we do an annual dinner, most times, clients and community members don’t attend. So we got this great idea (maybe in April?) to have community picnics or barbecues. We could load up the boss’s pick up truck, drive to different communities, set up, feed people, talk to people it would be great. The boss got some donations, and we were off. It sounded like a great idea then!
But of course, nothing is that easy, and the two person committee (me and my coworker of knit-buying fame, B) had about a million unexpected big projects land on our desks. July schedule turned to August, and it got later. We finally said we had to do it or we could not be outdoors! So this week we did it, and they were GREAT. But it was, of course, WAY more work than we ever imagined. We did 5 in 5 days, starting last Friday, the fifth one was today. That’s it, we are done for another 50 years. It will take us that long to recover and forget how much work it was. We put together a great team, we cooked about a million hot dogs and hamburgers, we traveled all over the two counties. The picnics were an hour long, but some places, that meant an 8 hour day, once you added in the set up time and drive time.
So it was a crazy week, and it ain’t over yet. Our third annual tennis tournament fundraiser is Saturday. I am almost ready for that, and will be by the time I leave Friday night. But it means a 6 day work week. Sigh.
There is always knitting and spinning to keep me sane. 🙂
I finished the Oaklet shawl in Tern. In spite of my apparent inability to count, and having to order more yarn, it came out well, I think! I would do it again, but pay more attention to my counting, I think.
I also finished one bobbin of the Life’s a Beach spin, and started the second one.
And I keep knitting on the other three shawls, they are starting to show progress, I think. No new photos of them for you, though. I also listed lots of hats and things on Etsy that came back from the pop up shop. Mostly baby things but not all. Check it out here if you have a mind to. Nothing you haven’t seen before!
I have a few new things in my brain. One of the girls who works for us during the school year brought in some “head wraps” she bought at the fair. They are lovely, knit from hand spun yarn, very cute on her. She wants me to make her some more. I looked and it looks pretty easy (famous last words) so I am going to work out a pattern to do that and make her a few of those. Other girls saw them and want them too, so I may be able to sell a pile of them! They are like cute hats with no top, not sure of the appeal, but I won’t argue. I will go and see if the person is selling the pattern, though. That would be easier, and would feel more ethical to me.
Other things I am looking forward to – supper at Mom’s after the fundraiser on Saturday, and NOTHING planned for Sunday! Plus, I am taking next Friday off because of working so much this week. Next weekend is the Common Ground Fair, and I will be heading there with Mom and niece B (owner of the now healthy bunny) so they can look at animals and I can look at yarn and fiber. I can’t wait for that!
Also, next Friday is the day I ship this %&*^#*&^&^ heart event monitor back to Tennessee. I can’t wait to get rid of it. I hope it is providing useful info to the MDs because it is driving me crazy and I would hate for that to be for naught. It did get me out of lots of hauling and lifting during these picnics, though!
When I lived further east, Mom and I used to go to St Andrews by the Sea, New Brunswick on an irregular basis. But whenever we went, we always went to Cottage Craft. It is located right on the harbor and always had colorful skeins tied to a huge old rope fence. It was bright and cheery and made me want to knit all the colors. The little shop sells hand knits by locals and also locally produced tweeds with matching yarn in a gorgeous array of colors. Two weights of yarn, a one ply and a two ply, so roughly a fingering and worsted. The yarn is a bit rough, with hay bits in it, but that alway seemed to lend authenticity. And with washing and wearing, the garments I have knit with it softened up beautifully.
I have not been in several years but I have “some” of their yarn in my stash, and have made several sweaters with it.
Lately I have been contemplating a sweater, and so this week with time off I went stash diving. I found five of the Cottage Craft two ply skeins in a color way called “Live Lobster” and just sat and loved it for a while, in all its blue-ness. It is a dark inky blue with purple undertones, and with bits of teal and red fibers. But I would be playing yarn chicken if I made a sweater for me with just these 5 skeins, I know.
I kept digging in the stash bins and then I found it. Three quarters of a sweater. Knit with Live Lobster single ply held double. I briefly considered finishing it but then realized it would be way shorter than I want now. Which says something about when I started knitting it. Can you say 90’s cropped sweater? It’s so old it is way, way, way pre-Ravelry. :-) I decided to frog it and wash the yarn for reuse.
That is one of my major crafting projects this week- carefully pulling it out, winding the yarn into skeins and washing it to get the kink out.
It is a bit complicated by the fact that I held it double, so the winding means I do two separate skeins at once. And it is “woolly” wool so it wants to stick to the other piece. But I love the results! In fact it looked so nice that I also washed the 4 unused skeins that were waiting for me to finish up the sweater.
While I waited for it all to dry, I looked for a pattern. I am determined to knit something from “New England Knits” this year – I think it’s the only 1+1+1 goal I haven’t hit. None of the ones I like call for fingering weight, of course, so I think I will be holding the yarn double again. I have narrowed it down to the Derry raglan pullover or the Augusta cabled cardigan. I do love cables but I think Derry has a slight edge, as I also was thinking I wanted a pullover… And that cute cowl would make the perfect gauge “swatch” a la Elizabeth Zimmerman and her swatch hats.
But I probably won’t completely decide until I swatch and actually cast on. Because you just never know where the yarn will lead you.
And now now I am wondering what I will make with the 5 skeins of two ply I found? I suppose I could wash it and de-stash it… Or I could go back to St Andrews by the Sea and get a couple of skeins in either red or teal (or both!) and do a pretty color work sweater. That might be the plan. I wonder if Mom is up for a road trip?
(Sadly, I went to look for a link to Cottage Craft to share with you and learned that the building had been sold, was being renovated, and burned to the ground last month. Not sure what will happen to this wonderful old business.)
It’s been a wild week at work – made more so because I HAVE to get everything done by the time I leave tomorrow. We are on VACATION next week. Not going anywhere. Doing odds and ends around the house and yard. There will be spinning and knitting. There will be swimming and perhaps some yard work. There will be sleeping late.
But first I have to finish up everything at work tomorrow. Then I can think about vacation.
Friday night after work I went to Bangor to help B move into her dorm. What a nightmare of a week this kid has had! Denny the bunny remains a concern, not eating or drinking well, now scared of her because of force feeding, and we had to move him again!!! She was in long RA training sessions each day, it was hot, her dorm wasn’t ready until Friday afternoon (renovations) and she had a very short window of time to get herself into her permanent room, unpacked and set up, out of her temporary room and then to an evening meeting. She still had to do her door decorations and bulletin board, and her girls were arriving the next morning!
Aunt Salpal to the rescue. In just two hours we got all her things moved in, unpacked, bed made, clothes put away, bunny settled. It was 85 degrees in that building since it had been closed up tight all summer. We were both drenched and exhausted. We got fans running, though, and it cooled off outside when the sun went down, so I hope it got cooler in her tiny little room.
Not impressed with how her school handled any of this. Lack of communication, lack of flexibility on the rules. Not nice. (Bulletin boards had to be decorated per contract. They were not installed following reno, they were on the floor, but they had to be decorated anyway, even though these RAs were not given access to the building the week before like all the others.)
So here’s a question- why did they take a third or more space from the RA’s room when they expanded the bathrooms, to put in handicapped accessible bathrooms? When there is no elevator? There are 9 floors of this building! I could see it on the 1st floor, but the 6th? Seems like a waste of space.
Anyway she is in and got it all done and I think collapsed today! No bunny report today, I hope all is well.
Saturday was the party to celebrate the twin niece’s and nephew’s college graduation this spring. A stayed with stepdad so Mom could attend (he’s a couple of weeks post knee replacement) so Mom and I traveled together to brother N’s home. All the family was there excepting the two nieces in college, but including Dad and step mom S from Connecticut, and my brother-in-law’s mum A from NZ. Always so nice to see everyone! A is always amazing, she seems to remember everything about us since last we met a few years ago. I love when she comes to visit. Dad and S looked well, and we had a few minutes to chat between food and photos. 😀
But it it was a long day- got back to Mom’s in time for supper, got home well past 9. Cats felt they should get some attention, so we were up much later than normal.
Today I spent some serious time with knitting and spinning. (Read sitting.) The knitting all looks the same as the last time you saw it, although I am at least on row 5 of all my lace patterns on all my shawls, it barely shows. Oaklet is farther along but no photos. I’ll get you some this week.
However I did get photos of this finished object- more yarn!
This is Color Tag fromThree Waters Farm. Let me start by saying I love it! The colors are bright and fun. And I got my best yardage yet- the two skeins are two-plied and came to 350 yards before washing. The littlest skein is a chain-plied end and is about 13 yards.
Now on that you know that, I can tell you it did not come out at all as I had anticipated! I broke the braid carefully, making sure all pieces began and ended the same as each other. I weighed each little nest and they were pretty close. I concentrated and went slowly so I could spin evenly. I hoped I would get solid colors flanked with a bit of barber poling. I got barber poling with a few solids. The beginning and the end of the bobbins behaved as I had planned but the middle was wild and crazy wonderful color. I don’t think there are two areas the same- it is going to be interesting to knit with, for sure!
I moved on to my next spinning project, Purple Fleece’s Life’s a Beach, which was last month’s roving of the month.
I didn’t try anything too scientific here, just split it in half and divided it down into random thickness nests. The colors are nice and soft, I am looking forward to the change from the brights. Didn’t actually spin any of it yet, but I am ready for tomorrow.
That’s really all I did today, spin and knit. Oh except that when I was hanging the newly washed color tag, I noticed a problem in the garden. Huge green caterpillars eating tomatoes!!!! I banished 4 of them to the woods but not before they completely defoliated a couple of plants and ruined a few tomatoes. This is the first year I have had this problem. Might have to skip tomatoes next year, they are gross and ugly things. No photos. You are welcome!
i didn’t even swim in the pool this weekend, but I will make up for that. We have a few more weeks of summer.
Last crazy weekend for a while, I hope!
This was a wonderfully busy but exhausting weekend!
I took Thursday off to finish getting ready for all my Bs and Cs. It all went smoothly until I had to go to the grocery store. I got the huge amount of food we would need to feed four millenials and headed out, thinking I had a couple of hours still to finish things like flowers for their rooms, etc. I loaded the trunk, slammed it shut and THEN realized my bag (with keys, phone, wallet, and knitting) was in the trunk. Back into the store where a very nice clerk and customer were able to help me with the AAA number and a phone. They told me it would be at least 45 minutes. I tried not to think too much about my perishables in the trunk in the hot sun, bought a book with some cash from my pocket and settled down to wait (leaned against the concrete building in a thin strip of shade.) It only took 20 minutes for the truck to arrive – yeah! And about a minute for him to get the door open so I could pop the trunk. A little frightening how easy that was for him, actually. I went straight home, and was pleased the cold things were still cold!
I felt that anxiety warranted a swim in the pool, so I took a quick dip, then did the last of the chores and had a few minutes to sit and knit before the girls arrived.
My two travelers made it late Thursday afternoon, after a long day in the car with pet fish, rabbit, and all necessary gear. We got them unloaded, got Denny the bunny settled in the guest room with his mom, and relaxed over some yummy lasagna.
Then it was game on – board games! They both forgot rule number 1 (I win) and beat me soundly. We kept at it until after midnight, but I just couldn’t win!
Friday we loafed a bit in the morning, all slow starters, and then after breakfast, we headed out to see Mom. Because Step dad B was just out of rehab following knee surgery, they could not come to us, which the girls would have preferred, since this meant another few hours in the car. But they were good sports, and gram and grands were very happy to see each other, even for a short visit.
And it meant I got to go to Mom’s LYS, where I got a feeling for color and style the girls like and then I booted them out to the Grasshopper Shop so I could do some serious shopping.
I got yarn for their Christmas presents, and some pretty fiber – had a lot more yarn and fiber in my basket, but I did some serious editing of the basket when I found this book!
So beautiful in person, I had to have it. I also was thrilled to have the shop give me a couple of free patterns with purchase, one of which is perfect for handspun yarn! The other is an ingenious little number that may bore me to tears knitting it (a stockinette tube in lace weight!) but makes such a cool garment, I can’t wait to see how it comes out.
We stopped for Chinese takeout on the way home, and then got to work on door decorations. Niece B is an RA, and she wanted to make bunny name tags. So A, C and I cut them out of scrapbook paper while B traced them as fast as she could. We added googly eyes and cotton ball tails, and soon there were roughly 50 of them laid out on the dining room table. I say soon, but really, I went to bed after cutting out a dozen, and that is what I found in the morning. 🙂
Saturday, the other B and C joined us and the kids taught us to play Cards Against Humanity. What a crazy game that is? It was so funny, but so dark. We agreed that it is fun to play once in a while but that it would not be good for us to play too often.
That game wrapped up just as late lunch was ready – roast chicken and all the Thanksgiving trimmings – not because we love Thanksgiving, but because they all eat different things and with that spread, I knew they could all find food to fill their bellies.
Then we played a game of Guillotine (why am I just noticing that these board games are dark?) and the 4 kids went off to do a little local shopping at the Big Chicken Barn (used books and antiques.) When they returned, we played Mille Bourne and ate cake, before the day visitors headed out for home.
Meanwhile the bunny wasn’t feeling well, so niece B hung in her room very upset and worried, and none of us knew quite what to do for him. I think all the traveling and changes were catching up with him, but apparently bunnies can get sick and die very quickly, so we were worried.
Sunday morning, he seemed a little bit better, he was eating. But Sunday was a travel day for everyone – and a complicated one at that! We loaded B and all her animals and their gear into her car, loaded most of the stuff she had stored with us for the summer into our cars, and we all headed up to Husson, where we were meeting up with her mom and grandma and a van also full of necessary items for school. They had traveled up from CT that day. We gathered outside the dorm, which OF COURSE was not actually open. B had to move temporarily into a different dorm room because her dorm’s remodeling wasn’t yet complete. However, we were thrilled that they let us move most of her stuff into a different room on her floor, so she only needed her animals and their gear and a few basics to get her through the week. It was crazy humid and hot, and her dorm has no elevators, so we hauled stuff up to the 6th floor, over the construction debris, past the workmen (on a Sunday, they were busting to get it done!) and stored it in a room that was ready. Her room will be quite small this year, I hope the bunny gear fits into it! She got the bunny settled in the temporary room, and he seemed OK, but I know he will be glad to settle into their regular room later this week. And we all celebrated that this was the last time we would have to haul her gear up those stairs! Next move is down and out, and it will be the last one!Yeah!
Then we said good bye to them all, C went with her Mom and Gram to start the trip home (she goes to school on Friday in PA), A went off to work for a couple of hours, and I went home to start the clearing up!
I made a trip to the dump, finished the breakfast dishes, and got the laundry started before I cried UNCLE and sat with my knitting. I was SO TEMPTED to go to bed, but I knew I would be down for the count if I did that, and the weekend activities weren’t quite over!
Our friend Crimson Crow came over at around 5, and she and I went to the Alamo theater for a viewing of the Sound of Music. I have not seen it in a theater since it came out, and I was 6. It was AMAZING! Yes, it is sappy. Yes, we all knew the lines and music by heart (except Crimson Crow, who had NEVER SEEN IT! Not sure what rock she lived under for the past 50 years.) but it is still a good movie, and so much better on the huge screen!
We saw a woman I know who was there with her family, and she told a funny story – when she saw it first, as a little kid, she fell asleep right after the wedding. So for years, she thought it was a pretty little love story. We joked about the whole other story that happens after the wedding, and how surprised she was when she finally saw it on TV years later.
Anyway, Crimson Crow really enjoyed it, and kept being surprised when songs she knew popped up – she never knew where they were from. As she said, she had only seen part of it, she would start to watch it on TV, but it never kept her interest “beyond that twirling thing on the mountain” and didn’t she laugh when she realized that was the opening scene.
So that was the finishing touch to a fun but exhausting weekend. You know when I got home, I crashed into bed, and was rudely woken by the Monday morning alarm not 5 minutes later. 🙂
Bunny update: she took him to the vet, he really is sick. Apparently bunnies have to eat all the time, and he wasn’t so she has to force feed him food and meds. She is a bit stressed as you might imagine. This bunny is her therapy animal and he has made a huge difference in her life already. Not sure how things will go for if she loses him right now.