knitting progress   1 comment

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Gemini moves along. This is where I am at the end of skein three. Just a bit more to go.  No road trips planned so I’ll work on it between bouts of yard work. Hopefully be done by the end of next week at the latest. I’m glad I am not making my size, but I think I would like this sweater if I owned it. :-)

Posted July 31, 2015 by salpal1 in Uncategorized

Done!   11 comments

pellets-for-web

Three tons of pellets stowed in the cellar, waiting for winter.

That dark taped thing in the lower left is the magic ramp we put over the stairs so the pellet bags slide down. A “invented” it – it’s a long strip of plywood covered in a  tarp. That and an old office chair with no arms and back (called a “rolly stool” in this house) are all the tools we need to move pellets in.

By the way, the boxes in the lower right of this photo are the pool. I is almost time to haul them upstairs and figure out what to do with all those pieces.  :-)

After we moved pellets and had a rest, L and A helped me clear out some junk that had accumulated in the pool region – bags of soil, straw, old leaves, and an old rock pile from previous clearings.  It all had to get moved, and it was nothing I couldn’t handle, except that…

snakes live over there.  “Little” garter snakes.  But I still don’t want to see them  I hate to lift something and suddenly see one.  I hate when they scoot across my path.  L is not afraid of snakes.  She proved that yesterday.

She and A took the lead, dumping stuff back toward me, where I could pick it up and move it away.  When we found the snakes, L used a stick to put one off in the woods, and chased the other one away.  I hope it stays away, since we dismantled its rock pile.

So I am one big step closer to setting up that pool.  Just waiting for some dry weather when I am home so I can finish the digging.

And truthfully, glad that it is still wet, because my arms are sore. 3 tons of pellets caught at the bottom of the ramp, lifted and stacked.

Posted July 26, 2015 by salpal1 in how I spent my day, how it came out

Tagged with , ,

Weekend plans…   7 comments

Here it comes – another rainy weekend!  Drives me crazy, since I am close to the end of the excavation phase of the pool, and I can’t sift wet sand!  Once that is done, I can work in the rain, but I have to get that done.

Anyway…

Today, we both had the day off – and I forgot to give you a Friday list!  It had some new things on it, for sure.

A and I went off to play golf early this morning – well she played, I drove the cart and knit.  It was so fun we did 18 holes, and I got lots of the sweater done.  :-)

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Followed that with a stop in Belfast for lunch and the fabric store.  I was excited to see that they carry Colette patterns, I have been wanting to try them, but never had the nerve to get them online.  I picked up one for a dress, and some fabric for a skirt.  A was waiting in the car so I did not browse long.  The pattern calls for knit fabric, and I didn’t see any there (but it is an amazing fabric store, very good quality material) so I will be on the hunt for some I like. I am excited to see that they are moving onto Main Street to a bigger place – more room for fabric and the other arts and crafts supplies they carry.  No yarn, but there is a yarn store in Belfast already, so I can live with that.

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Then we stopped at the grocery store – went in on a sunny-ish day, came out to a torrential downpour that ushered in a rainy afternoon.

This afternoon we have worked to get a ton of pellets put in the cellar for the winter.  Tomorrow, L comes over and we will put two more tons down there.  We have a good system for it, but it is still a lot of work – fifty 40-pound bags in each ton have to be picked up, brought into the house, slid down our special ramp to someone catching them in the cellar, then onto a cart to be rolled over to the corner and stacked.  It works well with at least three people.  It is a huge chore with two, and I can’t even imagine doing it alone. I guess I wouldn’t, I would build a shed and have them delivered into the shed, then bring them in all winter long, a bag at a time.  :-)  Next month, we will get two more tons, plus a ton of bio bricks.  That should get us through the winter, it is how much we burned last year (we have 5 bags left) and more than we ever burned prior to last year.

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Sunday, I think we have no plans.  If it is dry enough, you know where I will be! With brief breaks from digging to shift the laundry, of course.

Meanwhile, I cleaned off the camera, and thought I would share these few photos of a very belated high school graduation party we recently went to – A’s great-nephew is off to college in New Orleans in a  month or so.  They live “away” so the party waited until they came to Maine on their summer vacation. Party was fun, food was good, you can see his mom worked hard on the theme! I love this shot of the cousins enjoying their visit together.

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A gratuitous photo of the “hunting” cats – perspective is a funny thing, Allie ( on the left) is pounds lighter and smaller than Zumba, but here, she seems so big.  :-)

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And here is what they were watching – she did not mind the audience.

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Lastly -a  few photos that could make you think we have a nice yard.  :-)

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These are the cherry trees that bloomed so nicely a few months ago.  Birds, chipmunks, and squirrels will have them cleaned off in no time.

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I just love daylilies, they are so bright and cheerful!

Have a good weekend, I am going back to knitting….

Which reminds me – I finished these recently, wove the ends in yesterday. Summer colors ready for next winter.

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Lucky for you, it is cold and rainy today!   21 comments

Why does that make you lucky?  Well, because it means I am inside, and have a few moments to write to you. :-)

I sat down a week or so ago to write and never finished that post, which means it has been a few weeks since I posted.  Yikes!  This is what working for a living gets me.

It has been a busy few weeks around here – lots of comings and goings, and work and cleaning. And knitting – lots of that!

Last week, my aunt and uncle came to stay for a few days, while they worked in my cousin’s pizza booth, down in Castine, for the l’Hermione festivities.  Apparently it was HUGELY successful, he sold every scrap of food he had available, and had my aunt driving around the peninsula scavenging spinach, tomatoes, etc.  My aunt really enjoyed seeing the bits of the fun she could around the long lines of hungry people, I think my uncle enjoyed helping and talking to people, although they both came home absolutely exhausted each night.

A and I never got down there to see the boat, but the news coverage was good, so we got to see the videos. A lot easier than dealing with the crowds!

Thursday night I went into Ellsworth after work to meet Crimson Crow and see the St Andrews Maine Pipe and Drum Corps perform at the library.  It is a small group of enthusiastic pipers and drummers, and we enjoyed the show.  And of course, the ice cream afterwards!

This weekend was supposed to be all about storing three tons of pellets in the basement, digging out the last small section of pool area, and maybe even getting the area ready to set the pool up.  But two things happened to change that – the pellets were not delivered as scheduled on Friday, and it is raining, so no digging.

Instead, we had a damp cookout with sister-in-law L, and did the usual Saturday chores, (which used to be Friday chores!) like the PO and the dump.  A and I did the grocery shopping last night, so all that is left to do this weekend is the laundry, which A has made a good start at.  I get to get caught p on blogging and Ravelry and knitting.  I will try not to think about the very small area left to dig out that can’t get done until it dries out.  Sigh.

But the knitting/yarn is exciting.  Check it out!

This is the yarn I got when I went to the spinning lessons at the Purple Fleece. I plan to make a lace leaves shawl with it, but not for a few weeks.  Sorry the yarn itself is blurry, but doesn’t it match my few flowers beautifully?

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Then, this is the yarn I got at Over the Rainbow last time I was there.  I might have mentioned the sweet deal I got on the Kid Seta Noir?  75% off.  Makes up for the much higher price on the teal yarn! I got 4 skeins of the Kid Seta, so will likely be making a few things with it.

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I started my scarf with it – a variation of Morning Surf.  I am holding the two yarns together for all of the plain knit rows, and alternating them for the yarn over rows, and the subsequent dropping row, which I think shows off the colors well, and reduces the need to weave in ends – I can just carry the yarn up the side. This photo is from when I completed the first repeat – I have done several more since then.  It is such fine yarn that this will take a while, but it is interesting, so I think I won’t get bored with it as I usually do with scarves.

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I finished the Monet Indian Feathers – here are some shots of it unblocked.  It is drying now, all pinned out, so I hope to have a finished photo of it for you next time. Here, though, you can see the beads (I wound up using one extra pair of beads on each feather), the texture I created with random purl stitches, and the whole shawl laid out.

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The last thing on my list, but the one that gets all of my attention until finished is the store sample I am knitting for Over the Rainbow.  It is Jane Richmond’s Gemini, and I am knitting it in Knit One Crochet Two’s Batiste, which is a wool, linen, silk blend.  It is quite nice and soft, and TINY.  Thankfully, I am knitting it in a much smaller size than I would be making for myself.  I have often looked at Jane Richmond’s designs but never knit one before.  She lays everything out very plainly and clearly, which I like.  And the sweater design is very nice as well – it looks like a dropped stitch pattern, but isn’t – the lace is much more substantial than it appears, which is nice in a garment that will get a lot of wear.

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That’s it for knitting world around here – it seems like enough!

I’ll leave you with this shot of how I prune my shrubs, and who supervises said pruning.

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This is my auto-pruner.  She doesn’t seem to be afraid of anything, she is quite close to the house.

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Allie keeps close track of the deer you can just see behind the shrub at the top of the photo.

This fellow was out sipping nectar while Allie and the deer did their thing.  It is through the screen, so a bit fuzzy, I am afraid.

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Have a good weekend!

Happy fourth! A wandering, random post   11 comments

I was just getting ready to write this post, and A has golf on the TV.  Here’s a quote that could only come from a man!!! In response to the question “What are you going to do tomorrow?” (for the second day of the tournament) “I’m going to relax and just play aggressively.”

Yeah. Have at it, bud.  Don’t forget to be laid back in all that aggressiveness.

Anyway….I hope you are all having a fun weekend!  Here in the USA, it’s a 3 day holiday weekend, which is very welcome in this household.  We have done our usual amount of crazy activity, and it feels good to sit down, I have to say.  It all started last week when sister-in-law L asked us to host a picnic for the whole family so they could all see her son D and his wife A, who are here for a few days on their way from Madagascar to Colorado. She lives in a small apartment in the city, and we live in a nice country setting with room for everyone, so we often host the family gatherings for her.  Of course we said yes, especially as everyone else was bringing the food.  All we had to do was clean and get the beverages and desserts.

It was the cleaning that nearly killed us.  We haven’t had real company in ages, which means we haven’t done a deep cleaning in ages.  So we did one.  The house looks great!  We finished up as people started arriving for lunch. I told A that even though it was a crazy dash to the finish, I was glad they were coming for lunch on Friday, because otherwise we would spend the whole weekend cleaning.  :-)

Before this was planned, we had made arrangements to rent a pick up truck to do some big dump runs, so A ran and got the truck Friday morning while I finished cleaning the kitchen.  My wonderful brother-in-law M loaded the truck with our accumulated yard/woodshop scraps while we fixed salads, etc.  What a treat it was to have the truck full when everyone left, so we could make a quick run to unload the stuff.

Today I insisted that I was going to work out in the yard sifting sand and rocks.  I did it for about 6 hours, and I can see that I have about twice as much left as I got done today. Which means I won’t get it done by next weekend like I had hoped.  But it also means that I am making great progress. I can see the end.

While I did that, A went in search of strawberries for jam.  She also returned the truck and went to the grocery store, so we don’t have to do that tomorrow.

So this afternoon as I was sifting, she was prepping her 16 quarts of strawberries for jam, and now she is making it, in order to give some to D and A tomorrow before they take off.

I am being “lazy” on the couch.  My term, not hers.  I did a bit of knitting, and now, of course, I am on the computer.  :-)

Tomorrow will be busy as well – I will spend a couple of hours with my sand and rocks, then get cleaned up so that we can go to meet Mom and B – Mom and I are going to have lunch and hang out on the verandah at the golf club while A and B play a round of golf. It will be fun and relaxing to sit and knit with her, and gab, of course.  :-)

When I checked my email tonight I found an email from one of the LYS – they want me to do some sample knitting. I said yes, of course – they provide the yarn and pattern, then I get a choice of getting the garment back in a year, or getting yarn or a store credit.  I choose credit.  :-) So, as soon as they send the yarn, I will be racing through a sweater that they want done in a “month or so”.  I can’t wait.  :-)

I’ve been practicing spinning – it looks like it should be easier, but I know I will get it eventually. Meanwhile, I am accumulating a very lumpy pile of single ply blue faced Leicester yarn.  Once I finish all of this spinning, I get to mangle plying.  :-)

I also have been knitting away on the current Indian Feathers, with the wonderful Monet yarn – I am loving it, it is so beautiful.  :-)  The beads are working well, larger ones definitely work better.  Next time I make this, I hope I remember to try placing the beads with a crochet hook as opposed to stringing them.   This works well, but I think that way will look a little bit more balanced.

Tomorrow afternoon I have hopes of cleaning off the camera for you.  You know how that goes – I get to it eventually, and you get a bzillion pictures of life, all at once. It just is, what can I say?

Have a wonderful rest of your weekend!

Full of photos of yard and needle work   10 comments

I’ll start with the finished objects.  I am amazed at how many there really are!  Two shawls – Leftie, just finished today – still on the needles here, as yet unblocked, but already well loved.  This is the yarn I dyed myself.  Lots left, I am thinking about a sweater….

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leftie-on-the-needles-1

And Indian Feathers, which I finished a while ago, but just got photos of.  It is pouring rain, so they are inside shots.  The close up is pretty accurate, color-wise. The beads are there, but as I mentioned before, too small for the pattern.

indian-feathers--for-web

indian-feathers-close-up

Another Indian feathers – this one, 1/3 the size of the original.  Also, larger beads, and more of them.  Still unblocked, but I think it will be big enough to be a small cowl.  I think I will wind up adding buttons to it.

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The trapper cowl – I am pleased with how it came out – very warm and cozy.  I think it is a Christmas present, but I might keep it.  Or just make another one….

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That’s the lot of finished items – I’ll have socks done for you this week I think.  And maybe cast on another shawl.  Or a sweater. Or both?  Who knows?

Next up the yard.  This is for you, Kepanie.  I know I have confused you all with my endless pool project – here’s how it works (and why it is endless!)

Here’s the area the pool will be in eventually:

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where-the-pool-will-be-2

So, I need to clear a circle, 20 feet across, and make sure it has no rocks, is just sand.  Here’s how I do that.

I dig down into the rocky sand about a shovel’s depth (which often takes several tries to get, because it is rocky!) and put it into the sieve on the wheelbarrow.

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Then, using a rock (it took wearing out the fingers of several pairs of gloves to think of using a rock, not my hand) I sift the sand from the rocks.

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When I am done, I am left with a wheelbarrow full of sand and a sieve full of rocks.

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I dump the rocks in the other wagon, and the sand on the cleared ground, to later be spread and leveled.

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Then, I take the wagon of rocks over to the place where I am putting in the path.  Dump them, shovel out some sand if need be (about every other load of rocks, I need to excavate some more sand, but it is easy digging – no rocks!) and take that back over to the pool area.

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All of my work is supervised by Zumba, who just doesn’t get it.  Lots of people don’t get it.  But When I have a pool to swim in, I will be a very happy person.  Luckily, it hasn’t really gotten hot yet, so I am not worried that I am missing prime swimming weather.  :-)

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Here are some other shots of the crazy place I call a yard.

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The wygelia is in bloom – it did not mind being under 5 feet of snow this winter!  Well, perhaps it did – it is a funny shape this year.  :-) But it is blooming like mad.

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Here is the lupine by the driveway, spreading nicely to fill in the space between driveway and woods.

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Here is a shot of that deck I love so much except in the midst of a snowy winter. It is sunny all morning, then has increasing shade in the afternoon – a lovely spot to eat dinner.

Speaking of winter – remember this shot?

house in snow

Yeah, I know, I try not to, too.

Here it is now –

house-in-summer

Much better!

The raised beds are coming along – these photos are already a couple of weeks old, I forgot to take some yesterday.

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Tomatoes and yellow squash, with some marigolds.  Tomatoes have blossoms on them now!

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Strawberries, which I ignored this season, are producing the most they ever have.  I will dig out a lot of them this fall, though, they take up too much real estate for the amount they produce (we have had three so far.  :-) )

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Radishes, carrots, peas, lettuce and pumpkins.  Radishes are up, but not getting round. Peas are up and looking ready to bud, but not growing tall because a deer keeps trimming them. Carrots are up, but not very well.  I will likely reseed them when the radishes are done.  Lettuce not up at all, I’ll reseed that as well.  Pumpkins are up and growing.

Garden-1-June-14

Sister-in-law L’s garden – cilantro, beans, carrots, all seem to be happy!  As are the volunteer morning glories.  It looks nice and lush in her square.  :-)

So that is it off the camera.  It piles up quickly!

This week is going to be a fun one – first off – Friday is a holiday!  So only 4 days of work.  I like that… Tuesday I have my very first ever spinning lesson!  I am going to learn how to spin on a drop spindle, and hope that I love it and that a spindle will keep me happy for many years, because I have seen the price of wheels.  Yikes.  Can’t wait to share with you what happens when I  try spinning.  :-)

Sister in law L’s son D and his wife A are back in the USA after two years in Madagascar.  They will be around this week, and we will be so excited to see them, and get to know A better. I am hoping for good weather all week so I can continue to make progress on that sandy project, but if it rains, I can sit and spin and knit. And think about how happy I am this week with SCOTUS.  And how pleased I am at how YOUNG my favorite justices are. They will be on that court for a long time to come.

So that is what I am up to at this moment.  All exciting, I know!

Quick-catch-you-up-post   7 comments

I miss my Friday lists.  Almost as much as I miss my Fridays…

The weeks seem to drag by, then the weekends fly.  No longer are they balanced out almost evenly.  Very sad to be here in the world of working 5 days a week.  :-(

I haven’t been blogging as much for a couple of reasons – first off, no fun play days to tell you all about!  Second off, getting home earlier in the evening means I have time to do stuff, which means I have less time to sit in front of the screen typing to you all, if that makes sense.  For instance – Monday after work, I raced home in time to get to the PO (we weren’t able to go at all this weekend) and then I ran to the dump which closes at 5 (ditto) and then to the grocery store, where I found that Monday late afternoon is when all the really slow people from out of town like to shop.  Thanks to the new store remodel that only allows for shopping in one direction (no room to pass in the aisles) it took FOREVER to get a bag full of stuff.  By the time I got home and made dinner, it was time for bed!

I was quite bummed to not stay awake until after dark, because apparently we had a fabulous Northern Lights display.  Dang.

Tuesday night I scrambled around cleaning the pellet stove so I could light it for the evening, it was that damp and raw outside and in. Had a long talk with Dad, and then it was bed time again!  Jeesh.

Wednesday I went to physical therapy for my sore foot – turns out I have something the PT folks call “pump bump”  which is pretty funny (although sore) as I have not worn pumps in at least ten years, likely longer.  In my case, I suspect it is actually “Teva bump”  Anyway, I had an ultrasound treatment followed by massage and ice, and it already feels better.  I am slated for a couple more of these treatments, and then we will see how it feels.  Good news – Get to wear my birks all the time.  Watch your feet, folks, it seems this is often caused by a shoe that doesn’t cling tight to your hell – so tie your shoes tight and don’t walk miles in the pumps.

I got home from that, and A said she was craving pizza, so out we went and by the time we got home – you guessed it – bed time.

Tonight, I need to do a lot of work in the yard, with all the rain the last week or so, the weeds in the yard (I can’t call it a lawn) are really growing wild.  As are the plants, finally – blossoms on the tomato, I noticed this morning! If I get in before bed time, I will try to get the yard photos off the camera for you all – I promised them last week, I know, and did not deliver.

Tomorrow is Friday, and since I miss my list, I will give you one.  It is pathetic, however.  I’ll rise at 4:30 as usual, and go off to work for the day.  In the evening (which is supposed to be nice) I hope to sit on the porch and do some knitting. But I bet I will do that, take a look outside and decide I really need to just trim/move/shovel that one thing, and go off and do it until I am tired.

This is the problem with days that are longer than I can stay awake – I feel like I just have to keep working at things while it is light out.  In the winter, I can hunker down at 3 pm and feel no guilt.  :-)

I have done a bit of knitting – especially last week between the trip to Monhegan, and then a day out with A on Saturday, and a rainy crappy Sunday.  I have a sock and a half done, plus about half a Leftie Shawl (knit in worsted weight, so it is going nice and fast) and I fiddled with a bracelet design that I think will work, so I will knit that up this week to see if I am right.  I also finished a second, really short version of Indian Feathers, using the Noro Silk Garden Lite I mentioned a while back.  I had a plan to knit a full-sized Indian Feathers with it and the soft purple I got at Fiber Frolic, but I couldn’t get it all to work the way I wanted, so I just knit one with twelve feathers.  I think I can put buttons on it and it will be a very fancy neck warmer/cowl type thing.  Still have to block that. Been searching for the perfect pattern to make something with my other fiber Frolic treasure, the Monet skein.  I don’t think it will be Indian Feathers, which I had thought, because I don’t care for how the edge rolls.

I also have been looking for the perfect pattern for a treasure I brought home on Saturday, which I haven’t shown you yet, as I have no photos.  I’ll hold off on telling you about that until I do… but let’s just say I completely lucked out and ran with a color combination that is very unlike me and got Kid silk noir at a 75% discount.  Yep, buy one, get three more. I cleaned them out.  :-) Of course, they only had 4….

Well, it is time to get out and work.  I’ll get the camera cleaned off for you soon and let you see what I have ben working on inside and out.

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