Where did the week go?

I am not sure how a whole week has passed…

We did go to the Common Ground fair, in a very limited fashion. We got there early, but it was already getting full. My SIL has mobility issues on uneven terrain, and I have endurance issues, so we strolled around the marketplace section. Luckily three nice yarn vendors were in that section – Bartlett Yarns, Jaggerspun Yarns, and Good Karma Farm. I got yarn for Kate Davies’ Horology at Bartlett. That sweater has really caught my attention, so I might as well plan to make it this winter!

A heathery rose in a worsted weight. It’s a little heavier than called for, but I can adjust the size I knit.

By the time we finished wandering that section, it was after 11, and things were filling up fast. We decided to get a snack for lunch, and find a place to sit and eat it. That was a veggie egg roll, yummy!

After the break we tried walking toward the fiber farm section, but it was so full of people that we couldn’t walk on the pavement, and my SIL was getting sore from walking on the grassy area. So we decided to call it a day and headed out. We did stop for some maple candy as the stand was on the way to the car. 🤣

When we left the fair, we decided we had the energy to head to Waterville and Yardgoods. There I grabbed a skein of black yarn for my memory squares blanket, and after much discussion and creative thinking, a pair of light colored tips for my interchangeables so I can knit my navy blue sweater after dark!

I was home before three, exhausted, but having had a nice day out, and spending time with S alone was fun. I wasn’t home ten minutes and the power went out! It was a windy day, as Fiona was blowing her way to the northeast, but it didn’t seem THAT windy! I did the only sensible thing and took a nap.

Saturday was chores followed by zoom knitting group. Sunday I went with A to work, she is so close to done on this project! We finally printed a million (or so it seemed) letters and property cards to be mailed. I spent Monday and Tuesday collating and stuffing. Not hard, not exciting, and I get paid, so that is good.

Yesterday I went over to Mom’s. We helped do a lot of planting in her church’s garden with a few other volunteers, then went to get some lunch. I was amazed at the number of tourists and out of staters still crowding her streets, but that means there are shops and restaurants open. The price we pay!

After lunch we stopped in a shop I have been wanting to check out. Clementine’s is a well curated fabric shop that also carries Nash Island Yarn. I didn’t buy anything, but I definitely scoped it out and made mental notes. The fabrics are good quality and not ridiculously priced.

Today I am home…should do some grocery shopping, but might not…our grocery store just started offering delivery, and the first order has no charge. I might take advantage of that! I wish they had this last month when we were sick. Timing is everything. Other than that, I will putter about and definitely knit. Maybe sew and weave. Maybe paint the storm door. Who knows?

A Friday list early and weekend plans

Hello!

I have actual plans for tomorrow, so I thought I would share them ahead of time. It’s not an actual list, though. Or if it is, it is a very short one.

This weekend is the Common Ground Fair, which is one of my favorite events of the year. I like it even more than the Maine Fiber Frolic, which says a lot. There is a lot of fiber and yarn and good food, but also a lot of other things, including amazing handcrafted things, everything under the sun about rural living.

Tomorrow, sister in law S and I are going fairly early, and will wander the grounds. My focus will be on yarn, of course, but I might get some seed garlic, and who knows what else? Fresh baked bread? Maple candy?

The plan is to leave there shortly after lunch and head to Waterville to Yardgoods. I want to get some more cascade yarn for my scrap blanket, and a stamp on my yarn cruise passport. S wants to look at the faux fur for her stuffed animals. Since we will be halfway there, it only makes sense to keep going.

My only concern is lingering COVID exhaustion. I warned S that there might be more rest breaks than usual…

Saturday is a return to normal. I will head to our local, seasonal, bakery for some bread, scones, and molasses ginger cookies. They will be permanently closing this fall, which makes me sad, but I will enjoy the last few weeks of yummy carbs.

From there, it is back to work. We are so close to the end on our big project! A will be staying in Millinocket for a few days to give what we hope is one final push. I will head up there after the bakery run and help with printing and stuffing. Assuming she gets to that point. If not, I will go up Sunday. We were there all last weekend, and made good progress, but not as much as we had hoped. There are just so many little bits left to do.

On the knitting front, I have been making good progress on things.

Bonjour/Hi is about halfway done. So easy and fun to knit! I am loving the two yarns held together deal. It’s a nice, light fabric that I think will be warm.

Cloud Cover is coming along, also. It is slow going, but nice and easy. I may look for some brighter colored tips for my interchangeables tomorrow, though. Knitting with navy yarn on dark green needles is hard in the evening.

I did several more squares on the scrap blanket this week, and finished up the first skein of the yarn I am using for the borders on the squares. It lasted for 104.5 squares. I started with 4 skeins of it, so one would think I was 1/4 of the way there. I am not so sure about that, so I will pick up another skein or two. I have the borders to think about, after all. 😉 I should measure the blanket and the bed and see how far along I really am… There is a current picture of the blanket on my Ravelry project page, here. https://www.ravelry.com/projects/salpal1/the-coziest-memory. I am enjoying the process of knitting it, and do think there will be more in my future.

That’s what my weekend looks like… what are you doing this weekend?

yes, I am alive

Just clearly not back in the groove of posting, though I have all good intentions!

I have had a quiet, productive summer. It has been hot, and we have brown tail moth caterpillars, so I have spent a lot of time in the house, being very grateful for the heat pump which keeps the temperature and humidity bearable. And I have been KNITTING. A lot! This summer I knit two complete sweaters, as well as some hats and cowls and other things that won’t get worn for a few more months. I haven’t knit any shawls, though, as I am not sure how they will fit into my wardrobe now that I am working mainly from home. In fact, I sorted through the immense pile of them and bagged up a whole lot to share with friends and family who might have a use for them. I took the bag to my niece’s wedding in PA in May, but it was hot, and none of my nieces were very excited at the thought of trying on knitwear. I will try again at the holidays.

One of the sweaters was exciting for me, as it involved steeking, which I have never tried before. Using the proper yarn, it is so very easy, and I won’t fear cutting my knitting ever again. The pattern is called Budding, and is a cute colorwork cardigan. I hope the link works so that you can see my project on Ravelry. If you don’t or can’t do Ravelry, I apologize. Let me know and I will send you a photo of it if you want to see it. https://www.ravelry.com/projects/salpal1/budding

My other sweater is a very plain wool raglan in sheep gray (greige!) that I intend to take the place of a sweatshirt in my wardrobe. I expect it will get plenty of wear. A friend nicknamed it my “sweatershirt”, and I am sticking with that name.

So now, my needles are mostly cleared off ,and so I am contemplating what to make next. I have the yarn for, and the need for, a navy cardigan. I spent a bit of time on Ravelry looking at the possibilities. I am enamored of Kate Davies’ Horology (https://www.shopkdd.com/horology-download) but not sure I want to knit it in navy. Will the beautiful cables show? I know that I will need to do some sleeve adjusting as my arms and those Kate designs for are differently shaped, but as it is raglan, those adjustments are easy. Right now, I think this pattern is on hold, waiting for a lighter colored yarn. But I really want to knit it, so it might happen before too long.

The other one I am looking at is Cloud Cover, by Heidi Kirrmaier. I already have the pattern, and will have to do the same sleeve adjustment, but as it is a much more plain sweater, the navy blue won’t detract from the pattern. I think this might be the winner this time.

The other thing I am going to cast on is a cape/cowl thing called Bonjour/Hi. it is sort of like the top half of a sweater. Not as long as a cape, really, but longer than a cowl. I have been looking for something a friend calls a “car cowl” – a bit of knitting that can easily go on and off and not interfere with the seatbelt. Good for when a winter jacket is too bulky (always!) but it is too cold to not wear something. So, she wears the bulky coat to and from the car, but puts on the knitted warmth while she is actually driving. It seems brilliant to me. And easier to manage than a shawl. Anyway, I have the yarn for this, and thought I would give it a try. I will hold one strand of fingering weight with one strand of mohair/silk. It should knit up as a DK weight. And I have been wanting to try this combination, so it seems the perfect opportunity. I will let you know how it goes.

Other than knitting, it has been a pretty quiet summer. I did spend a week with Mom at the Attean Lake Lodge in Jackman, Maine. It was so peaceful and quiet! It rained most of the time, so it was not the vacation we had planned, but we managed to get into the lake on our last full day there. And we both did a LOT of reading and knitting. It was a nice break from routine, and from the heat. We actually had a fire almost every night to take the chill off.

Since then, A and I have both dealt with Covid. She bounced back faster than I have. She was out of work for about a week but is back in the groove now. I feel OK, but am very tired when ever I try to do much of anything. I try to do one major thing every day, though, because I figure it has to help. And I am past the stage where getting showered and dressed is the major thing. But it might be doing a load of laundry… lol. Yesterday I did actual work for about an hour, but that was all my brain would allow. Today I did another hour, and still was able to sit at the computer and type this, so I am definitely improving. But I think I will go rest on the couch for a while now.

And I will try to post a little more frequently going forward. If you can believe that. 🙂

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!

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