I told you I was sick*   14 comments

This is a quiz to see if you are paying attention.

You can tell I am really sick because:

1.) I am too tired to spin.

2.) I gave up knitting lace as too complicated, cast on a hitchhiker shawl from my handspun, stopped knitting that because it was too heavy.

3.) I have no interest in food, and haven’t eaten more than 2 bites since Friday.

4.) All of the above.


I don’t want to give away the answer,  but suffice to say it was serious enough to make me take days off from work and actually go to the doctor.  Turns out I have a sinus infection and an ear infection.  If the meds work, I should feel much better in three days. If I don’t I am to go straight back to the doctor.

I hope that is unnecessary.

Good night!

* This is the inscription on a mock gravestone my sister gave my joke-loving grandparents. They proudly displayed it each Halloween

Posted October 17, 2016 by salpal1 in how it came out

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A Friday list this week!   22 comments

I am so glad that this isn’t the year I decided to go to Rhinebeck!

Came down with a horrible cold this week, and so left work early yesterday, and stayed home today.  My list today has a theme!

Do some research on cold meds I can take – ones with no sugars or alcohol to satisfy the whole 30 eating plan; ones with no caffeine or other stimulants to comply with doctor’s orders regarding the heart; ones with no NSAIDs to comply with gastric by-pass surgery requirements.

I honestly think I can do two out of three with what is in the medicine chest, but I am just not sure.  So on my list today is also a call to the doctor to get her take on it.

Once I know that, I need to make a shopping list – I have no decaffeinated tea!!!! Definitely  want some tea… and the meds, and I think we need more tissues…

If I feel up to it, I will take a hot shower and head out to get those things, if I don’t feel like it, I will call A at work and ask her to stop on her way home tonight.

I expect I will do some knitting and spinning, but mostly, I will be napping.  If only I could lie down without everything hurting and clogging up.  I wonder how horses sleep standing up??? I should learn how to do that.

Not an exciting list.  Sure not as exciting as if I was heading off to Rhinebeck, right?

A quiet weekend in Lake Woebegone   14 comments

A long weekend, to be sure!

I did go to Whorls and Purls on Saturday, and so did a bit of knitting. Finished up a little hat for the Community Caring project there, using yarn that Debbie wanted us to test out. It was merely OK, so no more about it. We discussed the fact that we are all yarn snobs and we know it, having grown used to good quality wool and silk. So maybe we aren’t the perfect testers? Yet we are her customer base, and we are happy with the commercial lines she does carry…

The rest of Saturday was for puttering about the house. And knitting a bit.

Sunday, I convinced A that we wanted to go for a ride to see the colors north of us. Naturally it was the first rainy day in a long time. NOT complaining, we need the rain. Just noting.  We took the back roads up to Bangor, then the highway to Staceyville.


Saw this from a highway overlook. That’s Mount Katadhin, the northern end of the Appalachian Trail.

From there we took State Route 11 up to Patten, then back down through Millinocket.

This was in Patten.

Here we made a slight detour to the New England Outdoor Center, for which I had an ulterior motive.  I wanted to see this site of the Highland Handmades knitting retreat. Can’t make it this year but I want to sometime. I wanted to see if it is a place A might like to spend a weekend. 😀  I think it is. So perhaps next year…


From there we followed route 11 to Milo, then went back down the highway and home.  As A said “6 hours of driving and we didn’t go anywhere!” But I said since she likes to sleep in her own bed think of it as a vacation. Lol.

Monday was yare work as the weather was fine. Pool is all ready for the winter, gardens are getting there.  A used her new brush cutter to clear the edges of the driveway, she wants to get that done before snowfly. And who knows when that will be?

Of course there was more knitting and spinning. I finished the knitting of Mirno, I’ll try to block it this week so you can see it next week. That left two shawls on the needles from my big cast on in July. So naturally I cast on 2 more. 😝  One is a Gloria del Sol in Purple Fleece’s Radiant Gradient in aquamarine, the other is hitchhiker in my handspun you red my mind. I’ll post photos when there is enough progress to see.

Now it’s Tuesday and so back to normal routines. Like knitting isn’t?

Posted October 11, 2016 by salpal1 in how I spent my day, what I am making

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What have I been up to?   15 comments

Well, there has been a whole lot, actually.

But it all seems mundane and just busy work.  Work has been a long line of not hard but very frustrating things – getting 400 invitations to come out of the computer with no streaks blips, blobs, or smears,  and all lined up.  Getting 400 mailing labels to do the same.  And deal with division heads who didn’t know that I MEANT it when I said I needed their mailing lists at a certain date and time, and so going back and redoing labels and printing more invitations.

You know -around my other work,  being special projects girl is not always easy. 🙂


But then there was a weekend, and a big finish!  Just look at this yarn, I am so proud of it.  This is just UNDER 4 ounces, and it is about 600 yards!!!!  (601 before the bath.  Don’t know the after the bath number yet.)  That is lace weight, my friends, and it is what I have been striving to make since I learned to spin. It took forever to spin, and it is a good thing it is my favorite colors, I would have grown bored otherwise.  Even plying it took two evenings, and I ply pretty fast.



I took it with me to Whorls and Purls on Saturday, for show and tell.  :-)  While there, I picked up 3 skeins of yarn that Debbie got sent “on approval” which I will use to make hats for her box.  Not loving the colors but the yarn is OK.  Other people must like these colors as they turn up everywhere.  :-)   Of course I cast on a hat immediately even though I have plenty of other things going.  I needed a mobile project and wanted to get it done for her. And someone will be glad for a warm hat in just a few weeks, right?

I also finished my first Christmas present which I can’t show you yet because the recipient might read it, but I felt it was a nice quick knit and I hope she likes it. 🙂 It was knit in Ella Rae Seasons, again a yarn I would not normally choose (acrylic wool blend, chainette structure) in colors the recipient chose.  Let’s just say it came out better than I would have thought. 🙂

I had hope to finish Mirno by the weekend, but that didn’t happen because I made a huge push on the spinning, so I am working in the last chart of that shawl, and then I will have two of the four done.  The last two are slower going, but I work on them regularly, so hope to have progress worth sharing in the next few weeks.

Since I do try to spin each day, I put the next project on the wheel.  Amanita was the September roving of the month at Purple Fleece, and I remembered some Lamb’s Pride I have in the hat yarn bag that will go nicely with it.  So, I am spinning it to be thick – I will three ply it and try for a bulky yarn for  the accent yarn on an alpine topper.  We will see how it goes.  The spin is going SO FAST!  Finished the first bobbin, and am about halfway through the second one now.


I feel like I am missing something, but if I think of it, I will share it later.


This weekend coming is a long one – love it!  The weather is so nice and warm, I am still getting cherry tomatoes from the garden, but I need to start putting things to bed, and plant some fall things like garlic, and maybe a bit of lettuce. I also need to dig up the remaining carrots.  So I expect we will do some yard work, and I will definitely do some knitting and spinning.  Maybe we will go on a little day trip someplace – can’t sit home ALL weekend, and the trees are so beautiful right now. Colors are getting perfect around here, and farther north, I think they are prime.  Maybe I will see if A wants to go for a ride.  Not that she doesn’t do that all week long…but this would be for fun.  Haven’t been for a ride for ages.  Think of the knitting I could get done.

Common Ground Fair ~or~ No More Drought in Unity Maine   24 comments

We went to the fair as planned.

It rained.

Not the tenth- to a quarter-inch that was predicted.  At least an inch.  Maybe more.

We waited for the train in the rain (I highly recommend the train – it saves so much traffic and parking aggravation, and loads of walking.) Mom was generally happier than she looks in this photo – she hates having photos taken, especially with phones and for no reason. 🙂


We watched the sheep dog demo in the misty drizzle.  (Love to watch border collies move animals with their eyes.)


We visited the fiber tents and Wednesday Spinner Tent in a steady rain.


We ate lunch in torrential rains.

We took refuge in the folk art tent and watched some fun contra dancing.  While I knit (duh) and Mom and niece B shivered from the cold and wet, we all watched niece E dance with abandon.  Sister C and her husband R were visiting the fair for the first time, and they spent most of the day tracking after E as she went on horse-drawn wagon rides, made a beaded bracelet, hand ground buckwheat into flour, explored all the animal barns, and generally had a blast, heedless of the rain.

I didn’t do as much shopping as I normally would, I am not sure I found all the fiber vendors, as we got so cold and wet that we decided to head out before the contra dancing was quite finished (2:30 or so).

But I did get a bit of fiber!  I wanted to learn more about different kinds of spinning, and so I chatted with a few farmers before making my selections.  If it hadn’t been raining, I would have gotten more from some of them, but I didn’t want to carry huge amount of wet fiber around.

I got this – an ounce of Finn from a woman who raises what look like the happiest of sheep. I plan to do a little dying with this and see how dying on a dark base impacts the color.


And this – Angora/wool mix.  I chatted with the woman in this booth about my spinning skills, and asked her how hard Angora is to spin – it’s hard, apparently, and she recommended a blend with wool, so this is angora and merino.  SO SOFT!


This I found in the Bartlett tent.  Bartlett has a million colors of yarn, all of which I want.


But then in a bin, I discovered these little batts of unidentified wool (Debbie at the Purple Fleece said it feels like Romney, which is why I need to keep learning.  Her fingers can tell her this?  I need a label written in English.)


And that is it.  Everything I bought at the fair. I spent perhaps 50 dollars, including ticket and lunch.  Very unlike me. I blame the rain. The absolutely only good thing about the rain is that it keeps the crowds way down, it was wonderfully uncrowded.  Oh, and I guess it is good that we got the rain, since we are still exceedingly dry around here.

I made up for the lack of yarn spending  on Saturday, when I went to Whorls and Purls at the Purple Fleece.  My roving of the month was waiting for me – inspired by a mushroom!  It just feels like autumn to me.  Here are the front and back, looking a bit different from each other.  I love the little touches of purple.

She also had a whole new batch of gradients that I had not seen before,  I got a two skeins of one of them.  I am not completely sure what I will do with these, but I am thinking maybe a shawl, because I need another one, ROTFL!  But with over 800 yards, I have a lot of options.


So while it wasn’t what I expected to be showing you, I did manage to get a wide array of fiber-y goodness this weekend.

Not sure if I will go to the fair in the rain again…if it rains on Friday next year, I might give it a miss.   I love the fair, but not the cold September rain.


Friday list   7 comments

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!




Back in the saddle   13 comments

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!




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