Road trips!

A wants to go to Boston for her birthday. I want to go to Monhegan for mine.

We are doing both – yippeeeeeeeee!!!

Made the hotel and train reservations for Boston last night. Can’t wait for April!!

Working on figuring out who is going to Monhegan with us, and how long they are staying, and then I will make those arrangements too. Can’t wait for June!!

I LOVE road trips, and I love having them out there, all arranged so that they can be anticipated with out being worried about.

Friday list

at last – a free friday!!!!

The big storm that isn’t is not going to stop me from meeting Mom in Belfast for lunch and some shopping. Our plan? To go to Good Karma farm, where we can drool over luscious alpaca yarns. Then, lunch, probably at Darby’s. After lunch. we are going to a new shop Mom found that sounds SO COOL! She said it is full of really nice fabric and art supplies – walls of color. I can’t wait to see it. We will probably wander up and down Main Street, definitely going into the yarn shop that she can never find (it is below street level) and winding up at Reny’s (a real Maine adventure!) for some odds and ends and who knows what we will find. I will be looking for Roland’s ginger oil, which we seem to use a lot of.

Besides this fun stuff, I’ll head to the PO in the morning, where I hope to find the bill for our home owners insurance so we can get that paid up for another year. I’ll also stop at the town office and pay the property taxes – we can stay another 6 months!

I’ll stop at the library, return one book club book and see if they have the next one, as well as another book on tape. I really enjoyed the last one, I had forgotten how nice they are for the commute.

While I am in downtown Bucksport, I might stop by Bookstacks and just see what they have that I need. πŸ™‚

I promise to have fun and let you know all the good things I see and which ones I actually bring home.

Ont he way home, A wants me to stop at Angler’s in Searsport and get her some fish without chips, and some of their cheesy tater skins, so I will. Not sure if I will get me anything for supper, time will tell!

Saturday is the kittens first birthday, by coincidence, we invited A’s sisters over for waffles (my third week of super bowl prize breakfast) and so we will have an accidental birthday party. I found a fleece remnant with basketballs on it, so will make them new blanket, but other than that, not much exciting stuff fr them. A wants me to make a feathery thing for the end of the fishing line that can bear more weight than the ones we buy. Not sure how I will do that, but I will work on it.

We weighed them the other day – Allie is a pudgy little 11.4 pounds, Zumba is a svelte 12.6 pounds. Not sure how that works, but long legs really do matter. πŸ™‚ A little internet research tells me that they are now full-grown. Not little babies anymore! (as I say this, Allie is tearing around the bedroom playing with a piece of paper. Maybe they are still babies, just big?)

odds and ends

Well, here we are – Sunday. And I never did a Friday list. Oops. And it is snowing. Again. Third weekend in a row disrupted by Old Ma Nature. It’s getting old. However, this is supposed to just be a few inches. I hope so, since we do have to go to work tomorrow, and digging before hand would be a huge drag.

But enough grousing about that which can’t be changed. How was my weekend? Well, thanks for asking!

Friday was a tax day, in Southwest Harbor again. We had one slow spot in the middle of the day, but other wise were busy doing taxes pretty steadily all day. We did stop on our way over to the SWH library for coffee and a snack at Tanya’s Off the Grid. It’s a new place in town, and it has really good food. Worth a trip from anywhere!

On the way back through Ellsworth, I stopped and got supper at Finelli’s Pizza, another really good place to eat. Their pizza is not typical Maine Pizza (which I find too doughy) but is more like the pizza I grew up with in CT. Which makes sense, as the owner is from Rhode Island. Love my Neapolitan pies. πŸ™‚

Saturday, We gathered up A’s sisters and went off to toodle around Bangor. Went to a new yarn store, the yarn barn. And I learned that there is also a yarn store AND a fabric store in Brewer. I will check them out some friday. But this trip, we went to only one yarn store. I found the store nice enough, not spectacular. The owner carries three or four brands, but they are good quality with a lot of variety in their offerings. Not a wide variety of notions, either. So, I would give it a B – she has nicer yarns than anyone else I have found in Bangor – not all acrylic like the big boxes. I found some yarn to make C’s leg warmers, which is what I was looking for. I stayed within budget. I wasn’t even tempted to buy anything else. I was interested in looking at the various colors of Lamb’s Pride bulky she had (not many) because I have 9-10 skeins of a pretty strange blue, and want to get a lot of other skeins of some unknown colors and knit an afghan someday. But nothing seemed right, so I will keep looking. To her credit, the owner did offer to let me see her swatch card and special order whatever I wanted. I might take her up on that. She also offers a 3% discount for paying cash – a woman who knows what credit costs her – gotta love it!

We did a bunch of other errands while we were int eh big city – A went and got a few sweets at the candy store, a new printer from Best Buy, and a fishing pole (for the cats) from Dick’s while I checked out the yarn store and got a new watch at Day’s Jeweler’s. I think sister S was flabbergasted at the things we got and what we paid, but we are flabbergasted at how she lives her life, too, so I didn’t worry too much about it. Of course, I did not tell her how much we are going to spend at a hotel in Boston for A’s birthday. Way more than my watch and some yarn!

Once those errands were done, we went to a new hot dog restaurant in Orono – it was really good! Hard to believe, but they had excellent quality ingredients and fun combinations of flavors. A got mac and cheese – it was yummy, as were her cheese fries. I had a chili dog, very good, right amount of heat. In fact, it made me want chili, so when we stopped at the grocery store on the way home, I got the ingredients, and made a batch. I’ll be eating it for weeks, I guess. A doesn’t like it – too tomato-ey and spicy for her.

Today I worked up in the craft room for a while – cleaning up the red and pink rubble from the valentine’s, and thinking about the birthday cards for March. I have a few ideas, but nothing concrete yet. I think I’ll need to mess around some more before I have them concrete. But I can’t wait too long, as the first of the birthdays comes up in about 10 days…

Earlier this week, I sorted out the pile of hats, and took the smaller (hopefully, kid sized) ones to work. It seems that although we have been sending out coats for months now, schools are still calling and asking for more, and we are low on hats, scarves and mittens to go with them. SO I sent over a small batch of hats (pictured) that I had been stockpiling. I still have lots of adult sizes done, and will send them off soon to one of the other places I know can use them. I only finished one hat this week – a pretty gray and burgundy one with yarn sister-in law S gave me last week. the stash is gaining on me, I am afraid! The big project I am working on is a sweater for a friend at work – she bought the yarn, and I am knitting her the sweater I made for myself last summer – a hooded tunic from Knitting Pure and Simple that is knit from the neck down, goes pretty fast. But it will be a few more weeks, I think, before it is done. then the leg warmers. πŸ™‚
hats to work

I also am reading a new book, lent to me by a friend, called The City of Women. It’s a novel set in WWII Berlin, very interesting so far. Brings up a lot of things that I never knew about what was going on in Germany while we were vilifying all things German. I have been flying through it, can’t wait to read what happens next.

A few posts ago, I told you about Zumba calling A up to play with her every evening – here’s a photo I got of her at the top of her post, calling down for someone (A) to come and play. She’s very cute and persistent!
zumba's evening routine
Now I am off to knit a few rows on the new sweater, before we watch the Duke women’s basketball game… busy busy busy. πŸ™‚

wip no more

I spent all weekend working hard to finish the red sweater, and I did it. Then I ripped it all out. The closer I got to completion, the more sure I was that the sweater either would not fit or would be very unflattering. I was right on both counts.

Sigh. Somehow I forgot? that Vogue models and I are not remotely similar in shape. Actually, I knew it, but thought that I had adjusted the pattern enough to make up for it. I didn’t.


I still love the sweater, and now know what I have to do to make it fit, and I think I know what I have to do to make it look good. So, I will be doing it over again, After all, I have all that red yarn that I love.

Pattern alterations I will make:

– Shorter sleeves with faster increases/decreases so they fit my old lady arms.
– More length so it is not so cropped on my much shorter/wider (than a Vogue model’s) body. I think I want it to hit high hip on me.
– No bobbles – they are cute and look wonderful on the knitted garment, but there is no part of my body that is enhanced by a row of bobbles. Also, they use lots of yarn, so eliminating them should give me enough for the longer length.
– Lastly, I might make the cables more symmetrical – not sure about that – without the bobbles, it might not bother me so much that they aren’t.

Process changes I will make:

– Provisional cast on for the body stitches, and place them on a holder when done, so that I can use 3 needle bind off on both side seams. Not sure why they didn’t do both sides the same – maybe I will find out when I try it?
– Knit front and back at same time – less work to make sure they are the same and that the pattern rows match up when you reach the other side.

So, live and learn – or relearn – lessons. I can’t wait to have the sweater in my wardrobe. But I am moving it to the end of the line, since I have yarn a friend bought for me to make her a sweater, and then there are the leg warmers for C that I want to make. It will get done before next winter, but probably not in time to wear this winter. Bummer. But better that it fits and I like it than that it is done and checked off the list.

time to remember words of wisdom from Quinn at Halcyon Yarn – it is OK to rip it out and do it right – after all, we knit because we like to knit – does it matter if we knit the same thing more than once?

Think of the money I will save on yarn, getting to use this yarn twice. πŸ™‚

deja vu – snow storm!

It isn’t Nemo, but it might as well be! Snowing hard, blowing hard, we are not going anywhere. I managed to sit and knit most of the day, mindlessly watching TV – reruns of cop shows, and women’s basketball. Watched part of the Tennessee Vanderbilt game. A. spotted Robin Roberts and Pat Head Summitt in the audience – glad they are both well enough to enjoy the game! Also glad ESPN has figured out that the sports world does contain people who care about women’s basketball – which, of course, is thanks in a great part to Pat Summitt. But, since I am a die-hard UCONN fan, Geno, too. πŸ™‚ Still can’t cheer for Tenn., even as I realize what Summitt has done for us all. And, if Robin likes her, she can’t be that bad. πŸ™‚

Made good progress on the red sweater – done with the body, working my way down the sleeve now, decreasing regularly, so the rows go faster and faster.

Not much else going on around here – A started the bookcases for the loft – I helped her get the big sheets of wood through the table saw, so I can say I helped build them! That project should let us unpack the books, at LONG last. And it means I will have to paint the loft before they go in. So I might start that in the next week or so. Or I might put it off. I am feeling pretty lazy today. which is OK, as tomorrow I will get a workout, getting the car out to go do a tax return – otherwise, it is a holiday for us. Glad to have the time to clean up the dooryard thoroughly.

hats and sweaters

aunt nellie's yarn hats

watercolor hat

purple hat

double strand men's hat

so, I managed to get the hat photos without getting too distracted. πŸ™‚ Two are single strand versions, the third is a double strand – I love the way I could get the colors shaded by changing them one strand at a time. I also got some WIP photos of the red sweater from Vogue Knitting. One shoulder and sleeve to go!

wip red sweater closeup

wip red sweater

no list, but lots of things going on

Friday was a tax day – this time at the library in Southwest Harbor. I forget what a nice town SW is – and they have a really nice library. It was kind of a slow tax day, a few cancellations, but we did enough to make the trip worthwhile. I brought my knitting (duh) and so have another tax hat done. The room we were in has years of old National Geographics, so I read all about the world the month I was born. It was pretty interesting reading. I’m pretty old, I guess, as it seemed like a history lesson I was reading.

So about the tax hat… A few months ago, we went to Aunt Nellie’s Attic in Holden, and I got a bag of beautiful blue and purple and gray yarns for 1.50. I might have mentioned it to you. They looked so beautiful together, I knew they would make great hats. I was right, but…. got home, and found it clearly was someone’s project bag, probably crewel yarn – most of it cut into 18-36 inch lengths! Horrible for knitting hats. But what I finally did was knot them together randomly, and knit “watercolored” abstract hats. I got three out of the bag, and gave the last bits to sister-in-law S today for her “chipmunker bags”. She makes really beautiful little hand crocheted gift bags with pretty accent buttons and beads. Anyway, I figure those hats cost me $.50 each! Not too expensive! I’ll get pictures in just a minute…. πŸ™‚

Last night, A and I went out to supper for a late Valentine’s Day dinner. We went to a pub in Searsport that we really liked the last time we went. Had an absolutely delicious meal – I got maple bourbon steak tips – absolutely delicious, and too much, so I will get them for supper tonight too! A had fried haddock and hand cut french fries, she ate it all, and said it was delicious. I think we will go there more often, now that we are reminded just how good the food is!

Today I cashed in on one of my super bowl winning breakfasts, and A went out and got me a breakfast sandwich and donut from Dunkin Donuts, while I made double brownies for lunch with her sisters today. Then I ran out and got a haircut, gas for the snowblower (yes, we will need it again, another blizzard predicted for tonight. No naming this one, as far as I know) and stopped at the library. I needed to get my book club book for next Monday, and found a book on CD to listen to coming and going from work. And I picked up the Louisa May Alcott book we talked about reading at last book group – Under the Lilacs. They did not have a wide selection of her works – lots of copies of LIttle Women, Little Men and Jo’s Boys, and 8 Cousins, but not much else. It will be fun to read it even if the book group doesn’t choose to. Still plugging away at Cloud Atlas. It is bogged down again. Kind of strange book – gets interesting, then dull.

A’s sisters were here when I got back – we had power pellet lifting today – we had a ton of them delivered to the driveway this week – with three of us working (S keeps the cats from the open door) we can get them stacked in the cellar pretty quickly. A and L bring them to the top of the stairs, slide them down a ramp A made, and I catch and stack them. It worked pretty well! Allie hid in the bedroom. Zumba came downstairs to help me (as in hide in the kayak cockpit and watch.

Then A and L made home-made veggie egg rolls – so yummy! The brownies also were good, though rich. They are layered – blondie on bottom, then brownie, then caramel frosting. sugar hit!

After I finish this post, I’ll take those photos, and then settle into knit away on my red sweater. Have I told you about it? It’s a Vogue Knitting pattern – bulky yarn, cable knit, but easy pattern. I am about 2/3 done, and hope to finish it this weekend. I’ll miss it on my lap, it is SO cozy and warm. After this, I have yarn from a friend at work so I will make her sweater – also an easy pattern, neck down, circular needles, fast fast. THEN – leg warmers for oldest niece C – she requested them in a fade colorway – I can’t wait to get into a yarn store and choose colors to make that happen. I warned her that if they are fun to make, she might get several pairs. I got the impression that it won’t be a problem. πŸ™‚

So. Another blizzard tonight, or maybe tomorrow – they are a little vague and uncertain. I don’t think it will be a Nemo storm – unless you live in Nova Scotia. If you do, I hope you get a better weather report for your area than we do. Ours stops exactly on the border, even though we are much closer geographically and weather-wise to New Brunswick and NS, we get weather reports for places like Boston and New York, which get totally different weather from us. The national identity needs to be forgotten when it comes to weather. But I guess it never will.

as promised, one valentine photo

hearts and flowers

Hearts and flowers card – hard to photograph to show shimmer spray and accurate colors.

Made with die cut pale heart paper (old) over a tiny valentine print, also old. Heart doily spritzed with red spray from tattered angels, so are dark flowers. Light flowers colored with light pink spectrum noir pen. Assembled card spritzed with white smooch spray. A shimmery flowery valentine for my sweetheart.

Ditz-brained blonde moment

Much as I hate that term (hair color has nothing to do with anything in the brain) I have to confess. I had a complete and utter blonde moment this weekend, and I JUST realized it this morning.

I made 9 valentines. They are all adorable.
I carefully carried them downstairs with their envelopes and the colored pens. Put them on the counter next to the address book and stamps and went to get the camera.
Got distracted.
Came back, addressed the envelopes, stuffed them, stamped them.

I promised photos of them. I didn’t take any. I realized it today as I was dropping the local ones in the post box.

I have one left, for home delivery. I swear I will get a photo of that one for you all.

Because I know you are dying to see them.


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