This was a simply lovely weekend

Very busy, of course, but beautiful outdoors.

Friday I had to go to Cherryfield to take some photos for work of our quarterly food distribution. That was fun, I got some great shots of people loading industrial sized boxes of food into trucks.  Really, it was more fun than it sounds.  They are all so organized, it was like watching a ballet or something. These guys work hard.  Most of them are volunteers at their local food pantries, and this food makes a huge difference ion the lives of the folks they serve.

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Once I finished that assignment, I headed north, because if there is one crazy thing about Cherryfield, it is that it is the blueberry capital of the world.  Really. (for you info junkies – it is named Cherryfield not for the fruit but for the people with that last name who settled it back in 1700 whatever.)

And there is one thing about wild blueberry bushes in the fall and winter – they are GORGEOUS!  Not a blue thing in sight.  So I thought I would share with you some of the photos I got – enjoy! Most of these are actually of barrens in Deblois, just north of Cherryfield, but there are acres of them in Cherryfield as well. In fact, all over Washington County you will see sites like this.  How lucky can we get to live in such a place?

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The bushes turn this luscious scarlet color, and they will stay that way through winter (which is also lovely, when they are coated with frost and ice and sparkle in the sun)

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These little blue buildings are housing for the migrant workers who rake the berries each summer.  Next time you enjoy a blueberry anything , think of them up here living in these hot buildings with no running water. Not great living conditions.

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Nothing else up here on the barrens – which might be why blueberry fields are called barrens.

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Just nothing like it on a bright fall day.

First of fall Friday list

This morning is full of errands and running about – I have to go to Cherryfield and get some photos of our quarterly USDA food distribution activities for work, as well as a stereotypical photo of smiling faces and checks passing hands, as we received a nice donation from out of state to benefit 4 food pantries!  So that is how I will start the day.

Then it is back to Ellsworth to drop a check off at the stove store – we should have our new pellet stove by the end of October!

That fun is followed by a trip to the big grocery store, then back to home, with a quick stop to pay the property taxes and pick up the mail.

Once I get home, I will take a knitting break and work on my co-worker’s socks – I had her try them on yesterday, and I am glad I did, she has a very tiny foot, it turns out, so I pulled out a few rows and decreased teh number of stitches from 56 to 48.  Glad I suspected that might happen and put a lifeline in at the end of the toe increases, so it was a pretty simple adjustment.  Making sox this small should go quickly – I am so used to knitting for my Sasquatch sized feet.  🙂

After the break, I hope to work outside for a bit, as it is supposed to just be a fabulous weekend, weather-wise.  I am still getting tomatoes, I can;t believe it!

This weekend, we will be cleaning thoroughly and rearranging the furniture to accommodate our incoming patient and for the winter.  L goes in for her knee replacement on Monday, and we will just be ready for whatever comes our way after that – we don’t know if she is coming here straight from the hospital or going to rehab first.  A took the next two weeks off from work, with just a few little exceptions, and I will take time off to cover those.  After that, we aren’t sure what will be needed, but I will probably be able to take time off or work from home, and we will call on other family and friends if needed.

Sunday, we want to go do something fun and interesting to distract L from thinking about the next few weeks, but we haven’t come up with anything more special than breakfast.  🙂  Hiking and biking are out of the question, of course. too bad, as L loves both of those activities. So we will keep thinking, and come up with something, I am sure.

I’ll also try to get some photos of things I have finished up lately with the needles – there ar elot sof hats done, and I have sewn all those cool buttons on hats, so they are truly finished objects now.

That’s it – I have to run to get the day started.  See you later!

OFF THE NEEDLES!

At last – pair number 21 is complete.  they took a long time because I added hats to the knitting WIP pile, and so even though I knit every day, I didn’t knit as much on socks as I had been.

Also, the yarn is a tiny bit thinner than the Tosh Sock I have knit so muchof this year, and I think my brain could just not get around the difference – lots more rows!

Anyway – they are done, they are lovely, I am so glad I have them.  I love the colors (Cloudlover’s Peacock) and how they blend to look like a watercolor design.  I will wear these socks a lot this winter.

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Of course, I right away cast on the next pair (#22) which are the ones for my coworker.  They will be in Sun Rose by Tosh Sock (back to the comfort zone, right?) and I will get photos of them along the way.  Because they aren’t for me and I don’t have the recipient’s foot handy, I will use lifelines, and get her to slip them on now and then during the process.  Which I hope will not be another month like the last pair.  Really?  A month?  I WAS slow on that pair.

The rest of the weekend

You would think that after a day at the fair, the rest of the weekend would be chores, chores chores.  Au contraire!

Friday evening niece B came over for a visit from college.  She stayed for supper and the night, so we got to visit and chat and eat homemade mac and cheese.  🙂

Saturday morning, A and I left her asleep.  A went off with her sister L for a pre-knee replacement road trip to Waterville to the Colby College Museum of Art, and lunch at Big G’s in Winslow.  I headed in the opposite direction, to Blue Hill, to take photos at a fund raising event we were having for work. It was a fabulous day – very breezy, blue skies, sunshine.  the event was held at the Blue Hill Country Club, which is right on the bay.  Could not ask for a lovelier location.  I checked in and discovered that one of the volunteers had the photos taking completely under control, and was able to stay for the whole event!  I took a few photos and then headed back toward home.

On the way, the strangest thing happened.  I pulled up to a stop sign, and almost with a mind of its own, my car pulled into the parking lot of the String theory yarn shop!  Naturally, I went in.  I have not been there in a very long time, and during that time, it seems they have developed a lot of lovely colors.  🙂  Since Cousin P asked me for some blue socks the day before, I had to check out the sock yarn.  You have to look for yourself – the colors are amazing.  I finally chose Caper in cobalt blue for the socks, and escaped with only one skein. But it is a definite re-visit with lots of money kind of place.  The downstairs of an old farm house just FILLED with beautiful yarn, all their own yarn and colors. I think  I might need some turquoise socks…

Back on the road again, I stopped at the PO to pick up this week’s batch of circulars and bills.  So excited to find a card from the UK – and a pattern for a lace shawl that Claire of Mollie and Claire sent me!  She has written a couple of posts about the shawl, and when I asked her how I could get the pattern, she offered to mail it to me – so very nice.  I happen to have the perfect yarn to try it – some silk/merino sock weight from Cloudlover.  I have two different colorways, the Lady Edith and Lady Sybil colorways.  Add it to the pile of projects I want to cast on!

I got home to a lovely niece just rousing herself from a long night of sleep, and we had omelets – mine for lunch, hers for breakfast.  Mmm.  🙂  We were just sorting out what to do for the afternoon when Mom and step-dad called – they were out and about and wanted to stop by.  So they got to visit with niece B, which was great, as they haven’t seen her since we made the flying trip to her sister’s graduation.

By then, we figured we should just hang for a while – we watched the Butler on DVD – B’s favorite movie and I hadn’t seen it yet, B painted her nails – something she hasn’t been able to do at school – she is an RA now, and says it never fails, she gets the polish on and someone is locked out or needs other assistance, so it messes up the polish.  She tried every color I had, took a photo, emailed her friends and got a vote on the color.  Then cleaned it all off and painted them that color.  I would say it is an interesting world when a girl needs that kind of feedback to choose a nail color, but I know that is an old-fashioned viewpoint.  🙂

A got home from her adventure, and we played a quick game of Guillotine before B headed back to school, with her laundry all clean and dry, a bag with some goodies (like leftover mac and cheese and a giant Whoopie pie from Big G’s) tucked in her car, and her nails sparkling pink.

I hope she had a good time, and enjoyed her break from the dorms. We loved having her, and hope she will seek refuge here again soon.

Sunday A headed out to go to work for a couple of hours.  I stayed home to do what I had been thinking about earlier in the week – sit on the couch and knit.  Sit I did!  While I managed to wash and dry several loads of laundry, I also managed to knit a hat, knit on the hitchhiker shawl and knit on the socks that I can’t seem to finish. I also wound lots and lots of skeins into balls, so they are sitting ready to knit when it is their turn.  🙂   The hat is another alpine topper – this one made from some “blue loch” Bartlett yarn in a worsted weight.  I used some stash mohair in blues, greens and pinks, and held it with the pink angora/merino I got at the fair.  The soft yarns created a fabulous soft lining as well as a pretty pink highlight on the outside.  I immediately cast on a smaller hat with the pink angora as a lining to a hat that will have the mohair on the outside.  I think it will be child sized or maybe small adult, but it will be so soft and warm and pretty.  If it turns out as I expect, it will join the growing pile of hats I will have for sale at the craft show. I did all of this while watching the third episode of the Roosevelts – I am really enjoying that series, and hope to have a chance to watch number 4 soon.  A does not appreciate the show like I do, so I try to find times when she is not around to watch them. She doesn’t love history like I do, doesn’t love TR like I do, doesn’t love public TV like I do, so thank goodness for the DVR.  They are all safely recorded for future viewing.  🙂  Our differences make life interesting, I have to say!  I got home from work last week one night to find her watching Jaws.  I sat on the couch carefully not looking at the TV until it ended.  We just find different things entertaining.  🙂

So, it was a good weekend, all around, and left me somewhat rested and ready for the week ahead.  I think. So you might not have any whining from me this week, won’t that be nice?

Friday at the fair

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This weekend was the long anticipated Common Ground Fair.  I headed out early with Mom and Cousin P, and it was a GLORIOUS day, weather-wise.  We couldn’t help but compare it to other years where we swam through pouring rain to go to the fair, or slogged through ankle deep mud to see the animals and fiber, or froze and huddled by the cows to keep warm.  🙂  Not so this year.  This year we are in a dry spell – no mud.  The skies are bright and clear – no rain. While it was a cold morning, it was nothing a pair of wool socks and a hooded sweater couldn’t fix.

We wandered through the Maine Marketplace tents and found Cousin B’s pizza at Harvest Moon Wood-fired Pizza.  Said hello to the gang before heading off to the crafters tents.  Oh my goodness, the things people make!  Jewelry, hand-wovens, knits, wood work, pottery, amazing things. These tents were filled to the brim (and around the outside) with all the things Maine Artisans make, and it is awe-inspiring.

Then it was over to the animals and then fiber land.  I spent a long time – an hour or more in just one tent, and came out with a skein of luscious 60/40 merino/angora bright pink yarn, in a weight somewhere between sport and DK.  It is soft and luscious and bright, and will make a great addition to my hats.

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By then it was lunch time, and so we braved the crowds and of course got pizza – mmmmmm it was yummy.  We sat on some steps in the sunshine and enjoyed the good food and great weather.  By then, the crowds were building, which none of the three of us were excited about – it is why we go to the fair early on the first day.

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So, we made a plan to get some cash, hit the flushable toilets and then shop our way back to the car, drop off purchases and then head back in for the contra-dancing.

By the time we got to the gate, I knew I was done, and asked the others to please not worry about me, but I was going to stay at the car and nap and knit.  Turns out they were just as tired, so we headed home.

It was a great day,and I came home with a good amount of yarn for someone who didn’t have a lot of money and couldn’t find two of her favorite vendors in the giant fair. I found some great mini skein packs at the Bartlett tent – I wish I had money for more of these guys! I MIGHT have found some yarn for my leftie shawl…

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And bread from Borealis Breads, and maple candy and a new thing – Maple jelly!  Can’t wait to try that on some peanut butter toast… or vanilla ice cream… or crepes… I also got a little something for the cats – best catnip ever – in little toys and bags.common ground loot

And as we walked back to the car at the end of the day, I noticed my shoes were dusty.  Not wet, not muddy.  Dusty.  A good day.

Friday list

It’s a good one!

Mom and I and Cousin P are off to the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association’s (MOFGA) annual Common Ground Fair – which I LOVE.  There is just so much that is good about the fair – food that originates in Maine, fiber that originates in Maine, crafts and all sorts of products that are from Maine resources.  Great back to the land type resources and information.

No rides, no flashing lights.  Loads of animals, and contra dancing and fabulous real music.

And did I mention yarn?

Oh my.

Oooooweeeee!!!!!

You may recall a couple of years ago, a coworker asked me to make her a sweater.  I gave her the yarn specifics, and she bought it.  Luckily, she understands about good yarn and icky yarn.  What she got was pretty good, and at the top of her budget.  I worked hard on that sweater, and she said she loved it but I never was sure as it isn’t a style she would wear to work.

Then I made her a hat and I never see it, but I know hats mess her hair. I knew she liked the hat, but I never knew if she really used it.

Turns out she does.  Just not to work.

Today she watched me knitting my socks in a meeting and asked me if I would make some for her? Same deal as before – she will pay for yarn.  I said absolutely yes, but warned her that the sock yarn I choose is expensive.  She said that is OK.

So I am off to search around the web to see what pretty yarn I can find that I will like working with that she can afford.  Then, once I get approval, I will order it and get her socks in my rotation.  The really good news? She wears shoes a couple sizes smaller than me, and has tiny little ankles.

I am so excited that she likes my things enough to ask for them!  This is a woman who dresses like a million bucks on thrift store finds. She knows quality when she sees it, and she appreciates good work. And she wants me to keep on knitting for her!

Ooooooooooweeeeeeeeeeee!

PS I wrote this Thursday but for some reason, it did not publish… still excited by it, so here you go!

Saturday morning camera cleaning and list update

I woke up early this morning so I could do a load of laundry so I could get dressed.  I have found the season for which I don’t have a lot of clothes – sum-tumn.  It starts cool, gets warm, gets cool again, What to wear?  I like cropped pants, a t shirt and light sweater or sweatshirt.  Turns out I haven;t got many pairs of cropped pants.  So, I have to wash the ones I wore yesterday before I can get dressed.  And so I have to sit in my nightie on the couch and cruise the internet while I wait for the dryer.  How very sad for all of us, huh?

I can’t go back to bed because there is a big spider there.  We tried to catch it when it made an appearance beside the bed but it got away.  Not sure I will be able to sleep there again.  That sucker was big and on my side. I REALLY hate spiders.

So, I cleaned off the camera, and amazingly, found a few things to share with you!

First off – a few more of the hats I made last week.  These need blocking to get the edges to lie flat, so here they are, drying in the sunshine in the craft room.  These are Alpine Toppers, using Lamb’s Pride Bulky.  On the light gray one with stripes, I modified the pattern by decreasing one stitch in the body so that the pattern flowed without a jog.  Truly, I wonder why the designer didn’t think of this – if you do it as designed (the black and white one is as designed) every 4 rows you have to of the color B (in the black and white hat, this would be white) next to each other, and it really shows.  If you decrease the number of stitches by one, this does not happen, the pattern just flows around that hat.  Much as I like this pattern, it tells me that the designer wasn’t really paying attention to the diagonal hat when she wrote this up. Her directions work very well for the traditional version (alternating rows of the highlight color, my medium gray and red version)

3 alpine toppers                   small alpine topper

Anyway, it is a fast knit, and very warm and cute.  I suspect I will make a few more of these in my life time.

While I was in the craft room, I thought I had better make those two cards I needed for today.  I wasn’t feeling HUGELY inspired, and I didn’t have a lot of time, so they are very simple ones.  One of them I forgot to take “during” photos, and the other I did, but really, how easy it is! It looks kind of lame to bother with anything but the finished product!.  I know you could have figured these out without seeing the parts.  🙂

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Card stock is from a pad named Tradewinds, I can’t remember by whom, off the top of my head, but Die Cuts with a View would not surprise me.

another quick card

Card is my usual 5.5 by 4.25 card on white card stock.  I shaped two of the corners of the solid piece, stamped happy birthday in gold, swiped the edges with gold ink pad and stuck it in the middle of the roses piece, attached it all to the card.  Done.

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This card didn’t photograph as well, when I used the flash it got all crazy looking, without it, we have shadows – sorry!  It wasn’t much harder, actually, just involved cutting two pieces with my beloved Spellbinders dies, and spritzing the back of the blue one with gold shimmer spray, so that when I folded and tucked it, there would be some shading.  I hit the whole pink rectangle with the corner shaper punch, and then did the same things as on the previous card – stamped in gold, swiped the pad around the edges, stuck it all together.

Et voila – two cards in less than an hour.  Not my preferred way to do things, but it got the job done.

Now.  What else was on the camera?  Well, the stuff I picked up at Good will last week!  All of this for less than ten dollars!  I have been wanting one of these wire basket things for the porch – to hold silver ware or flowers or whatever – and was THRILLED to pick it up for like 3 dollars.  I was not looking for any of this other stuff – but I can never resist candle holders, adn these retro stars remind me of ones we had when I was a kid.  They have been tucked away with Christmas linens to surprise me in a few months.  the placemats will not remain orange, but at 74 cents each, who could resist?  I’ll be either painting or dying them some colors that better match things around here. The frosted candle holders might be altered and turned into Christmas presents.

So lots of potential DIY fun craft projects for me.  A just rolled her eyes.

Goodwill haul

That’s it for the camera!

On the Friday to do list, I made good progress on some things, not on others.  Went through another bin of magazines and clippings in the craft room, but only tossed a few things.  I sorted all the Vogue Knitting and Interweave knits by date, but did not otherwise edit them.  Not sure what to do about them.  I have them back into the early 90’s (what huge dropped shoulders we wore then!) and while I might never make the actual projects, they both do such a good job of teaching in the patterns and articles that I don;t feel like I can be selective in what to keep or toss with them.  So for the moment, I am keeping.  And clearly, as I do have them back to at least ’92, I have felt this way for a long time.  🙂 If you ever need one as a reference, let me know, I am glad to share.

Started another hat (for sale) that isn’t colors I am in love with so I find it tedious.  But I know that some people like colors I don;t and I want to have a good range of products, so I am doing it.  Ugh. I need to find a craft fair catering to people who love blues and greens with dashes of reds and pinks and purples.  lol.

Socks are coming along – last night was game night, so I got a lot done.  I should finish sock 1 in the car today, and start the next.  I even did a bit of hitchhiker knitting, AND NO I DID NOT SIT AND KNIT ALL DAY, but what else is there to do while the plumber is crashing about?

Speaking of which – GRRRRRRRRRR.  He was about an hour late, and installed the toilet just fine, except there is a nick on the seat.  It seems minor, but we paid hundreds of dollars for the darned thing, and so I will call and ask for a replacement.  I hate having to do that kind of thing, it feels petty, but it isn’t, really.     Then he told me he was taking a lunch break and would come back afterwards.  tow hours later his office called to say he got called away for an emergency, and could he come back on the 23rd?  Sure, what the heck, we won’t be home, but we can let him in the cellar and he can do his thing. I was getting cranky about that until I remembered that when WE had plumbing emergencies, they always came right away and fixed it, so I guess someone else got bumped then. Still, it makes me happy that we set up things so that the cellar can be locked from the upstairs, and plumbers can come and go out the basement while we aren’t home.

Well, the laundry is done and I have to get going – I’ll catch up with you later!

PS played a GREAT game last night – TImeline!  Have to use your brain and random knowledge and logic and still have fun.