Saturday update

Well, for those of you who are curious, I did get dressed yesterday.  Eventually.  🙂

I also made several valentines, and took photos to load in the Etsy shop.  That’s when I discovered that something is REALLY wrong with our computer.  As in it crashes and reboots constantly.  I got it open in safe mode, but not long enough to figure out what is wrong.  Then I dug out the tax laptops and booted them up.  They can’t find the wireless connection.  But I was able to crop the photos, and put them on the flash drive. The computer is off and sitting in time out until I can convince the IT guy at work that he wants to tackle it for me.

When A got home I used her computer to load them up to the shop (feel free to check them out at SalpalCrafts on Etsy) and she reminded me that with a LAN cable, I can get the work laptops online.  Duh.  How quickly we forget.  So all that frustration (which I lightly glossed over, above) was for naught.  I am back on-line and feeling good.

I also did a lot of knitting, CHECK IT OUT!

jan 23

That is right, I am on the second mitten!!!!  I am saving the thumb for when I can do two of them together, but at last that darned mitten fits and is finished.  I worked the first couple of inches of mitten number 2 before I decided to work on the blue sweater.  I am feeling the urge to finish something (anything?) and so pushed on that.  I am almost done with the body, then I can start the sleeves.

I answered lots of telephone calls.  Is it just me, or are there lots of scammers calling these days?  I had an opportunity (with credit card info, of course) to: go on a free vacation; get my computer fixed (now, that was tempting); solve my credit issues (which I was unaware I had).  I hung up on them all, but each call interrupted my peaceful day and was quite annoying.

I did check my traps, and found I had caught a fat mouse.  I hope it was one that lives in the walls here.  They are so cute, I wish they lived elsewhere so I didn’t have to kill them.

It was a quiet ordinary day, just what I needed, although I could have done without the computer issues.

Today we are expecting big snow, if the weather people can be trusted.  Our Saturday night/Sunday storm has shifted back, and is a Saturday storm only.  Naturally, A and I decided that meant we should get up and get chores done fast!  We went to the dump and the grocery store and out for breakfast.  Now she is downstairs making obstacle courses for the cats (or possibly putting up some siding on the wall so she can put up some shelves) and I am doing the “chore” of checking Etsy and my blogs and essentially playing.  I’ll go do laundry in a bit, I promise.

So.  About Etsy – I need help publicizing the shop, and getting my listings so they pop up.  Anyone have good tips on this?  When I post to Facebook that I have put things up, my hits do go up, but as yet, no one has purchased, which does not surprise me. The people who are my family and friends are used to getting all of this for free.  I’ll work on educating them if you will all help me figure out how to reach others.  How do I do it?  Is it worth paying Etsy for those ads I see?  What tricks are out there?

The snow has started, and Zumba wants me to let her out on the deck, so I need to go where I can see her while she is out there.  The limitations of the cord, alas.

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Indecisive Friday list

Today I had a choice to make.  Stay home and do my usual Friday things or hit the road with A.  She has to go to Jackman for work, and I have never been there. I like going places I have never been.

I did some online research, and discovered that since I am not a winter outdoorsy person, I should probably stay home and do my usual stuff.  Jackman looks lovely, but there is nothing that would take more than an hour to do.  And while I am content to sit and knit, it seems a bit foolish to drive 4 hours to sit and knit in the car and then drive 4 hours home.  I will go to Jackman another time, when it isn’t so cold and A doesn’t have to work.   There is a town up the road in Quebec, but I was not in a  mood to muddle through the french to see if it had fun things to do.  I’ll ask some family who are familiar with the area the next time A has to go there.  🙂 Maybe in the autumn.

So.  I am home today, and plan to do NOT much!  I want to make some cards for the Etsy shop, and I have to make the family valentines – once taxes start in Feb I will not feel like doing it, I have learned from experience.

And I will knit.  I should be able to finish mitten number 1 at last (truthfully, it is mitten number 4, I think,but the first one to not get ripped out.  Yet.)

And I think I have some cotton baby yarn up in the craft room, I will see about maybe making a baby sweater or booties, also for Etsy.  But maybe not.

And I will get dressed.  Maybe. Maybe soon.  Maybe when I hear A’s car come up the driveway. Maybe not.

I think I will just let the day unfold.  With coffee. In pajamas.  It’s Friday.

Adjusting

My days feel kind of aimless this week.  Clearly, I am not yet used to not working or thinking about work or working to not think about work.  But I am trying!

Yesterday I did do a tiny bit of work, in prep for today and tomorrow when I actually do have to work.  But I also ripped out the red mittens which were coming out giant sized, reworked the chart and started again; spent some time in the craft room thinking about valentines, but making little headway on them; went to the Post Office, the grocery store, the library, and I voted in our little special election (wind turbines or no?  That is the endless question on which we vote regularly.)

Our library is teeny weeny, although the building is lovely, the contents are often lacking.  But this was a good trip – the book I need for March book club (The Orphan Train) is out but they reserved it for me, and the lone copy of the Opinionated Knitter was in!  It now is on my coffee table.  I read all the interesting bits last night, and will go back and absorb more of it this week. I just adore Elizabeth Zimmerman.  She is so blunt and forthright and reminds me very much of my Gram.  And what a brilliant knitter – she takes things right down to the simplest form, then builds them up again.  Amazing. Imagine knitting while traveling on the back of a motor cycle?  Now THAT is knitting in the wild.

Yesterday I did not clean anything.  I think doing errands earned me a break.  🙂  Monday I cleaned the bookcase in the bedroom.  It took a long time, and I didn’t even stop and read!   I emptied it completely, dusted everything, reorganized and shelved all the books there and on the nightstand and in a stack beside the bed (on my side, naturally) and thought it looked quite nice.

A didn’t notice. When she asked what I did and I told her, she laughed, and we talked about how differently we “clean”.  I hate cleaning.  She hates clutter.  So her cleaning is to clear up the clutter by moving it out of sight.  I clean by ripping things apart and reorganizing them, cleaning every bit before it goes back.  What does this mean in our house?  We often have piles tucked away and nothing is in its place but the house looks picked up. The bathrooms are usually clean because I DO clean those regularly. A couple of times a year I go crazy because of all the piles tucked away, rip them out and do what I can to clean and organize.  I do too much of it at once, then am tired and sick of cleaning, and so the cycle begins.

I am using this time of less work to try to break that cycle and do a bit of my deep cleaning each day.  I hope that if I can get the house clean and organized gradually, it won’t be such a  major chore to keep it that way. And I hope by doing one thing a day, I won’t hate it and feel overwhelmed, but rather like I am accomplishing something.  We will see.  🙂

Today is different – I have to go into the office around 10 to work with a volunteer printing mailing labels – show her how the system works, etc.  then I am meeting with her and another tax volunteer to answer their questions as they get ready to take the test.  Those are the only reasons I am going to the office, BUT…my boss has already asked me if I would help him update a monthly report spreadsheet, and I said I would.  What else will I wind up doing while there? Time will tell.  I think it will be easier to not work there when I don’t show my face.  🙂

Anyway, I hope to be home by 2, and spend some time in the craft room this afternoon.  A is traveling up to Aroostook County today, so she will be late getting home.  That means I have time to mess with paper and paints. 🙂

Another knit-heavy post/Today on my needles/What I am up to this bright Monday

On my needles – the photo was taken this morning, but it is what was on the needles all day yesterday.mitten and sweater jan 18

Yesterday I conceded that the cold was winning and did the only thing I know of to beat it – I stayed put on the couch with knitting and Gray’s Anatomy reruns.  All those doctors did the trick, I feel much better today!

The mitten is coming long, although I did rip it back to the cuff when I realized I was carrying the yarn too tightly between needles.  That problem is solved, I have made up all that ground and then some.  I think they will be too long on me, but I will wait and see.  Meanwhile, I am learning about thumbs.  Elizabeth Zimmerman uses something she calls a thumb trick so I am trying it, as she is, after all, a certified knitting genius. I am loving these beauties, I knew I was ready for some red and white mittens!  Because of all the nice carried yarn, they are thick and warm, too.  Can’t wait to get then done and on my hands.

The sweater – sigh.  I love blue, you know I do.  And I do need a blue cardigan, I truly do.  But this “very easy” lace is killing me, I can’t get in the flow of it,so it simply isn’t becoming instinctive and mindless.  However, I made a real push this weekend, and finally got up to the armholes!  Now, the directions have me supposedly knitting first the left front, then the right front (with opposite shaping to the left, of course) and then the back.  And it all says “working in pattern.”  I was in a dilemma, as I can’t read the knitting! How do I know where the heck I am or left off in the pattern? So, I joined two more balls of yarn, and am knitting both fronts and back at the same time.  That way I at least know which row I am on.  I THINK I have figured out where each section begins in the pattern, but time will soon tell.  The good news is that there are now 72 fewer stitches in a row, so it should go faster.  As long as I keep those three balls untangled.  And I will definitely be knitting the two sleeves at the same time so that they stand a chance of matching.

But what else have I been up to?

Well, reading blogs, of course, and uploading hats to Etsy – thanks to all of you who have looked at my shop, and don’t forget to let me know what you think if you haven’t already. I think there will be some cards and things posted soon, in the next few days, at least.

Since it was the weekend, A was home with me the past few days, and she was such a sweetie, doing lots of laundry and table clearing, and being generally a good sport about being married to a slug.  🙂  She even drove me to Ellsworth on Saturday so I could pick up a book the library had gotten for me.  Since it is the book club book, and the meeting is tonight, it was sort of important.  🙂 (My Brilliant Friend – more on that when I finish it) we did a few other errands, then had breakfast at Martha’s Cafe, which we love.  I like to go out for breakfast, because the food is so yummy, and it doesn’t cost the earth. I like Martha’s because she makes delicious everything. I had a veggie and ham stuffed omelet, and stole some of A’s raspberry muffin.  mmmmmm

Today, besides finishing the book and not getting sucked into red and white knitting, I plan to do the housework I did not do Friday (start deep cleaning the bedroom) and get into the craft room to make some cards for the Etsy shop – I am thinking Valentine’s and birthday cards, but I am open to ideas, so please, offer them up!

And I have to go check the mouse traps I have outside, they are no longer buried under a pile of snow – with all that rain yesterday and balmy (is it really 40 degrees F out there today???) air, we have almost no snow left – so I  can find the traps.

Other than that, I will putter, putter, putter.  🙂

NOT Blue!

mittens jan 16

I was able to stop at the Yarn Barn in Bangor today, and wasn’t I lucky?  She had these three luscious cascade washable wool skeins – perfect for my mittens!  I’ll go cast them on in just a minute….

First a word about the Yarn Barn.  She is tucked away behind a credit union outside a mall – you kind of have to know she is there.  And she hasn’t got a HUGE inventory, but she has some real workhorse yarns, and she offers:  A frequent buyer discount (I have full cards just waiting for me to need yarn) and a discount if you pay in cash!  So today’s purchase came to a whopping 12 dollars and change.

How often does that happen?

On another note – I finally opened an Etsy store today.  I  only have two things uploaded, but I am working on it.  At first, it will be the hats that I took back when Creatively Maine closed, but I hope to knit and paper craft other offerings to sell. SO please, visit but be kind, it is a new venture for me and I am clumsy and awkward.  Kind suggestions most welcome! Take a look at https://www.etsy.com/shop/SalpalCrafts  I can’t sell the necklaces online, per agreement with the designer, but I have some ideas for my own or non-proprietary designs so someday I will get fabulous silk/beaded things up there as well.

Now, I am off to cast on the mittens.  Trying to decide – I-cord edging or garter stitch? I know which will look better in the end…

Friday list

The end of the first week of not going to some work everyday! Although, I certainly was involved with work every day, and today, I have to go to Bangor to do some, I am beginning to get a glimmer of what it will be like.

Today, a morning meeting with tax folks to get everyone up to speed and in the same place for the start of the season. We should be done by lunch time, and then I should head home immediately.

But…

I mentioned those mittens yesterday… and I really want to make some stranded red and white ones.  I might need to go to the two LYS in Bangor and see if I can find some appropriate yarn.

I will not go to the big box stores, and all I want to get is the red and white, so if I think I can be strong-minded, I will do that, otherwise, I will come home and order it online.

And I will knit on the lace projects some, I would love to make visible progress on them!

I’ll also move out of the master bathroom and into the bedroom in the slow cleaning project.  I think I might dust the bookcase today.

Some craft room projects are also calling my name, so I might wander up there and see if there is a cleared off area on which to work…

That should fill the whole day!