Sunday? No, really, is it?

Oh dear, I had so much I wanted to get done!  But today is rainy, and so no golf for A, so no afternoon to putter outside for me.  Well, I guess I could, but it’s raining and cold and dreary.  So I dyed yarn instead.  Oh, and made brownies.  I did change the bed and wash the old sheets, so I should get points for doing SOMETHING worthwhile!

The yarn is more teal and blue – I decided to make the lefties shawl with the yarn I dyed last time, but I thought I would like to have a set of gradient colors to do it with.  So, I mapped it out, and decided I needed aquamarine over-dyed with teal, blue, and blue over dyed with teal to go with what I already have.  All of those are hanging out side now, “drying” in the rain.  All I have to do is wind some natural, wash it and dry it, and I am good to go.  We will see how long that takes, right?

This week I started another double knit buffalo checked cowl, based on the Trapper Cowl in Interweave Knits last winter.  Since I was doing it with a vague recollection of the instructions, and was too lazy to go upstairs and get the magazine, it is a bit different, but close enough that I can’t take credit for the pattern. I am using some Quince and Co Lark, in Peacock and Bird’s egg.  So far, so good!

I blocked a few quick knits I did this week – three bracelets, a necklace and a thing that might be a shawl – I think I mentioned I was knitting something with the beet dyed yarn?

What I did was the lacy leaf shawl, but I didn’t want a triangle, so I added a third section of leaves. It was easier to do than I expected – I started by casting on one more stitch, and so had two “center stitches”, then I just followed the instructions, essentially.  I didn’t have enough yarn to go far with it, but I like how it came out. Kind of a half circle, or a butterfly.  🙂  Pictures will come eventually (I mentioned it was raining, right?) If only it wasn’t so orange.  Maybe I will over dye that, as well!  Or just put it in the giveaway box.

Not sure how I like the experimental bracelets ether, but they did work.  I used some of the leftover yarn from the lace scarf I finished last week (and mailed off Friday, it definitely should arrive in plenty of time for the Tuesday birthday!) If I like how they came out, I will pop one off to the scarf recipient and sell the rest. Or at least, put them up for sale!

That is about all that is new – a quiet weekend – the last one for a while!

Sleeping outside or starting the weekend off right

I decided to sleep outside on the porch tonight. The sky is pretty, it isn’t going to rain and it’s nice and cool. Perfect night for it!

A thinks I’m crazy. 🙂

For a short week, it seems like a long time since I was here.  Not much is new, our quiet weekend is filling up, though.  Car appointments, breakfast with family while we wait, errands and chores. Then off to Orono for niece E the elder’s School performance.  Sunday a plays golf while I play in the yard. And boom! The weekend is over!

Oh how I miss my Friday’s off!

I have done some research on spinning lessons and found some nearby.  I will check out the woman next week at Fiber Frolic, so that is exciting.  Just going there next week will be exciting!  Actually there is lots going on over the next few weeks. But we will take it one week at a time!

I will try to find time this weekend to show you what I am working on now that I have finished the long scarf- something to look forward to!

Such a nice weekend!

After spending Saturday with A’s immediate family, we traveled on Sunday for a couple of hours to a lovely part of the coast to spend the afternoon with her extended family – Cousin C recently moved into a great place on Orr’s Island, and invited us down, along with a few other cousins, and two aunts and an uncle.  It was nice to see everyone, and get to know the other cousins better.  Always good to see the older generation – of ten originally, only 4 are left, and sadly, three of the four have dementia at some stage or another.  So we saw the one aunt who at 90 is sharp as a tack, although deaf, which can sometimes cause confusion, and the youngest of the ten who is still able to function and share a joke easily, and his wife who has her hands full keeping things going forward.  It was a pretty day – although we had some showers, it was mostly nice and sunny and breezy.  Cousin C has a spinning wheel.  And two rigid heddle looms.  She tried to sell me a loom but I resisted.  I might not have been able to resist a wheel had she offered.  She is thinking of having fiber weekends at this new place – it is spacious and has a large sunny deck.  I told her to please include me if she does it. A rolled her eyes.

On the way back, we stopped in to visit with Mom and B.  Mom’s eyes are doing really well – she has no had both cataracts removed, and can really see well.  She can’t wait to get her new glasses but she has to heal a bit more first.

Today B and A are off playing golf, I stayed home to do chores.  Yes really.  I planted the tomatoes and summer squash, and harvested asparagus for tonight – we might be almost done with the harvest for this year, but I see tiny little seedlings in the bed, so our crop will only grow.  🙂

I also vacuumed about a third of the house, and will work on the rest of it when I cool off from doing that – it is warm today!  And I will go dig out rocks for that pool area – today is a day I would like to have a pool up and full.  Good motivation.

I also finished a little bracelet to match C’s birthday scarf.  Not sure if the bracelet will be for her, I will see after I block it if the size is right.

Not much else is getting done, there are so many blogs to read…

How did I do that?

Textile Shed asked me how I dyed that yarn. By the seat of my pants is the short answer!  For a longer answer, read on.

First I washed the yarn – this is natural wool yarn from the giant cone that has been stored for a long time here, and who knows how long at Nancy’s. It has been wound tight for that long as well, so benefits from a gentle wash in cold water with some mild detergent.  I used about three ounces of yarn in each skein.

Nancy yarn cone

Once it was washed and fulled up some, I soaked it in cold water with a generous chug from the vinegar bottle (all measurements will be equally scientific.)

While it was soaking I put about 6-8 cups of water in my dye crock pot (never used for food) and let it heat up.

After about half an hour, I put a couple of chugs of liquid RIT dye in the crock pot.  I did NOT stir much as I wanted some variation in the yarn.  The first one I did was the teal, and I used more dye than I needed, as it turned out.  So the next one, I used less (the aquamarine) and the third, even less ( aquamarine over-dyed with royal blue).

I drained the water from the yarn, but did not worry too much about getting all the vinegar water out, then I put the yarn into the crock pot (not stirring or worrying if colored water was over it all.  I added water if needed, again not stirring, put the lid back and came back in half an hour.  I pulled out the yarn, judged whether or not I liked the color, put it back in.  They take at least an hour, the teal was a bit longer, I think.

Once I liked the color, I put it in the sink to drain and rinsed it with increasing colder water ( to bring the tem of the yarn down gradually) until I was rinsing in very cold water.  I did this until it was running clear, and I put vinegar in the last rinse, just to be safe.  Then I hung the skein to dry.


When I did the aquamarine, I had a second skein soaked and ready to go in the pt, so it used up the rest of the ye in the water – but when it did, the yarn was paler than I wanted.  so I put a glug of the royal blue in the same water and left the yarn in there fro another half an hour. I can see places where the aquamarine and even natural color show through – so I got the variegated I was looking for, but maybe more blue than I expected.

I still have plenty of the dye left in the bottles, I think I could do each color three or four more times with what I have, so I will do more experimenting with it.  I also have a box of the powdered dye in fuchsia (if you recall what started this whole thing it was trying to dye yarn with beets to get that glorious color, but getting reddish brown.  Which I would have known if I had explored the internet.) Anyway – I have not felt like dealing with mixing that up into a liquid yet. The other colors I bought the liquid dye already prepped. I used teal, aquamarine and royal blue dyes.

I am not a big lover of chemicals, but just could not resist all those glorious colors at the hardware store.  🙂  And it seems to be easy to do.


All sorts of pretty

Here are the illustrations for my last post. 🙂

Some things in the garden are blooming – bulbs in their second year (sorry about the blurriness), and a bleeding heart transplanted from mom’s garden last fall. And in case you don’t believe me when I say we live on a complete pile of gravel in the woods, some of these photos will prove it.  🙂 the raised beds are the ones L and I planted last weekend – my radishes and lettuce are already up!  Mine is the bed on the right, L’s is on the left.  I’ll post progress photos as the summer goes on.





Here are a couple of shots of that gorgeous morning we had a few days ago.  This is the same deck that was buried for months in snow – I sure like it better like this! (And Kepanie, that is a cherry tree blooming beside the deck.  I will try to get some photos of the wild pear trees this weekend – they are almost gone by.) Isn’t that morning sky gorgeous?



A gratuitous cat photo – Allie loves climbing up into the porch rafters and racing around. But she was a good girl and posed nicely on one of her perches.  🙂


Yarn I dyed – three skeins of varying shades of teal/blue.  Each is about 3 ounces.  Not sure what they will be yet, but I have some ideas – maybe at long last, the leftie shawl?


I let the teal “dry” outside, but it rained.  Still, I think it looked beautiful in the mist.


And now, some finished products –

one of the endless scarves – this one needs to get mailed out this week, so I am glad I made it in time.  You can just see the beads in this photo, but you can feel them in the weight of it.  This is a silk alpaca blend, in colors that shift softly from terra-cotta to lavender – like a sunrise.  I hope she likes it.



And the KAL lace shawl – my second one, but the one I started first – the color is called International Gothic – sounds mysterious!  But it is from a local shop, One Lupine in Bangor.  Very soft and lovely lace.  I thin I will keep this one.  (the other KAL shawl, a green/blue/gold boucle is for sale at J and B Atlantic in Ellsworth if you want to buy it, let me know!)


This is a little experiment that went well – silk and bead I cord bracelet.  I am going to list it on Etsy later this weekend, so look for it!


That’s all that is on the camera this week.  I’ll clean it off for you again next week.

This weekend is a holiday weekend, which we are both grateful for – an extra day off together is always good.  Today we did a few chores in the morning, then went to Bangor to meet A’s family for lunch to celebrate sister-in-law S’s 65th birthday  S’s daughter T, her husband J, son S, and daughter E joined us, as well as sister-in-law L.  We had a nice lunch and got to visit with the “kids” both of whom have big graduations this year – S got his associates degree, and will continue at the University this fall headed for a bachelor’s degree in Accounting, and E finishes high school this year.  She will head off to the local community college in the fall, working toward a nursing degree.   Seems like they were just little kids a few minutes ago.

Tomorrow we head down the coast to A’s cousin’s for a picnic, then maybe we will stop on the way home so A can play a round of golf while I knit.  🙂

No plans at  all for Monday, but much yard work to do!

Sure Happy It’s Thursday

or, as a coworker of mine used to call it, S.H. I. T. 🙂

With A gone, this week has been somewhat different. It turns out I have only one cat, and that one only part-time.  Zumba has gone into a complete state of mourning, I have to call her for meals.  Today I tried playing with her before work, she just sat in her box of tissue paper and looked at me.  Allie, on the other hand has decided that she likes being the only cat of the only person, and is very lovey for about ten minutes at night and in the morning, then she, too disappears. They will be beside themselves when A rolls in tonight.

So, with no cats around and no A around, I have made a glorious mess in the kitchen dying yarn.  I have some teal, some aquamarine, and then some that was dyed with the end of the aquamarine bath, then when that ran clear, I put some royal blue in.  I’ll get some photos for you this weekend – I like how they came out! I will be doing more of this.  🙂

I also slept with the windows open. And left the bedroom windows open when I went to work. And stayed up until NINE O’CLOCK. And scooped the cat box everyday. And did some laundry. And all the dishes. And OF COURSE I miss her and can’t wait for her to come home.  One of our anniversaries was Tuesday – the second of legal marriage – and she wasn’t here.  😦 We will celebrate this weekend with a meal out, and I will be happy to cede back to her all her morning chores, I had a tough time getting out of the house each morning.

But I did, and it was always worth it, we have had such beautiful mornings this week!  Yesterday was misty down low, but a beautiful sunrise (I got a photo of it which I will share when I clean off the camera this weekend) so the clouds just glowed.  Today was equally pretty – a fine, clear morning.  All the leaves are growing fast, and the world looks much more hopeful than it did a few months ago!  The wild pears and cherries are blooming, I noticed many buds about to pop on my neighbor’s apple tree.  Things are late, but they are blooming. I doubt we will have lilacs this weekend, or lupines in a week, but they are trying.

And A comes home tonight.  Isn’t life good?

I never get done as much as I plan to

But I DID get the cool weather seeds planted – two kinds of peas, lettuce, mesclun, carrots, radishes, and some experimental pumpkins (might be too early for them, only time will tell.) Got them all in their tidy raised bed and watered them so that it could rain today.  It is amazing to me just how dry the ground was – all that lovely snow melt is long gone.

I did cook up the first stalks of asparagus and they were delicious!  I can see that we will be eating a lot of that over the next few weeks, the plants are throwing up stalks every day!

I also finished the endless scarf!  I finally decided that when I block it, it will grow in length and enough is enough.  🙂  I have some of the beads and yarn left, so will likely make a small bracelet to match it.

To celebrate and avoid working on the blue linen monster I strung beads for a blue, yellow and green collar style necklace – a modification of Laura Nelkin’s Butin Collar.  Sounds hideous, no?  I think it will look prettier than it sounds when it is knit up – nice and summery.  I had three tubes of beads in those colors, in three different sizes, so I am adding many (like 130) size 11 beads to her pattern so I can put one between each cast on stitch.  I hope it will make a nice, sparkly outer edge. If it works, I may be sorry I didn’t add more so I could the same on the bind off edge, but I think that would be a bit much. And as I always do now with the pattern I added enough beads to do one more row.  I do this for the simple reason that I am LAZY.  If I do the pattern as written, both the starting and ending tail are on the same end of the necklace, and I have to anchor a thread on the other end with which to sew the clasp.  BUT if I add one more row, then I have a yarn tail at each end of the thing, and I can use them to sew on the clasp, which in turn means less end weaving. It took a bit of experimentation to string on the right number of beads in the right size, but I think I have it now. 🙂

The kids had a mouse last night. No clue where it came from, but I know where it wound up!  They both were acting like something odd was going on when we went to bed, but they sometimes go gaga over a fly, and we hadn’t seen anything running around, so I ignored it.  Until 4:30 when the light was snapped on and A was moving books off the bookcase in our room.  “Whaaa?” “I think they have a mouse” Sure enough, they did, and she caught it in a margarine tub.  It is outside now, the cats are sleeping it off.  I guess they played with the poor thing ALL NIGHT.  I hate that they are so mean to a creature, I wish they would just go ahead and kill the thing.  But at least they have remembered that they should be hunting. Now if they would just get the giant creature that runs through the soffits and into the bathroom ceiling.

Today we are doing fun things like going to the dump and grocery store – but we also are going out to breakfast, and then I hope, to the hardware store.  I need some dirt, tomato plants, and they had a nice little trellis that might be just the thing for some sweet peas, and they carry fabric dyes which I want to check too.  See if I can make a nice fuchsia that doesn’t smell like root vegetables.  🙂 But I bet when I get there and start reading labels I change my mind and come home and see what I can do with Kool Aid and food coloring.

Since A is going golfing (it is supposed to stop raining shortly) I might just stink up the house with dyes and wet wool.  then I will go outside and work in the yard so I don’t have to smell it either.  🙂

It’s a weekend!

Thank GOD!

It was a long week at work. This whole 5 day thing is taking some getting used to.

But I got a few odds and ends done in the evenings when I got home.  I repaired the giant sieve I am using to prep for the pool (really, I swear there will be a pool someday) so I can begin work on that project.  I cleaned up the raised beds ready for planting should it ever get warm enough.  We had frost a few nights this week, so I will only be planting peas and lettuce any time soon.  Good news is the asparagus is up and we have had a small harvest!  Enough for supper tonight.  Much more coming.

I finished knitting my purple lace leaf KAL shawl – and I learned how to compress photos on this new computer – let me know how these work on your monitors as there are many options for me to choose from, and I have no idea what they all mean.

So here it is, unblocked still –


I have washed (several times) the beet-dyed yarn.  It still smells like beets.  This might be a bust.  The color is a deep peach, not bad, if you weren’t expecting fuchsia/magenta.  But if it smells like beets, I can’t really use it.

On the technology front – the IPhone is interesting.  Every day at work I got a young person to teach me more about it, so I think I can answer the phone and get my email.  🙂

The computer – it is great of course, EXCEPT I can’t get it onto our Wi-Fi.  I have entered and re-entered that connection, checked spelling, settings etc. Just doesn’t see it and won’t connect. I brought my laptop (Windows 7)home from work to see the settings, made them the same.  A brought hers home (Windows 8) last night, so I will check that this weekend.  Meantime, I read some blogs (natch) about it and got nothing new except that it might be Windows 8.  If I don’t resolve it this weekend, I will call Dell Help (pity me) and if they can’t help, then I will just use the wire to the wall and wait for Windows 10 to come out, see if that helps. It is interesting to me that A’s computer can find it but mine can’t.  Sigh. I am just glad we still have the old-fashioned LAN I can hook into.

Let’s see,  what else? A has had a bad cold all week, so we have been laying low, going to bed early.

But now it is the weekend – full speed ahead!

I went out reasonably early and got a hair cut, while A started the laundry going.  I finished up knitting an I-cord bracelet – I hope to get some photos of it that are decent.  It is three strands of beaded I-cord – actually relatively simple to do and pretty.  And generic enough that I can sell it online without worrying about someone screaming that I am using their pattern.  But not this ne – the clasp is pretty but hard to manage in a bracelet, so I will use a different one on ones for sale.

Sister-in-law L is coming over this afternoon to work in her raised bed, so I plan to work out there with her.  A has a bookcase nearly finished and ready for me to paint!  It is the prototype of the loft library ones, and will go in the craft room, where it is much needed.  I am so glad she is moving ahead with these, they are coming out nicely. I hope she will finish it this weekend, I can paint it during the week.

She is playing golf tomorrow afternoon, so I will have time to work in the yard some more, and on my endless scarf knitting projects (different from an infinity scarf, an endless scarf just never seems to get done!)

A good weekend!

Big technology week!

At work my plain old cell phone got traded in for an iPhone 6.  I hope no one calls, I am not sure I know how to answer it.  I did learn how to turn off all the beeps so I could sleep while Facebook updates, the auto emails come in, etc.  🙂

Tonight my brand new laptop arrived.  I had been using the work one for so long that I almost forgot I didn’t own it. Now that it is back on my desk, I was without internet at home, so I used my tax travel $$ to get a new one.

It is Windows 8.  Someday I will figure out how to get the wireless working.  Meanwhile, we are back to the tripping cord of death.  Actually, I will take it to work tomorrow and get my IT buddy to help me figure out why it doesn’t recognize our wi-fi (but it finds the neighbor’s?!?)

Now, I have to figure out how to crop and save my photos on this new thing. then you can see what I have been up to lately, not just read words.  🙂

My week in review

Hello!  It feel so strange not to have been here all week.  Lots has been going on, and none of it involved having a computer on in the evening, sooooo there is a lot of catch up for you.

I started work bright and early Monday morning.  I have to say it felt good to be back and see all my buds, sit at my desk and dig into work I like.  With in a day, it also felt like I never left, which is good and bad.

Monday is the first nice sunny day we had had in ages, and it stayed that way all week, so when I got home in the evening, I was able to do a bit of work here and there around house and yard.  I did not do much, though.  I have to say, getting used to going to work, and to getting home on time, takes time. I did have to set a calendar reminder at 3:30 to go home every day. , lol.

Wednesday I took half a day off (prearranged, no worries, I didn’t start slacking off yet!) to spend the day with niece B at her dorm.  We spent a couple of hours getting her sorted and packed up, and then played a bit of Phase 10.  She beat me.  Twice.  Unheard of!

Thursday evening was spent getting the guest room ready for her mom who was due to roll in Friday evening from PA, with niece C the younger. The plan was for the two of them to spend the night, get B early Saturday morning and head back to PA.

Friday, I stopped in to J and B Atlantic to see how things were going there – nothing has sold yet, but the first tourists aren’t here yet, so I am keeping up hope.  I may do the display a bit differently but I haven’t quite figured out how I want it to go. I’ll think about that this week.

While I was heading home, the phone rang.  Niece B.  Would I please call her mom?  Ut-oh.  I did, and discovered that niece B was getting free from RA duties a day early, so she could be picked up and packed up Friday night, if all three of them could sleep at our house.  Of course!  Did they want my help packing?  Of course!  So, I raced home, fed the cats, changed my clothes and drove to Bangor.  Spent the next two hours packing up the last of the things, and hauling bags and boxes out until we had stuffed one car and the back seats of two others.  Niece B is on the ninth floor of her dorm.  While the floors are counted weirdly, it is likely only 4 stories up (the dorms are built out from a central section, and the stairs spiral around, with floors going off in three directions)but  there is no elevator.  That is a lot of stairs.  I am thankful those two girls are stronger and tougher than I am.  Of course, B has been climbing up there all year, so she is used to it. By the time we grabbed sandwiches and got home, it was almost 9 o’clock.  That is when the Phase 10 re-challenge began.  By midnight, I had redeemed myself and we went off to bed.  Now, normally, I don’t mind staying up late with the kids when they are here, we all love playing board and card games.  But I had a special day planned for Saturday, so had to get up and out the door by 6:15.  I did it somehow, although it meant not seeing the kids in the morning.

Saturday I spent at Haystack Mountain Crafts center.  This fantastic place is perched on a granite hillside above the ocean, and offers the most amazing arts and crafts adventures.  Normally, I can barely afford to look at the catalog, but they have several events in the early and late season for local people.  Even those events are often out of my budget – and I have always gotten the impression that they are for people who are serious about their craft, and very artistic.   I have seen the finished products – they are amazing!  Anyway… last winter, one of my tax volunteers asked me if I was going to sign up for Island day.  I hadn’t heard of that one, so she made me a copy of her letter, and it was intriguing!  There were several workshops offered, covering writing, blacksmithing, quilting, paper jewelry, pottery, wooden box building, glass bead making.  Wait a minute, glass bead making?  I backed up and read the details.  $35 got you an all-day workshop and two meals.  A beginners class on making lampwork glass beads. Open to residents of Deer Isle and the Blue Hill peninsula – which they NICELY defined as including my town!  Entry was by lottery, but they had spaces reserved for people who had never been, so I signed up, way back in March. Not like me to get something in so promptly.  I was selected, and I got my first choice class, bead making.  So I spent the whole day on the island making glass beads, or as I was calling them by the end of the day, glass blobs.  I won’t know how they came out until the teacher finished processing them, as they were not cool enough when we finished.  But I think they will be very blobby in nature.  We worked from about 9 until noon, had a fabulous lunch, then worked until 5.  By 3:30, I was done (remember, I only got about 4 hours of sleep) so I wandered around looking at what everyone else was making, and the teacher, Sihaya Hopkins,  did some demos, so I got to see what it looks like when you aren’t making blobs, but creations. Then we had studio walk-through, where we could go see what everyone else made, and they could come see ours.  Only ours were in the kiln!  So we painted water colors of what we thought we had created, and called it a day.  Of course, I never was any good at painting and drawing, so I painted colorful blobs.  Which, now that I think about it, might be accurate renditions of my beads.

After that, they gave us dinner, also delicious, before sending us on our way.  I was home by 8:30, absolutely exhausted. But what a fun day!  I saw a couple of people I know (and met a few more whom I really liked.  The energy that was in that cafeteria when all the groups were together, eating family style at nice sized tables was amazing.  They were filled to capacity, so you HAD to sit with strangers and talk to them, but it was good anyway.  🙂

I bet you can guess what I am doing today – NOT MUCH!  Some laundry, a bit of yard work, some knitting, napping.  That should cover it and get me ready for another week at work. I’ll try to post more often this week so I don’t bury you under words when I finally get to a keyboard.

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