A Little Update

As you can no doubt tell, we have been mostly off line this vacation.  Sorry for the radio silence!

It was wicked hot until yesterday, and even yesterday was muggy.  Which felt like hot if one moved.  So I tried hard not to!

Niece B spent the weekend as planned – arrived Friday afternoon and we immediately hopped in the pool.  There followed a weekend of playing games (she especially loves Guillotine and routinely beats me at it) and swimming and eating.  Sunday we went up to Bangor in two cars. After a flying trip to the shoe store for new sneakers for A and me, we had an early supper at the Olive Garden. I must say we had the absolutely worst service I have ever had there, and they were not busy for a change!  We actually had to ask twice for silver ware, and gave up trying to get water.  They have these new kiosk computer things at the table and we filled out a survey which will likely make them sorry they got the kiosks.  🙂

From there, we headed over to A’s office.  They got all new desk chairs, and are giving away the old ones, so we grabbed one for her dorm room.  Much more comfortable than the wooden ones provided for the kids to sit on. We left her in a steamy hot room with all fans gong.  Before we got home, she texted that she missed our cool house, poor kid.

Monday we headed over to Mom and B’s for a sail and a lobster dinner.  The sail was one of the best yet – nice steady breeze from the SW, which meant once we got away from land, it was very cool.  Had to laugh at all the landlubbers aboard who got nervous when we heeled over.  Got this great shot showing two landlubbers and a guy with more sense.  🙂  Who wears leather soled flip flops on a boat????


Fortunately, we just sat in our places from cast off to tie up so they did not have to worry about slipping.

It was a hot and hazy day, for sure – you can see the haze in these photos.


A tiny bit of heeling here – after all, it is a sail boat!


Another schooner out enjoying the breeze.


Owls Head Light in the haze.


A working boat – and one with apparently good bait, as the gulls were following closely!


Rockland Breakwater light as we came back in.

After sailing we headed out to Spruce Head for another early supper – and good thing!  The place we tried was closing for the season at 6 o’clock.  A and B had lobster, Mom and I had crab rolls.  Must have been half a pound of crab in them!  Yummy.

Then we went on a search for ice cream – and found some good stuff at Mom’s favorite place, Dorman’s Dairy in South Thomaston.  They are dear to me because they held out against Wal-Mart and did not sell their prime commercial real estate to the giant.  So there they are -a  nice little mom and pop ice cream stand (they make their own!) with Tractor Supply and Wal-Mart behind them, Lowes, Appleby’s, and a Comfort Inn across the street.  And lines filling the parking lot each and every day. May they prosper always. We did our part.  🙂

Tuesday I was determined to dedicate to sewing.  I am eager to make a dress from the Colette pattern Moneta.  I was fooled by this description “Made with knit fabric, this dress can be created in a matter of hours. With minimal pressing and just a few pattern pieces, you’ll be whipping up an army of these wardrobe workhorses.”  I had bought some gray and white window pane plaid to make this, thinking it would work well this fall and winter, maybe with a turtle neck underneath.  Of course, at the store I could not remember the required yardage, and so bought enough for the sleeveless version, not the 3/4 sleeves I had planned.  Not to worry.  I could get more or make the sleeveless version and call it a jumper, right?

Ok, folks.  First instruction – lay fabric out folded in half the long way, right sides together.  Sounds pretty easy.

I have worked with woven plaids before and it is usually easy to fold and line up the plaid.  Not so with a knit, apparently.  It moves.  You can’t see the plaid because the right sides are together.  Even though it is knit in, it doesn’t show on the back.  I spent literally three hours fighting with it. I could NOT get that fabric lined up so that the plaid ran straight.

It was hot.

I gave up and went to get a hair cut, then for a swim.

Wednesday I was determined, but I had been thinking about it all night.

Why does it have to be right sides together?  I can see the plaid if I do it wrong sides together.  Most of the pieces are cut on the fold, so it should not matter.

This time it only took two hours to get it folded and the plaid straight.  I found I had to pin it at every pattern repeat, on both the selvedge edge and the folded edge to keep the plaid together. But it worked.

Then the lay out.

It seemed like I should be able to get a sleeve out of this yardage, and I was right.  I modified the recommended layout and gained enough yardage to make the 3/4 sleeve in the fabric required for the sleeveless dress. if you make this pattern, take note, it can save you a lot of money! Instead of laying the pieces out in a long line as directed, I pinned the skirt as recommended, cut it out, opened the remaining fabric up and brought the selvedges together to meet in the middle, thereby creating two folded edges, which I used to cut the bodice pieces. That left JUST enough yardage for the sleeves.

By doing this, I was able to also keep all the pieces going in the same direction, so if there is nap in the fabric, it will all be going in the same direction.  Not sure why the directions don’t call for that, either.

I haven’t sewn a stitch yet (but have worked on this for at leas 8 hours!), but I felt good enough about the final outcome that when we went to Bangor to do errands last night, I stopped in at the fabric store and bought enough fabric for two more dresses.  Solids this time, I have learned my lesson! I’ll set up the sewing machine later today and begin the task of getting tension and stitch right using zig-zag.

It hasn’t been all sewing and sailing this week, of course.  I have done some knitting as well.  The Scarlet Tanager shawl is complete – washed blocked and dried. It is brighter than  usually would wear, but I think I will love having the summer sunshine around me this winter. The fabric is really soft, I guess that is the bamboo in it – very nice!

Here it is being blocked – I love how this shawl just opens up with blocking.


And here it is all done, modelled as always by the dining room chair.  🙂


I have been knitting away at the teal/gold thing whenever we travel – I am about a 1/4 of the way through the yarn, so at least a 1/4 of the way done with it.  Not sure I will go to the end with the yarn as it will also stretch a lot and open up with blocking. And I cast on a new project – breaking my own rule about number of WIPs.  Too bad, it is vacation.  A kindly let me confiscate her camera, so I can share photos of both WIPs with you. But the camera and I are not in agreement on colors yet – the green seems to have washed out of these, leaving them looking a bit dull.  The Millais shawl is a soft aqua.  The sweater is made with all that yarn I dyed earlier in the year – strong teals, aquas and blues.  Hopefully, I will get a better photo of these before long and you can really see the colors.



I am almost done with the border of the Millais.  I like that the longest part is at the beginning – now the rows will get smaller and smaller.  It calls for three skeins of the yarn, I almost finished with the first one.  It is incredibly light and soft, like a feather.

So that is what I have been up to this week – not much to show for anything, but I think I will suddenly have lots accomplished from all this effort.  Certainly I have enjoyed the pool this week, and THAT work was well worth it.

We have a couple more days of vacation – today I will spend swimming and sewing, and I think I will make you wait until tomorrow for a peek at Friday and the weekend plans.  I know you look forward to my crazy Friday lists as much as I do, and we get one more before I go back to work.  🙂

18 thoughts on “A Little Update”

  1. love the sailing photos . . . am drooling at mention of lobster and crab . . . and your Scarlet Tanager shawl is to die for!

    1. thank you! One thing we have in Maine – lots of ocean! Consequently, great seafood and boating. Makes summers fun. 🙂

      As for the shawl, thank you! I love the gradiant dyed yarn – no ends to weave in with color changes. 🙂

  2. Wow…. what an absolutely BRILLIANT read! You’re an incredible writer Salpal, you have a way of engaging a reader which keeps them reading, instead of scanning over a post and only reading the odd thing or two.

    With regard to the crafting … I LOVE the border in the final picture on the blog here. The soft, kind of dove grey, is the exact shade I’d love to wear in a beautifully knitted jumper, but … if I could make wishes come true – … I’d have that border that you’ve knitted, around the cuffs and neckline of my beautiful jumper. Awww… I can see it in my minds eye now. Perfect.

    Thanks for the great read. ~ Cobs. xxx

    1. aren’t you kind. 🙂 I am glad you enjoy my rambling posts, I love writing them. I wonder if we could figure a way to jointly do a jumper? The border would be easy enough to adapt – it is worked over ten stitches. 🙂 I have to disappoint you, though, it is the bad lighting making it look gray – it actually is a soft aqua blue. But still pretty and soft. And would make a nice border to a garment.

  3. I adore the Millais! What stunning pattern and yarn. Wow. It is going to be so beautiful.
    Glad to see you are enjoying such great weather and have a time to spend it outside and cooling off. Looks like really lots of fun.
    Have a great weekend. 🙂

    1. I saw the sample knit up in the store and fell in love. I especially love the construction of it.

      Weekend should be good, rain is supposed to let up later today. And we do need it, so I am not complaining about it, just enduring it.

        1. Our Saturday was sunny and bright, Sunday was cold and overcast. Today it is going back and forth, but they promise an absolutely gorgeous week ahead, with warmer than normal temperatures. Yea! More pool time in the evenings. Could this be the time of year when we BOTH have good weather?

          1. It seems we are both having pretty neat weather. Good for us! We are now synchronized. How awesome. When passing the city center this morning, the big temperature display said it was 11 degrees C at 07h00. Perfect start to the day.
            Lets enjoy it while we can. 🙂

          2. Yea! We are having temps about 10 degrees above normal – we will reach into the mid-eighties this week. I love it when we get a warm September. Then if we get a clear October, winter doesn’t seem so long. Makes up for those years when it starts snowing in October!

  4. You say you didn’t accomplish much but it all looks busy and fun to me! The sailing, especially, gets to me–nothing like a sailboat and a stiff breeze! Your projects all sound good and the shawl is lovely!

  5. Ooooh sailing! I love sail boats. Sounds like a great time. Love the shawls. I don’t know how you knit the so fast. Are you a fast knitter?

    1. I love sailing, too. I’m too bulky and slow to do much myself these days, but I can still sit out of the way and enjoy the ride!
      As for knitting, I think I am a steady knitter. Maybe not the fastest, but I do spend a lot of time doing it. I am lucky to have a partner who prefers to drive, so when we go places together, I get lots dine. 😉

  6. You have several wonderful projects going and it sounds like you are getting a lot accomplished even though no sewing. I hope that you have gotten to sew since this post. I will look further into your blog to find out 😉 Love your knitting projects. The colors in both are so pretty. And that shawl turned out gorgeous! Such beautiful vibrant colors and the pattern is stunning! I am sure you will look beautiful wearing it. You are making me itch to get something on my knitting needles. Whatever I would knit would definitely look better than the crochet project I am working on. I am almost finished it, but I obviously have so much more to learn. I am more comfortable with knitting needles than a crochet hook.

    1. I did get some sewing time in, and it wasn’t what I had wished for as far as output, but I have ideas on how to save it. 🙂 Sadly, some dust rags were created.

    1. Welcome! I am glad you are joining the family. 🙂

      That shalw pattern is so easy, and when I saw that yarn, I knew what it would have to be. And while I say the colors are too bright, I noticed I have a skirt that is the perfect one to go with it. So I guess sometimes I like those bright colors. 🙂

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