Archive for February 2016

How can this be a weekend? The sun is out!   11 comments

I can’t believe how the sun is streaming in the windows on a SATURDAY.  It feels fantastic.  Almost like spring.  Until I go outside.  It’s still a bit nippy out there.  Still ice in the pool, I am afraid.

Interesting thing about that pool.  I drained it in September.  Now it is 3/4 full!  And not frozen solid.  I have been able to reach in and get a few leaves out when I get home from work, as there is a skim of water on the top at the end of the day.  It won’t be long now!

This morning we awoke to a really cold house.  Last night we decided to let the pellet stove go out so I could clean it today.  We have to do that every couple of weeks, and it has been unseasonably warm, so we didn’t think twice about it.

But the house should not have been THAT cold.  59 degrees chilly.  A turned the heat on at the thermostat, which should not have had to happen, it should come on automatically.  We burrowed under the quilt and waited.

Nothing.

So I got up (a couple of hours later, I must admit) and went down cellar to check the hot water heater.  We had hot water but it wasn’t circulating.  This could get expensive.

I lit a fire in the stove down there and came upstairs to hurry and clean the pellet stove.  As I passed the thermostat, I thought I would just check it out.  Hmmm.  When did we last change the batteries?  I popped new ones in on a whim and damned if I didn’t hear the circulator start to work.

I don’t understand why the thing needs batteries to work when it is hard wired to the house, but I guess I will change those every fall, because you just never know when you might actually need the heat on.

I did clean the pellet stove, and we are warm as toast now.  A has been out to the dump (yea, A!) and I have done some cleaning about the house.  Laundry is nearly complete (all credit here to A) and the bed has been changed, bathroom cleaned.  Life is good – time for a break to sit on the couch and knit. 🙂

This weekend I am making a full court press on the golden waves THING (Wrap?  Shawl? Scarf?) to finish it once and for all.  I am tired of toting it around.  I am near the end of the second ball of Kidsilk noir, and although I have more, I think that this will be long enough.  Maybe.  I am actually considering putting in a life line, blocking it and seeing how long it really comes out.  I think it need to be about 5 feet to be useful, not sure if I can get it there yet.  No new photos of it, but it looks the same all the  time anyway, so here’s an old photo for you.  🙂 (Very old, it turns out – late last summer!)image

I finished the little light orange baby hat, and will take a photo sometime this weekend.  It is cute, and now that I am comfortable with the yarn again, I will make something more like I intended in the first place.

Hap for Harriet comes along, more slowly.  I think I have 15 or 16 of the first 22 sections done.  I want to get clear of the golden waves so that the hap becomes my traveling WIP – I get lots done at lunch time at work.  🙂

Yesterday I  got home a couple of hours before A so I hooked the laptop up to the TV and watched how to spin videos.  I practiced on some leftover sock yarn, and I have more idea how it is supposed to go, but I do struggle to keep the wheel spinning consistently while feeding the yarn in.  I can only imagine the mess I will make when I have to draft wool.  🙂  I plan to get in touch with the Purple Fleece for some lessons after tax season is over.  Just a few more weeks of that!

Niece B texted the other day to see if she could stay here for March break.  Well of course!  Got new sheets for the new bed in “her” room, and made it up, ready for her whenever she wants it.  I think she arrives next weekend.  We have nothing planned – it is March, after all, and we both have to work, but that way she can sleep the days away.  I might be bale to squeeze some time off and maybe think of something fun to do.

Tomorrow is a day in the “big city.”  A and I are volunteering at a 5 K road race which benefits one of our programs at work.  We hope to be done shortly after 10, and then we will meet up with Crimson Crow and do some errands while in Ellsworth – groceries, cat food, and a reward at our favorite pizza place.  Not our usual Sunday, but change is good for the soul, someone said.  Not sure if I can knit while the race runs, but I plan to try.  🙂

Have a good weekend, and don’t forget to get out and enjoy the sun of you are lucky enough to have some!

 

 

 

This weekend’s knitting   17 comments

Hap-2-for-webHap for Harriet is coming along, more slowly now as the rows grow longer.  I am loving it, though, and glad I am keeping this one.

 

black-and-tan-for-web

This necklace is taupe silk with matte black beads, and I think it is for me to keep, I made one a  while ago and gifted it, but think of it often, so I made another.  After blocking, it will relax a lot and just drape beautifully.

 

peach-swatch-for-web

This is a swatch that looks more violently orange than it is – it is a bit more peachy in real life.

I am swatching because I have started three different hats with this yarn this weekend.  None worked how I wanted, so I decided to swatch it and choose a pattern that really will work.  The resulting hat will be for sale, and will likely have matching mittens someday.

I did a bit more than knitting this weekend – cleaned and rearranged the guest room, it is now a lovely sitting room.  There is space to move in it! The cats love to explore, they think everything is new and interesting.

I also did our tax return, and that is a thankless task that I can forget about for another year.  We get a refund because we seriously over-withhold.  The money is for our property taxes and insurance payments, so nothing too exciting in the whole process, but it needs to get done. Now it is.  I’ll print it out tomorrow and review it, then send it off.  Whew!

Other than that, it was just the normal stuff this weekend – laundry, cleaning, etc.

As an off shoot of the taxes, I updated my spreadsheet of knitting items that are for sale, and took photos of lots of hats to put on Etsy.  That’s my next chore.  I guess I should go do that…check SalpalCrafts on Etsy and see if I got the job done!

 

Posted February 21, 2016 by salpal1 in how I spent my day

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Sold!   21 comments

image

The whole time I was knitting this shawl, once I realized it was browner than I expected, I pictured it on these shoulders.

This is my coworker, Bobbi Ann. (She said I can use her name, so no anonymous initials here!)  She is always so interested in what I am working on, and she loves beads and sparkly things, as well as brown and pink, I just knew it would look lovely on her.

She asked me to bring it in to show her, and to bring along some jewelry as well, as she will soon be visiting her out-of-state children.

Today I brought it all in, and she immediately said “That’s mine” about this shawl.  You can see why – it looks so pretty on her! Then she chose FOUR necklaces and a bracelet for herself and her family – WOW!  In the past, I have made her some socks and sweater, the deal being just that she would pay for the yarn.  This was a new venture for us both, and I think we are both happy with the outcome.  She got the deep “family” discount because she is so supportive and appreciative, and I got the thrill that comes with knowing something I made will be treasured.  And a human model, not my usual deck rail or chair!

To top it off, she shamed pushed me into showing some of the other women here what was left, and let’s just say, this was a profitable day for me.  🙂

So this is your final shot of this shawl you have had shoved in your faces for a month or more – and it is a pretty good idea of the color – a rich warm brown with tans and pinks in it. Look at those sparkly beads.  🙂  They just make it all perfect.

 

I will make another of these someday.  In colors I am more likely to wear, of course!  The pattern is clearly written, the yarn a dream to work with.  Details on these can be found here, or by reading back on my posts this last month.  🙂

Wear it in good health, Bobbi Ann!

 

Posted February 17, 2016 by salpal1 in how it came out

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Oh, really?   16 comments

A few words about the weather.

Humph. Grumble. PFFFFFT.

All week they have been talking about this “inverse Norlun Trough” that will bring some lucky slice of Maine an amount of snow that is unpredictable but big. This narrow band could include Hancock County if it goes where predicted, or it could go a little to the east and include Hancock County, or it could go a little west and include Hancock County.

It will snow in the targeted area from Friday night to Saturday night, and accumulations could be 6 inches or 12 or 18, depending on who says it.

 

So I planned my day around a snow storm, living as I do, in Hancock County.

No new snow this morning.  Turned on the weather channel, where they showed a current weather map.

They think it is snowing on my head.  It isn’t.

They did say the outer islands of Penobscot Bay already have ten inches. Note: Most of them are in Knox County, not Hancock County.  Just saying.

I amended my plans to include some blog time while I wait for the dump and barber shop to open.  Lucky you!

A is on her way home from Texas – she drove from San Angelo TX to Knoxville TN yesterday, that’s about halfway.  She got a good nights sleep and was back on the road at 5 am.  So, if all goes well, she should be home in the middle of the night tonight.  If it doesn’t go as planned and she has to stop due to weather or general sleepiness, she will get home tomorrow.  I have one day to make messes and clean them up. And make her valentine.  🙂

So far I have stripped the bed, started the laundry, unpinned the shawl (oh my!), filled the bird feeders and enjoyed a cup of coffee.

Now it is time to get dressed and start the errands.

Hope you all have a fun, productive day, and that the snow doesn’t fall on your heads either.  🙂

And just to wrap up as I began – about the weather – it is supposed to be bitter cold this weekend, wind chills 30 below (F).  Not unusual this time of year.  But how about this – on Tuesday it will be in the 30s and we will be getting heavy RAIN.  Now that is just not right.  What a mess we will have.

Humph. Grumble. PFFFFFT.

 

 

 

 

While the cat’s away…   25 comments

Well, it is A who is away, not the cats… however, this mouse is still playing.  🙂

image

This morning I blocked the shawl.  It was a major piece of work, but I think it is going to be worth every minute, and every pin! Which was most of the pins in the house.every-pin

The directions say that I might want to pin out the picots after pinning and blocking all the rest.

unpinned picots:

or-not-to-pin

pinned picots:

to-pin

I decided to pin.  Those picots made binding off take several evenings, as you add many stitches in the process – about doubling the number. Since I knit them all, I think it was worth the extra time to pin them out so they can be seen, don’t you?  I think they are a wonderful finishing touch on this shawl, but I would think about replacing them with beads another time. That might get heavy, I suppose, but it sure would be easier and faster, and still pretty, I think.

So here it is – all blocked and pinned and drying.  You will still get one more post of this shawl, when it is dry and I can take it out side so you can see the real color:

shawl-pinned-1

It pinned out to just about 6 feet wide and 21 inches deep.

A few close ups of the lace and beads:

close-up-1

 

 

close-up-3

close-up-4

And that’s not all!

Last night I planned some necklaces and strung the beads so I can cast these on sometime this week – using the beautiful silk I got for Christmas:

bling-planning

This is 6, which is far more than I will be able to do this week, but they keep very well.  🙂

And on my needles right now is this shawl for me. (keeping 1+1+1 project in mind, my goal is four shawls this year – two for me, two for sale.  I am on target so far!)

hap-1

This is Kate Davies Hap for Harriet.  I have loved it since she first released it, and it is as perfect a pattern as I had hoped.  The pattern is easily learned, and it is fun to watch it grow.  This lace is much less complicated than the Pease Blossom – I won’t need the instructions for every stitch!  The yarn is String Theory Hand Dyed Yarn in the Tinker Island Fingering weight, the color is called Ruby Slippers, and for once, this picture is fairly accurate, it is a dark rose color with a definite tinge of purple.  The fabric is coming out a tiny bit stiff, but as it is garter stitch, I know it will loosen up and be soft and stretchy when I finish and block it.

A busy morning today for sure!

Actually, it has been a kind of whacky few days.  Friday we had a real snow storm – and although it didn’t start as early as I prefer, my boss closed the office!  HURRAH!  A and I scooted up to Bangor for a car appointment.  Her car needed a going over before her trip, and she had the appointment set, so we were glad the driving was easy in the morning.  the worst of the snow came in the afternoon.

 

Saturday we had to take the car back, as they were waiting for a part, and it was Super Saturday Free Tax Prep day, so we got up early to shovel, then drove to Bangor, dropped off her car, she dropped me at the tax site and came home.  I did taxes all day, hitched a ride with a coworker and picked her car up at the end of the day.  So, my day started like this:

image

And ended like this:

image

and I understand it was a beautiful day in between that sunrise and sunset.  🙂

While I was gone, A and her electrician friend replaced the non-working bathroom fan/light!  Very nice to get that working again.

Today we were up early, and I made her breakfast before she set off for Texas.  Well, Pennsylvania tonight, to stay over night with her nephew, then Tennessee tomorrow night, then Louisiana the next night, and finally, Texas on Wednesday, for a work training session Thursday.  Friday early she will hit the road, and come home.  She is going to try to do it in two days, so get home sometime Saturday night or Sunday morning.  Crazy to make people go to Texas for one day of training, but I am glad she was able to get permission to drive instead of flying. She enjoys it so much more, and plans to make stops along the way.  She also took her golf clubs with her, so she can go to the driving range when she gets where there is no snow.  🙂

This means I have a week that I can fill with things that she doesn’t like to do – as she said, I can make all the messes I want.  As long as I get them cleaned up by Saturday night!

I have plans for food she doesn’t like to eat, plans for watching you tube spinning videos on the big TV, plans for making valentines at the dining room table…I might even put the smooth cotton sheets on the bed for a flannel-free week.  Such ambition!

If I get really crazy, I might paint the loft.

 

Yea, probably not.

 

Not lost   14 comments

imageI’m binding off.  Endlessly.

Finished the knitting as scheduled on Sunday; now each evening I work on binding off.  I hope to finish before spring. Actually before the weekend, so I can then block it. But it would be OK with me if spring came before the weekend.  🙂

Loving how it looks, how it feels.

Posted February 4, 2016 by salpal1 in how I spent my day, what I am making

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