Archive for December 2016
Vacation went quickly, but this week is going even faster. Next week is all tax training, so this week is prepping for that, and trying to get all my “regular” work done. Yikes! I’ll take the computer and everything home today in case the “BIG NOR’EASTER” actually is as advertised, a big nor’easter.
This weekend will be a strange combo of finishing up the tax training prep (including passing the test!) and knitting. Saturday is Whorls and Purls at the Purple Fleece, and then Sunday I am going to go off knitting with a new neighbor and some other “ravellers” whom I have never met in person – should be interesting. I SHOULD have some finished objects to share with you after all of that!
Mom gave me some spinning books for Christmas, and I am slowly absorbing them. Haven’t spun in a few days – the merino/nylon blend that I want to make into three ply sock yarn was giving me trouble – or the wheel was or something, so I am taking a couple of days off from spinning to see if I can sort that out. I did a lot of spinning last week, and maybe I just was trying too hard. I’ll come back to it this weekend, maybe Saturday morning if I get up early. That is my best spinning time.
Because of the impending winter weather doom and my having knitting commitments this weekend, A made one of her famous deals. If I would do the grocery shopping before the storm, she would do all the other errands and laundry this weekend. She knows I hate grocery shopping, so she always makes a really sweet deal to get me to do it. I took her up on that deal and did the grocery shopping last night. And I cleaned the bathroom this morning, so technically my chores are done! Of course, there is still Christmas clutter to clear up, and a few other chores around the house that I might throw in to be a good doobie. But then again…. I really want to finish my sweater before the end of the year…
The other thing I want to do before the end of the year is lose about 3.5 pounds. If I can do that, I will have lost 30 pounds since October 3 when I started following the Whole 30 plan. It seemed like a good goal until I ate what I wanted on vacation. Now it will be a stretch. But I think I can do it if I am REALLY good. Hold me accountable, please. 🙂
So as you might gather, life is chugging along as usual, everything simple and mundane, things are getting done. No photos today, no drama, just living a quiet life, and so grateful that it is so. It seems 2016 was a really horrible year if you happened to be a celebrity (my heart does ache for the Reynolds/Fisher clan) and for big world events, there is some strange juju going on, but here in my little world, all is calm, all is bright. As it should be this time of year.
We had a busy couple of days, celebrating with A’s sister and her family on Christmas Eve day, then my family Christmas Day. Lots of driving, opening presents, eating, and visiting.
Today is the last day of our vacation, and we have declared it to be a pajama day.
I am looking forward to the knitting and spinning and reading. Oh, and writing the cards…I got them made last Friday, but did not finish writing them. I will eventually!
I completely forgot to take photos of several secret finishes in the real world, but I can tell you that the hats all fit on the heads they were intended for. 😉
and the scarf was deemed “perfect colors!”
And the seemingly endless pile of tiny mittens turned into garlands and ornaments as intended.
So today I can relax into some selfish knitting – finish some sleeves, cast on some human-sized mittens and knit up a hat in a pattern my brilliant sister invented. And peruse the two spinning books I got for Christmas.
In my PJs all day. I love a pajama day. 🙂
the spinning isn’t!!!!
I thought I would share with you a few photos of my most recent finish, Midnight Obsession by Three Waters Farm. It is a merino/silk blend, and I got about 240 yards before the wash.
And the end result:
One big and one mini skein. Want a close up or two or three?
It is drying out after its bath, then it will be ready to go!
Which I guess is good?
Friday was unbelievably cold and windy, yesterday it was a bit warmer and snowed all day. Today is warmer still and raining.
So the world is coated in ice.
Yesterday I took the truck and went to knitting. Roads were snow covered but fine getting there.
But this is what I found!
Only Debbie and I were there. We enjoyed a quiet afternoon knitting and munching on her good cookies and sipping hot chocolate. But we missed the ladies who usually fill the sofas.
The roads weren’t so fine going home- no need to plow the main road apparently. But going slow in 4 wheel drive worked well and i made it home safely.
This morning we woke to the promised rain and 35 degrees. Well, the air is 35 degrees. Everything else is still zero. So it looks like this:
Naturally, that means we are headed out to Bangor for a family gathering and some (the last?) of the holiday shopping. In the truck. 😀
We also saw this outside the bedroom this morning. Maybe he is snacking on the creatures who live in our walls.
Hope you are safe, warm, and dry this morning!
So last week A got the truck of her dreams. She has wanted this thing the entire time I have known her. She has suffered cheerfully through not one, but two, efficient subcompact Toyotas which seem to never die (which is good, unless you want to replace them with the vehicle of your dreams.)
She is in love. I am surprised she doesn’t sleep in it.
But being the wonderful person she is, while she was getting this, she got ME the car I have long been wanting! Of course there is no photo of me in my beautiful new Prius, but trust me, it is gorgeous, a nice deep blue.
That is right, we bought two new vehicles last weekend. It is a bit alarming. We always knew we would get these two, but I did not think we would get them both at once! But the deal on my Prius was too good to resist (apparently when gas prices go down, so do Prius sales, so incentives go up) 0% financing AND cash back! That, combined with the fact that we had saved up a good deal of money toward the truck made it possible to make this crazy move.
So now we have to behave ourselves financially for the next, oh, five years, but at least we have fun cars to drive during that time!
Other bits of life –
This past weekend was busy – errands, of course, on Saturday, followed by knitting in the afternoon. Sunday, niece B came over for a visit, to do some laundry and get the suitcase she stores at our house. She will be heading for home this weekend, not back for a month. She only has one more semester of school! Oh, how we will miss her when she moves back home for good. She had us open her presents to us, and mine was a new cribbage board, so we played a few games to christen it before she left. She even let me win one of them.
Sunday evening we went to a “real” party – Debbie from Purple Fleece invited us to her holiday gathering, and this pair of introverts went, wanting to go but not sure we would really enjoy it. You know the drill. 🙂 Well, we had a great time! A met some of the knitting ladies, I met some of the husbands about whom I hear so much (all good, of course) and we both met some local people who were loads of fun. On the way home, we both commented how glad we were that we had ventured forth in our good clothes and party manners on a cold almost-winter’s night. 🙂
The Christmas knitting winds down, I did a couple of rows on a shawl for me last night, almost forgot what I was doing with it! Then it was back to gift knitting, I cast on some more of the tiny secret project, and a hat for a young niece. It’s to match the doll hat already knit. I love this particular yarn I spun last summer – I might need to get more, the colors are just so fun!
Had this happen on my spinning – what?
Debbie told me it was OK, that I could wind what I had spun on to a different bobbin and re-glue this one, or ask A to do that for me. So have done that and moved on. 🙂 Except for the equipment malfunction, I am loving this spin. It is merino/silk from Three Waters Farm, planned for my sister – either the yarn will be her gift sometime (not Christmas) or something I knit her from it will be her gift. It is so SMOOTH, and soft! I am using my new spinnerz gauge to try to keep the singles nice and even to get a DK weight – my sister likes heavier yarn to knit with, I know. It’s all good practice and good for learning.
I split the braid in half, but not directly – first, I laid it out and found the pattern to it, then divided it so I got the gold in one half and the purple in the other. I will ply it together as a two ply. I hope the purple and gold won’t muddy each other, but I think it will be fine.
I love grays in this spin. I think I should do a tonal spin soon, like the “you red my mind” one I did last summer – I love to knit with them, I think I would like to spin more of them, too. But all the colors keep calling me. 🙂
Here’s some finished yarn – Cadillac Mountain – isn’t it so pretty? I love it!
And Wood Nymph – a hard spin, but it is done now. Not sure what I will do with 56 yards of bulky… but I know I can get more if I need it. Just am not in a mood to spin it right now – silk feels so much softer!
Hats have been selling! I brought them all to work one day last week, and sold several, plus some earrings and a bracelet, and then one sold on Etsy this weekend (thanks, Renee!) and this morning when I got to work one of the girls across the hall asked if I still had a particular hat she loved. I do. It is hers. This is all VERY good as this money goes straight to fiber stash cash, and what with new vehicles my beloved-wife-the-household-bookkeeper won’t have to make faces when fiber comes in the house, she will know I earned the money for it by selling other fiber stuff. It’s a great circle. And inventory is getting low, so I think I will be knitting more hats after the New Year. They are great to knit during tax training, I can usually do a hat a day that week.
This weekend promises to be busy – I am house/dog sitting for my brother Friday night, as far as I know (he will confirm sometime before then) and there is knitting to go to on Saturday. Sunday is a family gathering with A’s family for a birthday party. A Christmas tree will be procured and set up sometime soon as well (or why bother?).
We are on vacation next week – loads to do to get ready for the big holiday, plus Mom will come spend a night, so she can visit and watch sappy Christmas movies with us. (At her house, all channels seem to lead to sporting events, no matter the season.) We will be registering vehicles and maybe going for a ride or two to look at Christmas lights. Then there are lights and a tree to decorate at our house, cards to make (yes, I am SO FAR BEHIND on these!) that will likely be called holiday cards, not Christmas cards. 😉 I hope not St Valentine’s cards…
Before that can all happen though, there is real work to be done – 2 sessions of tax training this week… a few committee meetings… a few letters to send out, nothing slow and boring about this time of year!
We won’t even talk about wind chill forecasts for the weekend.
And can someone please tell me why, if we have to endure such cold temps, we can’t get the storm at the same time so that it is all snow??? What is with warming up enough for wintry mix Saturday night?
That is really too much.
Since coming back to work on Monday, I have been immersed in learning the new software the IRS is using. Trying very hard to think of change as good, but there is that learning curve thing that just gets harder and harder as I get older.
Have to start helping other learn it soon, so I need to get it. Rather be knitting…
The good news? Yesterday we went to an all day training, and while it was too crowded for me to knit during the training (rats) I was able to get a good 3 hours in on the drive, as I was a passenger. That Christmas knitting is moving right along, although the one tedious project still feels pretty immense.
I also ordered some more fiber from Three Waters Farm – I think between TWF and the Purple Fleece, I will never need to look at fiber out in the world – they both have so many lovely colors!
I actually did 2 orders from TWF, the first one arrived and I went on Etsy to do something with my shop, and saw that there was a sale page. I could not resist one of the braids there, so ordered another.
And now I need to stop doing that. I have lots of spinning to do! The most recent Purple Fleece Roving of the Month is begging me to cast aside Cadillac Mountain and spin it instead, but it has to wait it’s turn… Check this out – Alpaca – and I have 2 braids because I signed up in October and got a special promotional extra braid, oh my. 🙂
I finished two turbans this week, and am working on a third in a lighter weight yarn. I want to knock these out fairly quickly so I can move on. The pattern is so nice and simple, it really is fast.
I tried one on and sort of like it, but not sure I would ever wear it, really. But maybe I need one to see? Later, later…or, if the girls don’t buy all these, maybe I will keep one.
(Stop planning more knitting, Salpal, you have knitting for Christmas and shops and Christmas cards to make and spinning to do. Oh, and some software to learn to gear up for tax season!)
I started this post late last week but didn’t finish it, lucky for you, you got to see all the fiber I acquired! And you get to hear about the weekend.
Saturday I got the snow tires on, just in time, as it was snowing as I headed down to Stockton Springs for knitting! I spent the afternoon working away on hats and things, and made good progress, finishing another secret project and ignoring the last secret project which is boring me to tears. 🙂 Cast on another turban (a good thing as that is the one one of the girls really wants, it turns out.)
Sunday, A and I went on an adventure. Last week she was in Georgetown (Maine) for three days, and this week, she is in Edgecomb for two, one of them very long, so she was going to stay over night. Then she got this great idea – stay over two nights, and I go along for a day of adventuring, and stay there one night with her. The ladies in Georgetown had told her about their tree lighting ceremony, so we decided to check it out.
Bright and early Sunday morning we ventured forth, in two cars ( waaah, no knitting for me!) and met at our hotel, the Cod Cove Inn, which is very nice and comfortable. Looks like it has beautiful gardens, but they are put to bed for the winter now.
Then we had lunch in Wiscasset at Sarah’s Café, no dieting this day! and ventured off to Bath for shopping. We managed to mostly buy things for ourselves, but did get a couple of Christmas presents, and found a lovely, huge shop filled with Maine-made things. I could have spent a fortune there! I did notice some baby veggie and fruit hats and they were $40! Maybe I need to adjust my pricing and head back over there with some things… I went into Halcyon to check out their spinning fiber, and came out empty handed but with lots of info for the future. 🙂
From there we headed down the Georgetown peninsula to Reid State Park – I had never been there, and it is beautiful!
It was cold and windy, and there were some kites flying (you can see the edge of one at the top right corner of the photo) but no one was in swimming, lol.
Then it was off to the tree lighting ceremony. The town pier is absolutely beautiful, of course, what with being on the coast of Maine and all. 🙂
And it was soooo coooooold! They had hot chocolate, and we thoroughly enjoyed it while waiting for the tree to go from this
Sorry it is blurry, I guess the phone doesn’t like low light situations. 🙂
We were so cold that once this was done, we skipped our plan for a nice dinner and a trip down to Boothbay to see the lights, and went back to our hotel room, where we dined on left over lunch and watched sappy Christmas movies on the TV, while snuggled under warm pretty quilts. 🙂
And now it is a new week of learning software and teaching people how to use it. One more week of work after this and then we are on vacation AGAIN. I love it. 🙂