Archive for March 2017

Monday at home   31 comments

The joy of being an hourly employee – when the weeks get too crazy, you get to get a day off to keep from going into OT. For me, that day is today, yea!

So far on this special day I have done two loads of laundry, let the bug guy in to wander about and do his quarterly thing, fixed supper (it’s in the crock pot) and cleaned the bathroom.

So now I am sitting down with computer and fiber.

Ahh, life is good.

Other things I plan (or hope) to get to:

A trip to the PO.  Have a check to send off in relation to a Ravelry Gathering that will happen in September – IN WISCONSIN! – I can’t wait to meet some of the fun members of the Ravelry group “Friends of Knitting Sarah’  AND to start one of my bucket list items – to go to each state’s fiber festival. So far I have only been to Maine’s, but have wanted to go to Wisconsin Sheep and Wool for sometime now.  only 48 to go, lol.  Assuming of course, that all states do something fiber related.  They might not.  But I want to go to all there are.

Anyway, that event is going to be super fun, and I can be sure of that because I am one of the planners, lol.  A was thinking of going along for the ride, but she soon realized she would be bored out of her mind, so opted to stay home and play with the cats.

Other stuff to do today – knit, of course.  Working on sleeves of the sweater now, so that is moving right along.  I also am making progress on the gray shawl, and of course, the pink socks.  Loads of thoughts about what is the next “thing” when these are done – so I might go upstairs to the stash and see what inspires me.  Not that I haven’t got quite a bit of newer stash here around my chair, but… 🙂

Spinning – still working on the combo spin – almost finished with color number two, so could finish that bobbin today and start on the third one.  really want to finish this so I can see the yardage and figure out the project!

That’s about it – just puttering about on a gray and gloomy day.  What are you doing today?

 

 

Posted March 27, 2017 by salpal1 in how I plan to spend my day, what I am making

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Catching up   22 comments

Whoa, time is flying by!  And I seem to have little to show for it. Oh, I have a sock and a half, for sure – this hand knit yarn is so much fun to knit with that my socks are flying off the needles (it helps that it is also a tiny bit thicker than traditional sock yarn so inches happen faster.)

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And the sweater lengthens. But of course, because I am knitting both fronts and the back at once, it feels like progress is slow.  I expect to finish these three pieces this week, and then I will block and seam them and make sure it is all fitting before I launch into sleeves.

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I did a little maintenance around my chair this week, and discovered found dug out excavated was reminded that I have a half finished shawl from the great shawl cast on last summer (if you recall, I cast on 4 in a day.)

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This is High Country Crescent by Mary-Anne Mace.  I won the pattern in a blog giveaway, and love it. Not sure why I stopped working on it – Christmas maybe?  Anyway, it is back in the rotation, and so gets a row or two or three an evening, depending how exciting the basketball is.  The shawl is only mindless every other row, the sweater and socks are completely mindless. Some of the basketball is also mindless, other games require my complete attention.  🙂  And what of the other shawls, you ask?  Well, one was Mirno, and one was Oaklet, and those are both finished and worn regularly.

The fourth was Biophilia, also by Mary-Anne Mace.  I wasn’t loving it in the yarn I was using, so I frogged it, and will use that yarn in my next shawl.  That will be Moon and Sky by Jem Arrowsmith, which I received as a surprise gift not too long ago (thank you, Saffronk!) I think the yarn will work well for that one. And so will the pretty beads I was going to use.  And I have a lovely lace weight silk I could use for Biophilia… or not.  There is always some more yarn to try a pattern with, right?  I also am dreaming of creating a beaded silk yarn to knit a shawl – I have the pattern already for that one, too (Chain Mail, in case you are wondering).  And the fiber.  And the beads.  Just haven’t made the yarn yet, lol. Still working on the big combo spin. S-L-O-W-L-Y.

What else is happening?  Oh, just some work.  It is the crazy busy time of year – town meetings all over the map, tax clinics in the opposite direction, important but not exciting meetings, and the regular work as well. So last week, I was in Machias – an hour and a half THAT way – for a meeting in the late afternoon, making a twelve hour day. Tuesday it stormed, so I rescheduled Wednesday’s tax day in Stonington – on hour in the OTHER direction – which meant I spent the morning on the phone lining up all the appointments for the same time, a day later. Because Stonington is on an island.  To get there, you go over a huge high bridge and then a low serpentine causeway.  I don’t want to drive over either in a storm or even on a nice day following a storm if there are high winds, which there were. Thursday I did go to Stonington for a ten hour day.  Friday was a tax day in Milbridge, an hour back in the first direction, and an eleven hour day.

LUCKILY I reviewed my time sheet Wednesday morning, and even with leaving early for the storm Tuesday, I knew I would go into OT if I didn’t adjust, so I went home a couple of hours early on Wednesday, too.  That quiet time mid-week was much appreciated. Even if I did spend a chunk of that time shoveling.  I might have made this for the cats.

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They are indoor cats who are really missing their screened porch this time of year.  So I made them a  track, and let them out on it one at a time.  They really loved it – Allie bustled about looking at everything.  Zumba emulated Ferdinand, and just sat smelling the smells. And for most of the time, they acted like they knew they should not go over the snowy walls. When they stopped acting like that, in the house they went.

Saturday I did some household chores and went to Whorls and Purls and we had a rollicking good time!  There was so much laughing it was hard to knit.  And there was pizza – very unusual but a fun change.

Sunday we took my sister-in-law S out for breakfast to celebrate her retirement last Friday!! We let her choose the place – Denny’s was her choice, and we had a huge meal before going to her second requested stop – AC Moore.  She received bountiful gifts from her coworkers, including some AC Moore gift cards.  It was so much fun to watch her shop without having to worry about the cost.  She makes delightful crocheted and embellished gift bags, and so she spent a lot of time in the yarn aisle, tossing in some of every color when she found a yarn she liked. All of her life she has had to be frugal, and she looked so happy filling that cart.  We carried several large bags out to the truck, and the look on A’s face when she realized it was all yarn was priceless.  Even better was the look on her face when she found out it wasn’t mine.   I told A I was really looking forward to retirement if it meant I could go yarn shopping and get everything I wanted.

Apparently that isn’t going to happen.

I’ll let her think that for the next few years.  🙂

That’s about it – another crazy work week this week, and a good chance I have to go to a town meeting on Saturday, sigh.  I will knit there, but it won’t be like going to Whorls and Purls.  No pizza, no laughing. No fiber to drool over.  Next time I will share with you the latest fibery goodness I have acquired – I don’t think I have shared with you the past few months of Roving of the Month club.  They are yummy.

 

 

 

 

 

Pet Peeve: Reply all   23 comments

My opinion:

When one person writes an email inviting 30 or 40 people to provide feedback, it would be entirely acceptable for those people to provide the feedback directly to the author by hitting “reply” and let the author decide if they want to compile the responses and share them with the original group.

It is entirely unnecessary for each of those people to use “Reply All” to say something like

“looks good!”

or

“I would reword the second sentence of the 14th paragraph to eliminate the word “and””

thus clogging up the in-boxes of everyone concerned.

 

You would be amazed at how many of my coworkers do this.

I do not need to know if they will be at a certain meeting or if they have submitted all their receipts for the month to Finance.

It’s just thoughtless in my mind.  Nine times out of ten, it is unneeded.  And thus, that tenth time, I am likely to miss the important thing that is being shared with the group.

 

Done venting. Thanks for listening.

 

 

 

 

Posted March 15, 2017 by salpal1 in what I am thinking about

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Quick shot of a finish and a few random things   28 comments

I finished my blue socks, and don’t think I shared them with you.  Time to remedy that!

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They are made with Caper Sock in the Stella Blue colorway from String Theory Hand Dyed Yarns in Blue Hill, ME.  The pattern is Fun-damental Toe-up Socks, which you have seen before if you have been reading for a while.  Love that pattern!

 

I immediately cast on my next pair:

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These are the same pattern on the foot, but the leg pattern is the stitch pattern from Hermione’s every Day Sock. The yarn is my own creation.  The toes are Plymouth Happy feet that I dyed hot pink, and the rest is yarn I spun.  The fiber is merino/nylon, and the colorway is Three Waters Farm’s Garden Center.  I spun it with the intent of making socks, spinning two plies with Z twist and one with S twist, the plying it with S twist.  What does all that mean?  It means that two plies are balanced and soft and the third is crazy energized, full of over-twist.  The end result is supposed to mean a harder wearing sock – we shall see!  But I can tell you that the yarn feels a little bit harder than typical merino sock yarn.  It almost feels like it has some cotton in it.

I notice that the stitch definition is more pronounced than with my usual sock yarns, which is why I decided to put a bit of pattern on the leg.

These socks are so bright and cheerful, it makes me happy to knit on them.  I might speed up my one sock per month schedule if I keep working on them for the fun of it.  🙂

Other knitting and spinning:

I haven’t done much spinning this week, I have been tired.  I had a sleep test Monday night (so didn’t sleep as much as if I just slept!) and that has thrown me off all week, I am really tired after work. Luckily my cardigan is pretty easy straightforward knitting at this point, so I plod along on that.  No photo at this time, but I will get you one soon, I promise. I did have to rip back to the waist on the front section to better space out my bust dart increases, but now I have done that, and am back on track.  Soon it will start going much faster as I decrease for the armholes and v neck. I can’t wait to try it on and see if I got the math right…

This weekend we are going to meet Mom and B for dinner Saturday night – her birthday is Sunday, so we were surprised she was available Saturday night.  Usually she gets all booked up with celebrations, so we lucked out!  They are spending the weekend at some local cabins for a change of scenery, so they are closer to us than normal, which is quite nice.  Sadly, Mom was hoping to be able to get out and walk the trails and beach and get some fresh air, but we are going to have a weekend just like last weekend – temps below 0 over night, never out of the single digits, and howling winds.  That means windchill is projected to be MINUS 50 degrees!  Crazy!  I hope her little cabin is warm enough. I don’t think she will really be leaving it.

Other than that, I think it will be an ordinary weekend – I’ll go to knitting at the Purple Fleece on Saturday while A stays home and “does chores”  (read: plays with cats and watches basketball.)

Sunday we will both be watching basketball – it is March Madness, in full swing now.  We have seen a few of the women’s games this season, but not as many as we would like to.  That will change this month, and I should get LOTS of knitting and spinning done as I watch my UConn Husky women go forth and do what they do so well – WIN!  🙂

Not Spring yet!   22 comments

I took this photo this morning, and of course, posted over on Instagram immediately.

Isn’t it interesting?

It’s the pool.

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The beloved swimming pool.

Frozen.

Solid.

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I reached in and pulled a leaf off the surface, and found this great outline of it left behind.

Hard to believe that in a couple of months I will be in the pool scooping leaves out of it.

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Or that a month or so after that, I will be swimming in it for fun.

Right now it is a 20 foot diameter, 3 foot deep block of ice.

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Hard to believe.

But isn’t it pretty?

Posted March 10, 2017 by salpal1 in what I am thinking about, What I love

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Quick update   33 comments

Spinning is progressing quite nicely! After spending loads of time on it on Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday:

I finished filling the three bobbins.  This beauty joined the first two.

 

Then I plyed them together until one ran out, got over 700 yards of thin yarn, lace or a light fingering.  I’ll know better when it dries.

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That yarn is now drying off from it’s bath, and I will commence filling singles bobbins again.  I should be able to fit all the remaining fiber on the bobbins now.

I will be so excited when it all has gone from this:

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to this!

 

There are so many pretty color combinations in here.  Of course, it came out thinner than I intended, so it might not get paired with that lovely yarn that is in the first photo, but I am OK with that.  I should have plenty of yardage to do something with it.  🙂

 

Friday I did most of what was on my list, and ALSO stopped at our local bookstore on a whim.  I saw the sign that they were having a Cabin Fever Reliever sale, that was all the encouragement I needed to stop in and pick this up:

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I read it cover to cover and then did the whole photo/body shape thing she recommends, updated my measurements, swatched the yarn I want to use and dug into rewriting a basic cardigan pattern to include shaping that matches my body – novel concept!

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The yarn is some Briggs and Little Heritage in Gray Heather.  I have had it for MANY years, but was pleased to learn they still make it.  I might order some more  if this sweater works out well.  I have loads of this color, and one skein each of a light and a medium gray.  I decided not to do colorwork on this sweater, but I still want to at some point.  So I might order a dark gray for future use. This sweater will be just this one color, which in fact is several colors, there is loads of green and gray in the skein.  I love how the fabric softened up with the first washing, it is becoming quite soft, which you would not guess from the raw swatch.

So, pattern rewrite complete, yarn swatched and (mostly) dry, I cast on the sweater.  It will be a while before there is anything to share, but it will happen, I promise.  🙂

Sock knitting continues to happen, I missed my goal to finish the blue socks in February, because I let spinning have my attention, but I will finish the socks before the weekend, and then cast on the next ones – out of my own handspun!  I am looking forward to seeing how it goes.

Last thing to share from the weekend –  the finished Soli deo Gloria shawl.  I took it with me to Whorls and Purls, and Debbie nicely took some photos of it and me for me.

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I am loving it and will get loads of use out of it.  And isn’t her gradient yarn gorgeous?

 

Loads of finishes this week, don’t get used to it, these things have been in progress for a long time.  🙂

 

 

Posted March 2, 2017 by salpal1 in how it came out

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