Archive for April 2017

Wednesday   14 comments

The best laid plans…

Actually my plans are coming along just fine, it is A who had a spanner in the works yesterday.  She and SIL S went off to Augusta in the morning to visit their aunt and then the sister they seldom see.

I stayed home and worked on knitting and puttering and clearing out some stash to ship away.

I finished the shawl Monday night, actually with loads more yarn leftover than I expected, so I blocked that yesterday while they were gone.

I finished the green sweater, button band FINALLY lying flat and not pulling or rippling.  Now to select buttons.

I dug deep into stash, packed up almost all my straight and DPN needles, only kept one of each size of my grandmother’s, in her needle roll.  And I emptied two bins of yarn I will never use, all to ship off to a woman who will be going to Africa this summer and will continue teaching people to knit.  I also filled a bin of “swap” yarn for my trip to Wisconsin in September.  I hope I remember to bring it.  I might find more such yarn as I go through things this summer, who knows?

I swatched for my next sweater, teal and black stripes.  I love how the colors look but I am not sure about all those ends…

And then around 2 I got a text from my SIL.  They were headed home, but did not get to see Aunt M because she had passed away that morning, a couple of hours before they arrived.

While they were not close to her, I know it was a blow.  So few of that generation left in her family.  She was well over 90, and not well, but I think it still was a shock.  I wish we had stopped on Sunday instead of whizzing by.  A dreads family visits, and hospital visits, but I think she would have stopped if she had realized how close to the end M was.  But she didn’t want to go without her sister, so we kept going.

They did have lunch with their sister, and met her puppy, which was a good antidote to the morning. They had lunch at A’s favorite pizza place, and her sister gave her some snazzy snowshoes for her birthday, so the day ended better than it started.

I felt a little guilty about having such a good day here at home with the knitting and craft room (and laundry, in case you thought I was ONLY playing) but it is what it is.

Today we are home, it is raining, so no photos for you of all my finishes.  I’ll do some knitting and spinning and see what I can cast on.  🙂

Sunday   11 comments

Just a quick note to let you know I am on track with my vacation plans.  🙂

I went to Whorls and Purls yesterday at the Purple Fleece, and had fun chatting with the ladies while knitting away on shawl and vest.  I think I will get the shawl done this week, if I don’t run out of yarn.  It is going to be pretty close.

I did some spinning this morning before we headed out to have A’s breakfast brunch with Mom and B.  We went to a place we had never been to before, but Mom had and said it was good – Aunt Gin’s in Whitefield, near Augusta.  They have a Sunday brunch buffet and it was quite good.  From there we went up to Augusta so A could find the nursing home where her aunt is – she and her sister will go there on Tuesday.  Then we circled around and came home with a stop at the fancy new Hannaford in China, so we got the groceries for the week done.  Once we got home and loaded those, I went off by myself to do a little shopping for the big birthday tomorrow.  🙂

Tomorrow is a busy day – starting with an early doctor visit, then to Ellsworth for passport renewal for both of us, license renewal for A, a trip to EBS so she can have fun with her birthday gift certificate from Mom – I see lumber and tools in her future!  She wants to go to Fuddruckers for lunch while we are in Ellsworth, and then go to Bangor in the afternoon.  Our goal is to get all the errands and chores done tomorrow, so that we will have a few days where we are at home, not out and about all the time.  I like the sound of that.  🙂

 

What I hope to be up to this week!   14 comments

The long anticipated vacation is here!

The grant is in the mail.

The marketing materials are all printed.

The meeting minutes are typed up and distributed.

The surprise last minutes tasks ( ad redesign, loan application review) are done.

I am exhausted.  🙂

But energized because NOW I can relax into things I want to do.

 

Here’s what I have come up with for a list for this week so far.

  • find a vest pattern and swatch for it, using the combo spin yarn I made. (in fact I did this before I even finished writing this post.  Galiano is cast on.  I’ll be playing yarn chicken, but I think I can win it)
  • do the math after swatching and cast on the vest. (yes, well, I think I will be OK, I got gauge!)
  • cast on the next sweater, teal and black stripes.
  • finish spinning Copper and Gold, and ply it with silk and beads.
  • figure out if the green/gray sweater is done or not – it’s blocked, and drying now but the button band remains a concern.
  • finish knitting the gray High Country Crescent shawl.
  • block the shawl.
  • cast on the moon and sky shawl.
  • and maybe the chain mail shawl with the Copper and Gold if it is washed and dried in time.
  • clean out the POOL!!!!
  • Hook up the filter so I can catch the rain that is sure to come to fill the top 6 inches of said pool.
  • rake leaves.
  • weed the bulb garden.
  • work on clearing out craft room.
  • remember to go to the doctors appointment Monday.  🙂
  • renew passport
  • get A’s birthday present.
  • Celebrate A’s birthday multiple times with various family members.
  • wind up the week at a dinner to honor niece B and her academic achievements in her 5 years at Husson University!

I hope A doesn’t have any plans for me this week, it seems I have a lot of things I want to get done.  🙂

 

Countdown to vacation   16 comments

As so often happens, the week before vacation is crazy busy.  There are meetings to schedule and attend, grants to write, reports to put together, marketing materials to be designed.  When people find out there is a vacation looming, they suddenly want it all before I go.  And the faces they make when they find out next week’s calendar is off limits! What is up with that?

Tuesday turned into a 14 hour day including 4 hours of driving to go to a meeting.  And I drove, so not much knitting happened on Tuesday.  A few rows of a hat at lunch is all.  I missed it.

Maybe that means I can make Friday a really short day, if I can get through all the deadlines.

And maybe I will have time to put together a vacation list for you all.  But for now, I need to head to work and get things done!

 

 

 

Sigh. I’m just tired!   31 comments

I know I didn’t post this weekend, I was not in the mood.  🙂  My whole plan for last week went kerflooey when I came down with a  cold late on Sunday.  I went to work Monday, hoping I could make it through the twelve hours, but I went down hill fast – came home at 1, went to sleep.  Stayed home not doing much on Tuesday, tried again on Wednesday.  Again made it to about 1, then headed home for a nap.  So my day off for making things did NOT happen.  In fact, instead of taking a day off to keep my hours under 40, I had to use some vacation time to get them up to 40!  Even with two very long days on Thursday and Friday.  The good news was, that by Friday, I could tell I was getting better, and by Saturday, I was really fine, just tired.

So – odd little things this week.

#1 As soon as I knew I was getting sick, I hopped over to the pharmacy and picked up some disposable masks.  My boss, with whom I share a small office, was scheduled for some nasty oral surgery on Wednesday. I knew he did NOT want a head cold.  I wore the mask while at work Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday, because even though the boss was out Thursday, it was a tax day, and I didn’t want to share those germs with all the clients.

It amazed me the number of people who stopped to ask “why the mask?” and made a face when I told them “to keep my germs to myself” but not one of them said “Oh, don’t wear it on my account”  🙂 Today a coworker approached me at lunch time and thanked me for wearing that mask.  I really appreciated that on her part.

I am of the school that says “stay home when you are sick” so that everyone doesn’t share it, but this week it just wasn’t possible, so this seemed the second best thing.

And HR has ordered a box of masks to have on hand!  I might have started a trend.  🙂

#2 By Friday, even though I was getting better, I was really done with work, taxes, and not feeling well.  And Friday was a Milbridge tax day, which essentially means 12 hour day.  Sigh.  I carpooled with the other volunteers, so only had to drive 2 miles. And it was a lovely, sunny day!  So sad to be stuck in side with computers and more clients than we expected (last clinic there, we always get walk ins. But we got LOTS of walk ins!) so when the day was over, we packed up and cleaned up FAST, hit the road.  It wasn’t until we pulled into the parking lot next to my car that I realized I forgot my coat and car keys back at the tax site, 50 miles away.

Ugh.  My wonderful volunteer drove me home, where I convinced A that it would be a fun thing to hop into the truck, drive the 20 miles to Ellsworth for dinner at our favorite take out place, then continue on to Milbridge.  It was nearly 9 o’clock by the time we pulled back into the driveway.  I won’t be doing that again.  I could have lived without the jacket, but not the keys.

 

So that’s why I was tired on Saturday.  Not too tired to go to Whorls and Purls, though.  🙂  A few solid hours of knitting with people who love fiber is always good for the soul!

Sunday I just laid low – did a few household chores and lots of knitting.  Oh, and some spinning.  Did I mention that the new spinning project was kicking my butt?  It was.  I posted on the dyer’s Ravelry group and got loads of advice, some of it good, all of it well-intentioned.  🙂  I decided that the ones who told me to add twist were on target, tried it very carefully, hand turning the wheel at the start, until I got going.  It worked!  So Sunday I made sure I was going ahead properly on that project.

And, I finished my socks!  They are so cute, and very thick and warm.  In spite of me spinning the thinnest yarn I could they are still a bit thicker than commercial sock yarn.  But not so thick I can’t wear them.  🙂

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The sweater plods along, as does the shawl, although both show signed of progress. the shawl only needs one chart plus the edging, the sweater sleeves are near the top, decreasing now! No photos of that stuff as it looks the same as last week.  But soon we will have more finished objects.

The blue foolproof cowl is also nearly done, I will show you that next week, all complete.  After that I will knit a hat to match it.  I have to hold off starting a new pair of socks until May 1 – self-imposed rule, only allowed one sock per month, or I will run out of sock yarn before the year is over, LOL.

Monday was our very last tax clinic anywhere for the 2016 filing year, and boy were we all ready! It was a tough year with the new software. I hope they spend the summer making it easier for next year! We celebrated with dinner out in Ellsworth, and everyone made sure I had my keys before we left. I did. 😝

 

So now the week will be spent telling people other ways to get their taxes done, and working on reports. Oh, and there is a grant due this month. The boss told me yesterday that he wants to bring in a new partner on it, that the program manager will write it, I just have to “review” it.  It’s due while I am on vacation, so they have less than 2 weeks to get it ready for my review. My experience tells me that after I review it, I will be doing some serious editing. I think I will be ready for that vacation!

Lots of in progress things to share, and one big completion!   30 comments

I know I haven’t written much lately – no excuse except that nothing seems worth mentioning.  I work, I watch basketball, I knit, I spin.

Well, basketball is nearly over – one more game tonight.  It was a thrilling weekend, and while I am happy for Mississippi, I wish they hadn’t beaten my UCONN team.  A says it is good for the women’s game to have a year like this, and I am THRILLED for South Carolina – been following Dawn Staley for a very long time, so glad to see her hard work pay off. But still…I wanted to see the Samuelson girls play against each other, and neither made it to the final game.  The flukey thing is that A and I have these bracket bets, and I beat her on the men’s.  Not the women’s that we actually watch and know something about.  The men’s, where I almost throw darts to determine my picks. So that is $25 more toward my spinning wheel.  And if North Carolina wins tonight, that’s an additional $25, lol  New spinning wheel is happening next month, for sure.  Go Tar Heels!!

So in this last week, I have plugged away on the sweater sleeves.  They are getting wider, so slower.  Can’t wait until we reach the part where they start getting smaller again!

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The High Country Crescent shawl grows even more slowly, rows take an hour or more!  I can’t take it anywhere to work on now, it is too complex and slow.  Which means it won’t grow very fast at all for a while.  The colored threads are the lifelines marking the end of each chart.  I don’t actually need them all, just the last one, but I like to see the progression of the pattern through the charts.

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Socks – they continue so grow, and I struggle with my commitment to only make 6 pairs this year, to keep me from knitting all socks all the time.  This pair isn’t going to make it until May, this is the second sock.  But I will follow the good advice of some fellow Ravelers – I’ll just finish them and then not cast on any more until May.  Hmmm.

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So when I finish the socks, what will be my traveling project?  Well, perhaps this cowl?  It is knit out of ancient stash of Bartlett Yarn and a mystery hand-painted skein, both of these have been in stash for many years.  The pattern is Foolproof, and I was intrigued by the description – no casting on, no picking up stitches, no purling, no binding off, no grafting, no knitting in the round, yet you wind up with a cowl.  It is very clever, and I am loving it.  This is a heavy worsted weight, almost aran, so it grows fast.  It might carry me until May.

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But the big news here in my world is this:

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I finished the big combo spin.  It is my biggest, most adventurous spin to date ( and truly it is not very big nor adventurous).  I spun up three different braids of fiber from Three Waters Farm, and then plied them together.  It took FOREVER.

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But I love it.  I love that from a distance it is all soft brown and green, but when you get close, there are so many other colors in it!

I had hoped to get a DK weight, and then knit a sweater using it with a commercial yarn I have.  But I am not yet a good enough spinner that I can get the yarn I want, so I have 1000 yards of fingering weight loveliness!  I will dig out a vest pattern and make that instead. Just look at the pretty colors.  🙂  And the tiny skein is 86 yards of two ply, using up the leftovers.  The two braids were the brighter of the three, so it really is a different look for this bit.

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Isn’t it pretty?  I can’t stop looking at it.

On to other stuff – tax season is also about to end – hurrah!  Have a crazy week this week, then Monday is the last of our tax clinics.  It went fast, as it always does – February was really scary with the new software, March we were starting to get the hang of it, and could tell when the problem was us and when it was the software acting up.  Now it is April and we just want it to be done.  I hope next year is easier, that the software won’t be as tedious and error prone.  But I won’t think about that until November.  🙂

Between taxes Thursday and Friday, and a late meeting today, I have a day off this week sometime – either Tuesday or Wednesday.  Which is good as I am coming down with nasty cold.  My boss is having oral surgery on Wednesday, and so I am in a different office today, wearing a mask and wiping down everything I touch.  And praying that he doesn’t get this thing, it will really complicate life if he gets sick.  I had planned to have off Wednesday, but I think I might change that to tomorrow so I minimize contact with him.  Whatever day I take, if I feel up to it, I will start my next spin, which involves adding beads to a commercial silk lace weight yarn and plying it with my handspun for some serious bling.  I hope to make a shawl with the resulting yarn. But that is ages away, I know it will take me some time to spin the singles.

Off to work now – hope you have a good week!

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