A bit of a quiet week ahead

A is traveling this week, 4 days in southern Maine.  But it’s Wednesday that she is in the office, so it means only two nights away from home.  Crazy amount of driving though.

Last night the cats could NOT BELIEVE they were stuck with me, and they moped about.  This morning, Allie was quite vocal in her dismay, woke me up at 4 am and basically followed me about the house all morning crying at me.  Zumba got up for breakfast (she is still Zumba after all) and then went back to bed.  No bird watching, no time on the deck.

But I enjoyed the quiet time (discounting Allie, of course) and slept with the windows and door wide open, spent the evening out on the porch knitting. I managed to finish the June sock, making a pair!

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I started the July sock because I have a couple of meetings and appointments this week, and need something small to knit on.  And since I will be focused on spinning in July, I need a head start on the sock.  🙂

 

The other thing that is happening coming up soon is that my step brother J is coming to help with yard work on Saturday.  I am so appreciative, I can’t believe he would give up a day of his vacation to work in our yard.  But since he is, I ordered three yard of garden soil with compost that was delivered last night,  and I am going to pick out some edging stones this week.  I am hopeful that we can get the front bed with all the lovely-but-growing-too-large shrubs under control and looking good. We will get mulch this week, too, so hopefully the good work will stay good.  🙂

 

I showed you the pink weigela last week, here is the darker one – which they call red, but it isn’t.  More like hot pink. Just COVERED in blossoms, bees and hummingbirds.

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I just love these flowering shrubs, and plan to stick to the part of my garden plan that says shrubs and mulch instead of lawn.  I just need to get some soil (these are actually growing like this in GRAVEL) and mulch in place.  I plan to fill in the gaps with daylilies, they look so pretty against all this pink. I have some, but they would prefer soil as well. It will be a lot of work, and I will miss Whorls and Purls (unless it rains, then we will do all of this on Sunday) but it will be so worth it to have some good strong help.

 

A will be home tonight, in time to get to bed for an early start tomorrow.  I know this girl will be as glad to see her as I am.

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It never ceases to amaze me how a big cat like Zumba (15 pounds, not much fur) can make herself so small when she wants to.

 

Hope you all have a quiet week, too.

How I did with that list

It’s evening and I am done accomplishing things for today.  Thought I would check the list and see how I did.  🙂

Wait for the Cable Guy.

He was on time! It really only took about an hour and half and we are all hooked up with lightening fast internet, sharp and clear TV, and the phone works.

If the weather cooperates (cool, dry, sunshine, and a light breeze would be ideal) I want to get out into the yard and do some trimming and weeding, and maybe plant a plant or something.

The weather did not cooperate.  I trimmed a tiny amount of grass.

Ditto on the weather, I would follow that work with a  dip in the pool, and what I hope is the last good scrubbing it will need.

Ditto.  Though, after the rain stopped, I did get in a scrub the pool It was a little chilly but I am glad to be getting this chore done before it is really hot. It still might need one more scrubbing, but I see loads of progress here.

Clean the screened porch and the front porch and get them ready for summer. 

Well, I didn’t really do this, though I did put the snow shovels away, and I moved one big plant out onto the screened porch.

Make a run to the dump with yard trash and house trash.

I did this!  Took a truck load of old wood scraps and pallets to the dump.  Yeah! This is why I wanted the truck, not sure if A feels the same way.  🙂

Get the groceries.

Check. Store wasn’t as crowded as I expected, must have been the rain!

Go to the PO when it is actually open and I can speak to a person.

I could have done this but I forgot.  Tomorrow.

Take photos of my knitting to show you – I have really made progress on things, I think a photo will prove it. To you and to me.

I did this one!  See below.

Start the weekend’s laundry.

Started and nearly finished.  Just one more load to go.  Not only that, but I ironed some skirts and shirts!  It’s the only trouble with summer – cotton and linen need more ironing than do knits…

Here’s the knitting:

Not great shots, but proof that knitting is happening.  🙂

Here’s my supervisor enjoying the very basic porch and it’s one plant

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And some of the yard work I did not do – this bush needs clearing out underneath and a bit of pruning, it has lovely flowered branches leaning against the house.

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But I do love those flowers! And so do the bumble bees and hummingbirds!

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I feel like I did pretty well.  Not much housework got done, but had to leave SOMETHING for A to do tomorrow while I am at knitting!

And that reminds me, I also baked a little treat to take along to knitting tomorrow.  And now I am going to bed, I am exhausted!

Friday list!

If you have been following me for a long time, you know I used to work four days a week, and Fridays were my day to be home or out and about on my own.  I used to make such lovely long lists of things I wanted to accomplish.  And sometimes, I was successful!  But then came changes at work, and my schedule got shifted back to the traditional 5 days a week.  No more Friday lists.

This week, however, I am going to be home, so thought I would reprise the Friday list.  I know I am excited! I bet you are, too.  😉

 

Here goes:

Wait for the Cable Guy, the reason I am home and not at work.  He’s due between 8-9 and his work will take about an hour, so technically, I could then go to work, but I decided to take the whole day. because I can.  It is WICKED slow at work. Plus, you know cable guys’ reputations.  🙂  We are SO excited to be getting a cable bundle for TV, internet, and telephone, instead of paying the earth for satellite TV and internet, and traditional land line phone.  Here’s hoping it all lives up to its billing. We will save almost $100 a month with this deal, and I see that as a big plus.

If the weather cooperates (cool, dry, sunshine, and a light breeze would be ideal) I want to get out into the yard and do some trimming and weeding, and maybe plant a plant or something.

Ditto on the weather, I would follow that work with a  dip in the pool, and what I hope is the last good scrubbing it will need. I didn’t get into it last weekend, it was too chilly and showery.  I scrubbed what I could reach, but that isn’t much and the angle isn’t right for a good scrubbing.

Clean the screened porch and the front porch and get them ready for summer.  I understand it is coming, the teasing with a warm day here and there will stop soon, and all days will be warm and lovely. It would be nice to have the snow shovels, sand, and salt stowed away when that happens.

Make a run to the dump with yard trash and house trash.

Get the groceries.

Go to the PO when it is actually open and I can speak to a person.

Take photos of my knitting to show you – I have really made progress on things, I think a photo will prove it. To you and to me.

Start the weekend’s laundry.

 

It’s an ambitious list, if I get to half of it I will be pleased.  The sitting and knitting will come while waiting for the Cable Guy, and while waiting and watching him work.  I think workmen love that, when the homeowner pulls up a chair and watches their every move, don’t you?

I am sort of thinking of doing a really quick bulky spin this week as well – I have some fiber that I have to spin outside (it sheds), and I know I can do it like lightening.  But I should be concentrating on the knitting for the next couple of weeks.  So torn.  🙂

That’s my day!  I will check back in later and let you know how I did.  And maybe have some photos to share.

 

 

Sunday at home

Yesterday was a typical Saturday- some chores in the morning, Whorls and Purls in the afternoon, grocery shopping on the way home, then a TV movie to wrap up the day.

A decided to go to work for a few hours this morning, and so I decided to sleep late. I should do that more often! I got up at 9, and by 10 I had stripped and changed the bed, got the laundry going, cleaned both bathrooms, made breakfast and done the dishes!

Of course after all that progress, I sat down to work on my Tour de Fleece fiber prep.  I am spinning nine four ounce braids in seven colorways into one big pile of yarn, hopefully enough for a sweater.  You can see all the colors here. I am sort of auditing the Tour de Fleece – planning on working with a few spinners at W and P, and one or two online.  I hope to send the time concentrating on spinning and not too much knitting, so that I can make some good progress on this spin. I did not join a formal team, but I will think about doing that next year.  This year it’s about spinning up stash and getting really used to the new wheel.

When A got home, we began a chore we have been putting off – taking down the plexiglass and replacing some of the screens out on the screened porch.  We got a lot done before the humidity knocked us out.  We have three left to do, but those three all need new screens, so that is why we stopped when we did.  🙂  We got enough done that the porch will catch the breezes from any direction.  So next weekend we will work on it some more. I think it is interesting that we are to mid-June and this chore has not NEEDED to be done.  What a cold damp spring we are having! Summer comes next week, I hope the weather improves a bit.

Once that was done, and the laundry moved over one space, I managed to finish the fiber prep, and now I plan to do some knitting.  I have a lot of knitting to get done by July 1 when the big spin begins! But I sort of feel like a nap is more what I want.

 

Thank you, Mother Nature

( meant to post this yesterday, sorry!)

 

Today is a glorious, dry, sunny day.  And we all appreciate it so much because it is the first such day in a few months.  And we get another just like it tomorrow!  Sad that I have to go to work.

Work basically stinks right now – so many changes!  So much seems ill-thought out though I am sure there are reasons.  And change is always hard, so it just is not fun there right now.

Thank heavens for fiber and knitting and spinning.

I haven’t spun much this week, too hot!  But I am concentrating on knitting, and I will finish up the purple fiber in the next few days, get my wheel ready for my non-competitive Tour de Fleece spinning. That starts on July 1, and goes until the 23rd.  I want to spin a sweater quantity of yarn, doubt I will make it in that time frame, but I will make a good start!

I finished the second lace section of Moon and Sky – it has lovely little (mostly invisible still) beads sprinkled throughout.  I love this pattern, the lace is SO EASY!

The striped sweater is down below the sleeves, and I am working on the first sleeve now. Because I am not sure how the yarn will work out, and thus, if the stripes will have to change width, I am making sure the sleeves keep up with the body.  Not my usual MO for this kind of sweater – I usually do the sleeves first, then the body.  But now I am doing each one a couple of inches, then shifting to the next piece.  So, the body is a few inches past the sleeve division, and one sleeve is almost to the same point.  It should go pretty fast now.  The faster you knit, the less likely you are to run out of yarn.  Truth!

Red socks (not the team, but the actual socks) are coming along – the heel of the second sock is turned, so I am on the home stretch with the May/June socks.  Pretty good timing, I think. I should be ready to start the next pair on July 1.

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The vest plugs along – thin yarn and long rows means that even with a couple of rows done, it looks the same.  🙂  I am above the waist now, headed for the division of front and back.  Not sure how I will balance the yarn on this as the directions call for knitting two fronts and back at the same time, which means three balls of yarn. I have one large ball of yarn.  I hate to wind some off and have it not be enough or be too much, so I might ignore this instruction and do the back first.  Then I can knit the two fronts from both ends of the ball of yarn.  If this is the worst problem I face all day, that is a good day.

The house cooled off so nicely last night, the cats and the people were in heaven.  I have a meeting to go to tonight, but I hope that tomorrow evening I can do a bit of yard work.  It looks like a hugely overgrown jungle right now.  But the pool is cleaner than ever, and I think I can get that so that people other than me would swim in it by the weekend.  So life is good when I am not at work.  And it is going to be OK at work, too.

Especially if I win the Powerball lottery tonight, lol.

(PS I haven’t checked the numbers yet this morning. I could be a millionaire!)

 

Summer for more than one day!!!

 

Even though I normally hate the heat, today I love it.  It finally feels like summer!  I did some very small yard chores and spent a good long time scrubbing the pool (and it is looking almost perfect as a result. I think one more bout of scrubbing will do it.)

I had a good birthday supper with A, Mom, and B on Friday night, and Saturday at Whorls and Purls they had a combo birthday and “hey we missed each other” gathering which had yummy food and loads of laughing and chatting and knitting.

And all weekend I have been interspersing knitting with spinning. 🙂  I want to master this wheel before July when I begin my unofficial Tour de Fleece with my spinning friends at Whorls and Purls and also the Friends of Knitting Sarah over on Ravelry.

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I filled two bobbins with singles of Spring Queen and Very Berry and pled them together.  I have more of each to spin, but I have about 140 yards of a nice thick worsted weight drying in the laundry room.  Isn’t it pretty?

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A and I stopped at our favorite local take-out place for lunch today – Crosby’s –  where I had a lovely crabmeat roll and a chocolate shake to end my birthday food weekend.  Tomorrow I start a whole 30 month.  It is hard but it works, so I am ready for it.  (she said, munching on M and Ms)

Nothing much else is new – knitting projects are plodding along.  The green sweater (top down) is at last down past the sleeve separation, so it will feel like it is going faster.  The handspun vest (bottom up) is above the waist but not yet to the armholes.  Socks are moving along, I am ready to turn a heel on the second sock.  And the Moon and sky shawl is near the end of the second lace section.  It’s all good but I have no photos to share today.  🙂

Weekend ahead!!

Glad it finally made it! I find five day weeks a complete drag!

Our weekend starts off right, we are meeting up with Mom and B for dinner tonight. Tomorrow I hope to do some yard chores and then it’s off to whorls and purls for the afternoon.

Sunday has more yard work, assuming the forecast is correct. And of course all rest breaks involve spinning and knitting!

A simple enough plan, and broadly general enough that if I do even a tiny bit, it counts as a chore done. My kind of weekend!

what have you got going on this weekend?

Yoo hoo! Hello, Mother Nature!

I’ll be dating myself on this one, but I think Mother Nature’s needle is stuck.

Forties?  Really?

IT’S JUNE.

And I know the pretty gray skies look so nice with the green trees, but I also happen to think blue skies and bright sunshine look nice with green trees, too.  Remind me again what that looks like?

Today I am wearing my usual skirt and long sleeved t shirt, with tights,  a wool cardigan, and wool socks. After freezing yesterday in more seasonable clothes, I reverted to my winter uniform this morning.  And I am not too warm.

I (almost) wish I was. At least warm enough to take off the sweater.  Come on, Mother Nature, give it a shot.

 

Some things to share

Hello! I hope you are having a good start to your week.

 

I had a great weekend, in part because we are “Trump-free” on weekends, which means we avoid all news.  It makes Mondays hard as we get hit with it all at once, but we are strong and rested and can take it.  Except when it is so grim as London’s news is.  That is hard to take no matter the day.  I just do not understand the darkness that is coming out of every crack these days.

My heart goes out to all who are impacted by the violence and hatred. Oh, and to anyone who was counting on us for sane, reasonable, responsible behavior on climate change.  That man does not represent even half of this country, he just happens to think he is in charge.

It makes sharing all my fun pretties seem shallow, and perhaps it is.  But I think we need soft pretty things in life and knitting and spinning bring me calmness, like meditating does to others. So I am going to try to distract you from news of the world and bring you to my happy place.

This weekend was not perfect, weather-wise.  But as our local weather fool likes to say, it was not a complete washout, either. Saturday was gray and gloomy and sprinkly, except when the sun popped out in the middle of the day for ten or fifteen minutes at a time, then it was a bit warm and humid. But as that didn’t last very long, it wasn’t uncomfortable.  And I got quite practiced at putting on the coat, taking off the coat, putting on the coat, etc.

As planned, I met up with some of the Whorls and Purls gang and we went off to the Maine Fiber Frolic,  I packed (actually, emptied) my bags early, and found this when I got ready to leave:

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Allie was all cuddled onto my day pack, as if I would take her to a fair.  🙂

I went with a decent amount of cash, knowing it would last if I was careful.  And knowing I could easily spend ten times that amount without even thinking about it.  We had a good plan – split up (or not) and wander the fair, coming back every hour to meet in front of the ice cream booth to make sure we were all good, talk about what was next.  So I wandered the stalls and booths, scoping out what I wanted to buy.  In the end, I was pretty pleased with the fact that I only got one ice cream at lunch, and this lovely assortment:

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The burgundy is one of my favorite sock yarns, Caper Sock.  It is dyed locally, in Blue Hill by String Theory Hand Dyed Yarn and is a merino cashmere blend.  It makes the softest socks!  I actually had this on my list (yup, I try to have a list when I head out, or it is too hard to choose).  Next to it is the purple-blue of Linda’s Soft and Silky sock yarn – 50-50 merino and silk, hand dyed in Denmark Maine by Pine Star Studio.  I bought a skein of this last year and knit a shawl for sale, which I loved and almost didn’t put up for sale, hoped it wouldn’t sell and of course it sold instantly. This one will be for me. And I would never dream of using this luxurious yarn for socks.  It is just too elegant to go into my sneakers. And no, it was not on my list.

Then there are the beads.  Last year I went with snips of yarns planned for shawls and came away with some beautiful beads. This year I wasn’t that organized, but I knew what yarn I was thinking about for knitting shawls . Next year I will do the snips thing, it was so much easier. All the beads are beautiful!  What I managed to buy this year will be useful, and the gold beads are the same ones I am using in my beaded yarn, so I know I will like them (and I still haven’t knit the shawl they were originally intended for.) The purple MIGHT go with the lovely blue angora/silk I got at Webs last month, time will tell.  And the big clear beads could show up anyplace! All from the Bead Biz, she is online, though I haven’t checked out her website in a long time, she says she has upgraded her photos and so I will check it out.

That’s it – the whole budget spent.  I went home with 41 cents after I bought a late day lemonade (and of course, lunch!)

Fortunately (or unfortunately) I did not find THIS vendor until I had depleted my funds – but look at all the great fiber my friends got, for $2 an ounce!  We spent a good chunk of the afternoon guiding people over to this booth for deals.

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All of this fun, and I was home in time for supper, even after stopping at the grocery store on the way, to do the week’s shopping (I have to do some chores around the house, after all!)

A and stepdad tried to play golf, but it was raining, so they shot a bucket of balls at the driving range instead.  Since she got home early, she cleaned the house.  She is a keeper, for sure! So I came home to a sparkling house, the groceries were all bought and set for the week, and that left us free to relax on Sunday. Life is good!

We did go up to Brewer on Sunday for lunch with A’s sisters, niece, great niece, and great-nephew and their cousin Sunday, and we had a nice visit, got fun cards and presents, and were home in the afternoon – we didn’t even try to think of chores and errands we could do in “the big city” while we were there.

I gave the pool some more attention, and then settled in front of my wheel determined to finish this spin.  And I did.  I did not fuss when I came to a knot that could not be undone, I just cut the silk and called it good.

For two months (to the day) you have been patient with me as I worked from this

to this:

Just look at that silk shimmer and shine! And those beads glisten.  🙂  I got just under 600 yards of the beaded, and then I finished plying after the knot with no beads, and got about 130 yards of plain.

Plenty for a shawl, and then some!

It is all washed and hanging to dry (which it never will in this weather)  and I now know why beaded yarn is so expensive to buy.  This stuff takes forever to make.  I am glad I did it and I don’t expect to do it again any time soon. At least not with this method.  There is another way to do it, I wonder if it is faster?  Hmmmm.

 

This  week I will clean and oil the old wheel and carry her upstairs (where she will be my plying wheel), then prep some fiber to start a spin on the new wheel!!!  I can hardly wait.  But I won’t start a big spin for a few days, even though I have one in mind.  I have some mini batts that I want to spin up so I get used to the new wheel without worrying about the quality of the yarn. I will also focus on my knitting, which has suffered the past few weeks as I worked so diligently on this yarn.

And there is a yard that deserves demands attention. And the pool needs me to be brave and get IN it to scrub it.  I’d really like the sun to be out when I do that, and the temperature of the air to be higher than that of the water.  As the water is in the low 60’s that doesn’t seem too ridiculous a thought.  Maybe next week?

 

 

 

 

Weekend plans

For a short week, this sure has seemed long!  In part because I have been anticipating the weekend SO MUCH.  I am going to one of my favorite events on Saturday – the Maine Fiber Frolic.  I just love this fair.  It is focused on all things fiber, and all the pretty things that go along with that – beads and buttons and spinning wheels and on and on. Plus really good ice cream. It’s somehow related, I am not arguing.

And I am going with some of the ladies from Whorls and Purls, whom I haven’t seen in a MONTH due to all the other things I did in May, and the fact that Purple Fleece is now closed for a vacation until next week.

A and I had a discussion about money for this event, I was worried I would get some pushback on wanting more cash for more yarn, but she apparently would like a little extra cash for golf this week, so we reached an amicable, profitable decision.  🙂

So my feet are just dancing to get through this week!

As if Saturday wasn’t enough, Sunday we are meeting up with A’s sisters and niece and her family to celebrate Sister S’s and my birthdays with a lunch in Bangor. I love birthday parties, especially when they are for me! And

Somewhere in the middle of all the revelry, I will do some chores and a teeny bit of housework.  A has already promised to do the laundry this weekend, yea!  She is going off to play some golf with my stepdad on Saturday, so not sure how this will work, but I bet it means chores will happen Friday night.

I intend to spin my little heart out on the beaded yarn.  I am pretty sure I am more than half way through, perhaps even two thirds.  As I don’t know what will run out first – yarn or beads, it is sort of hard to predict where the end is, but I think I have less than half the yarn left to go.  I really love the way it is coming out, but I am ready for it to be done.  I am not letting myself use the new spinning wheel until this is done, and it is killing me to see it sitting there.  🙂  I know how easy it would be to not finish this because I get involved in a new spin, so I am holding strong.  Because I want this yarn; I have big plans for it.  🙂

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I am still knitting, but not in any great chunks of time – started the second red sock last week.  And the sweater is finally looking right and slowly growing.  I think I will really like having it next winter.

The shawl and the vest are poking along, not getting lots of attention because of all the evening spinning, but still very much in the forefront of the knitting work.  I have added another row of beads on the shawl and I definitely like these beads for this project.  I wasn’t sure they would stand out enough, but with more of them on it, I can see now that they are fine. This shawl is going to be a really nice one, and the lace pattern is so nice and easy, the repeats are easy to memorize.

The vest is up to the waist, so now I am certain I won’t run out of yarn, I shortened the length enough – yeah!  I like the little pattern on the front band and the lacey part at the hem doesn’t get as lost as I thought it might in the busy fabric.

So all is good on the crafting front!

The pool and yard – well, not so much.  IT KEEPS RAINING!  And it’s COLD. I have managed to get all the leaves out of the pool, and the chemicals in, but it needs me to get in and really scrub it and stir up the winter grime so the filter can do it’s thing. And it is COLD in that pool! And the gardens need attention, the grass needs trimming.  We don’t actually have any lawn but patches of green among the gravel and I like to keep them a little bit short. Not happening yet.

No seeds planted yet, though the garlic and asparagus are doing very well!  Thank the good lord for perennials and fall plantings.

I don’t expect to make much progress on this front this weekend, but it definitely deserves my attention.

And I found out that when my stepbrother comes to Maine for his annual visit, he wants to come over and work in our yard for a day!!!!  I have about 6 years worth of landscaping work that needs doing, so I have to really think about where that day of hard work can best be used.  And I have a couple of weeks to decide.  🙂

That’s about it – have a good weekend – and check back in a few days to see what I got at the Fiber Frolic!