About that list…

I am happy to report that I touched on everything on my Friday list. But I did not complete the things I intended to.

The curtain rods and I had a major argument, and I did not have the tools available to win. Tools are A’s domain, so she will provide me with a drill bit in the proper size and drill with a charged battery today. Then I will hang it. Then I will finish the curtains. I did press them to open up the last bit of sewing I had done, and finished the raw edge at the top. All ready for the rod pocket.

I did get the hose for the pool, hope to get the filter installed today, now that it has stopped raining. 😢

I did go to the grocery store and did bake the cake. And remembered that I meant to buy a cheap bottle of wine and why… we don’t drink wine and thus have no tall glass bottles on which to hang the angel food cake to cool. I fussed a bit, then wrapped a paper towel around a wooden spoon and stuck it in a pitcher, with water to weight it. Not perfect but it worked.

I did fix the berries and make the second most favorite frosting for the cake.

I did get to spin a tiny bit, and knit, but most of the day turned out to be spent in the kitchen.

Made some delicious chicken with potatoes and asparagus, as first read about on Nothingbutknit’s post Monday Minutiae a few weeks ago (can’t seem to link from the phone), and it was so yummy! Will make it again, as soon as our asparagus pops from the ground.

Forgot to stop at the PO while I was out. Who needs more bills anyway?

Here are some knitting progress photos for you so you know you are in the right place!

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April Friday list!

Due to some long hours earlier this week, and my new-found willingness to use a little PTO to top off the timesheet, I have today off. I do love a Friday off. And A will be off visiting a client today, so I have been lying here in bed at my normal wake up time, thinking about what I will do today.

  • I plan on putting up A’s office curtain rod so that I can finish her curtains.
  • Finish said curtains, which just need their rod pocket and then hem.
  • Since we did very little to celebrate her birthday on Tuesday, I thought I would bake her favorite cake while she is gone – angel food cake. There is a special family frosting she likes, not sure I will attempt that one, but certainly I will get some strawberries.
  • That means a trip to the grocery store, so might as well get a few groceries for the week.
  • And stop at the PO while I am out.
  • Head over to the pool supply store and get my spring time chemicals, and also see if they have a replacement hose for the filter. If not, I need to order that online.
  • Spend some time fishing leaves out of the pool. There are fewer than in other years, but still lots.
  • Do a little spinning. After my push to finish hitofude, and then a few hectic weeks, my spinning has been neglected. I have been trying to spin a few minutes a day this week, and this weekend, maybe I can do a little more. I have been contemplating a goal of spinning more fiber than comes in on a monthly basis so I gain on the stash. Since I get one braid a month in the roving of the month club, I think that is feasible, if I pay attention. So I am trying to pay attention before I decide on the goal.
  • I plan to knit on Durrow today. I have been trying to do at least two rows a day and I am finally feeling and seeing movement on this square. As I move closer to the center, it is easier to remember the sequence of stitches in each row, and the rows are shorter so they go faster. Not predicting when I will finish this one, but I think I will finish it, lol. It’s not feeling as endless as the first two.
  • Fine Sand is whizzing right along, and is almost plain stockinette now. Just have to count rows for some shaping. Easy peasy TV knitting, it will surely get some love.

That’s the list! Not sure it will all happen, or if I will get distracted along the way. I’ll let you know! I guess I had better get up and moving.

Hope you all have a good Friday!

Change of scenery

Last September when Mom and I were racing home from Niagara Falls, we flew by the Seneca Falls NY exit. Seneca Falls is home to the National Women’s Hall of Fame, and is the birthplace of the women’s movement.

Mom’s great aunt Polly was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2002, so we thought it would be fun to stop and see what that was all about. It was 5 am and dark, so we kept going.

But the idea stuck with me, so for Christmas, we gave Mom a coupon good for one spring road trip to visit Aunt Polly.

This weekend we took that road trip. We left early Friday morning and headed west. We went the zig-zag northern route, going through New Hampshire and Vermont. It was very pretty but COLD. Snow flurries flew, and the mountain tops had fresh snow. Ski runs still bright white. That part was a little depressing.

We stopped for lunch in Weston VT, visited the Vermont Country Store, where we got delicious goodies for the trip and a few fun and hard to find things. And maple syrup for the hotel breakfasts (lesson learned in September – bring your own syrup) of course!

From there we dropped down to route 90 and drove west for hours to Seneca Falls and our Hampton Inn home away from home.

Saturday morning we headed off to the Hall of Fame. It is currently in a fairly small space in downtown Seneca Falls, but there are plans to move it across the canal to an old knitting mill. Still, even in the small space, it was an impressive display. The walls are covered with rows of display boards of all inductees, in alphabetical order. We were the only people there for the first hour, and so got to poke and read at leisure. There were lots of abolitionists, suffragettes, educators, doctors, and scientists, with the occasional writer, artist or entertainer thrown in. Our Aunt Polly (formally Mary Engle Pennington) seems to have fit right in there and been one of many women who shattered glass ceilings at every step of the way. She attended Univ. of Penn and studied chemistry, but was denied a degree because of her gender. She took her certificate and marched off to Yale where she did get her masters degree. Then back to Penn where she earned, and was awarded, her PHD. Then the fun began, trying to get work. She wound up working for the USDA on food safety. Lest you think the US. gov was open to hiring women scientists in leadership positions in the 1890’s, guess again. She applied as Dr. ME Pennington, so they didn’t know until she arrived that M stood for Mary! She went on to work with Clarence Birdseye to figure out how to safely move frozen foods about the country, she worked with Hoover to feed Belgium after WWI, and maybe most importantly, she worked with the ice cream vendors on the streets of Philadelphia to ensure that the carts kept the ice cream consistently cold so that it was safe to consume.

There is lots more that she did while there, designing refrigerated railway cars, figuring the temps we should keep food at to avoid bacteria growth, even designing modern home fridges.

From the scientific side of things, she was pretty amazing. From a personal viewpoint, she was apparently an amazing aunt and great aunt, making sure that her niece and nephew (my grandfather) got an education, and providing many hours of entertainment with her tales of traveling on tramp steamers and in refrigerated railroad cars across the country.

She died just a few years before I was born, but I grew up hearing loads of stories about Aunt Polly.

It was amazing to see her in such august company. Since they were in alpha order, she was just below Rosa Parks and beside Georgia O’Keeffe. Wow!

From there we wandered on the main street for a bit, stopping at the visitors center/waterway museum, which was interesting, and a shop or two. Sadly, the yarn shop apparently is no more, a vacant store and a for rent sign sharing window space with a yarn sign. We drove about town a bit and saw lots of historical sites from the car, Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s house, the Wesleyan Chapel, etc.

Then we went on a scenic drive down the side of Cayuga Lake to Ithaca and back, stopping for lunch and ice cream along the way. It was a gorgeous sunny day, and that felt really good after all the gray.

Today we are headed home, barreling east on Rte 90. A is in charge of the driving, so I can’t say if we will turn off onto Route 7 and meander back through Vermont and New Hampshire or if we will stay on the highway and blast through Massachusetts and head north from there. It’s another sunny day, lovely day for a drive!

Here is the only good photo I took, from Friday – road trip knitting! Pattern is Fine Sand, yarn is my own handspun. I got a lot done, with all these hours in the car!

What I did or didn’t do this weekend

Happy Tuesday that feels like a Monday!

For those of you NOT in Massachusetts or Maine, you might be wondering why today feels like Monday – but we celebrate Patriots Day here, and so yesterday was a holiday.  It has nothing to do with that (in)famous football team, and everything to do with Paul Revere and his famous midnight ride. The one he might not have even made.

I also, being somewhat of a conforming rule-following perfectionist by nature (no, not controlling!), struggle a tiny bit with the fact that we had April 16th off, when everyone knows it was the 18th of April in ’75 that someone somehow made the ride to Lexington and Concord to warn the colonists that the Red Coats were coming.

I don’t care if he did the ride or not, and I can get over the mismatch on dates,  I was happy to have the day off!

What did I do with this wonderful day, you ask? Or not do?

Well first let me tell you that I was in pajamas all day.  A true holiday.  It was cold and rainy out, and I wasn’t going anywhere, so I declared it a pajama holiday.

I did not ride a horse around Boston and environs.

I did finish up the week’s worth of laundry that I started on Sunday.

I did not run in the Boston Marathon.

I did spend several hours in the morning making curtains for A’s office. It’s what she wants for her birthday, and she had chosen the (ugly) fabric years ago.  So, I managed to sew many straight lines to join pieces and hem them.  Just have to get her to hang the curtain rod so I can get the final length on them. Truly, they are not pretty, but they will block the light, which is the goal.  When they are hanging, I will take a photo so you can see what I mean.  I understand why she chose the pattern, but it reinforces my firm rule that we both get veto power on design choices.  Were these hanging anywhere but in her office, I would have rejected them out of hand.

I did not clean the bathroom as I intended.

I did finish a cowl I cast on Saturday.  It is Fisherman’s Gansey by JenJoyceDesigns (I highly recommend this pattern for a few reasons – one is that it is easy to knit and memorize, and doesn’t take much yarn, and two is that it supports a fiber artist who lost her home in the California Fires.) I love the end result, which I knit from yarn I received as a gift from Texas on my trip to Wisconsin last September.  It’s a treasure. It is unblocked in this photo, a theme as you will soon see. Also, the color is bad here, blame Mother Nature, she only sends gray days this year. It is actually a pretty pinky-beige, like granite.

I did not cast on my next sweater.

I did block the Hitofude (after I took this photo), and so have a slight amount more hope that it will fit. I finished the knitting on it Friday and foolishly tried it on.  Very disappointing, it was tight when it shouldn’t be, and cut in unflattering ways across the front of me.  I am hopeful that I stretched the lace out enough to fix all of this, but if not, I am resigned to that fact, and will happily give it to the niece whom it fits, and who wants it.  I am moving on.  And I have enough of the yarn left over to knit a nice lacy shawl, so that is good.

I did not spin.

I did knit a few rows of my Durrow, and have determined that once you get about 8 rows in, the going in squares are easier than the going out squares.  Not sure I will believe this all the way through, but for now, it is easier to manage.  I can see how the whole will look already, very exciting to me.  And when I finish this square, I get to change out the dark purple for the medium purple for the next squares.  Progress!

I think that is about it!  It was a holiday, after all.

Oh wait – one more set.

I did make delicious, scalloped potatoes and ham for my lunch (adapted recipe from William Sonoma cookbook “Cooking for Yourself.”)

I did not eat supper.

 

I wonder if Longfellow would be able to write a many stanzaed poem about this day in 2018?

Is it real?

Ice went out of the pool while I was at work yesterday!

Tulips and day lilies and muscari and garlic are poking up their heads! And I think I saw a lovely red thing in the new rhubarb bed!

Cold be damned, Spring is pushing through.

Though yesterday was lovely and warm, we are having a cold weekend. But I have hope that more warm days will be here soon.

Gotta go start cleaning leaves out of the pool!

Still here!

In case you thought I was lost, I am here to tell you I am not!

We had a nice weekend – the usual activities like chores and Whorls and Purls. Plus we went up to Bangor Saturday evening to take A’s niece out to supper for her birthday. Nothing fancy, we took her, her daughter, and niece to Elevation Burger for some delicious burgers. We followed that with a trip to the grocery store after we dropped them off. Very exciting!

I have been really concentrating on getting the hitofude done. I am on the ribbing and expect to get it done this week. I also did some swatching for the next sweater. I am not getting gauge, so I have to decide about how much math I want to do, and what kind of fabric I am looking for.

The top one is 44 stitches on size 4 needles, the bottom one is 44 stitches on size 3 needles. The bottom one is closest to gauge, but a little small. The fabric is pleasantly firm, not tight and stiff. The upper one is way big on gauge, and makes a looser, almost drapey fabric. So I just need to decide which fabric I really want and how much math I want to do!

This yarn is the yarn I made in my big combo spin last year. Been thinking about what sweater it will be for a year now! As soon as hitofude is done, I will cast on.

Durrow has been largely ignored this week, but a bit of spinning did happen Saturday morning.

At work life is improving. Last week was a killer with me being sick and the last week of our busiest tax site. But I got through that and am feeling better. Yesterday was our very last tax day, and now it is all about wrapping up loose ends and gathering data for reports. On to the next big project! There are a few in the pipeline but nothing like tax season!

See? I am still kicking!

What spring looks like at my house

I see so many posted photos of early spring flowers, and thought I would share one with you.

These primroses are heirlooms. I got them when Mom divided hers. She got them from her mother, who got them from her mother. We don’t really know how far back that chain goes, but we know it is pretty far. She has moved them with her from house to house over the years. They love to grow for her, so she has shared them with me and my siblings as wanted. I had some in my garden in Cherryfield, and last year had enough garden here to be able to accept some from her. They survived the transplant, and were well established when winter hit.

Now we wait to see if they survived their first winter near my front door. Where all the snow from steps and driveway gets piled.

In the real spring, I will clean out the rocks and refresh the mulch, adding compost to the soil and hope they love it and grow and bloom for me, too.