Friday list!

As I told you earlier, A had most of the week off this week. I took a half day Thursday and all of today off. So you get a Friday list!

First let me tell you that A has done pretty well with her vague pile of things to do. Tuesday, she made a triple batch of strawberry raspberry jam, and somehow to do that required cleaning out both pantry closets. And doing it freed up loads of space in the freezer. Today mom and B and B’s son J came over, and the guys and A tackled removing the front deck. They made a good start on it. She also vacuumed because they were coming.

So tomorrow we both have the day off; here’s my plan:

  • Sleep late! At least until sunup.
  • Spin a bit.
  • Knit on my sweater. Sleeves are nearly done, but of course I am putting on a fancy cuff so it is a bit slow going.
  • Knit on the Estonian lace scarf —the October clue is out!
  • Knit some on the OceanCurrents wrap.
  • Go to the lumberyard with A to select the new decking, so she can order it when she is ready.
  • Help her remove more of the deck boards that we so securely screwed in place ten years ago that they are hard to remove!
  • If I have the energy, dye the rest of the Plymouth Galway.

I feel reasonably confident that I will get the knitting done, and probably the spinning. Not sure about the rest of it.

What are you doing today?

Vacation is on its way!

And I hope that means more time to blog, but time will tell.

I think I am going to have to give up on getting caught up on reading blogs, and just start with now. But I know that means I will have missed so much! So who knows, I might go back and forth.

Niece E the younger is coming to visit this week for three nights! This is so exciting for everyone involved. She has not left her house or yard since March when school closed. We have, but very limited contact, always socially distant, masked, etc, and there is currently very little virus in our county, so my sister feels safe letting this visit happen. When she gets here, we will go no where and do nothing special. It will be bliss for both of us. I have some fiber she can spin, we might do a little dyeing, there will definitely be knitting and reading, and in my case, sewing and spinning. A has to work, summer is her busy season, even in a pandemic, tax assessment goes on. So E and I will have all sorts of freedom to while away hours with fiber. I asked her to bring her violin as well, I want to hear some good fiddle music, and she is getting really good at it now.

I have been only working, knitting, spinning, and sewing. Yes, the sewing is a surprise to me, too. I am suddenly very into making some clothes. I have finished a skirt, and have another that just needs someone to check the hem before I sew it. A third one cut out. I am not sure I will like it, I was short on fabric, so the skirt will be shorter than I normally wear, but I thought I would try it. I can wear shorts under it, right?

The pattern is Donovan from Helen’s Closet

Spinning goes slowly, as always. I have about 5-6 more ounces of a big spin left, I have a bobbin nearly full. I want to fill it before E gets here so she can dominate the wheel, but I am not sure that I will make that goal, there is a lot of housework to do before company can come. When this spin is done, I am hoping to spin for a Nightshift shawl. I had all my fiber picked out, but realized I did more of a fade than will work for this, so I went back to the drawing board. This might be my line up. We will see. It is clearly a lot of spinning, but as the pattern calls for worsted weight, I think the spinning will go pretty fast. Or faster than my usual light fingering weight.

Knitting has been pretty monogamous, my Wheels of Time MKAL shawl is due to be done by July 21, I think I will make it, possibly even with time to block it, that has been my focus.

I did stop to churn out a pair of baby booties for my doctor, who is having a baby and moving to NYC. I have been working in small bits on the Ocena Currents wrap for a friend of mine, and letting other things languish. I am at the stage where I really want some of these big projects off my needles. So, I am working hard on them and resisting cast ons… like Steel Creek and a new gnome MKAL. Get thee behind me, satan!

The yard looks awful, the pool looks great, and that is all OK with me. 🙂

Yes, I will be glad when the pandemic is over and I can move about freely, but truly we are doing OK. I am not yet out of yarn or fiber or fabric, so all is well. How are you doing? I promise to read and respond to the comments. 😉

No apologies or excuses

Who knows why I haven’t been on WordPress lately? I intend to, and then don’t. But I am here now.

Life is going on – we seem to keep ourselves occupied. We are both still fully employed, which is lovely. Except for the occasional bout of what I call pandemic envy, wondering what it is like to have endless hours at home with no outside demands, I am pretty satisfied with things as they have evolved. We do the errands that need doing, occasionally have a socially distant family gathering (one coming up on Sunday), and the crazy hours spent zooming are also spent knitting.

I have decided to focus on spinning this summer. It doesn’t mean I am spinning tons or every day, but that I am making sure that I spin at least once a week. There are some projects I want to spin the yarn for, and it won’t happen if I don’t sit at the wheel. So far I am more than halfway through 15 ounces of merino silk blend, and I love the yarn it is making! I hope to get enough for a sweater – maybe a short sleeved one? but am sure there will be enough for a vest.

That doesn’t mean I am not knitting – I am – holy cow, I am knitting all the time! I have 7 WIPs, which is about 4 too many, but I am rotating through them, and I know that suddenly I will have a bunch of finishes. My job will be to resist casting on 1:1 for finishes… 🙂

I have only one cast on that I am dreaming about, so that is good. If When I finish three things, then I think I will allow myself to cast on Steel Creek, with the yarn from my frogged Volition. I really do want a red pullover, so I am motivated to make it work.

The yard is looking as straggly as usual, given that we have no lawn and never mow, I should not be surprised, right? The pool is in really good shape, so much better than last year, thankfully. I will be needing it later this week when suddenly it will be summer. I have planted more veggies than normal, and have some seeds I really need to get in this weekend. And a few flowers to make it pretty. But I have not really been motivated to do a lot of yard work this spring. This is when I have the pandemic envy. If I was home all day, I could spend a few minutes here and there, and it would look amazing, right? But spending half an hour once a week does not have the same affect.

We intended to rip off the front deck and redo it in a smaller foot print, with a terrace at the foot of it, but that is a job where I am the yeoman, and the foreman isn’t in to it, it seems. I will keep bringing it up gently as in “Do you want to start on deck demo this weekend?” and eventually it will happen.

We have been spending time each weekend dealing with next winter’s pellets. We got 5 tons, and put one ton a weekend into the cellar. It has been lovely weather for this, cool and clear, unlike our usual MO which is to get the darned things in August and September and have to stow them in the hottest days of the year. We have one ton to go, and it is supposed to be hot this weekend, so we might not do it until the following weekend. We have time, thankfully.

Other than that, life is pretty boring around here – no bread baking or fancy cooking, just spending time with sticks and string and wheel and fluff. With the occasional few minutes at the sewing machine (that is all I can stand) working on a skirt and some masks.

Now I will go and read to see what you all have been up to.

A Friday list for May Day

Strange as it might seem, I am on vacation this week. We booked several vacation weeks at the beginning of the year, thinking it would be, ya know, another year like all the previous ones… taxes would wind up in April, I would be exhausted. A would be about to launch into her busy season, but still able to break away for a few days of time off.

Who knew?

Who knew AARP would shut the tax program down literally overnight? And that the rest of my job would be deemed essential? I am thankful for that, but March was very confusing and stressful. I suspect I am not alone in that feeling! A’s town offices reacted to March differently, some were happy to have her come in on her usual schedule, others wouldn’t let her in the parking lot. So there was a bit of scrambling to figure out how she could work remotely (yea, TeamViewer!) and a bit of anxious planning on our part as we figured out budgets for different scenarios.

But we were so lucky, so very lucky, that both of us were able to keep working. And she was able to keep working safely, no public interaction, socially distant while at work.

I had to work harder at being socially distant for those first few weeks of everything shutting down. I put a line of tape down in my office and asked people not to cross it. They thought I was nuts. I made cloth masks and wore them to the office. They told me I inly needed to wear them “in public.” Hello! What are all you people if not public? And I chafed at my boss saying he needed me to be in the office every day. Really, I do grantwriting and communications. I get that our industry is essential, but not that it was essential for me to physically be present.

Then the governor issued stay at home orders for April, and I was able to convince him. So for the month, I worked at home 4 days a week and went in the office one day a week.

A works at home a few days a week, and we quickly discovered that our lovely open floor plan is not particularly conducive to two of us working from home! Let’s just say that it is good that we have closets. Many a phone call has been taken in ours.

So when this week arrived, I was ready for a break. A had filled most of the week with consulting; back in March when things were uncertain, it seemed prudent to maximize income. That means I have been home alone. How sad! 😜

I have been puttering and doing lots of knitting and spinning, and a little sewing and weaving. I have tackled a seasonal chore a day, but not anything too time consuming. One day it was cleaning the bathroom fan, another it was washing the bedroom windows. I have enjoyed my staycation, but the new reality is creeping in, and I want to go to work Monday. Even though I love being home, something is seeping in…anxiety because of all the people who gave no choice? An awareness of the need for human interaction? I am not sure what it is. So here it is Friday, and I have a bunch of things I want to get done. I thought I would share the list with you!

  • The seasonal chore for today is to hook up the pool filter so the rain we get stays in the pool.
    Also, call the pool store, hoping that we can figure out how to get the water tested and chemicals bought.
  • If that means I have to go out, I will do the week’s shopping while I am out.
  • And drive through Dunkin for a free donut.
  • And go to the PO.
  • Spin for half an hour. I did that yesterday and liked seeing the progress.
  • Pick up the last weekly clue for the Romi Hill MKAL shawl. It usually releases mid-day. I am totally loving this knit, but not the online group. I won’t do an MKAL with that group again, though I will knit more of her patterns, they are lovely… and have charts as well as written directions. It takes time to do that, I really appreciate it.
  • Give all my other knitting WIPs some love… the latest monthly clue for the Estonian Lace scarf came out this week, I started that as soon as it did. A few rows a day keeps me up to date on that clue. There is also a lace wrap I am knitting for a customer, I do a few repeats a day on that. And a sweater I started for myself that I try to work on each day. Then there is another lace and beaded scarf I have going. Thankfully that one is at a stage where I have the pattern memorized, so it is the one I work in when only mindless knitting will do. And then there are some mittens for A for Christmas. I am about a quarter of the way through the first one, but I have time. 🙄
  • Lastly on this list is sewing masks for us. Restrictions are easing, but with the freedom to move comes the need for more masks. I hope to bang out several today.

By the time I get through all of this, A should be home from work and the weekend can begin! Weekends are so different now, aren’t they? We kind of like the freedom from social activities, but miss seeing the people. Still, we are grateful to both be introverts with hobbies…

Well, I had better get up and moving, that list won’t do itself.

Uninspired

Or maybe that title should be uninspiring?

I know I have not written in a while, though I have been good about reading everyone else’s posts, I haven’t been inspired to write one of my own.  Not sure what that’s about, because I have been busy!

Busy at work as always, I don’t see that ending any time before spring.  It is good to be needed, and better to be busy at work than bored.  Or so I tell myself.

Busy at home, though it is obvious that I haven’t been busy cleaning!  So what have I been doing?

Well, I did get the pool put to bed a couple of weeks ago – though that turned out to be a pretty easy chore, it was a sad one. I still stand and skim leaves from the edges, hoping to keep it pretty clear while I can.

The gardens are still there, kind of in shock that we haven’t yet had a killing frost.  the tomato plants are still blooming, and it makes me feel sorry for them.  I have picked what few tomatoes there were, they are on the window sill, I hope thinking about turning red. I need to plant the garlic, but it is going in where the tomatoes are now…

 

But mostly, I have been knitting.  I am cranking out hats for a craft fair in November.  I have done several plain beanies with some fun variegated yarn I got when Classic Elite closed shop, and some helix striped ones with scraps and bits left over.   I have a few more I want to make with more interesting stitches, and some ornaments, etc, for the fair.

I also have finished, at last, the green cactus baby blanket that was a custom order from a  friend, and I still have to knit her a little pink dress,  Her son had a baby girl a few weeks ago and her daughter will have one in a few weeks, so she has kept my needles very busy!

I did finish a shawl, Odyssey, by Joji Locatelli.  It was an easy, fun knit.  I did it with some handspun I had, not the correct weight called for in the pattern, but it was easy to modify the pattern to suit the yarn.  It is bright and colorful and I look forward to wearing it this winter. Here it is blocked and drying, I will try to remember to get a truly finished photo for you someday.

I have put the Japanese Scarf aside since mid-August, and just recently started working on it again, so I am quite behind.  Still working on the clue that came out in August, and of course, the October clue was released  I would like to get back on track with that before the December clue drops.  that’s the last one, and then this very long, intricate scarf will be done.  I am glad I did it, it has been fun learning the new twists and the way things can work, but I am not sure I want to do a year long KAL again.  I like to get things done!

I also cast on a sweater, Patty Lyons’ Volition.  It is really a video class on knitting the sweater, she has all sorts of video tutorials and worksheets to hep teach how to make a sweater fit, and the construction on this one is quite interesting.  I am making a dark red one.  I was pretty sure it was a pullover, but I keep wondering if I shouldn’t make the cardigan version.  I don’t have to decide for many inches on tiny needles, so I will give it more thought. I think the KAL ends early in December, I am unlikely to meet that deadline, but I will try.

Other crafting is also happening, very slowly.  I am working on some weaving – more mysterious rectangles and squares that I hope will be napkins but might be dish towels or dust rags.  They are pretty, anyway, soft dark blue and periwinkle blue.  This time I am playing with color interaction between the warp and weft.  I warped the loom with alternating colors (that was a darned chore!  If it doesn’t turn out STUNNINGLY, I won’t be doing that again!) and for the weft, I did wide stripes of each color, and now am doing a section where I alternate colors on each pass.   It is amazing how different the two sections look.  I haven;t worked on that in a while, as it is upstairs, and knitting happens downstairs.

Also upstairs is the sewing machine.  I cut out a simple a-line skirt (100 Acts of Sewing pattern) and knit the side seams together.  then it needed ironing, so there it sits on the ironing board.  I will get to it soon, though I want to wear it, it is a pretty dark teal color, in a wool/poly blend crepe fabric.  I think part of what is stopping me from doing the easy finishing on it is the realization that it frays easily, and I should do more to finish the seams than I already have done (zigzag stitched, and pinked.) I should really finish them with some bias tape.  I know how to make it, and have some that will work, but it just isn’t calling my name.

One reason nothing is calling my name right now is that I cane down with a wicked cold on Saturday morning.  I tried to listen to my body, and rested a lot this weekend, drank fluids.  Took Monday off.  Went to work Tuesday but came home by noontime, exhausted.  Today I did a work at home day, and I hope that is all it needed to get the message that the germ is unwelcome.  I really have to go to work tomorrow and Friday, we have a lot going on over the next two weeks that I am not prepared for, completely.

One of the things that happened this weekend that was hindered by the cold was that we had three tons of pellets delivered, and they had to be brought inside.  We did one ton the week before, but still had more to do.  A was determined that we get all three tons inside and be one with it.  When I tell you she was determined, I am not kidding.  Our normal method is to bring a half a ton inside (that’s 25 40-pound bags), rest for half an hour or so, then get those bags stacked down cellar, using a slide she made to make it easier to get them downstairs.  then another rest, then bring in the other half of the ton, rest, load in the cellar. Doing this by ourselves, we are usually comfortable doing a ton a day, two if we really push.

She got all three tons in on Saturday, practically single handed.  I helped with the first round, but it was clearly too much, after our rest, my muscles were still shaking.  So I helped get them in the cellar, and I helped outside by picking them up and handing them to her, which helped her a lot, but she carried them all in.  We still have one ton that needs to get downstairs, but they are all in the house and that feels darned good. I did try to get her to stop after the first ton, because I felt so guilty, but so sick, too.  I thought they could wait another week, but she didn’t want them looming over us any longer. So they aren’t.  They might be tripping us at every turn, but they are in the house, and we will be warm enough this winter.

Other “exciting” news is that my niece E the younger is coming for an overnight on Thanksgiving weekend!  She will be 13, and has asked for years.  But for a variety of reasons, it never really worked out.  I hope nothing messes it up this time, either.  We drive to get her on the day after Thanksgiving, and her parents will pick her up the following day.  Here is what she wants to do while she is here:  Learn to spin.  Weave.  Dye yarn.  All I can say is that her parents had better come late in the day!  But if it works out and she has fun, I feel pretty sure that we can repeat the experiment someday.  She has lots of sports and music and school things, so it is hard to find a time when she can come, and we can make the whole transfer thing work logistically.  But I know it can be done, because I made it work with her cousins for many years, driving round trips to Connecticut to fetch and deliver them.  So driving to Portland should be workable.  🙂

That’s about it – sorry to ramble on so – thanks for hanging in there so patiently! And sorry for the lack of photos of things, I am trying to stretch my WordPress storage space.  Avoiding sorting out if I want to pay them for this space, and if so what plan?  Sigh.

A Friday crafting list!

It’s been a while since I had a whole day free of obligations and work, but I scheduled three days off in August such that I have two four day weekends, and four four-day weeks! Ahhhhh!

This is the first of the long weekends, and while it is not as clear of obligations as I would like, I did keep Friday free for ALL THE THINGS.

As soon as my coffee is made, I am heading to the craft room, where I will

  • unpin biophilia and get photos for you
  • Gather my dye equipment to bring downstairs
  • prep some handwoven cloth for hemming into placemats and napkins
  • Cut a strip of fabric to use to finish a skirt I started last year
  • Maybe sew some of those things.
  • Maybe start warping the loom for the next project.

Then downstairs today, I will have fun with sock blanks and dyes.

I can’t wait to see what exactly I get done on this ridiculously long list!

And I also will vacuum the pool, maybe while the dyes are setting.

Friday list!

It’s been a log time since I gave you a Friday list. Today promises to be exciting. 😉

Started the morning with cleaning up some cat puke, and scooping the boxes. Get the worst over with early is my motto! (and it goes to show the gritty reality of my glamorous life) Yesterday they went to vet, so all the throw up is normal punishment, I guess. 😜

Next up is the truck service which is where I am now. 8:30 appointment, at 9:15 they said I would be the next one up. This is not normal, usually they are quick.

The dryer will be delivered and installed today!!! That was supposed to be at ten (meaning the slow service here would have messed me up) but they called to change that to 12:30 or 1:00. Which works for the car…

But might mean my quiet lunch/ afternoon with Mom isn’t so quiet!

Before Mom arrives, there is a bit of tidying…

And after she goes is some grocery shopping, plus a stop at the hardware store to get the necessary equipment to hang my new hammock! I am so excited to be able to nap on the porch and sleep there on hot nights. 😊

That’s this list – busy in spurts with knitting on the side. A splendid way to spend the last work day of a stay-cation week!

A month

What can I say? It’s summer.

I’m on vacation this week because of all the appointments. Three down, two to go. I think.

A has to work this week, so I am free to do things at my own pace. Who cares if the breakfast dishes wait until the lunch dishes are ready to be washed? There is knitting to do!

Today was repairman day. Mixed results. It would cost nearly as much to fix the dryer as to but a new one. So, there is a new one in our future. At least we have a large drying rack.

I was not crazy, the pool pump was sucking in air. There was a clog that was causing issues. It is fixed now and working beautifully. I will vacuum the pool today and get in it. None too soon!

In fiber land, lots going on! I have been warping the loom to make some fabric that might be napkins someday. It is so much easier with the stand for the loom. The stand was a birthday present from A, and it is so nice! Fewer clamps to let go in the warping process.

I have several wips on the needles right now, and they are all getting loads of attention. The Japanese MKAL scarf has two small charts to go before the next clue comes on August 1 or thereabouts. I am through the largest chart, so think that is good. Biophilia is growing, the rows are SO long! But I haven’t got too many to go, a chart and a half left, and they are short charts. Durrow moves steadily onward, I am more than halfway done filling the center triangle.

And then there is the special order knitting. One infant hat done, one infant dress that will be done today, just have to crochet the edging at neck and armhole. Then I have to cast on the black and white checked pants.

No spinning yet this week, but I will get to it! I haven’t had time to go to work this week!!

Snow Day!

The best part of winter is a storm that times itself perfectly for a day off.  This one did all it could.  5-10 inches, followed by sleet and freezing rain, started last evening and lasting all day long today.

Now, technically, it isn’t a snow day – we only delayed opening.  But I have to work on Saturday, so instead of leaving early on Friday to make up those hours, i am staying home today.  I did about an hour’s worth of work, and am calling it a day.  I think that will fill my week’s hours.

Which is good, because work has just been overwhelmingly crazy the past few weeks. so busy that I haven’t been able to face getting on the computer to write to you.  I hope it changes soon.  I think it will, because we are going to be hiring someone to work with me!  Ad goes in the paper in a week or two.  That will mean a bit more work at first, but then it should all be easier.

So even though work has kept me busy and tired, I have managed to spin most days for a few minutes.  I was able to finish the Oliver Twist yarn, and am happy with the result.

Though it isn’t my favorite color, it goes so beautifully with the Aegean I spun earlier that I know I am going to love working with it.

Plus, I had this amazing win with it!  I have never before split my fiber so perfectly and spun it so evenly that the two bobbins came out this close.  I was pretty happy.  Almost excited, even.

Of course, that means I have nothing on the frankenbobbin yet for this year.  I did cast on a cowl with last year’s frankenyarn, and I think I will be able to make something like mitts with the thinner second skein of yarn from that experiment.

Finished knitting the Nymphalidae, but that is soaking so I can’t show that to you yet.  Maybe next month when I post again.  🙂  Hopefully it won’t be that long.

The Japanese Sampler Scarf MKAL started, and I am about halfway through the first clue.  I really love the yarn, the pattern and the resulting scarf.  The next clue comes out in April, so I have time to finish this one.

Still working on Durrow, but the progress is almost imperceptible, so I will spare you et another photo of a half done square.

 

And Mom’s brown cardigan continues to move slowly along.  Almost to the body ribbing, then there will be sleeves and button bands to do. I don’t give it the love it deserves, because well, it’s brown.  It doesn’t excite me.  But she does love brown, and I love her, so I keep plugging away at it.

I did finish my blue socks!  Yea, I finished something!  And immediately cast on the next pair, so there are still socks on the needles.  No photo yet of the new ones, but the foot of the first one is almost done.  I have worn the new blues a few times, and they are really soft and warm, I love them.  They are a new to me yarn, in BFL wool and nylon.  I think they will wear well.

The only other new thing is what’s on the wheel now.  It is a bag of polwarth and “soffsilk” that I got at the Whorls and Purls party destash.  I have never spun fiber with colored bits in it before, it is quite fun.

In other news, the truck is in the shop getting a face lift, and they gave A a beautiful BLUE 2018 Tacoma.  Just like her red one, but no snow tires.  EEK.  So she is home today, too.  We are having a quiet day in front of the fire.  Later I will go upstairs and block that shawl, work on warping the loom.  The day will fly.

 

Merry Christmas Eve!

Sorry to be so quiet lately, we have been BUSY!

A is doing fine, physically almost back to normal. She is still being careful about what she eats, learning how things go, but so far so good.

We started the holiday visiting with a quick trip to Portland Friday afternoon. A’s nephew and his family rented an air bnb house for the weekend to visit his in-laws and we all drove down for a yankee swap and some games. We only see them a couple of times a year, so it was fun. Their kids are quite grown, there even was a girlfriend along. How time flies!

Saturday was busy, too. I ran to Belfast to do the last of the Christmas shopping. It was not terribly crowded, but this still happened

Yup. Someone parked his car behind a row of parked cars (including mine) and went shopping. I waited a while, then went into the closest shop looking for the owner. He was checking out, and wouldn’t come move his car until he finished. I was quite close to calling the police when he finally came out. For the record, there was plenty of parking on the street, just not directly in front of that store.

Once I could get going, I headed over to Whorls and Purls for a relaxing afternoon of knitting. 😊

Sunday I did nothing but weaving and knitting and making some ornaments, and as a result, I am in pretty good shape for tomorrow. One thing will be delivered as a WIP but that’s pretty good!

Today I had some sewing for A’s present and one thumb to knit on her mittens. The sewing is done but not the thumb. Day’s not over yet!

She and I completely disagree on prints for the bed linen so we have only plain sheets. Our compromise comes on pillowcases. She like creatures and cute prints, I like florals. So I made her a couple of pillow cases. Pretty exciting stuff!

Then I will wrap them and be done.

How are you doing today? All prepared for tomorrow?