A Friday list early and weekend plans

Hello!

I have actual plans for tomorrow, so I thought I would share them ahead of time. It’s not an actual list, though. Or if it is, it is a very short one.

This weekend is the Common Ground Fair, which is one of my favorite events of the year. I like it even more than the Maine Fiber Frolic, which says a lot. There is a lot of fiber and yarn and good food, but also a lot of other things, including amazing handcrafted things, everything under the sun about rural living.

Tomorrow, sister in law S and I are going fairly early, and will wander the grounds. My focus will be on yarn, of course, but I might get some seed garlic, and who knows what else? Fresh baked bread? Maple candy?

The plan is to leave there shortly after lunch and head to Waterville to Yardgoods. I want to get some more cascade yarn for my scrap blanket, and a stamp on my yarn cruise passport. S wants to look at the faux fur for her stuffed animals. Since we will be halfway there, it only makes sense to keep going.

My only concern is lingering COVID exhaustion. I warned S that there might be more rest breaks than usual…

Saturday is a return to normal. I will head to our local, seasonal, bakery for some bread, scones, and molasses ginger cookies. They will be permanently closing this fall, which makes me sad, but I will enjoy the last few weeks of yummy carbs.

From there, it is back to work. We are so close to the end on our big project! A will be staying in Millinocket for a few days to give what we hope is one final push. I will head up there after the bakery run and help with printing and stuffing. Assuming she gets to that point. If not, I will go up Sunday. We were there all last weekend, and made good progress, but not as much as we had hoped. There are just so many little bits left to do.

On the knitting front, I have been making good progress on things.

Bonjour/Hi is about halfway done. So easy and fun to knit! I am loving the two yarns held together deal. It’s a nice, light fabric that I think will be warm.

Cloud Cover is coming along, also. It is slow going, but nice and easy. I may look for some brighter colored tips for my interchangeables tomorrow, though. Knitting with navy yarn on dark green needles is hard in the evening.

I did several more squares on the scrap blanket this week, and finished up the first skein of the yarn I am using for the borders on the squares. It lasted for 104.5 squares. I started with 4 skeins of it, so one would think I was 1/4 of the way there. I am not so sure about that, so I will pick up another skein or two. I have the borders to think about, after all. 😉 I should measure the blanket and the bed and see how far along I really am… There is a current picture of the blanket on my Ravelry project page, here. https://www.ravelry.com/projects/salpal1/the-coziest-memory. I am enjoying the process of knitting it, and do think there will be more in my future.

That’s what my weekend looks like… what are you doing this weekend?

Friday list

I just found out that A will not be working at her regular Friday office this week, so she will be working from home. That means that I won’t be, and will have a day free to putter to my heart’s delight. So I thought about what needs to get done and what wants to get done. Here’s what might get done:

Some vacuuming. Roomba needs to be let loose in the living room.

Some laundry. Where does it come from?

I will work some more on warping the loom. Though it seems to be taking an eternity to do, I can see progress.

I might cut out a skirt. I found some summer fabric I forgot I had, and so I should work it up. I don’t need as many skirts as in the past, but they are cool and comfortable in the summer. And if I get it done in time,perhaps it will do for the wedding next weekend.

And on the chance that I won’t get it done in time, I want to replace the elastic in the skirt I probably will wear to the wedding.

Then there is the grocery shopping. That needs to happen, and early in the day is better for that.

So it seems like a full day, but not an overwhelming one. And you know I will manage some knitting time in there as well, right? My odds and ends blanket is growing and my sweater is not. I need to reverse that.

Friday 4/22 list

I realized I never updated you on my list from a few weeks ago. I think I did everythingI wanted to from the list, though it took a few days. I always have such great ambitions for my Friday’s!

I will try to keep it under control today. A will be working from home, doing a zoom training, so that rules out vacuuming, yea!

I will start the morning with a few hours of data entry, if the internet allows it with the zoom thing happening. We bought a second laptop and monitor so that theoretically we can both work at the same time. we will test that right off.

I already did the laundry and some general tidying, so there won’t be a lot of housework on the list. But we have company coming on Sunday, so a few additional things need to get done before then. I will putter a bit and get them done.

I am back in the groove of knitting my Gramercy Park, so though I have another cowl on the needles, I no longer need to bribe myself to knit on the sweater. It is coming along, and though it might be a tight race, there is a chance that I will get it done in time for niece B’s wedding in one month. A slight chance… so I plan to work on that for an hour or so.

The dish towels are still not all the way on the loom, though I have done some work on that over the past few weeks, there is still more to do. Maybe I will get to it…

A’s truck is up in Bangor getting new tires and an alignment; we will have to pick it up at some point in the afternoon or Saturday morning. I should slip away and get her something nice for her birthday. If only I knew what that something is…

That’s it, a pretty reasonable list, I think. What are you doing today?

P. S. Here’s a little knitting photo for you… a cowl I finished last week.

The pattern is earthshine, and it is so fun to knit! And wear, too. It’s warm and stays put.

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!

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