Long weekend

I am tired and ready for bed, but just wanted to write you a quick note.

We went to Wilkes-barre PA on Saturday, niece C the younger graduated from Kings College on Sunday, and we drove home today. We are just exhausted, as you might imagine! But it was worth it! Another beautiful niece all grown up.

I knit a lot, finished a secret project, got the toe of a sock done, and knit an inch or so on my sleeves. Not as much done on the sweater as I had hoped, but the secret project got done!

And, of course, this:

Brother C and niece C the younger on a happy day.

So happy we made the long trip!

(I actually fell asleep before I finished writing this, I guess I was tired!)

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Almost back

Knitting hard on the Fine Sand cardigan all week got me back to the point of dividing the sleeves from the body last night. Yeah!

Thankfully still loving this project!

On other knitting fronts, I spent Saturday afternoon at Whorls and Purls making this

A paper bag full of brown yarn balls! Why, you might ask?

Well, years ago, Mom bought this yarn, and a few years after that, I knit her a cardigan from it, which she loved. Then she lost a ton of weight and the sweater no longer fit her at all. She was very sad about that, so I offered to rip it out and reknit it on her size. The ripping out took three hours! So this will be my next sweater project. Luckily the pattern was my old standby top down cardi, I can knit those in my sleep almost!

Here are a couple of progress shots of other things I am working on. Spinning is progressing slowly because I knit the sweater so monogamously, but the second bobbin is done.

And the second sock is moving along more quickly now that I am around the heel.

I didn’t just knit this weekend, I also did a small amount of gardening. Very small! I planted carrot and lettuce in among the garlic, in the hopes of fooling the resident wild bunny. I suspected he survived the winter because my tulips were leveled, and we had confirmation of that with a sighting yesterday.

I also planted some cosmos and zinnias in various places, if they grow, we will finally have some color around the place!

And we had two meals so far with our own asparagus! I think there will be a few more this week. I planted 5 plants about 4 or 5 years ago, having no idea what the yield would be. That is enough for us to enjoy in season, but not enough to put any by for the rest of the year. If I ever get another good spot for it, I will put in a whole lot more. I really love it picked fresh for dinner!

Other than that, my limited time out in bright sunshine was spent continuing to fish debris from the pool. I am trying to figure out how to reach the middle without getting into it. Even with the long handled rake, I can’t reach the middle. So I scoop what I can reach, and stir it all up so the filter can do its job, and progress is as slow as every other year. Sigh.

This week is looking reasonably normal. One late day meeting that I can’t knit through, but otherwise a normal work week, I think.

Next weekend we are off to Pennsylvania to see niece C the younger graduate from college! Seems like she was just born! It will be good to see her and her sister B, whom we haven’t seen since a year ago when she graduated and returned home to Pennsylvania. I miss the days when these girls would come have nice long visits with us in the summer. But I guess grown up kids have to work and want to be with their friends, not their two old aunts. Such is life.

Well, let me leave you with two shots of other parts of my world.

The ugly curtains were proclaimed to be perfect and wonderful, and they do the job of cutting glare on the computer screen.

The quince in the front yard started blooming in the nick of time, just as the first hummingbird arrived.

Hope you had a good weekend and that your week ahead is better than you expect!

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. ūüėĘ

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!

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 Рbut 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?

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!

Power is ON, Cars are dug OUT

So things are theoretically back to normal today.

Still some cleanup to do around the edges.¬† Normally, we wouldn’t worry too much about the edges this time of year – in January, it is important to clean up after a storm so that you are ready for the next one.¬† In March, it’s not usually a problem, because the snow melts pretty fast.¬† But this March is not normal.¬† Over 3 feet of snow in a week, and guess what?¬† Another storm is predicted for next week.¬† I am hoping and praying that it is warm enough to be rain, but no one is talking about that.¬† I’ll bring it up when I speak to Ma Nature.

Yesterday I declared a snow day and did not go to work, though it was open (and 194 others¬†didn’t go to work.¬† We have just over 200 employees.¬† There’s a message there somewhere)¬†but it wasn’t a calm and lazy day like last week.¬† We shoveled snow almost all day, with plenty of breaks for resting, of course.¬† It took all day to get those two cars free.

I did not much else.  A bit of spinning and few rows of Durrow,  I was just too tired.

The good news was, the power came back on mid-morning!¬† A true miracle.¬† Our wonderful plow guy told us he saw no trees or lines down.¬† And he lives around the corner, and had power.¬† So I think it was just a case of a branch touching a wire, or something.¬† Anyway, we were super thrilled it wasn’t out for days.¬† I got as far as¬†bringing the cooler upstairs, but had not started to fill it when we got power again.¬† Yippee!