Archive for the ‘how I spent my day’ Category

Sunday at home   15 comments

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

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

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

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

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

 

Posted June 18, 2017 by salpal1 in how I spent my day

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Thank you, Mother Nature   16 comments

( meant to post this yesterday, sorry!)

 

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

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

Thank heavens for fiber and knitting and spinning.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Especially if I win the Powerball lottery tonight, lol.

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

 

Summer for more than one day!!!   20 comments

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Some things to share   18 comments

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

to this:

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

Plenty for a shawl, and then some!

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

 

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

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

 

 

 

 

Another short post   16 comments

Not a lot to write, but photos say a thousand words, right?

A visit to my brother C:

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Two days spent slowly spinning:

 

Cars are shiny and clean, beaded yarn is becoming a reality (and is much farther along than this photo, but still only about halfway done.)

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend!

 

Looking forward and backward   23 comments

Made it through another weekend of travel.  This one was different, as I warned you it would be – no yarn purchases.  But lots of knitting, thanks to my sister being willing to be the driver!

Saturday morning I was up and out of the house by 4:30, drove down to Portland, and together we left at 7:30 for Connecticut.  We must have done something very good, because the traffic gods blessed us, and we made it to my aunt and uncles in record time, arriving RIGHT on the dot of  11.  We had a nice visit with them, then the two of us headed down into the town we first lived, had a picnic on the village green.  It was SO NICE!  Of course it looks the same but different from what we remember.  It’s smaller and the trees are bigger.  But the beautiful old houses and churches look the same.

From there we drove past our old house (also smaller with bigger trees) and then on to visit with Dad and Stepmom S.  We stayed for a couple of hours, chatting, looking at old yearbooks, and then spent quite a time out in their yard – they have loads of bird feeders and an amazing variety of birds, which keep them and their indoor cats well entertained.

Then it was back on the road by 4, and home to my sister’s before 8, where we relaxed with delicious pizza – delivered!  Oh, the good part of living in a city!

I was wide awake, so though they offered me a bed for the night, I headed home.  I have had too many days away from home, between traveling and working every day.  Got home by 11:30 and when I tell you I fell into bed and asleep and didn’t open my eyes for a solid 8 hours, I am not kidding.

And I never moved out of low gear Sunday.  I did start a load of laundry (dear A finished it for me) and I went to the dump and the hardware store, but other than that I just sat and knit.

Well, knit and ripped out. I got to a point where I could try on the green and black striped sweater, and it just wasn’t right.  The neck opening was too large, and the front of the sweater too big.  So, I took good notes on my gauge, then ripped it all out, did loads of math, gave up the idea of the boat neck and cast on a crew neck sweater.  I did like the width of the stripes, so now I really think I am good to go on this one. No photo now, it looks just like the last time I started it.  🙂

I worked a lot on my socks on Saturday, so I ignored them Sunday, just worked on the Moon and Sky shawl, got past the first beaded row.  The beads on this are going to be pretty subtle, I think.  They are matte finish and close in color to one of the colors in the yarn.  But they do glow a bit in the right light, so I think when they whole is complete, they will be awfully pretty.

I did a couple of rows on the handspun vest as well, but no one except me would notice.  fingering weight takes a long time to show effort!  But I still love it and want to have it ready in the fall, so it stays in rotation.  🙂

I didn’t do any spinning, I was just too tired to move the wheel into position, it seemed like too much effort.  I’ll work on that this week, I promise! Last week, I did cake up the yarn I will be plying that with, so I am ready for plying should I ever finish spinning.

This week will be long, with the promise of a holiday weekend at the end!  Before Saturday I want to get the pool water tested so I can get the PH right, and the stabilizer and chlorine in – then I can get in and get the last of the leaves from the middle.  I can’t reach them from the edges.

I also want to work on that spin and get it off my wheel so I can clean the old wheel and move it upstairs, and give attention to the new wheel!  And I want to finish my May sock, so I am ready for June when it arrives (so soon!)

And my sister and I are both inspired to do some cleaning and clearing, so I will once again put that on my list, to start weeding out the craft room and organizing the yarn and fabric.  It won’t happen in one session or one week or maybe one month, but every bit helps.

This weekend I am on for ALL of the household chores and some serious catering to A’s wishes as she has been the solo person two weekends in a row.  Good thing I have three days, because I also want to get some seed sin the ground, and some yardwork done.

I might need a 30 day weekend to do all I would like to do and that needs doing.

 

 

 

The Weekend Report   23 comments

Gang, I had so much fun out and about with Mom last weekend!  We started off on time early Friday morning and decided to stop for breakfast at a place we had heard about near Augusta (not Aunt Gin’s, which would have been a better choice, it turns out) and it took them over an HOUR to get us some coffee and eggs.  Wow.  So then we were behind schedule but not too worried as we had no deadlines or commitments Friday, just plans and anticipation.

It was raining and spitting most of the way through the boring turnpike driving.  I had MapQuest plot me a route using “shortest distance” so that I didn’t have all highway driving all day.  It was 8 hours of driving after all, I wanted to see something other than yellow dotted lines.  🙂

Mom navigated, and it was fun, though we have no idea where we were most of the time, we knew we could figure it out with maps and GPS if needed. We wandered through western Mass, and wound up in Amherst, which I have always wanted to see.  It was very lovely, but it was UMASS commencement weekend, so to say that there was a little traffic is an understatement.  It took forever to get to Northampton from there.  And once in Northampton, we added road construction to the mix, it seriously took us more than half an hour to go the short distance from the pretty bridge to WEBS.

But get there we did, and by then the sun was shining (as it should over this wonderful place!)

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It is in an industrial setting just in back of town. If you are looking for a cute yarn shop, this isn’t it (but there is one in town.) However – go in the door and you are transported to fiber heaven. There is a HUGE retail space with all the yummy yarns beautifully displayed.  A whole entire section of Madeline Tosh just hanging there, showing off it’s lovely colors, calling for me to buy it.  🙂  There are wheels and buttons and yarns and fiber and pattern books and loads of room to move around, good lighting and (mostly) very nice staff.

And then there is the backroom.

It’s actually where we started, because the restrooms are back there… and we were five hours from coffee after all.  🙂

This room is much more like a warehouse, I can’t begin to guess how big it is.  Aisles and aisles of shelves from the floor to over my head, filled with yarn.

I spent the most time in the Valley Brand aisle, touching everything (remember, this is why I was there!) If I liked how it felt, I took photos of the tag so I would remember it when I get to ordering online someday (soon I hope) and so my phone is filled with photos of tags.  🙂

All the prices were reasonable but some were on sale, so they were WAY more than reasonable.  This coming weekend is their huge tent sale, I can’t imagine what a zoo the place will be, but I bet people will be getting some great bargains.

The other aisles are organized by fiber weight.  I cruised fast through bulky but slowed to a crawl in fingering, sport, and lace.  Oh so many things were calling my name.  But I had a strict yarn budget for the weekend.

But I wanted it all.

But I had a budget.

But…

I finally settled on this selection:

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The Leyden for some socks, the Southampton for a shawl, or something light and fluffy.  Southampton is a yarn I have been wanting to try since I can’t seem to get Soie et Doucette anymore.  It is very similar to kid silk haze, which I also love.  So I will give it a shot and see what happens. At $7.99 a ball, it didn’t seem too bad an experiment.

I was pretty impressed with myself, coming out of there with money left and my homework completed!

Then I caught up with Mom, and she staggered me.  She was in there with me the whole time, and she bought NOTHING. Because she had no project in mind.

I didn’t know that was a thing.  🙂

Anyway – we got some vague directions about lunch and parking and muddled through that and got out of that town as fast as we could, which was not fast.

The directions continued to meander through the Berkshires in the general direction of New York, and we blindly followed them, trusting MapQuest.

Until we found ourselves in a two track dirt road wandering under leaning dead trees. A road not on the map we had, but clearly marked and where MapQuest said it would be. As we drove, the road got narrower (it hardly seemed possible) and ruttier.  When we finally came to an intersection with a paved road we abandoned MapQuest and took the paved road.  First chance we got, I pulled over and we set the GPS with our hotel address in Poughkeepsie.

Our new route zipped us along Route 23 through Great Barrington and out onto the beautiful Taconic Parkway.  I mean it, it is a beautiful road.  NO trucks!!!  It’s a true parkway, loads of pretty trees and green grass.  And of course, it is late spring there, the trees are fully out.  The dogwood was blooming in the woods. It was really a gorgeous trip down to the hotel, which we found with no problem.  Thank you, GPS.  Sorry, MapQuest, I won’t ask you for shortest route again.

Saturday dawned gray and dreary and raining.  We had breakfast with one of Mom’s classmates and his wife, and I left her with them to enjoy her day of reunion activities. Then I settled down to await another highlight of the trip – meeting up with a blogger in the real world!  Slipped Stitches Weblog is a blog I have loved since I found it, Maryanne is hysterically funny when writing about her adventures with her little dog, her knitting and the calamities that befall one at the hand  (or paw) of the other. We are friends on Ravelry and our blogs, so I knew she lived in the general area, but was nervous about suggesting a real life meeting.  I was so excited when she was not only willing to meet, but willing to come to Poughkeepsie to meet me!  I wondered if we would find enough to talk about or if it would be awkward, but the minute she walked into the hotel lobby I knew it was her and we just jumped right in, sharing current WIPS, stories, talking about our lives.  It was like seeing a friend I just hadn’t met yet.  🙂

I used the app Yarn Places to locate a local yarn store, and the kind desk clerk told us how to find it, so we went there to start with.  We spent quite a bit of time in Walkway Wools checking out the bright colors of yarn she had packed into her tiny shop (the owner is the dyer behind Mother Frogging yarns, check them out if you can).  Keeping in mind that I had only $7 left in my yarn budget, I tried really hard to be good.  But this yarn was too pretty to pass up!

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I have been wanting to try linen, and the price was just right.  I am thinking that someday I will make this into a shawl, but meanwhile, I am just enjoying the color. And I only went $8 over budget, which if you think about what I could have spent this weekend, was kind of like a miracle.  🙂

From there we went through the rain to lunch and gabbed for a couple of hours before Maryanne returned me to the hotel.

I am so glad that she was willing to take a chance to meet up with me and that she gave up a rainy Saturday to do so.  I am pretty sure that she could have been chasing the dog through the mud, around the pond, and down the lane as he ran off with her Shetland lace shawl, or something equally entertaining instead.

Saturday evening Mom and I went back over to her school to have a fancy dinner “with musical entertainment.”  There were a total of five from her class at this reunion, so with spouses and a daughter, we all fit at one round table.  I heard a lot of funny tales about kids at boarding school in the late 1950s. There (apparently) was lots of smoking behind buildings, and some panty raids, football games against giant farm kids, and other memorable moments.  After dinner, we went back to the hotel and hung out in the lobby for a few hours chatting with one couple until it was really time for bed if we were going to make that long drive home again in the morning.

I think Mom had a wonderful time, and is looking forward to the 65th reunion.

So – we got back to the room, mapped out a route (using a real, paper map with indicators fro things like pavement) that would avoid all major cities and be pretty and get us home reasonably quickly, and hopped into bed, where we slept like babies until 2 am when the fire alarms went off.

Have I ever told you about my hotel curse?  I have rarely stayed in a hotel more than one night that I didn’t experience the fire alarms going off. Sometimes I even manage to do it on a one night stay.  It is darned annoying.

We were up on the fifth floor, so we donned shoes and rain coats, (yup, still raining) and did take the time for a speedy bathroom break.  And I DID grab the car keys.  If the hotel was burning up, I wanted to be able to leave! And down the stairs we went to the dripping parking lot.  I was sort of surprised at how full the parking lot was and how few people came out of the hotel.  I guess they could stand the noise and didn’t mind burning up.  Hmmm.

We sat in the car, watched the big hook and ladder trucks come in with sirens blaring.  After a few minutes they all left and we went inside.  Seems an overly steamy shower was to blame, so at 3 am we climbed back into bed to stare at the ceiling for a bit.

Naturally we got off to a later than planned start Sunday morning.  At least it was sunny!  We headed back up the Taconic Parkway to Route 90, by which time it was raining again, and all the leaves were still only thoughts and the world was gray and dreary again.

Our new route seemed a bit longer than the other way, though the drive time turned out about the same – 8 hours or so to mom’s house. And no Worcester, Hartford or any of those other traffic nightmares.  It was after 8 when I finally pulled into my driveway, and I was really ready to be home!

This weekend I have an different sort of an adventure planned.  I’ll get up and hit the road around 4:30 Saturday morning, and drive to my sister’s, in Portland.  Together we will travel down to Connecticut (she will drive, I will knit – see, it’s different already!) to visit an aunt who lives down there, and our dad and step mom.  Then we will drive back to Portland, and I will stay over night in there with her and her family.  Home fairly early Sunday morning.  At least that’s the plan.  I’ll let you know how it goes.

And next weekend?  I am going NO WHERE.

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