I finished something!

It was just last night, so no photos yet, but I bound off the Hankshaw sweater. That is exciting as I have been wanting to cast on a new project, but I made myself finish something first. So now I will cast on Biophilia. I am using yarn and beads I got at last year’s Fiber Frolic, even though this year I got some yarn that would look great. I will get to it…

This month has just flown by, it has been hectic and busy! My birthday weekend was lovely, in celebration AND weather. Mom had a party for me, just siblings and some of their spouses and children. It was the right size for actually visiting, so that was fun.

After that it’s been straight out work, even on weekends. I manage about ten minutes of gardening some evenings before I get swarmed with mosquitoes, so the yard looks awful, mostly. Except that the front garden that had so much work done on it the past two years is at its lovely stage, if one zooms in and blocks everything around it…

And I have been spinning a little and knitting like mad, in spare moments. These socks got finished, and these started, this month.

But the big news, beyond the finished Hankshaw is that I finally finished the mosaic cabled squares of Durrow!!! I am on the easy stockinette part now. I decided to knit it as a gradient, not the stripes as the pattern calls for. We shall see if I like that. I can’t believe it took me 18 months to get this section done!! You can see the progress here.

Still plugging away on the Japanese MKAL, I am part way through the June clue, and anticipate no trouble finishing this clue before the August one drops. Awfully glad they aren’t monthly, though!

The pool filter I got for my birthday is WONDERFUL! The pool is ready to be vacuumed, something I have never been able to do before, exciting! However, it is a bit of a jerry rig to get it hooked up, and I haven’t had time to really focus on it, so I keep stirring and running the filter, and it is making a difference. I hope to swim by July 4. Luckily it has been so cold and wet I haven’t felt the urgent need to get in the pool. I can just stands in the yard and get cool and wet.

 

Last Saturday we had a major fundraising event at work,  (it went well but nearly crippled me, more in a minute) and this Saturday we had a work-related picnic to attend, so weekends have not been relaxing at all, and the work weeks have also been long.  Yesterday, though, I was happy to visit with an old coworker and long time friend who now lives in Iowa.  She is around for a couple of weeks, so she came to visit, and we sat on the porch catching up.  It was so nice and relaxing, and I so appreciated that she came over to see me, as driving a couple of hours to her place would have not been as relaxing after a long week!

For the last few weeks, my feet have been really hurting.  It started out as a bit stiff when I stood up from my desk or in the morning.  I made sure to do all the stretches, and rotating, etc, but it just seemed to get worse and worse, and then my knee started bothering me, from walking stiffly, I presume.  I paid attention to what shoes did to me, and so now I am just wearing birks, as the arch support seems to really help, also nothing touches the back of my heel.  I suspect plantar fasciitis, but something else, too, the back of my heel can not be touched.  Standing in sneakers all day at the fundraiser was so awful that I could not walk to the car.  I don’t think A believed me when I told her she had to go get the car and come to me, but I wasn’t fooling.  I could barely move from the car to the house.  I laid low the next day, as much as I could, and was a little bit better by Monday.  But then one night I put on some different shoes ( which I had worn all winter, I might add) and did about fifteen minutes of gardening, and everything was awful again. So, yes, I know I need to call the doctor and get to a PT person, but for now, I have worn only birks for about ten days, and I keep my feet really elevated when I am home – not quite toes above nose, but on a pile of cushions on the couch.  The swelling seems to be going down, and things are better, but still not good.  I could not walk a mile, I don’t think.  But, my knee is feeling better.

I won’t tell you about the arthritis in my finger and thumb and how I just kept knitting anyway.

This getting old really stinks.

Advertisements

Saturday was Maine Fiber Frolic

And frolic I did!  As I have the past few years, I went with some of the ladies from Whorls and Purls, and we met up with even more of the group once there.

A gave me cash for my early birthday, and I had been saving up quite a bit of cash for the event, so I felt quite flush this year!

I am going to try the link thing again to all of my goodies, please let me know in the comments if it doesn’t work.

I was not as organized as I like to be when I go there, with patterns and ideas in mind.  I was thinking I wanted some fairly solid DK weight yarn for a couple of sweaters (suddenly all the patterns I like call for DK, and I have none!) and I knew I would be on the lookout for some yarn and matching beads for the Biophilia  shawl I will be starting soon.

I also knew that Bartlett Yarns would be a vendor, and I wanted a sweater quantity (SQ) of their yarn.  If it could be DK, so much the better, but I knew what color it would be.  I had a sweater in this color out of their yarn years ago, and I wore it until it could be worn no more.  I miss it and want another.

So, Bartlett was the first stop.  Even knowing exactly what I wanted, I had a hard time choosing! They have so many lovely colors. I chose what I went in for, though, a lovely shade of soft aqua blue and I am going to love the sweater.  It is sport weight, so a little lighter than DK, I will survive, and see what a swatch tells me.  I knit loosely, so it might work. If not, I will find something.

After that, it was to my favorite Pine Star Studio, where I got this and this.  The redder one is a contender for the Biophilia, but when I found the beads that worked best, I realized I had some at home already, so I didn’t buy more. The cranberry one, though, I found those gorgeous beads to match.  I have no idea what the pattern will be, the yardage is crazy high on that one, so I will not do the Biophilia with it, but choose something that will make more use of the whole skein.

Then there is the fiber.  I have bought a few large lots of blended merino silk over the years, and thought about combining them to have enough to make a sweater, but I really needed more to make the project work.  I knew I would never match the colors exactly, so I wanted to get some with all the colors, and I will spin it as a combo spin.  Maybe I will hit DK weight on that? So when I saw this, from the same vendor, I knew it was coming home.  I love all the blues and greens, and the fiber I already have is also blues and greens, though darker and grayer, so it will get toned down.

Lastly, I wanted to get something I have been eyeing since I learned to spin.  Every year I want it, every year I don’t buy it in fear of not being a good enough spinner.  This year I decided I could do it.

Camel and silk, undyed.  It glows in the sunshine.

All that plus a couple of ice creams (Stone Fox Creamery – oh my!) and some pizza for lunch, plus fudge to bring home to A, and I had five dollars left in my pocket.  Truthfully, it was not in the same pocket the rest of my cash was, I found it as we were leaving.  Had I known, I would have gotten more beads, for sure.  🙂  I think I did pretty well, and will have enough to keep me busy for a while.  And I will start saving my pennies again, because Knit East is in October, and I will want to shop there as well!

 

It’s the photo thing

I haven’t written because I haven’t had time to sort out the photo thing and describing what I am doing seems so boring.  BUT I just have to bite the bullet and use up the rest of my available space and sort it out later.  You all have been so patient with me.

Here’s what I have been up to – so much fiber crafting happening!

I finished the Alaska hat a few weeks ago, but just got photos of it this weekend:

 

I am halfway through a pair of socks that I just LOVE.  This yarn is custom dyed for me to knit socks for my BIL.  He is a huge Liverpool football fan (soccer to those of us heathens in the USA) the team colors are red, with aqua and gold.  I asked magic Debbie at the Purple Fleece to dye me some yarn, and this is what she came up with!  I love it!  I love the little bits of other colors created in the transitions, and I think these socks are lots of fun.  Even more so, because BIL is a gray and black kind of dresser, and these are so far out of his comfort zone that he will think the package was meant for his daughter.  I know they might wind up on her feet, but he will have fan socks if he wants them.

 

I am plugging away on Durrow, which grows tedious.  I have one more square to do, and then there will be different sections to work on.  These squares have been on my needles since January 2018.  It is embarrassing to admit.

 

So I set myself a goal and gave myself a reward.  I could cast on a sweater for me when I finished the 6th square (maybe this is why it has taken me more than a year to get this far…)  I finished the square in the middle of last week.  Whew!  And I had long ago swatched the yarn I want to use, but had never picked out a pattern.  So  I went pattern diving and found Hankshaw pullover.  It was perfect for what I wanted.  Right weight yarn, a simple yoke pattern that I could modify as needed, and it would be easy to incorporate the 6 shades of blue and green that I wanted in the yoke. I had vacation from Wednesday through the weekend, so this happened.  I did have to fiddle a bit with the size, as my row gauge was off, and my arms are larger than miss average’s.  But I am going to divide for the sleeves tonight when I get home, and then it should be math-free knitting.

I wonder what i will do as a reward for the next square?  I have  enough gray sport weight yarn for a sweater… perhaps that will be next.

I have also been working away on my Japanese mystery knit along scarf, I am nearly done with the second clue.  And my Droplet hack is getting close to done.  I will show you those another day.

I did do some weaving this month, and I think I am pretty close to finishing this fabric. It was originally going to be place mats and napkins, I think it might be place mats and dishtowels now. Not quite sure… I like the colors, but I want to do more experimenting with stitches, so I need this to be done.

And spinning – still spinning!  I am working on an 8 ounce spin with two different colored braids, creating a three ply, 4 skein gradient.  So far 1/4 is done and plied, and the second 1/4 is about halfway done.  Slow going, I am spinning sewing thread again…

My brain is always looking at what I am doing and imaging the next project.  I could use 5 days weekends every week!

 

In other news – the snow has melted!  At last!  I have begin scooping leaves out of the pool, as much as I can reach from the edges, no getting in it yet! And if we get a non-pouring rain weekend, I will begin raking the yard and looking about for outside chores.  the screen doors need some attention.  We plan to dismantle most of the front deck this spring/summer, and rebuild it smaller, then add a patio/terrace thing.  I want big raised beds in the transition area, which means carpenter world.  So lots going on.  In my head.

Tax season is really over, we had our celebratory luncheon last week.  My weekends are my own until June when fundraisers and picnics kick in. So I think I can say that the sweater will get finished in short order.  🙂

I will keep you posted.  Promise!

 

 

A bit of an update

I haven’t written in a while, I see. I was busy reading and commenting and deleting old or redundant photos. So I have room for a few more.

First news, Mom loved the sweater and it fit as is – yea! No photos as it still needs buttons, etc. I will try to get one someday.

Last weekend was spent with Mom and her two sisters and all of their daughters. That made 8 of us. My aunt found an air bnb that was midway between her house and mine, so it was way down in southern Maine, in Biddeford Pool. The house was perfect for what we wanted, enough beds and bathrooms, good gathering space, and a great kitchen. And near the beach, so we went for walks, and sat around gabbing and knitting a lot, too. And eating. There was plenty of food on hand, I will be eating leftovers for a month!

I started my Alaska hat as a reward for finishing big brown. 😉

And I finished a pair of socks

So it was a very good weekend!

Seriously though, it was nice to spend enough time with my family to get to talk to people and hear how they are. It’s been ages since we had time like that.

What did you do last weekend?

My least favorite weekend is over

Or:

WHY do we keep changing time?  It accomplishes nothing and creates havoc with mind and spirit.

I hate this weekend, the shortest of the year.  It was made shorter still by a complete change to my regular schedule – I missed knitting group on Saturday, because as yet I haven’t been able to figure out how to be in more than one place at a time.  There were three places I should have been on Saturday at 3.  I decided (and thankfully my boss agreed) that the most important one was at a memorial “reception” for one of my wonderful tax volunteers.  He had been sick a long time, and finally passed away in February.  His personality was SO big and kind and funny that it feels like an empty world without him in it.  The place was packed with people eating and drinking and telling stories, which is just exactly how he would have liked it.  He loved food and people and stories, and he dedicated his life to service in one form or another.

And I will admit that going to that event got me out of one of my least favorite things, attending a town meeting to ask for money.  Technically, I ask for lots of money from towns, it is my job, but that final appearance at the meeting, not knowing WHAT is going to be asked is the toughest part. There were two meetings on Saturday at three that needed coverage, and my boss kindly took one, and recruited someone else to take the other so I could be free to attend the reception.

In other words, no matter what, there was no way I would have been able to go to knitting on Saturday.

So instead, I spent the morning doing a few chores around the house, and I also managed to get my hair cut.  What a chore!  My normal place shut down unexpectedly a couple of weeks ago and me over due for a cut!  I knew there was another shop in town, so I headed there a week ago.  It was mobbed, and I had a time crunch.  He said he was open until 6 Monday and Thursday, so I did other things, and went there Monday.

He was closed. Something about a snow storm?  I don’t blame him but I was still disappointed.

I went there Thursday after work.  He was full up and not taking any more clients that day.

I was there by 8:45 on Saturday, and I was the first one in the door.  He cut my hair.  I realized it has been close to 15 years since I had to tell someone how I like to wear my hair.  By the time I sat in that chair, it was so shaggy that there was no way he could tell by looking. Together we worked it out, and though it is quite a bit shorter than I prefer, I know it will grow, and it is a very good haircut.  There was some sticker shock, though.  No more $8 haircuts, I guess.

While I was waiting for him I discovered that there is a salon down the hall from him.  She doesn’t take walk ins, but I got her card.  I think my next haircut will be an appointment with her.  She said it would be a little bit cheaper than what he will charge.  That is great, especially if she is good.

That event over with, I went home and did some spinning and watched Victoria.  Do you watch it? No spoilers from me, but I have been waiting for the event that happened at the end to happen, knowing it was coming eventually.  Now what will the show be like?  I can’t wait for next season! 🙂

Sunday morning saw us up at a fairly late hour, thanks to the above mentioned stupid time change, and I headed off to the grocery store before the predicted snow storm started.  See?  Messed up schedule – the groceries are fetched on the way home from knitting.  Always.  I don’t go to knitting, there is no food in the house.  Actually, the store was nice and quiet – if I didn’t hate leaving home so much, I might shift my regular shopping day to Sunday.

When I got home, A was almost done doing the last of the laundry, and we both headed upstairs – she to work in her office and me to work in the craft room.  I finally finished untangling the threads and warping the loom. A helped me wind the warp onto the loom, and I actually got settled in and did some weaving!  At this point, it is all experimental, I am not sure if this will work out as planned, but I think I am weaving placemats and perhaps napkins, too.  They might be plaid.  They definitely are royal blue, white, periwinkle, and teal cotton.

After having such a nightmare with the warp this time, I decided not to do anything fancy with my pickup sticks.  I will practice with those on a smaller project. I am not enjoying being a novice at this, but know I have to put in my time to get the results I dream of.

When I had done all that my back could stand, I worked on a jigsaw puzzle until supper time.  Which seemed to come in mid-afternoon!  Have I mentioned I hate the time change?

Bed time arrived too early as well, and so did the alarm this morning.  I am so glad that this weekend is behind us.

And yes, it snowed, it did not rain as originally predicted, though it might have rained on top of the snow.  Certainly, it is a heavy wet snow.  And we got enough that the driveway got plowed. Again.  Just a few more weeks…

Odds and ends

Nothing much exciting happening here. This week is tax training, so the days are long and the off hours are short. But no chance of being bored! So many changes! Yikes. Plenty of jokes about the “postcard” which has a bzillion new pages attached to it.

I have been keeping up with spinning 15 minutes a day, which is good for that spin I started in October and only half finished by the end of the year!! It’s being plied now, should be done this week.

Knitting has been slower. Finished a sock in class Monday, started the second sock, but nothing else has budged much this week. I finished the knitting on the cowl for my sister, but haven’t grafted it together yet.

And nothing else has moved enough to warrant a photo.

That’s all the news from here – hoping that tomorrow’s storm closes Bangor Public Schools, our training follows the school closures… my brain needs a break!

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?