After the weekend

Did everyone else dream of lemon ice last night?  It is the coolest, most refreshing thing I know… and I really wanted to swim in some this weekend!

It was a pretty good weekend, actually, except for the heat and oppressive humidity.  After all my big chores (lol) on Friday, I tried to get things done early the rest of the days.

Saturday I went to Whorls and Purls without my sweater.  How odd it felt to have that off the needles! The knitting is DONE, the blocking and weaving in of ends will happen when it isn’t so humid.  Perhaps this coming weekend.  Instead, I worked on my sock and my Durrow shawl.  That seems more interesting and easy now, I guess it just needed a break. I worked on it both days, and finally closed up the center of the center square watching Victoria Monday night. Now only 4 more to go and two triangles before I get a spell of nice easy stockinette!

After Whorls and Purls we went out to the Angler for our annual supper gathering, which is always fun.  That group is always up for a nice meal and a party.  We were missing a few members, but those who were able to make it had fun.

Sunday I got up early and put a coat of paint on the bookshelves.  I discovered one benefit to hot and humid weather.  When painting, you don’t have to hurry to keep a wet edge.  It isn’t going to dry any time soon, take your time laying on the paint carefully! I will likely give it all a second coat on Wednesday, since we will be home and I can do it early.

Then we hung about trying to keep cool before I left to go to Belfast for a blogger meet up.  I have followed Paige at Paige Makes Stuff  for a long time.  Last week she wrote in her blog about her daughter being at camp in Maine and she would stay for the week, rather than spend an extra weekend on the highway between here and home.  I immediately got in touch and said if you want to get together, email me.  Well, she did, and we did.  We met on Sunday afternoon in Belfast at Heavenly Socks.  I was early and the owner, Helen, nicely provided me with a chair at the table of filled with local knitters while I waited.  Somehow the table was situated where there was a cool breeze, and the ladies were so friendly that when Paige arrived, she just sat down and we stayed there for our whole visit. (We did manage to get up long enough to do a tiny bit of shopping.  I got some gray sock yarn that I plan to fiddle about with in my dye pots before I knit socks with it.  Paige got some Quince and Company Owl to make a sweater.)  So, we had a lovely, mostly cool, afternoon knitting and chatting away.  One of the ladies has a friend who is looking for sweet fern to harvest for some soaps she makes.  I have an overabundance of the stuff everywhere, so I hope to hear from them soon about coming over to help themselves.  And Paige told us about a business endeavor she is a part of – OMG.  Trips for Knitters.  You have to check it out.  They put together some really wonderful looking trips to places I want to go.  I need to win the lottery!  I am so glad that Paige said something about her trip on her blog BEFORE she went, so we could meet up.  So often you lovely readers tell about a trip to Maine that you just got home from, and what help is that in having real life get-togethers? Paige, if you are reading this, I hope you have a lovely week by yourself being creative and relaxing before you pick your daughter up and make the long, hot ride home again!

When I got home, I climbed in the pool to scrub and stir, and there was no complaining from me that it was murky and green when I finished (it was) because I was wet and cooler.  A shower had me less murky and green, and we had an early night of it after that.  We both find that this heat really saps our energy… or perhaps it is the lack of oxygen in the air?  Not sure, but it is hateful.

That is it for the weekend, though.  Lots of knitting between small chores, as befits a very hot few days.

This week continues to be hot, and of course there is a holiday in the middle.  Not my favorite structure for a week, but I am not turning down the holiday!  We have no big plans for it, but are open to invitations if anyone in the family comes up with something fun.  Which hopefully will involve swimming in a CLEAN pool!  🙂

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Friday list rebooted and a swap!

Mom called. J has the flu and she isn’t feeling just right – again! She has been well for two days in 5 weeks. She is quite unhappy about it.

So they aren’t coming today, but a week from Sunday. Can we keep the house tidy for that long? Not sure.

So my amended list includes:

Hardware store for twine and bird seed

PO for swap package

(These two are already done!)

Put up trellises and string to guide plants

Tie up weigela that wants to lean due to snow.

Hop off deck to get those little trees. This is still on the list. But I was looking out there today, and I think I can get around the deck where Mom cleared last summer. No hopping needed.

Scrub the pool.

Knit! I am on the bottom border of the sweater. Two long rows to purl, then bind off. Then pick up and knit the front borders, then lengthen sleeves. That’s it! Can she do it by the time Tour de Fleece starts? It will be close but I think so.

Other odd housekeeping things like laundry. If I must.

So. The swap!!! I participated in a swap run by Kathy of the Compassionate knitter blog. I knew my package was waiting at the po yesterday, but I couldn’t get there in time. As soon as they opened, I was there this morning.

We were to send a skein of sock yarn not from stash, one button, and something red white and blue. Vera from the Threaded Lane blog was my swap partner.

So excited!

A fun bag, a pretty red button, and some new to me sock yarn that is so soft! And has such a nice color range, it will match everything! Diamond Luxury, Soxy Lady. It is superwash wool and alpaca with some nylon.

What a lovely package of squishy mail, thank you, Vera!

In which I tell you all the fun things I did for my birthday

This year my birthday fell on a Saturday, hurrah!

And of course I managed to start the celebration early. A little spending money last week at Fiber Frolic, then Friday evening A took me to see Book Club at Reel Pizza in Bar Harbor. Even though I have lived here for more than 20 years, I have never been to this quaint little movie theater/pizza place before. A definite bucket list item. The pizza was quite expensive but delicious.

The movie was good if you didn’t expect Oscar-worthy. It was fun and a little bit predictable. The four main characters seemed to play themselves, but it worked. There were some laugh out loud moments.

I will say that apparently, based on who was in the theater, you have to be female and a certain age to enjoy it, but as I am both, I did!

We stopped for ice cream and still were home by 9! I do love an early movie!

Saturday started with delicious crepes for breakfast, and then my friend Crimson Crow came over so we could go off gallivanting. A wanted to stay home to bake a cake and work on the bookcases. That, and we were going places she didn’t care about.

Our first stop was at Fernwood Nursery and Gardens  in Montville, about 45 minutes away. It’s one of those places like Reel Pizza. Drive by the turn off all the time, but never when we have time to stop. And I read their blog faithfully, love it!!! So this was a definite birthday trip stop.

OMG it was gorgeous! I never knew shade plants could be so colorful and fragrant.

I took a few photos.

 

They do not do the place justice!

I tried to buy a hollyhock for our front garden, but Denise insisted I take it as a birthday gift! Crimson Crow had let on why were out and about. I will definitely visit there again when we need plants, everything looked so lovely and healthy. maybe after Step brother J comes and spends a few days with my pile of gravel and blackberries?

From there we headed back toward Belfast, and stopped in at a local yarn shop, Heavenly Socks, in the new location. It is a much bigger space and it is SO NICE. I never cared for its little basement location, it was too small and crowded to move or see the yarn. I was pleasantly surprised at how nice the new shop is, and how much locally produced or dyed yarn there is.

And I would like it noted that I bought NOTHING there. This time. Not how to support an LYS, but a good way to support my checkbook!

Then we ambled over to Bell the Cat for lunch, also in its new location, and delicious as always.

Our last planned stop was a junk shop in Stockton Springs. I drive past it twice every Saturday on my way to and from Whorls and Purls, and I always wanted to stop and check it out. It was a whole lot of junk and a few treasures. We didn’t get into pricing with the owner, but the few things that were tagged were quite pricey. If I go back to check out any of the things that caught my eye, I will be doing some haggling, for sure.

From there we decided to stop at the grocery store for supper makings and ice cream, and then headed home.

A was done making the cake (no photo but delicious! Chocolate cake with buttercream frosting 🙂 ) so we had that, then visited until supper time.

A lot of eating on my birthday!

Sunday morning my SIL came over for cake and coffee, and gave me one of her adorable handmade bears! She retired last winter, and has been “living the dream,” sewing and crafting to her hearts delight. She has been making great quantities of stuffed bears. Mine is the cutest one.  🙂

After that, life became more mundane. I did some laundry, some weeding, some spinning. I cleaned the porch furniture and moved the plants out of the guest room and out there where they belong. Went to the grocery store for the week’s shopping, and got takeout for supper (more eating!)

I love how the porch looks with the plants on it. Please excuse the wipes , and just focus on the pretty porch and cute cat! Vacuuming is the next thing I need to do out there, and string the lights we got and never put up last summer.  Those things that would be shelves in any one else’s house (wouldn’t they look pretty with candles or plants on them?) are cat perches.  The cats can climb up into the rafters, and they can hop on those and watch the world (chipmunks) go by.  They do that quite often, when they aren’t out there sleeping on the chairs, that is.

And here’s my spinning so far. Nearly done with this bobbin, then need one more just like it. Color has blue tones here that the real thing doesn’t.  It is a gray and brownish gray color, really.

And here’s some knitting to show you, just because. A sock and a hat. Winter is coming, after all! I’d show you the sweater, but I have no recent shots of it.

The sock is actually done now, and its mate is well under way.

So, now I am officially the age that matches my birth year, and that is a little alarming.  No denying I am not young anymore.  Quickly leaving middle age and approaching elderly.  Who could believe it?  And that same number was my order number at the take out stand. I assume that means it will be a good year this year!

Quick weekend report

The weekend went much as planned. The weather was absolutely perfect for all the things I had on my plate.

Saturday was sunny and very breezy, so I was able to work in the yard in the early morning without being tortured by black flies and mosquitoes. I got lots of weeding done, and planted the last of the seeds I wanted to. Likely too late to be really effective, but better to try than not! I also planted a six pack of zinnias that one of A’s co-workers gave me. She has a green house and is growing flowers to sell. I was hoping she had some tomato plants for sale but she doesn’t. She did suggest where I could get some, though. Maybe this weekend I will track some down. Need to get them in the ground if I am going to. Last year I didn’t even try. The previous year, for the first time here, we had those big ugly caterpillars. I am hoping by not growing them any food last year they went away again. So I am willing to try again.

Anyway, after standing on my head in the yard for a couple of hours, I cleaned up and went off to Whorls and Purls, which was fun and productive as always. Still plugging away on the body of my sweater, and did a few rounds on my sock.

Sunday morning I was back over at the Purple Fleece before 8 to meet a couple of the ladies to head off to Fiber Frolic. We gathered up another along the way, and got there a little after 9.

It was an absolutely perfect day again! Less windy, but sunny and very dry and cool. And the crowds were very small compared to Saturdays in the past, so we were able to walk around and talk to vendors without being crushed. It did feel like there were fewer vendors there, but there were plenty of them, and most of my favorites were there. I only noticed I was missing one in particular.

My budget was just the right size, letting me get a few things here and there, but not going wild and dreaming crazy dreams of future projects.

I got (from the top) some sock yarn from String Theory Hand Dyed on the bluestocking base, which is BFL with a touch of nylon. I usually get her merino cashmere base, but I thought I would branch out. And I need more dark blue socks.

Then some lace weight yarn from PineStar Studio. I love her colors and can never resist a skein of her lace yarn. She also packages up gorgeous kits of yarn for patterns that don’t require full skeins of a few colors, like a linen stitch scarf or a fade style cowl. And this year she had mini skein bundles as well. I could literally spend thousands in her booth. I still haven’t knit up last year’s purchase (a skein of a silk blend destined to be a Reyna shawl) but that didn’t stop me from adding to the collection.

Next is a ball of blended colors on a silk and merino base. Last year I missed a super deal on this stuff by running out of cash before I found her. This year I went there first. 😊 She didn’t have quite the same super deals, but I got 5 ounces of this. It is very similar to some I got in Wisconsin, so I think I will spin them all together, someday, and have enough for something fun like a vest or something.

Last up are some pretty little handmade brass buttons. Not sure what they will go one, but I will think of something. The booth that had these is one I visit every year to drool. It is an LYS shop in the Portland area that I haven’t visited yet, but intend to someday. She always has this lovely camel and silk, yak and silk, merino and silk, blended fiber for sale. It is all gorgeous! I love touching and ogling it. But my wallet has kept me from trying it out. One day I will. I found the button rack and had a hard time choosing among the selections, they were all so beautiful.

So with these purchases, the gate fee, lunch, lemonade, and an ice cream, I came home with 18 cents to get me through the week! Luckily I have a full tank of gas and a pot of chili for lunches. 😉

We finished the day at the festival by watching some sheep shearing before heading for home.

When we dropped of one of the ladies, we got out for a visit at her wonderful house. She has a perfectly sized house on a lake, so it was fun to see the place she is always talking about , and see her fiber den. It is very cozy and lovely, complete with a friendly cat.

On the whole it was an excellent fibery weekend!

How was your weekend? Did it go as planned, or were there surprises?

Here it is Friday again…where does the time go?

Last weekend was lost to the couch, and this week is not a whole lot better – work and home, a bit of spinning or knitting and then early to bed.

But this weekend promises to be better!

Tomorrow I will go to Whorls and Purls, first time in a few weeks.  I can’t wait to see the ladies! Lots has happened to us all, and we need to catch up.

Sunday, some of those same ladies and I are going to Maine Fiber Frolic. I was feeling badly about this on a few levels – not really having spare money… not spending the time at home with A.  I was thinking of skipping W and P this week, but A said I should go to both things.  It seems that she remembered that I asked for the bookcases in the loft to be finished for my birthday.  She is running short on time, and thinks it would be good to have me out of the house two days in a row.

To the point that she even came up with a modest budget for me for the Frolic.

You don’t need to tell me twice!

This week I worked on the handspun sweater and have at last gotten back to where I was before I ripped it all out.  The sleeves are essentially done, though I saved the actual finishing of them until I can try it all on and see how long I really want them.  I think longer than the pattern calls for. So now I am working on the body, and I figure though it will be pretty easy, it is a lot of stockinette, and it will take a while to finish.

I also worked a bit at a few meetings on the sock I started at Niece C the younger’s graduation – I like how it is coming out, though I was thinking it would be striped… my feet are too wide, and so stripes turn into spirals.

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Especially if I keep stopping to spin!  I spun this Romney up this week – in just a couple of hours! It is this month’s roving of the month from Purple Fleece, Mandala. I will ply it tonight or tomorrow morning.  It is much thicker than I usually spin, but I wanted a thick yarn from this colorway so I can make a warm hat.  This one will be a traditional two ply.

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Then I started this spin – the color looks nothing like this shot, it is a browninsh gray.  Polwarth/silk blend, I am going for skinny as I can, also two ply, and I have a complementary bfl silk blend that I want to spin the same way, so I get some seriously good yardage, possibly for a shawl, but maybe, it there is enough, a vest?

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That is it on the crafting front.  Can’t get much done when I was in bed by 7 more than one night this week!

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!)

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!