Frosted Daybreak

The perfect name for this fiber, it has all the colors of a winter sunrise. This is from Three Waters Farm, the fiber is merino, tussah silk, and bamboo blend.

I wasn’t going to buy it, I have enough to spin this year. And a goal to spin more than I acquire, thereby reducing stash. But As I saw the finished skeins being posted on Ravelry, I knew I wanted to spin this fiber, and I knew just how I wanted to spin it.

I wanted to spin a gradient. I wanted to spin a dk weight; I want to be able to use this yarn with some dk weight I got at the Whorls and Purls destash gathering to knit

Alaska . I wanted to do a two ply for a few reasons, mainly because I wanted to control the color runs and because I haven’t mastered chain ply yet.

So how did I do?

All split up by color.

Going on the bobbin, one color at a time.

Soaking after plying:

And completed:

It’s a trifle lighter weight than I intended, but I think it will work just fine.

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Knitting year in review

Thankfully Ravelry does all the bookkeeping for me!

I thought I would complete 18 projects this year. I remember thinking that would be 6 pairs of sox, three sweaters and an assortment of hats and shawls.

I actually finished 27 knit projects!

The sweaters

Really did three! Of course, I thought it would be three for me, but babies need sweaters, too.

(I am sure I have a photo of the last one somewhere, but can’t find it now!)

Socks:

Socks were not flying off the needles as they have in the past.

Again with the baby booties. 😉

Then shawls – there some epic ones finished!

And an amazing one a year in progress… maybe I will finish it in 2019!

Lots of scarves. I dislike knitting scarves, they go on forever! But I did several this year.

And cowls… lots of them! Don’t have photos of them all, even!

Hats are another category that I did lots of but didn’t get photos of them all:

And what do I dislike making even more than scarves? Mittens! So you know these were a work of love!

And a pair of mitts – not so disliked, but only made one pair this year.

Then there were a few special projects:

A group project, a blanket for a dear woman going through a rough time. I knit a few squares, but was especially proud of this one.

It’s sideways, don’t know why!

And some ornaments for Christmas this year:

That pretty well covers the projects.

Now, for the part that surprises me. Of these, only ten remain in my possession. So many knits have gone out into the world, finding new homes with people I love.

Next year’s challenge is set at 25, but I might up it to 30 to give myself a stretch. I still want to do three sweaters… one is on the needles, another is in my head. And socks are always on the needles, but who knows what else will happen?

I’ll do a spinning update in another post. I think it will surprise you!

Another weekend has come and gone

I do wish they would hang around longer.  🙂

It was mostly a nice one, as weekends go.

A and I ventured out despite the nasty weather forecast to visit her last aunt at a nursing home in Augusta.  It was our first time there, and bittersweet.

The staff seems nice, and fun and attentive, but there were so many people just parked in their wheelchairs… and the smell when we walked in? Ugh.

Aunt N didn’t have a clue who we were, but she was so glad to have visitors.  We chatted endlessly about the same three things “Is it nice out, dear?”  “What’s the date to day?  October 27? Almost November!” “We used to skate all winter long.  They flooded the athletic field at the high school. My parents gave us memberships each Christmas so we could skate as much as we wanted.  We loved to skate.  We were all quite good.  My parents would get us skates when we were good enough, it was a real treat to get new skates.”

We took her to a quieter room and broke out the coloring books and crayons. We used to bring them with us to visit her sister, A’s mom, when she was in the memory unit.  Where A’s Mom would color with us for hours, Aunt N was having none of it.  She looked very confused at the thought and finally said her hands were too cold today.  We checked, they were warm and toasty.  So, no coloring.  She seemed unhappy to be in the quieter room, so we went back to the crowded hallway. After an hour or so, we left so she could have her regular lunch and schedule back.  We are pretty sure she had no clue that we left.

She did still show a glimmer of herself, as we were approached by a wandering woman in a wheelchair who told us “MOVE!”, Aunt N said “I think she just does it for the A-T-T-E-N-T-I-O-N, dear.  In fact, I am sure of it.”

So while we were so sad to see her there in that stage of life, we were very glad we went, and that she is still herself, she is still a fun loving woman with a twinkle in her eye.  We know she was told that her three remaining siblings died this year, but we could also tell that she did not remember that.  When she spoke of them, it was about times long past.  And now that the ice is broken, I think A will stop by there when she is traveling through Augusta, as she used to pop in to visit her at her house when she was in the area. Aunt N is the last of 10, and was the one who was closest to A’s mom.  When we lose her, it will be a very hard day for A.

After we left there, we also had lunch, at Red Robin in Augusta, before heading home.  We had planned to stop at the big grocery store on the way home, but the weather was being nasty by then: snow, sleet, and rain, depending on how high the hill was, so we just went to the usual smaller grocery store in Bucksport.  I got lots of sock knitting done before we got home, finished the heel and started up the leg.

Once home, we puttered a bit and settled down to watch a little TV while I knit.  That’s pretty much how Sunday went, too.  I did work on my sewing in the craft room – the skirt just needs a hem!  I think it will be too short for me, but it fits – yippee!  That means I can make more from this pattern.  It is bias cut, and I want to make it longer – help – geometry!  How wide does the fabric have to be to get the triangle wide enough for the skirt and long enough for the length? And how many yards do I need?  Heavens.  On the dress, I didn’t make much headway, but I did get started making my bias tape – I cut up a fat quarter, and sewed all the strips together.  It made a huge length!  I am going to love using this stuff.  🙂 It just needs ironing.  I need to insert the sleeves on the dress and see what happens then.  I think they will be too snug, but that’s what this is all about, getting the pattern just right.

I did lots of knitting, too –

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This is J’s scarf – finished the first skein, which is the smaller of the two.  It is just about 30 inches long now, so I think it will be long enough when done.  He said he wanted a long one. I will use all the yarn and hope it is long enough.  This yarn is a dream to use, I am loving it!  It looks and feels soft as velvet!  It is blue-faced Leicester and silk blend.  I have another braid of the same blend in my stash (different color) and am really looking forward to making something lovely with it.

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My Durrow square looks like all the other squares did at this point – but it is growing, I did several rows on it this weekend. I am back in love with this project.

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And Dangling Conversation is growing like a weed – it is going to be a large shawl when done, because I am not stopping until I am pretty well out of yarn – unless I decide to do a matching hat and mitts. I would only do that if the shawl grew way too big.  Which it might.  But I love the way the colors are playing and the little bits of lace between the color changes looks so nice!  Not sure what I will do with this one, so NOT my colors.  I might see if my sister wants it, she looks prettier in these colors than I do.

That was my weekend!

 

Morning, Glory!

A bit late, I planted several different kinds of morning glories at the base of two trellises on either side of the screen porch. The seeds to the west have been growing gangbusters, but no sign of flowers until after Labor Day. Now they bloom more each day! I love the bright colors and am pleasantly surprised each day when something new blooms!

Today was twin day, apparently!

The ones to the east have not done so well. The soil I added is the same, but there is likely less of it there. Water is the same. Less light, though not by much in the summer, they get full light until the sun crosses over head. The west side doesn’t get any until then.

But today, that struggling little fellow showed that he has some gumption after all!

And then there is this valiant soul. This garden bed hasn’t been tended in at least two, but more likely three, years. Every year a volunteer comes along to make me glad I didn’t weed the bed!

I spotted a few more plants in there, if I remember, I will collect some seeds later on and put them where I want them next year.

And it seems I might gave to rethink my east side trellis… I could put it on the west side and grow more there. Or give the sweet peas their own space, they are really struggling to grow among all the glory. But they are also persevering, and may yet bloom! Then my Instagram feed will be full of them i stead of these cheerful glories. 🤗

The big vacation!

I know I have been absent for a while – but this should make it up to you!

As you know, A and I were working hard to prepare for the visit from three Ravelry friends.  Well, that visit has come and gone, and what fun we had!  The ladies arrived last week, and we got down to business right away!  I took the first two to arrive on a quick tour of some things they wanted to see in Bangor, specifically, the Duck of Justice a the Bangor Police Department

(you have to follow Bangor PD on face Book to understand why this is even a thing) and to see Stephen King’s house, with it’s fabulous gates.  We managed both of those things, and they back to the airport to pick up the third person.  By the time we were all together, they were checked into their motel for the night and back at our house for supper, it was way past my bedtime!  But I managed to stay awake, and we did a little bit of knitting, casting on our Friends of Knitting Sarah KAL shawl – the second annual such KAL.  This year we are knitting Down the Road and Back Again.  As usual, the colors we all chose vary widely.  Mine is fairly subdued compared to theirs, but that is what makes it fun!

The next morning we were off to Deer Isle, to Haystack for the long weekend.  We attended the Knit Maine 2018 retreat, put on by Knitting and Yoga Adventures.  The lineup of teachers was pretty incredible! I wound up taking 4 classes from Patty Lyons and 2 from Norah Gaughan.  Not that the other teachers weren’t great, but these were offering things I wanted to learn more about.They each are amazing, the things they know how to do!  I picked up lots of tips and new techniques, and learned more about how to design and alter sweater patterns so that sweaters will actually fit.  Always a good thing.

The 4 of us shared one small cabin, which basically was beds and a bathroom, so we weren’t in it too much.  Haystack is a pretty amazing place, but not exactly accessible!

And there aren’t too many common areas to gather and just knit… unless you don’t mind sitting on the floor.  Which we did mind.  So that part wasn’t great.  But as the schedule was packed full and our brains were tired, we survived that.

The food, from my view point, was FANTASTIC! There was lots of locally sourced food, it was all well prepared and there was plenty of it.

I thought that the weekend delivered all that it promised, but I relearned something about myself that will likely keep me from attending future events that are set up like this.  I need down time, to absorb what I have learned, and just unwind.  This weekend was full speed ahead at all times.  After a full day of classes, there was an evening program.  I only went to one, preferring to just have some peace and quiet after the long day.  the only time I knit was early in the morning, as I am an early riser, and my cabin mates were not, I headed up to the dining hall early every morning and sat with the other early risers and had coffee and knit.  This was way less knitting time than I am used to in a day, which sure felt funny at a knitting retreat!

Sunday afternoon we left there and got the ladies settled into their Air Bnb in Penobscot.  That house is quite adorable, an felt even luxurious after the spartan quarters at Haystack!

We had supper in Castine, and then in the morning I picked them up and took them shopping for the day.  We started at the Purple Fleece – OF COURSE!  Deb so nicely opened up on her day off for us.  From there we went to Belfast to Heavenly Yarns, which was fun as she stocks lots of Maine dyed and Maine raised yarns and fibers. After that it was lunch at Nautilus, then a bit more Main Street shopping before we headed down Route 1 toward Rockland, with a nice stop at Swan’s Island Blanket.  I have driven by it literally hundreds of times, but never stopped before.  It is a lovely place, and has wonderful products.  Yarn and blankets were purchased, and then we went on to Mom’s house for an hour or so  of knitting and chatting before heading home.  We were all tired so we stopped at the grocery store and got some simple food for supper at home.

Tuesday we were treated to heavy rain from “Gordon” though at that point everyone was only talking about “Florence” (Maine is really off the weather map as far as forecasters are concerned) so our plan to go to Acadia and Bar Harbor was delayed and truncated.  We did go in the afternoon to take a spin around park loop and get photos of rain, fog, rocks, and trees.

On the way back we stopped to visit with one of the women who went with us to Wisconsin Sheep and Wool last year, and who now lives in Maine, so she is a Whorler and Purler also.  Then out for our “last supper” at Glenn’s Place in Bucksport.

Wednesday they had to clear out of their house by 11, and I invited the Whorls and Purls ladies over for a knitting party, so the last day was fun and festive and had knitting in it, as it should.

A’s sisters and brother in law also came over, as sadly, they all attended a family funeral that morning.  So we had a houseful!

Then it was off to the airport, and they all got out safely ahead of “Florence.”  A and I came home, had party snacks for supper and fell into bed.  I slept a solid 12 hours!

I had so much fun with these ladies, and loved having them visit me here in Maine.

I hope that they also had a good time.  I do wish they could have stayed longer, there is so much more to see – and we could have done it at a slower pace, so we weren’t; all exhausted at the end of it.  But I think we made good use of the time that we had together.

Now I have one day off, maybe two, depending on how much work I can get done remotely here today.  Saturday I have to attend a big fundraising event that we hold each year, but then Sunday is completely free of obligations – might be a pajama day!