Archive for the ‘What I love’ Category

More birds   10 comments

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I found this fellow having a snack when I got home from work the other night.  He didn’t seem to bothered by me driving up and getting out of the car, then getting back in the car to fish out the phone and snap a photo.

He only objected slightly when I approached the door and went in, but he came right back. The goldfinch was a slight bit more nervous than the woodpecker, but maybe because he thought the woodpecker would finish off all the suet!

Posted May 18, 2017 by salpal1 in what I am thinking about, What I love

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Not my birthday   25 comments

but this happened.

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Due to schedules and budgets and things, my new spinning wheel arrived a month early.  I just finished waxing it and putting it together last night. I have to adjust the drive train (I need a third hand to do that) and then it will be ready to test out!

I still have copper and gold on the old wheel, so I will finish that up before I start a real spin on this one, but I have some little batts I have been saving to learn the new wheel. Plus Ashford nicely sent a few balls of fluff to practice with. Then I expect to be flying high!

No finishes, no photos (well, maybe one or two photos…)   17 comments

Just a post to catch you up on my week.

It felt really long, as it always does after vacation.  🙂 This was not helped by a meeting on Thursday afternoon that meant I didn’t get home until 7:30 (12 hour day.) Thankfully it was the last such meeting for a while.  And it meant I only had to work half a day on Friday.

Which in turn meant that I was able to get to the Purple Fleece to pick up my NEW SPINNING WHEEL after work.

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It obviously is not ready for spinning, but I have it and now can work on finishing it and putting it together.  The oil/ax I need will be in next week, and then you will see changes.

Meanwhile, I am still working on my copper and gold spin on the old wheel.  I want to finish it up before I start spinning on the new wheel (or I know what will happen!) so in a way, the delay is a good thing.

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I have been knitting away on things all week – cast on my red socks on Monday.  They are my May-June socks, and as soon as I finish my 1898 hat, they will be my mobile project. The 1898 hat should have been done ages ago, but it isn’t.  I was almost done with the band when I ran out of yarn.  So, I ripped it out and started again, only thins time I made the band 4 stitches narrower.  I think it will work fine if I adjust the height on the cap portion, which will be in a contrasting yarn.  So I am almost done with the band again.

Shawl, vest, and sweater are all progressing nicely.  No photos, but someday I will have some for you.

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Saturday was Niece B’s Husson University graduation.  It was scheduled for 10:30, but it was open admission, so we knew we wanted to get there early.  We left home at around 8:30, were there before 9:30 and were able to easily park and get great seats, and save enough for all the family traveling in from all over New England.  In that regard it was a really nice day – got to see her maternal grandparents from CT, her mom from PA, as well as my sister-in-law and nephew B from a couple of hours away in Maine.  And of course, mom, and proud dad, brother C and his SO, D.  The ceremony was pretty traditional, dull speeches, a big long march of graduates, all piped in by a drum and bag pipes corps, which of course got me teary.  Those pipe bands were made for marches. (literally, I guess!)  Afterwards, we all met up for lunch at a local gas station.  Yup, only in Maine is the best place in town at a gas station.  🙂  Well, really a truck stop restaurant well known for it’s great food, and they did not fail us.  Then the work began – emptying out the dorm room and fitting it all in the van.  C was a HUGE help in the hauling, and Grandpa was aces at loading the van.  It was the easiest it has been in the 5 years of moving her in and out that we have been through.  It was still too many stairs, and this is a tip for you if you are looking at schools with your offspring – ask if the dorms have elevators.  Don’t go to a school that doesn’t say yes.  I don’t care how good a school it is, your feet and back will thank you.  We got through all of that and were on the way home by 5.  It was so sad to think it was the last time. I know we will see her again, but I also know there will be no more weekends of her coming over for a good meal, a lot of laundry, and a few games of cribbage.  Now we will have to wait until she finds a job, gets some vacation, and decides she wants to come spend it here.  I expect it will be years.  I know we will see her next year at this time, in PA, when her sister graduates.  Then I can only hope that they move a little bit closer…

Today is so very low key.  We slept late, did some errands, went out for breakfast, and now are home being slugs, and loving it.  Trying not to think about the beautiful sunny day outside and all the yard work that needs doing… just focused on the knitting and spinning.  🙂

 

 

Birds   15 comments

Quick post to say that now I know that spring has arrived – the first hummingbird arrived on Saturday – tired and hungry.  I had the feeder up in time this year – hurrah!  And it is good as nothing delicious for him is blooming yet, though the quince is close and will be in flower by the weekend, I think.

And the phoebes with their pretty songs and bobbing tails are back, wondering how to get into that nesting spot we blocked off three years ago. And one did fly into the glass of the storm door, but he flew off again, and we put the screens up so he won’t do that again – at least on that window.

Also, Sunday night we saw a barred owl snacking on the side of the road not too far from home.  We hope it is our friend Barry whom we thought was killed by a car, but we don’t know for sure (not having been formally introduced).  He hasn’t been back to his tree overlooking the feeders in a while.  I wish he would come back, the squirrels are getting too cheeky.

But the really big news?

Our first ever cardinal!  He stopped by to check out the feeder last night close to dusk.  A spotted him, telling me there was some kind of red bird in the tree.  I said, without looking, “Purple finch?  They have been around all week” and she said no, it was brighter red.  That got me moving!  I have seen a pair of them occasionally a few miles away, and our neighbor said she has them occasionally at her feeder, but we had never seen one.  I don’t know if he will be back, but he was here once, so there is hope.

The weather might still be cold and raw, but the birds are believing that it will warm up.  I am with them.

 

 

Posted May 2, 2017 by salpal1 in What I love

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Sunday   29 comments

Well here it is, Sunday.  Last day of vacation.  Back to work tomorrow.  Sigh.

How’d I do on my list?

Here it is, in case you have forgotten it:

  • find a vest pattern and swatch for it, using the combo spin yarn I made. (in fact I did this before I even finished writing this post.  Galiano is cast on.  I’ll be playing yarn chicken, but I think I can win it) I have been working away on this, and have almost finished the pretty lace edge, which of course does not show in my crazy variegated yarn.  I briefly considered ripping it out and just making it plain, but decided to only do that if I have to rip it out for some other reason.  If I wear a solid color under it (and what else WOULD I wear, with all this activity going on with the yarn?) I am hopeful the lace will show.
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  • do the math after swatching and cast on the vest. (yes, well, I think I will be OK, I got gauge!)
  • cast on the next sweater, teal and black stripes. Did this – twice.  I knit quite a way (this photo s from that cast on) and decided that the neck was too big, so I ripped it out, started again.  I am back to this point again. The green is a little more blue than this.  I really like the color combination, and the yarn is nice and soft.  Too bad it is discontinued.  Sigh.

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  • finish spinning Copper and Gold, and ply it with silk and beads. Um what was I thinking?  I worked on this in some good chunks all week, and still, I am just over the halfway point, I would guess.  Maybe two thirds if you are feeling generous. It is going to be gorgeous.  Someday.

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  • figure out if the green/gray sweater is done or not – it’s blocked, and drying now but the button band remains a concern. It wasn’t done then, but it is now!  I redid the button band, and it is perfect.  Now I have to work on buttons.  I have some that work but I am not sure I like them.  I have some very special ones, but not enough of them.  So I have to ponder it a bit.
  • finish knitting the gray High Country Crescent shawl. DID IT! With a little yarn to spare, but not much.

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  • block the shawl. Let the photo speak for itself.  🙂
  • cast on the moon and sky shawl.  About a minute after I bound off the High Country Cresent, I cast on Moon and Sky.  🙂  I am up into the first lace section now.  Much better choice for this yarn than the previous pattern.

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  • and maybe the chain mail shawl with the Copper and Gold if it is washed and dried in time. Sadly not happening yet!
  • clean out the POOL!!!! I have been working on it, but it isn’t even close for human enjoyment
  • Hook up the filter so I can catch the rain that is sure to come to fill the top 6 inches of said pool. Filter is hooked up, but it didn’t happen before the rain.
  • rake leaves. leaves? what leaves? It rained for most of the week, I don’t rake leaves in the rain.  Nor do I rake soaking wet ones if I can help it.
  • weed the bulb garden. See leaves.  🙂
  • work on clearing out craft room. I did a small amount of this – sorted out yarn stash, boxed up tons of old needles and yarn to mail out to a woman who will be teaching knitting in Africa. I also started a “swap bin” for yarn whole skeins of yarn I won’t use but am willing to haul to Wisconsin in September, in case anyone at the knitting gathering wants it. So I will take this as a win, although the craft room is still in need of more attention
  • remember to go to the doctors appointment Monday.  🙂 I did. It was not worth the effort.
  • renew passport Check
  • get A’s birthday present. It was boring but I got her what she wanted. (Bungee cords and a first aid kit for the truck.  Oh, and her recliner is still on order, it will get here eventually.)
  • Celebrate A’s birthday multiple times with various family members. I got this one in spades!  We had a delicious brunch with Mom and B last Sunday, and yesterday, we celebrated with lunch and cake with a sister, a niece, a great niece and nephew, and a cousin.  All of this and none of it the actual day, which we spent together doing errands, but had a lunch at one of her favorite burger places in Ellsworth.
  • wind up the week at a dinner to honor niece B and her academic achievements in her 5 years at Husson University! Can’t claim this one as done yet, but we are on schedule to head out around 4 to go to this one.

I feel like I had a really nice, relaxing week off, spent so much time with my knitting and spinning, but not much else.  And I like it that way.  I told A if we ever have two weeks of staycation, I might have to retire, it would feel so good!

 

 

Lots of in progress things to share, and one big completion!   30 comments

I know I haven’t written much lately – no excuse except that nothing seems worth mentioning.  I work, I watch basketball, I knit, I spin.

Well, basketball is nearly over – one more game tonight.  It was a thrilling weekend, and while I am happy for Mississippi, I wish they hadn’t beaten my UCONN team.  A says it is good for the women’s game to have a year like this, and I am THRILLED for South Carolina – been following Dawn Staley for a very long time, so glad to see her hard work pay off. But still…I wanted to see the Samuelson girls play against each other, and neither made it to the final game.  The flukey thing is that A and I have these bracket bets, and I beat her on the men’s.  Not the women’s that we actually watch and know something about.  The men’s, where I almost throw darts to determine my picks. So that is $25 more toward my spinning wheel.  And if North Carolina wins tonight, that’s an additional $25, lol  New spinning wheel is happening next month, for sure.  Go Tar Heels!!

So in this last week, I have plugged away on the sweater sleeves.  They are getting wider, so slower.  Can’t wait until we reach the part where they start getting smaller again!

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The High Country Crescent shawl grows even more slowly, rows take an hour or more!  I can’t take it anywhere to work on now, it is too complex and slow.  Which means it won’t grow very fast at all for a while.  The colored threads are the lifelines marking the end of each chart.  I don’t actually need them all, just the last one, but I like to see the progression of the pattern through the charts.

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Socks – they continue so grow, and I struggle with my commitment to only make 6 pairs this year, to keep me from knitting all socks all the time.  This pair isn’t going to make it until May, this is the second sock.  But I will follow the good advice of some fellow Ravelers – I’ll just finish them and then not cast on any more until May.  Hmmm.

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So when I finish the socks, what will be my traveling project?  Well, perhaps this cowl?  It is knit out of ancient stash of Bartlett Yarn and a mystery hand-painted skein, both of these have been in stash for many years.  The pattern is Foolproof, and I was intrigued by the description – no casting on, no picking up stitches, no purling, no binding off, no grafting, no knitting in the round, yet you wind up with a cowl.  It is very clever, and I am loving it.  This is a heavy worsted weight, almost aran, so it grows fast.  It might carry me until May.

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But the big news here in my world is this:

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I finished the big combo spin.  It is my biggest, most adventurous spin to date ( and truly it is not very big nor adventurous).  I spun up three different braids of fiber from Three Waters Farm, and then plied them together.  It took FOREVER.

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But I love it.  I love that from a distance it is all soft brown and green, but when you get close, there are so many other colors in it!

I had hoped to get a DK weight, and then knit a sweater using it with a commercial yarn I have.  But I am not yet a good enough spinner that I can get the yarn I want, so I have 1000 yards of fingering weight loveliness!  I will dig out a vest pattern and make that instead. Just look at the pretty colors.  🙂  And the tiny skein is 86 yards of two ply, using up the leftovers.  The two braids were the brighter of the three, so it really is a different look for this bit.

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Isn’t it pretty?  I can’t stop looking at it.

On to other stuff – tax season is also about to end – hurrah!  Have a crazy week this week, then Monday is the last of our tax clinics.  It went fast, as it always does – February was really scary with the new software, March we were starting to get the hang of it, and could tell when the problem was us and when it was the software acting up.  Now it is April and we just want it to be done.  I hope next year is easier, that the software won’t be as tedious and error prone.  But I won’t think about that until November.  🙂

Between taxes Thursday and Friday, and a late meeting today, I have a day off this week sometime – either Tuesday or Wednesday.  Which is good as I am coming down with nasty cold.  My boss is having oral surgery on Wednesday, and so I am in a different office today, wearing a mask and wiping down everything I touch.  And praying that he doesn’t get this thing, it will really complicate life if he gets sick.  I had planned to have off Wednesday, but I think I might change that to tomorrow so I minimize contact with him.  Whatever day I take, if I feel up to it, I will start my next spin, which involves adding beads to a commercial silk lace weight yarn and plying it with my handspun for some serious bling.  I hope to make a shawl with the resulting yarn. But that is ages away, I know it will take me some time to spin the singles.

Off to work now – hope you have a good week!

Not Spring yet!   22 comments

I took this photo this morning, and of course, posted over on Instagram immediately.

Isn’t it interesting?

It’s the pool.

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The beloved swimming pool.

Frozen.

Solid.

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I reached in and pulled a leaf off the surface, and found this great outline of it left behind.

Hard to believe that in a couple of months I will be in the pool scooping leaves out of it.

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Or that a month or so after that, I will be swimming in it for fun.

Right now it is a 20 foot diameter, 3 foot deep block of ice.

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Hard to believe.

But isn’t it pretty?

Posted March 10, 2017 by salpal1 in what I am thinking about, What I love

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