Archive for the ‘what I am thinking about making’ Category

Friday list!   12 comments

If you have been following me for a long time, you know I used to work four days a week, and Fridays were my day to be home or out and about on my own.  I used to make such lovely long lists of things I wanted to accomplish.  And sometimes, I was successful!  But then came changes at work, and my schedule got shifted back to the traditional 5 days a week.  No more Friday lists.

This week, however, I am going to be home, so thought I would reprise the Friday list.  I know I am excited! I bet you are, too.  😉

 

Here goes:

Wait for the Cable Guy, the reason I am home and not at work.  He’s due between 8-9 and his work will take about an hour, so technically, I could then go to work, but I decided to take the whole day. because I can.  It is WICKED slow at work. Plus, you know cable guys’ reputations.  🙂  We are SO excited to be getting a cable bundle for TV, internet, and telephone, instead of paying the earth for satellite TV and internet, and traditional land line phone.  Here’s hoping it all lives up to its billing. We will save almost $100 a month with this deal, and I see that as a big plus.

If the weather cooperates (cool, dry, sunshine, and a light breeze would be ideal) I want to get out into the yard and do some trimming and weeding, and maybe plant a plant or something.

Ditto on the weather, I would follow that work with a  dip in the pool, and what I hope is the last good scrubbing it will need. I didn’t get into it last weekend, it was too chilly and showery.  I scrubbed what I could reach, but that isn’t much and the angle isn’t right for a good scrubbing.

Clean the screened porch and the front porch and get them ready for summer.  I understand it is coming, the teasing with a warm day here and there will stop soon, and all days will be warm and lovely. It would be nice to have the snow shovels, sand, and salt stowed away when that happens.

Make a run to the dump with yard trash and house trash.

Get the groceries.

Go to the PO when it is actually open and I can speak to a person.

Take photos of my knitting to show you – I have really made progress on things, I think a photo will prove it. To you and to me.

Start the weekend’s laundry.

 

It’s an ambitious list, if I get to half of it I will be pleased.  The sitting and knitting will come while waiting for the Cable Guy, and while waiting and watching him work.  I think workmen love that, when the homeowner pulls up a chair and watches their every move, don’t you?

I am sort of thinking of doing a really quick bulky spin this week as well – I have some fiber that I have to spin outside (it sheds), and I know I can do it like lightening.  But I should be concentrating on the knitting for the next couple of weeks.  So torn.  🙂

That’s my day!  I will check back in later and let you know how I did.  And maybe have some photos to share.

 

 

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?

 

 

 

 

Weekend plans   18 comments

For a short week, this sure has seemed long!  In part because I have been anticipating the weekend SO MUCH.  I am going to one of my favorite events on Saturday – the Maine Fiber Frolic.  I just love this fair.  It is focused on all things fiber, and all the pretty things that go along with that – beads and buttons and spinning wheels and on and on. Plus really good ice cream. It’s somehow related, I am not arguing.

And I am going with some of the ladies from Whorls and Purls, whom I haven’t seen in a MONTH due to all the other things I did in May, and the fact that Purple Fleece is now closed for a vacation until next week.

A and I had a discussion about money for this event, I was worried I would get some pushback on wanting more cash for more yarn, but she apparently would like a little extra cash for golf this week, so we reached an amicable, profitable decision.  🙂

So my feet are just dancing to get through this week!

As if Saturday wasn’t enough, Sunday we are meeting up with A’s sisters and niece and her family to celebrate Sister S’s and my birthdays with a lunch in Bangor. I love birthday parties, especially when they are for me! And

Somewhere in the middle of all the revelry, I will do some chores and a teeny bit of housework.  A has already promised to do the laundry this weekend, yea!  She is going off to play some golf with my stepdad on Saturday, so not sure how this will work, but I bet it means chores will happen Friday night.

I intend to spin my little heart out on the beaded yarn.  I am pretty sure I am more than half way through, perhaps even two thirds.  As I don’t know what will run out first – yarn or beads, it is sort of hard to predict where the end is, but I think I have less than half the yarn left to go.  I really love the way it is coming out, but I am ready for it to be done.  I am not letting myself use the new spinning wheel until this is done, and it is killing me to see it sitting there.  🙂  I know how easy it would be to not finish this because I get involved in a new spin, so I am holding strong.  Because I want this yarn; I have big plans for it.  🙂

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I am still knitting, but not in any great chunks of time – started the second red sock last week.  And the sweater is finally looking right and slowly growing.  I think I will really like having it next winter.

The shawl and the vest are poking along, not getting lots of attention because of all the evening spinning, but still very much in the forefront of the knitting work.  I have added another row of beads on the shawl and I definitely like these beads for this project.  I wasn’t sure they would stand out enough, but with more of them on it, I can see now that they are fine. This shawl is going to be a really nice one, and the lace pattern is so nice and easy, the repeats are easy to memorize.

The vest is up to the waist, so now I am certain I won’t run out of yarn, I shortened the length enough – yeah!  I like the little pattern on the front band and the lacey part at the hem doesn’t get as lost as I thought it might in the busy fabric.

So all is good on the crafting front!

The pool and yard – well, not so much.  IT KEEPS RAINING!  And it’s COLD. I have managed to get all the leaves out of the pool, and the chemicals in, but it needs me to get in and really scrub it and stir up the winter grime so the filter can do it’s thing. And it is COLD in that pool! And the gardens need attention, the grass needs trimming.  We don’t actually have any lawn but patches of green among the gravel and I like to keep them a little bit short. Not happening yet.

No seeds planted yet, though the garlic and asparagus are doing very well!  Thank the good lord for perennials and fall plantings.

I don’t expect to make much progress on this front this weekend, but it definitely deserves my attention.

And I found out that when my stepbrother comes to Maine for his annual visit, he wants to come over and work in our yard for a day!!!!  I have about 6 years worth of landscaping work that needs doing, so I have to really think about where that day of hard work can best be used.  And I have a couple of weeks to decide.  🙂

That’s about it – have a good weekend – and check back in a few days to see what I got at the Fiber Frolic!

 

 

 

 

What I hope to be up to this week!   14 comments

The long anticipated vacation is here!

The grant is in the mail.

The marketing materials are all printed.

The meeting minutes are typed up and distributed.

The surprise last minutes tasks ( ad redesign, loan application review) are done.

I am exhausted.  🙂

But energized because NOW I can relax into things I want to do.

 

Here’s what I have come up with for a list for this week so far.

  • 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)
  • 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.
  • finish spinning Copper and Gold, and ply it with silk and beads.
  • figure out if the green/gray sweater is done or not – it’s blocked, and drying now but the button band remains a concern.
  • finish knitting the gray High Country Crescent shawl.
  • block the shawl.
  • cast on the moon and sky shawl.
  • and maybe the chain mail shawl with the Copper and Gold if it is washed and dried in time.
  • clean out the POOL!!!!
  • Hook up the filter so I can catch the rain that is sure to come to fill the top 6 inches of said pool.
  • rake leaves.
  • weed the bulb garden.
  • work on clearing out craft room.
  • remember to go to the doctors appointment Monday.  🙂
  • renew passport
  • get A’s birthday present.
  • Celebrate A’s birthday multiple times with various family members.
  • wind up the week at a dinner to honor niece B and her academic achievements in her 5 years at Husson University!

I hope A doesn’t have any plans for me this week, it seems I have a lot of things I want to get done.  🙂

 

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!

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