Archive for the ‘What’s on my needles’ Category

Now THIS will be a weekend!   18 comments

After working so hard last Saturday that it was hard to move on Sunday but we did, we are both looking forward to this weekend.  The weather, of course, having been beautiful all week won’t be this weekend, but that is OK.

A plans to do her annual strawberry jam making extravaganza.  I leave her to it. I prefer jelly (all those seeds get in my teeth) and I don’t eat a lot of jelly, so it is far easier if I just get out of the way and let her make jam. That will take her all weekend, and she will do quarts and quarts of berries.  Fresh strawberries and some frozen raspberries. Yum.

While she is doing that, I plan to continue the yard work, but at a slower pace.  I picked up a lot of mulch, and need more.  I also have to haul dirt in the wagon from the front of the house to the back where I was working, and put that down, then mulch that.  On the advice of a good friend, I am going to put some newspaper down between soil and mulch, to help keep the weeds down until I plant there – likely next year. I probably won’t get to it this weekend, but I need to keep weeding where J made such a good start, so I can put soil and mulch on the rest of the front garden.  And yes, it occurred to me to not weed it, but put newspaper there as well.  Right now that is not my plan, but it might become my plan if the work is too slow and back breaking.

But that is for mornings only.  Saturday I intend to go to Whorls and Purls, which I missed last week.  We are all spinning for an unofficial Tour de Fleece.  But I expect I will be close to plying at that point, and if so, I won’t bring my spinning over, I will just bring knitting.  I have enough of that to manage to keep me busy! The wheel I ply on is all set up in the craft room, and I don’t feel like hauling it up and down stairs, it is rather bulky.  If I am still working on that third bobbin (or by miracle have already plyed and so am ready to start again) I will bring my new small wheel and some fiber and work on that.

Sunday mid-day is a Ravelry gathering in my town!  Woot Woot!  I plan to bring knitting to that, as well as something for the potluck lunch.  That will be fun, even if I see half the people on Saturday.  🙂

Monday there is a potluck lunch thing at work, so Sunday evening will be spent fixing something for that.  I am thinking a tossed salad, but not sure.  Might do my mini salad bar so people can have what they want in their salad and not what they don’t.

I have been doing well on the Whole 30 this month, and Tuesday is day 30!!!! I plan to eat all the things on Wednesday.    Wish some of these potlucks were next weekend.  🙂

I promised you some more photos of the yard work we got done – here you go!

Here’s what mom got done, and another shot of it after I mulched tonight. This was blackberry thicket burying the roses, and she trimmed the trees so we can walk around the deck.

Here is a photo of what J did, with mulch added.

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And while they were doing that, i dug out this bed. Still have to add soil and mulch, and some sort of edging.

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And because you know I can’t stand to leave without a little fiber photo or two, here is my sock, coming along.  The flash of pink is the waste yarn where the heel will go, the socks are just blue.

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And here is a spinning update – this is bobbin two, nearly full

IMG_1846Which, if you recall, gets plyed with this:

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and an as yet unspun third ply.

 

It should be interesting.  🙂

 

 

what weekend?   22 comments

This weekend flew by.  A said to me a few minutes ago “well, this must have been the shortest weekend on record.”

I guess that is what happens when you work a perfectly crazy week, and then work hard on the weekend as well. That is what she did.

Saturday my step brother J came over, bringing along with him Mom and B, all geared up to work in the yard.  I still have more after photos to take, but the transformation is amazing.  Of course, there is much more work to be done, but what has been done gives me hope and energy to carry on.

Here is a little taste:

Front of house before J spent 6 or 7 hours at hard labor:

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and after:

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there is still more edging to be done, and weeding, and dirt added, then everything mulched, but I feel like I can do that in spurts this summer.

Mom worked on this:

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And I need to get a better after photo, her work was equally impressive, but hard to photograph.

I worked on this:

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and was too tired to walk back there to get a photograph, but I will do that for you soon. I thought we were moving a bush back there, but we didn’t, so I will amend the soil and mulch it to keep the weeds down.  Next year I will put flowers in there.

While we did all of that, A and B got our old lawnmower repaired and running so we could give that to a family member  who just got a new house with tons of lawn.  Our goal is to have NO lawn, so we don’t need it.  B also helped set all that edging and showed me how to do it so I can finish the job.

By three, mom and I were beat, so we went for a swim, A and B settled in the living room to cool off and we all waited for J to cry uncle, which he finally did just before 5.  Here he is all cleaned up and ready to go for his lobster roll supper.  He doesn’t even look tired! But he looks proud!  The amazing thing is that he wants to come back next summer and do this for two days!

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In other news:

This weekend saw the start of the Tour de Fleece – fiber’s answer to the Tour d France.  I was all ready and waiting weeks ago. Fiber prepped, bobbins empty.  Let’s go!

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I started early Saturday morning before everyone arrived, and did some spinning after they left.

 

Here’s where I was at the end of Day 1:

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This is going to be a sweater quantity and then some – just tons of yarn in a wild medley of blues, greens and purples with some pinks thrown in.

Today I spun in the morning again, and after a little road trip we took.  I finished the day looking like this.  (Sorry I had to use a flash in the low light.

Finished filling the first bobbin, then started the second one, which has very little pink but lots of aqua, green and blue with some purple.

I expect progress will slow down now because I do have to go to work tomorrow  Sigh.

Which gets us right back to where we started.  this was a very short weekend, and had a secret road trip in it that I can’t share with you yet. Soon, though, soon.

So tomorrow is work, but then we get a day off for the 4th.  we will head over to Moms, J wants to cook us a nice holiday meal.  That’s right, his other great love is cooking.  He really might be the perfect houseguest.  I know Mom loves having him come stay for a few weeks each summer.  🙂

And in case you are wondering abut the knitting.  Though I tried, nothing got finished before Saturday, except those red socks!  The vest did grow a lot, and I started the next pair of socks, crazy blue ones. Sorry about the bad phone shot, I will get you a better one soon.

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I hope you had a nice weekend that seemed longer to you!

How I did with that list   18 comments

It’s evening and I am done accomplishing things for today.  Thought I would check the list and see how I did.  🙂

Wait for the Cable Guy.

He was on time! It really only took about an hour and half and we are all hooked up with lightening fast internet, sharp and clear TV, and the phone works.

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.

The weather did not cooperate.  I trimmed a tiny amount of grass.

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.

Ditto.  Though, after the rain stopped, I did get in a scrub the pool It was a little chilly but I am glad to be getting this chore done before it is really hot. It still might need one more scrubbing, but I see loads of progress here.

Clean the screened porch and the front porch and get them ready for summer. 

Well, I didn’t really do this, though I did put the snow shovels away, and I moved one big plant out onto the screened porch.

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

I did this!  Took a truck load of old wood scraps and pallets to the dump.  Yeah! This is why I wanted the truck, not sure if A feels the same way.  🙂

Get the groceries.

Check. Store wasn’t as crowded as I expected, must have been the rain!

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

I could have done this but I forgot.  Tomorrow.

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.

I did this one!  See below.

Start the weekend’s laundry.

Started and nearly finished.  Just one more load to go.  Not only that, but I ironed some skirts and shirts!  It’s the only trouble with summer – cotton and linen need more ironing than do knits…

Here’s the knitting:

Not great shots, but proof that knitting is happening.  🙂

Here’s my supervisor enjoying the very basic porch and it’s one plant

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And some of the yard work I did not do – this bush needs clearing out underneath and a bit of pruning, it has lovely flowered branches leaning against the house.

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But I do love those flowers! And so do the bumble bees and hummingbirds!

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I feel like I did pretty well.  Not much housework got done, but had to leave SOMETHING for A to do tomorrow while I am at knitting!

And that reminds me, I also baked a little treat to take along to knitting tomorrow.  And now I am going to bed, I am exhausted!

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.  🙂

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!

 

 

 

 

Looking forward and backward   23 comments

Made it through another weekend of travel.  This one was different, as I warned you it would be – no yarn purchases.  But lots of knitting, thanks to my sister being willing to be the driver!

Saturday morning I was up and out of the house by 4:30, drove down to Portland, and together we left at 7:30 for Connecticut.  We must have done something very good, because the traffic gods blessed us, and we made it to my aunt and uncles in record time, arriving RIGHT on the dot of  11.  We had a nice visit with them, then the two of us headed down into the town we first lived, had a picnic on the village green.  It was SO NICE!  Of course it looks the same but different from what we remember.  It’s smaller and the trees are bigger.  But the beautiful old houses and churches look the same.

From there we drove past our old house (also smaller with bigger trees) and then on to visit with Dad and Stepmom S.  We stayed for a couple of hours, chatting, looking at old yearbooks, and then spent quite a time out in their yard – they have loads of bird feeders and an amazing variety of birds, which keep them and their indoor cats well entertained.

Then it was back on the road by 4, and home to my sister’s before 8, where we relaxed with delicious pizza – delivered!  Oh, the good part of living in a city!

I was wide awake, so though they offered me a bed for the night, I headed home.  I have had too many days away from home, between traveling and working every day.  Got home by 11:30 and when I tell you I fell into bed and asleep and didn’t open my eyes for a solid 8 hours, I am not kidding.

And I never moved out of low gear Sunday.  I did start a load of laundry (dear A finished it for me) and I went to the dump and the hardware store, but other than that I just sat and knit.

Well, knit and ripped out. I got to a point where I could try on the green and black striped sweater, and it just wasn’t right.  The neck opening was too large, and the front of the sweater too big.  So, I took good notes on my gauge, then ripped it all out, did loads of math, gave up the idea of the boat neck and cast on a crew neck sweater.  I did like the width of the stripes, so now I really think I am good to go on this one. No photo now, it looks just like the last time I started it.  🙂

I worked a lot on my socks on Saturday, so I ignored them Sunday, just worked on the Moon and Sky shawl, got past the first beaded row.  The beads on this are going to be pretty subtle, I think.  They are matte finish and close in color to one of the colors in the yarn.  But they do glow a bit in the right light, so I think when they whole is complete, they will be awfully pretty.

I did a couple of rows on the handspun vest as well, but no one except me would notice.  fingering weight takes a long time to show effort!  But I still love it and want to have it ready in the fall, so it stays in rotation.  🙂

I didn’t do any spinning, I was just too tired to move the wheel into position, it seemed like too much effort.  I’ll work on that this week, I promise! Last week, I did cake up the yarn I will be plying that with, so I am ready for plying should I ever finish spinning.

This week will be long, with the promise of a holiday weekend at the end!  Before Saturday I want to get the pool water tested so I can get the PH right, and the stabilizer and chlorine in – then I can get in and get the last of the leaves from the middle.  I can’t reach them from the edges.

I also want to work on that spin and get it off my wheel so I can clean the old wheel and move it upstairs, and give attention to the new wheel!  And I want to finish my May sock, so I am ready for June when it arrives (so soon!)

And my sister and I are both inspired to do some cleaning and clearing, so I will once again put that on my list, to start weeding out the craft room and organizing the yarn and fabric.  It won’t happen in one session or one week or maybe one month, but every bit helps.

This weekend I am on for ALL of the household chores and some serious catering to A’s wishes as she has been the solo person two weekends in a row.  Good thing I have three days, because I also want to get some seed sin the ground, and some yardwork done.

I might need a 30 day weekend to do all I would like to do and that needs doing.

 

 

 

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