Archive for the ‘What’s on my wheel’ 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.  🙂

 

 

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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:

before-Jeff-for-web

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!

Summer for more than one day!!!   26 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!

 

 

 

 

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!

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.
  • IMG_1638
  • 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!

 

 

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