Sunday Sunday   24 comments

No news here on the weather front – it’s cold.  There is a load of snow out there that needs cleaning up.  We are holding out for tomorrow when it might be warmer.  And of course, it will snow tomorrow, but not much.  Not like the foot plus we got last week. On top of the Christmas foot we got. On top of the messy icy thing we got before Christmas.

Where there is news – exciting time at work last week – we had a small fire – got to evacuate and eventually go home.  Lovely!  I used the time to knit. A little bit of damage to the building, especially where they had to chop a hole in the side to be sure the fire wasn’t spreading in the wall.  It was out. No panic, all our fire drills worked well.  I did leave my car keys in the building as I wasn’t in my office when the alarm was sounded, but that worked out well.

Between that and a half day off for snow, it was a very short work week last week.  I used my home time wisely, and got some spinning done, started Durrow, and my Friends of Knitting Sarah KAL, a Hitofude sweater.  That’s two big projects on my needles, but the sweater should go fairly fast.  The Durrow will be slow going, I can tell, but it will be worth doing.  And the spinning – I am so close to done on that spinning project, I can taste it.  I thought I was on my last bobbins, but I think I will have a small amount left over to do, but that should go very fast, too.

Today I am supposed to be working on my test for taxes, but I can’t seem to log into the practice lab, so can’t work the problems.  UGH.  I will assume it is because I tried too many times with an error in the password, and so got locked out.  I’ll try again in a little while. Very frustrating!

There really is not much else new around here this week – but I will leave you with some photos so you feel like it was worth the stop over.  🙂

Here are the last two finishes of 2017 – a test hat and a Chain Mail shawl from my beaded handspun:

Spinning in progress:

New Year Cast ons:

Durrow on the left, Hitofude on the right.

and lastly, some special New Years visitors. And a big snow pile where the garden is.

Happy New Year!

Advertisements

Fiber plans for 2018   32 comments

So many things to jump on board with at this time of year, and they all seem interesting. There’s 9 in 2018, and spin 15 minutes a day and all sorts of fun things to build community and skills and productivity.

It’s almost overwhelming, all the things that sound interesting and fun. But if I try them all it will become definitely overwhelming and a chore.

So, here’s what I plan to do this year, only joining what I have already committed to, unless something comes along that perfectly hits what I am already planning.:

  • Knit Hitofude as part of a KAL we are doing with the Friends of Knitting Sarah. It starts today and I am ready to roll! I am using some yarn I got in Wisconsin.
  • Knit Dhurrow, a challenging shawl project, in yarn Debbie at the Purple Fleece dyed just for me.
  • Finish the big purple spin and knit a sweater from it. I am thinking something simple in design as the yarn is busy.
  • Knit ornaments and hats throughout the year so that getting ready for that one craft fair isn’t so crazy. And to help keep the community caring pile of hats in Stockton Springs busy and active.
  • Knit a shawl using the lovely black and gray yarn from Wisconsin
  • Knit a sock a month ON AVERAGE. I almost did that this year and the speed was about right. I have enough sock yarn in stash to do this.
  • Knit something using my October challenge yarn to finish out the “makers gonna make” challenge at the Purple Fleece, I know what it will be, but it is a secret until reveal day, in April or May.
  • Work on a plan for the lovely Shetland lace-weight yarn Mom brought me from her trip this fall.
  • Keep spinning! I have a small mountain of fiber from which to choose, and a year of roving of the month coming my way!

It seems I have plenty to do without joining in much. And I also seem to have most of the yarn I need to do it. The only yarn I would need to buy for this plan might be more basic white for the ornaments. All else is in house already.

Can I really knit from stash all year and not buy more yarn? Highly unlikely, but I can try!

2017 Review – as it relates to fiber   25 comments

Lately it seems many of the bloggers I follow are having a reflective look back at what they have and haven’t accomplished. It made me stop and think and wonder what I did this year.

It seems I knit a lot.

According to my Ravelry page, these were all finished in 2017.  And I happen to know there were a few more ornaments knit.  And hats.  🙂

Then there was spinning:

And I am still working on that last of that big purple spin on the bottom!  Was hoping to have it done in 2017, but time is running out!  I also spun 4 ounces of secret challenge yarn that I can’t share until mid-January.

I did some traveling and met some amazing ladies in Wisconsin. Yes this is fiber related, as I am sure they will tell you! We all connected through Ravelry and built the trip around the Wisconsin Sheep and Wool Festival. Except Mom. I already knew Mom.

img_2055

and saw some amazing sights along the way (OK, maybe not so fiber related, but there was knitting!)

and did some yarn dying

whole-batch-for-web

It was a pretty busy year and loads of fun!

Posted December 31, 2017 by salpal1 in how I spent my day, how it came out

Tagged with , , , , ,

Holiday wrap up   35 comments

Well, that was fun!

I haven’t written a post about Christmas yet, because I was SO tired after the crazy lead up to it, and then the big day,  I took a few days to rest and relax and digest.

I managed to get all the knitting done, and lots of cards (but not all – I have a half dozen or so still to send out, just waiting for the glitter to dry).

We got all the presents wrapped and delivered.  It was the delivery bit that was more complicated than expected!

But before we get to that…

 

I have been on vacation since last Wednesday at close of day.  Thank goodness – I don’t know how I would have found the time to work!

Thursday I drove down t Boston to meet up with a Raveler friend from the Knitting Sarah group.  Bonnie had been hoping to go to our in person gathering in September, but for a variety of reasons, was not able to make it.  However!  She had a long vacation planned to visit her sister in the Boston area.  When I heard that, I thought “I can go to Boston…” so I asked her how she felt about it, and she was willing.  So nice and early Thursday I hopped in my trusty Prius and headed south.  I got to her sister’s house easily, and immediately felt at home, like I was visiting an old friend.  Which of course, I was, right?  We chatted a bit and she showed me IN PERSON the things she was working on – how nice to really see and touch, not wonder if the monitor was showing the right colors.  🙂 Then we went off to a yarn store in Natick, the Iron Horse.  It is a small shop, but had a nice selection of yarns and needles and the like.  I was trying VERY hard to be good, but did have to buy a braid of malabrigo nube that had my name on it.  they had lots of other yarn I could easily have walked out with if I weren’t trying so hard to not spend money.  Why is money always an issue?

When we finished there, we asked some of the ladies about where they recommended for lunch.  They pointed us across the street to a very nice sandwich place.  We sat and ate lunch and chatted and chatted for what seemed like 2 minutes but of course was much longer.  Then I dropped her back at her sisters and headed north again.  With the he exception of some traffic going northbound, it was a painless road trip, and a whole lot of fun in between long bouts of driving.  I made it there and back in 13 hours!

Friday began the Christmas prep in earnest cards going out late, packages being mailed late, knitting happening at a furious pace. And a trip to Bangor to get the cars serviced, which included a meal at Ruby Tuesday while we waited for them.

The weather was lousy, rainy, and snowy, and icy, but I skated over to Whorls and Purls on Saturday afternoon.  I was going to be knitting, I might as well be with fellow knitters, right?  One other hardy soul showed up, so the three of us (Deb just has to slide across her yard to open up) had a nice visit and more knitting on the dreaded legwarmers happened.

Sunday I had planned to stay inside and just knit like a fiend, but sister-in-law L called up and invited us over to see her and her “boys” who were home for the holidays.  D from Denver and Z and his wife, EY, from Copenhagen.  We could NOT miss this, so I brought my knitting along,  and A brought a big selection of cookies she has been stockpiling for them, and off we went.  We had such a nice visit – ate a great lunch, played many hands of Rummikube and caught up on what everyone is up to.  And I knit.  those leg warmers passed ten inches!

Old Man Winter wasn’t through with us yet – as predicted, we got a lovely nor’easter on Christmas Day.  A knew there was no point in suggesting we stay home.  Christmas means mom’s house, come hell, high water, or big snow storm.  We got up earlier than we would have preferred, opened our presents to each other, and hit the road.  It was snowing, but hadn’t been for long, so we had no trouble getting there.  My sister had come over the night before, as she has a longer trip.  Apparently, she left a note for Santa, and he was able to find niece E at Gram’s house instead of at home. Brother C and his girl D arrived late morning, but Brother N and his family opted to stay home.  We missed them, but having five fewer people meant there was much less chaos and more capacity for meaningful conversation.  Mom made a delicious meal, and we all got presents galore.  (Mom dragged yarn and a book all the way home from Scotland for me!  Wow!)  We had a fun time with the Yankee Swap – A wound up with a submersion blender, and I got a set of 8 antique blue glasses. I kept knitting on those legwarmers, and around 2, I was able to cast them off and hand them over to the eagerly waiting niece.  No photos of them, I am sorry, but trust me they were long, sparkly, and brightly colored. It was a lovely day all around, and for the most part we ignored the weather happening outside.  But by 3 A was getting antsy to head for home while there was a little daylight.  We shoveled off the car, thinking it wasn’t much snow – maybe three or four inches, and headed up and around Penobscot Bay.  A couple of hours of slow driving later, we drove up our lane, to discover that our driveway was not yet plowed.  A put that Prius into low gear and blasted up the rise into the snow covered driveway.  She made it about halfway, before the Prius informed us she is not a snow plow.  We gave it a couple of tries, but no good, so we walked the last hundred feet up to the house.  And that is when we discovered that we got a whole lot more snow than Mom did.  No wonder the Prius couldn’t plow through it.  It was a good 8 or 10 inches deep!

We made it home safely and were glad to get into our warm home and play with our cats.  🙂

The next day, with the help of our great plow guy, we were able to get the car free and the driveway cleared.

Off we went to Ellsworth to the bank and out for a pizza “lupper” before stopping into exchange presents with some neighbors on the way back home.

Wednesday was the first day in a week that I did not budge from the house.  It was a good choice, because it was the first day of several below zero days!  A good one to sit before the fire and knit and plan knitting!  I swatched some of my Wisconsin yarn for a sweater – hitofude – that I will cast on 1/1/18 for a Knitting Sarah KAL.  Thrilled to find that the yarn works fine for it, as long as I do my usual, down one needle size.  I also worked on the test knit hat I am still working on.  I think I have found a needle size that will work just fine with that.  Hope so!  I don’t really want to knit it again.

I knit up the last ornament of 2017 for my Yankee Swap with A’s family, sometime this weekend.  I think I cleared the decks enough that I can spin!!

Today I also did not budge, but I was more of a puttering person today than a sit in front of the fire and knit person.  Tomorrow I might be warm and rested enough to actually go outside.  The temps will still be below zero, but the wind is supposed to abate, so it might not feel like a suicide mission to go out to the car.  🙂

 

So how was your week?

A lovely pre-holiday weekend behind us and a busy fun week ahead   35 comments

A and I are trying to do a lower key Christmas this year, since our finances are different. Not bad, just not as reliable in a steady stream as previously.  But what that means?  We aren’t really sure.  A wanted a monitor and keyboard, which are for her business, so are tax deductible.  Not a Christmas gift, but she knows they took a chunk out of the Christmas budget, so she won’t tell me what else she wants.  I asked for an ott light, and she got it, then saw me struggling to make cards in the dimness, and gave it to me then.  So Christmas morning will have little under the tree, I think!

Both of our families do Yankee Swaps, and we are making things for those, so that is easy.

The end result is NOT MUCH SHOPPING!

LOTS OF CRAFTING AND BAKING!

More focus on visiting with people!

This weekend was all of that – Saturday morning we got our tree and wreath, and then A took them home while I went over to Whorls and Purls for knitting.  I was working on the legwarmers, which are not as awful as I had dreaded. Knitting with two fingering weight yarns held together goes ever so much faster than one fingering weight.  And makes a fun garment, too. You can’t see it here, but the lighter yarn has sparkles in it. Ooh la la!

I even worked on my chain mail shawl – probably about half way done with that.  And I wound the yarn for a sweater I will start in January.  It was productive, but it also was fun to sit and knit with the ladies again.

When I got home we got the tree up and into it’s stand.  We will decorate it sometime.  Maybe.  There have been years where all we did was put on the lights, then add any ornaments we were given.  This year, though, A has asked if we could really decorate it.  So, we will.

Sunday we had brunch out with A’s nephew and family from PA, and her niece and two “children” who are more local.  It was so much fun!  All the great nephews and niece are in college now, and growing up so nicely! The niece and nephew (who are close in age to us) are fun and interesting people, so it was a great meal.  From there we went grocery shopping since the big store was right in the same parking lot, and then home again to make cards, bake cookies, and knit.

I will get the holiday knitting done on  time, but maybe not the cards, unless I change up how I am doing them. But I really like how they are coming out, so I am just not sure about this.

A made three different kinds of cookies this weekend.  Some to keep and some to give, and she plans more before the week is through.  WOW!  We diet for sure on the first of the year.  But in the meantime, we are enjoying it all very much!

This week is a short one for me – I am off after work on Wednesday.  I have a lot to do, and a training to give on Wednesday afternoon, but then I am off until 1/2/18.  Another WOW! Wednesday is also our holiday potluck, for which I will bake some more cookies, but which I will have to miss most of for the training.  😦

Thursday I am planning to drive down to the Boston area to meet up with a fellow Raveller who could not make the trip to Wisconsin last summer.  That should be loads of fun! Friday is about recovering from the trip and doing housework while A works. And making cards.  Lots of cards!

So, a different kind of busy week this week!

A quick update   27 comments

First off – so many thanks to those of you who bought a mug cozy pattern to support Sam  of Bumble Bee Fiber Farm’s insulin pump.  You blog readers and knitters are amazing people.

I am sort of amazed that I DID get everything made last week that had to be made.  Christmas cards and presents were delivered on Saturday, hat order was delivered on time, though damp.  🙂  I realized I would see the coworker who had ordered it the day after I finished knitting it, so I soaked it and blocked it and delivered it to her in a towel.  I figured it could dry at her house as well as at mine, and then she would have it all ready to ship when it suited her.

IMG_2289[1]

The carol sing was so much fun – very different this year – the weather had an impact, but not the one we expected!  Snow was predicted (and arrived exactly when they said it would) so there was talk of postponing the event.  But the farthest flung among us were willing to come, so they did.  The family that lives closer (maybe an hour and a half to three hours away) decided not to come, as they could not stay over night, and would thus be driving home in a snow storm in the dark.  So the folks from Connecticut and Vermont got on the road early, ahead of the storm, and the folks from south of Boston came half way the night before.  And the folks from North Carolina came a few days before.

It was very nice to have a smaller than usual crowd, for visiting purposes, but when it came to singing we quickly realized that we had a sorrowful lack of high voices.  Luckily, Cousin C brought her flute, and when those high notes came, she played them beautifully.  And if it sounded like the page in Good King Wenceslas had a bit of a cold, well, maybe he did.  🙂

Mom will host another similar gathering on our alternate snow date, December 30, and while the far away relatives likely won’t come, I think it will be fun to hear how the music sounds with all the high voices and not so many low ones.

The other piece that turned out oddly was that the three lovely ladies who did not come were bringing the lunch entrees to our potluck gathering.  So the food was snacks and desserts, and we did just fine with that!

Driving home in the snow in the dark was truly not fun, and I completely understand why people opted not to do that, but I am glad that I did it, and that all who travelled made it home safely.

Sunday I played “middle man”, and connected a woman I know who is moving into a new home following a divorce with a friend who is going to be downsizing.  We used A’s truck to move lots of chairs into a new house that needed them, from an comfortable place that didn’t need them any more.  So nice to have a truck when it is needed!  Don’t let on to A that I said that, though.

So now my crafting feels less frenetic, though there is still lots to do.  The cards that seem such a simple design take a long time to piece together – I will have to work on them every evening.  Last night I finished all the parts for 7 cards, and part of 7 more.  A is picking up some more red paper – I seriously did not have enough – duh! And I expect to finish this batch of 14 by tomorrow night.  Slow going!  But if I keep doing batches of them each evening, then I think I can make it.

Knitting right now is the test knit hat, which should get done today or maybe tonight – I am on the decreases.

IMG_2300[1]

I went down a needle size, but it still feels huge – I will measure it and get the glamor shots  for the designer when it is done, but then I think I will rip it out and knit the medium size. The yarn is too nice to make into a hat that I can’t wear!  And I do like the pattern – it is simple yet not boring.

The leg warmers.  Well, I got the yarn out and caked, and I wrote to my sister to ask for some measurements, but nothing back yet. If she doesn’t answer by the time I finish the hat, I will wing it.   I think I can make it by Christmas if I want to.

This cold dreary snowy rainy weather is making me want to curl up in front of the fire and knit, but that doesn’t seem to be possible.  Still haven’t won the lottery.  Have to head to work.  I will catch up with you later!

 

 

Passing on an opportunity to help AND get yourself a great little pattern   13 comments

I received this email from Bumblebee Acres – some great indie dyers!  It struck me as something that might be of interest to you as well.  I get nothing in return for passing this on, except a warm fuzzy feeling. I confess that not only did I buy the pattern, but I also bought a tiny amount of yarn which I think is waiting for me at the PO today.  More soft squishy mail!

If you are able, I know that Sam would really appreciate your support.  If you aren’t able, no worries, I understand.

(edited to add) And just to let you know a little bit more about it, here is a link to another blog post sharing the same plea – but from someone who knows the family and the business, The Knitting Sarah.

 

Hello All My Fiber Friends!
This is Sam Bee here, writing to you to ask you all for your help this Holiday Season.
As you may know, being self employed comes with many struggles. This year we have worked harder than ever, and as a result we have brought more joy to all of you, and many others, through yarn and fiber. We are grateful and blessed for the opportunity. From the bottom of our hearts, thank your for all of your love and support this year.
It is in the spirit of love that I write this email to you, asking you for just a little more help during the season of giving…
Some of you may know that I am a Type 1, or Insulin Dependent, Diabetic. Your can read some of my story here. I have struggled for nearly 15 years with the constant ups, downs, and side effects of diabetes. Finally, the medical community has released a medical advancement that will allow me to sleep through the night without fear of not ever waking up again, help regulate me to the point where I no longer worry that each high glucose reading brings me closer to losing my eyesight, limbs, or other organs.
The problem is that my insurance does not cover the cost of this new Insulin Pump and Continuous Glucose Monitoring System that will change my life, so I am asking all of you for just a little help. Purchasing my “Joyful & Cozy” Patterns  costs you only $5. I know this is a good handful of money, but it will give me a night of sleep, a target blood sugar reading, or even another day designing patterns or simply being alive. If you could part with $3, $10, or even more… you can donate here .
Thank you for your time, your support, and your continual love. I would not ask this of you if I did not truly, desperately need it.
All the love always,  ~SamBee

Posted December 11, 2017 by salpal1 in what I am thinking about

Tagged with

The Frog Queen's Fiber Journey

Knitting, Spinning, Weaving

Marja.9105 Arctic

stories about life in the north

Adventures in Remodeling

Misdirected remodeling

Meredith and Robby Hike the AT

A mother, father and daughter all blog about the big hike.

2017 Appalachian Hike

Only those who attempt to go too far will discover how far they can go.

Of Sticks and String

Knitting From My Corner of the World: South Jersey and Philadelphia Knits

notewords

handwork, writing, life, music, books

21st Century Spinning

Exploring a new age of an ancient skill

judeknits2

Knitting, photography and cats.

The ways of the whorl

wherever the spinning takes me

Mewkittie Creations

Wearable art and other interesting things.....

makebelievegirl

Textile & Pixel Design

Blog

random posts about things I am doing or thinking

accidentlykellystreet

sewing, knitting and life

ericka eckles

handsewn bespoke and heirloom quality textiles

thefibrealchemist

My Rabbit Hole of Fibre Experimentation.

A Little More Abstract

Crafting For Those Dedicated to Experimentation

Knitting in New Guinea

A Linguist Takes on Life, Faith, and Cross-Cultural Living

Nutmegknitter

random posts about things I am doing or thinking

Dramatic Lyric

A Soprano's view of life, music, and handcrafts

%d bloggers like this: