Photos, as promised

What shall we start with?

I found this photo I took for you when I harvested the carrots a few weeks ago –

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funny looking but delicious!

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Here’s a photo I took of the house yesterday morning – not great, but you can see the leaves are really changing.  They are doing it kind of differently this year – the cherries are almost bare, the maples are hanging in there with their reds.  The beeches haven’t really turned and the oaks haven’t even thought about it.  Yet the pines are turning a golden green and dropping their usual amount of needles (1/3 or so.)

Hard to believe it will only be a few weeks until the trees are bare and we have white everywhere. Which leads me to this picture, taken this afternoon.  A said to me “Hey, look outside!”  and this is what I saw – the first flakes.

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Those little white dashes against the railing are snow flakes speeding to the ground, where thankfully, they melted.

This is the Andean mist shawl.  Color is pretty good, but it isn’t a great photo of the details, I am sorry.  The lace edge is a pretty pattern, easily memorized, and the whole body is stockinette which really flew by.  It is a lovely soft thing.  🙂

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Here’s what I am working on now – Charleston baby cardigan in Tosh light.  The color is composition book gray. It is coming along pretty well, although I feel like I missed a lot of knitting time last weekend – I am not used to doing all the driving – usually I get good knitting time in on these road trips.  But I am nearly done with the fronts.  Then come the sleeves, then the back.

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Here’s the yarn I got last weekend, along with the pattern I plan to make with it. It is a cowl or scarf pattern, I expect I will make the cowl, and hopefully, a matching hat.  Probably for sale if I finish it in time for the pop-up shop.  I don’t think I have mentioned that – it is a definite go again this year, and I am thrilled to be getting in on it from day one, as opposed to the week before Christmas like last year.  🙂  It has caused me to take a hard look at the things I have over at J and B Atlantic.  They have most of my inventory, and things really haven’t been moving.  I had hoped that they would have by now, and I know the holidays are different, but I also know I sold more in three weeks at the pop-up shop last year than I have in 6 months at J and B.  So, Tuesday I will talk to the lovely shopkeepers there about a way to keep a presence there, but to also move stock over to Bucksport. It shouldn’t be hard, it should be all business, right? Of course these are my things I made, so there is some emotion there.  I was glad when I stopped in last week to see how things were going to learn that they FINALLY sold a necklace.  I’m in trouble if things really start moving in both places – I’ll have to take vacation time to knit.  🙂

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Lastly, here are a few morning shots from last week – every day was prettier than the last!  Except for the tree tops in the backyard, these are phone shots through the windshield, so not great quality.  Yes, I stopped, even if briefly, to get them for you.  🙂  Not sure what I will do when the road construction is done and I don’t get forced to stop at the river each morning.

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oooh, look at that fog bank down by the river!

Happy travels!

Fair!

If you have followed me for any length of time, you know that each September I head to Unity Maine for the Common Ground Fair.  Along with several tens of thousands of my closest friends and relatives.  🙂

In years past, I have tried to do it all – check out the amazing crafts, the fabulous farmers markets (there are two, one at each gate) the animals, and OF COURSE, the fiber-related things.  There are also concerts, contradancing, demonstrations, all kinds of energy-related exhibits, and beautiful furniture made by fabulous craftsmen and women.  It is amazing!  And the food.  Heavens, it is good, organic, locally grown stuff.

And I usually am half dead by the time I need to leave and find the car, which is miles (it seems) farther away than it was in the morning.

This year, I went with Mom, niece B and cousin P, and had a specific list of yarn I wanted to find, and a small allowance for yarn I did not know I wanted to find.  🙂

Mom is nothing if she is not brilliant, and she realized somewhere on the long drive that we four had different things we wanted to focus on.  B wanted to see animals up close and personal.  P wanted to shop the crafts booths and farmers markets until she could carry no more.  I was all about the yarn. Mom had no agenda except to avoid the usually mobbed craft tents.  So she suggested we split up then meet for lunch.

Brilliant.  We made sure we had phone numbers in case of missed connections, and off we went!  She and B settled into a slow and careful animal experience, including a horse drawn wagon ride. P waded into the crafters tents.  I wasted no time finding the “Maine Fiber Farm” tent.  I did remember to take photos of the tent and displays for you.  I have no idea who the random shoppers are, but there were many of them, doing what I was – just touching and absorbing the feel of the stuff and the colors.

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Can you believe this felt? the detail is just beautiful.  And that goat – it looks real to me.  🙂

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This yarn is cashmere, they also had quiviet – but I took the photo for the screen – lovely carved wood.

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Everyone is so creative!

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colors and fiber

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and colors and fiber

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and colors and fiber (and this is where I made my planned purchase – my favorite wool/angora vendor!  So soft inside a hat)

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and colors and fiber

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and colors and fiber

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and colors and fiber

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and look what you can do with it!

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amazing hats on an amazing hat tree!

There were many merchant tents all around the fiber farm tent, I did not get photos of them all, but I did check them all out.  And made only ONE unplanned purchase, the bookkeeper is thrilled. But it was tough, there are so many beautiful yarns made in Maine, and the colors – I need them all!

There also was a fleece tent.  I went in, wandered through and left, feeling fortunate that I have not yet really learned to spin, because there were some amazing purchases to be made in that tent.  Some day.

I wandered back toward the animals, and stopped for a little border collie demo – fun to watch, but not as exciting as the real trials are.  And since we had border collies when I was a teen, I am well aware of how well they catch a Frisbee.  (My brother can also attest to how effectively they can round up a teenager on a bike and keep him in the yard, whether he wants to stay there or not.  :-))

Then it was meet up time in the food area.  We all found each other easily, and wandered through the fast-growing crowds in search of the perfect lunch.  By now I was getting tired, and so I chose my lunch by the most important factor – shortest line.  🙂  I had a fabulous baked potato smothered in cheese and broccoli, P also got a potato. Mom went for a little bit longer line but more special lunch and got a crab meat roll.  it turns out B and Mom had already eaten a huge pile of freshly made potato chips, so B was not hungry.

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Some of the crowds in search of lunch.  (No, lemons don’t grow in Maine, but funnily enough, water is their main ingredient, so they are in! They also sold cider)

We grabbed our favorite spot to settle – on the little farmhouse steps, and settled in for a long rest.  Mom was done with the fair, even though she never looked at a skein of yarn.  P had scoped everything out but not bought a lot, she wanted another foray into the crowds.  B was enviously eyeing the young women wearing herbal/dried flower wreaths in their hair and thought she wanted one.  I was almost out of money, but wanted to be sure to get some maple candy on the way out.  So, Mom and I sent P and B off to find their treasures, and Mom and I sat in the shade waiting for them.  I had my knitting, so was very content.

When they returned, bedecked with flowers and packages, we worked out way to the farmers market for candy, carrots, and a few other things that looked too good to resist.  If I thought we had room in the car, I would have bought a fabulous new drying rack.  Instead, I grabbed a card so I can get one sometime when we have fewer people in the back seat.

We decided to ride the tractor wagon back to the parking lot, but still had quite a hike to the car – I don’t get how the fields grow so big in a mere 6 hours!

So it was a different fair experience, but a good one, and I did get yarn, which is a major reason I go.  🙂

One thing we either missed or wasn’t there this year was ice cream.  Very sad!  We got back to Belfast, where we had all met, and P took us to a great place downtown for a small sugary treat before we parted.  Our timing was great, as the place was closing for the season on Sunday.

B and I headed for home – tired, but not as tired as I would have been if I had tried to see everything.  Another year, I think I will go on Friday again – much less crowded, and I feel like I am able to cover more ground.  And maybe before then I will win the lottery so I can buy more yarn.  lol.  And a wagon to haul it all around in all day.

B had a really good time, and loved her animal fix.  She came up with a “brilliant” plan, too.  Mom should get chickens which are B’s favorite animal, so she could visit them. That way, Mom would have lots of eggs, and B would have pets.  And I should get about 20 angora rabbits and a spinning wheel and make my own yarn to save money (little does she know!)  She will come help clean the hutches and play with them.

As expected, Mom and A nixed these brilliant ideas, and so B will have to get her own house and have all the rabbits and chickens she can handle.  Probably more!

For the record, the twenty-year-old who laughs at the old ladies (us) for going to bed so early every night went to bed BEFORE us and slept 12 hours. I think she liked the fair.

So, here’s the yarn I got –

The planned purchase of the blue wool/angora from Hidden Brook fibers in Stow ME.  I made a hat with this color last year, and have someone interested in the same hat in a smaller size, so I was glad to find the color.  🙂  Of course this is a phone photo and the color is way off. It is a pale summer sky blue.

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The unplanned purchase of wool/alpaca – just could not resist this skein.  It will likely be a hat – maybe lined or trimmed with the angora blend? I felt silly buying this yarn at the fair, because the farm is right in Belfast, and I can go there any time and buy more.  But it was there and I was there and I had the money for it burning a hole in my pocket. I have two sweaters in their yarns, and love them. Alpaca is really warm, but not heavy. It does pill, though, so I probably won’t make more sweaters with only this yarn, but  I WILL make more hats with it! (And again, color is bad, it is much less purple than this and more blue. Also not as strong colors.)

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Both are so warm and soft…

So that is my Saturday fair adventure – I wish you could have come with me – maybe next year?

 

Lucky for you, it is cold and rainy today!

Why does that make you lucky?  Well, because it means I am inside, and have a few moments to write to you. 🙂

I sat down a week or so ago to write and never finished that post, which means it has been a few weeks since I posted.  Yikes!  This is what working for a living gets me.

It has been a busy few weeks around here – lots of comings and goings, and work and cleaning. And knitting – lots of that!

Last week, my aunt and uncle came to stay for a few days, while they worked in my cousin’s pizza booth, down in Castine, for the l’Hermione festivities.  Apparently it was HUGELY successful, he sold every scrap of food he had available, and had my aunt driving around the peninsula scavenging spinach, tomatoes, etc.  My aunt really enjoyed seeing the bits of the fun she could around the long lines of hungry people, I think my uncle enjoyed helping and talking to people, although they both came home absolutely exhausted each night.

A and I never got down there to see the boat, but the news coverage was good, so we got to see the videos. A lot easier than dealing with the crowds!

Thursday night I went into Ellsworth after work to meet Crimson Crow and see the St Andrews Maine Pipe and Drum Corps perform at the library.  It is a small group of enthusiastic pipers and drummers, and we enjoyed the show.  And of course, the ice cream afterwards!

This weekend was supposed to be all about storing three tons of pellets in the basement, digging out the last small section of pool area, and maybe even getting the area ready to set the pool up.  But two things happened to change that – the pellets were not delivered as scheduled on Friday, and it is raining, so no digging.

Instead, we had a damp cookout with sister-in-law L, and did the usual Saturday chores, (which used to be Friday chores!) like the PO and the dump.  A and I did the grocery shopping last night, so all that is left to do this weekend is the laundry, which A has made a good start at.  I get to get caught p on blogging and Ravelry and knitting.  I will try not to think about the very small area left to dig out that can’t get done until it dries out.  Sigh.

But the knitting/yarn is exciting.  Check it out!

This is the yarn I got when I went to the spinning lessons at the Purple Fleece. I plan to make a lace leaves shawl with it, but not for a few weeks.  Sorry the yarn itself is blurry, but doesn’t it match my few flowers beautifully?

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Then, this is the yarn I got at Over the Rainbow last time I was there.  I might have mentioned the sweet deal I got on the Kid Seta Noir?  75% off.  Makes up for the much higher price on the teal yarn! I got 4 skeins of the Kid Seta, so will likely be making a few things with it.

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I started my scarf with it – a variation of Morning Surf.  I am holding the two yarns together for all of the plain knit rows, and alternating them for the yarn over rows, and the subsequent dropping row, which I think shows off the colors well, and reduces the need to weave in ends – I can just carry the yarn up the side. This photo is from when I completed the first repeat – I have done several more since then.  It is such fine yarn that this will take a while, but it is interesting, so I think I won’t get bored with it as I usually do with scarves.

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I finished the Monet Indian Feathers – here are some shots of it unblocked.  It is drying now, all pinned out, so I hope to have a finished photo of it for you next time. Here, though, you can see the beads (I wound up using one extra pair of beads on each feather), the texture I created with random purl stitches, and the whole shawl laid out.

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The last thing on my list, but the one that gets all of my attention until finished is the store sample I am knitting for Over the Rainbow.  It is Jane Richmond’s Gemini, and I am knitting it in Knit One Crochet Two’s Batiste, which is a wool, linen, silk blend.  It is quite nice and soft, and TINY.  Thankfully, I am knitting it in a much smaller size than I would be making for myself.  I have often looked at Jane Richmond’s designs but never knit one before.  She lays everything out very plainly and clearly, which I like.  And the sweater design is very nice as well – it looks like a dropped stitch pattern, but isn’t – the lace is much more substantial than it appears, which is nice in a garment that will get a lot of wear.

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That’s it for knitting world around here – it seems like enough!

I’ll leave you with this shot of how I prune my shrubs, and who supervises said pruning.

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This is my auto-pruner.  She doesn’t seem to be afraid of anything, she is quite close to the house.

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Allie keeps close track of the deer you can just see behind the shrub at the top of the photo.

This fellow was out sipping nectar while Allie and the deer did their thing.  It is through the screen, so a bit fuzzy, I am afraid.

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Have a good weekend!

Saturday at last!

I am off to the Fiber Frolic in a couple of hours – so just thought I would document what I think I am getting – then we can check in later to see how I did!

I aim to find the Hidden Brooks Fiber lady, and get some of her luscious angora/wool blend – I have someone interested in my Chevron hat, but in a smaller size. Her website was our of commission the other day, so I need to see her in person. And see all her fiber.  So sad.

Then I want to connect with the Purple Fleece, and talk about spinning lessons. And maybe buy some of her bright colored yarn.

My old favorite PineStar is on the vendor list, so I will stop by and PROBABLY get some yarn for another lace shawl, because really, you can’t have enough of them, right?

I’ll be on the lookout for some sock yarn, and new vendors and other exciting stuff, but I will be trying hard to stick to my budget.

Our plans for today have changed a bit – A has to work halfway across the state, and originally, we thought the timing would work that she could drop me at the fair, go work, then pick me up several hours later.  But between the time she would have to drop me off and the fair would actually open is a couple of hours, and I just figured it made no sense to sit and hang out there for that long – even though I could knit, it is a bit longer than I want to be standing by the side of the road.

So, I will do a few things this morning, including going to the Post Office to see if any of the clothes I recently ordered have arrived – and if they have, I might come home and change, lol.  I’ll head out around 9:30 or so, and stay at the fair for a couple of hours – if I have the energy, I will hang about until 2 when there is a Ravelry hook up. Never been to one of those, but I will give it a shot.  Very silly, but it is a big deal to this introvert!

Tomorrow, I have no plans, I should do a bit of cleaning, of course. And yard work, since I will do none today.  It will be tough to get off the couch with all that new fiber, though.

Here are some photos I took lately.  The Trapper Cowl I took with my phone – aren’t you proud of me? Of course, I got it onto Ravelry and could not figure out how to get it here, so you will just have to follow the link to see it.  🙂

First up – yarn and knitting.

Here is the newly dyed yarn hanging in the rain – not drying.

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And here it is all dry, with the first batch I did.  I think these colors will work well for the lefty shawl.

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Next up is the lace leaf shawl adaptation – I did not block it hard, so it has more texture than my purple one.  And as you can see, I added one stitch when I cast on, and created a third section of leaves, for a different shaped shawl.  This is the yarn I dyed using beets, and it just is too orange for me.  But I like what the pattern did with the extra section.

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Here’s the beginning of the Indian Feathers – I will likely wish I had used size 6 beads instead of size 8, but these are the ones I had that looked nice with the yarn, so it is what it is.

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Now, onto the glass beads.  Remember last month I took that class?  One aspect of the Haystack day is a studio “tour” where everyone can look at what was made during the day.  But our beads were still in the kiln, so she had us paint pictures of what we were making.  I am not artist, for sure, and of course, I had no idea if what I thought I was putting into the kiln is what would come out!  So here is the card I painted that day.

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And here are the beads, which I was finally able to pick up this week.  Definitely lumps, but some of them are pretty, if you don’t worry about what they were supposed to look like.  I love the bubbly ones (that was on purpose!) and some of the purple ones – I was trying to get the colors of a mussel shell.  Failed that, but they are still pretty.

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Then there is the garden this week – veggie plants are sprouting like mad, loving the rain. Tomatoes are in a holding pattern though, waiting for warmer weather.  Which will come eventually, right?

The strawberries look better than ever, and I ignored them this year.  All I do is pull out the occasional weed.  No compost, no mulch, no bird netting.  I am disowning them, if they produce, great, if not, out they come.  They take up too much space for the yield.

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The tomatoes are holding on, but the squash popped right up!

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Here we have radishes, garlic, lettuce, mesclun mix and peas all doing great.  Carrots are in there, too, they will sprout soon among the radishes. Oh, and there is a small pumpkin patch in the corner.

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This patch is sister-in-law L’s.  Not sure what all she has planted besides beans, but I do know that she is also getting grass and morning glories (which she did NOT plant.) and the beans look great!

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This is the asparagus – we ate a lot of it this spring, but I am letting the rest go to grow and fill this planter bed.

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Mother Nature is working hard to get all the things caught up to their normal bloom time.  We have lupine (and a fine example of what we have for soil in this yard)

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and wygelia both getting ready to pop with color.

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Here’s a gratuitous sugar bomb picture.  Last weekend A was craving sweets, so I baked brownies.  then she asked if we could frost them.  We could, we did, they were delicious but an incredible pile of sugar, couldn’t eat too many of them in a sitting!

 

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That’s it – the camera is empty now.  🙂

Another casualty of the bad winter, or my trip to the bead shop

Yesterday, I mentioned that I was going to head up to the bead shop in Bangor after I finished taxes.

I did, and got there at 4:45 to see a big sign on the door about “new hours” as a result of “survey results”. The shop is open Thursday, Friday, Saturday Sunday, never before ten, never after four.  Clearly they did not survey working people for these new hours, but OK.  So this morning when we got up I convinced A that she needed to drive me to Bangor. It involved letting her go to Lowe’s for some wooden flooring things she wants, and Millers for some long underwear, and Dunkin Donuts for breakfast.  All stops I could live with, as I have knitting.  🙂

We went to DD first, that way she could relax in the car while I ran into the bead store to choose 2 tubes of beads.  I needed 16 size 6 beads and 100 size 8 beads that coordinate with each other and look good with the harvest/antique gold silk Mom chose for these earrings.  I thought it would take a few minutes to find some that looked good with the silk, and each other, AND were available in both sizes.  Essentially a quick trip, in and out.

This store is a locally owned shop, very unique , which is, of course, why I like it.  First thing you do when you arrive is give treats to the 4 dogs who won’t let you in unless you do.  Very friendly, but under foot.  Then, I headed right over to the seed bead wall.  While I was scoping things out, the (somewhat excessively) chatty shop owner told me that they soon will be closing the physical shop.

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!

It has been a horribly slow winter, she only had 2 people shopping yesterday.  She will try to stay open until June, then will “take it on the road” and just do “shows” whatever the heck that means.  I am so bummed, because the quality of her things is miles above what is available in the big box stores.  Her seed beads are uniform in size and color, and there are NEVER any sharp edges or plugged holes. Naturally, I asked her for the brand name so I can find them after she is gone (and she shared!  Miyuki), but there is nothing like shopping in person, seeing what things really look like.

It also turns out she was offering a 20% discount on purchases this month.

I think you know what happened.

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What I came for:  called “forest mix”, the beads have a touch of gold glimmer in greens with a few that are bluer or oranger in nature.  They look great with the gold silk. I looked at rustier beads, thinking a soft matte finish might be nice, but she didn’t have both sizes, so I went with the green.

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Restocking some old favorites – the soft peach shimmer is hard (for me) to photograph, but trust me, they look really wonderful on cream silk, like these earrings. I was glad she had these on hand, she is often out of one or the other.

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Matte black and clear with gold lining – two that I use a lot when making the Rippled necklace in all sorts of colors.

Last – an unplanned purchase – sort of.  I have had this yarn in my stash for a while, but it slowly is moving up – it will be some sort of beaded lace shawl thing.

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I haven’t figured out the pattern, so had not worried about beads.  But then I saw these, and  I think the shimmer of pale lavender and gold. will work. What do you think? I just hope I have enough beads for whatever I finally decide, because there is no guarantee I will be able to get more. But I am clever, I can mix them with a coordinating color.  If I can find one.

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No local bead store. This is very sad. I know I don’t buy enough to keep anyone in business. but I do 95% of my bead purchases at locally owned shops. I am sure she wishes it was 95% of a larger number.  I can only do what I can.

Now, my nearest shop is in Augusta, which is more than an hour away. I guess I will check out the online sources, but I will really miss being able to see everything and put colors together and try different things that I never would think of if I didn’t see them in person.

Sunday evening

Busy weekend!

Saturday we went to Bangor so that A could help L with her laundry and shopping – likely the last time we have to do that, because she really can manage on her own now, with some forethought.  A backpack works for carrying the laundry up the stairs, and groceries can be carried into the house a little at a time.  She is making amazing progress!

While in town, I ran over to the Maine Harvest Festival – like a GIANT farmers market, held once a year..  I was headed in for my annual supply of cranberries – they were 5 pounds for $10 – great price for locally grown big fat lovely berries.

I also got some toffee and some, well, maybe this will surprise you – yarn.  This is yarn from a store I have mentioned before – One Lupine.  It is beautiful, grays and purples, wool and bamboo blend with a touch of nylon.  Should make lovely socks.  🙂

Today we emptied the freezer and cleaned it – and then went to the dump and got rid of all that spoiled food.  Then we went to the grocery store and picked up a few things.  It will take weeks to restore the freezer and fridge to their former stocked up for winter state.  😦

Then I spent the last hours of daylight to finally finish this monster puzzle that we started when L came to stay – she never really did any of it, but once we got to a certain point, I could not put it away until it was done – 2000 pieces!  Many which seemed to fit where they should not, it was a challenge, to say the least.

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Here’s a quick knitting update – finished the Tern socks, They are cozy and warm, and I love the soft blues and grays.sws #24 complete 2

I adapted that pattern to make some finger-less mitts a friend requested – they are coming along. I couldn’t work on these when the power was out – the black is too hard to see in the candlelight.  But now that we have power, I am back to working steadily on these, too. Simple rectangles that are mirror images of themselves, and when done, just need a side seam sewn up, leaving a gap for the thumb.

tern mitts in process

I started the next pair of socks – they are pink, from some Cascade Heritage yarn I picked up last week (having realized that I was almost out of sock yarn!) I haven’t decided on a pattern yet, but know how many stitches to cast on, so I am working on the toe, and will choose a pattern before I get too much farther.  🙂

Allie and Zumba insisted on going out on the deck today – can you guess where the bird feeder is? They love watching it from the deck but can’t seem to figure out that they could sit on the window seat in the bedroom and be warm while they watch the same birds.

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They are cute, but maybe not so bright.

A has tomorrow off, I have Tuesday – not sure what I will do with a whole extra free day this week!

I’m ba-a-ack!

Sorry not to post my list today as usual – life is complicated this week!

Power came back on – beeping and clicking and flashing lights woke us from a deep sleep in the middle of the night Tuesday – you know – a little before 8.  🙂  Once we were sure it was really staying on I leaped up, turned on the dishwasher and pellet stoves, flushed the toilets, washed my hands, plugged in the DVR to record NCIS, and went back to bed.  Since then, we have played catch-up.

It has been warm, so the snow has almost melted, and all the dishes are done, laundry is back under control – amazing how 3 days with no power can create havoc!

Today I went and got the snow tires on the other car, and met Crimson Crow in town for a fun morning of errands and chatting (you knew you would be here, right, CC?) and a good breakfast at the Riverside restaurant.

After I left her, I stopped in the office to drop off my time card, then came home to clean out the fridge.  Very exciting.  Got to throw is all away, then scrub shelves, etc.  Haven’t opened the freezer yet, but all of that will be tossed as well, and that will get cleaned this weekend.

Then I made some cheesy artichoke dip, and shortly, I will leave for game night at A’s office. Of course I will bring that sock I have been working on all week.  🙂

I’ll post later this weekend about the other fun things we have planned, but for now, know that we are safe, have lights and water again, and knitting is happening again.

quick knitting update – with photos!

Morning appointment got moved to the afternoon, so here I am, alone in my house for the first time in weeks – so of course, out come camera, knitting and computer.  🙂

Here is the Malabrigo blue Estonian lace scarf/shawl thing coming along – about a third done with the center section.

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And here are the blue socks for Cousin P’s birthday complete – in time, I might add, in spite of having to rip out the whole foot of the second one due to non-attention on the part of the knitter.

sws 23 two done

Now, off to dress and get that long overdue haircut.

Getting caught up

I am about to dump all sorts of things on you guys – road trips, shopping results, family events,a little DIY, and of course, knitting. Sorry to have been gone so long, but I will get you caught up with what I have been up to!

First off – the beaded lights project. I wish I had a before photo for you – but let me describe, instead. The original string of lights had the square frames, wrapped with clear beads strung on a wire. I collected a variety of strings of colored glass beads, divided them evenly by the number of lights I had (10) and strung them on beading wire. I attached that to the frame, and then just wrapped between the rows of clear beads. It took about three hours to complete, but I think they are a lot prettier now, and more fun. I hope to hang them on the screened porch, but I might put them in the dining room where the door to the porch is, so I can see them inside and out.

beaded lights 1

beaded lights 2

Next up – travel! Niece C the younger graduated from high school in CT last Friday evening. Mom and I drove down, went to the celebration, stayed over night and hit IKEA before we drove all the way home again. It was a long two days, but worth it in so many ways.

Graduations mean presents and cards – and being a procrastinator, I did not take photos until just before I left,so I had to use a flash to get them. Sorry about that, it means a little glare…

graduation envelope

graduation

graduation earrings

I am so proud of this girl – she works really hard at school, and it has paid off, she won three achievement awards, in Business Marketing, Chemistry and Pre-calculus. Plus, she is just NICE. 🙂 I am not too prejudiced.

C's graduation

I love this photo of her with her mom, and not just because she is opening the card I made her. Although, looking at it, it is a better photo of the card than I took at home that morning!

C and L graduation

On to IKEA. I went with the intention of getting 6 dining room chairs and whatever else caught my fancy, within reason. But they opened later than I had hoped (10) and Mom and I had a long drive ahead of us, so we literally RACED through the store. Got the chairs – I’ll have photos of them another time – and got the lights and candles and things I wanted but did not get to dig around the marketplace as I had hoped to. I was able to pick up a few things for my neighbor’s birthday in August, and I got a rolling cart to hold knitting things which now take over the coffee table. I don’t like the color, but I will spray paint it and make it unique.

ikea haul

It turns out people are not the only living creatures who like a good trip to IKEA…

ikea cats 3

ikea cats 2

ikea cats 1

And then A attacked the boxes and created this cat heaven. They never use it in front of us, but in the night we hear them, and each morning, the boxes are in disarray. I hope it is not a permanent installation in the living room, but you just never know around here.

ikea cats 4

ikea cats 5

So. I didn’t knit much last weekend, as you can imagine! A road trip is usually good knitting time, but A didn’t come with us, so I did the driving. However, some progress was made on the green and purple socks, and the dropped stitch scarf. I kept up my Socks with Sarah commitment, even though Friday and Saturday I think the “knitting some every day” was literally less than a row. I am on the home stretch with this pair now, just have a couple of inches left on the second sock to do.

sws #14 Tosh Lichen 2

sws #14 Tosh Lichen 1

The scarf is made with some yarn I dyed using black cherry Kool-Aid and the crock pot. I really experimented with different small bowls with different amounts of the same dye, to get a variegated yarn, and I am pleased with how it came out.

black cherry alpaca variegated

dropped stitch scarf 2

dropped stitch scarf 1

So, that’s it – my week or so in review. Now, I have to go tackle some of the other things on that Friday list of mine. And of course, I have a lot of blog reading to catch up on. Let me just go grab a cup of coffee.