She’s fine!

A little sore and tired, but all went well. She even drove me around to do the errands yesterday, and came in the grocery store with me. Though, that might have been too much, she was pretty tired when we got home.

I skipped knitting group yesterday to do the chores, but still found plenty of time to sit and knit. Nothing I have pictures of, but A’s Christmas mittens just need thumbs. They feel a little snug on me, I am worried they will shrink too much. I did them two at a time and I know that fighting all those needles and yarn ends affected gauge. So, I am prepared to redo them if necessary after Christmas.

I worked on mom’s sweater, too. Almost to the sleeve divide. Won’t finish it by Christmas, but she won’t mind opening a wip on Christmas morning.

And I worked on the rhinebeck hat. I’ll get pictures of that today if I can. I am about 1/3 done on that. It’s going much better now that I drew vertical lines on the chart to help me count.

And a few little presents got finished today as well. Still more to do but I am getting there!

Today I have to clean the pellet stove, then hit the craft room. I have some Christmas sewing to do, and I want to do some more weaving. Haven’t done any of that all week, with all the commotion. Nor have I spun! I’d like to find time for both of those things.

So a busy day, but with fun things. Once I clean that stove, that is!

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Glad this week is over!

This was a long week! Tuesday was our annual meeting, and due to staffing changes it fell to me to plan and execute. That meant a couple of crazy days leading up to the afternoon meeting. One of my former helpers is still around, though in a different capacity; she organized the presentation, and did a beautiful job. Although it was a bitterly cold and windy day, we had a nice turnout, and I think everyone enjoyed it.

Wednesday morning when the alarm went off, A told me that she needed to go to the ER! She had been up all night in pain, and thought maybe it was a heart attack. That woke me up! We were dressed and at the ER by 4:30, we even remembered the health directive. There was a small bit of conversation about not waiting so long if this ever happened again. She didn’t want to wake me.

Sigh.

They fairly quickly determined it was likely not a heart attack… ekg and blood work normal. A bit of poking gave us the likely culprit, the gallbladder. Then we had to wait 6 hours to have an ultrasound to confirm. (That was because they had to wait until 8 hours after she ate, not due to hospital issues.) So there we sat. She got some lovely drugs for the pain, and went to sleep. I knit. And froze. It was really chilly there! They gave A nice warm blankets, but I wound up wearing all the outdoor clothes I had with me.

The drugs did the trick, and she felt much better when she woke up. Ultrasound confirmed the diagnosis, and we were sent home with a prescription and an appointment with a surgeon. That afternoon was all about naps and warm soup. She felt almost back to normal by evening.

So, back to work Thursday with a million things to do to catch up, and make up some of the hours from Wednesday. I had hoped that the long days Monday and Tuesday would mean a short day Friday, but no such luck. Friday was also a full day, with a trip to the Macias office thrown in for fun.

I am so glad that this week is finally over!!!

There was lots of knitting, a hat order is nearly complete, a sock is more than halfway done, another hat that really was giving me grief is sorted out, and Mom’s reknit sweater is almost to the arm divide. I don’t have pictures of any of it.

I do have photos of a test knit I did recently, though. The pattern was released this week so I can share it. This is Jenjoyce Designs’ Golden Fields Lace. She wrote it for three pieces, in four sizes each! A stole shape, a square shawl shape, and this cowl. It is lace weight yarn, and a pleasant lace pattern, easy to memorize. It only took me a week to knit, and it was not monogamous knitting. I used some of my early handspun, the first yarn I spun consistently thin, and I have enough for another, so this might be a Christmas gift.

I was hoping to finish warping the loom this week, but I think that will happen this morning. A helped me be holding the ends firmly while I wound it onto the back rail, very much easier than the last time without her!

Last week I told you we were heading to a little craft fair. It was quite small, but we found some nice things to buy. A even ASKED ME TO BUY YARN!! A woman she knows was selling some, and so we got three skeins, and A requested mittens.

I found this suncatcher, and am so glad I made the impulse purchase!

It sure brightens our dreary landscape! I love how it makes the candle glow even in the daytime.

Even in a hard week, there are little moments of peace and beauty if we take time to notice them.

Glad I looked at this before I scraped the windshield. Jack Frost is a brilliant artist.

How was your week?

Here’s the only photo of my table that I got! Not very close up, but you can see the shawls and jewelry pretty well.

The day went very well. Lots of lookers but enough shoppers that it was definitely worth the effort. A few friends made purchases and a few strangers did, too. Lots of interest in the blue beaded shawl but no takers on shawls or scarves. A few people couldn’t believe I made everything. One lady said “where did you get all of this?” and I don’t think she believed the answer! I said I didn’t make it all last week but I still think she thought I was lying! I got orders for three more ornaments and a hat, so that feels good, too. I totaled it up and counting the pre-sales and the orders, I am committed to making more than 20 hats for charity! Wow!

However, in spite of doing very well financially, it was so completely exhausting, I nearly passed out doing the grocery shopping later in the evening. So yesterday was a low key day with puttering on strange chores that needed doing (like descaling the coffee pot) between knitting and spinning and Hallmark movies. Glad this week is a short week!

I finished these socks, a few weeks late (due for October) and I haven’t yet started the November sock- going to fall way behind if I am not careful!

I decided to frog this hat:

Because even though I like the design and colors, it is the wrong yarn for the pattern and came out too big. I ripped it back and have cast on a smaller hat, different pattern. More of a striped hat.

I also did some knitting on the ornament on my needles so I can clear the needles for the three custom ones.

And I finally started spinning my challenge yarn. It is going so fast, I should not have trouble meeting the January deadline. Felt good to be back on the wheel!

This week is a short work week, just two days… but Wednesday will be spent getting ready for the feast. We are seven this year, just some of A’s sisters and parts of their families. I think I can cope. Got a huge bird so everyone can share leftovers. And will make copious mashed potatoes per request. I’ll work on a list for you for Wednesday, but it will mostly be boring, I think… you will have to tell me!

Until then-

What I have been doing while I haven’t been posting

First off, a quick health update – feeling ever so much better now! Thank you all SO MUCH for your kind thoughts and comments, it feels good to know there are friends out there who wish me well.

I went to work all 5 days last week, although I only stayed all day toward the end of the week, and was SO glad when the week ended.  Somehow I found the energy to go to knitting on Saturday, and made loads of progress on my sweater as I resisted a delicious looking cheesecake.  Can’t eat while you are knitting (good thing, really.)

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I am now past the body/sleeve division, and working my way through the waist decreasing.  I really think I will have this done by the end of November at this rate.  Of course, I can’t keep up this pace – I have an order for a hat from my Etsy shop – yeah! – that I need to make this weekend – just waiting for the yarn to come in.  And a few Christmas gifts that need doing, some by the end of the month for shipping.  But those aren’t huge projects, so then it is back to my sweater.

And spinning – I don’t think I ever showed you the finished skein of this yarn – September’s roving of the month from Purple Fleece – it’s corriedale. I totally missed on bulky weight but it will make a good warm hat anyway.

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Or October’s roving of the month, as yet unspun.

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Debbie is getting creative, trying to find fibers we haven’t spun yet.  She thinks this one will make great mittens, and I can see that it might!  Only one of us had spun it when we met last week, and she wasn’t a fan, but I will give it a shot, eventually.  Right now I am working on finishing this spin:

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which is cheviot in Hestia, from Highland Handmades.  I think it will match nicely with this one:

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Cadillac Mountain by Purple Fleece, and I have a plan to make a cowl with them.  I got the pattern from Over the Rainbow when I was there this summer. You will have to trust me that the pinks in them both are loads closer than these photos show.

And the Christmas cards for this year are rolling around in my head – it is time to get started with those – November already!  Some people take November off from work to go hunting.  I think I need to start taking it off to do crafting!

Other news – I finished the first 30 days of Whole 30.  Hurrah!  I lost about 20 pounds, (eventually) found I didn’t miss much except my morning coffee WITH CREAM.  In the process, I am holding tight to first place in the Biggest Loser game at A’s office.  Big money prizes on the line, so I will take two days off from Whole 30 (sort of – turns out we have a whole fridge full of veggies to be eaten) and then return to it until the end of the competition and Thanksgiving. After that, I think it will be that I develop a lifestyle of eating that way and having occasional meals where I don’t worry about it.  I have to say, it really works – I feel so much better, not just the weight loss. Knees feel better,  skin is better, digestion is better. Rats.  Why can’t eating cheese and bread and chocolate ever make me lose weight and feel better?

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Tuesday marked the last day of my volunteering for Fair Vote Maine – I have been doing that for several months now, as they work to educate voters on Rank Choice Voting, which is on our referendum ballot this year.   No more Tuesdays before the election, so we wrapped up our Tuesday night gig with a  some sparkling cider, cookies, and lots of data entry and shredding!  It will feel odd not to go there anymore – wonder what I will do with Tuesdays now?  Well, I know what I will be doing next Tuesday – agonizing over the returns and knitting.  After that, who knows?

Other than all of this, nothing much is new – A is away for a few days this week – working up in “the County” (Aroostook, for those of you not from Maine) which is far enough away that she stays there overnight. The cats are quite put out, as she is the favorite mommy.  Last night they acted like I was completely insane to think they should go to bed when she wasn’t home.  Zumba didn’t even want her bedtime treats. She wasn’t even really interested in breakfast!  For Zumba to turn down food is amazing. Allie isn’t sure what to do – I don’t play right, but I do pat her nicely.  So she was torn during play time this morning, finally decided to ignore the toys and get some loving instead.  It usually takes them a couple of days to adjust to one of us being gone, and right around the time they do, A returns, and they forget all about me again. 🙂

What’s new in your neck of the woods?

At last, a down day!

Friday night after work I went to Bangor to help B move into her dorm. What a nightmare of a week this kid has had! Denny the bunny remains a concern, not eating or drinking well, now scared of her because of force feeding, and we had to move him again!!!  She was in long RA training sessions each day, it was hot, her dorm wasn’t ready until Friday afternoon (renovations) and she had a very short window of time to get herself into her permanent room, unpacked and set up, out of her temporary room and then to an evening meeting. She still had to do her door decorations and bulletin board, and her girls were arriving the next morning!

Aunt Salpal to the rescue. In just two hours we got all her things moved in, unpacked, bed made, clothes put away, bunny settled. It was 85 degrees in that building since it had been closed up tight all summer. We were both drenched and exhausted. We got fans running, though, and it cooled off outside when the sun went down, so I hope it got cooler in her tiny little room.

Not impressed with how her school handled any of this. Lack of communication, lack of flexibility on the rules. Not nice. (Bulletin boards had to be decorated per contract. They were not installed following reno, they were on the floor, but they had to be decorated anyway, even though these RAs were not given access to the building the week before like all the others.)

So here’s a question- why did they take a third or more space from the RA’s room when they expanded the bathrooms, to put in handicapped accessible bathrooms? When there is no elevator? There are 9 floors of this building! I could see it on the 1st floor, but the 6th? Seems like a waste of space.

Anyway she is in and got it all done and I think collapsed today! No bunny report today, I hope all is well.

Saturday was the party to celebrate the twin niece’s and nephew’s college graduation this spring.  A stayed with stepdad so Mom could attend (he’s a couple of weeks post knee replacement) so Mom and I traveled together to brother N’s home.  All the family was there excepting the two nieces in college, but including Dad and step mom S from Connecticut, and my brother-in-law’s mum A from NZ. Always so nice to see everyone! A is always amazing, she seems to remember everything about us since last we met a few years ago. I love when she comes to visit.  Dad and S looked well, and we had a few minutes to chat between food and photos. 😀

But it it was a long day- got back to Mom’s in time for supper, got home well past 9. Cats felt they should get some attention, so we were up much later than normal.

Today I spent some serious time with knitting and spinning. (Read sitting.) The knitting all looks the same as the last time you saw it, although I am at least on row 5 of all my lace patterns on all my shawls, it barely shows. Oaklet is farther along but no photos. I’ll get you some this week.

However I did get photos of this finished object- more yarn!

This is Color Tag fromThree Waters Farm. Let me start by saying I love it! The colors are bright and fun. And I got my best yardage yet- the two skeins are two-plied and came to 350 yards before washing. The littlest skein is a chain-plied end and is about 13 yards.

Now on that you know that, I can tell you it did not come out at all as I had anticipated!  I broke the braid carefully, making sure all pieces began and ended the same as each other. I weighed each little nest and they were pretty close. I concentrated and went slowly so I could spin evenly. I hoped I would get solid colors flanked with a bit of barber poling. I got barber poling with a few solids. The beginning and the end of the bobbins behaved as I had planned but the middle was wild and crazy wonderful color.  I don’t think there are two areas the same- it is going to be interesting to knit with, for sure!

I moved on to my next spinning project, Purple Fleece’s Life’s a Beach, which was last month’s roving of the month.

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I didn’t try anything too scientific here, just split it in half and divided it down into random thickness nests.  The colors are nice and soft, I am looking forward to the change from the brights. Didn’t actually spin any of it yet, but I am ready for tomorrow.

That’s really all I did today, spin and knit. Oh except that when I was hanging the newly washed color tag, I noticed a problem in the garden. Huge green caterpillars eating tomatoes!!!! I banished 4 of them to the woods but not before they completely defoliated a couple of plants and ruined a few tomatoes. This is the first year I have had this problem. Might have to skip tomatoes next year, they are gross and ugly things. No photos. You are welcome!

i didn’t even swim in the pool this weekend, but I will make up for that. We have a few more weeks of summer.

Last crazy weekend for a while, I hope!

It’s all about fiber today… with a side order of family fun

I made this.

Take a closer look.

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It came out so well I wish I had made more than one ounce!    But now I know I can dye fiber and spin it into yarn.  Pretty stinking amazing.

Meanwhile… I finished Reyna (photos to come after blocking) and so had nothing on my needles! (I don’t count the vest that is buried in the bottom of the basket.  I took the needle out to use it for something else and can’t remember if it was an 8 or a 9.  I might have to start that one over again.)

This morning I was up early with the thunderstorm, and no one else was, so this might have happened:

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That’s 4 shawls.  Patterns chosen, yarn and beads chosen, needles assigned, and in three cases, patterns printed.

Two are already cast on.  I am determined to get three of them going today, so I have options when knitting.  Completely breaking my rule on number of WIPs.  I blame it on the orange baby set.  I need blues and teals and grays in my world, and these four shawls are those colors.  Yup.  All of them.  I will likely sell some, but I might not, if I love them all.  Ha!

Anyway…

Also today we are going to a graduation party mid-day.  Amy’s nephew’s son graduated from high school this year, down in PA.  Since his whole family lives up here, they are throwing him a party now, when everyone is in Maine.  It will be nice to see everyone, and hear what they are all up to.

Tomorrow is a picnic at Mom’s – all siblings and some nieces and a nephew, I expect.  No occasion, officially, although it is Mom and B’s anniversary.

It is a family party type weekend! All the best kind of crazy.  Lots of driving, lots of visiting.  And that means lots of knitting, so I had better go get those shawls cast on so I have something to work on all weekend.  🙂

 

 

What I am up to this week

I got my first payment from the shop and promptly went onto the lovely web and ordered some more yarn.  Several colors (and loads of white for dying) of soft baby ull for little things, and some Madeleine Tosh Prairie for a shawl.  Because I just can’t get enough lace shawl knitting. 🙂 I did save a bit for some wool purchases later this summer.  I am set for a little while on that front, though. And I hope to have more income from the shop this summer, so I have been cruising the internet scoping things out.

This weekend I will actually be WORKING at the shop, because the wonderful Sonja has the big Celtic Festival in Belfast (Maine, not Ireland) to attend.  In return for me covering the shop, she will take some of my product to the festival, and not charge me the commission for anything she sells there or that sells in the shop this week.  So, it could be a big payday, or it could just be a favor.  Time will tell.  She was quick to suggest that I bring some knitting with me.  She doesn’t know me well enough to know that I don’t need to be told that, lol.

That means that tomorrow evening I will head there after work to learn the ropes of her system. The shop has no AC – but it has a beautiful window onto the bay which opens, so I hope the breeze is coming up the river while I am there, to keep it cool.  I suspect that window and the front door are all the “AC” the place has.

We are getting a few days of hot weather, I am so glad the pool is ready for me!  I went in as soon as I got home from work, it felt really good. I can’t remember what it was like before pools came into my life, except that I hated the really hot weather and now I don’t mind it AS much.

There has been a bit of crafting happening – but things that take time – so the pictures aren’t too exciting.  There is this hat:

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made with my handspun!  I am knitting it in the Seathwaite pattern which seems appropriate as the colorway is sea breeze.  I am loving the stripes so far.  Hope they work well with the cables.  🙂

Here is the Reyna Shawl I have been working on – it is my travel piece, so is slow going.

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And here is a baby hat and matching booties – this will go to the store this week, hopefully be sold quickly!

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The spinning I am working on is this lovely Romney braid in the color way Broad Bill.  It is a bit of a challenge to me – first thing, it feels a little bit slippery, and while fluffy, I really have to watch the drafting or it breaks because it is too thin.

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But I think I have that part figured out.  The other thing is that the super Debbie at Purple Fleece suggested I chain ply it so the colors don’t muddy.  But I was not feeling confident enough to do that after I had been spinning it for a bit, so I decided to spin up some of her solid black corriedale and ply it with that.

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left-over-black

I really like how the first skein came out – the colors seem to pop (no photos of that yet.)  And I was amazed that after spinning two ounces of each color and plying, I had a whole lot of the black leftover.  That photo above is what’s leftover. That means I have been spinning it consistently thin!  Very exciting to me.  I will finish the colored spinning soon and then do all the black.  What black I have left I will ply to make thin black yarn.  Not sure what exactly I will do with it, but I will come up with something.  Not that I like knitting with thin black yarn, but I will get over it. 🙂

Last weekend I got out some dyes and the book Mom gave me and messed about with mini skeins and a bit of leftover roving.  The results are…interesting.  And bright! But I got the idea.  I was hurrying a bit because A bought strawberries to make jam, so needed the kitchen to be food safe. I think I will do more of it, and try more of the things mentioned in the book.  And I can’t wait to see how the roving spins up.  It is about an ounce, so it won’t make a whole lot, but it will be good practice and I will be able to see how the whole thing works together.

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Lastly in the crafting world – it turns out I sold one of my little collages at the shop, so I am making a few more to bring over – they are nothing fancy, just made with bits and scraps and shells and sea glass, but they are fun to make, and I am pleased someone liked them.  The prices are low, in part because I want to have things at different price points and in part because they take very little in the way of materials and thought to put together. But I don’t want to be making thousands of them, so this might be it for a while. First stage is to paint the little canvases… then go away for a day while they dry.  Maybe these take more time than I thought.  🙂

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Outdoors things are growing, whether I wanted them to or not.  The garlic is doing REALLY well this year, very exciting!  And the tomatoes survived the short drought and have blossoms.  Carrots are slowly popping up, and the lettuce is re-thinking it’s decision to grow.  Strawberries are coming slowly, a few a day, so they are just snacks to the gardener.  Weeds and grasses are doing exceedingly well, and I will have to get out and weed whack in the next few weeks.  So glad we have no lawn, but the straggly mess does look better when it gets cut. Daylilies here and there are blooming, and blackberries are taking over the world, but at least they are bearing fruit – which I might get before the birds do – or not. Birds are chowing down on bird seed, but I see the cherries are ripening on the trees, so I expect birds will switch over to those soon enough. We had a tiny baby deer and her mama and sister in the field the last few days, I wish she would eat what I want her to eat.  😦 At least since the baby came along, they have not come as close to the house in their grazing.

So that’s it in my world this week – not all about yarn, but it’s always there in the background, doncha know?