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:

seabreeze-seathwaite

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.

reyna-progress

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

booties-ad-hat-all-done

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.

broad-bill-one-half-done

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.

dye-job

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.  🙂

first-stage-of-collages

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?

 

 

Zumba will never be an internet star and other random things

Why hello there.  Wondering where I have been?  Me, too!

Actually, I have been knitting like a fiend.  Inventory was due at Creatively Maine yesterday, and I wanted more hats.  Always more hats!  I finished knitting the Charleston Sweater, and I was pretty happy with it, except I worry the neck opening is too big.  If it is, I know how to fix it, just pull out the crocheted edging and redo it, with fewer stitches, and see how that works.

I delivered it to A’s office Friday, haven’t heard from the Mom, I hope she remembered to stop in the office to get it!

It has been a long time since I posted, I know.  One of the things I did last weekend was drag A and her sister L to the Maine Harvest Festival.  This is like the worlds largest farmers market.  It is all things produced in Maine, mostly with things grown in Maine, but I noticed a few interlopers in the craft area. Lots of food! The past few years, it has been a crazy wild place to try to enjoy – the event is held in Bangor at the Cross Insurance Center – a huge new venue for theater, music, and sports.  The booths start in the hallway as you walk through to get to the arena.  The arena is full of vendors.  Then there is a twisted path back to a ballroom, that was also filled with vendors. Usually it is so crowded you can’t move, and truthfully, I have wormed my way in, raced to my cranberry lady and raced out because I hate crowds.

This year we tried something new, we went on Sunday morning, because in past years we have waited around the block on Saturday morning to get in.  It was a brilliant move. No line, no waiting.  We were able to visit all of the vendors, sampling many delicious foods that way, and we of course bought a few things.  One Lupine was there selling some beautiful yarns, and I got one skein to make a surprise hat as a gift. Great restraint, I think! Just one skein!

Then it was back to the knitting for me.

That is what I did all week long, and Thursday night I tagged everything, made my inventory list and sat back to think about what it was I was working on before all this craziness took hold.  🙂

Today, A and I went to Ellsworth to a church craft fair – smaller than we expected, but saw some vendors I know, so it was fun.  Then we went out to lunch, and ran into L with a friend, so stayed longer than we had expected, chatting.  A bit of Christmas shopping and a trip to the big grocery store and we got home before dark!  Woo hoo, a whole day done.

We are on vacation this week – I expect a flurry of cleaning, and some knitting in between, as we have A’s family coming for Thanksgiving dinner.  Niece B will come here for her college break, and that means cleaning her room and making her bed.  She happens to sleep in the bed I use for blocking, so it is good she wasn’t here last week! But I am trying to keep it kind of slow as we go.  Monday we have dual car appointments, so will spend some time in Bangor, but other than that, it is quiet until Thursday.

Even though I wasn’t online, I did take some photos – here you go!

First up. the baby sweater.  I went with white buttons in the end. After an hour in Joann’s running from button aisle to front window.  🙂  They had some pretty lavender buttons that looked nice and were the right size, but they were shaped like roses and I thought they would be hard for little fingers to manage.

Rose's-sweater-for-web

These are some of the hats I have made this week.  Not all, but all I got photos of! The button is a local potter’s work – I love the little barnacle!  I have two more of them, one might be on a hat for me.  🙂

hats-for-webwhite-hat-for-web

This is what I am working on now – another pixie hat.

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A quick shot of the Harvest festival goodies…at least the ones that made it home!

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Then a few of the morning shots at the bridge.. it got light when we changed the clocks, but it is already growing darker in the mornings.

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This next one, if you notice – the bridge work is finally done!  I had to pull over and get out for this last shot of this morning scene.  I was a bit later than normal, it was probably 7:30 when I took this shot.  🙂  I’ll have to find another morning photo to share my November mornings with you all.

It wasn’t until I saw all of these together that I realized how gray November has been.  Come back, summer!

Bridge-for-web

Here’s a special treat for you guys – A has been thinking and thinking about a project, and she finally had time and energy to build the first one.  It is a waste basket that is designed to perfectly fit empty pellet bags!  We have so many, and it drives us crazy that they don’t fit in a standard waste basket. She is going to work out her costs in materials and time, and make a few to sell – hopefully at our local pellet stove dealer, but also I might have some on Etsy.  The top lifts off to change the bag, but fits tightly enough to hold the bag in place when in use.  Isn’t she clever?  (Yes, she knows she has to plug up the screw holes, this one was to see if it worked and if I liked it.  :-))

pellet-basket-for-web

 

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I’ll leave you with this little treasure.  Not a great photo, but it shows why Zumba will never be an internet star.  She is completely unafraid of a cucumber.  For the record, Allie is also not afraid, but I don’t have a picture of her placidly sniffing it.

Zumba-and-cucumber-for-web-1

I’ll try to be better about keeping in touch now that the knitting pressure is off for a bit.