Weekend plans in June

This weekend has far fewer plans than the last two did, and that’s a good thing. A has been working on finishing the bookcases for my birthday. The last one is ready to be painted, so I will work on that. It will take longer than the weekend for me to prime and put two coats of paint on.

Tomorrow I get out of work a bit early, and have to run to Bangor in the afternoon. A has to be there too, so we will connect and go to the “big” grocery store before heading home.

I have a plant I need to get in the ground, and I haven’t been sure where I want it, but I think I know now, so will try to get it planted in the afternoon.

I also need to get the pool water tested and the chemicals to put in, so I can get it really clean. If I don’t get that done tomorrow, I will do it on Saturday.

Saturday is Whorls and Purls in the afternoon, that is my only commitment for the whole weekend! Not bad.

Sunday is Dad’s birthday AND Father’s Day so I will try to reach Dad to say hello. That is more difficult than it used to be. But I’ll give it a shot!

I think step brother J arrives in Maine tomorrow for his summer holiday. Not sure when he will be able to help garden, but I need to get ready for lots to happen! I am a little bit anxious about it this year, the projects I really want to focus on are big and maybe nasty…

I hope to find a little spinning time, almost done with bobbin one of tree bark. And knitting! Plugging away on the sweater, but I can’t just knit at W and P, I need to knit on it other times or it will never happen.

I did finish a hat this week

Not sure what I will do with it (sell or gift) but it is ready to go.

That’s about all she wrote. Just anticipating a weekend filled with meaningful chores and fun crafting and DIY.

About that list…

I am happy to report that I touched on everything on my Friday list. But I did not complete the things I intended to.

The curtain rods and I had a major argument, and I did not have the tools available to win. Tools are A’s domain, so she will provide me with a drill bit in the proper size and drill with a charged battery today. Then I will hang it. Then I will finish the curtains. I did press them to open up the last bit of sewing I had done, and finished the raw edge at the top. All ready for the rod pocket.

I did get the hose for the pool, hope to get the filter installed today, now that it has stopped raining. 😢

I did go to the grocery store and did bake the cake. And remembered that I meant to buy a cheap bottle of wine and why… we don’t drink wine and thus have no tall glass bottles on which to hang the angel food cake to cool. I fussed a bit, then wrapped a paper towel around a wooden spoon and stuck it in a pitcher, with water to weight it. Not perfect but it worked.

I did fix the berries and make the second most favorite frosting for the cake.

I did get to spin a tiny bit, and knit, but most of the day turned out to be spent in the kitchen.

Made some delicious chicken with potatoes and asparagus, as first read about on Nothingbutknit’s post Monday Minutiae a few weeks ago (can’t seem to link from the phone), and it was so yummy! Will make it again, as soon as our asparagus pops from the ground.

Forgot to stop at the PO while I was out. Who needs more bills anyway?

Here are some knitting progress photos for you so you know you are in the right place!

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

I made this.

Take a closer look.

hand-dyed-hand-spun-closeup

 

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:

cast-on-mania

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.  🙂

 

 

Longest Sunday

While I wish we would stop messing with clocks, this is my favorite weekend of the year – Sunday is so nice and long!    Yesterday was a fun day – I got up and going pretty early, and got the grocery shopping done while A did the laundry.  Niece B arrived just after lunch, and we visited and played games while she did her laundry.  She left right after supper, as there was lots of fun stuff going on for Halloween at the university.

A and I waited patiently, but got only three neighbor children, and their beautiful Mom, all dressed as superheroes.  That leaves us with lots of chocolate.  So sad.

I did some knitting on the sweater.  To you, I am sure it looks the same, but these are the sleeves.  The last time you saw it, I was working on the two fronts.  Progress is being made!

Rose's-sweater-sleeves-for-web

Today I had a lot of chores to do that I didn’t do yesterday, and one of them was a major experiment.  I’ll know in the spring if it worked.

It starts with this:

raw-materials-for-web

the pallets that bio bricks and pellets arrive on.  We had 6 of them that I asked A to save for me.  I had a vision of using them to protect the shrubs around the house from the snow falling from the roof.  I thought it would be pretty easy to make legs with 2x4s and put them over the shrubs, like this:

finished-1-for-web

And that was pretty easy.  I did a couple like that for the smaller shrubs.  The forsythia is near the driveway, it really needs protecting from plow and shovel, so I made it a bit steeper.

finished-2-for-web

It got less easy in the front, where the shrubs are taller, and I needed to attach 4 legs .

finished-3-for-web

In the end, I got them all to work, but it isn’t pretty or easy.  🙂  Let’s hope they keep the snow from breaking the bushes this winter. If this works, I will perfect it next year.  The good thing is I used scrap wood and recycled the pallets, and they will be easy to take apart in the spring   I am sure of that.  🙂

When I finished that, I put the winter chemicals in the pool, and then, hold your breath – climbed in and scooped leaves.  It was COLD.  Thankfully, it is only shin deep, but still, it was a shock!  Luckily, the scoop broke before I got hypothermia, and I got out.

I did all of this, thinking the day was nearly gone, and when I got inside, it was 11:30.  Now that is a good Sunday.  Afternoon, couch time with the knitting needles.  🙂

Meanwhile, I am still taking lots of morning photos for Colour Cottage – here are the October ones.  Most of them are at the same bridge where I wait each morning – I swear they are nearly finished, yet they are there every morning.  Only a couple were taken while driving – but as you can see, traffic isn’t a problem, and I was really careful.

image

image

morning-frost-in-fog-october-morning

sunrise-over-fog-october-for-web

first-frost-for-web

I can never resist frost on the blueberry barrens.  It’s so beautiful, like glitter frosting.

september-morning-1-for-web

Doesn’t it look like they are nearly finished?  Paving, lines, all complete.  Jersey barriers gone, but still the light is there, they work away.

image

I go to work at the same time every day, but look at this last photo during a stormy day this week – like night.

october-morning-in-rain-for-web

Tomorrow, the sun will be up when I get there, since we rolled the clocks back last night.  So the November photos will look like the September ones for a bit.

How did I do that?

Textile Shed asked me how I dyed that yarn. By the seat of my pants is the short answer!  For a longer answer, read on.

First I washed the yarn – this is natural wool yarn from the giant cone that has been stored for a long time here, and who knows how long at Nancy’s. It has been wound tight for that long as well, so benefits from a gentle wash in cold water with some mild detergent.  I used about three ounces of yarn in each skein.

Nancy yarn cone

Once it was washed and fulled up some, I soaked it in cold water with a generous chug from the vinegar bottle (all measurements will be equally scientific.)

While it was soaking I put about 6-8 cups of water in my dye crock pot (never used for food) and let it heat up.

After about half an hour, I put a couple of chugs of liquid RIT dye in the crock pot.  I did NOT stir much as I wanted some variation in the yarn.  The first one I did was the teal, and I used more dye than I needed, as it turned out.  So the next one, I used less (the aquamarine) and the third, even less ( aquamarine over-dyed with royal blue).

I drained the water from the yarn, but did not worry too much about getting all the vinegar water out, then I put the yarn into the crock pot (not stirring or worrying if colored water was over it all.  I added water if needed, again not stirring, put the lid back and came back in half an hour.  I pulled out the yarn, judged whether or not I liked the color, put it back in.  They take at least an hour, the teal was a bit longer, I think.

Once I liked the color, I put it in the sink to drain and rinsed it with increasing colder water ( to bring the tem of the yarn down gradually) until I was rinsing in very cold water.  I did this until it was running clear, and I put vinegar in the last rinse, just to be safe.  Then I hung the skein to dry.

teal-for-web

When I did the aquamarine, I had a second skein soaked and ready to go in the pt, so it used up the rest of the ye in the water – but when it did, the yarn was paler than I wanted.  so I put a glug of the royal blue in the same water and left the yarn in there fro another half an hour. I can see places where the aquamarine and even natural color show through – so I got the variegated I was looking for, but maybe more blue than I expected.

I still have plenty of the dye left in the bottles, I think I could do each color three or four more times with what I have, so I will do more experimenting with it.  I also have a box of the powdered dye in fuchsia (if you recall what started this whole thing it was trying to dye yarn with beets to get that glorious color, but getting reddish brown.  Which I would have known if I had explored the internet.) Anyway – I have not felt like dealing with mixing that up into a liquid yet. The other colors I bought the liquid dye already prepped. I used teal, aquamarine and royal blue dyes.

I am not a big lover of chemicals, but just could not resist all those glorious colors at the hardware store.  🙂  And it seems to be easy to do.

three-skeins-for-web

Sometimes life is like a Blondie song

Hurry up, hurry up, and wait…

L and her doctor decided on rehab.  A good choice I think as she is experiencing severe nausea from the meds.  But in typical bureaucratic fashion, that decision was made, THEN they started talking to the insurance company about where she should go.  End result was she spent an extra night in the hospital while they worked it out, then they sent her where the doctor wanted her to go all along, but it meant A spent Thursday in the house by the phone waiting for the call, and we both spent a day hanging about in Bangor Friday – first at the hospital waiting for them to release her (I watched half of Apollo 13 in the lobby as L was feeling very sick and not wanting company and they released her JUST as they had their critical accident and now I need to find a copy of the movie or find it on DISH so I can be sure that they get home safely (never mind that I know they do because I saw the movie ages ago) Then at the rehab place while we made sure she was settled and her room mate wasn’t going to drive her nuts and all was well.  After that, we went to Staples and got out of there the fastest and cheapest we ever have – nothing that wasn’t on the list!  Then we went home and collapsed.  There is nothing so tiring as sitting waiting, right?

Saturday, we went to Bangor to visit her and make sure she was OK,(she was feeling much better) and were pleased with her progress.  Interestingly, the knee is no big deal, it is the nausea that is holding her back.  She is able to hop out of bed and cruise with her walker.  All those years of yoga and hiking and biking are really paying off.  She can put her shoes and socks on without bending her knee (jaw drops in amazement).

We went to the pharmacy to get her a few things and then back to rehab to drop them off, then we went to Ruby Tuesday’s for “lupper” before coming home and once again collapsing.

All of this sitting around, then collapsing, has been VERY good for getting knitting done! Two finished objects this week, although photos are not current, here they are. Socks were finished tonight, less than two weeks from cast on.

sunrose socks sws 22 in process

This, believe it or not is the Lacy Leaf shawl I started last week – this photo is from last week.  The shawl is finished now, upstairs being blocked.  I’ll get a finished shot of it in the next day or so, I promise. I finished it last night.

lady edith shawl

This morning, I cast this on – it is Triinu from Nancy Bush’s Knitted Lace of Estonia.  Because it calls for fingering weight yarn, and I have lace weight, I added a pattern repeat to get the width I want – so 90 stitches cast on, size 4 needles.  I expect I will be working on it for a while.  lifelines are handy and will be used a lot with this one.  They are so handy on a project like this.

malabrigio triinu start

I don’t think I shared with you the finished hitchhiker – it got done last week (I think) and didn’t need blocking, which means I love it!  See that tiny little ball of yarn tucked near the fold of the shawl?  that is how much yarn I had left.  🙂  this was Tosh light, and I love the softness of this yarn, it feels like silk but is pure wool.

hitchhiker finished

I was cleaning off the camera and found this photo I took at the food distribution last week – I had to take it when I saw that pile of pallets – it struck me that this is a DIYers dream to find this many clean pallets 🙂

diy dream

Today was slightly more productive around the house – we got to the dump and grocery store.  A went down into the basement and cleaned up a bit so that tomorrow, she can start work on my mud room wall box, to hold my IKEA baskets and many hats, scarves and mittens which will be needed this winter.  I can’t wait!  And it will get her in the groove of building again so the bookcases that NEVER get started might.  Someday.

I also worked on a project I have had in mind for a while – it involves some Christmas gifts, so I might not be able to share it with you for a long time, but if it works out, it will be cool, involving yarn AND spray paint.  I will document it well so when I share it, you can feel free to copy it.  🙂

A new week starts… A has it off, except Thursday, which I have off.  That is likely the day L will come to us for the next phase of her rehab. Life is interesting, for sure.

What I did on my summer vacation in photos

Well, mostly photos.  I can never resist a few words.  🙂

A few touches for the screened porch – the lantern a tag sale item, the flower pot an IKEA special.

Before:

painting before

 

During:

 painting during 2

painting during 1

and after:

painting after 1

painting after 2

 

Then there was knitting:

5 hats

I made these 5 hats in a couple of days – 4 side button hats, one Alpine Topper.  The Alpine still needs to be blocked to stop that curling edge.

Those side button hats need buttons, right?  I have been scouring yard sales to find some that are big enough, unique and special at reasonable prices.  I found these this summer:

buttons 1

Then, one day I was in a local artisan collective shop, killing time, and I found these babies.  They are made by a young woman who owns a quarry nearby.  She makes these stone buttons from the local granite, and the beach stones and tumbled china ones as well. And the shell – I love that shell! They are VERY reasonably priced, considering just how unique they are, so I bought several, and  expect I will get more someday. Maybe today… buttons 5

buttons 2

buttons 3

buttons 4

Now, how to choose?

choosing 1

choosing 2

choosing 3 

This is just too much fun, but I hope they sell!  I don’t really need ALL of these hats.  🙂

 

 

Vacation!

This week is a week that A and I planned to take off about 10 months ago.  As we usually do, when we were off around Christmas, we mapped out our year ahead, and we scheduled a bit of vacation time together. Sadly, we did not hear the Fates screaming with laughter as we went through our calendars.

So, here it is, Tuesday morning, following a nice long holiday weekend. First day of vacation!

A is on her way to Berwick, where she will remain until Thursday night or Friday morning, depending on how work goes.

I have been sitting at the table and computer for three hours already, getting a bit of work done as well. I have  few more hours of work to do today, and then I *think* I am free until Friday morning when I have to go to the office to pick up a bunch of printed material, the keys to the van and some water bottles to take with me Saturday when I will be working all day (4 am until 7 pm) at an event we are sponsoring in Machias. (She sits quietly to listen.  Are they still chuckling there in Fateland?)

I try not to think about Saturday, it just frustrates me, as it is not my event, I did not choose the dates, and yet somehow, I have a lot of responsibility for making the thing happen.  I did put my foot down about the repeat event to be held in Ellsworth on the 13th.  I said I would do one event or the other.  Not both.  Because, after all, there is yet ANOTHER (but totally different) work thing happening on the 20th.  What’s with using up all the September Saturdays for work????? (repeating my mantra here “Glad to have a job glad to have a job glad to have a job”)

Enough whining already.

Here’s what else I plan to do today – empty and clean out the guest room and then put it all back together again, with an eye toward a long term guest recovering from knee replacement surgery.  Sister-in-law L will be coming here for a bit after her surgery at the end of the month, since her apartment is two stories, with the only bathroom upstairs.  We are so glad to be able to offer her our hospitality, we do love having her around. But the room is set up for short term, healthy stays.  No much closet/drawer space, not much room to move around.  We will see what I can do about that this week.  I thought about painting the room, as it is just primed, but that seemed like an invitation to work too hard.  🙂

I also promised A I would unpack one box of books and sort it out by “keep” or “toss”.  Even though we still have no beautiful custom-made bookshelves, she started the sorting process this weekend, and wants to keep it rolling.  I suspect I will open a  box of books, pull out two to give away, and put the rest back.  Then we will both be happy. 

if the promised showers hold off, I will do a bit of yard work, and if they don’t, I will work on the craft room cleanout.  That comes along slowly, but steadily. There are two small sets of shelves up there that I want to bring down and tuck in the guest room closet so L can unpack and settle in a bit, so that will kill two birds with one stone, so to speak.

Creatively, I expect I will do some stitching and knitting – it is time to start cranking out hats for the craft fair in November, and also, to finish up all the necklaces and things I made last spring for sale there.  I might make a few more sets of earrings to go along with them all, not sure yet. I also want to review the stash so I can see if I have yarn to make the leftie shawl – it looks like a great project to use up bits, if I have the right bits… if not, it looks like a great project to try some mini skeins, of which I have none. So I might do a little internet browsing.

This week, if it ever gets dry enough, I would like to do a little spray painting for things for the porch.  I just love spray painting, I am running out of things to paint, though!

And perhaps I will build my little porch swing at last?  We have the pallets, I need to bring them into the basement  to dry out, I will definitely get that done, but as for cutting them up and screwing them back together, well, time will tell.  But wouldn’t A be surprised if I got that done?  Truthfully, so would I.

 

How many days do I think I have????

Better go get the last of the work done so I can get to work.

 

 

What to do with all those earrings?

mirror frame

Every now and then I see a cute idea for hanging earrings – putting some kind of screen or fabric in a frame, then hanging earrings from it. I always thought I would do it, but never really had the right things happen at the right time.

When I found this frame at a used furniture store not too long ago, I knew this is what I wanted to do with it.

It turned out to be SO SIMPLE!

I bought a small piece of aluminum sheet metal that was cut with this pretty pattern, typically used for radiator box covers, it is more expensive than I expected, I got this piece for about $11, and used it all, except what I cut off for the arch.

Using tin snips, I trimmed it to fit the frame.

Then I spray painted the frame, set the screen in it, held it in place with tiny brads, put a hangar on the back and it was made!

earring rack empty

This is about 14 inches across and just about 2 feet tall, and will hold ALL of my dangling earrings, as well as some other jewelry, using S hooks to hang them from the mesh.

It is hard to get a good shot of it hanging on the wall as I hung it in the short corridor between our bedroom and bathroom, with not much room to get a photo.

But it looks pretty, I think, and A even commented that it came out well, she wondered what the heck I was making. 🙂 Of course, she also commented that I clearly do not need more earrings, but I think I might, as they are now art! Plus, since I can see them all easily, I can see where the gaps are in my colors and combinations. That is my story and I am sticking to it.

???????????????????????????????

I spent a total of about $20 on this. The frame was just about $10, and I already had the spray paint. I could do it more reasonably with a different frame, but I fell in love with this one, isn’t that the way of it?

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.