Almost done!

Just need buttons and blocking, and my second handspun sweater of the year is done. This one was much easier than the first!

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A bit of progress made

almost as far as I was when I realized it was huge and frogged the whole thing… it’s back to looking like a baby sweater!

I do love working with yarn I made. I should do it more often. ūüėČ

The next day

It turns out my forecast was pretty accurate, although the wind *might* have been more fierce than I expected.  We got about 14-16 inches of snow, I would guess, although there is no place to really measure it accurately, that is what the towns around us report.  It is still snowing lightly, but the storm is pulling away, and we should see sun this afternoon.  Yeah!

In spite of my shoveling the vent out periodically all day Tuesday, it still clogged and so we have no hot water or radiant heat until the plumber comes over.¬† I called early, they will call me back when they get a feel for the schedule.¬† Since we have electricity, we have our pellet stove and of course, the wood stove in the cellar, so the house is quite warm.¬† However, that means that I have to stay close to home to keep fire going and pellets in the hopper.¬† And today is the day I was to head over to Mom’s for a visit.¬† I am bummed. Not to mention the lack of hot water for washing people and dishes and laundry… also a bummer.

I did, however finish the mittens last night, and I wore them out to shovel this morning – so much warmer than my acrylic gloves!¬† I used Elizabeth’s Zimmerman’s thumb trick, and really like it.¬† Obviously, I went with a solid thumb, and struggled with keeping the alternating stitch pattern while increasing for the thumb gusset.¬† I have some ideas how to deal with that the next time, like make the thumb gusset¬†solid, and the thumb. Or do the increases together in the center of the gusset so the pattern isn’t interrupted.¬† But that won’t be for a while, these were far more work than I expected when I blithely cast them on.¬† ūüôā

mittens jan 28

Here’s another shot of something with progress to show – at last!¬† The blue sweater body, all blocked and drying out, waiting for me to finish knitting the sleeves, which are about 3 or 4 inches long at the moment.

blue sweater jan 28

Aside from waiting for¬†the plumber to call back, today I plan to work on the blue sleeves, maybe cast on a beaded silk necklace for the daughter of a friend, shovel off the decks (more snow on the way, and the next storm is said to be a heavier, wetter snow.¬† That means we have to clean now while we can!) and I should probably clean up the mudroom, which looks like a wet mitten and boot¬†tornado hit it. A is back at work today, so I can work at my own pace.¬† ūüôā

Another knit-heavy post/Today on my needles/What I am up to this bright Monday

On my needles – the photo was taken this morning, but it is what was on the needles all day yesterday.mitten and sweater jan 18

Yesterday I conceded that the cold was winning and did the only thing I know of to beat it – I stayed put on the couch with knitting and Gray’s Anatomy reruns. ¬†All those doctors did the trick, I feel much better today!

The mitten is coming long, although I did rip it¬†back to the cuff when I realized I was carrying the yarn too tightly between needles. ¬†That problem is solved, I have made up all that ground and then some. ¬†I think they will be too long on me, but I will wait and see. ¬†Meanwhile, I am learning about thumbs. ¬†Elizabeth Zimmerman uses something she calls a thumb trick so I am trying it,¬†as she is, after all, a certified knitting genius. I am loving these beauties, I knew I was ready for some red and white mittens! ¬†Because of all the nice carried yarn, they are thick and warm, too. ¬†Can’t wait to get then done and on my hands.

The sweater – sigh. ¬†I love blue, you know I do. ¬†And I do need a blue cardigan, I truly do. ¬†But this “very easy” lace is killing me, I can’t get in the flow of it,so it simply isn’t becoming instinctive and¬†mindless. ¬†However, I made a real push this weekend, and finally got up to the armholes! ¬†Now, the directions have me supposedly knitting first the left front, then the right front (with opposite shaping to the left, of course) and then the back. ¬†And it all says “working in pattern.” ¬†I was in a dilemma, as I can’t read the knitting! How do I know where the heck I am or left off in the pattern? So, I joined two more balls of yarn, and am knitting both fronts and back at the same time. ¬†That way I at least know which row I am on. ¬†I THINK I have figured out where each section begins in the pattern, but time will soon tell. ¬†The good news is that there are now 72 fewer stitches in a row, so it should go faster. ¬†As long as I keep those three balls untangled. ¬†And I will definitely be knitting the two sleeves at the same time so that they stand a chance of matching.

But what else have I been up to?

Well, reading blogs, of course, and uploading hats to Etsy – thanks to all of¬†you who have looked at my shop, and don’t forget to let me know what you think if you haven’t already. I think there will be some cards and things posted soon, in the next few days, at least.

Since it was the weekend, A was home with me the past few days, and she was such a sweetie, doing lots of laundry and table clearing, and being generally a good sport about¬†being married to a slug. ¬†ūüôā ¬†She even drove me to Ellsworth on Saturday so I could pick up a book the library had¬†gotten for me. ¬†Since it is the book club book, and the meeting is tonight, it was sort of important. ¬†ūüôā (My Brilliant Friend – more on that when I finish it) we did a few other errands, then had breakfast at Martha’s Cafe, which we love. ¬†I like to go out for breakfast, because the food is so yummy, and it doesn’t cost the earth. I like Martha’s because she makes delicious everything. I had a veggie and ham stuffed¬†omelet, and¬†stole some of A’s raspberry muffin. ¬†mmmmmm

Today, besides finishing the book and not getting sucked into red and white knitting, I plan to do the housework I did not do Friday (start deep cleaning the bedroom) and get into the¬†craft room to make some cards for the Etsy shop – I am thinking Valentine’s and birthday cards, but I am open to ideas, so please, offer them up!

And I have to go check the mouse traps I have outside, they are no longer buried under a pile of snow Рwith all that rain yesterday and balmy (is it really 40 degrees F out there today???) air, we have almost no snow left Рso I  can find the traps.

Other than that, I will putter, putter, putter. ¬†ūüôā

NOT Blue!

mittens jan 16

I was able to stop at the Yarn Barn in Bangor today, and wasn’t I lucky? ¬†She had these three luscious cascade washable wool skeins – perfect for my mittens! ¬†I’ll go cast them on in just a minute….

First a word about the Yarn Barn. ¬†She is tucked away behind a credit union outside a mall – you kind of have to know she is there. ¬†And she hasn’t got a HUGE inventory, but she has some real workhorse yarns, and¬†she offers: ¬†A frequent buyer discount (I have full cards just waiting for¬†me to need yarn) and a discount if you pay in cash! ¬†So today’s purchase came to a whopping 12 dollars and change.

How often does that happen?

On another note – I finally opened an Etsy store today. ¬†I ¬†only have two things uploaded, but I am working on it. ¬†At first, it will be the¬†hats that I took back when Creatively Maine closed, but I hope to knit and paper craft other offerings to sell. SO please, visit but be kind, it is a new venture for me and I am clumsy and awkward. ¬†Kind suggestions most welcome! Take a look at¬†https://www.etsy.com/shop/SalpalCrafts ¬†I can’t sell the necklaces online, per agreement with the designer, but I have some ideas for my own or non-proprietary designs so someday I will get fabulous silk/beaded things up there as well.

Now, I am off to cast on the mittens. ¬†Trying to decide – I-cord edging or garter stitch? I know which will look better in the end…

Sunday update

Mom and I had a really nice visit this weekend. I got to make that new recipe I wanted to – which in the end tasted very much like the “sauce Normand” we enjoyed so much in France – it had cream, apple cider, onions and pan drippings – along with a tablespoon or so of Maple syrup. No Calvados in it but it tasted delicious anyway. I’ll be making it again, it was heavenly.

Saturday we headed up to Bangor and walked in the Bangor City Forest, and out on the bog boardwalk. A really beautiful morning, and I think Mom liked it, she had never been out there before. We had a good lunch at Schooners in Brewer, and did find the yarn store. Had some trouble locating it, but asked at the quilt shop(I ain’t no dummy – and I will be going back to the quilt shop – it looked really nice, the two seconds I was in there.) the yarn store was OK – not exciting. She had some good basic yarn, and one particular brand of fancier yarn – Ella Rae. Very nice, but it didn’t really inspire me. A small selection of Noro. Nothing that I spotted that is local, or otherwise special. So, I will keep her in mind for patterns and notions, but my guess is that I won’t be making special trips there. Which is not to say that I didn’t buy yarn, of course I did. She was having a sale! I bought some variegated grays and blues to make another lace scarf (someday) and checked out some sock yarn. She did have a small but nice selection of that, but most of it was the kind that only makes one sock, and it was a little pricey when you start doubling the price (since I like to make my socks in pairs. ūüôā )

I did lots of knitting on the latest Pi shawl, I should finish that in a week or so, I would guess, since it is now my mobile knitting. It is very fluffy, I think it will be very cozy. and the best part? Ten skeins of yarn out of the stash and not a cent spent to make it. It is from the cousin Nancy stash, and I think about her as I work it. I wonder what she planned to make with this yarn? I know she made a lot of felted hats, and I wonder if that was what this was going to be? She wasn’t into fluffy sweaters, as near as I can tell from what her daughter sent me. But maybe she was planning something new and different?

Today, we had our electrician buddy here briefly to hook up a few new outlets in the basement. He took a lot of the slightly used fiberglass insulation off to a guy he knows who is building a house. Wow – we were going to toss it because they would not take it at ReStore! 16 contractor bags full! That is probably 6 trips to the dump we did not have to make today – woo hoo! We did make one trip there, and to the hardware store. I got more Rustoleum primer for the little outside tables, and when we got home, I did more spray painting – finished the last planter, and primed the three tables. One of them will be blue, same as a chair I did last week, and the other two remain to be seen – I have to get back to Lowe’s where they have a million colors of spray paint. I still want to find some true periwinkle colored paint – the blue is not as purply as I thought ūüôā The little teal one I did last weekend came out well, and is making me think that I am going to love having these cute, bright tables under my plants next summer. On my screen porch.

The contractor came this week, one morning when we were not here because of having to vacate – but he got a good look at where we want to build, and I have to send him a sketch tomorrow of what we are thinking of, and then he will give us a quote, and I really hope we can afford this last bit of construction on the house – I have been waiting for it for a long time! I can just picture my pretty colorful porch, but right now it is an expanse of sand…..

Other than that, we have not been our usual workhorses, we are tired! Last weekend nearly did us in.