Archive for the ‘family’ Tag
Just been too lazy to power up the computer or to try to write a post on the phone (WHY is that such a tedious chore? Work on it, WordPress, please?)
Loads of knitting has happened and some spinning, and a day away from shoveling, and a long weekend.
Here’s the spinning:
Filled a bobbin with the second color of my planned three ply. Now the two filled bobbins await the third, which I started yesterday. This is going to be some crazy yarn! Or really awful, time will tell.
I worked on socks – plan to finish this one up before March 1, according to my 6 pairs a year plan.
I finished the Corrugated Hat to match the Corrugated Cowl, these will go on Etsy sometime soon. I still had yarn left, so I am doing a striped hat in the same colors. Not sure if this will be an Etsy listing or a donated item. Time will tell.
I finished knitting the Gloria del Sol shawl in Purple Fleece’s Aquamarine Radiant gradient – OMG , I love this thing. Wait until you see it blocked. It was a challenging knit, and I didn’t bead it, but if I ever do it again (and I am thinking I will when I forget how challenging it was) I will add beads, if only to help me count the crazy long endless repeats.
I have to dig around in yarn and queue to see what I will cast on next – or maybe dig out an unfinished something to finish it. I have a couple of things that could use some attention, I know.
Saturday I travelled down to Mom’s so I could hop in the car with her and B, and drive over to western Maine, Bridgton, to be exact, to have lunch with my two cousins who live there. Brother N and SIL D joined us as well, and it was a very nice time. So good to sit down with the cousins we usually only see at funerals. Afterwards, we went to visit a friend of Mom’s for an hour or so, then drove all the way back. A 13 hour day for lunch? Yup. But it was a nice change of pace, and of course, I knit the whole way there and back, as B drove. And let me tell you – I thought we had snow – they have literally two or three times as much on the ground as we do. Truthfully, mom and I both found it really depressing, even though the sun was shining and the sky was a beautiful bright blue. It took us both back to the years we lived there, and how endless the winters felt. Mom said “This is why I moved to the coast” which I had never known, I knew she loved the ocean, but not how much she hated deep snow that never stops and there is no where to put it. So naturally, she moved to the part of the coast that regularly gets slammed by the coastal storms. But at least she has a bigger yard and some place to put the snow.
Sunday we finished cleaning up around the driveway and paths and decks, which was great, to let everything melt in the warm spring sunshine – amazing weather! Hard to believe this is one week ago: (That’s my car to A’s left.)
We were both glad to be done with it – A even has shoveling blisters – ugh. So yesterday we enjoyed our holiday by having me work on our taxes and clean the pellet stove while she worked on clearing out files and folders. Fun, fun!
As you can tell, it has been the same old low key life around here the past few weeks – and I like it that way – no drama, no unexpected surprises, and loads of fun with fiber.
How have you been keeping busy lately?
The last day of vacation. Heayy sigh.
We filled this week full, yet I still feel relaxed. Not ready to go to work, but relaxed, lol.
We spent loads of time with family, and all of it was good. Thanksgiving Day was spent with 8 of us who are all on a similar page politically, so there was no strife, only good food and fun.
Saturday was our family carol sing – a long tradition on my Mom’ side of the family. Mom, her two sisters and as many cousins and second cousins, etc as can make it. This year we had all the cousins in my generation, but missed a whole bunch of the next generation – the kids are getting older and all had girlfriends and homework, etc calling them, so no trip to Maine for singing. But we did have a few who had been missing in recent years – all graduated now, they are grownups who work and have weekends free. It was loads of fun, and even though I couldn’t sing (sinuses still causing havoc with voice), I really enjoyed listening to them sing, and chatting with the small crowd of guys who hang in the living room not singing each year. And I got a few doll mittens knit for little E, which made her very happy as she had requested them.
In and between and among all of that, I spent a day with niece B getting a start on making the Christmas cards (still have many to go, but at least the process has begun 🙂 ); A and I went to the movies – IN THE MOVIE THEATER! – which rarely happens; had supper out once or twice, cleaned most of the house, and generally puttered and got things done that needed doing. I also did a bit of spinning, and a whole lot of knitting, most of which is for Christmas. I knit a few things from some handspun, which feels really good! One of those things is this doll’s hat to match the mittens I made for E’s doll, but the rest can’t be shown yet. 🙂
This is color tag from Three Waters Farm, and it is rambouillet. It was hard for me to spin, but I really like the resulting yarn, very soft.
I also cast this on – the girls at work have been asking for these hats, so I will knit a few of them and sell them too cheaply, because I know what they earn. 🙂
Spinning-wise, I finished one bobbin of Cadillac Mountain (from Purple Fleece) and have started the next. It’s a merino cashmere blend and it is so easy to spin, and really soft. Can’t wait to have it to knit with!
While I was knitting and spinning, A was really struggling with her project, to make plexi-glass inserts for the screen porch. I think she would have had an easier time of it if this supervisor had been more helpful.
But clearly, supervising is difficult work, really takes it out of you. It takes a couple of days of napping before the fire for Zumba to recover.
Today we are being so lazy – watching many sappy holiday movies. We record them on the Hallmark channel and watch them at our leisure… which is all day today, I guess! Because we have taken most of the week off from dieting, and will start again tomorrow, there are brownies in the oven which I fully intend to eat with a nice cup of cocoa. Well, I won’t eat them all – A will get one or two as well. If any are left, they will go to work with me tomorrow.
I think I will go check the lottery tickets before I think too much more about all that has to happen tomorrow.
We went to the fair as planned.
Not the tenth- to a quarter-inch that was predicted. At least an inch. Maybe more.
We waited for the train in the rain (I highly recommend the train – it saves so much traffic and parking aggravation, and loads of walking.) Mom was generally happier than she looks in this photo – she hates having photos taken, especially with phones and for no reason. 🙂
We watched the sheep dog demo in the misty drizzle. (Love to watch border collies move animals with their eyes.)
We visited the fiber tents and Wednesday Spinner Tent in a steady rain.
We ate lunch in torrential rains.
We took refuge in the folk art tent and watched some fun contra dancing. While I knit (duh) and Mom and niece B shivered from the cold and wet, we all watched niece E dance with abandon. Sister C and her husband R were visiting the fair for the first time, and they spent most of the day tracking after E as she went on horse-drawn wagon rides, made a beaded bracelet, hand ground buckwheat into flour, explored all the animal barns, and generally had a blast, heedless of the rain.
I didn’t do as much shopping as I normally would, I am not sure I found all the fiber vendors, as we got so cold and wet that we decided to head out before the contra dancing was quite finished (2:30 or so).
But I did get a bit of fiber! I wanted to learn more about different kinds of spinning, and so I chatted with a few farmers before making my selections. If it hadn’t been raining, I would have gotten more from some of them, but I didn’t want to carry huge amount of wet fiber around.
I got this – an ounce of Finn from a woman who raises what look like the happiest of sheep. I plan to do a little dying with this and see how dying on a dark base impacts the color.
And this – Angora/wool mix. I chatted with the woman in this booth about my spinning skills, and asked her how hard Angora is to spin – it’s hard, apparently, and she recommended a blend with wool, so this is angora and merino. SO SOFT!
This I found in the Bartlett tent. Bartlett has a million colors of yarn, all of which I want.
But then in a bin, I discovered these little batts of unidentified wool (Debbie at the Purple Fleece said it feels like Romney, which is why I need to keep learning. Her fingers can tell her this? I need a label written in English.)
And that is it. Everything I bought at the fair. I spent perhaps 50 dollars, including ticket and lunch. Very unlike me. I blame the rain. The absolutely only good thing about the rain is that it keeps the crowds way down, it was wonderfully uncrowded. Oh, and I guess it is good that we got the rain, since we are still exceedingly dry around here.
I made up for the lack of yarn spending on Saturday, when I went to Whorls and Purls at the Purple Fleece. My roving of the month was waiting for me – inspired by a mushroom! It just feels like autumn to me. Here are the front and back, looking a bit different from each other. I love the little touches of purple.
She also had a whole new batch of gradients that I had not seen before, I got a two skeins of one of them. I am not completely sure what I will do with these, but I am thinking maybe a shawl, because I need another one, ROTFL! But with over 800 yards, I have a lot of options.
So while it wasn’t what I expected to be showing you, I did manage to get a wide array of fiber-y goodness this weekend.
Not sure if I will go to the fair in the rain again…if it rains on Friday next year, I might give it a miss. I love the fair, but not the cold September rain.
I took the day off to even out from last week’s crazy hours, and so you get a Friday list this week. (You lucky thing!)
Oh, such a simple list!
Get up and dressed in a very special fair outfit, meet up with niece B, head off to meet Mom, then go to the (Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association) Common Ground Fair!
It is supposed to be a rainy day, so the very special fair outfit involves shorts, sneakers and warm socks, a t-shirt, sweater or sweatshirt, a raincoat, and a ball cap. All of which seriously impedes the ability to shop as all these layers fill the day pack when they are not in use! A towel, shoes, and socks go in the car so that the ride home can be warm and dry.
This year we are going to Thorndike to catch the train to the fair – a ten minute train ride that hopefully saves lots of traffic congestion and walking from distant parking lots. We would rather spend our walking around energy AT the fair, not getting TO the fair. Conveniently, the train drops us off near the flush toilets! Mom planned this change, can you tell?
Mom and B will want to spend loads of time with the farm animals large and small. Fortunately, the animal barns are always located fairly near the fiber and yarn tents. I am excited this year to check out spinning fibers by local dyers. Still not ready for a whole fleece (haven’t got hand carders!) so I won’t be lugging three bags full of wool around the fair. Maybe next year? But I do plan to get some pretty, unique yarn and fiber.
And who knows what I will find in the Maine-made artisan tents? So much great stuff is made here.
We have a new family rule this year for the fair, though, that I have to keep in mind – if you buy it, you carry it. So maybe I will leave a layer of clothing off so I can carry more. We’ll see how cold it is.
Then there is the food – ! Cousin B will likely be selling his wood-fired pizza, so delicious – and there is so much more. The food has to be Maine-sourced, which can make an interesting meal – but we harvest crab meat, and grow potatoes, and make maple goodies….I am hungry just thinking about it. I will take pictures there and pictures of the things I buy, and share them with you as I do each year – it will be like you came with me to the fair – get ready for a fun 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.
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!
This was a wonderfully busy but exhausting weekend!
I took Thursday off to finish getting ready for all my Bs and Cs. It all went smoothly until I had to go to the grocery store. I got the huge amount of food we would need to feed four millenials and headed out, thinking I had a couple of hours still to finish things like flowers for their rooms, etc. I loaded the trunk, slammed it shut and THEN realized my bag (with keys, phone, wallet, and knitting) was in the trunk. Back into the store where a very nice clerk and customer were able to help me with the AAA number and a phone. They told me it would be at least 45 minutes. I tried not to think too much about my perishables in the trunk in the hot sun, bought a book with some cash from my pocket and settled down to wait (leaned against the concrete building in a thin strip of shade.) It only took 20 minutes for the truck to arrive – yeah! And about a minute for him to get the door open so I could pop the trunk. A little frightening how easy that was for him, actually. I went straight home, and was pleased the cold things were still cold!
I felt that anxiety warranted a swim in the pool, so I took a quick dip, then did the last of the chores and had a few minutes to sit and knit before the girls arrived.
My two travelers made it late Thursday afternoon, after a long day in the car with pet fish, rabbit, and all necessary gear. We got them unloaded, got Denny the bunny settled in the guest room with his mom, and relaxed over some yummy lasagna.
Then it was game on – board games! They both forgot rule number 1 (I win) and beat me soundly. We kept at it until after midnight, but I just couldn’t win!
Friday we loafed a bit in the morning, all slow starters, and then after breakfast, we headed out to see Mom. Because Step dad B was just out of rehab following knee surgery, they could not come to us, which the girls would have preferred, since this meant another few hours in the car. But they were good sports, and gram and grands were very happy to see each other, even for a short visit.
And it meant I got to go to Mom’s LYS, where I got a feeling for color and style the girls like and then I booted them out to the Grasshopper Shop so I could do some serious shopping.
I got yarn for their Christmas presents, and some pretty fiber – had a lot more yarn and fiber in my basket, but I did some serious editing of the basket when I found this book!
So beautiful in person, I had to have it. I also was thrilled to have the shop give me a couple of free patterns with purchase, one of which is perfect for handspun yarn! The other is an ingenious little number that may bore me to tears knitting it (a stockinette tube in lace weight!) but makes such a cool garment, I can’t wait to see how it comes out.
We stopped for Chinese takeout on the way home, and then got to work on door decorations. Niece B is an RA, and she wanted to make bunny name tags. So A, C and I cut them out of scrapbook paper while B traced them as fast as she could. We added googly eyes and cotton ball tails, and soon there were roughly 50 of them laid out on the dining room table. I say soon, but really, I went to bed after cutting out a dozen, and that is what I found in the morning. 🙂
Saturday, the other B and C joined us and the kids taught us to play Cards Against Humanity. What a crazy game that is? It was so funny, but so dark. We agreed that it is fun to play once in a while but that it would not be good for us to play too often.
That game wrapped up just as late lunch was ready – roast chicken and all the Thanksgiving trimmings – not because we love Thanksgiving, but because they all eat different things and with that spread, I knew they could all find food to fill their bellies.
Then we played a game of Guillotine (why am I just noticing that these board games are dark?) and the 4 kids went off to do a little local shopping at the Big Chicken Barn (used books and antiques.) When they returned, we played Mille Bourne and ate cake, before the day visitors headed out for home.
Meanwhile the bunny wasn’t feeling well, so niece B hung in her room very upset and worried, and none of us knew quite what to do for him. I think all the traveling and changes were catching up with him, but apparently bunnies can get sick and die very quickly, so we were worried.
Sunday morning, he seemed a little bit better, he was eating. But Sunday was a travel day for everyone – and a complicated one at that! We loaded B and all her animals and their gear into her car, loaded most of the stuff she had stored with us for the summer into our cars, and we all headed up to Husson, where we were meeting up with her mom and grandma and a van also full of necessary items for school. They had traveled up from CT that day. We gathered outside the dorm, which OF COURSE was not actually open. B had to move temporarily into a different dorm room because her dorm’s remodeling wasn’t yet complete. However, we were thrilled that they let us move most of her stuff into a different room on her floor, so she only needed her animals and their gear and a few basics to get her through the week. It was crazy humid and hot, and her dorm has no elevators, so we hauled stuff up to the 6th floor, over the construction debris, past the workmen (on a Sunday, they were busting to get it done!) and stored it in a room that was ready. Her room will be quite small this year, I hope the bunny gear fits into it! She got the bunny settled in the temporary room, and he seemed OK, but I know he will be glad to settle into their regular room later this week. And we all celebrated that this was the last time we would have to haul her gear up those stairs! Next move is down and out, and it will be the last one!Yeah!
Then we said good bye to them all, C went with her Mom and Gram to start the trip home (she goes to school on Friday in PA), A went off to work for a couple of hours, and I went home to start the clearing up!
I made a trip to the dump, finished the breakfast dishes, and got the laundry started before I cried UNCLE and sat with my knitting. I was SO TEMPTED to go to bed, but I knew I would be down for the count if I did that, and the weekend activities weren’t quite over!
Our friend Crimson Crow came over at around 5, and she and I went to the Alamo theater for a viewing of the Sound of Music. I have not seen it in a theater since it came out, and I was 6. It was AMAZING! Yes, it is sappy. Yes, we all knew the lines and music by heart (except Crimson Crow, who had NEVER SEEN IT! Not sure what rock she lived under for the past 50 years.) but it is still a good movie, and so much better on the huge screen!
We saw a woman I know who was there with her family, and she told a funny story – when she saw it first, as a little kid, she fell asleep right after the wedding. So for years, she thought it was a pretty little love story. We joked about the whole other story that happens after the wedding, and how surprised she was when she finally saw it on TV years later.
Anyway, Crimson Crow really enjoyed it, and kept being surprised when songs she knew popped up – she never knew where they were from. As she said, she had only seen part of it, she would start to watch it on TV, but it never kept her interest “beyond that twirling thing on the mountain” and didn’t she laugh when she realized that was the opening scene.
So that was the finishing touch to a fun but exhausting weekend. You know when I got home, I crashed into bed, and was rudely woken by the Monday morning alarm not 5 minutes later. 🙂
Bunny update: she took him to the vet, he really is sick. Apparently bunnies have to eat all the time, and he wasn’t so she has to force feed him food and meds. She is a bit stressed as you might imagine. This bunny is her therapy animal and he has made a huge difference in her life already. Not sure how things will go for if she loses him right now.