Archive for the ‘family’ Tag

what weekend?   22 comments

This weekend flew by.  A said to me a few minutes ago “well, this must have been the shortest weekend on record.”

I guess that is what happens when you work a perfectly crazy week, and then work hard on the weekend as well. That is what she did.

Saturday my step brother J came over, bringing along with him Mom and B, all geared up to work in the yard.  I still have more after photos to take, but the transformation is amazing.  Of course, there is much more work to be done, but what has been done gives me hope and energy to carry on.

Here is a little taste:

Front of house before J spent 6 or 7 hours at hard labor:

before-Jeff-for-web

and after:

after-jeff-2-for-web

there is still more edging to be done, and weeding, and dirt added, then everything mulched, but I feel like I can do that in spurts this summer.

Mom worked on this:

before-mom-for-web

And I need to get a better after photo, her work was equally impressive, but hard to photograph.

I worked on this:

before-me-for-web

and was too tired to walk back there to get a photograph, but I will do that for you soon. I thought we were moving a bush back there, but we didn’t, so I will amend the soil and mulch it to keep the weeds down.  Next year I will put flowers in there.

While we did all of that, A and B got our old lawnmower repaired and running so we could give that to a family member  who just got a new house with tons of lawn.  Our goal is to have NO lawn, so we don’t need it.  B also helped set all that edging and showed me how to do it so I can finish the job.

By three, mom and I were beat, so we went for a swim, A and B settled in the living room to cool off and we all waited for J to cry uncle, which he finally did just before 5.  Here he is all cleaned up and ready to go for his lobster roll supper.  He doesn’t even look tired! But he looks proud!  The amazing thing is that he wants to come back next summer and do this for two days!

jeff-for-web

 

In other news:

This weekend saw the start of the Tour de Fleece – fiber’s answer to the Tour d France.  I was all ready and waiting weeks ago. Fiber prepped, bobbins empty.  Let’s go!

waiting-for-tdf-for-web

I started early Saturday morning before everyone arrived, and did some spinning after they left.

 

Here’s where I was at the end of Day 1:

tdf-day-1

This is going to be a sweater quantity and then some – just tons of yarn in a wild medley of blues, greens and purples with some pinks thrown in.

Today I spun in the morning again, and after a little road trip we took.  I finished the day looking like this.  (Sorry I had to use a flash in the low light.

Finished filling the first bobbin, then started the second one, which has very little pink but lots of aqua, green and blue with some purple.

I expect progress will slow down now because I do have to go to work tomorrow  Sigh.

Which gets us right back to where we started.  this was a very short weekend, and had a secret road trip in it that I can’t share with you yet. Soon, though, soon.

So tomorrow is work, but then we get a day off for the 4th.  we will head over to Moms, J wants to cook us a nice holiday meal.  That’s right, his other great love is cooking.  He really might be the perfect houseguest.  I know Mom loves having him come stay for a few weeks each summer.  🙂

And in case you are wondering abut the knitting.  Though I tried, nothing got finished before Saturday, except those red socks!  The vest did grow a lot, and I started the next pair of socks, crazy blue ones. Sorry about the bad phone shot, I will get you a better one soon.

blue-striped-business-casual

I hope you had a nice weekend that seemed longer to you!

Summer for more than one day!!!   20 comments

 

Even though I normally hate the heat, today I love it.  It finally feels like summer!  I did some very small yard chores and spent a good long time scrubbing the pool (and it is looking almost perfect as a result. I think one more bout of scrubbing will do it.)

I had a good birthday supper with A, Mom, and B on Friday night, and Saturday at Whorls and Purls they had a combo birthday and “hey we missed each other” gathering which had yummy food and loads of laughing and chatting and knitting.

And all weekend I have been interspersing knitting with spinning. 🙂  I want to master this wheel before July when I begin my unofficial Tour de Fleece with my spinning friends at Whorls and Purls and also the Friends of Knitting Sarah over on Ravelry.

IMG_1763

I filled two bobbins with singles of Spring Queen and Very Berry and pled them together.  I have more of each to spin, but I have about 140 yards of a nice thick worsted weight drying in the laundry room.  Isn’t it pretty?

IMG_1766

A and I stopped at our favorite local take-out place for lunch today – Crosby’s –  where I had a lovely crabmeat roll and a chocolate shake to end my birthday food weekend.  Tomorrow I start a whole 30 month.  It is hard but it works, so I am ready for it.  (she said, munching on M and Ms)

Nothing much else is new – knitting projects are plodding along.  The green sweater (top down) is at last down past the sleeve separation, so it will feel like it is going faster.  The handspun vest (bottom up) is above the waist but not yet to the armholes.  Socks are moving along, I am ready to turn a heel on the second sock.  And the Moon and sky shawl is near the end of the second lace section.  It’s all good but I have no photos to share today.  🙂

Some things to share   18 comments

Hello! I hope you are having a good start to your week.

 

I had a great weekend, in part because we are “Trump-free” on weekends, which means we avoid all news.  It makes Mondays hard as we get hit with it all at once, but we are strong and rested and can take it.  Except when it is so grim as London’s news is.  That is hard to take no matter the day.  I just do not understand the darkness that is coming out of every crack these days.

My heart goes out to all who are impacted by the violence and hatred. Oh, and to anyone who was counting on us for sane, reasonable, responsible behavior on climate change.  That man does not represent even half of this country, he just happens to think he is in charge.

It makes sharing all my fun pretties seem shallow, and perhaps it is.  But I think we need soft pretty things in life and knitting and spinning bring me calmness, like meditating does to others. So I am going to try to distract you from news of the world and bring you to my happy place.

This weekend was not perfect, weather-wise.  But as our local weather fool likes to say, it was not a complete washout, either. Saturday was gray and gloomy and sprinkly, except when the sun popped out in the middle of the day for ten or fifteen minutes at a time, then it was a bit warm and humid. But as that didn’t last very long, it wasn’t uncomfortable.  And I got quite practiced at putting on the coat, taking off the coat, putting on the coat, etc.

As planned, I met up with some of the Whorls and Purls gang and we went off to the Maine Fiber Frolic,  I packed (actually, emptied) my bags early, and found this when I got ready to leave:

IMG_1734

Allie was all cuddled onto my day pack, as if I would take her to a fair.  🙂

I went with a decent amount of cash, knowing it would last if I was careful.  And knowing I could easily spend ten times that amount without even thinking about it.  We had a good plan – split up (or not) and wander the fair, coming back every hour to meet in front of the ice cream booth to make sure we were all good, talk about what was next.  So I wandered the stalls and booths, scoping out what I wanted to buy.  In the end, I was pretty pleased with the fact that I only got one ice cream at lunch, and this lovely assortment:

IMG_1738

The burgundy is one of my favorite sock yarns, Caper Sock.  It is dyed locally, in Blue Hill by String Theory Hand Dyed Yarn and is a merino cashmere blend.  It makes the softest socks!  I actually had this on my list (yup, I try to have a list when I head out, or it is too hard to choose).  Next to it is the purple-blue of Linda’s Soft and Silky sock yarn – 50-50 merino and silk, hand dyed in Denmark Maine by Pine Star Studio.  I bought a skein of this last year and knit a shawl for sale, which I loved and almost didn’t put up for sale, hoped it wouldn’t sell and of course it sold instantly. This one will be for me. And I would never dream of using this luxurious yarn for socks.  It is just too elegant to go into my sneakers. And no, it was not on my list.

Then there are the beads.  Last year I went with snips of yarns planned for shawls and came away with some beautiful beads. This year I wasn’t that organized, but I knew what yarn I was thinking about for knitting shawls . Next year I will do the snips thing, it was so much easier. All the beads are beautiful!  What I managed to buy this year will be useful, and the gold beads are the same ones I am using in my beaded yarn, so I know I will like them (and I still haven’t knit the shawl they were originally intended for.) The purple MIGHT go with the lovely blue angora/silk I got at Webs last month, time will tell.  And the big clear beads could show up anyplace! All from the Bead Biz, she is online, though I haven’t checked out her website in a long time, she says she has upgraded her photos and so I will check it out.

That’s it – the whole budget spent.  I went home with 41 cents after I bought a late day lemonade (and of course, lunch!)

Fortunately (or unfortunately) I did not find THIS vendor until I had depleted my funds – but look at all the great fiber my friends got, for $2 an ounce!  We spent a good chunk of the afternoon guiding people over to this booth for deals.

IMG_1736

All of this fun, and I was home in time for supper, even after stopping at the grocery store on the way, to do the week’s shopping (I have to do some chores around the house, after all!)

A and stepdad tried to play golf, but it was raining, so they shot a bucket of balls at the driving range instead.  Since she got home early, she cleaned the house.  She is a keeper, for sure! So I came home to a sparkling house, the groceries were all bought and set for the week, and that left us free to relax on Sunday. Life is good!

We did go up to Brewer on Sunday for lunch with A’s sisters, niece, great niece, and great-nephew and their cousin Sunday, and we had a nice visit, got fun cards and presents, and were home in the afternoon – we didn’t even try to think of chores and errands we could do in “the big city” while we were there.

I gave the pool some more attention, and then settled in front of my wheel determined to finish this spin.  And I did.  I did not fuss when I came to a knot that could not be undone, I just cut the silk and called it good.

For two months (to the day) you have been patient with me as I worked from this

to this:

Just look at that silk shimmer and shine! And those beads glisten.  🙂  I got just under 600 yards of the beaded, and then I finished plying after the knot with no beads, and got about 130 yards of plain.

Plenty for a shawl, and then some!

It is all washed and hanging to dry (which it never will in this weather)  and I now know why beaded yarn is so expensive to buy.  This stuff takes forever to make.  I am glad I did it and I don’t expect to do it again any time soon. At least not with this method.  There is another way to do it, I wonder if it is faster?  Hmmmm.

 

This  week I will clean and oil the old wheel and carry her upstairs (where she will be my plying wheel), then prep some fiber to start a spin on the new wheel!!!  I can hardly wait.  But I won’t start a big spin for a few days, even though I have one in mind.  I have some mini batts that I want to spin up so I get used to the new wheel without worrying about the quality of the yarn. I will also focus on my knitting, which has suffered the past few weeks as I worked so diligently on this yarn.

And there is a yard that deserves demands attention. And the pool needs me to be brave and get IN it to scrub it.  I’d really like the sun to be out when I do that, and the temperature of the air to be higher than that of the water.  As the water is in the low 60’s that doesn’t seem too ridiculous a thought.  Maybe next week?

 

 

 

 

Wednesday   14 comments

The best laid plans…

Actually my plans are coming along just fine, it is A who had a spanner in the works yesterday.  She and SIL S went off to Augusta in the morning to visit their aunt and then the sister they seldom see.

I stayed home and worked on knitting and puttering and clearing out some stash to ship away.

I finished the shawl Monday night, actually with loads more yarn leftover than I expected, so I blocked that yesterday while they were gone.

I finished the green sweater, button band FINALLY lying flat and not pulling or rippling.  Now to select buttons.

I dug deep into stash, packed up almost all my straight and DPN needles, only kept one of each size of my grandmother’s, in her needle roll.  And I emptied two bins of yarn I will never use, all to ship off to a woman who will be going to Africa this summer and will continue teaching people to knit.  I also filled a bin of “swap” yarn for my trip to Wisconsin in September.  I hope I remember to bring it.  I might find more such yarn as I go through things this summer, who knows?

I swatched for my next sweater, teal and black stripes.  I love how the colors look but I am not sure about all those ends…

And then around 2 I got a text from my SIL.  They were headed home, but did not get to see Aunt M because she had passed away that morning, a couple of hours before they arrived.

While they were not close to her, I know it was a blow.  So few of that generation left in her family.  She was well over 90, and not well, but I think it still was a shock.  I wish we had stopped on Sunday instead of whizzing by.  A dreads family visits, and hospital visits, but I think she would have stopped if she had realized how close to the end M was.  But she didn’t want to go without her sister, so we kept going.

They did have lunch with their sister, and met her puppy, which was a good antidote to the morning. They had lunch at A’s favorite pizza place, and her sister gave her some snazzy snowshoes for her birthday, so the day ended better than it started.

I felt a little guilty about having such a good day here at home with the knitting and craft room (and laundry, in case you thought I was ONLY playing) but it is what it is.

Today we are home, it is raining, so no photos for you of all my finishes.  I’ll do some knitting and spinning and see what I can cast on.  🙂

I’ve been here, really.   34 comments

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.

img_1453

I worked on socks – plan to finish this one up before March 1, according to my 6 pairs a year plan.

img_1441

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.

img_1445

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.)

img_1427

img_1429

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?

 

 

 

 

Sunday Afternoon   19 comments

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. 🙂

lucys-hat-for-web

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.  🙂

gray-turban-for-web

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!

cadillac-mountain-bobbin-1

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.

zumba-supervises-for-web

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.

zumba-recovers-for-web

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.

Heavy sigh.

I think I will go check the lottery tickets before I  think too much more about all that has to happen tomorrow.

 

 

 

Posted November 27, 2016 by salpal1 in how I spent my day, what I am making

Tagged with , , ,

Common Ground Fair ~or~ No More Drought in Unity Maine   24 comments

We went to the fair as planned.

It rained.

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.  🙂

image

We watched the sheep dog demo in the misty drizzle.  (Love to watch border collies move animals with their eyes.)

sheep-dog-demo

We visited the fiber tents and Wednesday Spinner Tent in a steady rain.

image

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.

finn

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!

ackers-acres

This I found in the Bartlett tent.  Bartlett has a million colors of yarn, all of which I want.

image

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.)

bartlett

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.

aquamarine.jpg

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.

 

Meredith and Robby Hike the AT

A mother, father and daughter all blog about the big hike.

2017 Appalachian Hike

Only those who attempt to go too far will discover how far they can go.

coolpeopleknitblog

Knitting From My Corner of the World: South Jersey and Philadelphia Knits

Spin A Yarn

yarn hoarder...accessories fanatic...lover of all things creative

Saltwater Hill Knits

Musings of an avid knitter, middle-of-the-pack runner, and native New Englander

notewords

handwork, writing, life, music, books

21st Century Spinning

Exploring a new age of an ancient skill

judeknits2

Knitting, photography and cats.

The ways of the whorl

wherever the spinning takes me

U N D I I N

k n i t t i n g is my c h o c o l a t e

Mewkittie Creations

Wearable art and other interesting things.....

makebelievegirl

Textile & Pixel Design

Impeccable Knits: Shifting Stitches

classic cables with a modern twist

Blog

random posts about things I am doing or thinking

accidentlykellystreet

sewing, knitting and life

ericka eckles

handsewn bespoke and heirloom quality textiles

The Wisdom of Knitting

Miriam knits and thinks and seeks enlightenment in yarn

Celia Ladygarden's lifestyle for ladies

Trimming the bush of life...

thefibrealchemist

My Rabbit Hole of Fibre Experimentation.

A Little More Abstract

Crafting For Those Dedicated to Experimentation

%d bloggers like this: