Spinning lesson number two

This week we adjusted the wheel some more and put a spring on the scotch tension. That helped a lot. Debbie-the-teacher thinks that there is some issue with the footman, and had me try a couple of different wheels.  The treadling was definitely easier on the newer wheels.  I’ll keep cleaning and oiling this one though, as I am not ready to choose a new one.  Well, I am not ready to PAY for a new one.  🙂

Then Debbie taught me how to hand card and make rolags, and spin from them. Now this is ever so much easier! I am getting a nice thin single at last.

She loaned me hand carders, gave me a bag of clean fleece and the assignment of  spending an hour a day hand carding and spinning,  and fill the bobbin by next Wednesday.  I think it will take a lot more spinning to fill it this week than it did last week!

She also said I AM ready for colors, and how else will I learn all the joys of this craft if I don’t practice on new things?  She compared it to knitting with cheap acrylic yarn or a beautiful soft merino/silk blend.  She sold me, and I will be checking out her pretty hand-painted braids. As well as all the fabulous offerings at Fiber Frolic this weekend – can’t wait!







Sunday catch-you-up post

Hello! I hope that everyone is having as gorgeous a day as we are – it’s one of those “nothing so rare as a day in June” days – light breeze, bright sunshine, not a cloud in the sky – no humidity to speak of – just perfect! Wish we could have more of these days!

So you know – I did get off the couch today. In fact, I have already gotten some noticeable work done outside! Sister-in-law L came over for a late breakfast this morning, and brought my early birthday cake, so we had a yummy breakfast followed by mocha cupcakes. Mmmmmm.

I worked out in the pool area today, and ya know, after a full three seasons of this endless toil, I came up with something that seems to make it go faster. Two vehicles. One is the old wheelbarrow with the completely flat tire. So flat that when I tried to blow it up, WATER came squirting out from many places. I guess we need a new tire. 🙂  The other is my old yellow wagon that we got when we cleared the land almost ten years ago. It isn’t perfect either, the handle is too short, meaning that it is awkward to tow, but it has 4 good tires and it has a dumping mechanism. So. Now I have a method that is not quite so slow and awkward. The wheelbarrow is parked in the pool area with the sieve on top. The little yellow wagon is parked next to it. I sieve the rocks out of the sand, the sand falls in and around the wheel barrow, and I shovel the remaining rocks into the wagon. When one or the other is full, I dump the little rocks from the sieve into the wagon, dump the sand in the pool area, haul the rocks over to the path I am making, dump them in the hole, dig out a new section, take that sand back to the pool area, and repeat (having figured out it is better not to make a pile that will later have to be moved to the path, just make the path now, stupid.) It is still slow and hot, and yes, it would be easier to buy a load of sand, but I am not giving up yet. 🙂 I try not to think about the fact that where the path is there are no rocks, because the pool was there the first year, and where the pool is going is where I put the rocks back then. Like I said, better not to make a pile to move later.

Anyway… L left, and A went off to play golf with Stepdad. I am taking a cooling off break with some iced tea, some knitting and my camera. And of course computer. 🙂

I need the camera because I had to take photos of what I am working on today, which is the Indian Feather shawl – only twelve more rows of lace to go – and then the body of it begins. See the tiny beads?  I really should use larger ones next time.

Indian-feathers-2-for-web          Indian-feathers-2-close-up-for-web

I also had to take photos of what I got yesterday at the fabulous Fiber Frolic! I had a really nice time, considering I went by myself with a limited amount of money to spend. I had a copy of the vendor list, so I had a plan, and for the most part it worked. Another $100 would have been welcome, but I will survive. 🙂  I wandered through all the vendor stalls, trying not to buy anything on my first pass. I almost made it, but then I saw this:


Inspired by Monet’s lily pond paintings, which I love, and made by a company called “Two Gray Dogs,” how could I resist? You can’t see it in this photo very well, but there are tiny flecks of pink, just like water lily flowers. So pretty!  The two women were fun and lively, and I grabbed a card as well as this skein, I will be in touch with them again! They had so many pretty colors! I am a sucker for colors…

If you remember, Pine Star Studio was on my list, Linda has a wide array of nice colors, fun sock yarns, and other interesting things, as well as some of my favorite lace weight yarns. Here is where the budget interfered with my avaricious soul. I wanted some of everything. She has amazing cakes of yarn that are broad bands of different colors, I think they would make amazing shawls. She has amazing sock yarn, and she has lefty shawl kits – oh oh oh. But I stuck to my plan, and got this lace weight yarn – I have a plan for it with the silk garden Noro I won many moons ago from Claire over at Molly and Claire. I think if I hold it double, it will be close to the same weight. We will see.


RIGHT NEXT TO HER was Hidden Brooks Fiber – the very nice lady named Carol makes the softest, most affordable angora blend yarns ever. There were several to tempt me, but not the blue I was looking for! So, I got a white one, and will dye it the right color. Again, an unlimited budget would have allowed me to clean her out of her white and gray and bring them home to dye myself. She is working on her website, and I can’t wait to see it up and running so I can order lots and lots of yarn from her. You know, when I win the lottery.


A few booths down was my seriously most exiting find of the day. A woman I worked with many years ago as she started her business, and whom I had lost track of. Not for lack of trying, though, I love Judith’s glass buttons, and wanted more. Mostly so I could stop hoarding the few I have left! Anyway, I had tried to find her on the internet, etc. with no luck. So when I spotted a big booth with her name above it, I was thrilled. She was mostly selling her beautiful hooked wall hangings, but in the corner were her wonderful buttons, just as I remembered them. Hers are different from any I have seen (mind you, I don’t get out much!) and are perfect for the hats I can’t stop making. I limited myself to 3, but grabbed a card, so I won’t lose her again. Keep your eyes out for her – Judith Hotchkiss. Her buttons would make a plain stockinette cardigan sing.Judith's-buttons-for-web

Next up was a stroll toward lunch, and it brought me past a booth that just screamed with bright colors. I needed my sunglasses! I went in on a whim and found this yarn which I think will be socks for my littlest niece E who loves bright colors. It wasn’t until I got it home that I realized it has none of her favorite color, purple, but I think she won’t notice. 🙂  With a name like Mad Color, how can you go wrong?


I saw so many other vendors that were selling things I would have loved to have – and there was a bead lady there who I have seen on Ravelry – she was selling beads in larger batches than I usually want, but I keep thinking about one particular set she had, so will likely be in touch to see how I can get them someday.

I also saw lots of old friends from the days when we ran our Incubator Without Walls program for small businesses – they all look so well established and professional now, it is fun to see them and think about where they were 5, 10, or 15 years ago. They have worked hard, and it shows. I wish I could have bought something from everyone.

I was going to hang about for the Ravelry hook-up at 2, but by the time I had lunch, I was beat and ready to go. Plus, at lunch I did my one extraverted thing, and channeled my dear old friend Kate (who made friends with everyone in a 30 foot radius always) and sat with strangers at lunch, and even spoke to them! It wasn’t as bad as it could have been. 🙂 I chose strangers who were sitting at a table in the shade. I ain’t no dummy. So if you are watching, Kate, you can be proud that you taught me it is OK to talk to strangers. In small batches.  In the shade.

After all of that shopping, and lunch, and the obligatory homemade ice cream on the way out (Stone Fox Creamery, Chocolate Salted Caramel, oh my) I left the Fiber Frolic with 17 dollars still in my pocket. That’s enough for another skein of Pine Star lace weight… or a couple more buttons… what was I thinking?

Time to go back outside and get some work done.

Saturday at last!

I am off to the Fiber Frolic in a couple of hours – so just thought I would document what I think I am getting – then we can check in later to see how I did!

I aim to find the Hidden Brooks Fiber lady, and get some of her luscious angora/wool blend – I have someone interested in my Chevron hat, but in a smaller size. Her website was our of commission the other day, so I need to see her in person. And see all her fiber.  So sad.

Then I want to connect with the Purple Fleece, and talk about spinning lessons. And maybe buy some of her bright colored yarn.

My old favorite PineStar is on the vendor list, so I will stop by and PROBABLY get some yarn for another lace shawl, because really, you can’t have enough of them, right?

I’ll be on the lookout for some sock yarn, and new vendors and other exciting stuff, but I will be trying hard to stick to my budget.

Our plans for today have changed a bit – A has to work halfway across the state, and originally, we thought the timing would work that she could drop me at the fair, go work, then pick me up several hours later.  But between the time she would have to drop me off and the fair would actually open is a couple of hours, and I just figured it made no sense to sit and hang out there for that long – even though I could knit, it is a bit longer than I want to be standing by the side of the road.

So, I will do a few things this morning, including going to the Post Office to see if any of the clothes I recently ordered have arrived – and if they have, I might come home and change, lol.  I’ll head out around 9:30 or so, and stay at the fair for a couple of hours – if I have the energy, I will hang about until 2 when there is a Ravelry hook up. Never been to one of those, but I will give it a shot.  Very silly, but it is a big deal to this introvert!

Tomorrow, I have no plans, I should do a bit of cleaning, of course. And yard work, since I will do none today.  It will be tough to get off the couch with all that new fiber, though.

Here are some photos I took lately.  The Trapper Cowl I took with my phone – aren’t you proud of me? Of course, I got it onto Ravelry and could not figure out how to get it here, so you will just have to follow the link to see it.  🙂

First up – yarn and knitting.

Here is the newly dyed yarn hanging in the rain – not drying.


And here it is all dry, with the first batch I did.  I think these colors will work well for the lefty shawl.


Next up is the lace leaf shawl adaptation – I did not block it hard, so it has more texture than my purple one.  And as you can see, I added one stitch when I cast on, and created a third section of leaves, for a different shaped shawl.  This is the yarn I dyed using beets, and it just is too orange for me.  But I like what the pattern did with the extra section.


Here’s the beginning of the Indian Feathers – I will likely wish I had used size 6 beads instead of size 8, but these are the ones I had that looked nice with the yarn, so it is what it is.


Now, onto the glass beads.  Remember last month I took that class?  One aspect of the Haystack day is a studio “tour” where everyone can look at what was made during the day.  But our beads were still in the kiln, so she had us paint pictures of what we were making.  I am not artist, for sure, and of course, I had no idea if what I thought I was putting into the kiln is what would come out!  So here is the card I painted that day.


And here are the beads, which I was finally able to pick up this week.  Definitely lumps, but some of them are pretty, if you don’t worry about what they were supposed to look like.  I love the bubbly ones (that was on purpose!) and some of the purple ones – I was trying to get the colors of a mussel shell.  Failed that, but they are still pretty.



Then there is the garden this week – veggie plants are sprouting like mad, loving the rain. Tomatoes are in a holding pattern though, waiting for warmer weather.  Which will come eventually, right?

The strawberries look better than ever, and I ignored them this year.  All I do is pull out the occasional weed.  No compost, no mulch, no bird netting.  I am disowning them, if they produce, great, if not, out they come.  They take up too much space for the yield.


The tomatoes are holding on, but the squash popped right up!


Here we have radishes, garlic, lettuce, mesclun mix and peas all doing great.  Carrots are in there, too, they will sprout soon among the radishes. Oh, and there is a small pumpkin patch in the corner.


This patch is sister-in-law L’s.  Not sure what all she has planted besides beans, but I do know that she is also getting grass and morning glories (which she did NOT plant.) and the beans look great!


This is the asparagus – we ate a lot of it this spring, but I am letting the rest go to grow and fill this planter bed.


Mother Nature is working hard to get all the things caught up to their normal bloom time.  We have lupine (and a fine example of what we have for soil in this yard)


and wygelia both getting ready to pop with color.


Here’s a gratuitous sugar bomb picture.  Last weekend A was craving sweets, so I baked brownies.  then she asked if we could frost them.  We could, we did, they were delicious but an incredible pile of sugar, couldn’t eat too many of them in a sitting!



That’s it – the camera is empty now.  🙂

Sleeping outside or starting the weekend off right

I decided to sleep outside on the porch tonight. The sky is pretty, it isn’t going to rain and it’s nice and cool. Perfect night for it!

A thinks I’m crazy. 🙂

For a short week, it seems like a long time since I was here.  Not much is new, our quiet weekend is filling up, though.  Car appointments, breakfast with family while we wait, errands and chores. Then off to Orono for niece E the elder’s School performance.  Sunday a plays golf while I play in the yard. And boom! The weekend is over!

Oh how I miss my Friday’s off!

I have done some research on spinning lessons and found some nearby.  I will check out the woman next week at Fiber Frolic, so that is exciting.  Just going there next week will be exciting!  Actually there is lots going on over the next few weeks. But we will take it one week at a time!

I will try to find time this weekend to show you what I am working on now that I have finished the long scarf- something to look forward to!

knitting day!

Naturally, it involved a swim! But it started with a quick trip to the vet to pick up Frankie’s ashes and make an appointment for Allie and Zumba to get their baby shots. That was harder emotionally than I expected. I do miss my girl.

Then it was off to Mom’s, where we sat on the deck with our coffee and knitting until C and E arrived. E was really good, mostly listened, but even when she didn’t, she didn’t do anything BAD. We had lunch, knit a bit more, then went in the pool. Well, all but C, she sat on the pool deck knitting. E has been having swim lessons and is very comfortable in the water, can relax enough to float on her back (with life jacket) and can paddle and kick without splashing. I think that pretty soon she will be able to put her feet down on the bottom, and then her life will really change! At least, now, C is comfortable with her being in the pool with adults on the deck watching her. This relieves lots of tension, as E doesn’t care how cold she or the water are, and Mom and I do! The water was cold, but it felt good to be swimming again! Then I headed home to see A, only to find that she isn’t leaving Frenchville until 4:30, so won’t be home for hours yet.

Tomorrow Mom and I go to Fiber Frolic to check out the yarn and animals. I can’t wait. 🙂 My yarn money is pretty low, but I do have some, and I know exactly which vendor I will be looking for – a woman from Denmark (Maine) who has the loveliest colors of sock and lace weight yarn. Yummy.

Meanwhile, A will be picking up the new kittens, so I will be eager to get home to see them. Even though it will be a rainy weekend, it looks to be a good one! And next weekend, we go to Monhegan for two days, I can’t wait!

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