Archive for the ‘fiber’ Tag

Thank you, Mother Nature   16 comments

( meant to post this yesterday, sorry!)

 

Today is a glorious, dry, sunny day.  And we all appreciate it so much because it is the first such day in a few months.  And we get another just like it tomorrow!  Sad that I have to go to work.

Work basically stinks right now – so many changes!  So much seems ill-thought out though I am sure there are reasons.  And change is always hard, so it just is not fun there right now.

Thank heavens for fiber and knitting and spinning.

I haven’t spun much this week, too hot!  But I am concentrating on knitting, and I will finish up the purple fiber in the next few days, get my wheel ready for my non-competitive Tour de Fleece spinning. That starts on July 1, and goes until the 23rd.  I want to spin a sweater quantity of yarn, doubt I will make it in that time frame, but I will make a good start!

I finished the second lace section of Moon and Sky – it has lovely little (mostly invisible still) beads sprinkled throughout.  I love this pattern, the lace is SO EASY!

The striped sweater is down below the sleeves, and I am working on the first sleeve now. Because I am not sure how the yarn will work out, and thus, if the stripes will have to change width, I am making sure the sleeves keep up with the body.  Not my usual MO for this kind of sweater – I usually do the sleeves first, then the body.  But now I am doing each one a couple of inches, then shifting to the next piece.  So, the body is a few inches past the sleeve division, and one sleeve is almost to the same point.  It should go pretty fast now.  The faster you knit, the less likely you are to run out of yarn.  Truth!

Red socks (not the team, but the actual socks) are coming along – the heel of the second sock is turned, so I am on the home stretch with the May/June socks.  Pretty good timing, I think. I should be ready to start the next pair on July 1.

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The vest plugs along – thin yarn and long rows means that even with a couple of rows done, it looks the same.  🙂  I am above the waist now, headed for the division of front and back.  Not sure how I will balance the yarn on this as the directions call for knitting two fronts and back at the same time, which means three balls of yarn. I have one large ball of yarn.  I hate to wind some off and have it not be enough or be too much, so I might ignore this instruction and do the back first.  Then I can knit the two fronts from both ends of the ball of yarn.  If this is the worst problem I face all day, that is a good day.

The house cooled off so nicely last night, the cats and the people were in heaven.  I have a meeting to go to tonight, but I hope that tomorrow evening I can do a bit of yard work.  It looks like a hugely overgrown jungle right now.  But the pool is cleaner than ever, and I think I can get that so that people other than me would swim in it by the weekend.  So life is good when I am not at work.  And it is going to be OK at work, too.

Especially if I win the Powerball lottery tonight, lol.

(PS I haven’t checked the numbers yet this morning. I could be a millionaire!)

 

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.  🙂

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

Vacation!   11 comments

I can’t tell you how we have waited for this week.  A’s job has its busy season in June, July, and August.  That means no vacation, and only the occasional long weekend.  But usually by September, it slows down.  She also has to book her vacations well in advance so that the office can work around that vacation schedule when setting up all her trainings and software installs.  She is the only trainer/installer, so the calendar is important to the whole company.

As a result, we decide in January when our vacations for the year will be.  And this one always seems to take the longest to get here.  It is tough to go all summer working while everyone else has vacation time.  But then, September finally arrives and we get to relax and enjoy chilling for a whole week.

So what are we doing this week?

Well, since it is Monday, we have already had two days of it – how it flies!

Saturday I spent some time with spinning and knitting in the morning.

This is “Life’s a Beach” from the Purple Fleece, on Falkland.  OMG look how thin I can spin this stuff.  I love it.  I can’t begin to think how much yarn I will get from this.

IMG_1335

My 4 shawls are moving along, and I wanted to get lifelines in, so I did that. And in the process, discovered that I had made an error on the Biophilia.  I looked at it long and hard and decided that while maybe no one else would notice, I would, and so I would need to rip back. Nine rows. About 2500 stitches.  Sigh.  I put it aside.

I also experimented with photos, taking them with camera and phone.

 

Obviously, they get turned about, even though I think I tried to be consistent with orientation.  But the colors and light are also quite different as well. The ones on the left are the phone, the right, the camera.  The sun was up, but still behind trees, so it wasn’t really the best light for this experiment.  I might try it again in brighter light.

I had to pick up everything from the pop up shop at noon time, so after a delicious French toast breakfast made by A, I went into town.  Holiday weekend.  Have to turn left onto Route 1 to get to town.  Ugh.  I waited at least ten minutes before I could make that turn. But I did make it eventually and picked up the things which didn’t sell.  I did not sell a whole lot of anything, but luckily some of what I sold was shawls, so I made enough money to make it worthwhile.  Jewelry sold slowly, but it always has.  I am thinking that it is just not worth making for sale. Even though the pieces are incredible, soft and lustrous…silk and glass beads, how can I go wrong?…most of the patterns I use are from Laura Nelkin and she asked me when I inquired to please not sell them online.  So, I won’t.  But I also won’t knit anymore that aren’t ones I want to keep. And I might off-load some to nieces and cousins this winter if there is no pop-up shop again. Which is still up for debate.  The fabulous Sonja is thinking of a year-round shop in a nearby town, I will have to think long and hard about that, since my things don’t sell fast, they sell slow and steady. But they do well in the winter.  Not sure I want to stock (and pay a fee) all year long.  I’ll think about it.

From the pop-up shop, I went on to Whorls and Purls group at the Purple Fleece, where I spent more than 2 hours frogging the Biophilia mis-knit rows.  Sigh.  I did get to knit a row on the Oaklet, so it wasn’t a total loss.  They have a little froggy who travels with group members – I took him home this week, and he will likely show up in a phot or two over the next few weeks.  (No group this upcoming week, so I get froggy for a spell)

When I got home, I got right to knitting on those 9 rows, of course.  So Saturday was my kind of day!

Sunday, we were mapping out our plan to get 4 tons of pellets (200 40 pound bags) into the cellare and stacked.  With no direction from MDs on what I can and can;t do, A felt I should not lift them, and I felt like what is the point of wearing the monitor if I dont; do my normal things? How will I know what I can and can;t do in teh future?  We were figuring out how to do it so it wasn’t too awful a  chore, but didn’t last all week.  I posted a photo of the pellets on facebook and lo and behold – !  A’s nephew-in-law J spotted it and the next thing we knew he was here with his daughter (niece E the elder) and niece S, and those girls MOVED THE WHOLE 4 TONS INTO THE HOUSE IN ABOUT 2 HOURS. That 2 hours included water breaks after each ton and a lunch break.  They brought them to me, I put them on the ramp to slide down to where J caught them and A moved and stacked them.  J, A, and I could hardly move following this endeavor, but the girls seemed like it was no big deal.

I did pay for this, and learned a lesson – I had an uncomfortable night.  I’ll pace myself better next time.  But what good is the monitor if all I do is sit around for a month?  🙂

So now it is Monday, and we decided to havve a down day, not knowing how we would feel today (we both feel better than expected) and knowing that the tourists are all moving about today.

I’ll spin and knit, and go out back to where I spotted a japanese knotweed that needs to meet it’s demise.  And I will do that last bit with my bathing suit on so I can hop in the pool to cool off.  We are not getting Hermine, but the weather is getting warmer and more tropical as she disturbs the weather pattern.

I’ll also clear off the folding table in the craft room, because we need to lend our 4 tables and 24 folding chairs to work for a series of picnics that will happen at the end of this week and all of next week.  I let the boss know he could pick them up any time.  which means they need to get cleared off and make their way downstairs.

Tomorrow we don’t have any real plans, but that is a day we will likely go out to the dump, grocery store, PO etc, since we didn’t do it this weekend.  And maybe we will think of a little adventure to go on, too.  No telling!

Wednesday is a day for appointments.  I have one for the eye doctor in the morning, and the stove/chimney cleaners are coming around the same time, so A will stay home and deal with them. Not sure what we will do in the afternoon, but it wont; be any close work, as my eyes won;t be able to focus very well.  I wonder if I can spin without looking yet?

Thursday we are going off to visit Crimson Crow and watch a movie with her – looking forward to seeing her again, and we haven’t been to her house in a long time.  She lives in the most amazingly well designed house – not quite a tiny house on wheels but not that much bigger – definitely a very small house! She would deyny this, but I love how organized it is, and how much space she has made forl the tiny touches that make it hers.

No plans right now for the end of the week, but A is wanting to build a simple shelf for niece B, so maybe we will run it up to Bangor, and once we do that, there is no telling what else happens.

 

I’ll leave you with some shots of the mail this week – August’s offering from the Purple Fleece, and the skein of Quince and CO. that I ordered to stave off losing at yarn chicken.  So much fiber in the world, I might need it all.  🙂

Again the phot experiment – the colors are all too dark, I think.

 

These are from the camera:

And these are from the phone:

 

 

Sunday morning   26 comments

Perfect Sunday morning.  🙂

It started with some porch spinning.  This is the fiber I dyed last week – it’s coming out more aqua than blue, which is a surprise, but not a bad one.  I am still learning how colors change as they are drafted, spun, plied, and knit. It’s all fun.

sunday-morning-for-web

Here’s Reyna, all finished and blocked.  I took her over to the shop yesterday, with mixed feelings.  If it doesn’t sell, I might keep it. 🙂

 

 

pine-star-reyna-for-web

This is the yarn I finished yesterday (it was a day of finishing things, I guess!)

It is 4 ounces of coopworth in the salpiglossis colorway from Purple Fleece.  It is a thick yarn, between an aran weight and bulky weight, I would guess.  Someday it will be a bright, warm hat.

salpiglossis-finished

Yesterday afternoon I also went to the Whorls and Purls gathering at the Purple Fleece, which was fun.  Lots of amazing things happening on needles and wheels over there.  I did 9of course) make a small purchase – because there simply isn’t enough blue, green and purple in my world.  And I got a bobbin, so now I can either work on more than one spin at a time OR do a traditional three play… Or even finish up a two ply without having to stop and skein the yarn to empty the bobbin.  Such a simple tool that will open up many possibilities for me.

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Which reminds me, I don’t think I shared with you what happened Friday.

Don’t worry, it isn’t bad.  It’s about the mail.

The fiber I ordered from Three Waters Farm arrived, not even a week after I ordered it!

 

 

So instead of being almost out of fiber (which really was true!) I now have 4 beautiful braids tucked away, and still have three months of the Roving of the Month club at Purple Fleece coming my way.  And I still have about 6 ounces of undyed fiber to play with.

And some knitting to do.  Shawls are coming along, I cast on the 4th one, so there is plenty of variety for my fingers. 🙂

I’ll leave you with this phone picture I got in Bucksport yesterday – a gorgeous day!

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What a week!   23 comments

It’s hot.  I know, I know, compared to the rest of entire country, it isn’t. But it’s humid.  And hot. High 80’s and low 90s is hot. And however well prepared we are for winter with all our heat sources and blankets and coats and hats, when it comes to summer, we are woefully unprepared for heat.  SO MANY places don’t have AC, I am so lucky we have it at work!

Even the pool isn’t cool anymore, it was 85 degrees last night.  Cooler than the air, but not cool.

After our weekend of “partying” we were pretty tired.  I spent most of Sunday in Mom’s pool (which gets more shade than mine does, so was 73 degrees) with niece E the younger and various other family members who came and went.  I am the aunt who stays in the pool as long as the kids want, as I recall being little and having to stop swimming when the last grownup stopped.  But even I had to tell her it was time to get out after about 4 hours.

Monday night I had a little medical emergency, and woke dear old A up to take me to the ER.  They got me sorted out and I guess I am fine, although Benadryl was involved, so I was sleepy for a day or two.  I was really worried that I was imagining that I was sick, so it felt good to hear the doctor say “if it happens again, come right in, don’t wait.”  And there is no reason to think that it will.  Of course now I have follow up tests and appointments and instructions and blah blah blah. All I can say to you all is that if you think you might be having a heart attack, don’t worry about waking up your partner or spouse or friend – DO IT and get it taken care of.  I wasn’t, but it was something else, and life goes on, thankfully.

Since we were up all night, A and I both stayed home from work Tuesday and that has just thrown my week out of whack, let me tell you!  What day is it?  We did NOTHING on Tuesday.  I mean, I slept until 10, stayed in PJ’s until 5 when I put on my swim suit and went in the pool to cool off (it was HOT, remember?)  A didn’t even do that, she was not able to sleep much after we got home.  They gave me the benadryl, not her! She lay awake trying to hear me breathing, but the fan drowned me out, so she just worried all night.

Wednesday we returned to work, and all was as if it never happened.  A worked late, so I went for a swim as soon as I got home, and then quick as I could, messed about with dyes and fleece and yarn, and almost had the mess cleaned up by the time she arrived home. I can’t wait to spin this and see if it looks like I think it will.  I want to spin the blue green as one single, and the blue green red as the other, then ply them together.  I hope it will be mostly blue/green with occasional pops of red/purple for interest. It isn’t much, so I won’t really get enough to do anything with, but it is all about experimenting.  If I like it, I can do the same thing with a bigger hunk of fleece.

blue-green-red-coordinated-roving

The yarn is some baby ull I wanted to make green for the stems and leaves of a blueberry hat, so that came out just fine. It is about ten to fifteen yards, and again, I can make more of that if I want it.

green-baby-ull

I like this – I don’t need a whole skein of a color if I only need a few yards of it.  Makes me want to dig out a color work baby hat pattern I have that uses 4-5 different colors. I have never made it because of that, but now I might be able to handle it.  🙂 It’s a good excuse to play with dyes!

Which is what I did with these scraps…

scrap-roving

I am knitting away on my shawls, still in the easy shorter rows section of the bodies, but am quickly working my way to where the lace begins.  I can’t tell you how thin the gray yarn really is – it is thinner than lace weight, how can that be?  But look at the difference between it and the cloud dweller. These are two different shawls that start out the same – and I am in the same place on the pattern with them.  Let me tell you, counting stitches on the gray one is a challenge in low light, so this one might slow down when I get to the trickier parts.  It might be a daylight-only knit.

two-shawls

The Oaklet in Quince and Co. Tern is the one that travels to work with me, so it isn’t getting the same love the others are, but as it is the biggest yarn, it moves along quickly.

oaklet

I didn’t cast on the 4th one yet – need to scare up another size 6 circular, first.  I think I have one somewhere…

I am loving all these knitting WIPs.  🙂

Then spinning – I finished one bobbin of Purple Fleece’s Salpiglossis in Coopworth.  I am going for a DK or worsted weight yarn to use for a hat.  I wasn’t sure if I would love this as it has lots of orangey gold (not my favorite color) in it, but of course, it is balanced well with purple and periwinkle, making the most lovely pinkish shades in the transition area, and I do love it!

But the best news is that I got a nice fat check from the pop-up shop this week – I sold a couple of baby hats and a baby sweater as well as some jewelry from the week before that she combined with this week’s sales.  So naturally I hopped right online and ordered three beautiful braids from Three Waters Farm (on a tip from theKnittingSarah I have been following that group on Ravelry, and love the colors) and I ordered  a three month “roving of the month” club from Purple Fleece. It starts in August.  So that is SIX beautiful colored braids coming my way to spin, I just have to be patient until they arrive.  And it isn’t like I will run out, I have plenty to spin this week. and I have more plain fiber that I can dye if there is a spinning emergency.

This week we are both working on Friday, and have NO plans for the weekend – unlike last week.  Not sure exactly what I will do, but I hope to be able to go to the knitting/spinning group that meets over at the Purple Fleece on Saturdays, and I am pretty sure there will be some pool time, especially if it doesn’t cool off, which I guess it never will again. And laundry.  There is always laundry, grocery shopping, etc that has to happen. Until we win the Powerball, we will have to do it ourselves.

 

 

Friday list   4 comments

It’s a good one!

Mom and I and Cousin P are off to the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association’s (MOFGA) annual Common Ground Fair – which I LOVE.  There is just so much that is good about the fair – food that originates in Maine, fiber that originates in Maine, crafts and all sorts of products that are from Maine resources.  Great back to the land type resources and information.

No rides, no flashing lights.  Loads of animals, and contra dancing and fabulous real music.

And did I mention yarn?

Oh my.

Posted September 19, 2014 by salpal1 in how I plan to spend my day, What I love

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