Almost back

Knitting hard on the Fine Sand cardigan all week got me back to the point of dividing the sleeves from the body last night. Yeah!

Thankfully still loving this project!

On other knitting fronts, I spent Saturday afternoon at Whorls and Purls making this

A paper bag full of brown yarn balls! Why, you might ask?

Well, years ago, Mom bought this yarn, and a few years after that, I knit her a cardigan from it, which she loved. Then she lost a ton of weight and the sweater no longer fit her at all. She was very sad about that, so I offered to rip it out and reknit it on her size. The ripping out took three hours! So this will be my next sweater project. Luckily the pattern was my old standby top down cardi, I can knit those in my sleep almost!

Here are a couple of progress shots of other things I am working on. Spinning is progressing slowly because I knit the sweater so monogamously, but the second bobbin is done.

And the second sock is moving along more quickly now that I am around the heel.

I didn’t just knit this weekend, I also did a small amount of gardening. Very small! I planted carrot and lettuce in among the garlic, in the hopes of fooling the resident wild bunny. I suspected he survived the winter because my tulips were leveled, and we had confirmation of that with a sighting yesterday.

I also planted some cosmos and zinnias in various places, if they grow, we will finally have some color around the place!

And we had two meals so far with our own asparagus! I think there will be a few more this week. I planted 5 plants about 4 or 5 years ago, having no idea what the yield would be. That is enough for us to enjoy in season, but not enough to put any by for the rest of the year. If I ever get another good spot for it, I will put in a whole lot more. I really love it picked fresh for dinner!

Other than that, my limited time out in bright sunshine was spent continuing to fish debris from the pool. I am trying to figure out how to reach the middle without getting into it. Even with the long handled rake, I can’t reach the middle. So I scoop what I can reach, and stir it all up so the filter can do its job, and progress is as slow as every other year. Sigh.

This week is looking reasonably normal. One late day meeting that I can’t knit through, but otherwise a normal work week, I think.

Next weekend we are off to Pennsylvania to see niece C the younger graduate from college! Seems like she was just born! It will be good to see her and her sister B, whom we haven’t seen since a year ago when she graduated and returned home to Pennsylvania. I miss the days when these girls would come have nice long visits with us in the summer. But I guess grown up kids have to work and want to be with their friends, not their two old aunts. Such is life.

Well, let me leave you with two shots of other parts of my world.

The ugly curtains were proclaimed to be perfect and wonderful, and they do the job of cutting glare on the computer screen.

The quince in the front yard started blooming in the nick of time, just as the first hummingbird arrived.

Hope you had a good weekend and that your week ahead is better than you expect!

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Is it real?

Ice went out of the pool while I was at work yesterday!

Tulips and day lilies and muscari and garlic are poking up their heads! And I think I saw a lovely red thing in the new rhubarb bed!

Cold be damned, Spring is pushing through.

Though yesterday was lovely and warm, we are having a cold weekend. But I have hope that more warm days will be here soon.

Gotta go start cleaning leaves out of the pool!

What spring looks like at my house

I see so many posted photos of early spring flowers, and thought I would share one with you.

These primroses are heirlooms. I got them when Mom divided hers. She got them from her mother, who got them from her mother. We don’t really know how far back that chain goes, but we know it is pretty far. She has moved them with her from house to house over the years. They love to grow for her, so she has shared them with me and my siblings as wanted. I had some in my garden in Cherryfield, and last year had enough garden here to be able to accept some from her. They survived the transplant, and were well established when winter hit.

Now we wait to see if they survived their first winter near my front door. Where all the snow from steps and driveway gets piled.

In the real spring, I will clean out the rocks and refresh the mulch, adding compost to the soil and hope they love it and grow and bloom for me, too.

Is it spring?

It kind of feels like it.  The days are quite warm, well into the 50’s, even 60… the nights are cooler, but not bitter. It could be a prank and we could be back in the single digits with snow blowing around us next week.  Or it could keep on like this and things could thaw out and it could be an early spring.  Only time will tell, but I am itching to plant flowers and start seeds.

I won’t do it yet. I don’t have a pick ax.

I keep knitting and spinning.  Both are creeping along, as you might expect from big projects, lots of time spent, not a lot of noticeable progress.  My fingers are itching to cast on a new project, anything bright and cheerful and fast. I won’t let them do it, I know that road.  That road leads to projects dragging on for years, even being forgotten.

Instead I just go to my queue on Ravelry and look at all the patterns I plan to make, and the yarn I plan to make them with and I rearrange the order of the queue, maybe add a pair of socks.  But I don’t wind yarn and cast on.  Not yet.

The next few weeks of work are tediously long, BUT I think I did the math properly and I might get a day off mid-week next week.  Here’s hoping.  Sunday we have a fundraising event in the morning, Monday is a tax day, Tuesday I have to take minutes at our board meeting, and pick up the sandwiches, etc for that.  The coworkers who usually do those two chores are going to a conference.  So that will be a late evening home.  And Friday is another tax day.  I certainly feel like I will need a day off to make up for all the extra hours! I wish it could be Friday or Monday, but that’s how it goes sometimes.

There really isn’t anything else new here, and no pictures of knitting that looks the same as it did last week…but maybe next week there will be progress to show?  I am almost to the heel of my sock – woot woot!  Good times.  Exciting times.

How about you?  Are you ready for spring and a change in your daily routine?

 

 

Weekend update, photo-free again

It isn’t that I don’t want to share photos with you, it’s that I don’t have any to share! The knitting moves along steadily, especially since I went to Whorls and Purls on Saturday and did a couple of rows (I am over 400 stitches per row now) but is not photo-worthy.  It will be, soon, though!  Only 4 more rows to go, then the bind off, then the blocking and you will get to see the Moon and Sky shawl complete!  I should have that ready for camera by the weekend.

I did some spinning!  A few hours total, about half a bobbin full.  It looks just like the bobbins I bored you with in July as it is still that same spin.  I think when I finish filling these three bobbins I will be more than half way done with the spin.

I did the last big step of the secret fiber project, just one small step left, and it is done.  I have taken loads of photos of this project, so will be able to share with you later in all its glory.

I moved three wagon loads of dirt, and that finished filling the raised bed garden box that will house the garlic for next year.  I pulled this year’s garlic – the bulbs are smaller this year than last, not sure why, but I hope that fresh dirt will help.  It’s drying now.  Some will be saved for fall planting, the rest will be eaten.  Yum. I also ripped out the strawberry plants.  They likely will be back as I doubt very much I got all the roots, but I did enough that I could add some dirt to that box and plant the rhubarb mom gave me.  I think I will call that the pie box.  🙂

And I cleaned up the box that housed the garlic this year, got it ready to plant some seeds.  I am going to scatter some poppy seeds and wildflower seeds.  This is when Ma Nature would plant them, so this is when I will plant them.

I planted my newest heirloom primrose in the front yard near the rock.  I hope it will be happy there, it will get a lot of sun morning and midday, but then it will get nice shade.  So it likely will go dormant in the summer, but I am hopeful that it will love being by that warm rock in the spring.  The last one Mom gave me did not survive in the back yard, I don’t think ( unless it went dormant in May!) so I hope this one likes this spot.  Glad Mom is able to keep hers growing and thriving so that it constantly needs dividing.  I have to check with her whether it was her grandmother or great grandmother who brought the original plant over from England, but I know it was a LONG time ago, and the women of our family have been cultivating and dividing and sharing the plant ever since.  I would hate to be the one who can’t grow it.  🙂

I have less than half the dirt pile left to move, but now I have filled all the boxes, I have to figure out what to do with it all!  I know I want some to go on the lilacs out back, that might be two more loads.  Then what?  I could have A build me another box or two, and expand my gardening out into the back yard, but that would have to happen pretty fast or the crabgrass will win the war for the dirt.  I also could build the garden I know I want along the west side of the house, but that would be another major undertaking like the front was. And it would mean relocating a kayak, which I guess I could do if I had to.  🙂  I should start collecting newspapers again, I guess. If nothing else, I could move the dirt out back, cover it with newspapers, weight them down and leave it until spring.  That might be it.

This is the really big event of the weekend, though – I VACUMMED the screened porch.  A made some new cat perches so the cats can hop up and down to the rafters from almost anywhere in the room.  Then she asked me if I would vacuum when she was done.  She knows that this was a major request.  I foolishly sweetly agreed and it was down right awful.  I think this is partly because I don’t just vacuum the floors, I vacuum all the nooks and crannies where cat hair gathers, and I vacuum the furniture.  It was sunny, hot, and humid out there.  It took two sessions, with lemonade and knitting in between, but I got it done, got the furniture back where it goes and it looks lovely.  I rewarded myself with a nice swim.

The cats love their new perches.  Now they can more easily traverse the room at ceiling height.  They always could go from one end to the other, but crossing was tricky due to the way the rafters and supports are constructed.  They have some boards A put up there to help, but the sillies hop along next to those.  These perches are staggered throughout the porch, and so they can be anywhere, look out any window.  I told them if they don’t use them, I am putting plants and candles on them, so Allie immediately hopped her way up and around, rubbing every corner she came to.  that meant Zumba had to do the same.  No plants and candles there!

And A said that while I am away, she will work on her storage closet shelving upstairs, and THE BOOKCASE in the loft!  It will have been worth it to vacuum the porch if those things happen. She is doing it to get her office FINALLY cleaned up and sorted out so she can use it.  That might inspire me to really work on the craft room when I return.  Or it might not.  🙂

It was a busy weekend, but I still feel rested and like I had enough down time.

 

 

 

 

Why I am glad I live where I live… and how pretty it is!

Here’s what the dashboard said when I got into my car after work yesterday.  Granted, it is on the west side of the building, no shade, and pavement.  But still!

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101 degrees.  Just not right!

I drove 18 miles and stopped at the Post Office on the way home.

Here’s what it said there:

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86.  Better!

Then I went home (after getting gas, don’t worry, I won’t be stranded) and walked into the house.  No AC, didn’t even shut the curtains in the morning, just left the sliders cracked open, and the back (northside) windows open.

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Now THAT is more like it!  I opened all the windows, and it only went up to 76 a couple of hours later.  (Sorry about the very low light photo, I was in a hurry.  🙂 )  That was very good news, because I needed a cool house after this.

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Why, look at that!  The front garden is done at last!  I was just in a mood to power through it last night, I am so sick of the project.

I couldn’t fix the flat tire on the wagon, it won’t hold air.  I didn’t have the truck, and the hardware store is closed anyway.  I’ll get it fixed in the next few weeks.  I took the old wagon with 4 flats and used that instead, only filling it about half full, and just muscling it to where I needed it.  That meant more trips, but it worked.

I ran out of newspaper and so the area around the stepping stones will need more weeding than the rest, but I can live with that – or take the mulch off next week and put down paper.  Yeah, that won’t happen.

There was a mouse trying to build a house under the pile of bags of mulch.  Every time I took a bag, he took off.  The first time we were both terrified.  After that I just waited for him to run away, then continued on. Not sure where he will live now as I used all the mulch.

I gave up on the edging (stepdad did a good job starting it.)  I set one block, poorly, and then said forget it for this year.  Put my loose stones back where the edge will be someday.

So, it isn’t perfect, but boy, it is SO much better!  And next year there will be real flowers in there, I can’t wait!

Now.  I do have to get the cart fixed, because I have half of a dirt pile in the front of the house that I need to move to the back of the house.  I sure hope the weather cools off before that has to happen.

I finished all of this at about 6:30 last night, and there was no distant rumbling, so I got into the pool, cleaned out all the bits of trees and bugs, and then actually got to swim about and enjoy the cool water! By the time A got home from work, I was cool, clean, and relaxed. And don’t feel too badly for her having a twelve hour day – she was out on an island all day training the town office staff. That meant two nice long boat rides and a gorgeous view for her.  And a not very long drive home afterwards.  Plus she stopped for a root beer float along the way, so she actually had a decent day, for a work day.  🙂

Oh, and in case you forget where I started just a month ago on this garden project, here you go – a reminder.  🙂 (That pile of 6 bags of mulch – what was I thinking?  We used probably 30 or 40 bags before we were done.) You can barely see the rock!

After one long hard day or work from 4 people:

Only one of whom is crazy enough to let me put his picture on this blog, but as he is the one who first said he was willing to work hard to get it all going, I am thrilled to share it here again!

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They got me started, but left to my own devices, I slowed right down. Working alone when it is hot is just not my thing, apparently.  But a vision of how it would look all done kept me going.  For a month!  It should not have taken so long but I am a wimp about the heat.

However, there were little things motivating me… a flower that bloomed in spite of crazy activity all around… a dream of how pretty the bushes are when they bloom, and how much prettier they will be now that they are pruned, and have dirt and are happy!

 

And now I can move on to the next project.

 

After I knit a few rows.

 

Another weekend come and gone

And it was a lovely one!  The weather was absolutely perfect!  We did some visiting with A’s sister on Saturday , and got the cars serviced, chores done haphazardly between outings.

I did some knitting at the Toyota dealership, but they were so quick on both cars that I didn’t get as much done as normal.  🙂 I did get lots done at Whorls and Purls in the afternoon Saturday – finished all the knitting on my vest, and wove in the ends!  The shoulders are a little wider than I would like, but I can fix that – either with a small pleat or some shirring along the seam.  Have to do that, put on the two little buttons, and then block it.  Once I do that, I will take photos for you.

When that was done, I immediately focused on my Moon and Sky shawl – have about 40 rows left on that, so I expect it will move along now.

Sunday we visited A’s other sister, the one with the new house.  It looks amazingly better than the first time we saw it!  She has been painting and cleaning, and had plumbers and carpenters in. She is living there now, and not quite settled, but certainly settled enough!  I think the house will be perfect for her, it is small but not tiny, and it has loads of storage and a huge yard.

When we got home from that visit, I changed into my new gardening outfit, and went out , determined to finish the front garden, then go for a swim.  Sadly, because I was so much earlier than normal, the front was in the hot sun, and I did almost nothing before I decided that if I was going to be out in the sun,  it should be in the pool.  So I left the gardening for this evening, and hopped into the pool, which was delightful!  I am not supposed to be out in the sun at all, so I was swimming in long sleeves and a hat, but I still loved it.

The rest of the afternoon was spent working on the secret fiber project (in about a month, I can share with you what it is!) and knitting the shawl and plotting what to make for the craft fair.  I will have to really get that organized this week so that I can churn out things for that!  Debbie at the Purple Fleece loaned me a couple of great display pieces – things that lift the inventory up off the flat table – always a challenge for me to do.  If I was doing lots of these shows, I would design something elegant for this purpose, but as I only do about one every year or two, it hardly seems worth it.  But she is nice enough to share, since she no longer does shows. It got my juices flowing to think about how I would display things, and what those things should be.  🙂

The weather continues to be wonderful today, a little warm, but I am ok with a LITTLE warm.  🙂 So I intend to get that garden in the front completely done, and then figure out where I will put all the left over dirt.  As my mother said , the whole yard needs dirt, so I could really put it anywhere, lol.  I have a few plants that would love the help, and a few raised beds I want to move, so I might do that this week, and start hauling that dirt around to the back where I want more things to grow.  We will see how motivated I feel.  After I finish the front and have my swim, of course.  🙂