Archive for the ‘garden’ Tag

A bit of a quiet week ahead   12 comments

A is traveling this week, 4 days in southern Maine.  But it’s Wednesday that she is in the office, so it means only two nights away from home.  Crazy amount of driving though.

Last night the cats could NOT BELIEVE they were stuck with me, and they moped about.  This morning, Allie was quite vocal in her dismay, woke me up at 4 am and basically followed me about the house all morning crying at me.  Zumba got up for breakfast (she is still Zumba after all) and then went back to bed.  No bird watching, no time on the deck.

But I enjoyed the quiet time (discounting Allie, of course) and slept with the windows and door wide open, spent the evening out on the porch knitting. I managed to finish the June sock, making a pair!

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I started the July sock because I have a couple of meetings and appointments this week, and need something small to knit on.  And since I will be focused on spinning in July, I need a head start on the sock.  🙂

 

The other thing that is happening coming up soon is that my step brother J is coming to help with yard work on Saturday.  I am so appreciative, I can’t believe he would give up a day of his vacation to work in our yard.  But since he is, I ordered three yard of garden soil with compost that was delivered last night,  and I am going to pick out some edging stones this week.  I am hopeful that we can get the front bed with all the lovely-but-growing-too-large shrubs under control and looking good. We will get mulch this week, too, so hopefully the good work will stay good.  🙂

 

I showed you the pink weigela last week, here is the darker one – which they call red, but it isn’t.  More like hot pink. Just COVERED in blossoms, bees and hummingbirds.

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I just love these flowering shrubs, and plan to stick to the part of my garden plan that says shrubs and mulch instead of lawn.  I just need to get some soil (these are actually growing like this in GRAVEL) and mulch in place.  I plan to fill in the gaps with daylilies, they look so pretty against all this pink. I have some, but they would prefer soil as well. It will be a lot of work, and I will miss Whorls and Purls (unless it rains, then we will do all of this on Sunday) but it will be so worth it to have some good strong help.

 

A will be home tonight, in time to get to bed for an early start tomorrow.  I know this girl will be as glad to see her as I am.

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It never ceases to amaze me how a big cat like Zumba (15 pounds, not much fur) can make herself so small when she wants to.

 

Hope you all have a quiet week, too.

How I did with that list   18 comments

It’s evening and I am done accomplishing things for today.  Thought I would check the list and see how I did.  🙂

Wait for the Cable Guy.

He was on time! It really only took about an hour and half and we are all hooked up with lightening fast internet, sharp and clear TV, and the phone works.

If the weather cooperates (cool, dry, sunshine, and a light breeze would be ideal) I want to get out into the yard and do some trimming and weeding, and maybe plant a plant or something.

The weather did not cooperate.  I trimmed a tiny amount of grass.

Ditto on the weather, I would follow that work with a  dip in the pool, and what I hope is the last good scrubbing it will need.

Ditto.  Though, after the rain stopped, I did get in a scrub the pool It was a little chilly but I am glad to be getting this chore done before it is really hot. It still might need one more scrubbing, but I see loads of progress here.

Clean the screened porch and the front porch and get them ready for summer. 

Well, I didn’t really do this, though I did put the snow shovels away, and I moved one big plant out onto the screened porch.

Make a run to the dump with yard trash and house trash.

I did this!  Took a truck load of old wood scraps and pallets to the dump.  Yeah! This is why I wanted the truck, not sure if A feels the same way.  🙂

Get the groceries.

Check. Store wasn’t as crowded as I expected, must have been the rain!

Go to the PO when it is actually open and I can speak to a person.

I could have done this but I forgot.  Tomorrow.

Take photos of my knitting to show you – I have really made progress on things, I think a photo will prove it. To you and to me.

I did this one!  See below.

Start the weekend’s laundry.

Started and nearly finished.  Just one more load to go.  Not only that, but I ironed some skirts and shirts!  It’s the only trouble with summer – cotton and linen need more ironing than do knits…

Here’s the knitting:

Not great shots, but proof that knitting is happening.  🙂

Here’s my supervisor enjoying the very basic porch and it’s one plant

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And some of the yard work I did not do – this bush needs clearing out underneath and a bit of pruning, it has lovely flowered branches leaning against the house.

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But I do love those flowers! And so do the bumble bees and hummingbirds!

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I feel like I did pretty well.  Not much housework got done, but had to leave SOMETHING for A to do tomorrow while I am at knitting!

And that reminds me, I also baked a little treat to take along to knitting tomorrow.  And now I am going to bed, I am exhausted!

Weekend plans   18 comments

For a short week, this sure has seemed long!  In part because I have been anticipating the weekend SO MUCH.  I am going to one of my favorite events on Saturday – the Maine Fiber Frolic.  I just love this fair.  It is focused on all things fiber, and all the pretty things that go along with that – beads and buttons and spinning wheels and on and on. Plus really good ice cream. It’s somehow related, I am not arguing.

And I am going with some of the ladies from Whorls and Purls, whom I haven’t seen in a MONTH due to all the other things I did in May, and the fact that Purple Fleece is now closed for a vacation until next week.

A and I had a discussion about money for this event, I was worried I would get some pushback on wanting more cash for more yarn, but she apparently would like a little extra cash for golf this week, so we reached an amicable, profitable decision.  🙂

So my feet are just dancing to get through this week!

As if Saturday wasn’t enough, Sunday we are meeting up with A’s sisters and niece and her family to celebrate Sister S’s and my birthdays with a lunch in Bangor. I love birthday parties, especially when they are for me! And

Somewhere in the middle of all the revelry, I will do some chores and a teeny bit of housework.  A has already promised to do the laundry this weekend, yea!  She is going off to play some golf with my stepdad on Saturday, so not sure how this will work, but I bet it means chores will happen Friday night.

I intend to spin my little heart out on the beaded yarn.  I am pretty sure I am more than half way through, perhaps even two thirds.  As I don’t know what will run out first – yarn or beads, it is sort of hard to predict where the end is, but I think I have less than half the yarn left to go.  I really love the way it is coming out, but I am ready for it to be done.  I am not letting myself use the new spinning wheel until this is done, and it is killing me to see it sitting there.  🙂  I know how easy it would be to not finish this because I get involved in a new spin, so I am holding strong.  Because I want this yarn; I have big plans for it.  🙂

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I am still knitting, but not in any great chunks of time – started the second red sock last week.  And the sweater is finally looking right and slowly growing.  I think I will really like having it next winter.

The shawl and the vest are poking along, not getting lots of attention because of all the evening spinning, but still very much in the forefront of the knitting work.  I have added another row of beads on the shawl and I definitely like these beads for this project.  I wasn’t sure they would stand out enough, but with more of them on it, I can see now that they are fine. This shawl is going to be a really nice one, and the lace pattern is so nice and easy, the repeats are easy to memorize.

The vest is up to the waist, so now I am certain I won’t run out of yarn, I shortened the length enough – yeah!  I like the little pattern on the front band and the lacey part at the hem doesn’t get as lost as I thought it might in the busy fabric.

So all is good on the crafting front!

The pool and yard – well, not so much.  IT KEEPS RAINING!  And it’s COLD. I have managed to get all the leaves out of the pool, and the chemicals in, but it needs me to get in and really scrub it and stir up the winter grime so the filter can do it’s thing. And it is COLD in that pool! And the gardens need attention, the grass needs trimming.  We don’t actually have any lawn but patches of green among the gravel and I like to keep them a little bit short. Not happening yet.

No seeds planted yet, though the garlic and asparagus are doing very well!  Thank the good lord for perennials and fall plantings.

I don’t expect to make much progress on this front this weekend, but it definitely deserves my attention.

And I found out that when my stepbrother comes to Maine for his annual visit, he wants to come over and work in our yard for a day!!!!  I have about 6 years worth of landscaping work that needs doing, so I have to really think about where that day of hard work can best be used.  And I have a couple of weeks to decide.  🙂

That’s about it – have a good weekend – and check back in a few days to see what I got at the Fiber Frolic!

 

 

 

 

What I am up to this week   21 comments

I got my first payment from the shop and promptly went onto the lovely web and ordered some more yarn.  Several colors (and loads of white for dying) of soft baby ull for little things, and some Madeleine Tosh Prairie for a shawl.  Because I just can’t get enough lace shawl knitting. 🙂 I did save a bit for some wool purchases later this summer.  I am set for a little while on that front, though. And I hope to have more income from the shop this summer, so I have been cruising the internet scoping things out.

This weekend I will actually be WORKING at the shop, because the wonderful Sonja has the big Celtic Festival in Belfast (Maine, not Ireland) to attend.  In return for me covering the shop, she will take some of my product to the festival, and not charge me the commission for anything she sells there or that sells in the shop this week.  So, it could be a big payday, or it could just be a favor.  Time will tell.  She was quick to suggest that I bring some knitting with me.  She doesn’t know me well enough to know that I don’t need to be told that, lol.

That means that tomorrow evening I will head there after work to learn the ropes of her system. The shop has no AC – but it has a beautiful window onto the bay which opens, so I hope the breeze is coming up the river while I am there, to keep it cool.  I suspect that window and the front door are all the “AC” the place has.

We are getting a few days of hot weather, I am so glad the pool is ready for me!  I went in as soon as I got home from work, it felt really good. I can’t remember what it was like before pools came into my life, except that I hated the really hot weather and now I don’t mind it AS much.

There has been a bit of crafting happening – but things that take time – so the pictures aren’t too exciting.  There is this hat:

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made with my handspun!  I am knitting it in the Seathwaite pattern which seems appropriate as the colorway is sea breeze.  I am loving the stripes so far.  Hope they work well with the cables.  🙂

Here is the Reyna Shawl I have been working on – it is my travel piece, so is slow going.

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And here is a baby hat and matching booties – this will go to the store this week, hopefully be sold quickly!

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The spinning I am working on is this lovely Romney braid in the color way Broad Bill.  It is a bit of a challenge to me – first thing, it feels a little bit slippery, and while fluffy, I really have to watch the drafting or it breaks because it is too thin.

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But I think I have that part figured out.  The other thing is that the super Debbie at Purple Fleece suggested I chain ply it so the colors don’t muddy.  But I was not feeling confident enough to do that after I had been spinning it for a bit, so I decided to spin up some of her solid black corriedale and ply it with that.

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left-over-black

I really like how the first skein came out – the colors seem to pop (no photos of that yet.)  And I was amazed that after spinning two ounces of each color and plying, I had a whole lot of the black leftover.  That photo above is what’s leftover. That means I have been spinning it consistently thin!  Very exciting to me.  I will finish the colored spinning soon and then do all the black.  What black I have left I will ply to make thin black yarn.  Not sure what exactly I will do with it, but I will come up with something.  Not that I like knitting with thin black yarn, but I will get over it. 🙂

Last weekend I got out some dyes and the book Mom gave me and messed about with mini skeins and a bit of leftover roving.  The results are…interesting.  And bright! But I got the idea.  I was hurrying a bit because A bought strawberries to make jam, so needed the kitchen to be food safe. I think I will do more of it, and try more of the things mentioned in the book.  And I can’t wait to see how the roving spins up.  It is about an ounce, so it won’t make a whole lot, but it will be good practice and I will be able to see how the whole thing works together.

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Lastly in the crafting world – it turns out I sold one of my little collages at the shop, so I am making a few more to bring over – they are nothing fancy, just made with bits and scraps and shells and sea glass, but they are fun to make, and I am pleased someone liked them.  The prices are low, in part because I want to have things at different price points and in part because they take very little in the way of materials and thought to put together. But I don’t want to be making thousands of them, so this might be it for a while. First stage is to paint the little canvases… then go away for a day while they dry.  Maybe these take more time than I thought.  🙂

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Outdoors things are growing, whether I wanted them to or not.  The garlic is doing REALLY well this year, very exciting!  And the tomatoes survived the short drought and have blossoms.  Carrots are slowly popping up, and the lettuce is re-thinking it’s decision to grow.  Strawberries are coming slowly, a few a day, so they are just snacks to the gardener.  Weeds and grasses are doing exceedingly well, and I will have to get out and weed whack in the next few weeks.  So glad we have no lawn, but the straggly mess does look better when it gets cut. Daylilies here and there are blooming, and blackberries are taking over the world, but at least they are bearing fruit – which I might get before the birds do – or not. Birds are chowing down on bird seed, but I see the cherries are ripening on the trees, so I expect birds will switch over to those soon enough. We had a tiny baby deer and her mama and sister in the field the last few days, I wish she would eat what I want her to eat.  😦 At least since the baby came along, they have not come as close to the house in their grazing.

So that’s it in my world this week – not all about yarn, but it’s always there in the background, doncha know?

 

 

Photos, as promised   17 comments

What shall we start with?

I found this photo I took for you when I harvested the carrots a few weeks ago –

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funny looking but delicious!

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Here’s a photo I took of the house yesterday morning – not great, but you can see the leaves are really changing.  They are doing it kind of differently this year – the cherries are almost bare, the maples are hanging in there with their reds.  The beeches haven’t really turned and the oaks haven’t even thought about it.  Yet the pines are turning a golden green and dropping their usual amount of needles (1/3 or so.)

Hard to believe it will only be a few weeks until the trees are bare and we have white everywhere. Which leads me to this picture, taken this afternoon.  A said to me “Hey, look outside!”  and this is what I saw – the first flakes.

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Those little white dashes against the railing are snow flakes speeding to the ground, where thankfully, they melted.

This is the Andean mist shawl.  Color is pretty good, but it isn’t a great photo of the details, I am sorry.  The lace edge is a pretty pattern, easily memorized, and the whole body is stockinette which really flew by.  It is a lovely soft thing.  🙂

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Here’s what I am working on now – Charleston baby cardigan in Tosh light.  The color is composition book gray. It is coming along pretty well, although I feel like I missed a lot of knitting time last weekend – I am not used to doing all the driving – usually I get good knitting time in on these road trips.  But I am nearly done with the fronts.  Then come the sleeves, then the back.

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Here’s the yarn I got last weekend, along with the pattern I plan to make with it. It is a cowl or scarf pattern, I expect I will make the cowl, and hopefully, a matching hat.  Probably for sale if I finish it in time for the pop-up shop.  I don’t think I have mentioned that – it is a definite go again this year, and I am thrilled to be getting in on it from day one, as opposed to the week before Christmas like last year.  🙂  It has caused me to take a hard look at the things I have over at J and B Atlantic.  They have most of my inventory, and things really haven’t been moving.  I had hoped that they would have by now, and I know the holidays are different, but I also know I sold more in three weeks at the pop-up shop last year than I have in 6 months at J and B.  So, Tuesday I will talk to the lovely shopkeepers there about a way to keep a presence there, but to also move stock over to Bucksport. It shouldn’t be hard, it should be all business, right? Of course these are my things I made, so there is some emotion there.  I was glad when I stopped in last week to see how things were going to learn that they FINALLY sold a necklace.  I’m in trouble if things really start moving in both places – I’ll have to take vacation time to knit.  🙂

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Lastly, here are a few morning shots from last week – every day was prettier than the last!  Except for the tree tops in the backyard, these are phone shots through the windshield, so not great quality.  Yes, I stopped, even if briefly, to get them for you.  🙂  Not sure what I will do when the road construction is done and I don’t get forced to stop at the river each morning.

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oooh, look at that fog bank down by the river!

Happy travels!

Sunday update   14 comments

I hope you aren’t looking for photos – I took some, but the camera is across the room, and well, I am not.

Amazingly enough, I got things DONE this weekend.  You know I always have ambitious lists that take me days longer to accomplish than I hoped, but this weekend I somehow got everything on the to-do list done!

Of course, there are things that weren’t on it that maybe should have been, but they aren’t going anywhere, right?

It is mostly yard work – yesterday I got up early and “planted” the bushel of daylilies my sister-in-law S gave me a few weeks ago.  How I did it – NOT how the master gardener would suggest, but they are daylilies – hard to hurt them, right?  I scraped out a shallow trough in the sand and gravel under the satellite dish, laid them out haphazardly, not breaking up the clumps of roots at all.  Then, I gathered the bags of garden and potting soil that have accumulated around the yard for my projects, and dumped them on top of the plants.  I raked it smooth, watered it (crazy to water after last week, but I know I needed to settle the soil around the roots) and called it done.  Now there is a mound of soil between the dish and the little bulb garden. I hope it will someday be a mound of beautiful daylilies.  Someday, I will dig them up and thin them and plant them and their offspring properly.

Then I got all cleaned up pretty (wore one of my Indian Feather shawls) and went with A and her sister S to their aunt’s 90th surprise birthday party, which was quite nice.  Her sons put it on, and so we got to see/meet them and their extended families, and also see Cousin C and re-meet her son H whom I haven’t seen in probably ten years, since he was in school.  He is all grown up with a lovely girlfriend who braved the event.  A’s mom’s family once had ten children, now there are 4, this aunt is the oldest remaining of the gang, and sadly the other three have dementia in one stage or another. A has cousins she is pretty sure she has never met, certainly not seen in 30 years.  Cousins she would not know if she saw them on the street – an odd thing to imagine! But N, the youngest of this aunt’s boys, and C, the daughter of another aunt, are two whom she does see occasionally, so even I would know them if I saw them.  🙂

A drove, so I knit a swatch for my next project, which is a Charleston baby sweater and hat, and matching mittens for a woman who works with A. Glad I took the time, because as always, my knitting and recommended gauge are quite different.  The “baby” is 2 and a half, so bigger than the largest pattern size.  I will knit it on bigger needles, but knit the 12month size.  I think that this will mean fewer rows, so it will get done faster, and the fabric will have a nice drape.  It is Madeline Tosh Light in a color called composition book gray, which has definite purple tones to it.  It is going to be quite pretty, I think.  Not your typical baby garment – yea! I washed the swatch when we got home, so was able to cast on the two fronts this morning. I always knit the sleeves and fronts of a cardigan at the same time so that they are the same – much easier to get the decreases in the same place if you do them together.  Of course, it feels like you are making no progress whatsoever until suddenly you are done. It is also nice to do this when I have whole skeins to work from – if I do them at the end, I am always running out on one side or the other and having odd amounts left on the skeins when I am finished.  This way, I will use up any leftovers on the back and have all my leftovers in one skein, not two partial ones.

Then it as back out into the yard. I harvested the carrots (there is a photo of the colander full of orange goodness on the camera.  You should see how pretty! And you will, someday.)  I will probably make curried carrot soup with them this week sometime for the freezer. They were the last thing to come in from the garden, so I began the process of getting ready for fall.  The asparagus bed is now cut back and ready for mulch.  I put a bag of compost on it after I cut it back, so it should be happy next spring!  I also put a bag of compost in the bed where the carrots were, and planted a whole lot of garlic in there.  Let’s see if I do a better job of growing that next year than I did this year!  I will get a bale of straw mulch, and mulch the asparagus, garlic and those crazy strawberries with it.  That will hopefully happen this week.

The strawberries are the bane of my existence.  I fixed them a special raised bed several years ago, and made sure they got very good soil, straw mulch in the fall, fresh straw in the spring, and for years got very few, very small berries.  Last year I decided enough is enough, I could use that ground for something that grew better and produced more.  So I didn’t mulch them last fall, nor this spring.  But I never got around to ripping them out.

We had the best strawberries ever this spring! And you should see the plants now, they are tall and healthy looking. So I will give them some straw mulch and another year before I think of ripping again.  🙂

I also scooped leaves and debris from the pool without getting in it – a bit chilly for wading today.  It is awkward to do from the edges but I can if I work at it.

That and a few other raking/weeding chores got done, and now I am on the couch with a laptop, and wondering why I didn’t bring myself a beverage and a snack before I sat down?  And the camera?

A is off playing golf this sunny day – probably the last time this season, but maybe not if it stays nice.  You never know.  🙂 She traveled a whole lot the last two weeks, but will be home all week, so I think the house will get worked on in the evenings.  Someone needs to really clean it, and I am afraid it has to be us.  😦

Next weekend I am heading off to Pennsylvania with Mom and niece B – we are going to visit B’s sister C at college, and give B a day or two at home with her mom and dog, which I think she will welcome.  She has had a tough month of start to her semester. I haven’t seen C in so long, it will be nice to see her and where she goes to school.  Lot of driving, though, good thing we have Monday off to be lazy.

A begged off the trip with the promise that she would finish building the bookcases for the loft – have I ever written that those were going to get done imminently?  Lol, I know I have.  But I think that she really means it this time.  I hope so – although it means I have to paint the room they go in, and then them as well.  But if we can get that loft done and the books unpacked, it will feel amazing!

That’s about it, I think – it’s very fall-like out there today, but most of the leaves are still green and on the trees – amazing!  I do hope they fall before the first snow flies though, or there will be lots of damage, and we don’t want to start winter that way. Heck, I don’t really want to start winter at all.  I hope we have a nice, long fall. And an early spring.  🙂

half a Friday list   10 comments

Sneaking this in – I’ll only be working half a day today, so I put together a short little list for this afternoon.

I will hit the grocery store on the way home, and the PO.  Company coming for the weekend!  My niece from college again.  We have a big event to draw her to us this time, plus of course, free washer, dryer, quiet room and good food.  🙂

Once home I plan to tidy her room which might not be the way she left it.  🙂

I’ll also tidy the living room and dining table, as I seem to have smeared my way around the house this week.  After that, it is knitting and visiting with her while we make lasagna.

A will be home late, but I am sure B and I will fill the time while we wait for her!  A few games, some good food, and possibly the last swim of the season.

brrrrr

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This weekend is the Common Ground Fair “celebrating rural life” put on by MOFGA (Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association.) Niece B has never been, but wants to be a farmer, loves her chickens, and misses all of her pets, so it will be a fun day.  I of course will get some yarn.  And hopefully lots of photos.  I can’t even begin to explain to you the fibery goodness of this fair, and it isn’t even a fiber festival!  there is just so much that is amazing at this thing, I wish I didn’t get exhausted halfway through it. I’ll show you the photos and tell you what was great about it when I write next week.

Sunday will be chores, I am guessing, since they have to get doe sometime, right?  I want to get a bed ready to accept garlic, which should be planted any time now.  And check and see if my little pumpkin is ready to be picked – it is all orange now, but how do I know it is really ready?  I have no clue, but will wing it.  🙂 I’ll put the asparagus to bed for the winter as well.  Lots to do, might not get it all done this weekend.  Or this life time.

What are you doing this first weekend of fall?

Posted September 25, 2015 by salpal1 in how I plan to spend my day, What I love

Tagged with , , , ,

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