I promised photos, or Goldilocks knits.

We took LOTS of hat photos!  I haven’t cleaned them up yet, so you will have to settle for this shot of what I accomplished this weekend.

Three times I cast on Maluka.

Twice I ripped it out.

First try: The silk alpaca lace weight held double was too soft. But pretty.  I will use that 600 yards of loveliness elsewhere.

Second try: The rayon chenille was too loose (what was I thinking, anyway?) and hard to work with – absolutely no give.  Any ideas what I can make with about 800 yards of the stuff?  It is pretty colors, and I think will make something soft, but what?

Third try: This brand spanking new skein of wool/alpaca that I got on Thursday at the source (Good Karma Farm in Belfast Maine USA) was just perfect.  The wool gives it enough body to hold the pattern beautifully, the alpaca makes it super soft, and the wonderful aqua with hits of clear blue make my heart sing.

 

This one is just right.

image

Sorry about the plaid skirt – it is what it is.  🙂

Random things

A had to work today, so we were up early, and as usual, I have gotten lots of odds and ends done: cleaned the cat boxes (so many!); fed and watered the cats; pinned a hem on niece E’s heart skirt; finished another baby beanie (that’s 5 this week!) and started another; knit a few rows on the endless scarf; sewn the buttons on the big blue-green cowl, and remembered to take photos of it before I put it away for three or four months; watched the local news and weather (ugh – 90’s!!!!); took Allie and Zumba to the vet for their last booster shot; and lastly, played with the cats.

Remember this? Super duper alpaca yarn from Good Karma Farm?

good karma yarn

Well, now it is this – a hugely bulky, lovely drapey cowl/scarf/shawl THING with cool bamboo buttons that just got sewed on this morning, so I can be sure to wear it on the first cold day. Which is not today. I tried modelling it for you, but it is too hot, so I used this lovely glass pitcher to stand in for my neck. I can’t tell you how soft and lovely this is. I carried the two yarns together throughout, but also did a “P1 K1 in the stitch below” pattern, which effectively makes it 4 strands thick. Super warm and drapey. Very blue/green, two of my favorite colors. sorry about the color change – clearly I used the flash when I took the photo of the yarn originally, but I did not this morning. True color is somewhere between the two, and more blue than green.

fluffy cowl

fluffy cowl 1

fluffy cowl 2

Still to do today:
SWIM
knit
crochet
sew
make jelly
dispose of snake (more on that below. Ick)
weed-whack – but this may wait for morning and coolness
get lottery tickets for pool at work – and check our last one – maybe I don’t have to go back to work after all!
PO
More swimming

It’s hot here already, at least by Maine standards, but the car was cool, and I ran the AC to dry things off. As a result, when I got out of the car at the vet, my glasses totally steamed up. Ugh. Some days I am glad Maine has short summers!

The trip to the vet was special. Zumba nicely ate her anti-anxiety meds with her breakfast this morning, but Allie did not. Between Allie not, and them still so upset about the coming of Tigger, crating them together was downright impossible. And though the vet is only two miles away, it was an unpleasant trip with Allie. But, they were very quiet coming home, and shot out of those crates like racehorses out the starting gate. I feel so badly for making them mad at me again, they were actually tolerating me and Tigger this morning before that.

Tigger took advantage of all of us leaving to explore a little, and I found her down cellar – hurrah! I need her to be comfortable down there, so I can move her cat box there, and so she can teach Allie and Zumba to hunt the darned mice who live there. They want to, they just don’t quite know how.

So, the whole snake thing. Ugh, I hate them so much. Yesterday, A was out in the yard, when she came in she said “it looks like you have a few big ripe strawberries out there, but you should wait a while to pick them. Why? I wondered. “well, there is a little garter snake out there, trying to make his way through the netting you have to keep the birds off the berries.” No need to tell me twice, I waited a LONG time to go near the berries. When I did, I saw, not a little garter snake but a freaking huge green THING totally tangled in the netting. It is at least three feet long. It was hanging kind of strangely and not moving, so I thought it might be dead, but I wasn’t staying around to find out. All night long I have worried about this. I obviously am not touching it to get it out of the netting, and it can’t stay there. It is gross. I can’t just pull the netting off from the other side and toss it in the woods, other little animals that I like can also get tangled in that and die. I am not sure I can bring my self to drag it off and bag it up for the trash, certainly not by myself. But I think, with a rake and a shovel, it can be done. If someone helps. I wonder if A will help me with this tonight when she gets home? She suggested calling our wonderful neighbor, but that seems really mean. “Hey, neighbor who has been so helpful and nice to us since we bought this land, won’t you come over and get this disgusting dead snake away from the garden? Gosh, thanks. Here’s a jar of jelly for your trouble.” I think I should just give him the jelly for even thinking of asking him to do it. I really really really was hoping it would be gone this morning, either eaten by something (crows? Where are you?) or not dead after all, just resting, and free.

Next year, the birds can eat the strawberries. No more netting for me.

rockin’ Saturday

Yesterday we did everything on the list, and then some! Got the license, got A’s ring, left my great great grandmother’s to be resized forme (A is afraid to be responsible for an heirloom, so I will wear it. I think heirlooms are not good if you can’t use them and enjoy them.) SO I think we are ready for 5/19 activities.

Today, A’s sister L came over to help with the never rending insulation project – today was in the basement. I ran errands, and when I got back, learned I missed all the excitement – they found a mouse nest complete with Mom and tiny babies. Probably just born, as they were tiny and hairless. Managed to round-up the babies, but mom remains in down there, we think. Kittens were FASCINATED with this new toy, but we don’t think they got her. Found a few places where little critters could get in, and plugged them up with wood and foam insulation. I bet we find more of all of this as we go forward with this. So, since we have no idea what was really in all the insulation pulled down, I spent a good chunk of time driving bags of it over to the transfer station.

We went out to lunch to Crosby’s, our favorite take out place, and the planned wedding lunch place. Food was yummy, just as we remembered it. A little chilly, but it will be warmer next month.

While A and L continued to foam and do other projects down stairs, I worked on cleaning out the loft so that we can paint it. I have been putting that chore off for weeks now. I think I just have to vacuum and roll up the rug and I will be able to paint half the room. Then, move everything to the other side. Sigh. I wish it was just painting, but there is all the cleaning and clearing that happens first.

On the needlework front, I finished the last hat with the red yarn – total hats – seven. A variety of size sand styles, as you can see. Hard to see details of them when they are all the same color and I am not a great photographer, but here you go.

I could start myown red hat club!
I could start my own red hat club!

I also am making good progress on the baby blanket – it’s the first thing I have crocheted in a long time, I really am enjoying the fast progress.

P1090054

Lastly – when I finished that last red hat, I gave myself permission to stop doing hats for one project – the blue-green cowl. I am knitting it on HUGE needles I got from Nancy’s stash, so big I don’t have a way to tell what U.S. size they are. They are 80 mm 12 cm Addi turbos. Yikes, between using them and the yarn doubled, this will fly. It will be my “mobile” project this week. I got the basics of the pattern from the folks at Good Karma Farm, where I got the yarn the day Mom and I went shopping in Belfast. It is pretty cool, something I have never tried before – first row is k1 p1 (here I go again!) but after that pattern is set, then on all the k stitches, you k the stitch in the row below. It makes it very thick and chunky.

I put the business card in there for scale - this is super big and chunky, using fairly bulky worsted weight yarn doubled.
I put the business card in there for scale – this is super big and chunky, using fairly bulky worsted weight yarn doubled.

I plan to have this cowl button, so I can wear it as a scarf if I prefer – I made the button holes by binding of one stitch each, they are still huge, of course, so I will have an interesting time finding just the right buttons.

Tomorrow will be more of the same, I think. Then back to work for me, while A has the week off. We will have to get a few things done before we head to Boston on Thursday, but it should be a pretty straight forward week until then! I’ll have to think about what knitting project I bring along – a couple of hours on the train in each direction means I will be able to get a lot done, BUT I will have to carry it along the whole time. Nothing too big then.

How I did with the Friday list

Oh, Mom and I had some good shopping time! Can’t speak for her but I had a really good time.

I did as many of the errands as I could in the morning, including the library (closed!) and the bookstore. I was pleased to find the book club book I was looking for – Light Between Oceans, and a few magazines I did not know I was looking for. 🙂

I met Mom as planned, at Reny’s parking lot, where we left a car.

First off, we went and found Good Karma farm. That was fun, we got a tour of the barns, met the alpacas, the icelandic sheep, the chicken, the cat. Then we learned all about the process the fiber goes through to become the most soft delicious yarn ever – and they do it all there on site, which makes me like it even more. Lastly, we went into the little store area, and drooled all over beautiful yarn. Finally, Mom selected some to make a sweater vest, and I selected some to make a cowl. I had a really hard time deciding between that and a stuffed mitten kit. I might go back soon for the stuffed mittens….
good karma yarn
When we were done there, we headed downtown, and I showed Mom where Heavenly Socks yarn store is – it is right on Main Street, but very easy to miss as it is in the basement of its building. While there, we managed to get more yarn, and I got some needles I need for the sweater I am working on. AND I found a color of Lamb’s Pride that i have not seen before – periwinkle frost, or something. A color I will definitely get more of, although this skein is for hats, I think I will need to have more of its lusciousness in my life.

After that, we went to Darby’s for lunch. It was delicious and perfect for the day – I had a cup of chili and a half a grilled cheese sandwich with bacon and tomato and the BEST french fries. Yum. I was too full for dessert (of my own), but I managed a few bites of Mom’s toffee sundae. 🙂

Following lunch, we were recharged, and went down the street to Fiddlehead Artisan supplies. It is a wonderful store – huge supply of fabric, mostly cottons, but some woolens and silks as well. The prints are just lovely, not the usual calicoes, but really innovative and interesting prints. I managed to choose 4 silk fat quarters for pillows for the living room sofa. I love a store that sells fat quarters of everything they have, not just the quilting fabrics. Sometime you just need a fat quarter. 🙂 They also have water-color pencils and crayons, acrylic paints, handmade papers, all sorts of bits and pieces of art supplies, and also, that thing that is IMPOSSIBLE to find in big box stores – WOOL felt. 🙂 I had fun in there, and I think mom did, too. She bought a jacket pattern, which I love – and might borrow. 🙂
silk quarters 5
Then it was back to Reny’s, and I got a few treats for A as well as the ginger oil I went for. Mom wanted a lampshade, but they don’t sell them, except on lamps. Still, she managed to get a few things. Can’t go to Reny’s without getting something!

We parted company, and I headed over to the beautiful big Hannaford for the groceries. Realized I forgot my list, but did it from memory, which meant lots of wandering up and down the aisles. It’s all exercise, right? (Only forgot one thing!)

Looking back, I can see that I was in a blue/green mood – maybe because it ahs been so GRAY lately? Or maybe because there is no shade of blue I won’t fall for…

Friday list

at last – a free friday!!!!

The big storm that isn’t is not going to stop me from meeting Mom in Belfast for lunch and some shopping. Our plan? To go to Good Karma farm, where we can drool over luscious alpaca yarns. Then, lunch, probably at Darby’s. After lunch. we are going to a new shop Mom found that sounds SO COOL! She said it is full of really nice fabric and art supplies – walls of color. I can’t wait to see it. We will probably wander up and down Main Street, definitely going into the yarn shop that she can never find (it is below street level) and winding up at Reny’s (a real Maine adventure!) for some odds and ends and who knows what we will find. I will be looking for Roland’s ginger oil, which we seem to use a lot of.

Besides this fun stuff, I’ll head to the PO in the morning, where I hope to find the bill for our home owners insurance so we can get that paid up for another year. I’ll also stop at the town office and pay the property taxes – we can stay another 6 months!

I’ll stop at the library, return one book club book and see if they have the next one, as well as another book on tape. I really enjoyed the last one, I had forgotten how nice they are for the commute.

While I am in downtown Bucksport, I might stop by Bookstacks and just see what they have that I need. 🙂

I promise to have fun and let you know all the good things I see and which ones I actually bring home.

Ont he way home, A wants me to stop at Angler’s in Searsport and get her some fish without chips, and some of their cheesy tater skins, so I will. Not sure if I will get me anything for supper, time will tell!

Saturday is the kittens first birthday, by coincidence, we invited A’s sisters over for waffles (my third week of super bowl prize breakfast) and so we will have an accidental birthday party. I found a fleece remnant with basketballs on it, so will make them new blanket, but other than that, not much exciting stuff fr them. A wants me to make a feathery thing for the end of the fishing line that can bear more weight than the ones we buy. Not sure how I will do that, but I will work on it.

We weighed them the other day – Allie is a pudgy little 11.4 pounds, Zumba is a svelte 12.6 pounds. Not sure how that works, but long legs really do matter. 🙂 A little internet research tells me that they are now full-grown. Not little babies anymore! (as I say this, Allie is tearing around the bedroom playing with a piece of paper. Maybe they are still babies, just big?)

what a great stretch of weather!

When we get beautiful days and cool nights, I can ALMOST get over no pool. 🙂

Because of the Monday holiday tomorrow, I am in the midst of a 4 day weekend – and we are having fun! Yesterday we drove down to Portland to do a little hobby shopping, but we started with a good breakfast at the Old Mill Diner on Rte 3 – boy they have good food and generous portions. If there is a comfort food they make it and make it well. Yum, I had eggs benedict, and couldn’t finish half of it. In Portland, A went to Rockler and saw in person all the things she has been dreaming about in the catalogs, and we bought plenty! Then I took my coupons over to Michael’s and got a few things there that I have been wanting, mostly Martha Stewart punches and kits. Here’s the thing that does get my goat though – kits! I only want some of the contents, but the pieces aren’t sold separately. I specifically mean the double-sided adhesive rub-ons for glittering, embossing and flocking. So I bought a kit, and was glad to have a 40% off coupon. Come on, Martha – let me restock my supplies without buying things I don’t need. Because I won’t do it forever, I will find a work around. Or just skip it entirely.

Anyway – then we stopped at LL Bean on the way back east – stocked A up on sweaters and turtlenecks. I got wool socks and a denim skirt. No, not an outfit!!! But I realized that too many of my wool socks have no heel left, and I never did learn to darn them. And I know wool sock weather is coming. The denim skirt is something I have been wanting to add to my wardrobe since losing all the weight, so it was GREAT to be able to grab one off the rack, try it on and buy it. Whoa! It has been years since that happened in that store.

Last stop heading home was A-1 Diner in Gardiner – we have driven by it so many times, and always wanted to stop – yesterday was it. Food was very good. Prices a little steep, I thought – 30 dollars for Mac and cheese, a BLT, a piece of cake and a cookie. No beverages.

We finished off the day out by going to see “The Help” at the Alamo theater in Bucksport. We both enjoyed it very much – and thought they did a good job following the book, although I thought they downplayed the violence of the era (and book) a bit, so you had to just take it on faith that the maids were right to be scared to help Skeeter. Thought the casting was absolutely fantastic – heavens! Everyone was just perfect for the role they had. Lots of great parts for strong women.

I got tons of knitting done – knit all the way down to Portland and back, and through most of the movie. I love a good circular stockinette knitting pattern! Can do it in the dark. If I ever go blind, I will just knit millions of these sweaters. I am working on another Good Karma yarn sweater – I love the first one I made, and so am doing one in shades of burgundy and gray. The wool/alpaca blend yarn is so nice and soft and warm.

So, since yesterday was all about helping the economy, today is all about chores. Power pellet lifting! We have three tons of pellets in the driveway that need to be down cellar. A’s sister L will be over this afternoon, and we will get our assembly line going. I get to sit on the rolly chair in the 4 foot section of the cellar while they slide 40 pound bags down a ramp at me. We will get in the groove and get those babies in and stacked. Then we will get a break and have some apple crumble I made on Friday, and feel all righteous for doing all that exercising. Tomorrow we plan a long bike ride on the down east sunrise trail. LL has been wanting to get us over there for weeks now, but scheduling has been tough. Tomorrow looks like a beautiful day for it.

Today seems like it might be the kind of day that has me sneaking off to jump in a lake, since the pool is gone…

long short week, but hopefully not a short long weekend!

I only had to work two days this week, thanks to a holiday and a day off, but those days were LONG. Lots of changes at work, and that can be stressful, and stress makes for long days. But they are through now, and I am 1/4 through a 4-day weekend – very nice!

Today we started cutting the wood for that bed A has been wanting to make for almost a year now!!! Of course, that involved a trip to the big orange box for a special saw blade. But at least it didn’t require a special saw… so that was good. We got the drawer pulls for the drawers that will be under the bed. I knew just what I wanted, and lo and behold, they had them! Since they will be right at shin level, I wanted something curved, not square and sharp. Martha Stewart had some that were close, but they had screws that showed after installation, and I just didn’t think they looked as nice as the ones with the screws hidden. Not often that I don’t like the looks of an MS product. Anyway, we got the ones I did like, and as always at big orange (or the Home Despot, as I like to call it) we managed to find a few other things as well.

While we were in Ellsworth, we stopped at the farmers market – it was a dreary day, and so some vendors didn’t show, but at least my favorite farmer was there, and so I have some Happy Town vegetables to eat now. No molasses cookies, though, but I guess we don’t need those in the house. And Paul said my bushel of tomatoes for canning will be in soon, which is super good for me – I love canning them, and I love having summer tasting tomatoes all year long. It’s like opening a jar of summer in the dark of winter.

Ran a lot of errands this morning, so hopefully tomorrow will be a quieter day – I know we will make a trip to Belfast to get a baby present, but other than that, I think we can hang out at home being creative. I think I have the patience for the next step in the roman shades, and I know A is looking forward to using her Kreg system to make the boxes for the bed. Someday soon there will be very exciting photos of finished products to show you all! And my sweater is coming along – I do love this pattern, it goes so fast. Another couple of inches on the sleeves, and then I knit from the arm holes down until it is finished. The yarn, from Good Karma Farm in Belfast, is really soft and delicious – I love how it feels sitting on my lap as the sweater grows. It is a wool alpaca blend, could not be softer!