I made it nine days

Kind of hard to believe that without trying or not trying, it was ten days into May before I wore something I made.

Getting dressed this morning in my favorite but boring-est outfit – navy blue skirt, white shirt, navy lace up oh so comfortable old lady shoes I realized wanted some sparkle, and that I had just the thing – a necklace knit up in Laura Nelkin’s Rippled pattern, but using different beads than she called for.  This one has Swarovski Crystals at the edge instead of matagama beads.

As soon as I fastened it on and I  realized it was, in fact, the perfect touch. (Photo cropped to hopefully hide hideous wrinkles – who put that old lady neck on me???? uh, I mean, to accent the necklace.)

image

 

Almost as an after thought, I stuffed my blue lace cardigan in my bag on the way out the door.

Glad I did, it went on as soon as I got to work. Then as I sat a little longer in my freezing cold office I added old blue mitts I always keep in my bag (it snowed yesterday.  I mean seriously, what is that about???? Don’t tell me 70 coming on Thursday, I don’t care.  It freaking snowed yesterday.)

So now I resemble a bejeweled blue and white bag lady.

Wearing three things I made and really wishing that I had also grabbed a pair of warm hand knit socks.

 

 

 

what I was up to last week (includes an unsolicited store review)

http://www.cascobayfibers.com/

 

I actually did most of the Friday list on Friday, can you believe it?  Of course, I didn’t make it a tough list. 🙂

Saturday is when things got fun, though.  A, L and I went off early to Freeport, and as planned, A dropped me and L off at Casco Bay Fibers, around 10:30. Although this isn’t local to me (a couple of hours away), it is a wonderful LYS.  L and I headed in, and A went off to Portland.

Casco Bay Fibers is located in a large, well-lit space, and was staffed by the owner.  She was just the right amount of interested and chatty and helpful without being in our faces or sullen that we interrupted her day. Although she stocks lots of beads and some fabric, it is primarily a yarn store, and it is a super one, at that!  lots of really nice quality, gorgeous stuff, including, I was happy to see, Madeline Tosh (yes, I managed to get a skein of sock yarn!) In addition to the stuff I wish I could afford to make into sweaters, she had some very nice quality acrylic blends, and some lower priced Turkish made wool.  Also, Cascade in many varieties.  I wound up with some dark blue slightly tweedy (with deep blue-green accents) for that sweater I really do need.  How can it be that I don’t own a navy cardigan?)

I also found some beads to make another ribband necklace, so this store was a GREAT find!

It took us just over an hour there, and truthfully, I could have stayed longer, but I was conscious of L wanting to go clothes shopping, and I know A has no patience for that, so we needed to get a head start!

For those of yo who have never been to (or heard of) Freeport, it is a small town that converted itself into an outlet shopping mecca.  It has the flagship LL BEan complex, and all the buildings in town have been converted to stores of one variety or another.  I like that they did not allow much in the way of new building, so Main Street looks like a bustling New England town, but it is all facade.

We went to the Gap, Banana Republic, Clark’s, Bass, before we got tired and hit Starbucks for a cooling drink while we waited for A to returns.  Once she did, we went on to Old Navy, Van Heusen, and Talbot’s before lunch.  L found a nice silk shirt along the way, and some great shorts at Talbot’s – much more selection there than in the Bangor store, so she was thrilled.  Not sure she found anything to wear to the wedding, but she will. I fell in love with many things, but had blown my cash on yarn, go figure!

We had lunch at the Broad Arrow Tavern, located at the Harraseeket Inn.  It was a splurge, but as this was MY birthday excursion, I chose it over the chain restaurants and lobster roll places in the center of town. I like to frequent the Harraseeket because it is SO environmentally friendly – much of the food is locally source,d the pool is a salt water system, they have electric car charging stations, and much more green stuff that goes on behind the scenes.  Anyway, we had a  nice lunch on the terrace (I sat in the shade of the umbrella, trying to be good.)

 

Then we wandered out of town in the car, and found a pet store that carries grain and chicken free cat food, so we got several flavors and varieties (good news, all cats are happy to eat it).  We also found the local chocolate shop and managed to get a few treats there.

By then we were all hot and sick of shopping, so A drove us home the long way, with a stop in Randolph at Deb’s for homemade ice cream – yum!

 

While the cat is away….

A is off to the County for the week. That leaves me home alone. I’ve been making the most of it.

The red sweater is on the guest room bed drying, having relaxed a lot in the blocking process. I think it will fit a lot better. The neck is a lot less loose this year than when I made it last year – not sure what I did differently this time, but I like it. It will roll a bit when I wear it, as it is stockinette at the edges.

red sweater complete

red sweater neck complete

Here’s the light blue necklace I made – color is paler than it shows in this shot, hard (as always) to get the light to reflect the sparkly beads without distorting the rest. So, no flash, just lots of lights on. (Sun would be nice, wouldn’t it?)

blue rippled

Then I strung beads for a couple more of the same – the beads are more gold than red, on the beige. Again, a lighting issue, I guess. I can’t wait to get these done and see how they come out. I do love the Laura Nelkin designs for knitted jewelry. And I love how the silk works up.

all set to go!

After that – swatches for a knit vest I have had in the queue for a long time. I have some really old Reynolds Lopi that I want to use, but I could not tell from the label nor the directions how heavy the yarn was. The pattern (Oat Couture’s Oregon vest) gives directions for three weights, and I checked them all. It seems that it hits gauge at the heaviest one, but I don’t like the fabric then, it feels too loose. So, I’m making the middle one and adjusting the size to account for the difference. Have it all cast on already. A will be surprised to see me knitting in periwinkle when she left me in red. 🙂 She would be more surprised to find blocked swatches drying on the counters over night. 🙂

swatches

I have to say, it feels GOOD to be able to cast on something different – that red sweater has been my WIP for what feels like ages. 🙂

Also, I have decided to amend my 2 WIP rule during the sock KAL. I think I need to have three. One is always socks, the others will probably follow my usual pattern – something large and something small. Right now, that is a necklace and a sweater vest. I do love casting on… Not alone in that, am I? The socks are coming along, I have a couple more inches of leg to go. Working on them some every day is really making amazing things happen. How many pairs will I have at the end of the year???

Meanwhile, life goes on. It snows. Today we are to get 7-13 inches. Unfortunately, it was not snowing early enough this morning, so I had to go to work. We were dismissed at noon, so then got to drive home in a raging snowstorm. Sigh. Better, I guess than doing the same thing after dark. So, I shoveled my way into the house and here I will stay until morning when I get to go back to work. And it won’t snow again for a couple of days – amazing. They think the next storm will be a big one – I hope it goes south of us, I am so sick of winter…sometimes I think I will never be warm again. It must be time to start looking at the seed catalogs. Spring has to come, right?

the aftermath

Sorry I haven’t blogged in a while – we have been busy getting ready for the big holiday and spending time with family. Just what the season is about.

So, now I have time to sort out photos and post some of the things I made – but, come to find out, I didn’t take as many as I thought! I knit 4 beaded necklaces from Laura Nelkin’s patterns, and I didn’t take one photo. Hard to believe, I know. So, if you want to see them, check out her website at http://www.nelkindesigns.com I made one ribband as she designed it, and two from beads and yarn I had left over. I also made one rippled necklace, from her kit. I’ll make more eventually, but it is harder to do that with left over beads, so I’ll need to go bead shopping soon. 🙂 The four “big” nieces seemed to like them very much. The one “little” niece didn’t get one, she has about ten years to go before I think she will be ready for “good” knitting. In fact, I didn’t knit anything for her this year – but she did just get that lovely purple and green striped hat for her birthday, so I think she will be OK.

Mom, sister C and sister-in-law D seemed to love their scarves – Mom and C got the two estonian lace ones I knit this summer/fall, and D got a beaded one that I knit out of a lace weight silk mohair blend this summer. It was far easier than the lace, but I think it came out really elegantly, with the random beads through it. Too bad I didn’t take a photo of that. 🙂 But I did take photos ofhte lace ones, and I while I think I have posted them before, here they are again.P1080614

close up of the pattern.  Didn't realize the striped towel would show through!
close up of the pattern. Didn’t realize the striped towel would show through!

I made hats for A’s great niece and nephew – teenagers – scary to try to dress them, but I think they liked the hats. Niece seemed to love her beaded I cord tassel, which is great as I wondered if I was going over the top. I guess I wasn’t. Nephew’s hat was plain basic brown wool, and I think he appreciated no beads. 🙂

I did a better job on photographing the Christmas cards – enough to give instructions, so I will post that separately.

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