I finished something!

It was just last night, so no photos yet, but I bound off the Hankshaw sweater. That is exciting as I have been wanting to cast on a new project, but I made myself finish something first. So now I will cast on Biophilia. I am using yarn and beads I got at last year’s Fiber Frolic, even though this year I got some yarn that would look great. I will get to it…

This month has just flown by, it has been hectic and busy! My birthday weekend was lovely, in celebration AND weather. Mom had a party for me, just siblings and some of their spouses and children. It was the right size for actually visiting, so that was fun.

After that it’s been straight out work, even on weekends. I manage about ten minutes of gardening some evenings before I get swarmed with mosquitoes, so the yard looks awful, mostly. Except that the front garden that had so much work done on it the past two years is at its lovely stage, if one zooms in and blocks everything around it…

And I have been spinning a little and knitting like mad, in spare moments. These socks got finished, and these started, this month.

But the big news, beyond the finished Hankshaw is that I finally finished the mosaic cabled squares of Durrow!!! I am on the easy stockinette part now. I decided to knit it as a gradient, not the stripes as the pattern calls for. We shall see if I like that. I can’t believe it took me 18 months to get this section done!! You can see the progress here.

Still plugging away on the Japanese MKAL, I am part way through the June clue, and anticipate no trouble finishing this clue before the August one drops. Awfully glad they aren’t monthly, though!

The pool filter I got for my birthday is WONDERFUL! The pool is ready to be vacuumed, something I have never been able to do before, exciting! However, it is a bit of a jerry rig to get it hooked up, and I haven’t had time to really focus on it, so I keep stirring and running the filter, and it is making a difference. I hope to swim by July 4. Luckily it has been so cold and wet I haven’t felt the urgent need to get in the pool. I can just stands in the yard and get cool and wet.

 

Last Saturday we had a major fundraising event at work,  (it went well but nearly crippled me, more in a minute) and this Saturday we had a work-related picnic to attend, so weekends have not been relaxing at all, and the work weeks have also been long.  Yesterday, though, I was happy to visit with an old coworker and long time friend who now lives in Iowa.  She is around for a couple of weeks, so she came to visit, and we sat on the porch catching up.  It was so nice and relaxing, and I so appreciated that she came over to see me, as driving a couple of hours to her place would have not been as relaxing after a long week!

For the last few weeks, my feet have been really hurting.  It started out as a bit stiff when I stood up from my desk or in the morning.  I made sure to do all the stretches, and rotating, etc, but it just seemed to get worse and worse, and then my knee started bothering me, from walking stiffly, I presume.  I paid attention to what shoes did to me, and so now I am just wearing birks, as the arch support seems to really help, also nothing touches the back of my heel.  I suspect plantar fasciitis, but something else, too, the back of my heel can not be touched.  Standing in sneakers all day at the fundraiser was so awful that I could not walk to the car.  I don’t think A believed me when I told her she had to go get the car and come to me, but I wasn’t fooling.  I could barely move from the car to the house.  I laid low the next day, as much as I could, and was a little bit better by Monday.  But then one night I put on some different shoes ( which I had worn all winter, I might add) and did about fifteen minutes of gardening, and everything was awful again. So, yes, I know I need to call the doctor and get to a PT person, but for now, I have worn only birks for about ten days, and I keep my feet really elevated when I am home – not quite toes above nose, but on a pile of cushions on the couch.  The swelling seems to be going down, and things are better, but still not good.  I could not walk a mile, I don’t think.  But, my knee is feeling better.

I won’t tell you about the arthritis in my finger and thumb and how I just kept knitting anyway.

This getting old really stinks.

Glad this week is over!

This was a long week! Tuesday was our annual meeting, and due to staffing changes it fell to me to plan and execute. That meant a couple of crazy days leading up to the afternoon meeting. One of my former helpers is still around, though in a different capacity; she organized the presentation, and did a beautiful job. Although it was a bitterly cold and windy day, we had a nice turnout, and I think everyone enjoyed it.

Wednesday morning when the alarm went off, A told me that she needed to go to the ER! She had been up all night in pain, and thought maybe it was a heart attack. That woke me up! We were dressed and at the ER by 4:30, we even remembered the health directive. There was a small bit of conversation about not waiting so long if this ever happened again. She didn’t want to wake me.

Sigh.

They fairly quickly determined it was likely not a heart attack… ekg and blood work normal. A bit of poking gave us the likely culprit, the gallbladder. Then we had to wait 6 hours to have an ultrasound to confirm. (That was because they had to wait until 8 hours after she ate, not due to hospital issues.) So there we sat. She got some lovely drugs for the pain, and went to sleep. I knit. And froze. It was really chilly there! They gave A nice warm blankets, but I wound up wearing all the outdoor clothes I had with me.

The drugs did the trick, and she felt much better when she woke up. Ultrasound confirmed the diagnosis, and we were sent home with a prescription and an appointment with a surgeon. That afternoon was all about naps and warm soup. She felt almost back to normal by evening.

So, back to work Thursday with a million things to do to catch up, and make up some of the hours from Wednesday. I had hoped that the long days Monday and Tuesday would mean a short day Friday, but no such luck. Friday was also a full day, with a trip to the Macias office thrown in for fun.

I am so glad that this week is finally over!!!

There was lots of knitting, a hat order is nearly complete, a sock is more than halfway done, another hat that really was giving me grief is sorted out, and Mom’s reknit sweater is almost to the arm divide. I don’t have pictures of any of it.

I do have photos of a test knit I did recently, though. The pattern was released this week so I can share it. This is Jenjoyce Designs’ Golden Fields Lace. She wrote it for three pieces, in four sizes each! A stole shape, a square shawl shape, and this cowl. It is lace weight yarn, and a pleasant lace pattern, easy to memorize. It only took me a week to knit, and it was not monogamous knitting. I used some of my early handspun, the first yarn I spun consistently thin, and I have enough for another, so this might be a Christmas gift.

I was hoping to finish warping the loom this week, but I think that will happen this morning. A helped me be holding the ends firmly while I wound it onto the back rail, very much easier than the last time without her!

Last week I told you we were heading to a little craft fair. It was quite small, but we found some nice things to buy. A even ASKED ME TO BUY YARN!! A woman she knows was selling some, and so we got three skeins, and A requested mittens.

I found this suncatcher, and am so glad I made the impulse purchase!

It sure brightens our dreary landscape! I love how it makes the candle glow even in the daytime.

Even in a hard week, there are little moments of peace and beauty if we take time to notice them.

Glad I looked at this before I scraped the windshield. Jack Frost is a brilliant artist.

How was your week?

Long Weeks and Bargains

So much to get through before vacation next week, plus a board meeting last night, work is just CRAZY!  Already on my way to 40 hours and it is just Wednesday…

A and I make little deals and bargains all the time – things like “If you take the trash to the transfer station, I will make you french toast for breakfast”  or “I’ll vacuum if you will do the laundry”  Usually there is something in it for the person proposing the deal – something they usually do but just don’t feel like doing this week, or something they want to do that can’t happen without a little wheeling and dealing.

For the past few weekends, I have been puttering away at chores put off all summer, getting things ready for company next week.  A has done some larger and stranger chores than normal, because she knows it will save me stress. Like shoveling all the dirt off the tarp in the front yard so I could finish the pathway.

Imagine my surprise when on Sunday night (after she worked 12 hours at one of her jobs) she said to me “I’ll make a deal with you.” I was intrigued… what kind of deal was coming?

“I’ll clean the whole house.”

Say what?  This was going to require some really odious task on my part, I could see it coming.

“Not all the fussy stuff you want done, but all the floors, the bathrooms, the kitchen, the loft, and my office.”

WHAT is the other half of this deal??? I was getting nervous.

“if you are OK with me taking Thursday and Friday off.”

Seriously?  This is the deal?  I don’t see how I could lose on this one!  Sure, she won’t get paid for the days, so there is some opportunity cost, but she already worked half her hours at one job, so if she works two more days, she will actually get paid more than a regular week. And she has to work on Labor Day, which is a drag.

“OK… is that it?”

“No.  If you make the appointment, I will take your car in to be serviced.”

A deal was struck, and what a good thing, as my week then went to hell.  I will still be doing loads of chores – all the fussy things like dusting and window washing that she doesn’t think is part of cleaning the house, and the yard chores.  But I know that when we are done and the house looks bright and tidy, it will be because of this sweetheart of a deal she struck. And I will be able to go to knitting without feeling like I should be home cleaning.  🙂

Still here!

In case you thought I was lost, I am here to tell you I am not!

We had a nice weekend – the usual activities like chores and Whorls and Purls. Plus we went up to Bangor Saturday evening to take A’s niece out to supper for her birthday. Nothing fancy, we took her, her daughter, and niece to Elevation Burger for some delicious burgers. We followed that with a trip to the grocery store after we dropped them off. Very exciting!

I have been really concentrating on getting the hitofude done. I am on the ribbing and expect to get it done this week. I also did some swatching for the next sweater. I am not getting gauge, so I have to decide about how much math I want to do, and what kind of fabric I am looking for.

The top one is 44 stitches on size 4 needles, the bottom one is 44 stitches on size 3 needles. The bottom one is closest to gauge, but a little small. The fabric is pleasantly firm, not tight and stiff. The upper one is way big on gauge, and makes a looser, almost drapey fabric. So I just need to decide which fabric I really want and how much math I want to do!

This yarn is the yarn I made in my big combo spin last year. Been thinking about what sweater it will be for a year now! As soon as hitofude is done, I will cast on.

Durrow has been largely ignored this week, but a bit of spinning did happen Saturday morning.

At work life is improving. Last week was a killer with me being sick and the last week of our busiest tax site. But I got through that and am feeling better. Yesterday was our very last tax day, and now it is all about wrapping up loose ends and gathering data for reports. On to the next big project! There are a few in the pipeline but nothing like tax season!

See? I am still kicking!

Plodding pays off!

(whistles as she strolls along) Well, look at that, some things are finished!  How did that happen?

First up spinning –

This lovely blue yarn (not exciting, I know) is all done and the perfect yarn for A’s mittens.  It is a three ply, traditionally plied, and comes in at a heavy sport weight or light DK weight. I got 180 yards, just over 3 ounces. It is tightly spun, and so should be durable and warm, if the mittens ever get knit. 🙂

There were some leftovers, as always with traditional plying, and so I made a small skein of two ply, which is about 65 yards of fingering weight. There was still more left over, so I added that to my 2018 franken-bobbin.

I finished the first third of the yak/merino spin.  My plan is to divide both braids into thirds, spin one third of each and ply them together, then spin the other two thirds and ply them on themselves.  Essentially making a gradient set.  I have finished the combo part of the spin, and gotten about 100 yards of aran weight yarn that is SO PRETTY!  It is a warm chocolate color with lots of pink and gray in it. I am not deciding what to make with it until I see the whole thing together.  I had vaguely been thinking shawl, but I doubt I will get the yardage for that, so maybe a cowl and hat? This yarn is so soft, it deserves to be touching skin.

Of course, I already have a cowl knit from this same blend, because one of the knitting group ladies gifted one to me that she knit from the yarn she made, so I don’t need it to be for ME.  I am thinking I will pass this forward, but I will decide on that later as well.

Knitting – I have sleeves! Well, one sleeve completely done.  Just need to do the three needle bind off for the other one, as soon as I finish picking up 10,000 stitches from the provisional cast on.

I am so thrilled to be moving past this portion of the knit, though it isn’t hard, the rows are long and there is nothing going on during them.  Next up is some ribbing, which I hate, but which doesn’t last long, and then there will be some thinking as I work on the skirt.

I have one finished square of Durrow, and need to cast on the next one.  Truthfully, this one has been done for a few days, but I decided to focus on finishing up the spinning bits, and get past the sleeves of the Hitofude.  But I don’t want to lose the momentum on Durrow, either, so I will get on that ASAP.

Work has been draining, lots of taxes, unexpectedly in some cases, and regular work as well.   It was a long week, working all day Saturday really made a very short weekend! I took Sunday completely off from everything, A even gave me control of the remote!  WOW!  That meant that I got caught up on Victoria – though now of course, I am behind again as it recorded Sunday night.  And I found Create TV and went through the whole schedule to record anything remotely fiber oriented on that.  Won’t A be surprised when she sees the new shows pop up in the list?

This week feels long, but I am close to getting into my tax season groove, fielding random questions all over the place!  And still getting work done that needs to be done.  But having this weekend be a long one feels like a GOOD thing!  So glad Abe and George had birthdays in February so we get a holiday weekend.

A and I celebrated Valentine’s Day in a very low key way.  Cards, and small treats, and she made her special lasagna dinner for me.  I made her a coffee cake for breakfast, so we ate well (if not healthily!).  It was a bright spot in this long week.

Hope you are all plodding along getting things done and enjoying Valentine’s treats.

Back in the saddle

At least as far as work goes!  Vacation was such a  slow nice time, we did NOT MUCH after the pellets were stacked, it was hot and humid and we didn’t have to.  We puttered and visited friends, we ate out every single day. There was no cooking on vacation.

Then we went back to work.

This is my work organization’s 50th anniversary, but we are a Community Action Agency, so we have like, you know, no money for fun stuff.

Still, we wanted to celebrate with our partners and especially with our clients. And while we do an annual dinner, most times, clients and community members don’t attend. So we got this great idea (maybe in April?) to have community picnics or barbecues.  We could load up the boss’s pick up truck, drive to different communities, set up, feed people, talk to people it would be great.  The boss got some donations, and we were off.  It sounded like a great idea then!

But of course, nothing is that easy, and the two person committee (me and my coworker of knit-buying fame, B) had about a million unexpected big projects land on our desks. July schedule turned to August, and it got later.  We finally said we had to do it or we could not be outdoors!  So this week we did it, and they were GREAT.  But it was, of course, WAY more work than  we ever imagined.  We did 5 in 5 days, starting last Friday, the fifth one was today.  That’s it, we are done for another 50 years. It will take us that long to recover and forget how much work it was.  We put together a great team, we cooked about a million hot dogs and hamburgers, we traveled all over the two counties.  The picnics were an hour long, but some places, that meant an 8 hour day, once you added in the set up time and drive time.

So it was a crazy week, and it ain’t over yet.  Our third annual tennis tournament fundraiser is Saturday.  I am almost ready for that, and will be by the time I leave Friday night.  But it means a 6 day work week.  Sigh.

There is always knitting and spinning to keep me sane.  🙂

I finished the Oaklet shawl in Tern.  In spite of my apparent inability to count, and having to order more yarn, it came out well, I think!  I would do it again, but pay more attention to my counting, I think.

oaklet-complete

I also finished one bobbin of the Life’s a Beach spin, and started the second one.

 

And I keep knitting on the other three shawls, they are starting to show progress, I think. No new photos of them for you, though.  I also listed lots of hats and things on Etsy that came back from the pop up shop.  Mostly baby things but not all.  Check it out here if you have a mind to. Nothing you haven’t seen before! 

I have a few new things in my brain.  One of the girls who works for us during the school year brought in some “head wraps” she bought at the fair.  They are lovely, knit from hand spun yarn, very cute on her.  She wants me to make her some more.  I looked and it looks pretty easy (famous last words) so I am going to work out a pattern to do that and make her a few of those.  Other girls saw them and want them too, so I may be able to sell a pile of them!  They are like cute hats with no top, not sure of the appeal, but I won’t  argue. I will go and see if the person is selling the pattern, though.  That would be easier, and would feel more ethical to me.

Other things I am looking forward to – supper at Mom’s after the fundraiser on Saturday, and NOTHING planned for Sunday!  Plus, I am taking next Friday off because of working so much this week.  Next weekend is the Common Ground Fair, and I will be heading there with Mom and niece B (owner of the now healthy bunny) so they can look at animals and I can look at yarn and fiber. I can’t wait for that!

Also, next Friday is the day I ship this %&*^#*&^&^  heart event monitor back to Tennessee. I can’t wait to get rid of it.  I hope it is providing useful info to the MDs because it is driving me crazy and I would hate for that to be for naught. It did get me out of lots of hauling and lifting during these picnics, though!

 

 

 

I hope the crazy ends soon!

It’s been a wild week at work – made more so because I HAVE to get everything done by the time I leave tomorrow.  We are on VACATION next week.  Not going anywhere.  Doing odds and ends around the house and yard.  There will be spinning and knitting.  There will be swimming and perhaps some yard work. There will be sleeping late.

But first I have to finish up everything at work tomorrow.  Then I can think about vacation.

 

Posting from the phone

yikes, this is a challenge, but it is Sunday and I am feeling too lazy to fire up the laptop and deal with cables, etc.

This was an uneventful week around here. Lots of time working! I did finish and block  the golden waves scarf shawl thing- it came it so much prettier than I thought it would!  I will try to get you a good photo of that today.

I ripped out the Hap and started over. I was in denial that my needles were too small for the yarn, and was just going to soldier on and let a good blocking make it better. But then I lost count of the rows by not paying attention. I could see the error, so decided to rip and start over on slightly bigger needles. It was a good choice! I think I will do 20 points in the first third, and I am halfway there already. 😀  It really is a nice pattern.

I also have been working on a pink necklace in between times. It’s easy to pick up and put down.

Niece B arrived Friday night in time for Chinese for supper. It is good having her here, and though we haven’t done anything fun (grocery shopping sure doesn’t count) I think she is glad to be here. We are sad though that after a flurry of emails and phone calls we could not arrange for her sister C to also be here. It would have been fun to have the two of them for the week.

Today is our caucus day, I wonder how that will turn out and how long it will take? I’ll bring the knitting OF COURSE! This election cycle leaves me nearly speechless.

i hope to take a day off this week while B is here, maybe take her shopping or do something fun! It is March in Maine so the usual fun things are out. Even Acadia is closed to vehicle traffic, and the carriage roads are completely closed. Not that that appeals to B but it just goes to show how little there is to do in mud season. Just shopping and knitting!

I’ll try to get some photos for you before I post again.  Have a lovely Sunday!

What weekend?

After such a restful and rejuvenating ten days of vacation, going to work this week felt like a shock.  It was hot and humid, and so after work, it seems all I did was go for a swim, then collapse on the couch with my knitting. But I didn’t even do much of that, I just felt exhausted!

Then to add insult to injury, Saturday was one of our big fundraising events – a tennis round robin.  It is lots of fun, and I was in charge of the money box and raffle ticket sales, so I was busy, but had time to talk to people throughout the day.

Still, it was work for this introvert, and that was the 6th day.  Needless today my list for today has nothing definite on it, I am just going to do what I feel like.  Of course, I have a rather long list to select from.  🙂

A is off with her sisters to go to their aunt’s for a family birthday party – I begged off when the plans were made, knowing what this week was like. So, I have a whole day with no expectations.  Rather like my Fridays used to be.

Possible activities could include:

  • Knitting (probably a given!)
  • Sewing – a few projects are out on the table.  All are things I want to wear but don’t seem to want to make.  🙂
  • Changing the bed and washing the sheets
  • Planting a bushel of day lilies my sister-in-law brought me this morning
  • Working on reformatting and editing the rough draft of a memoir my mom is writing about her work life – WOW!  I am so excited that he undertook this project.  Even if it is never officially published, it is an amazing thing for her to have pulled together.
  • Repairing the wooden garden bench
  • Surfing the web (I feel this is a probable activity, given my energy level.  🙂 )
  • Polishing my toenails

I’ll write later this week and let you know what I chose.

Meanwhile, here are some knitting update photos.  Photos are done with the camera, I think they came out pretty well!

image

This is the striped blue/green vest. Colors look better than the last photo I shared with you.

image

Millais – about half way through the yarn, so, hopefully, the shawl as well. I LOVE that the rows are shorter by ten stitches with each 4 row pattern repeat – rows are going along quite quickly now. The color in this photo is also better than the previous one I posted.

image

The gold and teal waves wrap – I am about a quarter of the way through the yarn, but more than 1/4 of the way through the thing – it grows quite a bit in length when blocked, so I think I might be as much as half way through it.  I have 4 balls of the gold yarn, and just started my second one.  I can’t wait to see this blocked – I wonder if the color ratios will change? This feels very gold to me, which was not my intention when I began it.  🙂

Oh gosh, I nearly forgot to tell you the big news!  I sold the little dark reddish-orange Charleston Sweater and hat set!  I have had it on Etsy since I finished it, and apparently this is the season to sell a little sweater.  🙂 I am very happy about this sale as I was getting discouraged  at the lack of sales all over the place.  I have started putting some hats back on Etsy, as it will get cold eventually, right?  I also got in touch with the woman who runs the holiday pop up shop and she is doing it again this year.  I will be in it again, and from day one this time.  I have to start thinking about inventory – but I have been collecting some beautiful buttons this summer, so I have inspiration for more hats and one button wraps. I’ll fill the shop and Etsy and see what happens. You know, when I finish these things in process for myself.  🙂  And the commission Charleston Baby set that has been on order all spring.  I FINALLY got measurements out of the mom, so now just need to get a yarn commitment from her so I can begin.  I know I will never make a living at this rate, but it sure is fun to get paid to knit!

On that note – check out Over the Rainbow’s current newsletter – the sweater I knit is hanging in the window – not a great photo, but mine is the purple one with 3/4 sleeves in the center background.  I hope more of that kind of knitting comes my way.  🙂

Well, time to go do one of the things on my list… maybe I will choose a polish color and then take a nap. I have been up for 5 hours now.  Don’t want to get to ambitious.

Sleeping outside or starting the weekend off right

I decided to sleep outside on the porch tonight. The sky is pretty, it isn’t going to rain and it’s nice and cool. Perfect night for it!

A thinks I’m crazy. 🙂

For a short week, it seems like a long time since I was here.  Not much is new, our quiet weekend is filling up, though.  Car appointments, breakfast with family while we wait, errands and chores. Then off to Orono for niece E the elder’s School performance.  Sunday a plays golf while I play in the yard. And boom! The weekend is over!

Oh how I miss my Friday’s off!

I have done some research on spinning lessons and found some nearby.  I will check out the woman next week at Fiber Frolic, so that is exciting.  Just going there next week will be exciting!  Actually there is lots going on over the next few weeks. But we will take it one week at a time!

I will try to find time this weekend to show you what I am working on now that I have finished the long scarf- something to look forward to!