Another knit-heavy post/Today on my needles/What I am up to this bright Monday

On my needles – the photo was taken this morning, but it is what was on the needles all day yesterday.mitten and sweater jan 18

Yesterday I conceded that the cold was winning and did the only thing I know of to beat it – I stayed put on the couch with knitting and Gray’s Anatomy reruns.  All those doctors did the trick, I feel much better today!

The mitten is coming long, although I did rip it back to the cuff when I realized I was carrying the yarn too tightly between needles.  That problem is solved, I have made up all that ground and then some.  I think they will be too long on me, but I will wait and see.  Meanwhile, I am learning about thumbs.  Elizabeth Zimmerman uses something she calls a thumb trick so I am trying it, as she is, after all, a certified knitting genius. I am loving these beauties, I knew I was ready for some red and white mittens!  Because of all the nice carried yarn, they are thick and warm, too.  Can’t wait to get then done and on my hands.

The sweater – sigh.  I love blue, you know I do.  And I do need a blue cardigan, I truly do.  But this “very easy” lace is killing me, I can’t get in the flow of it,so it simply isn’t becoming instinctive and mindless.  However, I made a real push this weekend, and finally got up to the armholes!  Now, the directions have me supposedly knitting first the left front, then the right front (with opposite shaping to the left, of course) and then the back.  And it all says “working in pattern.”  I was in a dilemma, as I can’t read the knitting! How do I know where the heck I am or left off in the pattern? So, I joined two more balls of yarn, and am knitting both fronts and back at the same time.  That way I at least know which row I am on.  I THINK I have figured out where each section begins in the pattern, but time will soon tell.  The good news is that there are now 72 fewer stitches in a row, so it should go faster.  As long as I keep those three balls untangled.  And I will definitely be knitting the two sleeves at the same time so that they stand a chance of matching.

But what else have I been up to?

Well, reading blogs, of course, and uploading hats to Etsy – thanks to all of you who have looked at my shop, and don’t forget to let me know what you think if you haven’t already. I think there will be some cards and things posted soon, in the next few days, at least.

Since it was the weekend, A was home with me the past few days, and she was such a sweetie, doing lots of laundry and table clearing, and being generally a good sport about being married to a slug.  🙂  She even drove me to Ellsworth on Saturday so I could pick up a book the library had gotten for me.  Since it is the book club book, and the meeting is tonight, it was sort of important.  🙂 (My Brilliant Friend – more on that when I finish it) we did a few other errands, then had breakfast at Martha’s Cafe, which we love.  I like to go out for breakfast, because the food is so yummy, and it doesn’t cost the earth. I like Martha’s because she makes delicious everything. I had a veggie and ham stuffed omelet, and stole some of A’s raspberry muffin.  mmmmmm

Today, besides finishing the book and not getting sucked into red and white knitting, I plan to do the housework I did not do Friday (start deep cleaning the bedroom) and get into the craft room to make some cards for the Etsy shop – I am thinking Valentine’s and birthday cards, but I am open to ideas, so please, offer them up!

And I have to go check the mouse traps I have outside, they are no longer buried under a pile of snow – with all that rain yesterday and balmy (is it really 40 degrees F out there today???) air, we have almost no snow left – so I  can find the traps.

Other than that, I will putter, putter, putter.  🙂

All about animals

Two weeks ago today I had to put dear Frankie to sleep. She was old, almost 18. And she had been dealing bravely with her thyroid disease for a few years. Recently we got that under control with a new prescription food, but the last few days she clearly wasn’t feeling well. She was drinking OK but not eating at all, losing weight fast. I took her into the vet, where I learned she most likely had kidney failure. No long-term treatments available. She made it clear that she was ready – she has never been so placid at the vet. He gave her the shot and ten minutes later, she was gone.

The house has felt very empty and lonely these last few weeks. And now we know for sure that the mice are living in the cellar, because those strange noises can’t be the cat. Or at least, I don’t think they can be!

A and I talked long and hard about next steps – we have long known we would get two kittens when Frankie was gone, but we had not figured out how long it would be before we made that decision. Well, it only took a week for us to know we needed to do something. So last Saturday we went to the Bangor Humane Society and chose two little sister kittens. One is mostly black, with some white on her feet and belly. the other is a black and orange tortie. They played with us and let us pick them up – the tortie even purred for me! They have to get spayed, then we can take them home. That was supposed to happen today so we could get them tomorrow, but it has been pushed back a day – not sure why, but I guess they are ok. There is a third sister that might get to come to us if no one else wants her by the time she is ready, we will wait and see. I really can’t wait to get them here – I have taken down all the curtains and fixed up the nursery for them (others refer to it as the guest bathroom!) and I am ready! Especially after this week, since A is away the house feels very lonely and echo-y. Especially with all the curtains down!

The other animal story for this week is about the one I saw on the way home tonight – a moose! It ran across Rte 1 in front of me. I have never seen one around here before – in fact the only other times I have ever seen them is up on Rte 9, a few years ago. I really never expected to see one around here. This was pretty startling, it took me a minute to realize just what I was seeing, then to stop and make sure it wanted to stay on that side of the road, and that it was traveling alone. It seems it did and it was, so I came home with no further excitement. Moose really are huge – especially up close and personal like on the road. Taller than my car, that is for sure. And dark. They suck up all the light. Very strange.

September? Already?

Wow, I can’t believe summer is almost gone. It seems like it just started. Sigh. But the good news is that the weatherman is totally wrong about our weather – we had a pretty nice weekend for one that was supposed to be a washout!

A and I both had to work a half day on Friday, but otherwise enjoyed a leisurely relaxed weekend. We went for a bike ride, went to the Blue Hill Fair – saw some great sheepdogs work at the trials, ate a little fair food, rode on the Scrambler – fun ride! and looked at lots of craft exhibits. It wasn’t crowded at all (was supposed to be pouring rain, after all!) so I enjoyed it more than I could ever have imagined.

Yesterday I spent some time in the craft room – how else could it be a perfect day??? and in the pool and reading in the sun. Another gorgeous rainy day! In the craft room, I worked on the roman shades I am making for that room. I figure if I work on them a little at a time, they will never make me cranky. 🙂 I also worked on a little card I am making for Ma – it is slow going because I keep messing it up and have to start it over again. But I will get it right eventually.

I am reading three books right now – Mayflower, Deliver Us From Evil, and Snow Flower and the Secret Fan. Mayflower is very interesting – I am learning lots about that era – and am grateful I live in this one! That and Snow Flower are book group reads, and Snow Flower needs to be done by next week. I have read quite a bit of the latter – set in China sometime not too recent, I hope. The little girl just started her foot binding. What a cruel practice. Yikes.

Deliver us From Evil is just a good whodunit – David Baldacci writes some good books! I have mastered reading in the pool while lying on a float – but it seems to me it is getting to be a chillier endeavor as each week goes by. I expect it won’t be too long before I have to put the pool to bed for the winter. Ugh, I am not ready for that season yet.

A is on vacation this week, she is so ready for a rest. She hopes to do some work in the cellar on that bed of ours that she wants to make – I hope that she does – it will be great to have it done!

Other big news – since the cat went blind, mice have moved into the basement – we hear them scurrying around under the floor at night. I have set a little have-a-heart trap and caught and relocated eight of the little dears so far. Haven’t caught one in the last few days, but we still hear some activity, so I have to think about new bait or a new location for the trap. I have been using peanut butter. Anyone have any other ideas? After I catch them, I haul them off to lovely new locations. I have taken three to the woods behind the office, one to the parking area at Blue Hill Mountain, and four over to the field behind the Post Office. I hope they find lovely new homes and stay out of ours!