More progress… and today on my needles

I stayed up very late last night, but did finish the knitting on the blue Triinu shawl.  Yeah!

This morning I blocked it.  I love that something can go from this:

triinu near the end 2 15

to this…

blocking Triinu 1

to this…

blocking Triinu 2

to this!

blocking Triinu 3

Look at this pattern – it amazes me that it can be made with yarn and sticks.

blocking Triinu 4

Of course, it apparently takes months.  🙂

I really pushed myself to stay focused on this and the blue sweater this week, I wanted them off my needles and in my wardrobe, and I wanted to work on other projects.  As lovely as these are, they were getting to be tedious.

And now I am free to work on this project.  And cast on one or two other things.

Charleston 2 17

Life is good!

Here are a couple of non-knitting photos for you – a week ago we had a sunny day. And it was warm enough that I got off two shots before the camera batteries died of the cold. This is the best one. I don’t even know how to tell you how deep that snow is, except that when I stand on the ground, the lower deck rail in the near corner is above my shoulder.  So what’s that?  4 feet or so on the ground?  Ugh.

house in snow

Here’s a photo of Allie.  She has a new best thing – the minute I pull the purple internet cable out to log on, she comes flying, throws herself on it, rolls around and then goes to sleep.  We like to say that Allie loves to be on the internet.  But that’s just our lame joke.  🙂 Note that she is sleeping directly beside a very cozy basket bed. She’s some cat!

allie on the internet

Nupps for Claire

Claire over at Mollie and Claire is working on a shawl that has nupps, and she mentioned struggling with them.  I promised to get some photos of how I do it, and here they are.  Not great, as I took them myself, which is hard to do while maintaining tension.  🙂

The instructions always say to work the nupp stitches loosely, and they really mean it.  How loose is too lose?  I don’t know – I have never managed “too loose”, but I sure have managed not get loose enough!  This is how I do it now, and it seems to come out pretty well, although it is slow and tedious while working the first row, it makes the second row work smoothly.

First off, pull enough yarn loose from the skein that you don’t have to stop mid-nupp to pull more.

When I do the first K1 Yo, I make sure there is quite a lot of yarn involved, pulling the two sides apart almost an inch, while keeping a firm hold on the work to the left – so that the yarn comes from the skein, not the work.

nupp 2

Do that again after each k1 yo, and know that it will get harder and harder to spread the work apart, and by the last one, you won’t have anywhere near as much play with the work.  That’s why it is important to get a lot of play in the first one. Notice that at first, I can get a whole knuckle between the two needles, but by the end, it is about half that.

nupp 1

nupp 3

nupp 4

When they are all done, it looks like this – note that the stitches on the right are a bit longer than those on the left – that is OK, and will settle out when you put them all back together.

nupp 5

Coming back at across the purl row, you should be able to work your needles through all the stitches (in this case 7 stitches) and the yarn will spread out evenly across them all.

nupp 6

That’s it – learned by practice, practice, practice.  I hope it helps!

For those of you who are interested, this is a scarf I am working on, from Nancy Bush’s Estonian Lace book. the pattern is Triinu. The yarn is Malabrigo lace.

Friday List

First off – a note to the powers that be at Word Press. Please, could you add an auto save feature? Yikes – I just lost a whole Friday list post.

I’ll try to remember it all. 🙂

So this morning, I am waiting for the bug man to come do his regular quarterly visit, and then I will call Crimson Crow so we can meet in Ellsworth. Lots of chores to do there, and of course, some fun things, too. A visit to the Craft Barn is in store, if, after I check supplies I find I do not have 6 pieces of 12 x 12 brown paper. My challenge will be to leave with not much nothing else. I will do the grocery shopping while there, at the big store, and then head over to Reny’s for some Christmas shopping. We do a Christmas is for Kids program at work, and A and I try to help out with that each year. This year there were two kids who went unclaimed by all the other donors, so I am shopping for a couple of 4-year-old boys – should be pretty easy! Crimson Crow mentioned a trip to GoodWill, and of course, we will need lunch! Should be a good day.

There will be knitting involved somewhere along the way, of course. I have already done my sock knitting this morning, but I have two other projects on the needles right now – the Estonian Lace scarf, and the lace cardigan. Here’s a photo for you – both projects in progress – amazing the difference needle size and yarn weight make! I love them both in their place – no way would I ever get through a lace weight cardigan, though I would love it when finished. 🙂

lace projects

I have done some thinking, and reached a conclusion – this is my last pair of socks this year. I am slowing down the sock knitting, to make it last. 🙂 Twenty six pairs of socks! Wow, I never would have believed it. I was hoping to knit up my sock yarn stash, three skeins!!!! Did that ages ago. I am no longer afraid of socks, and I will likely keep knitting them, but at a much slower pace. So, this pair will linger on my needles. Actually, it will only be one sock that will linger, I will likely finish the current sock tonight or tomorrow. Part of what is driving this decision is that I have no more sock yarn, and am not ready to spend some of my precious yarn stash cash on more sock yarn at this point. With the changing finances ahead, I know it will be a while before it builds up to this level again.

Back to my list for today…

I will do a load or two of laundry, and the usual local chores, Post Office, etc.

If I have the patience, I will try to figure out why the new printer doesn’t see our Wi Fi, but even if I don’t crack that nut, I will start printing the photos for the Christmas cards (it prints fine with the cable). Yesterday I worked on cards at work, and it got me in the card making mood – yeah! At last! A says we are getting our Christmas tree on Sunday, and so the holiday things are coming together at last.

That’s about it – lots to do today because we are going to spend the day with A’s sisters and aunt tomorrow. So I had better get moving.

Have a good day!

Sunday evening already?

this weekend sure flew by.  It was pretty good, too.  Did some knitting, some paper crafting, got the chores done, and cleaned up some of the garden work (although, i might be the only one who can tell.)

Anyway – I also took photos – not great ones, but they are photos.  🙂

Last year’s Halloween cards were quite elaborate to make, this year, I went a different route – found some nice pre-made plain cards at JoAnn’s (even on sale, cheaper than the paper would have been!  Then with a bit of ribbon, stamps, glitter and stickers, I made them fit the season. the colors on these are really bad, the cards are cream and dark brown, in case you can’t tell.  🙂

halloween cards

They started plain, and this is how some of them came out.  I should have taken these outside, but the wind was howling today.  So interior lighting and some flash makes these a bit odd, color-wise.

spooky house card

crow card

happy halloween card

pumpkin card

Oh, and I did some knitting on my socks – pair number 23 this year.  This is String Theory Hand Dyed yarn from Blue Hill, in Cobalt.  My first time using this locally hand-dyed yarn, but not my last, I  love it!  The pattern is business casual (third time making this, I really like the argyle effect) and it moves right along quickly.  Ravelry pattern page is here for more info.

.sws 23 one done

I also worked on the Estonian lace scarf, but haven’t got photos of that to show just yet.  I’ll try to get some of them next weekend for you.

The care giving grows easier as the patient is much more mobile.  She actually drove her car 1/2 a mile today to visit a friend,and has been going along with us on nearby quick errands.  She has to learn how to get about in public, and this is the first time she has had the energy for it.

Girls night out got postponed as one of the “girls” had to unexpectedly babysit her grandson.  So we had cookies and more time home together this weekend than we expected.

Appointment at the dermatologist went really well – there are (of course) a few spots she wants to treat with the topical chemo this winter, but nothing as drastic as it was last year – for one thing, I can cover these up, they aren’t on my face!  She thinks I did really well with sun this summer, so it was worth it, I guess.

I stopped at JoAnn’s on the way home, got all kinds of goodies on sale – they will be showing up in more than the Halloween cards above, I promise.

Last thing I can report on is reading.  Book group meets here on Monday evening, and will be discussing “Unbroken” which I have finally dug into this weekend.  I won’t get it done in time, but I have gotten through the war and out the other side.  Probably have 50-100 pages left.  I’ll read some at lunch tomorrow and fake the rest.  It won’t be the first time one or more of us have not finished the book.  🙂  However – I can say this – while it took me a long time to get into this book, and I don’t really like the protagonist, it is an amazing, disturbing tale.  It was tough whenever I really realized that this was non-fiction. really well researched and written, it reads as easily as a novel.  I look forward to hearing what the rest of the group thinks of it.

Sometimes life is like a Blondie song

Hurry up, hurry up, and wait…

L and her doctor decided on rehab.  A good choice I think as she is experiencing severe nausea from the meds.  But in typical bureaucratic fashion, that decision was made, THEN they started talking to the insurance company about where she should go.  End result was she spent an extra night in the hospital while they worked it out, then they sent her where the doctor wanted her to go all along, but it meant A spent Thursday in the house by the phone waiting for the call, and we both spent a day hanging about in Bangor Friday – first at the hospital waiting for them to release her (I watched half of Apollo 13 in the lobby as L was feeling very sick and not wanting company and they released her JUST as they had their critical accident and now I need to find a copy of the movie or find it on DISH so I can be sure that they get home safely (never mind that I know they do because I saw the movie ages ago) Then at the rehab place while we made sure she was settled and her room mate wasn’t going to drive her nuts and all was well.  After that, we went to Staples and got out of there the fastest and cheapest we ever have – nothing that wasn’t on the list!  Then we went home and collapsed.  There is nothing so tiring as sitting waiting, right?

Saturday, we went to Bangor to visit her and make sure she was OK,(she was feeling much better) and were pleased with her progress.  Interestingly, the knee is no big deal, it is the nausea that is holding her back.  She is able to hop out of bed and cruise with her walker.  All those years of yoga and hiking and biking are really paying off.  She can put her shoes and socks on without bending her knee (jaw drops in amazement).

We went to the pharmacy to get her a few things and then back to rehab to drop them off, then we went to Ruby Tuesday’s for “lupper” before coming home and once again collapsing.

All of this sitting around, then collapsing, has been VERY good for getting knitting done! Two finished objects this week, although photos are not current, here they are. Socks were finished tonight, less than two weeks from cast on.

sunrose socks sws 22 in process

This, believe it or not is the Lacy Leaf shawl I started last week – this photo is from last week.  The shawl is finished now, upstairs being blocked.  I’ll get a finished shot of it in the next day or so, I promise. I finished it last night.

lady edith shawl

This morning, I cast this on – it is Triinu from Nancy Bush’s Knitted Lace of Estonia.  Because it calls for fingering weight yarn, and I have lace weight, I added a pattern repeat to get the width I want – so 90 stitches cast on, size 4 needles.  I expect I will be working on it for a while.  lifelines are handy and will be used a lot with this one.  They are so handy on a project like this.

malabrigio triinu start

I don’t think I shared with you the finished hitchhiker – it got done last week (I think) and didn’t need blocking, which means I love it!  See that tiny little ball of yarn tucked near the fold of the shawl?  that is how much yarn I had left.  🙂  this was Tosh light, and I love the softness of this yarn, it feels like silk but is pure wool.

hitchhiker finished

I was cleaning off the camera and found this photo I took at the food distribution last week – I had to take it when I saw that pile of pallets – it struck me that this is a DIYers dream to find this many clean pallets 🙂

diy dream

Today was slightly more productive around the house – we got to the dump and grocery store.  A went down into the basement and cleaned up a bit so that tomorrow, she can start work on my mud room wall box, to hold my IKEA baskets and many hats, scarves and mittens which will be needed this winter.  I can’t wait!  And it will get her in the groove of building again so the bookcases that NEVER get started might.  Someday.

I also worked on a project I have had in mind for a while – it involves some Christmas gifts, so I might not be able to share it with you for a long time, but if it works out, it will be cool, involving yarn AND spray paint.  I will document it well so when I share it, you can feel free to copy it.  🙂

A new week starts… A has it off, except Thursday, which I have off.  That is likely the day L will come to us for the next phase of her rehab. Life is interesting, for sure.

Sunday update

Mom and I had a really nice visit this weekend. I got to make that new recipe I wanted to – which in the end tasted very much like the “sauce Normand” we enjoyed so much in France – it had cream, apple cider, onions and pan drippings – along with a tablespoon or so of Maple syrup. No Calvados in it but it tasted delicious anyway. I’ll be making it again, it was heavenly.

Saturday we headed up to Bangor and walked in the Bangor City Forest, and out on the bog boardwalk. A really beautiful morning, and I think Mom liked it, she had never been out there before. We had a good lunch at Schooners in Brewer, and did find the yarn store. Had some trouble locating it, but asked at the quilt shop(I ain’t no dummy – and I will be going back to the quilt shop – it looked really nice, the two seconds I was in there.) the yarn store was OK – not exciting. She had some good basic yarn, and one particular brand of fancier yarn – Ella Rae. Very nice, but it didn’t really inspire me. A small selection of Noro. Nothing that I spotted that is local, or otherwise special. So, I will keep her in mind for patterns and notions, but my guess is that I won’t be making special trips there. Which is not to say that I didn’t buy yarn, of course I did. She was having a sale! I bought some variegated grays and blues to make another lace scarf (someday) and checked out some sock yarn. She did have a small but nice selection of that, but most of it was the kind that only makes one sock, and it was a little pricey when you start doubling the price (since I like to make my socks in pairs. 🙂 )

I did lots of knitting on the latest Pi shawl, I should finish that in a week or so, I would guess, since it is now my mobile knitting. It is very fluffy, I think it will be very cozy. and the best part? Ten skeins of yarn out of the stash and not a cent spent to make it. It is from the cousin Nancy stash, and I think about her as I work it. I wonder what she planned to make with this yarn? I know she made a lot of felted hats, and I wonder if that was what this was going to be? She wasn’t into fluffy sweaters, as near as I can tell from what her daughter sent me. But maybe she was planning something new and different?

Today, we had our electrician buddy here briefly to hook up a few new outlets in the basement. He took a lot of the slightly used fiberglass insulation off to a guy he knows who is building a house. Wow – we were going to toss it because they would not take it at ReStore! 16 contractor bags full! That is probably 6 trips to the dump we did not have to make today – woo hoo! We did make one trip there, and to the hardware store. I got more Rustoleum primer for the little outside tables, and when we got home, I did more spray painting – finished the last planter, and primed the three tables. One of them will be blue, same as a chair I did last week, and the other two remain to be seen – I have to get back to Lowe’s where they have a million colors of spray paint. I still want to find some true periwinkle colored paint – the blue is not as purply as I thought 🙂 The little teal one I did last weekend came out well, and is making me think that I am going to love having these cute, bright tables under my plants next summer. On my screen porch.

The contractor came this week, one morning when we were not here because of having to vacate – but he got a good look at where we want to build, and I have to send him a sketch tomorrow of what we are thinking of, and then he will give us a quote, and I really hope we can afford this last bit of construction on the house – I have been waiting for it for a long time! I can just picture my pretty colorful porch, but right now it is an expanse of sand…..

Other than that, we have not been our usual workhorses, we are tired! Last weekend nearly did us in.

Saturday

Today was nice and low-key.  I don’t think we got up and going before 9:30!  Did a few errands in town, and got home in time for lunch.  Watched a show we had DVR’ed and then went for a walk. It was not as warm out as it looked!  Still quite a breeze blowing, making it feel a whole lot colder than it looked.  BUT – how amazing that on February 2 the ground is clear of all ice and snow, and we can go for our walk safely outside?  That’s two days in a row for that.  So much better than the treadmill and bike in the cellar.

Came back and I did a serious chore – finished knitting the blue shawl.  Spent a lot of time this afternoon grafting the top edge to the body – how I hate the Kitchener stitch.  I will choose my patterns more carefully from now on.  But I got it done, and it is lying all stretched out upstairs in the craft room. It should be good to go to work on Monday to surprise one of my favorite coworkers!  Did not make any cards, but I did finish a funny hat, and felted it, and that is also drying.  Started another one so I have a project to take to work on Monday, but tomorrow I work on the red sweater.  Can’t wait.  Of course, I also should make some cards.  And clean the bathroom.  Sigh.  So many unfun chores need doing.

We will be watching the game tomorrow night – we have a bet, as always.  This one is that the loser has to get up and make/get the winner breakfast for 4 Saturdays after the game.  I got Baltimore, A got SF. (we really don’t know about football nor the teams, so it is sheer luck of the draw on this one.) I look forward to the ads – glad to see the baby Clydesdales will be back, I missed them last year.  And A watches so she can sound intelligent at work on Monday.  Where as I just say “did you see that ad about…?” and don’t worry about it.  But I don’t work with a room full of men like she does.  🙂

Saturday at home

We have been having a nice day. Got an early start as we both needed haircuts, and so headed over to the barber shop early, to get a good spot in the line. Amazingly, there was no one waiting, so we were out of there, done with errands and home by 10:30!

I had some work to do, so I booted up the 4 computers I needed to check for taxes, and got down to work. A went and tinkered with the snowblower – changed the spark plug, and got it started! That is a huge relief as we are currently between plow guys. I moved the cars and she cleaned up the last of the snow piles at the head of the driveway. We are ready for more snow now. Except I think what we might get is rain. Ugh. Ice.

I also was able to reach our neighbor, who IS interested in plowing for us – he will come over and take a look so he can give us a price, but if he is willing, I think we will go with him. Be glad to have someone nearby taking care of it, I must say.

I also managed to do laundry, and change the bed, and start taking the tree down. Didn’t get real far with that, as I didn’t feel like getting the 12 foot step-ladder out of the basement, but I did start it. I’ll keep plugging away at it, and it should be heaved off into the woods before next weekend. It has been a beautiful tree – still drinking a fair amount of water. There is something to be said for an absolutely fresh-cut tree – from the field into the bucket of water in our living room.

Among the other low-key things we did today – watched our first of the season UConn women’s basketball team, against Notre Dame. I am sorry that UConn lost (by 1) but ND gives them a good game. And unlike other rabid fans, I don’t expect my team to win every game. In fact, I don’t think it does them harm to lose the occasional game. Then March and April aren’t such a big surprise. I know I am in the minority on this one in CT of course. But in Maine, I feel safe saying it!

Made an early supper of turkey pot pie from our favorite bakery (Frank’s in Bangor) by way of our freezer. It is really good, and A likes it because it is turkey, crust and gravy. No veggies. I like it because it is real – and yummy comfort food. Also, because it is not chinese! We got chinese take out for NY’s eve, and I have been eating it ever since. I think it is time to heave the last of it. It was good, but it just lasts too long, even when I don’t order lots.

this evening, we will head upstairs – A to work on her big walk in closet job – not remodeling because she never did finish it – so is that a modeling job? 🙂 and me to the craft room to play with the toys I got yesterday. And to work more on my quilting project.

But before I go, here are a few photos of the last few weeks – trees, kittens, works in progress. Cleaning out the camera again. 🙂

Allie and Zumba love their waffles!
Allie and Zumba love their waffles!

patchwork runner in progress
patchwork runner in progress
next Estonian lace on the needles
next estonian lace on the needles
the tree, going up
the tree, going up
all decorated, taken with flash.
all decorated, taken with flash.
with no flash...
with no flash…
close up of the tree
close up of the tree

Off the needles

Last weekend I finished up a project, long-term one, another Estonian lace scarf, and I made a knit/beaded necklace and earrings I have been wanting to try for a long time.  I paid a lot of money for the pattern/kit for the jewelry.  I think I could have figured out the pattern from the picture, but I feel strongly that I should pay the creator of such things (as I want to be paid when I finally get around to publishing something.) Anyway…

They were easy and fast to make, and I think they came out nicely – now that I have paid for the pattern, I will definitely be making more of these going forward – after all, I have lots of lace weight scraps!  And it turns out I have lots of beads as well – from other craft projects and because I can’t resist pretty, shiny things for craft projects. Would it be over the top to create necklaces and earrings to match all the Estonian lace projects I am giving away this Christmas? I think maybe….

This is what the lace looks like fresh off the needles.

Finished another birthday card this weekend as well, and I have two more to make for November birthdays. I’ll try to get photos of those before I mail them!

Right now my knitting project is pretty low-key – worsted weight yarn, a hat of course.  I am making the second one using this “pattern” in my head, if it works out as well as the last one did, I will write it up, because it is a stash buster – lets me use different weights of yarn and still get an end product  that looks great and is warm.  I MIGHT be able to modify it for that pony tail hat I keep thinking about and not making.

I do plan to go upstairs soon and see what I have in the stash for larger projects – I feel like I need more bright wool socks.  Been looking at blogs of amazing knitters, and some of them have wonderful socks.  It’s been a few months since I did my sock binge for the nieces and nephew last winter. Might be time. I also have one more lace scarf in my future, a woman at work who loves my knitting and is good to me deserves a wonderful present. But we will see what i have that excites me when I get into that amazingly organized closet.  🙂