Just my cup of tea

I finished my second Milky Oolong shawl today. Blocked, ends woven in, truly finished. I love the finished shawl, but probably shouldn’t have done two in a row, it got really boring toward the end.

But it was worth it.

Two finishes

I realize I never shared the completed Deere Season spin here.

I am not a fan of yellowy greens, and yet… I think this is awfully pretty. It was intended to be socks, but now I am not so sure. It’s about 300 yards, in just over 3 ounces.

Then there is this, finished at last. I held off on the kitchener joining until I had some clear and quiet time. It paid off as my best kitchener yet. In fact, after I wove in the ends and blocked it, I couldn’t find the join! I may never love kitchener but I no longer fear dread it.

That’s it from here for finishes last week!

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!

 

 

 

Weekend plans…

Here it comes – another rainy weekend!  Drives me crazy, since I am close to the end of the excavation phase of the pool, and I can’t sift wet sand!  Once that is done, I can work in the rain, but I have to get that done.

Anyway…

Today, we both had the day off – and I forgot to give you a Friday list!  It had some new things on it, for sure.

A and I went off to play golf early this morning – well she played, I drove the cart and knit.  It was so fun we did 18 holes, and I got lots of the sweater done.  🙂

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Followed that with a stop in Belfast for lunch and the fabric store.  I was excited to see that they carry Colette patterns, I have been wanting to try them, but never had the nerve to get them online.  I picked up one for a dress, and some fabric for a skirt.  A was waiting in the car so I did not browse long.  The pattern calls for knit fabric, and I didn’t see any there (but it is an amazing fabric store, very good quality material) so I will be on the hunt for some I like. I am excited to see that they are moving onto Main Street to a bigger place – more room for fabric and the other arts and crafts supplies they carry.  No yarn, but there is a yarn store in Belfast already, so I can live with that.

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Then we stopped at the grocery store – went in on a sunny-ish day, came out to a torrential downpour that ushered in a rainy afternoon.

This afternoon we have worked to get a ton of pellets put in the cellar for the winter.  Tomorrow, L comes over and we will put two more tons down there.  We have a good system for it, but it is still a lot of work – fifty 40-pound bags in each ton have to be picked up, brought into the house, slid down our special ramp to someone catching them in the cellar, then onto a cart to be rolled over to the corner and stacked.  It works well with at least three people.  It is a huge chore with two, and I can’t even imagine doing it alone. I guess I wouldn’t, I would build a shed and have them delivered into the shed, then bring them in all winter long, a bag at a time.  🙂  Next month, we will get two more tons, plus a ton of bio bricks.  That should get us through the winter, it is how much we burned last year (we have 5 bags left) and more than we ever burned prior to last year.

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Sunday, I think we have no plans.  If it is dry enough, you know where I will be! With brief breaks from digging to shift the laundry, of course.

Meanwhile, I cleaned off the camera, and thought I would share these few photos of a very belated high school graduation party we recently went to – A’s great-nephew is off to college in New Orleans in a  month or so.  They live “away” so the party waited until they came to Maine on their summer vacation. Party was fun, food was good, you can see his mom worked hard on the theme! I love this shot of the cousins enjoying their visit together.

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A gratuitous photo of the “hunting” cats – perspective is a funny thing, Allie ( on the left) is pounds lighter and smaller than Zumba, but here, she seems so big.  🙂

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And here is what they were watching – she did not mind the audience.

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Lastly -a  few photos that could make you think we have a nice yard.  🙂

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These are the cherry trees that bloomed so nicely a few months ago.  Birds, chipmunks, and squirrels will have them cleaned off in no time.

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I just love daylilies, they are so bright and cheerful!

Have a good weekend, I am going back to knitting….

Which reminds me – I finished these recently, wove the ends in yesterday. Summer colors ready for next winter.

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Full of photos of yard and needle work

I’ll start with the finished objects.  I am amazed at how many there really are!  Two shawls – Leftie, just finished today – still on the needles here, as yet unblocked, but already well loved.  This is the yarn I dyed myself.  Lots left, I am thinking about a sweater….

leftie-close-up

leftie-on-the-needles-1

And Indian Feathers, which I finished a while ago, but just got photos of.  It is pouring rain, so they are inside shots.  The close up is pretty accurate, color-wise. The beads are there, but as I mentioned before, too small for the pattern.

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indian-feathers-close-up

Another Indian feathers – this one, 1/3 the size of the original.  Also, larger beads, and more of them.  Still unblocked, but I think it will be big enough to be a small cowl.  I think I will wind up adding buttons to it.

noro-indian-feathers-unblocked

The trapper cowl – I am pleased with how it came out – very warm and cozy.  I think it is a Christmas present, but I might keep it.  Or just make another one….

trapper-cwl-complete

That’s the lot of finished items – I’ll have socks done for you this week I think.  And maybe cast on another shawl.  Or a sweater. Or both?  Who knows?

Next up the yard.  This is for you, Kepanie.  I know I have confused you all with my endless pool project – here’s how it works (and why it is endless!)

Here’s the area the pool will be in eventually:

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So, I need to clear a circle, 20 feet across, and make sure it has no rocks, is just sand.  Here’s how I do that.

I dig down into the rocky sand about a shovel’s depth (which often takes several tries to get, because it is rocky!) and put it into the sieve on the wheelbarrow.

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Then, using a rock (it took wearing out the fingers of several pairs of gloves to think of using a rock, not my hand) I sift the sand from the rocks.

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When I am done, I am left with a wheelbarrow full of sand and a sieve full of rocks.

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I dump the rocks in the other wagon, and the sand on the cleared ground, to later be spread and leveled.

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Then, I take the wagon of rocks over to the place where I am putting in the path.  Dump them, shovel out some sand if need be (about every other load of rocks, I need to excavate some more sand, but it is easy digging – no rocks!) and take that back over to the pool area.

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All of my work is supervised by Zumba, who just doesn’t get it.  Lots of people don’t get it.  But When I have a pool to swim in, I will be a very happy person.  Luckily, it hasn’t really gotten hot yet, so I am not worried that I am missing prime swimming weather.  🙂

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Here are some other shots of the crazy place I call a yard.

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The wygelia is in bloom – it did not mind being under 5 feet of snow this winter!  Well, perhaps it did – it is a funny shape this year.  🙂 But it is blooming like mad.

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Here is the lupine by the driveway, spreading nicely to fill in the space between driveway and woods.

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Here is a shot of that deck I love so much except in the midst of a snowy winter. It is sunny all morning, then has increasing shade in the afternoon – a lovely spot to eat dinner.

Speaking of winter – remember this shot?

house in snow

Yeah, I know, I try not to, too.

Here it is now –

house-in-summer

Much better!

The raised beds are coming along – these photos are already a couple of weeks old, I forgot to take some yesterday.

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Tomatoes and yellow squash, with some marigolds.  Tomatoes have blossoms on them now!

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Strawberries, which I ignored this season, are producing the most they ever have.  I will dig out a lot of them this fall, though, they take up too much real estate for the amount they produce (we have had three so far.  🙂 )

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Radishes, carrots, peas, lettuce and pumpkins.  Radishes are up, but not getting round. Peas are up and looking ready to bud, but not growing tall because a deer keeps trimming them. Carrots are up, but not very well.  I will likely reseed them when the radishes are done.  Lettuce not up at all, I’ll reseed that as well.  Pumpkins are up and growing.

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Sister-in-law L’s garden – cilantro, beans, carrots, all seem to be happy!  As are the volunteer morning glories.  It looks nice and lush in her square.  🙂

So that is it off the camera.  It piles up quickly!

This week is going to be a fun one – first off – Friday is a holiday!  So only 4 days of work.  I like that… Tuesday I have my very first ever spinning lesson!  I am going to learn how to spin on a drop spindle, and hope that I love it and that a spindle will keep me happy for many years, because I have seen the price of wheels.  Yikes.  Can’t wait to share with you what happens when I  try spinning.  🙂

Sister in law L’s son D and his wife A are back in the USA after two years in Madagascar.  They will be around this week, and we will be so excited to see them, and get to know A better. I am hoping for good weather all week so I can continue to make progress on that sandy project, but if it rains, I can sit and spin and knit. And think about how happy I am this week with SCOTUS.  And how pleased I am at how YOUNG my favorite justices are. They will be on that court for a long time to come.

So that is what I am up to at this moment.  All exciting, I know!

All sorts of pretty

Here are the illustrations for my last post. 🙂

Some things in the garden are blooming – bulbs in their second year (sorry about the blurriness), and a bleeding heart transplanted from mom’s garden last fall. And in case you don’t believe me when I say we live on a complete pile of gravel in the woods, some of these photos will prove it.  🙂 the raised beds are the ones L and I planted last weekend – my radishes and lettuce are already up!  Mine is the bed on the right, L’s is on the left.  I’ll post progress photos as the summer goes on.

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Here are a couple of shots of that gorgeous morning we had a few days ago.  This is the same deck that was buried for months in snow – I sure like it better like this! (And Kepanie, that is a cherry tree blooming beside the deck.  I will try to get some photos of the wild pear trees this weekend – they are almost gone by.) Isn’t that morning sky gorgeous?

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A gratuitous cat photo – Allie loves climbing up into the porch rafters and racing around. But she was a good girl and posed nicely on one of her perches.  🙂

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Yarn I dyed – three skeins of varying shades of teal/blue.  Each is about 3 ounces.  Not sure what they will be yet, but I have some ideas – maybe at long last, the leftie shawl?

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I let the teal “dry” outside, but it rained.  Still, I think it looked beautiful in the mist.

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And now, some finished products –

one of the endless scarves – this one needs to get mailed out this week, so I am glad I made it in time.  You can just see the beads in this photo, but you can feel them in the weight of it.  This is a silk alpaca blend, in colors that shift softly from terra-cotta to lavender – like a sunrise.  I hope she likes it.

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christina's-scarf-for-web

And the KAL lace shawl – my second one, but the one I started first – the color is called International Gothic – sounds mysterious!  But it is from a local shop, One Lupine in Bangor.  Very soft and lovely lace.  I thin I will keep this one.  (the other KAL shawl, a green/blue/gold boucle is for sale at J and B Atlantic in Ellsworth if you want to buy it, let me know!)

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This is a little experiment that went well – silk and bead I cord bracelet.  I am going to list it on Etsy later this weekend, so look for it!

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That’s all that is on the camera this week.  I’ll clean it off for you again next week.

This weekend is a holiday weekend, which we are both grateful for – an extra day off together is always good.  Today we did a few chores in the morning, then went to Bangor to meet A’s family for lunch to celebrate sister-in-law S’s 65th birthday  S’s daughter T, her husband J, son S, and daughter E joined us, as well as sister-in-law L.  We had a nice lunch and got to visit with the “kids” both of whom have big graduations this year – S got his associates degree, and will continue at the University this fall headed for a bachelor’s degree in Accounting, and E finishes high school this year.  She will head off to the local community college in the fall, working toward a nursing degree.   Seems like they were just little kids a few minutes ago.

Tomorrow we head down the coast to A’s cousin’s for a picnic, then maybe we will stop on the way home so A can play a round of golf while I knit.  🙂

No plans at  all for Monday, but much yard work to do!

A few things done

I have been working away at my shawl for the KAL, and will get a photo of that tomorrow, hopefully a sunny one!

Meanwhile, here is the one I finished last week.  I wanted to get a photo that showed the colors and size – a good 6 feet in wingspan!  I flows and drapes so nicely.  The wind was blowing, the sun was shining, the birds were feeding and chirping and paying no attention to me whatsoever.  🙂  I spotted this little Downy woodpecker finishing off the suet, not ten feet away, and caught a few shots of him, too. (You might also note that the snow, a backdrop to all I photographed lately is GONE!!!!! 🙂 )

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shawl on railing 2

shawl on railing with shadow

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woodpecker 3

woodpecker 2

I eventually stopped photographing the bird, and brought the shawl in.  Not having a dress form, I used a chair to drape it.  Doesn’t it just hang beautifully?

shawl on chair

This weekend I finally finished two collages I have been puttering away at – both are for sale on the Etsy site (SalpalCrafts).  I made one for myself a couple of summers ago, with niece C the younger when she was here, and I love it.  Had some paper scraps left and of course, boxes and boxes of shells and sea glass. Since the summer is apparently taking its sweet time getting here, I thought I would encourage it with these reminders of how nice it can be.  🙂

ocean front

seashells front 1

I have several more of these little canvases, and many ideas.  Some don’t turn out so well, but they can be painted over.  I have one upstairs that is on its fourth rendition.  I might like it soon.

Other finishes include a few more bracelets, necklaces, and earrings which I hope will soon be found for sale at J and B Atlantic. 🙂

A has been working away all week in the basement, and at last, after nearly 7 years, it looks like we might have bookcases built into the loft soon!  She has been puttering away with a fancy miter router thingy, and today the adjustments were perfect, and she created a bookcase box.  Naturally the first one goes in the craft room, as she assumes it will not be perfect.  After this, the next 6 go in the loft.  Which means I get to clean it out and paint it, and then paint them, and then we get to unpack the boxes and boxes of books and make that space the quiet reading place it was always meant to be.  I guess that means that next week I should be doing painting prep, huh?  Of course, I will need breaks from that and will knit. Of course.

Tomorrow we head to Mom’s for a much belated Christmas dinner.  Really. For more years than I can remember, Mom has cooked a delicious prime rib for Christmas.  This year she decided it was too much work, and she didn’t want to spend all that time in the kitchen, so we had mac and cheese and saw more of her. (Yes, we could help her with the meal, but she just decided no one should have to do it.) Now it isn’t Christmas, so she is gathering us all and will cook for us.  There are three birthdays in the next couple of weeks, so I am sure there will be some presents and cake to deal with, but nothing like the big Christmas frenzy.

I’ll bring my shawl, but it will kill me to miss out on all that scarf knitting time in the car.  But as Niece C the elder is likely to be there, I can’t bring it along, her birthday is a month away, and I would like it to be somewhat of a surprise.  🙂 Plus I would hate for her to see the unblocked thing and think it ugly, when we all know that curling lumpy mass will turn out to be an elegantly stitched, perfectly beaded heirloom lace scarf after blocking.  🙂  Better she just see the finished product.

Monday, A goes back to work, and I take the kids to the vet for their annual check up.  Won’t they just love that?

What are you up to this fine day?

Easter Sunday and a funny (knitting) story

Today we got a reasonably early start – Sister-in-law L came over and we headed off to Mom’s for a festive lunch.  Brother and sister C were both there, with their significant others.  Brother N and his family did not make it, nor did niece B, but we had a nice group for the meal. Little niece E was in rare form, wriggling and chatting, but reasonably well-behaved.  She told us a story about her plan to see if her parents hid the eggs or the Easter Bunny did.  She and her mom dyed eggs, and when they were done, put them in the fridge. In the morning, they were gone from the fridge, and hidden around the house.  She did NOT think the Easter Bunny had found them in the fridge and hidden them.  Because the house is always locked, so how would he get in?(No chimney, I suggested that.)

While we were eating, my sister told us that the other evening, she used some leftover fingering weight yarn to knit up a quick cuff on her size 1 DPNs.  She left her knitting on the table when she went to bed.  In the morning, E saw it and thought I was there, because of the tiny knitting.  My sister was chuckling. “She is so used to me knitting these big chunky things!”  We were both impressed that this kid NOTICED what we knit, that she had profiled me as far as knitting goes.

They told me they have a huge bead store in Portland.  I will check it out, but that is 2.5 hours away….  Not going there every week, right?

We came home mid-afternoon so L could continue her trip and get home before dark, and so we could settle down and watch basketball.  Go UCONN! (Not sure we will actually watch the UCONN game, as it is on so late – but we will record it and see it tomorrow before the boys final game.  Meanwhile, we watch Notre Dame and So Carolina battle it out.)

Before the game began, I was able to get a few photos of things I am working on these days – two shawls for the lace leaf knit along –

The first in a blue-green boucle from Done Roving Farm in Charlotte (many years ago) on large needles – it is quite a bit bigger than the second, which is knit on smaller needles with smaller yarn – a purple variegated yarn from One Lupine in Bangor.

blue-green shawl week one

shawl week one

And here is a shot of the Charleston baby sweater  all done – buttons on, blocked and dried.  🙂  The hat is done as well, but it was too dark for a photo when I got the ribbon on it and the bow tied.  Look forward to that photo someday in the future.

charleston sweater complete

Other projects progress slowly but do progress, which is all good.  🙂

Busy week this week – 4 tax days, and the one day off, I have an 8 am doctor’s appointment.  But then I only have two tax days left after that, and we are done.  One thing about tax season – it does not wind down – it is like jumping off a cliff or something – you go full tilt, full speed ahead, then stop as on a dime, and that is it for another year.

Oh, and for all of you posting lovely shots of your daffodils, I thought you might like to see a shot of my yard that I took this weekend.  And you should know that the “S” word is in the forecast for the whole 5 days they will talk about.  So we are still getting that stuff at least two days a week.  If this keeps up all summer, I may go mad.  Anyway, this week is the first we have been able to see a sign of this bench – at least two feet of snow has melted, but you can see there is a long way to go before we get a flower of any sort.

bench in spring