Quick update

Spinning is progressing quite nicely! After spending loads of time on it on Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday:

I finished filling the three bobbins.  This beauty joined the first two.


Then I plyed them together until one ran out, got over 700 yards of thin yarn, lace or a light fingering.  I’ll know better when it dries.


That yarn is now drying off from it’s bath, and I will commence filling singles bobbins again.  I should be able to fit all the remaining fiber on the bobbins now.

I will be so excited when it all has gone from this:


to this!


There are so many pretty color combinations in here.  Of course, it came out thinner than I intended, so it might not get paired with that lovely yarn that is in the first photo, but I am OK with that.  I should have plenty of yardage to do something with it.  🙂


Friday I did most of what was on my list, and ALSO stopped at our local bookstore on a whim.  I saw the sign that they were having a Cabin Fever Reliever sale, that was all the encouragement I needed to stop in and pick this up:


I read it cover to cover and then did the whole photo/body shape thing she recommends, updated my measurements, swatched the yarn I want to use and dug into rewriting a basic cardigan pattern to include shaping that matches my body – novel concept!


The yarn is some Briggs and Little Heritage in Gray Heather.  I have had it for MANY years, but was pleased to learn they still make it.  I might order some more  if this sweater works out well.  I have loads of this color, and one skein each of a light and a medium gray.  I decided not to do colorwork on this sweater, but I still want to at some point.  So I might order a dark gray for future use. This sweater will be just this one color, which in fact is several colors, there is loads of green and gray in the skein.  I love how the fabric softened up with the first washing, it is becoming quite soft, which you would not guess from the raw swatch.

So, pattern rewrite complete, yarn swatched and (mostly) dry, I cast on the sweater.  It will be a while before there is anything to share, but it will happen, I promise.  🙂

Sock knitting continues to happen, I missed my goal to finish the blue socks in February, because I let spinning have my attention, but I will finish the socks before the weekend, and then cast on the next ones – out of my own handspun!  I am looking forward to seeing how it goes.

Last thing to share from the weekend –  the finished Soli deo Gloria shawl.  I took it with me to Whorls and Purls, and Debbie nicely took some photos of it and me for me.


I am loving it and will get loads of use out of it.  And isn’t her gradient yarn gorgeous?


Loads of finishes this week, don’t get used to it, these things have been in progress for a long time.  🙂






The whole time I was knitting this shawl, once I realized it was browner than I expected, I pictured it on these shoulders.

This is my coworker, Bobbi Ann. (She said I can use her name, so no anonymous initials here!)  She is always so interested in what I am working on, and she loves beads and sparkly things, as well as brown and pink, I just knew it would look lovely on her.

She asked me to bring it in to show her, and to bring along some jewelry as well, as she will soon be visiting her out-of-state children.

Today I brought it all in, and she immediately said “That’s mine” about this shawl.  You can see why – it looks so pretty on her! Then she chose FOUR necklaces and a bracelet for herself and her family – WOW!  In the past, I have made her some socks and sweater, the deal being just that she would pay for the yarn.  This was a new venture for us both, and I think we are both happy with the outcome.  She got the deep “family” discount because she is so supportive and appreciative, and I got the thrill that comes with knowing something I made will be treasured.  And a human model, not my usual deck rail or chair!

To top it off, she shamed pushed me into showing some of the other women here what was left, and let’s just say, this was a profitable day for me.  🙂

So this is your final shot of this shawl you have had shoved in your faces for a month or more – and it is a pretty good idea of the color – a rich warm brown with tans and pinks in it. Look at those sparkly beads.  🙂  They just make it all perfect.


I will make another of these someday.  In colors I am more likely to wear, of course!  The pattern is clearly written, the yarn a dream to work with.  Details on these can be found here, or by reading back on my posts this last month.  🙂

Wear it in good health, Bobbi Ann!


Not lost

imageI’m binding off.  Endlessly.

Finished the knitting as scheduled on Sunday; now each evening I work on binding off.  I hope to finish before spring. Actually before the weekend, so I can then block it. But it would be OK with me if spring came before the weekend.  🙂

Loving how it looks, how it feels.

A Little Update

As you can no doubt tell, we have been mostly off line this vacation.  Sorry for the radio silence!

It was wicked hot until yesterday, and even yesterday was muggy.  Which felt like hot if one moved.  So I tried hard not to!

Niece B spent the weekend as planned – arrived Friday afternoon and we immediately hopped in the pool.  There followed a weekend of playing games (she especially loves Guillotine and routinely beats me at it) and swimming and eating.  Sunday we went up to Bangor in two cars. After a flying trip to the shoe store for new sneakers for A and me, we had an early supper at the Olive Garden. I must say we had the absolutely worst service I have ever had there, and they were not busy for a change!  We actually had to ask twice for silver ware, and gave up trying to get water.  They have these new kiosk computer things at the table and we filled out a survey which will likely make them sorry they got the kiosks.  🙂

From there, we headed over to A’s office.  They got all new desk chairs, and are giving away the old ones, so we grabbed one for her dorm room.  Much more comfortable than the wooden ones provided for the kids to sit on. We left her in a steamy hot room with all fans gong.  Before we got home, she texted that she missed our cool house, poor kid.

Monday we headed over to Mom and B’s for a sail and a lobster dinner.  The sail was one of the best yet – nice steady breeze from the SW, which meant once we got away from land, it was very cool.  Had to laugh at all the landlubbers aboard who got nervous when we heeled over.  Got this great shot showing two landlubbers and a guy with more sense.  🙂  Who wears leather soled flip flops on a boat????


Fortunately, we just sat in our places from cast off to tie up so they did not have to worry about slipping.

It was a hot and hazy day, for sure – you can see the haze in these photos.


A tiny bit of heeling here – after all, it is a sail boat!


Another schooner out enjoying the breeze.


Owls Head Light in the haze.


A working boat – and one with apparently good bait, as the gulls were following closely!


Rockland Breakwater light as we came back in.

After sailing we headed out to Spruce Head for another early supper – and good thing!  The place we tried was closing for the season at 6 o’clock.  A and B had lobster, Mom and I had crab rolls.  Must have been half a pound of crab in them!  Yummy.

Then we went on a search for ice cream – and found some good stuff at Mom’s favorite place, Dorman’s Dairy in South Thomaston.  They are dear to me because they held out against Wal-Mart and did not sell their prime commercial real estate to the giant.  So there they are -a  nice little mom and pop ice cream stand (they make their own!) with Tractor Supply and Wal-Mart behind them, Lowes, Appleby’s, and a Comfort Inn across the street.  And lines filling the parking lot each and every day. May they prosper always. We did our part.  🙂

Tuesday I was determined to dedicate to sewing.  I am eager to make a dress from the Colette pattern Moneta.  I was fooled by this description “Made with knit fabric, this dress can be created in a matter of hours. With minimal pressing and just a few pattern pieces, you’ll be whipping up an army of these wardrobe workhorses.”  I had bought some gray and white window pane plaid to make this, thinking it would work well this fall and winter, maybe with a turtle neck underneath.  Of course, at the store I could not remember the required yardage, and so bought enough for the sleeveless version, not the 3/4 sleeves I had planned.  Not to worry.  I could get more or make the sleeveless version and call it a jumper, right?

Ok, folks.  First instruction – lay fabric out folded in half the long way, right sides together.  Sounds pretty easy.

I have worked with woven plaids before and it is usually easy to fold and line up the plaid.  Not so with a knit, apparently.  It moves.  You can’t see the plaid because the right sides are together.  Even though it is knit in, it doesn’t show on the back.  I spent literally three hours fighting with it. I could NOT get that fabric lined up so that the plaid ran straight.

It was hot.

I gave up and went to get a hair cut, then for a swim.

Wednesday I was determined, but I had been thinking about it all night.

Why does it have to be right sides together?  I can see the plaid if I do it wrong sides together.  Most of the pieces are cut on the fold, so it should not matter.

This time it only took two hours to get it folded and the plaid straight.  I found I had to pin it at every pattern repeat, on both the selvedge edge and the folded edge to keep the plaid together. But it worked.

Then the lay out.

It seemed like I should be able to get a sleeve out of this yardage, and I was right.  I modified the recommended layout and gained enough yardage to make the 3/4 sleeve in the fabric required for the sleeveless dress. if you make this pattern, take note, it can save you a lot of money! Instead of laying the pieces out in a long line as directed, I pinned the skirt as recommended, cut it out, opened the remaining fabric up and brought the selvedges together to meet in the middle, thereby creating two folded edges, which I used to cut the bodice pieces. That left JUST enough yardage for the sleeves.

By doing this, I was able to also keep all the pieces going in the same direction, so if there is nap in the fabric, it will all be going in the same direction.  Not sure why the directions don’t call for that, either.

I haven’t sewn a stitch yet (but have worked on this for at leas 8 hours!), but I felt good enough about the final outcome that when we went to Bangor to do errands last night, I stopped in at the fabric store and bought enough fabric for two more dresses.  Solids this time, I have learned my lesson! I’ll set up the sewing machine later today and begin the task of getting tension and stitch right using zig-zag.

It hasn’t been all sewing and sailing this week, of course.  I have done some knitting as well.  The Scarlet Tanager shawl is complete – washed blocked and dried. It is brighter than  usually would wear, but I think I will love having the summer sunshine around me this winter. The fabric is really soft, I guess that is the bamboo in it – very nice!

Here it is being blocked – I love how this shawl just opens up with blocking.


And here it is all done, modelled as always by the dining room chair.  🙂


I have been knitting away at the teal/gold thing whenever we travel – I am about a 1/4 of the way through the yarn, so at least a 1/4 of the way done with it.  Not sure I will go to the end with the yarn as it will also stretch a lot and open up with blocking. And I cast on a new project – breaking my own rule about number of WIPs.  Too bad, it is vacation.  A kindly let me confiscate her camera, so I can share photos of both WIPs with you. But the camera and I are not in agreement on colors yet – the green seems to have washed out of these, leaving them looking a bit dull.  The Millais shawl is a soft aqua.  The sweater is made with all that yarn I dyed earlier in the year – strong teals, aquas and blues.  Hopefully, I will get a better photo of these before long and you can really see the colors.



I am almost done with the border of the Millais.  I like that the longest part is at the beginning – now the rows will get smaller and smaller.  It calls for three skeins of the yarn, I almost finished with the first one.  It is incredibly light and soft, like a feather.

So that is what I have been up to this week – not much to show for anything, but I think I will suddenly have lots accomplished from all this effort.  Certainly I have enjoyed the pool this week, and THAT work was well worth it.

We have a couple more days of vacation – today I will spend swimming and sewing, and I think I will make you wait until tomorrow for a peek at Friday and the weekend plans.  I know you look forward to my crazy Friday lists as much as I do, and we get one more before I go back to work.  🙂

For Claire, who sent me the pattern

and anyone else who would like to see the amazing lacy leave shawl which knits up fast and beautiful.

lady edith shawl finished

lady edith shawl close up

The yarn is CloudLover’s merino/silk blend sock yarn in the Lady Edith colorway.

lady edith shawl finished 1

It’s a great size  – small enough to wear as a scarf, but large enough to drape over my shoulders.  I’ll be making more of these. But not taking more photos of myself – ugh!

Thanks, again, Claire, for sending it and “encouraging” me to post some photos.

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.