Is it real?

Ice went out of the pool while I was at work yesterday!

Tulips and day lilies and muscari and garlic are poking up their heads! And I think I saw a lovely red thing in the new rhubarb bed!

Cold be damned, Spring is pushing through.

Though yesterday was lovely and warm, we are having a cold weekend. But I have hope that more warm days will be here soon.

Gotta go start cleaning leaves out of the pool!

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Is it spring?

It kind of feels like it.  The days are quite warm, well into the 50’s, even 60… the nights are cooler, but not bitter. It could be a prank and we could be back in the single digits with snow blowing around us next week.  Or it could keep on like this and things could thaw out and it could be an early spring.  Only time will tell, but I am itching to plant flowers and start seeds.

I won’t do it yet. I don’t have a pick ax.

I keep knitting and spinning.  Both are creeping along, as you might expect from big projects, lots of time spent, not a lot of noticeable progress.  My fingers are itching to cast on a new project, anything bright and cheerful and fast. I won’t let them do it, I know that road.  That road leads to projects dragging on for years, even being forgotten.

Instead I just go to my queue on Ravelry and look at all the patterns I plan to make, and the yarn I plan to make them with and I rearrange the order of the queue, maybe add a pair of socks.  But I don’t wind yarn and cast on.  Not yet.

The next few weeks of work are tediously long, BUT I think I did the math properly and I might get a day off mid-week next week.  Here’s hoping.  Sunday we have a fundraising event in the morning, Monday is a tax day, Tuesday I have to take minutes at our board meeting, and pick up the sandwiches, etc for that.  The coworkers who usually do those two chores are going to a conference.  So that will be a late evening home.  And Friday is another tax day.  I certainly feel like I will need a day off to make up for all the extra hours! I wish it could be Friday or Monday, but that’s how it goes sometimes.

There really isn’t anything else new here, and no pictures of knitting that looks the same as it did last week…but maybe next week there will be progress to show?  I am almost to the heel of my sock – woot woot!  Good times.  Exciting times.

How about you?  Are you ready for spring and a change in your daily routine?

 

 

Birds

Quick post to say that now I know that spring has arrived – the first hummingbird arrived on Saturday – tired and hungry.  I had the feeder up in time this year – hurrah!  And it is good as nothing delicious for him is blooming yet, though the quince is close and will be in flower by the weekend, I think.

And the phoebes with their pretty songs and bobbing tails are back, wondering how to get into that nesting spot we blocked off three years ago. And one did fly into the glass of the storm door, but he flew off again, and we put the screens up so he won’t do that again – at least on that window.

Also, Sunday night we saw a barred owl snacking on the side of the road not too far from home.  We hope it is our friend Barry whom we thought was killed by a car, but we don’t know for sure (not having been formally introduced).  He hasn’t been back to his tree overlooking the feeders in a while.  I wish he would come back, the squirrels are getting too cheeky.

But the really big news?

Our first ever cardinal!  He stopped by to check out the feeder last night close to dusk.  A spotted him, telling me there was some kind of red bird in the tree.  I said, without looking, “Purple finch?  They have been around all week” and she said no, it was brighter red.  That got me moving!  I have seen a pair of them occasionally a few miles away, and our neighbor said she has them occasionally at her feeder, but we had never seen one.  I don’t know if he will be back, but he was here once, so there is hope.

The weather might still be cold and raw, but the birds are believing that it will warm up.  I am with them.

 

 

Saturday morning

I thought it would never get here!  We are on vacation this week.  Not going anywhere, just staying home and racing around like fools, spending money.

Sounds like an odd way to spend a vacation, right?

Here’s my idea of a perfect vacation:

Go someplace picturesque and secluded near the ocean with a good porch, nearby take-out (better yet delivery) for food.

Then spend the week swimming, sitting, knitting, maybe going for a walk or two, seeing some sights, but mostly staying put.  Spend time just watching the sun go up and down, watching stars and moon circle over head.

 

Here’s what we are doing this week:

Today, vet appointment for both cats, visiting niece B and I will go do the grocery shopping and stop to get paint.  Finally have to make a real decision on the inside of the bookcases.  Bet you forgot about those, right? Start clearing out the loft.

Tomorrow, work on clearing out the loft some more, meet A’s family in Brewer at 1 for her birthday lunch. Do some mattress shopping if any of the stores are open. Start painting the inside backs of the bookcases

Monday – supper at mom’s.  Painting prep in loft before hand

Tuesday – sit home and wait for the Hughes net guy.  Internet is spotty, and we think the dish needs adjusting. (Wifi is wonderful though, I am sitting in the bedroom and I am online and I have no long cable!!!) Either get ready to paint or actually paint.

Wednesday – no specific plans, but hope to be painting the loft by then

Thursday – car appointments in Bangor followed by mattress shopping if we haven’t already gotten one.  Prep guest room for a visitor.

Friday – Mom arrives to visit and help with painting!!

Saturday – more visiting with Mom and painting, hopefully finishing it so bookcases can begin to be installed.

Sunday – installing bookcases and possibly beginning to put the room together.

Monday – go to work and get some rest.

Now doesn’t that sound like the perfect vacation?   There are also many other things that need doing that will fill in while paint is drying.  There are birthday cards to be made before we fill the craft room with everything from the loft.  There are leaves that need raking, a  pool that needs cleaning. Cars need to be registered.

And gosh darn it, I am going to KNIT.  I have three shawls on the needles, I would like to finish at least one this week.

Maybe I should have taken two weeks off?  All these things we are spending money on, and none of them are really fun.  😦  I’d rather spend it on the perfect vacation, but I guess this is more responsible, right?

And yes, Crimson Crow, we DO want to get together with you and eat ice cream!  I’ll call you.  🙂

On the actual news front – the phoebes are back!!!! Tiny little leaves on the roses! Buds on the daffies!  Leaves  up on the lupine!  Before you know it we will have flowers.  🙂

 

 

 

As promised

Turns out there were more than 100 photos on the camera, most from the mini photo shoot with niece B for my Etsy shop. I am not posting them all here. You can thank me later. 🙂

There might have been a few comments like “How many of these button hats have you got there, anyway?” But she was a good sport.  🙂

Surprise! I also had these , ready to be photographed.

She turned the camera on me, and it seems she takes a good photo on both sides of the camera. This is the golden waves wrap that I worked on all fall. Still need some close ups of it, but we have these now.

 

And just because, here’s one more button hat for you.  It’s one I would not be sad to have to keep.   Photo is fuzzy but the hat isn’t.  🙂

blue-bird-for-web-1

 

Did I mention this wasn’t all the photos I have for you?  Here’s what I was knitting this weekend, taken Saturday:

wips-in-progress-for-web

That’s my Hap for Harriet, nearing the half way mark, the Maluka which goes on the road with me, and a new work in progress, a cabled slouch hat for my coworker Bobbi.  She has ordered a hat, cowl, and fingerless gloves for her daughter’s birthday. I finished the hat Sunday, and started in on the cowl.  Here’s a close up of the hat:

bobbi's-hat-for-web

Bobbi is a wonderful person to knit for, as she lets me guide her yarn choice. And she pays me. 🙂  We went with MadelineTosh for this set – Vintage for hat and gloves, Home for the cowl.  Both are in the color way Whiskey Barrel, which is a rich brown with black, blue, and green highlights along with the shades of brown.  It looks really nice on the hat, but on the seed stitch cowl, it is incredible, perfect choice for the pattern. I don’t get any remuneration for waxing eloquent about this yarn, wish they would shower me with free yarn, but they don’t. It is one of my favorite commercial yarns, the colors are wonderful, the yarn is soft as can be.  Home is loosely twisted so you get the softness of the wool really coming through. The Vintage is a tighter twist, which is good for the hat and gloves.  And you know if you have been following for a while that I love the sock yarn.  I have been wearing lots of socks made from it, and they are soft and warm.  It’s worth trying if you haven’t already.

Here’s a phone photo of the yarn that arrived Saturday. The phone camera seems to highlight blues, but it is pretty close to the real color.

image

Oh and this blue silk wool blend hopped into my online shopping cart for an MKAL I am doing in April. Already had the beads (by some miracle.) Just sitting about twiddling my thumbs waiting for April 1 and the first clue. Maybe not… maybe I am knitting everything else to get ready.  🙂

image

 

Besides knitting this weekend, we did the usual chores on Saturday.  I went off to Belfast to get some birthday presents for Mom, and A did the local chores.  She went to the PO for me, and guess what else came in the mail?

It seems I won a blog giveaway last week, and the prize arrived Saturday.  It was something of a joint giveaway – Knitting in France and Sarah Inskeep combined efforts, so while I entered on Sarah Inskeep’s blog, the prize I won came from Knitting in France.

 

 

It is a hand dyed sock blank, a project bag and hand-made stitch markers.  I entered because I am intrigued by the idea of a sock blank.  It is two strands of sock yarn knit up into a rectangle, then dyed.  So what you get is two completely identical lengths of yarn for sock knitting.  The two socks should be the same when you are done, with no wondering where the color changes, where the half way point is, etc.  This one is dyed a pretty turquoise blue.  In honor of winning I MIGHT have picked up a new tiny Addi sock needle – 8 inch circular, size one. After all, I was at the yarn store (Heavenly Socks) in Belfast on Saturday getting Mom a present.  Yep, Mom.  I swear it.

Brother N came by Saturday late in the day to pick up the bed that has been stacked against our dining room wall for a few weeks.  He was over at Mom’s and since she lives about halfway between us, he figured he would come over the rest of the way to get the bed.  He is going to refinish and reglue it and use it in his guest room/son’s room.  The bed is a nice piece of furniture that has been well used.  It was my grandmother’s, as near as I can figure, she got it around 1921-22.  I got it in the late 60’s early 70’s and it has been moved, stored, moved and used ever since.  But it really is too big for our guest room, so when Mom offered her pull-out love seat, we decided to make the change.  I offered the bed to N because I knew he would take good care of it and appreciate it, and that one of his three kids would either use it or take their own furniture when they move out, leaving a gap.  None of his kids have made a move in that direction, but I know they will eventually.  🙂

We had breakfast with Mom and B Sunday in Belfast, which is sort of half way between us.  It was nice to see them and give Mom her presents only a week late. Since she was away last weekend, we had a bit of extra time.

And in between all of this, the reason I got so much knitting done?  BASKETBALL!  It’s March Madness, the games have started and the TV has barely been off.  We watch all the women’s games that ESPN will show us, and the men’s games when there are no women’s games on.  There are bragging rights on the line here, as well as cash for yarn money.  Or if I lose, power tools.  🙂  I won’t lose, I chose UCONN.  Like the rest of America.  But as an alum, what else could I do? I just wish they didn’t play so late.  I am still not adjusted to the time change.

Here’s one last picture for you – what I found when I left the house yesterday morning.  Happy spring!  Got to work a bit late, and we closed at ten.  Hardly worth the trip, but I am glad for the day off. It gave me time to clean up the camera and write you a nice long post! And I keep telling myself, March snow doesn’t linger.  The 8-9 inches this turned out to be will be gone in a few days.

image

 

Sure Happy It’s Thursday

or, as a coworker of mine used to call it, S.H. I. T. 🙂

With A gone, this week has been somewhat different. It turns out I have only one cat, and that one only part-time.  Zumba has gone into a complete state of mourning, I have to call her for meals.  Today I tried playing with her before work, she just sat in her box of tissue paper and looked at me.  Allie, on the other hand has decided that she likes being the only cat of the only person, and is very lovey for about ten minutes at night and in the morning, then she, too disappears. They will be beside themselves when A rolls in tonight.

So, with no cats around and no A around, I have made a glorious mess in the kitchen dying yarn.  I have some teal, some aquamarine, and then some that was dyed with the end of the aquamarine bath, then when that ran clear, I put some royal blue in.  I’ll get some photos for you this weekend – I like how they came out! I will be doing more of this.  🙂

I also slept with the windows open. And left the bedroom windows open when I went to work. And stayed up until NINE O’CLOCK. And scooped the cat box everyday. And did some laundry. And all the dishes. And OF COURSE I miss her and can’t wait for her to come home.  One of our anniversaries was Tuesday – the second of legal marriage – and she wasn’t here.  😦 We will celebrate this weekend with a meal out, and I will be happy to cede back to her all her morning chores, I had a tough time getting out of the house each morning.

But I did, and it was always worth it, we have had such beautiful mornings this week!  Yesterday was misty down low, but a beautiful sunrise (I got a photo of it which I will share when I clean off the camera this weekend) so the clouds just glowed.  Today was equally pretty – a fine, clear morning.  All the leaves are growing fast, and the world looks much more hopeful than it did a few months ago!  The wild pears and cherries are blooming, I noticed many buds about to pop on my neighbor’s apple tree.  Things are late, but they are blooming. I doubt we will have lilacs this weekend, or lupines in a week, but they are trying.

And A comes home tonight.  Isn’t life good?

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