Sunday evening

Busy weekend!

Saturday we went to Bangor so that A could help L with her laundry and shopping – likely the last time we have to do that, because she really can manage on her own now, with some forethought.  A backpack works for carrying the laundry up the stairs, and groceries can be carried into the house a little at a time.  She is making amazing progress!

While in town, I ran over to the Maine Harvest Festival – like a GIANT farmers market, held once a year..  I was headed in for my annual supply of cranberries – they were 5 pounds for $10 – great price for locally grown big fat lovely berries.

I also got some toffee and some, well, maybe this will surprise you – yarn.  This is yarn from a store I have mentioned before – One Lupine.  It is beautiful, grays and purples, wool and bamboo blend with a touch of nylon.  Should make lovely socks.  🙂

Today we emptied the freezer and cleaned it – and then went to the dump and got rid of all that spoiled food.  Then we went to the grocery store and picked up a few things.  It will take weeks to restore the freezer and fridge to their former stocked up for winter state.  😦

Then I spent the last hours of daylight to finally finish this monster puzzle that we started when L came to stay – she never really did any of it, but once we got to a certain point, I could not put it away until it was done – 2000 pieces!  Many which seemed to fit where they should not, it was a challenge, to say the least.

2000 pieces

Here’s a quick knitting update – finished the Tern socks, They are cozy and warm, and I love the soft blues and grays.sws #24 complete 2

I adapted that pattern to make some finger-less mitts a friend requested – they are coming along. I couldn’t work on these when the power was out – the black is too hard to see in the candlelight.  But now that we have power, I am back to working steadily on these, too. Simple rectangles that are mirror images of themselves, and when done, just need a side seam sewn up, leaving a gap for the thumb.

tern mitts in process

I started the next pair of socks – they are pink, from some Cascade Heritage yarn I picked up last week (having realized that I was almost out of sock yarn!) I haven’t decided on a pattern yet, but know how many stitches to cast on, so I am working on the toe, and will choose a pattern before I get too much farther.  🙂

Allie and Zumba insisted on going out on the deck today – can you guess where the bird feeder is? They love watching it from the deck but can’t seem to figure out that they could sit on the window seat in the bedroom and be warm while they watch the same birds.

cats on deck

They are cute, but maybe not so bright.

A has tomorrow off, I have Tuesday – not sure what I will do with a whole extra free day this week!

Off the camera – at last! – and what I have been up to so far this week

So, sometimes it takes me a week to get through the Friday list, what can I say?

One of the things I did this weekend was make the cranberry sauce for Thursday. These are the beautiful berries we got from Sugar Hill, a local grower. They were so beautiful that I thought they deserved to thaw in a crystal bowl. I used two pounds and got about 4.5 pints, two of which we need for Thanksgiving, and 2.5 we don’t. 🙂 We will use some Friday for our second Thanksgiving with A’s family, but that will be a small gathering, so I think we will have some for our own future use. Plus, I have 2 more pounds of berries in the freezer, so I can make more… unless I decide to make my favorite cranberry duff with some of them.

cranberries

cranberries1

cranberries label

cranberries done

While I was making the sauce, I managed to crush my pinkie in the hinge of a cabinet door. I still am not quite sure how I did it, but it hurt like a son of a gun. We got ice on it fast, and A even bought me a splint when she was out, so I taped it up over night, and it recovered fairly quickly.

I have been knitting up a storm lately – these mitts are with the leftover yarn from the Pi shawl that I waited so long to finish – which also shows how little yarn I was short. 😦

wristwarmers

These were pretty basic to make – I cast on 40 stitches. knitting back and forth, I used k2 p2 for all but the center panel which was a two stitch cable on either side of a four stitch horseshoe cable with a purl between the cable panels.

I used Quince and Co Finch (fingering weight, very stretchy)on size 7 needles. I knit both at once, so that they would be the same.

For each, cast on 42 stitches. Set up rows are as follows:
mitt 1: k2 p2 place marker k2 p1 k4 p1 k2 place marker p2 * k2 p2 repeat from * 6 times
mitt 2: p2 * k2 p2 repeat from * 6 times place marker k2 p1 k4 p1 k2 place marker p2 k2 p2

pattern, working back and forth:
outside of markers, follow k2 p2 ribbing as established. Inside of markers, work cable pattern:
row 1 and 3 – p2 k1 p4 k1 p2
row 2 – place first stitch on cable needle in front of work, knit next stitch, knit stitch off cable needle (first cable made over 2 stitches), p1, slip next knit stitch onto cable needle, hold behind work, knit next stitch, knit stitch from cable needle,place next stitch on cable needle in front of work, knit next stitch, knit stitch off cable needle (horseshoe cable made over 4 stitches), p1,slip next knit stitch onto cable needle, hold behind work, knit next stitch, knit stitch from cable needle (third cable made over two stitches,)
row 4 – place first stitch on cable needle in front of work, knit next stitch, knit stitch off cable needle (first cable made over 2 stitches), p1, k 4, p1,slip next knit stitch onto cable needle, hold behind work, knit next stitch, knit stitch from cable needle

repeat until as long as you would like (mine are about 6 inches), bind off in rib knit (don’t work cables in bind off row)

Fold, sew side seams, leaving at least a 2 inch gap for thumb opening.

If your hands are larger or smaller than mine, you can add or leave off sections of k2 p2 ribbing, but if adding or subtracting a lot, you might want to adjust where the center panel sets.

I also have been knitting hats, can you believe it?

1 hat

I love this side button hat, I think I have shared the pattern before – Kaleidoscope side button hat. I used the extra yarn from the CAL striped blanket, and made these beauties. Now, to figure out how to sell them. the ones with no buttons are waiting my creative genius. While I love the glass buttons on them, the buttons actually cost more than the yarn, so I can’t keep using them if I really want to sell them. My sister is going to think about making pottery buttons, and I am going to think about other options as well. Meanwhile, I have finally used up all the leftover yarn, so will stop making them for a while. Until I make my big red sweater and maybe have some more leftover bulky yarn…

warm hats

I also made a couple more hats for charity – one for work (the variegated) and one for the Nest Maine box (the bulky striped one) which I am working on filling. I use the flat rate shipping box, and want to pack it full, to maximize my shipping dollars. So, I will be making a few more before I ship it, but I want to ship it this week if possible, so I will keep on knitting hats.

label

more warm hats

I did block the Pi shawl, but haven’t gotten a photo of it yet – I will say that following E Zimmerman’s instructions to really stretch it make a huge difference, I would not be surprised if it grew half again in diameter. And became lovely and lacy in the process. So – 6 skeins of Quince and CO Finch on size 8 needles is perfect.

Other things on the camera – proof that the three cats are getting along better – all on the bed playing with A. (favorite game, fingers under sheet). While Allie requires the safety of the box to play with Tigger, she at least is willing to stay on the bed and play, which is very good for all of us.

3 cats

And the jade plant is blooming like never before – I would not say covered, exactly, but certainly there are many blossoms on it, very pretty! Too bad I have to keep it locked in the guest room away from the cats.

flower

flower2

Now, what else have I done this week?

Well, I cleaned the kitchen – the “wash the cabinets” kind of cleaning. It took two days, which is embarrassing, but I did take frequent breaks for knitting. 🙂

I did get upstairs to begin the Christmas card process, but I really am NOT feeling inspired this year, not sure why not. I have an idea for them, but it is complicated, and two years ago I did really complicated cards and I remember what a pain that was, so I want to simplify the idea. After all, I make at least 60, and usually closer to 100 cards… simple is good! Last night I was up there, cleaning up from Halloween cards, and when I came downstairs (in my stocking feet) I slipped on the stair and fell down a few steps. Made a loud crash, banged up my back and feet (against the wall at the bottom) so we got the ice out AGAIN and I relaxed and knit for the rest of the evening.

Not sure why I am being so clumsy lately, but I was sure to wear shoes when I went upstairs today.

And maybe tomorrow I will actually start making the cards…

A and I went to Ellsworth yesterday morning early to do a strange assortment of things, including dropping off donations at Good Will, and attempting to being some leftover supplies to Re-Store (not open Mondays) as well as a stop at the library to drop off and pickup books on cd. They have some nice long ones we haven’t heard before, they make the commute go faster. When we were all done, it was still breakfast time, so we went out for omelets before heading home. We were home by 10, with lots of time to do all those other chores.

how I spent my weekend

subtitle – wow, we did NO regular chores and survived!

Well, if you read anything I post, you know the bed installation was a huge big deal.  It eclipsed all other chores and things on the to-do list. But it was NOT all we did this weekend!

Sunday we headed up to Bangor for the Maine Harvest fair – a whole civic center and auditorium FULL of fabulous, locally grown/processed food, like a giant farmers’ market.  It was heavenly.  Samples galore, lots of friends in the biz.  We bought a few yummy things, and had to pass others by because we are, after all, dieting… hahaha. So we bought some donuts, some goat cheese, some pasta sauce, a whoopie pie, some herb dip mixes.  We passed up the world’s most beautiful cranberries because we still have some Sugar Hill Cranberries in the freezer.  But if you get a chance to buy them anywhere, do it!  they are huge, beautiful, make grocery store ones look anemic.  And they taste heavenly. We also were able to find that cinnamon maple sugar we love and get a big jar of it, a card so we never run out again, and let them know our local source is apparently out of it.  Kinney Sugar House – yum!  We bought a few other treats there as well.  So you can see, the diets were far from our mind on Sunday.

Following this, we went for lunch to the Coach House Restaurant – comfort food place.  A had her Beano with her, so I was able to order one of my favorite winter treats – chili and cheese.  It was delicious.  I might have to make a batch for the freezer, since A doesn’t like it and I would get sick of it long before I finished a pot of it.

Then it was off to Brewer for a craft fair – saw another one of my business buddies – Susan Merrill of Weaving a Life  (www.weavingalife.com)- she had not only her amazing Journey Looms there but new woven earrings that are simply stunning.  I might have to get some next time I see Susan.  We didn’t have a lot of money left after the harvest fest, or I would be wearing a pair right now.

From this wonderful start of buying and eating local, we leaped into the consumerism world of the big boxes – a new PetSmart just opened up in Bangor, and we need cat food, so A dropped me and sister-in-law L off at AC Moore, and she and sister-in-law S headed over to Pet Smart.  I went as fast as I could through AC Moore, grabbed paper I wanted, searched hard for the jewelry findings I wanted (finally found them) and managed to get a bottle of tattered angels glimmer mist (been wanting to try this for the longest time), a stencil and an embossing folder.  A came in looking for us just as we were checking out.  I don’t know how else to entertain her while I shop at craft stores – I thought for sure a pet store would keep her busy for more than 20 minutes – and that it would take her time to park. But she is good – she got lots of kitten food wet and dry, and of course, a few new toys…

When we got home, it felt really late, was heading toward twilight, but it wasn’t even 4 o’clock!  So, A made some raspberry jam, as she was all out of it, and I worked on my sock – ready to turn the heel today.

Today she has to work, but I get this holiday off, so I will do some of the chores we neglected so much the past couple of days.  I plan to:

  • clean the cat box
  • do the laundry
  • tidy up the living room (cat toys and structures everywhere right now!)
  • rearrange the living room just for fun
  • start making christmas cards – I have a few ideas for them this year, and so will make a couple and let A choose which one is “it”.
  • turn that heel

I’ll check back in and let those of you who care know how I did with today’s list!

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