I’ve been busy!

Mom, B, and I hit the bead store for what might (should) be the last time before she closes in a couple of weeks.  Even with the discount, I still managed to spend a bit of money, stocking up on things I know I will use, and getting a few that were not on my list.

I won’t show you everything I bought as I already put it away, but I will show you what I did with it last night and this morning.

I sorted and planned and strung beads on silk for future projects.  Today is a sunny day, so I took it all out on the deck for photos for you.

Here’s a shot of all of it, sparkling in the sunshine.

beads 1

Here’s what’s what:

black silk strung with beads for a red, gray and black bracelet cuff, and with gray and silver beads for a necklace and earrings;

beads 7 earrings, necklace and bracelet

beads 8 on the railing

beads 9 on the railing

(Note the snow still on the ground in this shot.  Jeesh!  It is melting fast, but still with us.)

gold silk strung with green beads to re-do that necklace I messed up, and dark topaz colored beads for a necklace;

beads 6 two necklaces

light purple silk strung with sparkly purple beads and coated black beads for a necklace;

beads 3 necklace

pale sea-foam blue silk strung with beads for a bracelet cuff;

beads 2 bracelet

medium blue silk strung with very sparkly blue beads and clear crystal for a necklace and earrings;

beads 4 earrings and necklace

here’s a combination for you – pale peachy-salmon colored beads for a necklace and green and gray strung for a bracelet cuff.

beads 5 neckalce adn bracelet

So, all planned, strung and put away.  Because I have some other knitting I need to concentrate on before I cast these on.  That blue linen, for instance. I think these will be my reward for working on that.

Besides beads, we had a fun day in town – Mom treated us to lunch at the Olive Garden, and then we quickly hit Joann’s where I ONLY bought buttons for the baby surprise sweater – now at last complete and listed for sale on Etsy – aren’t they cute buttons?  There were some flowers I almost got, but these were too cute to ignore.

surprise button

surprise front

We also went to AC Moore because what mom was looking for could not be found at JoAnn’s.  And for the record, I walked out of that store empty-handed!  Luckily, Mom found what she wanted.

In among all that shopping, we had a fun visit, lots of talking and laughing. I am glad we went, we only have B around for one more month before she head’s back home for the summer.  😦

I also worked on my KAL knitting, finished the week two section – amazing to me how different the two shawls are – the yarn weight is pretty close to the same, but on the blue-green, I am using a huge needle. Check it out – same number of stitches and pattern repeats:

shawls week two

One is going to be a shawlette, I think, the other will be a warm wrap yourself-up garment!

I also got final photos of the Charleston baby set – buttons and ribbons and ends woven in finished. Also listed on Etsy this morning.  🙂

charleston set 2

Niece C’s birthday present comes along in spurts – I take it every where I go and sometimes get to work on it.  🙂  I have a couple of months to finish that one.

So.  Other news – Well, I haven’t got as much to report as I had hoped.

On the employment front – can’t remember where we left off – but I saw my job posted, and so I called my boss to see if he was interested in me applying.  I would not have bothered if he didn’t think he would review my application.  He said he was, but I should know the salary was $25,000 less than what I was making.  I said I expected it would be less, as it was my actual job description, not everything I was doing that was “extra”.  But that seemed a bit much, and I said I could not do it for that.  I gave him a  number that is MY bottom figure, and he said to apply.  So I did.

I have heard nothing from him or the big boss, but I did see them all last week, just no time to talk.  Everyone was friendly.  And the HR person told me “that salary issue is all worked out.”

But it isn’t until someone talks to me and we come to an agreement, right?

Anyway, I said in my application that I was available after 5/1. I am interested to know whether that is when I go back to the office. Knowing these guys who have crazy schedules, they will call me on 4/30 to see what time I will be in.

I think I promised you medical news as well.  Still no report on anything there, either.  I went to the doc with a list, which included sore joints, lumps and rashes and the hope that I could slow down on iron supplements. Sore joints:  she recommended heat for the shoulder, ice for the foot, and a support strap for the elbow.  Rash got a ridiculously expensive strong cream.  Iron review got a blood draw, and the lump?  The lump got me an ultrasound.  That is what I thought I would hear about by now, but all I have heard back on is the iron – which apparently requires further review. The joints all feel better. The rash is changing, hard to tell if that is good or bad.  I have an appointment on Thursday, so I should know more after that.  I might call them Tuesday when I am home, but I might not, too. If I don’t know better, then it is nothing serious, right?

Thursday is a big day – aside from the doctor, I am having lunch with a coworker friend – the one who got all the necklaces in January.  She and I have fun together, and never get to see each other now that I am not in the office. AND I am taking some of my knitted things into a shop in Ellsworth that is starting to carry fiber related things on consignment.  I don’t know if my things are a fit for them, but I do know how to find out.  Be brave and carry them in there.  I was in one day last week to see a potter’s work and saw the new section, so I spoke to the woman at the counter.  She isn’t the decision maker on this stuff, but recommended I come in on Thursday.  I am nervous but excited.  Can’t know how it will do until I try, right?  I think they will like the things with local flavor more than the things with commercial fiber and trimmings, but I am OK with that.  I have a few such things in the pile of completed items.  🙂  Tuesday I will have to type up an inventory sheet with prices so I know what I have and where I put it.  What a great chore to have!

So – that is what I have been up to and thinking about these last several days, between doing tax returns.  How have you been?

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today on my needles

necklace number 2 for the daughters of a friend – binding off the ruffle, just some I cord to go.necklace 2 3

next up is a different style for their mom.  🙂

on my needles

This has been a week with lots of knitting time between shoveling.  Not thrilled that they just upped the snow inches forecast for tomorrow, but I haven’t figured out what to do about it.  Except keep knitting.

Here’s what I have worked on this weekend.

Sleeves

blue sweater 2 1

Charleston baby sweater back

Charleston 2 1

purple silk “Rippled” flew off my needles in a couple of hours yesterday. Still not blocked, so it hasn’t relaxed yet, but trust me, it shimmers and shines.  🙂

necklace 2 1

Another knit-heavy post/Today on my needles/What I am up to this bright Monday

On my needles – the photo was taken this morning, but it is what was on the needles all day yesterday.mitten and sweater jan 18

Yesterday I conceded that the cold was winning and did the only thing I know of to beat it – I stayed put on the couch with knitting and Gray’s Anatomy reruns.  All those doctors did the trick, I feel much better today!

The mitten is coming long, although I did rip it back to the cuff when I realized I was carrying the yarn too tightly between needles.  That problem is solved, I have made up all that ground and then some.  I think they will be too long on me, but I will wait and see.  Meanwhile, I am learning about thumbs.  Elizabeth Zimmerman uses something she calls a thumb trick so I am trying it, as she is, after all, a certified knitting genius. I am loving these beauties, I knew I was ready for some red and white mittens!  Because of all the nice carried yarn, they are thick and warm, too.  Can’t wait to get then done and on my hands.

The sweater – sigh.  I love blue, you know I do.  And I do need a blue cardigan, I truly do.  But this “very easy” lace is killing me, I can’t get in the flow of it,so it simply isn’t becoming instinctive and mindless.  However, I made a real push this weekend, and finally got up to the armholes!  Now, the directions have me supposedly knitting first the left front, then the right front (with opposite shaping to the left, of course) and then the back.  And it all says “working in pattern.”  I was in a dilemma, as I can’t read the knitting! How do I know where the heck I am or left off in the pattern? So, I joined two more balls of yarn, and am knitting both fronts and back at the same time.  That way I at least know which row I am on.  I THINK I have figured out where each section begins in the pattern, but time will soon tell.  The good news is that there are now 72 fewer stitches in a row, so it should go faster.  As long as I keep those three balls untangled.  And I will definitely be knitting the two sleeves at the same time so that they stand a chance of matching.

But what else have I been up to?

Well, reading blogs, of course, and uploading hats to Etsy – thanks to all of you who have looked at my shop, and don’t forget to let me know what you think if you haven’t already. I think there will be some cards and things posted soon, in the next few days, at least.

Since it was the weekend, A was home with me the past few days, and she was such a sweetie, doing lots of laundry and table clearing, and being generally a good sport about being married to a slug.  🙂  She even drove me to Ellsworth on Saturday so I could pick up a book the library had gotten for me.  Since it is the book club book, and the meeting is tonight, it was sort of important.  🙂 (My Brilliant Friend – more on that when I finish it) we did a few other errands, then had breakfast at Martha’s Cafe, which we love.  I like to go out for breakfast, because the food is so yummy, and it doesn’t cost the earth. I like Martha’s because she makes delicious everything. I had a veggie and ham stuffed omelet, and stole some of A’s raspberry muffin.  mmmmmm

Today, besides finishing the book and not getting sucked into red and white knitting, I plan to do the housework I did not do Friday (start deep cleaning the bedroom) and get into the craft room to make some cards for the Etsy shop – I am thinking Valentine’s and birthday cards, but I am open to ideas, so please, offer them up!

And I have to go check the mouse traps I have outside, they are no longer buried under a pile of snow – with all that rain yesterday and balmy (is it really 40 degrees F out there today???) air, we have almost no snow left – so I  can find the traps.

Other than that, I will putter, putter, putter.  🙂

NOT Blue!

mittens jan 16

I was able to stop at the Yarn Barn in Bangor today, and wasn’t I lucky?  She had these three luscious cascade washable wool skeins – perfect for my mittens!  I’ll go cast them on in just a minute….

First a word about the Yarn Barn.  She is tucked away behind a credit union outside a mall – you kind of have to know she is there.  And she hasn’t got a HUGE inventory, but she has some real workhorse yarns, and she offers:  A frequent buyer discount (I have full cards just waiting for me to need yarn) and a discount if you pay in cash!  So today’s purchase came to a whopping 12 dollars and change.

How often does that happen?

On another note – I finally opened an Etsy store today.  I  only have two things uploaded, but I am working on it.  At first, it will be the hats that I took back when Creatively Maine closed, but I hope to knit and paper craft other offerings to sell. SO please, visit but be kind, it is a new venture for me and I am clumsy and awkward.  Kind suggestions most welcome! Take a look at https://www.etsy.com/shop/SalpalCrafts  I can’t sell the necklaces online, per agreement with the designer, but I have some ideas for my own or non-proprietary designs so someday I will get fabulous silk/beaded things up there as well.

Now, I am off to cast on the mittens.  Trying to decide – I-cord edging or garter stitch? I know which will look better in the end…