Here it is Friday again…where does the time go?

Last weekend was lost to the couch, and this week is not a whole lot better – work and home, a bit of spinning or knitting and then early to bed.

But this weekend promises to be better!

Tomorrow I will go to Whorls and Purls, first time in a few weeks.  I can’t wait to see the ladies! Lots has happened to us all, and we need to catch up.

Sunday, some of those same ladies and I are going to Maine Fiber Frolic. I was feeling badly about this on a few levels – not really having spare money… not spending the time at home with A.  I was thinking of skipping W and P this week, but A said I should go to both things.  It seems that she remembered that I asked for the bookcases in the loft to be finished for my birthday.  She is running short on time, and thinks it would be good to have me out of the house two days in a row.

To the point that she even came up with a modest budget for me for the Frolic.

You don’t need to tell me twice!

This week I worked on the handspun sweater and have at last gotten back to where I was before I ripped it all out.  The sleeves are essentially done, though I saved the actual finishing of them until I can try it all on and see how long I really want them.  I think longer than the pattern calls for. So now I am working on the body, and I figure though it will be pretty easy, it is a lot of stockinette, and it will take a while to finish.

I also worked a bit at a few meetings on the sock I started at Niece C the younger’s graduation – I like how it is coming out, though I was thinking it would be striped… my feet are too wide, and so stripes turn into spirals.

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Especially if I keep stopping to spin!  I spun this Romney up this week – in just a couple of hours! It is this month’s roving of the month from Purple Fleece, Mandala. I will ply it tonight or tomorrow morning.  It is much thicker than I usually spin, but I wanted a thick yarn from this colorway so I can make a warm hat.  This one will be a traditional two ply.

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Then I started this spin – the color looks nothing like this shot, it is a browninsh gray.  Polwarth/silk blend, I am going for skinny as I can, also two ply, and I have a complementary bfl silk blend that I want to spin the same way, so I get some seriously good yardage, possibly for a shawl, but maybe, it there is enough, a vest?

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That is it on the crafting front.  Can’t get much done when I was in bed by 7 more than one night this week!

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Power is ON, Cars are dug OUT

So things are theoretically back to normal today.

Still some cleanup to do around the edges.  Normally, we wouldn’t worry too much about the edges this time of year – in January, it is important to clean up after a storm so that you are ready for the next one.  In March, it’s not usually a problem, because the snow melts pretty fast.  But this March is not normal.  Over 3 feet of snow in a week, and guess what?  Another storm is predicted for next week.  I am hoping and praying that it is warm enough to be rain, but no one is talking about that.  I’ll bring it up when I speak to Ma Nature.

Yesterday I declared a snow day and did not go to work, though it was open (and 194 others didn’t go to work.  We have just over 200 employees.  There’s a message there somewhere) but it wasn’t a calm and lazy day like last week.  We shoveled snow almost all day, with plenty of breaks for resting, of course.  It took all day to get those two cars free.

I did not much else.  A bit of spinning and few rows of Durrow,  I was just too tired.

The good news was, the power came back on mid-morning!  A true miracle.  Our wonderful plow guy told us he saw no trees or lines down.  And he lives around the corner, and had power.  So I think it was just a case of a branch touching a wire, or something.  Anyway, we were super thrilled it wasn’t out for days.  I got as far as bringing the cooler upstairs, but had not started to fill it when we got power again.  Yippee!

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?

 

 

Plodding pays off!

(whistles as she strolls along) Well, look at that, some things are finished!  How did that happen?

First up spinning –

This lovely blue yarn (not exciting, I know) is all done and the perfect yarn for A’s mittens.  It is a three ply, traditionally plied, and comes in at a heavy sport weight or light DK weight. I got 180 yards, just over 3 ounces. It is tightly spun, and so should be durable and warm, if the mittens ever get knit. 🙂

There were some leftovers, as always with traditional plying, and so I made a small skein of two ply, which is about 65 yards of fingering weight. There was still more left over, so I added that to my 2018 franken-bobbin.

I finished the first third of the yak/merino spin.  My plan is to divide both braids into thirds, spin one third of each and ply them together, then spin the other two thirds and ply them on themselves.  Essentially making a gradient set.  I have finished the combo part of the spin, and gotten about 100 yards of aran weight yarn that is SO PRETTY!  It is a warm chocolate color with lots of pink and gray in it. I am not deciding what to make with it until I see the whole thing together.  I had vaguely been thinking shawl, but I doubt I will get the yardage for that, so maybe a cowl and hat? This yarn is so soft, it deserves to be touching skin.

Of course, I already have a cowl knit from this same blend, because one of the knitting group ladies gifted one to me that she knit from the yarn she made, so I don’t need it to be for ME.  I am thinking I will pass this forward, but I will decide on that later as well.

Knitting – I have sleeves! Well, one sleeve completely done.  Just need to do the three needle bind off for the other one, as soon as I finish picking up 10,000 stitches from the provisional cast on.

I am so thrilled to be moving past this portion of the knit, though it isn’t hard, the rows are long and there is nothing going on during them.  Next up is some ribbing, which I hate, but which doesn’t last long, and then there will be some thinking as I work on the skirt.

I have one finished square of Durrow, and need to cast on the next one.  Truthfully, this one has been done for a few days, but I decided to focus on finishing up the spinning bits, and get past the sleeves of the Hitofude.  But I don’t want to lose the momentum on Durrow, either, so I will get on that ASAP.

Work has been draining, lots of taxes, unexpectedly in some cases, and regular work as well.   It was a long week, working all day Saturday really made a very short weekend! I took Sunday completely off from everything, A even gave me control of the remote!  WOW!  That meant that I got caught up on Victoria – though now of course, I am behind again as it recorded Sunday night.  And I found Create TV and went through the whole schedule to record anything remotely fiber oriented on that.  Won’t A be surprised when she sees the new shows pop up in the list?

This week feels long, but I am close to getting into my tax season groove, fielding random questions all over the place!  And still getting work done that needs to be done.  But having this weekend be a long one feels like a GOOD thing!  So glad Abe and George had birthdays in February so we get a holiday weekend.

A and I celebrated Valentine’s Day in a very low key way.  Cards, and small treats, and she made her special lasagna dinner for me.  I made her a coffee cake for breakfast, so we ate well (if not healthily!).  It was a bright spot in this long week.

Hope you are all plodding along getting things done and enjoying Valentine’s treats.

Endless week!

Even though I just had a nice long vacation – or perhaps because of it – I am really struggling to want to be at work these days.  Sigh.  There is so much change going on, and unexpected fallout from our merger last autumn.  Some things I expected, but others just keep hitting me upside the head.

It makes me want to stay home and spin and knit.  I do that in the evenings, and for a little bit each morning.  I have two big knitting projects happening, so even though I work on things faithfully, there isn’t much to show for it.  But the spinning is seeming to move fast! This whole 4 ounces divided across three bobbins thing is really working for me right now, lol.  I am halfway through the singles already, and I have only been spinning this for 6 days.  I might finish it this weekend.  At least the singles, anyway.  I am eager to see how this yarn comes out, so far it looks NOTHING like I expected.  Here I thought I picked a braid that was outside of my comfort zone… so far it seems to have loads of soft greens and some blue.  There is yellow and orange but they are not as dominant as the braid led me to believe they would be.  So far, anyway.  Who knows what the yarn will look like?

The full bobbin

The second (partial) bobbin

We got more snow this week, but it was the soft pretty kind – not a storm like the rest of the country got, no wind, temps cold but not crazy. It just quietly fell from the sky and covered the brown muck that was left after last weeks rain.  It is light and fluffy and very pretty.  I wish I had a camera on my dashboard, this morning my commute to work was just LOVELY – the sky was all pink and that reflected off all the new snow.

It’s almost enough to make me want to get up and go to work each morning.

But not quite.

This too shall pass.

I feel like it has been a long time since I wrote anything interesting

I hope you aren’t feeling that way and getting bored…

Things are moving slowly everywhere – large projects having steady movement but at times it is imperceptible.  Garden wagon is fixed, but I haven’t begun moving dirt – because IT RAINED! And while I am so pleased about that, the pile of dirt is now heavy and wet.  But I will start getting the area it is going prepped tonight, and maybe move a wagon load or two.

The secret fiber project moves on, I am more than half way finished now.  🙂 It kind of is a time suck right now, but I hope it will be winding down soon.  I have no spinning time and not much knitting time!

The shawl moves on as well – I am on the last lace section, about 15 rows to go, but they are LONG rows, and some have beads, which slows me right down.  Worth it in the end, though, right?? I should have something to show you in a few weeks. Maybe sooner.

And I did cast on and knit a plain old beanie this week.  The exciting part of that?  I finally used my very first skeins of handspun!  I used half of my first spin of natural for the ribbed cuff, and then about half (maybe a bit more) of my very first colored spin for the body of the hat.  I want to add a pompom, then that will be done.  It is kind of cute – the yarn looks like it was supposed to be lumpy, lol.

But what is occupying my brain at this point is VACATION!  My big road trip to Wisconsin is less than a month away, I can’t believe it!  Mom and I leave on Labor Day, and travel through Quebec and Ontario to Michigan, then take a ferry across the lake to Wisconsin on Wednesday. We will stay there until Sunday, when we leave and head for Chicago to visit with some school friends of hers, then head for Niagara Falls by Monday night.  We leave there on Wednesday to head home.  Not sure yet if we will attempt that last leg all in one day, or stop part way to sleep.

I am SO looking forward to this trip, the purpose of which is to meet some long time on-line friends and attend the Wisconsin Sheep and Wool festival.  You had better believe I will be buying some lovely yarn and fiber on this trip!  Not only are we going to the festival, but we also will be visiting loads of local yarn stores while we are there.  I can’t wait to see what I find.  🙂

And I am looking forward to seeing all of the live people who are the online friends I have been chatting with for years.  I am quite excited about the whole adventure. And very glad I have the little Prius to make the driving part fun and affordable. We will get to whizz through parts of the continent I have never seen before – always a fun prospect. I have been wanting to go to Niagara Falls for a long time, I am glad Mom is willing to spend a day or two there with me. And I haven’t been to Ontario since I was ten.  All I remember is trees.  It will be interesting to see it now, nearly 50 years later.  Probably still some trees, lol.

When we get home, I will have a few days off from work to get unpacked and laundry done.  But we won’t think about that now. Now I need to make my list of things to pack to take with me. Top of the list – passport, followed by knitting.  And money.  Nothing else is important, right? It is going to be a long month.  🙂

But to bring it back to this week!  I want to really work on moving that dirt pile, which means relocating some raised bed boxes and filling them.  And Mom gave me some rhubarb, so I need to locate it’s permanent home and put dirt there. So I will work on that in the evenings, and then go for a swim, weather permitting.

The blackberries are slowly ripening, I have picked and frozen a few handfuls of those, but I hope that by the weekend there will be a lot more ripe, so I can pick some volume of berries. Eventually would like enough to make a batch of blackberry jelly, which I just love. So I keep picking and freezing, until I have enough.

Friday afternoon I have to go to a memorial service  and so won’t get home until late, but A has Friday off, and might go to her sister’s or she might stay home and putter.  Either way, Friday evening we will sort out what chores still need doing and who will do them.  And Saturday is Whorls and Purls, so I will get a solid chunk of knitting time then. Sunday – Sunday I HOPE we are staying home and relaxing.  Which in my case, likely means rotating between moving dirt, swimming, picking berries and working on fiber projects, secret and not secret.

That’s all that is going on around here – I’ll let you know how the projects progress.

Summer weekends – they are so good and there are so few of them.  🙂

 

Another quick post, mostly because my big projects all look the same – how often I seem to say that!

Last night I got home before A and it was warm and sunny, so I did about an hour’s worth of the gardening project, then hopped in the pool.  It has been so dry  (until last night) that the pool was getting low – too low to run the filter!  I would have noticed if it had been nice enough for a swim, lol.  I ran the hose for a while and got the water high enough to run the filter, but I will have to do that a few more times this week.  Even though it did rain last night, it didn’t add up to much in the pool.  But the garden loved it!

I think I have hit the point of the garden project that an hour’s work shows progress.  It was depressing for a while the space was so big that I could work for an hour and it looked the same to me.  But last night’s work looks like it made a difference, which helps to motivate me to keep on going. Plus I spoke to A and we decided I could go ahead and order a couple of the oriental poppies I love.  Woot woot!  Those will come in the fall, and I will get to plant them in the new bed out back. Of course, they will probably come when I am in Wisconsin, but I will see if I can arrange for that to not happen.

After the gardening and a swim, I worked on a secret fiber project that I can’t share with you all yet – but let me tell you, it is FUN and really coming out like I hoped!  I am taking loads of photos, I will share with you in a couple of months, lol.

By the time I sat down to knit on the vest, it was nearly bed time!  I am almost done with this project – I am working on a skinny little strip that is the back of the neck.  It seems like I should be able to knock that out tonight.  Then the armholes.  I had in my head that they were finished with an I-cord, and I was not really looking forward to that element, but I re-read the directions last night, and they aren’t, they have a very simple (and fast) garter edging. I know I have said this before, but I REALLY think I am almost done with this thing! I have the buttons already, and so I should be able to get it soaked and blocking this weekend.  In fact, I will be really disappointed if that doesn’t happen! And I am purposely not spinning until this is done, to give me some push in the finished direction. I feel the need to finish SOMETHING.

My sock knitting has also slowed a bit, but I am on the foot pattern of the second sock, so I am confident I will get it done before September.

I did just sign up for a craft fair in November.  This frightens me a little bit, I need to knit some hats and small things that will not cost a lot, and I have so many big things I want to knit instead!  But I will get it done, I am sure, and have plenty to offer the customers. now to get them to want to buy my things…

That is about all that is going on around here this week – same old same old, as they say.