Archive for the ‘update’ Tag

I feel like it has been a long time since I wrote anything interesting   25 comments

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.  🙂

 

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  25 comments

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.

 

Quick update   33 comments

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.

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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:

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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:

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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!

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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.

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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.  🙂

 

 

Posted March 2, 2017 by salpal1 in how it came out

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What really happened on my April vacation   21 comments

When last we spoke, I told you that we were gong to finish the loft library come hell or high water.  Maybe not in those terms, but…A was really set on getting it done.  I was completely stressed out about it, because getting it done revolved around me doing a whole lot of painting.  Since A built the wall of bookcases herself, I could hardly complain about doing “my share”.

But the last thing I wanted to do was work the whole week!

Saturday we had two helpers – niece B and sister-in-law L.  L worked like a MACHINE, she must have made 20 trips up and down the stairs as she and A cleaned out A’s space and A’s stuff from the loft.  B and I did errands, and then headed up to clear my stuff out of the loft. While I purged and sorted, B snoozed on the futon.  :-)It was OK because really, I had to do my own purging.  I was surprised to find it only took a couple of hours to completely empty the loft of all “stuff”.  I put it neatly and in a fairly organized pile in the craft room (it’s OK to laugh.  I understand.)  The craft room is behind the cute screened door.  It theoretically keeps cats out but lets heat in. The room at the other end of the loft is A’s office/exercise room.  When we first viewed this home as a model, the loft was actually a hallway, with the stairs coming up into it.  But we both felt it was a waste of a loft, and so moved the stairs.  They go up from the corner of the dining room to into A’s office, giving it great corners and angles, and making the loft much more usable. The plan is to line the knee wall with built in bookcases, which A has been working hard on in her basement work room.

 

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Sunday, we celebrated A’s birthday, with two of her sisters and her brother in law coming over for a mid-day meal.  L mentioned that she was tired, I wonder why?  We were pretty low-key Sunday afternoon, I did some knitting, working hard to get the Danse Macabre close to on schedule, even though I was working on clue four, and clue five was already out.  🙂

Monday I spent the day clearing furniture from the room, wiping walls, and taping the few edges that matter.  Since it is a loft, there is most of a wall that isn’t there, but it means that there are edges that are 12-14 feet from the ground.  Heights not being my favorite thing, taping those spots was tricky. I knew painting them would be worse, and was NOT looking forward to the adventure.

Monday evening we went over to Mom’s for an “April birthday party” with her, step dad B, brother C (whose birthday is at the end of the month) and C’s fiancée, D.  It was fun, and delicious food and cake.  A liked all her presents, and I liked having some time to sit and knit and visit. I worked on Maluka, and got the border finished.

Tuesday, the painting began in earnest, and I worked in that room for nearly 8 hours.  My goal was to get all the scary parts completely done before Mom arrived on Friday to help me.  That meant there was lots of climbing up the step ladder, hanging on for dear life as I leaned out over the railing to get the edges painted.

When I took my lunch break, the room looked like this:day-one-from-craft-room

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So I have to say that painting a primer white room a color that is only slightly more blue than that means that progress pictures are relatively boring.  Sorry about that!  This is one coat on ceiling and scary walls.

I long ago learned that painting is much easier when you paint the ceiling and walls and trim all the same color.  🙂  I did not do that in the craft room, nor in A’s office.  In the craft room most walls and ceiling are the same, but then I got creative and painted the dormer alcove and all trim a different color.  A’s office is worse – walls and ceiling are the same color, a very pale pink, but the trim is all a dark burgundy color.  THAT was hideous to get right. So I swore never again.  The second floor of our house has reasonably low ceilings, and the style is a cape, so making everything the same color works well.  Not so sure it would work downstairs, or in a more formal house.  Someday I will finish painting the downstairs, and let you know.  🙂

Anyway, back to the matter at hand.  This is the first time the room had been painted, beyond primer, and it sucked up paint like nothing else. This made the first coat on everything take absolutely forever and quite hard work to get it blended in, even with a roller.

Wednesday I spent about 6 hours upstairs, and was glad to find that the second coat was easier.  By the end of the day, the room looked like this:

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You can tell it is a different day because I put the glass shade back on the ceiling light.  Yes, I know that is the only way you can tell. But that is two coats on everything scary.  It was ready for Mom to come help, and had a some variety left so she could choose her favorite kind of painting – roller or brush.

Then I quit for the day and went back to this. A might have her goals, but I also have goals, and I was determined to finish knitting at least one of the three shawls I have on my needles.

 

Thursday was a break from painting.  Yahoo!  We had early car appointments, which meant that Maluka got lots of attention as the mobile project.  Then we headed to Ellsworth to run a  few errands, including dropping lots of boxes off at Good Will, and meeting up with Crimson Crow at Merrill Furniture, where A and I searched for a new mattress.  We were super lucky to find a discontinued model of Tempurpedic at a deep discount!  It gets delivered on Wednesday, and we can’t wait.  Our aching backs can’t either. Since we saved so much money, when I found a chair that both A and I felt was comfortable (I wish you knew how rare that is) and found that it came in fabric we could both agree on, we ordered two of the darned things.  They will arrive in 6-8 weeks.  They have quite a “Florida” vibe, but I love the summery aspect of them, and they tie all of our colors (blue, blue green, green blue, blue gray) in together.  SO MUCH NICER THAN OLD BROWN MICROSUEDE. Can’t wait to share them with you.

Then we had lunch and ice cream with Crimson Crow before heading home.

Frankly,  was still exhausted.  Painting and the thought of painting was beating me up.

Up early Friday morning, getting things organized for Mom’s arrival.  By ten she was here, changed into her painting clothes and we were working.  She chose brush work.  By lunch time, everything had a coat of paint, by the end of the work day, everything in the room that needed to be painted was complete! We celebrated with cupcakes L brought over at just the right time.

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Since the book cases are going against the knee wall, we did not paint that wall.  But everything else has two coats, and looks fabulous!

Now, if I was tired on Thursday then you know that by Friday, I was completely exhausted.  So as we sat in the living room in the evening, and A said “So tomorrow you will get the bookcases painted so we can put them in place on Sunday, right?” I about lost it.  I said no. I tried to be calm and patient as I explained that right now, I was not going to ever paint again, but that I was tired, too tired to even think about it.  That perhaps tomorrow, when I was rested, I would feel differently, but if she needed an answer now, it was no. She decided to drop it.  such a wise woman.  🙂

Saturday morning, Mom told us at breakfast (delicious waffles and bacon that A made us!) that she was going to take the two book cases that had made it as far as the living room upstairs and get painting them, and the 5 backs that were upstairs would also go under her brush.

So, we hauled them upstairs, where I remembered that the wood needed to be primed, so we opted to just do the backs.  Remember, I am doing the backs of the cases in a different color?  A has them all cut and ready to be painted, so Mom and I set up another table and got to work painting them…not hot pink, not bright turquoise, but

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Blue, of course!  I try to go a different route, but it always comes back to blue.  This one is named Athens.

And frankly, what you see here is all the painting that got done on Saturday.  Mom headed out when this was done, and A went back to bed for a few hours of napping. I sat on the couch and knit for four hours straight!  I finished Maluka, I finished all the clues on Danse Macabre and started the bind off.  I even cast on a new shawl, Reyna, which is a store sample for Over the Rainbow Yarn in Rockland. Late in the day I took a long hot shower, swallowed a few Tylenol, and went to bed early.

Today, Sunday, is the day that A thought we would be unpacking books.

Now even I am laughing hysterically.

Instead, I went up and primed the two bookcases and their shelves, lightly sanded the backs and wiped them down, they are ready for their second coat when there is room to spread them out.

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I’ll do a bit in the evenings, and maybe things will be advanced enough that next weekend we can install the bookcases.  But I make no promises, and if anyone pushes me on it, I might just sit and knit.  It has been 8 years, what difference does a week make?

I asked A about it last night, why she was so determined to set this practically unattainable goal. She said that without goals we would not push and it would never get done.  I think I would have been OK with a lesser but still ambitious goal, like get the room painted. I could have done without the huge pressure of this goal. It is true that we  might have been able to meet it if I painted until late in the evening each day, but that would have completely ruined the whole week. Even having it hanging over my head as an expectation was not fun.

My new goal for that room is to get it finished this month.  I think that is a reasonable goal that I can work toward without hating painting and the room and the books.  Plus, I want my craft room back, and it now has several bits of extra furniture in it.

THAT is motivation.

And now I think I will go bind off a bit of Danse Macabre.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A month of news, with photos   12 comments

I can’t believe it’s been so long since I got you caught up on what we are up to!  It has been a rather crazy month – bookended by holidays, filled with family visits and parties, a crazy amount of knitting for the holiday pop-up shop, shopping, and finally, vacation this week, and we both have nasty colds.  It never fails that when we make plans to get through big chores during vacation, someone’s health suffers.  Still, we have managed to get things done that need to be done, and so have time to just lie about and enjoy ill health.

This month has included thanksgiving and gingerbread house decorating:

 

Followed by some major furniture moving the next day.  This buffet is an immense solid piece that was my great, great grandmother’s.  It holds the many many dishes that my grandmother gave me over the years.  We hardly ever use any of them, because A is nervous about using the “good” china, but every now and then I break it out.  Thanksgiving is one of those times.  But I have never had it all out at once, as we had to do to move the buffet. It is a little overwhelming, all these dishes for two people.

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Oh, and these were in there as well.  Not the pumpkin, but everything else.  The white and gold dishes were another great-great grandmother’s, the clear glass ones were given to me on my 40th birthday by my mother’s aunt – a wedding gift to her in the thirties.

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With the buffet out of the way, we can move the table to the wall, which opens up the dining area quite a bit.  The table comes out far enough that the light is not a hazard to navigation.  It is easy to pull out when we need to fit more people around it.

 

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Where did we put the buffet?  We moved it to the living room section of the room, against the big wall, behind where all those people were sitting at Thanksgiving.  The couch used to live there, but now lives across the room.

I took this picture before the move was finished, because I loved the shadows on the wall. The sun is so low, it shines in at that angle at about 2 pm. No leaves on the trees, the lines are so pretty.

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Then it was time for the holiday pop-up shop in Bucksport, Creatively Maine to open.  The open house was the Sunday night after Thanksgiving – I too lots of photos, but that is because all of the crafts and arts were so amazing, but more than that – the fact that Sonja was able to take the work of 53 artists and in TWO days create this space from a plain white box.  So, here are some of the pictures I too that evening.  The neat thing is that every time I go in, it is different – as people buy things and stock gets replenished, she rearranges to fill gaps, and so it always looks fresh and amazing.  And in about two weeks it will all be gone, packed up and cleaned out.

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All of this jewelry is made with eggshells.  Yep, eggshells.  She raises chickens and one day got the idea of painting and dying the shells and making jewelry.  She does something to it so that it doesn’t break easily, and they are actually quite lovely.

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Here are some of my things – and some one else’s hats as well.  (The large black and white one did not stay on the little head very long, she switched it out the next day.  🙂 )

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You can see some of my shawls hanging on the rack in the background of this shot – I put three in the shop, including an Estonian lace one that had a (for me) high price tag on it. Funnily enough all were some shade of blue-green.  I kept all the other ones I knit this year, and parted sadly with these three.  🙂

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This window is on my “really want and don’t know what I would do with it” list.

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From my frame of reference, the shop has done really well.  I sold several hats, and two of the three shawls, including the Estonian lace one!  I also had a custom hat order from a guy who saw the TV coverage of the opening, spotted my hats in the background and came in to buy one.  He was disappointed to find that the one he wanted he had only seen from the back, and it was a woman’s hat.  So I knit him up one without the button flap and button.  🙂  There is still about ten days to go, but I expect the big sales will be done tonight when the shop closes. My yarn stash now has a bit of cash in it, which is good.  And I have a nice sized bag of yarn for making hats and shawls, which I will work on this year so that I have a bigger inventory ready to go and won’t have to spend every waking minute in October and November making hats.  🙂 Having the shawls sell well also feels really good – vindication – they are beautiful AND practical and people will buy them.  I’ll make more, and try to brace myself to part with them.

Onward….

We got our tree last week, and decorated it this week. A declared that anything we don’t put out for Christmas decorations this year is going out the door, so I kind of overdid the ornaments, lol.  I also decided she is wrong.  Anything that doesn’t get put out this year gets reviewed and possibly given away next year.  But not definitely.  I like to mix things up a bit.

 

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So that brings us up to date – the house is decorated, the presents are bought and wrapped, the Christmas cards were mailed Tuesday (just a BIT late!) and we are sitting around this Christmas Eve wondering if we will be well enough to go to Mom’s tomorrow for the big festivities… I think I will be, but not sure about A  which will mean my day there is abbreviated, as hers was last week for her family gathering.  That was different – I participated in the Yankee Swap by cell phone pix and text.  It was fun, but not the same.

But while we wait , sniffle, and hack, I can work on some deadline-free knitting –  I’ll finish this up, make a hat to match, then list it on Etsy.  THEN I will get back to the things I was making last September… 🙂

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And a post from me would not be complete without a few cat photos – Zumba has been particularly cute this month.  🙂 She loved checking out the bags that came in on Thanksgiving, they all smelled so good!

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She is finally growing hair on her belly – guess we solved her food allergies at last. She loves to stretch out and show it off in front of the fire.

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Happy Christmas to all!

Sunday update   14 comments

I hope you aren’t looking for photos – I took some, but the camera is across the room, and well, I am not.

Amazingly enough, I got things DONE this weekend.  You know I always have ambitious lists that take me days longer to accomplish than I hoped, but this weekend I somehow got everything on the to-do list done!

Of course, there are things that weren’t on it that maybe should have been, but they aren’t going anywhere, right?

It is mostly yard work – yesterday I got up early and “planted” the bushel of daylilies my sister-in-law S gave me a few weeks ago.  How I did it – NOT how the master gardener would suggest, but they are daylilies – hard to hurt them, right?  I scraped out a shallow trough in the sand and gravel under the satellite dish, laid them out haphazardly, not breaking up the clumps of roots at all.  Then, I gathered the bags of garden and potting soil that have accumulated around the yard for my projects, and dumped them on top of the plants.  I raked it smooth, watered it (crazy to water after last week, but I know I needed to settle the soil around the roots) and called it done.  Now there is a mound of soil between the dish and the little bulb garden. I hope it will someday be a mound of beautiful daylilies.  Someday, I will dig them up and thin them and plant them and their offspring properly.

Then I got all cleaned up pretty (wore one of my Indian Feather shawls) and went with A and her sister S to their aunt’s 90th surprise birthday party, which was quite nice.  Her sons put it on, and so we got to see/meet them and their extended families, and also see Cousin C and re-meet her son H whom I haven’t seen in probably ten years, since he was in school.  He is all grown up with a lovely girlfriend who braved the event.  A’s mom’s family once had ten children, now there are 4, this aunt is the oldest remaining of the gang, and sadly the other three have dementia in one stage or another. A has cousins she is pretty sure she has never met, certainly not seen in 30 years.  Cousins she would not know if she saw them on the street – an odd thing to imagine! But N, the youngest of this aunt’s boys, and C, the daughter of another aunt, are two whom she does see occasionally, so even I would know them if I saw them.  🙂

A drove, so I knit a swatch for my next project, which is a Charleston baby sweater and hat, and matching mittens for a woman who works with A. Glad I took the time, because as always, my knitting and recommended gauge are quite different.  The “baby” is 2 and a half, so bigger than the largest pattern size.  I will knit it on bigger needles, but knit the 12month size.  I think that this will mean fewer rows, so it will get done faster, and the fabric will have a nice drape.  It is Madeline Tosh Light in a color called composition book gray, which has definite purple tones to it.  It is going to be quite pretty, I think.  Not your typical baby garment – yea! I washed the swatch when we got home, so was able to cast on the two fronts this morning. I always knit the sleeves and fronts of a cardigan at the same time so that they are the same – much easier to get the decreases in the same place if you do them together.  Of course, it feels like you are making no progress whatsoever until suddenly you are done. It is also nice to do this when I have whole skeins to work from – if I do them at the end, I am always running out on one side or the other and having odd amounts left on the skeins when I am finished.  This way, I will use up any leftovers on the back and have all my leftovers in one skein, not two partial ones.

Then it as back out into the yard. I harvested the carrots (there is a photo of the colander full of orange goodness on the camera.  You should see how pretty! And you will, someday.)  I will probably make curried carrot soup with them this week sometime for the freezer. They were the last thing to come in from the garden, so I began the process of getting ready for fall.  The asparagus bed is now cut back and ready for mulch.  I put a bag of compost on it after I cut it back, so it should be happy next spring!  I also put a bag of compost in the bed where the carrots were, and planted a whole lot of garlic in there.  Let’s see if I do a better job of growing that next year than I did this year!  I will get a bale of straw mulch, and mulch the asparagus, garlic and those crazy strawberries with it.  That will hopefully happen this week.

The strawberries are the bane of my existence.  I fixed them a special raised bed several years ago, and made sure they got very good soil, straw mulch in the fall, fresh straw in the spring, and for years got very few, very small berries.  Last year I decided enough is enough, I could use that ground for something that grew better and produced more.  So I didn’t mulch them last fall, nor this spring.  But I never got around to ripping them out.

We had the best strawberries ever this spring! And you should see the plants now, they are tall and healthy looking. So I will give them some straw mulch and another year before I think of ripping again.  🙂

I also scooped leaves and debris from the pool without getting in it – a bit chilly for wading today.  It is awkward to do from the edges but I can if I work at it.

That and a few other raking/weeding chores got done, and now I am on the couch with a laptop, and wondering why I didn’t bring myself a beverage and a snack before I sat down?  And the camera?

A is off playing golf this sunny day – probably the last time this season, but maybe not if it stays nice.  You never know.  🙂 She traveled a whole lot the last two weeks, but will be home all week, so I think the house will get worked on in the evenings.  Someone needs to really clean it, and I am afraid it has to be us.  😦

Next weekend I am heading off to Pennsylvania with Mom and niece B – we are going to visit B’s sister C at college, and give B a day or two at home with her mom and dog, which I think she will welcome.  She has had a tough month of start to her semester. I haven’t seen C in so long, it will be nice to see her and where she goes to school.  Lot of driving, though, good thing we have Monday off to be lazy.

A begged off the trip with the promise that she would finish building the bookcases for the loft – have I ever written that those were going to get done imminently?  Lol, I know I have.  But I think that she really means it this time.  I hope so – although it means I have to paint the room they go in, and then them as well.  But if we can get that loft done and the books unpacked, it will feel amazing!

That’s about it, I think – it’s very fall-like out there today, but most of the leaves are still green and on the trees – amazing!  I do hope they fall before the first snow flies though, or there will be lots of damage, and we don’t want to start winter that way. Heck, I don’t really want to start winter at all.  I hope we have a nice, long fall. And an early spring.  🙂

A wide array of updates   16 comments

Life has been busy lately, what with taxes and shoveling and more taxes and more shoveling.

Not as much knitting time as I would like, but still some progress to show.

But first…

My sister has these really cool business cards.  The finish, colors, paper, etc are all simply elegant.  She told me where she got them, and I checked it out.  I wanted some cards to give to people when they asked about how to reach me, where my Etsy shop is, etc.  I also wanted to give them to my cousin’s wife, who requested them so she can spread the word about where she got her fabulous hat.  🙂  I was pleased that they let me order a very small order (50 cards) at a reasonable price. So, I ordered the cards and they came very fast and are just fabulous.  Even better – they gave me a URL to use to refer friends.  Full disclosure – if you use it and place an order, I do get a credit against future orders (which I will definitely have!) and you get a discount on this order. So, check it out and get yourself some fabulous cards or other printed material – whatever you ever dreamed of.  Click here for the discount or just go check out Moo.com yourself.  But you won’t get the 10% discount unless you click through the link.  🙂

What else?

Well, we missed a storm this week!  Very exciting for us – it did snow for what felt like a trillion days in a row, but it didn’t add up to much more than 6-8 inches – yeah!  Condolences to my Massachusetts cousins, however, who were not so lucky.  It seems that Boston passed us on total snow fall – by about a foot this week.  Another chance for the race to continue as two more storms are in the forecast for the weekend.  Really? As it is, they announced this morning that the 53 inches on the ground at the Bangor Airport is a record of some sort.  Which means poor Eastport with their seven feet of snow must hold some kind of bigger record.   I’ll be shoveling later today, we are still working on clearing the backyard so we can get to the vent more easily.

Tax season started last Monday – it snowed, we got out early.  Next tax day was Thursday, it snowed, we did not get out early, but I was able to send three volunteers home due to cancellations.  Friday was tax day in Milbridge, and it did NOT snow!  We were there all day.  Saturday, tax day in Bangor, no snow again! We got in a  full day.  Monday, we were back at the Ellsworth Library, and it snowed again.  But this time, just steady, not a true storm, so we were able to stay all day and crank through some returns.  It has been intense, with all the changes, and so many people not understanding that the Affordable Care Act was serious when it said health insurance is required.  We, the lucky tax volunteers, get to tell them that the penalty is not always 95 dollars, sometimes it is 1% of income.  Oops!  The fine print.  Makes it hard to feel like you really help people when they leave so angry.  But then you help someone who is not expecting anything good to happen and  you lead them to a sweet credit that changes everything.  So the week was really draining, it also was really good.  I have great volunteers and they make it fun to do this work.

We were busy at the tax sites, though, so I did not get as much knitting done as I will in March when things settle down.  Thus, today, a day off, I worked on everything.  I finished the third necklace for my friend and her daughters, they are all blocked and just drying nicely.

necklaces complete 2 10

I did another repeat on the lace scarf, only three or four more to go!  And a pattern repeat on the sleeves of the blue sweater, I am at about 13 inches now, unblocked, so I have a few more inches to go on that.  And, I knit a few rows on the baby sweater.

on my needles 2 10

Working my way up the back, it is my mobile project, so hasn’t seen much attention lately.  I want to get the blue sweater done before I start the linen scarf, because I know I will get distracted, and have 3/4 of a blue sweater for months if I set it aside. I have so many fun projects in my little IKEA cart beside the couch.  They are all calling my name, and I am resisting a case of cast-on-itis.  🙂

Even though we haven’t gotten a lot of snow in a few days, we are still digging out the path to the back yard vent (and by chance the satellite dish) which is incredibly slow going and hard work. A did a lot of it on Saturday while I was doing taxes,  and I will do a bit of it today.

I also will head up to the craft room today and make the rest of the Valentines so I can mail them tomorrow on my way to Ellsworth.  I am having lunch with a coworker, and so will be in the “big city” with no work to do, for a change.  I like it! (PS I sold another Valentine on Etsy!!  Small sales, but very exciting to me.)

So that is what I am up to today – nothing earth shattering or exciting, just more of the same.  Slow progress on everything. A couple of days off to get caught up on things around the house.

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