Archive for the ‘work’ Tag

Countdown to vacation   16 comments

As so often happens, the week before vacation is crazy busy.  There are meetings to schedule and attend, grants to write, reports to put together, marketing materials to be designed.  When people find out there is a vacation looming, they suddenly want it all before I go.  And the faces they make when they find out next week’s calendar is off limits! What is up with that?

Tuesday turned into a 14 hour day including 4 hours of driving to go to a meeting.  And I drove, so not much knitting happened on Tuesday.  A few rows of a hat at lunch is all.  I missed it.

Maybe that means I can make Friday a really short day, if I can get through all the deadlines.

And maybe I will have time to put together a vacation list for you all.  But for now, I need to head to work and get things done!

 

 

 

Catching up   22 comments

Whoa, time is flying by!  And I seem to have little to show for it. Oh, I have a sock and a half, for sure – this hand knit yarn is so much fun to knit with that my socks are flying off the needles (it helps that it is also a tiny bit thicker than traditional sock yarn so inches happen faster.)

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And the sweater lengthens. But of course, because I am knitting both fronts and the back at once, it feels like progress is slow.  I expect to finish these three pieces this week, and then I will block and seam them and make sure it is all fitting before I launch into sleeves.

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I did a little maintenance around my chair this week, and discovered found dug out excavated was reminded that I have a half finished shawl from the great shawl cast on last summer (if you recall, I cast on 4 in a day.)

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This is High Country Crescent by Mary-Anne Mace.  I won the pattern in a blog giveaway, and love it. Not sure why I stopped working on it – Christmas maybe?  Anyway, it is back in the rotation, and so gets a row or two or three an evening, depending how exciting the basketball is.  The shawl is only mindless every other row, the sweater and socks are completely mindless. Some of the basketball is also mindless, other games require my complete attention.  🙂  And what of the other shawls, you ask?  Well, one was Mirno, and one was Oaklet, and those are both finished and worn regularly.

The fourth was Biophilia, also by Mary-Anne Mace.  I wasn’t loving it in the yarn I was using, so I frogged it, and will use that yarn in my next shawl.  That will be Moon and Sky by Jem Arrowsmith, which I received as a surprise gift not too long ago (thank you, Saffronk!) I think the yarn will work well for that one. And so will the pretty beads I was going to use.  And I have a lovely lace weight silk I could use for Biophilia… or not.  There is always some more yarn to try a pattern with, right?  I also am dreaming of creating a beaded silk yarn to knit a shawl – I have the pattern already for that one, too (Chain Mail, in case you are wondering).  And the fiber.  And the beads.  Just haven’t made the yarn yet, lol. Still working on the big combo spin. S-L-O-W-L-Y.

What else is happening?  Oh, just some work.  It is the crazy busy time of year – town meetings all over the map, tax clinics in the opposite direction, important but not exciting meetings, and the regular work as well. So last week, I was in Machias – an hour and a half THAT way – for a meeting in the late afternoon, making a twelve hour day. Tuesday it stormed, so I rescheduled Wednesday’s tax day in Stonington – on hour in the OTHER direction – which meant I spent the morning on the phone lining up all the appointments for the same time, a day later. Because Stonington is on an island.  To get there, you go over a huge high bridge and then a low serpentine causeway.  I don’t want to drive over either in a storm or even on a nice day following a storm if there are high winds, which there were. Thursday I did go to Stonington for a ten hour day.  Friday was a tax day in Milbridge, an hour back in the first direction, and an eleven hour day.

LUCKILY I reviewed my time sheet Wednesday morning, and even with leaving early for the storm Tuesday, I knew I would go into OT if I didn’t adjust, so I went home a couple of hours early on Wednesday, too.  That quiet time mid-week was much appreciated. Even if I did spend a chunk of that time shoveling.  I might have made this for the cats.

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They are indoor cats who are really missing their screened porch this time of year.  So I made them a  track, and let them out on it one at a time.  They really loved it – Allie bustled about looking at everything.  Zumba emulated Ferdinand, and just sat smelling the smells. And for most of the time, they acted like they knew they should not go over the snowy walls. When they stopped acting like that, in the house they went.

Saturday I did some household chores and went to Whorls and Purls and we had a rollicking good time!  There was so much laughing it was hard to knit.  And there was pizza – very unusual but a fun change.

Sunday we took my sister-in-law S out for breakfast to celebrate her retirement last Friday!! We let her choose the place – Denny’s was her choice, and we had a huge meal before going to her second requested stop – AC Moore.  She received bountiful gifts from her coworkers, including some AC Moore gift cards.  It was so much fun to watch her shop without having to worry about the cost.  She makes delightful crocheted and embellished gift bags, and so she spent a lot of time in the yarn aisle, tossing in some of every color when she found a yarn she liked. All of her life she has had to be frugal, and she looked so happy filling that cart.  We carried several large bags out to the truck, and the look on A’s face when she realized it was all yarn was priceless.  Even better was the look on her face when she found out it wasn’t mine.   I told A I was really looking forward to retirement if it meant I could go yarn shopping and get everything I wanted.

Apparently that isn’t going to happen.

I’ll let her think that for the next few years.  🙂

That’s about it – another crazy work week this week, and a good chance I have to go to a town meeting on Saturday, sigh.  I will knit there, but it won’t be like going to Whorls and Purls.  No pizza, no laughing. No fiber to drool over.  Next time I will share with you the latest fibery goodness I have acquired – I don’t think I have shared with you the past few months of Roving of the Month club.  They are yummy.

 

 

 

 

 

What have I been up to?   15 comments

Well, there has been a whole lot, actually.

But it all seems mundane and just busy work.  Work has been a long line of not hard but very frustrating things – getting 400 invitations to come out of the computer with no streaks blips, blobs, or smears,  and all lined up.  Getting 400 mailing labels to do the same.  And deal with division heads who didn’t know that I MEANT it when I said I needed their mailing lists at a certain date and time, and so going back and redoing labels and printing more invitations.

You know -around my other work,  being special projects girl is not always easy.  🙂

 

But then there was a weekend, and a big finish!  Just look at this yarn, I am so proud of it.  This is just UNDER 4 ounces, and it is about 600 yards!!!!  (601 before the bath.  Don’t know the after the bath number yet.)  That is lace weight, my friends, and it is what I have been striving to make since I learned to spin. It took forever to spin, and it is a good thing it is my favorite colors, I would have grown bored otherwise.  Even plying it took two evenings, and I ply pretty fast.

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I took it with me to Whorls and Purls on Saturday, for show and tell.  🙂  While there, I picked up 3 skeins of yarn that Debbie got sent “on approval” which I will use to make hats for her box.  Not loving the colors but the yarn is OK.  Other people must like these colors as they turn up everywhere.  🙂   Of course I cast on a hat immediately even though I have plenty of other things going.  I needed a mobile project and wanted to get it done for her. And someone will be glad for a warm hat in just a few weeks, right?

I also finished my first Christmas present which I can’t show you yet because the recipient might read it, but I felt it was a nice quick knit and I hope she likes it.  🙂 It was knit in Ella Rae Seasons, again a yarn I would not normally choose (acrylic wool blend, chainette structure) in colors the recipient chose.  Let’s just say it came out better than I would have thought.  🙂

I had hope to finish Mirno by the weekend, but that didn’t happen because I made a huge push on the spinning, so I am working in the last chart of that shawl, and then I will have two of the four done.  The last two are slower going, but I work on them regularly, so hope to have progress worth sharing in the next few weeks.

Since I do try to spin each day, I put the next project on the wheel.  Amanita was the September roving of the month at Purple Fleece, and I remembered some Lamb’s Pride I have in the hat yarn bag that will go nicely with it.  So, I am spinning it to be thick – I will three ply it and try for a bulky yarn for  the accent yarn on an alpine topper.  We will see how it goes.  The spin is going SO FAST!  Finished the first bobbin, and am about halfway through the second one now.

 

I feel like I am missing something, but if I think of it, I will share it later.

 

This weekend coming is a long one – love it!  The weather is so nice and warm, I am still getting cherry tomatoes from the garden, but I need to start putting things to bed, and plant some fall things like garlic, and maybe a bit of lettuce. I also need to dig up the remaining carrots.  So I expect we will do some yard work, and I will definitely do some knitting and spinning.  Maybe we will go on a little day trip someplace – can’t sit home ALL weekend, and the trees are so beautiful right now. Colors are getting perfect around here, and farther north, I think they are prime.  Maybe I will see if A wants to go for a ride.  Not that she doesn’t do that all week long…but this would be for fun.  Haven’t been for a ride for ages.  Think of the knitting I could get done.

Oops! Time flew again…   14 comments

A week slips by…

There was knitting:

seabreeze-seathwaite-finished

Cut that yarn chicken game pretty close – what you see is what was left of the big skein.  I do have a mini skein I am saving for another project, so it would not have been the end of the earth if I needed a bit more, but I am glad I didn’t.  This is the merino/cashmere I spun up a few weeks ago. The pattern is Seathwaite from the Fringe Association, and I love it.  The variegated colors don’t hide the cables as much in real life as they do in this photo, and it fits me perfectly.  The yarn softened up with knitting, who knew?  And I am sure it will even more with washing and wearing.

And spinning:

broad-bill-finished

I finished the Broadbill plied with black, got two skeins, total weight about 5.75 ounces, yardage is just over 350.  The second skein seems to be a bit more like fingering weight than the first, but what amazed me was how much black I had left over!  I first spun two ounces, and plied it with the first two ounces of Broadbill.  I had a lot of black left over (according to my scale the first skein weight 2.625 ounces, which means I only used .625 of the black!) so I just joined the next ounce or so with the leftovers until I filled a bobbin, and plied the second two ounces of Broadbill.  I had a decent amount left on the bobbin (this time, the finished yarn weight about 3.125 ounces, which means I used 1.125 ounces of the black), and I had about an ounce unspun, so I changed my mind about chain plying the leftovers, and just started spinning the remaining ounce on a new bobbin.  I plied those together last night, and got about 70 yards of a nice THIN yarn.  I also chain plied the last bit and got about 15 yards of that. I plied this black stuff a lot tighter than any I have done yet, because I think I am under-plying, in general.  This was almost kinky, but when I washed it, it settle down a  bit. The end result is that I have a nice amount of the broadbill yarn with which to make a hat and hopefully some mitts, and I have a good amount of black to use with it, or with which to do something else entirely.  I am building a collection of mini-skeins, unintentionally – I can’t quite fit 4 oz of plied yarn onto a bobbin, no matter how hard I work at it.  So, I am collecting mini-skeins for a future project – odd scarf?  Crazy quilt afghan?  Who knows.

Last night I started spinning the 1 ounce of BFL roving I dyed a few weeks ago – I love the colors, reminds me of Monet’s paintings.  And I love how differently it is coming out, compared to skeins of yarn I dyed at the same time.  It is really teaching my what I can do with colors and spinning, and how to tell how things will come out.  Colors blend more when they are dyed before spinning.  There is purple on this bobbin that was NOT there on the roving.  🙂 It is also letting me spin VERY skinny!!! And pretty evenly!!!

So, my week!

Friday, A had the day off and I took a half day off. It was hideously hot – close to 90 at our house! Rarely does it get that hot there, thanks to ocean breezes wafting up the river.  And about 110 percent humidity.  We need scuba gear to breathe. So naturally, we did all errands. First up was PO, bottle return, dump, and we stopped for take-out “lupper”.  We made the mistake of going home to eat, and neither of us had the oomph to go back out to the grocery store.  🙂  I went for a swim, and floated around until I felt quite human.  After that, we decided we WOULD go to the grocery store, and were pleasantly surprised at how few people were there – need to remember supper time on Friday is the time to go in summer!  It was annoying, however, that I nearly froze in the store, having gotten quite cool in the pool, adding AC to that had me shivering before we left. A was not, and so wanted to stay in the coolness as long as possible.  She thought I was crazy.  🙂

Saturday I spent 8 hours at the shop in Bucksport.  It was a hot and humid day, and the “AC” there is a window that opens onto the water, a door that opens to the street and several fans.  It was inadequate.  But I didn’t have to move very often, so that was good.  Customers were steady in the morning, and sparse in the afternoon, but I still had 19 sales, and that was a good thing!  Sonja took lots of things to the Celtic Festival, hers, mine and others, and I think had a decent day. Sunday was the second day for her at the festival, though I didn’t cover the shop, her daughters did.  It POURED rain all morning, I haven’t heard yet how everyone did.

I do know that on Saturday she sold one of my bracelets, so that was nice to hear.

Sunday A and I spent inside puttering and looking out side thinking and often saying “Really? Still pouring?” There were things I wanted to do outside like grass clipping and gardening and clearing the tangle of large things where the lilacs are trying to grow swim as much as I wanted as often as I wanted that just didn’t happen.

I got some pool time in after work Saturday, and late Sunday when it stopped storming and the sun went behind the trees.  This whole avoid-the-sun thing tends to drive me nuts. When it is hot out, I either can’t use the pool or yard, or go out so covered up I might as well stay inside.

Since then, I have been working.  Very sad way to spend time (still remembering that I am lucky to have the job, yes.)

Oh, Monday, I got a hot tip from WEBS that my yarn was at the PO, so I stopped and picked it up.  Not too terribly exciting, the Baby Ull is for baby hats to sell.  The blue is for Maine Blueberry hats (sold the blueberry baby hat this weekend!), the red is for red and white striped hats and booties (we have a famous red and white striped lighthouse) but I got a lot of white so I could do some dying to get the colors I wanted that they didn’t have.  Or to mess about with colors.  You choose.

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I finally decided I needed to buy more lace weight yarn to knit the High Country Crescent shawl.(Or maybe the Biophilia?)  High Country has been on my list since I won the pattern, and I have loved Biophilia since I saw it the first time.  I felt like I needed some thing different than what I had in my lace weight stash.  I perused the Tosh selection for hours, thinking about what colors I wear, what color shawls I already have.  I decided I needed something fairly neutral, maybe a tonal gray?  Definitely not blue, aqua, teal.  I already have quite a few shawls, as well as a substantial stash ready to be knit in those colors. I finally chose Madeline Tosh Prairie in Cloud Dweller, which I recall is a soft, tonal gray, just like I planned. I resisted Worn Denim, and Spectrum, which I LOVE (I have socks in that one, how cool to have socks and shawl match?) and all the other luscious blues and greens.  Cousteau anyone?  Oh my.

So you can imagine my surprise when I opened the package to find this:

cloud-dweller

Just can’t stop buying those pretty blues.  🙂

One thing we did NOT do this weekend was watch the news.  Monday morning listening to the radio on the way to work was like getting sucker punched in the stomach over and over. Is the whole world going to hell?  Listening to the news all week as not changed my mind on this front. CAN NOT WAIT UNTIL NOVEMBER 9 when it is over and done with.

 

Salpal has been VERY busy this week   21 comments

Sort of hard to believe there isn’t much to show for it.

First off, when I got home from Monhegan, A and I had a “down” day – we were slugs.  I was tired from playing, she was tired from working.  Then, Sunday she had to work, so I did the errands and some spinning. I also tagged all my knitted inventory (43 items) to deliver to the pop up shop.  That took longer than you would think because they have a new, cool-but-fussy tag for us to use. And I had to update my inventory sheet.

Then the week hit us.  I have a HUGE grant due on 7/7 which I have been trying very hard to get done by 7/1 so I could not think about it over the weekend.

Monday I dropped the inventory off after work, then fiddled with my spinning wheel to relax.

Tuesday after work I did my volunteer gig.

Wednesday I worked from home because we were expecting a furniture delivery – finally have the new chairs we bought when we got the mattress in April.  Aren’t they pretty?

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Both cats love them, so they already get covered up with fleece blankets to keep them from becoming black and furry. But anyway, working from home is bad, I don’t like doing it.  Either I am too easily distracted, or, in this case, I work too hard and don’t stop at quitting time.

Thursday was the pop-up  shop open house after work, so I went over there with my good friend Crimson Crow.  We had a nice visit, and I was able to forgot about impending deadlines for a while. And the shop looked great – now to sell everything!

That night as A and I were getting ready for bed, A mentioned that we had no hot water, her shower was cold that morning.  Not sure why it was kept quiet so long… That made Friday morning kind of fun – certainly washing up made us very alert – brrr.  Couldn’t get it to reset, so A called the plumber when she got to work. They came, determined that they needed to order a part, started it up again, and A took a hot shower as soon as she got home.  It is out again, so there will be no hot showers here before Tuesday.  Good it isn’t cold out.  Lukewarm showers are OK on hot days.

The day ended with the grant closer to done but not quite there.  😦

Friday night A and I went over to Mom’s for dinner with them.  J is still there, so he cooked us a fabulous meal. Always good to see people and have dinner cooked.  🙂  We made a plan for them to stop over today while they are out doing a bit of sight seeing. That was the last we will see of J this summer – he heads back to St. Louis on Tuesday. He might come back for Thanksgiving, but if not, we won’t see him again until next summer.

That meant we got up early today and cleaned up a bit, so now we are chilling – chores done, two more days of long weekend left. Life is good.

What do you mean you aren’t hearing about much spinning and knitting?  Believe me, I know!

I did spin every morning before I got ready for work. I worked on my “You Red My Mind” braid, which I have kept pretty quiet about, I know.  I finished up the first braid, and got a second one as I wanted more yardage.  So I worked on that everyday. I finished up the first half of the second braid earlier this week, and started the next and last half. At first I tried to do it the same as the first batch, but I decided to just spin it, and hope I haven’t improved so much that the two skeins can’t be knit in one garment. I think I am OK on that, although I can see this one is thinner and more uniform than the last.  This is going to be a nice warm red shawl for me to wear this winter.  🙂

you-red-my-mind-2-bobbinsI finished the singles up this morning and plied it.  I did get more yardage than the first braid, but I think the weight is pretty close.    I worked HARD to cram it all onto one bobbin so I would get one longer skein, and it worked, although I don’t think I could fit another inch.  🙂you-red-my-mnd-2-plied

I also finished the Hap for Harriet that I have been carting around since February.  I blocked it Wednesday morning, and love it!  I knew I would, and while I worked on it a long time, that is because I only worked on it when I was out and about, not at home, so it went slowly.

I’ll be glad to have it this winter!

And these are on the needles now – a spiral baby hat and a Reyna shawl – both not getting much love this week.  😦

Once everyone left this afternoon, I got out the next spinning project.  It is a merino cashmere braid from Purple Fleece named “sea breeze”

I split the braid in half cross wise, and then took each half and pulled it apart in half again.  I split the resulting 4 sections into 8 long pieces each, and am just spinning them as is, pre-drafting and working hard to get thin even singles.  Here’s todays progress – 4 of the lengths done. The colors are a little faded in all of these shots, the colors are really intense.  The turquoise is nice and bright. The greens are sort of sea glass color. The blue is just perfect. Together they are like a summer sea.

sea-breeze-started

So now you know what I will be doing this weekend!

Ummm, about those regular posts and Friday lists….   Leave a comment

Oops. Sorry about last week. It was kind of crazy, but we did manage some fun things around the craziness.

I have a new job at work, started it this Monday. That meant I spent a good chunk of last week, including Friday morning, sorting out STUFF from the old job and rearranging things and giving all the old away and acquiring all the new. Busy. But I think it will be a good change for me.

After working up a sweat moving files in the morning, I raced home, cleaned up a slight bit and ran to Belfast with A (who got to work half a day as she had already far exceeded her 40 hours for the week.) We wanted to go to the Juice Cellar in Belfast, which was having its grand opening. It is run by one of the two Chris Roberts I know in the Belfast area, and I wanted to support him in this new venture. SO glad I did. I have never been to a juice bar before, so maybe it is just normal, but it was INCREDIBLE! Smelled like fresh heavenly fruit when I walked in the door. I ordered one of his stock recipes, and he made it fresh for me while I waited. Just delicious. I highly recommend it. wwwthejuicecellar.com for more info.

Then, as long as we were in Belfast (he he he) I asked A if we could stop at Fiddlehead Artisans, the fabric store I am in love with. She said yes, and while she sat in the car with a strawberry lime smoothie, I raced in , chose two different fabrics to make summer skirts with and ran back out. I’ll try to remember to get photos of the fabric to post here. REMIND ME if I forget.

Stopped at our favorite local take out (Crosby’s, Bucksport) on the way home.

It was a GOOD Friday.

Christmas is almost gone   Leave a comment

A and I finished getting the tree down Saturday. We did it without the 12 foot ladder, which is such a pain to get out of the basement, and then around and into the house, especially after we get snow.

But, since we don’t care about the ending condition of the tree, we got creative. We got everything off of it as far as we could reach with the 6 foot ladder, then cut all the low branches off the tree, and tipped it over, so we could reach the upper ornaments. It worked! Then we heaved the tree over the bank into the woods, and I put all the branches on top of the rose-bush, for a little extra mulch.

Other than that, we have just been puttering – and cleaning up the needles from the living room. House looks pretty unfestive right now. 😦 Although, I notice, A’s village is still set up on the sideboard, and I know there is a string of lights in the mudroom. Also, all the window candles are still up, and as far as I am concerned, can stay there until spring. It is so nice to come home from work and see them all lit up. I love battery operated candles! It is so easy to just leave them on with their timers and forget about them.

Other than that big chore, we have just been puttering around, A worked on the insulation in her big closet, I baked bread and cookies. We both played with the cats and did some laundry, vacuuming, etc. A even went to the dump on her own. Well, she took Allie with her. Allie likes riding in the car, but not in the crate. So A is taking her on short trips to get her more used to things. Zumba and I stayed home cooking. Zumba was a bit distressed to be left home alone, but she settled down after a bit. However, when Allie returned, Zumba was ecstatic to see her. They were quite cute. It is probably one of the very few times in their short lives that they have been really apart.

Other than that, nothing much new. Finished another hat, worked on the lace scarf. I have also started crocheting granny squares with the bits of yarn that are too small to even be stripes in a hat. Eventually, I will get enough squares to make a blanket or something, which will go along with the hats to charity. So far, three squares done. Many more to go.

Tomorrow starts another work week, and it promises to be a deusy, as they say. the next few months, in fact, will be crazy, but at least I passed my tax test! So I will be doing taxes a few days a week for the next three and half months. In addition to all that other stuff I do every day. I get tired just thinking about it.

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