Archive for the ‘yarn’ Tag

Randomness   15 comments

I am afraid this will be a rambling post with not too many photos.

It was a good weekend, it didn’t go exactly as planned, but it was OK.  Saturday morning instead of doing some gardening and swimming in the pool before knitting, we went up to Orrington to visit my SIL, just home from the hospital with a knee replacement.  She put it off YEARS longer than I would have, but it went amazingly well, and she is happily ensconced on the couch, with rocker nearby for exercising. Husband is doing stellar nursing work.  He ran out to the store while we were there, I think glad for the respite, lol.

Came back in time to grab some early lunch and then pick up my new neighbor and head off to knitting for the afternoon at Whorls and Purls.  I actually brought the spinning wheel – traveler’s first trip in the car.  She fits neatly in the back seat of the Prius – yea!  Actually, the Prius holds lots more than one might think.  It is like Mary Poppins bag.  Way bigger inside than out.

A and I grabbed some fried shrimp to go for supper and had a quiet night indoors.

Sunday I woke up full of energy, AT LAST feeling better (maybe fried shrimp cures tummy viruses?) and did some early spinning, then layered newspaper and mulch over the garden that has nothing planted in it this year, so it is ready for next year.  I really hope the whole newspaper mulch thing works for killing weeds, if it does, I am going to be THRILLED and use it all over the yard, lol.

Then I ate a delicious breakfast A cooked for me before I headed out to return bottles, go to the dump, and the hardware store (for more mulch, lol) got home, unloaded all of that stuff, spread a last bag over the garden in back, and headed inside for a rest.  After that, the day got much more like you would expect from me, lol.  I knitted and spun while I waited for the sun to move over to make some shade in the yard.  Then I did some watering, jumped in the pool for a quick swim and fishing out all the tree bits that had landed in there this week.  It was a WEEK of no pool for me.  So very glad I am able to go in it now as it is supposed to be hot this week.

That was followed by some weed pulling while I drip dried, and then a relaxing evening watching Turn with A. Oh, that Simcoe gives me the creeps.  🙂

I started my list for the trip to Wisconsin.

It is hysterical!  I was worried I would forget some important thing I promised to bring, so I started jotting things down. After all, we leave in 49 days!  So my list starts with “Crock Pot.  Waffle Iron.” and progresses through some secret stuff to “knitting projects: Socks.  Sweater. Shawl.” to “Backpack. Road trip food.  Vitamins.”  before it ever gets near anything like, say clothes.  🙂

I have to get everything organized carefully since we will be on the road for three days (2 nights), then there for 5 days (4 nights) and then on the road again, probably for 4-5 days and 3-4 nights.  I don’t want to unload everything at each hotel stop, so going out I want to have a smaller bag with travel items, and then I will reorganize before we leave Wisconsin.

Beyond going for the reason to be there – Ravelry meet up and Wisconsin Sheep and Wool festival, on the way home, Mom and I are doing a few things – we are meeting up with some old school friends of hers in Chicago on Sunday, and we plan to stop an extra day at Niagara Falls (Monday night, Tuesday?) before making a mad dash race for home.  Which might be a two day mad dash, depending on how we feel, and how anxious we are to be through with the car and driving. Or how bad traffic in New England is.

I am SO excited to be doing this – I have not done a big road trip like this in a very long time, and one without my wonderful A doing all the driving?  Not in about 15 years.  Heading west, we plan to go through Canada, then cut across Michigan, and take the ferry across Lake Michigan.  Coming home, because of the Chicago lunch, we will head south, and zip across Indiana and  Ohio, sticking close to the lakes. From Buffalo, we will do some more zipping across New York – and yes, I know how darned long that will take, Thank goodness for Route 90. It may be boring, but it will get us back to New England.  It is a lot of driving, and I hope everyone else stays off the road while we do this.  🙂

A just looks at me like I am crazy and says she is glad to not be going, she will stay home and tend the fire, lol.  Or play with the cats. Ort help her sister with projects in her new house.  We will each have fun, but I will buy yarn!

And speaking of yarn – I finished all but the heel of one blue striped sock – that heel will wait for the other sock to get to the same place, so that I can make them match.  And I am making very good progress on the hand knit vest – might finish it up some time this week. Spinning update – I have refilled two of the three bobbins, and will work on the third one this week.  Hope to be plying again by the weekend. Plus I am plotting some secret yarn related things which I hope to begin work on.  I will have to wait to share them with you, but they are going to be so fun and exciting!

 

See, random.  No photos.  Maybe I will be better about getting some for you this week.  🙂

 

 

Some things to share   18 comments

Hello! I hope you are having a good start to your week.

 

I had a great weekend, in part because we are “Trump-free” on weekends, which means we avoid all news.  It makes Mondays hard as we get hit with it all at once, but we are strong and rested and can take it.  Except when it is so grim as London’s news is.  That is hard to take no matter the day.  I just do not understand the darkness that is coming out of every crack these days.

My heart goes out to all who are impacted by the violence and hatred. Oh, and to anyone who was counting on us for sane, reasonable, responsible behavior on climate change.  That man does not represent even half of this country, he just happens to think he is in charge.

It makes sharing all my fun pretties seem shallow, and perhaps it is.  But I think we need soft pretty things in life and knitting and spinning bring me calmness, like meditating does to others. So I am going to try to distract you from news of the world and bring you to my happy place.

This weekend was not perfect, weather-wise.  But as our local weather fool likes to say, it was not a complete washout, either. Saturday was gray and gloomy and sprinkly, except when the sun popped out in the middle of the day for ten or fifteen minutes at a time, then it was a bit warm and humid. But as that didn’t last very long, it wasn’t uncomfortable.  And I got quite practiced at putting on the coat, taking off the coat, putting on the coat, etc.

As planned, I met up with some of the Whorls and Purls gang and we went off to the Maine Fiber Frolic,  I packed (actually, emptied) my bags early, and found this when I got ready to leave:

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Allie was all cuddled onto my day pack, as if I would take her to a fair.  🙂

I went with a decent amount of cash, knowing it would last if I was careful.  And knowing I could easily spend ten times that amount without even thinking about it.  We had a good plan – split up (or not) and wander the fair, coming back every hour to meet in front of the ice cream booth to make sure we were all good, talk about what was next.  So I wandered the stalls and booths, scoping out what I wanted to buy.  In the end, I was pretty pleased with the fact that I only got one ice cream at lunch, and this lovely assortment:

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The burgundy is one of my favorite sock yarns, Caper Sock.  It is dyed locally, in Blue Hill by String Theory Hand Dyed Yarn and is a merino cashmere blend.  It makes the softest socks!  I actually had this on my list (yup, I try to have a list when I head out, or it is too hard to choose).  Next to it is the purple-blue of Linda’s Soft and Silky sock yarn – 50-50 merino and silk, hand dyed in Denmark Maine by Pine Star Studio.  I bought a skein of this last year and knit a shawl for sale, which I loved and almost didn’t put up for sale, hoped it wouldn’t sell and of course it sold instantly. This one will be for me. And I would never dream of using this luxurious yarn for socks.  It is just too elegant to go into my sneakers. And no, it was not on my list.

Then there are the beads.  Last year I went with snips of yarns planned for shawls and came away with some beautiful beads. This year I wasn’t that organized, but I knew what yarn I was thinking about for knitting shawls . Next year I will do the snips thing, it was so much easier. All the beads are beautiful!  What I managed to buy this year will be useful, and the gold beads are the same ones I am using in my beaded yarn, so I know I will like them (and I still haven’t knit the shawl they were originally intended for.) The purple MIGHT go with the lovely blue angora/silk I got at Webs last month, time will tell.  And the big clear beads could show up anyplace! All from the Bead Biz, she is online, though I haven’t checked out her website in a long time, she says she has upgraded her photos and so I will check it out.

That’s it – the whole budget spent.  I went home with 41 cents after I bought a late day lemonade (and of course, lunch!)

Fortunately (or unfortunately) I did not find THIS vendor until I had depleted my funds – but look at all the great fiber my friends got, for $2 an ounce!  We spent a good chunk of the afternoon guiding people over to this booth for deals.

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All of this fun, and I was home in time for supper, even after stopping at the grocery store on the way, to do the week’s shopping (I have to do some chores around the house, after all!)

A and stepdad tried to play golf, but it was raining, so they shot a bucket of balls at the driving range instead.  Since she got home early, she cleaned the house.  She is a keeper, for sure! So I came home to a sparkling house, the groceries were all bought and set for the week, and that left us free to relax on Sunday. Life is good!

We did go up to Brewer on Sunday for lunch with A’s sisters, niece, great niece, and great-nephew and their cousin Sunday, and we had a nice visit, got fun cards and presents, and were home in the afternoon – we didn’t even try to think of chores and errands we could do in “the big city” while we were there.

I gave the pool some more attention, and then settled in front of my wheel determined to finish this spin.  And I did.  I did not fuss when I came to a knot that could not be undone, I just cut the silk and called it good.

For two months (to the day) you have been patient with me as I worked from this

to this:

Just look at that silk shimmer and shine! And those beads glisten.  🙂  I got just under 600 yards of the beaded, and then I finished plying after the knot with no beads, and got about 130 yards of plain.

Plenty for a shawl, and then some!

It is all washed and hanging to dry (which it never will in this weather)  and I now know why beaded yarn is so expensive to buy.  This stuff takes forever to make.  I am glad I did it and I don’t expect to do it again any time soon. At least not with this method.  There is another way to do it, I wonder if it is faster?  Hmmmm.

 

This  week I will clean and oil the old wheel and carry her upstairs (where she will be my plying wheel), then prep some fiber to start a spin on the new wheel!!!  I can hardly wait.  But I won’t start a big spin for a few days, even though I have one in mind.  I have some mini batts that I want to spin up so I get used to the new wheel without worrying about the quality of the yarn. I will also focus on my knitting, which has suffered the past few weeks as I worked so diligently on this yarn.

And there is a yard that deserves demands attention. And the pool needs me to be brave and get IN it to scrub it.  I’d really like the sun to be out when I do that, and the temperature of the air to be higher than that of the water.  As the water is in the low 60’s that doesn’t seem too ridiculous a thought.  Maybe next week?

 

 

 

 

The Weekend Report   23 comments

Gang, I had so much fun out and about with Mom last weekend!  We started off on time early Friday morning and decided to stop for breakfast at a place we had heard about near Augusta (not Aunt Gin’s, which would have been a better choice, it turns out) and it took them over an HOUR to get us some coffee and eggs.  Wow.  So then we were behind schedule but not too worried as we had no deadlines or commitments Friday, just plans and anticipation.

It was raining and spitting most of the way through the boring turnpike driving.  I had MapQuest plot me a route using “shortest distance” so that I didn’t have all highway driving all day.  It was 8 hours of driving after all, I wanted to see something other than yellow dotted lines.  🙂

Mom navigated, and it was fun, though we have no idea where we were most of the time, we knew we could figure it out with maps and GPS if needed. We wandered through western Mass, and wound up in Amherst, which I have always wanted to see.  It was very lovely, but it was UMASS commencement weekend, so to say that there was a little traffic is an understatement.  It took forever to get to Northampton from there.  And once in Northampton, we added road construction to the mix, it seriously took us more than half an hour to go the short distance from the pretty bridge to WEBS.

But get there we did, and by then the sun was shining (as it should over this wonderful place!)

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It is in an industrial setting just in back of town. If you are looking for a cute yarn shop, this isn’t it (but there is one in town.) However – go in the door and you are transported to fiber heaven. There is a HUGE retail space with all the yummy yarns beautifully displayed.  A whole entire section of Madeline Tosh just hanging there, showing off it’s lovely colors, calling for me to buy it.  🙂  There are wheels and buttons and yarns and fiber and pattern books and loads of room to move around, good lighting and (mostly) very nice staff.

And then there is the backroom.

It’s actually where we started, because the restrooms are back there… and we were five hours from coffee after all.  🙂

This room is much more like a warehouse, I can’t begin to guess how big it is.  Aisles and aisles of shelves from the floor to over my head, filled with yarn.

I spent the most time in the Valley Brand aisle, touching everything (remember, this is why I was there!) If I liked how it felt, I took photos of the tag so I would remember it when I get to ordering online someday (soon I hope) and so my phone is filled with photos of tags.  🙂

All the prices were reasonable but some were on sale, so they were WAY more than reasonable.  This coming weekend is their huge tent sale, I can’t imagine what a zoo the place will be, but I bet people will be getting some great bargains.

The other aisles are organized by fiber weight.  I cruised fast through bulky but slowed to a crawl in fingering, sport, and lace.  Oh so many things were calling my name.  But I had a strict yarn budget for the weekend.

But I wanted it all.

But I had a budget.

But…

I finally settled on this selection:

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The Leyden for some socks, the Southampton for a shawl, or something light and fluffy.  Southampton is a yarn I have been wanting to try since I can’t seem to get Soie et Doucette anymore.  It is very similar to kid silk haze, which I also love.  So I will give it a shot and see what happens. At $7.99 a ball, it didn’t seem too bad an experiment.

I was pretty impressed with myself, coming out of there with money left and my homework completed!

Then I caught up with Mom, and she staggered me.  She was in there with me the whole time, and she bought NOTHING. Because she had no project in mind.

I didn’t know that was a thing.  🙂

Anyway – we got some vague directions about lunch and parking and muddled through that and got out of that town as fast as we could, which was not fast.

The directions continued to meander through the Berkshires in the general direction of New York, and we blindly followed them, trusting MapQuest.

Until we found ourselves in a two track dirt road wandering under leaning dead trees. A road not on the map we had, but clearly marked and where MapQuest said it would be. As we drove, the road got narrower (it hardly seemed possible) and ruttier.  When we finally came to an intersection with a paved road we abandoned MapQuest and took the paved road.  First chance we got, I pulled over and we set the GPS with our hotel address in Poughkeepsie.

Our new route zipped us along Route 23 through Great Barrington and out onto the beautiful Taconic Parkway.  I mean it, it is a beautiful road.  NO trucks!!!  It’s a true parkway, loads of pretty trees and green grass.  And of course, it is late spring there, the trees are fully out.  The dogwood was blooming in the woods. It was really a gorgeous trip down to the hotel, which we found with no problem.  Thank you, GPS.  Sorry, MapQuest, I won’t ask you for shortest route again.

Saturday dawned gray and dreary and raining.  We had breakfast with one of Mom’s classmates and his wife, and I left her with them to enjoy her day of reunion activities. Then I settled down to await another highlight of the trip – meeting up with a blogger in the real world!  Slipped Stitches Weblog is a blog I have loved since I found it, Maryanne is hysterically funny when writing about her adventures with her little dog, her knitting and the calamities that befall one at the hand  (or paw) of the other. We are friends on Ravelry and our blogs, so I knew she lived in the general area, but was nervous about suggesting a real life meeting.  I was so excited when she was not only willing to meet, but willing to come to Poughkeepsie to meet me!  I wondered if we would find enough to talk about or if it would be awkward, but the minute she walked into the hotel lobby I knew it was her and we just jumped right in, sharing current WIPS, stories, talking about our lives.  It was like seeing a friend I just hadn’t met yet.  🙂

I used the app Yarn Places to locate a local yarn store, and the kind desk clerk told us how to find it, so we went there to start with.  We spent quite a bit of time in Walkway Wools checking out the bright colors of yarn she had packed into her tiny shop (the owner is the dyer behind Mother Frogging yarns, check them out if you can).  Keeping in mind that I had only $7 left in my yarn budget, I tried really hard to be good.  But this yarn was too pretty to pass up!

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I have been wanting to try linen, and the price was just right.  I am thinking that someday I will make this into a shawl, but meanwhile, I am just enjoying the color. And I only went $8 over budget, which if you think about what I could have spent this weekend, was kind of like a miracle.  🙂

From there we went through the rain to lunch and gabbed for a couple of hours before Maryanne returned me to the hotel.

I am so glad that she was willing to take a chance to meet up with me and that she gave up a rainy Saturday to do so.  I am pretty sure that she could have been chasing the dog through the mud, around the pond, and down the lane as he ran off with her Shetland lace shawl, or something equally entertaining instead.

Saturday evening Mom and I went back over to her school to have a fancy dinner “with musical entertainment.”  There were a total of five from her class at this reunion, so with spouses and a daughter, we all fit at one round table.  I heard a lot of funny tales about kids at boarding school in the late 1950s. There (apparently) was lots of smoking behind buildings, and some panty raids, football games against giant farm kids, and other memorable moments.  After dinner, we went back to the hotel and hung out in the lobby for a few hours chatting with one couple until it was really time for bed if we were going to make that long drive home again in the morning.

I think Mom had a wonderful time, and is looking forward to the 65th reunion.

So – we got back to the room, mapped out a route (using a real, paper map with indicators fro things like pavement) that would avoid all major cities and be pretty and get us home reasonably quickly, and hopped into bed, where we slept like babies until 2 am when the fire alarms went off.

Have I ever told you about my hotel curse?  I have rarely stayed in a hotel more than one night that I didn’t experience the fire alarms going off. Sometimes I even manage to do it on a one night stay.  It is darned annoying.

We were up on the fifth floor, so we donned shoes and rain coats, (yup, still raining) and did take the time for a speedy bathroom break.  And I DID grab the car keys.  If the hotel was burning up, I wanted to be able to leave! And down the stairs we went to the dripping parking lot.  I was sort of surprised at how full the parking lot was and how few people came out of the hotel.  I guess they could stand the noise and didn’t mind burning up.  Hmmm.

We sat in the car, watched the big hook and ladder trucks come in with sirens blaring.  After a few minutes they all left and we went inside.  Seems an overly steamy shower was to blame, so at 3 am we climbed back into bed to stare at the ceiling for a bit.

Naturally we got off to a later than planned start Sunday morning.  At least it was sunny!  We headed back up the Taconic Parkway to Route 90, by which time it was raining again, and all the leaves were still only thoughts and the world was gray and dreary again.

Our new route seemed a bit longer than the other way, though the drive time turned out about the same – 8 hours or so to mom’s house. And no Worcester, Hartford or any of those other traffic nightmares.  It was after 8 when I finally pulled into my driveway, and I was really ready to be home!

This weekend I have an different sort of an adventure planned.  I’ll get up and hit the road around 4:30 Saturday morning, and drive to my sister’s, in Portland.  Together we will travel down to Connecticut (she will drive, I will knit – see, it’s different already!) to visit an aunt who lives down there, and our dad and step mom.  Then we will drive back to Portland, and I will stay over night in there with her and her family.  Home fairly early Sunday morning.  At least that’s the plan.  I’ll let you know how it goes.

And next weekend?  I am going NO WHERE.

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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Inventory Clearance Sale!   16 comments

Today I had to go to Franklin for work.  On the way there, I drove past what used to be my “LYS” (Local Yarn Store to those of you unaddicted to fiber), Shirley’s Yarns and Crafts.

There was a BIG sign out front “Inventory Clearance Sale  20% off January 9-14”

I kept driving.

In my family there is a funny rule about ice cream shops.  You can drive to and from an ice cream shop but not past an ice cream shop.  Long story how it came to be, but one of my aunts was giving directions, and said “go past the ice cream shop” and she was immediately corrected.  Go to the ice cream shop, stop, get an ice cream, and then from the ice cream shop, continue on. Thus it has been evermore.

I am that way with yarn stores, especially those with signs like that out front.  But I was on a mission, so I kept going.  But I wondered… did they have some sock yarn that would coordinate with what I am spinning now, in case I don’t get enough yardage for my planned socks?  I could do a different heel and toe if I had to…

On the way back, I stopped.  They truly were having a big sale, and they had TONS of sock yarn, I am not kidding.  For a small shop, the selection was amazing. I decided to show some self restraint and limited myself to what I could pay for with the cash in my wallet, which ruled out taking the whole section.  🙂

I tried to visualize the in-progress yarn, which has pink, purple, orange, and green.  I knew I didn’t want green, and I didn’t want the wrong purple.  I thought pink or orange could be fun.  But there were no solids in those exact colors.  I walked around for a bit with a pretty, brightly dyed multicolored yarn, but eventually put it back – I want my handspun to be the stars of this show, not fight for attention with this yarn.

I finally picked up this skein.

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I know, not pink, orange, purple nor green! But the fiber content is close to what I am spinning, and so if I think I will need it, I will wind off some of this and dye it.  Brilliant!

And if I don’t need it, I can dye it any color I want, right?  And I needed some more sock yarn if I am going to knit 4-6 pairs this year.  AND it was on sale.  And I had plenty of cash to cover the price.

So I think I did pretty well going to and from the yarn store. And the clearance sale is still going on, through tomorrow in case any of you want to check it out.  🙂

 

 

Posted January 13, 2017 by salpal1 in how I spent my day

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Odds and Ends and dreams really do come true with enough forward planning   14 comments

So last week A got the truck of her dreams.  She has wanted this thing the entire time I have known her.  She has suffered cheerfully through not one, but two, efficient subcompact Toyotas which seem to never die (which is good, unless you want to replace them with the vehicle of your dreams.)

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She is in love.  I am surprised she doesn’t sleep in it.

 

But being the wonderful person she is, while she was getting this, she got ME the car I have long been wanting! Of course there is no photo of me in my beautiful new Prius, but trust me, it is gorgeous, a nice deep blue.

That is right, we bought two new vehicles last weekend.  It is a bit alarming.  We always knew we would get these two, but I did not think we would get them both at once!  But the deal on my Prius was too good to resist (apparently when gas prices go down, so do Prius sales, so incentives go up) 0% financing AND cash back!  That, combined with the fact that we had saved up a good deal of money toward the truck made it possible to make this crazy move.

So now we have to behave ourselves financially for the next, oh, five years, but at least we have fun cars to drive during that time!

Other bits of life –

This past weekend was busy – errands, of course, on Saturday, followed by knitting in the afternoon. Sunday, niece B came over for a visit, to do some laundry and get the suitcase she stores at our house.  She will be heading for home this weekend, not back for a month. She only has one more semester of school!  Oh, how we will miss her when she moves back home for good.  She had us open her presents to us, and mine was a new cribbage board, so we played a few games to christen it before she left. She even let me win one of them.

Sunday evening we went to a “real” party – Debbie from Purple Fleece invited us to her holiday gathering, and this pair of introverts went, wanting to go but not sure we would really enjoy it.  You know the drill.  🙂  Well, we had a great time!  A met some of the knitting ladies, I met some of the husbands about whom I hear so much (all good, of course) and we both met some local people who were loads of fun. On the way home, we both commented how glad we were that we had ventured forth in our good clothes and party manners on a cold almost-winter’s night.  🙂

The Christmas knitting winds down, I did a couple of rows on a shawl for me last night, almost forgot what I was doing with it! Then it was back to gift knitting, I cast on some more of the tiny secret project, and a hat for a young niece. It’s to match the doll hat already knit.  I love this particular yarn I spun last summer – I might need to get more, the colors are just so fun!

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Had this happen on my spinning – what?

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Debbie told me it was OK, that I could wind what I had spun  on to a different bobbin and re-glue this one, or ask A to do that for me. So have done that and moved on.  🙂 Except for the equipment malfunction, I am loving this spin.  It is merino/silk from Three Waters Farm, planned for my sister – either the yarn will be her gift sometime (not Christmas) or something I knit her from it will be her gift. It is so SMOOTH, and soft!  I am using my new spinnerz gauge to try to keep the singles nice and even to get a DK weight – my sister likes heavier yarn to knit with, I know. It’s all good practice and good for learning.

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I split the braid in half, but not directly – first, I laid it out and found the pattern to it, then divided it so I got the gold in one half and the purple in the other.  I will ply it together as a two ply. I hope the purple and gold won’t muddy each other, but I think it will be fine.

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I love grays in this spin.  I think I should do a tonal spin soon, like the “you red my mind” one I did last summer – I love to knit with them, I think I would like to spin more of them, too.  But all the colors keep calling me. 🙂

Here’s some finished yarn – Cadillac Mountain – isn’t it so pretty?  I love it!

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And Wood Nymph – a hard spin, but it is done now.  Not sure what I will do with 56 yards of bulky… but I know I can get more if I need it.  Just am not in a mood to spin it right now – silk feels so much softer!

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Hats  have been selling!  I brought them all to work one day last week, and sold several, plus some earrings and a bracelet, and then one sold on Etsy this weekend (thanks, Renee!) and this morning when I got to work one of the girls across the hall asked if I still had a particular hat she loved.  I do.  It is hers.  This is all VERY good as this money goes straight to fiber stash cash, and what with new vehicles my beloved-wife-the-household-bookkeeper won’t have to make faces when fiber comes in the house, she will know I earned the money for it by selling other fiber stuff.  It’s a great circle. And inventory is getting low, so I think I will be knitting more hats after the New Year.  They are great to knit during tax training, I can usually do a hat a day that week.

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This weekend promises to be busy – I am house/dog sitting for my brother Friday night, as far as I know (he will confirm sometime before then) and there is knitting to go to on Saturday.  Sunday is a family gathering with A’s family for a birthday party. A Christmas tree will be procured and set up sometime soon as well (or why bother?).

We are on vacation next week – loads to do to get ready for the big holiday, plus Mom will come spend a night, so she can visit and watch sappy Christmas movies with us. (At her house, all channels seem to lead to sporting events, no matter the season.) We will be registering vehicles and maybe going for a ride or two to look at Christmas lights.  Then there are lights and a tree to decorate at our house, cards to make (yes, I am SO FAR BEHIND on these!) that will likely be called holiday cards, not Christmas cards. 😉 I hope not St Valentine’s cards…

Before that can all happen though, there is real work to be done – 2 sessions of tax training this week… a few committee meetings… a few letters to send out, nothing slow and boring about this time of year!

Common Ground Fair ~or~ No More Drought in Unity Maine   24 comments

We went to the fair as planned.

It rained.

Not the tenth- to a quarter-inch that was predicted.  At least an inch.  Maybe more.

We waited for the train in the rain (I highly recommend the train – it saves so much traffic and parking aggravation, and loads of walking.) Mom was generally happier than she looks in this photo – she hates having photos taken, especially with phones and for no reason.  🙂

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We watched the sheep dog demo in the misty drizzle.  (Love to watch border collies move animals with their eyes.)

sheep-dog-demo

We visited the fiber tents and Wednesday Spinner Tent in a steady rain.

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We ate lunch in torrential rains.

We took refuge in the folk art tent and watched some fun contra dancing.  While I knit (duh) and Mom and niece B shivered from the cold and wet, we all watched niece E dance with abandon.  Sister C and her husband R were visiting the fair for the first time, and they spent most of the day tracking after E as she went on horse-drawn wagon rides, made a beaded bracelet, hand ground buckwheat into flour, explored all the animal barns, and generally had a blast, heedless of the rain.

I didn’t do as much shopping as I normally would, I am not sure I found all the fiber vendors, as we got so cold and wet that we decided to head out before the contra dancing was quite finished (2:30 or so).

But I did get a bit of fiber!  I wanted to learn more about different kinds of spinning, and so I chatted with a few farmers before making my selections.  If it hadn’t been raining, I would have gotten more from some of them, but I didn’t want to carry huge amount of wet fiber around.

I got this – an ounce of Finn from a woman who raises what look like the happiest of sheep. I plan to do a little dying with this and see how dying on a dark base impacts the color.

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And this – Angora/wool mix.  I chatted with the woman in this booth about my spinning skills, and asked her how hard Angora is to spin – it’s hard, apparently, and she recommended a blend with wool, so this is angora and merino.  SO SOFT!

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This I found in the Bartlett tent.  Bartlett has a million colors of yarn, all of which I want.

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But then in a bin, I discovered these little batts of unidentified wool (Debbie at the Purple Fleece said it feels like Romney, which is why I need to keep learning.  Her fingers can tell her this?  I need a label written in English.)

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And that is it.  Everything I bought at the fair. I spent perhaps 50 dollars, including ticket and lunch.  Very unlike me. I blame the rain. The absolutely only good thing about the rain is that it keeps the crowds way down, it was wonderfully uncrowded.  Oh, and I guess it is good that we got the rain, since we are still exceedingly dry around here.

I made up for the lack of yarn spending  on Saturday, when I went to Whorls and Purls at the Purple Fleece.  My roving of the month was waiting for me – inspired by a mushroom!  It just feels like autumn to me.  Here are the front and back, looking a bit different from each other.  I love the little touches of purple.

She also had a whole new batch of gradients that I had not seen before,  I got a two skeins of one of them.  I am not completely sure what I will do with these, but I am thinking maybe a shawl, because I need another one, ROTFL!  But with over 800 yards, I have a lot of options.

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So while it wasn’t what I expected to be showing you, I did manage to get a wide array of fiber-y goodness this weekend.

Not sure if I will go to the fair in the rain again…if it rains on Friday next year, I might give it a miss.   I love the fair, but not the cold September rain.

 

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