Archive for the ‘yarn’ Tag

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.)

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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.

 

Cottage Craft   15 comments

When I lived further east, Mom and I used to go to St Andrews by the Sea, New Brunswick on an irregular basis. But whenever we went, we always went to Cottage Craft. It is located right on the harbor and always had colorful skeins tied to a huge old rope fence. It was bright and cheery and made me want to knit all the colors. The little shop sells hand knits by locals and also locally produced tweeds with matching yarn in a gorgeous array of colors. Two weights of yarn, a one ply and a two ply, so roughly a fingering and worsted. The yarn is a bit rough, with hay bits in it, but that alway seemed to lend authenticity. And with washing and wearing, the garments I have knit with it softened up beautifully.

I have not been in several years  but I have “some” of their yarn in my stash, and have made several sweaters with it.

Lately I have been contemplating a sweater, and so this week with time off I went stash diving. I found five of the Cottage Craft two ply skeins in a color way called “Live Lobster” and just sat and  loved it for a while, in all its blue-ness. It is a dark inky blue with purple undertones, and with bits of teal and red fibers.  But I would be playing yarn chicken if I made a sweater for me with just these 5 skeins, I know.

I kept digging in the stash bins and then I found it. Three quarters of a sweater. Knit with Live Lobster single ply held double. I briefly considered finishing it but then realized it would be way shorter than I want now. Which says something about when I started knitting it. Can you say 90’s cropped sweater? It’s so old it is way, way, way pre-Ravelry.  🙂   I decided to frog it and wash the yarn for reuse.

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That is one of my major crafting projects this week- carefully pulling it out, winding the yarn into skeins and washing it to get the kink out.

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It is a bit complicated by the fact that I held it double, so the winding means I do two separate skeins at once.  And it is “woolly” wool so it wants to stick to the other piece. But I love the results! In fact it looked so nice that I also washed the 4 unused skeins that were waiting for me to finish up the sweater.

imageWhile I waited for it all to dry, I looked for a pattern. I am determined to knit something from “New England Knits” this year – I think it’s the only 1+1+1 goal I haven’t hit. None of the ones I like call for fingering weight, of course, so I think I will be holding the yarn double again. I have narrowed it down to the Derry raglan pullover or the Augusta cabled cardigan. I do love cables but I think Derry has a slight edge, as I also was thinking I wanted a pullover… And that cute cowl would make the perfect gauge “swatch” a la Elizabeth Zimmerman and her swatch hats.

But I probably won’t completely decide until I swatch and actually cast on. Because you just never know where the yarn will lead you.

And now now I am wondering what I will make with the 5 skeins of two ply I found?  I suppose I could wash it and de-stash it… Or I could go back to St Andrews by the Sea and get a couple of skeins in either red or teal (or both!) and do a pretty color work sweater. That might be the plan. I wonder if Mom is up for a road trip?

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(Sadly, I went to look for a link to Cottage Craft to share with you and learned that the building had been sold, was being renovated, and burned to the ground last month.  Not sure what will happen to this wonderful old business.)

At last, a down day!   20 comments

Friday night after work I went to Bangor to help B move into her dorm. What a nightmare of a week this kid has had! Denny the bunny remains a concern, not eating or drinking well, now scared of her because of force feeding, and we had to move him again!!!  She was in long RA training sessions each day, it was hot, her dorm wasn’t ready until Friday afternoon (renovations) and she had a very short window of time to get herself into her permanent room, unpacked and set up, out of her temporary room and then to an evening meeting. She still had to do her door decorations and bulletin board, and her girls were arriving the next morning!

Aunt Salpal to the rescue. In just two hours we got all her things moved in, unpacked, bed made, clothes put away, bunny settled. It was 85 degrees in that building since it had been closed up tight all summer. We were both drenched and exhausted. We got fans running, though, and it cooled off outside when the sun went down, so I hope it got cooler in her tiny little room.

Not impressed with how her school handled any of this. Lack of communication, lack of flexibility on the rules. Not nice. (Bulletin boards had to be decorated per contract. They were not installed following reno, they were on the floor, but they had to be decorated anyway, even though these RAs were not given access to the building the week before like all the others.)

So here’s a question- why did they take a third or more space from the RA’s room when they expanded the bathrooms, to put in handicapped accessible bathrooms? When there is no elevator? There are 9 floors of this building! I could see it on the 1st floor, but the 6th? Seems like a waste of space.

Anyway she is in and got it all done and I think collapsed today! No bunny report today, I hope all is well.

Saturday was the party to celebrate the twin niece’s and nephew’s college graduation this spring.  A stayed with stepdad so Mom could attend (he’s a couple of weeks post knee replacement) so Mom and I traveled together to brother N’s home.  All the family was there excepting the two nieces in college, but including Dad and step mom S from Connecticut, and my brother-in-law’s mum A from NZ. Always so nice to see everyone! A is always amazing, she seems to remember everything about us since last we met a few years ago. I love when she comes to visit.  Dad and S looked well, and we had a few minutes to chat between food and photos. 😀

But it it was a long day- got back to Mom’s in time for supper, got home well past 9. Cats felt they should get some attention, so we were up much later than normal.

Today I spent some serious time with knitting and spinning. (Read sitting.) The knitting all looks the same as the last time you saw it, although I am at least on row 5 of all my lace patterns on all my shawls, it barely shows. Oaklet is farther along but no photos. I’ll get you some this week.

However I did get photos of this finished object- more yarn!

This is Color Tag fromThree Waters Farm. Let me start by saying I love it! The colors are bright and fun. And I got my best yardage yet- the two skeins are two-plied and came to 350 yards before washing. The littlest skein is a chain-plied end and is about 13 yards.

Now on that you know that, I can tell you it did not come out at all as I had anticipated!  I broke the braid carefully, making sure all pieces began and ended the same as each other. I weighed each little nest and they were pretty close. I concentrated and went slowly so I could spin evenly. I hoped I would get solid colors flanked with a bit of barber poling. I got barber poling with a few solids. The beginning and the end of the bobbins behaved as I had planned but the middle was wild and crazy wonderful color.  I don’t think there are two areas the same- it is going to be interesting to knit with, for sure!

I moved on to my next spinning project, Purple Fleece’s Life’s a Beach, which was last month’s roving of the month.

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I didn’t try anything too scientific here, just split it in half and divided it down into random thickness nests.  The colors are nice and soft, I am looking forward to the change from the brights. Didn’t actually spin any of it yet, but I am ready for tomorrow.

That’s really all I did today, spin and knit. Oh except that when I was hanging the newly washed color tag, I noticed a problem in the garden. Huge green caterpillars eating tomatoes!!!! I banished 4 of them to the woods but not before they completely defoliated a couple of plants and ruined a few tomatoes. This is the first year I have had this problem. Might have to skip tomatoes next year, they are gross and ugly things. No photos. You are welcome!

i didn’t even swim in the pool this weekend, but I will make up for that. We have a few more weeks of summer.

Last crazy weekend for a while, I hope!

a medley and all the Bs and Cs   13 comments

We have had all the weather this week – cool and dry, hot and muggy, and now cooler and muggy WITH RAIN!!!  Hallelujah!

Sadly our rainiest day was the day my cousin B married his beloved C.  Outdoors. Rain held off for the actual ceremony, and the food was in an open sided barn.  It all went perfectly, of course. A few showers did not deter merrymaking.

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Aren’t they cute???

We didn’t stay very long really, a couple of hours following the service maybe.  We drove with Mom and she wanted to get home to let her dog out before it got too late.  We did stop for supper along the way, so that was pleasant. It was really nice to see aunts and cousins and siblings and all the giants of the next generation – all the “kids” are getting so big!

Other than that, it has been a quiet week. I have been knitting away diligently on the four shawls.  My plan for them is to get through the stockinette portion before I start any lace. Which means that some will get put on hold while others catch up.  I think the cloud dweller biophilia will get there first, but it will be a close race with the Oaklet in Tern.  It got lots of love in the car yesterday.

 

You can see I got a few more of my favorite project bags – open canvas totes in the smallest size.  I love these bags.  Not fancy, no pockets, no zips. But durable, sturdy yet soft, they work well for me.

I have been spinning, I finished up the Summer Bouquet yarn, haven’t got finished pictures of it – it is hanging outside drying now.  I had to hold off soaking it because the weather was so damp.  But I could wait no longer, I want to see finished yarn! I’ll be sure to share it with you when it is dry and worthy of photographs.

Once that was finished, I started prepping the next spin – Color Tag, also from Three Waters Farm.  I am going slowly with this one, really working on my drafting, I want to get my thinnest yarn yet with this.

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So far, so good.

And on the way to the wedding, I convinced A to stop for 2 minutes so I could pick up this treasure that Deb at Purple fleece was holding for me –

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It’s a 4 ounce braid of Falkland, called Life’s a Beach.  Love the colors!

Later this week, nieces B and C-the-younger will be arriving from PA via CT!! They will only be here a couple of days, but I am very excited that this visit is happening. They arrive Thursday evening, and will leave Sunday.  On Saturday, their cousins, my niece C-the-elder and nephew B will come over to play games and visit and hang out for the day. Niece N sadly will be off vacationing in Mexico, but we will manage to have fun without her.  This is fun for me, to have all the B and C nieces and nephew together, it has been a long time since they all came over to just hang out.  Like in probably 6 years – because we live at the end of the trail, so we usually meet somewhere in the middle for family events.   These kids are all roughly the same age – 20-26, and have so much fun when they get together. I am glad that it will be happening here at our house.

And that means that this week we will be cleaning and prepping for visitors.

And of course, spinning, and knitting.  And swimming.  Because there ARE enough hours in a day.

 

 

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