Sunday Fun Day!

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Yesterday morning, we woke up to a little fog on the ice and more open water than we’ve seen in what seems forever! Knowing that it was going to be sunny, we figured that the fog would go away and we’d have less ice at the end of the day.

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Before we left to go take a Sunday drive, this is what it was looking like. There were a couple of times when the ice came right up to the land and sounded like crystals being rolled around. The sound was so unique! I tried to get a video of the sounds but I didn’t think any of the three were audible enough to translate. Suffice it to say, it was really great!

We wanted to head to Skowhegan today to see if the Maine Grains “cafe” was open and if we could get a bite to eat and buy some oatmeal. It was not open, but it was a pretty drive.

My husband heard about a sculpture at his volunteer job at Colby College Art Museum. Colby Art Museum has a few pieces by this artist. Apparently when he died, his widow spread his works around the state and two are found in Skowhegan!

The Indian statue is HUGE! He is easily the world’s tallest Indian. It’s sixty-two feet tall atop a 20 foot tall base, He was erected in 1969 and dedicated, as you can read in the picture above, to Maine’s Abenaki Indians. The play area, which they now ask you to stay off of, is a two-sided stair-step of farm animals. Please don’t climb on them! These sculptures are a little gem of art and Maine history along the way. You can find this guy on the northeast corner of Madison Avenue and High Street behind the Cumberland Farms food mart. It’s free and worth a detour!

When we got home (after a stop at Giffords for a bit of ice cream) the ice was moving by our house again. And before sunset, it was gone. Ice out!

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We heard our first loons on the lake, too. It brought tears to my eyes. I love living in this place and feel so fortunate to be here.

Gone knitting!

 

Queen Bee Knits Maine Knitting Retreats?

 

View of the lake from the guest cabin

View of the lake from the guest cabin

I’m a little bit afraid to put it out there but being fearful just holds me back. So, with that said, I am putting it out there that I am thinking about hosting some weekend knitting excursions/retreats at our home in Central Maine.

I am privileged to live in a beautiful place. In my opinion, it’s the most beautiful place. Our house is five feet from a clean, clear lake and all the wonder that comes with it – loons, fishing, swimming, water skiing, boats, canoes, bald eagles, ducks, and more.

We have a little cabin on our property where we’ve been living for the past six months with our three dogs. It’s not fancy but it’s comfortable.  When I am done with the cabin renovation, it will sleep three or four comfortably with a shared bath and a little kitchenette. My thought is to have guests rent the guest cabin and we’ll do a lesson or two on our porch. I’ll provide a simple continental breakfast each day and then you’ll be on your own for dinner. I will provide you with a fiber map of great fiber-y places to visit while you’re here and great places to eat. Everything is within reach in about an hour and a half.

I’m thinking that a group of friends would have a ball up here. I know I have a ball with my friends and family here! Cocktail cruise in our boat one night, a road trip one day and some knitting on our porch with a lesson or two from me. It’ll probably be a year or so away … maybe more on the “so” end because we have to build a garage next year and the cabin will likely be following that project. So, unless you want to come and be really camp-y, it’s a way off. But I’m putting it out there.

Sunrise on Messalonskee

Sunrise on Messalonskee

I want to share this beautiful place and all the fiber-y goodness that Maine has to share. Prime weekends will be the Maine Fiber Frolic weekend in June or the Common Ground Fair in September. Not that we can’t do it for more than a weekend.

Pricing is yet to be worked out, but I’m thinking and dreaming. If you’re interested, let me know. Have any ideas or suggestions? I’m all ears!

Queen Bee Knits Maine Knitting Retreats. Love it!

 

All my Yarn is Packed

Of course this isn't all my yarn!

Of course this isn’t all my yarn!

It must be an unwritten rule that knitters (ok, fiber people?) pack their yarn first when going on a trip. I know that’s my process for packing. So, when preparing for a move, the first thing I did was plan what yarn I would take and with what patterns. Makes sense, right?

My yarn is safely packed in the car with my swift and winder and all of my needles. My WIPs are on my desk, just in case there is some time today for knitting. I will make some time.

Movers arrive at 8am.

We’re moving to Maine!

Gone knitting. (OK, I’m getting dressed and drinking some coffee.)

Extra Large Box (of yarn)

IMG_4512You may know that we are moving from Florida to Maine later this week.

So, this weekend is focused on finishing our packing. We’ve packed our master bedroom closet except for the clothes that we’ll take with us. I will have one suitcase full of my hand knits, of course!

Next on my packing agenda was my atelier. When the yarn is in its bins, it doesn’t look like a bunch. But what I forget is that the bins lie! I filled one “extra large” moving box full of my worsted and bulky yarns. I have another big plastic bin of fingering weight and several bags and boxes of the rest. It’s going to be like Christmas again when I get to sort the big mess back into their bins!

I dare not think about what I have invested in all the yarn! I’m going to try to stick to my strict yarn diet and knit from my stash for awhile more. I’ve pulled out several sweaters worth of yarn for knitting this summer and some socks and various other patterns and yarn. I just know that my Maine knitting friends are going to have projects that they’re working on that I want to knit … and all my stash will be in storage.

I’m eager to get started with the move to Maine and the building of our house so I can set up my new atelier!

Gone knitting.

Travel (Jet Blue) Blues

I travel with two adorable and helpful dogs. They are both Registered Service Animals. I don’t want to go into a lot of personal details but they are my little helpers. All sorts of animals provide services to people with disabilities … visible and invisible … dogs, cats, rats, snakes, horses and others, too.

Yesterday, like every time I fly, I started by presenting my ID and documentation for my dogs. The good people at Jet Blue held me at the ticketing desk for at least 20-25 minutes. Questioning me and, at the end, telling me that I could take them both on the plane “this time” but that in the future I needed additional documentation. Jet Blue will allow me to have one dog per “affliction”. I’ve been traveling with the two dogs. both registered (I provided a doctor’s note and veterinary note to get them registered) in the same bag for eight years with no problems … until yesterday. Apparently Jet Blue holds sway over the ADA who says that I can travel with my documented Registered Service Dogs.

I was a wreck. Anxious that they would not let me fly home without paying for an additional seat for my “extra” dog to sit under. Or that they would refuse me the right to board the plane. Or that I would miss my flight because of their delays.

Fortunately, I will not have to fly again for awhile, and when I do fly again, it will probably be on good old Delta where, when I show my documentation, I am not delayed and discussed everywhere I go. If only these people at the gates were better trained to be compassionate, life would be so much less embarrassing.

Gone knitting!

Another Adventure …

What kind of crazy people are we?

We left Florida on December 20. Three dogs in the back seat and the truck loaded up with presents and a Honey Baked Ham … New York City and Christmas with two of my three children. We planned to spend one night in Richmond, VA on our way and then a night just shy of the city. Only one wrong turn which sent us into Washington, DC … at least we weren’t towing the boat! Smooth sailing!

Almost There!

Almost There!

With my daughter’s help, and having made good time, we ended up in Washington Heights and our little sub-let one night early.

The little apartment we rented was about mid-way between my son’s and my daughter’s apartments. Allowing for adjustments for all the dogs and super convenient for us – not to mention really reasonable rates!

Lobster Feast!

Lobster Feast!

Christmas eve was spent eating (mimosas started off our day) and baking cookies. Our family tradition is Spritz cookies. It’s still more fun to make them when you have someone else to decorate them. I love that my kids all value that tradition – started by my mother – it’s simply not Christmas without Spritz! A lobster feast for dinner, with thanks to my brother the lobsterman, had us all a mess and very happy. Christmas movies and lots of laughs … or was it the wine? I almost forgot to have the kids open their Christmas Eve gifts from Santa.

Christmas Day was low key – relaxing over coffee and muffins, Skyped with the missing daughter and her father in Chicago. The NY kids had to work but we hung with my boy and all the dogs. Ditto on Boxing Day.

IMG_2636Our big outing into mid-town was dinner and going to Kate’s show. We went to Qi for dinner and I love their food. Seeing my girl one more time as the star of Rock of Ages was a special treat for me – and my boy went with his old mom. N decided to skip the show and visited the Strand Bookstore at Union Square which he adored despite a couple of wrong turns and perhaps a wrong address (hence the wrong turn!)

On the 27th we packed up the dogs and presents and tearfully kissed the kids goodbye. Heading north in our truck to our “camp” in Maine.

camp /kamp/ n. A place usually away from urban places where tents or simple buildings (as cabins) are erected for shelter or temporary residence.

Camp Warner

Camp Warner

Think primitive. No running water. No plumbing. Think outhouse with a very (VERY) cold seat. And melting snow on the wood stove to wash dishes. Our mattress on the floor in the living room. Windows frozen with condensation. We carried all of our stuff in from the street with our Christmas snowshoes! A simple dinner in front of the wood stove and I was ready for bed. Too many late nights and I was ready for bed … probably long before I actually climbed in. Despite the “camping” and the cold, I wasn’t ready to leave when we heard that there was a Nor’ Easter coming in! I can’t wait until we are there for all the winter storms!

Next to Marblehead and a visit with my youngest brother and his family. We’ve loved getting to know their friends and love any chance to visit this charming town full of friends and family. So much so that I forgot to take any photos of the visit!

New Year’s Eve day we headed to Connecticut … a trip down memory lane for me at Shady Glen in Manchester and then a visit to the cemetery to check on the headstone for my parents. Then on to Westport to my college roommate’s new apartment … had to check on my “roomie” since we were so close!

What a wonderful trip! I am so grateful that my N loves my family as much as I do and that he’s willing to drive all the way to Maine and back so I can knit!

Gone knitting … Happy New Year!

Road Trip! Fun & Maybe Some Whiskey?

It could have been such an awkward experience and I probably wouldn’t have considered going on a day-long road trip with new friends (or mostly strangers) in my younger days. But I took a chance yesterday and went road tripping with eight of the women in my new Friday knitting group. All were knitters and some are bi-stitchual and they quilt, too. So, what better than heading out on the road to see what we can see?!

First stop was Rockland, Maine and Over the Rainbow Yarns.

First Stop Rockland

First Stop Rockland

A little bit of heaven in this little shop on School Street. Chock-a-block full of wonderful yarn from well-known national and international companies and a nice selection of Maine yarns, too. When I travel, it’s the  small local yarn companies that I look for as a souvenir of my travels. There were multiple yarns to choose from here … Darn Good Yarn, Swans Island Yarn, are the ones I can remember that they carried. I’m in love with the Swans Island Yarns. The next time we go there as a group, they said they’d bake us a cake if we let them know we’re coming! I could easily see going there to knit and visit with the DGY knitters! DGY has been open just over a year and I’d suggest you add it as a great stop on your Maine yarn tour!

Another fun stop in Rockland was Quilt Divas.

Stop Two!

Stop Two!

Quilt Divas has both yarn and fabrics (maybe mostly fabrics) but I found some Noro yarn on sale there which made me happy. And they have an amazing machine for quilting quilts that I enjoyed watching. I’m very tempted to take Helen’s (N’s mother’s) old Singer machine to be serviced and start learning how to sew so I can quilt – these girls make it sound so fun! I’d best be careful or I may have a new creative outlet that will want to share my time with knitting … uh oh!

Lunch!

Lunch!

Stop three was our picnic lunch along the way to the third shop in Camden. Route 1 from Rockland to Camden is a straight shot but we were told about a picnic area road-side (we missed it on the first pass) where the picnic table accommodated all nine of us and we shared a meal of sandwiches and laughter. And the sweet smell of wild roses in bloom. There was a beautiful bush of white wild roses that smelled so fragrant. Amazing Mother Nature! The rest area had a beautiful view of the ocean, too … you just had to find the spot to stand where you could look over the plants and bushes.

Back on the road again, to Camden we went. Isabel said several times that she loves Camden and I can understand why. It’s a bustling, thriving town and becomes quite touristy in the summer months. Lots of shops and restaurants and B&Bs to visit. And there’s an exquisite yarn shop called the Cashmere Goat on Bayview Street.

Stop Four!

Stop Four!

What I think I liked best about this shop was that it was such a cozy shop. It’s large, don’t get me wrong, and open and the wood floors were beautiful. They had a lovely selection of yarns and quite a few yarns that we’d not seen in the previous shops. Another amazing selection of the Swans Island yarns and even a couple of their amazing blankets on display. Swans Island is a little island off the coast of Maine that you get to by boat. The yarn company is all organic … a visit there is on my bucket list. But you can’t really get there and back in a day. Bummer. Anyway, back to the Cashmere Goat … it was very nice to visit and I could easily have spent my last penny buying some yarn there. I liked their samples in the shop and the two ladies working there were very friendly.

I have some history in Camden, too. My aunt and uncle had a summer home there. My cousin was married there. I went out there with my sweetie when we were teenagers and we were dating (the first time.) I probably could spend a day there wandering but I have to admit to liking it better during the “off-season” when it’s a bit more sparsely populated.

Needing a little sustenance (yes, we did have lunch), we stopped at Fresh, a bakery and restaurant just below the yarn shop for a bit of sugar. I had a pretty good carrot cake whoopie pie. We all had a bit of something sweet which we enjoyed outside before heading to our last shop. By now, one of the cars in our caravan was suspected of imbibing a bit of whiskey … surely they were having too much fun to be without alcohol? LOL. Maybe it was simply a sugar high. None-the-less, we did have fun!

Stop Five!

Stop Five!

Another of my favorite shops, Halcyon Yarn in Bath. I’ve posted about Halcyon before in my blog and I’d just been here less than a month ago (and when I spent a bit of money on some new yarns!) I love wandering in shops and touching yarns and this is a great place to do just that. While the ladies shopped, I wandered. I’d love to have a loom for weaving one day. I understand that setting up the loom is a bit challenging (or maybe boring), I think the process of weaving is probably very meditative as is knitting. They have a great selection of looms and wheels and the most wonderful wooden stools. Some more “tools” to think about and dream about … in my future atelier!

A last stop at Dairy Queen because ice cream was promised, after all and then we were on our way back home. Dropping off first Laura and then Linda at their respective homes and then back to my lake and my loves both two- and four-legged!

It was a wonderful day with my new friends from Friday knitting. I can’t wait to see them all again in a couple of days! I’ve always said that I haven’t met a knitter that I didn’t like. Today, as I sit here writing about our road trip day, I am even more sure that’s true. I’m so grateful for the women who have embraced me because we share a love of knitting and fiber arts. You know who you are. I feel so blessed to be a fiber artist and look forward to meeting those of you who I’ve not yet met! I’m sure that I’ll enjoy your company, too!

Gone knitting!