It’s a Wonderful Life!

The View From Our Woodshed

The View From Our Woodshed

By now I hope you’ve realized (because I hope I’ve told you) that we’ve moved from Florida to Maine. We have torn down our beloved “camp” here to make way for a new house that honors the history and the old house but will afford us the luxury of living here full time … with heat!

When we arrived here in late April, I went to my regular Wednesday night knitting group and was asked to fill in while two of the “girls” who work there were off babysitting for their new grandchildren in June and July. So, I’ve been working 2 or 3 days a week at my LYS, the Yardgoods Center in Waterville.

The Pattern

The Pattern

I’ve been knitting there for eight summers and now that I’m a local, I’m working there. And I’ve been having a blast! “Like” Yardgoods- Yarns on Facebook and you’ll see why! Better yet, plan a visit to Maine, stay in the area and come visit me at work. We’re having a wonderful July Yarn Sale (until August 22) and all regular-price hand-knitting yarn is 20% off. I came home Friday with a full bag and a couple of balls of yarn for a Christmas gift for my nieces. More on that later.

 

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N, the boyfriend, proposed to me a few weeks ago and then, because his daughter insisted, he went to Walmart to buy me a ring. My real ring is being made in Portland and won’t be ready to wear until mid-August so this one is an adorable fill-in for the time being. And the sentiment is adorable. We are not even thinking about a wedding until our house is finished and we’re all moved in. We hope to be all moved in before the first snow!

I’ve been sewing with my buddy, Beverly, and have taken a quilting class in Bangor that was really fun. It was a flag throw quilt that I had hoped to complete before July 4th. Seeing as today is July 5th, I’ve failed miserably but I will be taking my machine out today to repair two head-lights for N and I’ll get some sewing in, too. I also am making a Christmas quilt which I’d love to have done before this Christmas. I’m told it’s a quick project. I guess I’m not spending “enough” time focused on sewing … but I have to make some progress before my wallet class on July 18 and then a beginning quilting series of classes in November.

I have plans to be at a class in Maine in November!!! We get to live here!!!

Driftwood Sweater … the green's a sleeve

Driftwood Sweater … the green’s a sleeve

I have been knitting, too. Lots of projects on the needles and not too much progress on any one project. But it’s all good … my Driftwood sweater is getting closer and closer. This yarn has been in my stash for years and I’m finally making a sweater that I think I’ll like. I’m knitting away on it in the oddest order. Shoulders, body, sleeve 1 to the cuff, body … you get my drift? I am a bit worried that I won’t have enough yarn to complete the sweater so I’m spit-joining the yarn so I can use every inch.

I bought a skein of Reggia Arne & Carlos sock yarn and I’ve cast on and completed most of the first sock’s cuff. I love that the self-patterning yarn that makes me look like a competent fair isle knitter when I’m not really. One more pair to add to my sock drawer.

IMG_4915I have a Shadow Shawl in process with some beautiful Manos del Uruguay Serena. Super simple pattern and wonderfully soft yarn. I will get a lot of wear out of this shawl up here in the fall. I originally started this shawl with the other colorway as the primary color and there was a time or two when I couldn’t count to four … so I frogged it and started again and changed my colorway order so that the “plainer” colorway was the primary color. I like it in its second iteration better and the ridge in the pattern stands out and the colors of the second (CC) colorway are sitting back and will get the attention when the shawl is finished and blocked.

I have a cowl/infinity cowl on the needles, too. This will be my older daughter’s Christmas gift. I’m using a really pretty green alpaca yarn and a seed stitch pattern with a cable along one edge. Since I have to knit about 60 inches of this, I got bored and haven’t looked at it this week. I have about 52 inches to go before joining the ends … I will get there.

One little bootie … for one little niece

One little bootie … for one little niece

Yesterday I cast on a new project just for giggles. Little bootie socks for my baby niece. I’ll plan to take them with me on my trip out to California in early August. I’m planning a bigger pair for the big sister, too. They knit up in about an hour or two, maybe, and they’re super cute. Just perfect for chilly Lake Tahoe mornings. I also bought two book panels to bring with me … they’re another sewing project … one with no words so the big sister can read to her little sister. I hope they’ll love them.

I started (again) a square that is part of the Great American Aran Afghan pattern. I love Aran knitting and I really REALLY want to make this afghan. I’ve had 24 balls of ivory wool in my stash for several years and it’s time to start making progress. The only problem is that I really need to be alone in a quiet room in order to be able to concentrate on the pattern … and while we’re living in 300 square feet of cabin, that’s not happening too often. So, I’m going to call this my long-term project and not put any pressure on myself.

I have finished two pairs of socks, and a Loopy Mango throw since I’ve been here. And a pair of peds, and slipper socks. Gee, in retrospect, that’s not very much. I must be having too much fun with life in general … see what I mean about the title of this post?

Gone knitting (or sewing)!

 

EEEEeeeee! (Yes, I’m excited!)

On New Year’s Day I got a phone call from my first-born. In a somewhat hurried but muffled voice, she said she was in a fancy restaurant and probably shouldn’t be on the phone but “Spencer just proposed” and she didn’t want me to “hear” about it on Facebook (because her friends can’t keep a secret). Wow! My “baby” is engaged. That means I’m going to have a kid who’s married! Thank God, she wants to be engaged for awhile so I can get used to the idea.

On the other hand, she’s so totally happy, I’m so excited for her.

IMG_1041In 1980 when I got married, I wore my mother’s wedding dress. Somewhere I have a formal photo of mom wearing the dress in 1957 and another of me wearing it in 1980 – but having moved a few times, I’m not sure where they are … and for obvious reasons, hanging one in my house now is out of the question. Anyway …

Kate is interested in wearing the dress when she gets married and I thought it was a good time to open the box and see how the dress had fared since 1980. With several moves and a couple of “floods” in homes along the way, who knew what condition I’d find it in.

But it’s still perfect.

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The veil is, too!

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I’d even forgotten that it’s ivory colored and that the Alencon lace is so beautiful. When I wore the dress in October I wanted to have long sleeves and a long veil. The lady who altered the dress did a beautiful job of matching the lace for the sleeves and the veil to the lace that was already on the bodice of the dress (from nearly 25 years before!) And looking at the dress, I am amazed and awed that I had such a tiny waistline! Ah, what three babies and some stress and age will do to the waist!

The extra bonus to this whole adventure was finding this on the box …

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In my mother’s handwriting, a piece of family history that so touched my heart. I wish she was here to share this happy event with us. My mother so loved her grandchildren and would be so proud and happy to see them today as the wonderful young adults that they’ve become. I am hoping that Kate will decide to wear the dress, will change it to make it feel like it’s really a reflection of her style and personality and that we can add another date to the box.

I’ll be carrying this precious box full of family history up to New York City when we go to meet Spencer’s family, to oooh! and ahhh! over Kate’s ring and to see her star in Rock of Ages on Broadway. Several proud mom moments all wrapped into one weekend. Lots of emotional moments to cherish and an opportunity to have all three of my children in one place even if only for a couple of days.

Exciting, terrifying, amazing …

Gone knitting!