A Good Week

Just before dawn

Every once in a while my husband who is a “real” photographer takes a morning photo for me to post on Facebook. The daily photos have become a much appreciated habit and a welcome gift for my friends and family – particularly during the covid shutdown. We are so lucky to live in such a beautiful place and I feel driven to share it with the world. We were, for the most part, pretty happy to be locked up here.

This week the CDC announced that all vaccinated people can go out in public without masks. It’s what we’ve all been waiting for, right? Returning to normal. Yeah, well, I’m not sure how I feel about this seemingly quick change. I think it’s great to be able to spend time with other vaccinated people in small groups of friends without masks but I’m not sure I trust the rest of the population to do the right thing if they’re not vaccinated. I’ll likely be wearing a mask at work for the near future. I’ll feel better that way.

Lilac in bloom

I’ve also spent a few hours outside on the porch and in the gardens. We were talking one day recently wondering how people take care of their yards and homes as they get older. It’s a big job around here! I am grateful that we can do it now but what happens when we get older? It may just all got to hell. Meanwhile, our goal is to make everything easier to care for. Native plants that are good for the birds and bees, ground covers that aren’t invasive so that weeds aren’t as prevalent, etc. Another work in progress …

Meanwhile, I’ve been finishing up a few projects and I’ve been starting a few, too. Ha! Ha! I’ve finished over 33 items so far this calendar year. Most recently I finished slippers for my big brother (his beautiful bride will be felting them so they’ll fit him perfectly), Socks for a new baby boy and his big brother, and I’ve completely finished (well, I haven’t found perfect buttons yet) my Daytripper Cardigan. I’ve also been baking a bit. Apple Pie Scones are among our new favorites (and used the old apples in the refrigerator before they were rotten, banana nut muffins with blueberries use the old bananas. Waste not want not.

I have a new shawl, Gallbladder by Becky Sorensen, on the needles at the request of my younger daughter. I’m making the shawl in Emma’s Yarn Practically Perfect Sock in two colorways. A silvery gray called “Jackie O” and a darker gray speckle called “Stolen Dances”. This shawl is designed by a college friend and she said she’d love it for her birthday. I’m thrilled to make it for her.

Gallbladder for my daughter

Also new to the needles are socks for my husband’s birthday. I almost used this Manos Allegria yarn for my son’s birthday socks but I changed my mind. So, this week I cast on sock for my husband. This is my sixth pair of socks so far this year. I’m once again participating in the annual Sock Challenge and these are my June socks. Allegria is so soft on my hands. I’m sure they’ll be wonderful to wear! My new socks in progress are first below … the rest are after that.

I took two classes this weekend and I’m so happy that I did. Yesterday I took a mending class with Bristol Ivy and today I took a finishing class with Deborah Newton. Both were wonderful and I always learn something new and useful. This has been a blessing in the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown. To be able to take classes for a reasonable price with internationally known teachers is marvelous! I’m grateful to have been able to “indulge” in several classes over the past year. I’m grateful to still be learning.

My classes on Friday at Yardgoods Center in Waterville, Maine have started up in person again as of May. It’s so wonderful to gather together again. Zoom is a good situation when you absolutely can’t safely gather but it’s far better to be together in person. Friday is, again, my favorite day!

Gone knitting.

Make Do and Mend

The Christmas Stocking

The Christmas Stocking

The love of my life loves his Christmas stocking. We aren’t sure WHO made it for him but he thinks it may have been his mother who was a knitter. Last year, or maybe the year before that if truth be told, I noticed that the wool was beginning to wear in a couple of places. When I filled it, a hole was born. Actually, two holes were born.

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Hole #1

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Hole #2

 

 

 

 

 

 

What’s a girl to do!?

I offered to make another stocking and he didn’t want a new one. I actually think that this would have been the easiest choice. But he loves his stocking. So, I took it to my local yarn shop here in Maine and found yarns that would match as closely as possible the original colors (50+ years later.)

As Close as Possible (all these years later!)

As Close as Possible (all these years later!)

I’ve not done a lot of mending but I was determined to finish mending it before Santa had to fill it this year on Christmas Eve. It took me the better part of an afternoon sitting in my chair and quite a few starts and stops but I managed to repair the holes and am really pleased with the results!

For the bigger hole, I picked up stitches below the hole and knitted a rectangular patch which I then grafted to the top and seamed into the sides. The green is a bit different but in the next 50 years, it’ll blend better!

No More Hole #1

No More Hole #1

Hole #2 was a little bit easier but also more difficult … the hole was smaller but the problem was more difficult. But I wove my doubled DK yarn in and out and around and I think it looks fairly well. Not perfect but not bad for a first mending effort!

No More Hole #2

No More Hole #2

The stocking had a ribbon tied in a knot that had been poked between the ribbing at the top of the cuff. I made a new hanger for the stocking, too … that was Ned’s favorite part. Go figure! But I’m glad he was happy to have his stocking on Christmas morning and not be afraid to handle it. Especially when it was full of stuff … wish I had taken a picture of the stuffed stocking!

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New Hanging Braid

I braided the three colors and still poked it through the ribbing but my hanger is at the seam at the back of the stocking. This is a much stronger place to have stress placed on the fabric. I hope it will last us fifty years or more!

Gone knitting!