Rough Life

My View From the Porch

My View From the Porch

I have a rough life.

Today is my “day off” and I am still sitting in my pajamas on the front porch of our little cabin with my Driftwood sweater in my lap listening to a knitting podcast and listening to the work on our new house progress. Two families of Canada Geese just swam … paddled? … by on the lake. The hummingbirds are coming and going from the feeder.

It’s an absolutely glorious day. There’s a breeze blowing and the sun is shining. Everything here is green now and the day lilies that are so plentiful in our yard are budding. Forget-me-nots and Indian Paintbrush and Daisies are all popping up because the yard is so full of construction materials and rocks and cut wood we can’t really mow the grass. The wildflowers are an extra bonus.

I have a long list of things to do today starting with making the bed and getting dressed. I’ve had a cup of coffee and eaten my yogurt with what’s left of my home-made granola (you can add just the right amount of yogurt to the greek yogurt container and no bowls to wash) and I am due for another cup of coffee before I get moving. (IF I get moving.)

Children's Mukluk Slippers

Children’s Mukluk Slippers for Laine

I’ve gotten several projects finished and have started at least one new one. Finished are my sweet Knitting Pure and Simple’s Muckluck Slipper Socks for my adorable little former student who I got so attached to. I hope she loves them and remembers me when she wears them. I want to make a pair for me because they looks so warm and toasty.

Peds for Megan

Peds for Megan

 

 

 

 

I think I already told you that I finished (and mailed) some ankle socks (peds?) to my sweet mentee for her birthday gift. She loves pink and she loves zebra print and these are a perfect blend of both. I hope they fit – I had to guess since she’s so far away. But the good news from her is that she is living with her new forever family and her adoption should be final in August. This is what I’ve been praying for for her and I am beyond thrilled. She has three sisters and parents who love her and are willing to make the commitment to her forever. I can’t wait to meet the rest of her family and hope they’ll be coming up for a visit next summer! I have another ball of yarn to make another pair of socks providing they fit. Or I’ll make them differently so they do fit! I used as a base, Susan B. Anderson’s How I Make My Socks pattern from her website. I knit only 9 rounds of ribbing and then proceeded to the heel. Next time I might choose to knit 3 or 4 rounds of ribbing to make them even shorter.

New to the needles is my shawl that’s being knitted in Manos’ Serena yarn in two colorways. I picked two similarly toned yarns one with a gray, green colorway called Horizon (9791) and the other with the same green and pinks and corals called Wildflowers (8931). These colors are all soft and pastel-shades. I chose them because they were different than all the other shawls that I have. The pattern is a free pattern that came with the yarn, Shadow Shawl. It’s a very (VERY!) simple two-row striped shawl with yarn overs at the edge and down the center of the triangle. I must admit that I have frogged it once because I realized that I had made some counting mistakes early on and had one spot where there was no “division” for several rows more than was written in the pattern and another spot where I made the same mistake but not for as long. I considered leaving it as a “design element” but decided I was not going to be happy with it. So, I’ve started again and will pay more attention to counting to FOUR!

I am making great progress on my Driftwood sweater and am praying while knitting that I have enough yarn to finish the whole sweater and make long sleeves. I’ve chosen to forgo the stripes as written in the pattern and am making it more color-blocks. I’ve had this beautiful wool from Seacolors Yarn (Washington, Maine) for several years and it’s actually been a sweater and frogged once. I’ve reached the point where the sweater is joined and will keep plugging on the body until I have very little of the orangey-coraly yarn left (I want some for the tops of the sleeves) and then I will change to the dappled greeny-yellowy yarn for the rest of the body and one sleeve. I also have a lovely shade of medium blue that will be another sleeve and the collar and button band. I am eager to see it finished. I hope that it fits!

So, there you have it. I am also working on two quilts and working in my wonderful yarn shop, Yardgoods Center, in Waterville, Maine. I work on Tuesday and Thursday and some Fridays, too. Business has been a bit slow but I absolutely love it. Yardgoods Center is a family-owned business that has been around for almost 66 years! Come visit me and I’ll help you spend your money … or give you some help with a knitting project!

Gone knitting.

 

I’m Not Ignoring You!

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Lilies of the Valley

I don’t want you to think that I’ve been ignoring you. I just can’t believe how busy my life has been since we’ve moved to Maine.

Mother Nature has been working double overtime to make everything around us green and blooming. The pollen has been like snow at times but it is beautiful when the wild flowers start to bloom in the woods. I saw some lilies of the valley on my walk a few days ago and our yellow iris down by the rocks at the edge of the lake are blooming profusely.

We have been to bed early and up early and have seen some beautiful sunrises. We are reminded with each one how lucky we are to live in such a beautiful place. Even when it’s really, really early! IMG_4783

IMG_4798All three dogs are adjusting to living in the little guest cabin and to the noise that is our home-building destruction and construction life. Little Boq has had some wicked hot spots but we seem to have them under control again. The little dogs have been to a new groomer and will feel so much better now that they’re groomed and bathed.

I have been knitting a little. I’ve managed to finish the little pink zebra footie socks for my mentee in South Florida. She is turning 14! Yikes. I am hoping they fit and I have another whole ball of the same yarn to make one more pair to her specifications. She loves pink and zebra stripes, I thought the yarn was perfect!

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Pink Zebra Low Socks

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Two Dishcloths … one good, one not so good

I have also finished a couple of dish towels for my daughter. She sent me the yarn and I knitted her some cloths. One, I love. It’s Grandmother’s Favorite and it’s an easy knit and I love the way it came out. The second one was supposed to be a paw print. Ya know … I’ve knitted many paw prints before and must have used a different pattern. This one I do NOT like. It’s huge and not a good image of a paw print. I’m sending it anyway because she can use it for her dog’s muddy feet or something. But it will go with a note of explanation. (I wasn’t going to frog it after it was done but I’m not happy with it.)

I have chosen the third pattern for my Seacolors Yarn sweater and I think I am going to like this one much better. The pattern I am knitting is called Driftwood by Isabell Kraemer. I will not be making stripes but rather blocks of color. I’ve started with the peachy-orange shade and then will change to the green for the bottom of the body. I’ll see what I have left over for the sleeves. I’ll use the blue yarn for the edging and probably most of one of the sleeves. I’ll keep you posted!

I wore my cotton tunic to work yesterday. I love the color and the cotton yarn is perfect over a t-shirt or blouse. BUT I have always thought the straps were a bit too long. So, this morning I’m pulling the straps apart and shortening them. I would like to be able to wear it without  a shirt under it if I want … when I’m done, I’ll be able to. I got quite a few compliments on it and that always feels good!

I feel so blessed and grateful to be able to live here on our beautiful lake in Maine. It’s really a dream come true. The love of my life and I are building our home and all is right with the world.

Gone knitting.

New On the Needles

Worsted Boxy

Worsted Boxy

I started my Worsted Boxy by Joji Locatelli on Sunday when we were driving to visit my nephew in Massachusetts. I’ve had this beautiful Seacolors yarn (in three colorways) for two years. It was knitted into a free pattern for a cardigan that came with the yarn but I really didn’t like the way the sleeves fit (or didn’t fit) into the body of the sweater. You get what you pay for, after all. Anyway, I frogged the cardigan and have waited all this time to knit something new. I loved the Boxy sweater and, lo and behold, there is now a worsted-weight Boxy on Ravelry. We’ll see how it goes.

A Gift in the Mail

A Gift in the Mail

At long last, the yarn that my daughter sent from Chicago to Florida AGES ago, has been forwarded to me and has arrived in Maine. It was postmarked in mid-April, for heaven’s sake! I’ve promised her that I’ll make her some dishcloths or washcloths with it … and I’ve cast on for the first one which will be Grandmother’s Favorite which is free on Ravelry and a very simple, quick knit. What I like about this pattern is that it’s not fussy and it holds up to abuse.

I’ve still got two sweaters to knit – one a tunic/dress and another that I haven’t figured out what pattern to use (yet!) I’m still working on using up some of the stashed yarn that I’ve collected over the years. I will be pulling out the yarn and starting on the afghan squares as soon as the dishcloths are finished.

Gone knitting!

Making the Big Decisions

Last summer I bought the most beautiful yarn at the Maine Fiber Frolic.

Seacolors Yarn

Seacolors Yarn

 

And I also got a “free” pattern with the sweater. I really liked the idea of the boxy cardigan with this yarn using a random pattern with the three colors. Different sleeves. Not too matchy-matchy.

Over the summer and fall, I got all the pieces knitted and was ready to put them together. The shoulders and sleeves, though, didn’t fit. They were at least two inches off (the sleeves were too small for the space that they were supposed to fit into). Well, what to do?

I mulled it over and decided that I had to re-knit the sleeves. Frog them and re-knit them with more increases so that they’d fit into the space … and then as I prepared to frog the sleeves and re-knit them, I noticed that I had (for some unknown reason) joined two balls of yarn in the middle of the back right about exactly where it would be most noticeable. What was I thinking? So, I decided to frog the back to the join and re-knit that, too. And then when I got that far down and was ready to rejoin the yarn, I noticed that I did it not once, but twice and there was another join just about two inches below the first one.

A second join in the middle of the back ... what was I thinking?

A second join in the middle of the back … what was I thinking?

 

That did it. I frogged the whole sweater. It went from this …

All the pieces were finished and blocked

All the pieces were finished and blocked …

To this … in just a few minutes!IMG_1420

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oh well, that’s one of the most wonderful things about knitting … you can start anything over if it isn’t pleasing you. This one wasn’t pleasing me at all. But I do love the yarn!

And if anyone is wondering why we may be allergic to wool? Well, check out what was left on my desk after I frogged and re-wound the wool!

Wool dust ... ahhhhh - choo!

Wool dust … ahhhhh – choo!

 

Gone knitting!

Yarn Transported … back to Florida

It’s difficult for me to believe that our time in Maine is over. That went by so quickly (once again!) I brought a big bag of yarn and patterns up to Maine and challenged myself to buy no yarn before I knitted up all that I carried up.

Well, I failed. I bought a bit of yarn again this summer and have carried it back to Florida with me. In fact, I spent the last part of the day today winding my new purchases from the earliest part of the summer. I did leave my yarn swift and ball winder in Florida and wasn’t able to ball the yarn … until today. And it’s so pretty!

Sea Colors Yarns in three colors for a sweater

Super Stash Addition … Marden’s
For under $40!

I also added my new Marden’s purchases to the stash list on my Ravelry page and have done some preliminary research into patterns for that yarn. I am thinking that I will have to be making hats and mittens and fingerless gloves for my shop. Some of the new yarns are really pretty … well, in fact, all of them are! That’s why I bought it!

Gone knitting