Just in Time

We have been having some cool mornings here. I love it! So nice to be able to wear a soft, warm handknit. I really want to have lots of different hand made things to wear. I have been sewing more clothes too. I don’t have many hand knits so this summer I was a knitting fool! I finished two sweaters and a shawlette. I have two more sweaters planned.

IMAG01698

I am not a fast knitter by any stretch. One sweater was knit in worsted weight. It knit up fairly fast. The other sweater took longer as it was fingering weight. Both sweaters were top down and no sewing on the sleeves. The sleeves were 3/4 length. One sweater was just knit or purl and the other had a very challenging pattern to it.  They were fun to make. I now have three sweaters made by me!

IMAG01684

I knit a shawlette for a wedding I am going to. I will wear it over a black dress.

IMAG01693

Not a great picture but it shows the lace. I had some trouble with this pattern at the start but found my groove. I really love it.

What are you knitting up these days?

 

 

 

Advertisements

The Summer of Itch

IMAG01509

InstagramCapture_7579ad1e-6562-4f1c-92ec-8db685ac7268

IMAG01514

IMAG01503

IMAG01543

It isn’t a secret that I am not a fan of summer. I tolerate it. This summer has actually temperature wise been amazing. Here in Maine we have not really had the hot and humid days that we often get. It has been quite mild. It could have been a glorious summer.

Instead it has been a very itchy and uncomfortable one. It all started in May. A Tent caterpillar got into my jeans. I ended up with a very itchy rash on my right leg, my rear end, waist and both arms (from pulling the legs inside out to check inside my pants). Anywhere the caterpillar went inside my jeans I ended up itchy. That lasted about a week. I managed it with Benadryl and itch cream.

Then at the end of July I got bit by a tick. I didn’t know it though. While camping I discovered a big bulls eye rash on my hip. Okay, so I have Lyme. Two blood tests showed I had it but caught it early. Good! The day I took my antibiotic I started itching all over my legs, one arm, my neck and face. I figured I had hives. I talked to the doctor and she figured it was hives. So then I got Prednisone and a different antibiotic. The itching did not stop. It was terrible. I took myself off the antibiotic until I could see the doctor. Coincidentally, the doctor said I had Poison Ivy. I have never had it in my life. The doctor said because it was my first time I got it bad. He also said because of the antibiotic my T cells and white blood cells had gone into overdrive.

So I started back up on the antibiotic and proceeded to start itching in different places. My back, stomach, breasts, even my scalp. Not an allergic reaction but certainly a consequence of the antibiotic. It wasn’t hives and it was not as itchy as the Poison Ivy so I have been putting up with it.

But I’m not done. Wouldn’t you know it but I started itching a tad bit down there. You know, in my private areas. I had been taking a Probiotic along with the antibiotic the whole time. I had been trying to rest and eat right. So I figured in my denial, that I would not get a yeast infection as well. The itching was mild. I ignored it. I had called the doctor so much that I really didn’t want to again. So about a week into the mild itching I decided to buy some cream. It worked and I was happy. Then while camping the cream started to not work. So again, instead of calling the doctor I went to the drugstore and bought some over the counter anti fungus cream and suppository. Sorry this is so graphic. Well, it didn’t work. I was so itchy, and swollen and uncomfortable that I finally did call the doctor. They must have heard the panic in my voice because for the first time they called me back very quickly and said there was a prescription called in for a pill. (Yes another one) and that that should take care of it. It may take a few days but it should help. Well we are almost 24 hours in and it is a bit better.

I am so, so, tired to itching. I decided to not show pictures of all my rashes and itchiness. Instead I am showing happy pictures of my garden, a dress I am working on, a shawlette I am knitting, and a lovely, beautiful picture of some red leaves I found while camping. I cannot wait for fall. For a freeze actually. Freeze all the bugs and ticks and itchy things for this season. I have had enough!

August First!

For the first time in a long while, if not ever, the summer is going by too fast. It is August first. Already! Slow down please. Maybe it is us. Maybe we are going too fast. Not having enough time spent just sitting. Just being home. It just isn’t that kind of summer I guess. We have been on the move quite a bit.

IMAG01472

 

InstagramCapture_8873c0d3-4877-48f1-b7d1-3c009009d4ad

IMAG01469

IMAG01482

IMAG01480

IMAG01479

IMAG01462

IMAG01460

We went to visit Dean’s sister that was staying in Maine. She rented a log cabin on a high hill and it had the most beautiful views. We just returned home yesterday from a three day camping trip to the coast. We biked some trails in Portland and visited with two of our sons. We had lobster! We celebrated our 27th year being married too!

We have had our share of home days but they just seem to be busy this year. The girls have been working for friends and neighbors to earn money for the school program they want to attend. It is pretty pricey, at least for us it is. They are very good workers and they are getting a nice amount saved up.

My redone flower garden is looking good. Makes all the heartache and work worth it. The vegetable garden is coming along as well. It was a late start to warmth this year in Maine and the garden is a little behind but doing okay.

We did have a hot spell or two and we stayed inside with the shades drawn. I was cleaned out and organized all my seeds. I had seed packets from five years ago! This week I need to go plant some fall veggies. Beets, carrots and kale. Spinach too but not for a few more weeks. It bolts so fast in this weather. So far my broccoli is doing okay this year but I have decided to not plant it again. I have been trying for years and really it isn’t worth all the time and money for netting, soap for the flea beetles, and all the extra time it takes to care for it. I can’t plant enough for storage in the freezer and it takes up valuable space that I could grow things I can store. Like beets or cabbage. So next year no broccoli. I can get it at the farmers market.

The blueberries and raspberries are really coming now. And just yesterday my daughter showed me some blackberries that are ripening. It is a great time of year for berries.

The girls have been working on crocheting. Sometimes we do a lesson together using YouTube lessons. But a lot of times they just sit and do their own thing. It is fun. I finished a hat for a baby shower gift. I still need to knit up the booties. I want to do a sweater but I am running out of time. We’ll see.

Hope you are enjoying your summer!

 

 

Daytrippers

IMAG01388

IMAG01402

IMAG01407

IMAG01433

IMAG01419

IMAG01383

IMAG01441

IMAG01442

At this point in time I can honestly say this has been the best summer weather wise that I can ever remember. We have had a nice mixture of sun, rain, a little heat, and nice cool breezy nights. Perfection. This morning I read that we are going to get some hazy, hot, and humid weather this week. I will try and remember that the summer has been glorious so far.

We biked on Swan Island here in Maine. It was beautiful and quiet. We took a ferry out to it with our bikes and a picnic. The total distance was 9 miles. I felt it towards the end. I was very glad I did it though. Endorphins were coursing through my body! The girls did a good job too. We did rest along the way and took in the sites. At the tip of the island we had a picnic. It overlooked the river. Another day we took a trip to Sebago Lake. We have not camped yet this year. We are daytrippers!

We picked strawberries twice and froze a bunch. I also made 11 pints of strawberry jam! I gave a few away but most will go in the pantry. I also cut and froze some garlic scapes. The garden is starting to produce. We have eaten lots of lettuce, and snow peas. I see a little head of broccoli in there and some tiny squash. I even have a pepper and the tomatoes are getting bigger too. Slow start to gardening this year but it is coming along. This week I need to plant some fall beets, and maybe some more greens. Probably after this week of heat.

I finally got around to seasoning my new wok. We had a colorful stir fry the other day. I cooked it on the side burner outside. I have electric stove tops inside and I thought the gas would be better with the wok. The veggies kept their color and were still a little crisp just the way I like them.

I moved a little table we had outside to the back deck. Not sure why I never thought to do it before. It is perfect for a cup of tea and my knitting or my notebook for planning. I have been spending mornings out there listening to the birds and watching the sun get higher in the sky. I can keep an eye on the deer that are trying to eat my raspberries too. I am working on a sock as you can see. I used double points for the very top and for the heel and gusset and am trying out a size 9 circular for the leg and foot. So far so good.

I hope you are having a lovely summer wherever you are!

Just Time

We didn’t do any big celebration for Summer Solstice this year. It was in the middle of the week. Dad had to work the next day. It has been really wet. Too wet to try and light a fire. It is fine though, we have lots of things planned for the summer. We also have lots of un-planned time as well. I think that is what summer is for! Each girl has a week of camp. We ‘sort’ of have a camping trip planned for some time this summer in the eastern part of the state.  There will be a 4th of July party. I have a loose plan to take the girls to an island, on a ferry, with bikes. We have plans to visit all the boys at some point too. But for the most part it will be a free, uncluttered calendar, kind of summer. I am very happy about that.

imag01287.jpg

There has been time. Just that. Time. In this first full week without lessons, or plans, or driving, there has been time for sitting, knitting, baking, and playing. It is amazing to watch how the girls transform back into their playful, relaxed, and thoughtful selves. I sometimes wonder if it would be boring to always have so much time. It wouldn’t for me but I wonder about the girls. For now though I know they are enjoying all this unstructured time.

I made myself an apron. With a friend, we each made one. It is a wrap around apron and I absolutely love it. It is so comfortable. It has two deep pockets. I can easily wear it all day if I needed to. No ties around the waist. I can’t say enough about it. I made the first pie of the season. Yes, the season, in my opinion, starts now. It is now that all the fresh fruits start to ripen. This pie is a Strawberry-Rhubarb. Both in season right now. My daughter decorated the pie for Father’s day. We both talked about doing a year of pies. This being the first we wondered what July would be. Blueberry? We are working on what each pie would be. Twelve Pies! Can you imagine? Stay tuned.

imag01324.jpg

IMAG01306

There was an afternoon when we sat outside being silly. My daughter taught my how to take a selfie. It isn’t as easy as you would think. It must come naturally for her at her young age of thirteen. After too many shots to count we did get one, maybe two, that were acceptable. Not great, but acceptable. Yes, I am still wearing the apron.

IMAG01314

imag01275.jpg

The moths are stuck to the screens in the morning. That is always fun to play with them and identify them. I have started the sleeves on my angora sweater. It has a Moorish Lattice on the yoke. This sweater is the softest thing. I wish you could feel it. I tried to do the sleeves two at a time with a magic loop. I learned the technique and felt comfortable with it but my yarn is so fine and stretchy that where the loops were being pulled the sweater was getting stretched and holey. So I switched to a 16 inch circular and it looks much better. I am glad I learned magic loop though!

Today it is rainy. The girls are playing with a castle that one of them made out of foam board. She made it in two days. It is huge. This is what passing the time is all about. I am looking forward to more of it.

I hope you are enjoying your summer so far.

 

 

Slowing Down

The pace of our days seem to be slowing down. It is a natural thing I suppose to slow down this time of year. I am not visiting my garden as often these days. Yes there are things out there still growing but it is a slow growth. The sun is lower in the sky and doesn’t penetrate through all the leaves that are still on the trees. It rises later and sets sooner. Once the leaves are gone the sun will be brighter here but by then the frost would have done its job. I will get out to the garden and put the hoops out soon, but not yet. The chickens are gone so that chore has been eliminated. The wood is all stacked. There are a few leaves starting to change and redden nicely. We have had a few little fires here to warm it up from a morning chill. So cozy, I couldn’t resist.

imag00556

The girls are reading more.  We have spent nice days out on a blanket coloring our maps.  I am knitting more and finding lots of time at night to sew while the rest of the house listens to the Red Sox. I made a soup. Roasted a chicken. There is just a nice, slow, cozy feel to things right now. I hope it lasts a long while.

img_1338

img_1367

I am hoping you are finding some time to slow down and get cozy as well!

 

 

A Hat for Me

I made a hat for myself. I don’t usually wear hats. My hair type is not really good for hats. I found a pattern specifically for curly, unruly hair. It is called ‘Bad Hair Day’ and I found it on Ravelry. I love how it came out. I cannot guarantee my hair will still look good after wearing it but I do like it and will probably wear it when I really need a hat.

imag00593

I used some yarn from Yarnia website. I was able to choose the colors and types of yarn. I love the colors.

imag00573

I am not very good at taking selfie’s. No, not good at all. I should have asked someone else to take the picture.  In this picture I have my hair down.

imag00587

And this one I stuffed my hair up inside the hat. I like both looks. I have quite a lot of yarn left over so I am thinking about making some fingerless gloves. Then I would match!

Happy Knitting

 

Yes and No

As with all things we do there are projects that we love and when we finish we say ‘Yes!’ and then there are those that we look at and try really hard to say yes but in the end deep down we know it is a big ‘No!’. Recently I finished two projects. We were travelling to Canada as a family and I didn’t have to drive at all. So there was lots and lots of knitting time!

The first finish is a Yes. These furry little things are made from 100% angora yarn. I love squishing them. They are for my son’s friend. This will be her first baby. I don’t have any grandchildren yet and I was so excited to be able to knit up these booties. I may knit a hat too.

IMG_1216

The project that I am rejecting is a shawl that I have been working on for a couple of months. I don’t like the size, it is just too small. I even used a bigger needle than they called for. I also don’t like how the lace looks. Maybe it is the texture of the yarn but the lace hardly shows up. Maybe blocking would change that but I don’t think blocking will change the size that much. It barely curls around my shoulders. I want a shawl that will warm me on those cold winter nights.

IMG_1217

IMG_1218

I don’t know yet what I will use the yarn for. Maybe a nice hat for all this curly hair. I don’t normally wear hats because of my hair but I do want to wear a hat in the winter. I guess I will have to look for a hat pattern that is just for wild out of control hair.

Happy Knitting!

 

Starting a Shawl

I have started a new project! An interesting one after all those socks! I enjoy sock knitting but love to have something that is a bit of a challenge that keeps me on my toes. I found a pattern on Ravelry called Curlew Shawl by Verily Knits. I love how it is coming along. I talked about the yarn here.

IMG_0925

I am reading ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ right now by Elizabeth Gilbert. I like it. I read some of the reviews and most were not great but so far I am enjoying her adventures. Yes she is a bit self absorbed and has an air of entitlement but sometimes I think we need to be that way when we are struggling through something. No, in the big scheme of things her struggles are not earth shattering, but for her, when she wrote them they were. It is sometimes difficult to understand how someone that seems like they have everything going for them or that they don’t have any ‘real’ problems could be depressed or lonely but it happens. My sister battles severe depression on and off and it really is disabling for her. When you hear about some of the horrible things that are going on in the world it is hard to believe that people who are safe, have their basic needs taken care and have loved ones who care could possibly be down in the dumps but it happens.  Intellectually they know that there are people out there that are having a much worse time of it, but it doesn’t change the way they are feeling.

I am joining Ginny today for the Yarn-along. I can’t wait to see what everyone is reading and knitting!

 

2 + 1 = 1 1/2

When it comes to socks my math is correct. Two socks, plus one sock equals one and a half (pairs of) socks! I cannot believe it but I have not knit or sewn much for the last month until just recently. The vegetable garden is in, the flower garden weeded, thinned and mulched and I have been spending my evenings at softball games. You would think that softball games would be good for knitting. I did knit some, but really my girls want to know I am paying attention to the game so I didn’t get much done.

Recently I did finish a pair of blue and white striped socks for my daughter. She loves them. They are short and perfect for wearing with sneakers. They are light and cool for the summer.

IMG_0875

I tried really hard to get the striping exact but alas I was a bit off. They still look like a matched set though.

IMG_0874

Not sure if you remember me writing about how I wanted to try out the 9″ circular #2’s in Something New for Socks . I did knit up a whole sock with them. I will knit the other one on the small circular but probably will not ever use it for socks again. My hand didn’t cramp up and it wasn’t exactly awkward but it was incredibly boring. I think that using the four needles and continually finishing one and starting on another in the round keeps my interest more. Maybe the Magic Loop would keep my attention on circulars. For now though I will stick to my sticks!  😉

IMG_0914

I need some suggestions for a couple of new projects. Maybe you could help me.

IMG_0915

I went to a fiber festival this past weekend and I bought two skeins of this beautiful Angora yarn. I would love to make a hat for myself. I never wear hats though because of my wild curly hair. I do want to wear a hat though. Do you know of a hat pattern that would be good for curly hair? The yarn is a 70% angora and 30% merino.

Then I went online and bought a cone of this pretty pink and white yarn at a shop called Yarnia. I created it myself requesting the four different fibers. I picked Pink Alpaca, Pink Wool, White Cashmere, and White Silk. I want to make a nice shawl for myself with it. Again, do you have any pattern suggestions for 300 yards of yarn?

IMG_0916

Hope everyone is having a wonderful Spring. Happy knitting!