sad news

Yesterday, Slates Restaurant in Hallowell, Maine burned. Stories and photos at Kennebec Journal and Hallowell Board of Trade. THANKFULLY all 150 patrons seated for Sunday brunch, staff (there are about 70 but they weren’t all there), and residents of 5 upstairs apartments and their pets are all safe. Be sure to check out the video link at the restaurant web page to see what a gem has been lost. What the video doesn’t show is the incredible murals on the walls of the bar and the bathrooms. This was really the best kind of place, a business owned by one person for nearly 30 years, with employees and customers that have been along for the whole time. It is across the street from LYS that my friend Libby owns and where I used to work. Libby called yesterday, “do you know what’s going on down here?”, the only newsworthy thing I could think of is that the river was flooding, but this didn’t make sense since that’s an April event not one of February. The tv news footage showed flames leaping from windows. This morning I stopped down to get the paper at Boynton’s and to see what was left.

it is still smoking! Slates Bakery (on the right) is unharmed, LYS directly across from the bakery

from the back

Today they discovered that the fire started in the ceiling of the restaurant. I think that whole end of the building is supposed to be demolished. You can see in the photos where the excavator ripped off part of the roof yesterday. Libby told me that the fire fighters and trucks all arrived quickly, and I should hope that they did, because Hallowell’s Fire Department is directly behind the restaurant, across the parking lot. It’s a volunteer department, but they got there quickly, as well as those from neighboring towns and Augusta. What the papers don’t say, and what Libby said, is that they lost some time looking for a fire hydrant!!! I am still unclear if this is because they weren’t dug out from snow (they usually are dug out pretty quickly around here) or if it is because they didn’t know where they were located. The river is an option for water, but it is frozen (more or less) and quite dangerous to walk out on (except in established smelt fishing areas).

Everybody is so sad. There is a benefit on Saturday from 2-8 at The Wharf. I hope to stop by.

And what was I doing yesterday instead of hanging out at LYS? Walking the dogs. I have pics. Will post tomorrow, with an air photo and/or map!

Knitting updates… am keeping the scarf as is for now, I typically wear them hanging versus wrapped. I’ll see how I like it over the next week or two. And then may add a few inches or all of the 4th skein. I’ve started the pirate hat in fuschia and orange. That’s it. Daydreaming about next sweater in which I use up some stash… something cabled for me? A hoody for ds? Or socks? More Dulaan hats… the list goes on and on.

here and there done?

Well, I knit up three skeins of Cascade 220 (color #9407, but it’s darker than their sample) on the Here and There Cables Scarf by Norah Gaughan. It’s 60 inches long. I am not sure if I want it 20 inches longer or not!

What do you think?

as you can see, I haven’t woven in the bind off end yet!

It wraps once nicely, and is very thick and cushy. I have only one scarf that I regularly wear in the cold, it’s 60 inches of fleece. But it doesn’t wrap this nicely and I am so tired of its hair magnet qualities. Part of me wants the cabled scarf longer! But I worry it would get in the way.

Oh, and these lovely pics, to get myself all the way “in” this mirror for the unwrapped shot, I have to stand on this,

i’m not short, the mirror was hung for brushing our teeth not getting pics

And, um, yes, those are christmas lights, but some years we leave them up because they give a nice light to this corner where the lighting is pretty horrid.

scout story

Have you all seen Scout’s story about the substitute teacher facing 40 years in prison because of what came up on the computer in class? Go look, all sorts of links. Cabezalana comments well on our justice system!

Oh, and here’s the lovely yarn from adam at yarn nerd.

i brought this upstairs last night in case of any devilish doggy deeds and look how lovely it looks on my bureau!

I think I need new batteries for my digital camera. I just charged them the other day, have taken maybe 50 email size pics, and they need charging again!

2 more fur hats and westover snowshoes

First, the last of the fun fur hats made for Kate’s hat campaign. They all got mailed today.

the Berroco Sizzle wasn’t as bad to work as true fun fur

What’s a Westover? There is about nothing on the internet about them, so I’ll tell you. It’s a type of snowshoe! Looks like a huron or michigan, but it’s really a modified bear paw with a short stubby tail. I am not entirely sure how they are different, I think the bear paws have wider longer web section. They’re great for maneuvering in the woods, while the others are better for open trails.

These were made by Floyd Westover of 5 East 6th Avenue, Gloversville NY. How do I know this?

I got these maybe in 1985 or so in Boonville NY. I forget if they were in the window of the diner or the barber shop. We were on our way to winter camp at Queer Lake near Old Forge. It was very deep snow! The snowshoes made it easier than the skis that I’d brought along.

This is what I know about them. People who work in the very snowy woods like the bear paws because they float well on the deep snow. Floyd modified these to be a bit narrower (making it easier to walk) and to have a short tail (this helps you keep the snowshoes in a straight line and it helps keep the snow from flipping up your back). One would think this was a great idea. However, one of the reasons people would have been out in the snowy woods was to feed their families out of hunting season, and if you were one of a very few with the newfangled snowshoes, you were more likely to be caught as a poacher. So they never really caught on.

Nowadays, mostly what you’ll find are another modified bear paw, the green mountain bear paw, made famous by tubbs. You can still get them in wood with neoprene lacings (like mine) or rawhide, but they are more easily found in aluminum with a neoprene deck versus lace. They are also good for snowy woods. But, as we found out yesterday, the wider type don’t sink as deep in the snow. I broke some trail on that walk! I remembered not liking them so much because I thought they are a bit too big for me, meaning I had to take steps about an inch farther than my usual stride. But this wasn’t an issue yesterday. They would do well with new bindings though.

Can ya tell I don’t have much other knitting related news? dh wore his new sweater to work today!

xmas away!

February around here means that I finally put away these ornaments that got put up early. Now, some of them are pink, and isn’t that a Valentine’s type color appropriate for Feb? It also means that I take the photos folks sent at xmas time, and which were hanging in the doorway, transfer them to the fridge, and then put the old ones in a drawer. That I did a while ago because last year I didn’t do it at all! This year’s xmas photos just got taped on top of the old ones. It was rather entertaining to flip them and see how the kids had changed over the year.

And in exciting (for me!) news, I won a skein of sock yarn from adam who opened yarn nerd. He asked us five winners what was our favorite colorway, but I like them all, so I’d like to be surprised by what he sends.

Finally blocked the big gray sweater (well, washed it and laid it out to dry…the bed I usually block on is in a cold room!), see

Notice the room still in transition. Three (more?) years ago it was carpeted and had a closet built into the room. I dismantled the closet and put it outside in the “breezeway” (it was the carport when the driveway came up to the house). Then I pulled up the carpet. I found, on one end of the room, two more layers of carpet, and on the other end there were two layers of linoleum. This room, the ell to the house, was once the kitchen AND the real breezeway. The former owners (from 1957 until us) took out the wall, expanded the room, and moved the kitchen into the other part of the house. I really like seeing all the history in an old house! We lived with the linoleum on the floor for at least a year. This was helpful when our old dog became somewhat incontinent and otherwise sick. Here she is in the year before she died, Miss Maggie!

i am so smart i can open my own xmas presents mom!

Well, when we finally got all the linoleum up (including some stuff that must’ve been from the 1940′s!) and all the black gunk under it, we found maple floor on most of the floor (to the left in the sweater pic) and pine planks on what was the breezeway (to the right, and green!). I was all of the opinion to do a better job patching where the wall once was and then sand it down so you could see the history, the bones, of the house. Nobody else likes this notion. And now, with two new dogs, I’m all for what is easy. Which is lay a new floor. Prefinished. Decision made, now we just need to get it done! Today we brought home some samples to look at. One step closer. (there were many other aspects to this project, which I call the can of worms).

I like the collar on this better than the sweater I made dh last year,

This one has a purl ridge for turning, which was very helpful. And, I reversed the k2p2 ribbing to p2k2, which helped it line up for sewing down. Can you see that I didn’t fuss much about the sewing down? Oh well. I wanted it to be stretchy most of all. The stitches don’t show through either, so what more could a person want?

Oops, not all of the xmas type things got put away. dh says they are snowy and wintry, so leave them up. Ok!