Lots of rain in April means high river water!

flood 003

(it’s usually to the left of those signs and trees)

More pics here, including a picture of the City’s mega snowpile under the big bridge.

And a minute long video clip of the Kennebec River roaring under the ‘low bridge’ is here (still haven’t figured out how to embed…).

Check out the USGS web cam with updated shots over the river. There’s a hydrograph at the bottom of the page, wild how fast the water came up last night.

And, for you Mainah’s living away that want to know what’s happening around here, check out what’s going on in the St. John River Valley (click on ‘view slideshow’ at the end of the first paragraph). The gov declared a state of emergency up there and closed their state offices today.

Three years ago? (ok, technically a bit more, april 1, 2005)

The usually crazed and packed LYS (sadly gone!) was supposed to get flooding like in 1987, when the river was knee deep in the store! (these pics are crappy, so don’t embiggen!).  Here is a link to USGS photos of the 1987 flood.


We packed it all up
and the early release prisoners helped cart out the big and heavy stuff. You should have seen Water St in Hallowell that day… a line of u-hauls up and down the streets, everybody packed up and left! (well except for one crazy antique dealer).

Painted while it was empty

And 2 weeks later were back in business.

Here’s the back deck the day the river was supposed to crest.  In 1987, she would have been wet to her knees! She is standing on a deck that is in essence on the second floor in the back.  Luckily for all it only reached the back of the building and didn’t even get into the basement.
porchsat DSC07061
(the second picture may have been from the flood a couple weeks later, mid april 2005, notice the couch out there!)

Lynnie had no idea, and when she came back to work (she’d been off for a bit), was she in for a surprise! Because the store was totally re-arranged (ok, so the picture up above is after the move, couldn’t find one from before….)

the answer is yes

Will I be able to spin up those last 2 ounces of merino top before tomorrow night?????

yes! but can I take a decent picture of it? nope!

The combed top was harder to spin… took me three tries to get it to go!  But it is soft and luscious.

Here it all is

I managed to haul myself into work today, but left an hour early and am not in any condition to drive out to the spinning group this evening. Sad, so sad….

wet, wet girl warming her butt

And now that I have no fiber left to spin and must return the wheel… it’s back to knitting!

I is for Indecisive

Wring your hands, run around, and say ‘what should i make what should i make‘ Not really, but I am tossing around some ideas and haven’t decided. What do you think? I want to make a baby gift for a girl baby due to the world end of July. I want to knit from my stash, which means some limited color choices. The item should be machine wash.  It should not be pink.

(spinning at the bottom of the post…)

Pattern contenders are
silvercreekc451 rebeccajkt
silver creek guernsey, garter jacket from Rebecca

sirdarbolero sirdarlacecardi
bolero (without appliques), lace cardigan (much like one I made recently), both from Sirdar

oatcouturevictorianT kpsneckdncardi
Oat Couture’s Victorian T shirt, knitting pure and simple’s neck down cardigan (I would put a hood on it)

EZ’s tomten, and-no picture-the baby surprise jacket (also with a hood).

I think the BSJ needs fingering for a baby size, and the Victorian T can be fingering or sport. The other patterns are all sport/dk, except for the neck down cardigan which is worsted.

Here’s my fingering stash, I’m thinking the orange in the baggie, maybe the green (also seen here) or the brown/yellow (also seen here)

snowflake cleckheatoncountry8ply
only one skein of the tweed, enough red, plenty of the ‘marigold’

DK yarns

prosperousplumcf heirloomeasycare
prosperous plum cotton fleece, heirloom easy care, the green might be ok, not so thrilled about the brown

bilbao bilbao
bilbao, a cotton tape, and a knit swatch

I bounce back and forth about what I’d like more. I am beginning to think I should just knit up the yarn in my stash that I’ve been saving because it’s enough for a baby sweater. Just knit a sweater that the yarn seems to ask for, and when a baby comes along, there’s a gift already done.

I’ve looked around in Ravelry, and saw lots of BSJs and neck down cardi’s that look great, and a few good Victorian T’s; the guernseys were overall a bit disappointing (was it the yarn? the knitter? my mood that day?), and LOVED the tomtens. Didn’t find any of the sirdar or rebecca sweaters in there.

I think I’ll just have to make a tomten for myself out of some rustic wool, because that pattern seems to call for that sort of yarn.  And it is calling to me.


28april 007
208 or so yards plus a 50 yard skein of brown, not sure what kind of wool. It was reasonably soft and long fibered, but not so much as the border leicester. I think it is my most ‘balanced’ yarn yet, whatever that means. I haven’t washed or weighted it yet. Will I be able to spin up those last 2 ounces of merino top before tomorrow night?????

Doggy updates

I’ve learned two things in the last 15 or so hours.

#1, Zuzu must not be allowed to chew burdocks out of her fur. Because she swallows them and they get stuck in her throat. Or at least that’s what we think it was. Not a veterinary emergency, since she could breathe, and she could vomit, and eat, and vomit. But she was surely out of sorts. She eventually quieted down enough to sleep, but woke up about 2:30. DH took her outside, where she grazed some more. I gave her some homeopathic stuff for splinters (thinking it might help the burs work out) and panic (also for sore throats, good deal), and she did fall back asleep relatively soon. She’s better today, but tired.

#2, I think Gracie was beaten with paper in her past life. A few minutes ago I crumpled up a prescription bag and information to burn, and at that moment she started growling and barking at the window. I gave her a ‘hey’ and a tap (honestly, a tap, with the flared end of the papers, I pat her with more force and she enjoys it) on her butt with the paper (that was not rolled tightly) and she CRINGED and COWERED and just shrunk into nothing. It was heartbreaking. I gave her lots of love. It must have been something horrible for her to remember a year and a half later.

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Zuzu, Gracie

After a week of being sick, I ended up at the doc’s, and on an antibiotic for a secondary infection. I’m hoping to get to work tomorrow because I am sure I’ve used up all the sick time I’ve accrued.

H is for House

House that Yarn Built.

I thought this was over and felt badly that I forgot to contribute, but Ruth reminded me in this post. Allison at Simply Socks is matching donations up to $1000, so if you are like me and wanted to do this but forgot, have at it! Make it Right is where you donate (the big ‘donate now’ button), and after a bit you’re given the opportunity to indicate it is the House that Yarn Built (I’m telling you because I spent a few minutes puzzling about where to actually donate).

I’ve been back to take some pictures of the two houses I grew up in,
kindergarten to 5th grade, Tewksbury MA, the right corner window was my room

5th grade to leaving for college, Wilmington MA, the left corner window was my room.

Both pictures were taken on drive-bys. Driving done by my brother. And though he’d humor me enough to take me to these places, he wouldn’t actually stop.

I never lived here, but this is the family farmstead in Bristol ME. Built by an ancestor in the mid 1700′s, and somebody in my biological father’s family still owns it. They come up for the summers. I’ve visited, and it’s pretty interesting inside, a real old-fashioned center chimney cape with fireplaces in the four rooms. And an attic FULL of old stuff, including an old loom mostly held together with pegs and a few square nails and it still has fabric on it. I told the men (who would be my father’s cousins, so my cousins once removed) who own it, they should consider giving a bunch of that stuff to a historical society. I was only in the attic for a few minutes, but it would surely be a place to spend some time. And all of the old portraits? I look like these people. People I don’t know in the least. It was interesting. And a bit creepy. My favorite part of visiting these folks is talking with Dulce Maria, wife to one of my cousins. She’s from Guadelajara. She welcomes my bad Spanish! And like her name, she is very sweet (but not in a saccharine way).

Our house last May.
tue 005
why yes that is some fortification in hand

It will look like this again soon. We’ve called our woodman.

I’m grateful for my houses. For my shelter. And that I don’t by necessity have to live in a place like this,
fri 001
If you are too, go Make it Right.

spun romney locks

Remember these locks…4ozromney

I fluffed them out with the slicker brushes, actually I tried to card them, but obviously I hadn’t read anything about it because I did it differently. I was entertained to watch the color wash out as the fibers fluffed.

Started with one slicker brush, then got another when my hand started to hurt. Tried to fluff out all of the fiber, tossing only the worst small bits, but after a while (I spun up that first fluff) I realized it was good to not try to capture the shorter fibers. I ended up with the big pile of fiber on my lap, spinning off it. This did not make for easy or even spinning, and even though I am a beginner, I think all those different bits from all those locks contributed to some uneveness in the yarn.

Single ply in the scilla, about 180 yards.
You can see places where it is overspun. I had figured this might happen, so I plied it. Pogo said you can ply off of a center pull skein. I made one, but not having a swift or a ball winder, it looked like this,

The other thing that happened when I mixed all of the fluffs is that the intense colors got a little muddy. Here it is plied, hanging (unwashed)
and skeined up,

I think it has about 88 yards and is chunky-ish.  It’ll do.

The wheel goes back next week :(   

I’m about 1/4 through the brown wool, which is spinning much more easily than the locks! I hope to spin up the merino top over the weekend. Without a wheel, I’ll be back to knitting more, and maybe even will finish dh’s january birthday sweater!

PS, spinning off of the ball?  Pain in the butt!!!!!!!!!