Archive for the ‘life in maine’ Category

stuff that comes to our house… knitting the sky!

January 6th, 2013 by knitnzu

Stuff that arrived here last week

The boy had been begging for this, and so spent some xmas $$ to get it. He says shenanigans will ensue.
horse mask (1)

DH keeps showing it to the girls, because they were (understandably) rather freaked out by it at first,
horse mask (3)

My mama clearly loves me,
heart (1) heart (2)

Riveting book…
mycology book (1)
(not). There aren’t any pictures!

Beads for the sky shawl when I thought I was going to use only the laceweight,
artbeads
They came packaged so nicely!

knitting the sky!

I joined a KAL (knit-a-long) over at LSG (Lazy, Stupid, and Godless) in Ravelry. We’re all riding a geek high knitting the Celestarium shawl. When I first saw the pattern, I thought “eh, it’s nice enough, but I dunno”, and then I saw that it is a shawl that shows the star chart of the northern hemisphere.

A star chart of the northern hemisphere!

And I knew I had to make this. I’m using that laceweight alpaca that I dyed with the black food coloring. It wasn’t working up quite how I liked with just the single strand, so I am running another strand of laceweight merino (in black) with it.

It is totally addictive. I don’t have any good pictures of it, because it droops while on the needles and it’s hard to capture the color.

The new, too small, beads (I may work these into a lacy border somehow)
sky shawl (2)

Working away on the E charts (there are 4 to get around the circle). There are six charts for F…
sky shawl (3)

I’m looking for a lacy border for this, something that is reminiscent of feathers (but not that feather and fan, no, no, no, not that) or a raven’s wing. I have some old pattern books… we’ll see what I find. I have some time before I’m ready for that.

The cool thing? I can recognize some of the constellations as I do this!

The funny thought? Years from now, archeologists will discover these knitted shawls and think WTF, why are people navigating from a shawl? Didn’t they have GPS and fancy technical stuff???

more maine morning mitts

I only made 2 pair of these to ship out at xmas… special request from a year ago. I still love this pattern for a mindless knit, but I haven’t made many of them this year. The green ones are from my handspun.
Photo 6 - 2012-12-30 Photo 8 - 2012-12-30

Christmas Highlights

January 6th, 2013 by knitnzu

I should have posted this a while back, eh?

Zuzu was sniffing around the tree early, and she discovered a toy wrapped for her. She started dragging it out, ready to open it. We said “Hey, you, we need to wait for the teenager“.

Photo 9 - 2012-12-25

We managed a posed pic of the girls,
Photo 10 - 2012-12-25
Zuzu has her paw in the air… it’s her “I want something” pose.

Teenager got up around 8:30.
Photo 8 - 2012-12-25

Gravy immediately caught some excitement, ran over to the tree, and randomly grabbed some package and started opening it. “Hey, you, wait a minute, that’s not yours“. But she got to help open all the gifts, and had the best time opening Don’s.

Photo 3 - 2012-12-25

Even though he’s 17 now, the boy still enjoys the packaging too…
Photo 5 - 2012-12-25

And clearly loves his fleecy socks,
Photo 6 - 2012-12-25

Don loves the hat I made him… from leftover yarn from that striped mushroom sweater. He’s goofing off here, but he does like it,
Photo 1 - 2012-12-25 Photo 2 - 2012-12-25

Photo 1 - 2012-12-26

It’s the Cathedral Hat from Bill Huntington at Hope Spinnery. Project details on my Ravelry project page.

I’ve started knitting the sky, but I think that needs its own blog post!

more broken black, and a bit of xmas

December 19th, 2012 by knitnzu

I haven’t been able to capture the color of this yarn! It’s darker than it shows here. I should swatch some up, try some beads on it… see if the 6/0 or 8/0 beads work better.

wiltons 009

wiltons 010 wiltons 011

Stuff just keeps getting in the way of knitting, busy season and all, and I think I’m coming down with a cold. I manage to get home from work, get dinner together, and then I’m pretty much done. I’m horrified at the piles of things all over the table (the table that still has the tablecloth from Thanksgiving on it, but with an addition of glittery sparkles from writing the xmas cards).

Clutter. Nemesis.

We finally got the tree decorated. Mostly I just took ornaments out of boxes and got boyo and his friend to do much of it. And my girlfriend. Who I plied with martinis.

They did a fabulous job! Even boyo’s friend, who tells me his mom won’t let him decorate their tree, because he breaks too many ornaments.

tree (40)

It’s a shitty picture, I know. But I think I took maybe 25 pictures, and this was about the best. I have lots of favorite ornaments. These, in particular, amuse me. I’m pretty sure I paid 10 cents for them. They even came in their original box!

tree (4)

We did a bit of shopping this past weekend. Nice thing about having a 17 year old who is interested in getting more clothes? You can go shopping with him and tell him “this will go under the tree, yaknow” and he’s all fine with that. (and yes, he did drag me into Wal-Mart, first time in several years… I had to take a deep breath when we walked out, and blather about surviving the ordeal).

shopping (1) shopping (2)
(he poses with the villain, I pose with the tacky xmas decoration… and then I went out and immediately bought a bunch of silver tinsel garland to make one of these… maybe I’ll do it for Friday’s work party).

We have a new thing at work! The conference room on our floor is gorgeous (as is the rest of the floor), but it is terribly echoey. All that glass, hard floor, 3 windows, hard walls… it was fairly painful to sit through a meeting in here sometimes. We started to think about getting some acoustical ceiling tiles, and then I said “wait a second, historical rehab here, maybe we should ask somebody“, and sure ’nuff, we shouldn’t just paste the things to the ceilings.

So, several months after starting this process, and working with an architect with the state, we have this drop ceiling thingamajig. It lets most of the light through (it is darker) and also doesn’t interfere with the sprinkler system. We had a smallish meeting in there today, and the echo is better. Not gone, but better. We probably need a rug, but we are resisting that notion.

acoustic solution (1)
(there is usually a huge central table composed of 6 small rectangular tables and 2 end pieces, and chairs).

Time for bed!

still thankful

December 9th, 2012 by knitnzu

So, it’s been 2 weekends since Thanksgiving, but I’m still thankful!

Friends visited from upstate NY, and we had a grand time together. Visiting, cooking, playing, walking around, etc etc etc. Sharing the love we have for each other.

Brian 135_sm Brian 112_sm

We ate that potato that could feed an entire family,
Brian 161_sm
V was a great help in the kitchen, and she got the chore joy of peeling that bad boy! It came from our garden.

The girls loved her and she loved them.
Brian 156_sm

Friday was off to Popham Beach. I told DH we’d probably see horses there. He said no way. Um…
popham (6) popham (7)
It was interesting watching that first group of horses (with that handsome draft mix). They’d never been to the beach before, so they balked at one of the waterways through the sand… but they went over it, and then they were fine.

popham (10) popham (14)

It’s always beautiful there!
popham (16) popham (21)

And, you know me… It’s a need of some sort…
popham (27) popham (30)
It was rather cold…

Fireworks that night downtown… they were pretty good! We walked down to the river to watch. A couple went off “badly” and ended up on the water, and that was interesting too.
fireworks (2)

Small Business Saturday meant a trip to Robbi’s open house (Maple Lane Farm in Windsor). Some pottery may have been purchased… And we visited the sheep and chickens for a bit.
robbis sheep (6) Brian 213_sm

V brought the coin kitty I made her a few years back… (the original post is so old, it came over from the old livejournal blog and half the photos are missing…)
coin kitty (2) coin kitty (1)
she still loves it!

A wore some old mittens she found, I think she said her grandmother or a cousin made them. Latvian mittens made by a Latvian woman!
old latvian mittens (3) old latvian mittens (2)
These are a simple, but lovely design. Latvian mittens can be crazy complicated… they’re all really beautiful!

We were poking about in Ravelry, and V commented on how much she liked the Shroom Hat. I had some super bulky, non-wool yarn around, and so…
shroom hat (2) shroom hat (3)
The yarn rather hides the design, but she loves the hat!

Today is all about getting that breaking black (Wilton’s food dye) experiment to work. Phase 1 failed somewhat, so I’m into truly experimental territory.

Oh, and getting the tree.

a birthday and a bug and pots and a vest and rocks and dogs with new haircuts

November 20th, 2012 by knitnzu

birthday

Boyo turned 17 recently. He wanted a batman cake, and this was what happened. I figured it was a success when his friend took a photo, and then he did too. And it was gone by morning (two boys stayed over).
bd cake (2) bd cake (1)

bugs

Look what DH found in the garden digging up potatoes…
tomato hornworm
I thought maybe it was a giant beetle grub, but our entomologist friend said it was a lepidopteran, and we quickly figured out it is a tomato hornworm (which we call tomacco hornworms), late stage pupa. The totally disgusting part is that this thing is alive. It moves. And that loopy handly thing is its mouthparts.

Ewwwww.

And totally fascinating.

pots

Dad and Linda gave us a fabulous humongous frying pan. We have been at a loss as to where to put it. The oven already holds the two 13″ and the single 8″ cast iron pans. I thought I’d get a pot rack, but the one I wanted (a simple steel bar) is actually relatively hard to find. I did finally find it, for only $16, but then there was the $12 to ship and the extra $10 because I didn’t spend enough.

And so, I bought 4 locally made wrought iron hooks (from Scottish Lion in Round Pond), only $24, and a board from Lowe’s (I got to use the jigsaw and I learned to use the router).

And so this corner,
vest 038 pot rack project (6)
was changed.

The board got up (after a miscalculation on where the stud was… but the initial series of holes in the board got plugged, shhhhhh), and even though I had an idea where the pans should go, I hadn’t marked where the hooks should be… and so…

pot rack project (7) pot rack project (10)

While I was about it all, I extended the knife slit a bit, and really sanded down that piece to the left of the stove. It gets gummy. And re-oiled the rest of the counters…
pot rack project (4) pot rack project (2) pot rack project (1)

vest

I’ve been wanting a vest… this is made with the handspun I made when I was learning to spin. I thought I might have enough yarn for a vest. Turns out, I probably have enough for three vests… I wasn’t sure at first how to close it up, but after wearing it for a day with just a pin, I realized it really needs closure and put in hooks and eyes. There’s waist shaping and short rows for the bust. I’m reasonably pleased with it, but think I might need to add pockets, because my hands keep looking for them (I have a fleece vest that fits something like this one, and it must feel familiar to my body).

vest 076 vest 104

vest 115

vest 116 vest 118

rocks!

We took a quick walk at lunch today over to the arboretum, where they have some new sculpture on display.

arboretum sculpture (2) arboretum sculpture (4)

arboretum sculpture (8) arboretum sculpture (6)
From one side it looks like a hug, from the other, a face, or a really pointy bum!

arboretum sculpture (12) arboretum sculpture (13)
Susie noted that this black spot is called an enclave. She’d seen some of this sculpture a couple days ago, with some other geologists.
arboretum sculpture (16)

Needless to say, she heard very different things from us than she did from the geologists. WHAT is that? Giant bull testicles! That’s a sexy piece. Cylons! A face! A bum! (these were not things the geologists were saying…)

This piece was made from a single piece of stone… we were strong doubters, but then we were convinced…
arboretum sculpture (18)

arboretum sculpture (20) arboretum sculpture (25)
And Sue was with us, in her hunter orange… we stuck close to her, and nobody was shot.

Pinkish beige on the outside, and black and shiny inside… remind you of anybody?
arboretum sculpture (31)

The bum (face on the other side)…
arboretum sculpture (32) arboretum sculpture (34)
Do you see those mosses growing on the granite? My guess is Andrea rupestris, but I didn’t look closely.

Oh look, they’re trucking in another piece… wonder what it is…
arboretum sculpture (39)

dogs with new haircuts

These are really lousy pictures, sorry!

clipped dogs (2) clipped dogs (3)
Zuzu begging for a toy, and Gravy coming to get one.

thankful

Getting ready for Thanksgiving… friends from far are coming, and friends from near will be here too.

We are blessed.