Sunday, May 31, 2009

Great Brook Farm

Yesterday, I went for a nice walk in the woods at Great Brook Farm, in Carlisle, MA. It was an incredibly gorgeous day; I couldn't believe how beautiful a day it was! There were still mosquitoes who chomped away despite the "Australian Rain Forest Tested" bug spray I used, but for some reason, the bites aren't really all that itchy. I am grateful.

I had recently bought a new rechargeable battery for my pocket sized point & shoot digital camera, so I tucked it in my pocket and snapped a few pictures - it's a much easier camera to pack and pull out than the big ol' DSLR I have. I enjoy using the DSLR more, but... it is a bit unwieldy when tromping through the woods.

Here are some of the photos I took:

Look at how many lady slippers there were!

Here is another one... they were everywhere.

A poofy dandelion:

Just LOOK how gorgeous it was!

Another nice feature of this spot is that they have amazing ice cream there. I got butter crunch, and it was incredibly creamy, rich, and wonderful. Yeah, it kind of negates the exercise I did, but hey... it was worth it.

While we sat and ate our ice cream, we saw a bunch of geese across the pond. One of them seemed to be in trouble , flapping around and not following his family into the water. The family swam away, then mom quacked at him and went back to get him, but he did not follow. An intrepid human boy tiptoed toward the situation, and finally he and his dad figured out what was going on... the gosling was trapped with a length of fishing line! The mom watched carefully as the humans freed her baby... and then he swam happily out onto the water and joined the other geese. It was rather exciting, I must say! At first, I didn't realize the gosling was in trouble, and I thought that the boy was going to get nipped by an angry mom, but everything worked out okay in the end.

I saw a few excellent dung beetles, but the photos didn't turn out very well... I'm sure you are all quite disappointed.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Weird Dreams

We all have them. Ever since I've moved into an old mill building, I have occasional dreams relating to living in an old building. My actual home is watertight and snug as a bug, but in my dreams, sometimes there is only part of a roof, letting birds fly right in, and last night, there was water GUSHING down from the ceiling. (In my dream. Not in reality) I stood there, not knowing what to do, and then climbed up on a ladder and tightened a bolt on some pipe going across the ceiling. All gushing water stopped. Evidently, in my dreams, I am a plumbing genius.

I am assuming I dreamed about gushing water for a couple of reasons... it was raining, and I needed to use the "facilities". I will reflect on this theory the next time I dream about my home flooding...

I dunno what I feel like doing this weekend. Anyone have some good plans?

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

What a Weekend!

Was this weekend lovely, or what? Or, am I only able to remember yesterday, which was sunny and breezy and wonderful? Yeah, I guess that was it, actually.... because now that I think about it, Saturday was downright cold, and Sunday was spent sleepy and snoozy and waiting for the sky to open up... did it ever rain? I can't even remember now.

Monday really was the star of the show. I went to Newburyport to visit my friend Heather, and we went on a nice, long bike ride... I'd guess it was 30+miles. Unfortunately, the wind was fighting against us the whole way home - no wonder the trip out seemed so easy! And also, I evidently did a very poor job of applying my sunblock - dangit! I have lobstery legs and some odd patches of sunburn here and there in odd spots.

After the bike ride, we quickly chowed down some pasta and then walked into town... walking helps get out that lactic acid, of course. Oh, and the new gelato stand was also a contributing factor. Gelato is some good stuff.

Regarding the extra freezy Saturday, well, that was a very nice day, too... despite the fact that I was kinda cold all day! Bike ride, car ride, ice cream (sense a theme here?), and watching the NH Fishercats play ball. And fireworks at the end of the game! I love fireworks! Blammo!

I finally have a new knit-for-pay project, which is being knit out of Classic Elite's Princess yarn. So soft and nice! Merino, viscose, cashmere, angora and nylon. So soft and nice! The pattern has ribbing and cables, and the yarn shows off the patterning very nicely.

I also managed to eke out another pair of socks prior to receiving the pattern... and to start yet another pair. One of these days, I"m going to get someone to take pics of me in the 3-4 sweaters I have yet to photograph... they're good ones!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Now, that's a lotta fiber!

This may sound strange to the knitters out there, but lately, I have been feeling stressed out by my stash. This is particularly true now that I'm doing more knitting for designers, and not knitting out of my stash... I feel like I NEED to knit more, to knit through the stash, for whatever reason. (Designers, don't feel bad - this is MY issue, not yours! ;-) ) I've forgone purchasing yarn for the most part this year... I spent a mere $16 on yarn at SPA in Maine this year, and only added one ball of sock yarn in with an order that I placed when I needed more yarn to finish a project. That sock yarn was featured 2 posts ago, btw... so it's not in my stash!

Okay, I'm sort of meandering away from the point of this post. I decided that in order to better know what I had in my stash, I really needed to photograph and organize it all. The upshot? I own seven pounds of spinning fiber - enough for 22 different projects, actually.

And that's just the spinning fiber. As for yarn, it appears as though I have about 100 different yarns, many of which I have multiple balls of. This includes only FULL balls of yarn that have never been used by me in any other project. It does NOT include the partial balls I have that are left over from years and years worth of projects! I still have delusions of pulling these leftover bits out and knitting up some wacky afghan or something like that. Who knows... maybe someday I will!

So, you might wonder how many years' worth of knitting happiness all of this yarn will give me... well, considering that I have logged about 75 projects (not including for-pay projects I've done this year) since October 2007, I definitely haven't reached SABLE yet. (Stash Acquired Beyond Life Expectancy) Perhaps I will actually NEED to go yarn shopping before my 40th birthday, but then again, perhaps I won't!

Now, how in the world am I going to resist buying yarn at the Sock Summit in August, or at Rhinebeck this fall??? Maybe if I make those crazy leftover afghans before then, I can allow myself a little purchase or two???

Oh, and if you are interested in seeing some of the most recent yarns I have stashed, click HERE.
Pics of Lowell

This past weekend was the "Doors Open Lowell" event, which affords people the luxury of exploring numerous buildings that are not always casually opened to the public. This year, I only actually went into one of the buildings, but in years past, I have enjoyed a more full day of exploration. Saturday was perfect for walking around - it was warm and sunny, if not a bit breezy.

The building I did go into was St. Anne's Church, which I chose because I wanted to try and get some photos of some of their stained glass windows. Here are a few shots:

There were many more, but those are a few of the highlights. I was glad it was sunny out, as the windows look so much better with glowing sunlight coming through them.

After looking at the church, it was a perfect day for a walk down by the river. We came across an odd sight; a "start" and "finish" line combo that looked... extremely GRUELING. I mean, that has to be at LEAST 1/10TH OF A MILE THERE!!! Those race coordinators are ANIMALS!

Here are some other shots of stuff.

Next up are some photos from a fascinating statue-y thingy I pass on my walks sometimes. I didn't actually take a picture of the entire thing this go around, just some closeups of the carvings.

Some of the carving sections are quite small - here is a shot with my finger for comparison:

And finally, an arty up-shot:

All in all, it was a very nice day. Coming up, a long weekend with no plans yet...

Sunday, May 17, 2009

New Socks, New Yarn

No, I didn't buy new yarn... I just finished spinning up some fiber that has been on the wheel for a couple of months... for shame! The fiber was from Pigeonroof Studios on Etsy, in the "Bruise" colorway. It's a merino/ seacell blend, and I ended up with 418 yards of sock weight yarn. I am thinking that I will be knitting this up as gift socks, but have not totally decided yet.

Up next, a simple pair of ribbed socks, a gift for my brother. He doesn't read this blog, and even if he does... well, I'd be surprised, just as surprised as he'd be to see his new socks! They are big and baggy on me, and have been tried on by a dude with appropriately sized feet, so I assume they'll fit nicely. I tried Kraemer Yarn Saucon Sock for these; it's a rather nice blend of cotton, acrylic and nylon. I liked knitting with it, and it feels like it will wear well, too.

Next up, ONline Supersocke yarn; Priscilla's Dream Socks pattern. Short row toe and heel, toe up, and they fit quite nicely. I am also thinking I might give these away, but haven't decided yet.

There are also three unphotographed sweaters waiting in the wings... I am waiting for the 'perfect storm' of photography conditions, which would include:
1. Me being showered with my hair looking nice
2. The sweaters being around
3. A camera being around
4. Someone else being around who could photograph me
5. The light being good for getting nice pictures of my groovy sweaters
6. All of the above being true, AND me remembering!

These 'perfect storm' moments are few and far between, unfortunately. Two of the three sweaters turned out AWESOME, and I"m a little on the fence about the third. Stay tuned!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Bead Crochet

For a long time now, I have avoided listing things on Etsy because I just loathe photographing jewelry, and do not enjoy the listing process in general. However, I finally took a bunch of photos the other day - about 175 of them in less than 30 minutes, actually... and some of them were totally usable, after some cropping and such. Here are a few of the photos:

I think the rainbow on black one is my favorite picture. Anyway, as I was listing the bracelets in my Etsy Shop, someone actually bought one of them - it was very exciting! I guess I ought to go ahead and list things every so often. Too bad I hate it so much!

Tomorrow is Friday, and I'm looking forward to it. For whatever reason, it's been a dog of a week... going by very slowly and my time at work has felt kind of stressful. Fortunately, I have a social worker staff meeting first thing tomorrow morning, which means that I will get the chance to sit quietly and soak in social worky knowledge for a few hours before reentering the hubbub of being in a middle school.

Speaking of work, I am continuing to tutor after school. The extra money is certainly nice, but I have to be honest... I love me some free time, and the tutoring is really cramping my style. It's not immediately after work; I tutor about 1 1/2 hours after I get out of school. that's not quite enough to get out and exercise (and clean up afterwards), just enough time to go grocery shopping... but I will think twice about tutoring again in the future.

Time to sleep...

Thursday, May 07, 2009

I did it.

I ripped out the entire sweater. I have cast on again and have knit three rows. I'm feeling a little whimpery about it, to be honest, but I guess I will just keep trucking!

Dagnabbit! I finally have some more time to knit for myself, and the sweater I'm already halfway done with is DEFINITELY too big. It's supposed to fit nice and snug; here is a photo of the Gathered Pullover of which I speak. I have knit all the way up to the armpit (in the round), and finished the rest of the front... so I tried it on. It is nice and loose, nowhere near the snug, body skimming fit that is appropriate for the style/cut of the sweater. Rats!

So, I am going to have to rip the entire thing out. Yarrrrgh! I am tempted not to rip the body out just yet, and to knit up the sleeves first so I feel like I'm actually making progress. However, I'm going to an all day workshop tomorrow, so 11 inches of circular stockinette might be just the right speed for the day. We'll see.

In other disappointing news, I did not win the NH Powerball lottery drawing last night. Bummer, dude.