Wednesday, July 31, 2013

...and it's still here!

Gorgeous day. Beautiful place. So lucky to be here.

5 mile walk starting at 7:00 am, a bit later than usual, but sleep was so delicious. The cannon fired at 8:00 as I was heading back.

At this point in the vacation, the days begin to blend together, in a delightful way.

Knitting continues on the "Summer of..." MKAL, with the final clue due to arrive on Friday, August 2nd.
Maybe I already posted this. Losing my memory...

Handspinning: plowing through 17.2 ounces of Romney in pinks and reds. I wound bobbin #1 into a cake this morning so I could measure it. The second bobbin is filling up quickly. Trying to get 2 ounces spun up each day.

443 yards of Romney singles

??? yards of Romney singles.

Dragon's Egg Sock #1 for ??? The heel is turned and the gusset is half done.
Nine little hexapuffs are complete.
Some new purchases:
Artyarns "Regal Silk" for another MKAL starting August 1 on Craftsy

Malabrigo Sock for the Estuary Shawlette purchased at Over the Rainbow Yarn
Quince and Co. Finch for Aranami Shawl - did I already post this???
That's all for today! Hope to finish the first Dragon's Egg sock and make more headway on my Vitamin D sweater, along with spinning 2 more ounces of Romney. Will it (the Romney) never come to an end???

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

The Sun Came Back

Huge thunderstorm last night after a cloudy day. The lightning and thunder were very impressive. Knitting at the library was fun, as always, yesterday afternoon. I worked mainly on the Vitamin D cardigan, which is at that stage where it seems like it will NEVER get done. I keep telling myself, "just one more row, just one more row".

Progress on Dragon's Egg sock #1 continues. I've turned the heel and am now working the gusset decreases.

Damariscotta Pottery Showroom
5 mile walk Sunday and Monday, 3 miles this morning in the drizzle. Trip up to town to visit Damariscotta Pottery,
Se Vende Imports, Two Fish Boutique and have lunch at the Damariscotta River Grill.

Now for a stroll over to Little Beach.

Saturday, July 27, 2013


It seems that I'm settling into a routine here:
  • Early morning fast walk (at least 3.5 miles, more often 5.0 miles)
  • Coffee and knitting
  • Knitting on sock
  • Knitting on sweater
  • Knitting on MKAL
  • Knitting at least one hexapuff
  • Spinning
  • Needlepoint
I'm doing a little bit on each project everyday. Works for me!

Approximately 5 ounces of Romney singles

MKAL through Clue 6 (of 7 total)

Dragon's Egg Sock #1

3 more Hexapuffs!

Quince & Co. Finch Yarn for Aranami Shawl

Quince & Co. stash of Finch AND Tern

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Cool Tool

My latest fiber arts-related acquisition, from Over the Rainbow Yarn in Rockland Maine. A tabletop yarn swift, handmade from cherry and mahogany (I think those are the woods). I tested it out yesterday and it did a fine job of holding a skein and turning smoothly as I cranked my yarn winder. It's more convenient than my other yarn swift, as I can just place it on a table and go, as opposed to having to clamp the other one onto a suitable surface.

Here's a photo. Wish I knew the name of the artisan who creates these, but you can contact Over the Rainbow Yarn - just ask for "tabletop swift" and they'll steer you right.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013


on all fronts today!

Hexapuff #187! For Beekeeper's Quilt
Dragon's Egg Socks by Anne Podlesak for ???
  1. 5 mile walk bright and early
  2. Made another hexapuff
  3. Started a pair of socks
  4. Worked a few border squares of needlepoint
  5. Spun an ounce of romney fiber
It's so hard to be on vacation.
1 ounce Romney

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Rainy Day

I just happened to actually notice the title of this blog - and the part about the exercise? Well, I've been walking between 3 and 5 miles most days, or using our elliptical trainer. We just purchased a new treadmill, and on quite possibly the hottest, most humid day of the year, we moved the elliptical from our bedroom down to the basement to join the new treadmill and the weight bench in our "new" exercise room.

It's raining, so we're doing indoor stuff today. Morse's Sauerkraut, so my mom can stock up on the mango chutney she loves, and I can get German mustard and Wilhelmina Peppermints. Then on to Rockland, for lunch, the Farnsworth Museum, and a trip to Over the Rainbow Yarn. Will I escape unscathed? (Yarn Store, not Farnsworth.)

As promised, here are some visuals of recent progress/works in progress...

Spunky Eclectic Oatmeal BFL "Seashells"
Complete! 552 yards of laceweight singles Spunky Eclectic's Oatmeal BFL in "Seashells"

3 little Hexapuffs - the first ones done since early June
Needlepoint - barely begun.
Vitamin D Cardigan - 80%?

MKAL complete through Clue #5

MKAL detail

Monday, July 22, 2013

A Month in Maine

I'm here at last! Here as in New Harbor, Maine, in the same cottage we've been renting for at least 10 years. And the weather has magically cooled off, too. Took a 4.5 mile walk this morning, reconnecting with Mothers' Beach, Pemaquid Trail, Beach Loop Road, and smiling all the while.

No photos today...I'll post some tomorrow, once I've gotten settled in!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Packing Up

It's time for Maine!!! Packing up today, so I can leave at first light tomorrow morning. Rumor has it that the Kittery bridge is a bottleneck because of construction. We'll see.

In building my packing list, I've noticed that my crafty list is longer than any other section. Knitting, spinning, needlepoint, quilting, rug hooking, beading. It's pretty ridiculous, but I feel like I'll be lost if I don't pack enough stuff to do. So I end up with two years' worth of crafting. I've got about 4 pounds of unspun fiber packed up, about 8 knitting projects, needlepoint that would take up the entire 4 weeks' vacation by itself, a quilt to finish, a hooked rug to finish...

And then there's reading. The iPad is a huge help - one small device holds all my books, podcasts, and audiobooks.

The heat and humidity this morning are SO oppressive. This post serves as an excuse for not getting to the work of packing up. On to it!

Debbie Socks

Saroyan Shawlette

Sample of the pounds of fiber that's going

More Debbie Socks


Dipped Infinity Scarf Kit

Bolt Shawl Color #2

Bolt Shawl Color #1

And of course, the Hexipuffs...

Friday, July 19, 2013

MKAL = Mystery Knit-Along

The yarns and beads even came with stitch markers and a tiny parasol!!!
I'm participating in my first-ever MKAL (Mystery Knit-Along) project this summer. The project is called "The Summer of...", from Wild Prairie Knits, and consists of 7 weeks of clues. Each clue arrives via email on Friday morning, and participants are encouraged to finish that section by the next Friday. Of course, it's all pure fun, not a competition, and some of us are bound to fall behind. And that's fine. I've managed to keep up so far, and am excited to get started on Clue #5, which arrived this morning.

As for the project itself, all we were told is that the project is a shawl, in two colors of fingering weight yarn (colors are our choice), with the option of adding in some glass beads if we preferred to. I did. My colors are a lovely kettle-dyed navy and a beach sand, with clear glass beads knitted into parts of the navy sections. There are garter stripes and solid lace panels.

Participants have been asked not to spoil the surprise by posting photos of the work-in-progress, but I can share a photo of the yarns and beads I chose. They are from Stunning String Studio, and I couldn't be happier with my selection.

The entire experience thus far has been a delight!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

More Backlog

These are, sadly, the only socks I've knitted this year. The brightly colored ones were knitted for Jess, my daughter-in-law, for her birthday. The charcoal gray socks were a parting gift to our school superintendent, who retired this past June. Gone (at least for now...) are the days when I knitted a pair of socks each month. Why, then, do I keep buying MORE of the stuff needed to make footwear???

Vanilla Blue Moon Socks That Rock Lightweight in "Fire on the Mountain" colorway
Swans Island Fingering Organic Merino in Charcoal. Pattern is Sherry Menton's  "Elementary Watson"

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Yarn Diet Not Working!

I keep telling myself I'll stay away from yarn shops, websites, eBay, etc., but then I somehow "find" myself inside a shop, drooling over, ogling at, and touching all the lovely yarns. The latest mishap was in Webs (Northampton, Mass.), where I barely managed to escape with ONLY two skeins of Madeline Tosh Merino Light. What for? Ah, I can at least answer that - no impulse buying for me! These were made to become a Bolt Shawl, designed by Veera Valimaki (my new favorite designer) and found in Jared Flood's latest, Wool People 5. The colors, as shown below, are saturated and vibrant. Can't wait...

"Cathedral" colorway

"Dahlia" Colorway

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Geometry, Hexagons, Beekeepers

I'm reading The Willpower Instinct by Kelly McGonigal. Good book. Rather than focus solely on "Willpower, it discusses  "Will-", "Won't-", and "Want"-power, along with a number of different strategies for sticking to one's goals. I'm not very far into the book, and I'm hoping for a chapter on how to smash the broken record that plays in my head, the one that tells me, over and over ad nauseum, that I'll never be able to do it, so I might as well give up before I even try.

It's hot and humid and not the best weather for feeling energized, motivated, positive.

On with the fiber update. A few years ago, "The Beekeeper's Quilt" pattern hit Ravelry and took the knitting world by storm. Stephanie Dosen is a genius, and a funny one at that. This year I decided to get in on the fun, and not coincidentally, start to make a dent in my serious sock yarn leftovers. I've knitted 183 of the little puffs so far this year. At first I stored them in a large glass bowl on the dining room table, but they soon spilled over into a larger basket. It takes at least 350 of them to make a lap blanket, so I've got my work cut out for me. Each one takes just about 30 minutes to complete. I've got NO shortage of sock yarn, so I imagine I'll be working on this project throughout the remainder of 2013 and pretty far in 2014, at a minimum.

Bowl o' Puffs!

Monday, July 15, 2013


Delicate Ruched Scarf from Churchmouse Yarns & Teas
I'm back, and it's been less than 24 hours. More to show, featuring scarves and shawls and cowls knit since Christmas 2012. Shown in no particular order.

Bubble Ball Cowl - it looks much better against black

Detail showing beads

Heather Undulating Waves Scarf by Laura Nelkin

Color Affection Shawl by Veera Valimaki
Olanthe Scarf by Louisa Harding