My to do list is getting shorter. We leave in a week to become caretakers at Bass Harbor Head lighthouse. If you are one of the 100,000! people who visit annually, please say hi.
The National Park Service acquired it from the US Coast Guard in 2020 and we will be its first NPS caretakers! Mount Desert Island is technically an island but we can drive there.
Time to clean the fridge. Meals become interesting as we eat through its contents.
Time to finish projects I can’t take with me. Actually, I will take my latest with me in its finished form. Back in March, I started weaving a queen size blanket made of alpaca silk yarn. I planned and calculated but still ran short of yarn 2/3 through and could not find more. I found some similar though, waited for it to be delivered, and made do.
I wove about 10 yards of fabric, cut it into three panels and, poof, we have a blanket to take to Maine.
Tim is in full form so I no longer am responsible for EVERYTHING!! Of course, he is already doing too much.
Sparky is sporting a new windshield but won’t be making this trip with us. He is strictly a lake boat. I found a great guy in the north country with a can do attitude and he did it!
We plan to bike the 45+ miles of carriage road in the park and I converted Tim’s bike to fit me, while he had a new recumbent bike delivered to Maine.
My car may look like the Beverly Hillbillies because I also fixed my roof rack just in case.
Or I hope it will be. In the middle of the Omicron surge, I feel as if I will be lucky to test negative tomorrow before my immediate family gathers for the first time in two years.
Even though I have had two years, I only started knitting gifts after the this December. 25th, and I’ve been busy. This is just a preview. The rest is a secret.
A new baby was born during these crazy times so I made him a quilt to welcome home to the world.
I revamped my workspace after my worktable had a breakdown. It was formerly my dining table and the first piece of (used) furniture I bought 23 years ago but it isn’t sturdy enough to support my habits – the latest related to a very heavy knitting machine.
Time for it to move on. It will still be fine for dining as long as the meal is not too heavy! I have placed this one in its stead.
It is nice to be home for a while and to get reacquainted with my tools (toys). I wove a baby blanket on my floor loom and added a cute little octopus for fun. I miscalculated and had to order more yarn but it’s a win.
A friend needed some help getting a knitting machine working and it reignited my interest. I made a few hats and a vest for myself (which was not a win). Then my daughter requested some baby gifts for friends.
A few years ago, I made a heap of crab slippers for her frisbee friends. Now the clan was expanding and I used the same motif to make a baby crab vest.
Nothing beats hand knit though. I made a little aran sweater – but the hood is a little wonky.
I couldn’t resist knitting another Forest Path Stole. It’s a fun and interesting knit.
My she-shed bee-shed is doing its job well. All my bee boxes are stored, along with Sparky’s boat gear and my underused telescope.
But here was my latest challenge. My daughter’s friend was expecting her first child. Her labor was induced because the baby was expected to be large. She was in for the long haul. I had “received” a new to me knitting machine and wanted to give it a go.
I decided to try to knit her a baby sweater contemporaneous with her time in labor. I hoped she would deliver before I finished the sweater. But alas, it was not to be. I took breaks to sleep, swim, eat, and relax and I still finished before she ultimately delivered – after two days of labor, 4 hours of pushing, and ultimately a c-section, the trifecta of labor and delivery.
Her final product was more beautiful than mine but she can keep the sweater as a memento of her time in labor – or not.
Sunsets are guaranteed to happen every day, some more beautiful than others. We only have to marvel at them.
The palette inspires my weaving.
I am making more napkins on my table loom. We lost one of the two I made in Maine this winter so now I am making six for home.
My band weaving group is going to meet again after more than a year apart. I was inspired to try a 3 heddle technique on my inkle loom. I had to correct a few threading mishaps but now this will be easy weaving while we chat away the afternoon.
I’m using a Japanese stitch pattern to make an Aran style baby sweater. Similar but different. It seems more delicate and lacy.
Down another rabbit hole. I am trying a new quilt technique where you cut 6 (or 8) identical triangles and arrange them into a hexagon. I use a hinged mirror to predict the outcome and plan the layout.
I try to create a little something every day. And keep a sense of wonder.
This thought just tickles me. We are taking a few swimming lessons to improve our strokes. I pretty much swim freestyle, always, and Tim does this and the backstroke. While giving us tips about our strokes, our teacher is intent on teaching survival skills as well, and the elementary backstroke, which used to be a favorite of mine when I was young, is really a survival swim. Since gliding and doing nothing is one of the most important aspects it made me chuckle to imagine a race with everyone doing nothing.
My concentration ebbed. The instructor asked me to count my strokes for the length of the pool – and I forgot to. Then when I remembered to count my strokes, I forgot to kick, because we had been working on another drill. It’s a good thing I wasn’t chewing gum as well, who knows what might have happened.
Back on terra firma, I have finished a lovely merino shawl for a friend. It is Print o’ the wave stole by Eunny Jang and the second time I have knitted it. Very satisfying. And I did memorize the patterns so something is still working up there.
Then I got carried away and decided I needed to weave a ribbon for the package. I hope to finish and mail it tomorrow.
We walked on the sand bar over to Little Moose Island which is only accessible at low tide. The day was glorious, 50’s and sunny, and we were not alone. But we always find secluded places to enjoy the sea and rocks.
I thought lobsters only turned red after they were cooked. Who cooked this one?
We celebrated early with the family away and never brought a tree into the house. My geranium, salvaged from Seguin Island several years ago, brings holiday color to the room.
This year’s family craft project was paper cutting animal snowflakes.
Be careful, it’s another worm hole to fall into. We used the book, 100 Amazing Paper Animal Snowflakes by Marion T. Nichols. For some reason, the templates are available online on this website if you feel the urge.
My work area looked like a warehouse from Thanksgiving until now. I knit, wove and wove. I finished my final ? project yesterday but didn’t take a photograph it yet. I made tablet woven tiebacks for the log cabin’s curtains. Tim also received a wool rag rug for the cabin in the white elephant fiber exchange. The cabin may be complete – never.
There were hats, scarves, slippers, rugs, bath and hand towels to name what I can remember.
We sneaked a quick trip in to Montreal to listen to a choir perform in the Notre Dame Basilica. Despite the slush and the Montreal shuffle it demands, it is a beautiful city in the winter. Our new NEXUS passes let us sail across the border.
My fair isle sweater is almost complete. It’s knit but there about a million ends to weave in. I built a wooly board yesterday from plans I found online to block it. The pattern was for a man and it fits a little wonky. I hope the stretcher will help. For now, it looks just as nice inside out.
Today is a lovely snowy day to sit by the wood stove and finish this task. After I use the snow blower to clear the driveway.
I completed my cabin quilt on Valentine’s Day and already wrote about it here. It hasn’t made it to the cabin yet because Tim wanted it on our “bed” instead. We had an IKEA mattress and frame on the floor for over a year. I’m getting too old for this. I had to roll onto my knees to get out of bed.
Tim had been hemming and hawing about building a bed. I was hoping to duplicate the bed we slept in on Deal Island, Tasmania, but since we didn’t have a cove where timber washed up on the beach, it was difficult to duplicate. We did find a great sawmill nearby though and got to choose lumber for the project, including an irregular piece with the bark still on it. They cut them to width and we drove them home.
I helped out with drawings but Tim did all the real work. He made a beautiful, sturdy bed. Best of all, I can rise to my feet straight out of bed. Maybe one day the quilt will make it up to the cabin, where I have to crawl to the foot of the bed to get up.
The holidays are behind us. The stockings, which were hung with care, are back in storage.
Attention turns to the New Year and our resolutions. Here’s mine. In 2016 any additions to my wardrobe will be made by me. That is not to say I will only wear handmade clothing but I have to make everything I would normally buy.
Needless to say, I shopped at Victoria’s Secret and the Gap on December 30.
First on my list is a few silk camisoles. Perhaps pajama pants from handwoven fabric. My homemade bathing suit (sewn, not knit) is holding up just fine. I’m flush in hats, gloves, and slippers. I may need a wool coat. We’ll see what the New Year brings.