Monday, March 31, 2008

The Maine DOT giveth...

...and the Maine DOT taketh away.

      We lost our Monday Gott boat. It's very upsetting. We are considering holding a memorial service. The reason, we are told, is that the State has exhausted its DOT budget. You know, because it snowed.
     Umm, is this not Maine? Seriously? The snow took you by surprise? Just what kind of idiots are we talking about here...because, I'm sorry, you have to be a really special kind of idiot to have not suspected there could possibly be a lot of snow during the winter somewhere in the State of Maine. And, you know, budget for its removal accordingly.
     So, whatever. We'll survive without another trip. What a way to run a business, though!

     The good news, in my house anyway, is this:

100_4424
I DID get the house cleaned out.


100_4421
I feel sooo much better now.

So, here was the cause of my distress, in a nutshell:

100_4423
that's FIVE garbage bags of 'stuff that was cluttering my house and my life' that I am happy to part with.

These bags will be living in the back of my van, driving around the island until I (potentially) get off during April vacation. Think I can keep the kids from reclaiming their toys until then?
Wish me luck!

And look what I found in the back of a closet! It needs a tassel on the hood, and a button at the neck, but then it's headed off to Patrice. This sucker  weighs about 15 pounds more than she does, but it'll keep her warm while watching her brother's hockey games and practices.
 

100_4417

wow, try not to look so excited

100_4420
I finished this last fall, and promptly forgot about it.
Btw, seed stitch sucks even on size 11 needles.
Back to my sock!

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Frenchboro's Talent Show, 2008

Tonight was the annual Talent Show, and it was the usual success. There was singing and dancing, a wonderful piano concerto, a gymnastics exhibition, a guitar solo, and a 'live ventriloquist'.

Everybody did a great job; it was hilarious fun!
I did not participate as I have no talent except knitting, (does eating count?) and unless you are a speed knitter, nobody wants to see you up on stage....knitting. I considered a 'knit fashion show' featuring some of my past projects, but as they are all baby knits and we only have one baby on the island...and she can't walk yet...
well, we needed audience members, too.

100_4401
progress on the Hot Socks, finished the heel.

100_4400
...same shot, without sunshine. Looks like crap, doesn't it? My camera just will not show the true colors of this yarn. I'm sure it has absolutely nothing to do with my picture taking abilities.

     I woke up this morning to the cold realization that while I was knitting, every horizontal surface in my house got covered with 'stuff'. I looked around my bedroom as I came to, and had to spend 20 minutes clearing surfaces in there BEFORE COFFEE.
    When I came downstairs, I saw that it had happened there as well. Umm, in fact, it was everywhere I looked. I had 4 cups of coffee in quick succession, turned the heel on that sock, and ripped apart my entire house.
     My kids are totally traumatized by the ravaging of the toy room. They can list the  name of the person who gave them every toy they own, and list 40 separate and distinct reasons NOT to part with each and every toy. We got rid of tons of stuff when they weren't looking. It's the only way.
    If I didn't think it would make me take off on the ferry tomorrow, I would have taken a picture of the devastation.
    Worst news, only 2 rooms got put back together. I have all day tomorrow to finish, then back to work all week. My sock won't be seeing any attention tomorrow, for sure!
(Mother Nature isn't helping matters any either, we got 4 inches of wet slushy snow Friday, the day I had planned to empty the mudroom of all thing snow-related. I'm so sick of tripping over hats, gloves, (even if they are the hand-knit ones) and boots! coats! Bring on the flip-flops!
   If I don't post tomorrow night with a picture of a clutter- free sparkling house, send help!
And bring wine!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Ahhh, success

It is done.

I've never been happier to complete a project.
And I've never been unhappier with a project I've done!
This should have been an easy fast knit. I think I set myself up for failure by messing with the neck when I re-sized this sweater. Then I had issues with the leftover yarn, then my jogless joins...oh, I thought it would never end.
So, while I'm not really satisfied with my work, I am soooo glad to see this one off my needles!


100_4377

100_4378
Whew!

So, on to other things...
like, socks...


100_4386
I'm going to call these Hot Socks, because the color is like hot sunshine. 
Bring on Spring, already!

     This is Southwest Trading Company's Tofutsies.  It has soysilk, cotton, and chitin (which it says "is fiber made from shrimp and crab shells! It's naturally antibacterial!" And anyone who knows me knows this is precisely why I bought it! Put the word 'antibacterial' on a label and it's a sure bet I'll go for it.)It's about as thick as sewing thread. For $16.99, it had better smell like roses and wear like iron.
Now, my pattern calls for a size 2 needle for fingering weight yarn, but this stuff is soooo fine, I should use a zero. I'm compromising with myself and using a one. 
The gauge is just ever so slightly off, but it should be ok.


100_4396
100_4397
     The only other sock I've ever knitted was 2x2 rib all the way. I'm giving myself a gift (well deserved, after finishing that evil version of Wicked) and doing this plain stockinette. It's going fairly fast, considering it's finer than dental floss.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

In the home stretch

I'm sooo close to being finished with 'wicked stripes' it's not even funny. 'Course this weekend is Easter, so I've got 3 days of cooking to do, and getting the house ready for the big dinner...and all the laundry, etc. that has to be done regardless of what holiday approaches...


But, people, I have one sleeve left to do.

How can I cook and clean when I could be done with this sweater in, like, an hour or two?

I feel a late night coming on.....and then a pair of socks!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Perspective


     You know, when there are only 40 people in your world (at least that you see every day), the walls tend to close in a little. And while that can make us fiercely protective of each other, it also makes us want to kill each other on a pretty regular basis.
Fortunately, this has never actually happened.
But if fishing doesn't pick up pretty soon around here, we might have a problem.

I haven't been off this island since February 21st
     That is not a long time for me, by a longshot (I once did a 4 month 1 week stretch), but I was ready to go last week (the 12th) and couldn't get a babysitter for the post office.

It's time.

must look at pretty yarn...
brownsheeprivercolors
Mmmmmmmmm!

Koigu_00
Ohhhh, Koigu....

KPbareArchw07
Is this the coolest yarn photo you ever saw? An ad for knit Picks, you should immediately go to their website and buy something just for the sheer genius of this ad. Plus, they have amazing wonderful stuff.

100_2536
S%*&. I haven't been off this island in 10 years, 3 months, and 23 days. What the hell is she complaining about?


IMG_1894
Ahem, this would be Al, losing it during a one week stint on the island, during fabulous weather, in the middle of August. In her defense, we may have grossly underestimated how much wine to bring with us that particular trip. If memory serves, this would have been taken mid-week, as can be confirmed by the fact that she is still smiling.

Well, I feel better now. I may take some of my frustrations out on the preparation of next year's school budget.

Pay cuts all around!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Crazy Days

We had Hollywood snow today. That's when the snow only sticks to the grass and trees and looks pretty, but leaves the road bare for easy traveling. It was very convenient. But I didn't photograph it. I am done with the snow and will not give it the satisfaction of my interest any further.


The school kids finished out their week of March Madness. I will share some of these pics with you.

Monday was Beach Day.

Tuesday was Crazy Hat Day.
Wednesday was Dressy Day
Thursday was Pajama Day.
Friday was Crazy Hair Day.
           Yup, pretty strong argument for homeschooling.

Thing One designed her crazy hair herself.
100_4367

She was so proud.

     I never touched a set of needles today. I've been consumed with school board 'Stuff", yes in caps. I don't know what I'm more resentful of, the fact that I'm going to spend an entire weekend dealing with this stuff, or the fact that it's keeping me from knitting.
Either way it's not fair!

     I did find another little bag to show. It's the felted bracelet bag from Crazy Aunt Purl's original recipe, done in Boku yarn from Patternworks. I like to felt, have done some mittens, but this was the first bag I felted. I did two of these (because I could) but one was for Thing One's birthday and I can't remember which. She'll use that opportunity to keep both.

100_4369
100_4370
100_4371

Aren't they cool??

Thursday, March 13, 2008

A word on politics

     OK, what is up with these politico-wives "standing by their man" when they fall from grace? I'm no feminist, but c'mon! And why do they all look like Stepford wives (all shell-shocked and stoned) while their husbands are giving their resignation speeches? Is it a money thing? When Billy Bob did it to Hillary, I just assumed he had something terrible over her head (entirely likely and plausible) and blackmailed her into submission, but that can't be the case for every one of the wives, can it? That would be really sad. What is this world coming to! All I can think is, what the hell message does that send to our daughters? When I grew up it was "you can be anything you want, education first, build confidence, believe in yourself", and here are these smart, successful women ROLE MODELS standing there like idiots.

I  just don't get it.
I'm just going to knit.

     So, speaking of women, and breasts (because women have them), I found these great little bags on somebody's blog. I'm still working on the link thing (and I haven't really had time to look into it yet, so it's not that I'm really that dumb- or at least, that remains to be seen), but when I figure it out I will post the link to Laurie's Bracelet Bag, as promised, as well as this one from Knotty Generation/aka/Pam Gillette.
Here is my version.
100_4359
Check out the handles -one is much shorter than the other; the longer one feeds through the short making a very tight closure, and only one nice thick loop to fit over your wrist!

The designer adapted this pattern from a Lion Brand pattern (I have not seen the original), but I believe she said she only "borrowed" the handle design. She 'invented' this because she needed a small bag to carry her cell phone and keys during a Walk For The Cure. I love the whole idea!

I have decided to make lots and lots of these bags to promote the Walk For The Cure program, and sell them (in accordance with copyright laws, natch), and donate the money raised to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.(Because, you know, I have breasts, as do lots of my family and friends, and I want there to be a cure...just in case. Plus I'm a Mammographer so I am a strong supporter of breast health. One out of nine women, people! Think about it!)
But they should be pink, don't you think?!?
100_4360
and then there were two!

100_4361
and three! (Ummm, these pictures did not look so blurry when I took them. You might want to lay off the wine while reading my blog.)

I did three of these last night. Plus, I did this:
100_4365

Wow, even blurrier. Seriously, you may want to check out Betty Ford. I could post the link for you when I figure it out, I'm sure they have a website. Maybe Lindsey will be there!

     This is the original bag I played with the other night, the one with the kiddie plastic bangle bracelets. Except I knitted two I-cord handles instead of the bangles. Much better for a cough thirty-something year old woman (with fabulous breasts) to carry.
Shut up Michele.

     I was interviewed by our local channel WABI 5  news today, regarding the grocery delivery system I coordinated. I was witty and wise, and didn't swear once! It wasn't until we were finished and I got in my car that I realized I had my black sunglasses on for the entire interview. Oh my God, I'm sure I looked like Snoop Dogg with the inappropriate shades! Hi, I'm stoned and can't take my glasses off 'cuz everyone will see how f'd up I am. Word.
Lovely, can't wait to see that on tv.
     On the bright side, the tv crew lined up all the school kids to do their "goodnight from...'fill in the blank with the name of the town they are filming from'". Thing One and Thing Two somehow ended up standing in front of the rest of the kids- Thing one holding the microphone! You should have seen her face, she was so stoked! The reporter had to pull the mike away from her when they were done; it was a riot.
     Then they lined up a second group of kids to say the same line, and Thing Two JUMPED into the picture at the last minute, again in the front row, and did  "Goodnight from Frenchboro!"  again with this devilish grin on his face.
Yup, he's just like his Father.

Off to work on 'Wicked'...I'm almost out of the mid color yarn, an unwelcome surprise. This totally wrecks my plan. Honestly, I think I'm just going to knit with whatever color I pick up until I run out of it, then move on to the next until it's gone, etc.
Planning it out just makes more work, and still comes to naught.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

A Finished Object

Here are some pics of the damage from the storm last weekend. Pretty impressive. This is the walkway to the Museum/Gift Shop/Library that will be opening in May. Donna has some work to do to get that place ready!


Finally, a finished project. I needed something quick to boost my confidence, though I am in the home stretch of 'wicked' (in that I am knitting on it again, as opposed to kicking it every time I walk by it).

100_4350
100_4349
100_4351
These were fun and fast and easy to make. I haven't picked up a crochet hook in many, many years! Now I'm working on one that doesn't use kid plastic bangles to hang from the wrist, it's knitted I-cord. I'll have that done in a few minutes, then I'm going to learn how to link back to Laurie's original bag on her website. (This may take some doing.ugh.)

Monday, March 10, 2008

March Madness

     Not basketball, (sorry all you b-ball fans, but I hate basketball with a passion) it's March Madness week here at the Frenchboro School. A fact I promptly forgot last night as Thing 1 and Thing 2 picked out clothes and packed backpacks for school this morning. It was verrrryy cold today, so I did the mother thing and bundled them up like deep sea divers and drove them to school - only to see kids in bathing suits when we got there! Ooops, it's "Beach Day" at school and we're dressed for Siberia!

     Ran home for a quick change of clothes, and all was right with the world again.
I have pictures of finished "bracelet bags" to post, but it seems that Blogger has put me in a time out. I'll try again in the morning. Somebody somewhere is sleeping on their computer keyboard with their nose pressing a key.
The only other excitement 'round here is school budget talks, woohoo, and the damage from the rainstorm Saturday night. There'll be pics of that, too.
Tomorrow is crazy hat day at school. Should be interesting.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Auntie Em! Auntie Em!

No, I do not have an Aunt named Em; I am, of course, reciting a line from the infamous Wizard of Oz. And the reason for this is the Wind (winds like these must be capitalized) and Buckets o' Rain. I swear to God I thought my bedroom window was going to blow in last night. It didn't.

The ferry was rumored to have cancelled, but it came. I'm glad I wasn't on it; I'll bet it was a helluva ride.
 Damage reports this morning included one washed out road at the head of the cove and one washed out walkway to the library. There were multiple cave-
ins where the roads meet the harbor, big ugly chunks of missing banks that washed away. It's almost painful to look at, all this mud and downed trees, everything is so dirty and dull and dead. I need Spring.
     And it's coming! We changed the clocks last night, losing precious knitting time. It's not clear how the hour that was lost ends up being off my knitting time, yet somehow...it just is.
     Pretty soon there will be buds, and daffodils, and....deer eating them. You know it's Spring when you see me fly out of my house in pajamas waving a cast iron frying pan at the deer eating my "fill in the blank with any plant variety that deer are not supposed to like to eat, or are poisonous to deer but they eat it anyway". Hardy stock, our deer. I've seen them nibble foxgloves! 'Course they're all inbred and weigh an average of 85 pounds. I'm trying to train this 20 year old, half dead, fat, lazy cat to attack them (at least scare them off), but she uses all her energy to draw breath.

I've recently realized that in every picture I've taken of this cat in the last 5 years she's been asleep. Isn't she cute, she's the best cat ever!

In knitting news:     
I'm plogging away at wicked, getting there...getting there...
But I got bored with all that stockinette....so bored, and so sick of that particular WIP that I decided to knit a dishcloth to take my mind off it. I ended up playing around with-gasp-a crochet hook (haven't done THAT in a while...like 8 years...) and making the cutest and most functional....well, I'll show ya tomorrow. Hope for sun so my pics will come out!



Friday, March 7, 2008

What a wasted day!

It started out bad, and just got worse. Now, remember, compared to the very terrible things that can happen in the world this is not even gonna make the charts. But it's my life, and if I say it stunk, then it stunk.

I totally forgot that there would be a make up ferry trip this morning, the consequence of which is that somebody has to get the mail on and off the ferry. Umm, that would be me. So the post office hours change to 8-11. Now, it's not as if I would have slept any later than 7, but I most assuredly would have gone to bed before 3:30 had I realized I had to be up, dressed, and coherent by 7am!
Not a good start to the day. I know I made a phone call at 7am, and have absolutely no recollection of what was said either by me or to me. Sorry, LJ
     But it all got done; mail was sent off, incoming mail was sorted, and all was right with the world. I went home, intending to do the usual Friday routine of cooking and cleaning, and was so tired that I really accomplished nothing. I felt like my clothes dryer, which is not fully functioning right now, and took four hours to dry a load of clothes. How's my electric bill going to be next month?
     I'm watching "Pride and Prejudice" right now. Don't I wish I had the grace and control Elizabeth portrays when she essentially tells creepy cousin Mr. Collins to pack sand. Classic.

     Not a single stitch was knitted today. I'm playing with Excel to chart out the stripes for that @#$^^&% sweater. I can't wait to get that OFF MY NEEDLES! I sketched out a fisherman's guernsey yesterday, and I can't wait to get moving on that!

Holy Crow! The day has just been salvaged! At 11:43, yet! 
     It's official, Frenchboro will now be enjoying an additional round trip ferry trip on Mondays, courtesy of my very favorite Captain, Kim Strauss. This is HUGE news for us!
There will be dancing in the streets! 

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Is it Spring?


Yesterday we endured snow, ice, and rain. High winds and higher seas caused the ferry to cancel. No mail. Then the rain came down in buckets and washed it all away, leaving us with this mess.
Mud. 
I grew up just outside of Boston, and what I thought was mud turned out to be plain old dirt. I met real mud when I got married and moved to Maine. Our first house was in the woods, with a 'dirt road' for a driveway. It was so bad one Spring that I threw down some old boards I dug out of the barn and 'walked the plank' to go from car to house. I never wore a white uniform to work, it wouldn't have stood a chance.(and the blue scrubs didn't fare much better.)
When we moved out here to the island, I thought those days were behind me. Why? It's still Maine. There's still dirt. But it wasn't the woods anymore; we had actual neighbors, and that sidetracked me. 
We moved here in November. The ground was frozen,. We had just had a Nor'easter and there was a foot of snow on the ground. I went through the whole of the winter with nary a thought of mud. ...Aaand then one day, I stepped out the front door and into the driveway....and sank ankle deep into mud. It was like quicksand, and for one quick moment I was a little panicked that I was just going to keep on sinking up to my neck (oh, the drama) but I did that high-stepping maneuver you do in that situation and only lost a shoe. Seriously, I had to dig it out with a garden trowel. And that is why, people, when you come to our island, you will see men, women, and children of all ages wearing fishing boots from March until July. That is mud season out here, and the day you don't wear your boots is the day you step into a sinkhole and lose a shoe. Maine is just not a patent leather Mary Jane's kinda place, I guess.
These tire tracks are the moat that has to be traversed to get to the post office. It is all befitting my plan to be Queen. 

On to some knitting! I have ripped out 'wicked' again. 
Yup, you heard me right. I do believe this is the 5th re-knit on this sweater. My latest rip was not a construction issue, but a color issue. I didn't like the stripes, and re-designed the stripe pattern. I almost broke down and took a pic to show you. But I didn't.


Instead, check out what a beautiful Spring day it was!