Busy Weekend

As mentioned last week, we had planned to paint our apartment last weekend and paint we did. It is so pleasing to watch paint go onto a wall with a roller, and it is fantastic the change that a little color can make. We’re still gathering the things we’re putting on the walls, so the walls are still bare until we get everything together, but the difference is so huge already. It’s so warm and homey. It took us all day from 8 to 6 pm to do two rooms, but it was well worth it. We hardly noticed it was 90F. (haha) The dining room went from this:

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to this:

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and the living room went from this:

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to this:

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Very very exciting!! We’re waiting for a few more things to put up pictures on the walls, but it’s gonna be great. Such a huge homey improvement so far.

And baby sweaters. I bought buttons 4 hours before we were supposed to show up at the bbq, and sewed them on frantically an hour before, in a coffee shop in Northampton… I’m usually way more organized than this, I swear…

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So cute.

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A Pair of Cuties

Ah ha. So tomorrow is Saturday and we’re visiting friends who have twins. Or have had twins for about 6 months now, and they have no Harrison handknits. Bad me. So I’ve great plans to bring them tomorrow two baby sweaters which hopefully will fit sometime this winter.

The first you’ve seen before. The second you’ve seen a lousy photo of. The second has a bit of a trick in it which I thought I’d share, since I can’t be the only one who bravely forges ahead only to find out she’s about 30 yards short of a proper sweater, and sometimes you just can’t pull off 3/4 sleeves…

I knit this from the bottom up of the body, provisionally cast on the sleeves and did the yoke first, then down the sleeves, figuring I could always make the sleeves a wee bit short. I weighed out my yarn, thought it was about enough, then forged ahead. About 2″ from the right sleeve length, I ran out. This is very sad, since this is handspun so there is no more, the sweater is due on Saturday so there isn’t time to start again, and I really liked this yarn as a baby sweater.

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I pulled out my stash and started digging through. Nothing even remotely matched, so I couldn’t finish the sleeves in something else in block fashion (knit with yarn until I run out then try to pass off non-matching yarn on the cuffs, that just wouldn’t look good). In my scraps bag, I had some convieniently 3 ply, matching weight handspun. The two problems with this is that (a) it wasn’t merino, so there was a noticable change in feel of the yarn from soft soft to slightly more rugged, and (b) it was a purple/green type thing, so it didn’t match at all. At first I threw it aside because I didn’t think it would work. And then since I’d been through everything else, and I had to do SOMETHING, I went back to the non-matching one and thought “maybe I can sneak it in…”

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And it worked. I did ripped back to a few inches, and started every other row with the old and new yarn, and I think it looks so cute! The change in feel isn’t as sharp since the soft is mixed in with the still-soft-but-slightly-more-rugged yarn, and the colors are complementing in ways I didn’t expect

.baby sweater in progress

And so it’ll get finished tonight, then some buttons, perhaps on the car ride out there, and voila, I’m no longer slacker knitterly friend, but warmth providing knitterly friend. (No, it’s not done and no I don’t have buttons. Don’t ask.) And now I have a ton of new ideas for stretching my handspun.

Happy Friday.

Random Wednesday

As our house was cluttered last week, so has my head been, so here’s a random discombobulated list of things. Hopefully by next week I’ll be recombobulated.

1. Tuesday nights at the Cantab is bluegrass night, of which we partook last night. It was great. The Spring Hill Rounders were fantastic, go see them if you’re around the Boston area.

b. I’m feverishly working on the second of my two baby sweaters, it’s nearly done. Body finished yesterday, sleeves started while my car was getting an oil change. Alas I am about 2 inches short on each sleeve… I’ll figure something out.

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Terribly sorry about the lousy photo, it’s been raining here for days…

Thirdly. Getting an oil change on a rainy night when you’re waiting for your car an extra 45 minutes then get have to drive through traffic to get home and pick up the veggies from the CSA when you’re already monster hungry before it takes them 1.5 hours to change your oil is a recipe for disaster.

Redecorate!!!!

Last week, as I madly got things together to get the shop up and going (there’s a sale on now, psst…) everything got pulled out which made the house look very cluttered for a day or two. When this happens, the clutter alarm goes off. It seems we can tolerate a certain amount of clutter, and then it hits crisis mode and there is zero clutter tolerance. So we spent a mad evening decluttering/cleaning/putting things where they live. (I swore when I was 14 that this would never happen to me.) When it was all done, all surfaces were clear, all things were where they lived, and we sat down and Greg said… “well, it’s better.” It was as good as it could get without something else. Like actually decorating…

We both lived in our own apartments when we got out of college (with roommates of course…) and thus have accumulated furniture that is nicer than in college, but it still doesn’t match, the curtains are still Target specials. See these curtains? They kind of go with a rug I used to have in another apartment… They have no business being up in our windows right now.

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The living room is a hodge podge right now…

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And the thing that amazes us is that last year we improved by leaps and bound with new grown up rugs and new furniture in the dining room. And we thought we were hot stuff, so great were the improvements. But those improvements have worn off, and has left us suspecting that before we did that it was REALLY bad! And so, we’re going for round two. The posters which have been tacked to the wall (literally) are at the framers getting real grown up frames, and we’ve got paint chips up on the wall. Our super awesome landlord is letting us paint the place, and I cannot wait. It’s gonna be great. The biggest difference in my view between an apartment and a cozy home is white walls vs color. I love color anyways. So this is exciting. After the paint goes up new curtains will go up and posters in real live frames and it’ll be a super cozy place to sit and knit.

Shop Refurbishing

As August winds down (sad!) I’m winding up the shop again. All that yarn from the other day was wound yesterday (all 3714 yards of it – yikes!) and today was photo day, sprucing up the photos for the existing yarn and taking photos of the new stuff. All that will be updated by Friday, when there’ll be a little sale going on, make some room in the shop (and in my not so big apartment!) for some new stuff!
Sneak peak of some new stuff coming…
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Also in sad news, when they say don’t leave your Birks in the hot car, they’re serious… my sad little 7 year old Birk sandals spent a few days in the car and the rubber is no longer attached to the cork… Very very sad. These sandals have gone a long way with me. (I tend to keep things for a really long time, like past where they’re grimy. Well, at least Birks and Dansko clogs. Why yes, I am a picture of fashion.) So perhaps some new ones are on my horizon!

A little light spinning

The shop has been a bit neglected this summer (I’m here, everything’s available, but I’m not updating as much). Part of this is that I don’t have AC and it’s pretty warm in the summer in Boston. The second is it seems a lot of people don’t have AC and aren’t knitting and buying yarn in the summer. So I did a lot of dying in the late spring, and have been working on some custom orders when the heat and humidity allow.

These weren’t just any custom spins, they were very very sexy custom spins. 6 oz of Cashmere/silk to be laceweight, and 1 lb (yes, one pound) of camel/silk to be something more sweater amounts. I spent a lot of time thinking of them and how to best get what I wanted out of them and was terrified to ruin such awesome stuff, but in the end it came out very well. Here they are, about 1300 yds of cashmere/silk lace and about 1100 yds of camel/silk, sport-ish weight.
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The shine!!

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They’re hopping in the bath soon and will be a little bit poofier, but I couldn’t resist a photo.

And then some comparatively boring merino, spun up in fingering to sport weight. The little one on the bottom is the remnants from the singles Navajo plied.

green and orange yarns

I’m still deciding whether to steal the green one, it’s just so pretty. These are hopping in the bath soon too, but I was so excited to clear off all 12 bobbins I wanted to take their photos.

So the shop will be restocked very soon! Yeah!

August

I’ve been on vacation all week. It’s not over. We’ve grilled, sailed the sunfish and gone swimming off the pier (even if I got out immediately because I’m scared of sharks).
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But it’s so nice. I’ve been fortunate to vacation each summer, for most of my life for most of the summer, in the same place. In fact the same place as my mother and her family. Which lends itself to continuity and familiarity. (You’ll come to notice I’m a sucker for tradition and the reassuring repetitiveness of things that happen every year.) The kids my mother babysat are the same people at the beach today, I know them, they know me, they were at my wedding. I’m watching my dreaded babysitter have her own kids (the one who told us not to punch her in the stomach because blood would come out her mouth… not that we were ever punchers anyways…), watching them grow up. Every spring we come down and have to re-recognize the kids who have changes so much over the winter we can’t put a name to the face anymore. (I swear I’m 28 years old. Not 80.) There are lots of people and especially in the past few years a lot of changes, but there are some things that will never change.

We have an outdoor shower which you use to hose off after the beach. There is a tree out there, I don’t even know what type of tree it is. But every year I knew the dreaded trip back home was coming when we could see the leaves starting to turn red. In mid-August, right on schedule, they began to turn this week.

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So I’m going to finish my vacation and will try to be back on Monday with something knitting or spinning related.