Monday, August 18, 2008

Wow! It's mid-August already!

After Bob's "vacation", he went back to work for a week and then we headed up to NY for my Mom's 75th birthday party. It was a surprise, hidden by the claim that there was a graduation party for her grandson (he did graduate from the county police training program). With that excuse we could stay at Mom's with no questions about why we were there. We did arrive on Long Island earlier than she thought because we went to my brother's house (that's where the party was) to help with some of the prep work.

We got to Mom's house late, visited for a little while but went to sleep soon after. The next morning was cool and sunny - we had a great day for the party. We visited and ate and finally got dressed. We were late. The party started without us. giggle. Actually we were supposed to get there around 2:30-3:00 and it was 3:15 before we arrived. As the gate opened, I said Happy Birthday, Mom. That's when it hit her. 40 people gathered to wish her a happy birthday, including some family members that she sees only once/year. It was good. She visited and chatted and posed for photos. We finally headed home at about 11:30 PM. Here's my Mom, with me.

Mom's cake.

and Mom's brother and his family.

The next day we visited for the morning and then headed out to Montauk (the far east end of Long Island).

Here's the lighthouse from the beach.

This is a bluff near the lighthouse. The beach below is a popular spot for fisherman and the water below is a favorite with surfers. Getting up and down is quite a bit of work, though.

Sunset on the beach.

Bob and I have strong ties to that area. A lot of our dating took place out there, and he worked out there for many years while in school. We love it there and always feel relaxed. We needed the relaxation. Bob will go out on disability this week. It was a hard decision for him to make.

We went to the beach, to the lighthouse and to a few marinas, looking at boats and daydreaming of what we might get if money were not such a big obstacle. (Where is that lottery ticket, anyway?). We sat on a bluff (the one in the previous photos) overlooking the ocean and watched a storm roll in. It was full dark, and the lightening was awesome!

These photos were taken at night - full dark, with a long exposure.

I love the lighthouse and the beach and could stay there forever. Unfortunately, work intrudes. We headed home Monday night and arrived about 1AM on Tuesday morning. I had planned to go into work late anyway, so that wasn't a problem. As it turns out, I stayed at home and worked due to the fact that I re-injured the toe that I thought I broke 2 weeks before that and I had a lot of pain over the weekend. I went to the doctor, it was x-rayed and showed no fracture. That means a longer recovery time (soft tissue injury does not usually get treated with immobilization, just rest and meds) . Good and bad news.

This is DH's last week of work, and it is obvious that it was the right decision to stop now - he's really struggling to get things done and is exhausted at the end of the day from the effort required to see and hear well enough to care for customers at work. Friday can't come fast enough.

Knitting content. I have been knitting a lot. I have been frogging a lot. I have been working on a cotton sweater for DH. It's my own design, but don't get excited - it's just a straight stockinette sweater with Nautica-type colors added in stripes across the chest. It is being knit top down and I have had to frog and re-knit sections a few times to get it right. I am working on the armscyes and once I get those right, (the back is done and I am on the front) it will be round and round in white for miles....

I started fingerless mitts last week. I started in a luscious silk/wool blend yarn that I have had in my stash for a while. I loved knitting with it, but it knitted up too loose for my taste for fingerless mitts. I dug in my stash and found some sport weight Lornas Laces in (I think) the Pond colorway. It's one of the semi-solid colors and very pretty. I experimented with needle sizes and could not make it work. I finally decided to decrease the number of repeats. The pattern calls for the lace and cable pattern to be knitted on the outward surface of the glove and stockinette on the inner surface (palm on the hand). I wanted the pattern all around, at least on the cuff portion, and that required a re-work of the ribbing to make it fit. It worked out and I knitted 4 or so pattern repeats before discovering that it binds a little going on over my hand. It was back to the frog pond again, but this time I left the ribbing in place and changed the cable from a 3x3 to a 4x4 cable, thereby adding 8 stitches to each glove. It seems to be working now, but I try it on as I finish each pattern repeat just to be sure that it will still fit.

The yarn that I originally chose is now becoming the Leaf Lace Scarf. It is a good match, I think and I love knitting with this yarn.

Northern Star is on hold. I think I still like it, but I have put it away for the time being and plan to re-evaluate later.

Montego Bay has been frogged and I am using a pattern I found in the perpetual calendar to make another scarf. This pattern seems to highlight the color changes instead of fight with them. ; )

I have also been spinning. I completed the worsted weight yarn (spinning and plying) that I started a few weeks ago and it's drying now. I have gone back to spinning the purple fiber I purchased 2 years ago at Rhinebeck - it's a wool/silk blend and it is intended for a shawl, design still to be decided. My plan is to spin for about 30 minutes each day, then move on to knitting. I think I spin better if I do some everyday, rather than once/week. I won't bring my wheel on vacation but I will bring my drop spindle and fiber with me. I can't let a whole week go by without spinning at all, now can I?

I have such a hard time deciding which craft to spend my time on since I enjoy them both. I have toyed with the idea of weaving for a while, but this is one of the reasons I haven't yet pick it up - how will I find time to work on everything I love to do? (and still go on with normal life).

The next post should include some boat work photos and update. Until then, knit and be happy.

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