Here I am again, your occasional blogger. I have to say, as busy as I've been with barn things and knitting things lately, my absence is mostly explained by the time suck that is Ravelry. I've gotten into a bad habit of reading too many of the forums, mostly for the "oh my goodness can you believe that!!!" factor. I need to do better and move away from the train wrecks.
As for barn stuff, there was a lot of noise and fury for the first four or five months of this year, but thankfully that has mostly settled down. In May, I was elected President of our Conservancy, which has been another huge time suck. The Conservancy is the group that holds events at the barn to raise money for the capital improvements the County (which owns the property) can't or won't fund. Over the past two years, we raised over $40,000 to renovate our outdoor arena. That project, which started the middle of June as a big, but one week, job, turned into a nightmare. Not because of construction problems, but because of the rain. Three days after we started, it began raining, and it hardly stopped until the middle of last month. June was the rainiest month on record. July had to be a close second, and August wasn't much better. But finally, on a rainy day in September (how fitting) we were able to open. However, as with all construction projects, it turns out there is a small glitch with the footing. We will be addressing that this week and everyone will soon be back to riding outside. I can't wait!
Beside all that, I'm still riding every morning but Sunday (my day to sleep in and not think about barn stuff.) I'm having such a great time and am finally seeing some progress in several areas that have been plaguing me. I'm an old dog - new tricks don't come easy!
On the home front, it's been pretty quiet. The spousal unit is still working and living in the DC area. He did get on a better schedule a few months ago, though, and is home one week out of every three, which means he gets two full weekends at home to every one he's in DC. The job keeps him very busy, which is good, becasue that man loves to work!
So, like my far away last post, let's take it month by month, shall we?
Busy, busy month, but I managed to finsh a really pretty shawl - Nori. I'd love to show you a photo of it, but I still haven't blocked it (along with a host of other 2012 and 2013 projects!) Click the link to see the specifics and another link to the page with the official photos.
Staying busy with the aforementioned outdoor arena, riding, and lots of other barn stuff, but did find time to knit, too.
This, along with the following project, were part of a gift to one of our Board members who had a premature baby girl. We also included some soothing bath products and other items for the weary mom.
Such cute patterns, and easy!
Yes, still knitting socks, even if not as fast or furiously as in years past. I loved the color of these, but my friend Hali is all about pink, so I gave them to her.
Rain, rain, and more rain. The 4th of July was rained out, so no fireworks. The only good thing about all the summer rain was it turned out to be not too hot. However, I will take the hot over the amount of rain we suffered this year!
My friend Diana's birthday is in June, but she was working out of town this summer, so I had a little extra time to finish her present. She loves flying pigs, so what else could I give her but a bouncy knit one.
It has one of those pink rubber balls inside so, should the mood strike her, she can indeed have the pig fly!
I had been working on a fingering weight sweater for a while, and finally finished it in July. Please forgive the rotten photo. This sweater is amazingly cute on, and actually fits! (Which is more than I can say for many of the sweaters I've knit for myself.)
I love this so much, I'm considering knitting another - in red!
Working on a big project usually means also doing small ones, and because my own bath mitt was old and unraveling, I knit myself a new one.
I knit these out of Cotton 8 Ply by Heirloom (link on project page.) The cotton really holds up and stays nice and soft.
Most of August was same old, same old, but after not having been on vacation for two years, Jim and I took off for the west coast from August 27 to September 6. We spent about a week in the San Juan Islands and then the next week on Mount Rainier. This was the first time we'd been to the San Juan's, and I have to say I don't think I've been anywhere as beautiful. I took well over 1500 photos, and because they are currently residing on my removable drive, I don't have anything to show you. I promise to do a post on that much sooner than the time between this one and the last. Suffice it to say we had a fantastic time. I can't wait to go back.
Before we left, I had a few finishes.
Again, a not so hot photo of a really cute sweater. This is the second time I've knit this sweater. The first was rather a fail due to a poor choice of yarn, but this one is great!
Next up, a quick to finish scarf - Obstacles. No photo - it lives in the "to be blocked" pile.
My pink loving friend, Hali, has a September birthday, so before we went on vacation, I finished a cowl for her to give when we got home.
This little pattern is really nice and I plan to make one for myself. The yarn is wool/cashmere and super soft!
Another quck and fun knit was Featherbelle. Again, not blocked. So sad.
Although the weather forecast turned out to be wrong, while we were in the San Juan's, I knit a little hat to wear on Mount Rainier. I'm glad it wasn't cold enough to use, but its time will come.
Well, September was an interesting month. Spent the first week on Mount Rainer. The second week was lost to jet lag, which for some reason really knocked me for a loop. Third and fourth weeks, I was sort of sick. While I still went in to ride every morning, the rest of the day was usually spent in a fog of sleep and just not feeling quite right. Finally, around the 25th, the fog lifted and while my sinuses are still in revolt, at least I'm back to my normal wacky self.
While still on vacation, I started a pair of socks, which I managed to finish just as September came to a close.
These are made from that good old standby, Trekking XXL. I forgot how much I love that yarn. Sturdy, wooly, and really good stitch definition.
So, while it's still warm in the afternoon, the mornings are starting to cool and I know the time for wearing all my knits is not far off. Actually, it was cool enough two weekends ago to wear my Raiun cardigan. The rained out fireworks were postponed to September 28, and I was glad to have an appropriate weight sweater to keep me warm.
It's still busy at the barn, with our biggest fund raiser of the year, the Fall Festival, coming up on the 19th of this month, so that's been occupying a lot of my time.
But I suppose the biggest news is something that will come as no surprise to most of you - I'm considering buying a horse. But wait, not by myself, but in partnership with one of my friends at the barn. We've barely begun looking, and there are a lot of logistics to be agreed upon between us, but it looks like it will really happen. Then, of course, you'll be subjected to photos of my new baby! Of course, the kitty boys are still doing great. When I come back with vacation photos, I'll be sure to include a few of them.
So, that's my busy summer in a rather long nutshell. Thanks for hanging in there with me. Again, I promise to do better. Maybe I need to just schedule one day a week to post - if you promise not to be too bored by my not so exciting life!