Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The End of November

Well, I made it to the end of NaBloPoMo and blogged every day.  I don't claim to have said something worthwhile every day, or even many days, but my 30 days are up and hopefully I'll have rekindled the habit of blogging on a regular basis.

I was awake half of last night worrying about this weekend; I leave Saturday morning for Vegas and the half marathon is Sunday morning.  I know I've done all I can to be in shape and ready but still.....I have to worry about something!  I guess I'm tired, but I feel a bit melancholy or at least nostalgic for some reason.  Time is marching on; my collegeboy mailed in his application for graduate school today.  I'm so proud of him, but I can't believe my little boy will soon be a college graduate and then studying for his MFA.  He's lucky in knowing what he wants to do and having the passion to go after it.  I have to think that that's a rare quality, especially in young people.  I wish him luck even though I have total faith in him and will keep my fingers crossed until we have an answer in April.  Then when he gets in, we'll worry about paying for it!

So if I'm gone for a few days, I will certainly report back and let you know how the Princess and I did.  I know the experience will be fun, even though we won't be dressed as Elvis or be getting married at the run-through wedding chapel.

Wish us luck!


Monday, November 29, 2010

Another WIP

Inspiration is lacking here on the second to the last day of National Blog Posting Month, so I'll just show a project that I couldn't wait to start but has ended up languishing a bit.

It's the Undulating Scarf from Spin-Off Magazine, Summer 2010.  I spun some Enchanted Knoll fiber when I was on a forced vacation (long story) in October and couldn't wait to cast it on.  It's coming along fine but it requires me to watch the pattern and do this funny double increase thingy every so often which I don't like so much.

I do like how the scarf is looking, though, so perhaps I'll get on the ball and finish it.  Hope springs eternal!


Sunday, November 28, 2010

Pieces

My Cassidy sweater is coming along nicely.  I was worried about the gauge so I blocked the back when I finished it and it came out to the right dimensions.  The first front piece looks so narrow, but I know it's due to the ribbing, cables pulling in, etc. so I'm going ahead and working on the second one and will block them together to match the back.  I really like this color; a nice periwinkle.



I'm looking forward to finishing it and having another cozy sweater for the winter.  I still have to finish the laceweight sweater I started and make the short sleeved handspun sweater, but I guess they'll have to wait.  I have to cast on a plain pair of socks this week for my airplane knitting for next weekend.  Why is it that it's always so much more fun to plan the next project than it is to finish the current one?

Saturday, November 27, 2010

10.2 Miles!

That's how far The Princess and I ran today.  It wasn't easy or very much fun toward the end, but it was possible.  Now, those last 2.9 miles that we'll have to do next Sunday?  Not a problem!

Friday, November 26, 2010

The Aftermath

Today is dark and drizzly but thankfully the snow is gone.  My Collegeboy had to drive back over the mountains today in a snowstorm, but he had chains, said it really wasn't too bad, and made it safely.  When I was up in the middle of the night and saw the pass was closed eastbound, I wasn't so happy.  Only a couple more trips for him and then he'll be done over there.

We had a lovely and lively Thanksgiving.  Fifteen people plus one small dog can make a lot of noise!  The food was all good; I've definitely perfected my techniques and recipes by now.  We've come a long way from the first Thanksgiving dinner I had to cook 15 years ago.  No one complained, but the food left a lot to be desired.

A few photos; it seems I never get exactly the ones I want, but it's nice to have some.  They seem to all be in the kitchen, since that's where everyone tends to congregate until I kick them out from the area behind the stove.

I hope your day was peaceful and happy and today you're resting, knitting, spinning, and/or shopping!







Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

I wish peace, joy, food, and loving companionship for all of you.  Or lots of football, whatever you prefer!



Enjoy the day and stay warm, dry, and safe.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Getting Used to the Deep Freeze

Our high temperature today was well below freezing which is nothing to some of you, but to us wimps in the northwest, that's darn cold!  Monday we had the snow which messed up the traffic in the whole region and since then it has just gotten colder.  It's supposed to warm up and rain by tomorrow afternoon, which will be nice.  I've been trying to keep the bird feeders filled and thawed out.  I was worried about our Oldest Rabbit in the World, but he's fine.  He burrowed into all the straw I put into his cage and made a little nest for himself which seemed to insulate him a bit.  No wonder he's gotten so old - he's smart!

The Princess flew in from Vegas on Monday in the thick of all the traffic troubles; her plane was delayed until they were sure they could land here, so DH and I ended up leaving the house at 2:30 am to drive down I-405 which was frozen but mostly empty of traffic.  We came back north on I-5, which was clear going north but was still backed up in the southbound lanes with people trapped there since rush hour. We saw a few busses and trucks sprawled across the lanes, which was impressive.  We had a scary ride, but DH is a pro and got us home safely with our Princess about 4:30 am.  Now I have to keep putting her in scarves and mittens because she's freezing.

Our Collegeboy arrived from east of the mountains, so everyone who has to travel from out of town is here.  Cooking is started and I'm looking forward to a great day of food and family tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Return of Ice Gator

 As the snow falls, Ice Gator once again spots the young and tender Barbie, resting after a full day of snow surfing.


"Ahh, how peaceful it is here," she thinks.


Ice Gator approaches quietly, thinking of his Barbie-snack.


Watch out, Barbie!  You are being admired.


Closer, closer.....


What's this?  Tucked in Barbie's wetsuit was a freezer gun?



Barbie takes deadly aim.


She fires.


"Take that, Ice Gator!"  Whoosh!  Splat!  Whoosh!


Drat, I've been iced!




"That was a lot of work....

but not as much as it's going to be to get the gun back inside my wetsuit."


If I can only get back to my pool.




I'll get you next time, my pretty!



Written, produced, directed, and gnawed by Buddy, who didn't get to participate in the adventure this year.  No Ice Gators were harmed in the production of this photo essay.


Monday, November 22, 2010

Birds

We have bird feeders around the house and I love to watch the birds.  There are two seed feeders outside the kitchen window and a hummingbird feeder.  There are two more hummingbird feeders and a suet feeder where I can see them from my office window.

It was snowing this morning, so I filled the feeders, then tried to take pictures of the birds through the window.  We have mostly chickadees and finches, with some nuthatches and juncos, towhees, flickers, bushtits, and jays thrown into the mix.  Sometimes we get birds we don't recognize and go to the handy bird book in the cupboard to try to identify them.

The birds were hungry today, and we especially had a bunch of them right before it started to get dark.


This is a little like "Where's Waldo?"  There are brown birds and black and white birds sitting on the feeder perches and in the brown branches of the tree on a snowy background.  It's hard to see them all.



 The hummingbirds were much happier after I fixed the feeders.  They didn't much like this.


Sunday, November 21, 2010

I guess we're in for it

The La Nina weather pattern is predicted for the northwest winter this year, and so far it seems to be right on.  We've had deluges of rain, wind (our power went out yesterday just long enough to make all of the clocks blink) and look what we had this morning.




I'm not super at photographing weather, but I think you can tell that this was snow.  It didn't stick, but came down for a couple of hours.  The temperature's around 35F, which is cool for this time of year, and it's supposed to get colder tonight and tomorrow.  We put the light on the rabbit cage today which keeps our little outdoor rabbit warmer and also keeps his water thawed.  He always looks so startled by the light when it gets dark; he hops around like he's onstage with a spotlight.  Since he's the oldest rabbit in the world, I guess it's keeping him young.

In other news, this week I feel like a real runner.  Last Monday I ran 8 miles in the rain, and today I ran 6 in the snow.  If my knee would just stop hurting, I'd be set.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

The Story of the Tree

Once upon a time, there was a little Windmill Palm tree that came to live at a house near Seattle.  He was a little fella and seemed to like the sunny place where he was planted.



He grew and grew and after several years, seemed to enjoy blocking the view from the front windows and have an evil plan to take the roof off with a few more feet of height.

So the little palm had to go.  An ad was placed, and a brave soul who lived nearby came over to take the palm home with him.

For awhile, it seemed as if the palm had other plans.  The men dug, they cut roots, they dug some more.  They rocked, they dug, they rocked some more.





Finally, the palm decided to go along with the plan and assumed a horizontal position.




But then the men worried that there weren't enough of them to take the palm captive and cart him off to his new home.  This palm was heavy!


After fussing and straining and revising plans, boards were cut, ropes were attached, muscles were strained, and the palm made its way around the house.


The next challenge: getting up into the trailer.  By now, the men had had enough of the palm trying to thwart their plans, and let it know who was in charge.  Up into the trailer it went.

And so, after a mere two hours or so, the palm headed for its new home.







Good luck, big guy.  I hope to see you again sometime.


On the bright side, we can see the back yard again!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Bored Buddy

It's raining, it's cold, my mom won't let me bark at the wall, and it's apparently too early for dinner.  I guess I'll just have to look cute.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Palm Tree

We've had a palm tree growing in our back yard for a number of years.  Yes, we live in Seattle and yes, it's possible to grow certain palm trees and cactus' if you put them in the right location.  We planted a small windmill palm on the south side of our house right in front of the white brick wall and it liked it there.  Recently, DH decided that we needed to move it, since we really can't see out of our living room window any more!



So we didn't know what to do.  A couple years ago it seemed feasible for us to move it away from the house, but now - it's huge!  What to do?  Just cut it down?  These palms only grow from the top so you can't really prune them, only cut off dying or unwanted fronds from the lower trunk.   Then DH came up with an idea - sell it.  We called a landscaper we know but he didn't have use for it or know anyone who did.  So we looked on craigslist and sure enough there was another palm like ours (though in a pot) for sale.  We listed ours and within a couple of days had someone interested.

He's coming with some guys on Saturday to dig and move it.  Hopefully I can get some photos of that!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Rain

It's a cold, rainy day here in Seattle.  We had a little rain and wind storm blow through here heralding the beginning of our La Nina winter.  It's supposed to bring snow.  I hope it doesn't.

It was a good day to light some candles, watch a movie and do some knitting.  I'm working on my Cassidy which is coming along nicely.  The back is done and blocked and I was progressing up one of the fronts nicely until I got to the preparation row before the cables start and realized that I'd messed up the ribbing pattern.  So I ripped out the 4 inches or so and reknit.  Lucky I decided to do the fronts separately or I'd have had two sides to rip.

I'll get a photo up soon.  It's a lovely color and I'm enjoying the economical yarn that I'm using; Valley Yarns Northampton from WEBS.

On another note, I got my race confirmation sheet today for the half marathon.  I'm number 27230.  I wonder how many people are going to be there?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Madrona!

Registration opened today for the 2011 Madrona Fiber Arts Festival.  I wasn't home this morning, but was lucky to have a friend who wanted to go with me on Thursday and was able to register for both of us!  I got into a spinning for lace class with Janel Laidman.  I've taken some great spinning classes here at my local LYS but this will be the first class I've taken at a fiber event.  I'm excited - it's always good to get perspective from different instructors.

The dates are February 17-20 this year and it's nice that it misses Valentine's Day.  The event is held in Tacoma, WA, which is just 45 minutes or so south of where I live, so it's very doable in one day.  Drive down in the morning, shop at the marketplace (always great) and then take a class and come home.

I can't wait.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Finished Socks

I finished my "carry around" socks the other day, so that means I have to get another pair going.  I like to have a plain project available to take with me for waiting rooms, etc. so that usually means plain stockinette socks.  I'm wanting to do some patterned socks, too, so perhaps that will mean two pairs of socks will be started in the near future.

For now, here are my finished ones.  This was my first pair of self-striping socks, and now I know why they're so popular.  You can just knit and still come up with a cool pattern.  And it's fun to watch the stripes form themselves without any help from the knitter.  All good.

These are made in Vesper sock yarn from Knitterly Things.  The colorway is Domino.  I learned about this yarn by reading some reports from the last Spring Fling, which I did not attend, but which apparently was overrun with Vesper sock knitters.  Never one to be left out, I bought some from a Ravelry destash, and then hit an update for this yarn.  I love these socks and can't wait to knit another pair.



I just might have a Halloween colorway that was recently added to the stash, so I'll be in fine shape for next year!