Friday, January 28, 2011

Happy Birthday, Princess!

I don't have any teenagers any more.  Whew!  It sure doesn't seem like 20 years have gone by since my last baby was born.

My beautiful girl, you've had some challenges this past year, but you're learning to manage them and I'm proud of you.  I can't resist sharing a few photos of your new year's trip to Cancun that AR helped me snag from your Facebook page.  You've changed a lot in the last 20 years!

You're awesome; I loved our half marathon adventure and will remember it proudly always.

Have a super wonderful day, Sweetie.  I love you more than you'll ever know.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

This Is the Life!

I'm not sure why I didn't want to spend the winter here; tiny condo, no yard, no pets....what's not to like?  Now I don't want to go back to Seattle on Saturday to deal with the bills, yard, pets, kid, rain, cold, etc.  I'm getting so much knitting done!  Oh well, I'll be back before too long and while I'm home I'll get to take a spinning class and visit the vendors' market at the Madrona Fiber Arts retreat in Tacoma, WA.  I didn't go last year and am looking forward to it this time.  I'm sure I'll do some stash enhancement, but my thinking now is that if I'm going to split my time between two homes for the next few months, I'm going to have to divide up my stash a bit.  I've ordered a few skeins of yarn that have come here, but it's not quite enough yet.  When I come back I have visions of my suitcase being filled with yarn.  Or I could just ship a box to myself.  That would be easier.  I have to have a variety of yarn available in case I feel like starting a different project, you know.

Here's what I've done since I posted last.  I finished the bed socks for DH (my, they're long and skinny, aren't they?)  He loves them since it gets cool in the evenings and we don't have the best comforter on the bed here.

I finished spinning the Zen String Merino/Bamboo fiber and it came out nicely.  I think I'll make a scarf out of it.

I finished the second front of my Cassidy cardigan and started on the sleeves.  I didn't take a current photo of this, but it's coming along nicely.

I got out my Geodesic cardigan that's being knit from Wollmeise laceweight.  I had some trouble with the fronts matching, so I ripped back a bit, fudged the decreases, blocked the body and sewed up the shoulders.    It has a little more fiddling needed before it looks really good, but I've done so much work on it that I want to finish.  Here's a photo from before I sewed up the shoulders but after it dried.  The stitches evened out some and I'm a lot happier with the way I think it will look when finished.

I'll start on the sleeves soon, but want to try to finish Cassidy so I can wear it in Seattle when I'm home.

I finished my Herbivore but need to take it home to block on my blocking wires.  I love it, though, even if it does look like some sort of sea creature at the moment.

Wow, that's a lot.  I'm still trying to walk, run, or swim every day but that doesn't take too long.  I don't have a car during the day, so I just have to stay here and knit.  Darn!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Is This What Summer is Like?

Posting again from my vacation spot in Palm Desert, CA.  The Weather Channel says that there might be a record high temperature today in this area.  The old record was 87F.  Not bad for January, huh?

This morning DH and I went for a nice bike ride.  It's really flat here and there are bike lanes on some of the busy streets, so that's nice.  There are also very wide sidewalks, meant for golf carts I guess, and no one walks here, so you can ride freely on them.  I try to get a run or walk in frequently and it's truly California; everyone drives everywhere.  You really have to watch out crossing streets since drivers aren't used to pedestrians.

Anyway, we were riding down El Paseo (the Rodeo Drive of Palm Desert) and I heard a woman ask, "Is this what summer is like?"  (The temperature was in the 70s when were riding.)  I wanted to answer, since I've been here in July and August a few times, "No, at 9:00 in the morning in the summer, it would be 110!"  That's not my favorite time to be here.

I've been doing some knitting and spinning.  One thing about being here at this time of year is that it gets dark early.  The sun goes behind the mountains about 4:30 and it gets cool, so there's lots of indoor time to knit and spin.  I started this beautiful merino/bamboo two days ago and have finished half of it.  I'm doing a semi-woolen, supported long draw so it's going much faster than my usual worsted spinning does.

It's from Zen String (now Wildflower Whimsey) and is spinning beautifully.

I finished my plain vanilla socks that I was making for the YOSS group on Ravelry.  To recap, they're made from Wollmeise 100% superwash merino in the Saami colorway.  I think they look kind of like bright tiger stripes!

I'm working on DH's bedsocks still; they keep fooling me into making them too short, and I've started the Herbivore shawl by Stephen West. I took a class from him when he was in Seattle last year and fell in love with some of his designs.  

 I'm knitting this out of The Sanguine Gryphon Bugga! in the Fairy Wren colorway and love both the pattern and the yarn.  I haven't used any of the Bugga or Skinny Bugga I've collected and now I'll have to.  It's wonderful.  Here's a photo from the other day before I had to go out and find some needles with a longer cable.  I bought some Signature circulars but got 24" cables.  I should have gotten 32" as they probably would have been more useful for more projects, but oh well.  

Time to go to the pool!

Friday, January 14, 2011

I Promised

So here's the photo of the yarn that came to christen my home in the desert.  String Theory Colorworks Duality in the colorway "Event Horizon" and Continuum in the colorway "Blue Giant".

I think they're beautiful....and I seem to be having a little problem with self-striping yarns.  I just might have ordered two more skeins of Vesper sock yarn from Knitterly Things this afternoon soon after getting the email that the shop had updated.  Oops.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

It Feels Like Home

Last weekend I drove from Seattle to Palm Desert, CA with DH.  We have a little condo here in the desert that we've tried to rent as much as possible during the past several winters.   This year, DH decided that he'd had enough of the cold and wet and would come south for the winter to work.  He explored some job possibilities, we loaded up the old Volvo wagon, and set out last Saturday morning.  As we continued further south, it seemed to get colder and colder, which was not what we had in mind.  We spent the night in northern California and had to scrape ice off the car in the morning.  Hey, we could be at home and do that...

Anyway, we arrived to mild weather and sunshine and the days have warmed up nicely.  It might be approaching 80 in the next couple of days!  While DH has been organizing his work, I've been getting some knitting done.  I'm working on two pairs of "vanilla" socks; one out of Wollmeise in the Saami colorway, and one out of Curious Creek worsted weight in a pretty blue for DH to use as bedsocks.  (His feet get cold.)

So for all of you in the frozen north, west, and east, here's a couple of photos of my first completed sock.  It's hanging from the lemon tree just outside out patio.  Don't be too jealous, now!

I finished and mailed off a vest to afghans for Afghans right before we left.  I guess that makes it the first FO for 2011.  I used a pretty simple vest pattern and some worsted weight yarn scraps that I had.  I think it came out pretty well.

And I got yarn in our mailbox!  Just before we left home, I ordered some lovely self-striping yarn from String Theory Colorworks on etsy and had it shipped here.  It's not a real home until you've had yarn in your mailbox, I always say.  I'll show you the yarn tomorrow, as I haven't taken a photo yet and it's dark now.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year!

Here's to the first day of 2011.  So far, so good.  We had a lovely New Year's Eve at the home of some old friends, excellent food and company and a clear, dry, cold night in which to drive home.  All good.

My first cast on object for this year is a pair of socks.  I joined a group on Ravelry where we will knit a pair of socks each month from our existing stash.  Not a problem for me and I probably do it anyway, but it's fun to be in a group!  I started a pair of plain stockinette socks, cuff down, 1x1 rib at the top out of Wollmeise 100% superwash wool in the Saami colorway.   This was a club colorway during the one year of the Wollmeise club and I wasn't sure I liked it right away.  However, seeing some socks knit in it (Goatlady's!) made me change my mind and I can't wait to get mine finished.

I have a few things to finish up, of course.  This week I need to finish and mail the vest I'm making for afghans for Afghans so it gets there in time for the current campaign.

All for now.  Have a son and two of his friends coming for dinner, so must get cooking.  I wish a year of health, happiness, prosperity, creativity, and of course much knitting for all of you.