Friday, December 27, 2013

I May Be Out Here

...in the middle of nowhere with a ton of unpacked boxes, but it sure is pretty.


Saturday, December 21, 2013

Friday, December 20, 2013

Ch-ch-ch-changes

It's that time of the year when it's only natural to think about how the past year went and how things might be different in the new year.  I am making more changes than usual and am gradually altering my thinking towards embracing the new and not feeling as if I'm being dragged kicking and screaming from my usual routine.  Even though this has been coming for awhile and is good, all change is stressful and, especially as I get older, hard to embrace.

About a year and a half ago, we started designing a house that would be built on a small lake on property that has been in my family since the 1940s.  To accomplish that, I had to kick out the deadbeat renters who were there, get the design going, and get the little shacks on the property torn down.  There also were a couple of huge fir trees that unfortunately had to go.  Somewhere around last January, the site was ready and the construction commenced.



I had been trying to spend several months a year in Palm Desert with DH, but due to the construction and decisions that had to be made, I was here in Seattle most of last year.  I was also concentrating on getting our main house cleaned up and cleaned out, and it went on the market in June.  We've been here over 17 years, raised our three kids here, and it's a big house.  You can imagine how much stuff was stashed everywhere.  Not only yarn!

The new house was finished in September and I love it.  The problem is that it's about an hour south of our old neighborhood and even though I'm familiar with those surroundings, it's not near my yoga studio, not near my friends, not near my book club, my favorite grocery store, my book store.....You get the picture.  I will have to find new routines when I'm there, which will mostly be in the spring and summer.

The timing actually worked out well.  The big house and yard were viewed by prospective buyers in the summer when it looks the best.  By now everything is starting to get messy and drippy so I'm glad the people have signed on the dotted line already.  We had a last Thanksgiving here and it was almost perfect; the Princess and Prince Charming couldn't make it.  But they recently purchased their first house in Las Vegas, and right after using our dining set  here for the last time, we shipped it off to them, along with a lot of other furniture that we no longer needed.

Our last big family dinner:

The dining room now:



 I even sent my beloved piano, knowing that the Princess could be a gifted pianist if she decided to study again and even though I took lessons for years, I really have no aptitude for it. It will have a good home with her and be loved again.



So I've been packing for a month.

Shelves are emptying out:



Here's how my knitting room looks:


Notice the skeins of yarn on top of a box.  Also the swift (and ball winder) are both still set up.  I might want to start another project or two this week.....

DH was here for about 10 days at Thanksgiving and, even though he was sick the whole time, helped me get a lot of stuff cleared out and taken to the dump and to the new house.  He's back in the desert now, as this is his busy season.  The movers are coming for the rest of the stuff in this house the day after Christmas.  I'll be at the lake for a week, then go to the desert for a few months.  Graduating to official snowbird....somehow I don't feel that old.

I am looking forward to being with my husband...we've been apart for the majority of each year ever since he went down to work in Palm Desert.  His business falls off in the summer, so we're planning that we'll be at the lake together in the summers and in the desert together for most of the winters.  That's going to be a bit of an adjustment as well...I hope he gets in the swing of following my directions again quickly!  He's been thinking that he could manage himself....

Here's a shot from the upstairs balcony right before the new house was all finished.  You can see where I'll be sitting and knitting all summer!  Of course, that's after some work is done on the yard.  The rocks were part of the original house and will be a firepit, and the lovely dirt yard needs a little something.



Sadly, we had to say goodbye to our little Buddy in October.  He was facing multiple health issues and we knew that he wouldn't be able to adjust to moving between two different homes, so we had to let him go.  As much as I miss him, I know it was the best thing to do.  He had a great life and went peacefully on to being, as the Princess said, "the newest angel in doggie Heaven."

He used to love to float on a mat in the pool, watching over the kids and barking.  He was such a character!



Out with the old and in with the new is exceedingly true this year.  I know I'll need some time to adjust and no longer wonder why I feel alternately sad and excited.  My comfort zone is being stretched to the limit and accepting the changes with grace is my goal.  I know I am very lucky to be embarking on this new adventure.  Embracing whatever life holds in this next chapter will be my mission.

I wish you all health, happiness, and peace in the year to come.

Gratuitous glamour shot of the Princess and Prince Charming.  Aren't they beautiful?




Tuesday, December 3, 2013

The Story of the Blankie

My sock yarn blankie is done!  I started the project in October of 2008 and finished the edging in November of 2013.  Not the speediest of knitting, but it wasn't continuous, either.  I had been reading about a scrap blanket in a blog and thought that it would be fun to make one. Mine ended up 15 squares high by 16 squares wide.

It started with scraps from one of the first skeins of sock yarn I bought and made into socks.



It progressed in fits and starts.  My original plan was to use my own scraps from socks I had made and then take 5 gram lengths from new skeins to make the blanket.  The large squares were all to be Wollmeise.  Then I joined a group on Ravelry dedicated to this blanket pattern, which quickly became a swapping group.  You would join a swap, buy a skein of yarn, divide it into about twenty mini skeins, and send it off to a "Swap Mom".  She would repackage all the yarn that came in and send everyone back an envelope with twenty different little skeins.  If that's not fun, I don't know what is!  So I quickly accumulated baskets of these mini skeins, far more than I needed for this one blanket.


Needless to say, more blankies are in the planning stages (one is already begun) because I like them so much and have lots of raw materials available!  A photo chronicle of its progress from a few squares to many:





I-cord edging.  I don't want to do that again for awhile!



Some time ago, Mr. Hollywood claimed the blanket for himself, so it will go to him when it is washed. I had him try it on when he was home for Thanksgiving, and it fits just fine!  He and Ms. Hollywood (his lovely GF) agreed to a photo shoot and declared the blanket snuggle worthy!





Our little Buddly liked it, too, and supervised the last few squares and most of the edging process.  Sadly, we lost him soon after this photo was taken, but I'm sure bits of fur will remain with the blankie for posterity.

A very entertaining project that created an heirloom that I hope will be appreciated for a long time.