Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Ramblings...


Wow, we went from tropical Summer to full on Fall overnight! Saturday a rather large storm swept through the area and a ton of rain came down. A lot of wind also (although not in our area) and at one point 450.000 people were without power. But rain: Yay! I think the last time we had a proper amount of rain was last May!

(Click! to enlarge...)

Darker days call for more knitting! I'm still working on the Estuary shawl but the knitting is just plain not enjoyable. So I decided to start a project on the side with yarn that was given to me by my mother earlier this summer. (Drops Nepal, 65% wool & 35% alpaca, aran weight) The color is not quite my favorite (it leans towards oatmeal but with a bit more grey in it), but it is so soft and squishy. I bought the pattern called 'Lemongrass' by Joji Locatelli, but decided to add Krebinette's lace pattern to the front. I also added a vertical cable on the back, just for interest. The tall collar will be added later. Once blocked this pattern will look lovely and the sweater/ poncho will certainly become one of my favorites to wear...

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In other news, Miss M. is starting to settle in L.A., although the heat wave last week didn't help. At one point the temperatures went all the way up to 104 F / 40C! Remember, no a/c in her dorm... We did realize very early on that Thanksgiving is way to far away, so we booked her some tickets for her October break, only 6 more weeks to go before we see each other again! {smile}

Master C. is starting his junior year at Gonzaga today. He moved into his first apartment in the middle of August and seems to be quite happy over there. He is getting cooking lessons from his girlfriend so I think he'll be just fine. Last night we did a family Skype session which was a lot of fun!

Well, that was it for now. Just a short little update!  <wink>

PS: It is so dark outside, I've got my favorite candles on!


Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Hooray For Hollywood!

Miss M. overlooking her new surroundings from the hills of Occidental College
on our first evening there...
(click! to enlarge all the following photo's)

Well, it has finally happened: we are now officially 'empty-nesters'!

Last week we escorted our youngest to Occidental College in Los Angeles, a 2 hour 15 minute flight from here. For the Europeans among you, that is a distance equivalent from Amsterdam to beyond Madrid! 
We flew in Wednesday evening and made sure to visit campus before the sun set. We had never been there before (I had never been to California period) and this was only Miss M.s second visit. What a fabulous place!


A huge campus with lots of beautiful buildings, wide pathways, gorgeous views and yes, wait for it, palm trees!  <wink>


Moving in day wasn't until Friday, so on Thursday, after a big shopping spree at both Target and Ikea, we drove down to Santa Monica beach to get some of that true California feeling. It was there alright! I loved seeing the 'Baywatch' lifeguard huts lined up along the waterline and of course the palm trees in the back ground. What a glorious place to visit!

"Beverly Hills, that's where I want to be, yeah!"

On the way back we decided to drive back via Beverly Hills and Hollywood. A major mistake because the traffic was just crazy (all traffic in the L.A. area is crazy by the way), but it was fun to have at least have seen the famous sights...

Move in day went very smoothly. Thank goodness it was cloudy that morning, because it is rather hot down there. We found out that Miss M.'s roommate is straight from Beijing, China, so that will be interesting. The room is old but big with plenty of storage space. No a/c I'm afraid, so we made sure we left them with a standing oscillating fan to keep them somewhat cool. That afternoon the Orientation program kicked in so we went off and did our own thing, while Miss M. started making new friends and get to know the campus better. When we met her again shortly before bedtime, she was a changed person already: so Happy with life!  {smile}

Saturday morning we picked her up early from campus and had breakfast at Auntie Em's, just off of campus. We drove up to the Griffith Observatory just in time (major crowds upon leaving). We walked up and when we looked back we saw the Hollywood sign right there! (fun!)  Unfortunately the marine layer that drifts in from the Pacific Ocean was still going strong that morning and so we couldn't see downtown L.A. very well, but it was still a great view from way high.

Squinting, since the sun was just starting to break through...

But then yes, it was time to say our adieu's... We made it short & sweet, no lingering. We ended up meeting each other twice more on campus which was rather funny, but then it was really time to go! We did drive up into the Angeles National Forest for an hour so before our flight left and it was spectacular:



All in all we had a wonderful time together and I can only smile when I look back on it all...

This girl fills my heart! 



Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Summer Makings...


All this hot weather is both a curse and a blessing. It is (once again) way too hot to be outside too long, but that also means that it is actually quite nice to be inside and make something!  {smile}

Pocket and fabric details...

Last week I made Tif's 'DottieAngelFrock' and I love it so much that I'm already planning another version with fabric that I bought from her last Friday at her yard sale.
I made the version above a little bit shorter than the original pattern and that was a mistake. I haven't finished the hem yet and am now thinking of adding some lace for lengthening... I also added 1 1/2 inches to the neckline and 3 inches to the back neckline and the ric-rac between the two fabrics. Love it!

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In between I'm still knitting of course, but I must admit; this TinCanKnits pattern is tres tricky!  I have to concentrate so hard on every single stitch that I can only do a few rows at a time...

I love seeing the waves pattern emerge...

--  **  --  **  --

Sometimes you just want to do some 'simple' knitting, so I've started another pair of socks with self-striping yarn designed by Arne & Carlos. This is what I've done so far:


And this is what it is supposed to look like in the end:


Can't wait to see the finished results. I'm going to try a new heel pattern for this one called the Fish Lips Kiss Heel. Hopefully I like it better than the previous one I've tried...

That's it for now. Enjoy all the sunshine! (if you have any that is...)

PS: I totally forgot to add this fabulous dress designed by Marcy Tilton for Vogue! All the fabrics are stretchy and this dress is just soooo comfy and stylin, I think... <wink> I bought a couple more of her patterns so you should see some of them all sewn up sometime in the Fall I expect...

The picture was taken last weekend when it was somewhat chilly,
hence the homemade socks...





Sunday, July 26, 2015

Let The Happiness In...


After almost two months of no rain and way above average temperatures, we are finally experiencing a cool, cloudy, and more importantly  a wet weekend: bliss!

We've been busy getting both kids ready for college. Master C. is moving into an apartment with two other roommates, so he needed a bed, cooking utensils and more of such items. (a trip to Ikea was involved) We will move him in in three weeks time. (it's a 4+ hour drive one way) A few days after that we will be flying Miss M. to Los Angeles where she will start her higher education career. And after that we will suddenly have become 'empty nesters'.

Yes, I will leave it at that...

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Slowly but surely we're also de-cluttering the house and several trips to both the dump and goodwill have been made. We've had guests in the beginning of July, we've been out to lunch, we've done little shopping trips, we've attended our annual Timber music festival here in town. All in all, we've been relaxing and enjoying a non-scheduled life. Slow living I think they call it... 

Not everything has been fun and daisies however. A very close family member suffered a heart attack last week, but after a very short hospital stay (and surgery) he is now home and recovering nicely.
Our dog Olive is slowly becoming a very old lady (14 1/2 now), so we're treasuring every single moment with her. Very difficult to see the decline though...

She is fast asleep here. She has become so deaf,
that she didn't even hear me approach this close...

I will leave you with the picture below, captured by Miss M.: a grasshopper on the screen door...



--  **  --  **  --

PS You can find all my other summertime pictures on my Instagram page. You don't need an account to visit...


Thursday, July 2, 2015

Ramblings...

I was squinting at the photographer,
very happy to be afloat in the cold pool... <wink>
First of all can I just mention that it is still hot over here in the Pacific Northwest! Weeks and weeks and weeks already... It is just a little bit too much really...

Anyway, onward to some ramblings. Last weekend we had the opportunity to do some dog sitting for friends who also happen to be living right on Lake Washington: we didn't say no! What a day!


--  **  --  **  --

Then a few days later we had visitors from The Netherlands. My old neighbor from my elementary school days (= buurjongen) and his wife and daughter were close to the end of their RV road trip and they spent a night here. I couldn't even remember the last time we had seen each other and it was so much fun to chat and catch up. We took them Blueberry picking and we also showed them the Snoqualmie Falls, where now a very small stream of water is coming down because of the constant heat and no rain routine...


--  **  --  **  --

Yesterday the hubbie and myself wanted to leave the house for a while so we spend the afternoon in Ballard/ Seattle. Most of the time was spent at the Ballard Locks, always a favorite of mine. The smell of salt water and the hussle and bustle around the locks always brings me back to our summer holidays sailing across the channel to England. 

Two big tug boats on their way to Alaska...

There is also a big Salmon fish ladder there which brings lots of Harbor Seals to the area as well....

You can spot a seal on the right...

On our way back we stopped by a new favorite brewery called Stoup where we had a fabulous glass of Bavarian Hefeweizen. Our kids were born in Bavaria so it always holds a dear place in our hearts...



All this was already a great day, but then I managed to buy 8 yards of fabric along the way and 6 more today so you know what I'll be doing the next few months... (8 new patterns also!)

Only 5 of the new 8 fabrics shown here. They are all shades of gray, not blue...


{smile}


Thursday, June 25, 2015

Low Tide Cardigan...

Love the pointy ends here, they flow in the breeze...
I'm in love!!!

I loved this pattern (by Tin Can Knits) from the first time I layed my eyes on it and oh boy, it did not disappoint!

The yarn I used was Madeline Tosh Merino Light in the 'El Greco' colorway. (100% merino wool)

My gauge was 24 stitches x 34 rows in 4 x 4 inches, using a size US 5 needle. (for those of you who would like to know these kind of details...)

It still does need some small buttons for the top lace part, but I haven't decided on those yet...

I liked it when it came off the needles yesterday, but I Loved it after I washed and blocked to a better fitting size. It is so soft and 'flowy', just perfect! {smile}

Back detail and short row sleeve caps...

--  **  --  **  --

Of course there is already a new project in the works. I haven't  started the actual knitting yet, but that will happen in the next hour or so. May I present to you the Estuary Shawl, also designed by Tin Can Knits. (another pattern that I immediately fell in love with...)


This pattern is completely made up out of quite a few Lace charts and so rather daunting! I'm using the same Madeline Tosh Merino wool again, only this time in the same teal colorway as the original pattern...


I'm not planning on finishing this anytime soon, this will be a slow-knitting project. Perfect for the extreme heat temperatures that we will be experiencing for the next two weeks! (high 90's, close to 38 Celsius for the foreseeable future: waaaaaay too hot for our liking!)


Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Trying To Catch Up...

Click! to enlarge...

So in the past several weeks we had both my mom, and then my dad staying with us. (they are divorced) When my mom was here the weather was very overcast, but we managed to get a walk in to the Snoqualmie River through the Tolt McDonald park, always a favorite. We also visited the Tolt Yarn & Wool shop of course and Pacific Fabrics, where I bought some lovely grey Chambray to sew with... My mom embraced the graduation cap and insisted on a picture with the graduate! <wink>

One of Miss M.'s graduation presents was this awesome orange hammock to take with her to college: it is soooo comfy! In the week my dad was here the weather turned very warm and we had to take early morning walks. The rest of the day we would spend in the shadow on our patio, each with an e-book en something cool to drink. We also attended a pig-roast at our boss's house, where Mr. G. was in charge of several micro-brews (= beers) from the region. A very fun evening indeed!  {smile}

Click! to enlarge...
We sort of invited ourselves to our friends' house on Lake Washington when things were getting very hot. A lovely boat ride and a pick-nick style lunch happened after. We walked along the Snoqualmie River, but at a new spot for me, Chinook Bend. Beautiful views of the Cascades and Mount Rainier. (three middle pictures above)

And then last week, when everybody had left, Miss M. and myself decided to hike up to Rattlesnake Ledge near North Bend. She had done the climb several times, but it was a first for me. I truly do not enjoy inclines, but now that I am in better shape, I really wanted to try it. The climb itself took an hour and I was soaked by the time we reached the Ledge, but boy, was it worth it!!! (middle picture, bottom row) I was totally exhausted after we came home however and had a long nap that very afternoon...

In the last picture you see Master C. posing in front of Mount Rainier in his grandparents' backyard in Tacoma. We were there to celebrate both Father's Day and Mr. G.'s birthday. Again stunning views...

Click! to enlarge...

So, I think we're all caught up now???  <wink> I have two more rows to go on my last short row sleeve of my Low Tide Cardigan (by Tin Can Knits) and then it is blocking time, plus time to start a new project, always fun!


Monday, June 22, 2015

And Exhale....



So this is what happened a couple of weeks ago...  {smile}

This last month we've been busy driving (early in the morning), entertaining first my mother and then my father from The Netherlands, Senior Project presentations, pre-graduation parties, post-graduation parties and very warm weather. Today is my first day with nothing on the schedule: bliss!

I'll be back when I've recovered from it all... ('twas all good, believe me!)

The Family!
Shaking hands with her dad,
who also happens to be the Head of our High School....

Class of 2015!!!


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