Thursday, March 27, 2014

Sipsey's Folly...


Well, last weekend I finished my Sipsey's Folly yoke sweater! My first knitted sweater ever! I loved the process (most of the time) and so didn't mind that it almost took two months to complete. As I have been saying: I'm taking my time and that was true for this project also...


I loved the yarn (cheap 70% acrylic and 30% nylon yarn from Patons (Beehive Baby Sport) at Joann's) and I especially loved my own designed color-work in the yoke! I found different patterns online and managed to combine them so that they would fit within the class pattern dimensions. I call the bigger, darker part of the pattern the "Flaming Trees"!


The only thing that I am not too happy with is the actual fit! Just look at this long elongated yoke going all the way up the neck, weird right? It looks better on, but there is an area in the front where it wrinkles a bit. Also the armpits are too low and a bit wide. The extra yarn in the color-work makes that yoke part almost feel like having a shrug around your shoulders. Not great but awesome for a first try!  <wink>

I am now planning either a top-down cardigan or a sweater with raglan sleeves and then want to add some lace and/or cable patterns. I'm busy doing some brainstorming, getting lots of info online. It is making my head spin!  {smile}

Not much other news to report. Our lovely Miss M. will be taking a plane down to Los Angeles this weekend to start her (school-led) college tour in California! Master C. did this tour also two years ago, but how did we get to this point so fast?

Miss M.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Knitters' Crush...

A few days ago, Ragnheiður Eiríksdóttir,   better known as Ragga was in town. Not only in Seattle but actually in my own town! 

Ragga came to visit Tolt Yarn & Wool  to teach a class which unfortunately I could not attend. (click on link for some fun photo's of the event) 
I did have to drop something off at the shop however and managed to time it just right so that we both arrived at the same time!

I took a chance and spoke to her in Swedish and what do you know, she answered me right back! In fact we had a whole conversation in Swedish! It felt like meeting a rock star in real life...

She also happens to be teaching a class on Craftsy for which I have signed on as well. Her sweaters so inspired the design on my own yoke sweater and it will be so much fun to be taught by 'her majesty' herself....  <wink> That will have to wait until a bit later though. Her sweaters are more for the fall and winter and I now want to knit something for lighter weather...

Ragga and Anna (owner of Tolt Yarn & Wool) also made it into the Seattle Times this week with a fun picture of Ragga explaining the 'steeking' method. (Where you cut right through all that you've knitted to make a cardigan! How scary is that?)


Anyway, I was all inspired!  {smile}

--  **  --  **  --

So Spring happened this week! I managed to take a few pics in the yard and everything is truly taking of now, how wonderful!













Today I'm planning to clear out the whole patio and then to spray it down with the power washer! {smile} It might still be a teeny bit early to start planting (this last week we woke up every morning with temperatures around freezing...) but soon, very soon!


Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Hello, Is It Me You're Looking For?

At Blaine border crossing with Canada...

Why yes, my old self made an appearance last week Thursday and it was so nice to realize that she hasn't disappeared from the map altogether. 

I had a wonderful day knitting and sewing while listening to David Sylvian and other like-sounding artists on Pandora. Then a good friend came over and we had some creative time going on, but also some good chatting time. That chatting time just felt like a soothing medicine...

Knitting circle. My chair was the empty green one on the left.
The fire was burning strong...

And then that evening I visited the knitting circle at Tolt Yarn & Wool where we were graced by the company of two well known knitters in the form of  Shannon Cook and Jane Richmond. They were in town for the Vogue Knitting Live event (why oh why didn't I go to that???) They were there to present their latest book and knitting patterns line called 'Journey'

Shannon...
Lovely stuff.  Very simple but elegant and wearable patterns... I mainly came to the knitting circle for some chatting but also to show off my yoke sweater:

Not very elegantly draped here on my chair...
Yoke close-up...

There was lots of ooohing & aaahing which is always good for the soul... {smile}  And a little bit (a lot!) of eye candy in the store of course. Veronika's  first colorway of hand dyed yarn has come out and it looks just beautiful!

Yarn On The House
And other eye candy...

All in all it was a wonderful day. I felt inspired again and I had not felt like that for a looong time... I bought a copy of the PomPom Quarterly magazine because I actually liked all the patterns in there! Inspiration for after my next Craftsy class, which is already lined up...  {smile}



--  **  --  **  --

So the day after all that goodness we as a family had to take a road trip to Vancouver B.C. (i.e. Canada), because the kids' Dutch passports needed to be renewed. We could only go that week since Master C. was home for Spring Break. (Yay!) 

It was a fairly pleasant drive North and it took us about 3 1/2 hours to get there, including the border crossing and the crazy down town traffic. The lady at the consulate was extremely nice (not always the case unfortunately in Dutch consulates) and all the paperwork (and the passport photos!) were excepted.  We had a nice lunch (it feels so European in Vancouver!) and then drove all the way back home again.

On Sunday Master C. took the Greyhound bus back again to Spokane, WA for his last part of his first year of university life already. How time flies... It was wonderful to have him home again and to see how he is developing his own self!

Master C.


Thursday, March 13, 2014

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Floods...

Along the CowRoad...

First of all, thank you so much for sharing your own experiences and your nice comments with me around yesterday's (difficult to admit to) post. Just saying it all out loud has made me feel so much better! In fact, I felt so much better that I have designed a new header with a bit more color.... {smile}

--  **  --  **  --

So the last week or so just about all the roads in our valley have been flooded again. Everyday I have to check the map and the traffic cameras to decide which route to take. When we see pictures like this, we know not to go there!  <wink>


One of Miss M.'s classmates is an excellent photographer and he gave me permission to post this following picture. It was taken at one of my most favorite spots and I thought it was just amazing...


Yesterday and today the sun has been shining bright and I managed to snap a couple of pics in the valley also. All where you see water there normally is pasture land...

So today I'm going to do a bit of sewing for a friend and once it has warmed up a bit I think I will head out into the yard to do some weeding in the sunshine!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Hints of Color...


You might have noticed (or not) but my blog postings are becoming fewer and fewer with more time in between. The last four months or so I have just not been feeling myself. I'm blaming it on changing hormones since I am starting to enter that stage of life. 

It is a crappy feeling, let me tell ya. If I have to sum it up, it feels like all life's color has been draining away: I just don't 'see' things anymore, you know, creatively.  Not much fun. I am taking my time finding my new self and to aid me in that I've also started taking a natural supplement called SAM-e. Does anybody have any experience with it? (or any other suggestions)


Anyway, this altered state doesn't mean I haven't been making things. I'm still knitting away on my yoke sweater and the end is coming in sight. I'm already eyeing my next knitting project...


I've also transformed the office into a sewing room with a proper (heightened) cutting table. Quite nice I must admit. The biggest effort came from my wonderful husband who, after yet another hormone induce outburst from my side, diligently emptied all the bookshelves and then moved them out to the garage so that I could have a new working area in the office. Pictures will follow later...

Just writing all this down has been hard, this whole journey has been hard. I was happy to go out in the yard the other day and actually 'see' some beauty and color again. I'll leave you with these tiny impressions of color and life...



"Still taking my time..."

Sunday, March 2, 2014

O, O, Orlando!


We returned last night (after an almost 14 hour day of travel) from a 4-night stay in Orlando, Florida. Mr. G. had to go there for the annual education conference (NAIS) and he had asked me to come along!  {smile} Of course we had booked this trip sometime in November, hoping for clear and sunny skies, but 'ack & alas', it was not to be.  Here a little sequence of views from our hotel room...

Clouds, storm and finally the long awaited sunny skies...
(click! to enlarge)
Temperatures were in the 50's and 60's those first two days and the first day quite a storm came flying through. Good thing we had packed our rain coats and fleeces after all... {no smiling here}

What a difference a day makes...
But despite the disappointing weather we still had a great time over at the Disney Resort Dolphin  & Swan Hotel. Just look at this marvelous set-up!

Dolphin Hotel
Part of the adjacent Swan Hotel
While Mr. G. was working I walked (and ran!) around the resort several times. I brought a book and spent several hours over those three days on one of the artificial beaches: wonderful!

Swan Hotel in the background...

View from my reading and sunbathing spot...

In between I also did some knitting and otherwise I just wondered around, enjoying all the sights and smells of a warmer climate...

Oh those Palm Trees...

Our return to the Pacific Northwest has been rather harsh with wet snow and the cloud deck down to our noses, but at least we have our memories. (and even some sunburned bits like the tips of my ears!)  <wink>


Rainy Days...

... don't get me down! (the Carpenters) Yep, still lots of rain here, but much higher temperatures and we've even enjoyed ...