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Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Happy Boxing Day!

Out front

Without a doubt, this was one of the most unusual Christmases ever.  First, I did something to my back that caused me to bail out of our choir singing, and then it snowed on Christmas Eve and into Christmas Day. (On the radio today they said it was the first time ever that it has snowed here for two days in a row!) Today, however, I am once again upright and felt well enough to do my usual Tuesday afternoon at the hospital teaching knitting.  I worked with four moms-to-be who are spending the holidays in the hospital, so who am I to complain? As promised I have some finishes to share:

Booties for a friend's new grand daughter,

several scarves,

a hat,

And a Monster named Louie. (If you've never tried one of Rebecca Danger's monsters, you should, as they are FUN!  Now, I need to get back to the needles.  There are four birthdays coming right up before the end of January, one on the day after tomorrow and two before January 11th. Yikes!

Our Backyard

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Finally a Post!

Wow, I don't think I've ever gone almost a month without posting anything!  And I've not been very good at keeping up with everyone else's posts either.  It's been very busy here though.  I have a few projects completed but can't share them till after Christmas, but I can
update you on a few things.

Last month we watched our youngest grandson sing as his school glee club honored veterans.  It was a fun, inspiring morning!

I finally finished this aged UFO but won't reveal how long ago it was started.  Maybe I'll even wear it next summer?

On the Friday before Veteran's Day weekend, a friend and I attended the Block Party Quilters' annual show.  This small quilt was done by a talented friend in our small quilt group.

There are way too many other photos for one post, but this one was one of my favorites and appropriate for the season. 

This little tank top hopped off my needles just in time for our littlest grand daughter to wear it in their annual Christmas photo with Santa.  (This year is the first photo where both kids were smiling, not crying, and I'm sure Santa appreciated that!)

Every year in Seattle there's a display of gingerbread "houses".  And every year the creations have been more elaborate and less like houses.  This year's theme was "Seattle Then and in the Future". ( Donations are given to support research for Juvenile Diabetes.) We never fail to be amazed at the creativity.  Here are two of our favorites:

Can you even imagine the amount of flour, sugar and candy are used in these?

Well, that's about it for now.  I will show the rest of my completed projects next week.  For once one of my Christmas cacti plants  looked at the calendar and is blooming right on schedule!

Happy Holidays!!

PS  The other thing that kept us very busy was preparing for our choir program on the third Sunday of Advent.  Have a listen if you wish.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

KAL Sock Finally Finished

It's been a busy couple of weeks, but I just finished Dee's KAL sock yesterday.  Nothing like waiting down to the wire, is there? I used the Nutkin pattern and changed the suggested heel to a heel flap.  For some reason, I also did a whole lot of tinking on that pattern, lack of concentration, I guess.  At any rate, they are DONE!

It's a little hard to see the pattern, thanks to the yarn.  Thanks to Val of Wandering Cat, I have started another pattern (Cascading Leaves), but there's no way they will be done any time soon.  More later, I need to head off to Pilates.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Fall Is Here and So Are Some New Socks!

Signs of Fall are everywhere these days.  Just now we enjoyed a long walk under bright blue skies, trudging uphill and down through lots of leaves and pine needles. I love collecting Big Leaf Maple leaves as they truly live up to their name.  Here are some of the "smaller" ones. (Note the pencil!)

And here's my favorite find.


This pumpkin in our Chicago daughter's garden has an interesting story. They live on a small lake, and during the summer the kids found a strange plant growing in the beach sand.  They dug it up and planted it at home, thinking that it was a melon, but voila!  I think it will soon be carved, don't you?

While walking around that same lake, we stumbled upon the remains of a friend of Captain Hook and his pet parrot.  Don't you wonder what his story is?  There were lots of other signs of Halloween in the neighborhood, but this one was the most unique.

The squirrels, birds and other critters in our yard enjoyed this sunflower from our local daughter's garden.  No, they didn't clean up the shells.

These socks are finally finished.  I won't confess when they were started, but they were part of an "ancient" KAL at the Knitter's Brewing Company.  Sock #1 was done long ago, and then I caught the dreaded SSS!

Pair number four of the GKs' Sock Request has already been delivered and worn to school!  Just one more pair, and I'll be done with the "orders" placed in July when we were at Cannon Beach.  Daniel requested blue and green.  He got a few more colors as well.  As for that last pair of socks....they may take a while as that grandson's foot is my size!  How did that happen?


Saturday, October 21, 2017

Rest Peacefully, Sweet Mocha ~

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We sadly said good-bye to this sweet kitty last Thursday. She had suddenly started feeling poorly, and the vet diagnosed end-stage kidney failure and said she was probably at lot older that we thought.  Mocha was a rescue cat that we brought into our house on Halloween in 2007. For about 3 weeks prior, she'd been appearing at our house, obviously hungry, and I finally started to feed her. One day she let me pick her up only to discover that someone had had her declawed, not a very good way to survive in the woods, so then we took her in even though we already had another cat. We also discovered she also had an unregistered microchip.  Why anyone would abandon any animal, let alone this sweet kitty is unfathomable. Now she has crossed the rainbow bridge, and we dearly miss her quiet presence. Rest peacefully, sweet Mocha. We loved you!

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Some Finishes at Last!

Why didn't anyone tell me how busy our days would be once I retired?  Gosh, the days just seem to fly by at warp speed!  I have completed a few projects despite the madness, however.

You remember this one, right?  Well, with the leftovers of the 21 colors I completed another hat, and it had even more ends to hide.  I couldn't quite follow the pattern exactly though. I think it's hard to see how they're related, don't you?

Then Nancy did a post on helical stripes, and so I tried it with dpns.  It was fun, and I couldn't help wonder whether I could have used the technique on these two.  Thanks, Nancy!  It worked great on my little Christmas hat.

Meanwhile, I've been working on Nutkin for Dee's KAL.  It used to look like this:

(Did you notice my "bobbin"?  I finally found a use for all those bread closures! Someone else's cool idea)  And now it looks like this:

I am not using the short row heel though, and if I ever make this pattern again I will use an K1P1 cuff.  This stitch pattern is easy to memorize which is nice.

Our quilt group has made stockings for the local Ronald McDonald house for quite a few years now, and these two are my contribution this year. Quilting the fabric is what takes most of the time.  It looks like one is bigger than the other, doesn't it?  They are from the same pattern though, so I think my eye is tricking me.

We spent part of today with these two.  They suddenly appeared wearing some of the things I made over the years.   It's fun to see them used!  Have a great week!

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Grand Celebration!

Things are kind of getting back to "normal" here.  We are back in our time zone and feeling relieved after hearing from friends and relatives, who live in Florida and weathered the horrific storm there.  The wildfire smoke has cleared here, but others in our state are still dealing with that. However, along with these scary occurrences, there have been some happy times.  

Last spring we went to a preschool celebration that sent these five off to kindergarten.  And yesterday was the first day for this little guy!  How can he be five already?

At the end of August, we traveled to Minneapolis to surprise my sister on the occasion of their 50th wedding anniversary.  We enjoyed being with all of our relatives and finally getting acquainted with the youngest family member who's already almost 3. It was a very special five days!

Our grand nieces and grand nephew

and my sister and brother-in-law's family ~

We all enjoyed a wonderful celebration at the Minneapolis Landscape Arboretum.  (If you ever have a chance to see it, go; it'a an amazing place.)  The"kids" had assembled a basket of 50 things that reminded them of their parents. What a special gift!

Along with all of the visiting, we even managed a little exercise! 

No trip is complete without a stop at a yarn shop, right?  And this is an extra special yarn shop as it has been recently opened by our nephew's wife.  Stop in if you are in the area; it's a fun place!


This hat is made with a kit from that shop.  It was a fun knit but sure had lots of ends to hide! (There was enough yarn for another hat, but I'm still hiding those ends.....)

I finished two other projects:  socks for our grand son in his requested color and a shawl that I started in the last century and had to restart because I couldn't remember where I was in the pattern sequence.  (That should teach me not to procrastinate, right?)

And last but not least is my cast-on for Dee's fall KAL.  I so appreciate the November deadline!

The pattern is Nutkin and the color is Apricot Pit (?) which was the most fall-ish color in my stash.  That's it for now, but I just want to say that my heart and prayers go out to all the folks impacted by the recent hurricanes as well as the folks struggling with wildfires.  Be safe, too!

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Catching Up Once Again......

We just got back last night from five fun-filled days helping my sister and brother-in-law celebrate their 50th anniversary and visiting with family and friends as well.  No pictures though until we figure out how to get them off our phone as DH forgot his "real" camera. We also got to visit our niece's new yarn shop called Harriet and Alice.  That was fun, too, and yes, I gave into temptation.  Meanwhile, here are some photos from our family gathering at Cannon Beach, OR, as promised.

We ate together the first night at Mo's which is a fun place just across from the Tolovana Inn where we all stayed.

The cousins had fun playing together and watching the rabbits that hide on the grounds.

The tide was so low the first day that it was possible to get to the back side of Haystack Rock.

We were very glad to see that starfish have made a recovery from the virus that plagued them for the past several years!

We all had fun strolling the beaches especially since the tide was exceptionally low during our time together.

I even managed a photo of our photographer-in-chief.

All of the kids added to the family reunion tablecloth.  We were sad that our son couldn't make the gathering, but he was immersed in an intensive Chinese class at UW. 

On the last night we watched the grandkids so their parents could enjoy a meal out together.

And I also finished a few projects after we got home.  The socks are two of five "pre-orders" from the grand kids. Have a wonderful Labor Day weekend!