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Monday, December 3, 2018

December Already? How Can That Be?

Where does time go? Surely it can't be December third already?  Why, just a day or two ago it was Thanksgiving! I can clearly remember long ago as a child when the hands of the clock moved so incredibly slowly from 3 o'clock to 3:30 and the end of another school day. Now though, each day passes in a blur!  I guess that comes with the busy, short and very dark days of December as we head to the end of another year.  This fall has been exceptionally busy, and I don't know why.  Lots of changes in the works, I guess.  Sadly, our long time neighbors have moved into assisted living, good friends are struggling with health issues, a choir friend has passed away, our wonderful choir director is retiring, and yet there have been good things, too.  We have five lovely grand children and a terrific family as well as many friends. Best of all, we still have each other and need to remember that each and every day is a gift to be appreciated.  Oh my, how I ramble....and what I meant to do was quickly write another post.  We celebrated the first of this holiday-filled month by going to see The Nutcracker ballet.  It was an updated and very enjoyable performance with some of the scenery being projected.  We couldn't take any photos during the show, but here's Miss Stella studying her program.

After the first act, I heard her say, "It's finally over."  I guess time is different when you're just five.  I think she enjoyed the second act more when there was more dancing.
I have lots of projects in progress as deadlines for mailing approach.  (Someday I'll learn to start sooner, right?)  Here's one Fairy Scarf; I still have another one to finish.  I bought two kits in Cannon Beach.  Each kit came with some yarn (I added some), the trim, and a little booklet.  And my little fairy seems to approve!  

My other finishes are two dishcloths. one a much-used pattern and the other a new one.

This one is made from a never-ending ball of yarn! Both look less wonky in real life, and both are destined to be dishcloths.

While it regularly blooms at Thanksgiving, this Christmas cactus was beautiful last month. I rescued it years ago before we moved to Washington, and once I moved it to a sunny location it's never failed to bloom each year, just not at Christmas.

This one is relatively young and is in full bloom right now.

I probably won't be posting again until after Christmas so as not to spoil any surprises. However, if you wish to tune in on Sunday to our choir performance, you can watch us live here at either 9 or 11 AM Pacific Standard Time. Best wishes for a wonderful holiday!

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

About Time for Another Post, Don't You Think?

Where does time go?  Lately the days seem to disappear extra quickly, even when we gained an extra hour.  Sigh.  It's been busy here: lots of singing, some travel, and believe it or not, some finishes!

Our youngest granddaughter talked her mom into buying this kit, thinking she could make it and then wear it. (She's 5.) Not. She finally gave it to me to take home, and I, no lover of crochet, made it for her.  It's too big for her baby doll and way too small for GD.  Sophia sewed on the black buttons though which made it special. (I have no idea as to this hat's destiny however!)

I saw this free pattern in a knit shop, loved the stitch, and just had to try it. This is a keeper!  (I used 1 skein of Rios and even had some left.)

It took a while, but I finally finished this pair of socks.  The pattern is Gladys and is also free.

In response to the Squirrel Hill tragedy, I completed these two squares for the Yarns by Design knit shop. This shop is in the town next to Verona where DH grew up, and we've shopped there several times although not recently.

Yep, it's that time of year.  Here are my two contributions to the local Ronald McDonald House stocking project that our quilt group supports.

This stocking is different on the other side.

On this one both sides are the same.

Have a great week and a very Happy Thanksgiving!  (Our family is celebrating this weekend since daughter #2 and family as well as our son will be out of town. DD#1 and family live in IL.)

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Boo! Back Again with a Few Finishes ~

Once again I've been slow to post, but this time I have an excuse: we were gone for ten days.  Now it's definitely fall and almost Halloween.  The big leaf maples are losing their leaves, and it's fun to search for a really big one. We found this one on our walk yesterday.

I have finished several projects though. Before we left, I completed this shawl and am pleased with the way it turned out. It's a fun, free pattern, and I love the Madelinetosh yarn color "Yoko". 

While we were away, we visited a friend who just became a great-grandma.  I made some booties for the baby girl and then decided to try a new bonnet pattern.  I used some self striping fingering yarn and was intrigued with how the yarn patterned on the back. However, next time I'd omit the lace part as it's not very visible with this kind of yarn.

This bootie pattern has become my "go to" for a quick and fun baby gift.  It's always a bit dicey though with one ball of angora yarn; lately I've begun to wonder whether it's really the amount listed on the ball band.

My sweet grand daughter requested a sparkly sweater, and here she is wearing the result. It's an interesting knitting pattern that includes a bit of crochet. I'd like to try it again with the recommended yarn.

That's enough for this post since it's almost dinner time.  More to share soon.  Have a Happy Halloween!

Monday, October 1, 2018

Happy Socktober!

Wow!  Somehow September escaped with hardly any posts from me.  I will try to do better this month but am not making any promises. I've been diligently working on a few projects with a deadline, but I did manage to finally complete two UFOs.  I finished two pair of socks that didn't get posted then, but isn't Socktober a good time to do so?

The cross-overs in this pattern drove me nuts.  You can see the fronts of the socks on the pattern page, and if anyone has any tips on the cross-over, I'd love to hear them!  I really love the Cascade Heritage yarn in this color.

I finished these with yarn that was supposed to make a matching pair. It came pretty close, but what interested me was the way the pattern (Solar) affected the stripes.  I am tempted to try again with a different stripey yarn to see if the same thing happens, but since there are other things waiting in the wings, I will try to be good and refrain.

This cute little guy is wearing the angora booties made just for him!

Recently we went to the Issaquah Farmers' Market and tried "marbling" at my friend Debbie's booth. It was really fun, and the finished scarf was sent off to our daughter in Chicago for her birthday.  I haven't heard whether she likes it, but  If you ever get a chance to try this process, do it!  You can see more pictures at Marmo Silks on Facebook.

On the home front these two were in our backyard at 8:30 AM last week. If you look closely, you can see the pale-colored deer's little horns. They didn't stick around long though.

These two continue their Peanut Wars, and both put on a pretty convincing act. My friend Becca was able to catch Squirrely's plea. (Not only is she a good photographer, she also crochets beautiful things!)  Did you know that the blue jays can swallow a peanut, shell and all, without choking? It's amazing to witness!

Have a great week!

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Happy Labor Day Weekend!

Despite the smoky skies here during the waning days of August, our garden continued to surprise us with these pretties.

And we had a visitor that wasn't a deer!

Can you spot him?

This guy keeps showing up, too, and occasionally even brings a friend.

And best of all I finally finished this long-standing UFO!

Have a happy Labor Day weekend, everyone!

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Finally, a Post!

August seems to be disappearing all too quickly, I guess because we've been busy.  It's also been rather strange lately because we've had a number of very smoky, hazy days thanks to the fires all over the PNW.  We even found ash on our car after visiting a friend!  Dick took this photo of the "sun" before we headed home.

Before the smoke arrived we ventured to Sunrise, a entrance to Mount Rainier that we'd never seen despite all our years here.  It's beautiful!

We chatted with a fun couple from Germany and then walked down the trail a ways where we saw a bit of wildlife: 

a checkerspot butterfly (I think)

and this little guy.

Then we helped Little Miss celebrate her 5th birthday.

Besides the sweater from my last post, I finished this cat scarf for her which had been in my stash ever since I made one for her cousin a few years ago.

That cousin received this butterfly and cocoon for her August birthday. (If you've not made a pattern by Susan B. Anderson, you should as they are fun.)  Soph's request list came late, but I am now working on something else that topped her list. Stay tuned on that.

Speaking of critters, this buck recently appeared in our backyard which activated our motion light and woke us.  After snacking on some of our flowers, he went out front to continue his pruning assignment before wandering up the street. (The photo probably would have been clearer had DH taken time to put on his contacts! However, a clearer photo might not have happened at all then!)

Have a great week!

Saturday, August 4, 2018

Busy, Busy, Busy!

Shortly after returning from California my sister and her husband arrived for a week long visit, and we were busy every single day! The first day of their visit, we went to Cannon Beach, one of our favorite spots, and stopped at Astoria en route. (Have you read Astoria by by Peter Stark? It's a great read and has lots of history about the Pacific Northwest.)

While Jane and Ted climbed the 100+ steps to the top of the column, we enjoyed the view and spotted this guy floating toward the Astoria Bridge.

Then we stopped at the beach at Fort Stevens State Park to see the wreck of the Peter Iredale, a ship that ran aground there in 1906. We were lucky to even catch the Ranger's talk!

As you can see, the weather's predictably cool on these beaches.  It was cold and windy at Haystack Rock, too.

Dick even caught a photo of a puffin flying back to its nest on the rock!  Can you see it on the right?

This past Monday we drove up to Mount Baker which is close to the Washington/Canada border.  This time we were able to make it to the end of the road, and it was HOT despite the snow everywhere!

Back home the birds and flowers were very happy in the heat.

With all the car-time, I also managed to finish this project for a certain Little Miss's fifth birthday which is coming right up. Now to think up something else for another August birthday girl......  

Our guests are back home as we head into August.  How did July disappear so quickly?  

PS  On these recent clear nights we've been watching the International Space Station.  You can see the ISS also by entering in your location to find the viewing times where you live!  It's fun, and you don't even need binoculars. (I have a hard time remembering that it's as big as a football field and moving at 18,000 mph!)