Sunday, December 30, 2007

more entrelac

OK, Lynnie... here's the progress on the entrelac whatever-it-will-be-maybe-a-sweater piece i've been working on.  Damn, i love doing this.. and it's a real sweet treat using my new KnitPicks needles!


so... if change is good, is big change better?  and how about enormous change... enormously good?  and if this change comes about, i'll have to eat a lot of words and attitude covering many many years.  The words have to do with swearing i would never ever build another house, and the only way i'd leave this house and my queendom would be feet first and cold.  And what might change all this is that Chris and Kate have been talking about a 10 acre lot next to them up there in Duvall, WA, with the suggestion that we buy it, build a house and move up there!  I'm still kind of blown away by the whole idea!   Many thoughts are swirling around in my brain and oh my dear goddess, the frightening thought of dealing with 28 years of accumulated STUFF around here gives my brain oh so much pain!!  Put 2 people together who are confirmed packrats, both seemingly trying to make up for those lean childhood and early adult days when we didn't have much... and you've an unimaginable amount of STUFF.  We both have a hard time throwing stuff away... you know, "we might need this some day!".  On the other hand, as we get older the amount of time and work required to keep up this house, garden, flower beds, 400 wine grape plants, etc. gets to be more of a stress and less desirable.  And besides, we like to travel and we've discovered that sweet village in Crete!!  Chris suggested we hire someone to build us a house, then leave for Crete and come back when it's ready to live in.  not a bad idea really... esp. when i think of the daily challenges of building dome central.  I think life would be sweet living close to C & K and the grandkids and being able to be with them more.  Duvall is a small town, but bigger than Banks, and has restaurants and shops... And a quilt store... uh oh.... And it's kind of the outskirts of Seattle.  So, at this point we've decided to "look into it" and think about it and see what we come up with.  But it will take me awhile to eat and digest those words.  

Thursday, December 27, 2007

busy times!!

the xmas dinner with the tribe here (tho a few were missing...) was the usual delightful high energy event with lots of food, an over-abundance of gifts, the 4 kids enjoying every bit of it.
Maisy (age 5) was especially happy because there was enough snow on the ground to play in, and every time i saw her she was either putting her boots on again to go out, or coming back in to see if someone would please go out and play with her in the snow!!  there was actually only about 2" of it, but she made the most of it, and there wasn't enough on the roads that it caused anyone a problem getting here, tho Chris drove thru areas of blizzards coming south on I-5.  In the gift dept. my stashes were beautifully enhanced with lovely silk fabric (lots of it) for quilting (or??) that Chris brought back from India... and the wonderful Knitpicks Harmony knitting needles set, which i already love using...the wood is so pretty and feels so smooth and i love the pointy tips on them a lot!!  I won't get into listing the bounty that came my way... but there was abundance and music i wanted, too (including The Sweet Potato Queens' Big-Ass Box of Music.... love it!)

Since there were NO suggestions for what should become of the entrelac i'm knitting, i've about decided that it will become part of a sweater.  stay tuned...

Sunday, December 23, 2007

knittin' entrelac

this is what i've been knitting on recently -

I'm using 3 different handdyed yarns of Lynne's
and one of mine ( current row and the ball of yarn here).  Wanting to knit some entrelac and unable to decide on a pattern, i just cast on some stitches on US 3 dpns, and started in.  it is about 10 - 10 1/2 inches wide, unblocked, and i have no idea what it will become.
any ideas out there?  anyone?  someone? bueller??

Saturday, December 22, 2007


and last night this domestic goddess took on cookie baking (after making 2 big batches of that chex mix that my whole family adores).  it's been years since i retired cookie baking from my list of domestic activities.. so i approached it with high hopes for a good outcome.  and i know that most people don't think of this as difficult and many actually enjoy it.  i don't so much, but on a whim a few years ago when at a Pampered Chef party, i bought one of those cookie presses just because i think they are kind of cool and i'd always wanted one.  so i dug it out of the pantry last night and looked for directions for its use.  there weren't any.  it didn't look complicated, so after the standard pressed cookie dough was made up, i stuffed some into the barrel of the gizmo, put on what looked like a cute design disc, and tried to get the plunger to go down and press the dough.  gotta say, i was feeling quite inept and started thinking thru a list of who i might call at 10pm for advice on cookie making with a press gizmo..... and couldn't think of anyone who wouldn't roll their eyes, sigh and think i'm pretty lame for not figuring that one out.  humility lessons are good for me, i know.. but i wasn't ready to take the lesson that far.  and finally i pushed something on the barrel, the plunger went down, i pressed on it and out came.... nothing.  ok, set it against the cookie sheet and pressed and out came some dough, and it just hung there on the disc, so after another pressing there was a large amount of dough hanging there.  after a few tries (and returning of blobs of dough back into the barrel) success came with pushing the thing hard against the cookie sheet.  finally!  cute little dough shapes.... and they came out of the oven looking like cookies.  most of them did anyway, and the failures got eaten!  they looked awfully plain, and there was no decorative stuff to be found. if any had been found i'm sure it would have been years past the throw away date.  all that came to mind was granulated sugar with a bit of red food dye, dye that was left over from one very depressing winter when i cheered myself up by dyeing wet lambs with koolaid and food dye.  that did totally cheer me up, by the way.  to the point where the sheep all thought i'd gone around the bend as i stood in the barn laughing hysterically at them!  back to the red sugar, which got spooned onto some of the cookies (it wouldn't "sprinkle").  so the cookies look ok, but plain, and taste great.  today i bought frosting and colored sprinkles, applied them and admired the outcome... lookin' good!!  can't decide whether to make another batch or just retire again from cookie making.....

Friday, December 21, 2007


the charlie

partially decorated.

kinda sweet actually

and here's charlie with more decorations.   no lights tho
as i was afraid the weight of them would cause tippage

Saturday, December 15, 2007

life ramblings

just a week til winter solstice!  ah, the light will return.... tho ever too slowly.  remember the year that there was a full moon on solstice?  we went to a wedding in portland that night and got home late to find the night incredibly bright and breathtakingly beautiful here in my queendom.  there was such a temptation to dance naked in the glory of that moonlight.... but it was so damn cold that the frost was all sparkly on the grass.  much too cold for nekkidness, but i danced anyway, knowing it's good for the soul to dance in the moonlight.. esp. on a solstice night.

and i am loving using my new MacBook.  2 1/2 years with the dell laptop was enough to convince me i'd had enough of that.  i'm trying to resist calling it my adventure on the dark side, tho i'm pretty sure Chris doesn't read my blog... i know he would not find that the least bit amusing, beings as he works for MS.  but when the dell crashed, it just seemed like a good time to get another mac.  my first computer was a mac... and every one since then, except for the dell... and i still do have a mac desktop.  and i even found a group on ravelry for mac users.  there's a bundle of information there on software for knitters that runs well on mac.

last year we didn't have a tree for the holidays.. just minimal decorations, and that was ok.  but i decided i wanted a living tree this year.. a little one.  so Jim took a shovel and went down to the lot in front of the next-door vineyard, dug a tree for me and we planted it in a pot.  it's a really cute little tree, kind of.. um.. lean, taller than i was thinking of, but it needs the height to make up for the rather sparsity of branches.  i'm thinking i'll call it charlie because it does make me think of a charlie brown tree.  and it is very cute.

finished up my gift shopping last night online.  what a treat it is to shop that way!!  saves gas, wear and tear on the car, and helps me maintain a grip on sanity and good humor!  it's enough that i'll have to go grocery shopping next week to get ready for the tribe coming for dinner... probably around 20 to 25 of 'em.   wheeee.

just a little over 3 months til we go back to Crete.... bravo!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

another finished project!

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well, it's finished ... except for sewing that last seam!  for me the good and bad of crazy quilting is that i could actually never be finished.. there is always something more that could be done!  So i reached a point where i said "ok, now, it's finished".

Thursday, December 06, 2007

finished projects .. and ravelry

i'm having trouble navigating in ravelry to put finished projects up.... so, here's a couple for my blog instead!
I finished these mitts (sis-ternal, since they are "girly", rather than fraternal), my usual non-identical mode for pairs of socks and mitts.  not sure if they are for me... or who.
and the denim vest/jacket is finally finished for Robin, i'm happy to say.  she wanted one like mine... a vest with handknitted sleeves sewn in, making it a warm and fun jacket to wear!  hope she likes it.
so, whew, 2 projects finished!!

Northwest weather

There has been a lot of info in the media about the awful wind/rain storms in the pacific northwest this week, and indeed some areas have suffered huge damage.  i'm grateful to say that we are fortunate to live on a hill at about 500 feet elevation, so the only results of the flooding for us was that the major road out of here to Banks was closed for a day due to flooding of low-lying fields.  we didn't even have wind damage!  50 miles west of here at the Oregon coast is an entirely different story... lots of severe flooding and devastating wind damage!!  so... for anyone wondering how life is in my queendom... it's good!

now, i just need to get my stuff worked out so i can send mail from my email program... i know there is something really simple i'm missing...  WTF is it?

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

hoping for blogging again

Yesterday I brought home a new macbook, with high hopes i'll be able to interact with ravelry and to post to my blog!  i've been wanting this sweet laptop for a long time, so after the dell died and i recovered (emotionally.... but NOT all that stuff on my harddrive), i decided to do it!  so, i happily danced myself and new computer out of the macstore yesterday and hurried home with visions of opening it and connecting to the internet.  that was not to be...  My bubble completely burst when the message showed up that there IS NO internal modem, though it is capable of wireless, DSL and what-have-you.  no internal modem????  sweet goddess! the last several computers i've bought had internal modems.  what's up  with that?  seems the newest cater to the newest of connections... and living in the country outside of that zone dooms me to dial-up.  so, i did a little research and went back to the macstore today to purchase an external modem, which is a tiny device... not the big clunky box of years ago.  I did hope that they'd give me a price break due to my extreme sadness over this setback, whiny bitching and moaning about disappointment and inconvenience of having to drive BACK into Beaverton today, but no, only condolences and a pat on the head.  and the good news is, YAY and bravo... i am connected to the internet