Monday, December 28, 2020

Wrapping it up

 Delaney's mommy had to work Christmas Eve morning so we got to share a present opening one day early, and she loved it.

My kids always loved toys from Fischer Price so I felt confident that Delaney would too.  She loved it and played with it for an hour, took a break and then came back to play with it for another hour.
I have been diligent to continue with my morning walks and some are more interesting than others.  This doe visits us at least once a week.
And some days are nicer than others.  This was the duck pond on Christmas morning.
I've been doing a lot of knitting and reading.  I wish I could say the same for weaving.

I just signed up for my first KAL (knit along) to learn more about Aran sweaters.

Meanwhile, I finished this colorwork sweater last week and have already worn it twice.  I love the feel of the yarn, not itchy, and am also pleased with the fit.  
Ian and I had a nice surprise when our Tacoma family decided to take a time out and spend a few days at Camp Sherman.  They've been in strict quarantine for ten months so the kids were more than ready to play in the snow.
They rented this cabin at Lake Creek Lodge and we drove up to have lunch and visit for a couple of hours.  We laughed, loved and then left - good medicine.
Every Christmas Ian gives me two books, one fiction and one nonfiction.  These are my gifts this year.  I'm currently rereading Ready Play One since it's been a while.  The sequel is showing up on recommended reading lists so I want to refresh myself to get the most out of it.

Saturday, December 12, 2020

Staying Home, Staying Safe

I lost interest in hand spinning after we moved here.  The first meeting I attended was a spinning meeting but somewhere along the line weaving took up all my time and I put my folding wheel into it's bag and stashed it in a closet.  The guild's spinning study group is doing such interesting things that I've put my wheel back up and given myself a spinning station. 

I used to have close to a dozen bobbins but now can only find four.  I had to clean off a couple so I chose two that I don't remember what the fiber was and I'm back at it.  I know what's all on three of these and in order to keep it that way, I've slipped a piece of paper in each with the name of the fiber.  We're going to be doing some natural dyeing and I'm making yarn in preparation.
The wheel is upstairs and I'd left the area to get something, don't remember what.  When I came back I found my cat snuggled in the plastic bag of roving - scared me to death.  I left the roving attached to the wheel, feeling the area was safe from Delaney but never stopping to think that it's not safe for Maddie.  It's in a Maddie-safe place now.
A couple of years ago someone in the Linocut Friends Facebook group posted a template for a hand printed Christmas ornament.  I'm sure I have the photocopy somewhere and I know it's in a file somewhere here on my laptop, but it's a good thing I carved the block way back when.  I forgot all about it until yesterday and decided it was time to finally make some prints.

What got me started was finding a some scraps of Hosho paper from an earlier project.  I only bought inks in primary colors so it was easy for me to decide on red.
I printed eight yesterday and let them dry overnight.  I ruined two trying to figure out how to assemble them.  Good thing I have PVA glue because it dries really fast and is made for paper.

I hung the ornaments on the Thanksgiving cactus using sewing thread.  That's how light they are.  I think it looks like the plant is still blooming.

I think they're absolutely charming and wish I had printed more.
I mixed up what I hope looks like Delft blue and printed all the leftover paper.  Tomorrow I'll cut and glue them and hang them on our tree.
Maddie brought a ball of yarn downstairs and when she got bored with it I gave it to Delaney.  She has been entertaining herself with it for the past week, even pretends that she's knitting with it.  And so it begins :-)


Saturday, December 05, 2020

I'm Still Here

 A friend asked me if I could weave a set of placemats for a friend of hers.  No hurry she said, and it's good thing because I started them after the weaving class in October and never found time to focus on them.  She liked the colors I showed her but I hated the uninspired way they were working up.  

Ultimately I cut the warp off and started over.  Her friend's inspiration color was olive green.  I didn't change the yarn colors but I did change how I paired them.  

I asked my friend if she wanted them all in one weft color of each one different.  This is what we ended up with.  I put enough warp on to make a second set.

Mornings have been biting cold and dry.  I can't complain as cold morning walks are much easier to manage than cold icy morning walks.  It was 18 degrees on this morning.

I am fortunate to have this field nearby but I keep a close eye on my footing until it gets lighter.  I have to get my walks in before the baby gets here.

Once she is here the day belongs to her.  I get the biggest kick out of these two - Grandpa reading on his phone and Delaney writing on one of her pads.
I bought myself a treat.  I've been shopping for a small teapot and I realize the problem is that tea is a social event so teapots are for multiple cups.  I've wrestled with my loose leaf tea, boiling water and a strainer - for just me.  No longer.  I now have this little gem.  I'm calling it my pandemic pot, for drinking alone.

Meanwhile we continue to wait for our new stove, the one we ordered last August.  Orders for appliances are backed up and we originally expected it to arrive in October, then November, now December.  Until then we are spared the calories of Christmas baked goodies.

Saturday, November 21, 2020

Trying New Things

I taped a piece of butcher paper to the dining room table and gave Delaney her new set of markers.  She has trouble getting the lids off and on so I removed them for her.

She really went to town.

It held her interest for quite a while.

I decided that maybe giving her a set of markers was premature when this happened.

She even decorated the sweater I just finished for her.  I know they'll wash out but at least she chose harmonious colors.  My first reaction was, 'nuff of that!  We'll try again in six months, but on reflection I decided why not?  They're washable and she's creative.  But I will wait a week, or two.
This is about a quarter of a fleece that I bought last spring.  I am spinning a little but am mostly interested in fiber preparation at this point.  I haven't been able to get small batches clean enough to spin easily and I've heard a lot of good things about a suint bath so on Monday, one week since I put this in, I'm going to check to see how the wool is doing.


Sunday, November 15, 2020

A Little Bit of Getaway

This is the vacation house that Rochelle owns on the Island.  We've been anxious to visit with her ever since her second open-heart surgery,  She thought she was well enough for visitors so all of us came out to the island Sunday morning.  They spent the day with us and we stayed another four. Unfortunately Rochelle wasn't as ready as she thought and couldn't come back out the next day so we weren't able to see her again before we left.  The good news is that they've identified the problems and she is feeling much better.  Now would be the time to visit except Oregon and Washington are shutting down again for two weeks to get a handle on the spiking Covid cases.  Plus our weather window has closed.  We drove home in rain but now there is snow in the mountains and on the passes.  

The first couple of days were beautiful and I sat on the deck overlooking Puget Sound and read and knitted until the deck went into chilly shade.
The houses here in this 100-year-old vacation cottage community are right on the Sound and this is low tide looking toward Tacoma.
This is looking just the opposite direction.  It's quite a hike up the hill to the parking area.
This is the moon rising over SeaTac which is just across the way,
and sunrise the next morning.
We figured it was a good day because Mt Ranier was out but the weather turned quickly after this and the rest of our stay was in the infamous Pacific Northwest rain, but even that was enjoyable.
I got great entertainment from an app I downloaded called Vessel Finder Lite which identified the ships and gave information about them.  Not all were as large as this Evergreen container ship.  The rain varied in intensity but not in continuity.  The sky was bleeding!!  The visit was a wonderful treat.  Ian's son Doug joined us for the last couple of days and then came back to Bend for a few more days.  

I have been doing a lot of knitting and this is the latest sweater I've finished for Delaney.  
She was hamming up her modeling but it tells me she likes it.  I got online last night and ordered more knitting yarn from Webs - two more sweaters for her and one for me.  At least I don't outgrow mine.
Last evening the eight (nine with Delaney) of us gathered at J Dubs which has turned into our go-to family event restaurant.  They paper the tables and Matt always draws something with the crayons they provide.  His daughter upstaged him last night with this masterpiece.  Grandson Evan turned 17 this week and in spite of being his party, the only pictures I took were of Delaney.  I don't think his feelings were hurt.

With Oregon's two-week lockdown starting Wednesday, it means we won't be having Thanksgiving dinner after more than 25 years of the same tradition.  Oddly of all the celebration dinners we've had in the last five years since we moved here I think I enjoyed last night the most.  The shadow of Covid reminded me of how lucky I am to be right here in the same place with my family.  Thankful?  You bet I am.

Friday, November 06, 2020

Change of Venue

We left for a week in Washington the Thursday before the election.  We had wanted to get up there last month to visit with a family member recovering from open-heart surgery but needed to delay until she felt better.  When you've reached the status of senior citizen there's a greater urgency when illness strikes, but there's another urgency this time of year in the form of ice and snow on the Cascades passes - making the trip without getting caught by the weather.  We were successful on all fronts!  It was lovely to sit in front of hearth, listen to music and visit.

Music is part of the DNA in this household.  The violin on the left was my grandfather's, made about the turn of the century.  I had it restored and took it up on our last visit.  Allison has been taking lessons since then and the luthier where she goes thinks it was made about 1903.  My grandfather was a fiddler and called square dances.  I love seeing it like this.
I love hearing it played like this.  Allison played for us, as did the kids who also have violins and take lessons.  But this fiddle is extra special to me.
Halloween day Jason set out a table in the front yard and the kids carved pumpkins unsupervised for the first time. The pumpkin goo was pretty chilly on their bare arms but they did a super job.
The weather held and the pumpkins glowed.
With the pumpkins carved we took Friday afternoon to do a little sight-seeing in downtown Tacoma.  First stop, the Washington History Museum and I can tell you that next time we visit we need to allow at least a half day to see all five stories.  I thought this collage was an apt representation on the content in some of the displays as we walked through Washington history.

Each era is beautifully curated. I loved the humor in this one.
Second stop was Museum of Glass.  We didn't have much time left, so instead of walking through the galleries we spent our time in the Hot Shop, watching glass artists make art glass.

Like this piece.  It's on display in the Hot Shop, along with three others that are spectacular.

We finished Halloween watching a movie outdoors - Para Norman - with a couple of friends and pizza.  
Sunday morning found us in line for the Vashon Island ferry and the other half of our visit.  To be continued.