Wednesday, August 27, 2008


It is noisy around here!

The trade-off is it is like getting a new house(how it looks) without having to pack, move boxes and unpack!

Here is the progress as of the end of day two.



Northwest Corner:

North side:

This photo shows that some parts of the house are pretty high off the ground. Frederico, be careful!

As I stated in the last entry, there are a few areas of rot that will have to be rebuilt/replaced such as what is shown in the photo below. We are fortunate because we expected that it might be worse given the issues and lawsuits that have resulted from the siding that we are replacing.

I decided to knit the ever popular February Lady Sweater. What is this wonderful yarn? Handspun by my friend Terry(she is the one that highly encouraged me to spin and helped me get my first wheel). I have been waiting for the perfect project for this cherished yarn. This is a perfect pairing.

I am going to frog back. I tried it on and I think I need to start the sleeve portion much earlier. I did try it on before the part where you put the sleeve stitches on waste yarn but it I found it difficult to really *see* how it was going to look. I tried it on this morning and I don't like the fit. I need to start the lace section earlier.

I have learned from year one of Nihon vogue if I have a doubt about the fit, then take the time to do it right. Confession: Our first project in year one was a top-down raglan. I will look at my notes to apply what I learned for that project and apply it to this one. I should have done that initially was nice to just follow a pattern rather than figure it out for myself. Lesson learned...I know it will fit better if I tailor this design to my own body rather than following someone else's calculations!

I have loved wearing my sweaters I made during year one because they do fit and I am proud to wear them. I know when February Lady Sweater is done, I will feel the same way.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Siding has officially begun!

Our siding project was scheduled to begin last Tuesday but due to weather conditions and scheduling issues with the siding company, the siding work officially began this morning.

So far things are status quo with the boys. Chase and Beanie don't seem to bothered by the noise. Luckily my sister Cheryl has offered her home to me as a safe haven during the work day so I can escape if the noise becomes too irritating.

I love this photo. Shows how when the original siding went up that the workers neglected to put a paper shield on this particular section which caused some water damage.

Greg and I went through numerous rounds of putting up paint samples around the outside of the house. We knew we wanted 'charcoal gray' and 'blood red'.

Yeah, no problem.

Do you know how many charcoal grays and blood reds there are out there?

We instantly agreed on the gray, once we found the *right* one(Iron Ore) but the blood red was a harder one to agree on.

Greg was sure of his choice, I wasn't. I painted some larger samples on the back of the house so we could watch it through the phases of the day, seeing it in all types of lighting. We finally settled on 'Sundried Tomato', the one on the right. This will be our accent color.

The back of the house is just flat, no protruding sections. So the Sundried Tomato will be painted as an accent the full height of the house, in the middle 1/3, to add some contrast and interest. The section where the sundried tomato will be painted will have new lighting fixtures and will provide a nice, interesting backdrop for the outside room I plan on creating next spring/summer!

I imagine some nice cozy furniture with coordinating tables for an inviting sitting area.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Birthday Sunrise(NOT Surprise!)

I've been waking up early this week. This is what welcomed me to my day, my birthday.

This birthday will be memorable in some ways because of how my husband could not keep any sort of secret as to what he was going to *surprise* me with.

A couple days ago I walked into his office and he quickly shut down some of his computer page screens and opened another. The one he opened up was one he was actually trying to close down. I said "oh, I'm getting a new camera for my birthday?". He said various swear words.

I have had my current little point and shoot for probably 4 years. I didn't like how whites/lights really blew out the photo. I could manage to make photos *ok* with Adobe Photoshop Lightroom but I was never really happy with the camera. I could manage to manipulate photos and make them passable which meant I couldn't justify a new camera. I was ready to get a new camera with hopes to decrease the amount of time I spend manipulating my photos.

I am going to get the new Nikon Coolpix S60 which is scheduled for release in September. I like that there are no buttons on the camera, operation very similar to the iPhone(which I love). Now the biggest decision is what color body do I want? Wanna vote on what color you like best? Go vote on the sidebar.

One surprise bites the dust!

Yesterday afternoon I hung out at my friend Jamie's. We sat out on her patio chatted and relaxed (can you believe I didn't knit one stitch?). It was a nice, relaxing, girl chatter filled few hours.

When I got home Greg and I were talking. He had just spent the day at his parents house helping his folks do some chores outside(which he does almost once a week). He mentioned he saw my car out in front of Jamie's. Mind you Jamie's house is not on the way home from his parent's house. I said "oh really?". He had to have gone to my favorite yarn store to get a gift card. I asked "oh, did you go to Village?". More swear words came out of his mouth.

Today he presented me with this card...with my, as predicted, Village Yarn and Tea gift card inside.

Surprise two bites the dust!

On the fiber front, while at Bangrila I spun up 4oz of Falkland wool dyed by FatCatKnits. This is a 3-ply in colorway called Common Cause.

I wish I would have taken a photo of the roving before I spun it.

I just divided the roving and split it into 3. Say it was 60 inches long, each section was 20 inches.

What did I learn spinning this? Well....since this is a 3 ply, the colors are going to get more muted the more plies. The yarn in person has a lot of depth and complexity but from a distance it looks fairly monochromatic.

I am enjoying playing with how you divide roving and use it will give you very different results spun up. If I had it to do over again I would split the roving lengthwise in 3 sections, spin the singles in the same color order so when they were plied together the colors would line up to preserve how the roving looked originally.

I took 'Getting the most from your painted Roving' from Janel Laidman at Madrona this year. A person has so many possibilities what can be done with a single roving depending on how you divide up the roving.

Looks like there will be a lot more experimentation and play in my future!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Latvian Mittens

Way back on July13 I went to the Nordic Heritage Museum to see the Latvian exhibit.

The exhibit was ending soon and Melinda had suggested we go see it. So she, Michale and I headed down to the museum(does not have air conditioning) on a sweltering July day.

The mitten display was just amazing. I have never attempted to knit any Latvian style mittens but after seeing them in person I have added them to my knitting 'to do' list.

I also want to purchase the book Latvian Mittens by Lizbeth Upitis. Michale got the last copy at the Museum so this is still on my book wish list.

Although my iphone photos are not the best, this will give a little taste of what we saw.

They are amazing to see in person. We chatted with a woman that is heavily involved in the Latvian community and she was a delight to talk to. She had so many interesting things to share with us.

I took this next photo in the museum gift shop. I came thisclose to buying this mug(it says 'Living with a Norwegian Builds Character'). I can relate to the sentiment since I am married to a man of norwegian heritage!

Friday, August 22, 2008


I've finally gotten some time on the wheel.

I am slowly improving my spinning skills. Although I got my first wheel about 15 months ago, I haven't had much time to spin.

Ellen and I bought some roving at Madrona 2008 so we could spin some yarn to make the Wool Peddler's Shawl by Cheryl Oberle.

I finished spinning about 12 ounces of BFL in the colorway called Ocean Collection. It is a 3-ply yarn about 12wpi. I wanted it more on the worsted side of things but I'm still learning how to get the results I want and what I need to do to get there.

This time I put more twist in the singles with more twist in the ply. It was fun to try different things(ah....the benefits of retirement). The first time I plied a bit of this I did not have enough twist and the result was a sproingy mess! I just kept playing with it until I got a balanced yarn and I felt so proud of myself as a result.

Even though this isn't exactly what I was going for(worsted weight), I think it is still amazing that I can create yarn like this. can do anything you want with enough time, determination, lots of practice and patience!

Thursday, August 21, 2008


I have also been on a quest to find the perfect yarn for the Druid Mittens.

I started out with Jamieson and Smith Lipstick. I liked it *ok*.

Then a couple nights ago I tried Raspberry.

I so want to absolutely LOVE these when I am done but I have not found the perfect yarn/color!

In that time of half awake, half asleep, right before you really wake up, I thought about some solid Kauni yarn I have in my stash. I'm thinking it is going to be perfect! I jump out of bed and headed to the stash. Greg was like "what is going on?".

You all understand, when the creative juices flow, you gotta go with that flow!

The Lipstick was just a little too light, the Raspberry was too heathery and dark which would distract from the cables and design. I think this Kauni(in the middle) is going to be *JUST RIGHT*.

What I need to do in the future is START at the stash rather than going to yarn stores buying new yarn. I've probably got the perfect yarn for a million projects sitting right in my own home!

What is your vote? Go to the sidebar and vote on what color you like best of the three above. The left is Lipstick, center is Kauni, and right is Raspberry.

On the non-knitting portion of this poist, we are on the verge of having our siding re-done on our home. It is going to take 3-4 weeks to do this job. When the siding folks arrived Tuesday morning they were not the most organized bunch. My work organization and task completion side of me kicked in and I thought "I could really help these folks make more use out of their time and money". Uh no. Naomi, you are retired now.

Greg has been stressed out about the siding project. It took us weeks to decide what materials we wanted to use, how to use them, what color(s) did we want, etc.

Given the complexity of our project and design elements, there are many, many small design details that Greg wants *just so*. I'm thinking he has potential for becoming a side-zilla!

Although we have been having some really unseasonally cold and rainy weather here the past few days, this appeared out my window yesterday afternoon.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Where have I been?

Well I got back into town a couple days ago. I spent the week at Bangrila with my family. We had so much fun! We had 90 degree weather, spent time in the lake, Greg drove the boat so the kids(and adult kids) could intertube on the lake. We ate like crazy and just laughed a lot and cheered all the Olympic athletes on.

We even had our own version of the Olympics. We had a table top tennis aka ping pong event hosted out in the front yard. We had seating as well as a full awards ceremony. The nieces made the medals and made a medal stand so the winners could stand properly as we sang the National Anthem(cover your ears)!

Well, as promised I finally have some photos for you of my final project for Nihon Vogue year one. Here is what the chain 3, slip, chain 3 looks like. I am not a crocheter but this crochet edging made me want to enahance my crochet skills for finishing.

This little edging was perfect for this project because I didn't want a full button band because the fit of the sweater was a little bit bigger than I had conceived. You can see more details about that below. The edging made it possible to have a nice finished edge AND have buttonholes for my little buttons.

Here is the final sweater.

I attempted bust darts with this project as well as doing a tiny bell at the bottom of the sleeves and changing needle sizes to get a bit of flaring in the lace area. Overall I am pleased with the results.

What I would change if I were to do this over again(which I won't) is to raise where the stockinette area changes to lace. I thought I had measured *accurately* where the bottom of my bra was so it would be more empire waist-y. I would ask Jean to help me measure this so it would turn out as I imagined. I would not use alpaca/silk which tends to grow length-wise(but I wanted to use something from the stash)

I would also not put any ease into the body. I put in 2cm ease and this caused the body section to not hug my body as I had hoped. That said, if I would have taken the time to really *think* about it I would have realized that in order to get the body hugging result I would either add zero ease or even possibly have negative ease.

I finally finished the Hemlock Ring Blanket while at Bangrila. I used 6 skeins of Blue Sky Alpaca Dyed Cotton. It is very soft and cozy. As Ellen predicted, the bind off for this thing takes a LOT of yarn. So if you are making this, keep this in mind!

Of course Chase has to get in on the action:

This is sitting on our guest bed which is a queen size bed. This will give you some perspective on the size of it. It almost spans the width of the bed.

The transition to this new chapter in my life has been interesting. I'm adjusting and feeling a tiny bit out of sorts, still.

I was at my monthly massage appointment a week and a half ago and Mimi and I were talking about life. She's going through a big life change and so am I. I was lying there all relaxed and telling her about some health concerns I've been dealing with. My doctor suggested I take up meditation or yoga, something to calm the type-A tendencies. I proceeded to tell her "I need to work harder at relaxing". Mimi cracked up! She said, "Did you hear what you just said? You need to work harder at relaxing".

Some habits are hard to break!