Saturday, November 28, 2015


 It's been a few weeks since I've checked in.  It's been busy.  Also, I didn't have much to say.  So there's that.  This past week I was in San Diego for Thanksgiving with Scott's family.  I'm not going to go into detail as to the whys and whatnots - but I was nervous to go.  His Dad's side of his family has continued to include me in their lives so I really should not have been nervous.  Hmmm.  I'll back up a little.  I come from a small, scattered family.  Holidays were my Mom, brother and I.  Sometimes we would do something with one of my Mom's friends but usually it was a very subdued small affair.  Scott was the oldest of 6 siblings from two separate sides of family and then each (mom or dad) had extended family included.  So, bare minimum would be at least 10 people.  But normally a lot more than that.  So, in consideration of just the size of the gathering it was overwhelming and strange to me at first.  And loud. ha!

Last year, I chickened out.  There was going to be about 25-30 people and things still seemed new and raw and I wasn't ready.  This year worked out really well.  There were still family that I had not seen in years but it was safe because I knew that they already knew.  So, no surprises.  Also, after getting used to the chaos when it wasn't around I missed it!

Before I went, as I was packing I decided I wanted a BIG project bag that could hold either a big project or a bunch of little ones.  So I made this giant bag and used snaps as a closure!  I love these snaps!  They are the Dritz Babyville snaps that you can find at Joann.  The snap setter tool is really easy to use and the snaps go on easily and snap well.  I had toyed around with the metal snaps but getting the prongs to line up and then set was a pain and didn't work well with thicker fabric.

As you can see the bag is really big!  I think George would actually fit inside, ha!  So I packed my cross stitching and a hat project as a back up to my shawl.  They did all fit in this one bag, in their own separate bags.
Good thing I knit!  For travelling I could see where if I wasn't knitting I would have been bored, bored, bored!

This was the bedroom that I stayed in at the Smith casa.  It was so tall!  I had to grab a chair to climb into, no joke.  Another side note, everyone and I mean everyone in Scott's family is tall! So tall.  Scott was 6'8".  I'm a pretty respectable 5'6" but comparatively I'm a Hobbit.  But anyway!  The bed, once I could get in it was so, SO comfy!!!  And the room was bright and beautiful.  The weather was beautiful the whole time.

Monday my sister in law and I spent the day at the beach. Tuesday we went and rode roller coasters at Knott's Berry Farm.  It was so fun!!!  I do love roller coasters even though I am terrified of heights.  And will sometimes get vertigo.  But roller coasters!  I love them so.  The last one we went on was at night and it was a full moon and it was thrilling and we laughed and laughed.  

So this picture I find amusing.  The weather was beautiful but for San Diego it was cold.  Anything under 70 is like freezing to them.  So this is Lacey, my sister in law and her son in front of the fire that my FIL made.  It was so, so cozy!  There's just something about a roaring fire.  I think this was Wednesday after a day of pie making and preparation.  

 I didn't get any pics at Thanksgiving.  It was such a good, bittersweet, lovely, touching, busy day. My Father in law has such a tender heart that he shared with us.  I was honored to be there.

Inevitably, there is a hole where Scott should have been.  Some moments where I know he would have made a joke, or told a story, were just empty.  But, really, it was the best it could be.  There was still plenty of laughter, lots of other's stories.  I even talked Lacey into playing piano earlier in the day so there was the music.  I am thankful for Scott, not only for his life, but because he brought me into his family.

Friday I left with a heart and mind full of new memories and love.  The trip home did not go as expected, which I think is actually pretty typical of holiday travel, yes?  But, again, I had my knitting!  So I wasn't upset because it was still better than driving 14+ hours by myself.
 It was an icy snowy drive home, and this was my street this morning.  The snow is sticking which might mean we have a real winter this year!  yikes.  Rocky and George were so excited to see me, and I them.  Today I have not gone out, and may not.
I hope you all had nice Thanksgivings if you celebrate.  One tradition that we've done is to go around the room and say something we're thankful for.  I think it's nice to reflect on all the blessings we all have and share that.  Each day I can find an abundance of things to be thankful for.  I hope you can too.

Monday, November 9, 2015

fiber mania

So yesterday!  My friend Charese (who is a fairy princess) and I thought it would be fun to go to a fiber festival over in Grants Pass.  It's about a 2 hour drive from here, it rained almost the whole time!  But, sometimes it's just fun to get out of town for a little bit, you know?

A lot of times I see people in other areas of the States going to these fabulous fiber things that have lots of indie dyers, spinners, cool stuff.  There are a couple that I know of in Northern Oregon, but that's like 6 hours away.....or California, but again hours away.  So I did some googling and found this website: knitter's review. It has like every fiber festival for the year listed in month order and with a link to the festival.  I found one called Fiber Mania that is close to me.

It was at the fairgrounds in Grants Pass.  It was so fun!  The great thing about fibery folks is they are mostly all friendly.  Also inspiring!  Like seeing all the interesting things people are making.  There was a LOT of felting going on - felted animals, felted shapes onto knitwear, felted soaps.

There was one stall in particular that I wanted to literally buy everything in it!  It was Stitched Bliss.  In that stall was a feature wall of this indie dyer Wee chickadee woolery.  OMG.  The saturation of color was like overwhelming!  So beautiful!  I had a hard time deciding which color to choose.  I picked a turquoise speckled called Fox's Wedding.  I also picked a mini skein of another speckled, it didn't have a color name on it.  I thought it would be fun to do as a contrast heel or toe for socks.  Also!  So clever.  Her business card has a little teensy skein attached, she said enough to make a hexi-puff or square for a blanket.
The brown is an alpaca that I picked up to make a gift.  One thing: this yarn is like perfumed!!!  I soaked it in cold water last night to try and rinse out the scent but it still smells.  Any advice there on how to get the perfume out of the fiber would be very welcome!

At one of the first stalls we stopped at there were these little sheepies!  So cute!  There were various colors and some that had felted sweaters on.  I really liked the ones with sweaters but the price difference was huge: $48 for sweatered and $10 for not sweatered.   

We had a great time, Charese doesn't knit but did find some little gift items.  We had a late lunch and then hit the road back home.  It was snowing over the pass!!!  aye.  But, a wet rainy snow.  It looks from the weather cams that it did stick a bit by Lake of the Woods.  A reminder that winter is just around the corner!

Saturday, November 7, 2015

a bit of blah

I have a bit of a rant I need to get out this morning.  Sorry about it.  But, also, not sorry.  I am only sorry because if maybe you expect to only read knitty/quilty/stitchy stuff you may be disappointed by my blog.

But anyway!  A comment a friend made to me last night that was made totally in love has gotten under my skin.  I'm not upset at her one bit, truly.  I'm trying to make a hard decision and did ask for her opinion and she gave it.  The beginning of the statement came out like: I can see as a single woman how.....

The truth of the damn thing is what's got me.  I am a single woman.  I never wanted to be that.  I know that people say women can do anything a man can.  Sure - but not me.  I don't know how to fix things.  I don't know how to spot problems.  I am not strong enough to move items.  So what does a single lady do?  They call people to fix it for them.  They pay.  They feel like they've asked too much of their friends.  Well, this lady feels that way anyway.

The thing is, Scott could fix anything.  Anything.  Something broke and he'd know what was wrong and he'd fix it.  Cars, washing machines, dishwashers, lawnmowers, sewing machines, you name it and he could figure it out.  He could build things.  He also had a way of explaining things and just being that calming force that I need.  I miss him all the time.  Every day.  But times like these it is glaring how alone I am and how much awesomeness I'm missing.

I have great friends.  People who do look out for me.  I am so thankful for that.  I just don't want to be a burden, you know?

I already feel better just typing this out.  So, thanks for listening (or reading).  It really does help to journal thoughts and feelings and I can type faster than I can write :)

Sunday, November 1, 2015

cozy days

When I was younger and the older folk would say things about how quickly time passes, I thought they were nutso.  ha.  My how age and perspective changes those thoughts!  This week flew by.  The summer flew by.  I understand phrases like "trying to stay in the moment".  But, dang, how easy it is to get caught up in the rush of the day to day.

So!  Last weekend I made the quilt top for my giant vintage sheet star quilt.  Yesterday I quilted that bad boy up!!  I did larger free motion than I usually do because I just wanted this done.  Originally I was going to do some sort of straight lines but then that sounded like I would have to use to much brain power and the meandering squiggles of stippling just felt easy.
So I'm sharing this picture because I think it's important to see the mistakes and learn from them!  I got the whole thing done, flipped it over and found this mess.  Now, it's not terrible, no.  Compared to my early quilting is is nothing.  But, I was out of spray basting and just used safety pins.  And I used a vintage sheet for the backing and those cotton/poly blends can be squirrelly! Basically I didn't pay as much attention as I could have.

But guess who cares?  NO ONE!  ha!  Cuz this is a couch quilt to (try) keep Rocky furs off the cushions.

I used another sheet for the binding, a fun hot pink.

And, here it is in use: 

Rocky's rumpus just kills me, he's so cute!  I like to tell him that I wish he could just relax sometimes.  Like, take a chill pill or something!  

Ok.  In other news and happenings this week.  I finally ordered this book and got it Thursday: 
I've been reading the author's blog for awhile now, Can you stay for dinner?, and I really like her writing.  She's super descriptive and conversational.  Basically she was very overweight growing up, alcoholic father, absent overworking mother, brother escaping, explosive at times family dynamic.  I forget what age, maybe 20, she lost 135lbs and so far has kept it off.  So, she's very honest about her family life - puts it out there.  It's also clear she loves her family.  She's just telling it like it was from her perspective and how that affected her.

 I also finally finished the July (!!!) frame for my Storytime Sampler.  Oh man I'm so behind!  This one is the Lady of Shalott.  So the only reason I even know about this poem is because in Anne of Green Gables she recites the poem and gets in a boat to float down the river to act it out.  I only made two modifications from the pattern.  One is that I gave her a somber expression instead of a smile.  The other is that after reading the poem it says she is wearing a pearl crown, so I added little french knots to look like pearls.
Also, I've been knitting away on my Duchess shawl.  I am just about to start the last eyelet section, then there is one last garter section and the border to go.  I moved it up to my longer circular needles.  This yarn is so squishy and pretty.  I think once it's blocked, it will suit the pattern better as you'll be able to see the eyelet sections more clearly.

Today is overcast and was rainy this morning so I'm being lazy and cozy.  I have a chili in the crock pot.  I soaked the beans last night thinking it sounded good and then when I woke up to rain I was like perfect!