Onward toward destiny and 2011!

I'm back thanks to the latest in colds. I tried to sleep through the changing of the years and found myself awake again after an hour or so. Here I am in all my phlegmy, coughy and tired glory. Not so much with the glory really. More just a week long stint of running through what I think is every cold symptom known to man. Greg and I are both at the running post nasal drip that wakes you in the night feeling like you're drowning. It takes 20 minutes to clear everything out and then hopefully go back to bed for the night. No fun.

So it has been awhile hasn't it? Let's see we bought a fabulous new house back in the woods. It has everything I ever wanted in a house so much more. Being a good housewife is ten times easier now that I love where I am at. I think I need some gardening lessons though. I scrambled to put together an herb garden and tomatoes in time for summer. We've got two lovely raised beds but 2010 was a rough year for tomatoes. My four plants gave me 5 tomatoes I think. The cucumbers never got past a centimeter and with the cold snap we've been having this year my herbs aren't looking too good now. I think I might lose the pineapple sage. It is a shame that plant really took off over the summer.

I think I got the house unpacked in record time. We still have some full boxes around but most of that is craft supplies. I'm waiting to unpack those once I get the "studio" painted. Our south garage is mercifully heated and used to be a workshop. So I've got a lot of workspace already. Ty and I broke it in this summer when she came to visit. We pulled out the card table, flipped up the garage door, turned on the intercom radio and crafted while Angie wandered nearby.Talk about a pleasant way to enjoy a day. My big goal for 2011 is to get that room painted and so we can further enjoy the space.

My other big goal is of course knitting and craft related. I've left myself rather unstructured for awhile with the battle cry of I'm supposed to have fun right? What has happened is I've put off a lot of projects I want to do because I'm less comfortable with those projects. So I've done a lot of shawls, scarves, hats, cowls and I really don't need many more of those things. The other problem? I've been an ooo shiny monster. Instead of cruising what I already want to do I'm hopping on Ravelry and finding the new shiny things. I still don't see anything wrong with that. I just need to do it in moderation. So I'm taking a page from the YarnHarlot's self imposed sock club. I'm going to pair patterns I've been yearning to do with yarn in bags. I'll reach for those first and lean towards sweaters, socks and gloves/things for the hands. I'll even endeavor to reach for unfinished objects first. I am going to put a halt on casting on for new shawls until I get my Evenstar done. I really want that shawl and I need something to push me through the hour or so of knitting per row. The one big exception to all of this the one thing that makes it still fun and not a chore... I can do whatever I want if I'm making gifts or test knitting. I do gifts so rarely that I know this won't turn into a problem and test knitting is pretty much the same. I'm hoping if I put myself in more uncomfortable situations with my knitting that my skills will develop further and also I'm thinking it will mean I have more time for other crafts. I want to spin more, actually embroider things instead of dreaming about it, start playing with my drum carder and maybe explore other crafty goodness. I've been a bit of a one trick pony lately and it is time to branch out more.

Cat Wrangling Skills put to the test...

We're finally getting calls to show our house. My solution to the whole cat escape/strangers in my house problem has been to crate the cats and take them with me. The dog has her car seat so she goes too but she's happy to go with. Anyway we've had three instances where we've had to pack up and go and the cats have yet to catch on. So we're doing good though there is a slight wrinkle in all of this... Sheba wets herself as soon as I get her in the crate. Imagine spending an hour or so in a car with cat pee in the air. Yeah no fun. My allergies are going nuts. The best discovery i made though. Lining the crate with puppy pee pads reduces the clean up. Once i get the proper taping method down all I'll have to do is pull the pad out and viola clean crate. I'm glad i have a good supply of duct tape but must buy more pee pads.
It's the 2000's for pete's sake. Where's my technology? Okay so the upstairs is packed and cleaned for presentation. The downstairs not so much. It's cleanish. The cleaning people came through last week but then the contractors started with the drywall and texturing and tiling. On one hand I'm glad the work is almost done downstairs because now I get to do laundry after nearly 2 weeks of no washer or dryer. On the other hand I'm going to have to get my butt back in gear and start packing, moving and cleaning again. Phew talk about a lot of work! Anyway this house is on the market now. My real estate agent assures me that he can sell the place even though the basement is an unholy mess. The new house is nearly secured. We're in negotiation over the inspection results. Once that is settled we wait for closing mid May.

Something I could definitely do without...

The neighbor kids doing cartwheels on my lawn. I don't mean to sound all crotchty or anything but come on now. Who's parents would let their kids play on someone's lawn without getting the okay first? Not mine. Anyway the neighbor kids are actually really sweet and I don't mind them grasshopper hunting on my lawn or playing on the wall bordering the sidewalk. It just makes me nervous to see them doing gymnastics on my property as their parents could sue us for a lot of money if they get hurt. Might be kinda fun to wave my broom at them and yell "Git off mah lawn, damn kids!"

Light speed Mr. Sulu...

I'm just a little giddy about hopping the lightrail to meet Ty today. Not only to I get precious time with my close friend but lightrail... in the US. It's shades of my favorite parts of traveling abroad. Only better since the view on the platform in Tukwila is of my beautiful home. All pretty mountains and trees.

Have you heard?

The bird is the word. But seriously if you've talked to me recently I've probably chatted my head off about the awesome new house and yeah. It isn't 100% certain but we found a newer house with tons of privacy and we're working on the details to make it happen. So I'm packing up the clutter in our house so we can show it while we live in it. This whole experience should be interesting though. Its bad timing for selling as we're pretty sure we'll lose money on the current house but will be getting a steal on the new house. If you dig around a bit you can find photos of the place we have in mind. Anyway I've already packed my Sanguine Gryphon Bugga! yarn *sniff* and will use this as a good excuse to plow through some works in progress. I'm fixing sock issues, starting Liesl, fixing February Lady and I'm sure I can find quite a few UFOs in the house to turn to FOs. Yay packing with yarn! I am constantly amazed at how many different uses you can find for yarn. I swear it is the best stuff in the world.

Getting back into the swing of things...

Today I am finally feeling like I am back on track with the housewife thing. Laundry started before 3pm and things around the house have been cleaned. The luggage is still being unpacked but we're mostly done there. I think I'm leaving the kitchen for tomorrow though it definitely needs a good pass over.

So how did I get off track and have things in luggage again? I've been away at Madrona pursuing fibery endeavors. The Retreat starts Thursday morning and continues on through Sunday at the Hotel Murano in Downtown Tacoma. The hotel itself is chock full of glass art and I had the distinction of staying on the Flo Perkins floor. Anyway I started my visit there with an all day Drum Carding class. I pretty much spent 6 hours bent over my drum carder making color wheels and other fun blends of colors. Blending colors on a drum carder is much like painting. You have a handful of colors and you just start mixing them together. The big difference though is that the blue fibers stay blue and the red fibers stay red even though after blending the two they look like purple. So the effect is a heathered color that has a lot of depth and interest. Very very cool. Six hours of this helped me develop a technique so now I feel pretty confident in my skills and am excited to do some more color play. The rest of the classes I took was an assortment of mini classes. There was one on substituting yarns, another on the process of taking a raw sheep fleece and getting it ready to spin and one KnittingRX on how not to injure yourself while knitting. I learned that I want to take the full KnittingRX class next year and that I will never purchase a raw fleece as I am very allergic to lanolin. It wasn't something I was too keen on to begin with so no big loss. Besides my real fiber love is alpaca anyway.

In between classes I enjoyed the comraderie of knitters, spent some girl time with Teri having a mani/pedi and just had a great time. What a fabulous way to get off track!

Home, sick for the super bowl

I came down with something this weekend so I've been laying low at home all weekend. It's nothing specifically terrible just annoying. I always get ditzy when I'm sick so starting a knitting project yesterday was a series of trips up and down the stairs because I forgot something or thought I forgot something. Anyway this morning I made a pineapple upside down cake for Greg to take over to Rolf and Megan's. Greg's set me up with a big breakfast, beer and guacamole for the day. So I'm looking forward to a quiet day napping on the couch and watching girly movies and tv shows with Angie. I might even share the guac with Angie too. Hopefully this will pass soon because Madrona starts Thursday!
So I know I've been bad the last couple of months with the blog... Did you know that I spent most of November in Europe? Yeah I don't think that was mentioned even in passing. Shortly after the trip to Tokyo Angel and I began plotting my next trip. You know the one I set my PTO cash out aside for. In the end I did a trip to Churchmouse with the knitting group then hopped a plane early the next morning, a Sunday, to Stuttgart. I arrived early morning Monday and struggled a lot with jetlag. I think next major trip I'll make sure I get in when it is afternoon or evening. My body seems to adjust really quickly to that. So anyway the first week I was in a thick haze which made me very subdued but I was still there enough to enjoy my surroundings. Did you know Germany and Stuttgart are beautiful and very homey as far as foreign places go? Stuttgart also has enough American bases that you can navigate it fairly well with minimal knowledge of the language. So first week there we had gone shopping in downtown, I attended one of Angel's yoga classes, Randy drove us out to Black Forest where I bought a cuckoo clock in Triberg and we did some shopping in Tubingen, then hopped a plane to London for shopping and Angel's yoga conference. Busy week huh? The following week I got some down time while Angel taught classes but we still got some shopping in and then hopped a train for Paris. Guess what we did there? We shopped some more. Only surprise was how nice most of the people were to us. Previous visits by both Angel and I had reveled a beautiful city with haughty, cold and indifferent people. At one restaurant the waiter actually translated the entire menu for me. So we had a fabulous time wandering around before we left again. Shortly after that I was back home to celebrate Thanksgiving with Greg, Dad, Jefferey and Jonathan. The upshot of all this? More yarn, lots more tea, gifts for family (lots of german stuff for the in-laws) and a nice relaxed holiday.

December was a lot less thrilling but still busy. There was holiday preparations, more gift buying, gift making, sweater making and the yearly trip to Chicago where it snowed a lot and was really pretty. In Chicago we pretty much had a rolling party for 4 days straight with our nephew, Mason's birthday, Christmas with Greg's brother Mark who had to work Christmas Day, the Christmas Eve party with the extended family and Christmas Day. I knit a lot on the Sagano shawl and am 8 of 10 row pattern repeats in with lots of yarn left so maybe I'll do more repeats? That project has been put aside for now though.

I signed myself up for the test knit of the Taliesin scarf over at A Few Stitches Short blog. That's been a roller coaster of fun for me for the past week. I tried my best to pull yarn from stash but as it turns out I mostly have one skein of yarn or a sweater's worth and not much DK weight yarn that is variegated. I've done slipped stitch patterns like this before so I knew that I really wanted a variegated yarn for this project. Anyway the upshot of my week long swatching? I've got a short version on the way using stash yarn, two swatches and bought some new yarn for a full version and already cranked out a few inches on it. I put pictures up on my Flickr page. So yep that is pretty much it for me.
Just found an app to post here via my phone a G1. I'm likely to post more often with shorter posts to boot. :)

Anyway been watching Fraggle Rock with Little Dog. She's a huge Sprocket fan BTW. I'm amazed that Fraggle Rock was actually a good kids show unlike most shows from my childhood. The stories are fun and there isn't a lot of talking down to the audience. Ever seen a dog on rollerskates? Sprocket can do anything!



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