July 30, 2009

Hot Dog!

Yesterday's high ranged from 102* to 107* depending where West of the Mountains you were. Here's what I've decided - pretty much anytime it gets over about 88* it doesn't really matter how much hotter it goes - it's too hot! It has been so hot that even Abby (who is always a little lady) has had her tongue sticking out. I had the camera out and ready to get a photo to prove to you all that she really does have a tongue, when she climbed between my legs and over the bar holding the computer desk together. Then she proceeded to curl up behind the desk. I don't know if she wanted to be near me or if it was cooler back there. But please - look at her - does she look comfortable? In that first photo she's actually using that square metal bar as a pillow. Then she tried to scoot her head under it. She slept back there for a couple of hours - so I guess it wasn't too uncomfortable. If I feel up to braving the out of doors today - she's gonna get a bath! But it's suppose to hit triple digits again today.

July 29, 2009

Holey Heat Waves!

Anyone who's ever heard anything about the Pacific Northwest knows that we got tons of rain (allegedly) and that it rarely gets over 85* here. Maybe 3 times a year. Therefore - very few people who live here have air conditioning in their homes. I've tried telling Mother Nature - I'm wondering if you all would be willing to pass the message along?

We are having the hottest Summer on record and I'm not really complaining - I enjoy temperatures in the low 80*. It's nice, it's comfortable and I can sit on the deck and read or knit while listening to music. But when the temperature decides to go into the triple digits - well I'm ready to load up my dogs and check into a hotel just so I can crank the air. You know it's bad when it's 83* in my house and it's still 20* cooler than being outside.

The good news is that they are done with my windows - well mostly. They did a really, really crappy job of cutting the sills and don't caulk or seal them in any way. The window in our bathroom doesn't latch closed, one window came damaged and one is just the wrong window entirely. But - I was able to put blinds back up and do my best to control the heat in the house. As soon as I get the pasta salad for tonight's dinner into the fridge - we'll be headed to the basement where it's much, much, cooler - maybe another 5*.

ps - it's suppose to stay this warm through next Tuesday.

July 28, 2009

More Boxy Goodness?

So - more work came in the box from Ms. Camilla. This time in the form of sewing. She carries the Amy Butler pattern line in her shop and this time she was looking for a couple of cute Tunic Mini Dresses.
I don't know what lines the fabrics are from but aren't they purdy? I especially like the aqua with the brown scrolls on it.
As soon as they get done with the windows I can turn my sewing machine and iron back on. See - the electrician who built my house was stoopid. In my opinion he did not put nearly enough circuits in the house. The entire basement plus the garage and an outdoor outlet are all on the same circuit. I have been know to blow the breaker all my little lonesome when I'm sewing and watching a movie and iron cycles through. No way I want to be blowing breakers while they have all their equipment plugged in through the garage. Anyway - I'm hoping they'll finish up today - but they still have 4 windows to get in, 2 from yesterday to finish the trim work on and all the interior windows still need caulking. So, I'm guessing they'll be here tomorrow too. Why would they schedule 2 days for a job that obviously needed 5? Anyway - I can almost see a finish line and the ability to move my furniture back and hand the curtains again. I should go throw some of them into the washer - maybe, maybe not.

July 26, 2009

I'm Going Away More Often

I got to go out of town with JB for part of this past week. He had to be just south of Portland, Oregon to go to school for work and I got to tag along. It was a very inexpensive way for us to get out of town. And if you live in my area and ever need a dog sitter - I'm tellin' you Miss L is da bomb! (did I just date myself with that one?) Anyway - she ran and unloaded the dishwashed and washed and remade the bed before we got home. I love her like she was my own. Plus the dogs all love her. Anyway - the last two times I've been able to go away for an overnight or two, I've come home to packages.

This time there was a box from Camilla with some work to get done for Clementine's Dry Goods. That yarn up there? That's a kit put together with slightly more Kid Silk Haze than I need to make the modern quilt wrap. if you love this and want to knit it - purchasing a kit is the way to go. Mine will get to live in Clementine's for a bit but then it will look fabulous draped around the collar of my brown winter coat.

There were more goodies - but they will wait for another day. It's good to come home to boxes.

July 23, 2009

Going to the Dogs

Today in away from home and my own dogs. JB is going to school just south of Portland and I'm with him. Today I just roamed around, staying pretty close to the school and doing lots of knitting. I found an art walk and started off with the camera, knitting and a bottle of water. I sat for awhile watching the ducks and geese while I knit and then I walked more of the path. About half way around - I found this lovely bronze entitled "Waiting for Ice Cream." If you click on the photo you will see the girl on the bench has a double scoop and the dog really, really wants it. The sign that gave the title was called "Going to the Dogs." Apparently the commons area where this art is used to be owned b a dog food company. The company trucks had the slogan "Going to the Dogs." Now - look at this guys' face. I don't care if he is bronze - I probably would have given him my ice cream.

July 21, 2009

My House Feels Neekid

Today - finally - the new windows are being installed. We went with the Anderson 100 windows for most of the windows in the house. (It's time now for The Princess to stop reading.) There were a few windows that weren't standard size or like the slider we wanted the dog door put in and Anderson doesn't do that. Well they do if you get their Renewal line - but it was essentially the same window at three times the cost. So the downstairs windows are all triple paned vinyl windows.
Anyway in preparation of having the windows installed - everything had to be moved from the front of windows and the sills had to be cleared off. Can I just say we have a lot of crap in this house.
One thing I noticed this morning was the panels on the bay window. When we bought the house it had heavy drapes on the window and they pulled to the outsides. I didn't like that. So when I made the curtain panels I made four panels for the bay window. I have always pulled each panel to the outside of the window that it covers.
But this morning I pulled the panels on one side of the window to the center. I kinda like it. In the first photo - the panels on the left are both pulled to the center and the panels on the right - the center window is pulled to the outside and the corner panel is still pulled closed. In the dark second picture - I pulled the corner panel to the outside as well. So - I know it's hard to tell, but what do you think? Centers or outsides?
I can't wait until all the new windows are in. Today the dogs are unsettled - strangers, lots of banging and they can't go outside because that's where they are working first.

July 18, 2009

What To Do, what to do?

I just cleaned up the cutting table in the studio. I had to move it so we could have the new windows installed next week. Anyway - I went through every bucket and bin down there - I have some yarns to give away. Some is good stuff that came back from England when The Princess was 2 - but I'll save that for another post.
I also have lots of old crafty stuff that I have no desire to ever finish, but don't really want to get rid of. For a period of three years, some 7-10 years ago I worked for a Viking Dealer and taught lots of classes. For example: I have the materials to make 3 different heirloom quilts - I don't like quilting and definitely don't want to finish them, but as I was looking at everything all lumped together in the bin - I was really admiring it. There is ribbon, lace, appliques, batiste - I was just going to put it into the goodwill box - but then I looked and thought well I could finish it. Seriously? But what do I do with all the stuff? I went through a quilting (or better yet a piecing phase) I have an entire block of the month kit that I paid a fortune for but have absolutely no desire to make - Anyone interested in purchasing it? email me.
So my question is - what do you do with the stuff you have that you no longer have any desire to make? Sell? Give Away? Donate? help - I'm suffocating in guilt.

July 17, 2009

CoffeeYarn

Coffee Yarn is on the West Coast to visit DTY (in case anyone besides me has ever wondered - Daughter the Younger). Anyway - DTY is a short train ride from me. So CoffeeYarn hopped a train bringing a camera and her overnight bag. I put her up in my very messy guest room. I have been reading her blog for about 15-18 months now and in that time I have never seen a photo of her on her blog. I was a bit concerned that I wouldn't know who I was looking for at the train station, but I arrived before her and sat down to wait and knit. She was wearing a Ravelry t-shirt. Made it pretty easy. We walked back to the car and then go lost on our way to Pike Place Market. A quick call to JB verified what I already knew - I was too far south and west to get there. Eventually we did find the Market and the tea. We even got back to the car to dump stuff and found So Much Yarn, Cost Plus World Market and Weaving Works on our way back to Houndville, USA. While I resisted at So Much Yarn, I did purchase Mo's Bacon Bar and after a quick dinner we snuck it to JB without telling him what it was. Before getting back to the house for dinner - we made one more stop at Weaving Works where I managed to add to my stash as well as get shown some lovely hand-woven dishtowels. The pictures of the pretties? Well first up is CoffeeYarn herself. Then the lovely snack she brought for Beau - it's a lovely handknit dishrag, I've promised not to drape it over the sink. Finally - being modeled by Hank the Heron - hand-dyed variegated coffee yarn. this is going to be so much fun to make into socks :)

July 16, 2009

Dudley's Got a Tongue!

I just happened to be outside with the camera and he just happened to need a drink.
Just in case you don't believe me - here it is again. And if you click on them - they will get larger than life. Do so at your own risk.

July 15, 2009

Test Knitting

I seem to be knitting a lot and most of it is socks. Crazy huh? Who wears wool socks in the summer? Well - actually, I do. I like my feet to be warm and here in good old Western Washington you never know when it will be 85* followed by a downpour.
So, I have started doing some test knitting for sock designers through Ravelry. This is great because I can try a new technique or make a very complicated pattern that I may love, but would never purchase.
Currently, I am knitting a very complicated pattern loaded with traveling cables, lace and twisted stitches. I am using a beautiful wool - Dream in Color Smooshy in the colorway - Good Luck Jade, it's a semi-solid yarn and the pattern stands out fabulously.
I'm trying old techniques with this sock - top down, one at a time, on good old-fashioned metal double pointed needles - and I'm loving it. I have made a few triangle bags and asked a few knitting friends what they like in knitting bags. So, I'm getting a chance to try out the bag and see how it functions.

July 10, 2009

Lace

Many of you know that I love daisies. JB has finally caught onto that fact (we've only been married for 14 years!) and now there are bunches of daisies all around the yard. These particular daisies came from a packet of seeds that my aunt gave me that started from flowers in my gramma's yard. Love them. Anyway - what does that have to do with lace you ask. Well, as I was sitting on the deck, I thought that the daisies might make a good backdrop for my lace shawl. Remember the lace that totally kicked my arse? Well after those fiascoes - I put the shawl into time out to teach it a lesson. I guess it learned what it had done wrong and after 2 years (yes TWO YEARS) I picked it up and started working on it again. The good news is it's behaving so much better now. The bad news is - without blocking it isn't long enough to hang over the deck and get behind those daisies. I know - I could have hung it off a lower rail - but then I would have had to scramble to find a place to stand to get that photo.
I have finished the first hank of the Malibrigo Polar Morn Laceweight and I'm a bit more than half-way done. I have 24 1/2 repeats of the leaf lace done and I haven't taken a close up photo so you can see the leafs. Since picking it back up last month and finishing the first hank - it's been exile again - but this time it's so not the lace's fault.
I had nothing but grey on the needles - grey shawl, grey socks, and grey sweater. So I finished up the grey socks (you'll get to see them as soon I can photograph JB's feet). And then I volunteered to test knit sock patterns for designers over at Rav. I currently have a pair of pink socks in progress with a due date of July 25th and a single green sock - top down on double pointed needles with a due date of July 15th. Guess I should post and go knit.
Have a great weekend everyone - does it hold anything exciting?

July 9, 2009

Yogurt, Granola, Bananas & Dogs

What do these things have in common? Well - I love them all. When I am working, I just take the yogurt container to work with me and dump the granola right into the yogurt container. But, since I'm home, I put it in a bowl. Lucy is always right under my feet - waiting for her turn to get the container. The granola is the recipe that Coffee Yarn posted here and it's good. I think I might have cooked it too long - but that hasn't stopped us from eating it. I am amazed at how easy granola is to make - I don't think I'll ever buy another boxed granola.
Hmm - guess I should have taken a photo of my breakfast, but I was busy chasing Lucy around trying to get a photo of her with the entire container in her mouth. She refused to look up at me thinking I was going to take it away. Silly girl.

July 5, 2009

Late Independence Wishes

Friday, I had to run out and do some errands. While I was shopping, I happened to glance into the yarn isle of our local "buy everything store." They mostly carry Lion and Red Heart. The kitchen cotton just happened to be on sale for $3 for the big ball. I almost called Chan to see if she needed more colors, but instead I just purchased one ball of the red, white, and blue colorway.
See we were invited to a BBQ on the 4th and while the didn't want up to bring anything - I didn't want to show up empty handed either. And seriously - who doesn't love a handknit cotton dishrag? So, I picked up my trusty 5.00mm rosewood needles and set out to make a few that I had admired in CoffeeYarn's ravelry projects.
But then I decided that the 5.00mm needles were making a cloth that was still too big. See, I like a dishrag that's on the smaller size. So, I found some 3.25mm needles and made some more. I got 3 of the larger and 2.5 of the smaller ones out of the one ball of kitchen cotton. As luck would have it, I had a partial ball of the same colorway hanging around the house. However, it was more white than the other ball. But I finished the half cloth and made another. Then I folded and rolled them up, tied them with a blue ribbon and gifted them upon arrival to the BBQ. They were well received and I was happy to have something to do with my hands for a day or so.

July 2, 2009

Lick Your Lips

That was the command that I gave the dogs - Lick Your Lips! They didn't understand. What? What is it you want us to do? And why do you have that scary thing pointed at us? Can I just have the treat already? Of four dogs the only one who regularly has a tongue sticking out is Beau. He's the goober in the house. And I had to take these photos by myself. JB went back to work yesterday and last night he was just too tired to help indulge me. So, I had some yummy little liver treats and I even resorted to rubbing in on their nose - but they got it all licked off before I could get the camera back up! Silly, quick dogs (that's Lucy on the left and Beau on the right).
Lucy - is this what you want Mom? Can I have that little treat now? Beau - look Mom - did you get the picture?
Lucy - Better? Can I please have the treat already?
Beau - Fine! Here's my tongue - are you happy now? Give me the treat already!
Rocky Creek Scottie Adventures is having a contest and this is our entry. Don't forget to visit the other dogs on Thursday.

July 1, 2009

Ruby Red & Blue

anyone who's ever been to my house can attest to the fact that the first thing you hear when you drive up is the hounds and the first thing you see is the Strawberry patch. It's right there next to the driveway. For some reason, the strawberries produce really well every other year. This is the over production year. We have already filled and eaten the colander once with ripe berries. We had sliced berries on pancakes and strawberry rhubarb crumb.
Well it was time to harvest them again. Last Thursday when the VeeDogKnits Couple was here, Miss VDK walked through the patch looking for the perfect strawberries. JB and Mr. VDK pointed out 100s of ripe berries, but she wanted to find her own and she finally did. She said it was worth the trip through the berries. Today I picked berries and filled a huge wooden bowl as well as my large tupperware colander. That was more berries than JB and I could eat before they want bad. So, I washed and cleaned about 2/3 of the berried and stuck them into the freezer. They will be eaten later - as muffins or smoothies. Tonight I'll slice some on spinach and toss it with candied walnuts for dinner.
The blue? Oh, remember last year when I only had three blueberries? (scroll down, it's in there) This is what I've got going on this year. Look at that plant - it's just loaded down with berries.
Oh - Indiana Girls? There will be no kiwi. The plant is male and all they produce is pretty flowers. Apparently only the female make fruit and ours isn't big enough to make flowers yet, much less fruit. If she doesn't shape up soon, we'll be planting another female in her territory.
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