Monday, December 31, 2012

Goodbye, 2012!

What a year! 
I thought I would take a little time today to at least go over my goals for 2012. How many were accomplished? Well, here was my initial list:

Finally add new patterns to the Mirth line--it's been almost two years!
(Hurrah! We did this, for sure.) 
Design two fabulous sweaters for two great freelance jobs already in the works.
(See results below.)
Get those glove designs released (sigh).
(We got one! The Ironwork Mitts!)
Finish my mom's knitted blanket.
(Walking and working out were good enough for me!)
Renew my passport.
(Another nope)
Do some instructional videos.
(Man! I really wanted to get that one done, too.)
Pay down debt...way down.
(Well, some down, at least.) 
Build a second raised bed so we can plant more veggies.
(Yes! Fred did this and we harvested plenty of tomatoes, snap peas, zucchini, and chives this summer.) 
See family down South!
(Wonderful trip it was.)

In a later post this year, I reported on these goals and here's the report with amendments.

1. Mirth patterns--two in production right now. Finished and tested and ready for the tech editor--soon!
And done--the Masonry Cowl and the Arcadia Cap. Yea!

2. The freelance sweaters--one shelved (indefinitely) and one on hold until late summer.
The shelved one is never to be unshelved, but the "on-hold" one is done and will be released soon!
The most exciting freelance news of 2012 was my design in Creative Knitting and my article also published in the same issue. That was huge fun!

3. Gloves--still waiting up in the workroom for me.
As said above, we got one of them released! But, yeah, most of them still await. That just means more glove fun is on its way. 

4. Mom's blanket--over halfway done and at present I'm only a couple of weeks behind schedule.
I never did catch up, doggone it. Must make new plan.

5. Jog? Not so much, but I have been working out and doing the walks with major hills. I can do 30 push ups and as many sit ups and am within 5 pounds of that magic number. I feel great!
This is still true. Very strong upper body, but the lower body is always a struggle. 

6. Renew passport. Still gotta!
And still gotta.

7. Instructional videos--not yet, because if I had done it, you'd be the first to know it.
This is also still true.

8. Debt--paying on it regularly and vanquishing that old foe once again!!!!

9. Second raised bed--done this past weekend thanks to daughter's boyfriend and my trusty husband. We'll be planting this weekend!
The planting went great, we had huge crazy plants and my nasturtiums were doing fantastically until beset with black mites. Could not vanquish them, no matter how I tried, so I had to pull up ALL of them. They were threatening my plum tomatoes. Sadness, and lessons learned.

10. Visit family down south. 
This doesn't happen often enough, especially with grandkids getting bigger all the time. We'll see if we get to see them in 2013. (Cross fingers)

Besides attending to these goals, 2012 has been a lot more fun here on my blog. I enjoyed doing a few regular series, like Monday Favorites and Friday Food Fun. I want to try to incorporate something similar in 2013. I also enjoyed celebrating National Crochet Month this past March by posting about crochet every day that whole month. That process did make me more determined to include crochet in my yarny endeavors. Even though I did not manage to work it in as much as I wanted to, I did crochet more in 2012 than years past. I'll keep working on this one. The few crochet WIP's I have will tempt me enough to assure that!

I loved taking part in National Knitting and Crochet Blog Week in April and hope to do it again in 2013. Junebug Days was also a bunch of fun in June. I haven't decided how Junebug Days will shape up for next year, but tune in, because it will happen.

I count 2012 as a success, because I kept learning, made new friends, and we learned ever more how to live in a more healthy way, both physically and mentally.

I look forward to 2013 and I hope to see you all there with me. Thanks for following my blog, for your sweet comments, for stopping by and simply reading once in a while. Just knowing you are there inspires me to do a better job here. I'll be back soon with new goals and FO's to show as the new year rolls in.

I hope you all have a wonderful New Year's celebration and that we all have a sweet, creative year in 2013!


Friday, December 14, 2012

FO Friday: Ironwork Mitts Recap

Hurrah! I finished the pair of Ironwork Mitts that I posted about a couple of weeks ago!
I love them.
However, they are on their way to Alabama. Yes, I gave them away. It was hard, too. I wanted them for my own. Fortunately, I have enough of the same yarn to make another pair...when I can fit that in, that is. I don't see it happening anytime soon. You saw my WIP's! Well, at least some of them, anyway. 
I also wanted to show you how the other yarn combo came out. While I really liked the colors together, the mitt came out extremely large. I worked the one on the right with Cascade Heritage, but against my better judgment, on size 2 needles. I also worked a small wrist gore on those as opposed to the medium gore on the one on the left. I will admit to skipping the gauge check, so I brought it on myself. After this result, I made sure to correct things by working the other pair on size 1 needles and, as mentioned, working the medium wrist gore, which makes a snugger fit. I will not be making the match for the large mitt anytime soon. Unless of course, you know anyone who needs some of these in extra large. Let me know!

I hate to leave this project--I could make several more pairs!

Size 1  42" needle
SRK On Your Toes in medium grey as MC
Universal Yarns Pace in oatmeal as CC

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

12 WIP's for 12/12/12!

In observance of this rare numerical occasion, and in accordance with plans to organize the stash and all my projects before the end of the year, I decided to gather all my WIP's together in one place and review. In this basket are twelve projects in progress--four scarves, two hats, and six socks, only one of which has a mate so far. 


I only see one crochet project here, and what's worse is that all except three are personal items. One is for a gift, two are for upcoming designs and subsequent patterns, and all the rest are Yikes.

And I'll go one more step and admit that this isn't even all my WIP's. I also have four blankets, four sweaters, two bags, and a couple of other small projects in the works. 

I need a plan for at least tackling this basket, and then I'll get to the rest of those buggers. Here's what I'll do: I will keep these projects in this basket and work on one of them at a time until I'm done. When I'm finished with each one, I will show progress. This way I have made a promise to you and that means I might have a rat's chance in a cat shelter of getting these done.

Wish me luck, and Happy 12/12/12 to you! 

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Constructing Ingefred

The Ingefred doesn't come right off the needles looking like this (crazy face aside).

Actually, this is exactly what it looks like just after finishing and before blocking and adding ear flaps.
And after blocking...ah, that's better.

But let's back up a little. Before you graft the band together, think about cutting your lining while you can lay your band out flat. This way you can be sure it's the right size. 
Lay your fleece out on a self-healing cutting board. Measure the length and width of your band--mine is three inches by twenty inches. Grab your yardstick and your rotary cutter and use the board as a guide to measure and cut the fleece. 

Leave about a quarter inch of room at each end. You do not want the fleece to come all the way to the seam. It's good to leave a little space so that the hat can stretch a bit. The hat will stretch, but the fleece won't.

You can either go ahead and whip stitch your lining to the band before joining the ends or put it aside until after the whole hat is done (my choice). Either way, you've gotten that part out of the way.

Now let's talk about the hardest part--at least for me, anyway. 

Grafting the band together is a little mindbending, because you're not just working with knit stitches. You need to know how to transition from knit stitches to purl stitches and back again within the piece. If just reading those last couple of sentences gives you the tremors, you can just seam your band together. The light grey Ingefred hat at the top has been grafted (if imperfectly) and the dark grey headband below it has been seamed. You can see that seaming works just fine. Of course, if you plan to skip the grafting, you do not need to do a provisional cast on at the beginning of the project. Just cast on as you normally would do.

I am saving an in-depth tutorial of this convoluted grafting technique for another post (because I am still trying to perfect it myself!), but here are a couple of tips. If you are already proficient with grafting knit stitches, you know that you begin your graft with a length of yarn on a yarn needle coming from the top set of two sets of live stitches held together.
As usual, with yarn coming from the first stitch on the upper needle, insert the yarn needle into the first stitch on the lower needle purlwise.

Keeping the yarn below both needles (at all times), then insert the needle into the first stitch on the upper needle knitwise. 

These two maneuvers represent the second half of both of those stitches, because the real action does not come until the next part. Insert yarn needle with working yarn into the first stitch on the lower needle knitwise and take the stitch off the needle. Then insert the yarn needle into the next stitch of the same needle purlwise and leave it on the needle. Insert the yarn needle into the first stitch on the upper needle purlwise and take it off the needle. Insert the yarn needle into the next stitch on the upper needle knitwise and leave it on the needle. If this were a piece with knit stitches all the way across, we would just repeat this over and over until the end. Knit/purl (lower needle); purl/knit (upper needle).

However, on the Ingefred band we run into a purl stitch after the first three stitches. What to do? Okay, take a deep breath, get in a comfortable position, and try this. On the knit stitch before the purl stitch, instead of "knit/purl" on the lower needle, you are going to "knit/knit." And on the upper needle instead of "purl/knit" you will "purl/purl." Then you just do the whole thing backwards and "purl/knit" on the lower needle and "knit/purl" on the upper needle.

When you are almost done with the purl stitches, on that last purl stitch before the next set of knit stitches, work a "purl/purl" on the lower needle and a "knit/knit" on the upper needle and you're back to where you started.

When you are done you will want to cry because it will look like this, but that's only because you haven't tightened up your stitches. Once you tidy the stitches it will look more like the light grey grafted hat up a few pics from here (or better!) 

Now, get a nice cup of chamomile tea and close your eyes. You need a rest.

Feel better now? Okay, time to pick up stitches and work the crown and then the ear flaps. Once you're done with those, here's one last tip for you.

For lining the ear flaps, I would suggest making a little template. You know you'll want to make more than one of these fun hats, and a template makes it so easy to cut the little triangles. 

That went a little long, but I hope something here makes the Ingefred Hat an easier project for you. Despite the length of this post, the hat is quite a quick project, especially if you love cables like I do. You become entranced with the cable action and before you know it, it's time to make pompoms. Or not.

So many choices with the Ingefred!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Ironwork Mitts

I am so jazzed to get this pattern up for sale. 
It's the Ironwork Mitts!
I am a little obsessed with Fair Isle knitting these days, and if you are too, then this project is a good one for you to use for practicing your two-handed Fair Isle technique. That's why I originally came up with this design a couple of years ago. I love the look of Fair Isle, and while I'm learning the complex color choice process involved with real Fair Isle, it's fun to work these mitts, which are easy, thanks to the hand-dyed yarns I chose and the simple color pattern. 

If you've been reading my blog for very long, you know I like combining sock yarns in knitting projects. When you knit a lot of socks and gloves and mittens, there's usually leftover yarn, right? Sure, you could knit a hexipuff blanket or a stripey hat (which I've done!), but you can also just knit more socks and gloves!

The fun is in choosing yarns from your stash that work well together. 

Of course, the easiest match would be two of the same yarns in different colorways, like these.
Cascade Heritage in buttery 5611 and heathery grey 5631

I was inspired by the tester of this pattern, Amanda, to try a dark main color with a lighter contrasting color. While this yarn is a little too smooth for two-color knitting, I just had to try it. This picture also gives you a look at how uneven colorwork can look until you block it. Giving the fabric a wash and either laying it out flat or placing the mitts on a form allows the fabric to relax into itself. I'll definitely be back to show these after blocking.

Here are some more tips for choosing two different yarns for colorwork:

1. Choose two yarns that have the same fiber, like two superwash wools, or two similar blend yarns (like wool/bamboo).

2. Make sure the yarns have the same ply structure, as in 2-ply, 3-ply, etc. For instance, I would not recommend using a single-ply sock yarn in conjunction with a plied yarn of any kind. They just won't play well together.

3. Choose compatible colorways. For example, you might want to use two hand-dyed yarns or two heathered yarns, or just two pure single-color yarns that you like together. 

I've chosen these two yarns from my stash to use for my next pair of Ironwork Mitts. 
This is Universal Yarns Pace (discontinued) in taupe 08 (more like an oatmeal) and SRK On Your Toes in ON222001, another heathery grey. They are both 4-ply fingering made of 75% superwash wool and 25% synthetic.

Freeing the ends and laying them out together for a closer look reveals that they are quite compatible. They even have the desirable hairy, somewhat scratchy factor desirable in colorwork. This allows the yarns to grab one another and facilitate the colorwork process. However, these are both very soft yarns. And the On Your Toes has aloe in it--even better! This time it will be On Your Hands, or rather, on the hands of one of my gift list folks, because these last two are for Christmas gifts. 

I hope you will try the Ironwork Mitts. It's a fun, fast project allowing you to use about 150 yards of main color and about 50 yards of a contrast color--a great sock yarn stash buster!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Brackenhill PDF is Up!

So happy to announce that my Brackenhill Shawlette is now up for sale as a Mirth PDF download. 
Not only that, but it's improved, with larger charts and an easier-to-read format.

The kit, which includes yarn and pattern, may still be purchased from Ravenwood Cashmere, because if you can, you should make the shawl with their wonderful 2-ply cashmere lace yarn. There's nothing like it. It's spun with fiber from only the Ravenwood goats, who frolic happily on a hill outside Spokane, WA. 

Thank you for supporting small business and local farms!

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Knit Fit One

This past Sunday I had the privilege of teaching at the very first Knit Fit event in Seattle, but specifically, Ballard. My class was on beginner pattern writing and I was graced with some amazing ladies to yammer on to about writing knitting patterns. I got to spend three hours jamming them with info and throwing all sorts of handouts and things at them. And they didn't mind one bit! Not only did they not mind, they seemed to eat it up! It was so comforting to be in a room with other people who want to do the very selective (sometimes lonely) thing that I do. These folks made the class so much fun!

One is missing from this picture (we tried to catch them all before they got away), but here are five of the six stunning designer/pattern authors that took the class--Brooke, Heather, Meghann, Kristin, Jessica, and Nicole. These are some dedicated women. I feel quite certain that they will be putting out great knitting patterns in the very near future and I can't wait to see what they do!

This past weekend was like a mini Knitwear Design college course, because besides my class, there was also a two-part class on The Elements of Hand Knitting Design taught by Andrea Rangel and one on Self-Publishing Your Own Knitting Patterns by Lee Meredith. I think four of the students in my class were taking the whole lineup of classes. That's a ton of great information gathered in just two days.

Hannah and Sasa did a wonderful job of scheduling fun and informative classes, gathering up a gaggle of vendors for setting up a gorgeous market, and having lots of cute swag for us to buy. There was even a very tasty-looking concessions stand that I had to hold back buying from--not junky stuff, but what looked like real food! Imagine that! 

I also did a very good job of resisting buying from all the deliciousness in the market. If I hadn't made a vow to myself to cut way back this year on purchases, I could have warmed up some plastic in here. So many treats of such variety!

The only thing I allowed myself to buy was a remembrance of the day...this little T-shirt and a pin that says, "Wind up at Knit Fit." I hope this happens every year and I hope I wind up there, because there's always room for more ways for fiber lovers to meet up and have fun, right?

Thanks go to Sasa Foster and Hannah Ingalls and all the volunteers for all your hard work. 
I think you can claim it a rounding success! 

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Merripog Socks

Last spring I was watching a foreign film of some kind (while knitting, of course) and saw a sweater. How many times has this happened to you? The movie has a sweater that makes you forget the movie entirely but not that sweater. Happens too often for me to count. This particular sweater had a two-color design  that transitioned from one color to the other along the yoke with the use of a charted design. Well, the whole idea  fell deeply asleep in my brain until I laid my hands on these two colors from Cephalopod Yarns, 
Montauk Monster and Oleander Nymph 
in their Skinny Bugga! yarn.

I knew they would be perfect for the colorwork and I knew it had to be in a sock. The Merripog Socks!
Please excuse dark pictures--rainy season has descended on us here and that makes for emo pics!
Next I found this flowery-hearty design in Alice Starmore's Book of Fair Isle Knitting and knew it was the one to bring the project to life. I jumped onto my trusty charting program and mirrored the pattern and played tag with the two colors. The whole idea made it a simple feat to work the heel and toe in the contrast color, too. I felt like the sock needed another little two-color fun just before changing colors for the toe, so I pulled out one little element from the larger pattern to do that job for me.

Along about the time when I was nearly done working the color pattern on the cuff, I saw one of my Instagram buddies working on an afterthought heel and bam! I knew that would be perfect for these socks, and that it would make the whole project a lot more fun (as if it weren't already a party). I had never done an afterthought anything, so I would get to learn something new!

Folks, I love afterthought heels! When you reach the heel, you just place your line of scrap yarn in place and keep going. Nice! Now I want to try an afterthought thumb. One of my upcoming designs is a mitten with a fun cable and it is now going to have afterthought thumbs. Too much fun. 

I chose a high-contrast color combo for my first Merripogs, but just to illustrate how you can also choose to go the more subtle route, here's my second attempt.
I knit this sock with Madeline Tosh Sock in Corsage and Fleece Artist Merino 2/6 in Orchid. These two yarns are so close in pinky shades that sometimes the two are the very same color, so the pattern is almost lost in places. Unfortunately, I also tried to practice my Continental knitting (thrower, I am) and came out with a very large, loose sock. This would fit my husband, but even he (being a person not in need of defending his manhood) would not wear socks like these...well, not on a regular day, that is.
All that is to say that this is a onesy. I'll hang it up and look at it. 

For some even better examples of choosing two yarns with more subtle color differences for the Merripog Socks, feast your eyes on the beautiful ones knit by the pattern's tester, Amanda, and another one being knit by Judetha in some very lively colors.

I can't wait to see what color combos people come up with next.
Maybe even yours!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Ingefred and Ingelill

Yep, them's Viking names! Once I got these hats done they started looking like Viking helmets to me. 
What do you think?
We hope that when you need some cozy warm Viking helmets you'll choose Ingefred and Ingelill.
Here are some details....
Ingefred is the adult sized cabled ear flap hat that can easily be a headband, a beanie or a hat with flaps. It's modular, in that it begins with the sideways-knit cabled band. Join the band and add a crown if you wish. 

After that, add ear flaps and cord, maybe.

And after that, you can add pompoms, perhaps. 

The pattern has sizes for small or large heads. Actually the smaller size can be for babies, especially if you line it inside with some fleece. If you need a really large hat, you can use heavier yarn. I used farm yarns for all of my Ingefreds because I love the rustic feel of them. This hat needs to be burly!

I lined mine with this angora felt handcrafted by my friend Shelly Whitman. 
You wouldn't even believe how soft this is.  Baby cheeks soft!

Here is the baby/toddler ear flap hat called the Ingelill. You would be right not to be fooled that I am holding a real baby in this photo. This is my willing model, Emmett, the Cabbage Patch Doll. At least he is always available and never grows one solid inch. 

The Ingelill is also knit modularly so that it could be headband, beanie, or ear flap hat. It sports some optional bobbles and pompoms. Sizes included are baby and toddler, because actually the larger size comes out bigger than the smaller size of the Ingefred. Ah, the mysteries of pattern writing! The cable patterns dictated that little glitch.

For your enjoyment, here is Ingelill modeled by a baby pumpkin (in the spirit of the season) and looking a lot like Marvin the Martian. "Where's the Kaboom?"

Do you need a warm hat this year? Try Ingefred or Ingelill!
Thanks to my daughter Natalie for the photography!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Fair Isle, Part 2

My Oslo Star Hat took a turn.
I decided that the Citrus Tosh Merino Light would not do justice to the Golden Hickory of the same yarn, so I secured a skein of Glazed Pecan to work with the Golden Hickory instead. I got all the way into the colorwork portion (yes, past all that ribbing, and that's with cutting short the recommended 4-6" in order to fold the brim back, which I did not plan to do) and decided that there were too many places along the yarn that these two were the exact same color, which at times obscured the pattern entirely. I'm enjoying practicing two-handed color knitting, but not enough to have all my work hidden by poor color choice. High contrast was obviously the way to go, so I started all over again with this Manor and Grasshopper in Tosh Merino Light. Nice! My hat came out biggish because my gauge got all relaxey. I still like it.

But, I need to correct myself in calling the Oslo Star Hat a Fair Isle project. You'd think the name itself would have given me at least a hint, huh? I am learning so much with all of this, and one thing I've learned is that the Oslo Star Hat is Norwegian knitting, not Fair Isle. We who do not know enough about these things mistakenly call anything with more than one color going on Fair Isle (except stripes--we know that's not Fair Isle, right?) Let's get this straight. Fair Isle knitting is so much more than just throwing a couple of colors together, and Norwegian knitting has a rightful place all its own. 

Here's one basic difference between the two. Norwegian knitting usually employs two colors at a time, and most of the time only those two colors. Sure, there may be hints of a third color here and there, but for most of the project, it's just two colors. Fair Isle usually employs two colors at a time, but those colors change and they change often

I am learning that important fact first-hand with this Bauhaus Fair Isle Sweater designed by Mary Jane Mucklestone. As I told you in the post before last, I wanted to dig into my stash and try to use what I had for this sweater. Well, I got schooled! 

Luckily, I had about half of the yarn for the sweater--two of the colors in the recommended Dale of Norway Heilo, the dark grey and some of the medium grey, and enough Dale Falk, another 100% wool yarn of the same weight, in the medium blue. Even though the pattern calls for navy blue, it works. I ordered more medium grey and light blue called for in the pattern and then stubbornly tried to sub in some Brown Sheep Nature Spun Sport in Bamboo for the olive and some Rowan Felted Tweed in a light grey. The pattern only calls for one skein of each--how bad could it be? It's not bad, but it's not good, either. For one thing, the Rowan is a wool/alpaca/viscose and I needed all wool. Now that I've read more about authentic Fair Isle, I know it needs to be not just any wool, but Shetland wool--good, scratchy, grabby wool. The stitches and floats need to sort of stick to one another to make a clean, firm fabric. There is also the promise of the bloom once it's blocked and dried. I want that!

So yesterday I ordered the two skeins of Heilo to make this sweater turn out right. I'll keep you posted.

While I'm waiting for the Heilo to come all the way from Minnesota (thanks to Laura at 3 Kittens because none of my local yarn shops have it), I thought I would finally allow myself to attend to this little package of Jamieson's 2-ply Shetland Spindrift in eight lovely colors. I bought these at a (since closed) local yarn shop years ago with the express purpose of designing a Fair Isle hat. Well, I'm itching to do just that, and to help me out, look what I found at a local book store--200 Fair Isle Motifs by the very same Mary Jane Mucklestone who designed the sweater I'm knitting. Perfect!

As I showed you last week, I have plenty of other books to help me plan this hat, but this one is even better. All of the motifs are shown actually knitted up, as well as in charts--black and white, color, and alternate color combinations. Mucklestone even shows you how to manipulate some of the patterns in different ways, like turning some of the border and motif patterns into allover patterns. The Fair Isle history section is fabulous, as are the technique, color choice, and designing sections. I (obviously) highly recommend this book if you want to learn Fair Isle knitting yourself.

As you see, I have my colors separated, with light on the left, dark on the right, and a couple of extra colors out to the sides to provide some pop. The pop colors should be brighter, but this time I'm going to allow myself to use what I have. At least they are all the very same yarn. 

Sometimes it's okay to make do and sometimes it's not. You just have to know when! 
That can be hard for a stubborn maker-doer like me. My granny taught me too well.

Now I'm off to play with some colors and Fair Isle patterns. 
You have a nice day, too, and thanks for stopping by!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Recent Travels

I realized that I haven't filled you in on some mountain travels we have had over the past couple of months. While I'm gathering up photos to show you how the Fair Isle is progressing, have a look at some gorgeous views! 
In August we enjoyed a perfectly sunny Saturday hiking the Skyline Loop trail at Paradise with up close views of Mt Rainier. I just love all the wildflowers there.
In late September we spent a couple of days doing most of the Cascade Loop Highway and stayed over in Winthrop with views of the North Cascades. They have lots and lots of rocks over there!
Some of you know that Winthrop is a little Western town--so cute! 
This was our hotel beside the Methow River, Hotel Rio Vista. 

Then just this past weekend we headed down to a little town called Lyle, WA, where we took a left and wound our way up into the High Prairie region to stay in a yurt--a first for me! The yurt had a great view of Mt Hood across the Columbia River. 
We saw her at sunset...

...and shrouded by clouds the next day. 

This little wood stove kept us comfy warm in the yurt, despite some wind and rain and a considerable drop in temps. In fact, we experienced all kinds of weather while we were there.

And on the way home we wondered at the majesty of the Columbia.

While we try to make it over to Mt Rainier every year, these last two trips are a part of our ongoing exploration of Washington State. This state has everything from rocky seastack coasts to dry dusty deserts and I want to see it all. I lived the first eight years here never crossing the Cascade Range, in which time we travelled all over the peninsula, including most of the San Juan Islands. I've been up to Bellingham and down to Vancouver, from White Pass all the way over to Kalaloch, but until summer 2010 I had never been east of the Cascades. We remedied that by visiting Delia and Reed Rasmussen in Spokane, which is a great area. Then last summer we sent to Washington wine country down near Yakima. Once you pass over the mountains, the landscape changes to desert and things get a lot more cowboy. Cows and horses and farmland all over the place! 

Now I want to see Neah Bay up in the northwestern corner and Kettle Falls and the Grand Coulee Dam over in the northeastern corner. Each region is beautiful in its own way, but these travels always remind me how much I love our wet, woodsy Puget Sound. 

As I saw on a sign when we were on our way home...
Domus dulcis domus.
Home sweet home!