Distraction

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Thank you all for your very kind words, sympathies, stories and thoughts. I've read every comment twice and they make me remember how lucky I am to have family that loves me and whom I love in return.

It's the wet season, here in Portland and the weekend was mostly rainy and overcast, interspersed with beautiful sunny moments. It suited my contemplative mood.

On Saturday, we took the girls for a walk around our neighborhood and enjoyed the fall foliage. I think the cost of having dogs should be covered by medical insurance. Panda and Thea never cease to make me laugh, no matter the circumstances.

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On Sunday, we headed to Cannon Beach, for a breakfast of Crabcakes Benedict and a long run on the beach. It was a bit cold and rainy, which didn't make for great photos, but the girls couldn't have been happier and the evening of quiet and calm snuggling on the couch meant that everyone was feeling peaceful.

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I guess for me, losing someone ultimately makes me more resolved to value those who are still with me and I think this weekend suited that goal.

I have lots of less depressing stuff to blog soon, including a new knit in progress, and interview with Donna Druchunas, and some more photos of Giselle.

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I had originally planned to post about Thea's most recent obedience class. If you want some lighthearted doggy happiness, go check out the pictures here.

Grandma, Grandpa, and me - 1993
My grandparents and me in 1993, at my high school graduation.

But today has turned out to be a sad one for me. This morning, my grandmother called to let me know that my grandfather had passed in the night. Unlike many people, I have been fortunate enough to know all of my grandparents, and three of them through to my adulthood.

My grandfather was 91 years old and remained relatively active and mentally sharp, throughout his life. He passed in his sleep, in his own home, my grandmother holding him in his last moments. I think we should all be so lucky to live such a full life and be with the person we love in our last moments.

As someone who isn't religious and does not believe in an afterlife, I take a great deal of solace in knowing that his last moments were where he wanted to be with the woman he loved, and that I've told him I loved him, every time we've spoken.

Losing my grandfather means saying goodbye to someone who helped care for me as a newborn when both my parents were seriously ill.

As a child, I would spend a couple of weeks each summer running in his impeccably kept yard or playing in the perfectly maintained little house. His sharp wit and quiet perfectionism stays with me still. Even in his weakest moments he could always find humor in the situation.

As a young adult, I knew that he would help me in any way he could. He would have given me the shirt off his back if I would have let him and he would have smiled, to just know that I was happy. Even though I managed to be independent, it brought me comfort to know he was there.

I miss you grandpa. Thank you for all the years of love.

Giselle

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I am so pleased to present my newest pattern, Giselle, which will be available exclusively through Stitch Diva Studios.

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The pattern is currently in the tech editing stage, in Donna Druchunas' capable hands. After that, it goes to layout and then the pattern will be available for order.

Jennifer asked me to model the garment so I met with her, near her home and we shot over two days. I have the first day's shoot up at my Flickr account. I'll have the second day's shoot, shortly in the same location. Check out a couple of the outtakes at the end of the set.

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The garment is modeled in three variations; an all knit version (orange), a knit and crochet version (red and silver-mo betta pictures to come) and a cropped version in knit and crochet (to come, in brown and teal.) However, the knitter can work any of the styles in a single color or in two colors and may work knit or crochet trim in any combination.

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This design is based on a piece I've called, The Wedding Cardi, which I knit for myself back in 2005, for a friend's wedding.

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It was knit in a discontinued yarn, and well before I had a firm grasp of pattern writing. I had it as set dressing for one of my episodes of Knitty Gritty and have continued to receive requests for a pattern, since. I hope that this ends up being a popular pattern. I'll let you know when it's available for purchase.

Weekend antics

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Drooling

Mary-Kay hooked me UP. I won a contest she held on her blog, and this is what came in the mail on Friday.

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This is a huge skein of Merino/Tencel in a colorway called, Marnie's Wine. I'm swooning just thinking about it. She asked me what my perfect colorway would be and made this just for me. It's more lovely than I could have imagined. But she didn't stop there.

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Two skeins of her colorway, Boo, and nearly half a pound of a merino/silk blend roving. I'm so spoiled.

Cosmos blooming

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The garden is blooming like crazy, though we have admitted that our choice of flower is a bit tall for the window. After a few more blooms, we'll cut the top tier down a bit. We've also reseeded the area on the right to get more even coverage.

Thea finds religion

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This statue of Buddha caught Thea's eye on our walk and she took some time to show it her tummy and kiss his face. She has also attempted this maneuver with some outdoor cats. They were not amused.

Early Halloween Party

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Someone at Leo's work held an early Halloween party and invited us. She had her barn decked out like a haunted house and almost everyone came in costume. We did a dry run of our get up for this year. I'm the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Leo is dressed as a pirate because, as is stated in the Gospel of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, all humans evolved from pirates.

I definitely need more spaghetti, but I'm really happy with my eyes and meatballs.

rAmen

Shoes that hurt with a brand new skirt

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It was rainy most of this morning so I thought I'd only have crappy indoor shots to show you.

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Or pictures of the piece being blocked

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A closeup of the waistband facing might be interesting

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But we got a bit of sun and I was able to take some better shots.

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With a little help from my friends

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