Monday, December 30, 2013

Cray Cray Adorbs!

My Halflinger slippers from Meg!  Love them like 60!

2013 Finished Projects

I completed approximately 33 knitting projects in 2013 (not counting various test and sample knitting)

The year started with "Poppy":

And ended with "Keepers":

Sunday, December 29, 2013


Two good ones I saw this week:

All is Lost:  if Robert Redford doesn't get an Oscar nom for this, I will be shocked. The only character, with hardly a line of dialogue, he is riveting. Pia and I were both on the edges of our seats the whole movie. Most intense thing I've ever seen that didn't involve clown dolls coming to life. 

Saving Mr. Banks:  charming!  I knew I'd love the actors; Tom Hanks, Emma Thompson, my secret crush Colin Farrell. But I wasn't expecting the story to pull me in. I'm pretty sure "liberties" were taken in the telling, but I loved it anyway. If you don't shed a few tears at the end of this, you're dead inside. 

We're still trying to find enough time to fit in The Hobbit, hopefully New Year's Day.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

TQI Week 3

The "elimination" phase of our diet is over (yay!)  Must say I'm feeling good, and I won't be adding a lot of foods back in to my diet for now.  I am down 11 lbs. since we started, which is great!  I think it's going to take a while to really feel the benefits on my arthritic joints, so will keep going with the diet plan.

I AM adding dairy back into my diet -- this is part of the "testing" phase, where you introduce dairy, wheat, corn and and/or peanuts and observe whether  you are sensitive to any of these "problem" foods.  There's no provision for adding sugar or booze back in lol.  Red meat doesn't seem to be part of the plan either, but I suspect we will add a smidge of that into the weekly food plan.

Today, I am savoring my morning coffee with a splash of half and half.  Fingers crossed that I'm not sensitive to dairy!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

How Cute Is This?

Good Stuff

This year, I'm thankful that the whole gang has embraced knitting. My stocking contents have taken a turn for the good. Here are a couple of goodies Santa left me:

A skein of lace yarn in my new favorite color

And a good knitting magazine. Thanks Santa!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

TQI Week 2

We are now on week 3 of the "Elimination" phase of our diet. No dramatic weight loss this week :-(. But that's okay, we are all feeling good about eating healthy. Cara made delicious pancakes that had NO flour, yet the texture was perfectly pancakey. Amazing!  This is the sort of thing one gets excited about on this eating program lol. 

I've eaten more fruit the last two weeks than I have in the last two years, which I'm happy about. Knee is gradually improving, time to start exercising it to get some strength back. At least I can get up and down stairs a bit faster. 

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Must Watch

If you have Netflix, watch Blackfish. And then boycott Seaworld. 


We've been following the TQI (To Quiet Inflammation) Diet for a week. B-Z recommended it after several of her pals had really good results.  My arthritic knee, wrists, toes, etc really needed help so I decided to give it a shot and the Gang came along for the ride. 

One week in:  each of us has lost 9+ pounds, my knee is definitely less painful and we are adjusting to no dairy, red meat, sugar, wheat or artificial ingredients. I miss my half and half in my morning joe but otherwise am enjoying eating a healthy diet (and the kids have promised to put my beloved Taffy Crisp cookies in my grave with me). We are lucky that Katie is a great cook and very inventive. 

Two more weeks on the "elimination" phase, then we slowly start adding foods back to see which ones create inflammation. I'm guessing sugar and booze are my Achilles, so won't be adding those back in any hurry. 

Here's the link for "the diet that's taken Vashon Island by storm" lol.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013


After hours of intensive study of the world's most boring subject, Cara passed her insurance licensing test!  We knew you'd pass, Carrie.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Times Have Changed

I just added this 1952 toddler's hats pattern to my store:

Note the gun motif bottom right.  Yikes, that would get your child sent home from kindergarten, I'm pretty sure.


Monday, December 2, 2013


CAF's sparkly new squeaky shoes!  We got them on our new fave site Zulily.  They're a smidge too big, but this girl knows you have to make it work.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

An Idea for Christmas

I am quite fond of St Vincent de Paul -- Vinnie's thrift stores. They do a lot of good in their communities. 

If you're planning on buying anything through Amazon this Christmas, consider going through their link:


(Sorry, I'm doing this on the iPad and there's no link function)

They get a small cut for every purchase made via their link

Getting Ready!

We put up the tree yesterday, a real one this year. Good thing it's only 24 days til Xmas. I tried to convince the gang to eliminate all the ugly old ornaments, with no luck. They're mostly in the back though, thank goodness. 

A Holiday Miracle

Logan has always, always been terrified of dogs. Last time we brought Lucy to the cabin, poor Logie spent the entire weekend up on top of her dad's head.

Imagine our surprise to see this

Best buddies!  So proud of you for conquering your fears!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Remembering Dad

40 years ago today, Dad died.  Dad, I miss you so much.  

So often over these 40 years, I've wanted to share a favorite book I've read, to sail or hike or run with him, to share a family dinner or a glass of wine, to travel to Europe or hang out at the cabin with him.  I've wanted my children to know their amazing grandfather.  I've wanted to tell him I finally graduated from WSU, and to share our mutual passion for history.  I've wanted to email him, garden with him, knit something warm for him.

This photo is how I like to remember Dad, out sailing his beloved "Catch-22", wearing the sweater Mom knit for him (I have that pattern and one of these days I'm going to knit it)  19 years is too short a time to have known and loved my Dad.  Miss you like 60, Walter!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Bucket List

Cara got to knock an item off her bucket list, using this digger thing (backhoe?) today to dig a trench. Orangeburg pipe section needs replacing.  I hope laying new pipe is the next item on her bucket list.


My faithful readers (Cara and Katie) are complaining about the lack of new posts.  I haven't really had much to write about but here's what I could think of:

1. KNEE.  PROBLEMS.  A few weeks ago my left knee started hurting.  Badly.  So I went to my doc (Doogie Howser for reals.  He's about 12)  Xray didn't show much more than the expected arthritis, so he chalked it up to tendonitis and told me to rest up.  And that my planned trip to Colonial Williamsburg probably wasn't going to happen, due to walking inability.

So right before I left for DC, the doc's office called and said the X-ray MAY have shown a broken bone (in my knee?  I didn't think there was anything there to break other than the knee cap)  I'm getting an MRI this afternoon.  Please light candles that it's not serious.  My medical insurance doesn't start until Jan 1 (thank you a million times Obama!)

2.  The Pick of a Lifetime:

Picture me rolling around on hundreds of pattern books...Cara found a Craigslist ad for a lady in DC who was cleaning up after a garage sale, with "Lots" of knitting patterns cheap.  We headed up to her place and she did have patterns and magazines on a rack.  I started looking at those while Cara checked out a box that we could see had some good old stuff.  The lady told her "those are free, do you want them?  And I've got 5 more boxes in the house".  Indeed we did want them!  Tony loaded up all the boxes in the car and we sorted them out when we got back to the house.  We figured there's about 10K worth of patterns in there.  Looks like a yarn store's old inventory, pristine condition and hundreds of pattern books from the 30s on up.  Heaven!  Just waiting for the 8 50 lb. boxes I mailed from DC to arrive to start putting them in my store.

3.  Knitting Projects:

I've got several finished things and some in the works.  I should have started my Christmas knitting about 11 1/2 months ago :-)

A soft bunny for Colie, she needed something to wrap around her neck (her favorite thing to do with softies)

"Runar" hat with runes reading "May Thor Bless, May Thor Protect".  It turned out okay, the fold line is a bit off.  It's double thick so will be warm.  And if Loki shows up, I'm safe.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

CheckingIn from The 'Burg

Cara, Tony and I are spending the week in Fredericksburg. They are helping their dad remodel his bathroom.  I'm just along for fun. I had big plans to tour Colonial Williamsburg this trip; it's one tourist spot I haven't seen yet. But I'm having knee problems (more on THAT mess after I get an MRI) so walking around is out of the question this trip. 

My nice kids offered to push me around C. W. In a wheelchair, even though they hate that place with every fiber of their being. But I'm nice too, so I'm letting them off the hook. 

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Showing Off

The Gang was at our LYS, Paradise Fibers, yesterday.  And right inside the front door was this display!  That's my Anita Bolero Jacket pattern from the "Unofficial Downton Abbey Knits" magazine that was published last month.  They are also displaying my Gentleman's Golf Stockings and my Cosycoat Jacket from the same issue.

I had loaned the garments to Paradise, and was expecting them to be displayed upstairs in their "sit and knit" corner.  It's quite an honor to be the first thing you see when you walk in the store!  I'm going to have to take a field trip over there and get a photo of myself posing with the display :-)

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Monday, October 28, 2013

O Canada

We just got home from our fun-filled weekend in Vancouver. The kids had tickets to the Dixie Chicks concert and I tagged along. We had a bit of a scare when it was realized that two of our party were traveling with expired passports (check those docs before you get in the border crossing line, folks) but this is evidently not enough to keep you out of the country. Or prevent you from getting back in. 

We spent most of the day Saturday scouting thrift stores for Vintage Knits inventory, the team has grown quite accomplished in hunting down patterns and books for me. We also noticed that Canadians love their massive hedges. In about a hundred years of pruning and feeding, Katie's backyard hedge will look just as impressive. 

I forgot to take any pictures, but we did have a great time. And thanks Pia, for babysitting the pups!

Monday, October 21, 2013

My Girl

Here's little Moochie (aka Colie) and me after her baptism. She's such a cute little bug. Thanks for getting a decent photo of me, Pia!  Not easy.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

How Cute Are These?

Cara has been Pinterest-ing this week, and found a cute canister set to replace our dull ones. Here's her finished project, so cute!  We want more Carrie!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Football Hero

Mikey is playing flag football this year.  He's small but fierce.  His team should be called The Bad News Bears, but they have lots of fun even if they haven't won any games (he scored a touchdown this morning, yay!)  Best part of playing football?  The mouthguard of course.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013


I've blogged about this before, but can't resist. Autumn brings back fond memories of high school homecoming. And my senior year, when our class float went up in flames during the big parade. "Light of Victory" indeed.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Thursday, October 10, 2013

The Runner

RJ is in 8th grade now, and the fastest XC runner on his middle school team.  He's such a teenage boy (all BO and Axe body spray lol.  Meg, you have this odor combo to look forward to in about 10 years), but a very nice one.  He never ignores me when I show up at his meets, always makes sure to come over and give me a hug & thank me for coming.  I don't recall my own teenage children doing that...

He finished 10th overall today, and the high school is already scouting him

A Workhorse

Sometimes you want to knit socks with a workhorse yarn.  Nothing fancy-schmancy, no wild variegated colors, just lots of yardage and a solid yarn that will last.

A yarn that fits the bill perfectly is Cascade Heritage Sock Yarn.  I have used it for several of my "vintage" sock projects, including the Gentleman's Golf Stockings pattern that was published in Interweave's Unofficial Downton Abbey Knits magazine:

Heritage Sock is a great value!  437 yds per skein at $11.00, that's a steal.  It's 75% merino and 25% nylon, perfect for comfy socks that wear well.  It comes in a nice range of solids, plus tweeds and handpaints (those cost a bit more, but are lovely)  

I was so pleased with the way my Gent's Golf Socks knit up with Heritage; the color work on the cuffs stands out beautifully.  I'm going to knit another pair of 1890s stockings (soon-- just need to finish about 85 projects lol), and this yarn will definitely be the one I use.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

This is Why I Want to Move to Norway

On November 1st, they are airing a five hour tv show about knitting. With a "real time" sheep to shawl competition to break the world record.  I'd watch this in a heartbeat.

Sunday, October 6, 2013


We went to see "Gravity" last night.  Intense!  It was actually a lot better than I would have thought, this is normally not my kind of movie at all.  But in 3-D, it was fun if a bit nauseating.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013


Colie is getting so big. And Auntie Katie is her favorite (she loves aunties Cara and Pia too)

Monday, September 30, 2013

"To W.W. My Star, My Perfect Silence"

BB fans will recognize that quote as the one Gale wrote to Walt...and the show ended perfectly as far as I'm concerned (and I also won our Breaking Bad pool, so bonus!)

We are trying to figure out what series will replace our beloved BB.  And I think we agree it's best to just start all over with episode #1.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Counting Down...

to the series finale tonight of Breaking Bad!!!  Torn between being super excited to see how it all ends and super sad that it's over tonight.  What will I do without my Walter White fix?

We're planning on cooking Los Pollos Hermanos chicken and fries, and we have a pool going using this.

My dollar is riding on Jesse & Brock living, and Walt taking basically everyone else out before he kills himself.  But really, I have NO idea what is going to happen.  That's the beauty of this show.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

It's Here!

The "Unofficial Downton Abbey Knits" magazine from Piecework is on the newsstands!  I couldn't be more excited, as THREE of the projects were designed by ME!

"Chilly Morning Cosycoat" was originally published in the 1918 edition of Fleisher's Knitting & Crocheting Manual, as was the "Anita" Bolero Jacket (below)

 "Gentleman's Golfing Stockings" were originally published in the 1904 edition of Weldon's Practical Stocking Knitter

As always, the talented Piecework staff and photographers have made my designs look like a million bucks.  I LOVE the cuffs on those stockings, and when my tree trunk legs are thinner, I'm going to wear those suckers while I swan around the neighborhood.  That little sleeveless jacket is so cute, I'm really pleased with how it came out.  And the bolero jacket is interesting to knit, the body is knit vertically from edge to edge in one piece (sleeve are knit side to side too).  My crocheting skills were just good enough to produce buttonholes on the jacket.  It's a really modern looking take on the Edwardian era garter stitch cardigan -- 1900s knitters seemed to love a garter stitch jacket.

Anyways, I'm a little bit famous :-)  There are tons of neat patterns in this issue -- if you love Downton Abbey (as I do), you'll definitely want to buy this one!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013



Here at Fluther HQ, we love our TV series.  And "Dexter" has long been a fave.  I got all the Longi's hooked last summer and we sailed through the glory years: Trinity, Ice Truck, Doomsday.  We had hopes for the final season.  It should have been great.

OMG it was the WORST. THING. EVER.  I don't know who wrote the final season.  I suspect the writers found the plots scribbled on a napkin at Denny's and went with it.  So many stupid/pointless/even more stupid plot lines.  Masuka's daughter via sperm donation -- WHY?  That plotline went exactly nowhere (and how realistic was it that she worked at a TOPLESS RESTAURANT AND MASUKA HAD NO IDEA THERE WAS A TOPLESS RESTAURANT IN MIAMI?)  Dr. Vogel -- could have been interesting, but the only thing she brought to the table was to endlessly repeat "You are the Perfect Psychopath, Dextah" instead of Harry saying "Dark Passenger" a million times an episode.  And WHY WASN'T HARRY IN THE FINAL EP????  Fail.

Plus Hannah?  Worst "hider from the law" ever.  Could she not at least have dyed her hair or put on sunglasses?  Oh, and leaving her to raise Harrison was brilliant on Dexter's part.  Because you want a multiple poisoner to bring your beloved child up (but I was rooting for her to sprinkle poison on Harrison's ice cream at the end.  I hated that kid actor)

Also, how did not one single person notice that Dex unplugged Deb and wheeled her dead body out of the hospital to their convenient boat dock?  And since when do hospitals have boat docks?  And Deb totes got robbed of a good death scene.  And Deb's wig in the flashback?  HORRIBLE.  The costume dept. surely could have done better than to grab a wig from Value Village for the poor woman.

And Dexter's nemesis, Saxon.  This was his go-to serial killer face:

Sorry Dude, Crazy Eyes from Orange Is The New Black has the rights for that expression.  PLUS, the final confrontation between Dex and Saxon?  Uber lame, there WASN'T ONE.  Angel burst in and handcuffed him.  The first time in 8 seasons Angel has actually solved a crime BTW.

So many sads.  Thank god Breaking Bad is so damn good.

La Famiglia

Here are the 9 Sundstrom siblings (plus Mom's ashes there in the background).  It takes a funeral to get us all together, evidently.

We sent Mom off in grand style, in just the manner she would have loved.  3 days of parties and celebrations.  Thanks to the organizers (B-Z, Lisa, Jamie and Susan) of the funeral mass, the burial, the cremation, the parties.  Thanks to Jon for building two beautiful boxes for Mom -- she would have loved them.  Thanks to all the family and friends from near and far who came to one or more events and took the time to remember our Mom.  Thanks to the grand- and great- grandkids who are carrying on Mimi's legacy.  Thanks to Father Jerry from St. Matthew's who definitely "got" Lois and shared some funny stories plus provided spiritual comfort.  Thanks to Ray for living in a gorgeous Belltown condo with waterfront views and a perfect party room :-)

We'll miss you, Mimi.  So much.  But I just know your dad spotted you when you entered heaven and yelled "THERE SHE IS!"

Tuesday, September 17, 2013


Just when I think I have the final episodes of "Breaking Bad" figured out....I find I don't.  In fact, I have NO IDEA what is going to happen in the last two episodes.

But I'm hoping it involves Walt rescuing Jesse from Todd (and that creeper needs to DIE) and all the Nazis getting blown to hell in a meth lab "accident".

It could happen that way.  Or not.