Sunday, December 19, 2021

Great Wave Stitch-a-Long, part 14

Hi everyone! I hope everyone is well and they're able to make time for themselves in all the extra swirl of the holidays. 

It's late on the Saturday night for me -- I think I'm the latest, time-zone wise, in our stitch-a-long group -- so I'm going to keep this short.  

Here's where I was on "Great Wave" last time:

And here's where I am now:

I finished the top half! I'm so excited about this! 

Tomorrow morning I'm going to roll the frame (always a thrill, eh?) and get ready to stitch the bottom half. I'm looking forward to getting to know the bottom half of the print as well as I know the top half. 

Our next check-in is in 2022, so until then I wish you joy and health and warmth and light, no matter what holidays you observe. 

Soon I'll be checking out the blogs of my fellow stitchers to see their beautiful projects. I'm sure they'll inspire you, too!

Sunday, December 5, 2021

Jamestown S'Klallam 5K race report

* I'm writing this race report months later, but want to make sure and note how great I thought this 5K was! I'm dating it back to when the event happened to keep the blog organized. 

The Jamestown S'Klallam 5K was the last race is the Run the Peninsula series. And, yes, going over to the Olympic Peninsula is a long way to go for a 5K, as we decided when we signed up, it made for 5 nice weekends away. 

I also loved the structure of this race -- a glow-stick and headlamp-lit night run out and back on the Olympic Discovery Trail. Because it's December, "night" starts at 4:30 up here in the north... and because the race was on Saturday, we didn't have to try and cross on the ferry on a Friday night. 

In fact, we were able to cross at a civilized time on Saturday, and time it so I could pop into Quilted Strait... where I bought more fabric for my overflowing stash. (Quilt fabric, why can't I quit you?)

We also poked around Port Townsend for a little while, buying cider and bread and cheese at the farmers market, and then headed to 7 Cedars, the fancy casino / hotel where the race would be starting. Nice rooms, good soundproofing. We changed into running gear and then headed out to the parking lot to get on the shuttle bus, and quickly realized WE WERE UNDERDRESSED. 

image courtesy Peninsula Daily News

Lots of people were fully decked out in holiday attire -- Christmas lights, Santa hats, elf dresses, FULL REINDEER ONESIES. All I had to offer were my reflective NYC GTS shoes. 

The shuttles loaded quickly for the short ride (it's not far, but there's a highway to cross). It's clearly a popular race with the locals, which meant bib pick up was a little slow. (I wonder if running pickup at the shuttle point would have been better?) But the weather wasn't too bad, with only a bit of drizzle. And, of course, it was festive! 

Eventually we lined up toward the back and got underway. We knew we'd be walking most of the race, but started off trotting just to help spread out the pack a bit. 

image courtesy Peninsula Daily News

Not much to report from a course perspective -- we had run this stretch of the ODT before. It was fun to see all the costumes and the lights, including a nice glimpse of 7 Cedars all decked out across the highway. Seriously, it's almost Disneyland, right?

It was also great to see the other runners, including the very fast reindeer. ("Run run reindeer!") After we hit the turnaround it was a little more challenging -- lots of headlamps shining directly in our eyes -- but we just kept moving and eventually crossed the finish line in 44:37. Not great, but not terrible either. 

why, yes, we are wearing raincoats...

We picked up our race swag -- some very nice folding backpacks this time; again, I love that the race swag is different for every race in this series! 

Then back on the shuttles and back across the highway to 7 Cedars. Did I mention the decorations?

We changed out of our running gear, put on street clothes, and spent the evening exploring the casino. We signed up for the "loyalty program", and received $10 each to "try things out". Wil managed to lose it all in three spins of a slot machine, weirdly, I doubled mine and promptly cashed out. We took the $20.43 to a bar and had winter cocktails made by an overworked bartender ("may we see your cocktail menu?" "we don't have a cocktail menu" "oh, we saw these online?" "oh, that cocktail menu"). Then we grabbed a pizza, some beer from the nearby minimart (second best gas station in Washington state! seriously!), and retreated to our room where we relaxed and remembered that we're not really casino folk. 

In the morning we admired the view, then scraped frost off the car and headed home on an early ferry. Perfect. 

Jamestown S'Klallam 5K
14:22 pace

Sunday, November 28, 2021

Great Wave Stitch-a-Long, part 13

Hi everyone! I hope my American friends enjoyed their Thanksgiving, and that you all found the Black Friday bargains you had hoped for. I work in ecommerce so this is a busy time for me, but I managed to get myself organized so I haven't had to log in and work since Friday evening. (Sure hope I didn't just jinx myself!)

In the intervening three weeks I actually took a week off (hooray!), so I'm feeling pretty relaxed and happy. And I feel like I got a lot of stitching done, despite not taking this big piece with me. Here's where my "Great Wave" was last time:

And here's where I am now:

I'm not sure how I got this much done, except that there was less confetti stitching, and more big blocks of color. I have the top halves of 17.5 columns complete, with 2.5 more to go. I'm pretty sure I can get another half column done by our next check in -- can I get the entire top half done?

The weather has been very wet and wild -- "atmospheric rivers" drenching the lowlands and causing the rivers to rise. I know we need the rain (and the snow in the mountains), so I hope everyone is safe. And it means I have few distractions or desires to linger outside! 

I'm looking forward to checking out the blogs of my fellow stitchers to see their beautiful projects. I'm sure they'll inspire you, too!

Sunday, November 7, 2021

Great Wave Stitch-a-Long, part 12

Hi everyone! I can't believe it's been three weeks! Hopefully everyone had a sufficiently spooky Halloween and a festive Bonfire Night. I have been reading about how this weekend's "king tide" at the coast -- when the earth is closest to the sun and the moon is closest to the earth, high tides and big waves are expected. So here's where my "Great Wave" was last time:

And here's where I am, three weeks later:

It's really getting "wavy", isn't it?! I have the top halves of 13.5 columns complete, with 6.5 more to go. I'm working on another stitching project that's been taking up a lot of my time, but I should be able to have another half column done by our next check in. 

Oh, and me and my sprained ankle limped our way through the half marathon, and we had a great weekend away. And the very kind race director made sure I got bib number 100 to celebrate. 

And my ankle? It's much better now. We joked that we really got our money's worth during the race as we spent a long time out there!

But this is a stitching post (though it reminds me I do finally need to write up my race report!) -- so I'm looking forward to checking out the blogs of my fellow stitchers to see their beautiful projects. I'm sure they'll inspire you, too!

Thursday, November 4, 2021

Witchy Stitchy 2021

This year I participated in the 2021 Witchy Stitchy Challenge -- a challenge to stitch for at least half an hour every day in October. Apart from the weekend where I was staying in a dimly lit cottage where I couldn't see to stitch, I did it. I also made a point of not working on my big "Great Wave" project, and focused on some Halloweeny items, and, in the last couple of days, an early Christmas present. And voila!

It will take me a while to decide how I want to finish the two small motifs -- in theory I'll turn them into ornaments for my Halloween tree. And I'm happy with how both the small Mill Hill "Taboo Kitty" ornament and the Hook, Line & Tinker "gnomework" kit turned out. 

It was great to have the motivation to stitch every day ... and the freedom to have a couple of skip days and not feel bad about it. So all in all, a big success!

Sunday, October 17, 2021

Great Wave Stitch-a-Long, part 11

WOW. This is the 11th check-in with this project. And there's a looooooooong way to go. Here's where I was last time:

And now, three weeks later, I'm here:

Maybe it's because I know this artwork really well, but I love that it's really starting to look "right"!

By our next check in I hope to have another column done. I've realized that slow and steady is the way I'll be able to complete this. Sometimes I'll have a little productivity spurt, and sometimes I'll barely make a dent. 

In the meantime, I've also been making progress as part of the Witchy Stitchy challenge, where I'm working on some cute cross-stitch motifs. It's been much more challenging than I expected to stitch on such small-scale fabric, even though it's aida, and I've only managed to complete one motif so far. But it's CUTE:

In other stitching news, many of you will recognize this fella, Mr. Tiger:

I submitted him to the Washington State Fair (or "The Puyallup Fair" as locals call it) and won an "honorable mention" ribbon. I suppose it would only be honorable to mention to you that I was the only entry in the category! Still, I'm pleased with getting a ribbon at all, so that's fun. 

I'm drafting this early as I'm headed out of town for the weekend. We're going to the super adorable town of Port Townsend, where I'm going to be running my 100th half marathon! Well, running is an overstatement -- I sprained my ankle badly last week, so I'm still hobbling a bit. But I've waited quite a while to get number 100 done, so I'm going to grit my teeth and get through it. (Do not try this at home -- I'm aware it's ridiculous!)

I plan on spending my Sunday evening with my ankle iced and elevated, and reading through all the rest of the blogs in this stitch-a-long. I'm sure their amazing, creative, diverse projects will distract me -- and enchant you if you check them out, too. 

Saturday, October 16, 2021

Larry Scott Trail Half Marathon race report

*I'm writing this race report months later, but backdating it to race day.

In 2020 I expected to run my 99th and 100th half marathons. But given the pandemic and the fact that most races turned into virtual events, it wasn't until October 2021 that I got to run #100. (I ran the races in 2020, but don't "count" virtual events in my totals.)

I had told the race director ahead of time that this would be my 100th race, and, well, they saved bib #100 for me. 

It was a really gorgeous morning -- bright and cool. 

It wasn't a big race, which was fine by me. Eventually we gathered by the starting arch and set out. 

We started along the paved trail, which ran along the shoreline before turning into a forest. 

A small race and us walking meant we were on our own most of the time. But the volunteers were friendly, the course was pretty, and the day was fine. 

Eventually we approached the finish line -- not last, but there weren't many runners left. But they still had the arch set up, and the announcer gave me a special shout out, and the volunteers all cheered. Very, very kind. 

Larry Scott Trail Half Marathon
15:02 pace

Sunday, September 26, 2021

Great Wave Stitch-a-Long, part 10

Hi everyone! I don't know where the three weeks went. After last check in, where I managed to get a LOT of stitching done, I was here:

I was so happy to start stitching the actual wave. With some "oh my goodness tomorrow is check-in day so I had better get my needle moving" activity (I'm not alone in this, I suspect!), I'm here:

It's fun to have some of the deeper blue of the wave coming in ... and that subtle but detailed sky. 

Of course, the wave will be much more in focus when I add the backstitching... but that's a LONG way off. 

Halloween, on the other hand, is just right around the corner! I'm going to be participating in the Witchy Stitchy challenge, where I attempt to stitch 30 minutes 27 of the 31 days in October. I Witchy Stitchy 2019, where I believe we only stitched for 13 days, and that was hard enough -- but I got a lot of stitching done. While I do plan to keep working on the Great Wave, I always like to do some seasonal stitching ahead of my favorite holiday. 

Someone in this stitch-a-long, I believe, was stitching from this pattern set, and I fell in love with it. So I bought it last year and then put it aside until now. A couple of weeks ago I tried my hand at ice-dyeing and -- once I recovered one of the pieces from the raccoons (seriously, this happened) and washed the fabric, I really like how it turned out. So expect to see some of this work during our next check-in!

Until then, do check out what the other stitchers in this stitch-a-long are up to. It's always inspiring to see their amazing projects:

See you in three weeks!

Sunday, September 5, 2021

Great Wave Stitch-a-Long, part 9

Hi everyone! I hope you're all sitting down because ... I got a bunch of stitching done!!!

Here's what I was last time: 

And here's where I am now:

Yep, that's BLUE! I stitched 21/2 columns and am now officially 25% of the way done with the main stitching!

Getting to the blue was so inspiring I just kept wanting to stitch. Not be to wishing this project was behind me -- I mean, there's a long, long way to go! -- but it's exciting to feel like I'm really into the pattern now.

I am going to keep working across the top of the design... where there's so much water coming! 
Don't forget to go and check out what the other stitchers in this stitch-a-long are up to. It's always inspiring to see their amazing projects:

See you in three weeks!

Sunday, August 15, 2021

Great Wave Stitch-a-Long, part 8

Hi everyone! Another check-in, another "late" posting. I'm one of the folks on the far end of the world, so I usually try to get my post scheduled for just after midnight my time. This time, frankly, I just forgot! 

I've been working, slowly but surely on my Great Wave piece, and continue to be amused by where I see it. This was hanging on the wall of a nearby ramen restaurant:

If Godzilla really was in my picture, would already have stitched his head! 

Here's where I was last time:

And here's where I am this time:

The keen-eyed of you will notice that I've completed another column! (And notice that I keep "stitching outside the lines" when I have some thread left on my needle...)

I am now about 1/6 of the way done with the stitching... so there's a long way to go. Here's some perspective. I'm working on the top half, the bottom extends a little past the "roll" of the frame. And all that to the right...

BUT I'm still enjoying it and -- here's the exciting thing -- I'll have my first bits of light blue in the next column!!! But I'm getting ahead of myself. 

I'm going to wrap this up so I can check out what the other stitchers in this stitch-a-long are up to. It's always inspiring to see their amazing projects:

See you in three weeks!

Sunday, July 25, 2021

Great Wave Stitch-a-Long, part 7

Hi everyone! Apologies for the late posting -- usually I manage to get these written on Saturday and then scheduled for just after midnight my time so that those of you IN THE FUTURE don't have to wait until late on your Sunday to see my check-in. 

But the weather here in Seattle has been so nice -- and much cooler than three weeks ago! -- so we spent yesterday playing and took the paddleboards out on a nearby lake:


It hasn't been all play this past three weeks (not that any of you would fault me if it was!). Work was extra stressful with a new project launch an a new team member who joined at the 11th hour and wanted to make her presence felt... which meant scrapping a lot of work that had already been done. Sigh. 

But more importantly -- I did some stitching! Here's where I finished up last time:

And here's where I am now:

A whole other column! There is still so much to do... but progress is being made. So much sky...

I have realized that it's harder for me to work on big, framed projects during the summer. In fall and winter we spend evenings indoors, which is more conducive to sitting down with a big frame. So I have found myself picking up small projects that I can more easily take outside. 

I'm going to wrap this up so I can check out what the other stitchers in this stitch-a-long are up to. It's always inspiring to see their amazing projects:

See you in three weeks!