The bags still aren't unpacked, but we're home. And with luck, we're home to stay for a while.
I'm so glad that we went, though. It was a good week, and we had some wonderful visits with Grandmom, which I know that I will always be glad of. On Friday, the girls and I had a particularly nice long visit with her, which was quiet enough that she and I were able to have some real conversations; this means a lot to both of us, as we used to have long talks about textiles and travel -- interests which we've shared since we first met -- and it was nice to do that again.
The girls were so good during that long visit (it's not like they can do very much there, and they are tremendously patient about it) that I packed them and the dogs all up and we drove out to Rodeo beach, my very favorite beach in the whole wide world. We hiked up the bluffs to look down on the beach; see it down there?
And then we headed back to hang out and play.
The girls rolled their pants up, and the dogs chased the waves. Kia clearly remembered her puppy days on this beach, and ran and bounded like she doesn't anywhere else these days; like me, she likes her beaches cold, windy, and rocky.
Tilly got over her fear of the ocean (when we went to Point Reyes earlier in the week, she was rather intimidated by this large body of water that kept chasing her up the beach).
And I sat and knitted and enjoyed the view.
We went home with some tired and sandy dogs and kids.
On Saturday, we picked Rick up at the airport, and headed to Grace Cathedral so that I could walk the labyrinth. I would that there was one closer to us, as I find that the peace from that short walk stays with me for a long time. This time, I walked the one inside, which I hadn't done before, and the girls walked it, too. At first, it was a game for them, but by the end I think they'd gotten more out of it than that, to judge by some of the comments they made. We then headed for lunch at Greens, where Rick and I celebrated some major milestones (including our engagement) when we lived in Berkeley; it's fun to take the girls to places like that. I also treated myself to their new cookbook -- I'm looking forward to playing with some of the recipes in it. We ended the day with a long visit to the Exploratorium, which is right up Rick's alley; he and the girls had a blast and had to be dragged away in time to have dinner with Grandmom.
We drove home on Sunday, and thank goodness Ellen sent me the pattern for the shell, because that was a lot of knitting time. Between that and listening to Harry Potter, we kept ourselves amused the whole drive home; I sat ensconced in the front seat with my feet amongst the fruit we picked up (blueberries and blackberries at the San Rafael farmer's market, nectarines, melons, and honey in the central valley) and knitted merrily. The shell is finished (the sleeves I added to the pattern because I like them better).
It still needs to be blocked; I was impatient and wore it yesterday, but the lace will look better after blocking.
Older Daughter knitted, too. Look what she's doing with the yarn we got her when we went with Stella to Touch Yarns.
Finishing the shell on the drive home freed me up to start Anne's latest beauty, which I'm test knitting. I'd swatched the icelandic laceweight for it, but as soon as it was knitted and washed, I knew that that yarn is meant to be a rectangle. It is a firmer yarn, with less drape, and this is a faroese shawl, which needs lots of drape. I want that yarn to be something perfect for it (I have my eye on a few shawls in Cheryl Oberle's book), so I reswatched with some lovely Chewy Spaghetti laceweight merino/silk blend in a gorgeous caramel color (birthday present from Rick), which I decided is going to work much better for this shawl.
Boy, this is a pattern I can sink my teeth into. I've never knitted a faroese shawl before, so I'm having fun looking at the way the shaping works on this; the lace is also worked on both sides for quite a bit of the pattern, so major concentration is required -- at least for me; I can only assume that Anne just whips through these challenges. But it is so worth it. Tell me that's not gorgeous.
I discovered last night, though, that I can't knit this one while playing board games with the family (better not to ask). So I (ahem) cast on for a pair of socks.