Welcome! It's tough to make water progress in Seattle during the winter. The winds in the winter are usually bigger, gustier, and much more difficult to predict. The launches are tricky as is finding the right spot for the wind/weather of the day... or hour, or minute. On top of that, there is a higher safety risk due to cold conditions, higher seas and less people to help on the water if anything goes wrong.
Have patience; by this time next year, you could go back to La Ventana and rock the water. In the meantime, it would be worth your while to go to the winter kite spots (Richmond Beach, Magnuson, Double Bluff, Juanita) to watch, help and meet local kiters. You will also learn something new about kiting, equipment, the launch, and wind/weather every time you go. A big part of kiting in Seattle is predicting the weather so you can be at the right place at the right time. You can get free forecasts from i*surf http://www.ikitesurf.com/windandwhere.i ... ast+Graphs
This is for the west point gauge, but all you need to look for in the winter is a southerly trend in the teens. The numbers are never right, but the trends give you a heads up on what's ahead and eventually you can interpret whether it will be enough to kite. Down the line, when you show up at the launch there will be other kiters. When you get good, you will beat all the other kiters to the launch.
I went the opposite way: I watched and struggled in Seattle for a couple years when there were few kiters, then I put it all together in one day when I took a trip to La Ventana and a couple folks from the bay area took me offshore on day 2.
kritter wrote: I should probably mention I am a 5'4" female, and about 128 lbs, so I'll be looking for smaller kites.
As you mention, if you are female and ~128 lbs, and if you are interested, you could try to find a kite-man-friend. I know a few couples who really make it work because usually they can ride the same set of kites and shift up and down with the wind . Some of the small females can get out on the large kites in what seems like impossibly light winds; it's fun to watch at Jetty in the summer, but then again it kills us just to watch at Jetty in the summer. By the time the bigger (usually male) partner is out on the smallest kite, it's survival kiting - plus small kites are cheaper and they don't get used as much.
I should probably mention I am a 5'11" male, and about 180 lbs, so I'll be kiting bigger kites. However, so are 90% of the kiters. You know what they say: "Girls, want to meet hundreds of athletic men with disposable incomes and have them fight over you at the beach? Try kiteboarding." There are a some really cool kite ladies in Seattle as well (and elsewhere) but unfortunately, not enough in my opinion. Change the stats. Good luck and hope to see you at the beach and on the water some day.