Saturday, February 14, 2015

The Wedding Shawl

It has begun. The wedding shawl. The wedding shawl that needs to be done in 15 days. After waffling over several patterns, I went with the Frozen Leaves pattern, but I'm using the (rav id) like2makethings variant. I almost went with the Kristen TenDyke Leaves Shawl, but decided that the leaves weren't high enough on the shawl. I still like the pattern. I still bought the pattern too... maybe when the wedding craziness is over I'll have time for it.

I'm using two skeins of Anzula Squishy in the Spruce color way. And I'm switching skeins every two rows to make sure it is blended. One skein I got was bluer than the other, but I decided that it was a blessing in disguise. I love the skeins that are more yellow, but they don't look as good against my skin.

Now the question is, can I do it? Can I have a shawl knit and blocked by the wedding even though I have absolutely no time to do it. Well, we won't know if I don't give it a go.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Oma Approved

January's adventure involved a road trip to see my Oma. After meeting all of Connor's family, we felt it was important that he meet more of mine. Plus, he needed to be Oma-approved. 
We drove up our usual route with the traditional pit-stop in Weed for ice cream and french fries. Mount Shasta had a good dousing of snow since I'd last been by. 

We had a great time driving up. I had hoped that Christopher would be the driver when we reached the Oregon state sign because I knew he would be willing to pull over on the highway. Mum allowed us one take before we all ran back to the car. Thank goodness we got it on the first go.

I had a feeling Oma would like Connor, but I didn't realize that she would be an enthusiastic supporter. They hit it off. Yay!
Also note that Oma is wearing the sweater I made her. She didn't know we were coming. She wears it because she loves it. I think it suits her quite well.

After a few days of visiting we drove back down, although this time we took the coastal route. I knew that this would all be new to Connor. What I didn't realize was that Christopher hadn't seen much of the coast either. We stopped to see the cobra plants. Of course at this point Christopher had to imitate the "Purple Cobra" thing from the Dodgeball movie.

As it turns out, not only do Connor and Christopher get on well, they egg each other on. Their bromance went to 11 on this trip. I almost felt like the third wheel.

 Just look at these guys.

We continued on and stopped by the Trees of Mystery. This time around we realized two things that no one in the family had noticed before:
1. Paul Bunyan is not wearing a black shirt. It is his chest hair. 
2. You won't see it in this picture because Connor is in front, but Babe is definitely a male ox. 

Shenanigans continued as we stopped for dinner in Eureka.

And they didn't end the whole trip. We weren't sure anyone was going to get any sleep that night in the hotel. There was far too much laughter.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Christmas In Kentucky

Back in December, I flew out with Connor to spend two weeks in Kentucky with his family for Christmas. After landing, Connor's brother picked us up. Unfortunately we took a wrong turn and accidentally ended up in Indiana.

We took advantage of it and had a look at a nearby fossil bed that was along the Falls of the Ohio State Park.

It was a work trip for Connor, but he still had a few days off to spend on adventures. His brother, cousin, and I went to Natural Bridge on a particularly beautiful day. But, I got to spend plenty of time with different family members while Connor was working. An adventure that stands out is the day Connor's brother and cousin took me out on an excursion that ended with me falling into a river (because of my own pride). Luckily I had packed extra clothes. Also, there aren't pictures because I had enough sense to leave the camera in the car so as to keep it dry.

On a different day, Connor's Mum and I went off to Buffalo Trace distillery. It was fascination to learn about how the distillery was one of three that was allowed to remain open during Prohibition in order to manufacture alcohol for "medicinal" purposes. We also learned that there are remnants of laws from Prohibition that allow pharmacies to sell liquor because of its medicinal qualities.

Last year was the first year I ever had a Christmas tree. But this year I joined the family to cut down one. It was quite an adventure. I fell into a creek during that excursion as well...

I also learned how to chop wood. Connor told me it would be tough because much of what we had to chop was Hedge Apple. I chopped and chopped. Eventually I looked at the axe and noticed that it was pretty flat. I told Connor, "I'm no expert, but is the axe suppose to look like that?" To which Connor replied, "That is the dullest axe I've ever seen." 
We told his Dad about it later and I was asked if Connor had been hazing me. Connor replied that it was chopping wood on "hard mode."

I had a fantastic time out in Kentucky. The only thing I missed was snow. The day we left the temperature dropped. Ah well, I'm sure I'll get to see it in the future.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Crazy Person

So... it's been three weeks since I last got onto the blog. What has happened? Well, Connor and I have decided on a short engagement and will be getting married on March 1st of this year. This means we are running around at full speed arranging All The Things. Also, I was offered the most amazing job and started this month. But with great amazingness come great responsibility. I look forward to sharing more details in the future.
I also hope to be able to knit again at some point. I think I've knit maybe five rounds in the last three weeks. Despite this fact, I have still ordered yarn (that hasn't shown up yet) to knit a shawl for the wedding. I am a crazy person.
My poor, neglected projects. On the left is a Seadragonus sock and on the right is a mistake rib cowl.

As if there wasn't enough going on, in between New Zealand and now Connor and I have been in Kentucky as well as Oregon visiting each other's family. I hope to have some time to catch up on everything in the near future. Who else has crazy notions of fitting three months worth of work into one?

Friday, January 9, 2015

Newly Knitworthy

I'm sure many knitters have felt the strong urge to outfit loved ones in hand knits. It's a little hard to explain to a non knitter, but there is a tugging at the heart and an itchy feeling in the fingers to get the knits made. Many of my friends and family have hand knits, but to my disgrace, Connor was missing his.... until now.

It was a little difficult to figure out what should be knitted first, but we decided that a hat was needed. I used the Watch Cap pattern by Michele Rose Orne. This is the third time I've used this pattern and I still really like the look of this hat. The yarn is Mythral from Stansborough, but it is a prototype that they were working on when I bought in 2010

Connor is pleased and has been wearing the hat everywhere. He has proven himself knitworthy. I see a matching cowl in his future.

Has anyone else got a newly knitworthy person in their life?

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Annual Goal List 2014-2015 Edition

2014 was the year of travel and plot twists. Every year I think to myself that I could never know how the next year will be. I had no idea at the beginning of 2014 that I would get to see Morro Bay, have an Epic Road Trip with my Mum, live in New Zealand for 2.5 months, visit Kentucky twice, set foot in a few other States in between, get engaged, work on horse farm as well as a vineyard, hike up/across many streams and fall into a few.

This year I chose to say yes to everything that terrified me and it has paid off. A year ago I don't know if I would have been willing to learn to drive a tractor or climb a rock wall. Actually, I know I wouldn't have. I was invited to go rock climbing in the past, but I couldn't get the nerve up to do it. This year I practiced saying to myself, "No fear!" before doing scary things. I proved to myself that I am as brave as I hoped I could be. What I learned is that everything is still as scary as it was before, but I'm just not going to let that stop me.

Onwards to this year's highlights:

Hiking Clouds Rest in Yosemite. I wanted to test my limits and see if I could hike 14 miles. Turns out I can. I felt really accomplished and more confident with my abilities. (This turned out to be well timed since I did so many crazy hikes in New Zealand later in the year.)
Clouds Rest in Yosemite, June 2014

Meeting Connor. He had just moved to California just as I had made plans to leave California. We ended up doing a bunch of things together because he wanted to see parts of California for the first time just as I was doing everything for the last time, or so I thought. I'm excited to see what the future will hold for us.

All the travel. I got to see and do so many things and meet and spend time with so many people. I'm glad I blog, because it would be so easy to forget how many opportunities I had been given this year. I hope to continue to keep my eyes open and my spirit willing in the upcoming year.
The Green Dragon is still my most favorite place on this Earth

Goals for 2014:
1. Knit up more of the yarn kiwipurler has gifted me.
Status: 1/3 done. I had hoped to knit up 300 grams. I only knitted 100g. I'll just continue plugging away. I do plan on knitting up a sweater with the Mythral she gifted me.
2. Borrowing from the 2011 goal list, I'm putting the spin for a large project back on the list.
Status: Complete. I did finish spinning the yarn and it is with the weaver. There isn't a timeline for when I'll get the blanket, but I've done as much as I can for now.
3. Knit Justin his socks that I promised him several years ago. It needs to happen.
Status: Complete. The socks haven't been displayed on the blog just yet because it is an unreleased pattern. I'll show them off at some point.
4. Find a community outside of knitting to spend time with.
Status: Ongoing. I've joined more communities, but it has become clear that as I grow and learn, so will the communities of people I spend time with. The knitting community seems to be a constant in my life though, which I am pleased about.
5. Choose a new job and do it.
Status: In flux. I had applied to jobs before deciding to move to New Zealand. I applied to jobs in New Zealand before being proposed to and coming back. So I'm looking for a job again. But I had an interview and remain with high hopes.
6. Sew myself a dress. Or in lieu of that, sew a project bag.
Status: Complete, but not by me. I cheated. I paid Maria of A Needle Runs Through It to sew up project bags for me. I suppose the goal really should have been, "Have project bags made out of that fabric I'd been hoarding." I'll still give myself points for taking a class on pattern drafting even if I didn't make a dress afterwards.

I think I did pretty well on my goal list this year. I feel like I achieved beyond this list. The amount of travel I got to do was significant and unexpected.

Goals for 2015:
1. Develop stronger cooking skills. Specifically, I'd like to develop a menu of different meals that spans at least a week. This year I had to go gluten free, which means I have to be much more mindful about food. All my guilty pleasures had gluten. It's been interesting discovering foods that feel like a treat and adhere to my new diet. 
2. Put together a wedding. This is a bit of a challenge because I didn't grow up designing a dream wedding in my head. Connor and I are now working on what we would like the day to look like. Connor is a champ and is supporting me while I'm busy discovering that I have more opinions than I thought I did. 
3. Declutter my life. I have so many things! I don't need all those things. I can feel the weight of owning more than I truly need. I also have a large amount of paper records/things that need to be sorted. We all have that large box of paper that you ought to have organized years ago, but now it's sat in that container for a decade and you still aren't motivated to go through it. This is the year for that.
4. Write a comic book. Over the years I'd often think about putting out a comic book. The topic has changed over time, but the desire to make one has remained. I'm not sure if I want to complete a project of this magnitude in just a year, but I think I'd like to just start working on it.
5. Knit Connor a sweater. I haven't started yet because I believe in the sweater curse. I'm not even swatching. But I have the yarn and a good idea of what I want to knit. Super bonus: we are such a similar size that I can make a sweater that we will both fit into. I'll just have to roll up the cuffs.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014 Creative Recap

It's time for the annual creative recap. I don't know why, but this year I was convinced I hadn't knit or designed all that much. I was wrong. When I looked at my ravelry projects from 2014, I was impressed to see that I had knit up 7 samples for designs, two of which are not yet released. Overall, I'd knit up 11 pairs of socks, 4 hats, 2 sweaters (one sport weight and one fingering), 2 pairs of fingerless mitts, 1 shawl, and 1 infinity scarf. I'm most impressed with the number of socks that were knit. I know many people like to challenge themselves to knit 12 pairs of socks in 12 months. I almost did it on accident. 

I also finally finished spinning the yarn for my blanket project. For the last 4 years, I've been working on spinning all the brown colored mill scraps I had collected while working at the Yolo Wool Mill into yarn. Before I left for New Zealand, I mailed all of the yarn off to a weaver. I'm not sure how the blanket will turn out or what size it will finally end up being. But there is enough yarn for about a Queen sized blanket. I'm looking forward to snuggling under it at some point.

This year proved to me that I have no idea what the future will hold, creatively or otherwise. What I do know is that I will continue to learn as much as I can about fiber and yarn. It still is a passion. But what form that will continually evolve.
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