Monday, August 31, 2015

Silver Falls Oregon

While we were in Oregon we didn't just visit yarn shops. We gave Mother Nature a how do you do? too.

Silver Falls is lovely park. D had taken a hike there earlier this year with his brother. We had a choice between a few hikes. As much as I would have loved to see Mt. St. Helens, I knew the drive and hike would do me in. I had also heard about Crater Lake but alas that was too far too. I knew we had a two hour drive to and from the beach the day after so we settled on going South and I'm glad we did.

We hiked a beautiful alternative. After grabbing a tasty quick lunch at the lodge. I can recommend their veggie sandwich. We headed out.

Impressive trees with moss covering all the branches. At least the ones I could see. Oregon, ya'll have some impressive, tall trees.

Now Oregon is battling drought and forest fires but they still had water going over falls. I did wonder if it would be a falls-less hike.

I know this is South Falls but I can not remember if it is Upper or Lower South Falls. Since it was South of the other falls I am going to say Lower South Falls.

You get to walk under this huge slab of carved out stone behind the waterfall. I being the short woman I am did not have to duck. D not being the short woman that I am did need to duck. Quack Quack tall man coming through.

Not a heck of a lot of water but still inspiring.

See I told you Oregon has some impressive trees. Even their hollowed out trunks are huge. D kept encouraging me to go back further. Since I don't know what other kinds of animals like to hide in tree trunks I politely declined. I think it sounded like "Take the picture, I'm getting out of here!"

Oh I bet I was wrong. I think this is the Lower South Falls because it is lower elevation? Either way Lower and Upper South Falls get two thumbs up.

We stayed be hind this one for a while since the day was hot and it was nice and cool, right here.

Not only are the trees massive the leaves are too. Hey Adriene, here is a Maple Leaf for you. 

At the end of the hike I was indeed sweaty and happy.

D looks cool and collected as always.

Sometimes I just have to forgive him for that. And realize that I take at least a third more steps than he does.

We drove through some lovely farming country too. The little farm girl in me always likes to drive through farm country. But no pictures because I was driving. We did see some fields that looked like they had been controlled burned. Any ideas as to why? Is it a common practice or to stave off forest fires in a drought year?

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Portland Yarn Hopping

We were lucky enough to vacation in Portland Oregon again. I don't know what was going on (17 bridges ride?) but that bridge above and in front of us? Full of bicyclists. The road was closed to traffic unless you were two wheeled and were your own motor. 

Pretty neat! But traffic was not.

While we were in Portland, my lovely Hubby navigated me to four, yep you read that right, four yarn shops.  Coming back from the first one we saw this little horse sitting next to the recycle and trash bins. I was so sad at the thought of someone throwing her away.

Then I got close enough to see the real picture...she's tethered to her own parking spot. Not trash just someone with my sense of humor.

I think it was interesting to see how they're all similar yet different. I mean they all sold yarn but the stock varied from store to store more than I thought it would. It was also interesting to see how Twisted had changed. They all had comfortable Hubby seating. He was quite pleased with that. He never knows if he is going to be shushed into a corner or worse.

I think that my stash is in a different phase than it was a few years ago too. I find myself considering my choices more. I tend not to get things that I already have but have not yet used. (Yikes I still have a skein of yarn from the last Portland trip five years ago!) That is part of the reason some of the stash marinates and some does not. Why buy more if you have no idea if you really like knitting with it? If I am going somewhere that may have a yarn in a different color I have to actually use up the first yarn. So it has to either be new to me yarn or yarn that I have tried/liked, not just bought and stashed. It seems silly to buy more yarn if I don't know if I really like the yarn base or just the colors. If I haven't knit with it why get more of it? (None of you will quote me on this when I go to Rhinebeck, right?)

So in order of appearance, I give you Yarnkettle and Hubby mini Portland yarn crawl.

I so wanted to see Twisted again. The big wall of sock yarn that I loved is split up. I was rather sad to see it go, you know how I love my sock yarn. I wanted to try out Hazel Knits, so I picked out a skein and D picked one out. Can you tell which is which? They had Socks That Rock (STR) but again I have some skeins still in my stash and I finished a pair of STR socks on my way to Portland. Never fear my love for STR is not gone just currently satisfied. (You're not going to quote me on that either, I hope.)

Twisted was nice enough to tell me about Close Knit. A store I had heard about but forgot to look up. They used a very popular ice cream place being near as a selling point for D. Sadly we were too full from lunch to enjoy ice cream. I picked up a locally dyed yarn and one of my seemingly mandatory vacation Zauberballs. It was a shop that used all its limited space very well. D enjoyed reading Pete the Sheep Sheep and Where the Wild Things Are. The color in the Bumblebirch blue yarn is mesmerizing. Every time I pick it up I find myself just gazing at it. Good thing it is call Celestial, then I can pretend I'm thinking deep universal thoughts, not just ooooo pretty

Happy Knits had a huge room in the back for classes and knitting sessions. D was happy to have some room to stretch out in. Hmm I guess that it really does make it happy knits. Oh I am funny. They had a nice selection of sock yarns but it felt silly to buy a yarn local to me (Jill Draper Makes Stuff), only to transport it back to NY. I most likely could just buy it at a festival. I had to talk myself into getting Manos De Uruguay but I really love the socks I made from my previous vacation yarn. I thought about Black Trillium and Sweet Georgia, both have been or are in my stash, the colors they had did not call to me as much as I thought they would. I did find a skein of MadTosh to make another Honey Cowl. I wonder if Jack will look as good in that one?

We crossed the river to check out Dublin Bay Knitting Co. They had the best picture of the "Irish Boys" (cats) threatening your kneecaps if you took yarn into the restroom to steal. I made D go read it too. They were the biggest shop and had some truly lovely stuff, especially their Solstice yarns. But some were out of my personal price range. I'm sure they are worth it but just not for me, at this time. I ended up getting Three Irish Girls in two colors. They are a brand that I had heard much about. My camera messed with the colors but they are beautiful.

While we were blocks away we could not resist a trip to Powell's City of Books. As always a book store the size of a city block is overwhelming and fun. So many books! I found a used copy of A Fine Fleece for a great price and almost giggled when I picked it up. (I may have even growled protectively. There were no knitters present to witness my disgraceful behavior.) This was one of the books that slipped by me on its first run through life.

So there you have it. I still can not believe that I really do like orange now. Yep the stash, it changes.

I'm off to wind a skein of yarn, I don't know how I've resisted this long. Oh right! I had to get pictures first...

Thursday, August 13, 2015

My New Model

My handsome boy decided to model my knits for me. 

Mom, are you sure this is a good idea?

Oh I like the stitch you used!


Maybe you should knit me a sweater.

Auntie Lizard, Momma says this is yours once she washes my fur out of it. Don't worry it is fully Jack approved.

Monday, August 10, 2015

As promised

So even though the kitchen has been done for months, you poor people have not seen it. Ready to oooo and ahhh?

First up can I just say how nice it is to have a sink and faucet back in the kitchen? It was Grrreat!

Especially when we did not need to hike to the bathroom for tea water. Oh poor me having to walk a few extra steps for clean water delivered to my house.

Jack really likes the new countertop area. He found he cannot jump very well off of the new flooring so he only jumps from the dining room side. Which means half of my counter space is safe from kitty paw prints. 

The new kitchen is just what I wanted. We decided the wine rack area is of more use to us if we use it as a tea rack instead. 

 Now it is starting to get the lived in look. Which I think is better because I can bake in it now. I did have a moment of trepidation before I used my cast iron skillet on my new stove top. D just looked at me and said are you going to get rid of your cast iron?


Then you should just use it. And so far it has worked well for me. I am very careful not to slide pans across the top, but then I already was programed to not slide things. All's well.

I love it and am so happy we did it. One of my baking days I will show off my new baking area. It has been too hot to bake so maybe in a few weeks. 

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Things I have learned

I have two handsome old men living with me.

One of whom is rather cranky in his old age.

Can you spot the funny in the picture above? I'll zoom in for you even though I am laughing pretty hard.

Is it just me or is that a look of terror in his little plastic eye?

The couch is not a proper storage area for your knitting/knitting needles.

I lost three needles, but am so happy the couch was the only punctured thing. 
I did warn D but after a long day at work I pretty much sound like the Peanuts adults to him, wah waa wah wana.

Mom's foot makes a reasonable old guy pillow.

Even when it is not encased in new socks.

I felt so guilty about having socks only for me on the needles that I cast a pair on for D while these were still on the needles. It is not like he has nothing to wear, its just that I have that excuse to a way lesser degree. Now if I can just figure out how to jazz up a pair of plain chestnut brown socks. 

Sunday, July 12, 2015

On Reading

Over on Goodreads they have a reading challenge that starts at the first of the year. Last year my goal was 35 books, I read 52, a book a week, not too shabby. Although I did talk to someone the other day that scoffed at the number before she knew I was proud of it. To call her an avid reader is like saying cats like to sleep.

I'm on track with my reading goal so far. I hit the mid point just as the year hit the mid point. I've been behind a couple of times but have ramped right back up. I'm pretty happy about it.

I've told you before I read the same way I knit. I currently have four books going, one audio, one kindle, and two paper. I have found that the media helps keep stories separate. My two paper books were ill timed since they are the same author just different series. I could have used media to keep them separate.

I really like reading romances on my kindle so I don't have to hide the cover of the book. I never like people knowing I was reading about heaving bosoms. Even when I was not reading about bosoms, it is assumed romance novels are just trashy. Personally I like my books to have a plot, even if it includes a lot of swooning. I just started Desperate Duchesses by Eloisa James. I had started the third book in the series before I realized it was a series.

So tell me if I am the only one, when I find a series of books, I usually do some research and start from the beginning. This can be problematic especially with a long series since hopefully authors hone their skill as they write. The books should steady improve. But how many and how bad to they have to be to stop you from going on with a series? Recently if I had only listened to the first book in a series (Hamish MacBeth by M.C. Beaton) I never would have continued. Since it was a package deal and I was running low on audio books I listened to the slightly better second book. I am still rather torn if I will continue.

What is the harm of starting with the best book first? Well there is really no harm just a big part of me that likes to read them as the author wrote them. By doing this how many good books have I talked myself out of reading? Surely the best book of a series is rarely the first or second book. Why should I struggle through the bad when I could just skip it? Get to the part of the story that I am drawn to, not the endless introductions.

Yeah I have not found the answer to that one yet. I did try skipping ahead in a series to a title I've always been drawn to, I did not like it. (Sticks & Scones by Diane Mott Davidson) Sometimes the author may improve but I still don't want to spend time with the characters they've created.

And the whole never ending love/like triangle? Joanne Fluke, I'm looking at you. Don't even get me started! Pick a dude damn it. Which one will it be? Will she won't she? I certainly know who won'

And speaking of things that annoy me...cliffhangers. (OK this one is directed at a TV show.) A very big part of me views this as a lazy storyteller. If you can not write an ending, I certainly am not going to supply one. I know I am probably in the minority on that issue.

Sometimes I like to read about things that I would never ever do, climbing Mt. Everest (Into Thin Air), hiking the Pacific Coast Trail (Wild), biking cross country (I forget the title). For the most part I enjoyed these books because they were the type of adventure I enjoy...arm chair.

You can lose yourself in a place that you would not normally be. Plus you get to meet people that you would never want to actually spend time with.

Oddly enough books are one of the ways that my sister and I connect even though we have wildly different tastes. I can thank her for getting me into mysteries and detectives again.

Anyways that is what I've been thinking about and reading recently.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Proof of Yarn Love

Ah what a funny but confused Hubby I have. I opened my blog to find I had already "written" a post. If I ever find "all fiber bearing animals to be utterly repulsive"...WOW I don't even know what I would do. Shave a couple of cats?

Anyways it seems I must prove to you that I indeed still love almost all things wooly and furry.

Into the Whirled Glouchester Sock Children of Time colorway

See that is how much of a sock I can get done while at the last local showing of the new Avengers movie. I had ripped back this yarn a few times months ago because it was pooling a not appealing way. It has been sitting in time out for months now. It is still kinky from all my previous attempts. After knitting on it for hours in the dark, not knowing what it would look like, I gotta say two stitches really do matter. I am loving this.

Jack would like you to know he is not in fact a shaved cat. See all that shiny fur?
Nobody needs to call the ASPCA on my Momma, OK?

Sock That Rock Lightweight - Flambeau
These socks were started and knit on in a church council meeting. I think I may be getting them used to the idea of my knitting at these events. Two hours of committee talking without knitting? Perish the thought!

Dragonfly Fibers Djinni Sock - Starry Night

See I've still got my eyebrows and whiskers and everything. Mom was just making a joke, OK?

Sarah, does that colorway remind you of anything? You know that one gorgeous painting that you cross stitched? Hopefully mine won't take a few years, but then again I' not framing mine either. Unless we redefine wearing them on my feet as framing. 

My cowl is finished too. But those pictures deserve their own post. Let's just say Jack may get a sweater.

So the world can keep on spinning, I still love fiber, yarn, my kitties an my hubby.