Wednesday, December 28, 2016

A kick in the priorities

Sitting next to my hubby while is in a hospital bed. Not how I thought I would spend the day, but ever so thankful we're here together.
Hopefully I can enjoy the cafeteria soon. I helped hubby eat some lunch.
We're taking all the prayers we can get. Thanks everybody.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

No longer feeling Wahoo about snow

How much snow did it take to make me change? I don't honestly know, it was half an inch to a couple of inches. It really was not the snow but the commute that took away my joy.

I am so very thankful for many things, no damage to me or my car, and not having to spend the night in my car. Also few more things, the kindness and helpfulness of Portlanders, living somewhere with public transportation that ran through the night, and the lovely restaurant called Basta Trattoria.

I started working again on Monday. I was pretty darn excited to be working in a new town and job. I was a bit worried about driving around Portland but I knew I could handle it. Until the snow hit us on Wednesday. It does not take much to affect a town full of bridges and hills. A town that has a healthy respect for precipitation and below freezing temperatures. It does not matter if you and your vehicle are experienced with snow, different towns have different challenges, compacted snow and ice takes no prisoners.

I left work going my new normal route, for only my third time. There is a whole long saga of calls, decisions and going nowhere. I even hopped a guard rail and walked into a bar to use the restroom. Suffice it to say that it took me four and a half hours to get less than three miles and I was ever so happy to get there. I was trying to figure out how to get off the road when I looked over and saw Basta's parking lot. I pulled in with the intent to beg them to let me stay in their parking lot for a few hours while roads were hopefully cleared of ice, wrecks and abandoned cars. As I walked into this lovely place the thought hit me that I could have dinner. I can not tell you what a revelation the thought of nice hot food was. I asked the server for a recommendation, since my brain was still busy telling me how nice it was to not have a foot on the brakes. She recommended Gnocchi e Maiale: wild mushrooms, marsala, grilled peppercorn encrusted pork tenderloin. I can not tell you the magnificence of that meal. Such an oasis of calm and flavor.

After dinner I was feeling them out about leaving my car there if need be. They assured me that they would call to place it on the do not tow list and gave me a card to put on my dash just in case. I did try to find a way home before looping back around and parking again. I figured safe in my car in a parking lot was better than burning gas parked on the road.

After about half an hour I started looking at alternate news of the traffic. Google had assured me the whole time that I was only on a delayed 50 minute commute, all six to seven hours of my ordeal by that time.

I noticed that the MAX light rail would continue to run through the night to help commuters and to keep the tracks clear. Lucky for me during my loop of the area I knew a MAX stop was near to me. After assuring Hubby I am a tough girl...OK fine he assured me I am indeed a tough girl, I started walking. It was surreal to be out on the streets of a city, alone at 11pm and feel perfectly safe. I even passed a cross country skier taking advantage of the conditions.

Hubby came to pick me up from the station and I walked in the door around midnight. A nice long eight hour commute. I did drift off to sleep seeing tail lights lining the road in front of me. I also woke up a few hours later ever so thankful to be safe and warm in my bed.

Yesterday my 40 minute commute seemed like nothing.

Everyone I spoke with was kind and helpful. Portland you are indeed weird but you're nice too.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Snow Wahoooo!

This happened this morning.

It stuck around for a few hours and has gone now. But there is nothing like snow to make me feel like home, finally. Even if it was just a bit.

Burt liked watching it fall, knowing he was safely inside, warm and dry. I made myself a cup of tea and enjoyed the view.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Favorite Time of the Year - Burt Edition

Hubby blindsided me with a question the day before Thanksgiving, Do you know where the tree is?

First of all, I am still mostly back in July or August in my mind only now we have cooler weather. When did November get here? I may just refer to this as the missing year.

Second, part of me thought we would not put up a tree this year. Of course that idea was raised in the middle of the move, when we had not yet seen the apartment. We were not sure if we would have space.

Anyways I did indeed have an idea where the Christmas tree was stored. We pulled it out and brought it upstairs, then we looked at Burt... How would our used-to-live-outside kitty adjust to having a fake tree appear in his space? Especially since it smells like our old house and Gus and Jack. You've seen the pictures Gus loved the tree almost as much as me.

We pulled out, put together, and fluffed the tree. I promptly dissolved into memories and tears. So many emotions. We fought so many battles while the tree was up. Gus always seemed to fall ill in the winter. I'm know he fell ill the rest of the year too, but we always wondered if each Christmas was his last. And Jack went so fast it was hard to believe he was no longer here.

So after the tears we decided to leave the tree up undecorated to see how Burt would do with it. If we came down the next morning and it was laying on the ground... maybe only the lights would go on it.

Burt did a thorough investigation of the plain tree. He was figuring out how to climb it and tried to sharpen claws on the metal trunk. Then he laid down underneath and accepted that we put up fake trees in this house for some reason, most likely not for kitty entertainment?

The next evening we decorated our still standing tree.

Burt was delighted! Maybe it is an entertainment system.

He did follow Daddy out to the kitchen to see if mousie wanted to play.

Then it was time to admire all the dangling ornaments.

We decided to put Gus's bed underneath as with years past. D put the shawl of healing in too. 

The next day I saw the tree move a bit. I heard a cat toy rattle and a bell jingle slightly.

Gus said I could play with his shawl! He did!

He said it might heal you, Momma, to see this.

Yes Burt, that does help me feel better. Remember no knocking over the tree though.

I'm trying not to Momma! 
I do love Christmas!

Monday, November 28, 2016

Swatch It

A couple of Rhinebecks ago I picked up the pattern for Catkin. I had seen this shawl at many a festival. It was alway so striking to me. The perfect shape and with buttons to keep it in place. 

I safely tucked the pattern away for "one day". You know how it goes, one day when I have more time, one day when I want to be day after a huge move?

Yep, I took myself off to one of the local yarn stores to get some air conditioning back in July. They even had to wind up the yarn since my swift was not accessible. I searched and searched for the right color combination, and settled on the Civil War...the blue and the grey. 

The yarn is from a dyer across the river from us in Vancouver Washington, Alpha B Yarn. I had seen her wares on Ravelry and am so happy to say I now have easy access to them. I just could not resist picking them. I did wrestle with the colors and changed my mind several times... only partial due to the ability to stay in the air conditioning for a while longer.

Finally, I decided Crater Lake and Strong Gale suited my tastes for the best. I read through the pattern and thought, maybe I should have done that before buying it. Hold on, the designer starts you off with a lovely swatch, I can knit a swatch!

As I ripped back my first attempt, I convinced myself that, no really I can knit a swatch properly.

I then did indeed sort out my brain and knit a proper swatch. Lovely isn't it?

I was so overwhelmed with my ability to knit correctly that I promptly abandoned my swatch for some socks. Turns out it was a lot of socks that needed to be knit before I could think of knitting a shawl. There are still quite a few on the needles getting my attention. 

Do you think I can wash the swatch and measure it still on the needles? I hate to waste yarn on swatches. But then again it would make a lovely coaster. One of a kind you could say. Just let me find my tape measure before I put this away. On second thought, it would be really nice to have another shawl, one that stays put hopefully...

So many projects to work on...I am a lucky knitter!

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Knitting Parade

I don't want you to think that all I'm doing since we moved here is buy yarn, but I bought some yarn.

And it is not even local yarn, it's from WEBS, you know they claim to be America's yarn store so maybe I can call it local?

No I don't think so either. D had asked me where his red sweater was located since the move. I gave him a weird look and said you don't have a red sweater. He was so convinced that he did that I had to go check my project page on Ravelry to confirm that I knit a red sweater for me, not D. We settled on a nice wine color of red.

Their price on sock yarn was a compelling reason to get sock yarn that would match because I've not knit him any red socks either. I also had to pick up some Eucalan since I gave away the little I had. I'm going through more wool wash since I started hand washing socks. I don't trust the machine here not to eat them. Before I got here D called me to ask about washing clothes, especially socks. I asked if he had enough to make it through till I got there. When he said yes, I said don't wash any of them till we know if the machine plays nice. I still have not decided yet. Boy does it take longer to dry socks in damp Oregon. It seems to be about triple the time here, but maybe I'm still adjusting to everything.

Hey we have not had a knitting parade in a while, how about one now? 

This is some yarn I picked up because I was not able to repair some holes in D's shocking orange socks. It looks alright here but there is more pink than I thought there would be, good think I don't have the same rule about no pink hubby socks as the lady from the library did. The bag is a birthday gift from D, along with some yarn that I forgot to show you. Guess we have fodder for another blog post.

This is some Into the Whirled yarn from Rhinebeck that called to me on an overcast day here. We are having quite a few days like that, who would have thought that in the Pacific Northwest. (I think NY is getting snow today so no complaining from this camp, just colorful yarn.)

Ahh my socks that were bought and started at my first knit night here are almost done. (Actually are done this morning, shh don't tell the knitting police.)

This yarn continues to frustrate the heck out of me. I bought it in 2009 and have tried to knit socks out of it several times. The two colors pool half and half, no cool swirling stripes, just utter division. It looks so odd, like the sock cannot make up its mind which color to be. I'm even trying my magic cubic needles that usually gets my knitting to behave nice. Nada!

What do you think should I give up and just use this yarn to mend other socks? Maybe as toes on socks that run low? It even resisted me during a shawl phase. Maybe I should just take it to the knitting guild and give it away?

Oh I did not tell you! I went to my first knitting guild meeting. I'd say there were 50 to 60 people there. They had a lady give a talk about socks, and you all know I love hearing about socks. It was interesting and I met a couple of very nice people that like talking about yarn and knitting. They even do a show and tell to close out the evening. I do believe I will be going back for next month's holiday party.

I attended a volunteer orientation for the shelter I adopted Burt from. Now if I can resist coming home with a brother or sister for Burtie Burt. I can tell you Burt can be a lap cat if there is a chill in the air. We have spent some quality knitting time together recently. I could not be more happy with the idea. Burt just wants a warm butt...

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Knitting Tales to Tell

Well my friends I continue to knit my little fingers off. At this rate I will have to buy more yarn, oh bother. I am using some of my knitting time to catch up my sadly neglected knitting journal. It was only a year and a half behind when I started working on it. When you get busy it is more important to blog than write in a journal only you will read. Still important but wow the catching up is taking me for a walk down memory lane. For instance I just logged this yarn in as a Rhinebeck purchase from last year.  

Fiber Optic Foot Notes in Prism Break

Yay that means I am only a year behind now. Anyways I don't love how it is working up but I've got more than a half of sock done... and I am strongly resisting the urge to cast something else on. I've only got two socks on the needles and I think it may be getting to me.

I ordered some yarn for a new sweater for D and was anxiously awaited its arrival. Just as I was about to email the company to inquire when it would be shipped, just like that it had been sent off. Anyone in the midwest want to wave to my yarny plane?

While I was picking out the yarn I showed it to D and he was amazed at the price. He thought all my yarn was as valuable as my fancy sock yarn. But hey I can economize and knit a sweater for under fifty too, and I get all the fun of playing with the yarn for a month or so. Ooo and he can claim to have another bespoke sweater. Quite a value.

In other knitting news D spotted a knitter in the wild for me and we had a lovely conversation. D and I were attending a talk at the library when he pointed out a cute bag covered in sheep. Turns out the bag contained a sweater in progress. We had a lovely chat after I showed of my sock in progress and the socks we were both wearing. We may have even convinced the knitter to knit some pink socks for her hubby. She claimed that he should not wear "girlie" colors. Good thing my hubby is confident enough to wear anything I knit for him. I will however hold off pink sweaters for the time being. 

And you all know Burt wants to make an appearance on the blog. This was from a while ago. The first time he joined me for making dinner. That cute little kitty cutout behind him says The only self cleaning thing in the house is the cat. I bought it years ago and now I have the matching cat!

The astute among you will recognize My Favorite Sheep mug which always makes my tea taste better.

I think I smell the bread I am baking, such a lovely smell, if you'll excuse me.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Rhinebeck-Free Chicken Socks

Burt and I are negotiating lap time. I was hoping for a knitting companion so you know that I love this. We did discuss knitting on Burt pictures and he thinks they are OK, especially when we're feeling all cozy. 

Yes indeed he did allow me to knit some socks. I love the colors on these! Hmm these seem to be complementary to Burt too. I think my cat color is influencing my sock colors?! Wait I bought this yarn before we even thought about getting Burt. Whew.

Socks That Rock lightweight in the Free Range Chickens colorway. I just love the feeling of new socks. I did a bit of a weird needle mashup. The cubic needles I have make me knit just a bit tighter. Which works out well for getting nice color changes like you see above. But I still need a loose enough sock to get it on my foot, so I subbed in one of my round needles with four cubic needles. Just enough stretch to make a nice sock with great color pooling stripes.

Burt spent some of his time supervising from his newest perch also know as the spa. He hopped up and started to take a bath in it, plus he does his own nails on the scratching post below.

I brought home a new toy the other day and Burt fell in love with it. The mouse is tucked under his head here.

It is called a Cat Catcher, it is the little bristly mouse on a wire attached to a short stick. My friend Burt is so possessive of his wee mousie that he tries to back away and run with it. He is so sure he will win tug of war that he pulled the string out of his mouse while growling at me. Sort of a my mouse, low growl.

I had to reattach the mouse but further play means it is falling apart. Mousie time is limited till I can get a replacement.

I told Burt that the mouse is not as much fun when he gets grabby like that but he remains unconvinced. He thinks he may be "sorry" if that is what I need to hear.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Now Including Knitting with Burt

Oh yes Casa del Burton has been picture happy lately. First he thought he would provide complementary color to the sock I'm working on for D.

I gotta show them my white bits too, so they can really see how close it is.

Then before Momma could find some missing socks for D some clearance yarn made its way to our house. It was indeed a good value.

Psshaw Momma you just really like knitting socks for Daddy. 
You did find some missing from the move socks so it is not quite so dire.
I will say it is a nice manly business brown color though, suitable for suit wearing days.

Let me see that first sock again. It is a bit wild for suit days. 
But see how nice it goes with my just discovered bed though...

No really it is fine I don't want to destroy knit things, yet?

So here is a collection of what I've been knitting lately. My Rhinebeck-Free Chickens is on the left. I love how it is knitting up sorta stripy. D's Burt approved Majesty sock on the top. And D's knit night sock that I am mostly working on at, you got it, knit night. I'm enjoying getting out and meeting some other knitters.

Momma, that is not all the socks you're knitting is it?

No Burt it is not but they are all the ones handy at picture time is that OK with you? 

OK just don't drape any on me and take funny pictures.
What do you mean it is part of my job?
I did not see knitwear model on that contract you signed, but you know I am pretty darn cute, it may have been implied.
Oh and that sweater you left on the bed the other day was nice and toasty...

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Missing Rhinebeck

I received an email earlier this week and a text this morning. My knitting buddies are missing me at Rhinebeck as much as I am missing them this weekend.

I did have an inspiration this week and I did a bit of stash diving and found a skein of Socks That Rock from last year's visit. I wound it up bright and early on Saturday and let it sit for a bit. I cast on Free Range Chickens that evening.

So now I get to create new memories from "old" yarn. I've knit a cuff so far. We also decided to enjoy ourselves with a new tradition of going to Powell's bookstore. Hey I am a love the one you're with kind of gal. If I cannot go to an awesome fiber festival, however I can go to an awesome book store. Honestly for a book lover like me it is great living so near it.

I'll see if I can insert some yarny pictures tomorrow. In the meantime I am calling my socks Rhinebeck Chickens.

I was able to see some lovely pictures from Rhinebeck thanks to gracious people I know. They even enjoyed a falafel for me. Knitting friends, I still have them.

This picture? Because the blog would implode if I did not post a picture of Burt here. He was a bit cranky today because Momma was upstairs working on her resume and we did not enjoy couch time this morning. Burt leads a tough life and it must mute his colors when he is upstairs. He is not as orange more of a perfectly toasted marshmallow color. Don't ya just love his whiskers though?

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Burt has eyes

I know with the pictures I've posted that it is hard to believe but our Burt does in fact have eyes. And they are open part of the day.

See? You'll notice that he is not even laying on the couch, another shocker I know. I wonder what he is laying on?

Momma, you're ever so squishy and comfy. Oh you're warm too. I think I like it here.

I was wrong. I think I love it here!

It is hard to say who is falling in love faster. Right now I think we're neck and neck, literally.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Work, work, work

Oh yes indeed, we're working very hard at settling in here. 

Burt seems to enjoy his blanket. We had to make a quick trip home to South Dakota. Burt took his blankie to the vet's office for a stay. They did ask several times if it was OK if the blanket could get soiled. Uhm, yeah it is his blankie we know sometimes poop happens.

Yes ever so busy settling in. It takes quite a bit of work getting this comfortable this fast.

No really it is tough going! Mom moved her knitting bags into my space because she broke a knitting needle by leaving it on the couch seat. I really don't understand, why I am being punished?

I even pointed out how she left her knitting unattended. She is working on putting it away properly, now. 

Burt, do you want to talk about how the chicken bones were properly put in the trash, yet you found them? Mommy had to call the vet!

I don't want to talk about it. In my defense if you think Chickie tastes good imagine how good pilfered Chickie tastes! I don't regret a thing. And what did the vet tell you to do for me anyways? Feed me frequently for the rest of the evening. Clearly my pay off monies are going to the right person. (Dr Rosie I love you!)

Can I have an advance on my allowance?

So I finished the pair of socks on display two pictures above and thought what yarn should I cast on? My mind went to the yarn I got in Canada for some reason.

I wonder why? Do you think maybe because it is complementary to my Burt?

Monday, September 26, 2016

Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival

Or you could call it OFFF as I have been doing leading up to last weekend. I guess I kinda knew what season we were headed into but the leaves took off this weekend. I blinked last week and they turned, I blinked again and they fell off.

Anyways back to the yarny goodness, I attended my first OFFF. I'll just get this out of the way right now, it is not Rhinebeck. I never expected it to be so we're all good. It is smaller than Rhinebeck and I can honestly say I loved the less competitive feeling. I didn't once feel the urge to rip a skein of yarn from some strangers hands. (I'd still jump at the chance to go to Rhinebeck again, but I could breathe here.) OFFF has no entrance fee either, looks like I can add that money back into the yarn budget.

You know what else OFFF has in its favor? No Sales Tax! So much easier to not be counting out change. Even lunch is easier without tax. I represented for Punkin's Patch by wearing my T shirt. I of course had tea with Sara's sheep before I left for the festival too. What I had to keep my eyes on the prize anyway I could! Oh right it is less competitive here, OK I was just getting into the right frame of mind, sheepful not at all competitive.

As I hit the road I saw something a bit different here too. Boise State was headed down to play Oregon State. Oops, I just went over to check and make sure I had the right schools, looks like Boise won. College football is big here, something else I am adjusting to.

So I know you all love pictures of yarn as much as I love taking them. 
Shh...just act like it's true OK?

Five skeins of sock yarn, eight ounces of fiber to spin and a cute little sheep to love.

 Huckleberry Knits had many a tempting item, so I came home with one of each. 

 Fierce Fibers had a couple of great colorways. 

OK fine the name of this dyer (Boss Kitty) caught my eye but I stayed and paid for the yarn!

We were reminded on Ravelry to make sure we visited the barns to see the animals too, some of the farms had booths set up there so I had to bring home a new friend. Darn it I should have texted the Hubby to tell him I was bringing home a sheep to keep Burt company. Oh he would have realized it was an empty threat anyways.

The other nice thing about visiting the barns was being able to buy right from the farmer (Springsong Farm). Isn't that some lovely fiber? I need to email her and ask what the mix was again. I wasn't even going to buy more but the farmer was so enthusiastic and the fiber is so nice, and not a breed I've worked I really need to keep making excuses? 

I'm afraid I may have intimidated Burt with his new job requirements. 

He did not know a knitter's cat is the official yarn inspector.

He took to his job as all new cats do...lying down.
It is hard to inspect yarn while the sun shines!

I just wanted to get another yarny picture in here. I do love yarn.