Animals


This year was a bit of trying one all around.  While the SO & I were better off than a lot of folks, we still spent 3/4 of the year stressed about the future – there were times when we didn’t think we would make through. But instead of dwelling on the negative, I thought I’d end 2011 on some of the positives that happened.  With lots of pictures!

First was adopting our silly cat.
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Even when we were at our most depressed, Rorschach kept us sane & laughing.  She really is the best thing that could have happened to us.

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On that same note, volunteering at Pixie Project was one the things that made me the happiest this year.  A bit of animal therapy for me every week was what I needed.
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I ran my first 5K this year

my first 5k!

It was a lot of fun and I was very proud of myself.  I was never a runner but I was determined to complete it.  And I did pretty well actually!

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I got to finally see my beloved Red Sox play my second loved Mariners.  Even though the Sox lost (and ended up being the start of their horrible end of season) I had so much fun.

sox game

I also got to see the Blazers for the first time -in fact, I’ve seen them twice now!  It was a very sporty year.
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I got to travel more this year – mainly work related but it was all wonderful.

I went to OH in June for TNNA with my lovely coworkers.  Then a month later it was off to Boston where I visited 20 yarn shops for work.
MA trip

I got to reconnect with my dearest friends out there too
MA trip

Closer to home, I went to the coast with my Mom in the spring & again in the fall.  It was a good trip for both of us (and for Maddie the dog).
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We didn’t go to very many shows this year, but the few we did were great.  Eddie Vedder was probably my favorite, but I also saw Social Distortion, Thurston Moore, the Posies and a special performance by Wild Flag at OPB with only like 50 other folks.
wild flag

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Of course I knit a lot this year (it’s part of my job!)  Since I blog so much for work, it’s hard to find time to post to this blog.  In any case, I made a lot of stuff I’m very pleased with, including my favorite new sweater.
ProvidenceVert3

My friend Jenny is also an awesome photographer.

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It didn’t seem like I did a whole lot of reading but I read all three Girl With the Dragon Tattoo books (liked them all) and the three books in the Hunger Games (liked the first, didn’t think the others were as good) .  I seem to spend more time rereading Jane Austen (especially the new annotated versions of the novels).  I also discovered it’s far easier for me to listen to audiobooks – especially at work when I’m doing a lot of just data entry.  I joined Audible and made it through all 5 Song of Ice & Fire books (by George R. R. Martin – I’m pretty obsessed with the TV show as well) and my current favorite, Bossypants.
wpid-bossypants
I really do want to read more next year but I think it will mainly be audiobooks again.

I also I discovered I can’t live without the NPR Pop Culture Happy Hour podcast.  It really gets me through the week & relisten to them all the time.

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While 2011 was not a great year, I’m very thankful that the SO & I managed to get through it with our relationship still strong.  I think if we could get through the last 2 years, we can get through anything now
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I’m also thankful for our fantastic friends who were also a huge help in keeping us sane through 3/4 of the year  (especially Carmel & Shawn, who were actually with us at many of the events I mentioned above).  Love you all.

Here’s hoping for a wonderful 2012 for everyone.

So it’s been a rough start to 2011 for me and for the ones I love – too much personal stuff to go into here.  I’ve try to stay positive and I’m usually pretty good but sometimes I just get really down – early last week was a good example of that, just days of  hopelessness.  But then something happened that made it all better.

I have a new love

Rorschach

Meet Rorschach, our new kitty!  I’ve been working at Pixie Project, as I mentioned before and when I saw her on Friday morning, I fell in love.  She’s a tiny friendly kitty, between 9 months & a year old and just the cutest, sweetest cat I’ve ever met.  CB took a little convincing but once he met her, I don’t think he could resist.  He named her in fact.  I usually call her Rory though.

Picture 680

With her favorite toy, a little foam ball

She came home with me on Saturday and has fit right in.

I wish all my pictures weren’t so blurry, but she is constantly moving and I really should get a better camera.  We just absolutely adore her.  She has a very different personality than Mina, which I think is a good thing – I miss Mina so much – but I’m not constantly comparing them.  Anyway, she’s just making us both so happy and that’s a good thing.

And to be honest, it hasn’t been all gloom & doom since my last post, thought it feels like it sometimes.  So here are some more Good Things.

I had 2 “patterns” published

Semplice Fingerless Mitts

A  really simple fingerless mitts pattern – it’s so simple I feel silly calling it a pattern, I didn’t even add my name to it.  Anyway, I just wrote it up & knit up the sample in a weekend – it’s the one I use all the time.  And the nice thing about working for a yarn company, I have access to good photography – that’s my coworker Jenny – not to mention an outlet to publish it.

Put a Birdie On it Dishcloth

Once again another silly free pattern – several of us at work did them for our release of our new yarn.  This one was fun, thought I honestly don’t like to knit dishcloths – I crochet them now – but how could I resist not putting a bit of Portlandia on it?

As for my own projects, I finished a pair of sunny socks

Just basic top down socks out of Felici Sport Sunny Day. It’s been such a crappy grey spring again this year so I wanted a bit of sunshine on my feet.

I picked up this old project…and I’m finally almost done!

body done

Yep – this is Cables & Os that I started 4 years ago! I wrote a more extensive blog post on it here, but  now I’m done with the sleeves! Just need to sew it up & had the button band (and find buttons for it)

Oh and one more thing…I”m going to TNNA in June!  I’m so excited and I get to meet several of the designers I work with.

So that’s the happy things update – hope you all are well!

Mina

I didn’t talk about my kitty Mina a whole lot on this blog.   But she was always a big part of my life and my constant companion since she was a baby kitten.  This morning I had to say goodbye to her and my heart aches.

I got her from the Eugene Humane Society way back in 1995.  She was such a tiny little thing and in fact, wasn’t even my first choice of a kitten to adopt.  I had another kitty that I was going to adopt, but that kitten had already been adopted, so I chose the little black cat that cried all the way home.  But I never regretted for a single second that I ended up with her.

Mina and her new toy

I named her Mina, after the character in Dracula.  And she ended up being the best cat for me.  She was bratty & sweet and loved to play with her toys. And eat!  She was shy around strangers – she always hid when someone other than me was in the apartment or house.

mina, staring me down

She saw me though good times & bad – moving so many times, including a cross country move & back, relationships that started & ended, the death of my father and of course meeting & moving in with CoffeeBoy.   CB was never a cat fan, but he grew to love her just as much as me.

Mina & Chris

The past 6 months or so, I knew she wasn’t do so well she was losing a lot of weight & having other issues but there would be times when she would be perfectly fine, playing and eating normally. But the since mid-October, she started getting worse & worse. I took her to the vet & they basically said (in a very kind way, I loved them) there wasn’t much they could do for her, considering her age. But she still seemed like herself & not in pain so I brought her home. I’ve been giving her fluids & we’ve been keeping her safe & loved and with us at all times.
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I just wasn’t ready to say goodbye. Are we ever?
This morning I hugged her goodbye before I left for work and after discussing it with a dear friend at work who just lost her kitty last weekend, I knew we had to not be selfish & just bring her to the vet for the last time, as much as it hurt.
2 hours later, CB called me & told me she passed away.

I’m glad it was at home & she was with someone who loved her. I didn’t want it to be a vet’s office as much as it hurts right now.  She never liked to leave & it made sense to have her long & loved life end here.

It’s therapeutic writing this all down today, even though I’m crying my eyes out – writing always helps, I did something similar after my father passed away.
It’s just so hard to not think of her greeting me when I come home or following me around the house wanting food or attention. Hardest will be at night, as she always slept right next to me.
What is this?
Goodbye sweetheart. Thank you for spending your life with me and I will never ever forget you.

Oregon Flock & Fiber was last weekend, the 4th (and last I believe) of the fiber/knitting/yarn festivals I’ve been to this year.  I almost didn’t go. Saturday was an exhausting day for me – working 6am-3pm then heading to the outdoor Pearl Jam show. It was great show, but I got very cold & sick of the drunk & stoned assholes that seemed to be surrounding me where ever I went – I was stone cold sober, much to my annoyance, which made it worse.  I’ve loved Pearl Jam for a very long time – even before Ten came out – but after this show & the one in MA I saw last year, I’m realizing I hate their fan base.   Anyway, we didn’t get home until about 1am so it was a very long day.  But when I got up on Sunday, it was a gorgeous cool crisp fall day & something out there was calling to me.

Alpacas!  I love alpacas & I missed them at Black Sheep Gathering.

They are just so cute.  I want one!  But, uh, that’s not in the cards at the moment.

And there were Angora bunnies there too!  I actually hadn’t been to a fiber festival that had them so that was a treat.  I wanted to hold them, but felt bad because I wasn’t actually going to buy one.  Still, they were so cute.

And of course, I had to hit Blue Moon.  I’m realizing, especially with my current sock project (1 down!), I could knit socks only with STR & be perfectly happy. Of course, there are a few exceptions – Lotus Yarn most notably and of course the company I work for!   I behaved – I mean, I am very lucky to live close by a yarn store that sells it anyway and it’s not like I didn’t already buy a lot this year at BSG & Sock Summit.  But the sale & mill ends were too much to pass up.

The lighter one is a mediumweight mill end – I haven’t done any research on the colorway but it really called to me.  The other two are heavyweight in Jubilation – I think this is going to be scarf/shawl for me – I’m even thinking a Clapotis since I wear my other one so much.  But I will probably wait until after Christmas to start it

And believe it or not, that’s all I bought at OFF.  My allergies were kicking in so I didn’t stay very long (note: going to a fiber festival when you are already feeling crappy from allergies is not a good idea).  But it wasn’t the only yarn I got this week.  Check this out:

Yes, you are reading that tag correctly.  Mink & cashmere!  And yes, it is a soft as you would think it would be.  This is all very animal friendly – you can read about it on the Great Northern Yarns website – so I won’t be getting red paint thrown on me.  And the price was great – a member of the Ravelry group Yarnthropology – my fave group I always read but never post in – had listed it as her current favorite yarn & I figured it would be a similar price to say, quivet (ie expensive as hell).  But nope, this 100 gram DK weight skein was $19.90 – the same as most good sock yarns.  I had to try it out. And it’s going to be a lovely cowl for myself – I can’t wait to wrap it around my neck.

And you know what I’m most excited about?  It’s finally fall in the Northwest!  Time for baking & wearing wooly items.  Of course, I’ll be sick of it in a couple of months, I’m sure, but right now I’m so happy to not be sweating to death. 🙂

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