roadtrip


Ahem.

It’s been a crazy couple of months, obviously – not bad crazy but just trying to get used to a new lifestyle.  CoffeeBoy is back home for good, which is wonderful, and we’re still trying to find a happy medium of living together again after living apart for a year & half.  Work in progress, 2 steps forward, 1 step back most weeks.

I don’t mean to ignore this blog – I love blogging but mainly I only have the energy to blog my crafty projects on my work blog and more personal stuff/photos goes on facebook. So sadly this gets neglected.

I have been knitting/crocheting a lot, of course – not as much as when I lived in MA though, which is funny considering my job.  That long train commute really gave me the knitting time! But here’s some photos of what I’ve done recently:

Stacey'sSasquatch

Rolf, the Sasquatch

Beer Mitts!
Beer Pint Mitts

my model
Berruti for CoffeeBoy

Mittens
Inuvik mittens – yep that’s crochet

Not shown – a heck of a lot of stuff, including my Greenfield Cardigan which I wear all the time but never seem to be able to get pictures of.

Other stuff going on the past couple of months:

Spent a lovely weekend in Seattle:
IMG_5704

Got all dressed up for our wonderful friends’ wedding:
wedding photo

And had a Twin Peaks Halloween:
twin peaks halloween
Yes, I was the Log Lady. Funny thing about that, we came up with the idea one week before Halloween – and CB hadn’t really seen it, while several of us are fanatical.  It was a great time and plans are in place for Twin Peaks version 2.0.

Not shown is the cooking I’ve been doing (not great pictures), which has been really nice to actually cook for someone other than me!  Also not shown (with good reason) is the fact that I’ve started an intense (for me) Boot Camp for the next 6 weeks.  I’ve been doing pretty good with my weight loss – since I first got weighed at the beginning of August, I’ve lost about 20lbs – and probably more since I actually started working out in June.  It’s a great feeling.  I have about 15 more pounds to my New Years Eve goal, then another 20 to be back to my weight 4 & half years ago when I was at my slimmest.  I have a lot of support from my friends, and I’m having a great time.

Now I’m off to work on Christmas gifts – probably not as many handmade ones as usual – my grandmother asked for a sweater so of course I’m going to do that.  But I honestly hate working on it, so I’ve been working on smaller projects that I can’t post here.  But I’m determined to finish the sweater at least.

So that’s my life in a nutshell.  I do read everyone’s blog, even though I don’t comment very often so I’m still around that way 🙂  Hope you all have been having a great fall!

I don’t normally get too personal here – or anywhere really.  But it’s been a rough couple of months, mentally.  The thing about long distance relationships, you expect the long distance part to be over at some point and then when that date gets pushed back & pushed back & pushed back, it has a wearing affect on you.  And that has been getting to me.

Part of me feels my complaints are not nearly as bad as what others are going through and I shouldn’t be so down. My SO isn’t fighting a war in some distant land for years on end.  We both have jobs & are financially stable. We’re both healthy and have great friends & family.  So I keep such whining to myself for the most part- I may make the odd post on facebook or a passing comment to friends  but try my best not to have a pity party and have everyone feel sorry for us.  But it still has been getting to me a great deal.

And in this internet age, it’s not like we don’t have the option to “see” each other every day.  It’s not like when I was growing up – my father was in the Air Force and there would be months and years that he would be sent on TDY where we were lucky to get a letter or a phone call every couple of weeks.  We now have cell phones with unlimited minutes to anywhere in the US, gmail chat – even video chat.

But you can’t hug a video image.

And while I have a wonderful job and coworkers and fantastic friends & family that I spend time with, it makes me feel lonely sometimes.  It’s not the same.

So in the midst of yet another delay, other annoyances this week, and the prospect of an uncomfortably hot weekend in Portland – I had reached my breaking point.  So I took myself to the Oregon coast.

I love the Oregon coast – I will say it’s in my top 3 favorite places on earth. I felt my body instantly relax when I came around the bend and saw the ocean.

I found a perfect place – a hotel in Seaside with ocean view from the room and within walking distance of the Boardwalk (as opposed to right on it – way way way too many screaming kids).  It’s quiet and relaxing.

It’s my weekend dammit, so I decided to do some of my favorite things.

I listened to a lot of music.

I love Mumford & Sons. A. Lot.

I had a new book to read

behind the curve I guess.

I, naturally, had knitting.

Brattleboro Hat from my new fave knitting book, New England Knits

My room had a jacquzi so I had a little relaxing spa.

Um, I may have a problem with Lush...

I ate & drank.

And just attempted to relax.  I don’t know if I feel better.  I still feel sad & a little empty.  But I guess I’ll just keep managing.

Awake my soul...

For the most part, I feel like I’m a solitary crafter. I generally knit or do crafts by myself for various reasons – I don’t mind & most of the time like being alone with my thoughts, I can concentrate on what I’m doing, I don’t have to worry about anyone else being bored.  I do like going to Stitch N’ Bitches once in awhile – one day I need to make it back to the Lowell one with Amanda & Marianne – but for the most part I just knit or whatever on my own.

Well this week I branched out a bit.  

As Tuesday was a holiday and the trains into town were on a holiday schedule, I decided to just take the day off of work.  By lucky coincidence, my commuter buddy Britt had also taken the day off and was planning on making her first pilgrimage to WEBS with some friends.  I was invited along…and how could I resist?  I mean it’s WEBS!  

Of course, I did not take any pictures of the roadtrip.  It was a perfect day for a roadtrip too – chilly but clear for the most part.  I worked on my mom’s Christmas socks on the way over with Britt working on her socks & had a lovely time.  WEBS was fairly hopping, my guess because of the holiday. I kept my head for the most part with my purchases because I was concentrating on holiday gift knitting.  I did do the same thing I did last time – carry tons of yarn around before deciding against it & putting it back (in the correct place, thank you very much, I used to work in retail)  I love WEBS.  It’s ruined me for other yarn stores, at least for large purchases.

What I bought:

 

yarn yarn yarn

yarn yarn yarn

Most of these are for gift knitting – hats for my nephews, a scarf for…someone.  Sox for my sister.  But I had to get one thing for myself

 

Mmmmmm...stripey green alpaca socks....

Mmmmmm...stripey green alpaca socks....

I actually was looking for the new Malabrigo sock yarn, but sadly, I could not find it.  After looking at all kinds of sock yarn, I grabbed this at the last minute (literally, I was in line to pay and this was near me).  I love it and after all my gift knitting is done, it will be a nice pair of warm socks for myself.  Or maybe it’ll be a gift, but really, the colours are ME.

My other example of non solitary crafting this week was yesterday.  My best friend of 15 years is a papercraft addict – much like I’m a knitting fiend.  Every few months she hosts a gathering of scrappers (I think that is the correct term) and has invited me each time.  Well, papercraft isn’t really my thing but yesterday I took her up on it.  Glad I did, because it was really fun.  We each made 3 holiday cards.

 

my attempts

my attempts

I’m pretty pleased with mine – I still don’t think papercrafting is for me necessarily but it was really interesting.   I can see the appeal of it more now but for me to make these on a regular basis would involve buying a lot of items that would seriously cut into my yarn budget. 🙂  But now I have nice unique Christmas cards to send out this year.  

I think the BFF and I are going to have a craft night with some other crafty friends at some point where we teach each other our craft and make some things – she has an idea that we each bring a project from our prefer ed craft to show the others how to do and we each take a project home.  I’m trying to think of one I can do – I have a ton of size 7 & 8 dpns but I only use my Harmonies now.  Maybe I’ll put some caps on each of the old dpns and get some worsted weight yarn for each person and show how make…an ornament?   I want something small that can be finished in an evening.  That’ll take some thinking on.

So while I’m still pretty much a solitary crafter, I’m at least branching out a bit 🙂

Sundays have turned into the day to do quick projects.  For the past few Sundays, I’ve started & completed one project – I’ve done a couple of Calorimetrys (Calorimetries?) – one I wrote about, one for a swap gift and another one for myself that isn’t that exciting – as well as Boo (I’m actually making another Boo today actually).  So as I was trolling through my blogs the other day, I came accross a cute hat on one that my skein of Alpaca with a Twist Highlander was begging to be made into.  I whipped it up on my lazy Sunday & absolutly adore it.

 

This is my its my day off so nyah look

This is my "it's my day off so nyah" look

Highlander Hat

Started: October 12

Completed: October 12 (probably a total of 5 hours)

Yarn: Alpaca with a Twist Highlader, about 3/4 of a skien

Pattern:  Robin’s Egg Blue Hat

Needles: Size 9Us circ & dpns

Notes:  No mods on this hat at all – it came out perfectly.  I love this yarn so much – I made my Panta out of it nearly 2 years ago and a couple of hats for friends last year and it is just so perfect for small items like hats & scarves – soft, warm, and non itchy.  I don’t know if I would attempt a sweater of it  – bulky yarn + bulky body = not the look I’m going for – but it is one of my fave yarns.

I’m also loving how the button looks on it:

I picked this up at WEBS, thinking it would be for a sweater, but decided that it would be better suited for my hat since I only had one anyway.  I think hat will get a lot of use this winter – love the alpaca!

In non knitting adventures, I went on my first Leaf Peeping trip with my dearest friends and CoffeeBoy.  We had a wonderful time, up in the White Mountains in New Hampshire – it was a perfect day, sunny & cool and the leaves were stunning.  I couldn’t stop snapping pictures.  Here’s one I love, even though it doesn’t have as much of the pretty leaves in it.

 

Just a few of my favourite people in the world.  And their asses.

Just a few of my favourite people in the world. And their asses.

You can see all my Fall Foliage Tour pictures here.

My mom was here last week – the first time she’s ever stayed with me for an extended period of time and her first visit to the East Coast.  I wanted to show her a great time – we rarely get to spend a lot of time together, even in OR and she’s had a pretty stressful year.   So we had a day in Salem & Glouster, 2 days in Boston (including my first Duck Boat ride and a Jackson Browne concert), one day in Plymouth, and one day just hanging around here.

But the highlight, for me at least, was our roadtrip on Wednesday  I rented a car – my first time driving in MA- and made a (very pretty) journey to the west.

a yarn lovers mecca

a yarn lover's mecca

Most of the people thought I was crazy to rent a car to go to a yarn store (of course not you, dear reader).  But this is so much more than just A yarn store – this is THE yarn store.

Heaven on earth

Heaven on earth

Just like every first time visitor says, it’s so overwellming when you walk in. Luckily, I had written down some sweater ideas – the yarn weight and yardage – and had a $100 limit on yarn.  So we dove right in.  First thing we went to the back corner of the store, where there is a lot of sale items.  I picked out some yarn for the Braided Pullover from the new IK – I don’t remember what it was because I ended up putting it back. It was pretty though!  But while we were looking at the sale corner, I kept thinking, “this can’t be the crazy backroom I hear about so much.”  I wandered off and then immediately came back to my mom, “Mom, you’ve got to see this!”

I wish I got a picture of it – I was so overcome with yarn fumes, I didn’t even take the above picture until after we had left & ended up coming back in. The backroom.  Yes, the one that the Yarn Harlot herself wants to live in. Rows & rows of sale yarn. Boxes upon boxes of yarn.  My mom threaten to disown me for bringing her back there.

We spent the most time back there – putting things in the basket, taking them back out (I did not see the shopping carts, we just had a basket.)  At one point I had to step outside to regroup.  After about 2 hours, we made our purchases – my mom got some pretty Valley Yarns Deerfield for a reversable cabled scarf pattern (which she also picked up) and some wool for the felted hats & purses she loves to make.

I called her an amateur:

My yarn haul

My yarn haul

What we have here is: 6 skeins of Louet Riverstone (green) for possibly the Sunrise Circle Jacket or maybe Oblique, 13 skeins of Valley Yarns Superwash (rust) for possibly the Nantucket Jacket, and 3 skens of Valley Yarns Lenox (lavender) just because it was so soft & I had to have it.  I also got a gift for my Rubberneckers Swap partner, which is not shown here, of course.  With the exception of Riverstone, all were discountable so my total for yarn was $100.41.  Pretty good eh? Hee!  After I paid and took my purchase to the car, I forgot I wanted to get a couple other little gifts & buttons so I came back in.

I thnk my mom enjoyed her time as well.

Mom, reading the WEBS catalog

Mom reading the WEBS catalog while waiting for her crazy daughter to finish taking pictures.

WEBS was such a wonderful experience, it makes me wish I had a car so I could go there more.  The staff was all super nice & the selection…I think most yarn stores are going to pale in comparison from now on. (except my beloved Twisted, because they carry more indie dyer sock yarn – did you notice I bought no sock yarn at WEBS?).  And I’m glad I got to go with my mom – while she isn’t as nutty as a knitter as me, she enjoyed it as much as I did.  And after leaving WEBS, we went up to Vermont, which she said was the highlight of her trip. (It is really beautiful there although we didn’t spend much time there – next time.)

My mom left yesterday morning (6 am flight – eek!) and I will miss her.  I mean, it’s nice to get back to normal life in a way, but deep down I’m a little girl who loves & misses her mommy a lot.  She had a great time for her first visit to the East coast and I’m glad I got to show it to her.

I’ve started a new project, but I’ll save that for a new post.

Oh that’s right…outside of Kansas City, MO. This is the first time I’ve been able to use my computer…so here are some quick shots of our drive so far.

One last sunset in Oregon

Kissing Camels rock in the Garden of the Gods in Colorado

Twilight fields in Kansas…I had to take one picture of the fields.

We are having a nice time but very exhausted, even with our 3 day break in CO. Only 2 more days of driving!

You can see the entire set of pictures so far here.

More knitting to come!

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