Willamette in Progress

Crappy pictures or no, I’ve decided to post more this year.  When it comes to sharing in this space, I am often held back by the lack of good photos.  I see other peoples’ blogs and feel ashamed that I don’t produce the same quality when it comes to images.  But this blog is for me.  If all I want to do is use the webcam on the MacBook and give you a grainy cat picture, then that is my prerogative.

Wow… That kind of turned into a mini rant.  I thought about deleting it, but decided not to.  Anyway, moving onto the yarn part of this post.

See?  Yarn!  Plus a bonus Chloe shot.

Early in November, when Star announced her Stumptown Knits club, I was immediately smitten with the first project and treated myself to a membership.  I have knit one of Star’s patterns before (Prairie House Shawl* anyone?) and knew going into this that I would get a quality pattern.  I rarely do any kind of yarn/pattern/craft club, but this one struck a different chord with me.  It is simply a pattern club.  If you want to buy the same yarn(s) she used, there is a discount coupon included for Twisted (my favorite PDX yarn shop).  Otherwise, you simply receive your pattern and choose your own yarn.  There is a knit-a-long in her group on Ravelry if you want to join, but you don’t have to.  I love the low level of commitment that this club demands.

(If you don’t want to join the club, each pattern is also available for individual purchase.  But without the price discount or the perks.)

When the pattern showed up in my inbox in January, I went to my stash and found the squooshiest yarn I could in a color that would work.  I’m using Caper Sock from String Theory in the colorway Earthquake.  (I could never photograph it in a way to do it justice, so just visit the link to see the real colors.)  I honestly don’t remember purchasing this yarn.  I’m pretty sure I picked it up in a wool fume induced coma at a convention (Stitches? Sock Summit? Black Sheep?) or in a yarn shop on a trip.  If it was a gift and you’re reading this, I’m sorry I don’t remember (but, thank you!).  Regardless, it is a very yummy Merino/Cashmere/Nylon blend that will feel nice next to my skin.

I must say, I’m very smitten with the pattern.  Linen stitch starts it off and is pretty familiar to me.  Then Star throws you into herringbone with an i-cord style edging.  I have never done herringbone stitch before and I am really enjoying it.  I can’t wait to see how the finished scarf turns out.  It already has great personality and the yarn is really taking to the pattern nicely.  I’ll keep you posted!

*I knit a complete Prairie House Shawl to within 2″ of the end before running out of yarn (my fault for not reading the yardage on the label). Because it was a STR serendipity skein, there was no way to get more or match the color.  I had to frog the entire thing.  It was a very sad day.

First Tuesday of 2012

Today is the first Tuesday of the new year.  It is also the first day that my house has returned to a slightly normal schedule.  The husband has gone back to work and I am home.  I got up this morning and made an actual breakfast (bacon, hash browns, egg, coffee) for the first time in months.  (I feel like this trimester is letting me reclaim a bit of normalcy, at least for now.  Today marks my 16th week (4th month) and the baby is approximately the size of an avocado.)  The animals are taking their 9am nap and the neighborhood is quiet.  All is right with the world at this moment.

It should also be noted that a very cunning dog made me think she had not been fed yet and so received a second breakfast.  That same cunning dog also sweet talked me out of the last piece of bacon. She looks pretty content now, eh?

Ringing in the New

I’m starting the new year out right.  Tea on the couch with a sleeping dog and a warm heater at my feet.

We stayed up just late enough to ring in the new year in style.  And by style, I mean in our PJs, in bed, and half asleep.  I fell asleep to the sound of small fireworks going off in the neighborhoods around us and slept in until nearly 10am.  My darling husband brought me coffee and breakfast in bed to top everything off.

I’ve puttered around a bit this morning, adding shelves to part of the new storage cupboard (more on that later).  I know you’re not supposed to wash or clean anything on New Year’s Day (superstition and whatnot), but I’m not one for those sorts of things.  If I get up the energy later on, I’m going to tidy the kitchen, put clean sheets on the bed, and maybe even make sure I have clean clothes for work tomorrow.  But for now, I’m just enjoying sitting in my warm house, admiring the new laminate floors (more on that later, too), and drinking tea.  Even a cat butt in the face can’t ruin this moment for me.

See?

Into the New Year

As we make the transition from one year to the next, everyone is setting goals, finishing unfinished projects, and generally preparing for the arbitrary transition from one calendar to the next.  I’m really not one to set resolutions.  I’ve set goals in the past, but rarely kept them.  I’m just not much a resolution/goal kind of gal, I guess.  But I have been thinking about things I’d like to do/learn/try lately.  So, in no particular order, here is my wish list for the new year.

  • Take better photos.  I got a used Olympus E-500 from a friend last year and have barely learned how to use it. I’m improving, but still need to learn a lot.
  • Commune with nature.  I want to go on hikes, but never do.  Let’s change that, shall we?  (Yes, hilarious coming from a pregnant lady who will soon be too large to waddle anywhere but the kitchen…)
  • Read a compass.  I never learned to do this properly and for some reason I want to now.
  • Pressure canning.  I got a pressure canner for Christmas in 2010 and still haven’t learned to use it.  But Liisa got one this year, so now we can learn together!
  • Blog more.  I write a lot of posts in my head, but they rarely make it to the computer.  I sometimes wish I could just plug a usb cable into my brain…

Not a long list, but a good one I think.  Happy New Year and welcome to 2012.  (Hope the world doesn’t end. That’d kind of suck.)

P.S. The photo at the top is from a couple months ago on the driveway at my folks’.  It was a beautiful, sunny fall day and Chloe was enjoying the car ride.  I have no idea how I took this good of a shot.  Maybe someday I’ll figure it out…

Morning Naps

Every morning around these parts, the animals follow a routine.  They drag me from my comfortable bed (usually around 8ish) with whining and pawing and walking over the top of me. Chloe goes outside while their loyal servant (me) fills the food bowls.  Once breakfast has been consumed, Chloe makes her second trip outside (or bad things happen to the carpet).  They romp about the house until around 9am.  And then it’s time for the first nap of the day.  Glorious silence fills the house as they all begin their first 1-2 hour snooze.  Lately, Chloe has been napping on the couch next to me so I can pet her.  It makes for cozy mornings while the wind blows and the rain falls outside my windows.  It really is the little things that make life grand.