Autumn, Beach, Fall, goals, Inspiration, Knitter's Talk, Knitting, Socks, Summer, Wool, Work, Yarn

Summer Days and Summer Socks

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What a week. I worked only two nights last week, and two off so I could go to the beach with my family. It was a good day.

Beings that I had two extra nights off than I regularly do, I had extra time to work on my knitting. I am currently working on my beach bunny socks, which is the Hedgehog Fibres yarn I had picked up at For Yarns Sake over in Beaverton a little while back.

I finished up my first sock of the pair Tuesday night, and started the second sock.

Part of what helped me get through this first sock so quick besides having a couple nights off was also the fact that I binge watched the 4th season of Virgin River while I was working on it.

It’s also been pretty hot the past few days, seeing upper 90’s and even low 100’s in the Willamette Valley. So I have also been biding my time in the air conditioned house trying to keep cool.

I had pre-ordered the Long Dog Yarn Summer 2022 Sock Set and project bag. I think the sock set is actually called “She sells seashells” or something similar. When I had seen it, I couldn’t resist it. I love the beach (obviously) and beachy themed stuff. I love the color of turquoise that the mini hank is for the heels and toes. I am definitely excited to work up this yarn too.

The North and Central Oregon Coast have definitely made the short list of where I would love to live. While there are other places on that list that I am open to living should I be able to find a good job that has health insurance, the coast is just at the top.

Inspiration, Knitter's Talk, Knitting, Social Media, Socks, Wool, Yarn

Summer Knitting

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This past week I started watching Rhinebeck videos. I quickly realized that I need to go next year. I also realized that I really have no idea who anyone who is anyone in the knitting world is. That is another reason I need to go to Rhinebeck and other fiber festivals back east. That is one of the crappy things about living out west, we don’t have many fiber festivals and really none of the big names in the knitting world come out here.

Today I started winding up my Bad Sheep Yarn hanks. I had to stop after 3 hanks as I started not feeling well and needed to lay down. I did take some videos to put up on TikTok and my Instagram stories.

I love these Alaskan themed yarns. I am excited to see how they knit up when I get to them.

In order to go to Rhinebeck next year, I need to allow my PTO at work to accrue. I want to be able to get paid while taking time off work to go. In the mean time, I also need to watch more Rhinebeck videos.

Fall, goals, Inspiration, Knitter's Talk, Knitting, Socks, Wool, Yarn

Road to Rhinebeck

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Sorry this post is a bit late, I super busy Wednesday, and then AT&T was a butt and I had no data pretty much until I had to leave for work at 9 o’clock at night.

Tuesday evening I finished up the “Road to Rhinebeck” socks I had been working on. I honestly love how they turned out and they are the favorite pair I have worked on lately. Then again it seems like whenever I work on an autumn colored / inspired pair of socks, I love them. Rhinebeck Sheep and Wool Festival is in October so this sock set is definitely autumn inspired.

This was in fact a sock set, so there was a main hank and an mini hank of the contrast.

While Rhinebeck has been Goals for a while, this sock set really makes me want to go, and it is something I am going to try to make happen in 2023. It just isn’t going to work out this year due to what I have had going on and dealing with my health this year.

Yesterday, I took the time and washed the socks I had completed and stuck in my hamper for hand knit socks. I prefer to hand wash my hand knit socks and put them on the drying rack since we don’t have a drying line outside at the new house. The warmer weather makes me more inclined to wash socks since they will dry quicker. Some day I would love to have a wood stove or natural gas stove and be able to dry them in front of that in the colder months. Especially after having worn them.

Community, Fall, goals, Inspiration, Knitter's Talk, Knitting, Knitting Projects, Local Yarn Shop, Socks, Whats on My Needles, Whats on the Needles Wednesday, Wool, Work, Yarn, Yarn Store

Rhinebeck Is Goals

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This morning I finished up the first sock in the pair of “Road to Rhinebeck” socks I am currently working on.

This was a sock set with a main variegated hank and a smaller contrast / coordinating tonal hank for at least heels and toes. I have gone on the conservative side and not tried using the contracting tonal for a top rib in the cuff. I may kick myself later for that, if I end up with a decent amount left over. I just wanted to make sure I had enough for the heels and toes for two socks.

This sock, seriously evokes all things fall for me. Cozy Sweaters, Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Lattes, turning leaves, fires in the fireplace, Gilmore Girls, Mel in Virgin River – the scene from the first episode or two when she is walking down the street in Virgin River talking to her sister on the phone in the cute sweater and boots.

Yes, one sock made me think of that. Well, it did have the help of visiting two local yarn shops yesterday. Those made me think of rainy Portland October days, with a cup of tea, hunkering down in a cute yarn shop working on a knitting project, or squishing the yarn. For me, Starlight Knitting Society was the coziest and most inviting of the two. It also really made me miss Happy Knits. Happy Knits was a yarn store here in Portland, on SE Hawthorne Blvd, that I fell in love with. They closed a few years ago (Pre Pandemic) they had a very light, airy, welcoming shop that wasn’t super crowded but had an amazing selection. In the back, they had a large table to sit around and work on projects as well as a couch that faced the natural gas stove. It was amazing in the colder wet months to go hang out, look at yarn, squish yarn, get inspiration, work on projects. I miss that space.

I have known about the Rhinebeck sheep and wool festival for several years. It is the big festival. I really want to go, and I want to try to make it happen next year. This year isn’t going to work for me, since I have other things I need to deal with first. Rhinebeck is one of things that I feel like I should experience at least once.

We don’t have many fiber festivals out here on the West Coast, and the ones we do have aren’t on the same caliber as the ones that take place back east.

All the smaller indie dyers I follow and typically buy from are from east of the Mississippi River, and the “better” fiber festivals are part of the circuit that most of these dyers go to.

Which is why I would love to go to Rhinebeck, especially, as well as some of the other fiber festivals back East and find more small, Indie, US based dyers who have amazing yarns.

Inspiration, Knitter's Talk, Knitting, Socks, Spring, Winter, Wool, Work, Yarn

What Weekends are for

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This weekend has been a productive weekend for knitting.

Once I finished the fury socks, I cast on another sock using “Strawberry Fields” which is on the coquette yarn base from Bumblebee Acres fiber farm.

The name of this colorway always makes me think of “Strawberry Fields Forever” by the Beatles.

The colors themselves together makes me think of something out of the 1970’s.

I had pulled out this colorway because I was wanting to work with one of the spring colored yarns I have in my stash.

The coquette yarn base has become one of my favorite yarn bases to knit with. It is a thicker sock yarn that is sturdy to work with, yet washes up very well. It makes the perfect winter sock.

This weekend is what I needed to relax and get in the frame of mind for my last week at my current job and starting my new job without missing a beat.

While where I am at, and what I am doing is not necessarily what I want to do forever, the income is a means to cover bills and help me get where I want to go.

There are some yarn stores here in the Portland Metro area I have been meaning to get to over the past few years, and now I will make a point to go visit them and buy more yarn. Yarn shopping, and knitting in general is definitely an expensive hobby. I wouldn’t trade it for a less expensive hobby though. It’s what I love doing and is worth the money.

Fall, Inspiration, Knitter's Talk, Knitting, Socks, Wool, Yarn

A Yarny Fall Day

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I have definitely been enjoying my day off.

I have been working on my current sock throughout the day.

While it didn’t get super warm today, the sun was out today and made it feel warmer today than it was. So I decided to was the socks I had finished up, and put them on the drying rack.

The hank of yarn I had ordered from Deep Dyed Yarns, which had been recommended to me by a reader, arrived today. So I got it wound up.

I definitely love the colors here, and I am excited to knit these up into socks. This colorway was my favorite of the ones available.

After working 5 days in a row last week, and only having two nights / one full day off, it is nice to be back to my normal schedule. It has certainly been nice to be able to knit the past couple of days as well. I have certainly missed it.

Costuming, How Do you Wash?, Inspiration, It Came in a Dream, Knitter's Talk, Knitting, Skills, Social Media, Work

Old Fashioned Velvet

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I was having a weird dream, like I sometimes do, and the question arose,

How does one wash Old Fashion Velvet? Without ruining it?

For context – person in the dream had in their possession an authentic period / Shakespeare period / Brand Name / Designer / Well Known Brand of the time Velvet cape with some dirt and stuff around the hem. So, it needed cleaning, and that is how the question arose in my dream.

blog, goals, Inspiration, Knitter's Talk, Knitting, Knitting Projects, Local Yarn Shop, Skills, Socks, Wool, Work, Yarn, Yarn Store

Project Bag On The Go

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I had an interview this morning, across town. I knew where I was going as it was right on the route I took to one of my old jobs. I left early as usual, and took the sock I had cast on last night with me in my new sock project bag.

I got a couple rounds done while I waited for my interview time to get closer before going in. I have found that being early and getting a bit of knitting done always helps me be a bit calmer and not as nervous.

I started keeping a “purse project” with me when I went places I might have have to wait, or have down time where I really couldn’t go anywhere back, like a decade ago when I worked for a short time at a daycare. Days where I worked 6 hours or more, at that company I had to take a mandatory hour lunch. State Law only mandates a 30 minute meal period for 6 hours+ worked, but the company scheduled us such that if we worked over 6 hours we had an hour lunch. So I had started taking a dish cloth WIP with me to work on. Having knitting to work on helps pass the time.

Now that I am into working on socks, it is definitely my “purse project” or “on the go project”.

As I mentioned yesterday, I definitely want to try out different brands of yarn, besides for my own curiosity as well as for content. I have been looking at local yarn shops to see what they have. I know it takes money to buy the yarn, which is part of why I want and need a better job.

Inspiration, Knitter's Talk, Knitting, Skills, Social Media, Socks, Wool, Work, Yarn, Yarn Store

Goals and Dreams Change

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To my American readers and followers, I hope you all had a safe and happy 4th. To our neighbors to the North, I hope you all had a good Canada Day!

I had the 4th off which was nice, though I worked Friday, Saturday and today. With the truck being delayed until Saturday and then showing three hours late on Saturday, stock crew was asked to come out for am extra shift this week, as our availability allowed. I was able to go in today and got a bit done.

For so long I have been anti TikTok, but with a little convincing from one of my coworkers (she uses it to share her art), I finally created one to share my knitting. While most of my first few videos aren’t knitting related (only 3 of them are), I have been kind of getting a feel for the platform. IDK how far I will go with it, but I am still testing it out.

I keep hearing on the news, that employers in my current industry (retail) as well as others similar to mine (grocery/restaurants/ manual labor) keep complaining about being short staffed. Some people not wanting to work is just a fraction of the problem. I have been back at work post furlough for about a year now, and looking for another job in my industry or a similar industry closer to home for said year (and many years pre-COVID). My own experience this past year, has been one of Cricket’s (aka silence). I have applied to many jobs that I can reasonably do with minimal training (ie how that specific company does things), yet I have only had three phone calls, and two interviews in the past year, and all of them were in the past 2 months. Yes, I was only at Home Depot for a short time, for various reasons that all boil down to it not being a good for for me. So I don’t totally buy the “we can’t fill all our open positions”. From my own experience, they aren’t calling everyone who applies and are choosing to not fill said positions. It is definitely frustrating for someone like me, yet, I feel like the past two months have made me rethink some things.

One of those things is possibly starting my own business one day. If I were to start my own business, I am strongly leaning towards a yarn dying business. I have also thought a yarn making business would be cool, where my company would buy raw wool and processing it into wool. Or doing the whole thing, from processing the wool, spinning it and dying it. If any of it works out, it’s still a ways out.

Not counting my KnitPicks socks, all my other socks were at least dyed here in the USA.

One of the things I definitely want to do more of it test out the different bases I have knit socks out of, while hiking and really see how they hold up / last with a bit rougher wear and washing after each wear. I want to know which bases hold up the best boot socks for hiking.

A few of the places I want to go hiking and test the ruggedness of my socks include: Mt Saint Helens, Sun River, anywhere really in Alaska, in Banff / Lake Louise as well as Jasper Alberta.

Hats, Inspiration, Knitter's Talk, Knitting, Skills, Socks, Winter, Wool, Work, Wraps/shawls, Yarn

Choice to Make things that Last

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When I started making socks, I was like “what if I get a hole in a sock? Does that mean I lose that pair?” While that has yet to happen (thank goodness), I learned about this nifty tool called a Speedweve. They came about and were popular in the 1940’s & 1950’s (makes sense in the Post War Era). It is exactly what I have been looking for and need to add to my collection of knitting tools. I would hate to have to just toss a pair of hand knit socks if one gets a hole. Once I get a speedweve I will be able to fix it and get more wear out of the socks. If it were a pair of store bought socks, I wouldn’t think twice about tossing since they are cheaply and poorly made anyway. Hand Knit socks I have a harder time being willing to toss, as more time and money went in to the creation of said socks.

In today’s modern culture, a lot of things are made poorly and cheaply, which means the items don’t last as long as they once did (thanks fast fashion). Back when my grandparents were children and young adults, maternal items were made to last longer, and if it broke, you fixed/mended it, if it couldn’t be fixed you did without (either completely or until money could be saved to replace it).

Over the past couple years, I have been trying to incorporate more of that philosophy into my life. Learning how to knit things for myself, I prefer doing, as I know that what I make is if a better quality than can be bought at the local department store. My socks are definitely of a better quality than buying Nike/adidas/other name brand crew socks at the store. I still use those kinds of socks for my current job since I am active there and it is easier to throw those socks in the washer.

What I am working towards is to live a more sustainable and self sufficient life, away from the city life. I would ultimately like to homestead and more from scratch. Making my own socks, hats wraps and such is part if that.

I had started the second sock of the pair I am working on last week, but ended up ripping out what I had done on Sunday as I had dropped a stitch and it ran too far down to get it. I restarted the sock, and yesterday I finally got back to the point of where I had been on Sunday when I dropped the stitch. It was nice it only took me a couple days to get back on track (among doing other things around the house). I am back to making progress again and I am almost done with the cuff. The first version of the second sock definitely was looking different as far as striping was going from the first one, but it’s reknit is looking much more like it’s mate, while using the exact same amount of yarn as it’s predecessor did.

The desire I have to live a simpler life, I know takes hard work and delayed gratification, and that is definitely part of why I want to do it. I also believe the final product is of better quality. It’s also more satisfying for me to see the final product knowing I did it myself or had a part of making it happen.

I am also trying to support the smaller yarn dyers who create some of the most beautiful and interesting yarn colorways as far as sock yarn goes. I still have some Knitpicks sock yarn to knit up. I am really trying to use Knitpicks for supplies and yarn for bigger projects, where it is more practical to buy from them. To me, Knitpicks is akin to the Montgomery Wards or Meyer and Frank Catalogs of decades past, and the “indie” dyers, while still having an online presence are the mom and pop stores on your local Main / High street. It’s the premise of shopping on Main Street when possible, but sometimes when what you need / want isn’t available locally, you order it from the Catalog. Then again even from the time I was a teen I enjoyed looking at old catalogs and magazines from the 1940’s and 1950’s. I was also fortunate to have Grandmothers who were young adults / young wives during that era who could actually tell me about that period from their own experience.