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Easy like Sunday Morning

Hey Everyone!

Sundays have become my favorite day of the week.

Beings that Saturdays are my friday at work, Sunday means getting to sleep in, drink all the tea I want, knit, and watch shows.

I had started the pair of “Kate” socks last weekend after I finished the “Santorini” socks. I had only knit about 5 or 6 rounds on the cuff, and then it sat my entire work week. I finished the cuff of this first sock and started the leg portion of it.

The song Easy (Like Sunday Morning) had come to mind as I was knitting and drinking tea yesterday morning.

Mondays can be busy. This morning I had a few things I needed to do. I took my vehicle through the car wash and vacuumed it out after (most of the sand is now gone from the beach trip I went on a month ago, which is sad), I took my bottle drop bags back. Here in Oregon, our cans and single use drink bottles have bottle deposits that we get back when we return them. Several years ago, they started the green bags, where for a small fee, the employees, as the bottle drop locations, will count the cans and bottles in the green bags for you. I got coffee from Black Rock, stopped at the pharmacy, made an appointment, and then came home. I thought about going for a drive but decided not to because I needed to use the bathroom, and I didn’t want to spend money on more gas right now. I also wanted to spend more time knitting.

After a couple weeks of very hot weather (in the 90’s for highs), the last couple of days have been dramatically cooler and cloudy which I have loved. It has made me wish it was Fall all over again. When it’s hot, I literally have no energy (which is in short supply anyway), and don’t feel like tea, or knitting. Any of you who have followed me for any length of time know that I am all about the tea and the knitting. This weekend has definitely made me want to knit like nobody’s business and has inspired me to want to do more craft projects.

I would love nothing more than to get out of the city rat race and spend more time doing the things I love. Those include knitting, being outside, growing a garden, cooking, canning, reading books, all the things that an introverted homebody enjoys. Then I would throw in coming into the city every so often to go to yarn stores and for supplies (can anybody say Smith Teamaker and Bob’s Red Mill).

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In 10 years’ time

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

In 10 years time, I see myself living a simple life in a small town or out in the country on some property, with a husband and family of my own. I would have found a church community to belong to and serve in.

If I am still working, I would be working at a small lys or book store in the small town.

I would still be living out here in the PNW, trying to give my children a simpler childhood without all the technological distractions and let them be kids.

I would still be knitting, of course. I couldn’t give up knitting unless it was literally taken from me.

If I lived on some property outside city limits, I would have a garden and grow a lot of my own Berries and vegetables. Maybe have a few fruit tress, and plenty of flowers.

blog, Knitter's Talk, Knitting, Local Yarn Shop, Work, Writing Prompt, Yarn

What Job would you do for free?

What job would you do for free?

If I didn’t have to worry about money and bills, I would want to work at a yarn store, yarn dyer or a tea shop.

I have applied to a few local ones over the years, but have never been hired.

Community, Knitter's Talk, Knitting, Local Yarn Shop, Rhinebeck, Social Media, Socks, Wool, Yarn, Yarn Store

Another Yarn Shop Went Virtual

Hey Everyone!

Brick and Mortar yarn stores have been struggling to stay afloat even before the pandemic began three years ago. Then the pandemic hit and many more closed their doors, and if they were lucky were able to transition to solely virtual.

While it’s nice to be able to buy yarn from the comfort of your own home, there is more to be said to being able to go to a LYS (Local Yarn Shop) where you can see and feel the yarn for yourself. Many also have samples up where you can see completed projects made with the yarn. Many of these shops also have a seating / work area where crafters could come and work on projects and get help with a pattern and what not.

With the physical spaces closing down, it is harder for the community to come together and be able to have in person interaction with other crafters where they are from.

I know for myself, getting to wool and sheep festivals like Rhinebeck and others back east and in the Midwest are not necessarily feasible or practical in order to have the comraderie with fellow crafters.

Not only had my favorite LYS closed down several years ago (Happy Knits on SE Hawthorne in Portland), I found out that one on my list of yarn shops to visit, closed their brick and mortar shop two and a half years ago. This was Churchmouse Yarns and Teas on Bainbridge Island (near Seattle). This was one of the “destination yarn shops” that was relatively close to me, as in a weekend adventure for me. While I can still order yarn online, I do miss the whole adventure and change of scenery aspect to it.

Part of why it makes me sad is because the generations older than me, who are not as tech savvy as my generation and those younger than I am, are missing out on the yarn shopping options that used to exist. Knitting (and Crocheting) almost died out once. I would hate to see that happen again.

For the past decade or so, I have wanted to visit as many LYS as I could in different places I went. I thought it would be fun to have socks made from yarn I bought wherever I went. The more LYS that close their physical locations, that makes this harder.

I know I talk more about knitting than Crocheting, because I am a knitter. That’s what I do. Crocheter’s are just as important as knitters.

Knitter's Talk, Knitting, Local Yarn Shop, Socks, Winter, Wool, Yarn

After the Snow Days

Hey Everyone!

I decided to try washing the hand knit Christmas socks I had done in the washing machine today. I had always hand washed them until now.

It was one of things where, I decided to give it a try considering we used to wash 100% Cashmere sweaters in the washing machine (and put them in the dryer) when I worked at the studio about a decade ago.

I figured if I used a shorter wash cycle, warm and cold water, the extra delicate cycle and wool wash, it couldn’t hurt them right?

They are now air drying on my drying rack and came out just fine with the precautions I did take.

It’s going to make my life a whole lot easier and save my hands knowing I can put them in on the gentlest cycle and warm water then air dry them.

While they were washing, I did go through the Laundress New York Wool and Cashmere Shampoo I have and did get rid of the ones who’s lots are part of the recall, just to be on the safe side.

I know I have talked about how much I have loved the Wool and Cashmere Shampoo from the Laundress New York. I have been looking into what is best for washing woolen goods, and I have found that using a wash that contains lanolin, which is the oil naturally found in Wool is actually better for it, I am not going to be using the Wool and Cashmere Shampoo anymore.

Eucalan was one of the top brands I found that contains lanolin, as do Kookaburra wash and Outback Gold, all of which I have some of in my wool wash stash. This also explains why what had been my favorite yarn shop while it was still in business, as do many other yarn shops I have been in, carry Eucalan wash.

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

Hey Everyone!

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.

Fall, Knitter's Talk, Knitting, Knitting Projects, Local Yarn Shop, Socks, Summer, Work, Yarn, Yarn Store

Portland Yarn Shops

Hey Everyone!

Welcome to the Tuesday after Memorial Day. Here in the US Memorial Day Weekend is the “Official start of Summer”. So everyone who works a typical M-F job has gone back to work now after the long weekend. I worked this weekend, like I have been doing every weekend for over a year. So now it’s my weekend.

I have been wanting to go do some yarn shopping at some local yarn stores, so I finally went to a couple today. Both were in Portland proper (aka in city limits).

I went to Starlight Knitting Society on SE 52nd Ave – a few blocks south of SE Woodstock Blvd.

The other was CloseKnit on NE Alberta St at NE 22nd Ave.

I had been to Close Knit once before, this was my first time stopping at Starlight. I had driven by Starlight so many times but had never stopped, I decided it was time to stop there and see what they had to offer. I really liked Starlight Knitting Society.

I bought some sock yarn at both shops.

These are the three sock yarns I bought at Close Knit. Teo are a lighter weight sock yarn, and the one on the right is a medium weight sock yarn.

These are the five hanks of yarn I bought at Starlight Knitting Society. The two purpley-pink hanks are the same yarn, I would just need to hanks to make a pair of socks. The blue and greens are all a lighter weight sock yarns and will make great summer socks for getting back into hiking.

Not only was I looking for pretty colors, I am also amazed at the wide variety of weights that are all considered to be “fingering weight” which is the weight most commonly used for socks. The lighter weights require a smaller gauge of needle and more stitches to make a sock, where as the heavier weight yarns require a slightly bigger gauge needle and fewer stitches.

One of the yarns I bought is from Paris France, and another one is from Germany.

I love supporting American Indie Dyers, I also enjoy working with yarn from other places.

Autumn, Fall, KnitPicks, Knitter's Talk, Knitting, Knitting Projects, Local Yarn Shop, Skills, Socks, Summer, Winter, Wool, Work, Yarn, Yarn Store

Unicorn Night Mares

Hey Everyone!

This evening, I finished up the pair of “Unicorn Night Mares” socks that I started right before I interviewed for my new job. This pair of socks has taken me about three weeks to knit up, since life has happened.

The colorway is: Unicorn Night Mares, the yarn base is: Fingering, and it’s from KnittedWit.

My first week of the new job went well. I am definitely looking forward to life after my first paycheck. This fall and winter, I am definitely going to be checking out some yarn stores and tea shops. This is going to be an awesome fall and winter

I am also waiting for my knit picks orders to arrive this week.

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

Project Bag On The Go

Hey Everyone!

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.

KnitPicks, Knitter's Talk, Knitting, Local Yarn Shop, Winter, Wool, Yarn, Yarn Store

Another LYS is Closing

Hey Everyone!

I found out this afternoon that another Portland yarn store that has been one of the main yarn stores for years will be closing its brick and mortar store in a couple months. That will make the fourth yarn store (that I know of) to close its physical store in about 5 years. While the reasons given, typically are personal in nature (family illness, time to move on etc), I can’t help but wonder if the rising rent / lease prices in the shop front spaces and the growing move of consumers to online retailers is also part of what is driving this shift in Portland’s (and thus Oregon’s) LYS scene.

I also kind of feel like the crafting (knitters and crocheters) community here isn’t what it once was. Then again Portland isn’t what it was 10 – 15 years ago. The demographics of the area has been changing a lot since many of these yarn stores opened.

We do have a handful of local / indie dyers here in the area (only one that I can name off the top of my head), and the closest fiber festivals are 15 – 18 hours away, in SoCal.

I know I order a lot of my yarn online, and while I have definitely ordered a fair amount of yarn from KnitPicks, and will likely order from there again, most, of not all the sock yarn I have ordered in the last year has been from small, indie dyers from back east.

I would definitely love to see things change out here, since this part of the country is home. At the same time I definitely want to attend a few fiber festivals, meet my favorite dyers, and see some more of the country.