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.

goals, Knitter's Talk, Knitting, Socks, Wool, Work, Yarn

The Campfire Socks!

Hey Everyone!

I finally was able get my Campfire socks done today!

The Christmas yarn and the Gluttony Mini Skein of the Campfire yarn I had ordered showed up this past Friday, and I got it wound that evening. The two colors of Christmas yarn I had ordered from this year’s collection are: “o, little town of Bethlehem” (the darker one) and “Let it snow” (the lighter one).

I have been working on getting the Campfire socks done since the mini skein arrived, and I finally got the second sock finished today.

Working in any sort of knitting has been slow going since September, when work started getting busy. Work is finally starting to slow down, and we are finally starting to get caught up on freight. We had gotten behind when the truck that was supposed to come the day before Thanksgiving (November 28th) didn’t come until the following Monday (December 2nd) and we still got our normal Thursday truck on the 5th. We finally turned the corner on getting the large truck loads. Over the next three to four months we only have two “big sets”, one is coming up really soon, which is our post Christmas set, and then our outdoor (summer) set which we will set sometime in March or April, neither of which compare to our holiday freight loads.

That being said, I will be able to be spending way more time knitting in the near future, which I am super excited about. I have plenty of sock yarn to be knitting up, and I am so ready to get back to a normal sleep schedule so I have more energy, so I will want to spend my free time knitting!

Autumn, Fall, Knitter's Talk, Knitting, Socks, Winter, Wool, Work, Yarn

The First Campfire Sock

Hey Everyone!

Last night, I finally finished up the first Campfire sock of the pair I am working on!

The yarn I am using is from Forbidden Fiber Company’s autumn Collection, in the colorway Campfire, on the Gluttony Sock Yarn base.

I wasn’t sure / as excited about the yarn, while looking at it on the website, or even in the hank once I got it. It took winding it, and seeing it in the wound cake to get excited about this colorway.

I was definitely more excited about some of the other colors I had ordered, until I saw the yarn like this. I fell in love with it, when I saw it like this. I couldn’t wait to cast it on and knit it up.

Once I get this pair of socks done (I am working on the cuff of the second sock as of writing this post), I am going to start on Christmas socks, and then come back to the autumn yarn after I get Christmas socks done.

Work, is going to continue to be busy until mid January, so I will knit when I can, and get as much done as I can, on my days off. Come mid January, I will have more time to spend knitting. I want to try to get the yarn I have sitting on my computer table, as well as in my seasonal themed back knit up before spring officially arrives. I will still have a plastic grocery bag of the expensive yarn I ordered back in September / Early October to knit up, but my goal for that is to get it knit up by mid summer. Since the weather won’t be conducive to washing and line drying socks until at least mid to late June. once work slows down in January, I want to get as many pairs of socks knit up as possible in the months between then and when summer arrives.

I have also been looking at moving, and leaving the west coast behind. A lot of it has to do with the cost of living, cost of land / house prices, no real job prospects for someone like myself, more of a knitting community that is made up of more like minded individuals, living among more like minded individuals, Homesteading communities, and fiber festivals that my favorite indie dyers and small yarn shop owners attend.

Autumn, Fall, Knitter's Talk, Knitting, Projects for Myself, Socks, Winter, Wool, Work, Yarn

Working Hard and Projects I am working on

Hey Everyone!

Between constantly being at work, being exhausted from work, eating and sleeping, it has definitely been a struggle to fit in knitting.

The first weekend of this month, I came down with a cold. I had to call out of work a couple days last week. As I was starting to feel better, but still home sick, I made a fair amount of progress on the second Heirloom Pumpkin Sock I was working on. I finally got the second sock finished up yesterday, since I was off.

I had been wanting this colorway for several months, before it was brought back and I was able to order a hank for myself. I ordered the Heirloom Pumpkin colorway on the Fortitude Base from Forbidden Fiber Company.

I also started the next pair of socks. I grabbed the hank of Campfire colored yarn, on the Gluttony Sock Yarn base. It is also from Forbidden Fiber Company.

Today, I have watched a few vlogs, filmed in Southeast Alaska, and it’s still the dream that I am working for. I am dreaming of moving up to Southeast Alaska. This is part of why I am knitting up socks. I also have another project I want to make, that would be amazing to have done, before moving to a colder climate. I am also wanting to order a pie of xtratuf rain boots, while not absolutely necessary here in Portland, would definitely make some winter adventures more enjoyable, and are pretty much necessary in Southeast Alaska.

Autumn, Fall, Knitting, Personal Projects, Socks, Winter, Wool, Yarn

Finished My Halloween Socks!

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I finished up my Halloween socks, Sunday morning, just in time to get them washed and blocked as well. They are ready to go for Thursday. I am glad I got them done over the weekend. Going into the weekend, I knew I would be working, at least four days this week, and I was asked to pick up a shift tomorrow morning as well. So this week I will be working at least five days.

I typically wear store bought “cheap” socks for work. Considering that the yarn I had ordered in the most recent orders was between about $27 – $33 per hank, which will knit up into a pair. That, combined with the time I put into to knitting up each pair, makes me not want to wear them just for work.

This week, we are experiencing some unseasonably cold morning low temperatures, combined with the wind chill makes it feel like it is down in the 20’s. Portland is right at the mouth of the Columbia River Gorge, which is bad enough for getting the east wind. The wind is funneled down the gorge, so this time of year, through the winter months, we have strong east winds that are cold, and go right through all the layers you are wearing. Areas out in the east part of the county, like Troutdale, Fairview, Wood Village, Gresham (Where I work), and far Northeast Portland, are that much closer to the river and the mouth of the Gorge get hit even harder. I checked what it was this morning while I was at work, at about 7 am. The temperature was at 35 degrees Fahrenheit, but felt like 24/25 with the wind chill.

So yeah, here I am at about 2:00 pm, ready to get some knitting done, while my laundry is in the dryer, and before having to go to bed in about five hours to start it all over again tomorrow morning at 3:15 am, to start work at 5:00 am. I have to pay for the yarn I ordered somehow.

Autumn, Fall, Knitter's Talk, Knitting, Personal Project Friday, Personal Projects, Socks, Winter, Wool, Yarn

They Won’t Be Around Forever

Hey Everyone!

I am back, with another finished project post! This evening, I finished up the pair of Victoria’s Memory socks that I have been working on for a couple weeks now. I am loving how they turned out. I love the colors, and everything!

The yarn based I had ordered this particular colorway on, was the Babel yarn base. The fiber content / makeup of this particular yarn base is 70% superwash merino, 20% Nylon and 10% Yak. It is so soft, yet sturdy.

So, this week I may have gone a little crazy on ordering more sock yarn. Most of it is Autumnal colored yarn, with a couple Hanks of Christmas yarn, and just some pretty yarn. I am going to be busy for a while, which is going to be good. I am excited to be sharing them all with you! One of the autumn colors I ordered, I have been wanting since last year. One of the Hanks I ordered is part of the Steampunk Collection, so I will add it to the other two I still have left to knit up.

This week, I came to the realization that the Pacific Northwest, is home. At the same time, I know staying in the Portland metro area isn’t for me. That is part of why I have been stocking up on sock yarn now, while I am in the city, and still close to the shipping hubs. I feel like shipping may be a bit quicker and slightly cheaper because I am currently in the city, since it doesn’t have to come into the city then trucked out to a smaller community (especially if it involves having to go over the mountains in winter time). It also gives me a jump start on these socks, while I am still looking for work opportunities, someplace I would prefer to live. The beach is my preferred location, but I am still seeking God’s will and direction in where he would have me move.

Autumn is finally here, and I am so excited! Our autumn set was set up earlier this week at work. I love that we finally are able to have it available, as well as the fact that the weather is finally starting to turn. Some of the leaves started turning a while ago, but are increasingly turning. I love it, and love that my favorite season is here. I love the colors, the cooler temperatures, the smells.

There will come a time, when I can wear cute clothes more often, and in the colder months, I can pair my good clothes with the socks I have made and will made, and boots and rock them autumn to spring. Two of the areas of my top three places I would love to live, that are still close enough to drive here, to see my parents (since they won’t live forever), get snow in the winter. One of the things I realized here recently, is that while I am yearning for living in a small town life, away from the hustle and bustle of the city, I don’t want to live more than 7.5 – 8 hours away (driving), and not outside of the PNW (well, Oregon, Washington and Idaho anyway).

Knitting, Socks, Wool, Yarn

Second Sock Syndrome

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Over the course of the past month, I have been working on three different pairs of socks.

For each of the pairs I have been working on, I have finished the first sock, and have the second sock in the works.

This pouch arrived yesterday. I had ordered it from Thirty One Gifts. I am going to be using it for my knitting, when I take a project with me when I go out. Over the years, I have had many “purse projects”, and having this pouch will help keep my knitting together, neat and as untangled as possible.

I am trying to take advantage of the fact that I am only working 10 – 15 hours a week, and spending my free time knitting, all while I am trying to figure out what I am working towards.

Over the past couple of days I have also knit up a couple of yarn swatches to see how the yarn washes. These Yarns are a bit rough, and I wanted to see if washing would soften them up.

Yes, I did swatch the yarn for my Christmas Socks, because my socks feel a bit tougher than I would like, and I am really hoping they soften up with washing and wearing. I am not a fan of stiff wool socks.