Fun in the sun

I am a lucky, lucky girl: I got to spend a couple of days in Orlando, Florida this week! I was attending a social media conference for work (thank you, work!) but I got to squeeze in some fun stuff too. I flew in early afternoon Wednesday so I’d have half a day to explore Disney, so that was my day at Disney World. I enjoyed it, but I discovered that Disney World is one of those things that is better done with someone else. It was super crowded and even if I were a ride person, the shortest line I saw was 50 minutes, and there was nothing I wanted to ride that badly. But I got to see all the sights and bask in the Disney atmosphere for a few hours.

The second day was spent at the conference, and it was fantastic. I’m an introvert but I talked to strangers all day long, and didn’t even mind! Lunch was outside, where I managed to get a bit of a sunburn (not complaining at all), and then at five when we ended for the day, I needed more Disney, so I hopped on the bus to Disney Springs, the big shopping/dining/entertainment district. When I got back, I had a late dinner at the 50s themed diner, Beaches and Cream. So good!! Plus, I could watch the fireworks at the park from my balcony, so I made sure to see those both nights.

Friday was a half-day for the conference, and I got about 45 minutes to bask in the sun before I had to head out.

Then it was time to head home, where it’s cold and gray and rainy. I had some gorgeous views from my window seat, though.

I also got quite a bit of sock-knitting done too: one sock done and the second past the gusset. I’ve learned that if you’re an introvert who has to socialize, do something weird like dye your hair a weird color and/or knit during meetings, and then you have something to talk about! They were definitely good ice-breakers.

Now I’m back home, where the boys and the dogs are happy to see me, and I have chores to do, plus a dog with a broken nail who has to go to the vet. (Different dog. Jack this time, not Duncan.) But with any luck, I’ll get a bit of knitting time later in the day. Happy weekend, friends!

Um, more yarn?

I had a hair appointment over the weekend (fresh purple, hooray) and the salon just happens to be very close to a LYS. A large LYS that I don’t visit very often. And somehow I let myself believe that it would be okay to go for a short visit. I would only buy one skein, maybe two. You guys know what happened, don’t you? Yeah. Because here’s the thing: I touched the yarn! And so much of it was SOFT!

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That Alpine? Yeah, it feels exactly like fur. And I love the feel of fur! How could I resist making a cowl out of that?? And right by the Alpine was the Wild, which is almost as soft and also has those amazing colors! They’re mostly acrylic, but I don’t care because they’re soft and pretty. And that yarn up in the top right? It’s also soft and fuzzy, a nylon/wool/alpaca blend, and it was on sale! It’s DK weight, so it’s thin and lightweight and will be all floaty. Okay, and those two skeins of red/green/blue yarn? That’s Happy Feet sock yarn and it was ALSO on sale! What decent sock knitter would resist sale sock yarn that feels good and looks good? Not this one, I tell you. Which is also how I ended up with that bottom skein…except it was not on sale. But it is beautiful and it’s Araucania Huaso, which is awesome yarn and so it jumped into my arms.

Am I doing very well on my yarn-buying balance? Well. Maybe better than it looks right now? Because there was a lot of yarn that I picked up and then put back because I didn’t love it as much. There was a lot of sale yarn I would have bought in the past just because it was on sale. So that’s progress, because I’m making mindful yarn choices at least. But yeah, I think I can probably take a break from yarn stores for a little while!

Snowy Owl

Apparently I can’t stop making amigurumi animals: I made another one over the weekend. As fiddly as they are, I think they’re so cute and I love gifting them for my friends’ birthdays. There’s one coming up for a Harry Potter fan, so this time I made Hedwig. I used this free pattern; it was a little vague at times, and I had a hard time figuring out what I was supposed to do for the tail feather (at least I think that’s what it is, but the pattern didn’t say), so I just did my best. And I think it came out pretty good!

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Maybe more like a bird than an owl? Or maybe I’m just too critical. Anyway, I do think it’s adorable and I’m looking forward to sending her to her new home. She can’t be on any of my other social media just yet, so you all are lucky to get the first peek!

Craft Room Reorg

I made so much good progress on my sweater this weekend! I finished the body, including my first split hem which I kind of love.

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After I took this photo, I looked around my craft room and decided it needed an update. I used to use a 6′ folding table as a desk and a few months ago switched it out for a smaller library table. I love the smaller desk; it’s beautiful, it belonged to my dad, and it’s a great writing desk. But when I took out the big table, I lost a place to spread out as well as a place to wind yarn. So every time I wanted to wind yarn, I had to take everything downstairs and clean off the coffee table. That got tiresome. So! Plan B: put the library table in the corner with the north light, so I can still set things on it for photos, and put the folding table back up!

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Now I have a lot more table space, but the room still feels big and open. And I really like my desk in that corner. In fact, I spent the rest of the day up there, watching movies on my laptop and knitting. I wove in all the current ends on the sweater, added the neckband, and got the first sleeve picked up and started! The room feels very cozy. I think my long term goal is to get a small, comfortable arm chair for this corner, so I can sit here and look out into my craft room like this:

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If I did that, though, my family might never see me!

Reading AND knitting

I’ve read two and a half books in the past week, and two of them were actual, physical books! I’ve been trying to encourage myself to do a little bit of reading at night, after some knitting, and I like it. I like spending time with a book in my hand. Going forward, when I take a break from knitting, I’m going to try to redirect myself toward a book instead of my phone, and we’ll see if we can get back into the reading groove. But photos of books aren’t as interesting as photos of knitting, so I’ll share some of that too. Since I finished my Granola socks, I switched my focus to my Clarke pullover and made good progress.

HQueF4y2TLe9Bv6jH78L4wAck. I just realized how bad this photo is. Well, whatever. It shows that I have an almost-complete sweater body anyway! I have just a few rows and then a split hem, and the body will be done. It’s so close that I might just work on this today and see if I can power through it.

I also worked on another sock project, but it’s still in the beginning stages, just a bit of leg. The yarn is Tibetan Dream sock yarn from Bijou Basin Ranch, and it’s a yak/nylon blend. I’m loving these purples! Stay tuned — I’ll have a review later this month.

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More snow fell overnight, so we have a couple of inches of bright, powdery snow. It’s pretty but I am tired of it and it can go away now. The only good thing about it is that I can stay cozy on my couch with a blanket and my knitting and not feel any guilt, because that’s what you do on snow days! Hope you’re all safe and warm too!

 

Reading or Knitting?

Back in January, I decided my focus word this year would be “Balance”. I wanted to find balance between buying yarn and fixing my house, maintain a good work/home life balance, maybe try to find a balance between being healthy and eating food I like (that one’s been a slow starter). But now I’m struggling from a lack of balance between my favorite hobbies, knitting and reading. I love both but knitting has been taking precedence for the last few years, and it seems to be getting worse. I kind of miss books.

Thankfully, I have reached a point where I am able to read while knitting, but there are caveats: it has to be an ebook, and the knitting has to be very simple. So I’ve been reading and knitting over my lunch breaks for a while, and that’s good. But it’s not the same. I miss physical books. I tried doing both yesterday.

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It didn’t work. I struggled to keep the pages open and flat, and it took longer to turn the pages, disrupting the flow of my knitting. Trying to combine the two meant neither of them were satisfying. What did I do? I finished the sock, of course.

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After that, I worked a little bit on a cowl, and only then did I feel like I’d gotten enough knitting to be able to take a break for some reading. It’s not even that I feel obligated to knit; I WANT to knit. If I don’t get some knitting in my day, I’m sad. But I need to work on this balance, because I’ve got three library books that I’m eager to read!

How do you balance your time when you’ve got two things you really want to do?

SUNSHINE!

GUYS. OMG. Today there is a blue sky and sunshine and it’s almost kind of warm (by which I mean 30 degrees F, but still…) and I knew I needed some sun but I had no idea how much it would lift my spirit. I feel brighter and lighter and happier. I feel full of ideas and motivation and inspiration. I want to read all the books and write a book and knit all the things! I wish I could feel like this every day, you know? But I’ll enjoy it for as long as it lasts.

I got to take advantage of the nice weather with an outing today. I went to the bookstore by myself for an hour (bliss) then had lunch with three friends at the Shake Shack (yum) and then we went to the yarn store (yarn!). I think I’d also forgotten how much I enjoy doing things like this, getting out with friends. I’m pretty anti-social, happy to stay at home with my yarn and my pups, but there’s a lot of value in getting out and connecting with people whose company you enjoy. So thanks, girls, for the perfect afternoon getaway.

There is no new knitting to show off, though I will get a lot done tonight during the Oscars, so instead I’ll share the pretty magenta Malabrigo I bought today. It will be a cowl for me!

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