Saturday, January 31, 2015

Crazy Person

So... it's been three weeks since I last got onto the blog. What has happened? Well, Connor and I have decided on a short engagement and will be getting married on March 1st of this year. This means we are running around at full speed arranging All The Things. Also, I was offered the most amazing job and started this month. But with great amazingness come great responsibility. I look forward to sharing more details in the future.
I also hope to be able to knit again at some point. I think I've knit maybe five rounds in the last three weeks. Despite this fact, I have still ordered yarn (that hasn't shown up yet) to knit a shawl for the wedding. I am a crazy person.
My poor, neglected projects. On the left is a Seadragonus sock and on the right is a mistake rib cowl.

As if there wasn't enough going on, in between New Zealand and now Connor and I have been in Kentucky as well as Oregon visiting each other's family. I hope to have some time to catch up on everything in the near future. Who else has crazy notions of fitting three months worth of work into one?

Friday, January 9, 2015

Newly Knitworthy

I'm sure many knitters have felt the strong urge to outfit loved ones in hand knits. It's a little hard to explain to a non knitter, but there is a tugging at the heart and an itchy feeling in the fingers to get the knits made. Many of my friends and family have hand knits, but to my disgrace, Connor was missing his.... until now.

It was a little difficult to figure out what should be knitted first, but we decided that a hat was needed. I used the Watch Cap pattern by Michele Rose Orne. This is the third time I've used this pattern and I still really like the look of this hat. The yarn is Mythral from Stansborough, but it is a prototype that they were working on when I bought in 2010

Connor is pleased and has been wearing the hat everywhere. He has proven himself knitworthy. I see a matching cowl in his future.

Has anyone else got a newly knitworthy person in their life?

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Annual Goal List 2014-2015 Edition

2014 was the year of travel and plot twists. Every year I think to myself that I could never know how the next year will be. I had no idea at the beginning of 2014 that I would get to see Morro Bay, have an Epic Road Trip with my Mum, live in New Zealand for 2.5 months, visit Kentucky twice, set foot in a few other States in between, get engaged, work on horse farm as well as a vineyard, hike up/across many streams and fall into a few.

This year I chose to say yes to everything that terrified me and it has paid off. A year ago I don't know if I would have been willing to learn to drive a tractor or climb a rock wall. Actually, I know I wouldn't have. I was invited to go rock climbing in the past, but I couldn't get the nerve up to do it. This year I practiced saying to myself, "No fear!" before doing scary things. I proved to myself that I am as brave as I hoped I could be. What I learned is that everything is still as scary as it was before, but I'm just not going to let that stop me.

Onwards to this year's highlights:

Hiking Clouds Rest in Yosemite. I wanted to test my limits and see if I could hike 14 miles. Turns out I can. I felt really accomplished and more confident with my abilities. (This turned out to be well timed since I did so many crazy hikes in New Zealand later in the year.)
Clouds Rest in Yosemite, June 2014

Meeting Connor. He had just moved to California just as I had made plans to leave California. We ended up doing a bunch of things together because he wanted to see parts of California for the first time just as I was doing everything for the last time, or so I thought. I'm excited to see what the future will hold for us.

All the travel. I got to see and do so many things and meet and spend time with so many people. I'm glad I blog, because it would be so easy to forget how many opportunities I had been given this year. I hope to continue to keep my eyes open and my spirit willing in the upcoming year.
The Green Dragon is still my most favorite place on this Earth

Goals for 2014:
1. Knit up more of the yarn kiwipurler has gifted me.
Status: 1/3 done. I had hoped to knit up 300 grams. I only knitted 100g. I'll just continue plugging away. I do plan on knitting up a sweater with the Mythral she gifted me.
2. Borrowing from the 2011 goal list, I'm putting the spin for a large project back on the list.
Status: Complete. I did finish spinning the yarn and it is with the weaver. There isn't a timeline for when I'll get the blanket, but I've done as much as I can for now.
3. Knit Justin his socks that I promised him several years ago. It needs to happen.
Status: Complete. The socks haven't been displayed on the blog just yet because it is an unreleased pattern. I'll show them off at some point.
4. Find a community outside of knitting to spend time with.
Status: Ongoing. I've joined more communities, but it has become clear that as I grow and learn, so will the communities of people I spend time with. The knitting community seems to be a constant in my life though, which I am pleased about.
5. Choose a new job and do it.
Status: In flux. I had applied to jobs before deciding to move to New Zealand. I applied to jobs in New Zealand before being proposed to and coming back. So I'm looking for a job again. But I had an interview and remain with high hopes.
6. Sew myself a dress. Or in lieu of that, sew a project bag.
Status: Complete, but not by me. I cheated. I paid Maria of A Needle Runs Through It to sew up project bags for me. I suppose the goal really should have been, "Have project bags made out of that fabric I'd been hoarding." I'll still give myself points for taking a class on pattern drafting even if I didn't make a dress afterwards.

I think I did pretty well on my goal list this year. I feel like I achieved beyond this list. The amount of travel I got to do was significant and unexpected.

Goals for 2015:
1. Develop stronger cooking skills. Specifically, I'd like to develop a menu of different meals that spans at least a week. This year I had to go gluten free, which means I have to be much more mindful about food. All my guilty pleasures had gluten. It's been interesting discovering foods that feel like a treat and adhere to my new diet. 
2. Put together a wedding. This is a bit of a challenge because I didn't grow up designing a dream wedding in my head. Connor and I are now working on what we would like the day to look like. Connor is a champ and is supporting me while I'm busy discovering that I have more opinions than I thought I did. 
3. Declutter my life. I have so many things! I don't need all those things. I can feel the weight of owning more than I truly need. I also have a large amount of paper records/things that need to be sorted. We all have that large box of paper that you ought to have organized years ago, but now it's sat in that container for a decade and you still aren't motivated to go through it. This is the year for that.
4. Write a comic book. Over the years I'd often think about putting out a comic book. The topic has changed over time, but the desire to make one has remained. I'm not sure if I want to complete a project of this magnitude in just a year, but I think I'd like to just start working on it.
5. Knit Connor a sweater. I haven't started yet because I believe in the sweater curse. I'm not even swatching. But I have the yarn and a good idea of what I want to knit. Super bonus: we are such a similar size that I can make a sweater that we will both fit into. I'll just have to roll up the cuffs.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014 Creative Recap

It's time for the annual creative recap. I don't know why, but this year I was convinced I hadn't knit or designed all that much. I was wrong. When I looked at my ravelry projects from 2014, I was impressed to see that I had knit up 7 samples for designs, two of which are not yet released. Overall, I'd knit up 11 pairs of socks, 4 hats, 2 sweaters (one sport weight and one fingering), 2 pairs of fingerless mitts, 1 shawl, and 1 infinity scarf. I'm most impressed with the number of socks that were knit. I know many people like to challenge themselves to knit 12 pairs of socks in 12 months. I almost did it on accident. 

I also finally finished spinning the yarn for my blanket project. For the last 4 years, I've been working on spinning all the brown colored mill scraps I had collected while working at the Yolo Wool Mill into yarn. Before I left for New Zealand, I mailed all of the yarn off to a weaver. I'm not sure how the blanket will turn out or what size it will finally end up being. But there is enough yarn for about a Queen sized blanket. I'm looking forward to snuggling under it at some point.

This year proved to me that I have no idea what the future will hold, creatively or otherwise. What I do know is that I will continue to learn as much as I can about fiber and yarn. It still is a passion. But what form that will continually evolve.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Waitomo, Whitebait, And The End Of The Adventures

The next day, Connor, Chris, and I headed out to the Waitomo Glow Worm Caves. Chris and I hadn't been there in quite some time. Connor loves caves, so I thought he might enjoy it. Getting there was quite the ordeal though. There were two possible routes. We chose the southern route so that Connor could see a different bit of the countryside. I made sure to have a hard copy of a map and I set the GPS before handing it over to Connor. Classic mistake. The GPS rerouted at some point and we ended up on backroads. I knew we should have been about 15 minutes to our destination, so I asked how far the GPS said we were. 54 minutes! Chris then asked if I had taken the northern route. No, I hadn't. But for some reason we were pretty far north of where we should have been. Connor was a bit embarrassed. He told Chris that I had prepared for everything except for the "Connor Contingency."

We eventually made it to the caves. Unfortunately there is no photography allowed in the caves. But the bit of the tour where you see the glowworms involves sitting in a boat and floating along a bit of river in a cave. There were so many glowworms that you could easily see everyone in the boat. It turns out that we came at the right time of year. The display is much better in summer than in winter.

As we left, I handed the GPS back to Connor. He asked if we trusted him and Chris and I both said yes. The car was silent as we started backing out. All of a sudden, from the back seat, we heard, "GPS signal is lost." Connor looked back at Chris and Chris gave a sheepish look.
It was getting a bit late, so we all stopped at a cafe. Whitebait was on the menu and I thought Connor should have a taste. I've decided that Whitebait isn't my thing. There is just something about having your food look at you that puts me off my tucker.
Later on that evening Sarah and Ben took us to Kerosene Creek, which has a hot and cold sling running into it. We sat in the warm water underneath the night sky and enjoyed ourselves.

On our last day, I drove Connor and I back up to Auckland. Along the way we stopped for lunch in Matamata, which is right by Hobbiton. Our Hobbiton tour guide had told us about how people would sometimes take off their shoes and kneel on them to look more like a Hobbit. A certain someone enthusiastically jogged over to the town sign to do just that.

Before going to the airport I took Connor to Takapuna, where I had spend much of my time in New Zealand as a child. While we were there Connor brought out some greenstone he had bought me and dipped it into the ocean. Dad and I had done something similar for Mum's greenstone on a previous visit.

We walked up and down the beach and enjoyed the last bits of New Zealand.

This was to be the last calm moment we would have for the next few hours. We hit the worst traffic I have ever seen in Auckland and almost missed our flight back home. It's an involved story, but everything that could go wrong did go wrong. Highlights included all the rental car drop off spots were full, getting separated and only one of us having a working mobile, losing my boarding pass as we were being called to board (I've never lost one until now), going to the desk to get a new pass... only no one is there. We did make it. But we got to the gate with less than 10 minutes to spare. But we made it! And so ends the great New Zealand adventure chapter of my life.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

From Hobbiton To Blue Lake

Because Connor wasn't going to be in New Zealand for very long, I wanted to do my best to share parts of my childhood as well as some touristy things with him. Being the Lord of the Rings fan that he is, I knew I had to take him to Hobbiton.

Any local will tell you that if you live in an area, you will have missed out on some of the classic touristy stuff that you can do. When I had found out that Chris also hadn't been to Hobbiton, I did my best to convince him that he should come with us. I succeeded.

I've been to Hobbiton twice at this point and I've decided that my very favorite place is the Green Dragon. I only wish I knew the song that Merry and Pippin sing about it.

Last time I was here, there were generic mugs to have your pint in. This time around they had Green Dragon pint glasses. And I thought to myself: "They have pint glasses? I'm getting one."

We also popped into the gift shop. And wouldn't you know it, one of Wei Siew's patterns is in there with Stansborough yarn.

After Hobbiton, Sarah and her boyfriend Ben invited Connor and I to hike around Blue Lake. Her father has some legendary stories (many of which Chris has been a part of) so I asked Sarah if anything crazy ever happens to her. In other words, is it genetic? She said she couldn't remember. Famous last words.
Rosie, the dog who was with us and has infinite energy, spotted a duck and went out into the lake to get it. Every time she got close, the duck would fly just a few feet further. We thought the duck was stupid... until we realized it had ducklings. We then knew that not only was the duck not going to leave, neither was Rosie. Sarah made the bold decision to swim out into the cold lake to get Rosie. She almost succeeded, but Rosie spotted the duckling and started anew. At the point we decided on a different strategy. Rosie loves her people, so we walked on, hoping that she would realize we were gone and come looking for us. A bit down the trail we realized that we couldn't hear the duck quacking anymore. We knew it had ended, but we didn't know how. Did Rosie catch the duck? Did she drown? A few seconds later Rosie came charging down the trail.

I felt quite lucky to have gotten to see another part of New Zealand that I didn't know existed. The evening was beautiful and I got to spend it with great company.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

One Ring To Rule Them All

Hello dear readers, my name is Connor. You may remember me from previous blog posts such as Monterey Bay Aquarium, Yosemite, and Kentucky. For this special edition blog post, Audry has kindly allowed me a guest write and share with you yet another adventure we've had together. As you know, Audry has been in New Zealand going on 9.5 weeks. What you didn't know is that I joined her out there for a short time (4 days). This was my first time outside of the States, so I had no idea what I was doing. I packed few clothes and checked in a big empty bag so I could bring back all the yarn Audry bought out there.

Our first destination was Paeroa, known for its naturally fizzy water which inspired a local favorite drink called Lemon and Paeroa, or L&P. Tagline: "World famous in New Zealand." I highly recommend it if you're ever in the area.

From there we took a beautiful drive through the countryside to Mt. Maunganui, where she'd spent time as a child at her grandparents' timeshare. The ocean is very beautiful, but still cold. I decided it was a "looking ocean" after all.

Now I hear you asking, "So why, Connor? Why fly all the way to New Zealand just for 4 days?" Indeed it was not just to look at a beautiful country, nor just to transport yarn back to the States. There at Mt. Maungani I proposed to Audry. Several times. She said yes each time. 
I knelt here in this bit of sand as she sat beneath the bolder.

The rest of that short trip was pretty great too, but I'll leave it to Audry to tell the rest. 
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...