A challenging part of moving house is sorting out where to put large furniture that had been in the previous house. In our NC house, I had an “office” in what I think was meant to be a formal dining or sitting room. I didn’t love the space because it was right off the front door, it had no door (the opening was double wide, so adding one would’ve been costly), and I shared with the boys’ computer.

In this house, I still have no space that is my own. That was an initial requirement when we were househunting, but was quickly becoming unrealistic when we needed to consider bedrooms for people, an office for DH (who works from home full time), and a guest room since people want to see us sometimes. It’s possible I could’ve shared the guest room, but the best way to do that would’ve been to put a futon or similar thing in the room and we don’t own one. It might still be a plan further down the line.  Also, with my children being 15 and almost 18, I might be able to claim one of those rooms in the future. A girl can dream.

In the meantime, “my” Expedit and desk have been set up in our (quite large) master bedroom. DH assembled them earlier this week, and I got my yarny things unpacked on Wednesday. I noticed while unpacking that my sock yarn stash has definitely decreased.  I used to have to really smoosh it down so that I could push the bin back in place. Now there’s headroom. Clearly working from stash has made a difference!

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My laptop is on the desk now (and other random stuff because I’m not tidy by nature). I have a cat sleeping in an empty cubby and I need to get the rest of my personal books, magazines, and supplies in here. I keep reaching for a pen and don’t have one.

My desk faces a window that looks at the backyard, pool, and a hummingbird feeder. I’ve been keeping the curtains closed because it’s so hot out and they’ll help keep the room cooler, but I may have to open them when the sun isn’t shining in directly. I also want to update the tags on the bins (they’re from Target) because they’re not completely accurate anymore.

Now, though, I should probably go find another box to empty.

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Notes from the desert without pics

Like I said in my last post (about 2 months ago), I’ve been told blogs need pictures and I haven’t had the bandwidth to coordinate pictures and writing right now.  I’ve decided to just write and not worry about pictures because I need to get the words out even if no one reads them because of no pictures.  It’s not like this is a “monetized” blog or anything, so why should I care?

We’ve moved back to Phoenix.  We moved via PackRat moving containers this time and we hired some people to help with packing and loading.  Maybe with practice I’d become better at that job, but right now I just can’t “see” how things should be loaded in order to most efficiently use space.  I get a little better if I can move things around many times.  No one wants to do that with heavy furniture though.  These men we hired were fantastic.  They routinely assured us that all of our stuff would fit in three containers and they were correct.  You would’ve thought they vacuum sealed them.

Once the containers were loaded, we loaded the people and cats into vehicles and started the drive.  Nashville was our first stop.  My cousin and his family live there and we got them to entertain us for a couple of days as sort of a gentle ease into the long drive.  It was sort of this in reverse: https://ameyknits.wordpress.com/2013/08/27/a-road-trip-summary/  I didn’t listen to Harry Potter and wasn’t Rick Rolled.  I had Thing 1 in the car with me (we are the carb eaters, DH and Thing 2 are low-carb/keto people, so we split up by dietary desires 🙂 ) and he spent the bulk of his time watching Netflix on his phone (he downloaded episodes of things whenever we had a WiFi connection).  He did notice when I played “Southern Cross” (this video leaves off the coda which is annoying because “we never failed to fail: it was the easiest thing to do” is a great line) about 5 times on repeat, but only vaguely. I had to ask him, later, if he’d noticed. There’s been something about that song lately that really works for me.

We arrived in AZ ahead of our stuff and set about getting the cats and people acclimated (again, for the people) to live in the desert in the summer.  The cats quickly learned to only walk on shaded pavement or just stay inside.  I don’t think they like the lack of grass and trees that we had back in NC (truth be told, I don’t either).  I slept on a camp bed in a sleeping bag in the house with Thing 2 and the cats for a few days.  Thing 2’s room came with a loft bed, so we had a mattress delivered the day we arrived and bought sheets, so he definitely had a place to sleep.

A couple days later, the containers showed up.  The first two were furniture and big/bulky things so they were emptied relatively quickly. That was good since it was like a bazillion degrees outside.  The third container was boxes.  So.Many.Boxes.  I think the container was 16 feet long?  It was full.  Wait.  Maybe I have a picture.

First: a shot of the first two containers arriving.  They were all the same size.

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This is that third “nothing but boxes” container.  Technically it did have other things, but barely.  That’s Thing 1.  He’s about 5’9″ (?) for scale (175cm/1.75m).

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This was after we unloaded all the “non-box” things you can see in the front.  That white box, bottom right?  That was one of the yarn boxes.

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We still have LOADS and LOADS of boxes in the house.  In every room.  The kitchen is mostly unpacked, but we’re not completely in love with where things are.  It’s unpacked enough that we can prepare and cook food and eat together at a table.  Days and days of take-away and drive thru were nice, but making that “where should we go for dinner?” decision every day got kind of old.  Tonight I told Thing 1 the menu and he cooked dinner.  That was lovely.  I didn’t even really mind doing the dishes.

I’m still working thru my planned projects.  The green socks and the red/fireball socks are done. I’ve made 20 points on my Hitchhiker scarf.  I tried to work on the Tulle while at knit night once and that was a mistake. The yarn boxes have been opened, but only to look for my ball winder that DH wanted to use for fishing line or something (to get it off the reel).  I didn’t find it.  What a surprise – nothing is where we think it should be.

So, I’m back in the desert.  Yay?

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Planning to live without yarn

Hi all,

I keep meaning to write and then I don’t take pictures and the word on the street is blogs need pictures.  I may have to just write without photos sometimes since I think I’ll need the writing outlet over the next several weeks and taking pictures may be more than I can remember on a given day.

My family and I are moving back to Arizona.  We have so much stuff to pack and we’re all overwhelmed, honestly.  I knew that my yarn and knitting books would be relatively easy to pack, so I started there.  First, though, I had to decide what NOT to pack because a couple of months without knitting is just a bad idea.

I decided I needed to roughly plan on 6 months worth of knitting.  I won’t be without my stuff for that long (one month is the most, really), but I figured that many plans would give me some choice and definitely be enough.

DSCF1793Starting from the upper left corner and going clockwise:

Hermione’s Everyday Socks in Fireball Sockease
Cat’s Paw scarf in Heritage Paints
(in that white and red sheep bag) two skeins of grey worsted wool to maybe be a scarf to donate?
A backup skein of sock yarn in case all the other is used up
This blue ball is hoping to be a Hitchhiker scarf
Lorna’s Laces in “Zombie BBQ” for socks for me
Some light sportweight yarn that might become a Baktus
My Tulle shawl in progress
(n the center) green socks in progress

Earlier this week I thought I was getting kind of fed up with socks and fingering weight yarn, but I haven’t committed to a pattern for the grey yarn, so I continue to just make socks.

I can put all those projects in a reasonably sized tote bag.  I’ve also crammed in there my main sock knitting book, all of my needles, and a “tool” bag with scissors, needle gauge, stitch markers and other useful bits.

Now if I could just get motivated to pack more stuff.  Ugh.

 

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Tape and paint

Picking colors is a problem for me. I know what I like and what I don’t like, but I struggle choosing where to begin and what colors can be used together. I rely on copying existing combinations where possible.

We’ve been in this house since 2013, and many of the walls still have just the builder’s flat paint. We painted our kitchen last year. We are painting my “office” space now.

We do get samples (and they are worth it for me who loves something in the swatch but hates it on the wall). It took 6 options to pick one. Today I started taping and got a little carried away. The walls on either side of that entryway are going to be painted. They don’t need to be taped. Thankfully painters tape is designed to come off easily.

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Weekend Whereabouts

One of the many things I enjoy about knitting is how portable it can be.  So many things that I knit have simple stitch patterns or areas of plain stockinette stitch so they’re easy to knit on the go.  I knit plain vanilla socks, hats or cowls with repeating patterns, scarves in simple rib stitches, etc.  When I have to do something more complicated, I use loads of stitch markers so that if (when!) I make a mistake I can more easily track what went wrong and where it happened.

The two projects I’m actively working on right now are good for out of the house, and so they went out of the house with me this weekend.  On Saturday, I met up with some knitting friends at a local cafe and worked on a pair of socks.  IMG_20180217_162113982.jpg

That’s my mason jar with the blue top.  It’s an insert from Cuppow that turns a mason jar (to be specific, mine is a Classico spaghetti sauce jar) into sippy type cup.  They are also used for coffee/hot drink cups.  I’m using Lion Brand Sockease to knit a pair of Hermione’s Everyday socks from the toe up.

On Sunday, DH and I went out for dinner without the kids (we invited them – they wanted to stay home).  I had my Sockhead cowl in my purse with me.  I’m knitting that out of Jawoll Magic Degrade and am enjoying the stripes.  There was live music at a local restaurant and we enjoyed that even if it meant we had to shout at each other (or lean in very close) in order to be heard.  I’m nearly done with the cowl – I think I have under an inch of the final ribbing to do.

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What do you like to knit out of the house (if you ever do knit out of the house)?

 

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Good idea/bad idea

I don’t know if this will be a recurring topic.  Maybe that will depend on how the year shakes out.

Good idea: yesterday I decided to learn a new-to-me cast on.  It’s the German Twisted Cast On, and I learned via a video posted by Jimmy Beans Wool.  Note: I have no affiliation with JBW and won’t earn a dime if you click on either of those links.  It’s similar in execution to the classic long tail cast on in that it uses that “sling shot” positioning for the yarn, but has some different swoopy/twisty bits.  But yay for learning new things, right?

Bad idea: I decided to do this while casting on 160 stitches for the Sockhead Cowl by BohoKnits.  Also bad?  Doing it with this green yarn from my stash where the ball started with a very dark green section.  Furtherly bad?  Doing it at night.  We have “daylight” lightbulbs thru most of the house, but they’re not the same as actual daylight.  I mean, maybe they would be if I had them lighting up all of my windows plus overhead.  Who knows.
But, I did it.  Or at least I think I did.  It looks correct in that it’s a functional cast on and I was able to complete the first round of ribbing just fine (and if my count is off, it’s off by a multiple of 4 since the 2×2 ribbing worked out).

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Even the picture is “not good” since I took it last night on my kitchen table (under a daylight light fixture).  But yeah.

So clearly I learned two things: the German twisted cast on AND that I shouldn’t take pictures of fingering weight dark yarn in the evening.

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Yarn Along: January 2018

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That was my knitting yesterday.  I was working on a Pup Tent hat (still in progress) in some, I think, Lamb’s Pride yarn.  I was reading Little Fires Everywhere.  I’ve finished the book and haven’t started anything new yet.  I took a stack of books back to the library, but that particular location is closed to patrons right now.

The library has been going thru a major renovation and I was asked to come in this morning and help with the final push.  My morning looked mostly like this:
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I was putting rfid and some other kind of tag on the children’s DVDs.  First I had to magnetically open all the cases with this thing that I had to slide all of the DVDs thru, one at a time.  I did the whole rack first, and averaged about 5 minutes per shelf.  Not bad.

Putting those tags/stickers on was much slower.  A square sticker had to go on the right reverse side of the cover art slip.  Then, see those circular stickers?  You peel off the outer ring (like a donut, leaving the “donut hole” behind), and put that over the existing white sticker at the center of the DVD.  That process took, on average, 30 minutes per shelf.  And there isn’t a way to make it much more efficient.  I worked with other volunteers and some employees and had fun conversations while we all did this nearly mindless task.  I’m going back tomorrow (the library is supposed to reopen on Friday!).  I really hope other people finished the DVDs.

I’m returning to the blog with help from Ginny’s Yarn Along (now monthly rather than weekly): http://www.gsheller.com/2018/01/yarn-along-324.html

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