Sunday, September 02, 2012

Summer Slows

This is my new corner of quiet.

I actually considered leaving this blog. After so many years. Yes.

Then I read someone else's blog. Some random person I met. She really put herself out there and it inspired me. I remembered how much more I enjoy reading my own blog posts in retrospect, so much more than any journal I've kept. My journals have been so depressing and self indulgent. Yeah, this is a better idea.

I do however think my writing skills have gone to hell recently. But I'll try here and see what happens.

So, I've moved AGAIN. This place is way more pleasant than other places I've lived in the past couple of years. It's huge. It's mine. It's spare in furnishings. In a couple of months I will be enjoying a wood burning fireplace which seems almost too good to be true. I have outdoor space.

I've taken to watching the birds at the feeder I hung outside. I am so totally entertained bythe finches. Of course each type of bird has their own personality, I just never noticed before I suppose. They gather in clusters as the end of Summer approaches. I am amused and enamored.

These are the last perfect days of Summer that I love so. I loved them in New England and I love them here as well. It's funny, when I look at pictures of Massachusetts and Connecticut it seems to incredibly FLAT to me. If I were to move back that is the one part that would just bore me. I've grown accustomed to the green hills and snow capped mountains of the Pacific Northwest. It was that way in my imagination when I dreamed of moving here and the reality is so. It is a green and dreamy land.

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Simply Tea

When people find out about my not-so-secret tea obsession, I'm asked: What kind? I generally answer: Black, strong, with milk and sugar. Somehow that's not what they expect. Perhaps they imagine me with a flowery tea, fruity tisane, relaxing herbal blend or gentle white tea. But give it to me strong, honey. It's what I like.

I don't think I've actually gone into detail about my tea consumption so today is your lucky day! Or not.

If I'm home, I brew a pot (2.75 cups) of Peet's Scottish Breakfast or Russian Caravan. Both are very heavy on the smokey Lapsang Souchang. If I am out, and I can actually get over to a Peet's, I have a cup of their Chai Latte (which should just be called Chai, because it should all have milk, but whatever...) It's strong and spicy! What they prepare is a combination of brewed tea and some kind of concentrate. You can't make this at home.

If I'm at work I have 2 (jumbo) cups of not-too-strong generic black tea like PG Tips although these days I'm working my way through some Tetley British Blend.

My addiction has hit a new level though. I was at Marshall's and in the checkout lane they had this:
Two bucks a bag. I had no idea how it would be, but it is VIRTUALLY like sipping ice tea. When I am on the way to work and I haven't had my first cup, I have just one of these candies to "quiet the voices". Ha. You should see me when I'm traveling. Most folks think that only coffee drinkers can be this impossible about their first cup.

How did I get this way, you ask? Blame my mother. When I came home from school I had a cup of tea. It was the answer to all woes and the source of all comfort. When she had to go to decaf in later life it was a painful thing. If you don't know already, decaf tea is sad. It lakes any semblance of tea flavor and can often be like dishwater. Not doable by any stretch.

Do I ever drink herbal tea? Only to fall asleep, although I have been known to have large glass of iced Yerba Matte in the Summer. The rose petals in Tazo Calm is kind of nice. And of course, there's always Sleepytime tea.

The final word is this. If you want to impress me, calm me or make me feel at home, have the pot on to boil, some 2% or whole milk around and don't forget the sugar. Not honey, Honey. Sugar!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Spring Knitting and Photos

It nearly happened. Facebook almost won out to the blog without my even realizing. I went to look at my blog and saw that I hadn't posted any pictures of my little visit (April 8th) to the Chinese Gardens! Shame on me. Back on the ball today...And yes, I did edit them with some filters for fun. It's so easy to take photos with good composition in this kind of environment, but harder to get unusual shots.

I really "get around" quite a bit these days. I spend most of my time alone and walk a great deal. Yesterday after work, I went to see the Rothko exhibit at Portland Art Museum. It was free Friday, really busy and I wasn't that impressed. I don't know, the pieces seemed crowded in the space. I've seen his work in other museums like Boston and appreciated it way more. But, I'm glad I went because I saw the John Frame exhibit. Wow.

Then it was on to my favorite Indian restaurant and the movie Cabin in the Woods. Not so scary and really entertaining. Today I am looking for just a little less excitement though, so I pulled out my current knitting projects and took some quick pictures.
Here we have a bit of a classic "accident" a la Melissa. After knitting around three inches into my top, I realized I had twisted my work at the cast on. Instead of ripping it out, I made it a "design feature". I pulled it into a twist that then moves into a cable. Lame, perhaps but it is going to be a feature nonetheless!

And then we have the finished Turkish Bed socks (first pair, more in the works)

I need to create another folder for the photos of my recent socks because when I look into the big folder for socks on my computer, I see all these socks I don't have anymore. It's slightly upsetting to see years and years worth that I have worn to bits and no longer exist in my wardrobe. Three seasons a year, I wear them everyday, so no doubt, even with darning and patching, at some point they are quite...dead!

Then, we move along to the Spring sweater that I wish I were wearing right now, but instead I'm still knitting. Like THAT'S a new situation! It's in this yarn that I really like, Vintage from Berroco. It's acrylic, wool and nylon and kind of soft and dense. I am making some version of the Pima Silk Spring Cardigan  from Crystal Palace. I'm running short and hopefully I can score another skein in the same dye lot at Yarn Garden this weekend.

Next time I post, it's going to be about tea. I have a lot to say about tea these days yet never seem to get around it. This will be my reminder! Ah, pour one more cup and back to the knit...

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Spring Spinning

Yesterday I had the opportunity to experience the Aurora Colony Spinning Wheel Showcase, in Aurora, Oregon. It was total immersion into the world of antique spinning wheels. There were over 30 wheels with women (in most cases the owners') demonstrating their wheels. The wheels themselves were from all over the world.
Sheila January spinning on her "accelerated" wheel

I bought several raffle tickets for a wheel similar to the one that Sheila in spinning on in the photo above. Here's hoping! Although, I'm not doing any spinning right now, I really got revved back up to it again yesterday.

The most educational thing for me yesterday was finally seeing someone spin flax (linen). In the photo below, Loyce is not only spinning flax, but doing so on a wheel that has the ability to spin two bobbins at the same time, Of course, the challenge for a spinner is to manage drafting both at the same time. Loyce explained that this wheel was invented to bring up production levels, but seriously. It's so easy to mess up with this that you have to stop constantly and then indeed it is not faster! (The blue ribbon is holding the flax to the distaff.

And then there be the wee bunnies....I don't think that bunnies would have been found at that time in history for fiber, but I could be wrong. Anyway, I've got bunnies on my mind. Last week I helped Paula sheer Zsa Zsa. When I was there, I fell in love with the little bunny Foo Foo. That's really his name: Little Bunny FooFoo. He's a dwarf and very very sweet.
So, for now it's back to knitting. Yes, I'm still doing a lot of that. Some projects that have just jumped off the needles (as if...) below:

The lesson I keep learning is about yarn. Soft, soft yarn. It's the only kind I want near my neck. I made that autumn colored shawl above in a sock yarn and now I don't want to wear it. The light blue piece is very soft and the tweed stole above is the recycled cashmere. Some lessons are hard to learn. Pretty yarn may not be the yarn you want to wear... Oh well. Back to it, now.

Sunday, February 05, 2012

Nomad Again

It is what it is...
The up-side is that I'm getting to know parts of Portland that I"m not familiar with. The rain has finally lifted for now. After several weeks of of pouring down rain and cold, the weather has broken in a most glorious way. At my new bus stop and I can see this amazing view of Mt. Hood. Yes, it is a busy street!
As for knitting, I have finished a shawl recently but haven't blocked it yet. There was actually a couple of weeks where I couldn't even bear to knit. Now that's stress. I do generally keep some easy crochet project going though. Right now I have something that will most likely become a large cowl. It's had some serious construction setbacks for no good reason. Stress diminishes knitting skill, dontcha know. So, here's the handspun that I started with from a couple of months ago.
And now the start of the project:
I am so impressed with the luster of this Blue Faced Leicester. Wow. There are some yarns I love to spin because I know I will just love to wear them and this is one. If only I could feel that way about all the PINK I like to spin and then not wear.

The sweater back is blocked because I wanted to make sure it was going to fit, but other than that it's languishing...
A color trend here, yes?

Short post here, folks. Just trying to make sure I keep up with the blogging, no matter what. Here's to sunny days ahead though. I think I'll go block that shawl....