“You Must Be This Tall To Ride.”

Those words haunted my childhood.  While everyone else was busy screaming their faces off on Splash Mountain, I spun around in the teacups (again), plotting a way to corner Cinderella’s fairy godmother so I could ask her to make me two inches taller.  And even though I can ride all those rides now, there are nights that I still wish upon a star that I can be two inches taller.  Sometimes, I even go a little crazy and wish that I was three inches taller; if my wildest dreams came true, I would be 5’2″, I wouldn’t have to hem my pants, I could probably reach the top shelf items in the grocery store if I stood on my tip-toes, and would actually be able to belly up to a bar.  But dreams are just dreams; there’s no such thing as the tooth fairy and I’m pretty sure that the only height change I will encounter will be shrinkage due to osteoporosis.  I suppose by that time, they will have invented hover shopping carts, so I won’t have to ask that young whippersnapper to hand me the prune juice from the top shelf.  So at least I have that going for me.

The point I’m trying to make here is that I have to knit a lace edging 63″ long.  Sixty. Three.  I should be so lucky.  Who does this lace edging think he is anyways?  A basketball player?  Some kind of wizard?  A giraffe?  Bastard.

Did you know that the most common side effect of multitasking projects is the propensity to work on the ones that don’t have a looming deadline?  I’m fairly certain this is the reason why my skirt is nearly finished and the pillow edging is only at a mere 30 inches, even though I need to have it done by Monday.  It definitely has nothing to do with the fact that I’m begrudging the extra 5 inches the lace edging will have on me.  Nothing what-so-ever.

Let’s talk about moderation.  Specifically, my lack of moderation.  Popcorn and ice cream after dinner followed by girl scout cookies (thin mints, please)?  Not a problem.  That’s future Freshy’s problem.  She’ll be older and wiser by then, so I’m sure she can handle it.  Reading ten books at once?  Child’s play, in my opinion!  I’ll remember where I am in every one of them and will know exactly what’s happening….  Although now that I think of it, maybe that’s not true, but I’d like to think I can handle the challenge.

Presently, I have two projects on the needles, the lace baby pillow and Deco (ok, three if you count Rob’s hat, which I have mutilated beyond belief and is in a time-out until I can wrap my head around my varying gauge).  This is all fine and good, but I’m starting to get an itch in the tips of my fingers.  Wouldn’t it be great if I could just add another fun project in there?  Another sweater perhaps, one with cables all over.  Or a tweedy skirt to wrap up the end of winter.  Or maybe a fun gradient scarf to play with colors and welcome spring.  Or how about getting a jump start on summer with a flowing linen tunic.  Yes, yes, YES!!  I want it all!!  I want it right now!  Fade in to a warm sunny day: I’m giggling as I skip through an open field, arms stretched out towards a bountiful basket overflowing with skeins of Shibui, Madelinetosh, Manos, Jamieson’s and all that is glorious.  When we finally touch… magic.

Fade out.  Yes, I have a problem with moderation.  Have you seen my stash on ravelry yet?  It’s bad.  Oh I’m sure it’s not the worst of the bad, but it’s pretty close.  It takes every ounce of willpower I can muster to resist the temptations in the yarn store.  I have a basket at work, where I put all the things I want on hold.  I take it out at my lunch break and fondle them.  Then I hang my head low and cry a tear or two as I put the basket away.  Finish the sweater.  Finish the baby pillow.  Use your stash.  Words that are daggers through my merino-loving, anti-moderation heart.

It’s a good thing I have a few goodies in my stash already, not to mention all those projects that I really, really, really had to have last year.  Honestly, the purpose of completing an inventory on my stash was so that I would be persuaded to use it.  You want to buy more Madelinetosh?  Get a hold of yourself, woman!  You already have fifteen skeins of tosh in your stash.  But I digress….

I have chosen to add the Simple Straight Skirt by Churchmouse onto the needles today.  I purchased the yarn and made a swatch for the project months ago, before Christmas knitting hit the fan.  Adding this project to the needles is really a necessity more than anything else.  I have the lace edging to finish on the pillow and then seaming, and I’m about ready to split for the sleeves on Deco.  Both of these tasks require my undivided attention.  Stockinette knitting is a must in order to maintain balance in my universe (kind of like reading Harry Potter for the umpteenth time in between all the other reads); it is the perfect project for the times that I want to knit care-free while eating popcorn and ice cream simultaneously.

Immoderation.  Totally necessary.

Did you notice something?  An absence of something?  I didn’t think so.

Well, I was told by my (sometimes) wiser companion that I should just blog as if nothing has happened.  That ridiculously long hiatus I took from blogging and knitting never happened.  I knew it wouldn’t be easy getting back into routine after being funemployed for so long, but almost exactly a year later, I’m still struggling to stay balanced.  It probably doesn’t help that I also have one of these things in tow now.

Of course she isn’t this tiny anymore.  Now she looks mostly like this:

IMG_1741

Scout is pretty much the best dog on the planet.  I know that’s what everyone says about their dogs, but she really is the best.  So I can forgive her for eating up all of my free time… and socks.  Thankfully, she doesn’t seem to have any interest in my knitting.  Knitting.  That reminds me….

Just like work, I’ve been slowly reintegrating knitting back into my daily life.  I did my best to get Christmas gifts out to the family, but sadly, I just wove in my last end and took pictures today (incidentally, it was the first time I’ve used my camera since August).  I really am a poster child of procrastination, in case you didn’t already know that.  But what is family for, if not to forgive your faults?

There are some goodies in here, but I’ll keep the details on my ravelry page.  It just sort of happened that all the gifts were blue.

And I seriously did not plan this, but the two things currently on my needles are both yellow.

Right now I’m working on Deco by Kate Davies and a lace pillow for a baby gift.  I like working on multiple projects at a time, not necessarily in the same color family but these things happen.  When I get tired of working my fingers to death with the sturdy Frangipani yarn, I can switch over to some soft baby yarn and give my hands a break.  Also I’m crazy and love to overload myself.

I’m feeling like I’m finally back to full knitting production.  At least, my ravelry queue and yarn stash (which I spent a week creating a detailed inventory, no joke) are growing.  I think that’s a good sign that things in my knitting world are returning back to normal.  Which in turn means that things should be back to normal here on the ol’ bloggy blog.  Lucky you!

PS.  There are still a few travel posts that I want to share, but I’m not promising anything since I still have about 10,000 photos to sort through.  Remember that thing I said about procrastination?  Ya.  Don’t do what I do people.  It only hurts you and those around you.

Typing “Albuquerque” is turning into a real finger twister on the keyboard.  Albuquerque.  Albuquerque.  Albuquerque.  Gah.  Takes too long for my pinky to reach that “q” and then the rest of my fingers get all befuddled and start drifting off the home row.  But that’s not what you want to read about, is it?

As I mentioned in my previous post, I have dedicated this month to some rambling around.  It has almost been a year since I’ve hung out with my knitting buddy, Holly.  The last time we hung out together was at Rhinebeck and I embarrassed myself thoroughly by spilling coffee and wine all over myself and my yarn.  Yet, she still saw something in me and continued to talk to me.  Why?  Maybe she thinks I’m one of those cool dorks, which… I totally am.

I decided that it had been far too long since we got our knit on together, so I headed down to Albukirky (so much easier to type!) to remedy that situation.

Ever a gracious host, she took me to the Sandias, where we went on a small trail walk up to the Kiwanis Rock Cabin, a product of the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps), and got an amazing view of the city below.  The CCC was a work relief program put together under the administration of President Franklin D. Roosevelt.  It’s main objective was to provide unskilled labor work and jobs during the Great Depression.  Their work went a long way to conserving our natural resources across America.  It’s pretty cool to come across the CCC cabins and see their work still standing strong.

Although I prefer snow-capped mountains and alpine lakes, there’s a certain beauty to the desert landscape, and the Sandias delivered nothing short of that.  I could not stop staring at the clouds; they are incredible!

The next day, we took a quick trip over to Santa Fe to check out the farmer’s market at the railyard.  Even though we showed up a little before noon, the market was already getting ready to close up for the day.  Kind of unfortunate, but we did score a few free baked goods and got a quick afternoon wine tasting in.

After venturing through Santa Fe’s old town and touring a few yarn stores, it was time to do some serious stuff: Beer tasting and swatch knitting.

My beer tour in Albukirky took me to Marble Brewery, La Cumbre Brewing, and Il Vicino Brewery Canteen.

At one point, we both got super excited by the fact that our knitting matched our brews perfectly.

I tasted many a fine beer while I happily knitted away on my swatch.  My favorite beers were La Cumbre’s Hefeweizen and Il Vicino’s Brown.  If you want to know more about the beers though, Holly does a great Pints and Purls section on her blog.  Even if you’re not a knitter, check it out; she knows how to pick some tasty beers.

I’m pretty excited about my swatch too (surprise, surprise, it’s more Madelinetosh).  It felt so good to knit my little heart out and experiment with different stitch patterns.  I’ve got something pretty specific in mind for this project, so it’s going to take some work to achieve that.  But I’m ready for the challenge.  My trip out to Albukirky was just what my knitting soul needed: spending quality time with a fellow knitter, drinking beers and doing all things knitting related.

As much as I love rambling around, leaving the cabin a couple of weeks ago was a hard thing to do.  I have to admit that I was starting to finally feel somewhat settled into a place and had established a real routine of sorts.  It’s probably a good thing that backpacking still feels like second nature to me right now and it’s also reassuring to know that I’ll be back in the cabin come September.  This summer has been nothing but an amazing adventure.  I just can’t stand to think about it ending; it feels as though I’m moving at warp speed, with nary a thought as to how I got here.  How did I get here?

When I think back to how it all started, all I can think about is a cozy cabin in the woods.  I think about the smell of the alpine trees and the sound of the creek and my mouth starts watering for huckleberries.

Then there was a small stint in Leavenworth, which consisted mainly of this:

There were some fly-infested hikes thrown in there too and a gorgeous lake that was colder than I expected (also discovered that I sink like a rock…).  Though, aside from instagramming all the food I was eating, I kind of failed at the whole photo taking thing.  Leaving a routine does weird things to you.  That’s my excuse.  That’s also my excuse for not showering often.  Though we did treat ourselves a few times to 50 cent showers.  And trust me, it felt like pure luxury living.

August started off great with a trip to Oregon to attend Pickathon.  My friends and I (all super savers) volunteered to be parking gurus so we could get free tickets to the three day event.  It was so worth it; Pickathon was unlike anything I have ever experienced before.  Not that I attend music festivals much, but it had such a real and (I hate to throw this word around, but…) organic feel to it.

We camped out in the woods and listened to great music all weekend, ate great food, and hung out with great people.  It was the perfect way to start off the month.

I have a feeling that I’ll be attending Pickathon as a volunteer again next year, if only to eat more ice cream.  Certainly took me less than fifty licks to go through my cone, but who’s counting anyways?

I was a bad knitter during these travels.  Oh, I had a small yarn stash with me… packed… somewhere in my car, maybe you can’t see it, but it’s there….  I even packed a skein into my bag everyday.  I just never felt the urge to whip it out and start casting on for anything.  I’m not going to go so far as to say I have lost all of my creative mojo, but maybe that little part in my brain responsible for creativity is on vacation too and I have to slowly ease it back to “work” mode.  Would it help my knitting readers out there if I told you that I thought about knitting every single day?  It’s a small thing, I know, but it’s a start.

More tomorrow on my trip to Albuquerque (bonus: knitting swatch!) and beyond.

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