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Snow!!

I have to make a confession: I made it snow. Or, at least, Juliana and I made it snow. Just last Sunday, we both complained that there hadn’t been a good dumping of snow in years and how much we wanted a real snow day. Fast forward to Weds night and I’m getting into bed after staying up late weaving in ends for Feathernest and there’s a red exclamation point from my weather app saying expect 4-6 inches of snow.

Now, having grown up in Portland I know that the weatherman always lies. But this red exclamation point seemed pretty serious. And I’m so happy it was!! The whole office ended up leaving early on Thursday to get ahead of the storm but it still took me 2 hours to get home (it usually takes 1 hour). The max line could not handle the snow/cold. I knew it was going to be bad so I was extra bundled and I had my book so all in all, not the end of the world. Once I got home, I made Nick take pictures of me wearing my new sweater in the snow :)

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Sidenote: Yes, I shortened the sleeves on my Feathernest. I tried it on just to test out the sleeve decreases and ended up really liking the look of elbow length sleeves. And, elbow length meant I’d be done with the sweater even faster! Plus, I thought we were heading into spring so shorter sleeves would mean I’d wear it more often. This is another way I made it snow – by taunting mother nature with my spring planning.

By Thurs night we had about 6 inches. We let the cats out to play but Harold was the only one willing to at least test out the snow.

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He ultimately decided it was too cold and weird and headed back inside.

Friday, I worked from home rather than risk being stuck on the max for another 2 hours both ways. And I’m glad I did because by the end of the day we were up to 10 inches. I took the opportunity to get pictures of another knit that I’d never really posted me wearing!

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This is my ANTM pose. Nick asked me if I really wanted to make that face. He doesn’t understand true model talent.2014-02-07 17.42.24

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(I wanted an action shot of throwing snow)

I asked Nick if he wanted a picture of himself since he was being so nice taking pictures of me. He said no.

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He’s covering his face since he knows I’m not a very good listener.

The snow was so soft and powdery that we couldn’t build a snowman. So many people were cross country skiing through our neighborhood and we even saw some people carrying a snowboard around (to snowboard down the tiny hills?) By Saturday we were up to 13 inches and I made Nick take a walk with me to combat cabin fever.

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We saw several families sledding down the hills around Intel which was just so adorable.

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We cut through the parking lot and there were these huge snow mountains. I HAD to climb them. They were a little tricky, since the snow was sooo powdery that I couldn’t be sure I wouldn’t just fall to the center. But don’t worry, I made Nick promise he would rescue me if I got buried.

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It’s hard to tell in those pictures, but I promise you it was a mountain.

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My boots sunk so low into the snow.

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Nick tried to tell me we hadn’t needed to take such a long walk in order to take this picture but I still think it was worth it. Shout outs to my Irish Hiking Hat and Snowflake Scarf for keeping me toasty.

By Sunday, we had about a 1/2 inch of ice layer and temps finally went up above freezing. This meant only one thing to me: SNOWMAN TIME!! I’d been singing “Do you wanna build a snowman?” to Nick all weekend.

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I love how focused Nick got when it came to giving his snowman icicle hair.

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YAY SNOW!!!! It’s supposed to melt by tomorrow but our street is still a winter wonderland. I’m hoping the snow people stay a few days too :)

Feathernest

Feathernest and I got off to a rocky start. I thought I was being sooo smart with the neckline (which should always set off warning lights) – I cast on fewer stitches based on my gauge since I wanted a smaller neckline than what’s shown in the pattern photo. I then promptly cast on for ribbing in 2 sizes smaller than my swatch and ended up with a turtleneck tight collar. I don’t really know why I thought I had to cast on less when I’m using DK and the pattern calls for worsted…After many false starts, I ended up casting on for the exact number stated in the pattern. Loud sigh.

Once I got past that hurdle though, I cared less about gauge. Since this is a top down raglan, I just kept trying this on at every stage. Like after I was sure the collar had to be working:

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And when I was trying to figure out how many increases to do for the shoulders:

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And making sure my arms could fit through the arm holes:

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I am in LOVE with top down construction. I understood the appeal but this is my first sweater that I’ve knit myself from the top down and I am SOLD. It’s just so easy to alter the pattern to match my measurements with little effort! My shoulders aren’t that wide, so I had to stop increasing a little earlier than the pattern. And then I have a really long waist (as in, I’m a short girl but I am taaaalll when sitting) so trying the sweater on to get the waist shaping right was a game changer. I forgot to take pictures of that though so, instead, here’s a picture of my lazy Sunday knitting with my familiar, Franklin:

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I’m already much further than that picture though. I only have 2-3 more inches before the ribbing and then it’s sleeve city!!

In other news, I have finished Season 1 of Veronica Mars and am on to Season 2. I feel very accomplished from just straight up lazy bones TV watching. Helps that I have sweater progress to show for it!

 

 

Goals

It’s 2014. Which means, I get married this year. AAAH!!!! I’m so freaking excited. I just keep repeating that to Nick: we get married this year!!!

It also means, OMG we have to get stuff done! We still need to track down a photographer and a band. If anybody has any suggestions, I’m all ears!! Especially for the band. I’m hoping we’ll nail down photographer in the next couple weeks.

The new year also means it’s time to reflect on the last year and think about some goals to achieve. So, without further ado, my 2014 goals:

  • Get married and have an awesome honeymoon!!! (Ok ok not really a goal, but it has to be first on any list I make)
  • Knit more (my Ravelry projects page is soooo dismal. I need to make it more hoppin’!)
  • Start an etsy shop!! I want to paint and knit items (maybe even stash bust while I’m at it)
  • Beat my 2013 goodreads total. (I read 54 books according to goodreads so 2014 has to top that)
  • Workout more
  • Become more active in the blog world (reading more, engaging more, posting more)
  • Become a house cleaning goddess (or, at the very least, not live in a cesspool)
  • Get pregnant!! (Not until after the wedding, but…it’s still a 2014 goal)
  • Rewatch Veronica Mars before the movie comes out. This might not seem like an important goal for the beginning of the year, but I assure you it is.

Doable right?? Not a very long list!

I’ve already rearranged my Ravelry queue and I’ve cast on for Feathernest. I finally read my winter Interweave this last weekend and fell in love with that sweater. I also fell in love with this one. And this one (finally looked at the winter Knitty).

Ok, 2014! It’s on!

Oh hello there. Haven’t seen you since September apparently! If there’s an award for best blogger, I’m not winning it. Anyway, here’s what I could have talked about and didn’t.

Nick and I spent a nice romantic weekend in Astoria for our anniversary in April. We toured museums and walked around.

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In the Flavel House, I saw this blanket and I decided I had to recreate the stitch pattern:

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We also did everything Goonies related and I bought myself a yarn souvenir to match the colors of Astoria.

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My mom finally cashed in on her Mother’s Day present and we did some glass artwork. Her’s (the bird) is better than mine. She wanted to match her etsy shop design.

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Had a great mother daughter day exploring the wine country in Yamhill County in July:

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We headed down to Sisters for the quilt festival and Cooper only had eyes for a motorcycle. The owner kindly let him get on it.

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I grew my own tea leaves and made a few cups of tea :) (I also learned I should pick the leaves more often!)

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We broke out my mom’s wedding dress which has been sealed over 36 years for me to try on. Although it may looook like it fit me, it was WAY too small and it made me feel fat and my mom feel great about how skinny she was at 19 haha.

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My niece Penny decided food was her absolute favorite thing and tagged along with us while I tried on wedding dresses (in a cardigan knit by Nana).

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Not pictured: any of the wedding dresses I tried on. Nick wants to be completely in the dark, even about the ones I tried on. My mom is making my dress however so it’s not like they’d be real spoilers. So, also not pictured: the fabric my mom and I bought while on sale at Fabric Depot! Spoiler alert: it’s pretty.

Nick and I ran our first 10k! It was around Hagg Lake and was super hard. Apparently trail running is harder than sidewalks. Who knew? (Everybody. Everybody knows that.)

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We also ran another 5k, it was all neon and stuff.

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We grew our own hops!! For Nick’s beer making skillz:

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I finished my snowflake scarf:
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And I started to design my very own sweater pattern:

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Nick and I made apple cider from scratch using apples from my parents’ tree. It doesn’t get more Fall than that. We win at Fall.

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Cooper maintained his friendship with Harold. Here’s a pic of them both chasing a laser red dot.

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I finally got rid of the ugly hideous dark green paint in our kitchen that has plagued me since moving in. It’s now one of my favorite rooms.

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Out of the few things I knit this year, I did make my friends some washcloths and tried out making my own soap and bath salts. I’ve wanted to make my own soap forever! It was so fun to add the scent and dye to the goat milk base. Next step, REALLY making soap from scratch! I used a soap base from Michael’s.

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Last but not least, Nick and I made major headway for our wedding that is TOTALLY COMING UP NOW!! My sister, the magnificent Annie Helen, did our engagement photos which you can see more of here.

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We picked our venue!! OakView Acres :)

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And my awesome friend Emily (find her at Fresh Paper) made us our save the dates. They’re scratch its for the wedding date to be revealed :) :)
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Ok now you’re all up to date!!

Swallowtail Shawl

Two of my close friends got married this summer, two weeks apart. I was lucky enough to be a bridesmaid in both and it was soooo fun! Both weddings were so different, one more formal and one more organic but both were beautiful. I took no pictures at either since it’s hard to have your phone on you when you’re holding a bouquet, but you can take my word for it. Wait, no you don’t have to. For Becca’s, my awesome and super talented sister was the photographer so you can check out the pics here and here.

Since Cory’s wedding was outside for both the ceremony and the reception, and was held later in the day, I decided I wanted to knit a cover-up or shrug. Being me, I agonized and debated practically every single pattern on Ravelry. I ultimately chose Swallowtail Shawl and am so pleased with the end result. Cory’s colors were mint green and chocolate brown so I got bride-approved yarn for the pattern. I cast on a month in advance and was overly confident that I’d have enough time so I didn’t knit very quickly.

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Harold inspected my shawl and agreed, I really needed to get a move on those lace borders.

Luckily (for me) the rental crew never came during the appointment window so the day before the wedding, I got 4 hours of uninterrupted knitting time and was able to block the shawl overnight.

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Pretty cute sink at the Hood River Hotel :)

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I was overly excited to use my new blocking mats and lace blocking wires!

Nick was supposed to take pictures of me during the reception but…we both forgot. I blame the wine and delicious food. And having to give a speech which is just terrifying. But I made him take a picture once we got back to our hotel room.

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Overall, SO in love with this shawl and I want to make a thousand more shawls like it. I can see why people get addicted!! I have more notes in my Ravelry project page about the perils of upsizing this though. You can’t just do 19 repeats and hope for the best with the lace borders. You have to do (gasp) math. It’s ok though, other knitters have figured it out for you! As long as you are smarter than I was and look it up before you have an awful night of only finishing 2 rows in 5 hours because you didn’t know why your stitch count was repeatedly off for row 3…Oh well, it was finished on time! That’s all that matters!

I’m engaged!!!!

That’s my favorite sentence right now: I’m engaged!!! I want to meet more people, just so that I can tell them that. And show them my ring.

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That was the first picture I took. We were on our way to Hagg Lake to fish. So ok, I’ll back up. How’d he propose? His original plan was to propose on the shore of Hagg Lake at sunset, as we were fishing. Very romantic, right?? Except, I ruined it. All week, Nick had been trying to convince me to fish from the shore instead of fishing from his inflatable fishing boat. I though he was just being lazy (we rowed a lot in the boat last weekend), so I kept just saying I’d do all the rowing. So, come Friday, he’s still trying to figure out a way to convince me to fish from the shore without it being obvious. Since, naturally, he didn’t want to risk the ring in his pocket while wading through water to get into an inflatable boat. (I remember being annoyed that he’d put the chairs into the car since I REALLY wanted to take the boat).

Then, I came home from work on Friday and announced that I want to swim too. So Nick is just going: DAMMIT. I went upstairs to change and Nick quickly came up with a Plan B since there was no way he’d be able to hide the ring in his swimming shorts. I came downstairs ready to go and he asked me to go get him a pop from the fridge. So, I do and he’d put the open ring box inside the fridge, in front of the pop.

It was SO CONFUSING. I just kept saying, what?? WHAT?! He got down on his knee and said very sweet things and I might have pushed him. I was sooo flustered and shocked. I said, yeah! And we kissed and then I asked him if he still wanted the pop. Because nothing had sunk in yet haha. He was all, um no dummy. That was to get you to the ring.

AAAAAAAH.

We still went fishing but I was not a very active participant. I took another picture of my ring:

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I loooove the side detail where you can see a tiny heart. He did such a good job!! He asked my sister for help choosing, like a very smart boy.

I’M GETTING MARRIED!!!!!! To the man of my dreams!!!! I’m soooo happy and I can’t wait for my sister to plan the whole thing since I would like to just stare at my ring for the next 9 months. I even got a manicure to make it prettier:

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And yes, before you say anything, I’m well aware that you could say that Nick really “popped” the question :)

Hillsboro Day

Ok there’s plenty I could catch up on from the last month, like our weekend trip to Astoria or our weekend trip to Lincoln City but this weekend was just so nice that I want to write about that instead.

Friday I went out with my sister and her friends to go out dancing to celebrate her 30th bday. I can’t believe my little sissyturd is 30!!!! Then, Saturday morning we went to get manipedis and eat brunch at her favorite place, Jam, which was back in my old neighborhood. Mmm loaded bowl of goodness. Lots of Portland activity but since my parents were out of town biking Reach the Beach, I was in Aurora housesitting for them. By the time Sunday came around, I had driven around so much that I just wanted to go home to Hillsboro.

Now, I recently moved to Hillsboro and it’s been a bit of a culture shock from SE Portland. People, they don’t believe in brunch over here…how do they survive without loaded bowls of goodness?? I’m slowly adjusting to the idea that this is home (maybe too slowly) but today, home felt amazing.

We went to the Farmer’s Market at Orenco and talked with a bunch of vendors. We bought some avocado, lime, and cilantro white bean hummus to use in wraps for dinner. We tasted some beer from Ambacht Brewing which is just down the road from us and is hoping to open their tasting room soon. We ended up buying a ginger beer that he wasn’t sampling but he convinced me that it was what ginger lovers have been waiting for in a beer. Nick’s making me wait to open it until we’re watching Game of Thrones tonight. I’m so excited to try it. AND! I found out there is a knitting store in Orenco!! I had NO idea. They’ve been there a year and are totally hidden. I drive past the yarn store every time I go to New Seasons and have never seen it. Plus, Nick and I drove past twice LOOKING for it, and still didn’t see it until the 2nd time. I’m really excited to go there, they have a knitting guild on Thursday nights so I’m gonna head down and make new Hillsboro friends :)

After we’d sampled everything there was to eat at the farmer’s market, we headed to the new Orenco Taphouse that just opened this weekend. It’s modeled after Bailey’s Taproom, which is my favorite bar in Portland (and where Nick and I had our first date). It was awesome!! Huge open space, plenty of seating, and 20 rotating taps that you can track online and on the huge monitor inside. Nick knows the owners since he works with one of them and I’m really excited to become regulars. We sat at the bar so we could chat with the owners and everyone around us. So happy we have a nice bar to go to!!  It’s really filling a void. That area is about to have a lot more restaurants open too, can’t wait to go to the Lebanese one.

We got home and I started making dinner from our goodies from the market (wraps with the white bean spread, veggies, and local chicken sausage) and we ate it on our brand new patio furniture!

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I love it SO MUCH. I’ve been wanting and wanting chairs and a table for our little front porch since I picture us sitting out there in the evenings and talking with our neighbors. And of course, knitting out there with some tea or a martini. (I’ve decided we’re also going to become martini drinkers at home, just need to buy the vermouth…and get more gin.)

I was so pumped from getting the front looking so cute that I decided to tide up the back patio area too:

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Still has work to do (we’re going to put in pavers) but I’m soooo in love with my yard:

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We have hood strawberries about to turn red, hops growing taller than us, flowering tomatoes, and tons of goodies growing in the garden bed. I’m so freaking happy today. Such a nice Hillsboro day and such a good home.

 

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