West for the winter

It’s been an interesting couple of weeks. The last week of January we, and many areas around us, were hit with an ice storm that knocked out the power and downed many, many trees.dsc044892

The University of Arkansas was actually closed Tuesday through Friday of that week. As a point of reference, up until this ice storm the university had only closed 18 times in the past 100 years. I was ecstatic at first. But then I started to get anxious because school closings also meant I couldn’t go to my internship site, so I missed a lot of potential client contact hours, and I knew I was going out of town the next week, so I was a bit worried.

We didn’t have power from Tuesday around midnight (technically Wednesday) until Thursday around 8:00. I consider us very fortunate because a couple of my friends just got their power back yesterday. We have some awesome neighbors that have camping equipment and a grill, so we actually ate better than usual. They were off for most of the week too, so Drew and I had company. I had 20+ candles going in my living room when we were hanging out in there (yes, fire hazard) and when the power came back on the thermostat registered at 70 degrees. I was really surprised they put out that much heat.

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The next week we went to Portland, OR to visit. We might potentially move there in the next few years. Some of it was really fun, and some of the trip was so-so. On the way there we had a FOUR hour layover in Atlanta. We left from Tulsa, OK, so this was completely out of the way and looooong and boring. We got to Portland around 10:00 their time and were exhausted when we got to the hotel. Drew had some kind of stomach bug and spent most of the first night sleepless and hangin out with the toiles. Then things got significantly better.

The next day we looked at a really expensive and gorgeous apartment at 10th & Hoyt just for fun, ambled around downtown, and took it easy for the most part. I went to Knit Purl. I was impressed with the wall of Koigu they have, but I was expecting more overall. I bought some “gold” yarn that looks very green when not in sunlight. dsc04659I was very weirded out by the color change.

All in all it was a good trip. I saw a guy from high school that I haven’t seen in 9 years. He had some really good pointers for fun stuff to do. We ate at Portland City Grill downtown and loved the food and the views. I only went to one other yarn store: Yarn Garden. I loved it. They had a great yarn selection and the staff was really friendly. I bought a bunch of sock yarn, yarn for another N.Cap lookalike, and sock blockers. Here are the goods:dsc04648

I’ve been meaning to get sock blockers for ages, but I never have. I usually just put the socks on and go.

Speaking of socks…I finished a pair of sock for Drew for V-day. dsc047312

It’s the Ron Weasley colorway from Opal sock yarns. I gave them to him early because I can’t seem to wait to give gifts and I wanted him to have a little more time to actually use them. I also finished the Sock Ease socks in Lemon. Ugh. They look fine, but they are so so so scratchy. I actually haven’t washed them because I’m lazy and wanted to wear them immediately, so I’m praying they soften. They are fine for sitting, but walking around in them made me very itchy. At this point, I do not recommend that yarn. I was swayed by the $10 price point.

I’ve started a new pair of socks out of Colinette sock yarn, which I love. It feels wonderful and is about $22 for a pair of socks, but I wish the ball had slightly more yardage. It has around 310 yards for the pair. These socks are heavily inspired by the Spring Forward pattern. dsc047362I had to cut down the number of stitches to 54 instead of the 66 called for in the pattern. I don’t know what it is about socks. I’m on gauge with size 0 needles, but the 66 stitches would have left at least an inch to an inch and a half of slack. The Jaywalker pattern was the same for me. I don’t wear narrow shoes and I have size 9 feet. What gives? Does anyone else radicaly alter the width of sock patterns on a regular basis?

While in Portland we also checked out a couple of breweries. According to wikipedia, Portland has more breweries than any other US city. We only made it to two of them: Rogue and Deschutes. I love Rogue Chocolate Stout and Drew’s favorite was at Deschutes, X Hop Henge something. He said it was the best beer he’s ever had in his life. And he loves beer. I worked on a hat at Rogue with yarn purchased the day before. dsc04681 I wanted to imitate the ubiquitous Noro striped scarf somewhat, and make another N.Cap inspired design, so I used two self-striping yarns, alternating every three rows, and started one from the outside and one from the center. I like the way it looks in this picture, but I wasn’t twisting the yarn at the color changes so I had many unsatisfactory little holes. I frogged and restarted, going with only two stripes this time. I’m not sure which I like better.

2 thoughts on “West for the winter

  1. Wow, where do I start? First off, I finally made my first visit to an LYS here in Portland and it happened to be Yarn Garden! I loved it. There was a brilliant amount of sock yarn, so I can see why you liked it. I picked some yarn for a hat for my mom, but had to keep it simple because of budget issues. I love those Ron Weasley socks! I wish I had the patience for that. They came out great! And, last but not least, I’m so glad you made it out to the Rogue Brewery! It’s my favorite. I missed their beer tremendously while living on the East coast, and consumed it any chance I could. I hope you make it back again soon. Portland has so much more to offer!

  2. Envious of your visit to Portland, Drew’s socks are sweet looking, if you’ve got the power outage we’ve got the charcoal!

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