Studying… the fun way

Studying comes with the territory of being a student, but this weekend, there was sun! This is a rare commodity in Portland this time of year, so since the rays of happiness were extending all the way to the coast, I drove out there with a buddy yesterday. With study materials in hand, we hunkered down by a log and learned things. Our home for the day:

Study Log

I played with some effects on my phone (some study breaks were necessary):

Beach

I started knitting something for my mom:

casting on at the beach

Some people were riding horses to the beach, and then on the beach. So romantic. We also saw some beach tricycle things that I had never seen before. They seemed to be pretty speedy considering they were traveling on sand. Has anyone seen them before? I didn’t get a photo, unfortunately.

Horses

We made sure we were back in time for the sunset,

Just before sunset

and found this clever message in the sand:

CAT MEOW

It may seems like we just had fun all day (which we did), but we definitely also got some studying done! At the end of the day when we were done, we enjoyed the sunset. And by that I mean ran like crazy people down the beach because I wanted to get the sun setting behind Haystack rock. I didn’t decide this until the sun was already heading down, so it was a mad dash. We made it in time, with some brief photo-taking pauses, but at that point, clouds were blocking the sun and my camera (phone) had died. wah wah. It was totally worth it for the breathless laughing along the way.

This day made me wonder why I don’t spend every weekend at the coast.

Weekend Whirlwind

I had a busy weekend, which is why I’m writing about it on Monday. It was the Rose City Yarn Crawl Saturday(total knitter nerd fest – loved it!). Then Sunday, I went to see Willow at The Laurelhurst Theatre on Sunday with a friend and her boyfriend who are so great that I didn’t mind one bit being a third wheel. The movie was pretty entertaining and I hadn’t even seen it as a kid. According to my movie-watching companions, it stood up to the test of their childhood memories. Afterwards had to go to Powell’s to spend a gift card I received for my birthday in December (suuuch a tough task). I guess this sounds like a pretty tame weekend, but it was more ‘fun stuff’ than I usually get to cram in. Luckily there’s a little post-midterms lull happening.

The real task at Powell’s was figuring out what to put back. I have a love of bookstores in general – small, big, whatever – so being told I have to spend money at a huge and awesome book selling establishment was a pretty easy pill for me to swallow. I think it took me so long to actually get there and do it because I didn’t want it to be over with. Like Christmas morning, it’s this magical moment and then you know you have to wait a whole other year before it happens again. Okay, maybe I’m being a bit dramatic, it was just the purchase of a few books, but I had a great time. When you’re a student, there’s not usually extra money floating around the budget to spend willy nilly.

I got some great new yarn, so photos to follow when I get around to taking them! Hopefully it will be sometime this week and hopefully soon after, I’ll start doing fun things with my new knitting supplies. Maybe I’ll even elaborate on book purchases – spoiler alert: they are both quilting books.

Zest ya later (I’m in a good mood, so had to add this. Plus, it reminds me of something my sister would say, and that girl makes me smile)

The dog

Taking photos of fingerless gloves yesterday let to a photo shoot with my roommate’s dog. It started out as a way for me to take photos of the gloves.

IMG_0150

Then the gloves got put on the table.

Gloves on table

Then she was sitting on the chair with a white background and so I of course had to take more photos,

Bess at table

and edit them so she looks like a diva on a stage (she can kind of be a diva, but she’s pretty cute most of the time)

Diva dog

Currently she is enjoying the sunshine coming through the window by taking a nap. She also got to run around the dog park this morning. Lucky girl.

I fell in love with a pair of fingerless gloves, but I’m putting friendship first

I started making a pair of fingerless gloves (mittens?? – it seems like once the finger part is gone, it’s hard to tell which they would have been) for a friend about a month ago. I had a yarn whose colours perfectly suited her and her birthday had just passed, so it seemed like a great idea. I found a pattern that involved a cable, which I hadn’t done prior to this project, but was excited to try. I was all set. I started knitting and things went well – I used a different sized yarn than the pattern called for, didn’t bother making a sizing swatch and yet it still turned out. See:

Fingerless Gloves

They’re hand sized and everything (I made my dad a hat for Christmas that was most definitely not head sized, so my method has been know to fail). The problem came when I realized that I wanted to keep the gloves. It was my first foray into knits for hands and also my first cable. I wanted them to keep my hands warm while still allowing me to type on my computer in class. Truth be told, I still want to keep them, but I started out making them for someone else and so that’s who they’re going to. Because I do really want her to have them too. Life is richer when you’re able to contribute to someone else’s – even if it’s just with a silly pair of gloves.

Both Gloves Close-upOne Glove

In what ways do you like to pass on your zest to others?

Making Yarn Cans

My roommate and I recently moved to a house her sister bought. So far, living in Portland, I haven’t really put my ‘touch’ in any of the rooms I’ve lived in. At our last house, I didn’t even manage to actually hang the pictures that I owned on the walls – they just sat where they were (never) going to hang. We lived there for over a year. Today, I decided to try something I saw on Pinterest a while ago – using cans on the wall as yarn holders. So far, I only have three (I’ll have to make some more chili to use up more canned tomatoes), but I think I like it. This is my final product:

Yarn Cans

I used a ‘wing it’ approach to getting the cans on the wall. People who actually know how to use tools might disapprove of some of my techniques, but here’s how I did it:

Tomato Cans

I started with three cans – more to come because I definitely have WAY more yarns that need homes

nail and cannail, hammer and can

I used a hammer and a nail to put a hole in the bottom of my cans (and wiggled the nail around to make a roomier hole for easier access from the other side – this may have been  some unnecessary faffing)

Getting the can on the wall

I used a tool with a hard end that I could stick inside the can – yep, that’s really how I chose this tool. I used it to bash awkwardly at the nail until it was all the way in the wall and my can was held in place. Once all three were on the way they looked like this:Cans on wall

And then I added yarn:

Two yarns

The last colour of yarn I used was still in it’s label and I didn’t like how it sat in the can, so I took off the label and stashed it in back, so I will still know what I am working with when I eventually use this yarn.

 final product

Voila!

I love these colours together, but I’m not sure what to knit with them. Suggestions welcome.

Aside

My roommate’s uncle was here for a visit this weekend. He is a professional photographer, great guy, and talk about someone who embraces life. He has so many great stories and such a passion for his work and travels. 

Adding zest

Two and a half years ago I moved from East Coast to West and left all my family, friends and my boyfriend behind. I was in the state of mind that I didn’t want to get attached to anyone or anything in Portland because I knew I would be leaving once I finished school.165_3347017-WTurns out fours years is a long time to stay detached and I wasn’t really enjoying it. Even though I’m not staying, I’ve figured out that living somewhere without really living there doesn’t work for me. I have some work to do to get back my ‘zest’, but I’m starting to enjoy the journey. If I miss Portland when I leave, so much the better.