Yes, I’m still here

I’ve been neglecting you.  I know.  It’s very wrong of me, but it was also necessary.  There was too much to handle, and quite a lot of things had to make way for the more insistent, pressing items on the life list.  I don’t promise that things are back to “normal,” but I will try to get back to a more regular public writing schedule.

When I last left you, Spring was beginning to bloom and sunny days were just around the corner.  To sum up since then…

Spring was just as rainy as usual, with occasional brilliantly beautiful patches to make up for all of the dreary days.  It really is worth it to live in this amazing place.  And not at all as depressing as one might imagine.

Husband and I spent the grand majority of the spring months house hunting.  We were on the trailing end of the pricing “slump” in this area and were amazed to see even the ugly houses were enjoying their fair share of bidding wars and higher than usual sale prices.  We saw a great many disappointing houses – especially in the city, where we were hoping to put down roots.  Let’s just say that a two bedroom house with an unfortunate basement conversion does not make a working livable three bedroom house and all of the creative wording and artful staging in the world is not going to make me want to buy it.

We finally purchased a house just in time for my June birthday.  Happy Birthday to me!  It’s not in the city, but it’s not way out in the burbs either.

That makes the second year in a row that we moved on my birthday.  If it weren’t such a happy occasion this time, I would have made a ruckus.  But I was too busy grinning from ear to ear and planning the layout of our furniture in the new rooms.

I’m finding that there isn’t enough furniture.  Years of loft and tiny rental home living (our first was 750 sq. ft!) have not aided this situation.  There is no shortage of bedroom and dining furniture, but chairs and occasional tables seem to be particularly sparse.  I’ve taken to haunting the wonderful antique shop across the street from my office to try and remedy the problem.

It’s not really a problem.  I love to haunt antique shops.

The antique shop is also a stress haven – which I’ve needed more in the last year than I like to admit.  It’s the smell, kind of like old books, and the happy memories of childhood weekends spent wandering through similar shops with my grandparents.  Most kids (and some adults) would think that is a supremely boring way to spend an afternoon.  I was always happy to go.  I know, I’m weird.

Summer vacation was spent at my parents’ lake house.  I managed not to get a spectacular sunburn this time.  Some of the extended family came as well, so it was cozy and noisy and relaxing and wonderful.  Lots of giggles = a good vacation.

Fall sped by in a flash.  Honestly, it was a blur of changing leaves and then it was time for Thanksgiving already.  I barely got time to sketch the front yard (for landscape planning, naturally) before everything went dormant and the rain started again.

We split Thanksgiving this year – I went to my family and his family came here.  It was strange and I didn’t like it.  Holidays are supposed to be spent together.  We’ll plan better next time.

Then it was the short short month before Christmas.  And that sped by in a flash as well.  Too busy at work and too busy getting gifts ready to enjoy any of it.  But the actual vacation itself was wonderfully relaxing.

I (we) put up a tree for the first time this year.  He helped, of course, but not with the decorating.  That was my job.  I even hung stockings on the mantle.  We hadn’t put one up before because there wasn’t room and he didn’t think we would be around to enjoy it.  It’s not like we’re never home after work though.  I finally discovered that his family are of the camp who erects and decorates the tree just for Christmas day.  Since we’re always away visiting family for Christmas week, he didn’t see the benefit.  My family is of the camp who erects and decorates the tree the weekend after Thanksgiving so it can be enjoyed for a whole month.  Hence the disconnect, and why we got a tree this year.  It took me entirely too long to figure that one out.  Sheesh!

There was knitting, but unless you stalk me on Ravelry or attend one of my knitting groups I’m not sure you’d know it.  It was mostly comfort knitting last year.  The super selfish, cheer me up kind.  The short list:  (The following links go to the project pages on Ravelry.)

  • I knit a second Featherweight cardigan, this one is a little more roomy and includes a custom lace panel on the back.
  • Several of us in the Friday night group knit the Girasole circular shawl together.  This one seems to be an unfortunate casualty of the move.  I washed, blocked, and packed it in a “safe” place so I could put my hands right on it as soon as we arrived.  And now I can’t find the “safe” place.  Go figure.  Unless the movers have a penchant for stealing handknits, which is absurd, it’s here somewhere.  I just haven’t found the right box yet.
  • I was gifted some handspun alpaca/silk from a friend and knit it into a simple lace scarf/wrap for myself from a stitch dictionary pattern.  It turned out to be a perfect weight for the fall, when it wasn’t quite cool enough for a full cowl, and the color gradient is just lovely.
  • I finally worked up the nerve to knit a sweater from one of the bags of alpaca yarn that Husband brought back from his trip to Peru.  I knit the Larch cardigan out of the orange-ish colorway.  More on that later, after I get good photos.
  • I also knit several pairs of socks – for me, of course, in keeping with the selfish knitting theme.  I think I’m up to 7 or 8 pairs in general rotation.

Then it seems that I got in the spirit of knitting for others.  It was coming up on gift-giving season, you know.

  • I crochet a Happypotamus for a friend’s 40th.  More on that later as well.  And yes, she’s in love with hippos, lest you think it wasn’t an appropriate gift.
  • I knit the Curious Collective Shawl for one of my aunts and a Hitchhiker scarf for my niece.
  • For the final gift I finished the Stripes! socks for Husband, who had been waiting patiently for nearly two years.  I saved them up for his birthday surprise, just a few days after Christmas.
  • I also knit and crochet a number of dish cloths and tab-top towels, which then went to appreciative homes.  Super easy, always useful.

I think that brings us up to date.  Hopefully it won’t be so many months until the next post!

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