There is a House in Washington

So, yes, our family made it safely to Washington almost two weeks ago.  We rolled into town just as the fireworks for the Fourth of July started going off, and it felt like the state was welcoming us with gusto.  (And added the much-appreciated side effect of lighting up the heavily-treed highway that was tough to navigate…but the cats weren’t big fans of the fireworks and may have peed…a lot…in their carriers.)

 

We signed the papers for our Washington home the next morning and officially had the keys by lunch.  My aunt made a beeline for us and helped us unload our truck and trailer, and our ward helped us finish the huge task later that evening.  We’ve been screeching, “Where is the [insert a million different items here]?!?!” ever since.

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20180713_131255Where we’re living is *lovely.*  It’s a little removed from Suburbia-proper, but only by a little bit, so running to the grocery store/Costco/Home Depot takes minutes, and the drive is lush and green and has a crazy spectacular view of Mt. Rainier the entire way.  Sometimes I have to sit and wait for the dairy’s cows to cross the road to get to their next milking, and there’s rivers, and hydrangea, and four different types of purple or pink flowers in bloom by the roadsides right now (Fireweed, Sweet Pea, Foxglove, and a plant that looks like Butterfly Bush) and I just…get so happy to see familiar plants again.  I figured out plants in Utah, but these are what I grew up with and can name without thinking because my dad taught them to me when I was in preschool.

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We’ve had family over TWICE in one week for dinner, which is crazy amazing and as fun as you’d expect, and we get to attend a family wedding this weekend because we don’t live fourteen hours away anymore.

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The house is bigger than our last house, which I’m loving a lot–six people in our old house got old about six years ago, so the extra space is much-appreciated by all of our family’s members.  Unfortunately, though, this house is painted in a very warm and earthy color palette, and I lean toward the cool and ocean-inspired color palette.  And the ceilings are painted the same color as the walls…the same, sand-brown light-absorbing color…even the twenty-feet-up ceilings in the front room.  Yep, I gotta paint ’em all…and that sand-brown color is just dark enough to warrant two coats of primer every. time.

So I’m busy for the rest of the month, and probably for most of August as well.

But it’s OK, because at the end of all the painting my kids will all have bedrooms with fully-finished walls painted the colors of their choosing, and everything will be just as lovely inside as it is outside.

We went and got our library cards today, which really does make you feel like you truly “belong” in your town.  And I forgot to turn on Google Maps for the drive home, but it didn’t matter because I got home just fine, with no special mental gymnastics.  I pulled up to this house in this new state without help, and my kids clambered out of the van like they always do, helped by dumping our purchases onto the kitchen table before running off to binge-read their library books like they always do, and in that moment it was clear: This house in Washington is now our home.

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Probably still a bit of time before Happy Crafting Times can recommence, but with each newly-unpacked box and newly-painted wall, I’m getting closer to reopening the fun conversations I get to have with my crafty friends!  I’ve missed you!

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Spring Fever, or, Portable Project Time

I can’t craft, people!  I mean, obviously, because most of my stuff is boxed up, but mostly because it is SUNNY outside, and whenever I think about crafting inside, I just recoil from the thought in horror.  I actually noticed this attitude of mine last year and wrote myself a Google Keep note to not schedule anything from March through August because I just feel so unmotivated crafting-wise once the nicer weather hits.  I’ll do some sewing during the dog days of summer when it’s just too hot outside in the afternoon and all I want is the coolness of my basement, and then something about it turning colder in September just ignites a sudden urge to knit for me, and off I go with crafting craziness.

Unfortunately, just because it’s spring and the weather has turned nicer, doesn’t mean I can really get going on my garden because I live at a high elevation, which means freak snowstorms and freezing temperatures.  The rule of thumb ’round these parts is to not plant anything until after Mother’s Day…and that’s, like, six weeks away!  So I clean up the garden as best I can, and trim errant branches…but that’s not enough activity to fill my days just yet.

But I need to be outside in that sunshine, so I think it’s time to get out the ol’ EPP projects and maybe some knitting before all desire to knit evaporates with the warmer weather.

Does spring fever affect your crafting rituals?  Any great portable/outside crafting suggestions?  I’d love to read ’em!

I garden for the knitting

For the first time ever, I have my fall flowers planted before October.  There’s purple and green kale, yellow and purple pansies, and cream, yellow, and orange chrysanthemums.  Our front door doesn’t usually get a lot of foot traffic, but it is this autumn simply because I love to walk by all my flowers.  “No, Brookelets, we’re going in through the front door so Mama can gaze adoringly, yet again, upon the beauty she has planted around our home.  If you gaze adoringly with her, she’ll probably give you hot chocolate and pat you on the head while you drink.”

And what’s the point of having an autumn flower garden if you’re not going to use them as background for knitting pictures?

Who doesn’t look at flowering kale and envision how wonderfully it would pair with pumpkin tweed?

I’m amongst the crowd of people that possess no ability to deny themselves of pumpkins.  If it looks like pumpkin, smells like pumpkin, or tastes like pumpkin…I probably already own it.  I am powerless in the face of anything that reminds me of a pumpkin.
There’s a darling little cabled pumpkin baby hat pattern making its way around Ravelry, and I succumbed to the cuteness.  Problem is, none of the local yarn shops that I’m willing to drive to for a spontaneous yarn purchase have worsted-weight orange tweed.  (Insert sad face here.)  I picked up some Rowan Felted Tweed instead, but the DK-weight was not working with the pattern. So now I’m just knitting whatever cables I want to knit.  I’m excited about how this hat is going to turn out.  Pumpkin + cables + tweed = Perfect autumn knitting.

You know what else is perfect autumn knitting?  Aran cables, paired with rust-colored chrysanthemums:

Oh, the simple joy of undyed, Aran wool, the quintessential material of knitting season.  It’s traditional, it’s elegant, and it’s cozy.  Sometimes I wonder why I knit with anything else…until I see shelves of tweed yarn…or a skein of silk/merino laceweight.

My hollyhocks, those wonderful heralds of summer, have begun to turn brown and cast their seeds into the wind.  As they begin to fold into themselves for their long winter sleep, I couldn’t resist the urge to photograph them, drowned out by the afternoon sun, in contrast to this little token of life and joy:

A little one will join a friend’s family in the next week or so, and I was feeling like celebrating its impending arrival with handknits.  Just a simple little hat, so tiny that it covers my fist with very little room to spare.  Just a squishy little thing, only usable for a couple of weeks before it will be too small.

Sort of like my autumn flowers…you don’t get a lot of time with them, but they’re beautiful and make me smile, which makes them a good thing to include in life.

Baby hats, tweed, pumpkins, cables, cream wool, and jewel-toned pansies…autumn is so lovely.