So Much Yarn, Seattle

Last week I was fortunate enough to travel to Seattle for business. It was a short trip, too short actually – but we made the most of our time there and that’s all I could ask for.

Sun is rare here, so I’m told

We flew in Tuesday afternoon, had all of Tuesday day/night to check out the city, the views, and scope out the food. So. Much. Food. I’m a foodie, and this place got me immediately, just look at this place, Pike Market. 

I should have brought a bigger purse (kidding…)

I’m still drooling.

I also stumbled upon the first Starbucks. I wasn’t entirely impressed and there was no way I was waiting in line at 4pm for a coffee I could get on any other corner in the country, but it was cool to see nonetheless. 

Here are some more cool touristy shots:

Middle left is Mount Rainer, luckily it was clear enough to see it

The restaurant we went to, Matt’s in the Market was exceptional. I ordered the seafood stew because it was the house favorite and I was not disappointed. This photo does not do it justice. Crab legs, fish, scallops, mussels, clams, bread, and broth that I wanted to take in a to-go cup. Mmmmm! 

I live in Boston, I know good seafood and Seattle is up there. In fact, I’d say its better, especially the crab. Maybe it tasted better because I could expense my meals, who knows. I just know I floated out of that restaurant (and every restaurant) so incredibly happy, and that doesn’t happen often. 

I wish every meal could be expensed. That’s where most of my money goes, sadly.  #freefoodforever 

After stuffing my face, countless drinks, rooftop views, and sleeping approx 3 hours, I decided to hit up downtown for some shopping Wednesday morning before switching hotels and focusing 100% on work. 

Obviously, I found a yarn store called “So Much Yarn” – it was a few blocks from my hotel. The store had views of the water, lots of windows and the people were so friendly. I asked if they were hiring, but they’re not. 

The store’s name was accurate, wall to wall yarn, it was beautiful. I swear I would have walked out with so much loot had I packed accordingly. Guess that means I’ll have to go back to visit, and I’m cool with that. 

There was also a store there called Robot vs. Sloth. I love sloths, it’s my spirit animal, so I went in and went medium crazy in the enamel pin department. How could I not, look at these! They can also be found online here. You’re welcome. 

And finally, the space needle. We went there Wednesday afternoon after a long night of beverages, let’s just say it wasn’t pretty. But the views were. I wish there were more time to spend there because apparently they have a Garden as well but we missed that. Like I said, next time. 

Have you been to Seattle? Where is your favorite place to eat when you’re there? I need recommendations for the next time I go-which is sooner than later, I hope! 

Work-life deadlines

..I’ve been a bit quiet on the blog and insta lately. Mostly because I’ve been swamped at work, adjusting into my new(ish) position, attempting to stay on top of my game, studying for a PMP exam, “training” for a 5-miler, and trying to squeeze in time for self care (yoga, knits and Netflix). 

Naturally, I tried to do both – which was a fail

There is just a lot going on, and I’m having a TIME establishing a healthy work-life balance (parents, I don’t know how you do it). I’m learning as I go, faking it til’ I make it, and trying not to sprout anymore gray hairs in the process.  PS- I recently spotted 3 devil hairs that grow significantly faster and thicker than the others. What’s up with that, anyway?  

Anyway, in midst of all the everyday crazy, that we all endure, I’m frantically trying to finish up this baby blanket for a dear friend’s baby shower in early June (15 days, to be specific).  Of course I’m woefully behind, but was reassured that I’d finish this in time if I stuck to a schedule I made for myself when I started in May. 

~100 rows to get the length aka ~3 rows/day for a month and it should get it done.  I am..behind. Weekends are typically when I have my time to catch up but they’ve been quite packed this month.  

There is just not enough hours in the day..and too many things I don’t want to do that are getting in my way of what I enjoy. This is life, I know and overall it’s good ‘problem’ to have. 

“If I can just make it though this week, I’ll be good” – and I’ll tell myself that for the foreseeable future,  or at least through the end of June. 

How do you prioritize your conflicting priorities in life? What do you do when you feel overwhelmed? I’m open to any and all suggestions on maintaining sanity.  #SOS

~Bailey

Cross Country Poncho for a Cross Country Friend

I love making garments, accessories, or anything handmade for the people I love.  Not only does it keep me busy for weeks (in this case, months), but once it’s finished and put it in the mail, it’s a great sense of accomplishment.  Patiently waiting for it to arrive to its destination and envisioning the recipient’s face when they open it is the best part..Assuming it fits, and that it’s what they hoped it would be.

Making things for others guarantees that my finished product will not be sitting in my apt somewhere unused, and taking up precious space.  My stash is already closing in on me.  The more things I can gift, the better.  Plus, it makes both parties happy 😊.

I started this poncho in January and it took me ~4.5 months to finish.  Each row took ~15-20 minutes to complete.  I actually timed myself, and could never break my 15-20min row speed, that seems really slow.  It’s usually because I stop, crack my wrists/fingers, change the channel on my show, or do the downward facing dog stretch because all I do is hunch over in concentration, and these old bones are feelin’ it.

There is nothing too complicated about this poncho, it’s double crochet, with a few skipped stitches for the design.  It’s essentially a massive blanket with a hole for the head – I love it. Pattern here.  I can’t love it too much, or otherwise I’d become emotionally attached – IT’S NOT FOR ME, and I reminded myself that every time I picked it up. 

My Mom’s bestie requested this back in December, and when I agreed to give it a shot, I wasn’t anticipating how long it would take.  A whole season has passed us by but luckily this poncho will live in Chicago, so I’m sure it will get a lot of use no matter what.  

I got started on this NYE…

One size fits all should hold true – that is the best project to make for people without overthinking the whole “I hope this fits” question that haunts me with every garment I make.  Thankfully, this is meant to be oversized and cozy and there is nothing better than that. 

What do ya think?

Spring Reflections

Ah, Spring.

A time to put away bulky winter wear and make room for the clothing that takes up less space in our closets.

A time to take everything that no longer pleases us and donate it, throw it away, or stash it in a storage bin and put it in the basement for the next 8 months.

A time to realize that those 20 storage bins, some labeled: “T-shirts I cannot throw away” is 100% unnecessary.

I love to declutter (throw things away), and if it were just me I would feel a sense of accomplishment by the countless bags of clothes that are purged/donated each year.  Less junk means more space, right?  Wrong.  It isn’t just me.  It’s the hubs too – and he has his own hoarding tendencies that are more severe than my own.

I’ve reverted to closing the door to our spare room to avert my eyes from the explosion of clothes scattered and piled everywhere.  Not my mess, not my problem.  Just close the door and pretend the mess isn’t there.

Between the ages of 10 to 18, my Mom tried to instill cleanliness into my routine everyday. It never worked. I’m sorry for being so messy, Mom – and for driving you insane.

I am much better now, it only took me 31 years, and living with someone else to know that messes aren’t welcome, especially when they’re not mine.

I think the only way to remedy this situation, and to spark joy in the declutter process is to watch that Netflix show “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo“ – I’ve heard it’s quite motivating for those who need a swift kick.  Until the day I can tie down the hubs to watch it with me, I have my own words of wisdom for “tidying up”:

If you answer “NO” to ANY of these 5 questions – THROW IT AWAY!

  1. Have I worn this in the 12 months?
  2. Does this still fit me?
  3. Was this expensive?
  4. Do I plan on wearing …XYZ…this season?
  5. Is this brand within my age range? (ahem..those 10-year-old hoodies from Hollister, A&F, Forever21, – toss that shit, you’re too old!)

Maybe I should make a sign?

Maybe this blog post IS my sign.

Maybe I will just keep my fingers crossed and hope he becomes motivated to purge on his own time.

…or maybe I will just throw it all away because chances are he’ll never notice they’re gone.  Nah, that’s probably rude.

And it’s not just clothes, its knits too.  Just look at this stash collection I’ve created.  I have a problem.

I’ve seen worse, obviously, but this is me not buying yarn for MONTHS (except for that one instance last week), I feel like I still haven’t even put a dent in these bins.  I have no idea what this yarn is even for?  Why did I buy it? Why is it colorful?  What was wrong with me?  I either need to donate this, make something out of it, and THEN donate, or continue to store it for a rainy day.

Ugh, how do YOU become motivated to purge? I’m asking for a friend.

Accessory Overload?

What is your favorite thing about starting a new hobby?  Is it the excitement of learning something knew? Exercising your mind? The self-fulfillment of overcoming challenges? It could be one or all of these things.  For me, it’s the accessories that come with starting a new hobby.

I go overboard with all my hobbies.  For example, when I first ‘learned to ski’ I remember my favorite part of the sport was buying the outfit.  The pants, coat, undershirts, cozy leggings, gloves, goggles with blacked out lenses, and of course, the helmet (who gets excited over a helmet)?  Weirdo.

It wasn’t the mountain, or the thought of scaling down it with grace and ease…it was the accessories.  All those outfits and ski gear that once pumped me up are now sitting in storage – guilty.  The only thing that would (maybe) get me back on the mountain is the thought of them laying in the basement, alone and unused.  I need to try to sell them to someone who will love and appreciate the accessories in ways that I never will.

Because accessories have feelings.

Then there is knitting.  A hobby I was sure wouldn’t be as much of an investment as ski gear.  It’s less of a commitment, more fun, and I’m less likely to be injured.  In the beginning, all this was true.

It didn’t take long for me to be 100% over the top so in love with it that I had to have the prettiest interchangeable needle set, double pointed needles, straight needles, and stitch markers I could get my paws on.  Yarn, oh the yarn.  I could write 10 posts on my yarn obsession alone, but will save that for another day.

The main point:

There are A LOT of knitting accessories, more than I ever imagined – and Instagram doesn’t help.  Below are the most recent indulgences I’ve treated myself to – NO REGRETS:

  • Knitting apparel (this cozy sweatshirt that encompasses everything I believe in):

  • This adorable pin that goes on my project bag:

  • This “project” bag that I need to replace ASAP. I have my eye on another..I told myself if I’m still dreaming about it after a couple week’s I’m buying it – Twig & Horn – look at how beautiful
  • The perfect knit chair, if you will.  This helps with posture and sits perfectly right in front of the fire, which is my fav spot – it even folds up and can be pushed under my couch when unused
  • For consideration:  glasses with lights on them, so I can see my knits in the dark, without having to turn on the main light in the room.
    p361256b

It’s gotten out of control, people.  Does anyone else get overly obsessed with accessories of the craft vs. the craft itself?  It adds to the excitement, in my opinion.  I can’t stop, won’t stop – So if you have a favorite knit accessory, please let me know what is it so I can buy it.

~Bailey