Oregon Visit and More Research

About two weeks ago, I went up north to Oregon to visit a cousin I had never met, let alone, knew even existed.  Long, complicated story; suffice to say, there were valid reasons.  Yup.  Like so many families I know, ours is messed up, too!  I had been communicating with her for a few years before the idea of a visit occurred to us; it was just time.  There is something to be said about meeting a person face-to-face.  All sorts of information was omitted when I talked to her online, via skype, or on the phone.  I realized almost immediately that I finally met someone as crazy as me, in the same ways, and she is family!  ❤ ❤  Better still, she crochets, so our nights were spent with our projects out, listening to the television.  She knows how to party, crafter-style.

Yea, yea. I had to put a pic of me in here. This was on our stop in Ashland, OR.

Long-lost cousin

Nancy and I finally meet! Never knew of her existence until about 3 years ago.

Tillamook cows

In Tillamook country!

Clowning around with Sasquatch! Didn’t really think of the crotch shot there…

A farewell gif

Saying goodbye to my cousin, Nancy and one of her doggies, Odie.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Super helpful employee at Web-sters in Ashland.

Obligatory visit to Cannon Beach and Haystack Rock. Reminds me so much of Morro Bay in California!

 

That meant a trip to a yarn shop.  I didn’t get any pictures, I don’t know why, because the owner I spoke to was real helpful.  Hi, Tina!  Anyway, check out her page, and if you’re in the Hillsboro, OR area, meander your way into her shop.  I did get images while I was in Web-sters, in Ashland, OR.  I was wonky when I walked in there – no other to say it.  We had driven from Colfax, California to Aloha, Oregon, with as many stop as we could handle.  That meant a LOT of Starbucks and the occasional gas station (btw – did you know that in Oregon you MUST have your gas pumped the a station attendant?).  By the time we reached Ashland, we were a little over halfway to our destination, and I was in no fit physical state to talk to anyone.  It literally took a few minutes of walking around to orient myself.  While I perused the yarn shop and confused the nice girl (see pic), my husband took a walk in Lithia Park.  I don’t think he got to see all those beautiful sights, because he didn’t mention anything!

It was a great stay, and I’m thinking I have to go back.  This Wednesday.  And why?  Because the CGOA (Crochet Guild of America) is having their annual conference in Portland.  And it’s BIG.  There is also a class I would love to attend that addresses my shop-opening concerns.  I have tried to research yarn store opening tips online, and besides vague references to the craft or yarn itself, nothing has been very specific.  I would hate to drive all that way just for one class!!  Does anyone know where I can access similar information online?  Thank you in advance for any leads there.

And speaking of accessing, I have been researching grants, and I must not be doing this right.  I am a woman and a veteran, and I can’t find anything.  I have followed up on promising information on grants.gov, only to discover that the grants are not valid anymore, or the links are no good, or just out of date.  I did decide to add chocolate to the store, not coffee, because of all the regulations involved, and I’d have to be a barista, and that just doesn’t cut it in a 500 sf area.  The chocolate I decided on is artisan, one brand is actually local, and it would be their bars and bagged goodies.  I don’t want to try and fit refrigerated cases in here.  So, if I don’t locate a good grant program, my whole idea hinges on Kickstarter – !  Again, does anyone know anyone who would be interested in philanthropic causes?  The cause being me wanting a yarn shop to help boost local economy, pass on the bug to younger generations and keep the craft alive.  That, and there’s a whole bunch of yarn. ❤  

But enough for now.  What’s everyone else doing out there? And am I the only who spends an inordinate amount of time to write these quick entries?  🙂

 

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Well, This is Different

Boss tattoo

For the last, oh, I’d say, 12 years? 13 years?  I’ve been intrigued with tattoos.  At one point, I was trying to compile images of tattoos that had a story behind them.  That got a little sticky.  Some of those tattoos had real BIG stories behind them that I couldn’t deal with.  The last one had to do with infidelity and the all the emotions around that situation.  That’s when I put that little project to sleep.  Maybe I should have spelled out some parameters first, but that didn’t seem to fit with the spirit of the project, which, never yielded one picture!  I think people used me as a priest, or counselor.

On July 6, I decided to make my own story.  With a blog called “Nittin’ Ninja” (yes, I went with the phonetic spelling because the proper spelling was already taken) having a skein and some knitting needles inked on my shoulder was probably no big surprise.  Maybe that I did it would be a surprise to some, but there you are.  I’m also seriously looking into opening a yarn store here in my little town of Colfax, population 1,800.  Why I haven’t gone ahead full bore is because a yarn and accessories shop just wouldn’t make it.  I know.  I’m trying to come up with something else that would fit in the little space I already have picked out that would kinda go with yarn.  I’ve heard coffee, which has received the most thumbs up, and baked goods and sweets, the runners-up.  If it actually gets off the ground still waits to be seen, because my husband is not backing me on this, and he’s the one who has income.  I don’t.  So once I land on a viable business model, I have to find someone(s) to fund me.  Any grant writers out there?  What better way to document this temporary turmoil than to get a permanent tattoo?

If anyone can think of a service or commodity that would dovetail nicely with knitting and crocheting, PLEASE feel free to remark in the comments.  I’m open to anything good.

See you in the funny pages!

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Bar Knitting

You don’t have to drink to enjoy the view.

As many of you may already know, I have a local crafts Facebook group called “Colfax Stitch ‘n Bitch”.  In an attempt to increase participation, I added another meeting day to include the people who couldn’t manage Thursday evenings.  Sunday afternoons seemed a good thing.  I also wanted to change up the venue a bit and set up a poll with possible sites and threw in a red herring.  With my sense of humor being what it is, that was a given.  The red herring?  A local bar called The Red Frog that boasts the best mountain view that I’ve ever seen.  I haven’t been to that many bars, much less those that feature views, so, take my word for it.  It’s beautiful.  The Red Frog was chosen, so I posted it was, and quite a few people were excited about the event. There were some members who declined because it was a bar; I get it.  Otherwise, I thought I’d see a few new faces.

I like taking my bowl with me!

I showed up on time, made my way back to the patio and was surprised to see how busy it was.  In general.  The patio part of the bar is just that – open to the elements.  With only a roof, there’s no heating, no air conditioning.  You deal with what nature gives you.  It was 95 degrees F that day.  With the shade and a little breeze it was tolerable enough.  I saw the one remaining table available and I grabbed it up.

And there I sat for 30 minutes, knitting and drinking my virgin mango margarita.  It was delicious.  I expected someone to say something to me. A lively bar is not where you’d expect to find a middle-aged woman knitting, but all I got were some second glances and everyone went about their drinking and/or eating.  When a spot cleared up at the open viewing area, I quickly gathered up my gear, switched seats and continued to nurse my drink.

All-in-all, it wasn’t a bad time.  I rather liked it and intend to return either alone or with more people.  As for my group, I called them all wimps!  I may not have a group much longer….

It’s Here!

Red Heart has finally produced a yarn that is specifically for pooling.  Uniformity of color is assured, “engineered so that color repeats are evenly dyed for happier pooling” – as the ad says.  I was looking for this about two weeks ago when I went to Joann Crafts, but they weren’t carrying it yet.  I have to call them.  And yet….am I being silly when I say I don’t want it to become easy?  That means there will be no craft or hard-won hours to brag about?  That’s why I need to try this out.  As soon as it hit the shelves on my LYS, I’m getting some, and I will report the results.

http://www.redheart.com/yarn/super-saver-pooling

A Little Too Much

So pretty

Hi, there, dear reader.  Glad you could drop by after my long absence.  It’s been awhile, I know, so let the excuses begin!

The last several weeks I have been caught up in spring.  This season makes me feel light-hearted and yet, ready to take on the world.  Out in the garden everyday, buying flowers, potting soil, and seeds, spring cleaning, clearing out the fountain and raking away the tons of pine needles that threaten to take over my roses, and in general, just being outdoors; enjoying the sun after months of a typical gloomy Californian winter.  Granted, in just a very short while, I will be posting about summer’s relentless, grinding heat and moaning for autumn; however, in the meantime, I will bask in this mindset and weather.

I finally finished the flame stitch bag and gave it a strengthening liner to turn it from a bag to a purse.  I didn’t do the pom-poms because I am really tough on my purses.  They’d need to be taken off after a week!  For the handles, I purchased some at Joann Crafts and Fabrics.  Attaching the handles did turn out to be problematic, but I went with it anyway!

Malabrigo Sea Green yarn

I was supposed to get the $2.99 rings only. $65 later….eeesh!

With the temperatures climbing higher on the thermometer, all the fresh, new growth has attracted deer, especially to the aforementioned roses.  I’ve babied those bushes because they have to Floribunda rosesbe; the pine trees block all but about 5 hours of sun, even on the summer solstice, so I’m always sure to prune them, nourish them, ensure they’re disease-free.  Anyone who has had a serious interest in roses knows how hard this can be.  With the drought conditions we’ve been having, my roses have become a food mainstay for the hungry deer.  To combat this, I’ve been using Must Garden natural deer repellent.  During the winter, it didn’t work so well.  The deer were starving.  So my poor babies were beat up. I didn’t think they would make it this year.  But lo, and behold, they’re blooming.  Not a whole bunch, but it’s a start.

So pretty

Colors are Malabrigo Ravelry Red and Spun Right Round Newsprint

And now that we’re finished with my easy purse, I’ve moved on to another Malabrigo project.  I know, I know.  I love that yarn and it was on sale.  At least, today’s purchase was on sale….But I digress.  I’ve been working on a pattern for a sweater that I bought on Ravelry, Zweig, and I can’t wait to finish it.  I’m realistically shooting for November, when I’ll need it!  I intend to do some more planned pooling on a new brand of yarn – I will report the results!  I’ve also got some more fan art to do.  Never thought I’d be that kind of a fan at my age!  LOL  Life’s too short not to do the things you want when you can.

See you in the funny pages!

1st Annual Local Yarn Store Appreciation Day

I do enjoy a good excuse to get to my lys, and today was a fine example.  I packed up my tote full of the Flame Stitch Bag  crochet project, and set out in the beautiful Saturday spring afternoon to the Ben Franklin Crafts Store in Grass Valley, 16 miles away.  When I got there, a very large group of knitters were sitting at a U-shaped table set up and I was fortunate enough to find a seat at the end.  Best spot – sweet!  Since I don’t frequent the weekly meetings, I felt a little isolated, but soon started chatting with those around me, and now I’m committed to going back next Friday evening!  Another nice surprise was when several members of my weekly Stitch ‘n Bitch in Colfax showed up.  Hi Diane and Tammi!  I had made this the weekly meeting.  Thought I’d mix it up a little.

Anyway, what did me in today was the 20% off LYS bag.  Buy it for $4.99, and get 20% off your yarn purchase for the day.  I was fine with this.  I could resist, I could.  Really.  That is, until, the young woman next to me was wearing a sweater that was just gorgeous.  And she told me it was a pattern in Ravelry, and I had to have it.  *sigh*  My bank account is now $85 lighter (to include a new circular knitting needle) and I now have another project awaiting my attention.

So what did you do to show your LYS a little love today?