Tuesday, January 13, 2009

So What The Heck Have You Been Doing in the Meantime?

Bobcat in our new backyard

Dear Blog-

When I was last posting here on a semi-regular basis, it was at the end of August and I was just finishing up my gift knitting for my middle sister. Oldest sister was next, but because she reads this blog and I was working on her gifts exclusively, I took a posting moratorium as I knitted September away. As October rolled around I started getting felted things ready for the fiber festival at the end of October. I'm sure the festival was good for some people, it really wasn't good for me, almost not worth the trip. The temps were in the 90s that day, and it was so hot and dusty and miserable. Who the heck wants to buy wool or wool felt at a time like that?

And as October came to a close we realized that we really had to move out of our house. Because of all the financial battering that 2008 visited upon us, we were at the point where we couldn't even come up with the full amount of money every month for our rent. The property where we have been living for the last 8 years is owned by a big group of people out in California as an investment. Apparently for famous people. So management here is known as 'California'. As in, 'I know your roof is leaking, and I'll talk to California and see what they want us to do.' The property started as a guest ranch back in the mid-40s with several casitas, and boasts the first in-ground pool ever installed in Tucson. Over time they built a couple of small apartment buildings on the property back in the 70s, and as houses adjoining the property went on the market, 'California' bought them up and added them to the property.

So when I moved here 8 years ago last August to get away from a psycho roommate, I rented one of the casitas. A year later in September DH and I were married, lived in the casita for another year or two, and then moved to one of the houses. We loved it there, lots of room, etc. And early this fall 'California' was very liberal and generous with us for a couple of months when I told them about our problems. I was talking to one of the managers here at the end of October and explained that we realized we would have to move, but that we were kinda stuck because we didn't really have the funds. She showed me this apartment, and three days late we began the exodus.

It took us three weeks to sort out the house and move everything, and then about another two to finally get everything unpacked and put away. It. Was. Very. Stressful. I think people who take years to unpack are either crazy, or they're... well, they're crazy. No way I could look at boxes everywhere for any great length of time.

And so the end of November melted into the beginning of December, and getting the holiday decorations up for our December book group meeting. Then came Christmas and the rest of the year just passed in a blur.

We like our new place. It has 500 square feet less than our house did, but with a very large living/dining space and the two bedrooms are larger than those in the other house. I think it comes down to a lot of wasted space in the layout of the other house. Our new kitchen is tiny but it does have a dishwasher, and I can forgive a LOT for that. Our apartment doesn't have the architectural charm of our house or the casitas, but what it does have is an absolutely stunning view out over the city of Tucson and at all the surrounding mountains. We have a 60 mile view in any direction, mountains in the daytime, city lights at night. We decided not to put the dining table in the obvious dining area in front of the glass sliding doors, and have instead put a couple of comfy chairs there, looking out at the view. I can't express it too much - our view is amazing.

And down below there is a small pond with a fountain, and with the doors and windows open we get a lovely sound of water falling all the time, very soothing. On Sunday I was doing something in the kitchen and looked out the window to see this largish creature walking up to the pond. What the heck was it? A house cat? Too large. A coyote? Too small. It was a bobcat. I dashed to the living room to grab the camera, and took this picture through our balcony railing as he sat by the pond. A moment later he stood up and sauntered away, off into the brush.

I was afraid when we moved that we wouldn't get to enjoy the wildlife that brought such wonderful spots of perfection to my days at the house. But we have tons of birds all around us, an owl that hoots almost every night, and now a bobcat. Ok, I can live here.

In October I also took a private three-day weekend workshop with Galina Khemelova. One of the women in the guild was hosting her for a small group at her house, and I'm not too ashamed to say that I called Sandy up and begged to be put on the list. There were ten of us at the class, and the experience was wonderful. All were on the same skill level so there was no time wasted on explaining things or waiting for others to catch up. Lunchtimes were potluck in Sandy's amazing kitchen, and I can truly say that these women were absolutely wonderful to spend three 6-hours days with.

In class we started on this Orenburg lace scarf, and while it has had to take a rest while holiday knitting has taken precedence, I look forward to getting back to it and finishing this beautiful scarf. I'm using Morehouse Merino 2-ply that was left-over from my Algonquin cardi.

I also, in a fit of wanting to knit for myself for once dammit, started the pair of Mermaid Mitts that I have been promising myself for a year now. I got one finished and just got the other cast on a day or so ago. this will be a project that I can haul around in my new little LL Bean mini tote bag that Santa gave me. For the mitts I'm using Lorna's Laces sock yarn in Baltic Seas.

And let us not forget the first of two pairs of socks for DH's Christmas. Poor man got three bags of yarn to open, and he doesn't even knit. This is a simple pattern of my own design, and he seems to be very pleased with them, as you can see.

And against all common sense I started a design that I have had cooking in the back of my mid for a month or two. A lace scarf using Noro Silk Garden Sock. This was knitted in one day! The pattern is very easy to remember and very addictive, as is the SGS. As always I enjoy working with Noro yarns and waiting to see which color is going to come out of the ball next.

A closer look...

So, dear Blog, that catches you up in brief with the here and now. Hope all is well with you, and thanks for stopping by!


Blogger The KnitWitNurse said...

beautious! Send me the pattern :)

6:53 PM  
Blogger T said...

After seeing yours, I might just have to cast on for some mermaid mitts of my own - mighty yummy looking!

In fact, all of your projects are pretty yummy. So nice to be able to share now, isn't it?

Love the new Noro project; is that your own stitch pattern or...?

9:31 PM  
Anonymous AlisonH said...

Wow. A bobcat!

Looking at your lace, I'm guessing you wrap your yarnovers the opposite direction from how I do. Mine make bigger holes. Curious. (I once saw my Michelle shawl knitted up by someone who wraps hers the other way, and though it came out about a third narrower around, it still looked wonderful on her.)

11:33 AM  

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