I am thrilled to be writing this from central Oregon, where I plan to spend my three months of summer in absolute delight. This will be my first real time in the Pacific North West – an area of the U.S. that I’ve always wanted to visit. I also feel this strange affection towards the PNW, since most people I met imagine I grew up here, so I’m interested to see why this place appears to be my homeland (I have a theory about this and it has to do with Lutherans, individual sports, and Subarus…)
I love exploring new places – unknown adventures or scenes always ignite my curiosity. So, to get to know my new summer home I have one goal: get outside everyday. Compared to the sweaty humidity that St. Louis summer’s have to offer, central Oregon is paradise. I am going to capitalize on the arid, warm weather by forcing myself to spend time outside. I’ve been doing well so far – going on runs (which I used to hate) and brushing off my disc golf skills. I’m usually glued to my bike in the summers, but I couldn’t justify either bringing my bike to Oregon or buying a cheap one here, so I’ve made do with my old running shoes and the quiet trails of the Deschutes National Forest.
My bike wasn’t the only think I had to leave in St Louis, my sewing machine was also booted from the packing list. My husband and I share a two bedroom apartment with his college roommate – there was just not enough physical space to justify the sewing machine plus the necessary sewing materials. This is one of the sadder packing decisions I had to make since I had already selected my summer projects, fabric, and patters. So my sweet and reliable sonata sewing machine is resting in the corner of my St Louis bedroom, eager for my return. I had a small session of mourning, but quickly diverted my grief into planning my other craft projects.
Despite no sewing projects, I managed to check an entire bag of craft materials on my flight. I brought two existing projects, and enough yarn to last me two years… as well as a few craft books and my embroidery materials. While I do tend to plan what I’m going to make, I want to give myself some creative freedom. I planned to take a few large projects, some small projects, and all the yarn I bought at the Kentucky Sheep and Fiber Festival. I would be surprised if I managed to make everything on my summer projects list in my three month time frame, but it’s there, just in case.
For my large projects I have four sweaters, one top, and one shawl on the list. I want to finish my #MMMay2018 perfect cardigan, and I’m hoping to knit a Ninilcihk Swoncho by Caitlin Hunter and a Portage Cardigan by Melissa Schaschwary. I brought enough yarn to make another featherweight cardi if I feel inspired; I already know I will want to have another in my wardrobe. I have some recycled cotton/silk yarn I overdyed with indigo and sumac that’s waiting to be a Tegna by Caitlin Hunter. I also want to cast on the Raina Shawl by Andrea Mowry in Making 4 Lines.
The sweaters I mentioned above are all items I will love to have next winter as I’m in desperate need of actual cardigans. After my last failed attempt at the Portage Cardigan, I am hopeful that round two will give me a lovely wearable cardigan. The Swoncho is just a lifetime goal – so I want to accomplish that as soon as possible. I love the Tegna, and I think my yarn choice will make a lovely summer-appropriate top with flow and ease. My guess is that this Tegna will be my next cast on, if I can keep my hands away from those larger sweater projects.
I have peppered these larger projects with a variety of small projects to choose from – just in case a sweater feels too overwhelming for the summer heat. I have a couple of mittens I can make for the #yearlongmittalong hosted by Skeindeer, a sock project, and a fun shawl project for a mini KAL with my St. Louis friends. There are some extra skeins in case I want to make a hat or something like that (probably this one…). Obviously, I brought too much yarn, but it was the only way I could soothe the wound of absent sewing in my life.
I’m positive that I will have enough yarn to keep me busy this summer, especially since my new home is an outdoor playground. My only hope is that my knitting mojo stays high and my desire to create keeps steadily on. My game plan is to set loose goals, like finish a sweater a month, to keep knitting but also leave room to try something new.