It’s a grey foggy morning here in the border lands of Portland and looking out on my back pasture holding my cup of extra strong coffee I can’t help but feel truly sated by this place. If you’ve been with me for a while you might know that I move a lot and though I always appreciate each place none have seemed 100% home. Ohio was nice for a spell but it was so depressed and economically ruinous when we lived there. California was beautiful but with the weather came things like a minimal job market, criminal materialism, a plasticy fakeness, and major expenses.
Here in Washington the pace is slower (which took a lot of getting used to), the people are friendly (which took even more getting used to), and “stuff” doesn’t matter. You see very few luxury cars here and none of them are driven by people in their 20’s, you see even fewer designer hand bags or mini dogs. What you do see is healthy, level-headed people who care about more than themselves. There is a huge push up here for green/eco-friendly/ sustainable which I think is great. One example is that the max littering fines in Oregon are 6x higher than that in California (6500 vs 1500). This in mind one of my new years resolutions is to live a more sustainable, environmentally conscious life. The Mr and I already recycle just about everything, compost yard waste, use our own bags, watch water consumption, and keep our heating on low but I know there are a lot of other things that can be done. This year I will be researching this even more and sharing what I find. I know from personal experience, if it’s not easy or costs too much we as a race will not do it so hopefully changes will be effectual but also easy and cheap!
One way to be local and a knitter is to buy local yarns! You all know that I have friends who have alpaca ranches and I do use a lot of local yarn/ fiber already but upon moving to the PNW I found Twisted which is a lovely yarn shop with an amazing array of sock yarns but also something more. They carry a few local yarns that won’t break the bank. Both wool & alpaca line the shelves of this local section in several different weights and colors. The yarns are earthy and lovely to work with. They haven’t been processed to death and retain a feel closer to the animal than most mass-produced fibers. I used this local yarn to make a fabulous Logger Scarf (I published the pattern free on Ravelry).
The yarn is from Imperial Stock Ranch and is akin to Beaverslide Mulespun. It’s earthy and wooly and perfect for garter stitch or cables. This yarn will keep out the wind and rain for sure!
The slipped stitches along with the two color stranding make a fun and interesting grid that is super smooshable, easy to wear, appropriate for both men & women and fun for the knitter as well as technically simple.
And in other news this is my big project of 2011. We are planning on brining the sheep up to our property from California in the spring and from there….