So as you can tell, I’m not Karin. I’m another one of those guests she likes to invite on to talk about themselves and their lives. My name is Ashley. I, like so many of her comfortable guests, know her from Ravelry. I’m a stay at home mom of a single kid on the autism spectrum. I knit and read and try to write as often as I can.
Right now, though, I’m on a pretty epic road trip with my family, so I’m writing this in a hotel room after a long day out on the Bay of Fundy watching the tides roll in and out as you look at them. Pretty crazy. We’ve been to Philadelphia and parts of Maine, including Bangor to lightly stalk Stephen King. We’re in Saint John, New Brunswick right now, hanging out in our hotel room, eating the good Canadian chocolate and waiting to see what Canada Day is like tomorrow. Then we’ll be heading back down into Maine for a family reunion for four days and then winding our way slowly south, a journey that will surely feel like a descent into a particularly hot and humid hell after enjoying temperatures in the 60s in June. This is a concept I can truly get behind, as everyone who knows me knows how very much I hate the summer.
I also hate to have my hands not be busy. HATE. So I’ve brought knitting and reading and coloring and writing. Lots of it.
Here’s my terribly overdone pile of stuff to do. (Can you tell I’m dreading the family reunion just a bit?)
- Books to read:
- American Gods – Neil Gaiman (Just finished this one a couple of days ago. Fantastic and can’t wait for the television adaptation.)
- Neverwhere – Neil Gaiman
- Sourcery – Terry Pratchett (My main reading project is finally getting around to reading the Discworld books. This is an ongoing project, obviously.)
- Eric – Terry Pratchett
- In The Woods – Tana French (Totally why I’m writing this blog post at the last minute. I thought I could start this last night and just read a chapter or two. WRONG.)
- S. – J.J. Abrams and Doug Dorst (Recommended by another beloved Ravelry friend.)
- So many more books on my Kindle. And audiobooks on my phone. It’s an embarassment of riches, really.
- My journal and trusty orange pen case
- Coloring books:
- Lost Ocean (one of those amazing Johanna Basford coloring books that are almost too pretty to color in)
- the Mason-Dixon Coloring Book (because if you’re not knitting, you can at least color pictures of knitting)
- The Walking Dead coloring book (I probably do not have enough red, greens, and blacks for this one, but I’m going to try.
- Prismacolor colored pencils
- “Extra” yarn by Your Mom Knits in case my main knitting project actually gets finished
- The summer 2016 Knitscene to persuse poolside
- My main knitting project
I have a lot of feelings about this knitting project. It’s one of those knitting projects that I’m going to love when it’s done, but I’m not entirely sure that I’m enjoying knitting it. The pattern is a dream: easy to memorize and just interesting enough to keep you going. It’s Alethea by Amy Christoffers, one of my favorite designers. I originally saw a friend knitting it and kind of fell in love with it.
It’s the yarn. It’s Berroco Mykonos. Not the kind of yarn I usually knit with. I’m a wool girl all the way, but I live in Tennessee, so sometimes I try to be practical. The blend of linen, cotton, and nylon certainly qualifies as a practical yarn because it’s cool. It has a beautiful shimmer that makes all the colors seem to glow. It drapes beautifully. And it will. Not. Stay. In. A. Ball. It’s just too slippery. Think nylon cord that you’re trying to contain in some way. I spend a great deal of time rewinding and untangling the mess that results when you’re knitting along and you don’t realize that your ball has begun once more to desintigrate inside your project bag. Plus it drops stitches when I’m knitting on the road. (Eastern Maine roads are bumpy. Super super bumpy. Like you need a sports bra to ride on them kind of bumpy.) If a stitch slips off your needle for even a moment, it goes. Not the smartest road knitting choice.
I can’t stress enough, however, how beautful and luminous this yarn is, though. I’m going to love this scarf if I ever get through knitting it. I wish my terrible hotel room picture did the beautiful deep plum color justice. I just don’t have very good lighting in here. Sorry about that. But the color is truly gorgeous.
In between all of the stuff I brought to do is the real stuff of travelling. Seeing new places, feeling a cool ocean breeze on your face in June (I still can’t get over how amazing the weather is up here), watching my son pick up a perfect rainbow of tiny rocks on a foggy beach, finding a perfect Egyptian restaurant in downtown Saint John during a cold downpour, counting the Tim Horton’s we pass on the highway, striking up conversations with perfect strangers, holding hands with my husband on a wooded path that smells intensely of pine…all those things that make travelling with my family such a great and rewarding thing. Will I get done all the things I brought with me to do? Of course not. There’s just too much to do.