08 February 2015

Introducing the Newest Craze: Needling

Since there's no snow, I've been doing a .... different .... kind of adventuring lately. A new "sport" if you will. You've all heard of such innovations as buildering and kayak free kayaking, so today I introduce you to a new sport: Needling. It's complex and involves highly concentrated effort, but with some practice you, too, can become proficient with needling.

Here's what you need(le):
  1. A ski season with no snow
  2. Ensuing boredom so intense you take up knitting
  3. A mostly almost all the way but not quite finished knitted hat
  4. A desire to finish the aforementioned knitted hat
  5. An afternoon completely free (see point #1)
  6. A good pair of approach shoes
  7. Five dollars and twenty nine cents

To get started, take that mostly almost all the way but not quite finished knitted hat with you for a walk down to Pike Place market. You will do this on a Sunday because you're in the midst of boredom so intense you took up knitting because the ski season has no snow. Yet you still desire to complete the mostly almost all the way but not quite finished knitted hat because you are holding out hope that someday, maybe, your ensuing boredom will be eradicated by a ski season with just a little bit of snow. Someday. Maybe.

Put on your good pair of approach shoes and head down to the market. You'll go through some heavily wooded areas....

Wow. That's a lot of wood.

And you may pass some big mountains on the way....


Mmmmm....snow.....

DO NOT LET THIS SCENERY DISTRACT YOU! You are seeking a place - a magical place - and you'll need to be on point to find it. This place? It's called "So Much Yarn". It can be elusive. Keep your eyes open and look for a small notch in the street on the west side as you approach the approach - it will be on your right hand side as you descend the slope with the market on your right.

Once you get there be prepared to be amazed. I mean, seriously, you would not BELIEVE how much yarn this place has! It is - yarnTASTIC!

Yarn it has. So much it does.

Mmmm...yarn....DAMMIT I SAID DON'T GET DISTRACTED!

Who knew? You can even knit your own dog!

Once you located the hidden gem, wander said yarn store looking for one tiny needle. You won't find it, but it's worth a look around. Then, ask the helpful Yarn Guide for her recommendation and she will point you in the direction of the Magical Needle of Completion. Use the five dollars and twenty nine cents (plus tax, sorry Washington State residents) to purchase the Magical Needle of Completion.

Walk directly out of the door. Proceed immediately to your home. Do not pass go. Do not give $100 dollars to the homeless. You have a mostly almost all the way but not quite finished knitted hat to finish and goddammit if you won't complete it today because maybe just maybe it will snow someday. Maybe.


Finally all the way and quite finished knitted hat

Use that needle to complete the hat by tying off and tucking in your loose ends. It will take five minutes to complete. But Needling isn't about the destination. It's about the journey.

07 February 2015

Rain, Rain, Go Away!

Or, as this post might be more appropriately titled, "I'm sorry to have pissed you off Father Winter. Can we please kiss and make up?"

You may remember a few years ago I almost moved to Boulder (backstory). I had been in Seattle 10 years, I was not yet a backcountry ski enthusiast (how is that even possible?), and frankly, the weather here in the Pacific Northwest was really bumming me out. Seattle has 220+ cloudy days a year, and I'm from Big Sky Country where you always get at least a little sunshine every day. This Montana girl was needing a change.

My SADness (Seasonal Affective Disorder ness) was pretty palpable three years ago, but the idea of Boulder cheered me up. Then, staying in Seattle and embracing the rain because it meant snow in zee mountains cheered me up. It didn't hurt that I got a lot of days in the mountains like this - full of snow in the FACE!:

Skiing in Crystal Mountain Backcountry. November 2013.

My tutu has never been happier.

But what's a girl to do now? We're in the midst of one of the warmest, wettest, non-snowiest winters of all time. I just read recently it was the same temperature here as in Miami. And now they're announcing a storm surge - in three parts no less - that more or less looks like a fist punching the PNW with wetness. 

None of this is acceptable.

I've done my snow dance. I've done the sacrifice to father winter. And yes, before you ask I did it all naked. (What do you take me for - some bush league participant?) But still no snow. 

Which leads me to what I'm trying to say: life isn't always adventurous. Sometimes life is waking up full of rage that you can STILL hear the rain pouring down on your roof when all you want to do is go outside and go for a run or drive into the mountains and ski on the white stuff that should be there or go for a bike ride without getting your backside covered in road grime. Sometimes life is accepting that you won't get to ski much this year and contemplating taking up such sports as....*gulp*.... underwater basket weaving or whitewater kayaking. Sometimes life is going for a trail run in the mud and praying you don't fall and give yourself yet another black eye because that's just the sort of shit that happens to you.

Life is what you make of it. Rain and all. I just would be a much happier Kristina if we had a little less rain and a lot more snow. But I'll admit defeat - for now. You win this round weather gods. Here's hoping a few more folks break out their dancing shoes to bring the snow.