Monday, March 14, 2011

The Move that Ate Christmas

"And then the day came when the risk to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom." - Anais Nin

Moving was a logistical challenge (last minute delay to replace tires, 4 hours to get the cat into the car, movers stuck in traffic), but the hard part was really the emotional toll of leaving so many amazing friends and the only town Geoff and I had ever lived in together.  I just can't imagine my life without some of these people so I'm sure we will see them again.  Still, heading out into the unknown is scary, even with Geoff by my side.
Goodbye last remaining granary in Pennsylvania

Despite the move, and knowing that it would be taken down prior to Christmas I went ahead and put up our little Christmas tree.  Almost all of the decorations are tiny knit sweaters, hand-sewn felt shapes, and the annual painted wooden frame with a picture of Geoff and I that I make each year.  Best of all are the red crocheted snowflakes my mom made from the same pattern she used to make snowflakes for she and dad's first tree.

It made me smile amidst all the packed boxes.
During the move, a lot of junk we (okay, really, I) accumulated was donated or thrown out which was desperately needed.  Among all the cleaning, sorting, and packing, I convinced myself that I needed to get as much knitting done as possible - because then I wouldn't have to pack the yarn (my powers of justification are legendary).  I made quite a few of these little sheep sachets with bits of white, black, and gray yarn.

Get it?  They are sheep.  That protect wool.
But the best stash-busting project?  This guy:

Just look at that face.  I almost couldn't give him away.
I had some leftover orange and tan yarn and I had found a board book called "That's Not My Monkey!"  The book ends with an orangutan, so I knew this would be a perfect little stuff animal to knit for Miss C.

Unfortunately, I didn't pay much attention to the pattern and "little" isn't how it ended up - I needed all of a second ball of yarn!  You'll see why in a minute but it was all worth it.  

Like all good toddlers, ripping off the wrapping paper was all part of the fun.

And once it was opened, C found an orangutan as big as she is!

The orang has velcro hands so it can give hugs!
Perhaps the most fun part of the gift?
We left State College on December 22rd and got to my parents on the 23rd, so Christmas sort of snuck up on us.  I had meant to send out cards or a letter, or even an e-mail - but I ran out of time.  So....

Thankfully, my parents were more than amply prepared for Christmas so we arrived to stockings hung by the chimney with care.

Stockings are strictly hung in descending age order in the Quillen/Harp household.

It would be a while before our truck arrived in San Antonio so we spent about 10 days in Lawrence and Geoff found a great open mic night to play at the Jazzhaus.

But eventually we had to get back on the road.  Hank had finally started to trust us again, when we strapped her back into her kitty harness and dragged her to the car.

30 hours of freaked out cat on my lap.

Next stop...Texas.


  1. That orangutan is awesome! How's the new job?

  2. Good so far! It was a weird transition to go from being totally focused on my own dissertation to working on someone else's project and having to ask for directions. But overall I like being a postdoc a lot.

  3. It's definitely an adjustment, transitioning from PhD to postdoc. Almost feels like starting grad school all over again.

    What pattern did you use for the orang? I think Charlie may need one....

  4. That is exactly what it feels like! I can send the pattern to you. It is from a book my mom stumbled across several years ago.


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