.:Brainstorming and Rethinking:.

A class I am taking this term requires its students to start a blog, populate content, and draft a paper discussing the intent to turn this blog into a revenue generator.

….  This has been been my goal for alpacasandanalogies all along…  Though somehow that dream has been lost, or temporarily overlooked.

So, while she has been terribly neglected these past few months, between changes at work and a new term and somewhat successful attempts to live life, it’s time to brain storm.  How do I bring alpacasandanalogies back to life?  And how can I make her earn her keep?

{don’t mind me while I mind dump all up in here}

I think it’s incredibly important to share what inspires me.  I think in the past I have been so narrowly focused on fiber crafts that whenever I talk about life, or baking, or whatever, it feels out of place.

So what inspires me:

1. My people and my dog









2. The outdoors









3. Kitchen crafts









4. Fiber crafts (of course)









These are the parts of me that I want to bring to life here, not just as a way to share current happenings with my friends and family, but as a way to inspire people as well.

What are the blogs I love to read doing right?  And what keeps me coming back?

** Beautiful Photography, Personality, A-Ha Moments**

And how are they making money?

*** Sponsors and On-Screen Advertisers, Product Trial and Endorsements, Etsy ***

It’s clear to me that taking alpacasandanalogies to the next level will take more than good intentions.  It will take time.  It will take determination, experiments, and rolls and rolls of film and hours and hours of sifting through digital shots.  alpacasandanalogies is  more than a knitting blog – it’s a “how this is changing my life” kind of blog.

So for now, while this writer gets herself back on track, bear with me.  Here’s a little taste of what’s to come:

//Complete Visual Makeover//  Less bland, more action!

//More Content//  A plethora of knitting, baking, and living!

//More Writing & More Photos//  Less lazy!  Is that possible?

//More Alpacas & More Analogies//  ….

Stay tuned.

The best is yet to come.


.:Meet Sirius Black!:.


Hi!  My name is Sirus Black!

My new Mom and Dad just adopted me from the Oregon Humane Society and I am so happy to meet you!  I am looking forward to a lot of butt-wiggling good times as I keep Mom company on her many crfty adventures!

I love:

❤ Warm laps

❤ Little noselicks

❤ Violent butt-wiggling when mom gets home

❤ Snoring during Mom and Dad’s favorite shows

❤ Walks outside and Cheerios when I go potty

❤ Following Mom everywhere and playing with Dad’s socks

❤ Ripping the guts out of my stuffties

.:Spring-Breaking Free of This Bull Shit Winter:.


, , ,

It is hard to write, to think of what to say, when I know my heart has not been in it. I miss the kindred creative spirit I always felt when writing, or crafting, or even just dreaming. But when life catches up to me, and I find myself overwhelmed with work and school and everything else, my creativity seems to always be the first thing I sacrifice.

But it’s Spring! It’s the season of renewal, of dusting off and kicking out the parts of your life that maybe aren’t quite as fresh as you’d like. It’s time to Spring Clean the apartment, the car, the dog, and my life. So here’s to a renaissance of crafting and writing. And to doing the things I love most with the people I can’t live without. To stripping off old excuses and the grey doldrums of winter.



.:What’s Left of Christmas:.


, , , , , , , , , , ,

In typical Alpaca.Rae fashion, I somehow managed to forget to photograph all of the handmade gifts I gave this year for Christmas.  Awesome.  I’ll just blame it on being incredibly busy with my first term of Grad School.  Or maybe I was just blinded by new love.  Either way, that was a big oops.

Lucky for me, A&J were kind enough to take on a spontaneous photo shoot of their gifts for me, which they got almost a month late…  Their assignment: Hipster-esque shots of my knits in action.  And the following lovely photos are evidence of how they, quite perfectly, pulled it off.

Photos by A&J.  Editing by Alpaca.Rae.  Knits by Alpaca.Rae.

.:The Ultimate Yarn Challenge:.


, , , , ,

It’s hard to believe but it’s already almost time for the annual Portland Yarn Crawl!  I love how this is just the most splendid way to kick off Spring, or, since this is Oregon, the next 8+ weeks of rainy-crap-winter.  Even better, this fantastic event always falls right around Button’s birthday.  Who could ask for a more awesome weekend of celebrating good friends and good knitting?!

And then there is this:


Of all the girls in our group, and all the shops we went into, and all the contests we entered, this is the only thing anyone won.  At least it was the birthday girl who won it.


Big surprise that it has sat in Button’s drawer for a year.

I mean, really.  Someone clearly spent a lot of time on this hand spun skein of yarn.  Enough time in fact to integrate little bits of what I think is Barbie hair into it even.



But god, is it ugly.  I think my first reaction to it was: “this is what My Little Pony would look like as yarn…”

So, like any dedicated yarn enthusiast/masochist, I cam up with a brilliant idea.  The Ultimate Yarn Challenge.  I am going to use every ounce of my knitting brain and I am going to make this yarn into something lovely.

I’ll see your doubt and raise you a rather large pile of determination.

Bring it on Barbie.  Bring.  It.  On.

.:Giving in and Ripping Out:.


, , , , , , , ,

Frustration: -adjective 1) Disappointed; thwarted 2) Having a feeling of or filled with frustration; dissatisfied


Fifteen hours is a long time.  15 hours is just shy of two work days.  In 15 hours I can get deep enough into California to be well on my way to Mexico.  Or watch almost all of the Harry Potter films.  15 hours is also how much time I had invested in the project I just ripped out.

I ran my hands over and over the stitches I had finished up to this point.  No matter how hard I tried or how carefully I looked or how many rows I unknitted and back tracked, I couldn’t find it.  Somewhere there is an error, a mistake, an oversight.  A point where I stopped focusing for just a moment and caused some sort of irrevocable damage.  The worst part is that I remember every single one of these stitches.

I remember the turbulence we hit as we flew over Houston while I worked the border.  I remember the beautiful European woman who grabbed my hand and told me that we were ok as her husband nodded in agreement.  I have never known such kindness from a stranger.

I remember laying in the grass in the Boston Common, daydreaming and soaking in the bright East Coast sun and working the beginnings of the lace repeats.  I have never known such freedom.

I remember teaching one of my favourite cousins to knit and describing the complexities of reading lace patterns and how it is like poetry.  Like physically manifested poetry.  I have never known such pride.

And I remember the bloody head cold I had as I flew back from Boston and, even though i just wanted to die, I knit for a straight seven hours becuase I didn’t think I would have been able to stand that flight otherwise.  I was deaf for three days after we landed.  And I have never known such relief.

I remember exactly what that trip meant to me, and this entire project, while far from finished, had become a tangible memory of that trip.  As it grew, I grew.  It became a part of me.  And yet I still cannot find the one little place where my fingers slipped, where I lost my way.

So here I am, pulling it apart.  Stitch by stitch.  Row by row.  And I’m frustrated.  Not because I have to start over, because why would I complain about the opportunity for more knitting?  I’m frustrated because I am tearing out stitches that meant more to me than they seemed.  I’ve never really been one for souvenirs necessarily, especially since I’ve moved somewhere around nine times in the last 6 years, but this little piece of such an important trip has been particularly hard to let go of.


Now that I have said goodbye, I have rewound the ball and I have casted back on.  I have found a renewed sense of purpose.  After all, the yarn is the same.  The memories are still in her fiber.  In her heart.  But this next version of my Boston project will be better.  More full of love.  More full of heart.  And I can now carry this process with me for longer.  Through more memories.  I can connect one of the best summers I’ve ever had to one of the happiest winters I can remember and then to what I hope to be a beautiful spring.

.:365 Days Of Instagram:.


, , , , , ,

Days 1-7

I am addicted to my iPhone.  This is no question.  I also love blogging and bloggers.  I think i follow somewhere around 15 through my bloglovin app (widget to come soon right here on alpacasandanalogies!!).  And everywhere I go in the blogging world these days, I seem to see these 365 Days of Instagram.  Do my eyes deceive me?  Did someone come up with another perfect way for me to feed my iPhone addiction and support my blog at the same time?  Ok, so maybe this project is a little narcissistic.  And ok, maybe I’m a little ok with that.  So here’s to 365 days of my life in photos, and 365 awkward moments where I stop the world and take a snapshot with my iPhone.  I hope to see y’all along the journey!

.:I’m so baked:.


, , , , , ,

I have had a stroke of genius.

If you are done rolling on the floor laughing, mom, then I shall explain.

It is no secret that I love the Brits. I love how they talk, I love how it sounds when they curse – like it’s almost polite. I love how tea is an activity and not just a beverage. And I love how, at least in British literature, life just seems a little less pre-packaged and “high-fructose-corn-syrupy.” (That can be used as an adjective right?)

One of my favorite modern writers is Gil McNeil. She writes these lovely and warm tales of one woman’s quest to start over, in a little knit shop in a English coastal town. As you can imagine, I fell in love with a) these stories and b) the whole world Ms. McNeil has created.

I can whole heartedly picture myself as a completely satisfied member of that world. I see myself playing with the dog (named Sirius of course) down by the sea before heading up to the shop to spend my day ordering new yarn stock, dreaming up new patterns to try, and writing my blog, only stopping occasionally to put the tea on. How freaking fantastic does that sound?

As you can see, I spend a lot of time thinking about this. Because, and this statement may come as a shock to you, I am frequently underwhelmed at work.

I know, I know. Let the gasping and shaking of heads commence. I’ll give y’all a minute.

This problem I have leads to exceptionally long and tedious days. Which suck. Don’t get me wrong, I love my job. Somedays I just need more than this. I have found an excellent way to combat my boredom though: I dream. And not just about the knit shop in England. Though the actual locale is negotiable. So this is the dream, in full:

Two brands: Alpaca.Rae and Rae.Sin (still a working title, ❤ Breezy!). Two things I love to do more than anything else: knitting and baking.

Now I know this is not a terribly new concept. I know of other knit shops in Portland that offer this exact same experience. So how will mine compete? Well this is one of the best things about the knitterary community, and in Portland in particular. You really don’t have to be all the different, and people will love you just the same.

So when I’m feeling particularly underwhelmed at my day job, and thinking about British accents and Mr. Darcy doesn’t cut it, I fantasize about what this shop will one day look like. I imagine something like an over large living room, with shelves full of books and yarn, and a little vintage kitchen in the back. A front case with Alpaca.Rae originals and a menu board “chalk” (sorry, I just couldn’t help myself) full of Rae.Sin baked goods and teas and coffees. I want knitters to come into what will surely be an extension of my home, and never want to leave.

So here’s my current game plan to banish the boredom and prepare for the future:

1) Finish Grad School

2) Develop alpacasandanalogies

3) Open Alpaca.Rae as an Etsy shop and continue to experiment with recipes for Rae.Sin

4) Get that book deal

5) Refine my taste for tea

That right there, is a fool-proof plan.