Monthly Archives: May 2011

Kindle/Nook Cases in the Shop!

Just wanted to let you all know I whipped up a few Kindle/Nook cases for the shop today!

I used the directions for log cabin blocks from Patchwork Style, which is a really fun improv-ish sort of way to do them. I liked not having to measure and cut everything ahead of time, and it made excellent use of smaller scraps. The book is fabulous, and I want to make almost every. single. thing. from the book.

I’ll probably make up some more traditional looking e-reader cases soon, so keep an eye on the shop!

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Silver Falls State Park

I swear this is still a knitting/spinning/sewing/fiber arts blog! But, my knitting productivity has been a little slow with not much to show for it. Not entirely true, I guess. I do have almost a whole entire sweater body done. But I’m just getting to the fancy, pretty part…and until that part is done, there isn’t anything exciting to photograph.

So instead of knitting, I’ll show you some photos I took this week at Silver Falls State Park. On Tuesday, I headed to Silver Falls with my neighbors to do a little hiking and take some photos. We ended up seeing 4 (I think) of the 10 waterfalls and walked a couple of miles on the trails in the park. It was a rare sunny day, so even though it was the middle of the week there were a decent number of people there.

177-foot tall South Falls. See those little white specks behind the falls? Those are people walking on the trail that runs behind the falls.

One of my favorite things about living in the Pacific NW is the intense greenery that is just EVERYWHERE. Love it.

Bottom of South Falls

Lower South Falls – 93 feet tall

We spent several hours exploring, and only saw a small portion of the park. Definitely someplace I’ll be going back to!

In other news, we had a fairly uneventful Memorial Day weekend. On Saturday, Sailor and I headed up Mary’s Peak with a friend and her Border Collie. There was still a decent amount of snow, so our short hike basically consisted of us walking 1/4 of a mile and letting the dogs run wild through the snow. I’m sad I didn’t bring my camera to get their antics on film! On Sunday, Seth returned from his 10-day trip to China! He had a fantastic time, and has lots of great pictures (he took over 700!). Today was our last full day to do yard prep before Seth’s Dad arrives on Wednesday to lay stone on the patio. We picked up bags of mortar for the patio (with the help of a truck rental from Home Depot), mowed the yard, finished turning over the garden beds, bought plants and seeds, and planted. Our lovely neighbor offered to let us plant in her 2 raised beds in addition to the 2 we already have, so we ended up planting a couple of pumpkin plants over in her yard to save some room for more veggies in ours. We planted tomatoes (both cherry and regular), several kinds of peppers, lettuce, radishes, and carrots. I need to make another trip out to get a zucchini plant (only one since our one plant last summer gave us enough zucchini to last all year!) and some green bean seeds. Apparently we also have a couple of blueberry bushes that we never noticed last year. I’m going to go ahead and guess that they were hidden by the overgrown grape vines, but it’s possible we just didn’t see them back there with the raspberries, grapes, and strawberries! Ah, I love the northwest. I’m fairly sure I would not be able to keep a garden alive back east, yet last summer despite some minor setbacks our garden did pretty well!

Knitting progress pictures are coming soon!! Hope you all had a lovely weekend!

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Photography Class: Day 3

Are you all sick of seeing pics from my photography class yet? This is the last day, I promise!

For our third day of the class, we met in the afternoon…so we took my Mom back into Bryce National Park in the morning so she could see it when it wasn’t completely covered in fog!

Gorgeous, right?!

After walking around the park for a while, my Dad and I headed about an hour away from Bryce to Calf Creek Falls Recreation Area. There was a 3-mile hike out to the waterfall, but it was relatively flat and gorgeous, of course! At the end of the trail, you come across this:

For anyone wondering how to get a waterfall photo like this, it was relatively easy. We used a tripod and cable release for all of our photos regardless of where we were shooting. We shot in aperture priority the entire time at f22, for the largest depth of field. I had a circular polarizer on my lens, which in this case helped knock down the shutter speed a bit for the smooth water look. The other thing that helped is that the waterfall is shaded. One suggestion we were given is to use the dark portion of the graduated density filters over the whole lens if your shutter speed still isn’t slow enough.

I think my most favorite photos from the class came from day 3!

I do actually have some knitting to show off. Or rather, one piece of knitting.

Pattern: Kiva Hattu by Courtney Kelley

Yarn: The Fibre Company Organik (Wool/Alpaca/Silk)

Modifications: None! I followed the pattern exactly, and love the finished product. It was a bit slow going due to the cabling every other row, but it was well worth the extra time it took. The yarn was fabulous to knit with. I think the high wool content will help the hat keep it’s shape, the alpaca makes it super soft, and the silk gives it a wonderful shine. So far, I’ve been really impressed with The Fibre Company yarns.

I’m still plugging away on my Estelle Cardigan, but still nothing really to show for it!

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Shop Update Previews!

Better late than never, right?! Let’s get right to it! These will all go up in the shop on Friday May 27th at 11am Pacific Time.

Moaning Myrtle: 210 yards of navajo-plied, worsted weight yarn in BFL/Alpaca (80/20). This skein has fairly long color runs and will most likely stripe when knit up. 

Will be $32 in the shop

Seaweed Salad: Approximately 300 yards of super-soft organic merino. This is spun thick and thin, but averages a light dk/heavy sport weight.

Will be $35 in the shop

Sister I’m a Poet: 315 yards of Superfine Merino spun thick and thin…average weight is worsted. This skein is ridiculously soft. 

Will be up in the shop for $35

Everyone’s Got a Random: (any Glee fans out there?) 230-yards of worsted weight Shetland wool. 

Will be in the shop for $27

Dirigible Plums: 220-yards of 100% Alpaca in a worsted weight 2-ply yarn. This yarn has a gorgeous halo from the alpaca!

Will be $32 in the shop

Well, that’s it folks! All the fiber for the update was dyed by the lovely ladies at Two if by Hand….if you haven’t noticed, I like their fiber just a little bit 😉

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Photography Class: Day 2

Day 2 of our photography class started at 6am at Sunset Point for Sunrise. Yes. Sunset Point for SunRISE. We didn’t get many colors in the sky during sunrise, but that sure didn’t stop us from clicking away. Thankfully, my Dad had the brilliant idea of buying handwarmers the night before since it was only going to be in the high 20s for sunrise!

The clouds were amazing, and we once again made good use of our graduated density filters. It’s amazing what a difference they make!

After taking photos for a little over an hour, we took a quick break to warm up and then met at the Fairyland Loop trailhead. Now before you click on the link and become all impressed with us hiking a strenuous trail for 8-miles, let me just tell you we only hiked 3-miles total. We hiked for about 1/2 mile before stopping to set up the camera equipment. After we snapped a few pictures, it was suggested that we just carry our cameras on our tripods while we hiked since there were so many photo opportunities. Around every turn there was gorgeous scenery just begging to be photographed.

As you can see, the clouds cleared and we had GORGEOUS weather for hiking.

We hiked about 1.5 miles in, and then followed the same trail back out and were finished by noon. Later in the afternoon, we took my Mom into the park to show her the beautiful scenery. However, the farther up the road we drove, the foggier it became! On our way back down the road toward the park entrance it started snowing….and hailing. We ate dinner at the Lodge inside the park and by the time we were finished with dinner there were a couple of inches of snow on the ground already! We stopped to take a few pictures, but the fog made it difficult to get a good shot.

Hard to believe all these pictures were taken on the same day! I was able to capture some much better photos on our third day of the snow, and I’ll share those in my next post!

And…since no post would be complete without handcrafted goodness….

Pattern: Winslow Market Tote by Kathy Mack – the pattern is free!

Fabric: Nest by Valori Wells

Modifications: Let me just tell you that I am TERRIBLE at following sewing patterns. Give me any knitting pattern and I can probably figure it out. Sewing patterns? Not so much. This is an extremely well-written, very clear and easy sewing pattern. However, I overlooked one small detail. The seam allowance was 1/2″ and not 1/4″ like I’m used to using. Using the wrong seam allowance becomes problematic when you cut all the pieces as instructed and then try and make them all fit together. Oy. I ended up being able to just trim the piece for the bottom as well as the lining, and it all worked out just fine in the end.

I love the size and shape of this bag and will definitely make another one, possibly with interior pockets.

I’m slightly obsessed with this fabric line and desperately want to make this quilt. 

I’m also planning a shop update for Friday with a small selection of handspun yarn. I feel like it’s been far too long since there has been more than a skein or two up in the shop! It will probably be sometime in the morning (pacific time)…but I’ll post the specific time soon.

Here’s a little sneak peek:

Moaning Myrtle on BFL/Alpaca (80/20)

Phew. I think that’s it for now! I started a new sweater, but it doesn’t really look like anything exciting yet…but I’ll be sure to share once it looks a little more impressive!

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Photography Class: Day 1

I think it’s high time I share some of the photos I took during the photography class I took in Utah! For the first day of the class we met in Bryce Canyon National Park at Sunset Point in the early afternoon. We spent the first 45-minutes or so of the class learning about different settings on our cameras and the settings we would be using for the duration of the class. The weather was chilly and snowy, so we ended up hiding out under cover near the restrooms until the weather cleared up a bit. Once we all had our cameras set up (who knew I could do so many things with my camera?!), we headed over to one of the viewpoints and started clicking away.

We took photos for a while and then headed down the Navajo Loop trail to the Queen’s Garden Trail (about 3 miles round trip). We stopped several times, took out the cameras and tripods and snapped more pictures.

Once we started hiking into the canyon and taking photos, we learned how to use the split neutral density filters that were part of our required materials. It was amazing to see how much of a difference they made!

Once we finished the hike, we headed to Inspiration Point to take pictures at sunset. It was quite cloudy, so the sunset wasn’t great…but I think we all ended up with at least a few nice photos from Inspiration Point.

Of course, I have hundreds more pictures…but I thought I’d just share a few of my favorites from each day. I think my grand total was about 750 photos, which I edited down to around 120. Ha. Obviously, I won’t put you through looking at all of them!

I’ve been doing quite a bit of knitting since Seth left for China, but only have a few pictures to share.

On Thursday, I decided that I MUST. IMMEDIATELY. start knitting a pair of socks with handspun yarn. I was so focused on it all day that I managed to knit one whole sock in a day!

Basic sock in Superwash Merino, in colorway “Whiz Bangs” 

I also started spinning up some BFL/Alpaca (80/20) that I had custom dyed by the lovely ladies at Two if by Hand, in colorway “Moaning Myrtle.”

Then, this morning I decided to make some yarn wreaths for my craft room, which I plan on painting soon. I’ve had the materials for a while, and finally got around to making them today. I used the tutorial written by Sharon on the Three Irish Girls blog, and used yarn that I had leftover from a couple of projects. I always seem to have extra yarn leftover, and this is a great way to use it up!

Yarn: Three Irish Girls Adorn Sock in colorway Kate

Yarn: Madelinetosh Sock in colorway Posy…I also used some butterfly buttons that I had leftover from a baby sweater, as well as a bit of Madelinetosh Pashmina in Mansfield Garden Party for the itty bitty ball of yarn on the wreath.

Cute, right? I’m still trying to decide on a paint color for the craft room, but these will match any of the contenders. I also got lost on etsy today looking at wall decals…it’s such a slippery slope!

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Two Finished HandKnits!

A small disclaimer to start: Self portraits are not my forte. My photographer/husband is headed to China tomorrow and hasn’t packed, so I made a feeble attempt at photographing myself in the backyard so he wouldn’t have to do it when he gets home from work.

Now that that’s out of the way, let’s bring on the handknits!

Pattern: Sarai by Vanessa Smith 

Yarn: String Theory Caper Sock Yarn in colorway Tavikki, purchased from the lovely Purl Diva

Modifications: Not too many, I swear! First of all, I find that Caper Sock yarn is closer to a sport-weight than a true fingering-weight yarn, so that shawl turned out slightly larger than the pattern measurements. The pattern called for a bit more yarn than I had, so I was well aware I’d probably have to cut a few rows out towards the end. I think I ended up cutting out about 4 rows at the end, but the size is actually perfect. The pattern was well-written and gave 3 options for edging, which I thought was a nice touch.

This was my second time knitting a shawl with Caper Sock (a merino/cashmere/nylon blend), and it knits up so beautifully and is amazingly soft right out of the skein. And, it only gets softer after washing. It has beautiful drape knit up at a looser gauge, but handles the lace pattern really well.

Next up: A hat! Very appropriate for this spring time weather, no? You’re right…not really, but I have a small obsession wtih handknit hats. I decided to tackle fair isle knitting again after learning almost a year ago. Last summer I took a Stranded Colorwork class with the very talented Jared Flood. I’ve been reluctant to do another fair isle project since the first one took so long, but I knit up this hat in a day and the fair isle went much better this time!

Pattern: Meritursas by Kate Gagnon Osborn

Yarn: The Fibre Company Canopy Worsted in Quetzal and Wild Ginger

Baby Alpaca, Merino, Viscose Bamboo (50/30/20)

Modifications: I knit the ribbed brim on size 4 needles instead of size 5 needles. I’ve found that the brims of my hats quickly stretch out (especially the beret styles), and the high alpaca content was only going to make the brim more stretchy. I blocked the hat over a 10″ dinner plate as the pattern suggested, but found that it was much too large. I tossed the hat in the dryer when it was almost dry and it shrunk back up to the perfect size (about 8.5-9″ across when blocking).

This was my first time working with any yarn from The Fibre Comany, and it certainly won’t be the last. And not just because my mom brought me enough to make 6 hats when we met up in Vegas! I’m such a sucker for alpaca fibers, and the Canopy was a great blend. The bamboo gives it a nice sheen, and the alpaca and merino make it amazingly soft.

And just for good measure, how about a picture of the pup:

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