Monthly Archives: October 2011

Happy Halloween!

Pattern: Loosely based on the AfterThought Heel Socks by Laura Linneman

Yarn: Blue Ridge Yarns in a Merino/Silk (70/30) blend

Modifications: I knit for 4 inches before placing the scrap yarn for the afterthought heel. After placing the scrap yarn, I decreased 8 stitches (2 on each needle) to make the foot more form fitting. I also did less decreases on the afterthought heel because I found that as written, they were a bit too large.

I knit these in just under a week and finished them just in time to be festive today!

I think I need a pair for every major holiday! In holiday appropriate colors, of course.

I seriously missed my spinning wheel when I was away, and I just finished spinning up a lovely braid of fiber today:

Padfoot on Polwarth dyed by Two if by Hand 

Approximately 275 yards of dk-ish weight yarn

I was hoping to have my Shadow sweater finished by now…but I’ve run into a few problems. First of all, I had some issues with the collar and had to undo and reknit it. THEN, there’s the issue of the really bulky seams. I need to pull out all of the seaming and find some light weight (and stronger) yarn to seam with. Here’s a quick shot of what it looks like right now (in a big pile):

 I really think I’m going to love it…but it is certainly trying my patience!

I have a couple of other things on the needles, but those should be done and blog worthy in a few days!

Have a Happy and Safe Halloween!

 

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New in the etsy shop….

A few handwoven scarves! Initially I made these thinking I would be participating in one of the Holiday Craft Fairs at the hospital, but unfortunately we’ll be traveling during them this year. Sooo…I’ve decided to put them up in the etsy shop today!

The first and third scarves are already listed in the shop…the second one will be listed soon-ish. I just need to retake a couple of photos and then it will be up!

I’ll be back either later today or tomorrow with some WIPs and some spinning-in-progress 🙂

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Rhinebeck Recap!

Phew! I’ve been away from the blog for far too long! But I certainly had a good reason or two!

I flew out to upstate NY a couple of weeks ago so that I could drive down to the NY Sheep and Wool Festival with my Mom and her friend Teena. We met up with my good friend Aimee on Friday night and spent the night hanging with the other knitters and plotting our shopping plan for Saturday.

To say we shopped ’til we dropped is a severe understatement! Our first stop was the Spirit Trail Fiberworks booth. I ended up picking out a gorgeous skein of merino/cashmere fingering weight yarn and a braid of merino/cashmere/silk spinning fiber:

One of our (I’m pretty sure I can speak for Aimee, my Mom and Teena!) favorite vendors was Miss Babs. I was looking for a sweater quantity of an earthy tone to make the Gnarled Yoke Cardigan from the new Coastal Knits book. My first Miss Babs purchase was 3 skeins of “Yowza! Whatta Skein”

The skeins are actually a bit less red and more burgundy. I’m really excited to start the sweater, although I need to finish my Rhinebeck sweater that didn’t quite get finished in time for Rhinebeck!

We loved the Miss Babs booth so much that we went back later in the afternoon and I ended up purchasing a few more things:

Miss Babs Yummy Shadows Sock & Baby Yarn for a Catkin 

Miss Babs Yummy Hand-Painted Sport and Sock yarn and Yet Lace Weight yarn (merino/silk) for a Blackcurrent Shawl 

Another vendor that I was really impressed with was Into the Whirled. I had a really hard time not picking one of everything off the shelves! After much deliberation, I narrowed it down to 2 braids of fiber…one merino and one falkland:

Aimee and I found some awesome self-striping Halloween sock yarn at Blue Ridge Yarns…the plan is to have matching socks for Rhinebeck next year. I, personally, am thinking I might try and whip up a pair in time for Halloween next week (crazy? yes.).

At lunch time we took a trip out to the car to eat some lunch and leave our morning purchases in the car. Afterwards we headed over to the Knitspot lunchtime meet-up to say hello to my cousin Anne.

Anne Hanson of Knitspot, me, and Aimee (omg. my hair is a DISASTER!)

We made sure to spend a little bit of time strolling through the sheep barns and checking out all the cute sheep.

One of the most popular vendors was The Sanguine Gryphon. We didn’t actually do any shopping at their booth since there was over an hour wait to pay:

This was the line to pay at the SG booth!

After shopping all day we headed back to the hotel, ordered some pizza and browsed patterns on ravelry!

There has been some knitting and now that I’m back home I’m going to be working on some project bags for a big update in the next few weeks! Stay tuned for details!

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Blackcurrent Shawl

I’ve been doing tons of knitting, and finally have something to show for it!

Pattern: Blackcurrent Shawl by  Veera Valimaki

Yarn: Pigeonroof Siren Two Sock (MCN) in Espresso and Hedgehog Fibres Pure Cashmere Lace in Cooper Penny

Modifications: None. I followed the pattern exactly as written, for once! The pattern was really well written and the directions were easy to follow. It made for great airplane knitting when we went to Hawaii!

Let’s talk about the yarn, shall we? The Pigeonroof Siren Two sock was wonderfully soft and had a really nice sheen to it. It was a perfect pairing with the slightly fuzzy and oh-so-soft Hedgehog Fibres Pure Cashmere Lace. The chocolate brown was a nice way to tone down the oranges in the cashmere. I couldn’t be happier with the yarn pairing!

This will be headed to my aunt who was recently diagnosed with breast cancer and I’m hoping it can keep her warm during chemo treatments.

This is such a wearable style of shaw and a very quick knit since it’s done on size 10 needles with either fingering weight doubled or worsted weight yarn. I’ll definitely be making another one of these to add to my own wardrobe in the near future. Maybe with some yarn that I’ll find at the NY Sheep and Wool Festival this coming weekend?

I’m headed back east tomorrow morning and will be spending the week at my parents house, headed down to Rhinebeck for the sheep and wool festival, and then up to Maine to visit some friends and go shopping at the lovely Purl Diva!

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Hawaii: Part 2

I’ve finally gone through the rest of our pictures from our trip and wanted to share them before I head back east for the NY Sheep and Wool Festival! My last post went through the end of Saturday…

Sunday morning we got up early to catch the sunrise again and so that Seth could head out on his run of the Napali coast early.

Of course, I realized on the last day of our trip that my camera had a big spot on the inside and many of my photos have a big half circle darkened shape in the top right corner. sigh. It actually isn’t as bad as I originally thought, but it’s going to take some photoshopping to fix up a bunch of the pictures if I ever want to print them.

After sunrise, I drove Seth up to the north shore so that he could start his 22-mile run and then I headed back to our condo so that Liz and Ben and I could figure out what we wanted to do. We decided to check out the south shore and headed to Poipu Beach to do a little snorkeling.

The snorkeling here was fantastic….we only had to swim out a little bit before we saw tons of tropical fish! There were also lots of chickens on the beach. Yes. Chickens. They don’t have any natural predators on the island of Kauai, so wild chickens can be seen everywhere.

Like on the beach. Just walking around. Weird, right? We found them highly entertaining!

After we had been sufficiently sun-soaked and water-logged we headed to a place that had been recommended in one of the guidebooks we had. We drove further west on the island, through the industrial part of town, down a dirt road, and out to a very small beach that was rumored to be covered in sea glass. The picture in the guidebook looked something like this:

photo from jaunted.com

I think you can probably see where this story is going. The beach looked NOTHING like that. I didn’t even bother to take a picture because we thought we were in the wrong place. There were a few pieces of sea glass laying around, but it was nothing like it had been described in the guidebook. After some research on the iphone in the car (what would we do without smartphones?), we discovered that the beach looked like this up until a few years ago. Then, apparently, people began taking large quantities of the sea glass and there is very little left.

We continued driving up a dirt road and had some pretty views of the ocean in one direction and the industrial part of the island in the other.

After the disappointment of sea-glass beach, we headed up to the north shore to pick Seth up from his run and did a little bit of shopping and eating on the way. I had been on the lookout for a hat with a large brim to keep the sun off my face and shoulders, so I picked up one I had seen earlier in the week and then we waited for Seth at the end of the road. He was exhausted and overheated (and probably a little bit dehydrated) from running in the 90-degree weather. He went for a quick swim and then we headed back to order some pizza and rest up for our kayaking adventure the next day.

Bright and early Monday morning we headed to pick up our kayaks and spend part of the day paddling up the Wailua River.

Yup. That’s my ridiculously large hat. Dorky? Yes. But totally worth the dork factor.

We were given maps and instructions on how to get to Secret Falls and the Fern Grotto. After paddling a couple of miles up river we pulled our boats up onto a small beach and took the mile-long hike to Secret Falls.

We crossed a few streams (the rope was really unnecessary, but makes for a fun picture!) and walked upsteam until we came to the waterfall.

The water below the waterfall was freezing, but we all braved the chilly temps to go swimming…and, of course, capture the moment on film.

On the hike back out we passed about 80 people, in various tour groups, all hiking towards the waterfall! It definitely would have lost a bit of it’s charm had we been sharing it with a bunch of tour groups! After we found our kayaks (why must all the rental companies use the same exact boats?!) and got back on the river, we headed to the Fern Grotto.

After paddling back down the river and returning the kayaks we drove to a couple of more waterfalls that could be viewed from the road.

Opaeka’a Falls

Wailua Falls

The plan for the evening was to drive to the west shore to see the sunset from the beach and then find a sushi restaurant. It didn’t quite work out the way we had planned….first of all, it was raining. And while the beach was still beautiful, a nice sunset didn’t look like a possibility.

The road out to the beaches on the west shore is a little treacherous, but I’ll bet it’s worth it when it’s not raining! Our plan for sushi was also thwarted. We went to a restaurant down the street from our resort that had sushi on the menu….at least according to the guidebooks and what we could find online. However, once we arrived we were informed that their sushi chef no longer worked there…so no sushi. But at that point we were too hungry to go find some place else.

For our last day on the island, we returned to Poipu Beach to do some more snorkeling. Ideally, we would have loved to go back up to the north shore to do some snorkeling up there….but the surf was too high. But, no worries…there were plenty of fish to see at Poipu.

We saw countless tropical fish, sea urchins, gorgeous coral…and Seth even saw an eel!

The four of us ended our trip together by going to a Luau at the Kilohana Plantation. Our concierge at the resort promised us premium seating if we booked through the hotel, and he wasn’t joking! We had a table directly next to the stage, which was fabulous….and then slightly frightening when the fire dancers were throwing fire!

I hope I didn’t bore you all too much with the crazy amount of pictures from our vacation!

I’ll be posting some knitting on the blog tomorrow, I promise!

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Hawaii: Part 1

I’ve only gone through the first few days worth of pictures so far, so I thought I’d divide the Hawaii trip into a couple of different posts. Seth and I arrived in Kauai on a Thursday afternoon and immediately drove to our hotel to get all checked in. Our resort was GORGEOUS and conveniently located on the east shore of the island. We were pretty exhausted from traveling, so we checked out the beach, went grocery shopping, and lounged in the awesome pool at the resort.

The time difference was definitely in our favor, so we were up early the next morning and after some discussion with the concierge decided to check out the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific,” otherwise known as the Waimea Canyon State Park. The drive is about 20 miles up a skinny, winding road with gorgeous views. I’ll just let the pictures do the talking:

We took a short hike down this trail that had the most gorgeous views of the coastline 

Looking up the trail we had walked down

After a day of exploring the canyon, we hit up one of the local farmers markets and bought some star fruit (which tasted oddly nothing like fruit and sort of like cucumber), papayas, tomatoes, lettuce, purple sweet potatoes, and some weird sweet pepper things. That evening we picked up our friends Liz and Ben from the airport and headed back to whip up some dinner out on the poolside grills at the resort! I think all of us were in bed by 9pm!

The advantage of going to bed so early was that we were all up in time for sunrise (okay, I admit that I needed to be woken up to actually get outside in time for sunrise). I won’t make you look at the ridiculous amount of sunrise pictures I took, but here are just a couple:

Liz and Ben enjoying the sunrise on the beach outside our resort

We decided to drive up to the north shore for the day and made a few stops along the way. Our first stop (not counting the yard sale we stopped for!) was the Kilauea Lighthouse and Bird Sanctuary.

The lighthouse and bird sanctuary were celebrating Nene Awareness Day (the Nene is a relative of the Canadian Goose), so there was free admission and tons of education on the Nene birds! The folks at the lighthouse were also loaning out binoculars and we were lucky enough to catch a pair of HUMONGOUS sea turtles out in the ocean!

Seth, Liz, and Ben checking out the sea turtles

We continued driving up the north shore and and stopped in Hanalei Bay to do a little shopping. Of course we just happened to park directly in front of a shop called “Strings and Things”….a guitar and YARN shop! They featured locally dyed yarn, so of course I had to pick some up for gifts and maybe even a skein or two for myself. After a little shopping spree we continued up the coast to the very end of the road so that Seth could check out the trailhead for the run he was planning on doing the next day. We also wanted to check out the lava tubes including one called the Blue Pool that you could swim in. The Blue Pool was not so blue…more black and the water was freezing, so none of us actually went in!

We spent the rest of the afternoon at Tunnels Beach. We had hoped the water would be calm enough for snorkeling, but unfortunately the currents were really strong so we stuck to wading in the water to cool off. The highlight of Tunnels was definitely spotting a Monk Seal on the beach! Monk Seals are extremely endangered and it’s estimated that there are only about 30 living in Hawaii. The beaches have signs that they post when a seal is hanging on the beach so that people don’t get too close to them.

He was just lounging in the sunshine and would occasionally pick up his head and look around!

The view at Tunnels Beach…gorgeous, right?!

After sunning ourselves at Tunnels, we picked up some fish to throw on the grill and headed back to our resort for the evening. I think we’ll stop there foro There’s been a whole lot of knitting going on here but no pictures to show for it…yet. I’ll be sure to get some crafty photos for the next post!

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