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Spring Garden Tee and a TDF Update!

I’ve been knitting and spinning my fingers off lately and I have quite a few things to show off as a result! The Tour de Fleece has been going on, and while I haven’t made too much progress with my spinning I have finished a couple of skeins of yarn!

Left: Nuclear Pie on Falkland, Top Right: Boardwalk on SW Merino, Bottom Right: Heather Violet on Organic Merino – all fiber by Two if by Hand

I’ve also been participating in the Summer KAL at Stash, and recently finished my Spring Garden Tee!

Pattern: Spring Garden Tee by Alana Dakos

Yarn: Be Sweet Bamboo in Light Aqua

Modifications: I made the top several inches shorter than the pattern calls for since I wanted a tee instead of a tunic. However, the 100% bamboo yarn grew quite a bit and I now have a tunic length top! I picked up all the underarm stitches and did edging just as I did for the neck. I had hoped that this would prevent the armholes from stretching out too much. I ended up leaving out a couple of raglan increases in order to make the finished chest measurement slightly smaller to account for the stretch I knew would happen. The last mod I made was to add a lace hem to the bottom of the top (I used the lace pattern from the sleeves).

Lace detail at the hem.

The Be Sweet Bamboo makes a lovely, drapey fabric…though, I don’t think I’d ever use it for an adult garment again. I do think I’ll get a lot of wear out of the top, but it definitely stretched over the course of the day wearing it. That said, it’d be lovely for lighter, summery accessories or baby/toddler/child tops!

Last weekend, our friend Laura was in Portland on a little West Coast adventure. We took her to Cannon Beach, Tillamook Cheese Factory, the Portland Saturday Market, and had a little knitting lesson!

Anyone recognize Haystack rock from the movie The Goonies?! 

I just cast-on for several new projects, so I’ll be back soon with progress pics of those and another TDF update!

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Happy New Year!

I hope everyone’s 2012 is off to a great start! I thought I’d ring in the new year by showing off my last few knits from 2011! There are a few…so let’s get started!

Pattern: Ragtop by Susan Lawrence

Yarn: Three Irish Girls Glenhaven Cashmerino Worsted in Eiffel Tower

Mods: None! I’ve worked with Glenhaven before, so I knew these would turn out super luxurious feeling and be really warm. These were a gift for one of my cousins, though this was another gift that was tough to give up!

The Ragtop pattern was very easy to follow and has a very well-fitting thumb gusset. I love the long ribbing at the cuff that you can tuck inside your jacket!

Next up is a hat I made for one of the people who was watching Sailor while we were back on the east coast. She took him for extra walks and made sure he got plenty of exercise while we were away! I dug through my stash and found the perfect yarn to make a nice and cozy hat!

Pattern: Rathcooney by Carol Feller from Contemporary Irish Knits

Yarn: Madelinetosh Tosh Merino DK in Fig

Mods: I used a lighter-than-called-for yarn, but was getting gauge (or pretty close to gauge) so no mods were needed. I think I ended up making the middle size and it fit me perfectly and would easily accommodate a smaller or larger head circumference.

I got Contemporary Irish Knits as a Christmas gift and I was glad to be able to pull something from my stash and make use of the book so quickly. There are a whole host of great patterns in the book and I’ll definitely be pulling it out on a regular basis.

Now…the next handknit was a gift for Seth’s Dad. He likes wearing skull cap style hats and Seth had a design idea he wanted me to try. While we were flying back to the east coast, Seth charted out the design and I swatched and re-swatched until we came up with something he liked. I’m going to make a longer version for Seth and when I do, I’ll think about writing up a pattern for it.

Pattern: Seth’s design!

Yarn: Becoming Art Cielo Sport

The Cielo Sport was wonderful to work with and I think I should have enough to eek out another hat for Seth. If not, I’ll snag another skein at Stash!

Are you tired of looking at handknits yet? Just one more, I promise! This next one is actually something I’m keeping! My cousin Anne released a new hat pattern while I was deep in the midst of Christmas knitting. I promptly ordered the yarn that she had used and promised myself that as soon as my gifts were completed I’d make myself a new hat. Well, I sort of cheated a bit. My parents’ gifts weren’t done in time for Christmas, but I couldn’t resist casting-on a couple of days after Christmas. We took Sailor on a short hike today and Seth snapped some photos while we were out.

Pattern: Fartlek by Knitspot

Yarn: Spirit Trail Holda (lambswool/cashmere/angora) in Winter Solstice

Modifications: None. My hat came out a bit less slouchy that the pattern samples, but I knit a smallish size and haven’t blocked it yet. I actually love the way it fits and it kept my head toasty warm while we were hiking today.

The pattern was, of course, easy to follow and fun to knit. And the yarn was AH-mazing. It’s super soft, but knits up into a nice dense (but not stiff) fabric that is perfect for this hat. Seth took a gazillion photos because it was so gorgeous in the Old Growth forest today, but I’ll only make you look at one or two more!

Happy New Year!

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S.O.B. 50K and Crater Lake

Friday afternoon Seth and I headed down to Ashland, Oregon so that Seth could run the SOB 50K on Saturday. When we arrived in Ashland, we immediately parked downtown and headed to the local running store, Rogue Valley Runners. Seth picked up his shirt, and then we headed to the hotel to check-in and figure out where to eat. Ashland is  known for not being very dog-friendly, so we asked at the front desk about pasta places (gotta carb load before the race!) that do take out. One of the girls working recommended a small locally-owned place called Wiley’s World. Wow. It was FANTASTIC! They make all their own pasta from scratch, and many of their dishes are organic. They also have many gluten-free and vegan choices. Seth ordered some pasta primavera and strawberry-rhubarb cobbler, and I ordered spaghetti and marinara with meatballs. We waited outside with Sailor for our dinner and in the 20 minutes we were out there the entire place filled up!

Saturday morning I drove Seth up to Mount Ashland Ski Resort for the start of the race. Now, usually I drive to as many aid stations as I can to cheer on Seth, take pictures and bring him supplies. However, for this particular race, the runners weren’t allowed to have a crew. So instead, I headed back to the hotel and went back to sleep for a bit. After a nice nap and some breakfast, I headed back to downtown Ashland to hit up a fabric store and yarn shop. Obviously, no trip would be complete without a crafty stop somewhere! The fabric shop was phenomenal and I ended up buying some really awesome fabrics. The yarn shop was pretty awesome as well, and I picked up some yarn to weave fabric for a bag. More on those in a later post!

Seth had told me that he thought he would finish the race in about 7 hours, so I left the hotel and aimed to be there about an hour early to hopefully catch some other local runners crossing the finish line. When we got back up to the mountain, I parked, grabbed the camera, leashed up the dog and walked to the finish line with my chair and a bowl for Sailor fully expecting to sit and watch for an hour or so. As I was walking, I recognized the voice of one of the other local runners and turned around to say hello. Well, wouldn’t you know it…he was talking to Seth! Seth ended up finishing in 6 hours and 2 minutes! So…needless to say, I don’t have any pictures of him crossing the finish line! But, I do have one of him and Sailor hanging out at the ski resort.

And here’s a view facing the other way, of Mt. Shasta in California:

Look really closely, Mt. Shasta is the snowy one in the middle that is barely visible. 

We hung out for quite a while at Mt. Ashland Ski Area chatting with the other runners. When we got back into town we went to a great pizza place that had outdoor seating that allowed dogs. Delicious AND dog-friendly!

This morning we headed home with a detour through Crater Lake National Park. The East Rim Drive is still closed due to snow, but we drove up the West Rim Drive and took lots of photos and enjoyed the GORGEOUS weather!

View from the Rim Village

Wizard Island and Crater Lake

Amazing, isn’t it?!

I won’t make you suffer through a hundred more pictures of the lake! But how about a sneak peek at the Flamboyan Shawl and a shot of the ridiculous snowbanks at Crater Lake?

Ridiculous, right?!

I’ll do a Flamboyan post tomorrow! Hope you all had a lovely weekend!

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Spring Has Sprung!

Just in time for summer. All the plant life around here is at least a few weeks behind schedule this year…my poor garden really wants it to warm up already! But…the wildflowers are out in full force and make for really beautiful hiking.

I took a hike with my friend Valerie over the weekend and we found a meadow full of wild irises, and of course I didn’t have my camera! So, when we hiked again yesterday we went back with cameras in hand.

Sailor and Diamond hanging out in the field of wild irises

Valerie and the pups

There were hundreds of wild irises in the field! Gorgeous, right?

These gorgeous flowers were at the very bottom of the hike by the stream

The craft room is officially painted and I’ll take some pictures after I get things back up on the walls, which will hopefully be tomorrow! I also bound off of the shawl for Laura, and I’ll be blocking it tomorrow! I’ll make sure to get photos before I send it off..the color is absolutely gorgeous.

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