Archive for the ‘book reviews/events’ Category

fluff

Wednesday, August 24th, 2016

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well, i have lots of photos from the fiber festival that i think you’ll enjoy, so i’m going to hold off one more day on delving into the scarf project in favor of adorable animals and the like.

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saturday dawned dreary and ugly but i was excited to get to the fairgrounds and open up for the day! i love the sheep and wools shows because there is so much to see and do and so many different kinds of knitters and spinners about.

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sally was the first visitor of the day to our booth, which was smart because she wanted a sweater quantity of kent DK in mussel shell. sally just finished knitting herself an illas ciés pullover in ginny sport, but it was too warm to wear it that day.

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our friend cherie arrived right at 9 am to help us out for the day and once we were settled and in a groove, i took the opportunity to run over to the mohair show to see if i could find some fleeces for making our chebris and cabécou yarns.

just a couple of days earlier, carrie from our mill let me know that she was using the last of our silver fleeces that she had on hand (thank you everyone for your poivresel griscarbon, and dragée love!). i told her i could look and see if anything was available while i was at the show.

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i was fortunate to arrive just as the mohair fleece judging was getting underway; what a great opportunity. there i was with all the goat farmers in their rugged jeans and boots, wearing my little cream salt & pepper top and matching amalfi coast skirt, hee-hee—the picture of summer and just begging to be splattered by an ornery, four-footed passerby. but i didn’t, for once, end up a mess.

instead i learned an incredible amount about what makes a great fleece; the judge is particularly interested in colored fleeces, so we all got a real education on that alone. i was not very confident about being the purchaser that day—i know something about nice wool, but i am not an expert like our mill owners are and i was buying for them in this case; yikes!

my strategy usually consists of sticking to ribbon winners if i can—i figure you can’t go wrong with a winner, right?

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but after hearing the judge speak for an hour about fleece characteristics in minute detail, i was armed with knowledge. also, the director of the goat show took me under her wing and introduced me to the fine producer who snagged that there blue ribbon as well as several others.

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turns out they are overloaded with fleeces that they can’t seem to move; not only that, they know our other producer john and have purchased goats from him in the past—which means that at least some of their genetics are the same as what we already spin with (by now i was pinching myself to make sure i wasn’t dreaming and texting furiously back and forth with carrie).

you have to understand—we have at times spent days and weeks on the phone and internet searching for a supplier of colored fiber to tide us over til the next shearing. and here were eric and gabe with a whole herd of brown and silver goats. and they live just over the state line from us in western PA. what a coup!

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i think i saw gabe do an actual double take when i asked how much per pound if i bought all the colored fleeces he had in his stall, haha.

as it turned out, i decided to leave some of the fleeces with him until carrie and robbie could assess the five or six that i purchased—i prefer to let them decide what they like and to deal with the farm directly. that said, it looks like we are about to expand the range of warm brown tones in our mohair lines. YAY!

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friends, meet your (mohair) makers. yes, these are the very goats; just look at those locks . . .

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on the way out, i saw a family who had fleeces in the judging i just attended—aren’t they adorable. i am especially smitten with the little, little boy and his little, little goat—he can’t be more than five years old and i bet he’s even younger—they should win a prize just because they’re SO darn cute!

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can’t help it; i love the sheep too!

back in the booth, cherie and david were rocking it, chatting up knitters and being helpful in every way. the early afternoon was incredibly busy and were just hitting our stride when the fire marshall announced that tornadoes were touching down within a radius too close for comfort. everyone was asked to leave the building and head for the basement under the grandstands—yikes!

we were allowed to stay in our building but we all had to go into the bathrooms for safety. yes, ALL of us in the bathrooms. first it was for 15 minutes and then that stretched into 45 somehow. after that we were allowed to wander out into the main space again, but the giant overhead door of the building was kept closed to keep out the lashing torrents of rain. hoo boy.

that pretty much killed our afternoon; we sat and knitted and waited for the storm to pass and after about three hours, it did. by then though, most of the fairgoers had gone home . . . and soon it was time for us to do the same.

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sunday morning was clear and sunny; one good thing about the storm was that it left the world shiny and clean and about twenty degrees cooler. speaking of fresh breezes, cherie arrived wearing her costa figueira vest that she knit in stone soup fingering yarn (marble)—isn’t it great? she’s trying to decide whether to add the armhole trim or leave it off—i think this might be a good chance to have some fun and tell her what to do take votes to help her out. tell us in comments which way you think she should go.

sunday was really relaxed—foot traffic was a bit slower (i think a lot of people still dont’ know that this building is filled with booths to shop in). that said, it gave us a chance to walk around the show, visit with friends, and do a little shopping of our own.

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and i actually made some purchases, like these handmade cherry buttons from our friend mark at indian lake artisans; he makes them from scraps cut from his yarn bowls. these are only available in their show booth, so it’s a treat to be able to buy some and there were just enough of these for a sweater.

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across the way at kimmet croft fibers, i succumbed to a couple of skeins of unbelievably soft angora/merino blend in a pretty natural shade. janice also dyes some of her yarns and offers beautiful kits for the patterns published in “poems of color”. she’s a really sweet person and we enjoyed being neighbors all weekend.

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in my travels through the barns that afternoon i again fell victim to yarn—yes again! my friend chris at briar rose fibers had some lovely silk yarn which i just had to buy; isn’t it a wonderful color? it’ll make a beautiful gift or a shawlette for me. and i wanted to lick up something for my mom to knit with, as she SO enjoyed a recent project that she knit with briar rose abundance (i’ll show you that in a sec).

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after looking around a bit i decided on the sundance—a gorgeous fingering blend of luxury fibers (sorry i don’t see it on her site, so i can’t link it). the purple skein is for my mom and the dark, overdyed oddball skein is for me. it’s just so me; i couldn’t leave it there.

several years ago when my mom had a knee replacement surgery, chris sent her a large bundle of abundance to knit an hourglass throw during her recovery. unfortunately, the surgery and anesthesia really knocked her for a loop in terms of concentration and it was quite a while before she felt like knitting again.

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she also had a couple of WIPs to work on for grandchildren, so she put off starting to complete those projects. it was just this past spring that she finally cast on, but once she did, she knit that blanket really quickly. isn’t it pretty? when we go to visit her in a couple of weeks i’ll help her block it. she was concerned because it seems small, but a nice bath will fix that.

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oh, i sidetracked myself there for a minute, sorry! all good things must come to an end and before we knew it we were breaking down the booth and packing up to head home. it’s a little like taking down the christmas tree after a wonderful holiday season, but it has to be done.

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my tonic is to save a treat for the very end—the purchase of kettle corn to take home; i’m a secret addict. which is why you don’t see a photo . . . and can i just say? the michigan fiber festival has the best kettle corn i’ve tasted so far. not that i can be considered an expert by any means; i haven’t tried that many. but of the ones i’ve tried, this one is the best.

the trip home was good—no rain, no traffic, and just my honey by my side. late as it was when we got in, we unpacked the truck so as not to have to do it in the morning. it’s better that way.

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because i drove the first half, i didn’t get to knit in the truck, so i was determined to knit for a while before head to bed. i finished up the armhole section of my sweater front to the shoulder

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stopping just short of the shaped neckband. i had hoped to finish that up last night but ended up tackling a much bigger chore and didn’t get to knit at all.

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yes, monday morning came like a runaway train and i bet you can imagine what awaited me in the garden after a few days away.

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we had a lot of everything, even a good bowlful of green beans. seriously, this wasn’t even from looking very deep—although i did make sure to clear out as many tomatoes as i could find because i don’t like the smell when they rot.

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it took me over an hour just to wash and prep them all for cooking; this is a (not very good) panoramic photo of my kitchen when the last one was rinsed—as you can see, not much countertop space to spare!

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i set aside the romas and cherry tomatoes to develop a little more ripeness; these i will roast in a day or two.

last night i focused on cooking the ones that were cracked or developing soft spot; i cooked some on top of the stove and roasted some in the oven.

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by the end of the night i had another dozen cartons of puree for the freezer, plus a batch of juice (i’ve been freezing tomato juice; it’s SO good!).

i’ve still got a large number of more solid tomatoes that need to be cooked as well as the romas and cherries, but everything is under control for the moment. i would have liked to get to some of them today but i am also behind with my desk work so i buckled down to that all day instead.

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thank goodness there is knitting to look forward to—and that’s where i’m heading now. i’m in need of a comfy seat and some relaxation with my favorite sport.

purls before swine

Saturday, August 20th, 2016

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isn’t this flower just beautiful? i know that some of you know what plant this bloom belongs to, but those who don’t may be surprised to learn . . . that it’s okra.

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i would grow this plant just for the flowers, they are so pretty and fleeting. they last just a few hours, then they fold up, shrivel away, and reveal their “fruit”—green pods that will be ready to pick within a few days.

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who says the vegetable garden can’t be pretty too? these beautiful plants are growing tall down the center of the mound on which they are planted, like trees to shade the greens underneath.

and as long as we keep picking the okra pods—somewhere from six to twelve are ready each day—they will remain prolific. and we do have to keep an eye on them right now; they will go from two inches to five or six inches in the course of a day. i’ve actually been checking them twice a day to keep them from over-maturing and becoming fibrous.

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tomatoes are another garden product that we’re picking twice a day—they are so large and prolific this year that we can hardly keep up. in fact, we are away from home this weekend (more on that in a minute) and i’m kind of dreading what i’ll find when i get home! plenty of rotting fruits on the vine, i’m sure. that dry weather we had most of the summer, followed by a couple of weeks of rain has caused a lot of cracking in the skins which makes them vulnerable to bacteria. fortunately there are plenty to make up for the ones we throw away.

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before we left home on thursday i had been cooking a batch up almost daily—some on top of the stove and some roasted in the oven. and we have plenty of cherry tomatoes for drying this year which i’m thrilled about too; i haven’t been able to do that for a couple of years and i miss it. i use this method, which works really well for me.

while the tomatoes simmer or roast i get a little time to knit, since it’s important to keep an eye on them. wandering away to work on the computer would probably cause me to lose track of time and allow them to overcook.

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my first priority since i last showed you progress was to seam up the twill pullover—everything went together really smoothly and it looks great; just needs a good soak and wash now to make that fabric sparkle.

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don’t those side seam cables look great? i am really pleased with the choice of cable—it is so defined and crisp, a super-neat finish.

i will soak and wash that on monday, when we are back at home.

with that done, i could pour my efforts into my dock and cabin cardigan, as well as the scarf book project.

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the front that i showed you the last time i blogged has grown considerably—just before we left home i was about three-quarters of the way to the neck shaping, which begins before the underarm bind off in this case.

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and with a couple of hours of car knitting on thursday, i got to that point and a little beyond; i think i’m ready now to start the armhole shaping. which is a big ‘yay’ because after that the rest goes very quickly as the stitch count reduces continually to the shoulder.

sorry for the really crappy photo; we are in motel room and you know how the lighting is in these places—yuck.

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with the twill pullover complete, it was time to turn to the swatches i worked on last week and pick the next project.

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should it be the sweet little openwork cardigan first or the argyle pullover?

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i feel like i’ve put a lot more thought and planning into the argyle at this point, so i drafted a bare bones pattern and cast on a sleeve cuff the night before we left home. the sleeves are stockinette, so this can be my working swatch.

of course i got here, finished the cuff, and realized i left the sleeve needle home (sleeves and body are knit on different needle sizes). DUH.

i’m in a situation where i could by another needle, but i may just hold off and work on the dock and cabin—after all, there is plenty of knitting left and i’m enjoying that equally well. we’ll see; i may yet decide to spring for the needle in favor of mindless knitting . . .

hopefully, we will be much too busy where we are to need that option!

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david and i are at the michigan fiber festival. i’m so excited to be working an out of town show with him! we will be here for two more days (sat and sun), so stop by and see us. we are in the expo building, near the front on the right side—come and squeeze our skeins!

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yesterday we set out in the early morning and arrived at the show grounds mid-afternoon. at this point, the booth is a cement floor and corral railing—time for us to transform it into a (hopefully) adorable wool shop.

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it takes a little while and some effort; first all the hardscape—tables, cubbies, and signage—needs to be loaded in. then we start filling in all that space with yarn, which is the most time-consuming part.

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it really helps move things along if your partner is the chatty type (erica and i have this down pat, haha), but david is not so much into that (mostly i chatter all by myself). soon enough though, we had a lovely array of wools on display in all shades.

once the yarn is in place we can add in all the mannequins and devise outfits from the samples we’ve packed. you’d be surprised at how long that takes; i tend to fuss over them a bit too much, but making them seductive to knitters is important to me (and really gratifying when customers exclaim over them).

finally everything was as pretty as it could be the day before and we covered it all with plastic to go get some food and sleep before opening day

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this morning we found a great coffee shop right around the corner—mug shots—and caffeinated ourselves well on the way to the fairgrounds.

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we didn’t realize it but we were actually a full hour early, but we put the time to good use, tagging yarns and making adjustments to the displays. finally it was all done and i was happy—we were open for business.

we had a wonderful day today with a steady stream of visitors. i am really excited about tomorrow too—our friend cherie will be joining us with and extra set of hands and an extra lifetime of expertise; i can’t wait to see and work with her!

come and visit us, even if it’s just to chat. we’d love to see you!

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when i come back i think i’m going to do a post that is just about the lace scarf project—i’ve got pictures, swatches and progress to share; it’s getting very exciting.

see you next time—or at the fair.

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continuing

Friday, August 12th, 2016

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there were two more stops on our alaska journey—the first was skagway, our northernmost port. it was a really dreary day when we pulled in but i was excited because we had plans to meet up with kim3’s son rex, who is working there for the summer. we had set a time and place to meet during his lunch break and to kill some time beforehand, barb and i strolled around the main drag which was filled with tourist traffic.

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but we found a tiny gallery to duck into out of the fray and discovered a cache of buttons and other objects made from caribou antlers. i was excited to see a couple of sets of small ones, which i tend to use a lot; it’s unusual to find antler buttons in this size. a few sets of buttons later and a few more gifts taken care of, we headed over to the corner to meet rex.

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when we got there we laughed out loud and complimented him on his wily assessment of our main interest in the region. we amused ourselves at aurora yarns until he was free to leave work and had a nice chat with jean, who works there and gave us a tour of their hand-dyed quiviuk options.

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jean lives in minnesota during the winter and remembered taking a class from me a couple of years ago during yarn over; what a coincidence, haha. the shop is teeny tiny, but has a lovely selection of hand-dyed yarns, including quiviuk and quiviuk blends.

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they also have plenty of other knitting supplies that traveling knitters end up needing (someone whose initials are BARB would consider this a must, haha). she found a beautiful set of large antler buttons with a green-tinged circle in the middle that will be perfect on the oculus coat she is knitting in chebris worsted.

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while sitting on a bench to wait for rex, we flagged down our ship mates rene and alajah, who were looking around onshore as well—a good opportunity for a photo. rene organized our tour and traveled with her family; alajah is a new knitter but working on it and we enjoyed the times she joined us in the classroom.

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then suddenly rex was there; i like this quick selfie i took for kim.

and sitting here sweltering at home, i can hardly look at myself bundled up in a jacket and scarf! but it was definitely chilly enough that day . . .

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rex drives jeep and hummer tours up through the mountains, woods, and into the yukon north of skagway. while he didn’t have a lot of time between gigs that day, his boss graciously lent him a vehicle to drive us up to an overlook above town where we could get a better feel for the woods that ring the harbor and the scenery below, sans humans.

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once i saw what was up there (and all the cyclists going up and down the mountains), i wished i had more time to spend onshore. i would have LOVED to go biking during our trip.

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isn’t the color palette just incredible? who cares if it was rainy—in such unspoiled environments, all weather reveals a beautiful side.

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seeing layers and layers of all different greens and green-blues makes me wonder how anyone can not want to keep it just the way it is. but that’s me; i know everyone doesn’t have the same feelings.

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after rex went on to his afternoon schedule of tours, we headed back to the boat; we were both ready for some knitting. on the way we met this beautiful alaskan dog with those eerie pale eyes, who couldn’t care less about us, haha.

with a day and a half at sea ahead of us before hitting our last port, our knitting group had some nice long stretches of time with which to establish themselves further in their bee shawl projects and to do a few more skill-based exercises. over the next two days, we practiced a knitted-on edging, talk about various kinds of lace fabric and yarn, and how different types of laceweight yarn will produce different results in the final fabric.

we had a blocking session scheduled for the last day and with that in mind, barb was intent on finishing her club project, the frisée triangle so she could block it in class.

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she pulled it out, completing the graft just before dinner on thursday evening.

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she was pretty proud of it and rightly so—it looked great! barb made a pattern change (because you can!) and knit the entire upper shoulder area in the mesh pattern, which i liked a lot.

you might have noticed from that photo that as we sailed south, the weather grew considerably brighter—we were even able to go out on deck without jackets on. by the time we woke up the next day, the sun was shining brilliantly into our room—something we hadn’t seen in a week and i almost didn’t recognize it.

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the next day we all pitched in to pin out the shawl; it’s always amazing how much a wet piece of lace can be stretched and how it transforms the fabric, opening up the motifs so they are completely new to the eye. the hem pattern alone grows to at least twice its unblocked size.

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barb stood over it, not working, but making sure everyone else was doing it right, haha!

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this was a half day of class because that afternoon we were due to dock in victoria, BC for a visit. we took the wet shawl back to our room, still pinned to the blocking squares; kind of like a flat stanley, haha. it survived the trip beautifully and we set it out on the deck to dry for a while, then laid it on while we went ashore. barb wanted to be sure the shawl was ready to wear to dinner that evening.

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victoria was sunny, warm, a city of cool neighborhoods that were perfect for walking—which we needed after being at sea for two days.

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we walked several miles along the bay road to the beacon hill park, where we enjoyed strolling through the gardens for an hour or so before heading downtown.

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victoria is called the city of flowers and when you are there, it’s easy to see why. the temperate climate and humidity make it a good environment for happy plants.

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as well as trees—these sequoias were fascinating to us because they don’t grow anywhere near where we live. it wasn’t the buchart gardens, but we still saw plenty of plant and tree specimens that were novel to us and at the same time, surrounded by lots of people having fun in the sun; it was a good choice for an self-guided excursion.

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after the park we headed toward the busier part of town and found ourselves suddenly on the grounds of the royal british columbia museum.

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unfortunately it had just closed when we arrived, but we were delighted by the forest of totems interspersed with the trees throughout the grounds, part of the first peoples collections held by the museum.

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it was worth every step of our seven-mile walk that afternoon!

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we wandered about for a while, taking them in from every perspective, a little sorry to have missed whatever treasures were inside. they were really awesome as a group , the kind of siting that made us feel like it couldn’t be topped. after that, the rest of downtown sort of paled by comparison, having become busy with rush hour traffic. so we made our way back to the boat for a shower and an early dinner.

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back in our room, the shawl was dry and barb consented to a few modeling shots—lovely, isn’t it? just the thing to wear to the dining room, where the A/C can be a little too direct.

with our bags all packed and waiting to be picked up for our morning departure, we spent our last evening lounging in our cabin, knitting and watching a movie. it’s always really nice to travel with a friend you feel so comfortable with;  after a week in close quarters, we were still laughing and having fun.

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one final sunrise to see in the harbor and then it was time to leave the ship for good.

our trip home the  next day was thankfully free of any mishaps and we managed to get aisle seats in the exit rows on BOTH flights—almost as good as business class, haha.

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since i got home there has been a lot of everything going on at once around here. most immediately was the overabundance of produce that needed managing. it looks so pretty here but believe me, on some days the quantities reach ugly proportions and i worry that there won’t be enough takers. so far though, we’ve managed to distribute it pretty well.

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second, tons of activity in our “little nothings book” thread in the knitspot mothership group. i owed the test knitters a few new patterns and having swatched for some on the trip, i needed to buckle down and get the rest done.

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plus all the knitting i need to get done for fall/winter ensemble. i finished up the back of the twill pullover as soon as i got home, using it as my re-entry project that weekend. i mistakenly thought i had a class to teach that first morning and when i realized i didn’t after all, i spent the day knitting instead.

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it’s a big sweater and a lot of knitting; i’m really glad the pieces are done now. i have to admit that it’s taken over a week to get them blocked because it’s been so darn hot and sticky here that i hated to turn the iron on, ugh—we are definitely not in alsaka any more.

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i’ll be back in a day or two to fill you in on all the details and show you piles of knitting, class work, good eats, and some surgery . . . see you then!

SO much to talk about

Sunday, August 7th, 2016

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i had intended to just continue from the other day with a photo tour of the next leg of our alaska trip, but we were surprised on thursday by the release of the fall interweave knits anniversary issue—exciting because it includes my new design, edmonia shawl, which is knit in bare naked wools stone soup fingering yarn (shown in color granite).

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this is simple to knit shawl that is a good traveler and will be lovely to wear in fall and winter; light, soft, and warm, the fabric offers solid areas and open mesh, with a different edge for each side of the triangle shape. because it’s asymmetric, you can change up the look by switching the the tails around. wrap the solid part close to your body on cold, windy days and pile the mesh on top to capture warmth; when you need a little ventilation around your middle, switch it around to take advantage of the sheer mesh breezes.

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the pattern is available for download on the interweave site and also in the print version of the magazine, which i believe is out on newsstands now, but if you can’t find it you can also purchase it in the interweave online store, in both digital and print versions. this anniversary issue is chock full of wonderful designs, articles, and reflections by both current and past magazine staff and has a lot more editorial pages than usual to contain them. note that this pattern will not be made available through our own outlets for at least a year, since IK has first publishing rights.

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anne marie has started a KAL in our bare naked wools ravelry group, which should be a lot of fun, since this design rocketed to the top of the hot list at the end of the week and many knitters are purchasing the yarn and pattern to knit it. if chatting and knitting (and earning prizes!) with our fun squad sounds good to you, click here to check it out.

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the shawl is knit from side to side, starting with the far right hand tip (which is out of the photo here, sorry!)

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ah, here’s a photo where you can see it in the correct knitting orientation. it begins at the very bottom with just a few sts and increases on every right side row, but only along the right hand side, which forms the top edge when it’s tipped upright (just like the immersion shawl if you’ve knit that one). the left side has a sawtooth edging which become one “leg” of the triangle and the BO is at the widest edge, which has a pattern of points and mesh; this is the opposite leg of the asymmetric triangle.

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the result is a large wraparound shawl that will be a cozy, go-to piece, once the leaves start to fly. the IK publication unfortunately listed the yarn incorrectly as DK weight but it actually requires fingering weight yarn. in addition to the stone soup fingering yarn shown here, the design will work splendidly in any of our fingering and heavy lace yarns, such as hempshaugh lacechebris laceginny sportghillie sock, or better breakfast fingering yarn. looking for a lighter, smaller shawl instead? try knitting it in a finer, silkier laceweight such as cabécou brillant lace on smaller needles!

many thanks to everyone for their excitement and enthusiasm on the part of this design; we are all super pleased that it’s been embraced so happily.

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so, are you ready to see some more of alaska? after leaving ketchikan, we headed overnight for the tracy arm fjord. i woke at dawn (around 4 am alaska time) as the captain began announcements that we were taking an alternate route due to heavy fog in our intended destination.

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heavy fog not only reduces visibility for sailing and sightseeing, but is a danger to the glaciers as well, since repeated and/or constant use of the fog horn can cause the ice to crack and tumble into the water.

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by 5 am there were lots of people out on deck or leaning over their balcony railings as we passed the first chunks of blue ice and viewed increased whale and porpoise activity. we were lucky on this trip that the level of whale activity remained high throughout and we got to see some wonderful play almost every day. on this morning i saw an orca leap high up out of the water and arc back down, but it was too far in the distance and too quick to get a good photo to share (it is, however, imprinted permanently on my brain so i can see it any time!)

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soon we were treated to beautiful landscape wonders as well, with the foretold fog creeping about and flowing down each gap and crevice in the rock formations. it was like being inside a japanese scroll painting and the colors were phenomenal.

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i really had to restrain myself from taking a million pictures of the same thing, haha.

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the change in the color of the water as we moved inward from open sea was due to the outflow of fresh water from the snow and ice melt. intricate textures created of rock face, streams and waterfalls, trees, lichen and the color changes as they protrude and recede kept me glued to the window and railing of our cabin.

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the fog comes and goes, swirling about the boat to envelop it at times and then moving off to another area at others, leaving us in the clear. even the open decks were so thick with the fog at times that you couldn’t see to the other side of the ship.

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soon the rock face began to show signs of lower vegetation, spread out across the surface in seussian clumps.

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i suppose that wherever little rivulets of water find their way, so does a seed or two and later, a seedling.

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the ship traveled slowly enough that we could really enjoy the show.

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you can practically hear the bulldozing of the glaciers pushing around the matter that forms these vast folds of rock and compressed material.

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the light and atmosphere was so dramatic at each turn; i couldn’t help myself; i hope you enjoy going over this ground again with me!

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now, the other fjord that we were supposed to ravel is apparently much more spectacular (maybe it’s completely lined with ice? i don’t know), but barb and i did not have any standard to go by and we were quite taken with what we saw.

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soon we had a glimpse of the glacier beyond the rocks—that blue in the distance between the sky and the rock is it.

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then around a bend further up the narrows, we passed this ice floe which poured out from between two mountains of rock.

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upon turning around, around, we passed even closer on the return trip. and all of that gorging on scenery before we even had breakfast—how about that?

at nine we met for class while we watched the return passage out of the fjord and the voyage to juneau. since it was a short day, we mostly spent it repairing mistakes and getting the project as much on track as possible. not too much activity to take pictures of.

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after lunch we were headed into small transport boats that took us to the dock in juneau, where we had the afternoon and early evening to roam about. after a short roam around town and a visit to a small jewelry artist’s gallery, we visited seaside yarns, to meet up with owner melissa highfill (left, above) and good friend eve for some late afternoon knitting and yarn chatting. haha, looking at these photos now, i have to laugh at us in our warm jackets; it’s so hot and muggy here at home that i can barely stand the shorts and cami i’m wearing at the moment.

well, melissa is not only a yarn shop owner, but the dyer behind a tree hugger’s wife yarns.

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stupid me, i did not take enough photos in melissa’s shop and the few that i have did not turn out well. which is really, really unfortunate because she has the nicest shop that we visited in alaska—lots of great yarn, including her own hand dyed brand and some spectacular hand dyed quiviuk, some of it 100 percent and some in various blends. barb bought some of that and of course as soon as i got home i wished i had gotten some too. but i did bring back this sweet skein of baby targhee (above, in dirty glacier), which will be knit into a sample for the new little nothings book we are putting together.

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i’m already swatching! pattern will be going out soon to a test knitter.

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our ship was scheduled to leave juneau around 11 pm, just as the sun was going to bed, and as we made our way back on board, i caught a beautiful shot of the water, just as it was reflecting the early evening sky—which is about 9 pm in late july—isn’t that something? wait, i have another photo from a different angle . . .

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and i think that’s the perfect place to end for today—i’ll be back in another day or two with the last part of our trip and news about what’s happening with my knitting and other knitspot projects (a LOT!).

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meanwhile, it’s dream time . . .