Mexico: A Trip in Pictures

Balcony ViewBalcony View

WIP: Radian Yoke Cardigan

Shade Pavillion

Chichen Itza





(The full photo set, with descriptions, is on Flickr here.)


What I Did on My Summer Vacation

I’m more than a little disturbed to find myself suddenly on this side of Labor Day, but the weather in DC is at least being a good sport, and allowing us a taste of fall weather.  The summer was crammed with a lot of work, three trips, and a lot of knitting.  I’m not quite ready to give it up, so the cool weather feels like a little bit of a consolation prize.

Since I blogged last–months ago!–I’ve been to Chicago and met Sue, the largest, most complete T-Rex.

I love the Smithsonian and feel really blessed to live someplace where there are so many free museums, but I enjoyed The Field Museum more than I’ve ever enjoyed our Museum of Natural History.

Later in the summer, Jason and I went to Seattle.  We spent a few days together visiting friends and exploring the city.  I really, really loved Seattle, but as soon as we got home, it rained for about a week to remind me that I couldn’t handle the Pacific Northwest’s weather.

After a few days, I left Jason with Liz and Nate to continue romping around the city, and I headed out with a group of Ravelry friends for a knitting retreat in the mountains.  We spent the weekend in a cabin at St. John’s Pass, knitting and spinning and talking and laughing.  Its always great when online friends are just as amazing in person as they are on the internet.

I test knit a sock for Allison, which has since been published on Ravelry.  It uses some crazy New Pathways type construction that was a lot of fun to work with, even if it did require math.  A month later, it is still just a single sock.

I taught myself to Navajo ply (this is Targhee, dyed by A Verb for Keeping Warm):

And then tried again, and did a much better job:

(That one is BFL from Teresa Levite Studios.)

And, I made a few sweaters, which still need to be properly photographed and, in the case of the one at the top, properly finished.

Summer in Fast Forward

It feels, as usual, like we’re careening through the year, and its moving too fast to keep up with.

My nephew turned one at the end of June…….

And enjoyed his birthday cake in the way that only babies can.

Never ones to do things half way, his parents gave him an entire ear of the cake–not because there was any danger of him eating much of it, but because it was more fun to play with.  Black icing maybe wasn’t the most charming idea, but he sure did have a good time!  (Shockingly little of the cake wound up on the floor, and probably about as little went in to his mouth.)

Jason and I celebrated our fourth anniversary at a Bed & Breakfast in Oxford, so that we could be in the area for Jerry’s birthday party.  The building was a Victorian mansion that dates to 1875, and it was just spectacular.  I wish I had made time to talk to the folks who run it and learn more about its history.

We went kayaking on the Tred Avon river, and explored Oxford and found the house where I lived when I was very young and my father was the foreman at one of the shipyards there.  We tromped around St. Michaels and were surprised by how much it is starting to change.  And we sat on the lawn and the porches and marveled at how lovely and peaceful it was.  (The rest of the photos are here.)

There has been lots and lots of knitting and spinning, but not a lot of my taking pictures of it.  I finished spinning a braid of alcapa sometime back in June.  In a way, this was a big victory.  The fiber had been sitting in my stash for a year because the first time I tried to spin it, it just pulled apart and turned in to a whole lot of nothing.  It was great to realize that I have enough experience to work with it now.  On the other hand, it made me realize how spoiled working with a wheel has made me.  This was spin on a drop spindle and plied on a wheel, and it felt like it took forever to spin.

Its dyed by Sanguine Gryphon, and the color is Walden.  About 200 yards, maybe a little less, spun at something that averages out to worsted weight, although its pretty inconsistent.

I finally got around to blocking a baby sweater, and its just darling.

Its a short sleeved variation of Helena, knit in Three Irish Girls Kells sport merino, in the colorway Georgia Peach.

I finished a mini-Clapotis and I love it.  Everyone involved in the online knitting community has at least glimpsed Kate Gilbert’s pattern, and after knitting one, I understand why it went viral.  Its a great pattern–just enough variety to keep it interesting, but simple enough that you aren’t constantly referencing a pattern, and the finished product looks great.  There is a least one more, larger version in my future.  Maybe more.  I think the pattern is just perfect for handpainted yarns.

The yarn is Three Irish Girls Springvale Sport (which feels thinner than sport weight to me, but that’s probably just because the twist is so firm that it doesn’t squoosh down the way other sport weight yarns I’ve used have done), in the Cherry Blossom colorway.  It really does remind me of DC in the spring.

There is more–vests and sweaters and socks that I didn’t mean to be knitting, but I think I’ll save them for their own post.

In No Particular Order:

1.  I finished some socks a week or so ago, and was able to cross something off of my holiday goals list, except that the socks turned out smaller than I had intended and will really only fit me.  I’m pretty much okay with that because I really, really love them.

The pattern is Through the Loops Mystery Sock 2009, and the yarn is some old club yarn from Three Irish Girls–Baltic Sea on the “vintage” Adorn base.  I knit them on square dpns, which I have decided I am awfully fond of, and I need to get more.

2. I have been working my way, however slowly, through the Couch to 5k running program.  Today began my 6th week but I am still stuck on the third week’s workout because I can’t seem to run for a full three minutes more than once in a half hour, and I think its a bad idea to move on to trying to run 5 until I can make it through three without needing to walk.  That part is frustrating, but it is pretty great to be outside and seeing things like this:

(Mid-afternoon on Sligo Creek trail, near Holy Cross Hospital in Silver Spring)

And this:

(Early morning on the back roads near my parent’s house on Maryland’s eastern shore.)

3. I cannot possibly knit fast enough to keep up with everything I want to make and everything I hope to finish for the holidays.  I have a handspun hat and a pair of socks on the needles that are meant to be gifts, and I am test-knitting a pattern for Kirstin at Through the Loops.  I’m  super honored to be allowed to do that, and the pattern is fascinating to watch work up, but holy wow is it requiring some attention on my part.  There are no pictures of any of that just yet.  You’ll just have to take my word that it is happening.

4. I spent several days in the Chicago area visiting Christine (who I haven’t seen since January and that is way too long) and her boyfriend Jason, who is just as great as she is.

5. We spent a little time in the city, mostly at the art museum, and then explored Naper Settlement, which is a replica of a 19th century village.  Since we were there off-season, it was pretty much closed, but it was still a lot of fun to poke around.

The mansion and its carriage house were the only buildings original to the property:

But several other buildings were historic buildings that had been relocated or reconstructed on site.

We also visited the zoo with Jason’s son, who I’m pretty sure was twice as big as the last time I saw him, but just as delicious.  The weather could not have been more perfect, which has kind of been The Thing for the past several days.  Their zoo has not one, but two kinds of bats and the gorillas actually look happy (They snuggled! And one had a blankie!) which, in my opinion, makes it far superior to the Nation Zoo here in DC.  I took lots of pictures at the zoo but may camera’s battery was dying a slow death, so they pretty much all turned out blurry.

6. Now I am home, making myself late by sitting here and typing when I should be getting ready to leave.

All Kinds of Progress.

The lack of blogging here in no way indicates a lack of knitting.  All sorts of things have been happening around here.


Last week, I finished the body of my Opulant Raglan.  

It still needs to be properly hemmed, and I’m debating ripping out the bind-off and making it a few inches longer, but I’m going to finish the rest and then see how I feel.  Other then that, I’m reasonably pleased with the way it fits.  I made it with a bit of negative ease in the bust, but I wish there was a little less through the hips.  I think I can fix that when I block, though.

I finally, finally finished the scarf that I started knitting way back in July.  I bound off the night before I left for Chicago to visit Christine, who the scarf was meant for.  It is now living happily there with her.

I absolutely love the yarn (Tillie Thomas Milan on size 3s) and the way that it drapes.  What I don’t like is the way that it curls in on itself along the chevron lines, folding into thirds.  Ironing the hell out of it helped, but I think its always going to revert to curling.

And!  Also for the Chicago trip, there were mittens.  I’ve knit three pairs of fingerless mitts (Genmacha, Fetching and Dashing) and a pair of fingerless gloves (Knucks), but this was the first pair of proper handwear I’ve knit.

The pattern is Breathe Deep from Through the Loops and the yarn is Cascade’s Lana D’Oro,  wool/alpaca blend.  I do love my alpaca.  They were super warm and cozy, but I think that the suggested Malabrigo or some other similar yarn would have been better for the pattern.  Even so, I wore them all over Chicago, and they kept my hands warm in the midst of this:

Next up, yarn porn.  I have some delicious laceweight alpaca from Loopy Yarns to make a Swallowtail Shawl, and some yummy roving and sock yarn that Christine gave me for Christmas that I need to tell you all about because seriously?  It is the best. thing. ever.


July 2018
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