The First Signs of Autumn

Each moment of the year has its own beauty. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson 

This week the PNW is going to have triple digit heat indexes with excessive heat warnings and fire danger. I can tell your jealous of this weather forecast. Apparently, the maple tree in our front yard is paying no attention to the heat wave. It’s decided Autumn is near.

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I love seeing the leaves change colors. I’m going to focus on those beautiful earth colors while the heat continues to climb this week.

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It’s the end of July. That means a group photo of my completed wips! I was hoping to have a few more completed, but it’s better than I did in June. Clearly, I’m mentally preparing for Winter since both projects are a completed pair of socks. Here’s my Glazed Lumberjacks and TDS 4.4.16. I’m sure I would be a bit further along with my wips if I wouldn’t have caved with some KALS, but where’s the fun in that?

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Ernie, “It’s never to warm for snuggles.”

Stay tuned for progress updates on my current sock wips in August.

Off Roading

Follow no path. Make your own.

The past few weeks, we’ve been doing shorter journeys to practice maneuvers and get comfortable with Ulysses. This weekend, we wanted to get an idea of what a longer road trip would feel like. We plan to avoid freeways when possible, but that won’t always be an option.  Yesterday, we got in some practice on the bustling freeway. We even managed to pass a semi or two. Then the real fun began. We followed a forest service road that hugged a river for a bit before we located a gravel/dirt road that’s only open during the summer months. Here’s the view from the trail:

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We crossed over steel plates and grating. (This made us both giggle.)

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There were many bumps.

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We entered the National Forest.

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And Ulysses officially has trail dirt!

I even had a chance to knit while we took a break on our tartan picnic mat.

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If only the weekends were longer! Maybe next weekend we’ll take the kitties.

 

The Mist

I like people that smile when it’s raining.

This morning I woke up to overcast skies. The weather forecast predicted cooler temps, but it was almost chilly. When I walked outside, I was pleasantly surprised by mist. Yes, mist. Summers in the PNW typically don’t see much or any precipitation. Your grass turns brown and it’s crunchy (don’t worry it comes back). When it’s sunny for what feels like a million days in a row, one starts to miss the rain. Realistically, I know it’s probably only been sunny for maybe 20 or 30 days. If you like living in the PNW, then you come to appreciate the rain in it’s various forms. Misty mornings are my favorite. I was very tempted to call in “sick” to the day job so I could enjoy this summer anomaly. Clearly today is an indication that Winter is indeed coming, and I need more knitting time.

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Which brings me to my second completed wip for July! I have another completed pair of socks. Here’s my TDS 4.4.16. Some knitters can knit a pair in 10 hours. Me it takes about a year. Speaking of TDS, there are now about 560 completed pairs of stage one. Stage two started on Tuesday. Before I decided to cast on or not, there were already about 10 finished pairs of Kanteletar. It’s an interesting design. One year, I’ll realize I should always have white, brown and black sock yarn on hand for this competition.

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I am making progress on a few other socks I’m working on. Twisted Lumberjacks and British Tea Latte are both past the heel. I’m cautiously optimistic that I can finish these still in July. The British Tea Latte pair is at the beginning of the gusset decreases. There’s still quite a bit of knitting left on this sock so I’m not quite sure if I’ll finish it before July.

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Life is Puuuurrrrrrfect!

There’s less than a week left in July. Can I finish a few more wips this month?

Game of Bowls

Cats are like music, it’s foolish to try to explain their worth to those who don’t appreciate them.

Around the holidays, I often treat the kitties with some Rad Cat in their all time favorite flavor, lamb. Naturally, I decided that was a better treat for July 4th, Jaws day, than purchasing fireworks. The kitties of course agreed. I had to purchase a large container as our pet food store was out of the smaller ones. At the time, I didn’t think this would be a problem. The kitties love lamb. They love it so much that when it’s not in their bowls they refuse to eat! Each and everyone of my lovely four legged creatures sat by their bowl of food minus the lamb. They inspected each others’ bowls. Nope, that bowl didn’t have it either. Then came the look. You know the one, “You don’t love me any more? What have I done to deserve this?”

The next day, I picked up some more Rad Cat from the pet store. Now, the kitties have lamb with every meal! The humans in this house are well trained.

Ulysses at Speed

Life is like a ten speed bicycle. Most of us have gears we never use. ~ Charles M Schulz

Today, our Ulysses adventure took us at top speed. It’s exhilarating! Our goal was to get in some freeway speeds to simulate what a longer road trip would be like. We’re still doing shorter journeys to help practice our maneuvers. Straight roads are boring.

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Our journey today took us to Tolt in Carnation. Carnation is a cute little town that was founded in 1912. I was tempted by several skeins of sock yarn. Ultimately, I couldn’t make a finally decision so I put the yarn back and decided to stick with patterns and a new project bag that doubles as a back pack (the British Hubby thought I needed this one). My new patterns are Blaer, Okanogan and Skogfjall. The British Hubby picked out Okanogan. He’s been dropping subtle hints he needs more hand knit socks. Eventually, I will have my wips down to one bin. I plan to start knitting more garments in the near future.

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Gracie’s idea of an adventure: hiding from the vacuum.

You’ll also notice a progress photo of my Twisted Lumberjacks. Sock number two is on the gusset decreases! It does seem a little odd to be working on a thick pair of bed socks while the temperatures are slowly creeping up. (It was in the upper 80’s yesterday!) Winter is coming, and I’m going to be ready.

I hope everyone had a great weekend! I don’t know about you, but enjoying the great outdoors makes me want to quit my day job.

Shark Attack!

“You go in the cage. Cage goes in the water. Shark’s in the water.” Quint

We celebrate our favorite July 4th movie, Jaws, the entire month of July. This year, I’m especially excited to join in the Shark Bite II KAL. The KAL kicks off on July 23. Since I decided to pass on Stage 1 of TDS, I had time to make a project bag with left over fabric from our pillow cases. The pattern is an adaptation from this fat quarter drawstring tutorial. Once you’ve made this pattern a few times, you can easily adapt the pattern to use leftover bits of fabric to make different sized bags. The bag turned out a little larger than I had planned, but maybe one year I’ll make a Jaws themed sweater.

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I’ve also had time to work on my sock wips. I’m still pretty excited that all three of these wips are on sock number two! My Twisted Lumberjack socks are the heel flap. The British Tea Latte socks for the British Hubby are about an inch away from the heel. Finally, my Tour de Sock 4.4.16 socks are on the toe. I see kitchener stitch in my near future.

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Here’s an action photo of Gracie front back stomping. She may not look happy, but oh boy, she is!

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P.S. There are about 295 pairs of completed socks in stage 1 of TDS! I find this utterly amazing.

Historical Picnic

Wilderness is not a luxury but necessity of the human spirit. ~Edward Abbey

Over the weekend, the British Hubby and I had our first outdoor adventure on Ulysses. We only made a few wrong turns before finding our destination, the historical Coal Creek.  Here you can see the remaining foundation from the Coal Creek Hotel that was built about 100 years ago in 1918.

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Here’s the view from Ulysses.

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Hiking in new motorcycle gear isn’t exactly the easiest hiking equipment for contemplating nature. New leather is a bit stiff for long walks. Instead, we had a picnic and some knitting while contemplating what the area would have looked like 100 years ago when the coal mines were active.

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Sock number two is coming along. This pattern, Vanilla Latte, is perfect for traveling. I don’t need to bring the pattern along. Maybe I’ll finish these before Stage 2 of TDS begins. (I know that was funny, right?) Stage 1 currently has about 175 completed pairs!

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I’m not sure Gracie even noticed we were gone.