The Scarves of September

You are supposed to make mistakes. That’s life.

Normally on the last day of September, I would take a group photo of my completed wips. I searched high and low, but my Sunset Cable Scarf is no where to be found. I suspect Ernie has made a cozy cave with it someplace. Instead there are photos of my two completed scarves from my project pages. I’m very proud of my first woven one, Woven Scarf I. 

I’ve been so busy this week I haven’t had a chance to share about our adventure on Ulysses last weekend. We took the freeway out towards the Cascade Mountain range and then found forest roads to get us up the mountain. The first was tree line and a bit chilly.

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We had to find a sunny spot for a cup of tea. Yes, that’s a proper china tea cup we’re using for our picnic along with the Jolly Green Giant Stanley tea thermos.

The next stretch of road had a fun bridge. 024

Twisty roads.

And big rocks.

Our next picnic spot included more tea, knitting and more spectacular views of Mt. Rainier. 017

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We also found a gravel path. 011

It was a fantastic outing before a very long and exhausting work week. Last week didn’t have much crafting time, but it did have some snuggle time with Ernie. 030.JPG

Let’s see if I can get three completed wips in October! I do have an extra 24 hours after all.

 

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The Hiking Season Begins

If you truly love nature, you will find beauty everywhere. ~ Vincent Van Gogh

At the start of the year, the British Hubby and I wanted to do the 52 hike challenge. We soon discovered we prefer hiking in cooler temperatures and not the summer. Our last hike was in May. Now that the mornings are chilly, we decided it was perfect weather for a hike. 30055321710966599-account_id=1

We intended to hike to Lake Margaret, but we never found it. The first path we followed was a dead end, but we unexpected had this amazing view of Mt. Rainier. So we sat and admired the view for a bit.

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Next we tried a less obvious route. That wasn’t the right path either, but we had an amazing panoramic spot for lunch. 5997051375436020467-account_id=1

With a view of a lake even though it wasn’t the one we were trying to find. 502036477112470902-account_id=1

This was a great spot to sit and knit for awhile. I even managed to find my knitted sun hat. 478774211521845762-account_id=1

Burt thinks this is far too much activity for a sunny afternoon. IMG_20170923_0808092.jpg

This was hike 12 only 40 more to go!

Island Yarn Adventure

Jobs fill your pockets, but adventures fill your soul. ~ Jaime Lyn

I am fortunate to have a few crafty coworkers. I especially love it when they are willing to go on a yarn adventure with me. Recently one of my knitting coworkers and I took the ferry to Whidbey Island to check out a few yarn shops and tour the sights. I never get tired of riding on the ferry. How can one get tired of this view?IMG_20170921_1131137.jpg

The first yarn store  we ventured into was Whidbey Isle Yarns. This is a delightful little shop with tea, vintage jewelry, buttons as far as your eye can see and hand dyed yarn. The store owner was so excited her shop was our reason for visiting the Island, she gave us 10% off! IMG_20170921_1336594.jpg

Naturally, I bought some tea and hand dyed sock yarn. It seems I can’t pass up sparkles this year. This lovely button also predates World War II. 010.JPG

Historic downtown Coupeville is so quint, I almost felt like I was stepping into the movie Jaws.

The views were stunning. The ice cream wasn’t bad either.

With views so spectacular it’s hard to believe we actually left Coupeville, but my knitting coworker and I wanted to check out Knitty Purls. Could Langley be just as quaint as Coupeville? IMG_20170921_1710248.jpg

It has an art walk. IMG_20170921_1645253.jpg

And wine bar that welcomes knitters. 011.JPG

I also managed to find sock yarn from Nova Scotia. 005

While I was out, Gracie kept guard over the house. Doesn’t she just look mean? 007

Okay, maybe this is how she really spent her day.

Chilly Mornings and Sunny Afternoons

There is no snooze button for a cat that wants breakfast.

Fall in the PNW typically means chilly mornings that turn into fantastic afternoons, but it takes most of the day to be considered warm. This means Ernie follows us around in the mornings demanding to be snuggled so he can warm up. I’m trying to convince him a cat hoodie is the answer, but he seems reluctant to agree. 007.JPG

Maybe he would prefer I make him a scarf like my second completed project for September. Sunset cable scarf would look great on him. The bright color would accent his tiger stripes, and he loves to carry around skeins of alpaca wool blends. I even have enough Dos Tierras leftover to make him one. This is another completed Malabrigo March project and a Christmas gift. I’m down to three Malabrigo March projects left to finish. Maybe this will be the first year I actually finish all my MM projects before the next one starts!

Last weekend, I tried a new low carb breakfast recipe from The Complete Low-Carb Cookbook. Better Cheddar Sausage & Egg cups were easy to make. The recipe called for six ounces of sausage, but the smallest amount I could find was 16. That means I had 16 eggy cups instead of 6. These are fantastic leftover and great for breakfasts on the go. It’s a protein packed muffin! I’m really excited to try the low carb waffles and coconut flapjack recipes. I love a good flap jack! (Let’s hope it’s better than that fake french toast recipe I tried a few months ago.) 002.JPG

Instead of knitwear for the kitties, we’ve been trying to keep them warm and cozy.

Buses, Ferries and Walking in the Rain

Some people feel the rain. Others just get wet. ~ Bob Marley

Over the weekend, there was another Mal Gal visit! This time Chicago Mal Gal was in the PNW. A few of my local Mal Gals were waiting for the bus when we discovered this unusual tree. I’ve never seen fruit like this before. If anyone knows what type of tree this is, please post in the comments. IMG_20170917_0929571.jpg

Next, we took a ferry to Churchmouse. I managed to not buy any yarn, but I did buy a pattern and a fun sheep mug from another local store on Bainbridge Island. 001

The pattern is Half & Half Cowl. It’s written in two gauges, worsted and chunky. I was certain I had yarn in my stash I could use, but it turns out that yarn is an alpaca blend. Sadly, I break out in a rash when I try to wear it around my neck. (Looks like I’m going to be weaving with alpaca for quite some time!) I foresee woven alpaca wool scarves for all my family and friends over the next year. I think I even caught a glimpse of alpaca blends in more than one brand and color! I guess that’s what happens when one hardly ever finishes projects and continues to buy yarn. IMG_20170917_1033480.jpg

I also splurged and had some ice cream. The flavor is Jack-o-lantern. I couldn’t resist a single scoop of pumpkin flavoring and chocolate. I plan to run a couple of extra miles this week to balance out all that sugar. It was worth every bite.IMG_20170917_1430314.jpg

While I was writing this post, an unusual thing occurred. A thunderstorm passed over my house with actual thunder! We don’t often get storms in the PNW and sometimes I miss a good Midwestern thunderstorm. I looked around to see how the kitties were handling the downpour and rumbling. Their reactions are below.

Ernie looks like he’s laughing, but he’s mid yawn.

Factoring for Windchill

Absence weakens mediocre passions and increases great ones, as the wind blows out candles and kindles fires. ~ Francois de la Rochefoucauld 

Saturday morning, we woke up hours before the dawn to travel for Ulysses’s first maintenance. We had several hours to ride before the dealership opened. I had checked the weather forecast. It was going to be a great day. It seemed a bit chilly, but I could dress in layers. I do have plenty of knit wear after all. It was still dark when we started up Ulysses, but I was excited to see the sunrise from the sidecar. We were prepared or so we thought.

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We were prepared for hiking or snow shoeing in cold temperatures. Sitting in an uninstalled metal box at nighttime temperatures while driving at speed in the open air, we were not. We actually had to stop at one point so we could move around and allow feeling to come back into our extremities. It did make us realize we need to invest in a few heated items for riding in colder temperatures. 5045937081138506072-account_id=1.jpg

The dealership had told us it would be several hours to service Ulysses so I had done a little research on fun activities in the area. I didn’t realize our loaner might not be another Ural. Fortunately, the British Hubby knows how to ride two wheels. However, this was my first time riding in the bitch seat. It was exhilarating and terrifying in a completely different way than Ulysses. IMG_20170916_1023341.jpg

We decided breakfast and then the local bookstore was a better way to spend a few hours instead of our planned excursion. I’m pretty sure I shivered the entire way to the dealership so I figured a little bit of carbs was necessary. We’ll see if I regret it on my run Monday morning. The British Hubby and I split a cinnamon roll and some toast (TOAST!). 014.JPG

Ernie was warm and cozy instead of riding around in the cold. Smart kitty.

The Conclusion of TDS

Life is not measured by the number of socks we own, but by the socks that take our breath away. ~ Maya Angelou

Stage six of Tour de Sock, an international speed sock knitting competition, finishes this week. Fortunately, I didn’t cast on all six patterns. Here’s a family photo of my 2017 TDS socks. Two pairs are at the cuff for sock one. I’m hopeful I can finish these yet this year. (I can dream can’t I?) Okay, perhaps not if I keep casting on new projects like this. 001

Unfortunately for my wips, I cast on three other sock patterns during the past two months. Two of these are on sock number two while the third I just started. I needed a good traveling pattern. I know it’s counter productive to cast on six pairs of socks in two months, but one can never have too many hand knit socks. 006

Here’s a run down of my sock wips:

  • TDS 5.2.17: I’m almost ready for the colorwork section on the foot.
  • TDS 5.4.17: I’m ready to start the color work on these. It will be a bit of a slow knit, but worth every stitch.
  • TDS 5.5.17: This pattern is Accio. How can one resist cables and beads?
  • Shark Bait II: I’m almost done with the chart on sock two. Once that is completed, the rest of the sock should knit up pretty quickly.
  • Junkie U Socks: I’m a sucker for a good kal. This was a complete impulse cast on. When the rainy season starts, these are going to make my feet happy.
  • Watermelon Socks: These remind me of summers in the Midwest. This pattern is great for traveling. I have the pattern mostly memorized.

I haven’t had a whole lot of crafting time this week. I’ve needed to set the morning alarm rather early to be able to run before going to the day job. This equates to me being too tired to work on complicated knitting patterns at night. However, this has also meant I’ve had more time to snuggle the kitties. They all secretly love that even though Gracie doesn’t look to pleased in this photo.015