Monday, October 22, 2012

Nanook of the North(west)

I wore this finished object (that I finished a few months ago) for the first time this past week:

Pattern: Nanook by Heidi Kirrmaier

Yarn: Cascade 220 Heathers, Rainier (purchased in Madison, WI at Lakeside Fibers, in anticipation of moving near Mt. Rainer!)

Needles: US 8 26" circ and 12" circ

This yarn was fascinating. Cascade 220 is my bread and butter, and I always love a good heather style color. This was a project I worked on during our road trip from Wisconsin to Washington in May. I was playing around with some of the scrap yarn, and unraveled it. To my surprise, the fibers were three different colors:

And as you can see, none of them were purple. The fibers were downright aggressive primary colors mixed together in such a way to give the illusion of purple, with the bright red, yellow, and blue only peeking out occasionally. MADNESS, I tell you.

Then I smoked some pot, and took a picture with it unpinned:

I enjoy wearing it both ways (that's what she said? No, it seems like it should work but it doesn't).  I was working downstairs in a lab area that is always cold, so it was going to be great to snuggle up in it and stay warm. And indeed it was, but the trouble came whenever I tried to leave the area, which is a radiological buffer zone, so everyone has to use a hand and foot counter before they exit to see if they are contaminated. I kept coming up contaminated on one arm, then the other, then both. Even when I pushed up the sleeves, it set off the detector. I even set it off for a couple of minutes after I took it off.

Is my sweater radioactive? Nah. I called the radiological technician down to double check, and he sighed and asked if my sweater was wool. "Static" was the verdict. False positive.

Check out this sweet pin that I used to anchor it! Kam Baker at Everyday Peacocks responded to my plea for a neat shawl pin and this was my first opportunity to wear it. I love it, in spite of my coworker's query of "so when did you visit Lothlorien?" Check out her shop for more fun knit accessories!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Harvest Ride and alpacas!

Instead of yet another triathlon, I convinced my spouse that it would be a much better idea to do a bicycle event. Notice that I didn't say race, I said 'event'. We had long heard that the drive along I-84 in Oregon was worth a look, so we headed south.

The Hood River Harvest Ride: 'a family-friendly bike ride through the less-traveled majestic back-roads of the Hood River Valley'. If kids can do it, it can't be that bad right? Five loops to mix and match from, produce stands and rest stations along the way? Sold.

Mt. Hood appeared on the horizon behind the orchards. (Mt. Adams was visible in the opposite direction). Mountains are so cool. I hope I never get tired of looking at them. I'm a little tired of looking at sagebrush, but that may be to expected.

After the ride, we were treated to homemade lunch (some hippie provided a huge tub of lentil salad...must have been from Portland) and fresh produce from the surrounding orchards. We left with bags full of apples and pears, all courtesy of local farms provided free for the riders. As we were nearing the end of one of our loops, it occurred to me that I should have searched to see if there were any yarn shops in the area. It's not a big town though, so I didn't really figure there would be much. Not but five minutes later, we saw a blue informational highway sign (keep in mind that we're on a country backroad in BFE) letting us know that CASCADE ALPACAS OF OREGON FOOTHILLS YARN 1.0 MI <----. One of those official state blue highway signs, and it and a couple others appeared along our designated biking route until the last quarter mile or so.

We had to go, natch. At the end of a twisting back road and up a hill, some alpacas and their adorable cria were hanging out. Surprisingly there were a number of cars in the parking lot, and people milling around looking at the alpacas. I guess the blue signs work? I suppose they worked on us...

Sammy was waiting in the car and couldn't contain himself with all of the awesome smelling fuzzy creatures milling around outside. He started barking his head off, and all of the alpacas came out to see what the fuss was about:

What's that guy's problem?

Right on the farm was a full service yarn shop. They had all kind of selection, but for the most part it was stuff that you could get anywhere. I wanted something hot off the alpaca!

You know how they say it's important to go local. I had a bit of sticker shock on the first skein I picked I went in for something small. Only one ounce, so I'll have to think of something special and small to make (any thoughts?). A touch I enjoyed: each skein has the names of the alpacas that it came from. Mine is from Phoebe, Onya, Sparkle, and Dutch....I think Sparkle gave it that extra pizzazz, you know?

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Snoqualmie Pass: First handknit wearing of the season

Browsing through some pictures from a recent trip hiking in Snoqualmie Pass, I noticed a milestone for the year. We'd been to Snoqualmie several times over the past couple of years to go skiing, sometimes to ski at the resort, sometimes to ski in the backcountry. Everything looks a little...different without snow though.

The trail that we had traveled so many times:

Turned out to be covered with rocks. Who would have thought? They make good lunch seating though.

Sometimes a little difficult to hike on, however, when wearing feetie shoes. I wouldn't have worn them if I'd known! The first few hours were fine, but my feet muscles got very tired for the last hour or so. I expected it to be much chillier than the Tri-cities though so fortunately I brought my custom feetie shoe legwarmers:

Finally, a chance to bust out the knits!

I hadn't gotten to wear any knitting since summer started. Finally!

Oh, thank you for your 'help'.
Fortunately Sammy didn't try to hard to steal my shoes like he sometimes does, as he was distracted by a prize of his own:

Our destination - Snow Lake. First time we've seen it in liquid form! (My spouse posted his panoramic pic on Facebook and a friend asked what we were doing in Dagobah...Jedi training, duh).