Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Vacation Indulgence, Part II

The part you all came to see, I'm sure!

We didn't have time to do any yarn shopping in New Orleans while we were there, but I stopped at Knits by Nana in Baton Rouge. I think I talked about that one in the last post, but here's what I got, aside from the yarn which became my honeymoon socks:

Dream in Color Smooshy with Cashmere in Raspberry Blaze IMG_8061


String Theory Caper Sock in Peacock – I actually got two skeins of Caper Sock, intending to make His and Hers Honeymoon Socks.  I had them wind the other skein for me so I could start knitting.  Except, I packed in such a rush and a panic, that I really didn’t come well equipped for anything.  I had no sock needles!  I browsed the needles at the shop, but I could only come up with some bamboo Hiyahiyas.  I don’t normally like wood needles but they were pointier than the Addi’s, so I took them.  I was shocked at how much I liked using them!  They were sharp enough and it was nice not to have the clink of metal all the time.  I also didn’t have the ladder stitches I’d been getting badly with my Chiaogoo sock needles.  I may be a convert.

Anyway, I was an idiot and left the bag of yarn in the rental car, so the rental company had to mail it back to the house.  So I only got my honeymoon socks knit, and not his.  Oops.



I also got a special package delivered at my wedding venue a few days before the main event, and this is what was in it:


A pin made especially for me by Romi herself! I was so touched - I wore it on my shoulder any time I had Madrona on during the reception. I appreciated so much that Romi took the time to think of me, especially when her own life was in turmoil!

Once we got to Anchorage, I wanted to go to The Quilted Raven since I missed it on our last trip, but we once again weren't there during their normal business hours. However, one of the helpful knitters in the Alaska Knitters group told me that if I went to Cabin Fever next door, they would open up the Quilted Raven just for me. I was a little hesitant but with some encouragement from my new hubby (isn't he sweet?) we went to Cabin Fever and I am SO glad we did! Even if they hadn't opened QR for us (and they did), Cabin Fever would have been worth the trip by itself. They had all sorts of stuff, almost all made in Alaska by local artists. It was all I could do not to buy out the whole shop. I would have beggared myself buying Christmas presents for everybody I know. We did get a hand-painted ornament that will be a great memento of the trip:



And I got this Sea Otter rubber stamp as well! Major score for a crafting junkie like me. IMG_8077

I got a few other things that I can’t post, even though the people I bought them for don’t, as far as I know, read the blog. I’ll play it safe anyway.  Once I was finished shopping, they opened The Quilted Raven for me. They had really, really beautiful stuff there, Alaska-unique quilting fabrics and Alaska-dyed yarn. I got one little star of fabric as a cute souvenir for a friend who quilts:


And of course I got yarn:

A Tree Hugger’s Wife Soft Sock (80 wool 10 cashmere 10 nylon, my favorite blend) in Ostrich Fern


Rabbit Ridge Designs Sock Yarn, a surprisingly soft 75 wool 25 nylon blend in Chocolat


Super Indulgent Arctic Qiviut Sock Yarn, 35 quiviut, 40 merino, 15 bamboo, 10 nylon, colorway Rosehip.


And probably my silliest purchase of the entire trip, Qiviut Earrings.


Shut up, they’re adorable and I couldn’t help myself.

Once we got to Homer, there was Community Knits.  This shop is just so funny, and even better, they had a shop dog I got to pet.


I picked up some spinning fiber there.

Northern Lights


And Rainbow Soft


We also got some art at a couple of local galleries.



I haven’t decided where to put the swan yet but the otters are destined for our guest room.

So that was all the loot – but what knitting did I get done during all that free time?

Well, I knit myself a pair of honeymoon socks.


Two new muses were released from Romi’s 7 Small Shawls: Year Two ebook that I didn’t have a chance to even start on before I left, so I started Polyhymnia’s Triangle a couple of days before we left. 

Once again, I have to marvel at Romi’s cleverness.  There are a few different ways to knit a triangle shawl.  Knitting from the center back outward, so that the edge of your knitting forms the top edge of the triangle while the two other sides of the triangle are on the needles, puts your pattern on the bias and means you are knitting some very long rows by the end.  Knitting from the top edge down and decreasing as you go gives you a vertical pattern.  When using the first method, you can incorporate an edging onto your knitting.  If you want an edging using the second method, you normally have to finish knitting, cast off, and then pick up stitches along the two triangle edges in order to do your edging.

In this shawl, Romi used short rows to get the vertical pattern you would end up with in a shawl knit down from the top edge, while eliminating the need for you to pick up stitches in order to add the edging.  Once you finish the short rows, you knit back across all of your stitches and voila – you are ready to knit the edging.

The center triangle (the light blue section in the pictures below) went very quickly.  Once I had knit across all the short rows and had all my stitches “active” again (where the two color section begins), it was a bit slower going, but by then it was time to go home, so I had pleeeenty of knitting time.  When we got in the car to drive back from Homer to Anchorage, I had done this much.


Here’s where I was when we got to Anchorage (it’s about a 4 hour drive):


Here’s where I was after the flight from Anchorage to Seattle:


At that point, I had to fortify my tensioning fingers, which were getting a bit chafed.


This is where I was after the flight from Seattle to Dallas, and I had to stop after that. My muscles were warn out and my brain was fuzz. Our flight out of Anchorage left at 5 p.m., you see, so by the time we got to Dallas, we had been flying pretty much all night! I finished a few days after we got home.

IMG_8087 IMG_8088 IMG_8089

Unblocked, but still lovely. Now that it's done, I've gone back to working on my poor neglected Pulelehua. I just didn't have enough time or energy to finish before we left, so it's my next priority. I also have a Caliz that's nearly finished. Then I have another muse, Calliope's Odyssey, and the April Pins and Lace club shawl on my to-do list.

Phew!  I have more stuff to show off, but this post is already long enough, so I’ll save some for the next one!