29 April 2013

May KAL - guest blogger Sue

Hi Everyone, I am so excited to be part of the Shetland Triangle KAL.  It is one of my favorite shawls to knit! I have made several, and will never tire of this pattern!  Am currently agonizing over which yarn to use for the KAL.  Any opinions are welcomed!

Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light (from left) - Tern, Oxblood, Celadon, and Magnolia Leaf

Sorry about the photo quality.  It was dark, so no natural light!

Can't wait to cast on!

28 April 2013

May KAL - guest bloggers Carolyn and Penny

Hi everyone...

I dated this entry so it will fit below the Tulip Festival and Deception Pass posts.

My BFF... Carolyn, and I bought our yarn today. I have the feeling she made the better choice with her Filisilk (70% Merino, 30% Silk). She will never agree to post EVER, so I am adding her project to mine.

I went to "Serial Knitters" today and bought a different yarn from what I first posted. I felt like I might not like a variegated shawl. This is Zauberball (75% wool & 25% Nylon). The woman in the shop said this was a bit sticky, but I've knitted on it before. I wanted something that would look good with denim. :)

Good luck everyone. We look forwarding to knitting with you. Hope we finish ours before June "2014".

In it's infancy. 

27 April 2013

Tulip Time 2 0 1 3 ~ a post from Kelli

                                                      You almost have to pinch yourself
                                                       to believe it's real~  On a sunny day
                                          the flowers make color come alive.  You stand there
                                          and watch in wonder.  You are so thankful for sight.
                                          Thankful to farmers who farm.

Thank you Skagit Valley farmers and families~ Support a local farms.

22 April 2013

a perfect day ~ posted by Melissa



 The early morning crisp air steals my breathe.  I yawn deeply to replenish my lungs. 

It's dawn on Pass Lake and so quiet I imagine I hear the fish waking after the stormy night.

Here that brings bliss to my boy and his faithful companion.  There is no place else they would rather be, the two of them.
Today, my heart sings to be invited along.  To know, firsthand, why they disappear in early morning darkness, not to return til waning moments of daylight.  To see the rituals that begin even before the boat is gently lowered into the icy water.

 To hear the slap, glide...slap, glide...of the oars as we skim smoothly across the surface.
To witness the skill of a fly fisherman ~ casting, hooking, quickly releasing his catch in one deft, choreographed movement.

I close my eyes and I can still see it's beauty ~ this sixteen inch brown trout, with it's brilliant coppery gold skin and reddish brown dappled back.
For a moment it feels like the lake is ours, but the awakening day brings others to our private world.
Camaraderie replaces the peaceful silence, with calls of greeting and fish small talk passing between us and other anglers as we carefully navigate around each other.
The world is waking up.

 We notice everything around us...and everything around us notices us.

The wind picks up and ripples on the lake are now broken up with the patter of mid-spring rain showers.  The fish have decided on an afternoon nap.  We'll let them sleep.

We head back in and leave the lake to other boys and their faithful companions.
I set my feet on shore and stretch.  The dog and I watch our boy do his rituals in reverse, a secret smile on his face, pleased with his day.
He worries aloud that I have been bored.  I assure him otherwise.
I am happy to be here.
I am happy to be.

May Day KAL~ post from Kelli

While at Vogue Knitting Live in Seattle I found this Terra sock: fingering weight,4 ply, 75% superwash merino/25% nylon,yarn from 'Three Fates Yarns' a small hand-dying company in Salem Oregon. This only skein is perfect for this May Day knit. It's varigated pink is called "Dalias". I can't wait to start knitting this yarn!

Habuuuuuuuuuu!!!!!!!!! - Post by Guest Blogger Jeff

So, the Shetland Triangle Lace Shawl is a pattern that I want to knit multiple times - and I already have yarn picked out for three different versions! Woot!

The yarn I'm planning on using for the first STLS is...

Habu Textiles A-1 2/17 Tsumugi Silk
Definitely can't wait until May 1st!

The other two STLS's I'm planning to knit in...
Elemental Affects Natural Shetland Rustic Lace

Queensland Collection Kathmandu Aran

Pre-funk progress update - by guest blogger WillyG

Here's a double update for y'all.

Melissa called for yarn reveals for the May Day knitalong, and I'm more than happy to oblige, despite being not quite ready.

You see, I'm trying to spin my own yarn for the shawl.

This is a big deal for me; I've been scheming to do something like this (knit a shawl from my own handspun yarn) for a couple years, but never did enough spinning to make it happen.  Lately, though, I've gotten comfortable enough using a spindle to get a fingering-ish weight yarn from two plies.

I currently have one of the two singles completed:

I'm using one of my long-time favorite color combinations; this photo doesn't show you as well as the first that I am spinning a gradient.  Ooh, it's fun! I won't bore you with all the little details about how I'm spinning it, though I will say that it is less intimidating than one might expect. Check out my regular blog if this intrigues you.

I told you this was a two-fer; here's the news on my Leaves Of Grass. Last night I broke into the last repeat of chart C!

I know, I know...I'm probably not even half-way, but I'm one of those people that has to set small goals for myself, and reaching chart D is good enough for me for a while.  There are just too many good things I want to make and learn to spend all my time on just this one blanket. The happy result of my procrastination is that it provides a nice, relaxing retreat from other projects when I do pick it up. There's something wonderful about the drawn-out process of short repetitions of lace knitting interspersed with free-flying plain rounds that helps me be a different person than at work -- less driven, perhaps -- and I'm trying to keep it that way.  Apparently, I'm succeeding, heheh!

21 April 2013

I'm Almost There ~ by guest blogger Eileen

so close yet it seems like forever before i do that last 15 rows.
i was up at 4am to knit ( couldn't sleep thinking i had to get this done)
and now i have maybe 2-3 hours of knitting left.
unfortunately it will have to wait till later in the week....
my fingers hurt !
i continue to love this pattern and the results.
soon so very soon!

20 April 2013

pre-funk time! ~ posted by Melissa

There's still time to join the next knitalong (info link here) but with 10 days to go, how 'bout we start sharing our yarn choices!?  We're at 11 knitters so far with a few 'maybe' people still pondering.
Some you know and some you may not...here are links to everyone's ravelry pages so you can check each other out if you'd like:  Jeff, Penny & Caroline, Kelli, Jody, Amy, Annette, Will, Sue, Trudy, Dixie, LizAndee (welcome back!), Leanne (welcome back to you as well!), and me, of course! 
That's my yarn above ~ I'm fairly sure after winding a few options from my stash that I'm going to use this lovely cake of Madelinetosh Prairie laceweight in 'Wilted Rose'.
Anxious to see what you all are thinking and if you've got solid choices made yet!  When you're ready, let's get some photos up so we can all get a peek!
Happy weekend, all!  ~ Melissa

14 April 2013

scenes from a passenger window ~ posted by Melissa

I had idyllic notions of how our 3-day, 4-state, spur of the minute road trip was going to be.  When we left midday Friday, I was imagining a blog post when we returned worthy of loritimesfive's travel/knitting blog.  It wasn't to be.  Although I did get these few stunning photos, our trip was, let's just say, an epic adventure.

scenic lookout I-84 in Oregon

Pendleton Oregon at dawn

These pictures were some of the few that were actually taken from outside the car.  We had thrown gear and sleeping bags in the truck thinking we were going to camp both nights of our 1700 mile journey  (reasonable assumption ~ we do have a month of spring under our belts!) but, oh, were we wrong!  The drive across Washington on Friday was done in torrential rain while towing a boat (more on that later), which we luckily dropped off a little after 8:00pm in Spokane Valley.  And since we were running behind schedule (we had a destination ~ more on that later also), we decided to keep driving.  Did I mention that we 'luckily dropped off the boat' we were towing?  Just want to make sure...
We crossed over into Idaho and as we approached Coeur d'Alene, the driving rain turned to snow.  Alot of snow.  And I should probably stop here and mention a few things:
  1. I'm a nervous passenger
  2. I don't like driving in the snow
  3. we were beginning to cross Lookout Pass (elevation 4725 ft)
  4. Lookout Pass is part of the Bitterroot Mountains, which you are in the midst of when you cross the state line into Montana
  5. our trip took us into Montana...nuff said?
A little before midnight my husband decided that I needed to get off the road (bless him!) and we pulled into a rest stop about an hour outside Missoula and slept in the truck (I guess I should say 'he slept' ~ I was too frazzled).  Then back on the road before dawn (we do have a destination, you know!) and on to the happiest place on earth:
Missoula Montana Starbucks at dawn

Never was a girl so happy (or tired!).  It was the best cup of coffee ever!   Then it was back on the road towards our destination of Idaho Falls (yup, the quickest way to get there is to leave the state of Idaho and then come back in through the back door).  We knew when we left on Friday that the time crunch was on the front end of our journey so we drove straight through to Idaho Falls (unbelievably it snowed almost the entire way), and other than a few pitstops to let Dozer out of the truck:
no, the rest stop was not here but the exit took us past this gorgeous gateway
we reached the purpose of our trip:

Thanks to Jim at Hyde Drift Boats and all his advance help leading up to this weekend, we were back on the road within an hour, with my husband's dream boat following behind.  Luckily, we purchased a boat cover since the weather gods were still messing with us.  Just as we had arrived in Idaho Falls, a severe wind storm kicked in and for the next 286 miles to Boise we drove in 60 mile an hour crosswinds that blew hundreds and hundreds of tumbleweeds across the interstate, as well as causing an enormous dust storm the entire way:

 We're 24 hours into our trip and we've seen rain, snow, wind and a dust storm.  Camping?  Did somebody mention putting up a tent and sleeping under the stars?? Ha.
The weather finally got better when we reached Boise (don't get too excited just yet) but the trip was not going as planned so we decided to drive until we were tired and sleep in another rest stop before heading home this morning.  We made it to La Grande, Oregon (hooray ~ state #4!) a little after 9:00pm last night hoping to find an open coffee shop (no luck) and decided to grab something to eat before hitting the road again.  And then it started to snow.  Again.  After not sleeping much (at all) the night before, we decided to stay put til the morning and pulled in with the campers at Walmart (I slept in the truck at Walmart...does this sound like a loritimesfive blog post...I think not!).
This morning we were up at 5:00am and on the road home.  But not quickly since snow in La Grande overnight meant snow in the Blue Mountains and we crossed Deadman's Pass before dawn this morning in these conditions:

If you don't know what you're looking at, it's compact ice.  And unlike the first night's snowy mountain ride, this time we're towing a boat.  Needless to say, but it shall be said...we were not driving 65mph...not even close.  And while my husband is slowly making his way up...and then down...this icy slipslide of a highway, I was frantically looking online to see what the next mountain pass held in store for us.  Bad idea.  Snoqualmie Pass in Washington, which had been completely closed the night before was reopen with chains required, but was about to be closed for avalanche control and it was still snowing hard.  We were still about 4 hours away, which is a long time to stress about conditions (which I did) that can change in a matter of hours (which they did).  By the time we reached the Cascade Mountains the sun was shining and the ice on the roads had melted.  But not before we made a quick pitstop for a heartmelting moment:

Please excuse the way I look ~ take into account the 3 days I've had and that I haven't had a shower ~ but I so want to share that I officially got to meet our goddaughter for the first time (I saw her when she was 8 hours old but she was sleeping).  Neoma is sporting a darn cute crocheted cap her grandma made her and a sweater I knit for her , remember?  She's almost 7 months old now and I'm pretty sure I left a little piece of my heart there with her when we drove away.  And with a request for this 'cool cowl bear hood' thing her mama saw (I was excited to tell her I can make that!!)

So, although our trip didn't go as I had imagined, it was sure an adventure and I enjoyed the time I spent with my husband and Dozer, who is a great traveller.  The goal of the trip was met (I hope Jeff enjoys the boat as much as JR and then Jason both did):
we'll miss you, Morning Wood
and my husband was only boatless for about 15 hours:
tentative names: Jas thinks 'little blue pill' ~ I love 'sea alice'...think about it :)
Sorry for the long post ~ alot happened in 3 days ~ and I doubt we'll forget this epic adventure for a long time to come.  I know Dozer won't ~ he was so ready to come home that the last time Jason got out of the truck, he jumped over the jockey box (not allowed) and was ready to finish the drive on his own...can't you tell from the look on his face?!
dog is my pilot
Hope everyone had a less eventful weekend than I did and here's hoping that the next journey we take is just as much fun but a little (lot) less stressful!   ~ Melissa