Lovely Yarn Escapes

My Adventures in Knitting, truly my Yarn-escape!

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Wednesday's Yarns - Starting a Christmas Gift

      I'm a slow knitter.  Just a reality for me.  I knit a lot to compensate, but still, it takes a long time for me to complete things.  I'll admit I do get sidetracked and that doesn't help.  But I think I've been a bit more focused this year (a bit, I have a few lingering projects I need to pick up, ok more than a few).  So my first foray into sock knitting I've put aside twice.  The first time the needles seemed so small and the progress so slow.  The next year after some finger-weight shawls the sock was easier, then I made a big mistake (lost count on where I was on the sock, the heel should be where?).  So being a newbie in sock creation I had set it aside and I started the second sock, figuring I can do it right this time and finish the first one when I see what I should have done.  Ok, so those socks have to come out when I'm back from my vacation in July, but meanwhile, I'm determined to have socks and Sockhead hats done for my son and his girlfriend for Christmas.  They both love socks.  Want socks and begged I'd make them.  So that is why I'm starting in June to make Christmas gifts!  I need lots of time (and shawl making in-between!)

My son's flight into Anchorage
The Boiled Fisherman Mitts

 Getting a tour of Kodiak Island and
 these are the last pics till the end of September when he returns 

     My other reason is my son Jonathan, who just graduated from an awesome Ecology college in Maine is off salmon fishing with nets off of a skiff on Kodiak Island in Alaska.  (A note here, he's going to be using the Boiled Fisherman's Mitts I made him last year, which he says are the best mittens ever!).  It's a well-paid job that gives you a cabin with an outhouse to live in off the grid, no electricity.  Actually, for my son part of the charm of the job is he's cutoff and it gives him time to sort himself and life out.  It's a great break from the tough work at school and working the jobs of a campus carpenter and college bus driver.  It also means I can post whatever I want and he won't see (and Emily won't tell on me!).  So I started a Sockhead Slouch Hat out of this gorgeous orange (one of his favorite colors) in Patons Kroy Sock yarn in Canyon.  The only downside is it's a bit scratchy, but reading Ravelry comments on the yarn if I shampoo it and soak it in conditioner it will soften.  Hopefully, this is true.  I was about to rip it out and my husband prevailed on me to not give up.  It is working up beautifully and feels softer as it grows.

     I'm also still knitting my Just Knit It in Stripes! and getting close to finishing it.

     I just finished The Escape Artist this morning.  It was a treat to download this new bestseller (March 6th, 2018) and my husband has been reading it alongside me.  Of course, I think he speeds reads because he soon catches up to me when I started a day ahead!  Of course, I do tend to knit between sentences, paragraphs, pages.  I first downloaded this free extended version of The Escape Artist, which has the first 5 chapters.  Of course, by the time I finish that, I'm hooked.  A pricey book, but it gave me lots of entertainment for almost a week.  The book is really gripping, well written, good characterization and continually suspenseful.  Intelligent, well researched.  The author I am learning has a unique genre of political intrigue, government conspiracy, suspense, and weaving in historical little-known truths throughout and a focus on how the individual affects the larger picture.  While I love the characters I'd just warn those sensitive to violence, especially child abuse to be careful on this one.  The book gets a bit rough at spots.  I had to remind myself that this didn't really happen to get un-upset.  But overall it's definitely worth the read.  I'm onto the next Brad Meltzer book (downloaded) and before I leave for The Adirondack Mountains next week I'm visiting my favorite second-hand bookshop to stock up on this author.  Apparently, he has some great non-fiction books too, Brad Meltzer.

“We are all ordinary. We are all boring. We are all spectacular. We are all shy. We are all bold. We are all heroes. We are all helpless. It just depends on the day.” 

Quote by Brad Meltzer

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Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Wednesday's Yarns and Knitting in Maine

     We spent the last week in Maine, my husband and I and my teenage daughter Maggie.  We met up with the rest of my family; my oldest daughter, Elisabeth, her boyfriend and my son Jonathan and his girlfriend.  The first time all of us have been together for 3 years.  Living 2,000 miles away in Colorado is tough in that regard.  My son Jonathan graduated from College of The Atlantic (an Ecology College) with Emily his girlfriend this past Saturday.  We had a lovely time and I, of course, knit when I could, even through Senior presentations and graduation.  I'm happy, still knitting  Just Knit It in Stripes!

My son Jonathan is the tall guy sitting up on the right with suspenders and his great grandfather's bowtie, his girlfriend Emily is getting her degree here.

      As for reading, I got 3 pages read of One Magic Moment by Lynn Kurland.  But life was busy.  We met up also with my dad and brother and stayed in a nice house they rented.  We went out on a 4 masted schooner one day (thanks to my Dad);  had a breakfast in the Bar Harbor park with the parents of my son's friends; toured the beautiful college campus with my son (wish I could sit in that old Victorian garden for a few hours and read and knit).

Turrets Seaside Garden

 Twice we listened to various Senior projects.  We also had a real sand beach day at Sand Beach Acadia National Park and toured Mount Desert Island as we hunted for our campground.  The last night my daughter and I got two campsites right on the waterfront of the Somes Sound View Campground and we all camped out.

My husband David

We swam in a heated pool at the campgrounds after discovering that there were very lively and beautiful jellyfish swimming off the dock.  Long red tentacles swaying in the water as they swam, incredible site, but not inviting swimming wise.  We ended the night with smores and someone just up the way set off fireworks!  Must have been for the graduates, don't you think?

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My son Jonathan left with red suspenders and bow tie.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Wednesday's Yarns - Finally on My Porch!

     Finally out on my porch with flowers blooming and lots of birds singing.  I love being high up and nestled in the trees.  A refuge to knit and read.  I'm stuck in a bit of a rut knitting and reading wise, but it feels just right.  I'm still working on my Just Knit It In Stripes and using yarn from my previous knits and a few future projects I'm certain won't use up the skeins.  All Hawthorne from KnitPicks.

     I've lately disappeared into Lynn Kurland's time travel romance books.  I love them.  They're sweet, funny and full of adventures.  Just a perfect Springtime read. I'm just starting "Till There Was You" and I finished "With Every Breath" which was fabulous!

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Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Wednesday's Yarns - Just Knit It in Stripes!


     Despite my intentions, my hands still reach for my peaceful, rhythmic knits.  No matter what I learn in knitting, I still like simple.  My Just Knit It I started last month from scrapes from my Color Shifting Shawl is a delight to knit.  I now own a nice collection of Hawthorne yarns in various hues.  I could do it practically with my eyes closed, but that be no fun, I like seeing the colors strip together.

College of The Atlantic

     Wishful thinking on my part but I'd love to have it done as a small scarf, almost bandanna for my neck for my trip to Maine in a few weeks to see my son graduate College of The Atlantic (a very progressive Ecology college).  We'll be there a week, first in a house my East Coast family is renting.  Then the last day I've rented a lovely spot on an inland sound, Somes Sound, right on the water's edge.  After a night camping with us and his lovely girlfriend, my son is off for a summer of Alaskan Salmon fishing in a small remote village on Kodiak Island.  Hard work but he wanted time for isolation from the world to think and collect himself (he worked hard in school).  He will live in a cabin, have an outhouse and no internet.  "Mom it has a great library there!" he says.  So his adventures continue.

     I've gotten delightfully sidetracked with Lynn Kurland, again.  While waiting for a Longmire book to arrive I saw a $1.99 deal on BookBub for My Heart Stood Still, a book I'd read years ago. So then I take off and get Much Ado About Moonlight.  Such a perky and fun tale about a  Scottish ghost and a tough director trying to stage "Hamlet" in his castle.  They spar and, of course, fall in love, but now what?  What lengths Jennifer goes to save her ghost in the past.  Sweet and funny.  After that, I got another Kurland book through our local second-hand shop.  This one I'm keeping.  All I remember of this one is I loved it - A Garden in The Rain.

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College of The Atlantic

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Wednesday's Yarns - West Bluff Shawl

 Corvallis, Astoria, Abernathy

     I seemed to have gotten lots of reading done this week and very little knitting.  Just not feeling well.  But I'm picking up my West Bluff Shawl today determined to get going.  It's a lovely Knitpick's design by Sierra Morningstar and incorporates 3 skeins.  I bought the recommended Corvallis (deep purple), Astoria ( a lovely grey) and the third Willamette (blues blended with purple, grey and lighter blue) wasn't available at the time so I got Abernathy instead ( a blend of blues and purple with teal popping in it).  Then last month before a monthly sale on Hawthorne ended I got the missing color Willamette.  Now, both look good to me, so I took some pictures in comparison and I'm pretty sure I will stick with my original plan of using Abernathy.  It has a bit more pop in my mind with the teal and I am just as likely to find a great project for the other skein.

 Corvallis, Astoria, and Willamette

© Knit Picks

     I made myself read all of the Debbie Macomber book The Inn at Rose Harbor even though I found it more depressing than uplifting as it's labeled (maybe the last 75 pages gets uplifting).  Never again am I making myself finish a book I don't like.  I went back to my Longmire series, number 4 - Another Man's Moccasins by Craig Johnson and immediately found myself entertained and at home.  But I got to thinking, that too was a dark theme of murder and flashbacks to the Vietnam War.  So why did I find that a great read and not depressing like the Macomber book?  Is it because I like history?  Or was it the writing style?  The Longmire book is in the first person and interesting and observant and I love his descriptions and self-deprecating humor.  The first book of Macomber was just sad stories.  So my third book How to Walk Away by Katherine Center   is the Book of the Month May selection and it arrived yesterday.  I intended to just crack it open, read a page.  Hours later I didn't want to put it down.  But here again is a depressing subject, where the main character you know is going to overcome and walk away from her previously perfect life (about all I knew from reviews), but she's facing horrific circumstances.  But it's about the tone of voice in the first person narrative that makes it far from depressing and immediately engaging. I don't know how to describe the plot without ruining it, so here's the Goodreads review - How to Walk Away and I just got to say it's an amazing book and way beyond the plot.  It's the use of words that hook you.

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Mother's Day gift from my husband

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Wednesday's Yarns - A Mindless Knit


     I started two different shawls this week, both requiring thought and learning new techniques.  But I realized I needed a mindless knit to keep me happy.  So I grabbed some beautiful leftover Hawthorne Yarn from my last knit Color Shifting Shawl.  And I started a mini scarf I made last year - Just Knit It with little stripes in it.  That's something new I learned with the Color Shifting Shawl, alternating yarns and I loved the effect.  So I'm working several colors in burgundy, plum, grey and rose.  I make a small version of this scarf just to wrap around my throat.  Perfect neck warmer and the pattern is a simple knit with a repeat of the same thing every row, increasing the first and last stitch.

     I started reading The Inn at Rose Harbor by Debbie Macomber, a very popular author.  So I'm giving it a try, but I'm not sure if I like it.  It's supposed to have a hopeful ending but it starts with life stories that are so sad.  So I guess as I go on it'll swing in the positive.  I know her books are quaint, I tried one when I was younger that my Mom gave to me, but it didn't catch my interest. My thought was I'm older, maybe I'll appreciate her books now. Just not sure yet.

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Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Wednesday's Yarns - Color Shifting Shawl Done!

     After several rip outs, till it was just right, I have my Color Shifting Shawl done.  When I had gotten a whole section done in another color and really looked at it, I realized it was just too big.  I ripped most of that last section out (a couple of days work) and bound it off.  But when I draped it on my neck later it was still too long.  So with a sigh, I ripped out further.  It's exactly one color section more than the pattern, which makes sense since I added one color to the mix.  Now, I think it's perfect.  I soaked it for 30 mins. in Woolite to soften the yarn a bit.  It's lovely yarn, Hawthorne from KnitPicks, but it's a bit rough.  Hopefully, this will soften it and I'll update this with the results when it's dry. - Later- Yes, it seems a bit softer, but overall the yarn has a nice light quality to it that's great for Spring.  And I'm sensitive to scratchy wool and this feels fine on my neck. (More details on the pattern and yarn Wednesday's Yarns - Color Shifting Shawl).

The colors are still not exactly what they are because of a blue filter on my tablet.  It has more of a peach, dark rose, burgundy, violet, and grey with blue tones in it.

     I'm on to my third Longmire novel and I'm thoroughly enjoying it. "Kindness Goes Unpunished" by Craig Johnson is also great!  The books are heavily dependent on rich descriptions of characters and usually descriptions of Wyoming, but this one opens in Wyoming and quickly moves onto Philadelphia, the City of Brotherly love.  Sheriff Walt Longmire and his friend Henry Standing Bear drive across the country for the Bear to exhibit old Native American photos and Longmire to visit his daughter. The plot leaps into action right away with Walt Longmire's lawyer daughter in Intensive Care with a coma gotten under mysterious circumstances involving her boyfriend.  I'm off to find out what happens!

Philadelphia's City Hall (Pinterest)

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