My Adventures in Knitting, truly my Yarn-escape!

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Yarns: "Wild" and Easy Goes It Shawl

     In between working on my son's hat (A Sockhead Hat and "The Great Alone"), I've been knitting a new shawl Easy Goes It (I love shawls!).  This is a simple pattern, pretty much mindless knitting, but the results are really nice.  I'm using a Malabrigo Sock Yarn in Caribeno I got for my birthday two years ago.  I've tried it in several projects that didn't work and I really want to wear it.  Hence a simple, easy pattern.  Also, it's summer and my brain wants to escape into my reading and my knitting projects have to cooperate with that.  If I can do both at once it gets my attention!  The Slouch Hat won in that area.  I'd grab it the most and it's a few days from being done.

 Easy Goes It (Ravelry Shots)
© Finicky Creations

© Finicky Creations

      My son's hat was meant for Christmas, but my husband suggested I send it to him in Alaska where he's fishing for salmon.  A job that gives him a cabin and an outhouse for the summer, off the grid.  It's 50's, sporadic rain on Kodiak Island and out on the boat I'm sure it's cold.  The hat, mostly wool will be cozy and warm.

“It had nothing to do with gear or footwear or the backpacking fads or philosophies of any particular era or even with getting from point A to point B. 
It had to do with how it felt to be in the wild. With what it was like to walk for miles with no reason other than to witness the accumulation of trees and meadows, mountains and deserts, streams and rocks, rivers and grasses, sunrises and sunsets. The experience was powerful and fundamental. It seemed to me that it had always felt like this to be a human in the wild, and as long as the wild existed it would always feel this way.”  Cheryl Strayed. Wild. p. 207

     I've discovered a new genre for me that I am loving.  Traveling into wild untamed areas vicariously in my reading chair (while I knit, of course).  After "The Great Alone" by Kristen Hannah I had a hard time going on reading something else.  I think that book was one of the best I've read.  But I got "Wild" by Cheryl Strayed for my birthday and I pressed on.  Now I'm hiking the Pacific Crest Trail in a recounting that's great.  Strayed writes of the why she's hiking alone on this trail and then dives into the ups and downs of her adventures.  We delve into the author's life from her grief over her mother's death and other dark sides of her life she was trying to escape from and reclaim herself.  Her journey is wonderfully and frankly written.  I love reading overcoming adventure stories.  Truly encouraging.

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Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Yarns - A Sockhead Hat and "The Great Alone"

     I started this hat the first day my son went to Alaska in June, a few days after graduating from an Ecology College in Maine.  He's salmon fishing for a job, living in a cabin off the grid till autumn.  So I started his Sockhead Slouch Hat for Christmas knowing he wouldn't see the posts and also to feel closer to him.

     The hat is being knitted up in Patons Kroy Sock FX yarn in Canyon.  It is a bit scratchy so I plan to soak it in conditioner when I'm done, a recommended trick by Ravelry users of the yarn.  I'm surprised at how simple the knit is and how I want to grab it all the time and knit and read at the same time.  That's how easy it is.  It seems fast, but I have been at it for more than a month, but not bad for me, a slow knitter (and I always knit several projects at once).  I'm already planning the next one and I have picked out the colors.  The yarn has great colorways and even though it's scratchy a bit, it's got a few things going for it besides the color.  It's supposed to be very durable as sock yarn so I plan to do socks up also for my son in it, he always works hard outdoors as a carpenter.  Also, it's a hefty wool, it ought to be warm.  Another thing it's a little heavier than normal fingering wt. so it does knit faster.  I'm hoping to find a simple sock pattern for a size #2 needle.  That's the size recommended by a Ravelry user.  Before using the yarn I read as many comments as I could on the yarn in Ravelry and I found that very helpful - Patons Kroy Socks FX.

     My read this week "The Great Alone' by Kristin Hannah is set in Alaska in the 1970's.  A family moves off the grid, living in a tiny rustic cabin and totally unprepared for the rigors and harshness of Alaska.  The father is a Vietnam Vet and life with him is violent for his wife and 14-year-old daughter.  At first, this story gripped me because of the main character Leni, the 14 yr. old is 14 in 1974, the same as I was.  The books she read from "Watership Down" to Tolkien were books I read.   The author has the feel for the 70's as I remember it.  But, Leni enters into a world where she needs to survive, learn to shoot a gun and survive her family and Alaska in deep dark winter.  The book is at turns amazingly beautiful, filled with descriptions of Alaska and Leni's growing love for Alaska.  Then harsh and oh-so-real in the abusive situation Leni is in and the realities of living off the grid in an Alaskan winter.  The author's descriptions of Alaska are noticeably detailed and in an interview, she said she had lived in Alaska some summers - KRISTIN HANNAH Coming of age in the wilds of Alaska.  I'm more than halfway through and despite the harshness of the abuse, it is a wonderful and gripping novel.  I highly recommend it. "The Great Alone" Book Trailer (But I must say I'm relieved my son is coming home to Maine at the end of September.  This book has a side of Alaska in Winter that is so harsh that it shocked me, yet it's so beautiful.  And right now my son is on Kodiak Island just a little bit south of Homer, Alaska near where Leni lives in the fictional town of Kaneq.).

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Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Yarns- Back From The Adirondacks


Finished my shawl on the banks of my favorite swimming hole on the Ausable River.

      I'm just back from The Adirondacks and it's my birthday, so this is going to be a very short post before I get back to my books (starting "Wild" and a history of The Adirondacks) and several early Christmas presents - socks and Sockhead hats.  And I'm baking a small Lemon Cheesecake with a pecan/coconut crust.

     I finished my Just Knit It in Stripes.  I love it (still needs to be blocked).  I'll be washing it in Woolite, then soaking it in conditioner to see if it'll soften up more.  I love Hawthorne for its colors but it's not as soft as I'd like.

Up in an old turn of the century camp on
 Upper Ausable Lake for a few days

     I'm also reading the Culper Ring Series.  I loved the first book - "The Inner Circle", but the second one "The Fifth Assasin" I'm finding a bit tedious since it's the same characters and similar plot schemes as the first book.  Also, perhaps the theme of assassinations of presidents doesn't thrill me.  But I'm trying to plow on.  I'm getting pulled away by some very interesting reads - "Wild", and The Adirondacks: A History of America's First Wilderness, both I've just started, so more on them next week.  

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