Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Sweet Sixteen

That's the number of swatches required for Level I of TKGA Master Hand Knitter Program. That's the number of swatches safely ensconced in individual pocket pages in the binder sitting to my left. Mind you, the longer they sit there the more time I have to obsess about them and wonder which, if any, I should rework before submitting. I also have to finish up the written requirements. Procrastinating about the written requirements gives me more time to obsess about reworking the swatches.

It's a vicious knitter's circle, but one that must end soon as time is running out. In a few weeks my current instructions will have expired*.

In the meantime, I've also started working on a vest out of some Noro Silk Garden that's been ripening in my stash. I swatched a few months back and finally committed to the knitting last week. I'm loving the yarn and the subtle changes of color from stripe to stripe. Because I'm knitting by the seat of my pants (i.e. no real pattern, though I'm keeping it awfully simple) I don't have complete confidence in the outcome. Time will tell.

*There is no overall time limit, but if the instructions are revised, as they recently were, the old instructions are only good for one year from the time you signed on. As there have been significant changes since I received my packet, my goal is to get my submission in under the old instructions.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Baby Stripes

Home again after nearly two weeks. All in all it was a good trip.

A few highlights:

After the soccer tournament (no, they didn't win, but they sure had a good time) we headed to Denali Park. We spent a day touring the Park and though we did see Caribou, one grizzly bear, a moose, ptarmigan and rugged and beautiful vistas, we never did see The Mountain.

Though I'm not much of a wildlife
photographer, I did manage to
get a quick shot of these wild creatures ...

(They were making do, having been temporarily removed from their natural habitat and suffering from electronic-plaything-

From Denali we traveled East and South into the Yukon and ultimately to Whitehorse. We traveled the magnificent Denali Highway and were reminded, anew, how VAST this state is. The map makes it look big, but nothing like driving in a car for two days with two children to make you appreciate just how huge it is.

In Whitehorse we visited the Yukon Wildlife Preserve and had a visit with this fellow, an adolescent Musk Ox - the source of luxurious and precious Qiviut.

And, of course, some knitting got done along the way. Remember that yarn I dyed right before I left?

There's a baby due in the neighborhood in a few weeks, and I'm going to be ready! I'm quite tickled with the way the stripe widths match. I dyed one skein for the socks and one for the hat.

Baby Duds Specs:
Yarn: Kool Aid dyed Baby Ull
Needles: US 0 dpns
Hat Pattern: Just your basic hat . . I took some guidance from Here
Sock Pattern: Better -Than-Booties Baby Socks
Modifications: I modified the socks by just doing a 1x1 rib on the top of the foot, as seen Here.
And I finished the toes with a Kitchener Stitch instead of the zigzag bind-off for which the pattern called.

Lake Bennett, BC, photographed as we drove from Whitehorse to Skagway on our return to Juneau. Another breathtaking drive. As we traveled along the Chilkoot Trail, we marveled at just how great the lure of gold was, to induce people to make this trek on foot and in winter.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Heading North ..

Sunday morning, bright and early, we'll be driving our minivan onto the MV Fairweather and traveling the Alaska Marine Highway to Haines. From Haines we'll drive to Wasilla where Son #1 has a soccer tournament next week. We're all tagging along. We are going to hit the road for points farther North and East after the tournament. Our goal is to see a little bit more of this GREAT state (and the Yukon as well) as our last hurrah of Summer 2006.

While my husband is pulling together an Emergency Road Supply Kit (flares, electrical tape, Goop, Hose Repair Bandage, magic tire patch spray) and trying to locate the First Aid Kit (it's probably wedged under one of the passenger seats, I keep telling him), I am making command decisions about which yarn and projects to bring. I am also making lists of potential yarn shop visits. (Likely locales for this are Anchorage, Wasilla, Whitehorse and Skagway if anyone has a suggestion). I consider this to be a fair and balanced distribution of labor. (Oh, alright, I am also doing mountains of laundry, and stocking up on Audiobooks - these have a wonderful calming effect on our children who are otherwise prone to bickering with one another and kvetching and declaring they never wanted to come on whatever trip we're on in the first place.)

I dyed some more Dale Baby Ull earlier this week. Once again I started with Mid Gray.

I went for narrow stripes of cherry and grape separated by undyed gray stripes.

I used Knit Picks Wool of the Andes in Natural as my ties during dying. What a difference overdying the gray yarn makes:

Things will be quiet around here for a few weeks. I don't expect to be blogging from the road, but I hope to have some knitting to show upon our return.

Thanks to everyone who left such complimentary and encouraging comments about my finished scarf. I am so grateful to have a cyber-knitting community!