Thursday, March 7, 2019

And it Snowed, and it Snowed and it Snowed...

My last post was of the "isn't the snow pretty" variety, but that got old pretty quickly. Between February 3rd (the snowstorm shown in the last post) and February 12th we had four, count 'em, FOUR snowstorms roll through the Puget Sound region.

At first it was fun. Mr. D and I went snowshoeing:

We went for walks to  the post office with a side trip to a cafe, wearing our Yaktrax on our feet.

As the temperature dropped, we observed ice in its various forms and locations:

But mostly, we just watched as the snow just kept coming down, and then cleaned up when it was all over.

There was one benefit from being snowed in for more than a week: lots of knitting time. Here's a sneak peek at one of the projects I worked on, and I'll be back with some of my snow knitting projects (and others) very soon.

Monday, February 4, 2019

Snow in Seattle

It started yesterday afternoon...

The temperature had dropped from about 41 degrees at noon to 32 degrees less than two hours later, and around that time the snow began.

Then it snowed, and snowed and snowed, and this morning that same little Japanese Maple looked like this:

Mr. D and I went for a walk this morning and enjoyed the silence and quiet beauty of a snowy morning.

Happy Winter!

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Seeking Scandinavia: Knitting and Yarn

I'm sure that you won't be surprised to learn that I was looking forward to exploring the knitting and yarn-y culture of Scandinavia on our trip last June. All three of the countries we visited have strong knitting traditions, and I saw evidence of those traditions in all three countries. Unfortunately, I don't have any photos with knitting/knitwear themes from Sweden, but I did visit a yarn store in Stockholm, which felt a lot like some of the yarn stores I've been to in the United States: many wonderful yarns, beautiful samples and a welcoming atmosphere.

I while I didn't get any knitwear photos in Sweden, I did get this photograph:

This is a Gute ram that I spotted at Skansen, a wonderful folk museum in Stockholm. Gute sheep are an early Swedish breed, native to the island of Gotland in the Baltic Sea.

After Stockholm, we took a train to Copenhagen, and I made up for my lack of photos in Sweden in a big way by visiting Woolstock, a knitting and embroidery cafe.

A bit of backstory here: a few months before our trip I came across a post about Woolstock on Ravelry that included a link to the cafe's Instagram feed. At that time (around the end of February/early March), the owner, Louise, had completed a successful Kickstarter campaign and had just located a space to rent. I started following her progress on Instagram, and it turned out that Woolstock opened the weekend before we arrived in Copenhagen. Of course, I had to go visit, so on a Sunday afternoon, after spending the morning in the Danish National Design Museum, Mr. D and I found our way there for lunch. What a special experience! Louise was so warm and welcoming, our lunch was delicious, and the cafe was delightful. Here's a little photo tour:

Danish yarn was purchased, of course, and here it is, along with my official Woolstock bag, which I'm also holding in the photo with Louise, above.

If you would like to get a bit more of the flavor of Woolstock, Kristy Glass visited Woolstock about two months after I did and she did a video of the cafe for her YouTube channel. You can view the video here.  (By the way, this is probably the only time that I will ever experience something in the knitting world  before Kristy Glass does!)

Woolstock was definitely the yarn-y highlight of the whole trip, but I did find a bit more knitting and yarn when we moved on to Norway. First, in Oslo, at the Norsk Folkemuseum, I saw some beautiful knitwear—traditional Norwegian sweaters, like this one:

In Bergen, I went to a yarn store, Norwegian Spirit, that was conveniently located in the train station. I didn't take any photos there, but I did buy some yarn.

The two yarns on the left are from the Norwegian indie dyer, Garnsurr. The owner trains refugees to dye her yarn, and in the process, teaches them to speak Norwegian. This was a wonderful cause to support, and the yarn is gorgeous! Tweedy Todd is also a Norwegian indie dyer, and this colorway really spoke to me—definitely my color!

I haven't knit with any of these yarns yet, but when I do, I'll share my projects with you here on the blog, and on Ravelry, too. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Where Have You Been?

You may—or may not—have noticed that posts from me have been missing for several months, and you may have been wondering where I was. I'm still here, knitting, taking photographs and living my normal life, but I had to take a break to deal with a somewhat serious health issue. Happily, that issue is mostly resolved, I'm feeling great, and the new year seemed like a good time to pick up the blog again.

In previous years, I've come up with a number of goals for the year, but this year, there is only one: write regular posts on my blog. I'm not sure what "regular" means, but for now I'm going to say at least once a month.

I have definitely been knitting over the past four months, so I'll show you a couple recent finished projects.

This is my Poncho Adventures in Laceland (link is to my Ravelry project page). The pattern is the Silk Road Wrap, designed by my friend, Kate. I cast this on over two years ago. I would work on it a bit and then put it in time out for longer than a bit. A few weeks ago, I got serious about working on it and I realized I was more than half finished, so I got busy and FINALLY finished it on New Year's Eve. It's already among my favorite projects ever, so it was definitely worth the 26-month wait.

Below is my In Memory of Dolphins, the Dancing Dolphins Hat, by Sonja Launspac Kunstwerk Designs. This project did not hang around for two years. It did hang around for a couple months, but the colorwork was completed in less than three weeks. It was a Christmas gift for my cousin, who has a special connection to dolphins.

I'm especially pleased with how even my floats are!
That's it from me for today, but I will be back soon. Best wishes for a happy and healthy New Year!

Monday, August 20, 2018

Seeking Scandinavia: Stockholm

Wow, have I been missing from the blog! No excuses, but first it was three weeks of travel, and then it was just the stuff of life happening.

But I mentioned travel, didn't I? In June, Mr. D and I celebrated our 15th anniversary with a trip to Scandinavia. Our first stop (and the last stop, too) was Stockholm, a beautiful city, built on islands and surrounded by water.

Stockholm is a very old city, and we explored a neighborhood that existed long before America was even settled.

Let's start with some really old buildings:

These two buildings are located in Gamla Stan, Stockholm's Old Town. The building on the left, Ribbinska Huset, was built to commemorate the Swedish citizens, priests and noblemen who were massacred by the king of Denmark in 1520. Each of the white squares in the façade of the building represents one of the people who were killed. A pretty building with a pretty grisly story...

In the city center of Stockholm is a pretty little park, Kunsträdgården (King's Garden), where the statue of King Karl XII (1682-1718) looks over all. He is a favorite of the birds, as you can see.

We were lucky enough to have our time in Stockholm coincide with our friends' visit with their daughter, who lives there and is getting her Master's Degree at the University of Stockholm. We spent an enjoyable morning with the three of them exploring the Sodermalm neighborhood. Sodermalm was once a working class neighborhood, and has been popularized by Stieg Larsson's Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. It is a mixture old buildings and new growth, as you can see in this photo:

We also discovered that there is still plenty of Old Stockholm in this picturesque neighborhood:

Every visitor to Stockholm has to get out on the water at least once. We did this by taking an afternoon cruise through the Stockholm Archipelago, passing by hundreds, if not thousands, of islands in just three hours. The sights included an amusement park, sailboats, and a typical weekend cabin, painted "Swedish Red".

All of our exploring meant that we got hungry, a little foot-sore and we needed a break occasionally. When this happened, we indulged in a wonderful Swedish custom, "fika", which means stopping for a snack and a beverage (usually coffee). We loved making time for fika, and on the day we explored Gamla Stan we "fika-ed" in a 14th century cellar.  You can see our cups of tea, my cinnamon roll and Mr. D's peanut butter brownie. A delightful way to end an afternoon of exploration in Stockholm!

Friday, June 8, 2018

The Clouds of Spring

May and June are months where we see a lot of clouds. Sometimes, it's just the unending "May Gray," or "June Gloom." More often, we have cloudy mornings with "sun breaks" in the afternoon. When there are sun breaks, there are often fluffy/puffy cloudscapes, illuminated by the sun. Here is a sampling:

Spring clouds can also be dramatic, especially at sunset.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Done, and on to Adventure #3!

So this got finished last week:

As you may remember from this post, the yarn and pattern for this shawl (Martina Behm's Lintilla, knit in Wollmeise) were pulled randomly from this bag:

Today I pulled the canvas bag out again.

I picked this brown bag:

This is what I found inside:
I have a number of other projects going on, as well as a big non-knitting adventure coming up, so I'm giving myself most of the summer to finish this shawl. Watch this space in August for more on this particular adventure.