Category Archives: travel


I’m doing one Christmas knitting project. Just one. It’s under control; I’ll have it done tonight. It’s Thrumbelina for a friend. I took it on vacation with me, but I wasn’t sure how it would do on a plane. Big hint: Turn off the overhead air vent when making thrums; they like to fly!


There was also a little breeze here, but it was pretty manageable. And the birds didn’t try to steal the thrums.

I’ll tell you about the trip in the next post, but here’s my obligatory Lantern Moon sheep tape measure vacay pic:


How is *your* Christmas knitting? Almost done? Only four knitting days left!


I went on a little getaway last weekend with friends that I met at piano camp in Vermont years ago. We don’t play the piano as much as we used to, but we’re still friends and still get together, even though we’re scattered up and down the west coast. This time we headed further west than usual, to the Big Island of Hawaii.

There were beaches.


There were spectacular sunsets…





through rose colored glasses, even. (Really they’re charcoal shade lenses, but they really enhance the pink.)


We went to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, where we saw petroglyphs…


and old lava flows.

(Doesn’t this one look like melted faces?)

(End of the road, apparently)


The ocean has carved out this arch from the lava rock island. This is the Holei Sea Arch. And Lambert.


Kilauea is a live volcano!


(Come closer to the steam and sulfur dioxide! The ring road around the crater was closed. Too much sulfuric gas.)

There were good things to eat…


and drink.

(utterly frou frou!)

And there were good friends to share it all.


But not much knitting!

Not quite yet…

I said I’d tell you where I went, but I’m not ready. Go over to the Lantern Moon blog and see if you can figure it out. I can’t post here until my contest is done over there! Here’s a hint.

Took a little trip…

…across the country to Orlando to visit SirCollegeDude. He’s at the University of Central Florida, and they’re the Knights, hence, SirCollegeDude. I cashed in a bunch of miles and took CollegeGrad with me; DH met us there. We had to fly first class on the way out, boo hoo.


A little afternoon cocktail with my knitting? Sure!


Dinner was nice.


SirCollegeDude’s working on a Baja car like this one with the SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers), but this year’s car is taller. It was a very soggy wet weekend with torrential rains, but we took advantage of a break in the rain to get in a quick campus tour.




We headed to Kennedy Space Center on Sunday. This was a great place, really interesting and inspiring. Lots for the science geeks!


This enormous building is where they assembled the space shuttles for launch (the orbiters plus all the stuff that put the orbiters into space). From there they were taken via crawler to the launch pad. A very slow, exacting process with a maximum speed of about one mile per hour.


Here’s one of the engines at the Launch Complex 39 Observation Gantry. And my guys.

saturn V

saturn v trio

The Apollo/Saturn V Center has an actual Saturn V rocket in it. That thing is LONG. There are a lot of interesting exhibits about the moon missions. I’m not sure why we went to the moon, other than because we could, and we wanted to do it before the Russians did, but a lot of science and engineering went into the feat.

kitty hello

Maybe it’s because we needed a Hello Kitty astronaut.


It was great to spend some time with the whole family. I also got a chance to knit with Dee last weekend, but I forgot to take a picture! It’s always fun to meet a friend from the blogosphere.

I finished the knitting from the first picture this week; it’s another This Little Ziggy vest. I’ll show you, soon. I’m still trying to catch up with myself…I’m moving way faster than a space shuttle on the crawlerway!

Step away from the knitting…

Just for a little while! It’s been a string of warm sunny days in the Pacific Northwet. DH and I decided to get out for a bit on Sunday. Multnomah Falls was our original destination, but it was packed for the holiday weekend and we had to do a quick destination revision. I remembered we had once hiked at Wahclella Falls, and the smartphone google machine pointed us in the right direction.

a stairs

Come on, you know you want to! The hike is an easy mile in and mile out. We last did this with young kids, and it felt like many more miles back then.

a tanner creek

a bridge

The trail goes alongside Tanner Creek, and has lovely shady spots to hang out. But the mosquitoes know you’re there. We didn’t linger at this spot. It’s not much further to the falls.

a wahclella

It was cool and perfect on a hot day. And we enjoyed the hike out as well.

a overhang

a trees
hanging over the ravine

When we got home, I looked for the pictures from our last trip here. Apparently it was 16 years ago.

a 1995

That tow-headed toddler? He’s a college freshman. The other kiddo? College grad, working dude. And DH on the left? Still DH, 29 years next week. Happy anniversary!

a pb

What did you do with the end of summer weekend?

Back from another adventure

Well, that was a bit of radio silence! I was off chaperoning 20 teens on a mission trip through Sierra Service Project. It was my last chance to experience SSP with one of my kids, since this was the Teen’s last year. Both of my kids have loved working with this program, and I wanted to see it in action. Most of SSP’s work sites are on Native American reservations. Our site this year belongs to the Shoshone-Bannock tribes in Fort Hall, Idaho.

My team’s project was to extend a wheelchair ramp for an elderly homeowner. The original ramp was too steep.


I was lucky to be paired with another chaperone who actually had experience doing this. Three of the kids on our team had prior SSP exoerience, and two were newbies like me. We de-constructed the original ramp, saving most of the materials for re-use.


What’s for lunch?


I learned that using a circular saw is pretty much like using a sewing machine: follow the guide and go!


And a reciprocating saw is a lot like my electric knife.


Fort Hall is in a high desert area. The sun is more intense at 4500 feet, and it’s a lot drier on the other side of the mountains. (gratuitous outhouse art shot)


Our weather was mostly sunny, but Tuesday brought beautiful thunderstorms and curtains of rain.


Music is part of the program, and the Teen always loves being a part of it.


And Thursday night’s spiritual walk witnessed a beautiful sunset and an even more beautiful moonrise.



We finished our ramp!


Blaine, the custodian at the school we stayed in, shared his grandfather’s ceremonial headdress with us. His grandfather made it sometime between 1890 and 1915. These feathers are eagle fathers, with horsehair decorations at the tips.


There are also owl feathers on the back of the headpiece.


The beadwork is precise! There are also beads at the base of each eagle feather.

It was a privilege to talk with Blaine and learn about this beautiful piece of art.

I did knit all week long, and am almost done with the first of three skeins of Euroflax sport on my Ruffle Tank. No pic of the knitting, but here’s my Lantern Moon sheep tape measure enjoying some time on the Snake River.


Oh, BTW, I’m having a “name my sheep” contest on the Lantern Moon blog. Come on over to the LM blog and give me your best shot at a name for my tape measure! You can win a sheep tape measure of your own, as well as Baabs the scissors keeper. Contest ends Wednesday night, my time, so be quick!

Another pretty place

but this time I forgot to take a picture with the sheep!

I took this one instead, as my friend P contemplated the roaring cataract of the Middle Falls on the north fork of the Lewis River.

middle falls view

The Lower Falls were rather gorgeous, too.

lower falls 2

We had a late spring this year, and the water is high and fast. Here’s what it looked like in 2009 (different angle, but you get the idea). That year, we took the kids across the river to play behind this very same waterfall. Not this time!


On a hike between the two waterfalls, I could hear the musical tinkling of rocks rolling down this cliff. The erosion has created quite a sculpture.

eroding cliff

I liked the Dr. Seuss quality of the lumpy moss on the dead tree standing by this nurse log.

nurse log

And I never get tired of this view.


It was a quick overnight camping trip; we’ve been camping with the same families for several years, and last week we realized that this week was the only one where we could all go at the same time before the kids head to college. The other families stayed for two nights, but I could only do one. It was fun, anyway. I did get some knitting done on my ruffle tank, and now it smells like a campfire. Good thing I’ll be washing and blocking it when it’s done.

What else is up? I’ve been playing Words With Friends, with several friends. Addictive and a productivity sink hole, but I love it anyway. Everybody’s playing, including Bells from BellsKnits and Kay from Mason-Dixon Knitting. Kay just beat me two in a row. C’mon, you know you want to play, too…

Here, there, and everywhere

July is a crazy month (didn’t I say that about June?), but it’s all fun. Sock Summit is coming at the end of the month, and everything else leads to that!

I ran away for 24 hours over the weekend to Gig Harbor, Washington with a couple of friends from way back. We stayed in a lovely B&B on the water, caught up, laughed a lot, and then went to our respective homes in 3 different cities.

waterfront inn


Don’t these clouds look like the basis for a lace pattern? (Always thinking about knitting!)

saturday clouds

My first blueberries of the season are ripening. I like blueberries and lime, so I squashed some in my gin & tonic, and the drink eventually turned a lovely pinky-purple. (Is this a sign that I should drink faster?)

blueberry gt

Mt. Rainier at sunset graced our dinner.

rainier sunset

And my Lantern Moon sheep tape measure came to lunch on Sunday at the Tides Tavern. Great halibut fish & chips!


I learned a valuable knitting lesson on the way home. When you join two pieces of knitting to knit in the round, it’s just like beginning anything in the round. BE CAREFUL NOT TO TWIST! It wasn’t twisted when I joined it, but I forgot to check on the subsequent round, and when I got a couple rounds past the join, I knew I had a problem. It didn’t take long to fix, but it was car knitting time lost! All better now.


Where are you going this summer (or winter, for our friends down under)? What are you knitting?

A cavalcade of FOs

This past weekend was Crafty Mom weekend at the beach. This was the 10th year for some of us, and it was highly productive for me.

I finished my Heather Hoodie. It’s not blocked yet, but I love it already. It’s big, squishy and warm. And it weighs a ton. It has 9.5 skeins of Brown Sheep Lamb’s Pride Bulky, which means 950 grams, or 33.25 ounces, or nearly two pounds…

hoodie back

…but it doesn’t feel that heavy when I put it on. Working on the button bands was making my hands tired, with all the hood and front stitches crammed on a 26 inch needle.


I started the button band with a full skein of yarn, and this is all I had left when the bands (including around the hood) were done.

ribbing remnant

This sweater was supposed to be a vest, but I wanted sleeves. I changed the straight armholes for a modified drop shoulder, indenting about 2 inches at the underarm. After seaming the shoulders, I picked up stitches at the sleeve cap for no-sew set-in sleeves and knit them flat to the wrist. I’m happy with the result.

What else did I work on? I finished my Athena with my leftover Chroma Worsted. I think this one is for me…finally!

chromathena fo

I finished a cowl in Dream in Color Classy, the color is Deep Sea Flower. I can’t really show it to you yet; I was re-knitting a new design that’s going…somewhere.

blue DIC

I took pictures of an FO in this pretty Pico Accuardi Dyeworks Worsted; the color is Rodgie’s Midnight Dancing. I can’t show you the FO of that, either, but here’s the wrong side so you can admire the yarn.

ws rocky

And I started a new project for Sock Summit, but there’s no picture yet. Mostly I was just trying to get it started. I’m using Knitted Wit‘s Bling yarn, the bluer one on the left.


But enough about me. Carole made a necklace that everyone wanted, so she made a bunch!


And of course the view was spectacular. I woke up on Saturday morning, and where the sun had set the night before, there was a pink orb over the horizon. It was a perfect moon set.

moonset gull

moonset saturday

Twin Rocks was pretty as always. They remind me of a sea serpent.


Although it’s trying to be spring here, there was snow on the hills, and it’s snowing tonight, too.


I could watch the sea and the sky forever. Always changing, but constantly lovely.


How was your weekend?

Sunny, fake i-cord, and a survey

The Teen and I went to Tucson this weekend to visit the University of Arizona. We loved the weather: sunny and warm, 70 degrees f.


The flora was quite different from PDX.

barrel cacti

turtle pond

It was an Honors visit weekend, and they did a great job of promoting the Honors College and the UA in general. The engineering department presentations were stellar. It’s a pretty big university (30,000 undergrad) which makes for a vibrant campus. We both really liked the school. It’s good to know that this is a viable option. Next month: more college visits. ‘Tis the season!

I knit through a lot of presentations, and finished a project which I can’t blog yet, but will blog soon. Meanwhile, here’s a tiny bit of another project I can’t blog yet. Do you ever use knitted cord? You can knit a tiny 2 or 3 stitch i-cord, which can be really tedious. Or you can crochet a chain, but then it’s not knit, and it looks a little unfinished. Or…

fake icord

you can cast on a bunch of stitches, and on the very next row, bind them all off. That’s my new favorite cord.

One more knitty thing: My friend Lorajean (Knitted Wit) is conducting a survey to help her decide how to shape her business. If you complete the 10 question survey and share it to Facebook or Twitter, you’ll get a coupon for 40% off in her store. You get a discount, she gets your helpful information, everybody wins.