Friday, January 31, 2014

Eat Swim Hike

This past week was spent at  The Big Island of Hawaii  and what a wonderful week it was.    The weather was warm and tropical and unlike other trips to Maui where we headed straight for the beach and plopped ourselves down for a week and did blissfully nothing,  we decided to see the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park located near Hilo on the other side of the island.  What an incredible experience!  We did the Kilauea Iki hike down through a lush rain forest area, across the lava crater floor,  back into another rain forest area and then through a lava tube, all in the course of five hours!  At times we felt we were on the set of Jurassic Park and then on the surface of another planet.  Here are just some of the many pictures we took:

The active Kilauea volcano, seen best at night:


Hiking through the lava filled crater:

Piles of lava called cairns mark the trail through the crater:

The rain forests were dense and beautiful:


Walking through the Thurston Lava Tube:


We took a drive up the coast the next day and saw some beautiful waterfalls:



Stopped at Punalu'u Black Sand Beach which is made of lava chips and saw the sea turtles who like to go there and rest:


Stopped for some lunch at What's Shakin' and had an interesting fruit called Rambutan, which we encountered at just about every meal throughout the week.  It's actually a bland kind of fruit - do you think they serve this just for the tourists?



A few more short hikes and then it was on to The Four Seasons in Kailua-Kona for some sun, swimming, golfing and wonderful meals.  Here's the view from our room at sunset one night:


   Another sunset:


And there was even some time for knitting.  I managed to work on one sock for my husband with Opal sock yarn in their Vincent Van Gogh series.  This yarn  is named Gaugin's Chair after one of the Van Gogh paintings:


Have a great weekend and check out what others are knitting at Tami's blog.




Friday, January 17, 2014

A Lovely Pom Pom

Happy FO Friday to all those who play along with Tami Amis and also the Fiber Arts Friday gang.  I have one finished object to show that I made in one day - a record for me, even for the easiest projects!
This is the Anthropologie Inspired Hat designed by Jessica Parsons-Taylor of the Is and Was blog.


I took this picture with my Snowflake scarf  and used the leftover Linie Iceland bulky  yarn  from my scarf project to make this hat.  Knit on size 11 needles in garter stitch it works up in no time, but the best part was making the pom pom which turned out big and fluffy and so cute!

Here is Jessica's version:


Got a chance to see the new Tudor Roses book this week.  This is the updated version of Alice Starmore's  book and there are some absolutely gorgeous patterns in there, but it is not for the faint of heart!  They have included some new patterns and made the original ones more contemporary with more pared down versions of the designs. I imagine someone will be selling kits to make these.

Have a great weekend and go 49ers!


Friday, January 10, 2014

A Snowflake Scarf

Several finished projects to show today.  My snowflake scarf, as I'm calling it, was nice to work on.  This On Linie Iceland is a bulky yarn in beautiful shades of deep blue with flecks of white which looks like snowflakes.


Using size 11 needles and a simple mistake rib pattern, it worked up quickly while I sat glued to the TV yesterday watching the Cris Christie saga unfold on CNN.  Blocking the traffic on the George Washington, the nation's busiest bridge,  for four days to retaliate against Ft. Lee's mayor for political reasons -- what where these people thinking?

Here's a few pictures of my scarf:



Here's another picture of my Rascal Raccoon Sweater, this time with our own little rascal wearing it, my grandson:


One more finished project, for FO Friday.  My Common Ground sweater:


This was made with a Gaelic Chunky yarn that has since been discontinued.  The yarn called for was Cascade's Eco Wool and this is a little heavier, but it has come in handy for these cold mornings.  A nice easy top down project with great directions from Elizabeth Smith and minimal finishing.  Nothing to sew together, no buttons! Her patterns are all so easy!



That's it for now.  Have a great weekend and stay warm!


Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Our Knitting Retreat

This past weekend was the annual knitting retreat for our group and this year we met in San Juan Bautista at the St. Francis Retreat Center:


Thirty eight women showed up for a weekend of knitting, massages, yarn swapping and lots of stories and laughs with wine and good food included


The weather was great!  Warm and sunny and many of us actually put down our knitting and went for a walk through the beautiful grounds around the retreat center (sorry East Coast and just about all of the rest of the country - don't hate us because we're California!)  One of our knitters, Barbara Cordes, is a very talented photographer  and she took the following pictures:




We had a mini course on making Stitch Markers which was fun.  Thanks Jocelyn!  Here are mine:


 Needless to say, there were a lot of talented knitters there and my friend KnittyBarb was there with her beautiful  Dreambird shawl.  Couldn't resist posting another picture of her wearing this!

         Spent part of the time this weekend working on a scarf for my daughter who lives in Colorado where they are having lots of snow.  I'm using a nice yarn called On Linie 97 Iceland which looks like yarn covered with snowflakes.  This is a simple mistake rib stitch  pattern.



We really enjoyed our new retreat venue;  the St. Francis Retreat Center is in an amazing location, the meals were great and we are already planning to come back next year!


  I hope the weather starts warming up around the country and that everyone finds time to knit and enjoy the time indoors with their kids who are oh so happy about days off from school in this extreme weather.