The adventures of a knitting grandmother

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She spins, she knits, she blogs about it all.

Friday, November 21, 2008


It's about time to do an update on the current projects. Three of them, anyways.

The Monkeys in Alaska socks are coming along. The first sock is finished, and the second is moving along slowly. This is my carry to work project and the second sock isn't seeing much knit time lately. This time I made the first sock with six pattern repeats on the leg and only five repeats on the foot. The fit is much better this time.

I'm using the rest of the Baby Cashmerino to knit the Cable Tank Top from Debbie Bliss Simply Baby. I had researched the pattern on Ravelry and found that knitters were having trouble getting the 9-12 months size out of the two balls of yarn called for. But since I have plenty of the yarn leftover from the Little Vest, I know I won't have a problem with this size. Since taking this picture, I have finished the back of the vest, and I only had 3 yards of yarn left over from the full ball of yarn I used for the back. So it certainly seems that 2 balls of yarn as called for in the pattern is cutting it pretty close.

Although I'm working nearly exclusively on the vest while at home in the evenings, I couldn't resist casting on for a cowl with the qiviut. I got a free pattern from the shop when I purchased the yarn, and that's the one I'm using. The pattern is not on Ravelry, but the designer is...perhaps I'll contact her and see if she is interested in getting this pattern listed now that there will be a project to pair up with it. The qiviut is wonderful to knit with!

We are away this weekend at Joe's church retreat. It's still in the 80's during the day in Tucson, so this will probably be my last shot at summer this year. I think I'll take the Monkey sock to work on. See you all next week!

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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Walk With Me Wednesday

Let's go visit a sled dog camp!

On one of our excursions, our lunch stop was next to a sled dog camp. We were encouraged to walk over and see the dogs. The dogs lived in a large fenced in area. Each of them had his own doghouse and each was tethered on a long chain that gave them a fair amount of movement. Most of the dogs were hanging out on top of their doghouses.

The camp offered short rides on a wheeled wagon pulled by dog teams. We didn't have time to wait for a wagon ride, but we did get a kick out of watching the dogs haul the wagons.

We did visit the puppy pen. Several puppies were in the pen, and we were able to play with them as part of their training -- getting used to people and being handled. If we put a dollar in a coffee can, we could get a handful of doggy cookies to feed them.

Pumpkinknitter makes a new friend!

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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

A Baby Vest

First it was a sweater, now a baby vest. Little garments are the thing around here these days. Yes, there's going to be a new grandbaby in the family next spring, a new sibling for the two granddaughters. There's also going to be a wedding next summer, but that's another story. So far no knits are planned for that one.

This is Alaska project #2. Debbie Bliss "Vest" pattern from "Essential Baby". I used two balls of the Baby Cashmerino that I bought in Victoria, B.C. I did not use the entire two balls of yarn. This is the 3-6 months size. I enjoyed knitting with this yarn. It was very soft and had a nice texture that felt good on my fingers. It was a fairly quick knit for someone who only worked on it for an hour or so in the evenings.

Details on my Ravelry page.

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Monday, November 17, 2008

W is for...


Whales in Juneau. More whales than we could shake a stick at. Or take pictures of.

We had been told that we would see many whales in the Inside Passage, and we did. Almost all the whales we saw were humpbacks. The small whale watching boat/tour we took was surrounded a couple times by whales. I was getting dizzy trying to photograph all of them.

It seemed that anytime we would spend a while on deck, we were almost certain to see whales somewhere in the water. A little patience was all that was ever needed. Early one morning as I walked on deck, almost the only person up at that hour, I watched several young whales breaching in the dawn sunlight, followed by two groups (pods?) of Dall's porpoise. It was awesome.

One evening, as the sun was hanging just above the horizon, we saw three Orcas leaping as we sat in the Starquest lounge at the top of the ship. Everyone in the lounge clustered at the windows to watch these huge whales playing in the light of the evening sun. I thought briefly about running downstairs to get the camera, but I didn't want to miss a single moment of the show. There comes a time to set down the camera and just enjoy the moment without trying to set up the perfect shot. And when I think about the whales of the Inside Passage, it's the ones that I didn't photograph that I remember the clearest.

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Wednesday, November 05, 2008

V is for...

Vancouver and Victoria, B.C.

The day before our cruise we flew from Tucson to Vancouver. We had decided that, due to the distance we had to travel, we would fly in the day ahead and stay in a hotel the night before. We did not want to have bad weather or a sudden unexpected flight delay mess up getting to the ship on time, a tip that I would suggest anyone planning a big cruise use.

We didn't get much of a chance to see downtown Vancouver. It reminded us a lot of New York, except it was quite a bit cleaner. It's been thirty some years since I've been to Canada, but I remember it being extremely clean then and it was the same this time. We did get to walk around some, but we really weren't interested in office buildings and the restaurants seemed to be mostly very expensive.

These first two pictures were taken from the hotel window. We did have a nice view. I had to wonder about all the thousands of windows that were lit up all night in these office buildings. Must be quite an electric bill. Royal Carribean put us up in a very posh hotel. I fell in love with the shower. Look at all that black marble! Pretty ritzy for a couple of Arizona hicks!

The next day we were bussed out to the ship, where we spent the afternoon in port while everyone embarked. It gave us a chance to unpack and explore the ship. Just as we sat down to dinner, the ship left port. We passed this lighthouse while we were enjoying our salads.

We saw numerous ferries like this one throughout our Alaska trip. Ferries are one of the major sources of transportation here.

The next morning we docked in Victoria, Vancouver Island, B.C. It was a gorgeous morning and we decided to walk rather than take a bus or taxi. We walked for a while along the shore, looking at the mountains in Washington State. We walked through some beautiful, nicely landscaped neighborhoods before coming to the downtown area.

This is the government building. Very beautiful and impressive.

Our first stop was to attend Mass at St. Andrew's Cathedral. There were quite a few people here for a Saturday morning Mass; the acoustics in this church were wonderful. After Mass we walked to the needlework and yarn shop, where I bought quite a few souvenirs!

We spent some time walking around the harbor area. There were flowers everywhere, in big planters and in huge baskets hanging from all the streetlamp posts.

The Empress Hotel was covered in ivy.

I would love to come back here anytime. I know that there was plenty to see that we simply didn't have time for.

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