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Snowed In Collection

It’s cold out there! Have you been snowed in yet? Need a quick project or three to get you through until you can go outside again? Do I ever have the collection for you!

My Snowed In Collection is an e-book of 3 patterns each designed to be knit in the stretch of time you might be stuck inside during or after a storm. The neckwear patterns come in a range of estimated times and difficulties:

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Snowzilla is the fastest and easiest of the patterns. Very beginner-friendly, it requires only knits and purls with no shaping or fancy pattern stitches. It’s also a great way to use up some handspun or that unpredictable art yarn you bought at a show.

 

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Storm Cloud is the next easiest pattern in the collection, and due to its chunky-weight yarn likely to take about as long as Snowzilla. It does introduce a new-to-may technique, fishermen’s rib, with a photo tutorial. This extra stretchy, extra warm stitch is surprisingly easy to learn, and a good precursor to learning brioche.

 

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Cabin Fever is likely to take a bit longer than a weekend – you may want to save this one for a monster storm! When the cabin fever has set in, and you’re about to lose it, learning a new technique can be a great distraction! This beautiful two-color scarf pattern serves as a great introduction either to two-color brioche, or to brioche overall. The written instruction are accompanied by both a photo and video tutorial, if either technique is new to you. If you’ve already learned the stitches needed for fishermen’s rib with my Storm Cloud, you’ll have a head start!

All 3 patterns are available for purchase separately on Ravelry, but now through December 31 you can get the whole collection for the price of one pattern when you buy my e-book!

A Change of Pace

I was thinking last week about the comments you guys left, and how to find the time and energy to squeeze in more knitting each day. Since I have several patterns waiting on tech editing right now (and two waiting on photos), now seems like a great time to take a “brain break” and knit someone else’s pattern. Way easier!

I got all excited and splurged a bit on some yummy new MadTosh (in Tart) to make myself an Old Town. I ordered it last week and have been obsessively checking the mailbox ever since, but sadly I only just got the shipping notice today. So, since there was somehow nothing else on my needles, today I went stash diving.

I cast on Dunfallandy today. I have absolutely no idea who I’m going to give it to when it’s done, but oh is it fun so far. Apparently my fingers do indeed believe that fall will eventually arrive, because cables are about the most satisfying thing I can imagine right now.

cables

August Steam

With no break yet in the 90+ degree days, cotton remains my knitting savior. Pima is currently about my favorite thing ever. It occurs to me that this is also a pretty perfect time of year for spinning. I have a gorgeous bundle of green wool still sitting untouched; I think it’s definitely time to fix that.

green wool

Hubby’s office is treating us to a baseball game in D.C. this evening, so it’ll definitely be cotton and not spinning tonight. Of course, if it doesn’t cool off some before game time, I might not be able to bear knitting after all!

Vacation Part 2: Norway

It is really difficult to condense all the amazing things I saw and did in Norway into one post. Here’s my best go though. We saw 4 different cities up and down the southwest coast of Norway while we were gone; I recount the highlights of each.

Stavanger

With a population about the size of Flint, MI or Fayetteville, NC, Stavanger is the 4th largest city in Norway.

stavanger

On approach it was a very cute, seaside town complete with the same sort of steep-roofed white houses you find all over New England. The city is still pretty clearly an oil city- I had no idea how much oil is apparently in the North Sea until this trip. We mostly stayed in Old Stavanger because it was so pretty, with its old fashioned homes and beautiful park.

gamle stavanger

sheep

Sheep!

art

I have no explanation for this piece of art.

We also made sure to check out the Stavanger Cathedral, as it’s apparently the oldest in Norway, and the Maritime Museum.

cathedral museum

 

Skjolden

After Stavanger we went to the teensy new port of Skjolden. Their best estimate was a year-round population of about 300, plus some extra hikers and fishermen in the summer.

skjolden

This is literally the entire port.

This was actually my favorite port of the whole trip. We spent many hours cruising through the massive Sognefjord to this little town at its very end, which was by far the prettiest place we went in my opinion.

sognefjord skjolden

When we got there we hiked as long as we dared (there was a storm looming) and got back just in time to dash into the only pub to have a pint of Ringnes and wait out the storm.

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This is also where I found the Holy Grail of this trip – locally raised and spun Merino.

norwegian merino

 

It seems to be about fingering weight, and is apparently from Merino meat sheep, which wasn’t something I knew existed. It’s definitely not as soft as what I would generally expect from Merino, but it is quite knitable, Now to come up with a pattern.

Alesund

With a population about the size of Salt Lake City, UT or Perth, Scotland, Alesund is between the sizes of the first two places we visited. I’m told it is also the northernmost year-round port in Norway. That’s saying something when you realize how much more “north” is left on the map of Norway after Alesund. The main draw for tourists in Alesund is the Art Deco architecture, which was largely funded by Kaiser Wilhelm II (yes, of Germany) after most of the city burned in the early 1900s. Apparently the area was a favorite vacation spot of the Kaiser.

alesund

 

That nifty shot of the town was made possible by our climb up the 418 steps to the top of Mt. Aksla, which also produced the views below.

view from Aksla view from Aksla

 

After coming back down from the mountain, we tried to figure out the bus system to get to their little aquarium or medieval-style farm, but eventually gave up and walked the supposedly 3k to the aquarium. Naturally it rained, and was largely an uphill climb. Not our favorite part of the trip!

Bergen

Last but definitely not least was Bergen. Bergen is the second largest city in Norway and the only one I really wish we’d had more time. Population-wise, it is about the size of Lincoln, NE or Saskatoon, SK. When you consider that the entire population of Norway is less than New York City, this is quite large. The first thing we did was set out for the Bergenhus, an old castle/fort/ruins right on the water. It was stunning and I particularly loved the 13th century ruins, but it took a bit longer to get out there than planned because I may possibly have gotten distracted by the Dale of Norway window display on the way.

dale sweater bergenhus ruins

 

After that we did some shopping in the old warehouse district Bryggen, mostly to play funhouse in the old warehouses that got seriously shaken by an exploding Dutch ship a few decades back. None of the following pictures are taken at a weird angle, and my military husband is standing straight and tall in one doorway to really give you an idea of how crooked these buildings are.

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Then we wandered on down to the awesome fish market, where we feasted on painfully expensive fjord shrimp which were still the cheapest meal we found in Norway, as well as cloudberry jam on fresh bread. It was all absolutely amazingly delicious.

fishmarket fjord shrimp cloudberry jam

Sadly by that time it was about time to head out. I could definitely go back to Bergen. I’ve tried to condense this post as much as possible and share only the biggest, best-photographed highlights, but it’s still massive and I still feel like I’ve left out a lot of good stuff. It makes me kinda sad. The next post will be easier because it was a seriously whirlwind tour. Next post, London!

You Found Me!

If you’ve followed me over from Ravelry, way to go! You found me! If you haven’t, be sure to check me out (I’m redraveler). This blog will showcase my latest designs,  but also insight into my philosophy that life should “feel good” – both physically and mentally. So buckle up and enjoy the ride!

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