Posts Tagged ‘summer’

Road Trip Socks

Wow, it’s been a while since I posted here! I am fresh back from a road trip to New Orleans, and I have a new pattern for you! It’s summer in the northern hemisphere and for many of us that means road trips. I created this pair of Road Trip Socks on my own road trip and was sufficiently struck by how perfect for travel it is that I decided to share it!

roadtrip hero.jpg

These quick and easy cabled socks are wonderfully portable and not too warm in your hands, making them perfect for that summer road trip! The pattern is easily memorized, and uses a maximum of about 450 yards of yarn – easy packing!

roadtrip close.jpg

Because the cables are only two stitches wide and repeat frequently, they’re also perfect for learning to cable without a needle, so you can leave one more piece of equipment at home! Instructions for no-needle cabling, if needed, are linked in the pattern and also available on this blog. If you’re doing a traveling this summer, I hope you’ll take Road Trip Socks along for the ride!

roadtrip detail


Fall is Coming

There are rain clouds gathering outside, promising to bring an end to what is likely the last 90+ degree day of the calendar year. It’s been stunningly dry here the last couple weeks, so the garden and I are looking forward to a good dousing. The break in the heat should make me feel a bit less weird about working on this beauty too:

old town progress

Although 85 really still isn’t sweater weather (at least outdoors), at least the fact that it’s cooler should make it feel a little more fall-like, right? I’m not especially dying for an end to summer, but since school is back in session and the stores are full of Halloween candy, I wouldn’t be too upset by the arrival of fall either. At least the rate of pretty on my Ravelry feed should pick up!

Cotton Queen

I am slowly slogging through the rewriting of my design for the dratted multi-yarn,

take 2

but my heart just isn’t in it at the moment. The project is working up nicely; I’m just tired of working on it. Luckily, the yarn support I mentioned in previous posts has arrived! Turns out it had an excellent reason for being delayed, but now it is here and smooshy and lovely and a perfectly timed dose of “new” to consume all of my attention.


It occurs to me that both of these projects are made of cotton yarns, and thank goodness for that because there are no days in the local forecast with highs below 90. I love summer anyway, but it’s a little easier to love with weather-appropriate yarns.

Vacation Knitting

Last week I promised a post on the project I took along to Montreal, so here goes. Since the yarn support I’m waiting on didn’t make it here before I left town, I started a new, somewhat experimental design with some variegated cotton I had laying around. Variegated yarns are always a little dicey to play around with – so many things can wind up looking wonky.

But, I had hopes! So I brought along the full pack of yarn and a couple different needles and other supplies to allow for mind changing as I worked. Then I spent about half of the drive up and back (about 11 hours each way) and lots of time in Montreal, plus all of last week, working on…this:


Sometimes designing hurts.


Hubby and I are back from a week in Montreal, and very grateful to my little sis for again house- and pet-sitting! Ready for a few highlights? It’s photo-heavy!

montreal skyline

First off, the hotel we stayed in had such amazing views we almost didn’t want to leave it! From one side of the impressively affordable suite, we could see Vieux Montreal, the St. Lawrence River, and Habitat 67. From the other side we could see a good chunk of downtown and Mont Royal. It was pretty stunning.

mont royal and downtown night view at night downtown view vieux montreal view

Even though we deliberately got a room with a kitchenette so we could take advantage of Montreal’s famous farmers’ markets and bagels, we had a surprisingly hard time finding any! We did manage to find a few local treats to sample though!

food truck maple ice cream vignoble william st. ambroise apricot

We spent plenty of time touring around Vieux Montreal’s beautiful old buildings and museums (And ice cream shops. So many ice cream shops.)

notre dame de montreal bank marche bonsecours  habitat 67scandal exhibit bubbles

And spent a day exploring Mont Royal too.

mont royal distance mcgill mont royal fountain mont royal beaver lake chateau view 2 chateau view 1 mont royal chateau mont royal cross

Of course, being hockey fans (if not especially Habs fans) we had to go to Centre Bell. We chose to do that on the only day it rained, because the so-called underground city meant we could walk there without ever actually going outside. Pretty amazing.

locker room bowman visit game worn richard hockey sweater

All in all an excellent week, with plenty of built-in knitting time as well! More on that later!


So I suppose ya’ll are wondering where I’ve been lately, huh? Well, the biggest part of that answer is…work. Not the fun designing kind, but the (usually also fun, but currently exhausting) kind that pays the bills. I won’t bore you with the details. Instead, here are some more exciting things that have been keeping me busy.


The garden is in full swing, with newly ripe strawberries every day, and plenty of blossoms on the blackberries and peppers. My tomatoes always seem a bit behind the rest of the garden, unfortunately. Last night we had some seriously unseasonable cold (although not frost, thank jeebus) and I had to get quite creative covering the more tender plants, most of which have been in the ground a good two weeks already.


Here also is a peek at an upcoming shawl design I’ve been working on. It’s deliberately smooshed and low quality, but you can probably get a good idea of just how lacy it is. It’s quite an involved little sampler of a project. I’ve also been back and forth a lot lately with the publisher and tech editor of that pattern collection I worked on all last summer and fall. These sort of things take an obscene amount of time compared to self-publishing, but it’s in the final stages now!

Now that test-prep is pretty much done with and it’s really just full on test-mode for the rest of the school year, I’m not bringing home quite as much work and am thinking again about KALs. There hasn’t been much input in the polls thread, so if you’d like to participate in a Feel Good KAL, please chime in! Likewise, if you’re interested in donating a prize I’d love to hear from you too. I have a few possibilities in mind already, but more is never a bad thing!

Vacation Part 3: London

This has been the most fun part of the series to write, not because London was so much more fun than Norway, but because I’ve been back at school for over a week now and all the positive effects of vacation had worn off until I started writing and remembering. Sadly London was also the end of my vacation.

Because we had some time between when the boat got in and when we had to be home, and we didn’t know when we’d be able to afford to come to that side of the world again, we decided to take a whirlwind tour of London before we went home. And I do mean whirlwind. When we got in we dropped our suitcases at the hotel and immediately hopped on the Tube. We set out for Picadilly Circus first.

picadilly circus


It really was reminiscent of Times Square with more interesting architecture. After that we fought our way through the crowds to get a peek at Buckingham Palace. It was really pretty absurd trying to get any decent pictures of any part of it, because there are always 700 other people trying to get the same exact picture, and they’re usually closer. Then of course there’s the fact that to get the whole palace in a photo, you have to be far enough back to also get the crowds and the traffic lights and street lamps in the photo! I was actually a little surprised not to see a huge green in front of it like you get with old plantation houses(the closest thing to a castle we have here in Virginia)!

buckingham beefeater


Since we were there, we decided to hang out in St. James Park for a while afterward and try and regain a little peace, so to speak. We quite enjoyed the famous pelicans and the fuzzy adolescent swans. And yes, that is September Storms in the photo. London was chilly!

st. james park fuzzy swans


Our next big visit on the list was Westminster Palace/Abbey and Big Ben. Getting there was just as crowded as Buckingham, but thankfully the area around it wasn’t quite such a zoo. We were also excited to discover Parliament just down the street. I’d never realized just how centralized a lot of the Big Stuff is in the “City of Westminster”, which was another term I’d never heard used before.

big ben westminster


We were unfortunately unable to visit the Royal Mews (people who know me in real life will know what a horse nut I am and how disappointed that was) because there was a rather large horse show going on, and the line to get in was so long we couldn’t even ask about ticket prices or we may have gone to the show instead. Instead we took some photos of the iconic London Eye across the Thames (I was too chicken to go up in something that high) and then went to the Portrait Gallery.

london eye portrait museum

Imagine pretty much every picture of a historical figure you’ve seen on Wikipedia in one building. That’s London’s Portrait Gallery. It really puts D.C.’s to shame. I was particularly in awe of the Tudor wing.

We also hung out in Seven Dials (how’s that for a neighborhood name?) for a while enjoying their poetry and art festival, and then did some more nothing in Trafalgar Square, because how can you not?

seven dials 383

Later that afternoon we wandered into the Theatre District, but sadly did not have time to actually see a play. Instead we enjoyed seeing what was playing where, and then had the most stereotypically British dinner we could manage in one of the nearby pubs. It was pretty crowded, so we wound up sharing our booth with an awesome pair from Scotland who’d come down for a girls’ weekend/ play marathon. That’s Speckled Hen we’re drinking, if you’re interested.

national theatre pub dinner


You want to know the really amazing part of our stay in London though? Hubby asked for a sweater. Not a store-bought sweater, thank goodness, but for me to make him a sweater. Hubby never wears sweaters, and barely wears hand-knits. But he saw a sweater he actually liked in a store window, looked at it and literally said, “Ew, it’s made of acrylic. You could probably make something like this, right?” Then he asked if we could go yarn shopping for it soon. I about fell over dead. So excited!

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