Of Mountains and Knits

Over the holiday weekend the bearded fellow and I took a reprieve from Portland and wandered our way up to Newry, Maine. Situated in the western part of the state, Newry has historically been a popular destination for great ski slopes in winter and spectacular hiking throughout Grafton Notch State Park all year.

Above the TreelineGrafton Notch State Park includes part of the AT (Appalachian Trail) and offers a range of hiking opportunities for mileage seekers and day hikers alike. L and I decided to tackle Old Speck, a mountain known for its challenging climb and stunning views. Although we spent all day Friday pelted by heavy rain and high winds as ‘post-tropical cyclone’ Arthur made its way up the East Coast, Saturday was a perfect day to summit.

Summit View

The bearded fellow himself and Old Speck summit on the left.

Surprisingly, the climb was not as tough as we were expecting. Cool weather, swift breezes and a complete lack of biting bugs definitely worked in our favor. We started up the white-blazed AT at 10:00 am and reached the summit by 12:20 pm, 3.8 miles covered. At the top of Old Speck is a very (very) tall tower to climb for even better views of the surrounding landscape. Even though the ascent was nothing but nerve-racking (for me at least) the views from the top were worth the increase in blood pressure.

Old Speck TowerAfter a leisurely lunch on the summit, we took our time descending the trail as it was a bit tricky with lots of exposed granite made slippery by Friday’s storm. There were plenty of neat little spots like this one which are, without a doubt, where magical faeries live.

Fairy Land

Welcome to Mirkwood.

Overall the climb was easier than expected and quite worth the effort. Definitely up there on my list of favorite East Coast summits.

Panoramic Tower PhotoBack at camp we refreshed with our feet up by the campfire. The bearded fellow taught me how to make feather sticks, traditionally used to start fires when you have damp wood and need to reach the dry, seasoned wood inside your logs. Their open design allows for air to circulate to get the fire going.

Feather Stick

Look at those cute little curls!

No campfire would be complete without knitting and I made sure to bring plenty of projects with me. Although I was not able to work on my second upcyled sweater mentioned last week, I was able to make great headway on a new project. A dear friend of mine is tying the knot in August and we are celebrating this upcoming weekend with a camping getaway and whitewater rafting. She is a classic gal with a healthy obsession for all things flowery and pastel. I found it fitting to make her an ultra-soft camisole to suit her feminine tastes. Even better, the yarn I selected fits with her wedding colors of lavender, green and peach. Score! The pattern is loosely based on this one, with lacework in place of the stockinette. It offers vintage appeal in an old lace slip kind of way.

Lace CamisoleSo, I cannot decide if I should add embellishments like ribbon to the slip, perhaps along the empire waist. What do you think? I am open to suggestions!

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7 thoughts on “Of Mountains and Knits

  1. That’s such a great hike! We didn’t plan our day right, and ended up two miles from the top before turning around (for timing– we left later in the morning, was expecting just a day hike) but that and tabletop I want to do again! I love Grafton Notch!

    Unfortunately Kyle doesn’t do inclement weather and hikes, so our hiking was out of the question this past weekend. 😉

    Also, she’s going to love it. It looks like her! 😀

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  2. That hike looks absolutely gorgeous. I live near the Rockies, and they are big and rugged and majestic, but I kinda prefer how lush and velvety the Appalachians look…so green!

    I vote for ribbon or maybe a little seed stitch along the empire waist. It looks charming already!

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    • The Rockies sound stunning! It is quite green out here in Maine, which is much preferred to my home state of California (mostly brown most of the time). Great suggestions for the top, thank you! I decided to do some eyelet work along the waist and through the top portion with picot crochet around the edges, just for fun. If I make another top, which seems likely, I will try seed stitch! Thanks!

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