First Snow Fingerless Mitts

Three Levels of Knitting

This morning, as I shuffled down the pathway to my office, I decided to take a moment to ponder what knitting projects I brought with me. Perhaps it was the early morning sun awakening my curiosity or the crisp breeze reminding me that winter is on its way.

In reality, it was because I was early for work and wanted to take a moment to verify that I brought enough projects to work on during lunch.

Wait. (Insert tire screech sound bite.) Enough projects? More than one project is required to fill a one hour lunch break, in which eating must also be a part? Yes. The answer is yes. I carry at least two, if not three, small projects in my knitting bag, each a different skill level, attention demand, and overall ease of knitting rating.

For example: Continue reading

Blog Hop Kangaroo

Hippity Hoppity Blog Hop

Chelsea over at Hipster Spice was kind enough to mention me in a recent blog hop. Thank you! You know, these questions were harder to answer than the ones posed by Lattes and Llamas in my recent Liebster Award post. Well, here we go!

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The Forks Sky

Whitewater and Fireflies

I was tempted to call this post ‘Marshmallows and Moxie Falls’, but settled for ‘Whitewater and Fireflies’ instead. They both played an important role this past weekend when, to celebrate a friend’s wedding this coming August, a bunch of friends from New England and beyond got together to show her a good time in The Forks, Maine.

The Forks at sunsetThe Forks is known for its snowmobiling trails in the winter and whitewater rafting in the summer. Seeing as how it is July, we opted for a weekend rafting trip on the Kennebec River. 13 miles of water with rapids aptly named with such charming titles as The Rock Garden, Mystery Falls, and (my personal favorites) Big Mama and the Three Sisters. Such a lovely little family of class III-IV rapids. The water races by at 4800-6000 cubic feet per second, just in case you need to know that for, you know, a trivia game or something.

If I had a picture of our group racing down the river, which I do not because who in their right mind brings a camera whitewater rafting when they have a paddle to hold on to and their life to consider, it would most likely show me making a face of extreme surprise, excitement and slight terror. I can say this: I did not drop my paddle. And I did not fall out of the boat. Well, other than that one time when our guide said, ‘Go ahead, jump out of the boat. You can body raft the next set of rapids.’ There was a slight pause before our entire boat, save two, jumped overboard to spend the next few minutes swallowing water and screaming with excitement as we traversed the ‘swimmers rapids’ around us.

Kennebec River

This is a picture of the Kennebec in the morning, before the hydro plant upstream releases the surge of water each day.

We had campfires, made themed puffy paint t-shirts just like my junior high school birthday parties, and ate lots of marshmallows.

FireAnd the fireflies! It was magical. Before moving to Maine, I had never seen a firefly (or lightning bug). Nowadays I cannot imagine summer without glowing bugs. While stunning at night, with their little rumps all aglow in just the right shade of nuclear green, fireflies are also quite pretty during the day.

Firefly

I mean, really. It was so glow-y! Glowing-y. Glowtastic. It glew?

We heard from some locals that we just had to see Moxie Falls while we were in the area. So, we did. After a quick hike we were rewarded with stunning views of the falls. It was a fitting side trip as that weekend was also Moxie Fest, a celebration of all things…Moxie.

Moxie FallsJust like when I traveled up the side of a mountain earlier this month and brought my knitting projects along, this weekend was no different. I actually brought two projects with me to The Forks, in case, well, I’m not sure how I thought I would get bored, but I brought them in case I got bored. Spoilers: I was not bored. Not even for a second.

Simple lace scarfThe first project is a classic ‘keep increasing until you have a huge triangle’ scarf, in soft turquoise cotton. Perfect for knitting while doing other things. Like eating marshmallows. Bonus of fireside knitting: my upcycled cotton sweater smells like smoky goodness and carries with it memories of the weekend.Eyelet work on cap sleeve sweaterSince I am knitting this sweater in the round, not back and forth as the pattern recommends, it took me a bit to figure out the easiest way to work the front and back eyelet portions. I settled on scrap yarn to hold half of the stitches as I work one side at a time. Once they are both done I will seam them along the top. I am so excited to be working on something other than stockinette!

Holding back stitches on cap sleeve sweaterOh! And the bride to be adored the pastel camisole top that I made her, first mentioned here. Thank you for your feedback! I opted for a simple eyelet stitch through the waist and top, finished with crochet picot edges all around.

Do you have projects that remind you of the places you worked on them?

Grafton Notch State Park

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!

Sweater Picot Edge

Sweater to Sweater

I adore upcycling things, especially yarn. No sweater is safe if it is too big, too small or rarely worn. After a recent dive into my closet I stumbled upon a dark navy cabled cotton sweater that fit okay but was rather long and heavy. Solution: cut it up and save the yarn!

Sweater UpcyclingThe tricky thing about disassembling store-bought sweaters is knowing where to start. On this sweater, there were machine-sewn seams seemingly impossible to separate. Pulling on each thread at both ends of the seams, looking for the magical string to unwind it all, seemed fruitless. I became rather frustrated and decided to, oh, you know, chop a few inches off of the top. The exposed live stitches led me in the right direction. Continue reading

Flip Coast Creations Cards

Lost and Found

It happens. We forget that we have projects tucked away, in some dark corner of the house, waiting patiently for rediscovery. For me, that project is a knit short row shaped skirt that I started, oh, you know, eight years ago. I am not sure what it is about this skirt that kept me away for so long. Rather than continuing to hide it in a deep dark corner of my closet, I decided, against all odds, to sacrifice it for another project: a crochet storage basket. I’ll probably end up filling this yarn basket with more yarn. Ironic? I think not.

Skirt to Basket

That’s eight years of curl in that yarn. Better than a perm.

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Secret Project: Revealed

Remember when I showed you this cute little strawberry square and hinted at a greater project based off of this design? Here is the finished project!
Finished Object Strawberry Teapot CozySo, why a strawberry? Well, this Saturday, June 28, Flip Coast Creations (that’s me!) will be hosting a table the 2014 Cornish, Maine Strawberry Festival! This is my first-ever craft fair and I am so very excited (read: nervous as all get out). Continue reading