Wednesday, June 27, 2007


The only good thing we found in Missoula (we finally found the downtown on our way out--after a horrible dinner).

Salmon Lake. We camped here. I was worried about bears, and we could hear some kind of cat off in those trees when we were setting up our tent.

Missouri River. We hiked in a nature preserve that had no hiking trails. We were warned to watch for rattlesnakes. Pretty walk, though.

Our friend's place in Wisconsin. He's done all the plumbing himself. I had a shower and it was great.

Dan cooking in the apron I made him. He also used the Nalgene cozy I made for him (inspired by this pattern via this blog, though I made up my own pattern) and he wore the shorts I made. He was all hand-knitted out. He said I could post the picture of him in just the shorts and apron, but I think I'll let you picture that for yourselves.

The Taste of Freedom

Leaving my job has been the best thing I could ever have done for myself. I would never have had the opportunity to travel as much over the summer (especially in June, when I would have been working really hard on grant review panels).

All the states we visited were interesting. Idaho was very pretty. Eastern Oregon is a lot different than western Oregon (or so Dan* tells me). Montana is very pretty. We spent the most time in Montana--it's a big state! North Dakota was not so great. Lots of RVs in North Dakota. In fact, we drove an extra seventy miles to avoid camping in RV Suburbia State Park. Minnesota was a relief (and, of course, has Bemidji, so it has to be great). We spent the night with friends in Wisconsin, and finished up in the UP of Michigan.

If it weren't for those winters, the UP might be paradise. It sure was great to just sit on the lake and do nothing. I'll be headed back there in July and again in August. I didn't even knit as much as I thought I would. I just sat. Well, we also canoed and cooked and hiked (in the rain--to keep the mosquitoes off) but mostly we just sat and enjoyed the hummingbirds and chirpy squirrels.

I did finish the secret project for Dan. I made him a pair of shorts using the Ibiza pattern from Loop-D-Loop. Not a fun pattern. It's stockinette, but the increasing for the front and back happen at different rates, so I had to pay careful attention and keep a tally going. I finished them in the woods and Dan put them on right away. He loves them, even though I can't remember the joke that made me want to knit them in the first place.

Next week I'm going to visit my sister in Kanab, Utah. After that I'm headed back to the UP. I also have to get back to my own research--I'm a part of a forum in October about using the internet in folklore research. I'd better have something to say.

I put all the pictures in a separate post so neither are too long.

*DG will be known as Dan from here on out (I know it may cause some confusion when I talk about my friend Dan who moved to New York, but I think I'll start calling him Dan who moved to New York--if he doesn't mind--when I talk about him. I owe him a hat, so I might be talking about him soon)

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Yarn at 70 Miles an Hour

My dad was known for his skill at finding and collecting wild berries, mushrooms, and asparagus. At my dad's funeral services, my mom wanted to have what she called Memory Hour in place of the rosary. All my dad's family and friends got up and told a story or anecdote about my dad. My Papa joked about how my dad could spot wild asparagus driving down the highway at seventy miles an hour. It was true. Once we were driving on a highway and my dad pulled over and started picking some asparagus from a ditch. An Amish woman came running out of her house shaking a broom at my dad to get off her property. I never liked asparagus, so it was fine with me that his batch that time was small. Besides, I wanted to get to the beach, not pick some stinking asparagus.

So, DG and I were driving through Bemidji on our road trip and I spotted some yarn. From the highway. (Okay, it was a state highway through the edge of town and we were only going about forty miles an hour.) I wasn't sure, but we turned around to find a woman selling all sorts of things in the parking lot of a Pamida. We got out and had a pleasant conversation with Pat about yarn, homemade soaps, berries and jam, and how she does everything by hand herself (except the pheasants, which her son hunts) on her farm, Kozka Farm Enterprises. They even make root beer. I bought some nice hand-dyed, hand-spun yarn that may become a hat some day and DG bought some jelly and some apple butter. What a find. This is what road trips should entail. Pictures under Paul and Babe and yarn for a souvenir.

I'll post more about the road trip later, but I had to share this yarn.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007


I have loaded up on stash sock yarn, have two sizes of circular needles stowed away, and have packed a suitcase with clothes and such to last two weeks. I will be headed to Michigan tomorrow so I can become a godmother on Saturday. Monday I'm off to California to join DG on another road trip.

I'll email with sock pictures the minute I get back, I promise.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Even in My Dreams

Last night I dreamed that I was in a school when a fire alarm sounded. Before leaving the building, I grabbed my knitting (two circulars and a ball of yarn I was swatching, plus skeins in a different color) from my knitting bowl (which was, of course, on a table in the school's lobby). Someone asked why I was taking so much. I explained that I was swatching, but that I was really going to use the other yarn for the project.

Shows what's important, I guess.

Stef's socks are finished. They seem so big. I hope his feet really are this big. My math was off a little, so there's only a smidgen of negative ease in the foot (less than half an inch), so they will be loose, I'm sure. Maybe his feet will grow by the time it's cold enough to wear wool socks.

I did like using the Ultramerino 4 very much. Those Artyarns yarns are good and squishy, which is my favorite quality in a yarn.

Friday, June 01, 2007

First Day

I have finally taken the sage advice of my dear friend Aimee Lee. Today I started my life.