My Patterns

Sunday, October 26, 2014

A Rather Adventurous Road Trip

I'd decided I absolutely need to get out of town for a few days.  The work, the deadlines and everything was starting to get to me.

Paul suggested we go up to Lassen National Park.  It was less than 4 hours drive away, and I'd never been there. On Friday, we packed up in the morning, and drove through Truckee, Sierraville, hand late lunch at Quincy, and got to Lassen late in the day.  After setting up our tent, we went for a short hike until it got too dark.  



We're planning on some hiking the following day. 

Well, we forgot to check the weather before we came.  It rained in the middle of the night and did not stop in the morning.  It was so foggy that we couldn't even see the Lassen Peak above our camp site. 

Paul woke me up at the crack of dawn to pack up and go before it gets worse.  It was super rainy. We tried to pack up as quickly as we could.  We decided to drive through the park up north even if we could barely see anything in the foggy rain. That was probably not the smartest decision.

There were downed trees, fallen rocks, and rocks sliding off hill towards the road as we drove pass. We even accidentally scraped over a rather large fallen rock. Visibility was poor as we climbed over summit, and snow began to fall.    

Paul and I had to get out of car few times to move the fallen trees away from road and clear the debris. At the sight of the first downed tree, we thought we should turn around since we just scraped over a larger rock, and it started to snow. A SUV pulled up behind our little Subaru. The guy was about to tow the tree with his car to the side so he could pass. Paul got out and helped him to just push the tree aside by hand. Then we decided to continue too. At the sight of second downed tree, the SUV was able to tow it away. Paul cleared the debris. The third fallen tree was small enough the SUV just drove over it.  But we had to get out and move things.  Finally on the 4th fallen tree, both our car, the SUV and another car coming the opposite direction stopped and began to clear the mess.  A ranger truck pulled up within coupla minutes and started chopping the tree with a chain saw.  We all got soaking wet without doing any hiking.  We never got to see a single sight except fallen trees. The ranger told us our little car was the last car to pass through as the road was closed behind us, possibly for the season.  The entire time we drove through the park, we didn't see any other cars besides us 4 cars at the last fallen tree. There were other fallen trees but it looked like the rangers got to them first.

After driving over the summit of nearly 8000 feet when it was snowing, we made it out the park. I was rather worried the whole way if my car would have problem after scraping over that huge rock. It would be a very bad time and bad place to have any car problem. But it seemed to be driving fine without any noticeable differences.  I was also anxious seeing all the trees swaying back and forth in the gusty wind along the road, especially after seeing so many downed trees in 8 or 10 miles.   





I think Paul rather enjoyed the adventure.  I could see he missed his Forest Service ranger job.  He was a ranger for nearly 10 seasons.  But this year due to severe budget cut, he was one of many that got cut, so the forest service is staffed with mostly interns rather than real employees.  One of the responsibilities he loved was hiking around and remove fallen trees and maintain trails. Now he's trying to see if he can get back to computer programming which he did before we moved here.  I think there is always going to be a part of him that misses the outdoor work even though he really does love programming. 

The trip was so short, but packed with interesting bits.  I think we'll have to revisit Lassen again since we really didn't see much except the minimal views from our car windows. 

But I was so glad to have gotten out of town for coupla days.
We drove through Susanville, and on the way back we saw a full Rainbow. 

  

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Colors for a Cloudy Day



It's not cloudy today.  In fact, it's rarely cloudy around here. But the sweater is named such.
Speaking of names.  This morning I woke up from a dream that I was naming a sweater.  In my dream I felt it sounded really cool but when I woke up, I was like what was I thinking?  The name was "The Fabulous Story of Dandruff".   No, serious, why would such a name come to my dream? Perhaps if I was making a black hat with white as contrast color for pattern....

Anyway, the sweater was knitted top down in round with raglan sleeves. I used short rows to create the curved hem.  After picking up stitches from the WS of hem, I used short rows for the top part of fair isle.

I really wanted a layered look with the fair isle without just straight hem, a little peek through effect of the layering.  The result, I love it.  It's easy wearing with a little kick. It's totally my style.

Yarn was Ornaghi Fillati Super Sport.  It's a rather woolly and sturdy yarn.  I bought a bunch of it from Elann last year.  When I first got the yarn, I was a bit dismayed that it wasn't merino-soft, but I grew to like it more and more.



This sweater was a fun knit.  I love doing color-work but find myself lacking the patience nowadays for an entire sweater of in color-work.  This turned out to be a perfect combo. Just enough to make it fun and a little break from the endless stockinette stitch.

I re-knitted the sleeves coupla times.  I had something more "designey" stuff at first, but it just didn't go with the more laid-back look I was going for.  So, plain sleeves was the final decision.


Sunday, September 21, 2014

Plum Rain



It has been a month since I showed a single finished project.  Now I have 2 sweaters to show.
They were from the same pattern I wrote up.

I'd been showing the first one with photos in progress.  Originally I had the color of beige or sand in mind. Somehow when I looked into my stash, I grabbed the bright, Grasshopper of Madelinetosh Tosh Sport. I knew 3 skeins would not be enough to finish the sweater, but that didn't stop me.

I had 2 choices, buy more and pray the new one would miraculously match these skeins that sat in my possession for 4 years.  Or, I could just add another color to it.

I added Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino in dusty pink to complete the body.  The result?  kinda funky but kinda awesome. If I'd seriously planned out my color choices, these two might not be the logical combo. And I love good surprises.

Paul said the dusty pink color was close to skin tone that I looked like wearing a cropped top.  O...K.....  But the body length is actually shorter than my usual designs at 13" from underarm.



I'd mentioned before, I'm not used to hand dyed yarn for sweaters.  So the striation in Tosh Sport seemed a bit much for what I had in mind.  So I decided to knit another in solid color with slightly longer body as well.

There must be something about careful planning and selecting colors that just doesn't jive with me. I picked pale baby pink! I hate wearing baby pink!  Dusty pink is fine, but not baby pink. The yarn was Needful Cara. It's a rather nice yarn, just a terrible color on me, no wonder it sat there in the drawers for 6 years.  And here I was, knitting a whole sweater with the color that would be ghastly on me. My reasoning was I could over dye it.  There was also something crazy going on, I was actually curios about how bad would this baby pink look since I couldn't even remember the last time I wore it.


Yes, it was bad. I simply hated it. It looked like pajamas. Nothing against pajamas, I always lounged around in PJs as soon as I get home. In fact, I have a set of pink old PJs, But it's not for a sweater going outside of the house. So I continued on with over-dyeing. It was a mixture of all Bs, Brown, Black, Blue and Burgundy. It came out not super even, but I absolutely loved it!  It looked like faded, distressed tee shirt. Totally my color!





The style was boat neck, raglan sleeves pullover, with twisted stitches along the sleeves and cable/lace motif that I made up at the cuffs, gentle short rows along the hem to make it slightly longer on the back.


Did I mention how much I love the over-dyed color?