Monday, November 24, 2008

kniterly update

i spent last night in the most kniterly of ways.

last night, i hung with a wonderful collection of women, all amazing in their own right, good yarn, and a knitting husband.

of course, one must eat first (chicken-saffron soup, bread pudding, pumpkin cheesecake, and cookies for dessert)... order to knit.

yes, this is the famous and talented Subarctic mama. crazy fast that woman is at picking up knitting. it's like she just gets it. kind of like her writing.

now, on to the parade of efforts currently in the queue. yesterday, Cobbie asked me how many projects i had going right now. i couldn't answer right off, so here's my attempt. may i say first, in my defense, that the holidays are near?

socks for the sock-maker. these fabulous feet belong to Theresa and she is THE uber sock-maker. therefore, she needs socks made for her, yes?

spinning a bit for a present that must yet remain unnamed, as its recipient is still in the dark. people, the wheel is next for me, i can just feel it. lord help us all (or at least Cob) if a spinning wheel takes up residence in our living room.

a baby hat - done. believe it or not, this has no owner, it was just a way to kill an extra skein of yarn that was hanging around looking lonely and unproductive. the pattern is one of Debbie Bliss' baby cashmerino wonders.

Nuchie, modeling with the pure sunshine and blue sky of Louet chunky yarn. this yarn is destined for big things - in this case, two alphabet blankets in T and G for my oldest friend Jackie's two little boys.

Thayer's blanket underway (it's now 5" - this picture's a day old!)

Brownie's "special green" skiing socks, as named by Cob - a christmas present for another unnamed recipient. this is worsted weight wool knit on size 2 needles. yes, i am crazy.

and if you didn't believe me that i'm crazy, the beginnings of a Dale of Norway sweater: this one goes veeeeeerrrrryyyyy slowly - my goal is 1 row a day. yep, 1 row a day. i try to get it done over morning coffee while i'm listening to the news and then the rest of the day just doesn't seem so hard. my friend, Cathi, and I are knitting the same sweater at the same time in different colourways. crazy. just crazy.

and then there's the perrenial Estonian "Goat's-eye" socks that i'm knitting with Norma (hers are blue and red). i'm just trying to stay one step ahead of her to help her with the pattern. this is another one of those DK-light worsted weight knit on size 1 needles. freakish.

and finally, the first of a matching pair of toddler socks that will eventually be part of this world, made from Crystal Palace bamboo-cotton-nylon yarn. if you ever get the chance to knit with this yarn, do it. it's good stuff. and baby socks are so stinkin' cute.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

first ski

after a long week traveling, i finally returned home, took the afternoon off, and went out for my first ski of the season. it wasn't anything big or strenuous, just a little jaunt with Nuchie in our neighborhood trails.

i usually have these trails to myself and yesterday was no exception. that is, except Nuchie - together we're learning our way around them but we still don't have them all figured out.

fresh snow always give you a chance to see if it's a good bunny year, which it seems to be. if you look closely, hopefully you can see the bunny trails - very distinctive marks those little guys make.

it was about -10F - too cold to skate ski, but perfect for my classic skis. and enough for a frosty eyelash or two.

and we topped off the night with Dea and Ben with enchiladas and little knitting...

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

6 hours, 39 minutes of possible daylight

as we move further into winter up here in the northland, many of you have asked about our weather. is it cold yet? (yes.) is it freezing? (yes.) do you have snow? (YES!)

Is it dark yet? well, this is looking out over my deck at 3:30 pm.

and this is the same deck at 4:00 pm

nice sunset, don't you think?

sunrise happened around 9:15 this morning and we lost 6 minutes and 36 seconds of possible daylight from yesterday.

Monday, November 10, 2008

home sweet home

Cob and i spent last week in Whitehorse, Canada. Cob was being a "kept man" while i worked, attending a scientific working group for Yukon River salmon that is jointly staffed by American and Canadian scientists. this working group supports the international treaty between the US and Canada that allocates the salmon that swim over 3,000 miles from the Bering Sea to the spawning grounds in Canada. Brandy (of cranberry picking fame from last year) and i were busy working while our respective partners played (and as it turns out, Ross bought a diamond with which to make Brandy an honest woman! i'm not spoiling any surprises here, she's already wearing it...)

though it's just two hours by plane, we decided to take the scenic route home over about 600 miles and 12 hours that started with a BIG breakfast in Haines Junction.

the scenery and company were top-rate. this is Kluane Lake, on the Canadian side, home to Burwash Landing people and many, many Dall sheep. those who live where i do will see beautiful, yet familiar scenery in the picture below. it just really is this beautiful up here, no joke. ok, so maybe we don't have these mountains up close in Fairbanks, but we have our own version of it in snow-capped domes with untouched trails, sparkling snow across a frozen lake, and a skyline of black spruce that rivals any big cityscape.

we got to the border by about 2 pm with 6 hours left to go, but we had to stop and take this picture. as i tromped over the snow making my way to this sign, i recalled the same moment, 11 years ago in 1997 when i moved up here and my life changed. i was wearing a grey fleece with red trim, jeans, and sneakers, and the marvel of the landscape unfolding before me left me captivated. 11 years later, i have no idea where that fleece went to, but i still look around myself in marvel at the land, and the people, and the world that i live in. it just never gets old. if you ever get this far north, stop by this sign and remember where you are. as they say in the Yukon, your soul's in here.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

one word


(and i don't even care if that's not a real word - it is tonight!)