A hat, a sleeve, and Jack London 

Recently I found in my “Hiking in the Bay Area with Kids” book a short hike in the Jack London historic state park. I hadn’t known such a place existed! My husband was as interested as I was (we’d both read London books as children) so we decided to check it out at the next opportunity, which was today!

On the way there and back, I made a non-fussy Magic Coffee Baby hat. I cannot praise this pattern highly enough. If you need a quick, easy, great-fitting, free pattern for a baby hat, look no further!

  
Now, some pics of the park, the ruins of Jack London’s dream house, and the cottage where he lived and wrote books.

  
Wolf House burned down about a month before London and his wife were to move in.    
  

The cottage where London wrote novels and entertained guests.  
 

Apparently he tried raising cacti to feed cattle, unsuccessfully.
  

Back at home, I finished the first sleeve of my French Toast sweater.

  
It fits! I did the “continental purling” that a friend reminded me of. We went to a talk/book signing by Ysolda Teague a few years ago, where she’d mentioned it. Instead of wrapping the yarn as in a normal purl, you wrap it the opposite way. It worked! My purls are neater and much nicer. I’ll be reknitting the hem ribbing this way. 

  

Quilt, startitis

Here is the Wee Boy’s multi-fandom quilt! 

   

As you can see, I could have been more precise in the back, but I like it! I feel kind of proud that I only used leftover fabrics and managed to make it work. :0. 

I learned a good lesson about evening the edges up before binding. Next time I’ll do that before I’ve pinned all the binding on.  Ugh.

We spent the afternoon up in Petaluma, where we walked/the kids biked around a lovely 2-mile path around/within a pond filled with geese, swans, killdeer, red-winged blackbirds, etc. It was really nice.

 

“hey, watch out for that big swan!”

  

no bench shall be left unexplored.

  

the Wee Girl received a birthday gift that was hardly put down for the rest of the day.


 

In knitting news, I’ve only had my blanket squares on the needles lately, and I’ve been itching to cast on new things but was at a loss as to what

Well, I remembered a technique I picked up from the Yarn Harlot a while back, so I employed it this evening: pair up your yarn patterns with corresponding yarn(s), put them together in a project bag (preferably wound into balls and including needles), so you have a project ready to grab any time. My result, after consulting my large binder of patterns and my stash:

  
Four almost ready to go projects! Yeah, they’re all scarves/shawlette/cowls, but that’s what I’ve been feeling like knitting lately.  I might have to start giving away more of my knitting if this trend continues.

And yes, I need to find a yarn to pair with the Silky Wool for the Duotone cowl. One search through the stash didn’t reveal an obvious choice, so I’ll have another go.

I forgot how fun this method is! Already I am remembering other pairings I could do right away; ie., having bought particular yarn for a specific project (I’m looking at you, Cardigan for Arwen + Debbie Bliss Cashmerino, and you, Blue Whale + Tosh Pashmina!!).

Phew, that’s all for now! I’m ready to cast on for my Hitchhiker! (I love how 150g should yield 42 teeth!! I hope mine works out! I’ll keep my towel handy, for luck.)

Hiking, clouds, and N Bear

Today all of us went up to Sonoma County to hit the same lovely park we went to last week. Today, however, the weather was interesting! There were ominous clouds, threatening thunder, but all we received were a few dozen fat raindrops.

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Back in San Francisco, the clouds were just as entertaining.

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I worked on my N Bear tonight. Oops, I used brown instead of gray for a foot. I’ll have to fix that!

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Double blogging

I’m still plugging away at my Monkey socks, and they’re going well, but the progress isn’t anything special to photograph.

Yesterday I didn’t post because I was pretty worn out!  The kids and I went up to Petaluma to take a nice hike (or bike ride, for the Wee Boy) with our friend.  It was really, really lovely!  We stayed on the paved trail at the Helen Putnam Regional Park: http://parks.sonomacounty.ca.gov/Get_Outdoors/Parks/Helen_Putnam_Regional_Park.aspx

It’s really pretty, and the hiking can get your heart working but not so much that you’ll hurt yourself.  And the views of the rolling hills are beautiful.  I’m looking forward to trying out some of the dirt trails as well.

The littlest trooper.

The littlest trooper.

The fish pond was definitely the highlight of the outing!

The fish pond was definitely the highlight of the outing!

"dipping toes" means different things for different people....

“dipping toes” means different things for different people….

In other news, I’ve written a blog post for my knitting group in which I recap my friend’s and my excursion to Stitches West.  You’ve read my side, but my friend’s knitterati encounter is pretty special, I’d say!

https://purljamsf.wordpress.com/2015/02/24/stitches-west-recap/