Friday, May 27, 2016

A Midsummer's Night Knit

At Stitches West in 2014, I got to talking with the wonderful people over at Dragonfly Fibers. I left with a skein of yarn and a plan. Despite my vision, the stitches didn't play nice... until now. I'm so happy to present to you all the two piece collection: A Midsummer's Night Knit.

The first piece of the collection consists of the Titania Cowl. The cowl has a triangular bottom that is blended into a more traditional cowl shape. I'm always surprised by how even a gauzy bit of knitting can provide so much warmth. I was pretty cold when we took these photos.... until I put the cowl on.

The second piece to the collection are the Oberon Mitts. Fit for a fairy king... or those who aspire to be fairy royalty, these mitts have a leaf motif on the top of the hand as well as in the thumb gusset.

Both the cowl and mitts can be made from one skein of Damsel. I used the Spanish Moss colorway.

The collection, which is at a discounted price together, can be found on the and ravelry. They can also be purchased individually. The Titania Cowl can be found at these links:, ravelry, and craftsy. The Oberon Mitts can be found at these links:, ravelry, and craftsy.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Dinosaur Ridge/ Rocky Mountains Pt.2

The next morning, we all got up at a rather early hour to hike in the Rocky Mountains. Mason would have liked to sleep in, but I saw that a storm was coming through, so early morning it was.

The highest I'd ever hiked to was 10,000 ft. Today we were going to be at 11,000. I was glad to have spent time in Denver (5000+ft) to have had a chance to acclimate from our usual 100ft above sea level.

The destination was Dream Lake. I grumbled a bit going up the mountain. It was cold and I, unlike Connor and his family, haven't ever lived through a white winter. Snow is something you drive to and have a day in. 
On our way up we saw a Dusky Grouse. It made a mating call at me. Connor said something about me being "taken." On and on we went until we made it to the lake... or so we thought. Other helpful hikers let us know that we were at Nymph Lake. Thanks guys.
Nymph Lake

The trail was unclear, so the groups who were going on to Dream Lake split up. We wandered to the left. The views were unbeatable.

Turns out we did not take the right trail. Our trail eventually met up with the proper trail: the one with stairs. After slipping around for around an hour, we made it. Dream Lake. The jokes about why Dream Lake was called Dream Lake started to come out: You'll dream about reaching it... etc. 
Dream Lake

We climbed back down the icy trail much faster that we did going up. I might have crouched down and "skiied" with my shoes down some steep bits. When we reached the bottom, Connor's mum decided she was cold enough and went back to the car. The rest of us went around Bear Lake, which was so white that I didn't realize I had gone all the way around and almost went around a second time. I'm glad Connor noticed that the trail looked familiar again.
Dream Lake

The next morning, before going back to the airport, we stopped by the Stanley Hotel. The Stanley Hotel is most famous for being in The Shining... or as Connor pointed out, "It was in Dumb and Dumber!" Yeti couldn't help but take a selfie in front of it. 

I'm glad we were able to spend some quality time with part of Connor's family. Vacations that have a bit of adventure in them are my favorite. I hope it isn't long before we are able to join them again.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Dinosaur Ridge/ Rocky Mountains Pt.1

A little over a week ago Connor and I visited Colorado for the first time to meet up with part of Connor's family. Connor's father had a work meeting, so Connor's Mum and brother joined him. We flew into Denver quite late, looking forward to the next day's adventures. Connor's father had one more day of meetings, so the remaining four of us went out to see what could be seen. And what we visited first was my choice: Fancy Tiger Crafts. I've been curious about the shop for years, but never thought I'd get to visit it myself. It's lovely! I didn't take any pictures since I was busy petting yarn. Then I was disciplined and left with nothing....
Just kidding! I have no discipline when it comes to yarn. But these are the last skeins for a long time. I really need to knit down the stash... or give some away... or something. It isn't fitting anymore.
Hue Loco Tweed Sock in Fuschia and Fancy Tiger Crafts Heirloom Romney in Poppyseed

After Fancy Tiger, Connor's brother Mason gave us some options of where we could go.
Mason: We could see Red Rocks or Dinosaur Ridge.
Me: What's at dinosaur ridge?
Mason: Dinosaur footprints.
Me: Dinosaur footprints?!?!
So we went to Dinosaur Ridge.

We opted to walk up the road rather than do the official tour. It was much more relaxing to go at our own pace. We walked up the hill and saw that there was a point of interest. I'll say. Look! It's a dinosaur track. It looks grey because some charcoal has been added to help make the track more visible.
Connor's hand for scale

Then we looked up.... More tracks. It was so cool. Just the day before I had been talking about my personal goal in life to see dinosaur bones. I didn't know dinosaur footprints were a possibility.

Now these prints were quite neat, but they weren't from my personal favorite dinosaur: the brontosaurus. But further up the road I got to see it: a cast of a brontosaurus foot. This was created when a brontosaurus stepped into soft mud. Eventually the underpart eroded, leaving a cast of the foot. The smooth bit you see is the underside of the foot. You can even see its nails. This guy was facing towards the left.

It started to rain as we say the brontosaurus print, but there was one more point of interest up the road. I'm glad the rain didn't deter us, because I was finally able to fulfill my lifelong goal of seeing a dinosaur bone in person. There were bones embedded in the rock everywhere. This area had been discovered when the road was being put in and the scientists decided to leave some bone so that people could see what they looked like still encased.
Connor's arm for scale

We walked back the way he had come, chatting along the way. Before heading back into Denver, we took some pictures by the dinosaur statues.

That evening, after picking up Connor's father, we drove to Estes Park, the entrance to the Rocky Mountains.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Being Still

It has been slow going here at the Bear Ears household. After getting better from one illness, another set in. And as I started to recover again, my poor computer developed a crack in its screen. (I was told it was flaw, not something I had done. I knew that. I baby the thing and the crack appeared while sitting quietly watching a video.) All of this occurred right before leaving for a trip we had been planning for a few months. Knowing that there was no way to go on the trip unless I got better, I dropped everything and became still. I'd forgotten how important it is to have times of silence and thoughtfulness. I had run myself down much lower than I had realized. Not just physically, but emotionally and creatively as well. Being sick was a blessing in disguise. 

While being more still, I also was able to finish up a design that has been in the works for the past two years. (Knitting counts as still, right?) It is off with the test knitters at the moment. It is everything I wanted it to be and it only took many months of hair pulling to get it right.

As with everything else that has slowed down, so has the sock knitting. Two months ago I was putting the toe into my Pucker sock (left) and working on the heel of the striped sock (right). I've hardly made it down the leg of either second sock.

I do have a little bit of happy yarn news though... well happy for me. While we were gone on our trip, a new skein of yarn appeared in my mailbox. I purchased it in March and waited to have it dyed. It is the Monopoly Money color way from Desert Vista Dyeworks. It is pretty and I love it. It seems like the kind of future socks that would be great to wear at a game night.

I'm a bit more motivated to get a sock done so that I can play with my new yarn. Mmmm.... new yarn.
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