Food |Knitting |On The Road by Judy @ 2:46 AM

our off-shore meeting “room”
our off-shore meeting “room”

The gallery with the pictures should be working now. I’m guessing that those of you who couldn’t open it are using IE? For some reason Firefox wasn’t affected by my spelling error. Oops.

Anyway, here’s the tale of what I did last week, jaunting around the San Juan Islands with a bunch of crazy knitters.

I picked up my roommate, Tricia, along the way to Friday Harbor. Miracle of miracles — I was only about 10 minutes later than we had arranged, although I couldn’t seem to actually get on the road when I had planned. Traffic was light on Sunday. We planned to catch the 2:40 ferry from Anacortes to Friday Harbor, and we made it in plenty of time. At the ferry terminal, we ate sandwiches and chatted with a few other knitters while we waited. On board the ferry, we met other knitters. Hmmmm… there seemed to be quite a few of us all heading in the same general direction!

At the hotel, we were met by Cat and Lucy. Cat had little goody bags for us with Treking XXL, Frog Tree Alpaca sportweight (mine is blue), two colors of Claudia Handpainted, a sample of Crystal Palace Maizy, notecards, and a cool little folding ruler that folds in 1-inch increments; and an envelope with our itinerary; and a sign-up sheet for the ferry shuttles in the morning. I signed up for the early shuttle every morning because that would be easy to remember. But Cat insisted that as soon as I got to my room I should also write it on my itinerary to make sure that I didn’t forget, because time, tide and the inter-island ferry waits for no knitter. She was really insistent. So insistent, that I actually did write it on the itinerary when I got to our room — which was a pleasant suite with two bedrooms, two baths, a small living room with a faux wood stove (gas) and a kitchen.

Tricia and I ate at the hotel. The restaurant was pricey, but the food was very good. We both had salmon with a hazelnut pesto and mixed veggies that were excellent. The waiter was nice eye candy, but inattentive.

The hotel also offered free breakfast. By the time we left I had finally sort of figured out the waffle maker. Sort of. We shared the breakfast room with a bevy of construction workers who were working on one or the other of various projects that are springing up all over the area. And knitters, of course. There were knitters everywhere.

You will be pleased to know that I made the ferry shuttle every single day except the last. The last day nobody made the ferry shuttle because the shuttle broke down. A person had to be flown in from the mainland with the parts. But if the shuttle had been running, I would have been there on time. Everybody made it on the ferry on time all three days — I’m sure due to the sheer power of Cat’s willing us on board. 😉

Island Wools
Island Wools

The first day started a little later, to give us all time to recover from our journey the day before. The inter-island ferry is an absolutely charming mode of transport. It’s a smallish ferry, and obviously well loved. Many of the tables hold half-worked jigsaw puzzles brought on board by commuters who work them during their regular journey. We took over one end of the ferry, which included a large area with seats on the sides that was perfect for a class, with tables available for overflow. You can see one of the puzzles in the first picture on the table to the far left. The table on the right was usually laden with goodies, lest we become faint from hunger and no longer able to wield needles and yarn. The first day, lunch was catered and included one of the best chicken salads I’ve ever had. And Cat brought home-made cookies that were just awesome and I think helped more than one knitter make it through the throes of unfamiliar knitting techniques.

Lucy taught on day 1. Lucy is nutty and fun and I learned a ton from her about double knitting and other techniques. As I said before, I’m planning on a pair of socks with little pockets. I love the pocket for a Nano idea. Of course I still need to get a Nano. But I see one in my future.

Pocket for a camera card is another good idea, though. In all of the vacations I’ve taken my camera on, I don’t think I’ve ever either recharged it or had to swap batteries, although I always carry one. And I can snap a lot of pictures before I need to swap cards. I don’t think I’ve every had to do that, either. I really do like my camera.

We floated around and double-knit until the ferry made its rounds a couple of times and arrived back at Friday Harbor in time for dinner. We ate in town at a fish-n-chips place that I would not recommend. It was the only food in the whole trip that I could truly say was fairly horrible.

After dinner, we all shopped at Island Wools, a charming little shop with tons of yarn – several of which I haven’t seen down here much. I showed admirable restraint by limiting myself to just a couple of skeins of Maizy (sock yarn from corn — whodda thunk it?) in Miami Nice (great name). Tricia and I went back on the afternoon of the third day, and I realized that there were a few other little things I needed, like one of the Lantern Moon black sheep measuring tapes.

Orcas Island and the Orcas Hotel
Orcas Island and the Orcas Hotel

Day two was the long day. We caught the early ferry for a day of sock knitting with Cat. I started a pair of baby booties, and worked a little bit on the Coriolis socks. You can see the booties in the last picture. Cat is a fun teacher. She tells stories that really help one remember the techniques. I think I finally get why dividing the rpi into the number of stitches around the instep gives the length of the foot after the instep. I think. Just don’t ask me to explain it.

At Orcas Island we gathered up our belongings and disembarked for a wonderful lunch at the Orcas Hotel. We took over one whole dining room, and the Hotel served a wonderful sandwich and soup buffet.

I realize that this is starting to degenerated into a foodie description. But, really, this was what it was like: knit and eat and knit some more and have a little snack and knit and time for a meal and knit. Really.

I continued to work on the baby booties as we floated around Puget Sound on our little ferry. The ferry only made four stops: Friday Harbor, Orcas Island, Shaw Island and Lopez Island. We saw each multiple times, but never walked off at Shaw or Lopez. They look like nice islands, though. Perhaps another time I can visit them as well.

The baby booties are double-layered, but not double-knit. (hmmm… it occurs to me now that it might have been fun to try that!) I used Seasilk left over from LT’s moebius for the inner sock, and some Jaeger Trinity picked up at Island Wools for the outer sock. The Trinity has very little give in it and is very grabby. Knitting it on wooden needles was not as easy as I had hoped. My gauge was also a little wonky. But here’s hoping for a baby with rather large feet. 🙄

After some discussion about where to head for dinner, Tricia, myself and several others just ended up at the hotel. I had soup (very good) and salad (mostly cheese). We turned in early. Knitting is hard work.

blooming tea
blooming tea

The final day was a short knitting day. Cat explored moebius knitting with those who were interested. The rest of us kept knitting socks. Lunch was catered on board — chicken salad wraps. It was yummy. And there were Cat’s cookies to snack on, lest we become faint, etc.

We arrived back at Friday Harbor early in the afternoon. Tricia and I did a little shopping at Island Wools, where we were given directions to the best beach on the island.

Then we walked down the block to a gourmet kitchen shop — sorry but I don’t remember the name of it — where I did a bit of damage to my wallet. Oh, there was a lot of wonderful things there! I found a fig-hazelnut butter. And chalk licorice – a treat we had enjoyed on board – think Good & Plenty for adults. And they had some blooming tea, so I was able to procure some after having seen it on Bobbie’s blog and thinking I just had to have some. It’s so pretty. One of the knitters told a wonderful story about the beauty of blooming tea and some hard-bitten ranch hands that I will not attempt to repeat because I’m sure I would not be able to do it justice. I am enjoying mine a great deal. I’m so glad that I had a clear tea pot for it to bloom in. I’m not sure what the mermaid on my trivet thinks of having a very hot teapot balance on some tender portions of her anatomy. She looks a little surprised. But hopefully she is enjoying the beauty.

After buying out the gourmet shop, we drove all the way around San Juan island. Our first stop was at American Camp. As well as relating some of the history of the area and the best place to see, the ranger told us the scenic route to Roche Harbor — dirt roads, but good dirt roads. And it was a beautiful drive from there up to Lime Kiln Point. We visited the lighthouse there and stretched our legs.

Wescott Bay Sculpture Park
Wescott Bay Sculture Park

From Lime Kiln Point, we drove up to Roche Harbor. We passed the alpaca farm, but since it was after 5:00 we didn’t stop, figuring that they were probably closed. I think we figured wrong, unfortunately, But we did enjoy looking at what’s left of the lime factory in Roche Harbor and at the old buildings. And the new condos and retail buildings that are springing up everywhere.

On the way back we stopped at the Wescott Bay Sculpture Park. It’s several acres of sculptures — over 100, I think. They are just scattered around in the field, in amongst waist-high grass and weeds. There are paths mowed through the field, though, so it’s possible to walk around and look at the art. I was particularly struck by the object in the picture above. I believe it’s called Feathered Phoenix, but I could be mistaken. All of those gears and arms and such move in the wind so that it’s constantly in motion and revolving and changing. I took a little movie of it also, because the thing was just fascinating. There were many other lovely sculptures, too. We didn’t get around the whole field because it started to rain, so we packed it in.

On the way back to town, we saw Mona the camel.

Dinner was at a very nice restaurant right next to the ferry terminal, where we all met as a group. We were joined by Cat’s daughter, Jenny, and grandson, Charlie. Cat was very much the proud mother and doting grandma — as she should be because Jenny is a lovely young woman and Charlie is a cute as a button.

The next morning Tricia and I were up extra early and got in line for the ferry back to Anacortes just in time to make it on. We stopped at Wild Fibers in Mt. Vernon on the way home, and I scored some very nice sock yarn that I will tell you about at another time.

And now you are up to date. Since arriving home, as well as fighting technology I have finished the baby booties I started on the ferry. I’m fairly pleased with the results. Hopefully the intended recipient will be as well.

Rowan Margaret’s Silken Slippers
Rowan Margaret’s Silken Slippers

The Particulars:

  • Yarn:
    • Inner slippers: Sea Silk (70% silk, 30% Sea Cell / 100g, 400m per skein) in colorway Rose Garden a tiny bit of a skein left over from another project.
    • Outer slippers: Jaeger Trinity (40% silk, 35% cotton, 25% polyamide / 50g, 200m per skein) in colorway 431 (Sage)
  • Needles: one pair 24″ Addi Lace, US#2 (inner); one pair 16″ Clover Bamboo, US#3 (outer)
  • Pattern: Rowan Margaret’s Silken Slippers from New Pathways for Sock Knitters: Book One by Cat Bordhi
  • Modification to pattern: None. I actually followed the pattern as written. My gauge is a little different than Cat’s, though, and my slippers turned out bigger.

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  • Thought of the Minute
    • I am happy to engage in discussion with those who accept that technology and affluence are a net plus, but who worry about their troubling side effects. Spare me, however, the sensitive souls who deplore technological advance and economic growth over their cell phones on their way to the airport.

      (Charles Murray)
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