Sunday, January 30, 2011

Days Gone By

The fog brough on by the evil cold is finally lifting a bit. Glenn and I spent a nice afternoon yesterday at the Whitney, seeing the Edward Hopper exhibit. Today I spent a leisurely morning scrapping, followed by a nice afternoon with my knitting group.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Slow Going

On the way up to Mount Washington, I made a bit of progress on mom's sweater. The sleeves have been added and I'm beginning to work down the body. It's very slow going, and will take even longer due to the recent cold-from-hell enforced standstill. I've been barely functioning for the last week and haven't had the energy to even knit.

Update: mom's visiting this week, so I took the sweater off the needles and had her try it on. It fits! Now I have motivation to keep knitting.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Finding Inspiration

As soon as I started scrapping I became hooked on idea books. They're a fabulous source for ideas on design, color, and technique. Over the last few years, many of the companies in the industry have set up blogs showcasing the talents of some great designers. This layout by Jaime Warren on Crate's blog really caught my eye and it became inspiration for one of my layouts.

Monday, January 17, 2011

The Real Deal

This time it really was an artic death march!

Every Martin Luther King weekend, the NY Backpackers Meetup does a trip up to Conway, New Hampshire in the heart of the White Mountains. There's a lot to recommend this area: downhill and cross-country skiing, ice climbing, snowshoing, and some amazing hiking. The big draw, of course, is Mount Washington.

Mount Washington is the highest peak in the northeast, with some of the most extreme temperatures in the world. The hike up to the summit along the summer trail (the winter trail was closed when we were there) is 4.2 miles with almost 4,000 feet in elevation gain. The first two miles are along a snow covered road. The snow and uphill grade make it fairly challenging. At the second mile, however, you turn off onto a wood trail that switchbacks up and up. It gets pretty tough. After about a half mile, you're above the treeline. This is where things start getting rough. The next half mile is a steady climb up along a rocky surface. The rock outcroppings, though, do a pretty good job of protecting you from the wind. After this ascent, you leave all protection behind and cross and exposed ridge, then start climbing again for the last mile.

Usually, it's hardpacked snow and ice and the challenge comes from the extreme cold, high winds, and low visibility. The day we were there, the temperatures were about 0 to 20 below, with wind gusts of only about 30 mph. Visibility was good, but snow was coming. The problem, for me, was that there was about two feet of fresh powder. It was like walking uphill through quicksand. I would take a step and slide backwards. It was very difficult to make forward progress. I made it to about 0.4 miles below the summit, to the last turn for the final ascent. I fell in the snow and was thinking how nice it would be to stay there and, at that moment, knew I had to get back below treeline. I feel absolutely no need to hike Mount Washington again in the winter, but would like to try in the summer, just so I can reach the peak.

Following our grueling hike up Mount Washington, we decided to take it easy on Sunday. I tried cross-country skiing for the first time and really enjoyed it. I am looking forward to doing it again soon.

Overall it was an amazing weekend spent with really enjoyable people.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

PageMaps ScrapDango Sketch Contest

Love, love, love the latest sketch challenge at PageMaps Blog. Great way to use a variety of papers and trim, and great space for journaling.

It's a good idea to revisit your stash every now and then and see what goodies are being overlooked. As I was mulling this sketch over, I starting thinking about all the journaling stamps I've collected over the years, but haven't used much. I pulled them out and stamped one of each in black ink, cut them out and set them to the side to use on upcoming layouts.

Once I finished getting my journaling cards together, I sorted through my papers and found some more oldies, but goodies. In this case, some Bo Bunny papers I've had stashed away for a few years. They were great, because I wanted to pick up the orange in our calico kitty. Of course, you can't really see her orange spots in these small photos, but they're there.

This is the first layout I've done of our baby. It's commemorating her curiosity, especially for things up high. She loves to climb and has gotten on top of the fridge, bookcases, and even the top shelves of the closets.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Progress Report

My buttercup is coming along. I finished all the shaping for the neck, shoulders, and arms. Now I just have to summon the patience to work through row upon row of stockingette. Simple knitting, at least, is good subway knitting.

The cat, of course, gets excited whenever I photograph a knitting project. Such an attention whore.

I am interested to see this sweater finished. I really have no clue what size it will be. The comments to the pattern on Ravelry indicate that it runs large, and recommend casting on a size small, but increasing for the bust as needed. To complicate matters, my gauge is a bit tight.
I cast on for a 1x, but added a series of increases on the sleeves and back to accomodate my gauge. I then added another series of increases under the opening for the arm (to increase both the bust area and the sleeve hole). I added another 16 stitches at the seams during the first inch of stockingette. I am hoping the end product will be closer to a 2x, but that the neck will not hang too low.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

MME Blog Challenge No. 19

Back to the drawing board. I love my favorite paper companies do sketch challenges. It gets me motivated to scrap and use up some of my stash.

This was the challenge:

And this my take, using MME Merry Days of Christmas and So Sophie paper lines and journaling dies, AC Thickers (painted), and some ribbon and gems:

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Artic Death March

That's what Glenn calls it when I go hiking in winter. In connection with Sunday's hike, when it was 40 degrees and we stuck to reclaimed farmland with more roads than trails, it's wholly inaccurate. But it was a nice day out with Christine and Mike. We went to the Ward Pound Ridge Reservation and checked out the Leatherman's Cave and the Bear Rock Petroglyph. We burned lots of calories slugging through the snow/slush . . . which we put back on later at Baluchi's.