Tag Archives: ocean

Not a Roman holiday

Autumn gets me itchy for the opposing forces of nesting and travel.

Autumn is my favorite time in Italy because it is the most familiar – I spent the most time there over the years during these months – and the tourist season calms down a bit. When the leaves begin to crunch, I automatically sniff for roasting chestnuts, but alas, for most of the United States, I’ve got to settle for woodsmoke and cider, which I love too. But we decided not to go again this year for a number of reasons, and headed back north to the White Mountains, then the sea, instead.

north-dawn

Only we headed straight into the belly of American tourism, or more specifically, an army of leaf peepers. We thought we’d be ahead of them, but instead we hit at the peak – don’t get me wrong, it was a glorious multi-hued autumn bomb – but the more accessible trails were like Fiumicino airport. But luckily, we were tucked away again in our now very familiar rough and tumble-down rental cabin on the lake in near solitude, and I’m finally getting back to slightly more moderate trails.

The cabin owners left some knitted and crocheted afghans for us that we haven’t seen in the summer.

north-blanket

But I brought our big guns – vintage wool bed blankets that kept us perfectly warm sitting outside watching birds, otters, beavers, and this time, a mink, although several mornings had frost.

north-blankie

I did just a little knitting – started a gift hat that is identical in color, but hopefully sized down, to the selbu modern I made last year – and the second sock of the pair I’ve occasionally worked on since June, some sewing, and this time I also had work work, which wasn’t really unpleasant to do while away – in fact, I felt more focused.

(And was well-fueled by my favorite licorice allsorts and chocolate nonpareils snagged on the way up.)

north-candy

After a week in entirely non-internet ignorant bliss (though marred by a knife through N’s finger (I didn’t do it), a septic issue that further confirmed my certainty of never wanting to live with one, and a bizarre key issue on our way out that took half the day to not resolve and led to the elderly cabin owners having to shimmy through a window several days later) we headed further north and east to a comfortable seaside cottage near Acadia National Park.

north-acadia

We knew we’d hit crowds there, and with gorgeous weather and colors, everyone should be out, but we happily managed to have several choice trail lunch spots to ourselves and a few excursions without road noises or children screaming for ice cream in the middle of a lovely quiet forest.

We hiked, we biked, we ate a shit-ton of fried clams, chowder, and lobster rolls. The season officially ended at Columbus day, so many of the lobster pounds were closed after that much to our dismay, but the island noticeably got a bit less tourist-peopled.

I saw more sunrises in two weeks than I have for at least two years – it either comes too early or I’m not paying attention – and I shot most of them…

north-maine dawn

I’d been wanting to go to Acadia for a bit – I love moss and the juxtapositions of forest and sea and got just that – more kinds of moss than I’d ever seen before, squirrels on the beach, seaweed smells in the trees, the sounds of the surf in the pines, and chickadees and forest birds at the water’s edge.

north-teaberry

I figured we’d be annoyed with the over populated trails and cruise ships and it would be a once and done trip, but I’d come back – and definitely in the autumn…

north-rhinebeck

And Rhinebeck just happened to be on the way home… maybe more on that later…

north-frost

We left the frosty north just in time, but unfortunately, it hit at home too… more on that next time, or later…

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Filed under hiking, home decor, knitting, sewing, travel

Come armageddon, for everyday is like swants day

The other day N mentioned he was culling some old sweaters and asked if I wanted any – of course I did (all of them).  And to my surprise, he had a swants-able one in the pile – a forgotten cosy but quite misshapen semi-felted/fulled thrift store find from a few years ago.

I immediately began to cut and sew.

swants-unworn-detail

I didn’t follow the official swants tutorial because I wanted to make some interesting shapes with the pattern, and the shoulder seams already conformed to my hips.

Swants-apocalypse

And then I impatiently set off for the beach, not quite accepting the fact that you can’t really shoot your own trousers while wearing them.

I love the beach in winter.  I love the emptiness and sometimes the ugliness.  I love that the surf washes away the ice and snow and sloggy sh*t that prevents you from walking normally and safely on an inland path or sidewalk.

And when I’m at a wintertime beach in a semi-urban area, I can never stop Morrissey’s Everyday is Like Sunday from playing in my head…

So while the day was chilly, but the sun warm, I filled up a thermos, packed up my ass pad and some knitting* and hit a favorite spot while it was at its most opposite of a smooth summery romping ground.

Swants-beach

One of those rusty pipes helped hold the camera, but all of my swants photos are shite.

But the swants aren’t – I love them!

Swants-pipe help

  Mine are more knickers though – swickers.

Swants-front

The color is truest here – they are cranberry and maroon.  The front has a somewhat provocative triangular point – though how sexy can sweater pants really be?

Swants-ass

And the back has a squared-off shape not unlike old-timey ass flaps on union suits.

I practically had the beach to myself, but the boardwalk was busy with those just waking up from cabin fever and those who have jolly thick-coated dogs (who must suffer through the hot summers).  But no one bothered me – there’s usually a small motley band of panhandlers and nutters who think being unwashed and under various chemical influences is appealing to a woman – but the swants proved an effective repellant!

Swants-cocksoxonrock

Perhaps my new cock socks** helped too…

Now I look like the nut-job.

Maybe on a colder day I’d wear these under my swirt

swants-unworn-front

Now I can’t get everyday is like swants day to the tune of the above out of my head…

swants-unworn-back

*Yeah, still a little too chilly for outdoor knitting – but it was a good place to take photos of it too – coming soon.

**Smartwool, a gift from N.  I told him I didn’t need anymore socks, he told me I needed these.  He was right.  In the few seconds Morrissey leaves my head, cock socks on the rocks repeated chant-like over and over comes in…

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Filed under hiking, recycling, sewing, thrifting, travel

Just beachy…

We went to the beach twice last week which seems downright decadent.  I know I bitch about where we live now, but we have access to a lot of good places so it sometimes evens out.  Our day to day life sucks but the weekends are great; before our day to day life was good but weekends took more planning and travel and another day off or two.

Beach-pan

We were at the shore on the 4th, which is probably the busiest beach day of the year, but if you get there early enough, it’s not too bad.  And the day was festive with dolphin sitings, blimps, and biplanes (unfortunately only the dolphins weren’t there purely for the sake of advertising).  There was a surprisingly cool breeze (just along the coast only, not the sweltering interior where we live) and the water seemed frigid, so we didn’t swim.  Instead I finished test knitting a piece that I really love but with a yarn I really hated.

Lion Amazing-Arcadia

I want to publicly declare my hatred of acrylic, and this Lion Brand Amazing has too much of it!  I like the colorway of this one, Arcadia, and I think it’s supposed to mimic Noro.  This was one of my last big box store yarn purchaes a few years ago and at least at the time it was made in Italy and it was fairly inexpensive or else I bought it on sale.  Now it seems pricey for what it is and there are sooooo many other yarns in the sea that should be purchased before this one.  The stuff is fuzzy but not as soft as it seems it should be – not scratchy but plasticy from the acrylic.  And it was so sticky and grabby that I could drop the ball and pick it up with the working yarn and I often had to rip it apart from itself.  Blech – unpleasant.  But I love the pattern and will try to repeat it with another yarn soon.

Beach-knitting

And on Sunday we got up even earlier to hit the beach again and I brought along my Lacy Batkus because it is my assigned beach knitting for the summer.  But the day was hot and the water felt great, so I didn’t even finish an entire repeat.  And yes, my skin is nearly the same color of the sand – we haven’t been outside in full sun or out of the woods much this year yet.  And it’s also really annoying and quite disturbing because other pasty folks tend to set up around us and it looks like some sort of klannish enclave.  But since we’re there in the early morning, we’re gone by the early afternoon when it becomes nearly impossible to swim without getting whacked* by someone and the chatty suburban mommies drown out the the regular beach soundtrack of surf and squeals.

PRS-storm bobbins

And my thumb has healed so I’m back on the wheel.  I finished my Pigeonroof Studios** SW Merino “Storm” this weekend and I’m waiting to ply it soon.  Next up is a braid of the same wool in a pale green colorway.

*Yes, for those with stereotypical views of New Jersey, getting whacked could sound quite violent for an innocent day at the beach – I’m talking about waves thrusting flailing people at you.

**Every time I pop on over there to grab the link, I see more, more, more I want!  But I really can’t, not now, and I’m coming pretty close to declaring that I’m entering a period of time wherein I buy absolutely nothing beyond food.  And a watch band.  And sewing machine needles if they all break…

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Filed under knitting, spinning, travel