Exploring Rocky Mountain National Park

Exploring Rocky Mountain National Park | withwool.com

The Bearded One and I went on adventure to Rocky Mountain National Park over the weekend. We got a late start to the day but still had time to stop in Estes Park for caramel corn and a visit to The Stitchin’ Den. The weather was absolutely perfect for driving the Trail Ridge Road and making frequent stops to enjoy the view. I probably could have finished knitting the pair of socks I brought with me, but the mountains and sky ruled the day. We even got lucky enough to see a herd of elk. 

P.S. Caramel corn is the perfect snack to munch on a mountain top.

Exploring Rocky Mountain National Park | withwool.com
Exploring Rocky Mountain National Park | withwool.com
Exploring Rocky Mountain National Park | withwool.com
Exploring Rocky Mountain National Park | withwool.com
Exploring Rocky Mountain National Park | withwool.com
Exploring Rocky Mountain National Park | withwool.com
Exploring Rocky Mountain National Park | withwool.com
Exploring Rocky Mountain National Park | withwool.com
Exploring Rocky Mountain National Park | withwool.com
Exploring Rocky Mountain National Park | withwool.com
Exploring Rocky Mountain National Park | withwool.com

Free Download: Handknit Handspun Wallpapers

I started the #handspunchallenge because I’ve spun lots of yarn and only knit a few skeins of it. Grab your handspun and knit, crochet, or weave it up! Handspun is too precious not to use. Read about how the #handspunchallenge got started here.

For #handspunchallenge this week, I’m picked out my favorite photos of handspun in action to make into desktop and mobile backgrounds. The first is of my Dotted Rays Shawl and the second is of my Present Cowl. Since we’re talking about handspun, the first wallpaper set I made featuring Texel singles is a perfect match to this set too. 

I’ve also got plans to cast on for a handspun hat but I haven’t picked out the lucky skein yet. Or a pattern. Yeah….

Free Download: Handspun Texel Wallpapers


Of all the handspun and fiber photos I've taken recently, this one has stood out the most. It makes me happy. So, I spent a few minutes in Pixelmator resizing the image to use a desktop wallpaper. While I was at it, I cropped it down to make a mobile version. Download and enjoy! You can always use a little more fiber. 

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Things are rapidly disappearing into boxes as The Bearded One and I prep to move home base to our new home. My spinning wheel is packed and ready to go but I still need to decide what knitting is going to stay in arm’s reach. See you on the other side when I have internet again. 

Inspiring, fun, thought-provoking, and crafty links to round out the week and jumpstart your brain.

Sheep to Sweater - I’ve wasted way too much time playing this game. It’s awesome. 

Frozen Almond Chai

Weaving on a metal rack - Fun idea!

How to Tie-Die Tissue Paper - Looks like an easy project but creates an amazing result. I wonder how this would work with fabric.

Urban Farming Classroom by Colorado Building Workshop

Simple Yarn Garland - A cute idea fro what to do with all those little leftover bits of yarn. 

What A Soldier Carries - Bristith military kit from the Battle of Hastings to Helmand.

San Francisco

If you follow me on Instagram, you have some idea of what I was up to last week. The Bearded One and I drove up to San Francisco to tour the city and find a place to live. During the long Labor Day weekend, we walked 33 miles and wandered through Cow Hollow, Marina, Pacific Heights, Russian Hill, Knob Hill, and SOMA. We saw the city from the top of Twin Peaks and were reminded about hills after living in LA for a year. It was a lot of fun exploring a city that I’d never visited before with the thought that I’d soon be living in it. Picked a great weekend for it since everyone said that this was the first time they’d seen the sun in weeks. Plus, the temperatures hit 70º several days in a row and the fog stayed at a minimum. 

Looking forward to living in a city where I can decide if I want Austrian or Chinese for dinner. The sheer number of yarn shops doesn’t hurt either. 

My favorite meals in the San Francisco (in no particular order):

21st Amendment - Good food and amazing beer in the South Park neighborhood. The seasonal ‘Hell or High Watermelon Wheat’ is not to be missed.

Roam Artisan Burgers - A local chain with great burgers and fries. 

Leopold’s - Delicious Austrian food and beer. ‘Nuff said.

Tacolicious - Walked past this place and it smelled so good we went back to get dinner. Tasty margaritas too.

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Inspiring, fun, thought-provoking, and crafty links to round out the week and jumpstart your brain.

Travel “By The Silent Line”, an abandoned Paris rail line; by Pierre Folk

Not a tutorial but an excellent Steek 101 from Kate Davies

Time Spent Consuming vs. Creating

If I knew this cabin was waiting for me, I’d go skiing. 

A behind the scenes look at Kramer yarn mill.

Art On The Loose; London’s National Art Gallery hid 45 replicas of their most famous paintings around London. Wouldn’t it be fun to track them all down? 

I’ve been blogging for 8 years. Pretty great, especially the part about shouting into the void. (via Elise Blaha)

I’m a sucker for good sorbet. This recipe just happens to be from Alton Brown and involve watermelon.

Corrections; Hits close to home.

The Scorpion Submarine

Until the Bearded One and I went down to visit the Queen Mary, I had no idea The Scorpion Submarine existed or that touring it was even an option. Once we knew that we could, we couldn’t pass up the chance to see it. After buying our tickets and passing through the gift shop, we crossed a bouncing gangplank to the Scorpion’s top deck before climbing down into the sub. 

Once you get into the cramped halls and tiny rooms, you forget how big it looked when you were walking around on top of it. The photos don’t do the tight space justice. I somehow managed not to hit my head ducking through hatches and doorways but my toes were not so lucky. Seems like I violently found every step, rise, and pipe despite my best efforts not too.

One of the facts broadcast through speakers across the sub was that, during it’s operation, 79 souls lived and worked on the Scorpion. Imagining 79 people crammed into that sub is an exercise in claustrophobia. I’m not remotely claustrophobic but I was glad to be back in the open air after 30 minutes in that sub with a scant 5 other people. Happy I went during the week when it wasn’t crowded. The other bonus was that only the Bearded One got to see me awkwardly crawl/fall through the compartment hatches. Figured out how to climb through by the end but I wasn’t any more graceful about it. 

If you can push claustrophobia aside, the Scorpion Submarine is worth a visit. Just watch your toes. 

Part 1: To The Aquarium of the Pacific

Part 2: Exploring The Queen Mary

Part 3: The Scorpion Submarine

Exploring the Queen Mary

Ever since moving to Los Angeles last year, my Mom’s been telling me to visit the Queen Mary in Long Beach. Took over a year but the Bearded One and I finally went after our visit to the Aquarium of  the Pacific. Since we went during the week, the ship wasn’t crowded and it seemed like we had the place mostly to ourselves. The two of us trekked up and down decks, through quiet hotel corridors (it’s still a functioning hotel), down the promenade, and stopped to catch our breath on the bridge. The history and grandeur of the Queen Mary was impossible to miss and it was easy to image what taking a voyage on the ship during its heyday must have been like. 

Part 1: Aquarium of the Pacific

Part 2: Exploring the Queen Mary

Part 3: The Scorpion Submarine


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Inspiring, fun, thought-provoking, and crafty links to round out the week and jumpstart your brain.

"Caught up” is not the finish line. 

Such adorable little boxes

Urban Giants - An amazing look into the Western Union and AT&T Long Lines buildings

Check out Cities at Night to get an astronauts eye view of cities across the world.

Coconut pudding? Yes, please

I am so knitting Inkling the Squid

Make Everyday in August


A couple of weeks ago, I stumbled across Year of Creative Habits. Everyday, Crystal picks one creative thing to do - maybe it’s drawing or painting or watercolor - and everyday she writes about it. The entries aren’t just about what the drawing but also about making, fear, learning, and just plain getting started. It’s inspiring and, no lie, I’m reading the archives from the very first post.


Reading about her daily project, reminded me of my own attempt, The Incremental Project. Every month I picked something to do everyday. I had a good run and tried drawing, writing, yoga, and photography. I even spent a month knitting one giant blanket, 2 rows a day (still not finished, by the way). Learning and challenging myself on a daily basis was great but the whole endeavor came to a screeching halt when I got married and moved cross country all in the space of a month. Just didn’t have the energy or the time to keep the project going.

Year of Creative Habits has been a good kick in the butt to get back to daily making and learning. So, starting tomorrow on August 1st, I’m committing to take one photograph a day as part of August Break. I’ve done photography before and August Break 2013 but that doesn’t mean there’s nothing left to learn or play with. I can’t wait to get started. Maybe the prompts and daily emails will keep me motivated and give me ideas for other things to photograph besides from knitting and handspun, great as they are. To keep myself accountable, the photos will be going up on Instagram tagged with #Augustbreak2014. 

If you want to join in too, you still can. Have fun making in August! 

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Inspiring, fun, thought-provoking, and crafty links to round out the week and jumpstart your brain.

Stumbled across the While She Naps blog and podcast this past week and I’m smitten. Looks like a great resource for blogging, business, and creativity. 

The Writer’s Retreat from Incidental Comics

The middle is what you should fear.

Exploring the world


For today’s awesome science - a synthetic functioning leaf .

My Mom's Garden


It’s been half a year since the Bearded One and I last visited our families. At the end of June, we changed that and spent a week and half catching up with family, hanging out with friends, and eating as much barbecue as humanly possible (didn’t realize how spoiled I was with good barbecue until we moved to LA). The thick blanket of humidity aside, it was a good trip. I got to annoy my parents in person which is so much easier and fun than doing it over the phone. The Bearded One and I got to watch 4th of July fireworks from a boat on Logan Martin Lake. Somehow, I squeezed in 2 visits to my favorite yarn shop. Plus, I was able to spend time with all my friends in the area. 

Before we got on the plane, a week and a half seemed like a long time but the trip seemed to fly by. Wish I’d been able to spend more time there which means I’m already looking forward to the next trip.


The neighbor’s cat is a frequent visitor and never one to turn down attention. 

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 Inspiring, fun, thought-provoking, and crafty links to round out the week and jumpstart your brain.

Blueberry Molasses Muffins

Love these sketches done at the MTL Botanical Garden.

DIY Yarn Tapestry

I would wear this shirt all the time. 

A rare burst of wildflowers in the Badlands.

A sneak peak at the editing phase of a craft book.

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Spotted at the butterfly pavilion at the Los Angeles Natural History Museum

Spotted at the butterfly pavilion at the Los Angeles Natural History Museum

Inspiring, fun, thought-provoking, and crafty links to round out the week and jumpstart your brain. 

Wonderful Calligraphy Animals by Andrew Fox.

Make melon sorbet without an ice cream maker.

Enjoying a quick photo trip around Oslo.

Great explanation about color dominance in Fair Isle knitting.

A building for measuring borders.

Love the Gnome Team Selfie by Anna Hrachovec.

What a cool coffee house

These op-art rugs remind anyone else of illusion knitting? 

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 Inspiring, fun, thought-provoking, and crafty links to round out the week and jumpstart your brain. 

Metropolitan Museum of Art Releases 400,000 Images to the Public Domain

The Ages And Ages: Tiny Desk Concert brings the pep.

green grass roof seems like a great place for a picnic.

What the internet actually looks like

This is one lovely yarn shop in Portugal.

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Inspiring, fun, thought-provoking, and crafty links to round out the week and jumpstart your brain. 

I was on the hunt for a washcloth pattern that would look great in variegated yarn and decided to try something that’s been on my knitting bucket list for awhile, Entrelac. The Garterlac Dishcloth was a great and addicting introduction to the technique. Pretty sure that I’m going to be making a lot more of them. 

Sprawling Ink Cityscapes by Ben Sack

Coconut Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies might be on the menu this weekend. 

Romain Laurent’s Looping Portraits 

Learn about circuits and electronics with conductive play dough. The site includes “recipes” for the dough and tutorials for building circuits that would be great for kids of any age. Totally going to make a batch. Science is awesome and occasionally unexpected.

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Fun and interesting links from the week.

Underworld: The Intrepid Cave Photography of Robbie Shone

Beautiful, varied lamps made from vintage and discarded glass

One wonderful balcony, please. 

How to Make a Knotted Steek - Definitely want to test this for my next major color work project.

Now I want giant, silly pom-poms for my bike too. 

The Getty Villa and Malibu

Two things crossed off the LA Bucket List!

Sometimes, life calls for a long weekend and a little bit of adventure. I was glad to have both this past weekend when The Bearded One and I went to explore The Getty Villa and Malibu. The weather was lovely and perfect for exploring The Villa’s Roman-style architecture, gardens and peristyles. I would have knit a few stitches had my knitting come with me. Inside, the museum was filled with spectacular sculpture, pottery, jewelry, coins, glass, and mosaics from Ancient Greece and Rome. It was both amazing and sobering to see the intricate work and delicate craftsmanship of people who lived and died hundreds and thousands of years ago.  The Getty Villa is definitely worth a visit. 


The perfect weather continued after we left the museum and drove up to Malibu. Unfortunately, my phone’s battery wasn’t as cooperative and died during the trip. Would have been great to get some photos from the top of Point Dume. That’s just another reason to go back aside from wanting to explore the tide pools at the edge of the cliffs. Thankfully, the phone lasted long enough to grab a few shots of the Malibu pier and the nearby Adamson House.


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Back home from the holidays and settling into the familiar routine along with a few changes for the better. One thing that hasn’t changed is my lovely fiber stash and I’m looking forward to spinning my first yarn of 2014. The Sidekick is clean, oiled, and ready to go. Let the weekend begin!

Sometimes you just need a cat gif. Then another one and another one…

Incidental Comics: Resolution

Kris Temmerman turned his front window into an arcade game.

365 Grateful

Tips for New and Experienced Knitters

Miniature Edible Scenes by Pierre Javelle and Akiko Ida. So fun and cute, the photos make me hungry. 

Breaking the Rules: A Guide to Successful Yarn Substitution