The Knitting Nurse

Rambles and Travels

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Striped Peak Hike – Salt Creek Rec. Area

Haven’t been hiking much being rather distracted by domestic crafting (sewing) bliss. Throw in all the sunny, warm days promoting yard and gardening work and hiking is taking a back burner to it all.

Managed to venture to a new place about 90 minutes away from home, Salt Creek Recreational Area, with a new friend named Carrie. Carrie works for the Jefferson Land Trust and has a wealth of plant knowledge.  She taught me lots on this hike.

Striped Peak reaches 1,000′ above the Strait of Juan de Fuca.  Logged a bit, fortunately  some huge Douglas firs, hundreds of years old, were spared. Clallam County manages this park which includes a campground and former Army post site.  Hit the tides right (which we did not) and some of the best local tidepools can be enjoyed. Friends have even spotted octopus there.

Washington Trails Association has a great write up on the hike. Most of the hike is easy with a short push to the top.  The hike follows a thin ridge, the sea to the left and a drop to a creek on your right.  Carrie kept her pup Dosi on a leash at the parts with a steep drop off to the water. This would not be a safe hike for small kids in danger of impulsively running off.



Moss blanketed over stumps. Stand still long enough and you’ll grow a layer.



I spent some time looking at nurse logs and the wee micro-environments they support.  There are mini-forests living on these fallen trees.  It’s fascinating to look down at this small a scale.

Here’s  a wee cedar:


Moss drapes gracefully.








Check out this tree rooted to the top of a boulder.





A secluded cove side-trip beckoned. The tide not being in our favor we skipped it.


There are some huge trees enroute. Lacking scale, the ones below are easily 4-6 feet in diameter, not as large as old growth giants but still impressive and awe-inspiring.


Several fungi caught our eyes.


Have you strolled though the thick woods of the Pacific Northwest?  It’s calming. Soothing.


Once up top, thick fog obscured what could have been views to the mountains on Vancouver island.  Regardless, it was pretty neat being above the trees.  We sat and had a snack.


Once back down we visited a sliver of the shoreline as the tide was too high to venture out.  It’s a beautiful spot. I can’t wait to return on a clear day.




These raised marks must be from some sort of large, boring, ancient worm.


Mussels and barnacles:



A fine place to explore.  Crescent beach lies down the coast a short bit. Wide and sandy, it’s on my must-see list soon.

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Technicolor Placemats and Napkins and Quilt and Coasters – CAUTION, Sunglasses Advised

I’ve been sewing feverishly.  Now that the new house is all nested and set up, time’s available to become re-acquainted with my sewing machine and fabric stash.  For many years, a mobile travel nursing lifestyle made sewing impractical.  Knitting filled that need to craft.  My knitting’s taken a back-burner to quilting.

A few projects:

I made four placemats from various fat quarters and yardage. I can’t seem to get enough of blue and orange.


This photo shows the bird and floral backing.  They are reversible.


I played with using the fabric’s motifs as a template for free-motion quilting. See how the stitching roughly follows the petals’ contours?

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I wanted to skip binding the mats so I used a mitering technique on the corners then folded them under.  It was fiddly but quite pretty and neat. Here’s a great tutorial:

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To coordinate, but certainly not match, four napkins I made from 8 fat quarters. I simply cut all to the same size, sewed right sides together, turned and topstitched.  Easy peasy!  Washable, re-useable, I’ll never buy paper napkins.



This photo shows both sides of all four napkins spread out, so cheery and bright!


Deep, deep in the stash I found 6 log cabin blocks I free-form pieced using muslin foundations. Not sure what I had in mind for these, having made them some 6 or more years ago.  I added black borders – backed in pretty batiks – coasters they became. This photo is indoors and does not show how bright and primary the colors really are.


And lastly, a quilt is in the works, awaiting its backing and quilting.  Jane ignored my warning about the bias edges stretching and promptly plopped down on it.  Why do cats do that?

The pattern is called Prisms by Aardvark Quilts  I bought mine at a quilting shop, can’t remember which. A quick search told me Hancocks of Paducah sells it.  Have you seen their website?  Man…beware.



All sewn together, I draped it over my back fence but the overhead  sun and breeze made this a challenge. Please pardon the shadows.  I’m piecing  a backing equally as colorful, trying to maintain a promise to myself to not buy more fabric.





I’ve set out several more projects, enjoying playing with fabric.  My batik scraps I dumped out and sorted by color families into separate containers. That was fun!


More sewing updates later, including the next project in line.

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Meeee Knitting Projects!


The Christmas crafting rush is over.  I’ve a few finished projects to share.

This following three items were my travel projects when we flew to MN for Christmas.

This cowl’s pattern is called “Daniel, A Diagonally Striped Cowl.” Instant gratification, I knit with a 10 1/2 needle using doubled Rowan Felted Tweed DK.  The tweedy, haloed, rustic nature of this yarn appeals to me as well as the color palette.  It begs for colorwork. Though I fantasize about a fair isle sweater (think Rowan models traipsing across a Scottish landscape with not a care in the world wrapped in colorful woolens) small accessories are more likely for me. Knitting less than 5 SPI makes me twitch.  Imagine a whole sweater’s worth?  Yikes! A hat?  Rowan sells Fine Tweed, put up in wee balls, that might be a good substitute.  For this project I used up most all three colors. I loop it twice. Next cowl I’ll make about 6″ shorter so it snugs on my neck better. I’ve been wearing this a lot.


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This hat is a go-to lately. Knit in Malabrigo Mecha, my new favorite bulky yarn, Betsy is by Jane Richmond.  Her line of patterns is so pretty, they all complement each other. This yarn gets better with wearing, it blooms a bit. Although superwash, it blocked nicely. Some superwash yarns, I’ve noted, stretch out of shape with blocking.  I knit this exactly as written.  I’d make the ribbing just a smidge longer next time.  This one will be a super gift knit.  Sis Karen approved of the pattern and color.



Keeping on with speedy projects, my Blue-eanie (Chunkeanie by Wooly Wormhead) was knit in a few hours.  The yarn is Kama by Noro. It looks to be discontinued and hard to find. Little Knits has a good selection left.  I’ve resisted the urge to order a sweater’s worth.  I used just under a skein. It matches this cowl (which turned out way too long, the yarn stretched, I now loop it around and pull and end through like a keyhole) Slouchy, warm, colorful, this hat gets a lot of use as well.  Three skeins of a green colorway light up my stash and will likely become another hat and cowl set.



Winter means cold floors. It’s time for another pair of felted slippers.  They are done and just need a trip through the washer. This pattern is a classic. I’ve made it many times.  The colors are off below. They are a jewel toned sapphire and turquoise color. I goofed and didn’t make the sole bumper turquoise.



On the needles now is a Mina sweater in Noro Iro. Ravelry reminds me I started it in March of 2013. Geez!  Last night I undid the shoulder seam bind off and lengthened the body a few inches. One sleeve is done and waiting for a test seam to ensure the correct length.  The second sleeve is started. The collar may take some time.  Resisting the urge to start a Lopi sweater is taking much energy.  Keep focused, Heather!

Jane says “hi.”  She likes to knead the Iro as much as I love knitting with it.



After Mina’s done, There’s a few accessories in my Rav queue as well as a couple sweaters on the list.  More on those later.

Happy knitting!


Christmas Sewing – 2014

Quilts.  I’ve made one for each of my nieces and nephews. Another niece is due to arrive in June.

Sam got the first quilt back in July 2012.

I’ve shown it to you before but will do so again because he’s so dang cute.

Pattern is Lucky Stars by Atkinsons Designs.  I’ll surely make it again and again.  He’s not that wee anymore. He’ll be 3 in June.  Pattern is Lucky Stars by Atkinsons Designs.  I’ll surely make it again and again.  He’s not that wee anymore. He’ll be 3 in June.


This quilt was a blast to make.


I just love seeing he still uses it.


Lily received the quilt I showed you earlier this summer.  She curled right up in it upon removing it from the gift bag.  Talk about adorable and an immediate affirmation of appreciation!


Pattern is Senior Prom by Villa Rosa Designs. I ordered several from the company.  Their simple and punchy designs appeal to me.


I can’t find the shots I took of the finished quilt. This will have to do.


Finally, I made Lucca, a new kindergartener with a mind for science, this solar system quilt. We found a solar system book to go along with it.  Fabric line is Out of This World by Northcott Fabrics.    I backed it in soft flannel.

The fabric was supposed to glow in the dark but didn’t. Still…it was fun to make and Lucca loves it. That’s what counts!  Lucca wasn’t into a photo-op being too distracted by Christmas excitement.

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That’s it for Christmas sewing.  Now having a dedicated sewing and craft room, I suspect I’ll do more sewing for gifts this year.

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Christmas Knitting 2014 – I really do knit!

The first of the year rolled over.  That triggers two basal instincts in me:

1) Christmas knitting is done and it’s time to knit for me.

2) Time to tidy up the RAVELRY projects page, add to my Knitmeter and get caught up on blog posts related to knitting.

#1 was celebrated by most of a day  spent in my new sewing and craft room, sitting on the floor, multiple tote boxes of yarn exploded around me.  Planning, bagging up projects, dreaming,  I was drowning in it and so happy! Pete, eyes bugged out upon glancing in, refrained from gasping. It was his first time seeing the stash unleashed from boxed constraints.   #2 is happening today.  A gnarly cold rudely barged in last night, making my throat and ears raw and canceling my plans for the day which were eagerly anticipated.  Boo.

Anyhoo, lot’s of projects to share.  Some were holiday gifts and some were gifts to moi.

The first was an Advent calendar Karen asked for early last year.  Using a hodge-podge of patterns from Ravelry I made 21 items, almost all are closed at the bottom to tuck a treat into. mini-clothes pins from Michaels secure them to cotton cording.  I liked this idea as they can rearrange the items as they like. The backing is made of felt.  I had that huge rick-rack in my trim box for ages. Glad to find the perfect use for it.  They love it!  Unfortunately, the dowel to hang it from didn’t fit in my suitcase.  Doh!

As an aside, Karen and Wes are expecting a little girl in June.  So excited for them!

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A fork makes a fine tool for making mini pom-poms.


WAY back when, must have been in 2007(?) I took a class at Knitty Cat, in Denver, CO, on knitting socks using the magic loop technique. That, I remember, was a mile marker in my knitting knowledge expansion.  Sock number one languished for 7 years.  Last summer I was working on it while visiting my family. I planned to put them in my Afghans for Afghans  donation pile.  Mom oohed and aahed and has been asking for socks for ages.  I decided to gift them to her this year. She loves them!



The yarn is by Mountain Colors, Weavers Wool Quarters in colorway Sierra. I just love the colors.


Sis Ali requested warm hats.  I gifted her this cowl and hat.   On my RAVELRY PROJECT PAGE, this is called the Damn-Double Mobius because I managed to twist the cast-on twice. Seriously.  That double twist in the loop made it hang funny. I doctored it.


Using my sewing machine, I sewed two lines of reinforcement stitches, then cut up like a steek, picked up stitches and made two button bands.  The yarn is ultra soft Frog Tree alpaca sport held double.  The hat was patternless, the yarn held double.


I crocheted over the steeked edges to tidy them up.



Sis Rachel also got a hat and cowl set.  Pardon the low-light photos. This is WA in winter, folks.  This photo is unblocked and a mess.  The pattern is called Ells Cowl. I knit it in Rowan Felted Tweed Aran held double.  The stitch pattern was really fun and quick.  It looks crocheted, eh?  I also made a matching bulky weight beanie.


That’s it for gifted knits.  I have some “me” projects I’ll post later.

I was thinking of giving up on knitting gifts this year.  Instead, I chose to finish a couple of projects and use quick, chunky projects. I’m glad I did!



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