The Knitting Nurse

Rambles and Travels

Leave a comment

Fort Flagler – Beach Sights – A Hike Finished with a Sunset

I’ve let life’s busywork get between me and my hiking boots far too much this winter.

There’s nothing like a long, quiet walk to clear out the clutter.

Fort Flagler, on Marrowstone Island, is often empty mid-week, the case this day.

I started down by the light house which now houses a Fish and Wildlife Office. This watery passage shuttles large and small ships from Seattle and south out to the ocean.


The tide was low. I skirted around Marrowstone point and followed the beach. The dark landform to the left is the tip of the Quimper Peninsula, home of Port Townsend, specifically Fort Worden and Point Wilson.  The sandy bluffs to the right are part of Whidby Island.


Here’s a close view of the Fort and Point Wilson. The pics I snapped of town just didn’t turn out.


It was a grey day, a “soft” day as I’ve heard such called.  This flat light made bright objects glow.

Madrona, its wood bright orange.


A crab shell, purple and orange.




Green kelp.


Manmade objects, some trash, some are relics of the military occupation of this point. Some trash I marvel at, such as this old engine.


Not sure what this was but see the well defined rings? They are bright, shiny metal. Copper?


I marvel at the color of PNW rocks, wet rocks, green, pink, red.




At the end of the beach there’s a view of the Olympic Mountains. Today they were buried in clouds.  Up the road a short distance led me into the woods.  Deep into the trees I went.


Tiny water beads on this plant intrigued me.


An unusually warm winter we’re having. Things are blooming, including this little guy.


And the icing on the cake, above my starting point, sunset painted the clouds and water  pink and yellow.


A marshy area abuts the lighthouse and research station below. I hoped to see birds. None showed.


The evening sky was just stunning. Here’s the old lighthouse point my hike started at.


Leave a comment

Jefferson County Farm Tour – Part Two

Marrowstone is a beautiful island with distinctive spaces. Bluffs and beaches rim the island.   A patchwork of cleared farmland and thick woods blanket the rest. I hike and visit the beaches here often.

We were sure to share this special place with my visiting friend.

My first trip ever to Port Townsend included a friend taking me around the farm tour.  The deal was sealed after that. I was hooked!

Here are pics from one stop featuring the One Straw Ranch and WSU Twin Vista Ranch. The Organic Seed Alliance also had a booth set up.  I found a video on WSU’s website that records speakers during the dedication festivities at the ranch.



Unprocessed Romney fiber is their specialty.


Fleece and yarns with a name tag.


This was a real hands on stop which we enjoyed.  I’ve never had quail eggs. They’re so wee!


I’d only seen wild California quails not domestic ones.


One furry bear meets another. Pete and the barn cat really hit it off. It was gas seeing such a huge cat sponging the love off him.  Such a sweet sight.


I really fell hard for this place. We talk about having a patch of acreage ourselves someday.  Pete loves outdoor work, making things, and he’s a helluva gardener with some experience working on farms. I’m smitten by the romantic aspect of it.  And I’d love more of that sort of honest work that produces food.  Those long summer days, when we stumble in after nine PM from the garden, are some of my happiest.

But I also see the work, and some restrictions to travel when you have such responsibility. Conflicted thoughts…


Old apple orchards and a fine table and flower garden were obviously lovingly tended.




Remember my mentioning quinoa in my last post? Here’s what it looks like growing.  Not sure what the flags are for. Being afiliated with Wash. State University I wonder if there was some seed testing in progress? The light was getting odd and it was hard to get the correct color of the plants which was more saturated than this.


There was a fenced off area with a few of the excavators (hogs).  Seriously. They turn and fertilize and loosen up that soil. How clever to have that benefit.


A calf.



And turkeys. Yum!  I know birds are for eating and not just eggs. I’d have a tough time slaughtering them though I know it’s necessary.  I now know the difference between eating commercially produced vs free-range turkey and I won’t go back.


We finished up our Farm Tour with a stop at Fort Flagler (look for a post on this park coming soon) to share the expansive view across the water to Port Townsend with Anise. But the rain came and cloaked it all. And soaked us.

Can’t wait for next years tour!

Leave a comment

Jefferson County Farm Tour 2015- Part One

How about some summer-y farm and garden and fiber photos to brighten up your winter?

September  brought the annual Jefferson Farm Tour. A dear friend was visiting, such great timing.  Using their handy map I plotted out a day’s excursion for us culminating in a short walk through Fort Flagler.

First stop was Ona True Farm run by Max and Chris, two Wisconsin transplants. Their tour included a Max guided walk where he explained his forward-thinking approach to farming, especially water conservation techniques.

A favorite site of mine was the garlic drying loft. I load up on their garlic at the farmers market (on hiatus until March.)  We planted some of his cloves.

A blurred pic. Sorry!


Quinoa has a new presence on the Peninsula.  Here the gals show a way to winnow away dirt and debris from the seeds.  I found a link to information on the plants history, how to grow it and prepare it once harvested.


Max and Chris have a hoop house of ginger. Bringing this home from them is always a treat.  It flavored some of my peach jam this summer. A few slices in hot water is tasty.


Next stop was Amity Farm, a pretty little farm, out on Discovery Road.  The barn’s built from the trees cleared off the land.  They have sheep, angora rabbits, chickens and alpaca.

And a sheep watch-dog that bonded with Pete.

IMG_6538 2

There were spinning demos.  I don’t spin. I haven’t fallen down that rabbit hole.


Speaking of rabbits, here’s an angora.  Yes, it really is as soft as it looks.


Under multiple canopies, Amity hosts several spinners and hand-dyers.

Eye candy:

IMG_6550 IMG_6546

My LYS Bazaar Girls carries Local Color Fiber Studio yarns. I’ve yet to knit with it. (This is the year of wading through stash…I mean it!)


I wanted to climb up on the table and stretch out.


See the sheep’s name and photo? That I get a kick out of.


Look at that face!


Next leg of the trip took us over to Marrowstone Island to tour a unique farm.  More on that later-

Leave a comment

Christmas 2015 Sewn and Knitted Gifts

I kept homemade gifts this year pretty simple, allowing reality an honest role in my ambitions.  Below are some projects with links to my Ravelry project pages for more details where applicable.

For me, made from true need, wooly mittens, light but warm. These are made from Berroco Ultra Alpaca and the patterns is Basic Cabled Mittens by Amy O’dell. I love this yarn’s lightweight warmth.  I’ve a sweater’s worth stashed in the color Redwood Mix just waiting to be used.

Malabrigo Rios in the Marte’s color begged for my mom so I nabbed it and turned it onto The Age of Brass and Steam Shawl by Orange Flower Yarn. She loves it and wore it on our shopping excursion.

The colors are so pretty.  I worked on it while camping in UT in October.  It’s a super travel project – portable – I rarely looked at the pattern.  I shall make more for sure.

Before flying to MN for the holiday I, in usual form, stressed over selecting travel projects. Tensfield by Martina Behm jumped into my checkout cart a week prior as well as Langfield.  Martina is so clever. Both hats are knit in a modular manner and can be crafted in any gauge, no swatching.  I had a blast making Tensfield. I tossed the pattern and a lovely skein of Noro Silk Garden in my carry-on.  Once the colors grew, I just knew I had to give it to my neighbor Renee. They are her colors.

The funny thing was, as it lay blocking on my dining room table, she lamented her losing her favorite hat. I planned on surprising her with this hat. I couldn’t contain my excitement.  I spilled the beans and let her know a replacement was almost on its way.  She loves it!

I shall make more. Many more.

My sweetie got a new hat, this one very warm and sturdy. Windschief in Lambs Pride Worsted in Tahiti Teal  looks great on him. Blue!  I always suggest he wear blue.

My sis Rachel’s been asking for Christmas socks for years. I finally made good on my word and produced a pair based on Charlene Schurch’s Waffle Rib socks in Socks That Rock Heavyweight in the color Muddy Autumn Rainbow.  I had issues with these.  I finished one then set it aside for a month or so.  When starting the second I used the wrong needle size.  Twice.  The first time being the entire leg. Once on the correct size my row gauge was still off, hard to figure since it was just a month or so between socks.  Several repeats added on later, they matched, and I had to look away from the obvious difference in # of pattern rows.

Since I cast on less than Schurch’s recipe calls for,  I couldn’t figure out how to recalculate the heel turn numbers. Noting my agony, a friend suggested Stephanie Pearl McPhee’s heel turn recipe in Knitting Rules. It was a lifesaver let-me-tell-ya.  I almost failed Rachel another year minus socks.

Rachel requested a stocking for my niece Lily which I gladly made and I’m proud to say I sent it early enough for actual use. I do not have a pic of the cutie with it.

Jane enjoyed its warmth while in progress.

Many, many years ago I made my sis Ali a table topper for the holidays. A second style in the same fabrics I made this year.

Running out of time to knit more gifts I made my sis Karen a table runner and matching napkins. The runner was actually supposed to be four placemats but I read the pattern incorrectly. Doh!

Niece Sonja received a quilt but I’m waiting for a pic of her on it.

Currently on the needles are charity hats. My LYS Bazaar Girls is joining the efforts of 25,000 Tuques, a Canadian project gathering hats for Syrian refugees in Canada.  Our goal is 50. I’m looking forward to seeing our collaborative results before mailing.


Leave a comment

Fort Worden Walk – A Soft Day

I needed a hike today but didn’t want to drive. Fort Worden is a gem of a state park.   It’s unusually warm out.  I wore no jacket. It’s January. Odd.  Gray and moody out, I remember a former patient calling such days “soft days,” a perfect description.

Strong winds stirred up the air today. This was especially noted from the top of the bluff looking over the Fort’s buildings and Hudson Point. That’s Port Townsend Bay to the point’s  right.

I had the trails to myself. The trees were fine company.  No one walked past me. Sometimes I like that.

Moss accelerates reclamation.

There are Batteries up here which I do not enter. They are dark and damp.

This little spot is a favorite of mine.  Old, abandoned apple trees line the edge of the woods.  I’ve seen deer standing on their hind legs foraging fruit.  Today I watched a hummingbird, I think it was a Rufous male, perching and singing on the tree in the foreground.   Audubon’s web site, BTW, has a great search feature and will play recorded bird calls.  Here’s the one for the Rufous.

Grey skies make a fine foil for red rose hips and stems.

Leaf buds. Can you believe it?  This is what I mean about weird weather. I saw rhody blooms in town the other day and my crocus and daffodil bulbs and well as garlic are sending up shoots/scapes.

Wee little greens carpet the ground.

Lichen fallen to the ground.

Blurry as I zoomed in too much – you can see the wind licking up waves. The weather felt wild today.  Sitting at home while writing this,  the wind still whips outside.  Here’s the Point Wilson lighthouse, Whidby Island across the way.

A wealth of beautiful places to walk lured me here. Later this week I’ll get up high to snowshoe.

1 Comment

Buttons!    Whidbey Isle Yarns              

Back in December I took a weekend road trip (road + ferry) to Anacortes, WA. There I saw a friend act (as an impish Wood Nymph) in a clever and humorous rendition of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe at Anacortes Community Theater.  A delightfully small and intimate theater, I recommend you visit if in the area.

Enroute, while stopping in Coupeville for breakfast, I stumbled upon Whidbey Isle Yarns which relocated from Oak Harbor without my knowing it.  I’m embarrassed to say I forgot the sweet shop owner’s name (?Deena?) and lost her card to look it up.

I look forward to returning to her shop.  I venture across the Straight to Whidbey Island for hiking excursions often.  A decent selection of mostly US produced yarns fill a warm and friendly space.

She specializes in buttons. Oh the buttons! The shop’s website touts having 500,000+ vintage buttons from the Civil War era to the 1970’s.  Theres an entire table covered in glowing, sparkling beauty.

Have a gander:


An entire table is covered in buttons.


There are drawers of buttons.

Eye-candy in candy dishes.

Glass. Shell.  Metal.  I’d like to come up with some projects that use mismatched buttons in the same colors.  Maybe long fingerless mitts with small buttons up the sides?


I’ve never been smitten with buttons until now.


Leave a comment

I went for a wintery walk with my pops.

Hey all.  Just returned from a holiday trip to see family in MN.

Pops and I traditionally take walks.

We started out looping around the friendly farmer/neighbor’s field and avoided the crabby one’s field.   A Snowy Owl’s taken up a winter residence in its perimeter.  Pete and I saw it flying about one day. The next day we watched it make a strike and fly off with a kill. What a beautiful sight it was.

It’s easy to imagine the owl and other raptors’  prey scampering around in labyrinths under the snow’s cover.  Eagles and Hawks we also watched circling the sky.   Apparently owls can detect rodent urine through snow. And their hearing!  Curious about owls?  Read Owl Papers by Jonathan Maslow.  Fascinating critters.  Outstanding book.

I used to sit in an old hunting stand in an elm on the perimeter of this field and read.  The rickety boards, nailed up the side of the tree, are long gone.

Birch. I miss these trees.

A fungus?  It felt like stiff, short-napped velvet. Plenty of oddities abound.

Winter walks in MN are so different from where I now live. They are studies in contrast on white canvas.

And the oaks.  Time’s been tough on them. Not many are left. There are a few specimens of grandeur in the old pasture.  Such fine shapes, a handful of crinkled, auburn leaves left on.

Many of my memories are woven from this landscape. It was  fine place to grow up, to wander about in, to play in, to explore. We used to plow through the woods for what I now know as miles. Back then, there were no measures, just full days and the  need to get in for supper when called, just before the light turned the snowy ground that stunning blue color.

My nephew Sammie (age 3 1/2)  and I wandered about the woods a bit after sledding.  Man that was fun!  Been awhile. I wonder if the woods felt as  expansive to him as it did to me back then?  I hope he makes some memories as I have. I hope they plant a seed of appreciation for the outdoors.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 375 other followers