Thursday, February 26, 2009

As the sun goes, so shall I...

I still have yet to spend my last remaining hours here on Waikiki. The plane leaves at 10pm, leaving me several more hours to soak in the sun's warmth, heartly enjoy a spicy chicken sandwich at the Cheesecake Factory, and longingly windowshop at Kate Spade's. There is so much to love about Waikiki. The next adventure cannot begin until this one is over.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Over to Oahu

The vacation part of our jaunt is over. We have to say "goodbye" to Maui. I can't think of a better couple days to spend time together. We got "maui'd" in 2006 in Makena, Maui on the south part of the island so we drove down and had dinner this trip at our reception site, the Seawatch. For appetizers and dinner the day before, we headed to the Hula Girl to listen to Ernest Pua'a, our wedding singer. It was a beautiful couple days. Born to Beach, Forced to Work Luxury ends when Mark has to go to work, so we check into our business class hotel, the Aqua Palms. Not a bad hotel (if you dont mind cockroaches). Giving credit where credit is due, the room is standard business class. There is a small lanai, free internet, huge LCD tv, and a great location. Situated across from the Hilton where DH is working (yes, we should be over there instead), a very short walk to the Ala Moana mall and only a couple blocks from Waikiki. I was on my own yesterday, so why not treat myself to a generous slice of Cheesecake Factory Chocolate Rasberry Truffle cheesecake? Sounds like a congratulatory reward for me for sitting here all by my lonesome in gorgeous Oahu. Like I need more reward? And on my walk to the Factory? What would Waikiki be without all of its high-end shopping? some bling from Tiffany? a trenchcoat from Burberry?
Just a few new bags for Spring? and some perfume from Chanel?
Maybe some shoes from Prada? Flats or heels?
We went out for dinner the first night with some of Mark's co-workers, that live here, and they had no idea where our hotel was, or how to get here. They were also laughing about all the high end stores that according to them, no one that lives here can afford them. At $12 a gallon for organic milk, I fully agreed with her. $600K for an 800 sq.ft. house and there would be no $$s left for a Gucci messanger bag or Bvlgari china. And why would I want to live here anyway, no one wears handknit socks. Freaks!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Maui, baby!

Yep, decided it was time to leave Alaska again. Hubby Mark has meetings in Oahu this week, so we decided to leave a little early and spend a couple days in Maui beforehand. We stayed at the Royal Lahaina just north of the main Kaanapali Beach. Gorgeous area. It is quite a walk to the strip of shops on the main beach, but well worth the brake in price. Good view from the lanai. And really, who could complain with a view like this? Yes, this is a rainbow ending on the top of the hotel. Pot of Gold at the Royal Lahaina? No. Good room, great price, decent location? Yes. We flew from Fairbanks to Anchorage, and then Anchorage to Honolulu (only 5 hours and 20 minutes) and then from Honolulu to Kahalui, Maui. A fair to decent amount of time to start on my Marigolds. I love the pattern because it was so simple to memorize the 9 row repeats. The only down side to the easy pattern was I used the paper it was printed on as a book marker on my newest book purchase, Knitting with Handpainted Sockyarn and left the damn book on the airplane to HNL. Dag-nammit! Fortunately I special ordered it from one LYS and bought it when I saw it at the other LYS, so I can pick it up from LYS#1 when I get home. I was hoping to start the Spot Check on the plane ride home, but I guess it will have to wait. I love the Casbah in the Hummingbird colorway. It is almost like a Muted Rainbow on Ocean. And because I lost my book and have a generous 325m of gorgeous HandMaiden I will be knitting these until I run out of yarn. Nice long Ocean socks for going back to the frozen tiaga. And again with the view. The lanai was a gorgeous place to sit and knit.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

FO February: It's all about socks!

Pattern: Bed Sock in Lemon Pattern Fancy Knit Stripe by Nancy Bush in Knitting Vintage Socks Yarn: Spunky Eclectic Super Sport in Walkabout lot# 508 and another one I can't find the ball band for right now Needle: US2 / 3.0mm 40" magic loop Started off beautifully: Gave me gorgeous detail: then ran out. I had enough to finish sock1, but sock2 was missing just the wee end of the toe. My LYS was helpful enough to order a custom dye job for one more skein so I waited. My MIL called and told DH how wonderful the sock that I was able to leave with her over Christmas was. Even that she wore it on the foot that was most cold. Oh, yeah. Pull at the heart-strings.
The new skein came in and I got right to work providing her with the other sock. We will use it as kind of a runny joke. Looks like the end of this sock got bleached! Just wasnt quite the right color. That is the joy of artistically hand-dyed yarn. Sometimes you just cant repeat perfection.
And speaking of repeating perfection, I cant remember which toe ending I used on sock one. I think I used a star toe, but I really cant remember. So not only is one toe color different from the other. There is a good possibility that the construction is different as well. Guess you really can't repeat perfection!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

New upstairs windows

In the midst of all the plumbing repair last month, the window installer called and said, "hey, I'll be out next week to install the new windows". Great. Not only do I get to learn the ins and outs of plumbing, I get to finish windows! How can one girl get so lucky? But in my heart-of-hearts, I knew this was a good thing. You see, the windows that were here in the bunkhouse were old. Not 1980's old, not 1970's old. But O.L.D. The glass was rippling, the screens were custom made and black-black-black. The screens were so bad that the one winter I took them all down they warped over the season and I had to hammer them back in for the spring. Lesson learned, don't take these out, ever. When the wind blew outside, the north side bedrooms would be 40F inside and the south side windows would be 90F. It would be the normal 68F in the hallway where the thermostat is located, but everyone else was uncomfortable. I requested all new windows on property, but because of the economic situation tourism will be in this coming summer, only half of the windows were slated for replacement. And since heat rises and the downstairs windows are boarded over, this left the upstairs windows available for upgrades. I had to keep the historical aspects the same. They needed to look the same, act the same but preform much better. The new house has all casement windows for insulative purposes (and we want tax credits for energy efficiency) but I need something historical to preserve our historical integrity. And I found six-light, sliding windows from Jeld-Wen. Aluminum exterior in historic green with a wood interior. An antique gold paint interior for the windows, with an antique walnut stain for the trim. Here are the old windows in one of the upstairs bathrooms First the trim was removed Then the new sexy windows were installed What I will miss the most is the ultra cool holding mechanisms for the old windows. The old pull pin with holes drilled into the sills so they would stay up. Not that they did, I would have to release the top portion of the window and let that one down, cause most of the pins stopped holding the bottom windows up. And since heat rises, it made sense to drop the top window. Bye-bye pins, hello sexy levers. These babies suit a dual purpose: not only to they allow me to wash the outside of the windows from get this.... the inside, they allow me to pull the whole window pane out. Fan-fuk-ing tastic! My only problem is, it is freezing outside and I need to take the panes out to paint them properly. This will have to wait until spring. I stained the windowsills these past two weeks. You can see their gorgeousness in the following blog posts. I chose an antique walnut that matches the wood walls beautifully. It took me almost 2 weeks to putty, sand, stain, and stain a second time. Twice as long as I thought it would take me. And exhaustive none the less. Most of the toilets are repaired and/or replaced. I still have three to work on. Two are only used in the summer and can wait until spring, and the last one is in the lower bunkhouse men's bathroom. Instead of being secured to the floor, it was gasketed to the waste pipe because unapparent to me, the floor had rotted and they laid vinyl over it to hid it. Lovely, just lovely.

Gentleman's Socks (BIG PICTURES)

Just thought I would try out the big guns. I am not overly excited by the bigger pictures. Seems like overkil to me. What do you think? Pattern: Gentleman's Fancy Socks by Nancy Bush Yarn: Schaefer Yarns Anne in "evergreen" Needle: US 1 / 2.5mm 2-at-a-time on a 40" addiTurbo long-tail cast on: Dec 11 kitchener'd: Feb 14 "Happy Valentines, Isaac. Here is your Christmas present!" "Now NEVER EVER wear these without shoes or slippers. I can't image why I chose to use this very thin (thinnest I have ever used) yarn for a teenagers socks. He is very responsible, but still young enough to think it is great fun to play with the dog in your stocking feet. I have enough of this yarn left over from this 560 yard ball to knit another pair. This yarn was dark and hard to see in the Fairbanks winter even with all the lights on. Maybe a nice summer knit. Definately a better yarn for lace work than socks.

Leyburn Socks

Pattern: Leyburn Socks by MintyFresh Yarn: Blue Moon Fiber Arts; Socks that Rock; "Prove it all Night" in mediumweight Needle: US 2/ 2.75 40"magic loop Judy Becker's Magic cast on: Jan31 Sewn bind off: Feb 13 special ordered for Ravelry's Socks That Rawk LEYBURN KAL All my STR colorways in stash were already choosen and this gave me an excuse to order a color that I never would have thought I liked. Similar to the colorways sent in the RSC. Wouldn't have ordered them myself, but loved them once I started knitting (except GoodyGoody, never liked that one) Toe-up, so wonderful When I copy pictures from my computer, they are smaller in format than when I copy links from Flickr, so sorry about the descrepancies. {I don't think they will matter to anyone} the pair:
Priscilla Wild's no fuss/no mess - no holes, no wrap and turn heel. I loved it because of the ease. I still had to whip up a small hole that was peeking skin on one side of one heel because I think I missed a "create one" at the end.
It is hard to find enough light on an overcast winter day in Fairbanks. So right up to the window we were! I had my pick of sock models this day as we are entertaining friends of the boys. Five 12 year olds on this extended 4 day weekend. These are the days that I am NOT thankful I work at home.

Mad Color Weave

Pattern: Mad Color Weave by Tina Lorin Yarn: Cherry Tree Hill Supersock Merino Wool of the Woods Lottery Needle: size2/2.75 for toe, foot and upper leg size1 /2.5 for heel, ankle, and lower leg Cast on: November 25 Sewn Bind off: February 6 the pair the Eye of Patridge heel flap Oops, "inside the markers Riverbed Architecture Judy Becker's magic cast on

Holidazed - Rockin' Sock Club 2008 November shipment

Pattern: Holidazed by Anne Hanson
Yarn: STR mediumweight in "Muddy Autumn Rainbow"
Needle: US 2/2.7mm on a 40" magic loop
Cast on: December 3, 2008 Kitchenered: January 8, 2009
A lovely little swirling rib. They fit like a glove. Or should I saying, "they fit like a well planned sock". This is the last installment of the Rockin' Sock Club of 2008. Fortunately I was again able to afford the Rockin' Sock Club of 2009. I even pimped it out to the girls of my local stitch club! Thanks girls. It is going to be so much fun knitting all these socks with you!

Weekend in Anchorage

The plumbing contractors finished on Thursday, January 22 and that's when the real work for me started. They did an excellent job. I have water and I have heat. 'Nuf said. I was stressing over how much I had to do, since I couldn't work around them when they were working; I would have just been in the way. I did little things, like setting new toilet tanks, and setting the toilet bowls (the part you sit on) when necessary. Every tank cracked, but fortunately I only lost a couple bowls. I neglected to take pictures of those, since taking pictures of broken toilets isn't my cup of tea. DH was needed in Anchorage for a work dinner with the Society of American Military Engineers and I decide to invite myself along and invited him to drive. Usually he flies down for their functions and flies back up that evening, but I casually invited him to drive the normally six hours (five if we are driving our personal vehicle) so that I could go along. Now I say normally a six hour drive. This time there was ice on the road heading south, so it took us almost eight hours to get there.
When the sun was shining, it was hard to watch the road without burning your retinas.
Here is the view as we are about thirty minutes north of Healy coming up into Denali National Park(ing lot).
After the park (and I say parking lot because most visitors never really get into the park, they sleep in the hotels, shop in the tourists traps, and drop serious money in the eateries. It is just that they never really manage to get into the park. The best they can be exposed to is the BlueBird bus ride, which is such a shame such a gorgeous National Park isn't available for the public) Off my soapbox and back to the road.
Something that I have never seen with my own eyes before:
I caught a picture of this wolf who was hunting on the outskirts of the caribou herd that was south of Cantwell. I have driven the Parks Highway hundreds of times. Driving to Anchorage is a pasttime for most Fairbankans. In all of these drives, I have never seen a wolf. Hundreds of moose, caribou, arctic tern, porcupines, grouse, snowshoe hare, and even once a brown bear, but never wolf. Nice to see the population is growning. Hunters might not agree, but I dont really care if they don't like competition. Makes them stronger.
And what was my incentive to drive eight hours on a single sheet of ice?
My Matron-of-Honor is pregnant with her first baby, hopefully there are more coming later.
Her husband was kind enough to grow is own baby belly as a form of marital collusion. Yeah for babies! since I won't be having any more :(
Babies are great, it is just the additional 18 year maintenance agreement that they come with.
Hopefully she will let me babysit.
The drive home always seems to go faster, so we stopped off at Hurricane Gulch. I always have the images in my mind, but if we ever move away, I want actual pictures of these places.
It is much more stellar in the midday with full sunlight, but I didn't have that option.