I've been dying to knit up Leethal's Vortex hat ever since it appeared in Knitty's winter 08 issue. On my recent trip to California, I picked up some luscious merino roving dyed by Beesybee Fibers and quickly spun up this:
I wanted a striping yarn, so I tore off the different colored segments of the roving and spun them in long, single-colored passages. My first time spinning merino; not too bad, but I wasn't able to draft & spin as finely as I'd have liked too. And even though I felt as though I was spinning it with plenty of twist, I had to run the whole bobbin of singles through the wheel a second time, adding a bit more twist so it would ply well. By the time I chain-plied the yarn, it was, once again...bulky-weight!(Will I ever be able to spin anything else?!) The dark brown stripes are from yarn I picked up at S.C.R.A.P.
Since my yarn was heavier than what the pattern called for, I knit up the child's size, and it turned out perfectly. I love how it fits, so cozy around the ears. Rick's already been wearing it when it cools down at night. The pattern is so fun to knit, that right away I cast on to try knitting up the pointed version.
This time the change in guage didn't work out so well, and it came out rather too small. It's in the frog pond, waiting to be transformed into a pair of stripy mitts. I'll definitely be knitting up another "pointless" version for myself; this is a super fun knit and super comfy, groovy hat. And just a few more photos from the New Mexico trip. These are some little sage bundles we made out of sage growing not ten feet from my friend's front door!
We paid a visit to Bosque del Apache wildlife refuge south of Albuquerque. It's one of the country's largest migrating bird refuges. Apparently, during the spring and fall, there are millions of birds passing through here, and the sight of them taking flight at dawn is amazing. This time of year, though, there's not so much happening. We took a peek, anyway, and saw some Snowy Egrets, turtles basking on logs, a wild turkey, and a goofy Roadrunner skittling along with a huge bug in it's beak. An interesting thing I learned about this refuge, is that it is intensely managed to provide optimum food and habitat for migrating birds. Not only are various areas drained and flooded to create wetlands at certain times of the year, extensive crops such as wheat, oats, and other seed-producers are grown for the birds to feast on while they're here. We also toured one of the most interesting arboretums I've been through; a cactus arboretum!
I was wearing flip-flops as I strolled the pathways, and some of these plants really made my exposed toes & ankles cringe!
Here I am bouncing around in the back of a pickup with the dogs, on the way to a dusk visit of a very special spring hidden in the nearby dessert, outside of Socorro.
This is a huge bronze sculpture of a Native American dance. I love how fluid and active the forms are, even though they are cast of this very hard metal.
And this is a view of the Sangre de Cristo mountains, up near Tres Piedras. Mostly it's all dry & sagebrush dessert around there, but we went on what was my favorite walk of the trip, up around one of the Piedras, and this is what we saw.