Yarn Treats from Edinburgh

My dad recently had a business trip to Scotland, and very kindly offered to accept a yarn-purchasing commission from me.  He took time out of his schedule to stop by Kathy’s Knits to pick up some treats.  My commission was for a sweater’s worth of Blacker Swan, 10 balls of which I am now the excited owner.

Blacker Swan Falkland Islands Wool

Gorse Gold is the colorway.  I’m going to make Kate Davies’ Edinburgh-inspired Braid Hills cardigan to match.  Swatch is completed – casting on today!

Braid Hills swatch


I also got 3 other surprise yarn treats from Scotland – will post them later!


best for last – Jarling’s

Our last excursion (that I photographed) back home – our old favorite, Jarling’s Custard Cup.

No photos of the custard; once I had it in hand, all thoughts of my camera vanished (until the treat had also vanished).  But I can vouch for it having been delicious.

Allerton Statues

Some photos of various statues in Allerton.  Unfortunately, we didn’t have a huge amount of time, and the peonies were the top priority, so we skipped the Fu Dogs and the Sun Singer, and only made the briefest stop at the maze and the walled garden.  Here we have the Avenue of the Chinese Musicians, some family members in the Sunken Garden, a wall with unfortunate but aesthetically pleasing vine damage, and a fish.

My favorite is the fish.  Yay.

Allerton Fun

… and fun with collages as well.

It was quite a warm day, so the boys enjoyed a nice Resting Pyramid and Maxwell panted in hopes of staying cool while Mom and Dad (and I) examined the peonies more closely.

Mom and Ryan also both graciously helped by taking some photos of my shawl.  There were passing clouds, so the exposure is a little strange here and there, but I think they both got some the captured the shawl well.  (Well – the last one of me reaching for the camera doesn’t really show off the shawl, but I think it’s a pretty cool shot of Ryan’s, so it’s there anyway.)

hammock fun

I suddenly am considering hammock camping as a viable, fun potential activity.  Why sleep on the ground when you can hang from a tree?!



It just sounds like it would be so much more fun & exciting, and possibly less buggy to boot.

The tricky part seems to be: where to hang the dog?  And also: which are the coolest in-hammock photo angles?

hammock fun


(Thanks to John for the head-to-toes shot.)

And OK, I’m kidding about hanging Maxwell from a tree, of course, but still… where would he sleep?  Opinion on hammock-camping-with-dogs forums seems to be split between just leaving the furry friend on the ground under the hammock vs. having him or her share the hammock, but I’m really not sure if he’d like either….

We have a graduate!

Congrats Ryan!


Some photos from the day: Ryan, Edo, and Freddie with their dads:

Guys and Dads

… and blurrily with the moms (whoops):


Happy graduates:

Happily Graduated



And a drive-by farewell shot on the way to dinner….

Goodbye Uni


Sorry for the couple days’ absence here, but we had a busy, whirlwind trip and my schedule was thrown off.  I am back on track now!

Latourell Falls

The lower falls – right off the road:

Lower Falls

We passed St. Patrick’s Day-appropriate clovers in abundance:

St. Patrick's Day clovers

3 of my favorite men, a little way up the trail:

Boys and Lower Falls

At one point we took a little offshoot path down, toward the river, which was a nice detour – but with a super steep scramble to get back up to the main trail.

Scrambling up a steep trail

The approach to the upper falls:

Upper Falls from a Distance

Maxwell’s usually oh-so-cool, floppy, Barkley hairstyle demonstrating the windpower generated by the water hitting the pool:

Wind-blown hair

It seriously felt like a small helicopter was hovering over the water; strong wind and mist filled the air.  Most of my photos look like I’ve got some sort of horrible hazy exposure problem, but it’s just the waterfall’s mist.

John and Ryan (and later, I) climbed up behind the fall to get a different perspective:

Boys by the Upper Falls

On the way downstream, on the other side of the river, we passed a pretty awesome bifurcated tree trunk:

Wishbone Tree Trunk

Wishbone Tree

And a log that formed a nice little footbridge over the stream:

Log Bridge

Unfortunately, about as we re-reached the lower falls, the rain began, and our hiking was mostly over for the afternoon.  We did drive down the road and look at the other falls – but spent very little time outside – and my camera even less.

Spring Break

Ryan’s coming out to Oregon to spend a few days with us during his spring break, so I’ll be taking a few days off from blogging also.  I’m not sure yet what we’ll be up to, but it will definitely include some playing of games (Settlers here we come!), and some enjoying of the beautiful spring weather.  I hope your spring is looking as beautiful as ours is these days!

Blooming Branch


Maple trees: leaves about to burst forth

Girls’ weekend & Alpacas

Dear blog readers,

Please excuse my unannounced absence last week.  Mom came out to visit while John was off at a bachelor party, and we had a very busy weekend.  I feel like I may as well link to what I posted after Jennifer left in December.  The situation was much the same – less cooking and knitting, more quilt shops, but either way, a whirlwind of busy-ness.

And again … we went to visit the awesome alpacas.

Mom, Alpacas


This time, Max was with us, so the alpacas were extremely attentive.  Max made little whimpering noises at them, and they made strange squawking ones back at him.

Maxwell and Mom

But I don’t think they were afraid; they all walked closer to us, instead of freezing in fear or running away.  I really think they were as curious about Max as he was about them.

Alpacas, Artfully Arranged

It was slightly disconcerting that, since they all could hear Max, or see him, or sense him, they stared in our direction continuously.

Alpacas At Attention

And then there was this guy.

Alpaca Concern

This was one of the first shots I took, before they noticed Maxwell.  (And certainly before he had noticed them.)  I can’t remember the exact sequence of things, but I do wonder if this guy was the first to become aware of him.


What do you think: gasp of surprise, or just an innocuous yawn?

Thank you for your patience; I will try to resume normal blogging, although the wedding I’ve mentioned before is coming up next week, and things might be quite busy for us between now and then!


Birthday Sparklers

While we were in Salt Lake City, John had a significant birthday – he’s flipped over a decade, and now is 30!  (Happy Birthday, John!) For his birthday gift, Mom and Dad took us all to La Caille, which is a very tasty, very beautiful restaurant up at the foot of the mountains.

La Caille

Afterward, amidst the beautiful Christmas decorations and glittering snow, we lit giant sparklers and played.

Lighting Sparklers


Lighting more sparklers

This was supposed to be in lieu of birthday candles, since we couldn’t bake a cake, but it was pretty cold so we didn’t go through all thirty.

I also don’t have a large enough maximum aperture (on either my old lens or new) to capture these nighttime shots blur-free – but you can see how happy we all were, despite the cold.



fun with sparklers!


We had lots of fun trying to write things in the dark (although Jonathan’s “happy birthday John” didn’t get past the h) …

sparkling infinity

… and were grateful to be able to warm ourselves by the fire afterward.

Post-sparkler Fireside Warmth