Three!

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Darwin may have turned three any time in the past few months. We have an arbitrary date on our calendars that we've marked as his birthday and last week was it. Unfortunately, we weren't able to get out to the coast, so we did the next best thing and made an extra special birthday dinner for everyone.


All of Darwin's captions would read, "om nom nom nom nom"

Ok, there's a chance this was considered a huge improvement on going to the beach. The jury is still out.

We did manage to get to the coast yesterday, though. It's been since July which is far too long for this pack of hooligans.

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Chop, chop, humans. Get with the letting us out!

We headed on over to Ecola State Park which is beautiful, but a little too crowded for us, during the summer months. Now that school is back in session, we can take advantage of our free fridays to get the trails mostly for ourselves. For you history buffs, Clatsop Loop Trail is part of the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail. You can find out more about it here.

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This trail isn't long but in its 1.5 miles (plus the additional mile or so we went towards Tilamook Head Viewpoint), it rises something like 1000 feet above sea level. On a nice clear and maintained trail, it's a good workout, just ask Darwin, who carried our water in backpack. I can only imagine how much more of a workout it was for those exploring it in its rougher state.

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If you keep your eyes peeled, you'll see a lot in these forests. We've come across elk before and you know there will always be a slug or twenty.

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But what had to be the weirdest/coolest thing we saw were the hydnellum packii.

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Are you looking at that business?

I'm not sure that the birthday boy cared much about the flora and fauna of the pacific northwest sitka forests, but he did sleep the entire trip home. That's a pretty good sign with a three-year old herding dog. He's been a handful of a dog, for the short time we've had him, and I think that's made him all the more endearing. A big happy birthday to my sweet little beast.

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Sleepy puppies headed home

5th Anniversary Edition of Twist

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Twist has been around for 5 years with 17 editions and I've just published my 19th pattern with them (20th, if you count the fact that Doppler is offered in both a men's and women's version).

In some ways, I feel like I've been working for Twist for a much longer time, yet in other ways, it feels like it's all just flown by. But if there's one thing I'm positive about, it's that I am a better designer today, for my experience working for and with Twist Collective.

I think fall editions are always really exciting. While knitting is great year round, depending on where you live, summer can feel too hot for even the lightest piece and winter can be so bitterly cold that everything is hidden under layers of protective outwear. But autumn is the goldilocks zone for knits. I hope you'll agree that this edition has a great mix of projects, regardless of your skill, climate, or style.

My piece, this season, is Foxcroft, a shawl collar pullover with argyle style cables running up the front and back.


Photo Copyright Jane Heller

Don't you love the model? She's the photographer's mother and I think she's radiant.

There's tons more in the edition, so I hope you'll take a look. Oh and keep an eye on the blog, twitter, facebook, and ravelry group, because we still have more anniversary prizes to give away.

5 Years

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Five years ago, today, Twist Collective launched its first edition.

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Kate contacted me, a few months before, asking if I'd like to contribute a pattern and I jumped at the chance. When I saw the spread in the magazine, I couldn't be more excited about the end product.

Well, it's 5 years later, and I'm not just a contributor, I'm also a production assistant and count Kate as one of my dearest friends. Here is sit, 3000 miles from home at Twist Collective headquarters, ready to celebrate the start of another 5 years and more.

If you want to get in on the celebration, please be sure to read the Twist Collective blog, like them on Facebook, follow them at Twitter, and join their Ravelry group. We'll be giving away a ton of amazing prizes donated by our generous sponsors.

Aasha

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Aasha
Check out the racing stripe

I'm excited to announce that my first serious self published crochet pattern is available now. Aasha starts with a long chain from which the border is worked and then the main pattern is worked into the same foundation chain, up to the neck, decreasing periodically to form the half circle shape.

The pattern has both charted and written out instructions. The charts are available both as a complete stand alone chart and broken out row by row with the previous rows faded and the rows yet to come, hidden from view, so you can see exactly what needs to be worked without any clutter. I hope people will find this format easy to use and make the pattern more accessible to people who are nervous about taking on a crochet project.

Pattern Pages

To find out more about the pattern, check out my pattern page, or head on over to Ravelry.

It's worth mentioning that I fell in love with this deep lavander-gray colorway from Madeline Tosh, when I saw it, but it wasn't until I saw the name for it, Composition Book Gray, that it ended up in my shopping basked. How great is that name? This piece would work up well in almost any nearly solid color. Since the motifs are so big, I think they look best when the color contrasts against what's underneath. My fish-belly white skin was happy to oblige, there.

For those of you who are just here for the pooch content, here's a little photo bombing from the beasties. So helpful!

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Voulez-vous crochet avec moi?

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I am not clever enough to come up with that headline, on my own. It's on a magnet I have stuck to the side of my desk. I can't remember who gave it to me because I'm pretty much the worst, but if you want your own, you can get it here.

This year marks a decade of designing, for me, and in that time, I've created nearly one hundred patterns, and only three of them are exclusively crochet. They all predate my efforts to standardize and make my patterns professional so I'm not going to give myself much credit for those. 

But here's the thing, I love crocheting, always have. Up until about a decade ago, I never really knit more than swatches. I still have a few of the afghans I made, back when I worked during the summer in my college's computer lab. I could crank out a twin size blanket in a couple weeks, with all my free time. The only limitation was how many balls of Red Heart Super Saver I could afford. This was back when you either used AOL or had some sort of unix based interface to check your email, so the computer labs were primarily for typing and printing reports. I had a lot of free time.

Anyway, this is my long and rambling way to say that I have finally gotten around to designing a crochet pattern and it's with the tech editor now, so I hope to be able to release it in the next few weeks, presuming the pattern isn't a hot mess. This photo is pretty much useless. The lighting is too harsh, and it's too busy to see anything but I kind of dig the butt shadow of the lace border and Thea's adorable monkey face, so I cropped in on that for your sneak peek.

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Not sure how many of you crochet, and of those who do, I'm not sure how many of you like shawls, but if you happen to fall into both of those categories, hopefully you'll like this pattern. It was a nice change of pace to work in crochet. It has its own challenges (and boy does it eat yarn) but, then again, I've always loved crafting for the challenges. And if you don't crochet, and/or hate shawls, hopefully you at least enjoy the doggy portion of today's post.

I'll be interested to see how well a crochet shawl does. I've heard it said that there are more crocheters than knitters but that the former are less likely to buy patterns than the latter. If you have some insight, either way, I would love to get your thoughts in the comments. I'll definitely design more if the demand is there.

April 2021

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