Whidbey Island: Double Bluff Beach

On Saturday after the taekwando tournament, we did a little exploring on Whidbey Island.

I had done a little research and found a beach that looked nice.  It’s called Double Bluff Beach.

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A great beach for a little boy to play.  There were these huts constructed with driftwood.

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And so many sticks with which to pretend and do battles.

 

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He was non stop.

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All Davey really needs for total entertainment is a beach with sticks, sand, and rocks.  The shells and small tide pools though were definitely a great addition to that as well.

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We walked a ways down the beach seeing what we could see and finding little things.  Davey pretended all the way there and back.

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After we were done, David helped Davey with his shoes.  He had so much sand in his shoes that I don’t know how he could walk.

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Davey loves to ride on the ferry (we do too), so we drove down to Clinton and took the ferry to Mukilteo.

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We finished the trip off with fried fish and then ice cream for dessert at Ivar’s.

We have to get back to the beach soon!

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Whidbey Island Taekwando

This weekend we went to Whidbey Island (our first visit there) for Davey’s first taekwando tournament.

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Davey was a little nervous about it but he was excited too.

I think he’s laughing at Master Hughes (his teacher) in this picture.  He always makes Davey laugh.

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David gave him some words of encouragement before things got started.  The older boy standing behind him always looks out for Davey and helps make sure he is where he is supposed to be.

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They got all lined up, and then a group of black belts (and a few other up and coming students) kicked (literally!) things off by doing a great taekwando demonstration.  There was lots of kicking, flipping around, and breaking of boards.  Davey loved it (we all did!).

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Davey had to wait awhile for his turn to do his form.  He passed the time chatting with his good friend Eva.

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I think they were comparing patches here.

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Finally it was time.  He’s looking a little nervous.  I didn’t realize that he was going to have to his form alone in front of 5 black belt judges!  They were really nice but doing it for the first time was tough.

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He did well.  He had a mistake at the end which caused him to finish a little off, but overall he did great for his very first tournament.  We were just really proud of him for pushing through it.

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He was a little disappointed in his performance.  He’s not thrilled with his medal.  He had thought that everyone got a medal, and they did.  But – they also ranked the top 3 places, and he didn’t like not being in the top 3.

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He was very polite though and just did awesome working through a new experience.

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He even made some new friends.

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I asked Davey what he thought about it all.  He told me, “I didn’t expect to get a 4 medal.  Maybe 3 or 2, but not 4!”  So that was disappointing for him.  It was his first experience ever of competing in that way for a rank.  He’s ready though to do the next tournament, and David will participate in the next one with him as well.  It will be easier next time since we will know what to expect!

I am sure proud of our little 7 year old who wants to be a grandmaster one day.  He also wants to run a taekwando studio with David.  (Plus be an oceanographer!)

Alaska Poncho and a Mishap

I received my Wool and the Gang package a couple of days ago!

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I loved the packaging.  Kits are just so fun!

The yarn is beautiful and so soft.  I’m not sure I’ve knit with baby alpaca before or if I have, I’d forgotten just how soft it is.

Wool-and-the-gang-yarnThe kit came with a nice pair of knitting needles as well.

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They were so comfortable to knit with.  Notice the use of past tense.  This is where the story gets a little sad.  Somehow I was running around yesterday getting ready to leave.  I’d put my knitting project into a bag, and I am still not sure what I did, but I managed to break not one but both needles.  Somehow when I went to pick them up, I heard a snap.

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I’ve been knitting for about 7 years now, and in that time, I think I have broken maybe one or two needles in all that time.  I’ve never broken two at once!  I was so disappointed and still feel very dumb that I was careless enough to let this happen.

So I had to switch to some 10.5 circulars that I have.

To make myself feel a little better about writing about the needles, I took a picture of Davey holding my project.  His smile certainly helps!

Can’t really see the work in process too well, but I’ve gotten a good start.

wool-and-the-gang-daveyThis is a great pattern for a beginner!   They provide great instructions which include not just the pattern but also clearly written guidance that would be very helpful to a new knitter!

Wool and the Gang!

A couple of weeks ago, I got a comment on my blog from someone saying “they were trying to get in contact with me”.  I review all my comments before I let them post to make sure that they are first of all “nice” (I don’t get that many comments, but so far they have always been nice!) and second that some spam hasn’t slipped through.

I occasionally read through my spam because I get to see and am always amused by comments like “That’s art in my book, Jake. Tasty art! Did you hear Hormel is out as the hot dog supplier for the Twins?”  Or “Mary, your site has blessed me in many ways”  – I’m often addressed by a name that’s not mine.

So anyway, I am always a little skeptical about comments. But this comment was spelled correctly (Spam comments are always littered with errors), it was brief, and had a website attached.  So I checked it out and discovered a really interesting company that is dedicated to fiber and promoting knitting.

It’s called Wool and the Gang, and they have such an interesting story. This is a company in London that sells yarn. But it’s much more than that.  They sell these amazing yarn kits as well.  Or if you find something you like, but you don’t knit, you can instead buy handknit items that they have made. I really like too that they are also committed to buying only sustainably sourced wool.  They pledge that they are committed to reducing environmental impact.

So I emailed them and got a very nice response from a lady named Ali.  She told me that they enjoyed my blog, and that they’d like to send me a kit to try out.

Having looked at their very creative and energetic website, I just thought this was the coolest, and I emailed back to tell her so.

She emailed again to ask me if I would be interested in a kit to make this really cool poncho.  She also said that it would keep my “lovely little Davey warm” as well.  So of course I agreed that I would love to try a kit out!

The kit is on its way now, and I am very excited to receive the pattern and yarn. I will post pictures of my progress soon!

Umtanum Creek Canyon

This past weekend was just a beautiful weekend to get out.  So on Saturday, Davey, Buster and I went looking for some nearby places to explore.

Several people had told me about Umtanum Creek Recreation Area which is only about 12 miles outside of Ellensburg.  We hadn’t made it there yet, and I don’t know why!  It was beautiful!  I wish I’d taken my camera, but I just had my phone with me so I took only a few pictures.

There was a great suspension bridge that we got to cross.  We were both a little hesitant at first because it was kind of wobbling back and forth.  We bravely crossed though!

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There are lots of places there for a little boy to have a lot of fun.  He picked up sticks to use as a wand or sometimes as a sword.  He threw lots of rocks.  I think he was mostly a mage though, and I was a hunter.  We got up on a neat lookout, and I fended off the incoming trolls with my bow while he tended to the enemies approaching from the river.

davey-under-bridgeWe were having such a good time that we wanted David to come join us.  He brought us some lunch, and then we went exploring some more.

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There were lots of people out and about.  Many people were finding scenic spots to take photos (and there were plenty of scenic spots to choose from).  There were lots of dogs too which Buster thoroughly enjoyed.

We will definitely be heading back to this beautiful spot!

 

Reading is Fundamental

I have not blogged in awhile!  We’ve been busy with days of school and work (and play!).

I have been doing some knitting but I have put aside my Hulda Holly again for just a little break while I get some instant gratification with knitting a baby cardigan!

I am also starting back into school to get my elementary ed certification so that’s going to take up a lot of time as well.

One reason I want to teach is because I feel so strongly about reading and literacy.  I hope to become increasingly involved in promoting literacy and encouraging families to embrace reading with their children. I found this video this morning from RIF (Reading is Fundamental), and I wanted to share it. Here’s the link embedded in what I think is such an important statement:

“When you don’t have access to books, you only encounter them in a format that’s work…Owning your own books gives you access to something that is personal, positive and joyful.” 

Yes!

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Hulda Holly: Back to it.

Back in December 2010, I first blogged about knitting a lace weight sweater.  The pattern is called “Hulda”, and it’s from a book called Northern Knits.  I am making it for my sister-in-law Holly so that’s the why of Hulda Holly. I thought about it for awhile because I knew I was going to have to knit it with size 2 needles.  I couldn’t resist trying it though because I was fascinated by the stripes and how the colors were going to be blended.

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The stripes are a blend of 3 shades of red, 5 shades of gray, and black.

I started knitting it in 2011.  I know this because I checked ravelry this morning to see if I’d put the details of the project up there.  Sure enough I had – back in October 2011.

I have decided to buckle down and get this thing done.  I am hopeful that it will be “wearable” when I am finished.  I have a few worries.  First, I am hoping I have the gauge right so that it will fit my sister-in-law.  Second, I am hoping she will not want to run when she sees it.  Third, the yarn is not soft.  It’s the opposite of soft, but it’s supposed to soften up when I wash it.  We shall see.

My assistant helped me try to take a couple of pictures of my progress.

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Another concern I have about this sweater is the reason I needed Davey to help me take the pictures.  He had to hold down the bottom of the sweater which is really wanting to roll up.  I am hopeful that when I block this I will be able to get the bottom to lie flat.  I will figure out something one way or the other.  Maybe some small fishing weights if necessary – that’d be comfortable.

One final thing – I didn’t have the sense to weave in ends as I was going.

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This yarn should weave in nicely though.  It’s almost sticky, and I’d hate to have to try to frog it.  I need to get started on those ends.  I will do better on the sleeves and weave in as I go.

This is a fun project.  The lace weight yarn makes me feel like I am really creating “fabric”.  I love how the colors blend.  It’s all stockinette, but the stripes involve using two different colors on every other row.  I knit one strand with my right hand, and I hold the other strand continental style with my left hand.

I am knitting the first sleeve now and am able to use my favorite Signature dpns which is another plus.

We shall see how it goes.