Thursday, 26 July 2012

FO: Potamus

The tide of craft has pulled me back in, and frankly I'm more excited about it that my holidays right now. I'm going to quickly tell you about some socks I knitted mostly in the US, and finished off once I was home.

Pattern: Pomatomus, by Cookie A, from Knitty Winter 2005. Every time I try to say it, I end up saying 'potamus' instead. A really enjoyable knit, great pattern, lace on every row did mean it needed concentration at least at the start, but then I saw how it worked so by the end, I only needed the pattern when switching between sections. 

Yarn: Toddy from the Yarn Yard. I am very much in the groove with sock yarn from here at the moment; it is great to knit with and makes lovely cosy socks. Sadly, I didn't write down the colour name as it was impulse bought, along with another skein (which also become socks). They are a53 and a44 between them, so who knows?

Needles: as recommended, but went down a size for the ribbing as mine seems to always be slack. 
Mods: Not a single one. 

Generally a really great pattern, I recommend it! For those who are getting into lacework socks, it is not trivially easy but not so hard as to avoid - I enjoyed the knitting and the product!

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Monument Valley

Monument Valley is another intriguing and incredibly weird place. Even from far away, it looks foreign to the landscape; like aliens might have put it there.

We began our tour (after deciding taking a hire car on sand roads was a bad idea) at lunchtime, and it was hot. So beautiful though, and closer up,  you start to resolve the Mesas into shapes. For example, the Mittens:

I was keen to come here, but perhaps not as much as my OH, who has seen a lot of Westerns in his time. Also, according to Wikipedia, this was where Forrest Gump ended his cross-country run. It has been a long time since I saw that film.

Anyhoo, the Valley is also populated by Navajoes - we saw none except our guide for the tour, I don't think you're really allowed anywhere near where they live - and beautiful wild horses, here trying hide against a similarly-coloured rock.

We had a good long tour and covered a lot of ground, and saw many vaguely familiar sights - here is the Totem Pole:

Overall, a brilliant day; I would recommend a tour as you can cover more ground (and don't write off your hire car!). Only advice is to check what timezone they're on here, it can be different to the rest of Arizona and Utah. And remember your sunscreen!

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Time for a little craft

Though I am sure you are finding my holiday snaps incredibly exciting, I thought at their halfway point we would have a little interval, and talk about some crafting I did while I was away. I did try to do the May Cross-Stitch along but failed spectacularly - after that month, it did look basically the same as it did at the beginning (in this post). I took it to the USA and managed to find some time in transit and in the evenings to crack on with it, and so by the end of June it had blossomed into this:

Sorry to brag but I am well proud of myself! My first big cross-stitch, first that needed an embroidery hoop, first in about ten years that had that many colours in it.... But my ambition did not stop there. I assembled the materials...

... and then had a massive PhD-related freak out that involved pulling a couple of very long days, but after returning from one of them my mum had turned it into this:

Done I think using these instructions, I can answer questions if needed but anything too technical will have to wait until I see my mum again. It was done for my Nana's 80th birthday and it was kind of from all of us, so I don't think it's too bad. And the recipient was very happy with the result, hooray!

Monday, 16 July 2012

Antelope Canyon

Our next day in the States was mainly spent doing Antelope Canyon. It is a slot canyon, formed by flash floods that occur when incredibly heavy rain falls during a thunderstorm  - basically the only way they get rain in this part of the world. We did Upper Antelope canyon, and after a bumpy and dusty ride in a truck arrived at the entrance. It was of course much taller than  I had anticipated.

We arrived just in time to miss the 11am tour but booked onto the 12noon one instead - which was a good move, because when the sun is at its highest, you get these light beams that cut through the canyon. They were amazing and awe-inspiring, but sadly difficult to photograph; here is the best one I have:

Aside from the light beams, the walls themselves form so many interesting colours and shapes that it is worth going at any time of day to see it. A bit like cloudspotting, the shapes change with time (as you move about) and your imagination can resolve tenuously familiar shapes. There were also just some shapes I just liked that weren't really a thing, here are some of the better snaps: 

Thanks for stopping by! And sorry for the delay with this post, I am resolved to crack on and sort this out this week. 

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Grand Canyon

This post has been a long time coming; I took a ton of photos here and I do not think there is one that does it justice. It is impossible to photograph. Especially when you've only had your camera a week. Yes, one week. So they may all be overexposed, some a bit wonky and a lot taken with different settings that all look exactly the same to me, but it is important for me to tell you. I was here.

And it was totally awe-inspiring.

PS. Do try to spot the person sitting on the outcrop in that last one.