Monthly Archives: January 2018

Fleece Vest

I’ve wanted a fleece vest for hiking for a while and finally got motivated to make one! I based it off of this pattern that I bought a few years ago and am pretty happy with the result.

The finished vest.

The finished vest.

I wanted to keep it a little loose so that I could put it on over a heavy sweatshirt. It seems like it’s pretty warm, but it’s been raining since I made it so I haven’t had a chance to try it out yet. Hopefully soon!

Cedar Wreath

Since we have plethora of cedar trees beyond the back yard, we figured that we should take advantage and make a wreath for the winter. After looking around the interwebs for some inspiration, I was quite disappointed as most of the “instructions” consisted of tie some pretty branches to a metal frame. To which I say, “Bah! I want a wholly tree-based wreath.” I mean how hard could it be?

Answer: not very hard, just follow along the circle of instructions below.

The circle of wreath, and it move us allll.

The circle of wreath, and it moves us allll.

In a more linear format, this starts with collect four 3 foot long boughs of cedar – or your native tree of choice. New growth is nicer if you want a full wreath that is easy to form. Then make a ouroboros with two of the branches tied up tip to base using 24 gauge wire. I suppose you could use other wires, or even string or rope, but I think brass wire is festive and strong.

Next, add the other two boughs in clocked 90 degrees off of the original two boughs. When everything is tied up taught, it should make a surprisingly nice circle with floppy tree bits every where.

Finally, use a long ribbon to helically wrap your toroidal tree tightly. Pretend you are hand wrapping an inductor choke, just like grandma used to.

Fin.

The boughs on our kitchen table. Our house smelled amazing for a couple of days.

The boughs on our kitchen table. On the right is cedar, spruce (not used) is on the left. Our house smelled amazing for a couple of days.

Brass wrapped cedar branches.

Brass wrapped cedar branches.

And the finished wreath! It got to its final home a bit later, but was fun to hand it up on the chandler for a while.

And the finished wreath! It got to its final home a bit later, but was fun to hang it up on the chandelier for a while.

Jasmine is all business on cedar hunt 2018.

Jasmine is all business on Cedar Hunt 2018.

Chihuly Garden and Glass

On a rainy day, we decided to do a day in Seattle and checked out The Chihuly Garden and Glass. It is a bit of a weird museum / art gallery dedicated to artisanal glass blowing in the Seattle Center area. On the whole, it is a very small art gallery with only ~10 exhibits… but they are all beautiful. Blown glass is not something I would have thought of as art rather than craft, but it works well.

I think the key part of the Garden and Glass is the lighting inside of the gallery. They did a fantastic job lighting everything with a sharp light that really made the glass stand out.

In the garden area, there was also a exhibition with live glass blowing which is always fun to watch.

So, all in all, it is a small gallery with some very unique pieces that is worth checking out if you like blown glass at all.

The most Seattle image of the day. Fancy boats, foggy rain, cranes, and the space needle in the backround.

The most Seattle image of the day. Fancy boats, foggy rain, cranes, and the Space Needle in the background.

The lighting on the glass was really impressive.

The lighting on the glass was really impressive.

These bowls were my favorite pieces in the exhibits.

These bowls were my favorite pieces in the exhibits.

Its our guidebook photo! Also from left to right: Bored tourist photo, man on phone dragged to museum, looking for best picture from your low res cellphone, and man looking at nothing.

It’s our guidebook photo! Also from left to right: Bored tourist photo, man on phone dragged to museum, looking for best picture from your low res cellphone, and man looking at nothing.

Watching glass blowing is always fun.

Watching glass blowing is always fun.

Lloyd for scale.

Lloyd for scale.

Ladder Yarn Knit Scarf

The last project I finished in 2017 was a knit scarf for a gift. The story of this scarf starts many years ago when I was crocheting scarves with friends in college and saw ladder yarn for the first time. I thought it looked like fun and made myself a scarf. I’ve gotten a lot of compliments on this scarf over the years, so when I finally found ladder yarn again I knew what to do with it.

The only thing left to decide after finding the yarn was which color to use. I asked Lloyd to help with this part and we spent a fair bit of time in the yarn store making our choice. I’m pretty happy with the result.

The finished scarf.

The finished scarf.

A closer view of the scarf. I like the color combination.

A closer view of the scarf. I like the color combination.

Hagg Lake Hike

Happy new year! We went down to visit some family in Oregon over the Holidays and, as part of the trip, we went on a hike around Hagg Lake. First of all, the Portland area is interesting as there is a clear city center, some small amount of suburbs, and, about 15 miles outside of the city, are farmlands and small towns. Having lived in the sprawling Bay Area and SeaTac, I find it to be quite pleasant.

Hagg Lake is a pretty standard Pacific Northwest state park with a pretty lake, some evergreen forests, a ton of short hikes, and no end of mud in the winter. It was a pleasant walk around the boat ramp, and we would like to come back in the summer – better yet for the 10.5 mile run around the lake! One thing that I noticed on the walk is how pleasant cedar trees are to hike under. The needles are soft and allow water to drain while not getting bogged down in mud. I only noticed because the trail started mostly with beeches and maples which led to a very slippery and muddy trail, so the contrast was informative.

Jasmine made close friends with Allie on the way out.

Jasmine made close friends with Allie on the way out.

Pretty Lake! Also looked like it would be a very pleasant kayaking location.

Pretty lake! It also looked like it would be a very pleasant kayaking location.

The normal (Cedar covered) trail. Still a bit muddy and hilly which was interesting.

The normal (cedar covered) trail. Still a bit muddy and hilly which was interesting.

The lake was fed by a quite aggressive creek / river. This area probably looks much drier and swampier in the later summer.

The lake was fed by a quite aggressive creek / river. This area probably looks much drier and swampier in the later summer.

I made friends with Allie on the way back. She was quite muddy and insistent about jumping on me.

I made friends with Allie on the way back. She was quite muddy and insistent about jumping on me.