Knitting Love Link Party

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Hey, check out this girl in her Stacks Hat featured on the Underground Crafter and Jessie at Home‘s Love Link Party. 

What is a Love Link Party?

 Share your latest knitting projects, patterns, tutorials, tips, and WIPS, and be sure to stop by and leave comments on other projects, too!  Every month, the Knitting Love Link Party will open up on the first Thursday at 1:00 a.m. Eastern and close on the last Thursday at 11:55 p.m. Eastern.

I love the idea of the link party as it helps you discover all of the wonderful things other crafters are up to. Crafting has such an amazing community and this is just another way in which we are showing each other love.

Please check out my Stacks Hat pattern on EtsyRavelry, or Craftsy

Until Next Time,

-Whit-

 

Wandering Around Quito

Quito is the highest official capital of the world nestled between the Andes and the Pichincha Volcano. The city lies in the Guayllabamba river basin and is surrounded by lush trees. Quito has a very urban feel, think lots of people, cars, and buildings.


My lovely friend took me to the Guyasamin Museum on my first day. Divided into two parts, the tour includes a viewing of his murals in the Capilla del Hombre as well as a tour of his home. It was super interesting to walk around his home as it contained TONS of religious artifacts and art from around the world. Guyasamin was a fantastic painter who created works with such raw emotion behind them.

Quito’s historic center is a UNESCO heritage site. I thoroughly enjoyed walking along the cobblestone sidewalks admiring the colorful architecture. We visited the Basilica and San Francisco Church. The churches in Quito did not disappoint. They all had exquisite sculptures and stain glass displays. We also took a stroll around the Independence Plaza. Here we found the Presidential Palace, Cathedral of Quito, and Archbishop’s Palace. The square was quite busy and made for great people watching.

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We wandered down Calle La Ronda, which was the old bohemian district. It was election weekend so a lot of the shops and cafes were closed. However, we did find a shop selling Ecuadorian honey. It was quite fun taste testing honey with avocado and citrus flavors.

On my last day in Quito, I found a yarn store that sold Ecuadorian wool and alpaca 😍. I must say I controlled myself considering that the yarn was quite economical (5 100 gram skeins of alpaca blend for $30!). I love this dusty rose color and plan on making a cozy sweater.

 

All and all Quito is great to visit. It has a great balance of culture, architecture, and history.

Until Next Time,

-Whit-

Ecuador Jungle Experience

As our boat careened through the dark waters of the river I knew I had made a great choice in electing to go to the Amazon Jungle. I spent 4 days in the Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve at Jamu Lodge. The scenery was amazing and it was nice to take a technology break. 

Cuyabeno is not easy to get to from Quito. I took and overnight bus (7 hours) to a shuttle (2 hours) to a boat (1 hour). However, once you enter the reserve is is all worth it.

So what is there to do in the jungle? First off, look for amazing animals.  We saw monkeys, snakes, birds, a sloth, Caimen, huge insects and spiders. We also go a chance to visit a local indigenous community and meet the shaman. My favorite part of the trip was the night hike though the jungle. It was a little scary, but unlike anything I have every done. 

The jungle was an amazing sensory experience. At night it was almost too loud to sleep. I am accustomed to city noise yet, in the jungle between the monkeys, cicadas, and grasshoppers there were so many unknown sounds. I also had to adjust to the heat. Ugh it was so humid. My hair was rebelling by day 3. Thank goodness for scarves! Visually, there was almost too much to look at. The water glistened as the sun reflected off of it, the leaves were all shades of green, the orchids were vibrant, and there was almost always an animal to check out. 

I also got time to finish my Slumber Party socks. They were such a quick project. We got free time each day and I hung out in the hammock area knitting away.


So if you are in Ecuador, I highly suggest a jungle trip. It is something you will remember forever. 

Hasta Luego,

-Whit- 

Slumber Party Socks

Socks are one of my favorite travel knitting projects. They are compact, you generally don’t need too many notions, and if needed you can wear your FO on your trip. Recently I bought a skein of Knit Picks Felici in Slumber Party. I have never knit with this yarn and have been seeing it around the internet (see here). Knit Picks was having a sale so I decided to give it a try. The Felici color options are so fun.  The yarn composition is a Merino wool/ nylon blend and is quite soft.

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As for sock design, I began using Judy’s magic cast on using a US size 2 circular needle ( I cast on 20 stitches total). This method is great for toe up socks. I then used a short row heel construction.  I must say I really don’t like short row heels when making socks for myself. They come out too shallow for my liking. I made sure to add a few rows to the heel section to give myself some extra length. If I don’t do this then my socks pull in the back and it creates an uneven cuff (higher in the front and lower in the back).

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For the bind off, I modified Jeny’s Surprisingly Stretchy bind off. I only used the yarn over with the knit stitches (not the purl) aka I made a yarn over for every other stitch.  I found that using the method on all of the stitches made the cuff way to loose.

My socks came out not too bad for just making it up as I went. The socks have a close fit, but not as form fitting as I typically like them. As for the yarn, it doesn’t have as much stretch as other brands such as Cascade. However, the color scheme and price might make me try it again with future socks.

Anyone have a favorite sock yarn brand?

Until Next Time,

-Whit-

 

Adventures in Otovalo, Ecuador

So far my time here in Ecuador has been fabulous. I am so lucky to have a friend guiding me around to all of the sites. It also helps that she is fluent in Spanish as my Spanish is super rusty. We ventured up to Otovalo, which is a 2 hour bus ride from Quito. The bus ride was quite nice. We had comfy seats and lovely view of the Ecuadorian countryside. 

We arrived in Otovalo around 11:30 am. Our goal was to head to the famous marketplace as well as Lake Cuicocha. First stop was the market. It was overwhelming! There were so many items to see such as local clothing, food, and beautiful handicrafts. And then I found yarn 😍

The colors were GORGEOUS! So many choice to choose from. There was only one problem…all of it was acrylic *sigh*. Don’t get me wrong I am no yarn snob. However, I kind of have a personal policy when traveling that if it isn’t unique then I don’t buy it. I travel with a backpack and it is only 50L. If I load up on every hank of yarn I will have way to much to carry. So I showed some restraint and just said no. 

After a great almuerzo (lunch) of soup, baked chicken and rice, and blackberry juice, my friend and I headed for the lake. We took a 20 minute taxi ride to the park and were immediately glad we made the journey. The lake was a sight to see. It is a 2 mile crater lake smack in the middle of some mountains. You can hike along a trail that follows the perimeter of the lake. We walked about a 1/4  around before it started raining. The hike was lovely as you got to see the serene water as well as the vivid green countryside. Plus there were some ancient ruins along the way. 
All and all this was a great day trip in the Andes. Next stop is the Amazon Jungle!


¡Hasta Luego!

-Whit- 

As always you can find me on IG @knitsbywhitsf and Ravelry as lilwhit

Ecuador Bound!

¡Hola from Ecuador! It is Spring Break and I am super excited to be in Ecuador for 9 days! I plan on eating, hiking, and enjoying the gorgeous scenery. 

As with any trip I made sure to have my knitting planned and packed. I brought along my skein of Felici in Slumber Party to start some shortie socks. I kept my notions to a minimum as I didn’t want issues with airport security (aka no scissors). After many hours on a plane and a 7 hour layover in Mexico City I got quite a bit of sock #1 completed. I used Judy’s Magic Cast on and a short row heel. I am not the hugest fan of short row heels (they come out a little shallow for me) but it did the job in this case. Check back for more adventures in Ecuador!

Hasta Luego,

-Whit-

Knitting Works In Motion

I take my knitting pretty much everywhere I go during the weekdays. Especially on my 2-hour commute to and from work. Whether it is the car, a bus, on the commuter train I am happily knitting away.

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I also take my knitting to other social events: football parties, parks, camping, hanging by the pool…you name it, it comes. To be honest, my friends have gotten so used to me knitting that it is a little perplexing if I am hanging with them and not knitting.

I find that when I have my knitting with me I am more likely to work on projects and get things off the needles. Plus I think it is better to be knitting during my free time than getting sucked into something like being on my phone all the time. Knitting keeps me busy while still allowing me to have a connection with the world around me.

Where does your knitting go with you? 

Until Next Time,

-Whit-

Come share the love on Instagram (@knitsbywhitsf),  Etsy, or Ravelry