Monday, June 25, 2007

Qiviut on the Hoof

The Large Animal Research Station in Fairbanks studies musk ox and caribou to protect the animals and their Arctic environment. This bull is one of the "greeters" at the station. The little guy is one of this year's babies.

The facility also sells qiviut, made from the undercoats of the station's musk ox population. Yummy stuff, qiviut.

Saturday, June 16, 2007


No trip to Anchorage is complete without a visit to the Oomingmak Musk Ox Producers' Co-Operative. Beautiful work made with the incredible qiviut yarn. I haven't made any qiviut purchases — yet.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Yarn Shopping in Anchorage

It took less than a day to find and visit a yarn store in Anchorage: Far North Yarn Company. Great shop, great people. This beautiful yarn is from Rabbit Ridge Designs in Anchorage. The color is Rainforest, with rainforest colors representing the water, trees, lichen, moss and forest floor (at least that's my idea of a rainforest).

Monday, June 11, 2007


First trip to Alaska! Follow our adventures — knitting and otherwise — here.

Sunday, June 10, 2007


This is the kind of hummer I like to see. Rufous hummingbird, maybe. Whatever kind it is, it puts on a spectacular, noisy aerial display, checks out the feeder and occasionally hovers to check out the people who are checking it out. Did I say noisy? We usually hear this one before we see it.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Arum Flowers

Arum flower doily from "Magic Knitting," published by Mon Tricot, 1984. It's possible that this is a design by Herbert Niebling, but it is unattributed in the magazine. It is charted, without line-by-line directions.

Specifics: Knit with Cébélia DMC, size 30, natural color, made in France, 2.25mm (US1) needles. Approximately 22 inches in diameter.

This pattern drove me crazy. Of the 96 rounds, 7 or 8 of them have errors. I don't know if the errors were in the original or occurred in copying from an original to the magazine. At the same time, parts of the chart that initially didn't seem correct were absolutely correct.

I learned two things from this doily: Trust the chart. Don't trust the chart.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Going, Going, Gone

If this is not one of the ugliest Douglas fir trees you've ever seen, I don't know what is. Last winter's wind storm really took its toll. So, it's good-bye fir tree.

Watching professional tree trimmers who know what they are doing makes you realize that there is no good reason why amateurs should ever attempt this. First, Mike limbed the tree from the bottom up while Sam the Boss and Frank put the limbs in the back of a truck to be hauled away.

Working around the power line required tree-trimmer ballet.

The top came down:

The debris piled up in the truck:

And this is what is left:

The whole process took only two hours. It appears that the plants underneath (rhododendron, barberry, juniper, fatsia) will survive.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Retirement: Day 1

Retirement is great so far. At work, the traditional retirement send-off is a coffee-and-cake reception. Then I celebrated with work and non-work friends at a local pub. One of the great things about my job is that many of my colleagues are also friends. I thoroughly enjoyed my career. I'm optimistic that retirement will be equally enjoyable.