Tuesday, August 31, 2010

I feel I should warn you that near the end of my hike, I was converted to being what some affectionately (or not so affectionately) call a 'gear head.' I can get obsessive over backpacking gear.

The last time I checked (Pinkham Notch in NH), my baseweight was standing at 22 pounds. Not bad, but definitely on the heavy side in comparison to other hikers around us.

My 'big four' at the end of my thru-hike were as follows:

Osprey Atmos 65 at 3lbs9oz

REI Halo +25 at 2lbs4oz

Women's ProLite Thermarest, small, 11oz (really can't get much lighter than this..)

Tent fly, stakes (Probably equalling about 2lbs)

I can't do much better than I have with the sleeping pad nor the tent (If I go solo that is-My tarp tent is 23 ounces plus stakes). However, I've been researching new packs and can't decide between two:

The Granite Gear Vapor Ki or the Gossamer Gear Mariposa Plus. The Vapor Ki is purple. Very important in my decision making! I like it! It draws me in... Plus it's just so darn cute. On the other hand, I'd save 11, count 'em 11 ounces if I went with the Mariposa Plus.

As for sleeping bags, I think I want to get the Down Quilt Kit  and make my own quilt! It should come out to weighing just above a pound or so. Maybe as high up as 23-24 oz?

I know I will be carrying fewer clothes and I'll cut out the entertainment until I've gotten the weight of my pack down.

The one other thing I know for certain that I will be doing is making something that Nifus (thru-hiker who passed me) liked to call his 'heinie pot' The heineken keg can pot w/an alcohol stove. Super light! :)

Those are just my thoughts for the time being on how to have a more comfortable, lighter pack.

Monday, August 30, 2010

In Which I Return to 'Real Life'

Today marked the day when I officially ended my six month respite from work. Good bye vacation...

I picked up some new yarn today from Wild & Wooly! I got some more cotton classic in red to make another 'Strawberry hat' & some Cotton classic in purple to make a 'Grape hat' for my old adviser's new baby twins! Also making them booties in bright red wool & a light green. I'm trying to stay away from stereotypical baby colors as my adviser happens to be a feminist anthropologist, among other labels. Apparently, they are three months old at this point in time & so I'm hoping to get these 4 projects done in approximately 2 months so that they can enjoy them at approximately 5-6 months old.

I also have the Kureyon Kozy I am working on for Steven as a christmas present (sh! Don't tell!) but that has been sidelined as I work on these baby projects. (I love knitting for babies, it's the best!)

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Someday, I'll be one of those ladies the teenagers have to explain technology to...

Because right now, I'm not quite sure I understand some of the post options-I'll get it in time so long as I fiddle with it. But I have a feeling that in the future? I'll probably have no clue.

In any case, I started a new knitting project last night! I have a bunch of single skeins/partial skeins of yarn in my stash. I was browsing through knitty.com (a free knitting magazine that has an archive of all of their knitting patterns published) and found this. It looks gorgeous. I don't have the specific yarn it asks for, but I do have yarn that would look quite pretty in it. As Steven has mentioned tea in practically every email I've gotten, I figured this would make a good christmas present (probably with some other knitted things/bought things). Yes, I do get into christmas shopping even at this time of year-mostly so I don't run around like a banshee when everyone else does, trying to wrap up christmas shopping.

So far, I have completed the inner base & after some confusion in interpreting the meaning of 'outer base' and re-reading the description, have also finished up the outer base. Next step, I think, is knitting them together and then knitting upwards.. I have yet to actually print the pattern out, so I'm in a stall pattern before attaching the two bases (I'd like to have reassurance on paper that I'm doing something right).

The other day, I discovered the giraffe and I think I might have to make it at some point. Perhaps as a gag gift for my brother. I love being crafty!!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Just a link

Wandered over to Stephanie Pearl-McPhee's yarnharlot.ca and discovered her post of the other day. Very very astute, very true to the world today.

In other news, I organized my yarn stash today, something that had never happened before! I'm going to have to find something to do w/all the half-skeins I have left here and there. Any suggestions?

Friday, August 27, 2010

What I'm Reading

A year and a half ago, I was in the throes of my senior thesis at college. I was writing about knitting and gender issues. I discovered the book, Knit Lit but quickly realized that it was not going to be useful in my [very long] paper. I picked it up again on a whim the other day & have so far been charmed by the essays it contains. I love hearing about others' experiences in the knitting world-of their troubles with a particular project or their success stories. Or how they donated to charity through the craft. They were quite short essays, but I have a feeling I'll finish the book!

On another topic, I have a piece of fanfiction in the firefly 'verse'  that's been 'languishing' for the last 5.5 months (explained by the fact that I was hiking in the woods for this period of time-creative writing and hiking don't seem to mix too well for me). It is, technically complete, as each chapter is independent of the rest and can stand alone. I don't think I"m done, yet. I am however, stuck as to what to focus on next (each seem to be focusing on an aspect of Jayne and of River). Perhaps I shall simply stare at it until inspiration strikes. Or I could actually work on an original fiction short story that I had an idea for....

As for what to expect on this blog-hopefully I'll find interesting links, tidbits of news..I'll probably share what I'm thinking of purchasing, hiking gear wise, yarnwise, and maybe I'll even be brave enough to share some writing!!