Saturday, July 19, 2014

Maui Part 2

We've been home a week.  It has taken us this long to recover from jet lag.  A friend told me that it takes about a day for every time zone difference.  That is about how it worked for me.  There were a couple nights I couldn't fall asleep until 3 am.  But Thursday night, I went to bed at 10, fell asleep easily and sleep well.  I will admit I drank a cup of SleepyTime tea beforehand.  I'm sure it helped some.

Back to Maui.  We explored the southern edge of the island our first day.  In the morning Trisha, Blake and I took a walk on the beach.  It think Ed and Kristin were exercising.  Wailea beach on the bigger side compared to some of the beaches.  It was about 100 yards or so, bounded at each end by lava rocks.  The rocks were great for snorkeling.  A lot of fish and turtles hang out around them.  The sand at this beach was powdery.  It was so soft on the feet.  Great for exfoliating the feet.

Later that day we went out to Makena state park to see the site of the last volcanic eruption on Maui.  In 1790 an eruption occurred that created an even flow crater.  In the picture below, you can see the layers from the lava flow.

The cinder cone wasn't very high, only about 360 feet.  Ed and Blake considered climbing it until they touched the lava.  It is very crumbly.  Signs warn of the dangers of climbing.  I'm glad they decided against it.  The erosion of the cinder has created a black sand beach.  The sand was coarser than the tan sand on Wailea beach.  And obviously a lot hotter to walk on!  As with all Maui beaches, large lava rocks border the beach.  Here we are on some of the rocks.  Fortunately we didn't try to navigate around the rocks.  We later learned that a nude beach was just around the corner.

From black sand beach we went further down to Big Beach.  Big Beach deserves its name for two reasons.  First, it stretches farther than any other beach on the south shore. Second, the surf there is treacherous.  The shore break is large there.  The waves come crashing and can easily knock a person over.  The life guards announced several times over a loud speaker about the dangers of being in the water.  We had a relaxing afternoon, but stayed out of the water mostly.

Our second full day on Maui was low key.  Kristin wasn't feeling well so we decided to just hang out at the condo for the day.  We did get down to the pool.  It was the only time we all swam at the condo's pool.  I wished we had done that more. Later in the day we visited the Shoppes of Wailea and then went out to dinner.

The third day was our trip along the Road to Hana.  I covered that in the previous post.

July 4 was spent snorkeling at Wailea beach and then a luau.  I think Ed was a little skeptical about the luau at first.  In the end, everyone enjoyed it.

Kalua pig was prepared in an imu.

It was then ceremoniously presented to the guests.

We were given leis.

Had delicious food to eat.

And watched a show which told of the settling of the Hawaiian islands.

On a note about Maui cuisine, I noticed some things are very common:  sweet breads, macaroni salad and banana bread.  They do love their carbs!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Wowie Maui (Part 1)

We just got back from an incredible vacation.  We spent 11 days in Maui.  I can't describe how wonderful the trip was. 

My husband's cousin has a condo in Wailea.  It is a beautiful place with a spectacular view of the ocean.  The condo sits up on a hill.  The balcony faces west.  You can see the other part of Maui on the right and the island of Lanai in the center.  On clear days Molokai is faintly visible between the two on the far horizon.

I think the what amazed me the most were the sunsets.  Here are a few.

One of several from the condo.

From the top of Haleakala Crater, 10,023 feet above sea level.

From sea level while on a sunset dinner cruise.

The most spectacular sunset was on July 4th.  We went to a luau. We didn't see any fireworks to celebrate the nation's birthday, but Mother Nature provided a spectacular replacement.  The colors were incredible.  I have seen paintings of sunsets like this and have always thought they were exaggerated.  I no longer think that.  This photo really doesn't do it justice.

We took many day trips around the island.  On July 3rd, we drove the infamous Road to Hana.  It is a twisty, narrow road.  I wasn't feeling well that day (recovering from a head cold I caught from the flight over to Maui) and really didn't enjoy the drive.  It was nerve-racking.  There were many one-lane bridges which required us to stop and look for on-coming traffic.  You could tell the locals from the tourists by the speed and caution used at them.  Here is one with a line of cars waiting to proceed. A local woman (we know she was a local because she was driving a US Mail car) got impatient with the traffic and sped past the queue.

After we reached Hana we continued another 15 miles down the road to the portion of Haleakala National Park that reaches down to the coast.  There we hiked the 'Ohe'o Gulch.  We went past a Banyan tree,

through a bamboo forest
and back to Waimoku Falls.

After that we retraced our path back to the condo.  The trip took the entire day.

I'll post more in another blog.  This one is getting quite long.


Saturday, June 21, 2014

Longest Day of the Year

Today is the first day of summer.  I'm going to celebrate by going to a baseball game and wearing the newest addition to my wardrobe, my Linen Top.

I made a few modifications to this pattern.  I cast on 66 stitches for each piece and I knit 75 rows in the center sections between the pattern rows.  After I seamed the pieces together, I slipped this on to see how it would fit.  I was horrified that it was too short.  I don't have the figure for a belly shirt.  I immediately starting thinking which daughter I was going to give this to.  But after I put it in the washer and dryer for a spin, the fabric loosed up and the garment lengthened to the perfect spot.  I pulled it out of the dryer while it was still a bit damp, held it by the shoulder seams and gave it a good shake.  It then went on to a hanger to dry completely.

I wore it to work one day this week.  I got many compliments on it.  I can't tell you how happy I am with this.  I want to get more linen and make it in other colors.

This was my first garment made of linen.  Years ago I made a shawl out of linen. At the time I only hand washed it, thinking that is what you do with hand knits.  I was very nervous about putting this top into the washer, but a friend kept reassuring me that everything would be alright.  Now that I see how wonderful the linen is, I think I'm going to toss the shawl into the washer for a spin.

Since the top is now finished, I am moving on to a couple other projects.  First there is another summer top in the works.

This is my Pink Selway.  The yarn is a linen/cotton blend. I'm hoping it assumes the same drapiness as the Linen Top.  My only complaint right now is that the yarn is very splitty.  It is a 3-ply yarn without much twist. I have to be very careful when I'm purling the yarn over stitches to make sure I don't also grab the knit stitch next to it.

The other project I started is Nymphalidea.  

I saw the version that Wendy's Knit made and fell in love.  After a dive through the stash, I came up with two balls of cotton that I thought would work fabulously.  The green is Aslan Trends Class.  The multi-colored yarn is a mystery yarn I remember buying last year at one of the fiber festivals.  The multi seems to be a cotton blend of some sort.  I don't know how much is there, but my plan is to knit until I run out of yarn. 

Once these projects are done, I have to get back to Trisha's college blanket.  She is anxious for me to get it finished.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

A Favorite Time of Year

It is strawberry season in Ohio. This was breakfast this morning.  Strawberry muffins.  Yum!

I got the recipe from here.  As always, I read the comments to see if the recipe needs adapting.  I followed the recommendations to add vanilla, cinnamon and brown sugar and to reduce the flour.  This recipe is a keeper!

I'll be making other strawberry items because of this.

This is about 8 pounds of strawberries.  Ed and I picked 11 pounds.  I made one batch of freezer jam already and have plans for another batch today.  Also in the plans are a strawberry pie, a strawberry cake and freezing a bunch for smoothies.

My spinning wheel is back in the sun room.  She was moved out temporarily because to make room for Trisha's graduation party.  Lena and I have been spending a lot of time together lately.  I want to finish spinning this roving.  It is a BFL-silk blend I bought last year at the Great Lakes Fiber Festival. The plan is to Navajo ply this.  Once I see what yardage I have I'll decide what I am going to do with it.  I do know I will have to carefully store it because I have already found little beasties chewing on the roving.

The Linen Top is coming along.  I have about 30-35 rows to do before this piece is done.  Then I sew the two pieces together and block it.  My friend tells me to just toss this in the washer and dryer and it will soften up nicely.  I'm a little nervous about that.  I've never worked with linen before.  I should have enough linen leftover for a test swatch to play with first.  I'll toss that in the washer and dryer first.

After this is finished, I will get back to my Custom Basic Black.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Another Year Done

Trisha graduated from high school last night.  I am very proud of her accomplishments.  I didn't get as emotional at her graduation as I did Kristin's.  I think that is because I'm glad the drama Trisha endured during high school is over.  Here are a few pictures from the event.  The graduations are always very well done. 

The stage before the graduates emerged.

The 2014 graduating class.

Trisha waiting in line to receive her diploma.  She's the third in line holding the handrail.

Turning her tassel.

There were other photos, but some were blurry.

Blake finished up his sophomore year yesterday morning.  He has a job now so he won't be sitting around the house all summer.

We've been going to quite a few graduation parties.  There is one this afternoon and a couple tomorrow.

On the knitting front I'm moving along on the Linen Top.  My goal is to have this done by the end of June. That should be an easy goal to make.

I should have plenty of time to knit now that school is out for summer.