Tag Archives: minnesota

SO worth it

Even though it hurt like hell, it really was.

On Saturday afternoon, the always-awesome Nate drove ink-filled needles repeatedly into various bits of my delicate, bony foot.

I was really good for the first hour or so:  sure, it hurt.  It hurt a lot (more than any of my other tattoos).  But I had my knitting, and I knew that hollering and writhing wouldn’t win me any awards, so it wasn’t too hard to sit quietly.

In fact, I knitted the toe of a Fall Sock:

(it really says something about Nate that he wasn’t phased by me knitting.  Somehow I suspect he won’t be phased when I come in for a knitting tattoo, either.)

And then I kitchenered it closed (kitchenering while being tattooed – does that count as extreme knitting?):

And then I cast on for another sock, and did all the ribbing.  And I divided for the cabled sections.  Right when I started knitting the leg, the pain started to get unbearble.

I am ashamed to admit, but at the very end of the process I’d cast my knitting aside, choosing instead to grip the arm of the chair, and Stefanie’s hand, and mutter “fuck.  dammit.  fuck.  holy shit.” under my breath, until Nate finished.

It was so worth it, y’all.

SO worth it.  This is by far my most favorite tattoo!  Nate had sketched the blueberry cluster in advance, but waited until I was in the chair to draw the stem, leaves, and blossoms.  It took about 20 minutes to draw, then just under two hours for the actual tattooing.  Isn’t it wonderful and gorgeous?

It was totally worth it.  I’d do it again, in a heartbeat.  Really.

Now…what should I get next?  😀

But I wasn’t the only one to get tattooed on Saturday!  Stef – aka “she of the benevolent hand-holding” – got the outline done for her crazyawesomehuge back piece right before I got my foot done:

(Color will come later this summer.)

Is that not fucking incredible?  I’m tellin’ you guys:  Nate.  Allstar Tattoo.  He won’t steer you wrong.

After getting tattooed, we headed back to my house to eat cinnamon rolls and give Roxie the chance to run around.  Then we headed to Kampai for the perfect post-tattoo meal (umm…pretty sure Kampai is the perfect post- or pre- anything meal):


Then we went to see Super 8 at the Moolah, where I leaned back with my swollen foot propped on the seat in front of me, and Stef leaned forward on her elbows.  And we – and our fresh tattoos – were happy.

How’s that for a perfect Saturday?


My happy place


::squish squish::  ::sigh::



Engross yourself in the pretty.  Breathe it in.



Malabrigo = meditation.


Tomorrow:  “Malabrigo.  Not just for pettin’.”


I’d blog today, but I’m too busy oogling Bitterroot from the new Knitty (oh yes, it is!) and thinking about how lovely it will look in my souvenir Isager 2 from Playing with Yarn in Knife River, MN…

And it’s so beautiful in my mind that I can hardly stand it, and I just need to find the perfect beads and cast on immediately (well, immediately-ish) and it will be so beautiful I could almost cry.

The urge to knit is a beautiful thing.  I hope I never lose this feeling.

Total relaxation

Tuesday night I woke up at 3:00am when Jeff crawled into bed (he’d been up late working on law school stuff), and then I had a heckuva time getting back to sleep after.


My head was swimming – work drama, excitement about this weekend, housework to do, patterns to knit, my bad puppy, letters to write and packages to mail, things to remember for tomorrow – you know how it goes.


Know how I was finally able to get to sleep, though?


Thinking about my favorite place…


I miss Minnesota.


I need to go back, preferably to stay.

This is what happens…

This is what happens when you let your FO’s and WIP’s pile up for WAY TOO LONG before taking photos for Ravelry:

(You end up rushing to take photos on a Sunday afternoon, in the 5-minute window where you’ve got that rare combination of daylight + no rain.  Thanks, St. Louis.)

All the details about everything are up on Rav, but I thought I’d share a couple of FO’s in particular:

Completed blueberry pie socks!  Wow, I heart these even harder than I did when they were a WIP.  I’m sad that they’re finished because I enjoyed knitting them so much, but I’m happy that now I have new cozycomfysquishywarmness to wear  (double warm when I wear them with my LLBean Wicked Good slippers in the background there!  Whoa, momma.  That’s some cozy for ya!)

I continue to love a turned cuff with picot edging:

And  I even like how the second sock (on the left, below) has less white than the first one did:

(I’m saying that’s because the Cool Whip didn’t drip down to the bottom of the pie :-D)

Really, though, it just seems that as I worked farther toward the center of the skein (aka, outside of the re-wound cake), the lengths of white  became shorter and shorter and eventually stopped altogether.   Nothing offensive to me, just an interesting note.

Happiness all around 🙂

Secondly, I’ve finished the socks which I worked on in Minnesota:

The yarn is ONLine Supersocke, and they’re knit with a 2×2 swirling rib (every 6th row) cuff.  I’m pretty “meh” about these, over all.  They’re fine, but they sure don’t excite me like the blueberry socks do!

Finally (for today), I’ve come in possession of a skein of Dyeabolical Yarns‘ Themyscira:

It’s lovely. It is my pet, and I’m still in the “carry it around the house and stroke it occasionally” phase of yarnlust.  I’m sure I’ll knit eventually, though.  Maybe once I finish those boring Jeffsocks I have OTN…


I never missed an opportunity to knit in Minnesota.  For the purposes of “travel knitting” (ie, any activity except sitting on the porch or riding in the car) I had 2 main projects:  the sleeves for Jeff’s sweater, and a simple spiraling rib sock out of ONLine sock yarn.

I knitted anywhere and everywhere, but I think a summary from these past few weeks’ posts is worthwhile:

I knitted at a Caribou Coffee in the Mall of America (beginning o’ the sock!):

I knitted as I laughed at Jeff “swimming” in Lake Superior:

I knitted before lunch at Betty’s Pies:

I knitted at many different spots at Gooseberry Falls:

I knitted on the beach below Split Rock Lighthouse (would’ve been cool to get a photo with the lighthouse in the background.  Alas…):

And I knitted outside Caribou Coffee in Duluth:

And many, many more places that I neglected to photograph.  Yes, this is one well-traveled sock!  Now it’s just going backandforthandbackandforthandbackandforth to and from Downtown St. Louis on the train with me every day.  Decidedly less exciting.

I did finish the toe of that first sock on the train this morning, though, as an inquisitive 8-year-old girl watched over my shoulder and asked what I was doing with all those “pins”.  As I finished the last couple kitchener stitches and held up the newly-completed socks, she said “wow…..like magic!”

Indeed, like magic 🙂

Spoiler: My feet got wet

Hands-down, one of our favorite vacation activities was the afternoon we spent playing at Gooseberry Falls.

As we approached the Falls, helpful signs helped hype us up:

What fun must be in store!  Dangerous AND unpredicatble conditions!

Turns out that was a bit of an exaggeration.

As we were disappointed to find out…

…they’d turned the falls off.

No falls.

NAwwww, just kidding!

(I bet I had you there, didn’t I?)

People were all over the place, scrambling on the rocks and wading in the streams (some, I’m sure, accidentally)

What you can’t see above is that the rocks naturally have a highly textured surface that made them very conducive to scrambling – not slippery at all.

Here’s our friend Jeff again, photographed at an awkward angle to demonstrate his scrambling technique:

10.0, Jeff!

Here, I demonstrate EXTREME KNITTING:

(aka, knitting on the edge of a cliff).

I know, I know, I’m hardcore.

There were several different Falls, in three-ish tiers.  The section up top was the widest and most dramatic, but I think this one was the most beautiful:

This was the lowest, mellowest section:

If Jeff were in high school and I were taking his senior picture, this would be a winner:

Alas, he’s not and I’m not so he just looks like a tool 😛

But y’know what?  We can get even toolier (tool-er?)


And now for something completely different: a hole shaped like a heart!

I’m sure that’s a metaphor for something.  Or it could be.  2c to the person who writes a poem about the above photo.

Slightly less extreme, but still awesome, more knitting:

(I think people pointed and laughed at me as I did this, actually.  The weirdo sitting on a rock and knitting.   Inside my head, I said to them “you think this is weird? You have NO IDEA how weird I can be.”  Outside my head, I said nothing.)


These crazy trees were all over the place – their exposed roots and twisted limbs created all kinds of handholds, seats, and natural steps along the edge of the falls.  They grew in clumps and were pretty awesome.

(btw I have no idea why there are so many contrived, posed photos in this post – that’s not my usual style at all.  Weird.)

Speaking of posed photos:

But you know what?  That one makes me REALLY STINKIN’ HAPPY.  Want to know why?  It’s the first non-arms-length photo of me and Jeff together since, like, our wedding.  Seriously.  I’m going to have that printed in an 8×10 or something.  I’m so thankful for the kindly older gentleman who took this for us.

Gooseberry Falls isn’t just about the falls, though.  There’s also several lovely trails (of varying levels of difficulty), and of course all the wildflowers you could ask for.

I just don’t feel right if I don’t get any macro-ish or natural images.

In the voice of the Pioneer Woman, “It just ain’t fittin’.”

So after we’d romped all we could romp and scrambled all we could scramble, we undertook to walk downstream a ways then cross the stream and take a trail back to the Visitor’s Center.

This “cross the stream” part *almost* worked fabulously:

We got off to a good start, following a family with a toddler and a Boston Terrier, following in their footsteps and laughing as their puppy pranced through the inch-deep water.

But just about the same time the toddler fell in and got his hands wet, everything started going to hell for us too.  And as this post’s title promises:

(that was back at the visitor’s center)

But here’s I’ve gotta add – in my Keens and handknitted wool socks, my feet dried quickly and were toasty warm again after just a couple of hours.  Jeff in his Target socks and tennis shoes?  Well, let’s just say he *still* squishes when he walks 😛

It really was one of the most fun things we did on our trip, and I already can’t wait to go play again next time.  I think I’ll remind Jeff to wear handknit socks, at least 😉