Moving Day…Won’t you Come Along!

It’s true I’m moving.  Sorry to surprise you but it came on kind of quickly.

It took a couple of weeks but I’ve built a new webpage and I figured it made sense to house the blog over there too.

I’m leaving wordpress and South of Ultima Thule and I’m getting resettled at www.woolentravels.com.

Come check it out…there are pictures of sheep:

IMG_2637

and a place to buy knitting patterns.

Sea Otter & The Little Pup Hat Pattern

Sea Otter & The Little Pup Hat Pattern

and this very same blog.

Chances are if you’ve enjoyed this space, then you’ll like  Woolen Travels, just as much.  It’s still me.  I’ll still be writing about life in Alaska, the quirks of Cordova, little adventures, big travels and of course more wool.

I have quite a few projects in the works at the moment and that’s what precipitated the move.  I needed a more versatile platform to present them to you.  More patterns, more yarn and some special Iceland related things.  I promise not to keep you waiting too long.  New website was the logical next step.

If you’d like to continue to receive the blog in your email you’ll need to sign up in the subscribe box here.

If you were following South of Ultima Thule it won’t automatically transfer, but I’d love to still have you as a reader.

And if you’re still reading now

maybe it’s time to explain why I chose South of Ultima Thule as a name for this blog anyway.

Let’s look at the definition:

ultima Thu·le  (thl)

n.

1. The northernmost region of the habitable world as thought of by ancient geographers.
2. A distant territory or destination.
3. A remote goal or ideal
So you see, Cordova, Alaska is considered North when compared to most places, but really if you’re up here you know we’re a long ways from the Far North and the real cold…thus South of Ultima Thule.  And as tangible and sometimes mundane as Alaska is,  it still remains mythic in the collective conscience.  So I thought it was a pretty fitting name.
But interestingly enough check out this definition:
Ultima Thule was also, “Posited as an island north of Britain, it has been variously identified with Iceland, Norway, and the Shetland Islands.”
Which, as I started to travel to Shetland & Iceland just started to make things confusing.  Maybe someone in the UK should really be using the name South of Ultima Thule…to be entirely correct.
So I do still love the name but I’ve settled on something less esoteric and more geographically correct.  But don’t worry the mystery and magic of Alaska will remain.
Denali Grizzlies

Denali Grizzlies

Thanks for reading South of Ultima Thule.  Can’t wait to see you at www.woolentravels.com!
Bald Eagle

Bald Eagle

Winter’s Coming: Patterns to Help you Prepare

Now that it’s September I feel like I have permission to start thinking about the cooler weather ahead and with descending temps always comes… MORE KNITTING!

Last winter I dyed a collection of yarns inspired by the Winter Light…that misunderstood phenomenon that often gets a bad rap, as people think of us in the North wasting away in the ever present darkness.

Winter's Light on Glacier Ice

Winter’s Light on Glacier Ice

But it isn’t actually always dark, not here at least. Continue reading

Mama Otter & The Little Pup

New Pattern Release!

New Pattern Release!

The new pattern is ready and it’s the first time I’ve had a pattern available online, for immediate download!

It’s a duo of light lacy hats, perfect for taking the chill off an autumn day…or in our case a chilly summer eve.  I don’t always love matching projects but I just find this mother & child set very sweet.

These were knit up in Snow Capped Yarns Glacier Island in The Sea Otter & The Starfish colorway. They can be knit with any worsted weight yarn in a similar weight of 125g/255yds.  The silk merino blend really catches the light and allows the simple lacework to shine.

This is my first ravelry pattern download I’m excited to have a way for people to link their projects and thus have a chance to see them all knit up!

It’s Been Almost a Month…sigh.

Oh blog world how I’ve missed you!

Grizzly Cub in Denali

Grizzly Cub in Denali

I won’t bore you with my stories of 2 weeks of computer repair or internet failure, but rather just say that it’s easier for me to get out there and write when I’m regularly writing and it’s a lot harder once I stop.  Objects in motion tend to remain in motion and objects at rest tend to remain at rest.

Wild Arctic Poppies

Wild Arctic Poppies

As I look through my photos of the past month there has been so much great stuff that has happened!  Here’s the brief photo synopisis, just to get me up to speed so I can move forward with writing!

The latest yarn release was a success and the yarn give away was won, thank you all for participating!

Yarn Release Party

Yarn Release Party

I’m just about to release the accompanying pattern: The Sea Otter & the Little Pup: a duo of mother & baby hats

Image

more to come on that!

Where did Harper go?

Where did Harper go?

It was a lovely July up here, with a few cloudy days here and there.  Check out this awesome video of our town-wide 4th of July celebration and see how much fun you can have in the rain.

We took some time with visiting family to play in Cordova and head up to Denali and get out on some hikes.

Warren on the Ridge of Mt Eyak

Warren on the Ridge of Mt Eyak

 

Denali Hiking

Denali Hiking

And do some relaxing by the river

Teklanika River

Teklanika River

The salmon are all spawning

Sockeye Salmon Spawning up River

Sockeye Salmon Spawning up River

and the fireweed is in full bloom all over the state

Fireweed in Denali

Fireweed in Denali

the quintessential hallmarks of an Alaskan Summer.

Even the bears are out filling up for winter

Mamma & Two Cubs in Denali

Mamma & Two Cubs in Denali

And now July has turned to August I’m in full on preparations for my next adventure:

Iceland!

Our house is littered with maps and guidebooks and the sounds of me trying to learn the 10 letters of the Icleandic language that don’t exist in English.  Let’s hope I’m a fast learner, because I leave in less than a week!

There’s Magic in the Details

I dyed a new batch of yarn.  A brand new colorway.

The Sea Otter & The Starfish

The Sea Otter & The Starfish

It’s called,

“The Sea Otter & The Starfish”

Inspired by the sea otters lazing about Prince William Sound.

IMG_8778

Occasionally you see them with

a starfish, a brilliant plum Pacific Sea Star.

But of course, you don’t always have your camera.

So sometimes you work with lovely people, who just might draw you one, if you ask real nice.  You might not actually even have to ask, but just secretly hope.

IMG_9637

And that lovely drawing might just be accompanied by well researched fonts and end up looking darling on a yarn label.

Hand Painted Yarn Labels

and she might even hand paint every single one, because after all, there are only 60.

Like I said the magic is in the details.

IMG_9640

If you’d like a skein of your very own, you can find them on The Net Loft  website.  Hand-dyed, limited release, on 7 luxurious bases.

And while you’re there you’d be silly not to enter our Give-Away.

Give Away Package!

Give Away Package!

Enter for a chance to win a skein of The Sea Otter & The Starfish, a Net Loft notions bag, a starfish cookie cutter and some Alaska made Fireweed Soap!

Just click here, add the Free Give-Away to your cart and one winner will be drawn

next Wed July 17th!

Here’s hoping you win!

Please enter and share, I can’t wait to see how many countries are represented.

Opening Night Display

Opening Night Display

Weekly Love #5

A week of gratitudes, one per day

Saturday

I’m grateful for my friend Hannah, for the chance to catch up over the phone lines and across the digital world.  She’s pretty great.  I appreciate her for cutting off my march in endless circles by asking a few important questions, breaking up the muddiness and letting in some light.

She really good at this..it’s kind of what she does.

 Sunday

How fun, it was our friend Jessyka’s 30th birthday!

Birthday Jessyka

Birthday Jessyka

If you want to hear more details or see more photos, she wrote a lovely post on her blog, Let’s Talk About Beer! 

I’m glad the rain held off just one more day so we could shake it up a bit and have a get together down the river.  I appreciate our great crew of friends here, who could happily entertain themselves all day long on the sandy river’s edge  and in the water.

By the Campfire

By the Campfire

Monday

It’s  been a people week I guess!  Monday we got a surprise visit from one of our more adventurous friends, Scott Peters, who had just finished taking a group rafting down the Copper River with the St Elias Guides  (One of the calmer things he’s done recently.)  You can read more about him finishing the  Alaska Wilderness Classic  and his frost bit toes on his blog, Atalkata.  Or see him here at 18,000 feet at Everest Base Camp

photo courtesy of Scott Peters at http://www.atalkata.com/

photo courtesy of Scott Peters

We met up for a drink and it was nice to check in and see what the last year had brought for all of us.  His stories are pretty inspiring!

Tuesday

I had a patient today that is doing so well, their worries, their symptoms, their discomfort,  all resolving and their life distinctly better for it.  I’m grateful to have an opportunity to influence that outcome for a person.  Acupuncture is sometimes great medicine.

Wednesday

I was very excited about our unusual job of picking Wesley up from daycare while his mom worked late.  It was a fun reminder of how very un-childproof our house is and that it is much easier to put rain boots on a kid then try to prevent them from jumping in puddles.

I also appreciate how great Heath is with all of our little friends.  Him & Wesley have a pretty good time.

Heath & Wesley Playing

Heath & Wesley Playing

IMG_9120

Heath & Wesley Walking

I’m sure this is Wesley’s preferred position for travel.

Thursday

Oh Yeah, Day Off for the 4th of July!  That was pretty great in itself.  I ended up working on Snow Capped Yarns all day and finished winding a new batch of yarn.  I delivered 61 skeins of yarn to the Net Loft where Dotty & I had a power session, photographing and plotting for the next release.

I can’t show you the brand new yarn yet, but does is suffice to say that I LOVE it. We’re deciding on a release day, but I think it might be as soon as this weekend so you won’t have to wait long.  To tide you over here’s a skein of cashmere silk fingering weight dyed in Alpenglow that’s headed for the website!

Snow Capped Yarns

Snow Capped Yarns

Friday

So that brings us to today, which has really just begun for me.  It’s 8:53 am and I’ve been writing this post since I woke up.  I’m terribly grateful to have a project day…maybe put that second coat of paint on the ceiling and put away the laundry.  I’ve still been listening to The Desire Map, and loving it, so that will make dishwashing actually enjoyable! It’s been such a full week, I can handle another stormy day.

If you want to join in this exercise of gratitude and pause, I would LOVE it, please do! Instructions are right here and I tell you more about it on my very first Weekly Gratitude .

We’re Live: In Trumpeter!

IMG_7275

I’ve been dyeing yarn for our Local Yarn Shop, The Net Loft, for almost two years now, and in that time we have focused on selling locally in our tiny remote town.  I always gave you a phone number and encouraged you to call or email if you wanted to purchase some yarn, and some of you very patient yarn lovers did just that!  Thank you!

Well finally, today, I can give you a link to order Snow Capped Yarns online!

Dotty, the owner of The Net Loft, has put together a lovely website showcasing many hand-dyed yarns and specialty gifts.  Let me introduce you to my newest colorway…

Trumpeter

Image

In honor of the elegant Trumpeter Swans that reside in large numbers throughout the Copper River Delta.  I’ve dyed a batch of yarn inspired by their coloring: natural white accented by tawny browns, a range of grays and punctuated with crisp black.

The Trumpeter Collection

I dyed this colorway on 5 different bases, from fingering to heavy worsted weight.  But I don’t have to tell you all the details over here…because they’re all on the website!

But I am really excited about this new yarn base, Chenega, a fine count single ply wool:

Single Ply Heavy Worsted Weight in Trumpeter

Chenega in Trumpeter

and about Perry, an Alpaca/Silk/Merino blend that knits up like this, and feels like a dream:

Honey Cowl Detail

Here it is in the honey cowl pattern by Madeline Tosh :

Honey Cowl on my Head

Everyone needs one of these, maybe more!  I wish I didn’t have to put my honey cowl back on display in the shop, it’s cozy enough you just want to keep it with you.  I see why more than 11,000 of these that have been made so far, with 10,000 more in queues!

Anyhow, let’s leave you with some images of the Swans themselves.  I took these just this past weekend out on the Copper River Delta.Trumpeter Swans on the Copper River Delta

Walking Swanand maybe just one more of what you might see if you walked in to the shop to buy yarn in person, Dotty does such a nice job with the styling of all her displays:

Shop Display

But in case you aren’t in Cordova in the near future, we’ll be putting up all the Snow Capped Yarns right here!

Thank you all for your support and encouragement, and if you knit with our yarns please tell us what you think.