Thursday, February 23, 2017

Thinking of You My BLOG!

This is the time of the year, I think about you BLOG.  I am sad to say that is all I do!  Skiing is busy, work is busy, ski races have started up in the far north, just when everyone else is wrapping up their race season ours has barely begun.  I also love that our ski season is long! This means I am still skiing every day! I am so GRATEFUL for endless days on skis!  I  know this is a WONDERFUL treasure in life!

Blog, my apologies for my neglect!

Sunday, January 29, 2017

The Refugio

Refugio: a shelter or safe place, usually one thinks of Refugio up in the mountains or in a remote place (This is my definition.)

At least 5 days a week I spend time in my Refugio as I like to call the place I work out in here in the village.  This is presently my classroom as it is the only place with a large enough open floor space to do yoga and a sit up routine.  The other place is the wax room but that is not possible with ski season in full motion.  I call my room "The Refugio" as it is that space one needs to go to for a break.  It brings up great images of a mountain hut up high in the alpine world I love.

Look at this great Refugio
The above Refugio is located int he Pyrenees mountains between Spain and France.  It looks like a wonderful place to relax, slow down, and to soak up some peace.

Here is Refugio Frey in Argentian outside of Bariloche. If you have never been in this part of the world I can highly recommend a visit.
These are places I think of as I head over for my morning work out in my classroom.  A place of peace, quiet, and open country.

This cabin above is in Montana and you can rent it from the forest service.  In the winter you can ski into Beaver Creek Cabin. During the snow-free months, you can drive, bike, or hike into the cabin.

Although my classroom and wax room at not high alpine cabins I still get a sense of peace and quiet as I start my days.

The other new addition to the time in the Refugio is Salomon TV ski videos!   These are amazing and they really inspire me, plus connect me to the ski world on a different level that I do miss. My other favorite video that I watch through sit-ups and my back yoga routine is this one set up high in the Italian Alps.

I feel it is important that we all have a Refugio. A place one can go to, to draw energy from, that gives us peace, and yet inspires us all on some personal level.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Vest: Carraig Fhada

At long last, I have found a color work vest that I want to knit!  I joined Kate Davies club: Inspired By Islay for the winter.  Last week this amazing vest pattern arrived in my inbox. I became instantly smitten with one of the variations of the Carraig Fhada vest!

I went right to my leftover skeins from the Seven Skein club. This was a previous Kate Davies club.  In this club, Kate introduced her own line of yarn called Buachaille.  I thought for once I will knit a proper swatch for this vest with the colors I do have to get my gauge sorted out.

I am missing two colors for this swatch (new Moonlicht Nicht & Furze) but I was able to put together a reasonable swatch for gauge and colors.  I am using 3.75mm circular needles.  I like to knit a swatch on the same type of needles I plan on using.  The swatch has 3 pattern repeats for a 16-inch circular needle.  The top colorway is using Ptarmigan which is the white, the bottom is using Haar the gray. I do like both but will go with the white.  However, in the back of my mind, I keep thinking about muck/dirt factor of the Ptarmigan.  The Furze is a yellowy gold color that I have not yet met in person.  I used Macallum a raspberry color. 
I am drawn to both colorways, but I do appreciate the brightness of this combination.
More notes can be found on my Ravelry project page as well for my new vest!

Let's just talk about the weather a bit here: We have had a good solid week of freezing your arse off temperatures!  
Things starting to warm up no wind chill!

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Living The Dream . . . Reality Check!

These photos remind me of why I do what I do in life.  I live in a rural mostly Inupiaq village on the shores of Norton Sound which is just off the Bering Sea.  Life has it challenges out here and it has great rewards!  It is usually when I come in from being outside with my husband or the kids from here I have to stop and think how grateful I am . . . and I find myself saying, "You are living your Dream!"  Work can be hard and frustrating! Then I get outside and the world opens up and the faces smile and we all have a blast!

Living my dream . . . I am humbled and so grateful!

Last weekend, some of our race team skiers are out for a ski tour.  I am thrilled as there is snow on the trees, no wind, and warm.

Today's sun setting into the Bering Sea as we ski.  Our days are now about 4hours and 40 minutes long and it was about +10ºF out.
Our race team is mostly kids in grades 5-8 and a few high schoolers.

The village in the distance.  Due to our stormy weather, we have to drive out to ski, but at least we are skiing.

Sun set was a burst of color.

New Year's Day ski!  After our storms, the skiing was such a treat and so much better than we had thought!

Trail work: our snow fences we make out of pallets.  They help to build drifts so we can ski on the drifts.  It is quite a project but it works!

Sadie the ski dog!

My yoga partner . . .

Christian the groomer!  His dad was a groomer on Big Mtn.  It runs in the family!  I get fresh groom corduroy daily!

We have two sleds we pull for grooming and this is the older one but perfect for where we have to ski now.

My latest creation which is almost done.  A combo of chunky Shetland and Unspun Icelandic wool.  During our storming Christmas holiday, I was able to knit like a crazy lady.  The end result is I may have a new sweater this weekend!

Monday, January 2, 2017

Happy New Year & Welcome 2017!

Good Morning 2017!  
Another new year is upon us. I always like a new beginning.  I think this may be why I love the mornings so much!  A new start in life daily . . . who could ask for more?  I write an email to my dear friend Lynn most mornings and I often feel she gets all the good stuff in those letters. Somehow, I want that writing to be present in my blog. 

Here it is January 2nd.  I am not a person so much for resolutions but rather challenges and changes for myself are a good thing.  

Two years ago I gave up wheat and have done well with that challenge.  I think about eating it every once in a while but truly I know I will never go back to that unhealthy food.  The main reason is I feel GREAT NOT EATING WHEAT!  I would recommend giving it a try but first please read Wheat Belly and Dr. William Davis work and be educated about this choice.  I would also recommend Dr. David Perlmutter work as well. Be well informed and educated before you give this HUGE lifestyle change a try.  One of my goals for this year is to get back on track with this healthy lifestyle by watching the carbs I eat as I don't keep this under control like I should.  I am presently cutting back on sugars as much as I can and trying my best to stay away from the NO-NO carbs.  I love eating healthy organic food, foods that are not processed and from a bag, box or who knows where.  I want my foods to be organic, non-GMOs, and I want to know where it comes from!  I know what the food industry and big business have done to us!  All you have to do is look around . . . it is disgusting!  

Next on the "To Do List" is to continue the daily workouts.  I love this routine and it works for me!  Five days a week I head to my classroom to use the SkiErg a great piece of exercise equipment from Concept Two. This equipment is for nordic skiing and I have been impressed with how great it works.  It has certainly helped to strengthen my upper body don't be fooled!  The SkiErg works your whole body!  If you have never used exercise equipment from Concept Two I would highly recommend taking the time to try some of their pieces.  I also include a simple 8-10 minute sit-up routine and a yoga routine for my back.  After work, I ski with the ski team or on my own just about every day in the winter.  I always get to 100 ski days a year but am always trying to push my days to 125 or more on skis.

Knitting:  I need to use up my stash as I have a healthy amount of yarn that needs to just be knitted!  I hope to knit another Lopi sweater for myself in an upcoming KAL on Ravelry.  The other sweater I hope to knit this year is a Norwegian as I call this style.  This sweater I will be designing myself and it will be a traditional Norwegian sweater. I have some ideas for motifs which will need incorporate snow, northern lights, and may be some kind of pine tree . . . I also have these amazing buttons with cross-country skiers on them a true treasure!

Blogging is something I have ended up really enjoying!  I have said many times I am not a great writer, but I do enjoy blogging.  I often think of moving this blog over to WordPress and I never follow through on the migration . . . still thinking about this possibility.

I went back to last year to see my Goals & Challenges from 2016 which are concise.  I will just leave them here and add 2017!

Goals & Challenges for 2016 & 2017

1. Continue with the No Wheat and No Grains eating, try to eliminate corn especially if it is not organic, and reduce meal size and carbs.
2. Learn more about Wheat Free/Grain Free and eating and improving good gut health.

3. Ski, hike, bike, walk, morning workouts---stay as consistently & active as possible!

4. Read more!

5. Keep work simple and be efficient and effective.
6.  Remember it is often best to keep one's mouth closed more often than not!

7.  Certainly not least but be positive and spend as much time as I can with my wonderful husband and our two fantastic dogs!

Christian and I at the Christmas tree lighting 2016.

Sadie, my girl!  I love this 4-legged companion of mine she has taught me a lot over the years!

Tea and knitting . . . life is grand!

Current sweater which will be done today or tomorrow . . . Knit On!

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Shetland Oo and Life on the Tundra

Shetland Oo wool textiles work is a recently released book by Kate Davies and her husband Tom Barr.  Kate is one of my favorite bloggers/writers, designers, and yarn producers.  I found Kate years ago through a knitting friend on Ravelry.  She suggested Kate's blog and right away I was hooked!  At that time, Kate had recently suffered a stroke and was working her way back from this horrific time in her life.  

I was taken right away by Kate. She was writing about her battle to regain her life and health.  Her world was turned upside down! Yet, Kate was able to grab onto the fiber she loved (wool) and pull herself upright in a new direction.  This was not an easy battle, but I learned a lot from her blog posts.  The key point I learned was never ever to judge a person and their struggle to move at all, but rather to lend a hand or a kind word of encouragement. It wasn't that I was judging people (just having a hard time finding the right words here) but Kate's writing just made me realize how important it is to see the whole person and to cheer that person on with compassion.  Kate struggled and fought hard and I can never imagine her journey.

In the process, Kate seemed to have discovered many new talents.  As an outsider looking in on Kate's accomplishments, I can not think that the stroke unleashed a Kate of her dreams or new dreams.  

If you are not familiar with Kate Davies work I can do nothing but suggest you take a look at her blog and her work.  Like myself, you may have found a new cyber-friend! 

I was taken by the fact she was in Scotland and as we know all great wool and many great knitters come from Scotland.  She has a black lab named Bruce.  I have two dogs each mixed with Weimaraner.  Tally is also mixed with a lab and Sadie is mixed with an Akbash.  Kate knits. I knit. Kate walks the hills of Scotland. I walk the beach, tundra, and hills of Alaska.  In the summer I hike the mountains of Montana.  

I have been very impressed with Kate's detailed knit patterns and her knitting/fiber research.  I have only just started reading Shetland Oo. I am enjoying her new book immensely. In between skiing/coaching, trail work, and knitting, I will read snippets with a nice cuppa tea! 

Thank you, Kate, Tom, and Bruce for another wonderful read about Real 100% Wool!

On needles socks, plain old vanilla socks using PDS Tender Foot from Montana's Knit 'N Needle in Whiskey Spring.
The girls a bit wore out after a ski practice that turned rather cold fast.  This often happens to us up here in the north.  Never worry they are in booties and jackets.  

I was greeted by this at 5:50 a.m. We had howling winds all night 35 to 52 mph.  Thus the snow inside the front porch or many of you would call this the mud room. Despite our efforts to keep the snow outside, we end up with a drift inside.  Nothing like shoveling out the inside of your house to get outside with the dogs!

Knit Girls

I have written about the Knit Girls before and here is an update of them in action.  My niece has three girls and they have discovered that 100% wool is the best thing for staying warm.  They were all a bit picky about rustic real wool but I won them over.  When you live in a damp place and off the grid one learns quickly to be warm one wears wool!  The wool for any of the sweaters the girls have on are from one of my favorite yarn shops: Schoolhouse Press.  Hats are knitted with yarn from Polka Dot Sheep my other favorite yarn shop and hat designs from that shop as well.