The Long Overdue Saugerties Shrug

The Saugerties Shrug by Jill Zielinski was one of those knits that was love at first sight for me. It was just before Christmas last year that I got an email from The Plucky Knitter showcasing this pattern and offering kits for it. Of course, in true Plucky Knitter style it was a big ordeal to try to score one of these kits. If you didn’t know, this shop’s updates notoriously sell out in minutes and you hear these wild tales of cart poaching and things in your cart selling out while you try to checkout and all sorts of craziness. I have no idea how much of it is true, but I do know that things move FAST when those updates go live. I don’t often order from this dyer. In fact, previous to this kit I had only ever picked up a couple skeins from Cream City Yarn that they had leftover from an event with this dyer. I simply don’t buy into this type of shopping since I’m rarely on a schedule that lands me in front of my computer at exactly the right moment and the crazed rushing is really not enjoyable for me even if this is some of the nicest yarn out there.

In any case, it was right before Christmas and I really liked this pattern and it just so happened that I’d be home for the update so I went for it. And I picked the Magnet & Steel and Thank You Note combination in Plucky Knitter Trusty a very lovely worsted merino…

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(shown here with a braid of fiber in the same palette)

At the time I had no idea that details of these updates & kits are posted in the Plucky Knitter Ravelry Group and I had just assumed the darker shade/lighter shade would translate across the kits, but that was not the case. Not really wanting a light blue shrug, I contacted customer service to see if I could get a couple extra skeins of the darker shade to make the shrug I had envisioned and then very promptly did a special order for me which I greatly appreciated.

And as soon as the yarn arrived, I got knitting.

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As I say a lot, I really love colorwork so that portion went very quickly for me.

The miles (ok, not really, but still…) of stockinette took a bit longer…

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But the second round of colorwork was always out there in front of me to look forward to.

And I excitedly finished… on March 13. And now today, in early June I’m finally sharing the finished shrug with you.

saugerties1Of course, I love the colorwork & the beautiful blues.

IMG_9599And the fit is great. It’s the perfect shrug to just throw on to run outside or when you first wake up in the morning. I’m a huge fan of layers during the cooler months as we keep our home rather cool and this shrug will be a perfect addition to my knitted options.

And now that I’ve finally taken some proper photos of it I can actually start to get some use out of it. Better late than never, right?!

Oodles of Time Outside & A Bit of Time for Craft

IMG_8455This is a photo of my daughter on the trail yesterday (she was goofing around with her new-found love of climbing trees & crossing downed ones), but this is pretty much what I feel like this morning. I’ve been fighting off some sort of low-level cold for the last week, but in true form I’ve been trying to ignore it as much as possible. Especially with the beautiful weather we’ve been having, it’s been hard to want to admit that I’m achy and tired and have stuff in my throat. Today I woke up feeling a little defeated, deflated, and exhausted, so perhaps it’ll be a good idea to grab a little rest when I can.

In any case, I thought I’d share some of what we’ve been up to around here over the past week because despite my not feeling the best it’s been a lot of fun. After a mostly quiet weekend, my husband had his days off early this week. As is our usual approach, one of his days off we went a bit further afield and one we stayed closer to home. Monday became our ‘further afield’ day and we took advantage of the relatively warm temps to visit the Cedarburg Bog. It’s a very beautiful natural area, but as you can imagine as a bog that is relatively sheltered on all sides by forest it tends to be rife with mosquitoes most of the year.

IMG_8389This late in winter/early in spring, though, it’s a beautiful quiet spot for a walk.

IMG_8400We did find a small pool of open bog water and the dog, of course, found a way to jump in it. He smelled delightful for the remainder of the day before I was able to get him a bath, but oh was he ever pleased with himself!

It also proved an excellent spot for climbing trees.

As I mentioned earlier, my daughter recently learned to really climb and — much like a baby who learns to roll over and then rolls all over the house all the time just because he/she can — now my girl climbs everything. Turn your back and she’s be 6feet in the air. It’s awesome and terrifying.

From here we made a quick stop at The Covered Bridge in Cedarburg

IMG_8409It was built in 1876 and it’s really amazing to be able to walk through it.

IMG_8408I especially loved seeing the total lack of nails. From what we could see, wooden dowels and shims hold this bridge together and that just seems utterly amazing and completely awesome to me.

After lunch, we headed out to see a new-to-us spot, the Lion’s Den Gorge Nature Preserve where we were greeted with gorgeous views of a pristine looking Lake Michigan…

IMG_8412and lots and lots of mud.

IMG_8421 There was a particularly hilarious incident with my daughter, a muddy cliff side, and a video I may have taken of her trying to get back up to the trail while my husband spotted her, but because one day she’ll be an adult and probably doesn’t need that one publicly circulated I’ll refrain from sharing.

By the end of the day, my girl was pretty exhausted — it was a lot of walking for those little legs and the complaining started about a half mile from the car. My husband and I were just starting to lose patience with her — there are only so many times you can say, “No, we can’t carry you” and “We’re very close, just a little bit further” — when it got very quiet. I looked back and saw this…

IMG_8435Big brother to the rescue! I think beyond the practical approach of talking with her and taking her mind off of how tired she was, the thing that made me tear up the most was that he had taken her by the hand. Such a simple, yet comforting touch.

When day off #2 rolled around on Wednesday, we decided to go for a walk to another new-to-us spot, Hobbs’ Woods which of course had to involve…

a tiger

(I know the name isn’t spelled the same, but it does sound the same and sometimes that’s close enough).

We had an early picnic lunch here…

IMG_8447and there was a whole lot of this…

I’m constantly impressed by both of my kids. Their balance and common sense and confidence out in the woods is just incredible. Well, the common sense comes and goes a bit, but it’s pretty solid for the most part.

All in all, it was a wonderful spot to spend a few hours rambling. I have to admit that I kept this quote in my mind was we walked the muddy trails…

IMG_8460I just found it really said what’s been ruminating my heart the last couple months. There’s definitely a reason this great man is our son’s namesake.

And even though there’s been oodles of time spent outside, there’s been a bit of time for my craft. I’m continuing to work on my marled batts spinning project…

IMG_8384It continues to be awesome.

And I’ve been plugging along on my Saugerties Shrug.

IMG_8463As you can see, I’ve managed to make it into the second chart and as of this morning I’m about halfway through it. It shouldn’t be too long now before I’m wrapping this project up. In all honesty, I’m not quite sure what’ll come next — perhaps I’ll finish up the Petty Harbour socks I’ve been working or maybe I’ll start a summery sweater or maybe a new shawl. Perhaps my to-knit list will have to be a post here over the next couple of days to help me organize my thoughts. What are your knitting and spinning plans these days? I’d love to hear!