epic vaca to the motherland aka. faial, açores!

Faial, Açores Over a month ago Db and I went to Faial with my family, and oh man, it was SO COOL. I had no idea my Dad was from somewhere so beautiful. I've heard stories my whole life and always imagined it to be pretty rad, but holy shit! I got to see where my family lived and where all the classic stories took place. This house is actually the house my dad and the whole family lived in until they came to the USA. That front window was a bedroom view of the open ocean. I got to see the stone oven my Vavó used to cook bread in, the whole house was magical.

 While we were there we got to hang out with super nice people always, eat such good cheese, bread and fish, see dolphins, black beaches, volcanoes and tropical plants. I would totally like to go back someday. The island maybe takes an hour to ride around the whole thing, and the villages are all really small and cool. They have names that translate to things like "Deep Ravine", "North Beach" and "Little North". Db, my brother and I were all kinda of surprised by how much we liked it. Totally worth the wait in making it happen!

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London Last week Dillon had to do some work at the other office, which happens to be right outside London. We picked a hotel in zone 1 and while Dillon was at work I got to wander the city, slowly turning my feet into hooves between taking breaks to read Orwell's 1984 while IN London, where it takes place. My mom lent me her copy (published before 1984 which is important) and I saved it so I'd be able to read it here. What an amazing way to read this book, wandering around and then reading a bit at night and realizing I was at the place they met up in the book earlier in the day? Reading about the capitalists and how the worst of all is called the King while sitting within view of Buckingham Palace? So so cool. Everything about this pic amuses and disturbs me, including my dollar bill bookmark. I also finally found a legit art store in England, so London is alright by me.

I figured out the first day we were there I walked just over 7 miles! We saw Buckingham Palace, walked the Mall and saw pelicans in St James' Park. We went to The National Portrait Gallery, which disappointingly and surprisingly did not have a portrait of England's national treasure and most often heard voice, Sir David Attenborough. FOR SHAME. We watched Big Ben toll 6 and then a huge rainbow form over it and checked it out at night looking all spooky and imposing, too. We deemed just about everything to be "the Queen's favorite". Shitty pub named The Bag o' Nails? The Queen's favorite. White Pelicans? The Queen's favorite. The geraniums that are in all the gardens in the city? Geraniums must be the Queen's favorite. The Queen also must make her guards wear their stupid uniforms for fun because they carry automatic rifles, no old fashioned weapons there.

It was really fun, and this past weekend when we were there was Summer Bank Holiday which is basically English Labor Day aka. "Summer is over, PARTY!" So we got not only an extra day to explore, but we also got to go to the Notting Hill Carnival with two friends who live outside London! It was … huge. Really I can't compare it to anything except what I imagine Carnival in Rio to be like. I have never seen so many people in one place in my life. Everyone was having a great time, the music was so loud, everyone was gorgeous, people were walking around covered in chocolate and the drinking was no joke. No little nips on the street, we're talking people dancing with 750s of Jager ten feet from cops. I would love to know what it looked like from above, it was wild!

We went all over really, it ruled. I was surprised by how cool London is.
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hey hey norway

Norway Db travels a lot for work. Usually in the US he travels podunk places and occasionally somewhere cool like Portland or San Fran. But in the UK where can you go? Oh, places like NORWAY. Now I've been pretty lucky so far in life when it comes to seeing things I want to see, like the Pantheon. Not to discount that, but I didn't even know it existed until college. Norway and the fjords on the other hand? I have wanted to see them since third grade when I found out I was part Norwegian.

Story time!

In 1994 when my family went to Epcot my brother and I each got to pick one country to visit and with zero hesitation I chose Norway. It was cool, and amazingly I still remember it pretty clearly… it's probably the only thing I remember about 1994 besides the next part of the story. The next fall the whole fourth grade class had to choose a country to do a project about for "country fair". No country could be picked twice and you got to choose when your name got pulled from a hat. The entire fourth grade classes' names in a hat! That was like… 100 kids. As I nervously sat there willing my name to be called all the other kids picked off the usual suspects; England, Canada, Ireland, Brazil… I was afraid someone would pick Norway because in my mine why wouldn't they?! But lucky me got my Norway even considering I wasn't called until near the end. That day I went home and up to the (scary) third floor where my mom's set of Encylopædia Britannica was, sat on the floor right there and cracked it open. I so, so clearly remember everything about it, right down to the rug I sat on and what that book smells like. Literally the second I saw a picture of the fjords, and struggled to figure out how you would say it out loud, I wanted to go there. I think I even remember where on the page the black and white pic of the fjords was; top left of the left page. Clearly it left a huge impression. My project ruled, I even went to the library. Oh 1994.

Wanting to go to Norway was the longest standing desire of my life. No joke. All the usual "I want to do this someday" things hadn't occurred to me yet, like getting a puppy or owning a house or falling in love. Nope, wanted to go to Norway. And it was also the one desire I still thought was the most inaccessible and unlikely. Like if you don't want to go to Oslo, where do you aim it? It's a huge country! And the airfare. Yikes. So fast forward to a few weeks ago. I land in England and Db goes to work the next day and we have this conversation via text out of absolutely nowhere;

he - "You want to go to Norway wed-thurs?"
me - "Like, the day after tomorrow?"
he - "Yep. We could take the weekend. Look up Stavanger."

Hahaha, BEST WORK TRIP EVER. So I tagged along on his business trip and my dream life became real life for a few days. Enough story time! It was absolutely amazing and there are far too many pictures! I literally cried tears of joy on the ferry through the fjords, I still can't believe it was real. We would both go back in a second.

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Db and I went to Italy and Amsterdam on our honeymoon, and on the beach in Fiumicino we decided that our next big vacation would be a beach vacation in Portugal. Three years later that trip is tomorrow! Finally! The MOTHERLAND! We're meeting my family in the Açores where my Dad's side of the family is from, and then Db and I are splitting off to Lisbon for a day and then the Algarve to swim near caves and wear tiny inappropriate bathing suits! I cannot wait for the bakeries, seriously. If the Portuguese bakeries in RI are that good then I can't even imagine how good the ones in actual Portugal are. However beach vacation + tons of amazing pastry = ??? Whatever though, I've been hearing about the real Portuguese bakeries for my whole damn life, I am eating EVERYTHING.

I'm so excited, mid-summer is the perfect time for adventures, I hope you all are having a rad summer so far!



dirty doz '14: another odd garment

Untitled So I realized last week that I haven't posted about a knitting project in way too long. It is summer, so normally there isn't a whole lot of knitting going on anyhow, but this year since we were prepping to move for 6 months it kind of dropped off sooner than usual. However, as soon as we found out we were going to be living in England starting in July I got really excited about knitting for a number of reasons: 1- it's never heinously hot in England like it is in Philly so I would be able to knit in the summer, 2 - lots of sweater weather, and 3 - BRITISH WOOL.

So while I haven't been posting about it, I have been planning. I brought a mere 5 WIPs or soon to be WIPs along with me (all very favorites or special wool), and one was this amusing garment. A new set of Signature Needle Arts needles, yarn I've never used before, a new project bag and stitch markers from Fringe Supply Co. and a type of garment I've never knit before. A tunic! So all fun new things gathered and saved up to be cast on during my flight to Europe weeks in advance and guess what I forgot on the floor of my parents' house before my flight? This. Go figure. AND my book. It was a very boring two flights. Thankfully my mom is cool and shipped it over to me asap and now I finally get to work on it. I don't know about you, but sometimes a new project is the light I put at the end of whatever tunnel. This particular tunnel was prepping our house to be sublet, packing, cleaning and still making sure we had time to hang with all our friends before we skipped out. Time management success.

This is going to be Aproned Tank by Hannah Fettig made with Quince and Co. Finch in Honey, the most glorious of baby shit yellows. I'm not the only one excited for fall knitting in the middle of the summer right?


made it.

Untitled We made it to England! And have internet finally! And our bikes arrived yesterday! And in the midst of everything we went to NORWAY!

My life is a charmed mess if that combination is even possible.

There's so much that has happened between Philly on the 26th and England today that I can't even imagine how long a "what I have been doing for a month" post would be. I've sewn two dresses, been to 5 countries in 7 days, gotten really good at currency conversions in my head and calculating what time it is back home, eaten terrible pizza and tons of weird but amazing candy, forgotten my knitting on my parents' living room floor before my flight… the list goes on.

Now time to get on my lovely, much missed bike to go investigate the local yarn shops. Let's see if I can get my hands on some Bluefaced Leicester wool! Man, keeping it local in the fiber realm here is going to rock.


hey hey rhode island

First stop, last stop: the beach.



Because I shouldn't be one of only two humans who were lucky enough to see this bouquet. Have a great weekend!


summer, it's the real deal.

This weekend is going to be full of packing and other unforeseen moving related foolishness, so we're going to eat strawberries, have a few drinks and power though it.

I hope you all have a good one, the first day of summer ain't nothin' to shake a stick at!


new adventure!

Hey all, sorry I've been truly shitty at posting fun things lately. Truth be told I have some crazy stuff going on and we are in the process of…

moving to England for 6 months!

Db and I got a really cool opportunity and jumped at it! We got very little notice and now are kind of scrambling to get everything ready to go, as is evident by most of my houseplants in the "loading area" that is my studio before boxing them up and driving them north to my parents' this past weekend. Our house feels so quiet and empty without them!

So there it is, insanity is on its way! Don't worry though, in between the insane number of things we have to do to prepare I have made time to pick out a few cool knitting projects to stowaway in my luggage, special for England. Best parts? Weekend trips all over Europe and England's generally shitty weather will never make it too hot to knit. Knitting season year round!

I'm so excited to share our adventure with you guys, we have no idea what to expect but we know two things, it will be weird and awesome, and the candy and soda in Europe RULES. Priorities!


new post for Philly Pedals!

I wrote a new article for a local bicycle website, Philly Pedals, about how to dress for cycling in ever-changing spring conditions! It was posted a while ago and I have no idea how I managed to miss it, but here it is… better late than never! While it is written about riding bikes, it really applies to all outdoor activities. Also, you know me, I'm not about buying tons of super specific gear or caring about "looking the part" when doing anything so you don't have to worry about "WEAR LYCRA" being a paragraph header. If you'd like to read my two cents about how to keep comfortable outside when the weather doesn't know what it's going to do from one second to the next give it a read! Totally good information for picnics, riding rainbow colored ponies, eating at an outdoor table when you should really have probably sat inside…


the little things

This lovely place in which I live is full of the most interesting urban decay, combinations of colors and guerrilla art. Sometimes you just need to pick yourself up a flower though, something beautiful and soft to contrast all the beautiful and harsh. This is the alley to my house. Which is nicer to look at? Hard to tell, but the flower I can bring inside with me…


summer reading

A month or so ago I was thinking about how so few people read anymore. When's the last time you were having a conversation with someone and they said "I just finished this book and…" or "I'm reading this book about -something-, you should totally check it out it's blowing my mind."? That doesn't happen all that often and it's a shame. It's funny that it's so easy to think that no one reads anymore though, because you're reading this right now, and most of us are reading facebook, twitter, instagram, buzzfeed, snippets of this and that and half baked opinion articles all day long. We as a culture probably read more now than we did 15 years ago but it seems like no one can read anything longer than 500 words. I also thought about how the high school I went to didn't assign me any classics of modern literature, and instead had me read and analyze at least four different Shakespeare plays. Like how is that relevant? And how the hell did I have the gaul to blame my literary ignorance on my HIGH SCHOOL? That was over ten years ago, how lazy of me.

So I made a "summer reading list".

So far I've read Lord of the Rings by Tolkien and Animal Farm by Orwell (which I killed in a day). Currently I'm reading The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedman, which sadly isn't as dated as it should be considering it's about a woman's place in our culture and was written over 50 years ago. It's pretty amusing to read a book about feminism and then knit though, because very few people realize you can be a feminist and also like cooking dinner, baking cookies and knitting. Feminism shouldn't be the other F word like it seems to be. Next up I have 1984 by Orwell and Cannery Row by Steinbeck.

I've added books I have always wanted to read or thought I should have read, and asked a few friends for their must reads, too. Now I'm asking what are your must reads? Throw some love down in the comments and we'll all know what the next books we want to read will be, I'd love to know what books you'd recommend!

So guys, I just finished reading Animal Farm, you should totally check it out because it blew my mind...


dirty doz '14: effortless

It's spring! So what am I doing? Knitting an overly floppy, DK weight cardigan. This is going to be Effortless by Hannah Fettig. This cardigan has been on my radar since the pattern came out, so when I woke up on my birthday to discover my fellow fiber crafting cousin Alice had gifted me the pattern pdf I was so amped! I wanted to order the yarn and cast on right away but you know how that goes, it's a slippery slope down to having ten works-in-progress at once. So now that I've finished up a few projects it was finally time to cast this baby on, summer weather be damned! The color is Tomato by Madelinetosh because why the hell not?

The other day I was wondering about how other crafters choose colors for their projects. Do you choose colors that you know you can wear with the most of the rest of your clothing? Colors that just seem right for the particular garment regardless of how much you'll be able to wear it? Neutrals so you can wear the things you make the maximum amount because you spent all this time making them so you better wear them a bunch? Maybe you buy yarn for a type of garment and then hunt down the pattern to use after? The way I choose is I imagine myself wearing the finished piece, then do a little run down of the colors I'm considering and choose whichever seems like it will be the most fun to wear, like if I saw it in a store would I be like "Someone came up with this JUST FOR ME. Who's reading my mind?!" Added bonus is it usually ends up being a fun color to look at the whole time knitting it, too.

So what are your color choosing thoughts and methods? It's a huge part of crafting but no one ever talks about it!