My blog about knitting, teaching, and being a mother to two energetic young boys.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Home Again...

Leave it to me to post about a finished sweater before I've posted that we've safely returned home. Oh well - such is the life of my brain. Of course, I also have more posts regarding our travels to share with you. But.... I thought perhaps I'd announce that Road Trip 2010 has officially ended - we returned home the afternoon of August 1st.

Overall our trip was wonderful. The van cooperated - even though we had the brakes replaced in California. It decided not to start making mysterious ticking noises until we were back in Anchorage, and the tire repair held up. The kids were troopers - good sports about long days (8+hours) in the car, constantly having to set up camp, sleeping in new places, and putting up with their older/younger brother 24/7. Wade and I still love each other (we celebrated our 14th anniversary on the road into Canada) in spite of long days in the car, constantly having to set up camp, and sleeping in new places almost every night. So - I think we can say it was a successful journey.

Road Trip Round-Up:

Total Miles Traveled: 11,456

I find this interesting as it seemed that we were driving a farther distance than that of the 2007 & 2008 road trips. I think the lesser mileage was due to traveling more direct routes for this journey.
Total Days of Road Trip: June 9 - August 1, 2010 (54 days)

Audiobooks Completed: (Membership to Audible was a good expense)
  • Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card
  • Prey by Michael Crichton (lots of "f-bombs" - parental guidance certainly suggested!!)
  • Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome (GREAT children's book! - 1st of a series)
  • A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
  • The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo by Steig Larsson (listened when kids were engaged w/their DS games & audio limited to front speakers)
  • The Girl Who Played With Fire by Steig Larsson
  • This Immortal by Roger Zelazny (Wade's choice; I wasn't a fan...)
Actual Books I Read along the Road (on my Nook):
  • Teach Like Your Hair Is On Fire by Rafe Esquith (Good inspirational education book)
  • Healing Hands by Dr. Ben Carson (too much spirituality for my taste, but otherwise okay)
  • The Art of Racing In The Rain by Garth Stein (almost done)
  • The Fiery Cross by Diana Gabaldon (will I ever finish this book?!?)
Total Volume of Gas Consumed: (I don't even want to think about the size our our Carbon Footprint) - 561.134 gallons

Total Cost of Gas (I just added the US & Canadian totals - close enough): $1888.30

Cost for a family of 4 to fly round trip to Washington D.C. from Anchorage, AK: $4354.00 - So, I'd say driving, while certainly a longer journey to the nation's capitol provided a significant savings. In addition, we were able to have the flexibility and economical means of visiting much more of our wonderful country by driving.

States & Provinces Driven Through along our Journey: 27
Alaska, Yukon Territory, British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, North Dakota,, Minnesota, Wisconsin. Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, Iowa, Nebraska, Wyoming, Utah, Nevada, California, Oregon
Washington state, Washington D.C.

Road Trip Knitting projects by ArcticKnitter:
I'm fortunate that I can knit, read, draw, etc while in a car. Wade gets carsick, so he did the lion's share of the driving. I think maybe I drove 100 miles on this journey.

Kids' Highlights of the Journey: Visit to the Noah's Ark Waterpark in Wisconsin Dells, WI

Heather's Highlight of Journey: Spending birthday at Lake Tahoe

Wade's Highlight of Journey: RUSH concerts in Milwaukee and Toronto

It was a great journey and it's great to be home (despite the Alaska rain & cloud socked mountains). Would we do this again? Certainly - however I think we're reaching a time where the kids really want to be home & spend the summer with their friends and participating in soccer. Would I recommend long journeys to other families with children? Of course! Do your homework, know your children and your limits - overall, be flexible. We think we'll do one more summer long adventure next summer (Europe??) if the budget allows. Then - just shorter trips so we can enjoy the wonders of Alaska and perhaps catch up on the home improvements that are neglected in favor of family travels.

Well - I'll recap more of our Road Trip adventures (Toronto, family & friends, the Cassiar adventure) plus another knitted FO soon. Make it a great day!


Thursday, August 5, 2010

Road Trip Sweater FO

As promised - a post about my 3rd Road Trip knitted finished FO, albeit much later than intended. We've been home for a few days now, but haven't had the weather cooperate enough for a photo shoot. So - when the skies finally "cleared", I grabbed my sweater, camera, and photographer and set out to finally get some photos so I can finally write this blog post.


Pattern: Mondo Cable Pullover by Chic Knits. Before our road trip I was looking for a pattern that would be an easy knit for the road. Luckily for me, my knitting/blogging friend at OneMoreRow shared that she was currently knitting this & I thought "That's Perfect!" (And it was!) Thanks HollyJo!

Yarn: Blue Moon Fiber Arts "Peru" - A blend of silk, angora, and merino wool. Total yarn yumminess! The yardage on the skeins of Peru are so generous (500 yds/skein) that I only used 1.5 skeins for the entire sweater! I think I used one skein for the entire body of the sweater & only dipped into the 2nd skein for the ribbed edge of the body & the sleeves. My knitting goals for the road trip knitting were to complete as many projects as I could (check!) and also reduce the stash. I thought knitting a sweater would be the perfect project to destash. So - it looks like to fully complete my goal I have to knit another project with this yarn. I'll share that project soon, I hope.

The Raglan Detail - My First!

Needles: US8 on my knit picks options (love them!) I only chose the 8 because it was the recommended size for this yarn & seemed to give me the gauge I needed for the size. After completing the sweater & blocking it, I think I could even have gone down a needle size. However - the size 8 created a nice drapey fabric - perfect for a sweater that I can throw on in a pinch, or pair with a nice pair of slacks or a skirt for a more dressy occasion.

Have I mentioned how much I love cables?!?

Mods: This was my first top-down sweater (!), so I didn't want to embark on any drastic changes. However, the original design is more of an "A-shape", and I thought with the yarn, perhaps a more fitted shape would be better. After searching ravelry for suggestions, I decided to do some decreases rather than all of the increases called for in the pattern. Then, as I neared the bottom, I increased again to help account for my hips. I think it worked okay, not perfect, but okay.

Overall - I think I'm going to get a lot of wear out of this sweater. It's so soft, comfy & warm. Can't wait until it's sibling project is complete. It was the perfect choice for knitting on the road & other than having to learn how to graft live stitches to a cast on edge (for the neck), I think I did pretty well.

Happy Day - more reports of our travels coming soon (I hope....)