Friday, May 24, 2013

a fair isle

 i've been on an island!  my cardigan is finished and came along to be photographed here, from the shetland islands to california's channel islands, this well traveled wool has found a new home with me...

but first, a few photos of this spectacular place. chuck works on santa cruz island, part of the channel islands national park. he works many days in a row out here. we miss being apart, so we made a plan. i caught the boat over. he is all set up in the guides camp (in the above photo), our tent, supplies and food all there. a backpack and camera bag is all that's needed for me. hi honey!

 the island fox, endemic to the channel islands, SO much fun to watch. these little foxes are smaller than the average house cat, and cheeky, they get into everything!

while chuck worked i watched the foxes and the birds and i knit. enjoying the quiet for the time being, there were many children on the island this trip. chuck was guiding a group of waldorf students kayaking in the above photo.  the boat i came over on had sixty five schoolchildren day tripper's (the waldorf group was camping).

  a pacific-slope fly-catcher (the cutest bird i've ever seen!)

 do you see who's coming to visit?

those foxes!

 playful foxes and children, coming and going all day

and look who's sleeping! now this may be the cutest thing i've ever seen

 at the office

 going to welcome new paddling clients arriving to the island

 giving the kayak briefing and demonstration

 although it was very windy and the current strong, this group made it into five caves today!

 while i sat on the wind whipped shore i saw some things. a curious harbor seal...

 and hee hee,

 a fox. a fox on rocks.

 have you ever seen a fox on rocks on the beach? me neither!

 i saw the waldorf group going on a hike

a cairn builder

 and i saw a friend kayaking away, surfboard strapped to his boat, heading to the closest surf spot on the island, four miles away (one way!)

 and i saw more silly foxes run past me, then across, first one way, then the other, a wild chase

at first light next morning, we braced the wind and cold to take photos of my new fair isle sweater. it was still damp when i brought it out here, and when i lay it out to dry that seemed a perfect invitation to every raven and fox in the channel islands national park, they all climbed and landed on it. a friend suggested i may be a little obsessed at the length i'd gone to get photos of it out here on these islands, and she is probably right, but if you are a knitter, i know you'd understand... i love it here so much, and now this sweater too, from the shetland islands to the channel islands...

 this is conifer, a bottom up, reverse fair isle yoke with optional wristwarmers. it's a bit big on me, i know the fault is mine, always opting for a larger size, not paying enough attention to measurements. i omitted the buttonholes and instead have sort of wrapped it closed with an antler pin to fasten it. makes it that much warmer, the fair isle hugging the shoulders

this is my favorite design feature, the wrist warmers, which could easily be adapted to any sweater/jumper pattern. it's cozy warm, the shetland wool softened beautifully after a soak, maybe the foxes and ravens had something to do with that   ;)  

 this is dudleya nesiotica, a rare and endangered plant from the stonecrop family, the santa cruz island live forever

 the inside, looks like the right side, but is really the wrong side

thank you my dear husband for taking these photos (following me all over the place), it sort of feels like the more time you put into a project the more photos you take (sorry), this sweater taking about three months to knit. but it was also the astonishing beauty of these treasured islands that we both feel can never be shared enough through photos (so to protect)

i'm on the boat now, it's time to leave...

 i watched as chuck raced back to camp for his surfboard. remember the friend with the board tied to the back of his kayak? paddling over four miles for surf? chuck was on his way now too (have fun, be careful!)

bye honey and thank you! thank you for reading.  for more information on the conifer cardigan or kayaking in channel islands national park:


  1. I do understand all the photos :)

    and there are never enough, my friend!

  2. Those foxes are very cute!
    Love the cardi too

  3. The colours of your cardigan tone so beautifully with the landscape. You'll have to visit Shetland next! The ferry takes 13 hours from the city I live in. Traveling overnight to wake up in the far north, what a lovely way to travel :-)

  4. All so beautiful and tranquil. Your cardi is lovely especially the wrist warmers. Island life looks perfect xxx

  5. beautiful!!!! Cardi and island (plus foxes!)!!!!
    xxxx Ale

  6. What an amazing spot to take pictures of your sweater. I'm glad you (and Chuck) went to all that trouble to take them, each one is so beautiful.
    Those foxes are adorable, they look much more fluffy than the usual type. Gosh they are playful! that little guy must have felt safe in your presence to sleep so peacefully like that.
    What a cool place to work.

  7. What a beautiful island, looks like a perfect working place! Aww, look at those foxes, they are so cute!
    Love your new cardi :)

  8. beautiful, beautiful.....the islands, your sweater, most of all---you! thanks once again for sharing such lovely photos!!! (can you ever really have enough beautiful pictures of knits?!!)

  9. Oh Lori I am blown away by these pictures. I love your sweater so much and how you photographed it is just a dream. I love your husband's office. That is my kind of work space. Such a beautiful post.

  10. Oh my goodness, so very beautiful Lori...your sweater, this place, those foxes, all of it. Just beautiful!

  11. I love the "inside and out" beauty of a fair-isle sweater (just like you are, beautiful inside and out)

    You found the perfect location to model it too. I'm adding the Channel Islands to my list of places I have to see.

    I love the way your wear this wrapped with a pin. And the hand-warmer detail is really cool.

  12. That's an exquisite sweater Lori and I just love those built-in wrist warmers - I've never seen that feature before. And beautiful photos as always. Hope you're having a great weekend! Mel x

  13. Your cardigan is just beautiful! The island is beautiful. And so are you. Lori - your whole life is beautiful. Thank you for sharing it with us all!

  14. Lori - you are amazing. 'nuff said. This is beautiful. I would SO love to join you on one of these trips.

    wow - and yeah, the sweater is beautiful also.

  15. thanks for ALL those pics. seriously. i love CA.

  16. first of all: that sweater is amazing. i love the wrist warmer detail. perfect. you did such a stunning job.
    those photographs of the foxes, oh my goodness. i showed the kids and now we all want to go to the island. so sweet. thank you so much for sharing, such a beautiful place. <3

  17. As always, your projects are amazing and the addition of the hand warmers...well, I had to call my sister and share this ingenious feature right away! I've been to the Channel Islands and these scenes are just as breathtaking in person as in your photos. Thank you for beautiful memories, XOXO

  18. Lori, your sweater is so wonderful, beautiful!! A lovely post and those foxes are amazing, I couldn't imagine a fox on the beach but there he was:)

  19. Totally worth it for the photos, I adore that opener. --and I love that you brought us along for the trip.
    That reverse fair isle , and actually that whole design, is absolutely beautiful in the way you knit it.

  20. Love the photos, Love the fair isle. Thanks for sharing.


  21. Beautiful sweater Lori, and what a cute little fox!
    Wonderful pictures, is it really that cold in california, that you need such a sweather?
    take care
    karin ida

  22. Hi Lori,

    You looks great in your new cardigan Lori! There must have been lots of wind on that cliff. The view is spectacular! Such a pretty island.

    The two of you are such a sport couple. It's been a while since my husband and I last slept in a tent. Must have been ten years ago :-) Loved doing it now and then. Somehow you are more part of nature when camping.

    Happy weekend!

    Madelief x

  23. Beautiful photos and a beautiful sweater! I love the colors you used!

  24. gorgeous! you, the sweater, the island! amazing beauty you attract in your life. i miss you!

  25. Wonderful! Love both the sweater and the Channel Islands, what a wonderful place to photograph your work!

  26. Lori, Those foxes are wonderful! And your sweater is wonderful on beautiful you. xoxo

  27. Loved learning about the foxes and the bird on the islands.

  28. Hello ms gallivanter,

    I can see how proud you are of that sweater. I love that it has no buttons

    I am (again) hobbled by a knee injury and this trip seems so out of reach for me I am glad for you and sad for me


  29. I think I could be happy forever living vicariously through your adventure and pictures : ) --Truly, I can't tell you how happy your blog makes me. It is the happiest place on the internet to me.

    What a beautiful place those channel islands are. The foxes and birds and blue sky and sea. Kneeling next to those dudleya nesiotica you blended right in. : )

    And, your sweater--*LOVE*

  30. I agree with the above comment.
    it's just so fun to read about your adventures.
    you should write a kids book about the channel island fox with those photos of yours..
    would be wildly popular.

  31. I could get lost in your lovely images. I came to see that beautiful cardigan and was treated to beautiful nature pics. You are amazing Lori. I could spend hours reading your posts.

  32. Love the cardigan. Wonderful colours. An breathtaking photos from your trip. Have a great week ahead, Inge

  33. love all the photos! and how wonderful to be able to spend time with your partner in such a beautiful place.

    i think the only thing cuter than a fox on the rocks would be a fox on the rocks in handknit socks ;-)

    love, love, love your conifer -- i especially love that you opted to not do the button band and used a non-traditional closure instead.

  34. Simply, thank you!

  35. Lori what a wonderful breezy day you all had. Everyone looks buoyant with happiness, especially the foxes and a certain sweater wearer )). Its so great, love the colors and the way you decided to close it too. Do they call is potato harbor because that rock out a bit looks like a potato? (Sorta a little like a hedgehog too.)

    1. julie, we don't know why it was named that. we heard that a ship spilled potatoes there and it could be that the rock looks like a potato. there is so much history surrounding these islands and myths too. it was also SO windy (and cold) 2 boats were cancelled on thursday!

  36. Lori, I am so glad that I waited until I did have some good relaxed time to actually take that time to look that this post.

    It's a beautiful place where Chuck is working, and even more beautiful when you are there. I like the idea of your also taking your newly completed Shetland wood sweater along to another island. The cardigan is a gem, and your decision to skip the button hole detail was very wise. The antler pin is so much better for that warming wrap...and stylish too. The wrist warmer detail is also perfect...and, of course, you do make the perfect model.

    The light in the photographs of the island is remarkable. Please pass my compliments on to Chuck on his excellent photography.

    The faces on those playful and curious little foxes are entrancing. Something a bit human in those knowing eyes? Perhaps I am seeing something that is not there?

    I absolutely agree with you about the little bird. I may have to return to your photos to "see" if I can do a little drawing of this birdie.

    Lori, I could go on and on, but will just now thank you again for your generosity in sharing this journey with us.


  37. about envy! That island, the

    Well done on the reverse fair isle. It is a BEAUTY!

  38. So many gorgeous photos from Potato Harbor {love that name} ♥ and your sweater ... amazing ... and that precious little sleeping fox xoxo thank you for sharing it all.

  39. Your pictures are wonderful ! And that sweater beautiful. :love how you photograph your finish projects, melts my heart. have a great day.

  40. Looks like great fun. Well done with the sweater ... Lovely!!!

  41. What a great sweater and a beatiful way to wear it with that special pin. I love yor style and all that nature photographs, especially foxes, yeah. Thanks for sharing!

  42. Lori... these are beautiful photographs and I absolutely LOVE you cardigan... especially the clasp rather than buttons. Just received an email from our mutual friend Angela today responding to one from me. In it she says she also received one from you & Val on the same day. There must be something in the air!

    Thanks for sharing your photos!

  43. These are the best photos of you yet, the sweater is gorgeous and I love how you are running in the photos :)

  44. These are all gorgeous amazing photos and the cardigan is beautiful I love the cuff-wrist warmer part. I love fair isle and your colour choice works so well.

  45. Wow! your sweater is just gorgeous and that amazing place you went to photograph it -- more wows! Such beauty! It looks like a wonderful trip!

  46. Hi Lori x
    just returning to the blogging world after being away for a very long time.
    Setting up a blog today.
    Still love your photographs very much.
    You are very inspiring as always x Robyn

  47. I have to ask this Lori ~ How many times a day to you pinch yourself. I visit your blog and have to pinch MYSELF. What a way to live (not that I have any complaints). :) Your sweater is perfection... because of the wristwarmers!

    Blessings, Debbie

  48. Hi Lori, everything you knit is always so beautiful and always looks good on you. I love how you photograph your projects. Those little foxes are so very cute. And that bird so sweet! Best wishes to you, Tammy

  49. The Channel Islands are on my to do list! That is a wonderful sweater. Love the sleeves!

  50. Oh my! What a gorgeous sweater! And what a beautiful place to photograph it in. Thank you for sharing with us...


    PS: The wristwarmers are perfection. :)

  51. It is stunning, and it looks so beautiful on you! I love the larger size, too, and the lovely pin holding it closed at the yoke. Gorgeous. :)

  52. Wow, your photos are just amazing! What a beautiful setting! And your knitting is just lovely, I love the sleeves especially!

  53. Lovely! Knit your fox some socks and have a fox in socks on rocks! Thanks for sharing!

  54. dearest lori, i have visited you often, but been unable to leave a message. this is my third attempt tonight... third time lucky?!
    i love this post so much. it made me want to camp... tonight. i can't unfortunately:(
    and i wanted to say your cardigan is the most beautiful cardigan i have ever seen, and you the most beautiful model.
    wishing you many beautiful happy days sweet and beautiful lady. xxx

  55. bracing, bracing, braced. the way you share of your self reaches all the way to montana and back. sometimes what i believe in feels few and far between, but a visit here reminds me such is not the case.


  56. That is one beautiful knit, and photographed in such a spectacular place! You look fabulous Lori :)

  57. hello lori
    i came her via sweet v
    of a buttrefly in my hair
    and fell in love with the sweater
    the beautiful images of you on that island

    greetings from
    the grey and wet Netherlands

    Patrice A.

  58. thank you, my goodness, THANK YOU. these lovely kind comments made me smile all day, i love this sweater too. (chuck says thank you too!)

  59. I love to get lost in your photographs, Lori - it looks like you're having such a dreamy adventure!
    Your cardigan is stunning x

  60. oh lori, what beautiful photographs. phil and i would love to take that kayak trip to the channel islands with you and chuck some day - maybe the next time we are out in california..

  61. I totally understand doing a trip like that to get fabulous sweater photos. You have to have the right location to do your work justice!

    The fox on the rocks - love it!

  62. oh my goodness, oh my goodness. this it the most beautiful post i've ever seen! your sweater, the island, that fox!!

  63. and forgot to mention the other beautiful part of your post--You.

  64. oh my gosh,thank you very much!

  65. I was reminded of Wuthering Heights by the pictures of you running along the coastal path. I'm sure your dear Heathcliffe (Chuck) awaits!

    The sweater is wonderful and worn so well by you.♥

    I love those little foxes!! I've never seen them in my whole time there. I miss the coastline, and the smell...oh the smell of California! Not Los Angeles :) But the California you share with us.

    Beautiful. Thank you♥


  66. Absolutely stunning photos of you in the sweater , in the California landscape !!!


xoxo lori