Monday, June 24, 2013

Hitchhiking and Bike Riding in Sonoma County

This summer I highly recommend that you hitch a ride with the rest of us hitchhikers and knit this super simple and fabulous scarf pattern designed by Martina Behm.  If you are not familiar with Martina she has designed some of the very best patterns for summer scarfs that show off variegated and self striping sock yarns to their best advantage.    

I like her designs because they are modern and also simple to knit which makes for perfect summer knitting.  The equivalent of an easy summer beach read.  But even so there is always the chance of making a mindless mistake and that's exactly what I did with this pattern.  It is designed to be knit in garter stitch but due to carelessness on my part I accidentally purled across a row creating a stockinette pattern.  Rather than rip back my "mistake" I decided to incorporate it as a design element and call it a "signature mistake." I made that decision because I liked the visual interest the different texture created and so I intentionally purled a row at equal distances through the rest of the pattern.

If you haven't heard the expression "signature mistake" before it is what a knitter will tongue-in-cheek call a mistake they make and decide not to correct.  Some mistakes absolutely have to be corrected and others are more a personal judgement call.  A good rule of thumb is to objectively view the mistake and decide if a non-knitter would recognize the mistake. If not, then it generally isn't worth the time and trouble to correct it.  When you think about it the line between a mistake and a modification is really very fine and  depends upon how you view things.  Are you an optimist or a pessimist?  An optimist sees it as a possibility to personalize a pattern.  A pessimist sees it as a mistake. I'll let you guess which I am.

Particulars: Hitchhiker by Martina Behm (website: Strickmich); 1 skein Ricin Yarn (Merino, bamboo, nylon 440 yds)(colorway Clockwork (March 2013 Gothsock Club); US 5 needles; 36 pattern repeats (sharp points); and blocked dimensions: 76" x 10" (deepest point).  No modifications other than my "signature mistake" described above.  If you are looking for a similar free scarf pattern you might like the Baktus scarf I knit several years ago and blogged as Add Color to Your Summer - Knit a Baktus Scarf.  I really like Goth Sock yarns (Rainy Days & Wooly Dogs) and previously used her yarn to knit socks blogged as Halloween Socks.

A Bike Adventure in Sonoma County ~

I was delighted when Steve suggested while visiting family in Northern California that we take a bike tour of wineries in Healdsburg, California (Sonoma County).   I told him "yes, yes, yes book us!"   Two days before our trip it occurred to me to inquire exactly how long a bike ride would it be?  He paused while he looked up the information on the internet before announcing "25 miles." Now I don't know about you, but to me that sounded like a long bike ride for two people who haven't been on bikes since we were kids.

And frankly, we were incredibly lucky because we had the nicest biking tour company and the best tour guide ever who quickly surmised the situation and adjusted our bike trip to a mere 15 mile trip encompassing several wineries, a scrumptious lunch, and lolling hills at a leisurely pace that we had no trouble with at all.

And we had a blast!  There is nothing like being on a bike to relax and experience the scenery and fresh air as you peddle through gentling rolling hills with shady lanes with plenty of stops to enjoy organic gardens and, of course, the wine and olive oil tastings.  As you can see from these pictures we saw some beautiful country and gardens including the above artichoke bloom; steel bridges, and peaceful creekbeds.

Don't look too closely at us, as cycling while wearing helmets is not exactly conducive to good hair photos.

But hopefully you can tell we were having a super time because we really were.  Surprisingly we were not in the least sore from our excursion and felt great the next day.  We are definitely coming back and will shoot for the full 25 mile tour next time but on a cool Fall day.  We used Wine County Bikes tours and definitely ask for Taylor as your tour guide.

Until next time be well and love well and if you haven't ridden a bike in years (like us) this summer is the perfect time to find out where they rent bikes in your town and play tourist.  I always think a bike ride is most enjoyable if you have a destination in mind and preferably one that involves ice cream!


shabby girl said...

I happen to be in the middle of a "signature mistake" decision at the moment. I think I'll go back through the 400 (!) stitches of the last row and try to figure out where I goofed. If I have to rip out all 400, I'll probably just let it go, lol.

Healdsburg is a beautful place, and fun if you enjoy wine. And we do.

Anonymous said...

As you always are, stunning modelling of your new hitchhiker! I love that pattern and yours is perfect..even more so with your signature design choice.

When I first glanced at your title, I read "hitchhiking sonoma county" and thought wow they're adventurous! I think biking it is much more reasonable and fun and still just as adventurous..would love to take that tour some day!

gMarie said...

Beautiful scarf and I love your tights! Sounds like you had a wonderful bike ride. g

Tracy said...

This is LOVELY, Claudia! I love variegated yarns, and this simple design uses such to wonderful effect! That's fun--"signature mistake"... I like saying "creative choice". ;o) Fun to see you both having a happy summer! We've not been on bikes in ages... Happy Days ((HUGS))

Hege said...

Looks like a great bike ride.
And I love the colours in your Hitchhiker.
Have a great week :)

SissySees said...

One of my local friends gave her sister a similar tour - here in VA wine country - for the sister's 30th birthday a few years ago. They had a blast. Their package included an overnight at one of my favorite B&Bs in the state, but those two are fitness junkies who bike long miles regularly.

Oh -- and the hitchhiker is beautiful!

Barnabas - bed and breakfast blogging said...

loved your knitting as always, and also your fun day cycling - looked nice warm weather too. Cycling is very popular here too - but more of the endurance type. The route on the road outside our house over Dartmoor is considered one of the hardest stretches on the long distance route from Lands End in Cornwall to John O'Groat's in Scotland. Come and see us and I'll show you the route - but I promise I won't make you cycle ! hitchhiking might well be the easier option ;-)

Mary Lynn said...

Love your color choice. I have been looking at this pattern for awhile and you just twisted my arm. This will be next on the needles. Your work is beautiful and love your blog. (I am going to ask my husband if he will bike ride around the park, I'm sure his answer will be no). Well, then more time for knitting..

At Home Mommy Knits said...

Love the "signature mistake" I need to remember that and apply it in other areas of my life :). I have some friends who have done the bike tours in the northern California wine area and they have raved as well. Something I will have to try!!

And the scarf is lovely.

Anonymous said...

"Signature mistake": I love it. Especially since I have so many opportunities to make them -:). Your trip sounds just wonderful, Claudia. I am quite envious. I'll keep the tour company name in mind for my California niece. Your photostyling of Hitchhiker is "da bomb", as usual. I bet there will be a lot of new Hitchhikers out there very soon. Chloe

Hilary said...

Aaaaah, that bike ride in Sonoma sounds and looks like heaven! What a fun trip. It reminds me that I haven't been to Sonoma in FOREVER...must change that!

And I love your Hitchhiker...Martina Behm is a genius! Very cool about your "signature mistake", too. I love it. :)

Hilary said...

P.S. I forgot to mention that your tights are fabulous!

Claudia Bugh said...

Thank you all for the very nice comments on the scarf and I'm glad you enjoyed hearing about the bike ride! I think we forget how fun and relaxing it can be to cruise along on a summer day ringing the bell ~

Kristen said...

First, love your gorgeous scarf, pictures are beautiful too! Also, thanks for the tip about the biking co. We have friends that go on biking tours a lot, but it always scares me. I think my legs will fall off.

Renee said...

Oh my what a beautiful knit! Just catching up and saw your image on ipernity :-)

your bike tour sounds like a wonderful experience and a great scenic advernture!

Anonymous said...

Love this! I am an optimist too and enjoy "customizing" my patterns! :) Nice explanation. Your hitchhiker is beautiful!