Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Knitting in Paradise - part 1

I've been home from vacation for a week and a half now, but I just finished another project that I was knitting on the trip.  Here is a sneak peek:

As always, I was overly ambitious as I packed more yarn than I could possibly knit into my carry on bag.  But now that another project which travelled with me to Hawaii and back is being blocked, I decided it is high time I wrote about our adventures.

Getting there:
If you have a busy household, you know how it is getting ready for a trip . . . by the time you are ready to go, you really need that vacation if you didn't already!  Knowing we would soon be in Hawaii gave me motivation to get through the preparation:  errands, garden prep, animal care, housecleaning, laundry, packing, etc.  No matter that I tried to be super-organized ahead of time, somehow we still finished up the last details with only a few hours to sleep before leaving for the airport at 2am.  So when we boarded our non-stop flight to the Big Island around 7am, I was way too keyed up to sleep, and I pulled out my knitting with a big sigh of relief.

You may remember the Cedar Leaf Shawlette I decided to rip out and re-knit?  I was right to save it for the trip:  it was perfect airplane knitting.  A few hours, and several rows later, the Alaska Airlines' attendants helped us ease into our vacation by handing out free Mai Tai cocktails and macadamia nuts.

Did I care that it was only 10am Hawaii time?  Not one stitch!

The first 2 nights:
We were already in deep chill mode by the time we pulled our rental car up to the Hilton Waikoloa.  As we admired the luxurious setting (we are generally more of a camping type of family), we giggled to ourselves over the irony of our visit.  Twenty years prior, when we were still poor college students, we did some backpacking in Hawaii and spent an afternoon walking around the hotel grounds.  At the time we couldn't afford to stay there.  We just wanted to see the dolphins and other wildlife, as well as the incredible collection of art on the "museum walkway".  That day, long ago, while standing agog in the grand lobby, we overheard a hotel guest complaining to the concierge that he wasn't interested in any of the island attractions she was suggesting, as he had "already seen them all from the helicopter"!  It was a lesson in not taking things for granted that we try to keep in mind to this day.

Later, we spent the first afternoon having swimming races and otherwise lazing at the pool.  Later still, we enjoyed a Szechuan dinner prepared with fresh seafood and local vegetables.  Knowing that for most of the trip we would be cooking for ourselves, I especially enjoyed the wonderful meals at the hotel that were had with no prep or cleanup done by yours truly!  We walked off dinner by exploring the 1 1/2 miles of pathways extending over the 62 acres of hotel grounds.  I knew I would be the first one up, so I walked the pathways with an eye to selecting a spot to sit and knit while my guys were still fast asleep.  There were so many choices that I went to bed undecided, but happy.

I popped out of bed early the next morning, still on California time, and went in search of coffee with my knitting bag in tow.  I decided to head in a direction we hadn't covered the night before and happened upon the Best Knitting Spot Ever.  It was easy to spot, thanks to the helpful hotel planning committee who had placed a giant sign saying "KNIT HERE!"

No, not really!  But they did place these sheep statues right by some lovely chaise lounges arranged to take advantage of an ocean view:

See how the sheep are helpfully pointing at the Best Knitting Spot ever?

They didn't have to tell me twice!

Hmm, I really should have had that pedicure before the trip, as similar views were what I saw whenever I remembered to take a picture of my knitting:

As you can see, I managed to put the addictive Cedar Leaf Shawlette aside in favor of test knitting the Daylong Socks I told you about in my last post, and they were great vacation knitting too.  And I managed to put all knitting aside long enough to enjoy the other activities.  During the rest of our hotel stay, we continued to enjoy the snorkeling . . .

. . .  swimming with Hawaiian green sea turtles,

. . . keeping an eye out for eels,

. . . and admiring a multitude of tropical fish.  We even briefly spotted a shy eagle ray.  If I lived in Hawaii it would be hard to get much knitting done, as snorkeling would definitely would provide my yarn and needles with serious competition for my free time, and the two don't mix all that well!

Despite the fact that salt water and sand don't mix well with wool yarn, I did keep sneaking in some knitting time, and I'm happy how my Cedar Leaf Shawlette turned out the second time around.  When it's done blocking I'll get some FO photos and show it off along with a second installment of "Knitting in Paradise".

Meanwhile, I am overjoyed that I got in a post in time to link up with WIP Wednesday!  Go take a look, Tami has been up to some amazing projects lately!  Happy summer knitting everyone!


  1. Your trip sounds like so much fun! I'm totally jealous of the greatest knitting spot ever. Love the Cedar Leaf!

  2. sounds like a heavenly trip. Glad to hear there was knitting time!

  3. Oh, I would love to have a knitting spot like that all the time!

  4. Sounds perfect. Thanks for letting us vacation vicariously for a few minutes!

  5. Wow, it sounds like you had a wonderful trip. We went to Maui on our honeymoon three years ago. It was beautiful there! We snorkeled for the first time there, and fell in love with it. I understand what you mean about packing way more yarn than is possible to knit up. I think I packed about a sweaters worth and ended up knitting maybe 10 It sounds like you got more accomplished than I did! I love the sheep that pointed out your knitting Your WIPs look great, and I'm glad you had a great time.

  6. So happy to hear that you had a wonderful time. That knitting spot looks like paradise to me. It's so funny that knitters are always able to track down sheep, even in Hawaii! Can't wait to see the finished shawlette.

  7. that sounds like an awesome trip! I really hope to make it there sometime soon, its the only state I haven't visited yet!

  8. As if I didn't want to go to Hawaii enough already, your post totally didn't help. ;)

    I'm glad to hear you had such a wonderful trip, I look forward to seeing your FO!

  9. I went to Hawaii two years ago, it was so much fun. I love how the sheep are pointing to the best knitting spot, too cute!

  10. Sounds like a great trip! Glad your knitting spot guides assured you a good spot too :)

  11. Jealous (1). I'm now thinking back fondly to my honeymoon in Hawaii. I hope my next vacation has a few sheep to point me toward the best knitting spot--I loved that part of your post best!

  12. Wow, sounds like an incredible trip, I'd love to go to Hawaii! And taking too much knitting is definitely better than not taking enough I think ;)

  13. You're a lucky woman! I'm glad you had such a lovely time and found a few peaceful moments to knit and soak up the local atmosphere.

    Our vacation this week was centered around a 3-day visit to my mother-in-law in New Jersey, so thank you for letting me live vicariously thru your Hawaiian adventures :-)

  14. Great trip!! Love your sneak peek: the leaves are beautiful!
    Thank you for your kind words on my blog, I appreciate it:)

  15. I love hearing about your vacation, Shannon! And the sheep couldn't have been more helpful...but when aren't they : ) I am currently working on the same project while I am on vacation. Simple and fun! I am going to call it my Tuscan Shawlette. The color is sort of terra cotta brown...perfect for Italy!

    Thanks for sharing the lovely photos. And don't worry about those toes, they look happy to be in Hawaii!

  16. To all my WIP Wednesday visitors - Thanks for stopping by. I enjoyed reading about your own Hawaiian memories and other summer travels.
    Be assured, even when I don't reply directly, I enjoy each and every comment, and I try to visit your blogs in return.

    Amber - I've been enjoying reading about your travels too! And I can't wait to see your Tuscan Shawlette.