I love color



Originally posted on The Net Loft blog.


To say I love color feels like an understatement. My yarn stash basket/tub/shelf has a full range of lights, darks, brights, and well, not too many neutrals. Up until the summer of 2011, I used color but it was usually the same color throughout the garment; most of the time I only needed one skein and didn’t want to purchase multiple skeins for a single project. Then Sharon McMahon from Three Irish Girls came to Cordova and changed the way I choose yarns by introducing me to Quartets.

Quartets are a set of mini-skeins of coordinating colors. The world of colorwork became more obtainable! Now I can easily make stripes on any knit project! Needless to say I’ve been scooping up the Quartets as they come into The Net Loft.

On my needles now is a pair of toddler mittens made from the Cordova Colorway “Black Bear and Blueberry” set. Two row striping makes a simple project 1000x more exciting. Good news is that the Quartet come with ample yardage; these mittens are made from the scraps of a striped hat I made for my brother this summer.

Another fantastic perk of the Quartets is already assembled coordinating colors! In the Fall of 2012, Three Irish Girls released new color in sets and The Net Loft ordered Quartets of these combinations. Check out an older post for a glimpse at the “Bellisimo” (pictured on the left), “Fresh Earth”, “Wonderland”, “Trip to the Tropics”, and “Fireside Chat” Collections. I have 2 sets of the “Fireside Chat” Collection in my stash awaiting a fantastic worsted striped sweater pattern, any suggestions?


In the meantime, I have found the perfect match for my Cordova Berries Quartet, the What Cheer! Cardigan. It will be perfect for my berry cute daughter who loves the great Alaskan outdoors.

Only question is, what solid color will I pair with the color collection?

Explore some of the Cordova Colorway Quartets The Net Loft has available online.

Also check out an older Net Loft post for photos of Quartets made of Three Irish Girl colorways.

Categories: Cordova, Knitwear | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Happy BELATED New Year!

Happy New Year! Yes, I know I’m 10 days late, but better late than never!

Please excuse the low quality of the photos, we traveled down south with only our phones for cameras and I’m not super impressed with the capabilities of my new devise. Next time we’ll bring the monstrous camera, there’s just no substitution.

Our Christmas vacation was pretty epic this year, complete with multiple locations. Traveling the Friday before Christmas is not recommended, however we did survive and are very thankful we have a dedicated family that will drive 6+ hours to pick us up from the Seattle airport when we missed our connection!


First stop on the Christmas train: Hood River! This was the first time the McAuliffe Clan has all been together since Harper was born. My mom astutely suggested we have professional photographs taken to commemorate. Genius! The photos turned out awesome!


The rest of the time in Hood River was spent walking to and from breweries. I have to say, I love my family’s willingness and even insistence in visiting brewpubs wherever we go, makes my job much easier. We visited Full Sail and Double Mountain of course, but the star of the trip was newish brewery Pfriem Family Brewery.

20131221_131005Next stop was a brief stint in Portland OR. Our time in Portland always feels so hurried. Being in a city with past regular haunts and a large number of people we want to visit, I never feel like we’re there for long enough. This time only having about 24 hours made it even worse! Somehow we managed to get to all the family in town, then headed to the airport for a 4:30 flight to San Jose.







Harper was a champ! She’s getting to be such an excellent traveler. We arrived in sunny CA just in time for a snack of prime rib, a glass of wine, and present opening.

20131227_085443Our next few days were full of sunshine. Harper took a tub bath on the porch, watched the birds fight over the seed on the railings, and yelled at Jonah working in the backyard. She loves being outside in the Alaskan cold, but she definitely has taste for warm Californian winter now.


Two excursions into the city, lead to more beer tastings! We visited Hermitage Brewing on our way to visit my Aunt Joan in San Jose. Then a trip into Santa Cruz for the Seymour Marine Discovery Center resulted in lunch at a favorite spot, Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing.

Just when we thought the fun was dying down, our (original) second to last night in  California was filled with planning and phone calls to Alaska Airlines: A couple of Jonah’s friends from college were getting together in Napa for the New Year and they wondered if we wanted to come…. hell yes! We postponed our trip home and headed north.


We spent this year’s wedding anniversary (Dec. 31st) in sunshine instead of snow. On our way to Napa we stopped at a CVS to pick up last year’s anniversary photo to stay true to tradition. While Harper has grown by leaps and bounds, it looks like Jonah and I shrank a little – back to our pre-baby, pre-sleepless nights physiques.

I can’t wait to put the last 4 anniversary photos up side by side, so much has changed since Dec 31, 2010!


Happy New Year! And Happy Valentine’s Day if I don’t see you before then🙂



Categories: Life, Travel | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

You, me, and a wheel of brie


You, me, and a wheel of brie.

With the fresh salmon season over, I was at a bit of a loss when Outdoor Gourmet invited me to take part of their grilling competition.  What do you grill on a cedar plank if there’s no fresh salmon around?  Turns out people grill a lot of things on planks, like cheese!  Also, there’s other planks besides cedar!  Upon opening the box from Outdoor Gourmet I had already learned so much.

beer & Plank

I recently received another incredible package: a few home-brew bombers from my brother-in-law Erik.  I love adding beer to recipes, it adds an earthy flavor that can enrich lots of cuisines.  Using his Triton Pale seemed like a great way to put a little twist on a simple grilling recipe.  Beer, wood-smoke, melted cheese….. this is sounding really tasty…. throw some fruit on there and I think we have ourselves a recipe.

Here’s what we used: a maple plank, a 22oz hoppy beer, a wheel of brie, honey, blueberries, and a charcoal grill.

On the grill

Plank-grilled Blueberry Brie

1. Soak your Maple Fromagier Line Cheese Plank in a hoppy home-brew for 2-8 hours, the longer the better.

2. Start up your charcoal grill.  Let the coals get nice and hot for optimal cheese melting.

3. When the grill is ready to go, get your cheese dressed: take the plank out of the beer, put the whole brie wheel on top (no need to cut off the rind).  Spread honey on the top of the brie then stack as many blueberries as you can on top.

4. Pop it in the grill and let it roast for 20 minutes, the edges of the wheel will turn a caramel color.

5. Eat it hot!  So delicious and did I mention melty?


I meant to get a photo of a slice taken out but we devoured it so quickly.  I was busy making little sandwiches out of an apple, a slice of homemade culatello that our friend Heath brought over, and the blueberry brie.  It was AMAZING!  And so easy to make, well everything except the culatello….

The moral of the story is to try this easy yet sophisticated appetizer at your next dinner party.  All you need is a plank, some beer, and a friend who cures meat.

The maple plank was donated to Life at Latitude by Outdoor Gourmet.  I was not paid for this post and the opinions are my own.

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Fiber and Friends

Fiber and Friends

I have mentioned my local yarn before, but I have not gushed about my local yarn store which is totally past due.  Looking back at my “The Net Loft” tags, I have not painted an accurate picture of how important this shop is to my life.  Sounds dramatic yes, but it’s true.  I have traveled all over the country peeking my head into lots of yarn shops and The Net Loft in Cordova Alaska is the best!  My house is about 3 blocks from the best yarn shop in the country, hurray!

So what’s all this Fiber and Friends stuff about?  Well…. The Net Loft is putting on a knitting conference!  I have never been to a knitting conference but have been dying to go for years; it’s just so hard living so remotely, blah blah blah.  The Net Loft could easily headline a conference with the local talent of Cordova; we are constantly being spoiled with all sorts of interesting workshops from the many outstanding artisans in our area (see my post about steeking with Terry Stavig).  However, in addition to our all-star lineup from town, Dotty Widdman (the Net Loft’s owner and driving force behind this conference), has booked some world renowned fiber artists:

Bonne Marie Burns 

Alana Dakos 

Donna Druchunas

Lori Goldman

Gudrun Johnston

Mary Jane Mucklestone

and many more!!  Come hang out in a beautiful place and learn how to knit things.


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