Road trip: Monterey and Big Sur

We decided that since Mike had the week off between Christmas and New Year’s for the first time in pretty much ever, that we should take advantage and go on a road trip. We didn’t want to spend a lot of money or leave the dogs alone for a long time, so we opted to take the roughly 3-hour drive down to Big Sur and check out the redwoods.

It turned out to be pretty much the best idea ever.

We picked a day when we heard the weather would be nice, and we ended up the most picturesque day you can imagine. First we stopped in Monterey to check out Fisherman’s Wharf. We couldn’t believe how much wildlife you could see (and get close to) in such a short amount of time. Plus, we made a mental note to come back another time for a while watching boat tour.

We saw seals and sea lions and otters playing in the water and sunning themselves on rocks.

Then we had fish tacos and tamales at a really yummy Mexican place, and continued the drive down the Pacific Coast Highway to Big Sur.

The drive alone is worth the trip. It was crazy windy that day, so it made for dramatic scenes of waves crashing up against the cliffs.

We opted to hike in Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park based on some online recommendations, and it did not disappoint. For a mere $10 entrance fee, we got to explore the amazing redwoods and hike up to a pretty waterfall at the end of the trail.

The scale is just unbelievable. I didn’t even realize how unbelievable until we came home and saw our photos.

We saw this guy on our way back. Fortunately we saw no mountain lions.

I highly, highly recommend this trip, and anyone who comes to visit us will be going there for sure!

New items for 2011

I’ve been working on some new designs for the new year (hope you had a great celebration, by the way!). In hopes of improved time management and sanity, I’m paring down my offerings to a few styles that I will have in a variety of colors. I found a new roving yarn that I absolutely love to work with, too. It’s a super soft wool blend that comes in the loveliest neutral colors.

So anyway, here’s what’s new at Mary Marie Knits.

Twisted cowls that can be worn like a scarf or a neckwarmer.

Matching hats are in the works…

Wool sweater cups (cozy vessels for your pens and things).

Crocheted vintage wood hangers in 3 colorways.

And some changes to the poufs. First, all of the different sizes are now knit on the same size needles with a double strand of super bulky yarn. This is for consistency throughout the line and for a sturdier product.

Second, the stuff-it-yourself version is available in both large and extra large. As always, this is a great option if you want to save on shipping.

And third, I am working to improve the quality of the larger poufs that are stuffed with foam so they can be used as footstools. Unfortunately I’m realizing it means I have to spend more on materials. So, you’ll see two options for the medium, large, and extra large sizes based on the type of fill.

I’m currently working on testing out rope rugs. I think these are going to be absolutely amazing, but the materials are super expensive, and it’s going to take me some time to test out my patterns and color options. I’ll keep you posted!

After unpacking my craft room, I found a few items left over from 2010 craft shows, so I decided to put the up on Etsy. Some cute button thumb tacks and magnets.

And because I think you’re awesome, I’m giving blog readers a 20% discount on anything in the Mary Marie shop and 10% off anything in the Mary Marie Knits shop for the month of January. Just enter coupon code JANUARY at the checkout!