august 1 2013

as most of you know, i have been on an extended adventure for the last three weeks.  i call it ‘knitting across the USA”.  it was one of the most if not THE most memorable trip i have ever taken.  

to sum it up, my son and i drove to moab to meet my daughter and her bf and arrived at her exact birthday time.  we camped a few nights by the colorado river amid the red cliffs.  the plan was to head to portland to visit my oldest son.  two hours after leaving moab, my daughter and her boyfriend were in an accident and their car landed on its roof – right in front of my eyes.  i cried a lot, even though they were both ok.  with their car being totalled, we had to put all of their camping gear in my car and stay in price, utah overnight til we could figure out what the next step should be.  we ended up buying a carrier that goes on top of the car and were able to squeeze (and i mean SQUEEZE) everything in PLUS all four of us into the car.  off we started to portland and decided in idaho to find a campground.  we stumbled on bruneau dunes state park and what a lucky find it was.  this park is located in the fourth darkest area in the US therefore they had an observatory!  friday and saturday nights in the summer they have star observations.  we attended a lecture by a man who worked on the Hubble telescope then we got to look at the moon, the sun, saturn, nebulas, etc etc.  it was so amazing!  the only drawback to this park was they have ‘glow in the dark scorpions’.  YIKES.  they were small but still scary.  off to portland to finally see anthony.  we hiked eagle creek which was a 2 mile ascent to a double waterfall.  we also went to astoria one day to the pacific ocean.  it was overcast and actually kind of cold but beautiful.  after a week in portland, we headed down to crater lake – yet another miracle of nature.  the water was so blue i couldnt believe my eyes.  we got to hike down to the lake (another very steep hike) but it was worth just being able to put our feet in the water.  as this lake has no tributaries and gets its water solely from rain and the 500 inches of snow a year, it is considered the least polluted lake in the US, perhaps the world.  back to moab for a couple of days then to colorado for a couple of days before heading home.  pictures available upon request but won’t bore you with them here.

three weeks with NO television, NO news!  utter heaven!

SO in light of what i just told you, i have decided to hold a contest this month.  HOW MANY MILES DID I PUT ON MY CAR DURING MY VACATION?  the person who is closest without going over will win a copy of elizabeth zimmerman’s book ‘opinionated knitter’ AND a skein of their choice from pagewood, mountain meadow, or imperial yarns.  all you have to do is come to the shop and put your guess in the cookie jar.  on august 31st, i will read all of the entries and announce the winner in the september 1 blog.

i did visit a yarn shop in utah called desert threads, one in portland called close knit, and my usual favorite in boulder called shuttles, spindles, and skeins.  i did purchase some yarns but actually got more roving since i’m busy with wet felting these days.  i bought some churro roving in utah (a local sheep) and i was fortunate enough to find a shetland sheep farm in estacada oregon called cedar haven, so i went to visit this lady, meet her sheep, and get some of her roving as well.  the one common thread i noticed in visiting these yarn shops is that NONE of them carry any handspun yarn.  i was shocked to think that these shops didn’t support local textile artists.  after some thought, i think i know why — this yarn is so unique and labor intensive that these artists do not sell wholesale.  consequently, yarn shops are not interested in not making a profit on the yarns.  that is where we part ways.  i am happy to support local artists by purchasing their wonderful, artistic yarns and re-selling them.  i may add a few dollars to each skein to cover shipping costs paid, but in the end i dont make any money on them.  and why should i?  they do all the creating and all the work!  i am happy to make them available where they otherwise would not be seen, as a lot of my handspun comes from germany, the UK, australia and NZ, as well as many different areas of the united states.  

ok so i didnt knit as much as i had planned but in light of the events above, you can see why.  i had decided back when i was making all those round sun placemats that i wanted to try to make one into a hat, and that was my first project.  i used the cranberry swirl that beth used for her placemat and noro for the stripes.  i made it a certain size, then i begin ribbing.  i finished it when deni was in the car with us and i forced her to model it for me.

my second project was a small cowl with an interesting stitch knitted out of plymouth chunky alpaca and the third project is a market bag knitted out of hemp but it’s still a wip.

in july, just before i left, i held a sundae monday at seton hill adult day care.  ice cream sundaes really do appeal to all ages – they were like kids in a candy store – who wouldnt be?  this is the same group who i did the felt ball necklaces with in june and one of the ladies, they told me, has worn hers every single day!  when i asked her about it, she said that her granddaughter asked her for it and she refused to give it to her!

upcoming dates to remember:

saturday august 3:  my FIRST ligonier market (stop by)
thursday august 8:  purlin girls, noon – bean in latrobe
tuesday, august 13:  KA at raggz 1 to 7  (my first KA in 7 weeks!)
wednesday august 14:  basic needle felting class at raggz 1:00 see website for more info
thursday august 29:  spiral beaded necklace class at raggz:  1:00 see website for info
fridays open 10-6
saturdays ligonier market 8-12

dont forget i am holding another beginning wet felting class in september (life is… a bowl of cherries) so check the website for dates and times as well.  class size is very limited due to space constraints.

its so nice to be home again and i am looking forward to seeing you all very soon!

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