Sunday, August 12, 2007

We do so love the mountains

First off, I don't think I've yet shown off the finished handspun socks, my first completed pair for Summer of Socks. TahDah!! I keep falling asleep on my knitting and it's for sure I'm not going to win the most socks completed prize, but I do so love these. Colors are much nicer, ochres and mauves, but my camera just wouldn't show it this time. Crown Mountain Farms Sock Hop Handspun, 2 skeins

Size 2.25mm &2.5mm circs

Undulating Rib Sock from IK Favorite Socks

Had a few days escape from the heat and relative flatness of Texas. Headed to Idaho! Through Phoenix, into Boise. Boise was a delight, not at all what I expected. Neat, green, pleasant. All the people we came in contact with were great. Areas of downtown had been renovated and guess what I found near the Capitol? This is Drop a Stitch, a neat little shop with just lovely yarns and the nicest owners. You can just smell a fiber store from miles away, can't you? And this is a wall of Koigu, and Alchemy and other goodies!! None of which are carried locally, so it was fun to look things over.
This is adorable Anne, very sweet and she really does smile tht much. She is probably giggling over the fact that the BF would not hang out in the shop. This was his first yarn shop and he had a look of panic before he fled for several coffees. He definitely didn't get it.
Anne recommended the Alchemy Bamboo sock yarn. They have a local Russian knitter who makes a lot of socks. She first turned her nose up at this fiber, but then she knit a pair with it and loved it. So I shall give it a try.
They had a LOT of solid Koigu, and I have definitely been in the mood lately for some solid socks, so got enough to do Loksins and some of CookieA's patterns, Thelonius will be the next.And then they showed me the new Lorna's Laces Twist. Looks like a Clapotis to me. Leaving Drop a Stitch, there was the most beautiful pottery horse in the middle of the sidewalk. Now he seems to belong to a Chinese Restaurant nearby, but isn't he lovely? Actually, Boise had several other yarn stores that sounded interesting, but the BF looked as though it was best not to ask for another stop!
Then it was into the car for several hours drive through rolling desert with a thick haze over it. The BF and I wondered what this weird haze might be. Found out the next day it was smoke, that there were fires all over the state, one very close to Sun Valley where we stayed, just a mile or two up the canyon.
And this most unartistic shot is Ketchum, a rather charming little town just a mile or two down the canyon from Sun Valley. Excellent restaurants, lots of galleries, lots and lots of real estate offices and banks, and a shop called Isabel's Needlepoint. Who knew that this delightful and sunny little shop on the second floor of a neo/old building had such a wonderful knitting side? One thing I loved, as I always do when I find them, is all of the sweaters they have made up that you can finger and try one. This is only a few. Every window all the way around the shop had a sweater hanging in it. But the big excitement was that, in addition to their very well stocked wall of Koigu, their shipment (ordered the year before) arrived while I was standing there. Being totally Koigu deprived in North Texas, I had to take deep breaths to keep from swooning.This lovely lady is Trina (short for Katrina I believe), who was a huge enabler! There was also Jane and Julie Jane, one of whom is a crack sock knitter and both of whom were very helpful.

This gives a bit of an idea of this little patch of green in the desert mountains. Sun Valley is extremely green with beautiful flowers and fountains and symphony in a tent and an outdoor ice skating rink that gave a show with olympic champion skaters, and several gorgeous golf courses, all very Disneyland for grown-ups. But delightful. The views in all directions were fantastic. The air was so wonderfully mountainy crisp, it was a joy to sleep with the windows wide open.Even the swans had luxury accommodations here! These are the babies from the spring hatching. I love the mountains. Spent much of my childhood in the mountains of Colorado and most every summer thereafter. And I miss it!

What I didn't mention here yet was all of the airports and the throngs of people and the fact that every flight was oversold (that gets tiresome) and the fact that every connecting flight seemed to come into the totally opposite end of the airport. There is no glamor left in air travel, that's for sure. But I had to manage all of this, plus all of the mountains, with a toe I broke the day before I left. I heard it snap and did I feel stupid. Swollen and purple, then yellow, there was no way that toe was going into anything but a thong sandal, even in the cold mountain air. I debated unraveling the toes of a couple of my handknit socks so they would fit into thongs, but thought better of it. Then you got to worry about people bumping you. Thank goodness for knitting. Waiting for hours and hours sure goes better with a bit of knitting in hand. Now for the truly weird part. I'm knitting various absolutely lovely socks on magic loop, and nowhere, not one single person mentioned it. Days of knitting on planes, waiting at gates, in restaurants, no one commented. It's strange.

New projects starting up, but that will have to wait for the next posting!


bookgrump said...

All of your pictures look so nice. Who knew that Idaho could be beautiful? (I didn't. *blush* )

Your new socks are absolutely stunning! You should be so proud!

Lynn said...

Stop, you're making me homesick! Ketchum = Hemingway country, though I've always preferred the terrain to the author. So you weren't able to make it out to Knit Wits, eh? I don't know who's running it now, but when I was a kid it was the first real yarn shop in the area, and the two ladies who owned/ran it were hilarious! I guess I'll have to see if I can find them online. And I'll tell my sister about Drop A Stitch; she gets back home far more often than I do.

fleegle said...

I love those orange socks!

Wish I could have gone with you on your trip. Who knew Idaho would have cool yarn stores?

Jo at Celtic Memory Yarns said...

Rule No. 1: never but never take BFs or DHs or SOs into yarn stores! They'll only be unhappy and you won't be able to relax properly in that way essential for proper yarn enhancement experiences.

I'm moving over to the idea of solid colours more and more - I want to see these beautiful patterns we're knitting up!

Longhorn Diva said...

Mmmm, Koigu! ;) What lovely pictures; like a virtual vacation.