the best thing about my visit with luci and scott last week was that we spent every available minute outside—even if it was just hanging out in the yard, bundled up to catch the rays. i even arrived at the craftsy shoot with some healthy color in my face from being outdoors.
i would have gladly stayed with them longer, but by sunday, it was time for me to get back to denver and prepare for my craftsy shoot on monday. not to leave things on a sober note, luci decided that we should get there by going the long way, stopping off in estes park and the rocky mountain national park, before heading to denver on the peak to peak scenic byway.
any first time stop in estes park should probably include a peek at the stanley hotel, where stephen king conceived his novel, the shining. luci and scott stayed here one night in the winter.
we walked around a little bit inside, which indeed is imbued with a rather creepy atmosphere as well as possessing an air of shabby elegance.
and no wonder really, as it receives a steady stream of tourists walking through its lobby and lower level.
the newly completed hedge maze is just one of the features of the more beautiful surrounding grounds and the views from the hotel are pretty great. we didn’t stay long; they just thought i’d enjoy seeing it.
up the road just a bit was the much more inviting and interesting rocky mountain national park, where just inside the grounds, we found a huge herd of grazing elk—now THAT was magnificent and we spent about thirty minutes just being there with them, taking photos and enjoying their quiet occupancy of the area.
they were so close to the road you could practically pet them, though i didn’t think about doing anything that rude.
this was one of the highlights of my whole trip.
i did take a little video footage if you’d like to share the experience; truly just one of those quiet moments of awe and appreciation.
again, we caught this event as the sun was beginning to sink, so the light was fantastic; constantly changing and adding a new dimension of glow to this pasture.
when we drove up a bit and turned the car around to leave, we saw that the light was even more gorgeous from the other direction so luci and i jumped out to snap a few last shots. what a sight . . .
we took the peak to peak byway to denver, first driving through thompson river canyon and the roosevelt national forest.
this is a seriously amazing drive; in many sections the cliffs feel like that are tilting over the road. and just look at that blue sky—it reminds me of something i’ve just got started on the needles that is NOT for the blue club
while my photos out the window of the back seat show you just a bit of how i saw the drive, you really should take a gander at luci’s film from 11/14; it’s a real front seat experience.
you know how i love pine trees and the forest running alongside the road is some of the densest woodland i’ve ever seen.
as the light paled, we found a spot to pull over and watch the sunset
as my friend alice would say, trés great!
but what was really cool was that as the sun set on the right side of the road
the moon popped up over the horizon on the left side—and nearly full, too—aMAZing
it played a cat and mouse game with us all the way through our descent, as i tried over and over to get a good shot and finally we were in a position for scott to pull over so i could run across the road and take this photo.
a little later i got this one too, from the moving vehicle
and finally, my last shot of the day as dark truly enveloped the earth. soon after we entered denver and i was saying goodbye; it was such a wonderful visit, so good to spend time with these friends. i am very grateful that i get to keep in touch in person as a benefit of my work.
the next morning i was up bright and early to get to the gym before my makeup call—stop that laughing!—when i’m away, i find i have more energy all day if start off with a run or some time on the bike (even if it’s an exercise bike).
we put in some long, fast-paced days during a studio shoot, so i need all the help i can get; it’s a lot different work than my usual.
and the closeness of all those lights can be a little disorienting after all that natural light i soaked up over the weekend.
it looks MUCH friendlier from your side of the camera, haha. but all went well and my producer, evan seemed very happy with our work. your should have access to the result in just a couple of weeks, from what i’m told.
one of the perks of being in downtown denver is that there are plenty of good eats around—more than one could possibly appreciate in just a few days. on my last evening there i went to dinner with the delightful anita grossman-soloman, who has been described as the elizabeth zimmermann of quilting. she was so cute when she told me that story, because at the time it was said, she didn’t know who EZ was and she had to look it up, haha.
we had a blast sitting at the chef’s bar in this nearby eatery while enjoying a wonderful dinner and watching the show. also teaching this time was faina goberstein, who i got to spend time with as well. we had a nice little knit n chat on our last morning; that’s when i got that blue lace shawl on the needles. later, we rode to the airport together.
speaking of the trip home, with the sleeves completed, i decided to put my top aside for just a bit and start on a sleeve for another spring knit; i was ready for a change of pace and i enjoy having tandem projects. this one uses a motif from an early design, the curling mitts and cowl. i just love this pattern and while fooling around with our summer yarns in january, i realized it would translate really well into a fabric for warm weather garments.
at the airport, i settled into a chair and cast on for the sleeve cuff; in no time i was changing needles and well into the lower sleeve.
i’m knitting with our ginny sport yarn, which is a 3-ply cotton/alpaca/merino/nylon blend. erica likes to call it the cotton yarn for wool lovers and she’s right—it has all the delicious qualities of wool, plus the softness, sheen, and drape of high quality cotton.
this sweater will be a looser-fit boyfriend sweater with that sexy motif running right up to the top of the sleeve and then down the front from the v-neck (not too deep, but not too high either). it’ll work great as a beach coverup or something to throw on when things get chilly at the beach or cabin. but it will be dressy enough to wear to dinner alone with dressy trousers or shorts. i just can’t wait to try this one on. our hempshaugh fingering yarn will also knit to the same gauge and drape, so i’m planning on knitting one of those for my own self, too.
can i just say?? these summer yarns are really something else; i just adore them. coincidentally i’d decided before my trip to name this one illas cíes, after an archipelago in the galicia national park in spain that is preserved as a true wild area, very difficult to get to and stay at. but the coastline there?? just stupendous. i hope some day i get to see it . . .
i can’t wait to show you more of what’s in the works for the spring collection; i am SO excited about it all. of course, i have to make it so i can share it right? which is just what i’m going to do for the next two+ weeks—design and knit. infant, i am most likely i flight as you read this, on my way to NYC. i have several designs that are well on their way and i’m terribly excited to be in the city to knit, design, and imagine the rest.
on thursday, we’ll talk texture; i can’t wait.