anne wrote this in the wee hours:
we woke on monday to more snow, this time accompanied by much colder temperatures—a foreshadowing of the week to come. i was beginning to feel less optimistic by the minute about gthe long sunny runs i’d been imagining . . .
after a cozy morning of knitting, chatting, and talking shop, kim and i met her daughter xanning for lunch and then stopped at the store where kade works to stock up on ingredients for dinner.
a battalion of bunnies greeted us just inside and we both kind of laughed at the temptation to mess them up just a bit. not that we ever would, mind you . . .
cooking with kim’s kids during my visits is now a time-honored tradition that we all enjoy, both in the preparation and in the eating.
this is holly, kim’s stepdaughter and a new inductee into the kitchen staff. on monday we made a vegetable curry, with kade supervising the rookie’s work
she did a marvelous job, passing with flying colors. during my visit, we also made dinners of pasta with vodka sauce and black bean vegan chile with rice.
after supper, there was cake and more knitting.
for tuesday, we had plans to go to park city; kim wanted to show me the high peaks area, a skier’s paradise. however, when we woke up, it was apparent that nature had other plans for us.
it was about this time that kim started calling me the snow queen. seriously—not an inch of snow in the whole two months before i arrived. and today i overheard someone say that they’ve gotten more snow these last few days than they had during the holidays.
with more snow in the forecast for the mountains, kim was uncertain about driving, so we decided to postpone our trip another day. but kade had a suggestion
he alerted us to the fact that the neighborhood park at the end of the street provided some really decent eye candy since the snow.
so we bundled ourselves onto layers of wool and set out (kim is wearing the squish me hat i knit her a couple of years ago from the original breakfast blend DK).
i couldn’t agree more—these photos make me want to drag out my oil paints and brushes and set to work; i love the way the snow has caked all over the vegetation here.
with trails criss-crossing in every direction, you could spend hours traversing this little park and still not see all of it, i’m sure.
and all this is right outside their door. how jealous are we??
the temperature was just so that morning that the path stayed thawed enough to be clear but the vegetation was frozen enough to attract snow to every surface—a perfect combination for a cold weather hike.
i have no idea what drives kade’s thermostat, but it was much, much colder that he makes it look.
kids today . . .
after our little hike, we warmed up with hot showers and settled in to knit and talk for a while. it was a pretty dreary day outside, so it felt good to snuggle in with our knitting. kim worked on her gift knit; we were all excited at the speed with which she was approaching the finish.
by this time i had completed the back piece for my natty pullover. i had actually finished it once already and then realized i made a dumb mistake. i had always intended this to the the back piece, but decided when i got to the armhole shaping that since i was now certain it would be a pullover and not a cardigan, i could go ahead and make it the front piece instead, in order to confirm that the neck shaping i had planned would work.
sigh. i totally forgot that this piece HAD to be the back because the button tabs i had added to the hem faced only one direction. so i ripped back those front yokes and reknit to make it a back yoke.
then i cast on for the hem of the front piece and that is upstairs as we speak, awaiting my return to work on it later tonight. this is going to be a deliciously soft and slouchy hanging around sweater that i can’t wait to wear.
later in the afternoon we went out to run a few errands and shop for dinner. as we were cruising through salt lake city on the way back, i spied the coolest sign that i needed to photograph.
i am often asked about how the name for knitspot was decided upon and what the heck is the significance of the olive? back in 2006 (almost exactly nine years ago, actually), when i imagined the blog i wanted to create, i thought of it as hangout for all of us knitters to get together. in the decade i grew up in, this would be akin to a “nightspot”—a social, upbeat place to meet with friends and have a good time. so i called it knitspot and translated the ubiquitous ball of yarn into an olive and the toothpicks into knitting needles. i ringed my logo with an oval that implied the rim of a martini glass—knitting is fun, right?
and OMG, there was my logo, on a sign at a nightspot, right in salt lake city. plus, the building is painted olive green and red. alright, who is smitten with this sign?? i know we were (ok, and to add the icing to the cake, it was right next to a chocolate shop with to-die-for butternut toffee bars. but i digress . . .)
seriously, i want this sign for our shop. in fact i must have it. i’m pretty sure this place is shut down, so all that would be required would be to find the landlord or owner and inquire, right? anyone know anything about it?
back at kim’s house that afternoon, we cooked up a huge pot of vegan black bean chile and knit. i think we spent the evening watching cooking shows on the food network and everyone went to bed early.
the next morning we got going early on blocking a special project, which i can’t show you for a few days (but i will, once the weekend i over). once that was settled and drying, we got ready to head out for park city, which is about an hour away from where kim lives.
finally we had a gorgeous day, albeit cold—in fact the temperatures stayed pretty chilly all day with a biting wind, but having the sun out made up for all that—just look at the color of the sky!
the ride out there was beautiful and we talked so much that i totally forgot to take pictures until we stepped out of the car. we walked around town for a couple of hours, poking into galleries and shops. that was very nice, but what was really cool was the ride we took afterward, over the back roads and through the sundance area to home.
i keep saying this but it’s really true—i have never seen anywhere so beautiful. the mountains here don’t even look real, do they?
and i know for certain that this isn’t even the MOST beautiful place in that wild west part of this country. no wonder so many western pioneers thought they’d reached the promised land.
i still haven’t been to idaho, montana, northern nevada, or wyoming (i know; so sad. but i’ll get there, i have plans).
this next is even cooler—i think these dark, layered peaks are my favorite from the day.
something about them is both ominous and magnetic to me.
just look at that patterning—stupendous. this drive literally left me speechless. i can just imagine how breathtaking it would be like on bicycles—in good way, in a good way.
what a way to end my visit—it was perfect.
that night the kids had to go out for a while and jeff returned from his business trip, so kim went to pick him up. i wrote up a blog for you to read while i traveled on thursday and when i was done, i got my knitting ready for the trip home. i cast on my second natty sweater, which this time will be a cardigan knit in briar rose joyful—a 3-ply sport/DK weight yarn spun from 100% polwarth wool.
i told chris i was in the mood for a super-juicy delicious orange and she delivered in spades. this color makes my heart SING. it will be so wonderfully modern with my hair; i already can’t wait to finish and wear it.
the next morning i worked the hem in the airport lounge on my way home, then set that aside to work on a darker colored piece while i had good sun. i had a long day of travel ahead and i figured i could pull the orange back out for my later flights after dark.
once i settled into my seat i pulled out my little fitted cardigan that i’m knitting in spirit trail tayet, a new yarn the jen is rolling out at the maryland sheep and wool show. she has dyed me a special batch of midnight blue with brighter highlights (deeper than it appears here). i’m designing a little fitted cardigan with lace detailing in everyone’s favorite cable-and-lace pattern—wheaten.
i love this yarn; it’s 100% BFL content lends a gorgeous sheen and a crisp, silky definition to each stitch. the yarn is quite elegant in fact, with a slight halo after washing that adds just the right amount of body to the fabric structure. the final fabric has a very high-end hand and beautiful drape.
between takeoff on the first flight and late afternoon, i managed to get quite a lot done on the first sleeve. i may take it back a bit though to refigure some of the shaping; looking at it now, i am convince that this sample would be perfect if the sleeves were three-quarter length, with the lace detail extending up to the start of the bicep area (i will be knitting a second, long-sleeved sample in one of our own yarns, either better breakfast fingering yarn or chebris sport). the front is really special looking but too hard to describe in writing, so i’ll wait to show you that as it develops.
once it got dark and i couldn’t see the deep blue very well any more, i switched back to the orange natty cardigan. i made quite a lot of progress as i flew toward home and david. i am pretty close to the underarm bind off on my left front now, yay.
that was just yesterday in fact; i’ve been home about twenty-four hours already. i spent today unpacking, sorting through a mountain of correspondence, and organizing my work for the next week. it’ always hard to set priorities when i first arrive home—i want to get on top of EVERYTHING right away. but i know if i don’t sort things, i won’t get as much done.
i had a nice break this afternoon when my friend anne C. came over with the prototype for a new sweater project she is knitting.
several months ago anne announced that her husband bill was demanding a sweater and she couldn’t find a pattern to match what she had in mind for him. she asked if i had any new designs i was tossing around. i was working on the pedal pusher cardigan at the time and when i heard what she wanted, i suggested doing a pullover version of that, with a placket neck and in DK yarn, so as not to be too hot. she liked that idea and so did bill.
she purchased a sweater quantity of stone soup DK in—my very favorite shade—pumice and then patiently waited through the holidays for me to have time to write up the pattern for her.
my only stipulation was that she would have to knit the prototype, because i was so backlogged with other projects. i finally got the first—and very rough—draft of the pattern to her near the end of january and she got right to work. she’s such a trouper—look at what she’d made in such a short time (it’s a pretty large size; bill has a 46 inch chest).
this sweater is knit in once piece, in the round, right up to the start of the placket, when it is split and worked back and forth in rows. it has cable details and seam lines just like the pedal pusher cardigan, with miles of stockinette in between to keep thing both interesting and moving quickly.
all that’s left to do is knit the collar and then add the button bands, then bill can model it for us.
the pickup numbers for the neck didn’t seem right so anne came over to have me check it out. yeah, it needed some adjusting for sure, but we got it figured out. boy does the fabric feel nice; substantial yet light, considering the size of this garment. and i know bill likes it—he’s been nagging anne to make it a priority, so he can wear it soon.
and with that, i believe we are all caught up. not that it will last long, the way things are moving around here, haha. and now i am really wanting to get up to our TV room, relax with david, and do some knitting of my own. see you in a couple of days . . .