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The 100 Yard Flight

June 22

As many of my friends know, I have been shuttling back and forth between the West Coast and Ohio for the past (almost) four years. On this last flight I finally confirmed exactly how much yarn it takes to get from Cleveland to LA.

It takes 100 yards! Isn’t that a nice round number? Twice now I’ve started a flight at the beginning of a ball of Tonatlita, and ended at the just-enough-to-weave-in end. It works for all kinds of yarn. I can get a half a sock completed. Three-quarters of a sleeve.  A third of a scarf.

If you’re lucky enough to be heading for somewhere other than Cleveland, just figure on 1.75 inches per mile between cities.

I would go no-kidding bonkers if it weren’t for knitting. I see other passengers eyeing me enviously, like “She’s got something fun to do, and we just have to sit here. Lucky girl!”

Or they’re just scared of someone as harried looking as me holding sharp objects. I must look a bit crazed; after all, I’m sitting there figuring out how many inches of yarn per mile it’ll take me to arrive at my destination.

posted under Travel | 7 Comments »

Reminisce

December 15

I’m still on Ohio time, apparently. My body (mind?) can’t seem to figure out its back in California. So here I am, wide awake and making coffee at 3:30 in the morning. The upside is that it’s raining and oh-so-peaceful. Perfect time for a fire and some uninterrupted knitting.

Tangled-Yoke-Fire

I’m on the home stretch on my Tangled Yoke Cardigan, one of my all-time favorite projects. I’ve picked up the stitches along the neckband base and marked where I altered the pattern a smidge to put a couple of decreases in that will (I hope) encourage the neckband to lie a little flatter. (You pick up the best warnings about these things on Ravelry!).

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Yesteday, I read Jared Flood’s post on his BrooklynTweed blog in which he talks about how long-duration projects remind us of where we’ve been as we’ve knitted them. He says each project has its story. My Tangled Yoke Cardigan’s story is interwoven with my mother, as so much has been this past year….

I started this sweater in North Carolina, the start of September ’08. My husband and I took my mom to the Biltmore for her 80th birthday. It was one of those “whims” otherwise known as intuitive thoughts. Or nudges from a higher power.

 Biltmore-from-Garden-Path

My mother’s an amazing, very accomplished woman, fit and smart and lively. It was a challenge to keep up with her as we hiked miles through the woods – and keep in mind this was in the Olden Days when my husband and I were runners. Little did we know that 11 months later would find Mom unable to even stand or speak.

Forest-Cropped

The North Carolina trip was filled with the awe-inspiring interiors of the Biltmore House, long walks through Olmstead-crafted gardens, the tastiest birthday cake we can remember, laughter, story-telling, and horses. I’m so grateful for the time we had together before the stroke stopped Mom in her tracks.

Happily unaware of what was coming, and a fine argument against omniscience, I think I finished half the body and one sleeve of my sweater during that trip. Flash forward a year plus some, as I finally get around to the Tangled Yoke neckband, I’m glad Mom’s back in her home after months of rehab from her stroke. I’m glad I was there to intercede when she was given the wrong medicines. (Dope up my mother??? No way!) I’m glad I have the great good fortune to be able to make sure she has good care. I’m glad she has fabulous friends who come to see her all the time, braving the frustration of one-way conversations. A step at a time, Mom can navigate her hallway if not the wooded trails. Her spirit is phenomenal. A gift to her daughter.

White-Horse-Cropped

Run, Mama, run.

Respite

October 20

My husband and I got away for a weekend to a place I’ve wanted to see since I was a child. Which made it a loooonggg time coming.

Mackinac Island is 3.8 miles of of heaven in Lake Huron between Michigan’s Upper and Lower Peninsulas. It doesn’t allow cars, which makes it my kind of place. Conveyance is by foot, bicycle, or horse-drawn carriage. Percherons with hooves as large as platters haul supplies, baggage and people all over the island. The horses were kind of tuckered out by the end of the season, and most get shipped off the island to rest over the winter.

Mackinac-Horse-Buggy

Showing off his considerable travel planning skills, my husband booked us into the Grand Hotel. It lives up to its name! The architecture, service and decor are beyond compare. One of its claims to fame is that major portions of the movie Somewhere in Time were filmed there. We rented it before we left. Even though it was very sappy, and I kept saying “I won’t cry, I won’t I won’t I won’t” I did anyway at the end.

Mackinac-Grand-Hotel

We stayed in a gorgeous room overlooking the lake. One afternoon we watched a storm brew up, then send sideways sheets of water past our window. As wimpy Californians, we are profoundly impressed by such dramatic acts of nature.

When I wasn’t ogling weather or horses, I did get a bit of knitting in. I’m working on a pair of socks for my friend Madeline. The Grand’s front porch is the largest in the world. It takes a lot of rocking chairs to fill up 600+ feet of veranda. I took the sock there for a visit.

Madeline-Sock-Porch

I felt a little silly photographing the sock in the hotel’s fabulous Parlor, with its lush design and sophisticated mural. But I sacrificed my dignity in order not to lose sight of AudKnits being a knitting, not a travel, blog. But still, if you get the chance to visits Mackinac Island, by all means go. Oh yeah, don’t forget your knitting.

Madeline-Sock-Living

2gether with CAT

February 9

Several days ago I had the privilege of getting together with CAT of Let’s Knit2gether renown. She was visiting Monterey, which is right up the road from me. We spent quite some time oohing and ahhing over the incredible selection of yarns and spinning supplies at the LYS, Monarch Knitting & Quilts in Pacific Grove. Then we headed for the ocean where we parked ourselves on a sunny bench and knit in public. How heavenly is it to meet a new friend (ok, she’s kind of a podcast goddess in my book), and get to knit in crystal clear air by the sea… in January?!

Here’s CAT working on her lovely fair isle tam, while I show off  Mary’s Garden Sock.

If there are any knitters out there who haven’t discovered the Let’s Knit2gether video podcast, you might like to check out the link here or on iTunes. CAT imparts her wealth of knitting knowledge with enthusaism and clarity. Her husband Eric is a professional in television and film production. Their combined talents make for quality videos that I enjoy watching over and over. I’ve learned so much from the podcasts, I bought the DVD compilations to have on hand as references.

Thanks, CAT, for so generously sharing your time, friendship and encouragement!

Purling in Portland

January 13

I am officially the Luckiest Girl in the World. I just got back from a wonderful trip to Portland, Oregon. The train ride between where I live and Portland is just under 24 hours, so I booked a bedroom. I loved having my own little world in which to knit, read and sleep. What could be better?! The scenery through the mountains was unbelievably beautiful. On the trip home we were in the mountains at night and the trees, snow and mountains were illuminated by a full moon. Heavenly!

I made the trip in order to take two workshops from Jared Flood, who many of you know as brooklyntweed. I’ll tell you all about the workshops in a later post. But first I just have to sing the praises of the fantastic shop that put these workshops on.

Knit Purl is wonderful knit shop in downtown Portland. The staff is knowledgeable, kind and helpful. As you approach the shop’s door, the pretty colors invite you in…

Once inside, you’re surrounded by alluring displays of yarn. The selection is incredible, and I found several yarns I previously didn’t know I couldn’t live without. My newest Favorite Yarn Ever is Kauni. I fell in love with the suble shading from one color to the next. You’ll be seeing a LOT of Kauni in my future projects!

The shop is an inviting place to sit, knit and drink tea. You’re surrounded not only by gorgous yarns, but also by terrific sample pieces on display.

If you’re in the Portland area, I hope you’ll visit Knit Purl. If you want to see the yarn offerings in their online store, you can go to the Knit Purl website. Also, you might want to check out the wonderful newsletter put together by the talented Sara. The newsletter mentions some workshops that I’m sorely tempted to head back to Portland to take. How about learning sock techniques from Lucy Neatby? Sounds like a lot of fun! I definately need to clone myself so one of me can be here enjoying the deer and other wildlife and another of me can be in Portland taking all these great workshops.

posted under Travel, Yarn Shop | 2 Comments »
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