On the Road Again…

Back on the road again. Goodbye Nevada, Hello Arizona! I saw Lake Mead and I entered giant cactus land! Then it was the Hoover Dam!

I was too late for the tour but it’s still pretty neat just walking around. After that, time for some driving. Arizona has lots of pretty rocks to look at!

Today includes another yarn stop…Purl in the Pines in Flagstaff. I’m feeling good about this one! Friyay, indeed!

Sin City Knit Shop

On my 7th day, I finally made it to Las Vegas’ yarn shop…Sin City Knit Shop. First though, there was a stop at Bad Owl Cafe, a Harry Potter themed coffee shop. I don’t drink coffee (or butter beer) but I thought the understated theme was pretty awesome.

After that, it was off to Sin City Knit Shop. It was a lovely visit to a well appointed shop with friendly staff.

The woman who greeted us (because after my music friends left, a knitting friend showed up two hours later! Woooo!) knew the tourist drill, she instantly showed us to the local yarns.

They had a selection of local yarns (in multiple gauges), as well as some super cute project bags (awesome fabric selection!) It was the fur Pom Poms that really caught my eye though…

…the price, yes. But more importantly, check out that snap! Not only does it give amazing stability, it gives amazing flexibility. A Pom Pom that’s entirely and easily removed or reattached at any moment. Genius!! I didn’t buy any, but I love that they exist.

And then, there’s the shawl wall! All amazing! So many terrific samples!

I did buy a couple things…

The bottom three aren’t mine, just the top four. It’s a great pile though. Mine are a local hand dye, a purple Mirasol yarn for my current WIP, Kiwi from Zealana (a New Zealand possum yarn) and a skein of Cashmere 16 Fine (a cashmere merino blend with a super springy chain construction. It’s so light and lofty. Can’t wait to use it!)

Next stop: New Mexico’s self proclaimed premier yarn shop in Albuquerque! They have wolf hair yarn…super curious!

The Vegas Mid-Point

I made it to Las Vegas but not before I saw a shoe repair shop shaped like a shoe and the worlds tallest thermometer.

I stopped at the worlds second largest open pit mine in Boron, Ca too! They mine borates. It was a neat stop. Then, I finally made it to Vegas.

The Bender Jamboree was awesome! Four days of bluegrass in a fun, intimate setting! I’m typically a back of the room concert goer. I like having space to move and I don’t like the jostling and aggression one needs to hold their space in front. Not a problem here, when bluegrass legend Del McCoury is watching…everyone behaves!

I definitely spent more time on the rail than usual. So many of my favs played, they were all great. I really have to stretch to find a complaint.

I even managed some time to knit, at the pool of all places. There was lots of shade! Whoever designed this pool should get an award! I don’t think I’ve ever been to a pool anywhere that was so lovely. And that mural!! Absolutely love it.

I’m still working on the Dotted Rays pair, I only brought the pink/red one with me. It’s making good progress but I’m running out of colors. Next stop: Sin City yarns!!! I’ve heard rumors of a Harry Potter themed cafe as well…sign me up!

Day One: The Twisted Skein

Road Trip ’18 is under way!

I did pretty good considering I-5 is generally regarded as a road no one wants to drive and Bakersfield, my destination, is a place no one wants to visit.

It was a beautiful day for a drive and I was headed to a yarn shop. No complaints from me!

The Twisted Skein is a great shop! It gets two thumbs up from me! They hit all the things I look for in a yarn shop…speckles, hand dyes, local yarns, gradients. They’ve got a selection of Berroco yarns as well, for the budget conscious.

It was spacious and uncluttered. The staff was friendly (and all male?!) They had a classroom and space to sit & knit, along with Ravelry corner (<-awesome!!)

I picked out a handful of mini skeins from Stitch Together, an indie dyer from Iowa. Not sure what they’ll be. I didn’t bring enough yarn for the trip so I’ll be busting into these beauties soon! And, adding to the pile when I get to Vegas. Sin City Yarns should be a yarn tour highlight!

The cherry on top of my day was dinner at Buck Owen’s Crystal Palace.

It’s a tourist trap but whatever! They have live music! It was a free show…apparently this dude is the last American Idol winner. He was perfectly pleasant knitting music.

Overall, not a bad start to Road Trip ’18. Now, on to Vegas…

Road Trip

 

Next week, I’m going to Vegas.  The trip was planned earlier in the year to coincide with some 40th birthdays and a music festival.   My funemployment status made the choice to drive a no brainer.  It, also, meant I didn’t have to make any real decisions yet.

A few weeks later, it was discovered that an east coast friend will be arriving in Vegas for a conference, just as the music festival friends are leaving.  Of course, I’ll extend my trip a few days.   I was so happy I hadn’t done something set in stone, like buy a plane ticket!

I was thinking of taking the long way home anyhow.  Then this week, a little seed got planted into my brain.  Roswell.

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I mean, why not?  I missed it the last time I drove cross-country.   It’s an awful long way to drive for a bit of novelty.  I’m not a serious tinfoil type but I’ll be back to work soon enough, might as well have a little fun.

With that in mind, I pinged a friend in Dallas because, relatively speaking…I’ll be close.  Much to my surprise, the answer I got was a weekend tailor made for me.  My favorite band, that isn’t part of the festival in Vegas, will be in Dallas.

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Suddenly my crazy idea, seemed like a really FUN crazy idea!  An hour later, it seemed completely ridiculous.  An hour later, it was definitely happening.  An hour later, there was absolutely no way it was possible.  An hour later, I was kicking myself for not doing it….and it hadn’t even happened yet!  This cycle of YES – NO! – YES!!  has continued ever since.   Decisions still haven’t been made.

I have started doing some research though.  I’ve found a brand new and seemingly great yarn shop in Bakersfield to visit and of course, there’s Sin City Yarns to visit in Vegas.  I’ve found some ghost towns and state parks.  I’ve located the section of Route 66 that plays America the Beautiful in New Mexico.  So I’ve got some options!

I need your suggestions though, anybody have a not to be missed yarn shop?  I’m not at all committed to that blue line that google drew so feel free to suggest anything southwesty!  Sedona, Flagstaff and Albuquerque are all possibilities.   Breaking Bad tour of ABQ?  Might need to research that one!

I leave Tuesday, and it seems like this may turn into a 3 week excursion!  Yarn shops, roadside attractions, great eats, scenic pieces of road…I’m open to all of your suggestions!  Let me have ’em…


 

WIP Wednesday

It’s Wednesday and I have progress!  There’s not much of a story here, but that’s kind of a story itself.  It’s my favorite kind of knitting, miles of nothing but knit.  Perfectly relaxing, stress reducing,  stash busting, striped, garter stitch.

 

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AAAAAaaaaaaahhhh.  yes.  I’m loving the dueling Dotted Rays.

They’re keeping pace with each other pretty well.  AND, I’m keeping up with the end weaving.  I can’t wait to see how they turn out.  At this point, each shawl has grown so large that it’s mostly relegated to a large crumpled pile until it comes off the needles, revealing it’s true beauty.  At least that’s the way I’m hoping it goes…

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I’ve made a couple questionable decisions in the pink/red/orange/purple stripes.  It’s completely possible to balance it out down the line though, so I’m putting faith in the process.  I’m not expecting to be unhappy at the end.  I’m sure it’ll work out.  It always does, after all.


 

The Week in Review

 

Happy Friday!  I hope everyone has had a good week.  I did.  The gift of time is my favorite thing about unemployment.  I never take that for granted.  What seemed like a lazy week, is much different when I look back at my camera roll.

The weather has been great.  I took lots of walks.
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I went on an excursion to Scrap, the local center for creative re-use.

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I picked up an old wooden picture frame to make a little pin loom.

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Despite my complete lack of skills with a hammer, it’s safe to say…I nailed it!  :)  At least for a little while, then the frame broke under all that tension.  Whoops.

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I got enough out of it to satisfy my urge to weave.  Mostly, it confirmed that I like knitting better.  I’m not giving up my needles for a loom (or a hammer) anytime soon.

Baby’s first sweater and my pair of Dotted Rays have all made progress.

My favorite progress of the week, though, is my log cabin crochet blanket.  Those colors!!

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And now, I get to have a weekend.  It doesn’t get better than that!  I’m so lucky!  Happy Friday, Indeed!