Knit wits store front

The Sedona Knit Wits

I know this is a long time coming, but I don’t know how these other bloggers do it. Between work, the fire department, packed full weekends, and trying to squeeze in some knitting so I actually have progress to show you, my loyal readers, I run fresh out of time to actually post!

I do want to share my wonderful visit to The Sedona Knit Wits.  The shop is easy to find amongst many nice boutiques and small businesses.  A welcoming sign greeted me as we pulled into the lot.  I must say Thank You to my brother and Kookie at this point, for not only letting me sneak into the shop for a quick visit, but actually coming in to say “Hi” to the proprietress.  I was greeted by so many colors and textures right off.  I almost did not know where to start.  I was able to meet Petra Breakstone, the owner of the shop.

I asked Petra how long she had been running the shop and she told me her story of accidental yarn shop ownership.  Petra was confronted about four years ago by a loyal customer of the previous yarn shop in Sedona.  She had learned the shop would be closing up and was hopeful that Petra might be looking for a new venture in life.  Petra has been interested in the fiber arts for a while, but never before considered making it her career.  She ultimately agreed to keep a yarn up and running in Sedona.

Due to a tight budget and an empty shop, Petra began crocheting like crazy to display the yarns she had to offer.  She laughs now to recall that she became known as the knit shop owner that doesn’t knit.  Of course she does knit and she knows what knitters like.  She carries a wide range of locally crafted buttons and notions, locally dyed yarns, popular national brands and offers many opportunities for knitters old and new to sit and knit and maybe learn something new.  Petra only has two days a week where there is not a class or knitting circle.  The shop is closed Sunday and Monday they keep it low-key in the shop.

After years of slowly building the shop, Petra is pleased with the busy hub of activity it has become over the past eight months.  Carrying enough yarn to knock yer socks off and then knit up a new pair.  Being a warmer climate The Knit Wits also carries a host of cottons, tencel, silk and bamboo.  I myself picked up two lovely skeins of Mary Gavin Yarns in Cuesta 100% superwash merino wool.  I was also impressed with Teresa Ruch Designs and House Mountain Yarns.  Of course they also carry tried and true brands such as Cascade and Berroco.  I could have spent another couple of hours sitting and soaking it all in, but alas, I had a race to run.  If you are in Sedona, I recommend twisting what ever arms needed to get a chance to pop in and touch as many fibers as possible.

I have got to go sew some ends in and fiddle with my secret project.  I promised a pattern and by golly, I aim to deliver!

Room with a view

I can run for miles, and miles, and miles, and miles!

I did it!  I finished!  I felt good, and I felt strong.  I had a smile on my face and beautiful scenery to enjoy.  The weather was perfect and the hills were long.  I was feeling strong with the altitude advantage, and the fact that I live in hills much mightier than the ones I was running.   I was, as one cheerleaders sign said, “eating the hills for breakfast”.  This is what I love abut running and racing.  Although this was not my best time, I had the best time!  I had friends and family running with me and waiting at the finish.  I chatted with some nice folks during the race and everyone is encouraging to one another.  Even the top runners say good job to us mid-packers on the way back and after the race.  In running we all tread the same course, at the same time, in the same conditions.  From the elites to the first timers, we are all in this together.

Going the distance

It was not all sweaty hard work though.  We got some sight seeing in as well:

After the race and happy

After the race and happy

Is that a vortex?

Is that a vortex?

Note the extra large cairn near me.  They are really worried about folks getting lost in this neck of the woods.  This was on Bell rock, which is supposed to be the site of a vortex.  Maybe that is what helped my race…  We also did a little bit of driving and touring around the day after the race.  The banner photo is from outside our hotel.  I had to crop the Bridal Fair billboard and the Tattoo parlor sign out of the photo, but otherwise that is exactly what I saw.  I have more pictures I will post on Facebook, and I am going to try and learn how to post an album here on my blog.  I would like to get a gallery of F.O.’s on the blog.  I am, of course wearing one of my favorite hats in the photo, so there is a start.

Knitters, fear not, this is not turning into an exclusively running blog!  I did visit the Sedona Knit Wits while in town, and did a little interview with Petra, the owner of the shop.  It was great fun!  I also purchased the yarn you are getting a peak at in my new banner.  I will review the shop and have lots of photos in my next post!

Plus updates on my projects, including a new one.

 

 

 

Main Street

Telluride

For all of you who may not have noticed, all my post titles are inspired by song titles or lyrics. Many of them are just straight up quotes, some of them I have modified in such a way that only I can hear they original song in them still. As I write this, I wonder if credit should be given to the folks who came up the songs that inspire me?  I think I would like some opinions on this thought.  Either way, the songs drive the posts. Some times, I sit down with a topic and a song buzzing around.  Some times, a topic but no song, the song will come as I write.  A few times I have quit the post because there was no music.  There is a sound track to my life friends, and it is, at times, a frenetic way to live.

For those who don’t know, there is a song called Telluride, originally recorded by Tim McGraw.  Several years later Josh Gracin decided to resurrect it and made an almost identical recording.  It is possibly based on a true story, but I am not sure if there has ever been any confirmation.  What ever the case, this little town inspires a lot of people.  Including knitters.

Which brings me to the Telluride Aran, by Amy Herzog featured in the Winter 2014 issue of Interweave.  This sweater is gorgeous!  I am so sad that I did not discover it sooner.  Anyway, it will be going in my queue.  It just might turn into a KAL at my cozy little LYS, Needle Rock.  So do stay tuned on that one.

Before I go, just a little teaser.  I am working up the perfect first pattern for you all to enjoy.  I hope everyone needs another cowl…

Telluride sunrise

Running on empty

So… Have I mentioned, I am running a marathon next Saturday? Like February first.  That’s right, 26.2 miles eight days from now.  I have not done the training I would have liked.  Don’t get me wrong, I have been active: hockey, Nordic skiing, snowshoeing, walking dogs, snowboarding, even some running.  Just not as much running as I would have liked.  Kookie and I have sworn off another midwinter marathon after this.  It will be fun though because we are running with special guests.  My brother, my captain on the fire department and his lady love.  She wisely opted for the 10k, the rest of us fools are going the distance.  The race is in Sedona, AZ, so maybe a mystical vortex will encompasse me and carry me through.  Fingers crossed on that one.

In the mean time, to calm the rising panic, I have been working on Squishy’s sweater. It is coming along quite nicely.

squishy sweater second sleeve

 

I have finished the left front panel and am starting on the right.  The magazine in the back ground is a recent issue of Running Times, so I am also hoping for the running by osmosis effect.

baby blocks buttons

 

I picked out six cute little buttons as well.  The pattern called for seven button holes, but then the front would be too long.  I think since I am winging it a little my proportions got a bit wonky.  Who wants to button seven buttons on a baby anyway?  Plus, by buying only six buttons instead of seven the whole sweater is much more economically viable.  It is this kind of thinking that will get me through a marathon I have not properly trained for.

So my header picture today has nothing to do with the post.  Just a beautiful sunrise on my way into work this morning!

Samson and Delilah

Wild, wild west

So I was walking little Samson and his “sister” Delilah yesterday with my friend and her dog.  We had the dogs all off their leashes so they could run and play and wear themselves out a bit. We were on a quiet little side street where there are only a few houses and no traffic, perfect for the dogs to run and play on. Until we heard the coyote.  It was so close, yipping and yapping, a distinctive whiny kind of racket.  Poor Samson took off a bit down the road before I could get a leash on Delilah and get him to come back for his leash.  He was shaking like a leaf.  The coyote was still making its presence known.  We now had all the dogs leashed and little Samson in my arms, we put some distance between us and the coyote.  When we felt we had put sufficient distance between us and the predator we looked back.  I would say the coyote was no more than one hundred yards from where we had been when it first gave us the spine tingling alarm.  These little dogs I care for are super cute, but so vulnerable.  I’ve never had such a close encounter with a coyote before and I don’t care to again.

Now that I am home safe and sound with the dogs and have found a new walking route for them I can get some knitting done! What’s on my needles? What isn’t?!  I need to get some things done here in a big way.  The biggest project I have going right now is a sweater for my new little niece.  I call her Squishy.  The pattern is the Baby Blocks Cardigan by O-Wool.  I am using Plymouth yarn instead and I think it is turning out pretty well. I am using a larger size needle and so my gauge is different, basically I am winging it.  Babies are moving targets anyway, right?

baby blocks cardigan

button band detail

 

I also have a few socks on the needles.  Remember the Simple Skyp socks?  Yep, still working on them.

Skyp socks almost done!And I am knitting Kookie some socks for Christmas, the one we just had. I’m just a wee bit behind the eight ball on that one.  The pattern is Tracks, simple and unisex.

tracks swatch

 

Still in the swatch phase.  He might get them by next Christmas…  Then I noticed, holey swatch, Batman!  How many years does one have to be knitting before one does not do this anymore?

there is a hole in my swatch

Squishy sweater

Momma, don’t take my Kodachrome

Whew! It has been a looong time! Too long.  So much has happened, so many things knit, so many miles covered, and a new baby!  So, I will be going back a little ways, but not too much.  Just enough to get everyone up to speed.  There has been so much going on and so much that has gone undocumented.  One of the many reasons I grew lax on the blog is my technology.  The camera I was using was a digital camera I gave to my daughter nine or ten years ago.  It did not speak to my tablet very well at all.  I grew frustrated.  Why was I using this camera and not my own?  Because my camera would still gladly accept Kodachrome if it was still being made.

That is right, I am a hold out for film. I am nostalgic for the look and feel of all things film. It makes me sad that movies are going digital.  I long for the graininess of film, or the total depth and clarity that film could offer. But I know its limitations in the modern world and I asked for a new camera for Christmas (thanks Mom and Dad).  Now I can shoot as many shots as I like without wasting film and I don’t even have to wait an hour for the results!  I can take my little camera with me where ever I go and take shots like this:

Power tower Or have Kookie take a shot:

Nordic skiing So stay tuned folks! I have a lot of goodness coming down the pike.

 

IMG_20130331_152918

I’m gonna soak up some sun

The ski season is coming to a close and it looks like we are going to end on a high note.  The weather this weekend has been great.  Perfect for egg hunts, T-shirt skiing, and hanging out on Main Street.  I put a T-shirt on first thing in the morning and now I am thinking sandals are in order.  As soon as I get this post taken care of I think I will wake Kooky up (he is a big fan of naps) and drag him downtown to soak up some sun on a bench and do a little knitting in public.  Of course I will be sure to apply my sunscreen.

With the increasing length of the days I have been up and at it running in the mornings again.  Just some low mileage to get a good base.  I have a goal race in the fall and will give myself a 20 Week training program to work on starting in May.  I have also been looking around for a couple of other shorter races for the summer.  It feels good to be back into racing.  To keep in great racing shape I am being careful with my mileage and working on my hips, which includes exercises to strengthen my glutes, core and hips.  I just got this new set of exercises from Running Times.  I am a running nerd, I love learning about the mechanics of running.  Maybe that is why I like knitting, I love to understand the mechanics of knitting as well.

So what’s on my needles?  Still working on the purple mukluks.  I put them aside for a few other projects, but Kooky’s mom will be here in a few weeks and I want to have them done.

IMG_20130331_150408

 

The Skyp socks are coming along.  I love them, but I must put them aside for other more pressing projects, sigh…

 

Of course I still have DD’s blanket on the needles and I am supposed to pick up April’s pattern and yarn allotment tomorrow. Eek!  I have five more repeats of the pattern to go.

 

Despite all this knitting I still managed to finish up my March Design It! Item.  I will post pictures as soon as the thread on Ravelry goes up.  Got to play by the rules.  I also was a lucky winner of a brand new knitting book.  I have been reading Wendy’s blog and she had a copy of  Easy Openwork Knit Tops by Kennita Tully to give away.  I can’t wait till it arrives, I will let you know all about it.  Oh wait Kooky just woke up! Time to go out and soak up some sun.

We make great pets

Where I live, it is not cheap to live.  My tiny little mountain town might be rural.  (Like truly rural, the closest hospital is an hour and a half away.  We don’t have a stop light in our county and we seriously have only  about four state highways running through the county and many unpaved county roads.  Many of which are impassable from November till July.)  But being a high-end skier destination, we sure have big city prices on everything.  Including rent and home prices.  Which is why I have multiple jobs.  My latest and greatest second job is my pet sitting/house sitting work.

I have several dogs, cats, fish and even two lovely horses that I care for throughout the year while their humans go on trips (usually to someplace I cannot afford anyhow).  This works out swell because I get a temporary new home, always far less cluttered than mine, and the animals get to keep their normal routine.  Plus, I get to spend time with a super cool animal that I can build a trusting relationship with.  Most of them leave my yarn alone and the dogs usually love that I will take them running with me.  Once they learn my running schedule, they never forget and will not allow me to skip my alarm, ever.  Hot doggie breath in my face at 5 am is super good motivation.

These two sweet cats live together but refused to get in the same frame once I got the camera out.  No camera in sight and they cuddle up together on the mantle.  I have never owned cats myself but from my experience with cats, I think this is pretty typical cat behavior.

This little girl also would not cooperate with me.  Either would the sun, which seemed to find a cloud every time I snapped the shutter.  Usually she gets so happy outside that she does this little bunny hop instead of just plain running.  This little super doggie lives in the town up over the mountain from me which means I get some commute time to and from work (usually I walk and it is hard to knit and walk).  This is not your usual commute by subway or bus.  This is by gondola.  Pictured above is the view from the gondola to my town and one of the gondola cabins so you can get an idea of what they look like.  Below is the chondola, a combination gondola and chair lift with smaller cabins that only runs in the winter.

The pictures were not so great, as you can see it was still kind of early and the sun had not quite made it over the mountains yet and it was overcast with scratches on the glass to boot.  Never fear, I have many occasions to ride the gondola throughout the year so I will get some better pictures.  By the way, this is free transportation to visitors and locals alike.  It all makes working two (or more) jobs worth the trade-off.

I hope to make this blog interesting to folks who stop by, I know I don’t always have a lot of knitting talk (or running talk either) but I hope I offer interesting insights to a place to live that is slightly off the beaten path in more ways than one.  I will always welcome feedback, comments or suggestions.

P.S. In the next post I will discuss my triumphant return to running with the (sort of) return of the morning light and at the end of the month I can reveal one of my secret knitting projects!

Cloud city

photo 2 photo 4

 

So here a just a couple more pictures from our skate ski the other day.  It was a great group of ladies and I had a ton of fun.  I also wanted to show you these picture before you click on   this link.  I really like the sweater I am wearing, it is my first top down sweater.  It is a little big and all, I am also pulling on it to straighten it out and I am talking because I did not know the picture was about to go, but I still wanted to show off the sweater.

 

Speaking about knitting, here is a better picture of the block of the month blanket I am working on.  This is the March portion starting from the seed stitch, I have a ways to go to keep on track.

 

I am making better progress on my sock though.  I love, love, love the colors, they kind of spiral around and blend so nicely.  I have been a bit busy on a couple of design projects so I can’t say anything much about them.  One of them is for a  group on  Ravelry.  I learned about it from this  fun blog  I have been reading.  She is trying to get in to the world of design as well.  She has some nice things up on her site, check it out.

In other knitting news, I just found out that my Brother and FSIL (future sister-in-law)  are going to have a baby girl this summer. So stay tuned for some little baby knits!

 

Just a couple more pictures to show how cool it can be to live up in the clouds.

P.S. Find me on Ravelry, I am Tomato  :-)

 

It was a beautiful day.

photo 1 So just a quick update post because I have  been away too long again.  This is a picture of me and one of my fellow skate skiers last Thursday.  It was just gorgeous outside that day.  We went for about two hours, laughing and enjoying the sun.  You can’t tell in this picture , but we are really working hard.  Let me tell you, it uses a whole lot of different muscles that running does, and it does not have the impact.  I am glad  I work for a place that believes healthy workers are happy workers.

I also wanted to say that the fashion show was a blast.  I am not sure how it turned out for the fundraising side of things, but I hope they made their goals, those models sure worked hard.  I tried to take some pictures, but I could not get this silly camera I’ve been using to use the light in the room and get a good shot.  I will have to ask around and see if I can get one or two.

Then to continue my busy weekend.  Saturday was knit on the mountain day !   That is when a bunch of us from our LYS ski to a restaurant/bar on the mountain and hang out by the fire and knit.  Pictures of that fun event forthcoming as well.  So now I am off to Knit Night !  At least I am getting some knitting done around here…