Wednesday, February 22, 2006

The Traveling Fair Isle Olympian



Surprisingly enough, I did not get as much knitting done this past weekend in Montana as I had hoped. I still believe I will win my gold medal for the Olympics, or at the very least make it on the podium, but thought I would have accomplished more than I did. I always forget how much gabbing there is when I see my folks; how much talking mom and I can do when face-to-face.

S and I climbed aboard the Amtrak Empire Builder in Portland at around 4:45 on Wednesday afternoon. It was a beautiful day here in the Rose City, and the train really tooled along for, oh, about 15 minutes. Then we hit our first delay - stuck on a railroad bridge crossing the Willamette for a half hour or so. It was still quite light outside, so we contented ourselves with drinking in the surrounding scenery and the feeling of un-movement that being on a train on a bridge inspires. We saw all manner of transportation from that bridge: planes, trains, automobiles, ships, barges, and many flocks of birds. The sky was blue, the sun was shining; all in all a gorgeous Wednesday. Having a shortened week made for a frantic day, so sitting together in the sunshine, holding hands, having no responsibilities, no real worries, eating a pic-nic-y snack that S had packed was really special. The trip itself was pretty great, although I don't think Amtrak EVER runs on time. Just the nature of the beast, I suppose.

What a way to travel! You actually have room on a train - leg room, head room, walk-around-and-get-off-your-ass room. There weren't even that many other passengers, which meant we each had our own double-seat to sleep when the mood struck us. (It seemed to strike S with a lot more force than it struck me; I can't sleep much in a space like that, so I end up staring at him with just a touch of malice, wondering if I should pinch him, hoping he, too, will wake up from the discomfort. He doesn't. Not unless I wake him. The bastard).

We ended up being about 2 1/2 hours late into Libby, which meant my parents sat in their truck from 5:30 am - 8:00 am, waiting for us. Because, you see, in the mountains, on the train route, cell phone coverage is spotty at best. We had a yummy greasy breakfast, and headed to the Lincoln County Courthouse to get our marriage license. We drove back to mom and dad's home base, and began visiting and figuring. Distance in Montana is different than distance in other places; the trip to the train depot was an hour and a half; getting to town from mom and dad's takes at least a half hour; going into the surrounding towns we needed to hit to meet with potential wedding vendors takes anywhere between one and a half and two hours. We accomplished a lot of wedding stuff; it was great. Made it a lot more real for both of us, too. We tasted cake; we met with photographers, both good and bad; we walked my parents property and figured out most of the ceremony and reception logistics; we drove all around the greater Eureka-Whitefish-Kalispell area. Mom and I talked so much, I am suprised we have anything left to say to each other (we do - we just proved it when she called me Tuesday morning AND Tuesday night). We hung out with their friends, one of whom is none other than Knitting Iris, the lovely and talented Siri. She and her fam came for dinner, and we ate an Asian-inspired feast. Mom, Siri, and I knitted, talked knitting, and knitted some more. Her Flower Basket Shawl is going to be lovely; it is the most amazing shade of green.

Mom and I also casted on for her toe-up socks in STR Scottish Highlands. We each did a toe, and last night, she put both toes on some Inox circulars - her second pair of socks, and she is doing two-at-once, toe-up, on two circular needles. She ain't scared of anything - she is quite a woman. We purchased the needles at the Woolery Mammoth, a new yarn store in downtown Eureka, Montana, of all places. I HAD to support such an exciting endeavor, so I bought the Opinionated Knitter and some double-pointed needles. The Opinionated Knitter, in this humble knitter's opinion, is super-fly, and all knitters should get it.

On to the Olympic knitting round-up: I began the Fair Isle last night, while watching the speed-skating race. Just one pattern repeat done on each sock, but, ooh, doggy, it is awesome! I had been reading a Philip Margolin book that my parents loaned me (mistake - I should have known better than to start something I knew I wouldn't be able to put down), and finished it, so I am going to renew my Olympic efforts and knit, knit, knit on.


A close-up of Goldfinger, with fair isle
A close-up of both socks with the first (very simple) fair isle pattern

And these are the colors that are in the running to be tag-alongs for the rest of the Fair Isle. All odds and ends from socks finished, NK gave me the idea to use 'em up:


That is all this knitter can write right now. Hope Olympic Knitting is going well for all atheletes out there, and remember, the only person you are competing against is yourself!

(Oh, and, yes, E and I realize that there has been no mention of Rogue for quite a while - we still heart her, but haven't really felt like hanging out with her lately. We both have our needles all ready to cast on some sleeves, but are biding our time. Don't judge us).

4 comments:

Wool Girl said...

These are lovely! You are moving along! I love the colors, and can't wait to see what you add in with them! Great job!

wg

Emily said...

Oooh, can't wait to see how all those other colorways mix in. Rock on!

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