Sunday, June 17, 2012

Arrival + Moving cross country days 4 and 5

So as you can imagine, I've been pretty busy. Moving 2K miles across the country, starting a new job and such. I keep telling myself I need to write some posts, and then saying I'll do it tomorrow, then repeat. The short story is we've gotten all moved into our rental house (that has a pool! we're working on getting it opened for the season now), and I've had a full week of work. Mostly orientation and training as you might imagine, so pretty boring so far.

We've been exploring the area already,'s surprisingly pretty sweet. It's not full on desert and there is plentiful beautiful dry weather fauna, and there are a lot of rolling hills (foothills to the Cascades I suppose?). Also, WINE EVERYWHERE and lots of it. Columbia Valley vineyards, yo.

But first I need to take you back to our drive through Montana which was both gorgeous and yarnalicious. I'm very happy to be living Montana adjacent. Our fourth day of travel was spent in Bozeman, MT. They had recently had a snowstorm so we stopped by the Bridger Bowl ski area. The lifts weren't open but Sammy had a good time.

Bozeman supported not one but two yarn shops within a block of each other downtown. The first was called something incredibly generic like "The Yarn Shop" I think. I picked up some Thirteen Mile Lamb and Wool yarn, which is from a farm in southwestern Montana. They produce a lot of products including lamb and beef, yarn, sweaters, hats and all kinds of other wool items. One thing on their tag caught my eye, 'Predator Friendly: Native carnivores pose real risks to sheep ranchers but they are also part of what makes this landscape special and functional. We have made a commitment to use only non-lethal methods to protect our livestock from predators.' This has been a constant debate in Wisconsin among farmers (and I assume in Montana), and it's nice to know that some people are committed to the idea that we have to share our land.  

What should I become?

The second place we visited was called Stix, and had a little more of a funky feel. It was situated in the basement of a building, but the stairway was clearly marked.

They carried a lot of common brands as well as a few unusual ones, including the Bay Area "A Verb for Keeping Warm". The clerk said they are one of 6 vendors in the US that carry the line. The entire time I was in Berkeley I kept trying to get spinning classes arranged there, but it never worked out. I wasn't even tempted to buy any of the yarn though, shit is EXPENSIVE. Instead I went for more local Montana fare, Western Sky Knits. I think it needs to become a big fluffy hat with a poof ball on top.


Day five we spent in Missoula, MT, and it was another surprisingly fun town. Loopy Knit/Crochet was my yarn destination this time. If this was my local yarn shop, I don't think I'd ever have to order anything online.

They had an extensive selection of Noro yarns, which I had never seen in person but I know some people go wild for. I have to say, I don't get the love. The colors were...OK, I guess, but the quality of the yarn seemed just awful to me. Maybe the fibers are dusted with crack. I went for Mountain Colors, from Corvallis, MT. I don't think they actually produce the wool there, they just do the dyeing. Local? Still counts.

It's sock yarn, but I don't know if I want socks from it.