Sunday, March 6, 2011
I escaped another series of snow storms this past week by fleeing to Denver, Colorado for a work conference. No one believed me that it was warmer in Denver, so they wore big, long down coats and layers of down vests, wool jackets, fleecy gloves, and knitted scarves and beanies. But when we arrived, it was 61 degrees and people were walking around in T-shirts.
What relief! I lifted my face to sun and just... breathed.This was the view from my hotel window:
I felt like I hadn't seen the sun all winter!
It was such a freeing feeling that, the first evening, we went out to walk around and look at the city lights.
We ate at the Panzano Restaurant and lucked into an incredible Denver restaurant festival: Denver Restaurant Week! Several restaurants around the city were offering full course dinners for an unbelievably small fixed price and we were happy that we happened into this one. There was a little bit of a wait - about half an hour - but we had drinks in the bar while we waited and didn't even notice the time go by.
I had a mushroom crepe with truffle oil for starters, then salad, handmade stuffed ravioli with basil sauce, and three types of homemade sorbet: mango, pomegranate, and raspberry/blueberry.
After such a long and luxurious dinner, we wanted to walk a bit before going back and saw this beautiful huge brass door on a bank:
Artwork was everywhere.
Although my conference was excellent, I did use up my quota of extroversion after a couple of days of enforced group work from 7 am to 8 pm. I was able to slip out one afternoon for a short break, and like a homing pigeon, found a wonderful local yarn shop: The Lamb Shoppe.
It was everything you hope a LYS to be, and more. Even the view from the sidewalk was intriguing and drew me in with stacks of soft-looking yarns and unusual accessories and patterns.
Inside it was bright and comfortable, casual and yet upscale and infinitely friendly and warm. There were at least four places around the large room set up for knitters to sit, and knit, and peruse the books and throughout my time there, people were constantly coming in and sitting down in groups of 2 to 4 to knit with their purchases and talk.
Knitted and crocheted examples were draped and hung everywhere and on more than one occasion I noticed knitters pulling these examples out of baskets or from shelves to demonstrate or explain something to their knitting companion or even to show off the item that they had knitted for the shop! It seemed to be a LYS where the patrons considered it "their own" and were a part of the whole thing - not just customers but involved in the culture-building of the place.
In my usual way, I wandered around clockwise, looking at every single skein and item. Whenever I found something I knew I wanted to bring home, I would return to my home base at one of the tables and add it to my "pile". Two ladies who were knitting together on the other side of the table took me under their wing and asked "what are you making?", "do you have the right amount?", "what is your colour combination?", and we had a great conversation about New England. They asked about my own local yarn stores and when I mentioned one, everyone in the shop raised their heads and started asking me questions! Everyone was so friendly! I loved my time there.
As usual I got distracted in my search for yarns to bring home and wish I had picked up more. There was basket of beautiful Shibui Luxury yarns, including a sock weight yarn with natural silk in it. There was only one colour though, a persimmon orange and I kept looking at it and then putting it back in its basket, nestled next to vibrant orange and purple mohair/silks. I should have pushed past my green/blue obsessions and branched into these warmer colours, but I couldn't make it happen. There was also one skein of a so-soft cashmere in baby pink that I meant to buy but forgot. And I left the Marmalade and Jelly and Grace and Blood Kidsilk Haze behind because I couldn't think of what I might make with it and would have only been able to get one ball of each colour. But I wish I had - I would have found a project for it, right?
What I did buy was Elizabet Lavold Baby Alpaca in a bright collection of colours coupled with muted natural tones for a Lazy Daisy Jacket for the little guy.
I picket out the cutest buttons but since there were only two, I'm not sure if I'll use those or more of the hand-carved wooden ones that my friend from Australia gave me.
They are cute though, aren't they?
I started my project right away - after a few struggles with gauge since I'm sizing up - while catching up on past Masterpiece Theatre episodes. The colours are blending beautifully and I think I'll make another of these jackets for a friend's new baby when I'm done.
You'd think I did nothing but play while I was in Colorado, but I can assure you that I worked very, very hard at my conference and came home exhausted and so happy to see the lights of Boston from the plane's window, even though I was coming back to huge snow banks and ice-covered roads.