I’m always dressed wrong

Through a pretty amazing set of events in October, I wound up in in Las Vegas, and realized about 46 seconds later that it really wasn’t my bag. It’s very interesting, and everyone should see it once (if only to believe it) but I’m not a Vegas strip kinda gal. The flashing lights and mobs of people drive me wild, we don’t gamble, and Joe and I quickly discovered that though the strip was not built for us, the area around Las Vegas is absolutely ridiculously gorgeous and totally our bag, and we’d visit that a thousand times. That’s what I was thinking about when I found out that Joe’s trip was planned for here and yesterday I got my wish. We straggled out of our hotel and drove an hour away, and really had a good hike through Valley of Fire State Park. It’s a really amazing place, with petroglyphs and rocks all the colours of the rainbow, and we saw a big horn sheep, which got me so excited that I’m reasonably sure that the couple that we brought along with us now think that I’m a complete lunatic. We liked it even better than we did last time, and I think that’s because it wasn’t as hot as Satan’s armpit outside. It’s winter here, which is a term I feel this part of Nevada shouldn’t even be allowed to use, considering that we hiked very comfortably in jeans and tee shirts.

rocksfire 2017-02-06

I even finished my cowl in the car on the way there.

finishedgrus 2017-02-06

Pattern: Grus Yarn: Woolfolk Far (colours are as suggested, #01, 02, 03, 04 and 05) Needle: 6mm.

finishedgrus3 2017-02-06

I’m as in love with this project now as I was when I started, and despite wanting off the needles so I could start something else, I’m a little sad to see it go. The yarn is spectacularly elastic, soft, and entertaining, so much so that It was a pleasure to weave in all the ends, and that’s not my normal feeling about the task. It’s a shame that this thing is done just in time for it to be not needed. (Hang in there a few days though, there’s a change of venue planned – this trip has three legs.)

Today’s been a work day, Joe’s busy with his stuff, and I’ve been in the hotel room, busy with mine – but the yarn for the baby blanket arrived, and tomorrow, my petals, is swatching day – though I’m still trying to figure out what stitches I’ll swatch. Let’s think about it tomorrow.

In the meantime, we’ve just opened registration for the April Retreat at Port Ludlow.  Our theme this time is “Around the world in three days” and it’s a retreat for knitters and spinners (you don’t need to be good at either.) There’s details on the retreat page, and we’d love to have you. If you wanna talk about it, you can email us at info@strungalong.ca

62 thoughts on “I’m always dressed wrong

  1. I was sure you were going to tell us about how you managed to shear that bighorn sheep.

    But not to worry. The wool for the Gansey is almost as raw, so you haven’t really missed an opportunity.

  2. I agree that the area surrounding Vegas is beautiful. My husband and I were there in July and it was hot. Beautiful cowl.
    Thanks for the blog

  3. I agree with you about Vegas completely! I’m glad I went once, but never again. I loved the trip to Hoover Dam and beyond though.

  4. Hey Steph, what kind of bind off do you use for your cowls? The tops and the bottoms of your photographed cowks always look the same. When I use a stretchy bind off that side always seems to be larger. Thanks!

  5. Ohh the scenery is just gorgeous! The cowl is just beautiful and the photos of it are just wonderful. *waving the knitted pompoms at your finish* Can’t wait to see what you come up with for the baby blanket.

  6. Visiting Vegas is like Times Square on New Year’s Eve – been there, done that, it will be a cold day in Hell before I do it again! I agree with Deborah, you left the sheep?

  7. Death Valley is also beautiful and not too far from Vegas. It didn’t take me anytime at all to realize that the city of Las Vegas was not for me. But there is much beauty around.

  8. “Go to Vegas ONCE, just because it’s there,” is on my bucket list. Knowing that I can tack on driving out of town for some natural beauty makes it much more likely I’ll actually get there one of these years. Now that I’m living in the chilly Pacific Northwest (after 16 years in Hawaii), a “winter” visit sounds very appealing.

  9. Don’t let Joe know that you are a hop/skip/jump away from world class skiing!! Maybe you should consider holding a “retreat” in S.Utah in the spring or fall??

    • Absolutely NOT. No Canadians should even attempt to cross the border now. The American border police are requiring Canadians to surrender their cell phones and provide a list of all social media they frequent. And they’re so rude! It’s a terrifying process, and the border police apparently have the authority to turn anyone they don’t like away!

      • Do you know anyone who has experienced this. Just trying to get a feel for what they “say” they are going to do and what they have actually done. Thanks!

  10. Satan had armpits? Who knew? Never heard that o.j. Sunday school. I know Arizona fairly well. That is a perfect description of summer in those parts.

  11. How weirdly wonderful to know that you are in Vegas, too! I flew here today for a work related meeting and all I could think about on the 5 1/2 hour flight was how great it was that I was making great progress on a pair of socks for my hubby and wishing that you were in the next seat on the plane to compare notes.

    Hoover Dam is definitely a great place to go. Stop by the Neon Museum if you get a chance – it is a ‘boneyard’ of great old artistic neon signs.

  12. Beautiful cowl. So glad you got to go, and glad your yarn came!

    I don’t know if it applies there, but I’d stay away from anything a flash flood could come down–they can even when it’s not raining, if it was the day before. An in-law had an extremely close call in Zion’s Canyon, making it up high enough with seconds to spare.

  13. If you find a little time around swatching & would like to let a fan buy you a beverage of choice, please let me know. I’ve lived here a little over 5 years, and Satan’s armpit is about right. I could handle the heat better if it came with thunderstorms. Those are what I miss most about living in Chicago-land.

  14. I feel just the same about Vegas. Flew into it because it was a convenient airport and was happy to see it. Breifly. From there, we were lucky enough to drive all the way up to Yellowstone Park via all the national parks along the way. Zion was my favourite too.

    On a knitting note, I’m sure you have a ton of baby knits planned (and nothing should delay the blanket of course) but do consider knitting something like Pepita baby dungarees with feet. They are so practical for a little one, lovely and snuggly warm, don’t ride up and leave cold ankles or tummies, easy to put the baby in a carrier, car seat or push chair and super cute. They also use 200 g of sock yarn, which is a useful amount and an easy, portable and quick knit (for when the blanket gets too big to tote around) and look amazing in funky colours. What’s not to like? (I had some and my daughter lived in them. I sometimes with she still had some, so I know that of which I speak!)

  15. I grew up in Las Vegas! And I miss the desert every day! It’s no wonder I had to become a knitter when I left; my body will never be used to weather below 40 degrees. There is a nice coffee shop called Sunrise Coffee over toward the southeast side of town if you’re still there!

  16. Vegas is useful as a relatively inexpensive air travel gateway to the national parks – assuming the current occupier of the White House doesn’t turn them into massive oil fields. I was there once for a professional meeting, and that was enough. If there’s a performer there that you want to see and can snag a dinner show or just a show for that one purpose, that can be worthwhile.

    Otherwise, as we’ve done in the past – beat feet out of town as soon as you buy a case or two of bottled water at a Target/WalMart or similar. There’s also a Chinatown (north-ish I think) with some good, and not terribly expensive restaurants, where we had lunch after we landed. One thing we found interesting on our last trip to Yellowstone/Grand Teton was that while the in-park stores are expensive, they don’t gouge you on bottled water, which is good since it helps with both heat and altitude.

  17. I’ve never been to Vegas…or west of the Mississippi River, for that matter. Vegas seems a little too active for my liking, anyway.

    But what I really wanted to comment on was the baby blanket. I honestly can’t wait to see the finished product, and in my many years of reading The Blog, I know you have incredible skills when it comes to baby blankets (and Baby Things in General), and I’m sure whatever design you come up with for your grandson will be an absolute work of art. I wish you the best of luck in your journey with the newest baby blanket.

  18. Every time I think of Meg (which I don’t really do unless you mention her–I’m not a stalker, really I’m not) I remember a dress that she had (maybe a Halloween costume) that laced up. Maybe something that mimics that for one a of the stitches. A pretty, travelling trellis-ish kind of stitch.

  19. a retreat at Port Ludlow with you guys is absolutely on my bucket list. somehow, someday. agree, gorgeous cowl; looking forward to blanket decisions and progress. not a stealth project; does your daughter get a vote in choices?

    • Me too on the Port Ludlow retreat, just a dream for me. Do you have any this direction? Lake Erie and Lake Ontario must have some gorgeous place you could take over for 3 days…

  20. Gosh, I love Vegas. Am I the only one here that does? I am not a gambler, but I love the sound of the machines tumbling even though you don’t use coins any more but, get a paper voucher. I sit in the lobby and people watch. You see some of the strangest people and things in Vegas. The shows are great and the restaurants are wonderful. The golfing is fabulous and anything is better than a February in cold snowy Michigan

  21. I accompanied my husband yearly for many years when he went for work. The first year, a few of the other wives took me under their wing to show me around. That was thoughtful and while I appreciated this, I am not much of a gambler and okay on my own. The following year I broke away, used the trolley to do people watching and window shopping solo with a minimal amount of time gambling. After that, the gambling wives and I planned our get togethers and I enjoyed my time in the warm weather and with a rental car, I visited 6 quilt stores in two days. People back in Michigan asked “who goes to Vegas to visit quilt stores?” Me. There was one yarn store that was rarely open. I finally got inside only to find very old stock and even older (but not quite vintage) patterns. And dust. Lots of dust. It was rumored to be a front for something else! I have fun memories of the town but none of them are about gambling. Everyone should see it though, just to know that this is one case of TV not exaggerating things!

  22. Thank you for the reminder of a wonderful trip I took to LV years ago. LV not my bag at all either, but a friend arranged an ATV tour through the Valley of Fire and my husband and I had the best time! Experienced what real darkness is, too!–the sun went down and…black. Not something I experience here in NYC. Highly recommend visiting there if one can.

  23. You went back to Veridian III! Hope you had some tea, Earl Grey, hot (or Saurian brandy) while there ;-)!

    The cowl looks fantastic. As for the Impending Blanket, I don’t have any specific stitch suggestions, but do recommend something richly textured. And, to be a bit different, a rich, bold color rather than the usual white or cream. Maybe a sapphire blue, deep burgundy, or canary yellow…something that will help hide the bits of Millie fluff that are sure to creep in!

  24. I’m going to ask what might be a shameless question, but I couldn’t find an answer on your blog. Are you promoting yarn/products that you’re getting compensated for? I’m not begrudging you doing this because I understand the costs it takes to run a blog, it would just be nice to know if your opinions on the products are influenced. Thank you.

  25. Well met – I’m currently in Vegas, hiking & climbing the Red Rocks Natural Conservation Area. It’s absolutely gorgeous & I agree with you, temps are so much better this time of year.
    Beautiful cowl. I finished a shawl last night in camp.

  26. I had two company conferences in Vegas and I have to say I never liked it. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to get out of the city. On a knitting note, I too purchased some Far this year. Every year at Rhinebeck I treat myself to a particularly scrumptious yarn and this year it was FAR. I am in the midst of a scarf (light grey, dark grey and blue) and have the yarn for a poncho (cream, light blue and dark blue). The yarn and color palette is heavenly. Enjoy the southwest!

  27. The is an amazing place to visit in Vegas called the Nevada state museum, springs preserve. Lovely place to wander around and see.

  28. I agree with you about Vegas. My husband and I went there on our first trip together when we were dating. It was a novelty that time. We went back for our fifth anniversary, and most of the time we were there, I was wondering why. I hated the crowds and the smoke, and I don’t gamble, so we just spent a lot of time walking around. We did see Elton John (and I see from your IG that you did, too!), and he was definitely the high point, but I’m not sure I’ll ever want to go back.

  29. I lived in Vegas for 10 years (graduated from high school there). If you ignore the Strip and Glitter Gulch, the surrounding area is lovely. We even get a few days of winter there- I remember snow a couple of times!

  30. Visited relatives who were temporarily based in Vegas many years ago. The neighborhood was teeming with boats, camper-vans, jet skis, huge RV’s etc. When I commented on the profusion of toys I was told they were escape vehicles. The natives got out of Dodge every chance they could. After experiencing the Strip it made perfect sense. Can’t wait to see the blanket in progress.

  31. Right there with you on the Vegas-gambling thing. I went once maybe 40 years ago and the noise and (then) smoke and garish everything made me nuts. But the surrounding countryside is a balm for any wintered soul! Happy Blogiversary btw.

  32. My Canadian grandmother used to say it was colder than a witch’s tit, which kind of ranks right up there with your Satan’s armpit comment. Is that a Canadian thing? Also, that sheep was a miss for you…it would have fit in your bag if you weren’t carrying an entire yarn shop in there.

  33. Shetland lace stitches. That’s what come to mind. Still plugging away at the Hansel Full shetland shawl for a baby due in June. Starting this early cause I procrastinate and I have a lot of other things to do before June. May as well get this done before hand.

  34. I like the Las Vegas area too but not the casinos or the crowds. I went to the Valley of Fire and did a fair amount of walking around in November one year I love the rock formations and the interesting plants especially the desert sage.

  35. I was married by Elvis in Vegas, so it will always hold a special place in my heart. But even on our wedding weekend, we didn’t gamble. They have interesting museums there, and many of the hotels have museum-quality exhibitions in them, and of course, the hiking. We’re runners, and we want to run the half marathon there (it runs at night down the strip) just to do something fun and different. But we never seem to go to Vegas for what Vegas is known for. I suppose this would be like meeting Madonna and not mentioning Lucky Star, but there you have it.

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