3043.8 Miles

I almost don’t know where to begin today.

The last time I sat at my computer was over a week ago (I wrote and scheduled last week’s posts ahead of time) and since then the car’s odometer has ticked away 3043.8 miles, which doesn’t even count the miles added with my feet or the distances viewed with my eyes. It feels like a very long time since I’ve sat here with coffee in hand and tried to organize my thoughts and share a story with you. As is my way and my very special privilege here on the blog, I’ll do my best over the next couple of days — because I can’t possibly cover it all in just one post — to share with you the things I’ve seen & the experiences of those 3043.8 miles.

A little over a week ago we packed up our little car, dressed in new snow tires, with only the necessities. You know what those necessities are — emergency gear, plenty of knitting, books, audiobooks, a spinning wheel, more fiber than I could possibly hope to spin in a month, long underwear, snow pants, heavy boots, hats & mittens, spare hats & mittens, etc. Yes, we just packed the essentials for a very long cold weather drive. In the wee hours of Sunday morning we piled ourselves in (Moose included, of course) and headed West.

I opted to not knit on the smallest project available, but one of the larger. Why? I have no idea except that it was soft & warm.

img_1884-1And by the end of the first day, the body of my Agnes sweater in the luxurious Quince & Co Puffin was almost finished. I’m very fortunate that driving for exceptionally long periods does not phase Mr. Knitting Sarah one bit. We left in the dark and arrived at our first stop, Glendive, Montana in the dark and almost immediately hit the hay. The following morning, however, we were able to enjoy a quick hike in Makoshika State Park. This park contains park of the Hell Creek Formation in which fossils of T. Rex and Triceratops can be found. For our dinosaur loving kids, it was a thrill just to be in this place. For the grown-ups…

It was a worthy hike for the view, reminding us that Montana really is Big Sky Country.

After our hike, we continued on to our final destination, further West toward & into the mountains. Despite some frigid temps, the weather mostly cooperated and we enjoyed picturesque views of the awe-inspiring Rocky Mountains growing ever larger in our windshield. img_1919It was the first time the kids have visited the Rockies and it was very fun to see their disbelief at the sight.

And then there was that section of interstate that had 65mph crosswinds and blowing snow…

img_1929Where the road occasionally disappeared and the big trucks swerved a little precariously in their lanes.

But I mostly didn’t panic and we made it without incident.

And rolling into town while it was still light, the full welcoming committee met us at Yellowstone National Park…

img_2189Bison…

img_2009Coyotes…

img_2161And the ever-present elk.

By the time the sun started to set and we turned in to our hotel in Gardiner, Montana — a little mountain town nestled right at the northwest entrance to the park — I was working on the sleeves of my sweater…

img_2104-1And we’d made a special fiber arts stop…

img_1943Which I’ll share with you tomorrow — complete with the main attraction for our trip!

Stay tuned!

Q1: The One Plus One Plus One Project

Yesterday I shared the One Plus One Plus One Project that I’m going to work on this year and I invited each of you to join me should you like. While it’s open to let each of us set our own goals (based on the number 3, of course), for myself I’ve opted to set my goal at a minimum of 3 projects per quarter: 1 sweater, 1 ‘other’ knitted item, and 1 finished handspun skein. As I said, I fully intend to complete more than this each quarter, but my hope is that I’ll earmark certain special projects that I really want to accomplish and — in some cases — give myself an excuse to prioritize.

Today, I thought I’d share what my Q1 projects will be. Fun, right?!

Drum roll please….(because I’m stinking excited!)

img_1841Ta-Da! So much yarn & fiber-y goodness!

First up –the sweater — is one I’ve had on my radar for a long time…

img_1834Agnes by Melissa LaBarre. Using Quince & Co Puffin in Sabine for the main color and Quince & Co Osprey in Bird’s Egg for the pockets this is one I really want to finish soon so I can luxuriate in its coziness. It would simply be a tragedy to have this yarn sitting in my stash for another year!

Second — the ‘other’ knitted item — is one you’ll recognize from another recent post…

img_1842A pair of Snowfling Mitts by Tanis LaVallee using Tosh DK in Cloud and Leopard for the outer colors and Tosh Pashmina in Byzantine for the lining. These will be a treat on so many levels!

And third — the finished handspun yarn — is going to be a true labor of love…

img_18404oz each of Polwarth/Silk in Agate & Hearts of Hearts and 4oz of BFL/Silk in Dirty Girl Redux all from Three Waters Farm. A 12oz spinning project is pretty big for me, but this is one that was love at first sight when Mary Ann from Three Waters Farm shared the inspiration photo on Instagram. I’ve been saving it for a special day and the One Plus One Plus One Project has given me the perfect excuse to just go for it.

The plans are set — now all I have to do is free up on my wheel, finish up a couple small knitting projects, and wind up some yarn. Talk about some serious motivation!