Sunday, February 8, 2009

Arizona Vacation Knitting

On my last post I shared some highlights of my recent vacation with my father in Arizona. What was missing was my chronicles of knitting adventures on that trip. I confess that when I'm packing for at holiday, the first thing that I think about is the knitting projects I will take with me - very typical knitter's behaviour. I plan excursions to the local yarn shops in the area and my special souvenirs include yarn treasures that I have found.

I was pleasantly surprised by the number of yarn shops in Arizona. The first shop that I found was appropriately named the "Red Rock Knit Shop" in the heart of the red rock town of Sedona. Being a warm weather climate, I was afraid that knitting wouldn't be as popular as it is here in Ontario. My tourist perspective is that warm clothing is needed for the cold evenings (we had to scrape frost off the car windshield five mornings during the week we were away). We all know that it's hard to improve on a cosy sweater or socks to keep toasty warm.

Jerome is an historical town that is filled with artistic shops and quaint inns and restaurants. The drive alone is exciting - a mile high above the surrounding landscape, accessible by a narrow, winding road complete with tight turns and few guardrails. The town originally thrived as a copper mining town and then became a ghost town when the resource was no longer in demand.
Someone saw the potential as a tourist haven and the old buildings were restored and filled with unique offerings. The town's yarn shop (above), named "Knit 1, Bead 2" has been in business for 27 years. The store is owned by the most helpful and talented, Erica. She displayed her yarn grouped by colour, turning the store into a rainbow of possibilities. It certainly gave me plenty of souvenir options.
Yes, that is a "KnowKnits, Go-Knit" bag in my had that I did take on the sight seeing plane ride over the red rock mountain formations of Sedona, AZ. We arrived at the airport early for our flight and I knit while I waited, but honestly didn't knit while flying over the most breath-taking scenery.
After our days of sightseeing, there was always time for knitting - a true holiday luxury and a bonus to be able to knit outside in February! I had packed several projects using yarn that we don't carry at Serenity Knits. Beth and I like to refer to this as product research. We can't possibly carry all the available yarns (although we would love to), so it is fun to work with different fibres when we have the opportunity.

Many of you have asked me about my yarn souvenirs. I couldn't find any locally produced or dyed yarn. In reality, I never saw a sheep during the entire vacation. Instead, some 100% silk, hand dyed in Australia (blues and purples of course) befriended me and traveled home with me. It is a beautiful addition to the memories of the vacation.
Posted by Karen

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

My Special Winter Getaway

Last week I left Beth alone with the store and took a vacation with my 88 year old father to Arizona. The beautiful desert lands of the state had been a favourite vacation destination for my mother and dad. Mom had said that if she ever had the opportunity, she would like to go back to Sedona in Arizona as she found it the most beautiful scenery and atmosphere in the area. Unfortunately, my mother never had the chance to return, but I had the privilege of going on a "memory trip" with my dad.
We stayed in a resort on the outskirts of the town of Sedona. It is in an area known as "Red Rock Country" due to the magnificent red mountains that you can see in every direction. The rock formations have been "dyed" with iron oxide and the majority of stores, buildings and homes are covered in red stucco and display a distinctive "adobe" architecture.

We spent our days seeing the tourist sights of the area and then my dear dad would head off to bed early in the evening, leaving me the luxury of a few hours of knitting time every night.

We drove north through snow in Flagstaff, AZ (a ski resort area) to the Grand Canyon - and yes the white stuff is snow! The elevation is so high that snow is a common occurrence in the winter months. I had always thought of Arizona as a hot desert area and was given quite a surprising climate education.

Pictures can't do justice to the breathtaking scenery at each lookout of the Grand Canyon. It is truly a natural wonder of the world.

Another excursion to the northeast of Sedona brought us to the famous "Painted Desert" and "Petrified Forests". This time the soil has been "painted" with other naturally occuring chemicals to display layers ranging from greens, blue and purples to reds and oranges - a rainbow in both the mountains and minerals within the petrified logs. The chemist in me (pre-yarn store days) had a perfectly wonderful time.

I am aware that this has not seemed like my usual knitting blog entry. It is proof that I can actually be found without knitting needles in my hands (occasionally). You'll need to wait for my next entry to see that this trip did include plenty of yarn and knitting adventures - no surprise there!