Another Hobby Blog

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Leavenworth, Ornamental, SP7

So Keithr took Bethieee and I to Leavenworth for a holiday/birthday present (her Christmas present, my birthday present) over the weekend. We had a blast! The felted mittens came in handy again for the snowball fights. We did some window-shopping, watched lots of dogs pull sleds, saw a cool snow-carving contest, and even tried our luck at snowshoeing! I'm a little disappointed by the snowshoeing. I wanted to try the willow rod and sinew kind like I saw on Sesame Street when I was a kid, but nowdays they're all high-tech plastic and metal gripper teeth. They work pretty well, I must say, and it was kinda fun to trudge through the snow for an hour or so on the way back home.

We probably should have kept the snowshoes for another hour or two because that's how long we spent stuck in traffic on the down-hill side of the mountain. Some sort of traffic incident ahead of us blocked our half of the road entirely. The driving conditions were a bit challenging--hardpack snow and ice on both our lanes, with fresh snow falling on top of it. Just prior to the crest of the hill I considered putting on chains because the car in front of us stopped, so we had to also, and then I had a bit of trouble getting forward momentum again. (yes, I tried starting in 2nd, and 3rd as well as 1st. We weren't moving, even with our all-weather tires.) Just as I was resigning myself to putting chains on the tires (the most recent weather update was still calling for a "traction tire advisory"), the fellow from the car behind me decided he could give the car just enough of a push to get it moving forward for me.

Is that smart? pushing a (what, two-ton?) slab of metal uphill on ice? if he loses his footing or if the car decides to roll backward instead, won't he end up a little flatter?

Anyway, it worked. The car slid sideways a couple of times in the process (since I was probably over-powering the gas in a firm decision not to slide Backward..) and we got enough momentum to make the remaining three-hundred feet to the actual summit. I think Bethieee would have been happier if we'd just put the chains on.

But gravity is my friend, so I figured that I was getting enough traction to brake, steer, and otherwise control the car as long as we didn't get going too fast.

Turns out we didn't have to worry much about that. Most of the downhill slope we spent inching forward about six inches at a time or stopped completely while Incident Response teams worked on clearing the path for us. We thought about using the time to put the chains on, especially since it was actively dropping new snow on top of the hardpack, but we kept inching forward just often enough to make that process very irritating if not dangerous, so we didn't.

As you can tell (because I'm posting today), we made it down the hillside intact despite the absence of chains. It was a fun ride, even at never more than 20mph in the snow.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. It might be true since (photo-bereft that I am) I am rambling on at length more verbosely than usual.


We got home to find, in the mailbox, a package!! to ME! I didn't recognize the sender, and I hadn't expected anything on order.. hmmm... a mystery! .. Turns out my new SP7 Spoiler drop-shipped a package the day she found out it was my birthday!!! Squeak! Two skeins of lovely Lorna's Lace sock yarn in Tahoe! I have worked with Lorna's Lace yarns before and have really enjoyed them. Most recently I made a multi-direction scarf for Keithr from a LL sport weight. Prior to that I made myself a pair of socks and a matching headband. I am simply THRILLED to have a pair of skeins to drool over!! I wonder what they will become... OH!! and a book! Favorite Mittens by Robin Hansen. "Best traditional mitten patterns from Fox & Geese & Fences and Flying Geese & Partridge Feet." Thrummed mittens, Fair-Isle mittens, wristies, double-knit mittens, shaggy mittens, so many mittens!! and a couple of hats. It's a fabulous book! It will make a much-loved addition to my library. I think that next year people will get mittens for the holidays. Even if they live in Tucson or Los Angeles!! maybe that's taking it a bit far. Maybe I should stick with cel-phone pouches for the people in Los Angeles. Thank you, Thank you, THANK you Secret Pal!! The box even came with a note saying "Happy Birthday!" YAY! Thank you thank you thank you!!!


And then the next morning the UPS deliveryman woke me from slumber with a long-delayed package from Australia!!! Australia!! I hope some day I get to go visit Australia... Inside the lovely, well-travelled envelope (the one that set off from Australia hoping to reach me in Wisconsin, hung around Wisconsin for awhile before setting off again for Washington), were two little wrapped treasures and a wonderful card and letter!! One of the wrapped treasures held Chocolates! little caramel Aussie bears!! and a little Australian toothpick-flag! and a little plastic Platypus!!!!! Ohmigod the Platypus!! I am tickled pink with the platypus!! The other wrapped treasure held my Ornament! And what a fabulous, beautiful, treasured piece of worksmanship!! It's a beautiful purple felt star with a turquoise inner star encrusted with lots of lovely purple and turquoise glass beads! From each of the star's points hangs a tassel of purple and turquoise bugle beads, and on the back of the star, in teensy tiny back-stitches in metallic blue thread are written "Ornamental 2005" and three little "x" for love! This is so gorgeous and SO perfect for me that I cannot possibly put it in a box for ten months out of the year! I will put it on one of my drawer-pulls!!! Then I can see it every day and smile and remember how beautiful and meaningful a little handmade treasure can be. :) Thank You, Stripey Tiger!! Thank you Thank you THANK you!!!

I will post pictures when I am able.


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