Where do I begin? There is so much to tell and so little time!
First of all, we had a wonderful time at Estes. Would you expect anything otherwise? A beautiful place, lovely people, and enough fiber to intoxicate every knitter spinner and weaver for miles around. I'll tell about my trip one day at a time. This post will show the trip and my arrival Friday, including a little side-trip. I had already bought yarn before I ever got to Estes Park! hehe
I left out of El Dorado about 6:15 Friday morning - it was a misty morning and I was well prepared to take millions of photos all along the way since I took Carole's advice and exchanged the camera on Wednesday last week. My new(er) camera will take some getting used to (lots of new settings!) but I think it will do a nice job on the macro photos. I'm already amazed at what good pictures I can get by pointing the camera toward the window and clicking as I fly down the highway at 70+ mph!
Along the way (so boring to Kansas folks, I know)... see those stone fence posts (below)? I'm so fascinated by them since we have one next to our driveway.
Ever since reading about it on Tracy's blog at least a year ago I have been wishing to visit the Gove City Yarn Shop. Gove, KS is a tiny little bitty town (population around 85 people) in western Kansas and is the county seat of Gove County but it's probably one of the least populated counties in the state of Kansas. Despite the population you'll find this to be one of the best stocked small town yarn shops anywhere! This lady has great yarn! The owner, Mary Lou McDonald, was a joy to meet and happily showed me around the store discussing her selections of yarn, spinning fibers, and knitting and spinning accessories. It was a hard choice with all that gorgeous yarn to choose from but I finally picked up two skeins of beautiful Manos Del Uruguay for the "My So Called Scarf" (I picked a colorway that looks almost exactly like the pattern photo) plus a skein of lovely Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool for another chemo cap. The Gove City Yarn Shop is definitely worth the 10 mile drive from the highway and I'll be writing a little more about my visit there on the Kansas Knit Bloggers Webring blog - my first Kansas yarn shop review!
On down the road, leaving the highway for lunch and gas took me a little off the beaten path in Colby, KS.
Finally I got into Colorado and after an eternity of anticipation I could see the faint outline of mountains on the horizon. I wondered how many days the pioneers moving west could see those mountains before reaching them? Did the earliest ones even know the mountains would be there? What a surprise it must have been for some of them to look up one day and realize they were there.
Just past Denver is Boulder then another small winding mountain road takes you into Estes Park from the southeast. This is what you see what you come around the mountain into Estes Park:
The Stanley Hotel. A very striking image as it carries its regal posture against the mountains around it - the Stanley Hotel is the first thing you notice from the direction I came into town. More about the Stanley Hotel tomorrow. :)
I called Margene for a little help locating our cabin and joined up with lovely knitters and bloggers. I was so glad to get there and we were all famished! We wasted no time driving down to the parkway and finding a great place to eat dinner. We made a lucky random choice of the Dunraven Downtown - excellent Italian food!
(Click to make bigger) From left to right: Chris (Stumbling Over Chaos), Margene (Zeneedle), Karen (Sleeping Dragon Yarn), Happily BlogFree Hummingbird Whisperer Val, and Cheryl (Hither-n-Yarn). All are Utah Grrls except Chris who lives in Minneapolis, MN.
We made an early evening of it since we were all exhausted from travel and eagerly anticipating the open of the Wool Market Saturday morning!
More about the Wool Market on tomorrow's post!
Daily Square Report:
Wow - it's been a WEEK since my last square report!! Sorry about the wait - I'm ready to get back to reporting daily now that the big travel weekend has passed. I didn't have a lot of time for a big photo shoot because wow we have received a lot of SQUARES and a lot of OTHER STUFF TOO!!
Since last Tuesday we have received .... I can't believe this. We have received 307 squares, 20 cloths, 3 scarfs, 5 hats, 3 baby bibs (incredibly adorable), and 2 entire lapghans already made! Isn't that just an incredible amount of stuff in just one WEEK!!?? I've been looking at this project day by day and felt amazed. But wow. In a week we received all of that!! One of the lapghans will be shown on the blog tomorrow because I took a little movie of the babies modeling it out on the porch last week before I left for Estes. The second lapghan, oh - you just have to see this. It's so beautiful. It's both knit and crochet, and is made entirely from fingering weight yarn. It's just beautiful and I wish I knew more about it. It was sent by Eleanor from Wayland, NY (the large pillow-like package Jeff made reference to in his post when I was gone). Eleanor wrote me an email to say that the package she sent (which also included 50 SQUARES!) was a collection of items from the ladies in her knitting group. Whoever made and donated this afghan, thank you ever so much. It's beautiful and I promise this is one of the great yet difficult parts of this project - I can never adequately express my gratitude for the thoughtfulness and generosity of the people sending items for the families of Greensburg - and some of it is VERY difficult to let go of! I've done my petting and put this afghan away for a lucky Greensburg family to receive later this fall. :)
Somebody wanted to help model squares ("this is a pretty SQUARE!") but hasn't yet learned to sit still for photos. :)
Squares and hats and scarfs and bibs and lapghans came from the following people over the past week:
Ann and the Lucerne Knitting Group of Ballwin, MO - Chesterfield, MO
Lana - Overland Park, KS (tomorrow's lapghan + squares!)
Jennifer - Kansas City, MO
Julie and Larissa - Morehead, KY
Vicki and Carin - Algonia, IA
Launa - Southern Pines, NC
Anna for "Heavenly Angels in Need" - West Valley City, UT
Barbara - Silverton, OR
Becky - Whitehouse, OH
Lindsey - Florence, KY
Margaret - Grand Rapids, MI
Sydney - Mt. Laurel, NJ
Katherine - Dallas, TX
Angela - Pepperell, MA
Bethanie - Coffeyville, KS
Julie - Superior, WI (darling baby bibs + squares!)
Sandy - Brookfield, WI (squares + hats and scarfs!)
Line - Denmark (as in, DENMARK!!!)
Eleanor - Wayland, NY (squares + today's lapghan)
92yo Ruth - El Dorado, KS
Rebecca - Big Spring, TX
Anonymous - Tucson, AZ
Carol - Placerville, CA
Polly - United Kingdom (yeah, like OVER THERE! Yay!)
Toni - Riverside, CA
Lisa - Bellaire, TX
Carol - Honolulu, HI (my gosh, hello.... how about Alaska now? - all 50 states would be so COOL! Thanks Carol!)
Karla - Topeka, KS
Linda - Canton, MI
Theresa - Eugene, OR
Love's Many Cloths - 20 more cloths!! Thank you!!
Donna - Oberlin, OH
Margene and Ann - Salt Lake City, UT
Whew!! Okay, we're all caught up! That makes our total squares received 1387 and 853 needed to reach the goal of 40 afghans! I've received more than a few emails and notes in the mail with squares predicting that we'll FAR exceed the goal of 40 afghans! I really hope you're RIGHT!! :)
Have a great week and I'll be back tomorrow with more photos from my trip to Estes Park and a new afghan report plus another movie of the babies modeling the pretty afghan we received last week!