Thursday, June 26, 2008

Roadtrip Part I: Taos

Mountain Man and I are on the road again, driving across this country to spend the summer back east. Our first day took us to Taos, New Mexico, with its rugged plains and snowy mountain peaks. After the blistering heat of Phoenix and an 11 hour day on the road, it was bliss to find ourselves in this high country, with air perfumed with sagebrush and rained-soaked soil.

While in Taos, I finished the first and perhaps only item of the trip: a pair of socks in Fleece Artist Sea Wool, colorway 'Nova Scotia.' Here they are in the bright sunlight the next morning (and if you peer carefully, you'll see Isis wandering in the background).

These socks may be what finally turn me into a sock knitter. The yarn, which is a blend of wool and seaweed-derived lyocell, was marvelous to knit with. It's soft but durable, gorgeously painted, and pleasantly thick for a sock yarn.

I made the pattern up as a I went along, using the magic loop method on a 2.5 mm (I think) circular needle . I started with a figure-8 cast on at the toe, increased to fit the width of the foot, and then added a subtle slip stitch pattern (I slipped every 5th stitch every other row). I did a short-row heel on slightly more than half the stitches. And then I just kept knitting until it was my desired length. It was simple and meditative, and the fit is divine.

The other major excitement of Taos is that the friends we were staying with were friends with an alpaca farmer. We had a great visit to the farm, Phi Beta Paca, which could not have had a more beautiful location.

In addition to the alpacas, they raised angora goats and one lumbering Dorsett sheep. It made for a wonderful, spirited menagerie.

I love Taos, and I hope to be back before long. Any Phoenix knitters up for a road trip to the Taos Wool Festival this October?


nicole said...

Beautiful photos. I dream of going to Taos one day...

Love your socks. The simple pattern you've come up with perfectly highlight the gorgeous colours of the yarn.

Suzy Girl said...

Great photos! It's so nice to see a part of the country I've never had the opportunity to visit. Makes me really wish I could find the time and means to take a cross country driving trip too!
And lovely socks!!

Knit Witch said...

Wow! Beautiful photos! Mr. Man and I love taking road trips and seeing all the wonderful things there are to see right here in our own country. The socks look great too!

Anonymous said...

That colorway--and yarn--is gorgeous! And your made-up pattern really shows it off nicely. :)

ponyknit said...

Lovely pics. The sagebrush is beautiful, socks are lovely, and alpacas are adorable!

Thanks for posting my contest on your contest blog.