Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Iso Socks

This is what my hands looked like over the weekend.

Dirty climbing hands. As the rope runs through your metal gear and across the dusty rocks, it picks up this gray sheen. And as it then runs through your hands while you're belaying or rappelling, it deposits this metallic dirt on your skin.

This is why knitter-climbers need to have dark knitting projects.  Accordingly, this is what I was picking up and working on -- with those filthy hands -- in between climbs:


Mountain Man's socks.  I do a seamless cast-on at the toes, then increase until it's wide enough.  Then I switch to 2x2 ribbing for the top of the foot:

When the foot is long enough, I do a short-row heel, and then I continue up the leg.  I stay with stockinette in the back until the top of his heel, at which point I do 2x2 all around. 

I love how the mottled greens of the yarn reflects the palette this landscape -- the spectacular quartzite cliffs and pine forests of Isolation Canyon.

Which, sad to say, is no longer very isolated now that the guidebook has come out (sigh).  There were over 30 people there on Sunday ... sceney atmosphere ... sporty climbers spilling their chalk carelessly ... loud voices echoing off the rock walls ... an unfriendly dog that wanted to bite me ...

I fell in love with this canyon when it had a wild, quiet beauty.  It was never mine, of course, and I have no right to want to keep it hidden. But. I felt a deep sorrow to see it turned into this scene, and I don't think I want to go back for a while.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

New York jaunt

Up, up, and away ....

from the western desert to the eastern megalopolis. New York.

It was a quick trip. No time for sightseeing, except for the city streaming around me as I kept my schedule.

I was there for this ... an energy policy conference ... hosted by the New York Times. Here's T. Boone Pickens, speaking in a panel moderated by Tom Friedman.

And also this ... several days of dissertation research at the Rockefeller Archive Center ... which is in an opulent Rockefeller family mansion in Westchester County. I wish I could show you some of the documents, which were the real gems of the place. But here's a peek at the house itself, with a crystal chandelier and painted wallpaper in the dining room.

I came home with several hundred document photos. And dozens of pages of single-spaced notes from the archives. And pages of hand-written notes and ideas sparked by the conference.

Also, sock knitting from all the travel time.

Also, a cold. For all its charms, New York is also a clammy, crowded, sunless germ-incubator.

So I was greatly relieved to be winging my way back to Arizona.

Which laid out its beauty -- a glorious sunset and dramatic topography -- to welcome me home.