Wednesday in Fort Collins. What a fun day, once I worked out how to call someone (little tip for self in future - take the area code off the front. Works much better that way!).
So eventually I figured out how to contact Kristi and she took me off on a yarn crawl. It was at this point that I decided that I would be quite able to handle the people in Fort Collins - remember I am a bit shy, honest! - and make a new life there. I had already met Nathan's new boss and his wife and kids, and we got along just fine.
One thing I found was that the people I met were such positive people. We keep getting caught in the mire of worrying about the mortgage and worrying about the climate and worrying about our plants dying and worrying about Nathan's thesis. It doesn't make for a healthy atmosphere. Another thing - they understood my accent and I theirs. This was a bit of a difference to nearly 10 years ago when I went to Wisconsin and most of the people there looked at me as if I had spoken some foreign language and sprouted a second head out of my shoulders 8-) It may just be familiarity - as it turns out, I know of about half a dozen Aussies who have worked in Boulder, so it is likely others have worked in Fort Collins too. Or maybe these mid-westerners are more polite.
Kristi took me off to Lambspun. They have some spinning supplies and weaving stuff as well as lots of yarn (though not much sock yarn, much to my dismay!). I'd pick up some tops/carded stuff cos I liked the colour and put it down again cos it was merino. Y'know I can get HEAPS of merino here and even have heaps of it. I wanted something different. I ended up with this:
merino, silk and cashmere. I'll split the colours some and make a little seaside picture of it. Plus see the cover of Spin Off? Those are Kristi's socks! She dyed, spun, designed and knitted them! When I grow up, I want to be like Kristi! And like Nathan's boss, who has worked at NASA, even if there were too many petty minded little bureaucrats working there. Gosh, I am going to have to get on my bike and pedal like stink to have a chance of catching up. I've been stultifying for too long. I think in part I am intimidated by Nathan's mighty intellect - I can't compete with his creative leaps so I don't even bother trying. Later today I will go to the library, the local library, and see if they have some current biology texts. Once I've made sure I am up to date with the basics, I can then burrow into the specifics of interesting areas up at Monash. It has libraries with lots of journals. I can ride up there, have a shower and then take my sock knitting with me to read journals and do research. This won't help our bottom line (which is not at all good, I fear) immediately but it might be useful in the future - I could do lecturing, etc. I have the quals and possibly even the interest!
Lambspun is a busy place with lots of classes and they have regular groups meeting up there.
Next we went to My Sister Knits. (No, it is really on the level, not on an angle like in my pic - I was probably on an angle, being jetlagged and all.)
I liked this place. The people were interested in us and chatty, and they had some different sock yarn to what I can get here. That is all important! LOL Plus they have a card for me that ends up giving me a discount, assuming I return. They are holding it hostage for the nonce ;-) I only bought this sock yarn:
Brown Sheep handpainted in Brown Sugar. This yarn is quite similar to patonyle, my local favourite, but is more splitty. I am halfway up the foot on the first sock for Nathan at this point. Kristi reminded me that the Brown Sheep mill is only two hours away in the car... nooo! Resist! Resist! It is plenty more than two hours away from me now so the resistance is easy. Once I am there, though, resistance will be futile! I will be assimilated!
Here's me outside the front of My Sister Knits - I love the little bird houses handing in the cherry-plum.
Aren't they cute? I need me some for here! I also love the buds about to burst on the tree.
Next we drove to Loveland (I am so excited about the idea of living just one town away from the home of Interweave Press!) and visited Woolen Treasures. They had by far the biggest range of sock yarn. Sock yarn is important for the traveller. Just one or two skeins of it makes a pair of socks, unlike say jumper yarn, which needs 10-20 balls to make just one sweater.
I passed up some Claudia handpainted!!! Oh my stars! What is wrong with me?? Instead I got some Nature's palette in spruce - it is just these wonderful subtle dark green shadings - and some Mountain Colours in huckleberry and one lonely skein of Cascade Fixation, cos we don't get it here and I want to try it. The huckleberry is not as pretty in the photo as in "person" as I was trying to show the colours of the spruce - it just looks flat grey in the original shot.
Funny thing - I decided to grab a picture of Woolen Treasures' shop and said to Kristi "I'll grab a pic without any cars in it." Just as I said that, an older behemoth US car hoves to and pulls up right outside the shop... Sigh. We had a good chuckle about that.
Dumb question time - do US apartments and duplexes come with their own laundry troughs? I have a feeling that many of the apartments I looked at have shared laundry facilities or just the cupboard with the washer and dryer in them. (Ick. I'm going to have to use a dryer most likely - I avoid them as much as possible but you can't dry stuff on an outside line if it is only minus something degrees!) I'm asking cos I am undoubtedly going to end up with some nice stinky fleeces to process. Now I know there are plenty of processors out there who will process the stuff for me, but I actually like washing fleece. I like putting stinky stuff into buckets of hot water and detergent and pulling out clean fleece that fluffs up when it is dry. If I don't have a laundry trough, I won't be able to do that cos I won't wash fleece in the kitchen sink. That just seems plain unhygienic to me. OK, I normally use buckets to wash fleece in (I can then chuck the cooled water on the garden) but it is all done in the laundry.
Heh. I am all hepped up and ready to move (well not really - not at all yet, but I am committed to doing this - gods I hope the visa stuff comes through ok, not that we have started that yet. Nathan found a discussion on slashdot that linked to E-3 visas - looks just up our alley! Even better, I can apply for permission to work and considering my quals and experience, surely I could get a work permit???). I've spent two hours this morning researching the housing market there. We're told that we might be better off buying than renting, especially if we don't want to live in an apartment.
Well as far as travelogues go, this isn't a very good one. LOL Ah well, you do get to see the workings of my mind, such as they are.
On a much more serious matter, I have MUCH stash to dispose of. See?
It covers most of the loungeroom floor. Yes our loungeroom is minute.
I can't afford to just give it away, not with our bank account in its current dire straits and my ideas about not throwing away stuff that cost me probably a good couple of thousand dollars. Lots of it is not what people currently want to knit with - lots of novelty yarns. Some good wool yarn and mohair. I am bagging it up into lots that would make afghans and so forth. Anyone got any good ideas for marketing it? Good for weavers? Some of them like a nice bit of novelty yarn. I'm told I might be able to get a stall at the textile doover coming up at the spinning guild.
At least I've managed to get the boxes of commercial* yarn I do want to keep down to four out of about 10. This pic only has three of the boxes pictured. See those little blobby red and black things on the first box in the stack? They are bobbins with yarn on them from something I made back in the 80s! I found some of the leftovers in a bag. I hate throwing yarn away. Got that from Mum - she grew up in the Great Depression and WWII. Waste not, want not!
*Commercial yarn as opposed to my handspun, which I also have to get photos of and put online, at least the stuff that is saleable *and* I will part with.
OK, I'm off to start taking some pics of the stash. The weather is pretty feral today so I don't feel bad about doing house stuff. Summer has definitely broken, autumn is definitely here and I think we are getting the rains we expect in April. We call it the autumn break - it is very common for us to get very little rain between January to March but April is when the showers start again and bring the land back to life. In the last week or so, we've had nearly 40mm of rain, which has almost doubled the amount we've had this year.... The trees are starting to turn - the claret ash across the road was bright green a month ago and now has gone a funny dirty colour in preparation for going a lovely rich claret.