Road Trip: Knitting Progress Report

We had a lot of fun on our Southwest Road Trip.  We covered a lot of ground — literally — in just one week.  As I noted in my last post, I cast on five projects to take on the trip.  No, not to complete.  That would have been impossible.  I wanted to take advantage of all the travel time to get a jump-start on my summer knitting.  Here’s how things shook out:

The trek Across Wyoming

We had a full day’s drive across Wyoming to get to my brother’s home outside of Salt Lake City.  This is a drive we’ve done plenty of times before.  It’s mostly flat and monotonous, so it’s the perfect drive for me to work on something rather absorbing.  I made a lot of progress on my mitten design (sorry, no photos until it’s ready for publication).  Part-way through the first mitten, I decided it would be a true prototype: I discovered places where I wanted to change up the design, so I’m experimenting with this mitten.  I think the second mitten may actually be wearable and may be close to the final design.  Status:  Because I’m designing this on the fly and working with a lot of colors, I’ve made this more of a weekends-only project, when I have time and energy for the necessary concentration.

Next Stop:  Driving to Capitol Reef National Park

After a fun visit with my brother and his family, we set forth to points South, and tried as much as we could to take scenic roads to Torrey, Utah, where we’d visit Capitol Reef National Park.  Because this (and all following drives) would be more scenic, I wanted an easier project to work on.  I pulled out the Cobweb Crepe Shawl and knitted away.  Ordinarily, that much garter stitch would have me gnawing the tips off my needles, but for this particular trip, it was perfect.  The cobweb weight wool is just sticky enough to stay on the needles, and this easiest of all stitches was perfect for knitting, chatting, and taking in the scenery.  In fact, I finished the garter  stitch center while on this trip.  This is what 13,122 knitted stitches look like:

Cobweb Crepe Center

Status:  Parked for the moment, but not for long.  I now have to pick up the 324 stitches for the border, and I want to do it at one go, or as close to that as I can.  The next weekend or so I’ll be busy with gardening tasks and other family obligations, but I plan to have the stitches picked up no later than the Fourth of July weekend.

Capitol Reef was a fun place to visit.  We enjoyed a hike:

Eric - Capitol Reef

A scenic drive:

Capitol Reef - Scenic Drive

And an excursion into the historic town of Fruita, now a restored part of the park:

Fruita

Next Up: Bryce Canyon and Zion National Parks

On our way to Zion, we took scenic Highway 12 through Escalante National Monument, stopping at Bryce Canyon for a too-short side trip.  The scenery was jaw-droppingly beautiful, plus I had to navigate our way through Southern Utah, so I didn’t knit all day.  Make that didn’t knit for a 24-hour period, which is pretty odd for me, but we had lots to see and do.

This hard-baked landscape is part of Escalante National Monument:

Escalante

Bryce Canyon, with its hoodoos, is pretty cool.  We’ll have to go visit again:

Bryce

When I did pick my knitting back up, I worked on the Crepe Shawl until it became too dark in the evenings to knit on it, so I’d work on other projects.

The Rainbow Scarf has been a cheerful and fun knit:

Palindrome started

The only thing I don’t like about it is that I’ve been forced to use a cable needle for the cable crosses.  Even though I’m adept at Aran sweaters, crossing a C8F in this loosely-spun yarn necessitates the needle, at least for me.  Status:  Working a bit on this one every weeknight.

When we visited Zion, we stayed in nearby Springdale, Utah.  The town and the Park each have convenient shuttle buses, so we took those into and around the park.  We hiked the lower part of the canyon and then rode further up for more photo ops.

Zion

The Last Park: Grand Canyon North Rim

Our next drive was to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon.  Steve and I had been there some years ago, and wanted the boys to experience the peace and quiet of this less-visited part of the Grand Canyon.  It’s open just four months out of the year and has a campground, motel-type lodging, cabins, a sit-down restaurant, snack bar, and coffee shop/saloon, plus the requisite gift shop.  That’s it.  No T-shirt shops, tourist kitsch, busloads of tourists, and so forth.  This is the North Rim at sunrise, taken from the patio at the Lodge:

North Rim Sunrise

It was in this breathtaking wilderness, as far away from home as we could be, that Steve got sick.  Really sick.  He’d had a cold since before we left for vacation that seemed to be going away, but it got way worse, way fast right there at the North Rim.  He developed what we figure was sinusitis/bronchitis and went from being pretty OK to barely ambulatory overnight.  We had to cut our North Rim visit short and drive two hours back to Utah to the nearest pharmacy, where we could obtain an antibiotic that our family nurse practitioner called in.   We found a hotel and stayed there overnight.

Heading for Home

According to our itinerary, the next day, we were supposed to take a scenic drive north up through Moab and perhaps visit Canyonlands and Arches.  With Steve improving (but slowly), I decided to drive us to our next stop by a more direct route, so as to arrive sooner and allow him more time to rest.  We stayed in Green River, where I knitted and the boys became reacquainted with the Internet while Steve rested.  I made a lot of progress on the kimono sweater:

Baby Kimono 2 progress

Status:  I’m working on this a little each evening, too.  In fact, the only thing I didn’t work on was the Encompass Cowl, which I’m parking until I finish the kimono and Rainbow Scarf.

Our last stint was heading home over the Rockies.  Steve was feeling substantially better, but we didn’t take any side trips to Colorado National Monument or anyplace else.

So, the trip was fun until Steve got sick, and then it got serious.  It’s no fun to be sick when you’re away from home, and it’s particularly not fun when you’re on one of these no-rest-for-the-weary vacations.  I’m glad he got better pretty quickly after he started the prescription, and I’m glad I had the boys to help with packing and unpacking and such at each stop.

Next up:  Next weekend, the Yarn Harlot comes to Conifer, which isn’t far from home.  I’m looking forward to attending her talk and will post about it afterward.

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