Knitting on vacation is a joy. And an agony, when you don't have the right tools. Midway into our trek through Glacier National Park, with nary a yarn store in sight, I realized that the 6" DPNs I have brought along to knit Vitsippa, my fairisle hat, on, were going to be too short to accommodate all the stitches once I finished up the ribbing and added additional stitches called for in the pattern to begin the stranded portion of the hat.
So here I am, rather unattractively sweating and knitting away, trying to recover from the hike up the Highline Trail, whilst coming to the sad realization I'm going to have to put Vitsippa away until our return to civilization. The view was compensation (and if you've read my earlier post, the knitting really liked the view too).
Next, I pulled out my Oak Park, renamed Glacier Park in honor of the trip. Oak Park is a triangular shawl, knit in a devious pattern that is constantly shifting. I had been looking for a pattern for my three skeins of The Plucky Knitter's Cachet (aran weight cashmere) in Slumber, my most prized yarn, for a really long time and was so happy when a friend suggested this pattern. I was one repeat in when we emerged from hiking the Swift Current Trail in Many Glacier and made our way on up to the Prince of Wales Lodge on the Canadian side of the park, only to discover that they served a very nice tea.
I knit away on Oak Park/Glacier Park for the rest of our hiking time, and ended up just shy of three repeats in at the end. It's an absolutely lovely pattern and precisely what this yarn wanted to become. I'm going to be so happy with it as soon as it isn't 90` that feels like 100` degrees with the humidity in Alabama. (Let me digress and say it was 40` when we flew out of Kalispell, Montana, and I really wish I was still there!)
Amazingly, there was a yarn store when we made it to Whitefish, Montana, our last stop. And, a day of rain that was perfect for exploring town, eating some delicious crepes, watching the huge logging trucks roll in filled with freshly cut timber, and stoping by the local yarn store, Knit 'n Needle where the lovely proprietress encouraged me to pick out a circular rather than longer DPNs. I fell in love with the store yarn, Polka Dot Sheep, and engaged in a little stash addition. And we discovered that the fabulous Huckleberries we had been picking and eating along the trails were used for all sort of pastries in town. What a wonderful place to end our trip!
Armed with my new 16" circular needle, I returned to Vitsippa on the flight home. After picking up a few stitches that had dropped off the overloaded DPNs, I was back in business. Sorry about the bad airplane lighting on the picture, but I'm so excited about the colorwork on this one that I can't wait to share it. That's The Plucky Knitter's Oxford in Waxing Poetic (the gold) and Bedrock (the gray). I love knitting fairisle and am really enjoying this one!
Truth be told, I love my day job and our life in Birmingham, but there is a little part of me that would love to remain under Montana's Big Sky, knitting and hiking. It was a wonderful vacation and it reminded me of decades ago trips with my grandparents, which not too surprisingly, featured hiking and knitting, along with some fishing. It's fun to come full circle like that.
I can't end this post without a few trip pictures. First off, this lousy camera phone picture of a BEAR who was swimming casually across a LAKE about 40 feet away from us as we drove to the trailhead to hike Bertha Lake in Canada. It was a moment — we could see him skimming through the water, magnificent and large.
Hiking in the alpine meadows was spectacularly beautiful.
And being able to see the waterfalls and lakes, as well as the animals and flowers, made it worth several of the more challenging, steep portions of the trails. I would do it again in a heartbeat, knitting and all!