Cross Country Trip, Final Stops

It’s hard to believe that this time last week, Mr. N and I were still in the midst of our cross country trip.  I have a bit of free time this evening, so I thought I’d tell you a little bit about the last days of our trip.

We spent the beginning of last week at my parents in Virginia, which was lovely, but went by far too fast — and, as usual, things were so busy I forgot to take many pictures.  There was yummy food, fishing and knitting by a pond, and because I was home a few days longer than expected, I got to help my mom out with a knitting class she was teaching at a senior camp.  Our class was small (three lovely women), and we were working on making a simple, cotton washcloth.  I’m not sure how much headway we made with two of the trio, but one woman left having caught the knitting bug — hoorah!

On Thursday we continued onto DC, and Friday morning we were lucky enough to have an opportunity to visit the National Museum of African American History & Culture.  It is an incredibly moving museum, one that would definitely repay many, many visits.  I’ve never been to a museum that was so well-attended, with so many people really engaged with the exhibits.  Much of the material is difficult and emotional, of course, but the museum presents a really important recounting of American history — I’m so glad it’s now open to the public and is doing this important work.  If you find yourself in D.C., I can’t encourage you enough to spend some time there.

For the most part, I just wanted to experience and process the exhibits.  But when I came across some different handmade items, I managed to remember to pull out the camera.

Like this tin made by Joseph Trammel, a man living in 19th century Virginia, designed to protect his freedom papers:

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Or this heartbreaking sack, given by an enslaved woman named Rose to her daughter Ashley. It was filled with pecans and a lock of Rose’s hair for Ashley to remember her mother by.  Ashley’s granddaughter, Ruth Middleton, embroidered the sack with the story in the 1920s.

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Harriet Tubman’s shawl, given to her by Queen Victoria:

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This skirt, carefully made for an enslaved girl named Lucy Lee Shirley:

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And this skillfully made dress and beautifully embroidered scarf (from the late 18th or early 19th century), both of which were made by unknown enslaved women:

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We had a morning to explore, and it wasn’t anywhere near enough time.  I hope I have another chance to visit soon.

After that, we spent one more lovely evening in DC with friends … then Saturday Mr. N deposited me with our friend and he headed for his flight in New York.  And that brought an end to our wonderful adventure.  The Fade continues, if a bit slowly … looking forward to showing you more soon.

 

 

Holding pattern

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See that? The Fade is growing! After so much fretting over the lime green, I’m super happy with it in the shawl.

The shawl’s of course not done yet, but our cross country trip has come to an end.  Mr. N flew across the pond yesterday.  My visa, sadly, is still missing in action.  The online tracker for UK immigration says the application was decided August 4 …. but it’s never been mailed.  For now, we’ve rebooked all my travel for Friday, and I’m staying with a dear friend in Baltimore and waiting things out.  Fingers crossed it all goes in the mail tomorrow.  In the meantime, I’m looking forward to catching up on what I’ve missed while I’ve been traveling and writing a bit more about some of the bits of the trip I haven’t shared.  More soon xo K

 

Cross Country Trip, Days 6-10

Phew, I didn’t mean to go quiet for quite so long!  We spent a three-day weekend in St. Louis for one of my best friend’s wedding, and I was co-maid of honor, and it was quite busy!  But loads and loads of fun.

So first of all, a massive thanks for all your thoughts and advice on my Fade color conundrum.  It gave me lots of food for thought — y’all thought of things that wouldn’t have even occurred to me — and I’ve tried out lots of different things as a result (there’s been swatches, decisions made, decisions unmade and frogged … ) I think I’ve sorted it out now, and I’m excited to show you when I get a bit further!

In the meantime, I thought I’d do a very quick recap of where we’ve gotten since we last spoke … we covered quite a bit of ground.

Before we left Kansas City on Thursday morning, we did a very quick bit of sightseeing.  We had a really lovely, if too brief, visit to the WWI Memorial.  It’s really stunning (plus offers great views of the city).  I only wish we’d had time to explore the museum, as the exhibits looked excellent.


As it was, we had a nice walk around and peek in the gift shop.  Check out this upcoming knit night they had planned, inspired by women’s sock knitting in WWI — what a cool idea:


We then pressed onto St. Louis, where we had a full three days of wedding fun.  We got back on the road Sunday after a farewell brunch for the couple — and made a quick stop by the St. Louis arch:


And not far out of St. Louis, just over the Illinois border, we made another flying stop to the Cahokia Mounds — the largest Native American pre-Columbian site north of Mexico.  They were quite impressive:


We were in the largest number of states so far on Sunday–Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky–but it was also the worst weather (at least til that point), so not very conducive to photo taking!

After a late arrival in Lexington, Kentucky and a very rainy night, we were back on the road this morning. We stopped at the Capitol Market in Charleston, WV for a quick lunch – fish and chips that blended southern and British, perfect for Mr. N and me (note especially the half sweet tea and hush puppies):

A break in the weather allowed us to enjoy a quiet overlook a bit later:


And after more driving and more raining … we’ve made it to my parents in Virginia!  Woohoo!  We’ll have a few days here … which of course means lots of knitting with my mom and sis 😀

 

Speed bump: Cross Country Fade Color Conundrum

Good morning friends!

So I mentioned yesterday that I’ve been dithering about my Fade colors. Initially, this was my plan (apologies, these photos aren’t the best..)

Plan A:

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As I’ve been knitting along though, I started to have doubts — most shawls I’ve seen have tended to move from light to dark — would having a big chunk of light gray at the end ruin the fading effect?  So yesterday, when we stopped in Salina, Kansas for lunch, I stopped in the local yarn shop thinking I’d get a new color to swap in and ditch the lime green — I worried it was maybe too bright and too solid for the fade. After much hemming and hawing, this is what I came up with:

Plan B:

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As we drove on though, the second guessing started. Do I really want more reds in the shawl? And the new yarn has a fair amount of pink and purple hues — I think it might throw the whole thing off.  When we stopped in Abilene just down the road, I saw another yarn shop, about to close … and I picked up another skein, this time of green. Which I imagine could go like so, for a Plan C:

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Or Plan D:

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After all of this, I wondered if it was best to go back to the original colors, but swap them around, to make Plan E:

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Phew.  I realize I’m over thinking all of this … I’ve just been so pleased with the colors so far, I don’t want to ruin it halfway in!  Which do you prefer?  I have about 6 rows of garter before I have to make a decision — any advice greatly appreciated!

Cross Country Trip, Day 5

Hello from Kansas City! Today was beautiful, in a differnt way … lots of lovely rolling fields and some amazing windmills (if less places along I70 to stop and appreciate them).

 I’m just about ready for color 4 of my Fade … and I had a bit of a color crisis. I became convinced that the plan I had already charted was no good. I may have bought not one, but two skeins of yarn at two separate shops in eastern Kansas to swap into the shawl (thanks for the suggestions, Allison) and I am not sure that either will make the cut in the end. But never mind, always nice to see local yarn shops! If I can get my act together in the morning before we leave, I might pop in and show you the options and get your advice!

Tomorrow is a short drive to St. Louis where we’ll stay all weekend – one of my best friends is getting married! I am so excited for a fun weekend — and as much fun as we’ve been having, it’ll be nice to have a short break from the road. Especially for Mr. N who has been doing all the driving to maximize my knitting time. He’s very invested in my Cross Country Fade at this point!

So another wonderful day … though the distinct lack of a visa in my life is starting to cause some real anxiety. We’re meant to be flying in a week … so keeping my fingers AND toes crossed that I get some good news tomorrow. 

How’s your week going?! 

Cross Country Trip, Day 4

Another day of beauty.  First, we visited Colorado Monument Park, another site of just breathtaking beauty:


Sadly, we didn’t catch sight of any of the big horn sheep that roam the area, but progress on my Find Your Fade continued:

The drive to Denver was picturesque in a different way … I loved seeing all the pines. More serarches for Big Horn turned up nothing, but we still had a great time (and the knitting continued, always)

When we finally made it to Denver, much later than we anticipated, a differnt kind of beauty awaited me:

What a glorious shop — I won’t try to do it justice now in my sleepy state, but I’ve got lots of wool-tastic photos to show you soon. Let’s just say I left the shop a very happy lady:


With a bag maybe fuller than it should be with wool – but when you see the inside of this place you won’t blame me…


But more on all that soon. Time to get some sleep…tomorrow, the plains of Kansas await!