Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Wind, Water, Fire, and...Yarn?

Last week I received a shiny present in the mail...

*squee* I won this lovely ARC of Rae Carson's new book from the lovely people at Epic Reads. They held a twitter contest for 20 lucky retweeters a few weeks ago. This is a book that has been on my to-read book since I first heard about it! And when my fiancee give me the package from the doorstep, I did a little happy dance! =D

In other news...

Now I'm going to talk about something I did that falls into the "crafty costumer" portion of my blog. My mom (and younger brother) are both avid knitters who have tried numerous times to teach me to knit. (I learned back in college, but it was towards the end of a semester and I pretty much forgot anything by the time the next semester started, so I lost interest.) But this weekend, my mom wanted to participate in a local "yarn crawl" and asked me to join for support (and to be her co-pilot/navigator while she drove).

Sign pointing the way for drivers to one of the yarn shops
The "yarn crawl" (named "The Best Little Yarn Crawl in Texas") is an event where participants travel to 9 different yarn crafting shops all over the hill county area over the course of four days (the holiday weekend). My mom, my grandmother, and myself drove about 450 miles and visited all 9 shops, picking up free goodies and entering in various drawings for even bigger prizes. (And if you visited all nine shops, you were entered in a massive prize worth over $1000!)

The Old Oaks Ranch yarn shop in Wimberley, Texas
Alpacas! (The shop pictured above raises them and uses their fur for yarn and weaving projects.)

The Yarn Barn in San Antonio, Texas (as the sign says)

The Tinsmith's Wife in Comfort, Texas (I won a gift from them! *squee*)

The Gauge yarn shop in North Austin, Texas
Recently I have been growing steadily more interested in relearning knitting once again, so I explored each shop looking for yarns or patterns that caught my eye. (And buttons...I have a love of buttons!) I found two niffy pattern books and some different yarns that I'm going to try. (My mom found a whole lot more, but she's the expert not me.) But what I mostly got out of this adventure was time spent having fun with my mom and grandmother. We traveled, got lost (numerous times), found new routes, shared stories, took photos, and had some laughs. We bonded and hopefully we can bond more with this shared hobby of knitting as time moves on.

Proof we visited all 9 shops (each shop had a unique stamp)
 Of course, while we were having fun and exploring the hill country area of Texas, we traveled through Bastrop...where a recent wildfire devastated massive amounts of land and homes. I know people who have been affected by this disaster and could see the smoke rising from my house as the flames raged on for weeks. I'm still in shock and awe of what happened and what is left.

These were just a few of the images I took from the car as we drove through. I have driven this road multiple times going to visit family, friends, and on my annual trip to the Texas Renaissance Festival. It's heartbreaking to think of all that was lost. But people and nature regrow and rebuild...it will take time, but fire is often a sign of rebirth. The world keeps spinning...and we keep moving on...

(Elvish Farewell)

Oh, curious about the title of this post? Explanation: on the book cover, the heroine's hair appears to be blowing in the wind; it rained nearly the entire weekend on our trek; the fire refers to the wildfire in the Bastrop area; and the yarn...well, isn't that one obvious? =P

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