Monday, September 20, 2010

Big Sky Country

Today is the first day back in the studio after a nice long weekend in Montana. Michael and I flew out early Thursday morning and landed in Billings just after noon. I think it must have been opening weekend for some kind of bow hunting season because I saw three or four bow cases come off the baggage carousel. There was a huge demand for SUV's at the rental car counter too. And a preponderance of men. Not that women don't hunt but......

Anyway, we made a beeline for Wild Purls, checked in with Julia and the gang and then made our way over to Red Lodge for the night. Red Lodge is one of those cute towns that has a main street that's about the length of a football field filled with darling shops and great restaurants. We found a hotel room and dinner and settled in for the evening. (The hotel had a German Shepherd named Shackleton that greeted us, but had gone home for the night by the time we got back to the lobby with the camera to take his picture.)

I've lived in Chicago for over fifteen years and in the Midwest for virtually my entire life so the west and cowboys always surprise me a little bit. The shops in Red Lodge had lots of things made from antlers and more plaid than I generally go for. And I'm not quite sure that I'd have opted for this hood ornament.....

At a bare minimum I would have knit the hat myself, but that's just me.

We left Red Lodge on Friday around midday and made our way back to Billings to meet up with Linda Shelhamer for a private tour of the Yellowstone Art Museum. Linda is the president of the Board of Trustees so we were able to get a peek behind the curtain. There was a great exhibit by John Buck but my favorite part of the visit was the yarn bombing that greeted us at the front door.

Next, we headed to a knit-in at the historic Moss Mansion. We all brought a knitted item as a donation for the YWCA's Gateway House, a safe haven for battered women. It was a great time. After a guided tour of the house, we sat down in the conservatory for some wine, knitting and talk. At different points in the evening, I'd guess twenty people joined us so it was a huge success for the Y's program.

After a good night's sleep, we headed back over to Wild Purls for the weekend's main event, a dye workshop. What a hoot! I couldn't have asked for a better group for my class.

We started out talking a little about yarn and dye and such.

There was a little detour into color theory and the like. I work more intuitively and less from things like color wheels, but I don't think it's a bad idea for folks to have a basic understanding of how color works.

Then it was on to the good stuff.

There was at least one color that I might have stolen the recipe for if that wouldn't have been wrong. And when it comes to yarn, the karmic backlash that goes along with stealing is just too big a risk.

At the end of the day, everyone went home with a freshly dyed (and somewhat damp) skein of yarn they had dyed themselves. I have to say that for a bunch of rookies, they did a pretty good job.

This weekend away came at a time when I desperately needed a little time away. And even though it was a work trip, somehow I arrived home feeling like I'd been on vacation. My theory is that it was because I was treated like royalty the entire time. Thanks to everyone who made it that way!


Linda said...

We loved you too! It was so much fun . . . .and I would be honored if my yarn was the color recipe you wanted to steal!

Franklin said...

Wonderful! I *love* Billings and Wild Purls. Aren't they great people out there in Montana? I hope to go back again. So happy to read your report and see what fun you had.