Nothing Bitter About This Bitterroot Shawl

Homespun and Bitterroot

Homespun and Bitterroot

If anyone had told me when The Hubs and I married, in 1972, that both of our moms and sisters would end up living in Western Montana I would have had them committed. Well, life is stranger than fiction. We were raised here in San Diego, in this gloriously perfect weather. (Read: no snow storms here in town). Hub’s mom and step-dad moved to Seeley Lake around 1976, with his sister moving up not too long afterwards. A lot of summers since 1976 have been spent vacationing there. My sister moved to Frenchtown about 10 years ago. Due to health problems, our parents ended up living with my sister.  After all of the visits and explorations while there, we’ve come to know Western Montana fairly well. I’ve been to and through the Bitterroot Valley many times. Heck, Mountain Colors is in Corvallis which is in the valley. We often drive up I-15 and drive home Montana 93 (Pray for me I drive 93) which goes right through the valley. This valley is a narrow valley rich in Lewis and Clark history.

This is a rambling intro to today’s topic. I’ve been spinning up a storm. I finally finished spinning 7 0z, about 400 yds, of a super yummy Cormo-silk blend which is processed and produced in Morro Bay, California. My wonderful Sidekick was used to spin this squishy yarn pictured above. Love it! Quite a while ago, I saw the Bitterroot shawl pattern by Romi Hill on Knitty.com. It’s a free pattern. This yarn will be perfect. The yarn is a tad thicker than the 18 WPI that is suggested. Mine is 16 WPI. I plan on knitting the shawlette not the large shawl. Our weather is more conducive to shawlettes.

In January, while at Joseph’s Coat, I asked my Montana sister to pick out a pattern and yarn she’d like to have me knit as a present for her. She picked out the Lolo shawlette, which was featured in our Jan 28 post. Guess where Lolo is? That’s right in the Bitterroot Valley. What are the odds that two projects would both be named for the small valley in Western Montana? Places that this San Diego lady is quite familiar with. Between sewing, spinning and knitting, I’ve finished 1/2 of Lolo. The lighter colored yarn was processed and produced in Montana.

Lolo shawlette

Lolo shawlette

Are there other patterns named for locations in Western Montana which I need to know about?

Spinning A New Wheel

q8~Bad bloggers here! Curls has an excuse since she works, but what’s mine? Laziness? Ok, I could blame it on the fact that news about us finally having a guest room has spread. Hum, San Diego during the summer? Let’s show up at Q’s house. But, no, I could still blog. Ok, I’ll go with pure-d-laziness.

Hubs and I went on a small road trip to San Luis Obispo, home of my alma mater, Cal Poly. I had a meltdown, where was my adorable college and college town? The campus has been replace with modernistic buildings. Sigh…… My dorm, Yosemite Hall, was still there with huge plants all around. The tiny, little, town has one way streets. Anyway….

Stopped at Village Fibers in Solvang and just HAD to purchase a Schacht Sidekick. I’d been looking for a more portable spinning wheel to take to class. This isn’t a bulky as Mariah, my Lendrum. Although, Rosie is a bit heavy. Once I spun on her, I was hooked. I totally LOVE this wheel. I had been borrowing a small Louet Victoria and decided it was not the wheel for me; too light, bounced too much, wheel kept going backwards when I stopped, etc. Also tried the small Majacraft, the drive band was not user friendly for arthritic or damaged hands. So hello Rosie, my Sidekick.

Another stop on our journey was to Morro Fleece Works, in Morro Bay. Yikes! Can I please win the lottery so I can purchase one of everything? Finally settled on two bags of stuff. The owner Shari McKelvy is an absolute delight. If you need a fleece washed and prepped, this is the place! Super fun to spin on Rosie. This is the best of times!

Rosie, my Sidekick

Rosie, my Sidekick

Birdseye view

Birdseye view

Lavender Cormo-Silk Blend

Lavender Cormo-Silk Blend