Cool Thoughts on a Hot Day

Jul 4, 2010

Way back in February, I traveled to Estes Park, Colorado, the gateway to Rocky Mountain National Park. At close of day, I traveled to the park entrance where I experienced some of the coldest, driest air I've ever tried to breathe. Thing is, it wasn't nearly as cold as it's capable of getting. When it's really cold and snowy, you can't even get to the park because the road closes. But it was plenty cold.

I put this experience on ice, so I could break it out for you on a hot day in July.

So, to transport you to coolness, here is a snuggly skein of Colorado-inspired yarn—Chinook, a sport weight, in the colorway Mountain Colors-- freezing its fibers off on a snowdrift in the parking lot. Behind it, you can see the snowy Rockies. It was cold. I had a full-length coat, scarf, hat—no gloves, since I couldn't push the little camera button with gloves on. Cold. So cold I had to wait for the lens to clear before I could take the picture. So cold, even the pictures turned out a little blue.

Where did that skein of loveliness come from? Well, before I ventured to the park, I wandered about the town. (Temperatures in town and at the park can vary considerably, especially when the bright Day Star takes its leave). There, on a street behind the main drag, I found a sign that said YARN. (My husband marvels at my ability to sniff out yarn wherever I am. What can I say? It's a gift.)

Behind the sign was Neota Designs, home of yarn hand-painted by Deborah Coombs. Deb is a weaver. She began hand-painting yarn out of frustration. She could not find yarn that did not pool or streak or otherwise mess with her weaving designs. So she learned to hand-paint yarn in order to create the yarn she wanted to weave with. Now, she does two major dyes a year, pulling out sponges and dyes and having a big colorfest. She has honed her technique so that the yarn is a random as it can get (it's actually hard to do random—your mind wants to make a pattern).

Deb's yarn is inspired by the colors of Colorado. Neota, the name of her shop, translates from Arapaho to "sheep's heart." It is also the name of a peak at the border of the park and a wilderness area outside the park.

Deb also knits. And now she also does Tunisian crochet. After visiting her shop on Saturday, I returned on Monday to empower her (we worked on the Five Peaks Shawl by Vashti Braha from Spring 2010). Her yarn is just perfect for Tunisian crochet—this makes sense, since Tunisian produces a fabric that is much like weaving.

So, if you find yourself up that way, stop by. You can order online as well. It's a fine way to enhance Independence Day by celebrating Independents Day, which celebrates independent stores.

Hope you're feeling cooler now.


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NorahW wrote
on Jul 4, 2010 10:56 AM

Hi Marcy,

This is off-topic, but has been bothering me for awhile.  I posted on one of Toni's blog posts about this too, but thought maybe I should mention it to you as well as I'm a crocheter who loves Interweave Crochet and want to see it get as many subscribers as possible so as to be around for a long time!

It's about Ravelry and Interweave Crochet's lack of a presence there.  A lot of crocheters of all ages use Ravelry, not just knitters.  There is at least one Ravelry  group for IC lovers.   Ravelry has a "Recently added designs" section that shows up on one of the main pages, and as designs are added to Ravelry they show up on this page--the catch is they have to have pictures to show up there.  It seems like it's a really nice free advertising for the designs, since so many people use Ravelry.  Knitters too--if they see a beautiful crocheted design from Interweave Crochet, they may end up buying the magazine and learning crochet.  It doesn't hurt to have that exposure.  

I've noticed that as soon as a new Knitscene or Interweave Knits preview is up, the designs are immediately added to Ravelry with pictures.  I can always tell when one is out, because of all the beautifully styled pictures howing up on the "Recently added" page.    

Yet when an Interweave Crochet comes out, the deigns appear in Ravelry one by one over a period of weeks, and often by people like me who want to add the items to our queue.  Since we don't own the pictures though, we can't add them, and so the designs never show up on the "Recently added"  page and so don't get that free exposure.

Compare the current Interweave Crochet and Knitscene issued.  Frome IC, 19 designs have been added to Ravelry.  Only 11 have photos, and some of these photos were added at least a week after the design was put up in Ravelry.  The Knitscene, which came out a couple weeks later, also has 19 deisgns up in Ravelry, but only one has no photo!  

I think the Interweave Knits photos and designs get put up even more quickly.  Why can't Interweave Crochet be the same?  It was mentioned that the designers put the designs in Ravelry themselves; yet one designer mentioned having to ask Interweave Crochet's permission to add a photo.   Couldn't something be coordinated so that both could go up within a day or so of the previews being up?

I know i'm probably overly obsessed with this, but as a crocheter I was so happy to see a magazine that features stylish adult clothing and not just amigurumi or doilies.  It was so exciting when it went quarterly, and I hope that it'll be around for many years.  But it feels like it's an afterthought when it seems to not have much of a presence on Ravelry, which is such a big go-to site for crocheters and knitters.  It makes it seem like crocheting is the ugly stepchild, or somehow second-class, or else that crocheters are somehow not Internet-savvy when I know that's just not true.  

If you've read this far, thanks!  I hope that at some point we'll start seeing more Interweave Crochet on Ravelry!