Goodness, Lovelies! This little patch of cyber grass has gone neglected for a tad too long! I must admit, in glancing at the array of W2’s that have arrived in the mail since the new year, I looked back with a sort of giggle at just how topsy-turvey life became after our last time together! Thankfully, things have settled and all is well and good… the reward being some quiet time now to sit and visit with you for a bit! Won’t you join me under this majestic Oak, a favorite spot of mine where much pondering and stitching occurs… and if you’d like, I’ll share with you a bit of how the past several months have been spent… creatively.
Stepping backwards to sometime in 2013 when I had been introduced to the magically whimsical world of Dottie Angel http://www.dottieangel.blogspot.com and its highly imaginative creator, Tif Fussell, our virtual connection grew to an online friendship and sparked the idea of a little creative swap! At the same time, I had my nose pressed against the virtual glass window to watch, (along with a vast many other knittergirls/guys), the progress of Anna and Greg Dianich’s construction of Tolt Yarn and Wool http://www.toltyarnandwool – a soon-to-be brick n’ mortar they were building in the rural town of Carnation, WA. Seeing the pictures on Anna’s blog of her shop’s opening day that November, I knew without question that I had to get there…soon!
Paralleled with this Top-of-the-Wish List item was the ongoing communications between Tif and myself, her applying for and being hired spot-on to join Anna’s creative team of lovely Tolt-Tias, and my ever-growing pining to visit that woolfilled shop! With finances being…well…laughable at the time, I didn’t know how I would afford such a luxury… and I continued to peek in the virtual window of Tolt Yarn and Wool while casting wishes upon every star in the nighttime sky.
It was a Friday evening shortly after the holidays in the new year. Home from work and exhausted from the day and week, I set my tired self on the daybed – HarryKat to my left, knitting to my right, a TCM movie on the tele and my iPad within reach. I reached…. and dialed up Expedia. There it was, staring at me bigger than BIG – BUR to SEATAC – my dream trip written in departure and arrival times! With mandatory vacation coming up that July due to a company-wide summer recess, I prolonged my pondering no more, pressed the Purchase key and booked my ticket which immediately left me dizzy with glee from the adrenalin rush!! (…this often happens with shoe purchases, too… but not quite to the same extent…). I was going to Tolt Yarn and Wool! And not only that, but the lovely Tif was kindly helping me plan my adventure! Dream come true!
This was my first trip to the PNW… which, upon seeing THIS out the window while descending into SEATAC, I would quickly kick myself and ask ‘Why on earth did you wait so long!?!!’ …With Tif’s welcomed suggestions towards convenient lodging in the area, sights to see, and a highly recommended souvenir that would last a lifetime… here’s what happened…
The commute in…
Must-see stop en’route to Carnation
The barn loft on the Carnation Tree a Farm – my home for the week!
Thankful for my small town roots (having been raised in the Hudson Valley)…and having a fondness for driving through country roads… without taking too many wrong turns, aided by a GPS app that had lost its voice and the benefit of it being summertime (hence staying light out longer), I eventually arrived to the picturesque town of Carnation and settled into the rustic digs at the nearby barn loft which would be my home for the next week! It was well past the dinner hour, yet the light outside was still on my side… so I quickly unloaded my pack at the barn and (not yet realizing just how very close I was to the center of town) hopped back in my car rental and off to explore!
Two minutes later… there IT was!
The town was peaceful and quiet (despite my hyperventilating while standing on the sidewalk, my nose now pressed against the real window of TY&W… The warm summer air smelled sweet and the surrounding landscape of mountains and trees with the Tolt River running through it took my breath away… Okay, somebody PLEASE PINCH ME!! This trip was already showing signs of being a very very good choice!
Lunch at Pike’s Public Market back in the city had been enjoyed several hours earlier (with the added treat of visiting with a co-worker from many years ago!). Since there was a little kitchen back in the barn loft, I decided to pop into the grocery store conveniently located a hop-skip-and-a-jump between the barn and shop of yarniegoodness (not to mention just about anything else you might need: a gas station, pizzaria, Chinese restaurant, STARBUCKS, post office, laundromat, hardware store, motorcycle shop, TATTOO PARLOUR, a few more nice restaurants and shops, a church, a senior’s center, the farmers market, and a lovely park!)… to pick up a few necessary items (which means I had ice cream for dinner!)… before the short trip back to the barn where I settled in for my first night of what was the start to a wonderful week ahead.
For the next several days, I became a permanent fixture at Tolt Yarn and Wool, where, in addition to the overwhelming inventory of the most wonderful and thoughtful selection of yarniegoodness, books, notions et’al, I had the pleasure of sharing in the company of so many of the loyal customers and the lovely team of Tolt-tias Anna has assembled: Veronika (founder of Yarn on the House aka YOTH http://www.yarnonthehouse.blogspot.com), Clare (discovering a mutual friend between us, someone I’ve known since Kindergarten! Small world!), Rachel, Tif, the lovely-Lisa, Paula, Beth and Hope – an amazingly creative and kind group of women!! And as well, sitting and knitting with two of TY&W’s devoted knittergirls – Lyndsay and Tammy, who I wanted to pack up and bring home with me!
(L-R): Lisa, me, Anna, Tif
Tif’s pattern pick for my cast-on… Ingredients included some YOTH!
Twirling Petals Twirl to bring home with me…
One of the WIPS I brought along…
At the end of the day…
In between stitches, I explored some nearby sites… The Beautiful Snoqualmie Falls… Went treasure hunting up the road in Duvall and Monroe… Joined Carnation’s citizens in celebrating the Fourth of July… And, taking Tif’s suggestion to heart, picked up a little permanent souvenir! We also had our little crafty swap – a frock she sewed for me, a shawl I knit for her!
July 4th in Carnation
My souvenir… go where the peace is…
Dottie Angel Frock for me from Tif…
Simple Lines Shawl for Tif from me…
And on my last morning there, stopping into the shop before driving to the airport, I was so very touched by Anna coming in on her day off to share hugs and goodbyes until next time! And then, the surprise of Kathy Cadigan http://www.kathycadigan.com, who I follow on IG and who is a very close friend of Anna’s, arriving – camera in hand – and suggesting we take some photos of me around the shop! Truly, you can’t imagine how much this thoughtfulness meant to my heart. Oh, what a very, very special place this is! And what a very, very wonderful time I had there! Needless to say, my next visit is already booked!
A very happy Knittergirl!
Ready for work!
I’ll be back soon!
As always, Lovelies… thank you for taking the time to stop by and visit this space. I do hope this little glimpse into a place and its people that have grown near n’dear to me is one you’ve enjoyed!
Until the next time… may you inspire and be inspired in each and every day!
xo just B ox
Stix and String