For the last couple of years, if a band I like is playing somewhere interesting, I’ll pick up a ticket and plan a cheap vacation around it. Airfare is easy if you pack light, and distances seem short when you’re from California, a state that takes days to drive across. So that’s how I ended up in Laramie, Wyoming last month to see Iron & Wine and Gregory Alan Isakov.
I spent a few days first in Fort Collins, Colorado, nursing a cold before I headed up to Laramie. On the way back down toward Denver, I swung by Gypsy Wools in Boulder, which carries print copies of Flatirons, and saw their store sample on display.
The last time I’d been in the store, it was still in progress, but this time it was hanging right there in the store, next to one of the print version of the pattern. I *think* I managed not to hop from foot to foot with excitement when I saw it, but I was definitely glowing when the owner, Barb, shook my hand and told me they’d sold out of the pattern. I’ve really got to work on my habit of getting squeaky-excited and holding both hands to my mouth when cool stuff like that happens.
I left with a light step and a slightly lighter wallet, thanks to my “I don’t buy souvenirs, but local things I can’t get at home don’t count” policy. That’s why I underpack my luggage by a few pounds on the way in, and make up the difference in yarn, whiskey and local beer on my way back.
It’s hard to resist yarn when I’m out there. I keep finding yarns from Colorado, Wyoming and thereabouts with muted, deep colorways clearly inspired by the colors of the landscape, and they really speak to me. Please, someone make yarn that looks just like a storm rolling up over the prairie:
On this return trip, loaded down with yarn from Palouse Yarns, MJ Yarns, Mountain Meadow, Your Daily Fiber and Gypsy Wools, not to mention a handle of bourbon from Dancing Pines, I came in just half a pound under the limit at the airport:
(Fifty pounds seems like an incredible amount of luggage to me. I usually fly with a tiny carry-on bag that fits under the airplane seat in front of me, but on this trip I’d brought gear for several days of camping in potentially snowy winter weather. Only once I got there did I learn I can cheaply and easily rent camping gear all over notoriously outdoorsy Colorado. Whoops.)