I was a vendor at Trailing of the Sheep Festival in Sun Valley, Idaho this past weekend, and what a glorious weekend it was! The festival commemorates the sheep herding life in the region, in particular, bringing the sheep from summer to winter pastures. Here are some highlights.

Fall maple leaves 

 The fall colors and scenery were spectacular. Here are maple leaves in the town of Ketchum, ID, where the sheep trailing parade was held.

lolofire-jennie-marxerIt's wildfire season in western Montana (and most of the western US). We were camping in the Lolo National Forest, near Lolo Pass (fibery aside - hence the name of my Lolo Shawl pattern) last Saturday night and enjoyed being safe and cozy while a thunder storms passed over us. On our way home on Sunday at around 11am, we saw several small fires started by lightning strikes from that storm. Firefighters were already on the scene with helicopters dropping water. 

 In my last post (The Dyeing Process, Part 1), I showed how I dyed the yarn and fiber and wrapped it for steaming. The photos below show the next steps.

steamer

Here is the yarn (brown) and spinning fiber (green) after it has steamed, then left to cool overnight. It is now ready to unwrap and rinse.

Here is a guided tour of how I dye yarn and fiber.

yarnsreadyzane

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The yarns and fibers are ready to dye. Each has a plastic tie color coded by yarn/fiber base (blue is Lambent). Combed tops are in mesh bags to protect them during soaking. Zane is there because otherwise this might be a kind of boring picture, and since he is my shadow, he is always there.

knitting in hellroaring canyon

Just back from a week-long stay in the Centennial Valley, about 25 miles west of West Yellowstone. At about 6000 ft elevation, and surrounded by mountains, it was a great place to spend the recent western heat wave. We stayed at the Elk Lake Resort, our favorite kind of place to stay - comfortable, clean cabins in a lovely remote location, good food and nice helpful hosts.  

Charlie took photos and I knit whenever possible. That's me knitting on a plank bridge near the mouth of the Hellroaring Creek.

 

My weekend as a vendor at the Big Sky Fiber Arts Festival in Hamilton, MT was wonderful! I met so many interestingalpine wildflowers people who love fiber and color. I loved seeing old friends and meeting new ones. The organizers did a terrific job!

Yesterday, my husband, son and I hiked up to the Lewis and Clark Pass, east of Lincoln, MT, one of the prettiest hikes I know. The wildflowers on this hike were spectacular and promise to be even better in a few weeks. The hike continues along the Continental Divide Trail, where we saw these two pretty flowers (Alpine Forget-me-not and .... can anyone ID this one?).

harlequin-duck-GNP-5-12-13-webMy husband, Charlie, and I spent Mothers Day weekend at Glacier National Park. On Mothers Day, we rented bikes and rode up the Going to the Sun Road, past where it is closed for construction and snow clearing, at Avalanche. Charlie cycled with 35+ lb of camera equipment on his back, and was rewarded with 398 photos of harlequin ducks.

Lolo shawlI published my first pattern, Lolo Shawl, on Ravelry yesterday, less than 24 hours before writing this blog. To my absolute amazement, it seems to have taken off in Ravery. Eight people have already purchased it and I only know one of those people (thanks Cate!), and it is in the top 10 of the 'Hot Right Now' list on the Ravelry Patterns page. Click on the photo to see the pattern on Ravelry.

larchbudstogetherI posted my first image of larch leaves starting to bud on April 1 (take a quick peek).  Since then, my husband has been taking photos of the same larch branch as the leaves expand (larches are deciduous coniferous trees). These two images were taken at roughly 2 week intervals.

 

bison mom licking babyWe spent the past weekend in Yellowstone National Park, one of our favorite places. My husband photographs, and I watch for wildlife, drive, and knit while he photographs.  Bison were everywhere, but only a few had given birth to their adorable orange babies. We watched this one, her umbilical cord still showing, nurse, toddle after her Mom, and then suddenly scamper at top speed in huge circles around mom. Then she lay down, had a bath, and both she and mom went to sleep.

For this part of April, every facility in the park is closed, except for a few rest rooms (thank goodness!), and there are very few visitors. 

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