Cool Thoughts on a Hot Day

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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