I realized just before we left for our trip to the Grand Canyon that I hadn’t thought about trip knitting at all (!). I don’t usually bring big projects, but the sweater is simple, and it was already in my work bag, so into the luggage it went.

I’m always amazed at people that go on vacation and actually finish their knitting. Or even make progress on it, for that matter. We usually have pretty active vacations, and so my knitting doesn’t usually increase very much on a trip. This time, I knit on the plane and for about half an hour one night in the hotel room. Other than that, the sweater was just tagging along, taking in the scenery. (And yes, it was with me in my bag pretty much everywhere, too. It really did get to see everything.)

After the airplane and the 3 hour layover in Minneapolis (during which we waved to Ellen and regretted not having looked at our schedule sooner), it looks not much different than it did before:

I’m almost done with the back panel, and the arm decreases really are the same on both sides regardless of the picture.

Now that we’re back, I’ve been working on this:

See that spectacularly ugly bobbin winding? That’s a sign that I like what I’m spinning. I get into the rhythm and just forget to change hooks. Whoops!

This is one of the dyed tops from the February Cardinal series that I dyed a while back.

As always, I am amazed and amused at the change that happens when colors mix in the spinning. All those patches of red and green and gray have evened out into some very muted, long color repeats.

I almost hate to say it, but commercial BFL top is my favorite thing to spin. I love, love, love the yarn that I get from a lightly processed local fleece, and it can make for fun spinning in its own way, but there’s nothing quite like the smoothness of a commercially prepared longwool for mindless spinning. It will give me a more compact, almost heavy yarn that will have nothing on the loft of a locally milled roving. For the yarn, I choose lightly processed roving, but for the spinning I love a commercial top. This batch has been a nice break from the ornery Shetland I’ve been working with lately, which has required a lot more active management.

I do have a few bobbins of that ornery Shetland left to ply (maybe today?), so I’m sure you’ll get to hear me wax poetic about the yarn spun from a locally processed fleece in due time. There really is a place for everything in this fibery world, isn’t there?

For the moment, I’m fully enjoying my very commercial, highly processed fiber. We’ll call it dessert, and what else should you use to end a vacation?

(Oh, and there will be trip photos posted, just as soon as we manage to sort through the hundreds of photos that we took!)