Wednesday, January 07, 2009

The Great White Way
by Vickie
As you know from a previous posting that I spent Christmas in Anchorage, Alaska. I have some observations about our trip. My oldest son will be leaving for Afghanastan for a year and we wanted to spend time with him and his wife before he deploys. I think this trip to Alaska will be our first and last but who knows.

The flight there was long and exhuasting but we did get there and our luggage got there 36 hours after we did. We booked our flight on Northwest via Orbitz. Neither place informed us that anymore than a six hour layover means that you will have to fetch you luggage and re-check it for the next flight even if you are on the same airline. We had an eight hour layover in Minnesota. We found out that the Mall of America was just a tram ride away. So we got on the tram and spent some of our layover time there. We could have easily gotten our luggage and re-checked it if we had been informed. No one in Norfolk or Minnesota said one word. We got on the plane and left and didn't even know that the luggage was not going with us. Orbitz said they were responsible and of course Northwest said it was Orbitz that caused the problem. Lots of finger pointing.

Since there is a 4 hour time delay from the east coast to Alaska it was pretty tough sleeping. The sun doesn't come up until around 10:40 am and sets around 4:30 pm. Not a lot of sun during the winter months. I was up at 3 am ready to start the day and of course everyone else was out cold. At 7 pm I was toast. My DIL said it takes a week or so to get used to the time difference and I think towards the end of the trip I was getting the hang of it. Although going to work in the dark and coming home from work in the dark seems depressing to me, she said that you get used to it.

I found that the cold there is a dry cold so if you are planning to visit there take some lotion and drink plenty of water there. Your nose and skin tend to dry out there. I got a bloody nose while I was there. We have humid weather here so guess my nose had something to say about the dryness.

Before going, I had gone on to the Alaska Knitters site via Ravelry and inquired about shops in the Anchorage area that I should visit. I talked my son into taking me to two while I was there. One was next to a sporting goods store he wanted to visit anyway, so that was easy.

The first shop that I went to was
here. The quilt below is the first thing that got my attention. It's very hard to miss because if is so beautiful.

I just loved that someone from the shop made this quilt. This photo doesn't do it justice! I have always loved quilts. I am in awe of the time, patience and creativity it takes to put one together.
It's just lovely.

Something else that was notable were these..

Such pretty bags, but I really didn't have room after having to buy new clothes, but I did make three purchases none of which were yarn.

The shop had some really nice selections of roving and I could not resist. I was dying to purchase some Quivet but they said the best time to visit is in the spring and summer so I didn't bother going out to the farm. Didn't matter because I got something out of the ordinary anyway.

I bought this because I just loved how white it is and it's Merino. I love spinning and knitting with Merino so that was the first one I bought. Then...

I bought this because I want to combine it with the white to make a rag yarn. Have no idea what I will knit out of it when I am done but I loved the color. Since green is my favorite color I had to have it. I also bought this...

This was as close to Buffalo as I was going to get so I bought it. It's 25% Buffalo and 75% Tusseh Silk. It is so soft you can't even imagine. I looked on the label to see if there was a website that I could link to but there is only a name, Laurie Sikiewicz from Anchorage listed on the label. It gives here home address and phone number but I am not posting that here. If you want information about how to get in touch with her about her roving, just send me an e mail or leave a comment and I will get back to you.

There's just enough here that I can make a project that I saw Here one a fellow blogger's site. Scroll down to about half way through the post.

The next place that I went is
here. Their site is under construction so you won't see anything there except for the Merchant's map, but I did go there and have some lovely pictures to prove it.

I really loved this place because it was a rather large shop that reminded me of two other shops that I have been in the last year. There was such a variety that I could have spent all day in there and still not see everything.

I could not resist these. They are just so cute. I do have a question though. I could see that the group on the left hand side were made mostly from cotton. Will they be warm enough for a baby in the winter month? They were so colorful they reminded me of spring and little girls in their Easter bonnets out a Easter Egg Hunt.

The red, white and blue hat were more like what I had in mind for winter head wear. Looks warmer if nothing else. Really nice color work.

I did buy the yarn for my son's hat at Far North. So I did help the Alaskan economy while still not breaking the personal bank. Truly if I had been smart I would have taken a smaller bag and bought more things but not so sure I would trust the airline to get my back to me in a timely manner...Happy Knitting!


Leigh said...

Hmm. I'm very curious about that buffalo and silk. Work on that one soon and give us a full report.

Luni said...

Wow, sounds like a wonderful trip, even with the luggage and time change hassles. I'm curious to see your "rag" yarn. Be sure to post it when you spin it.
I was eager to see what you are going to make with buffalo yarn, too, so I clicked on the link without bothering to read and was surprised to see it went to my blog. Then I remembered you said you wanted to try that cowl I knit. I've messed up your link because I updated my blog, so you'll have to link directly to that entry, like this: BR cowl

vlb5757 said...

Leigh, I have been feeling the wheel calling to me lately so hopefully it won't be too long. I will be out of work the end of Feb and then I spin up my fleeces hat I have stock piled. I want to knit with my own spun yarn to see if I can do it.

Luni-I changed my link and hopefully people will follow the link to see your cowl. I think it's the perfect project for the buffalo blend.

I have made rag before in the past. It was dark brown and white Merino mix. I loved the way it looked so much that I have never used it. I admire it every time I open my yarn drawer. I am sure that the green will be really wonderful!

Sharon said...

I need to get to Alaska. It's where my parents lived when I was born and they absolutely loved it there, but I was a ghastly sick child and they ended up in San Diego so they could get some sleep. I think it's time to start a Bucket List and put Alaska on it.

vlb5757 said...

I loved how white and quiet it was there. It snowed 18 inches on Christmas eve to Christmas morning. I just loved it. So we finally had a white Christmas. If I could bare to do the 11 hours combined flying time I would go back in the summer months to see the whales and to get to the Muskox farm. I think every American should see Alaska and Hawaii. I think we forget about them since they aren't physically attached to us. A Bucket List sounds good to me. Did you like the movie? It was very moving.

romelda McKee said...

I just love the red, white and blue hat. I have been looking for a pattern like that! Your trip sounds great.
Call me to knit! Romelda

vlb5757 said...

Isn't that cute? There were so many hat ideas there. They wear a lot of hats there so they had a lot on display. I wish now that I had taken more pictures of them.
See you tomorrow!

Tina T-P said...

Judith McKenzie said that working with buffalo was like working with a cloud - I can't wait to see what you make with it! Did you know that the "indigenous peoples" didn't make anything with buffalo "fur" but the hides - it is only recently that people have started using the "down" this is under the heavy furs.

Loved that hat that you made for your son, and looking forward to seeing more about your trip to AK. T.

P.S. - thanks for leaving comments when you stop by - yes that party was awesome - so many talented musicians...