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The High Country Knitwear Newsletter

Dear Readers,

   How I would love to tell you that I’ll be celebrating the New Year with champagne and Strauss waltzes!

   I can’t. 

   I will be celebrating with more snow shovelling—the real Colorado winter sport--than I like to think about, and with mopping up after Chewbacca, with his muddy paws, and me, with my muddy boots.  I will contemplate not the countdown to midnight, but the question of why the local authorities have not figured out one of the salient features of Colorado: that it snows here.   Like crazy.  At monumentally inconvenient times. 

   We had three days with no mail delivery during and after the newsworthy pre-Christmas blizzard.  Both UPS and the postal service worked through Christmas eve to deliver the backlog in time for the holiday.  It took four neighbors to push the UPS truck out after he’d dropped off a package.  Alex the postman, working through Christmas eve, was so perfectly togged out in his knitwear that he was a walking advertisement for HCK.  We haven’t had a garbage pickup in two weeks, though they are promising next week.

   Trapped travellers, 5000 of them, spent a couple days at Denver International Airport.  Those driving when Storm #1 hit who had to abandon their cars on both major and minor highways, will probably be looking for them into March, since their vehicles had to be towed to get the roads plowed and reopened.   Some inbound travellers, after days of fuming elsewhere, rented cars and drove home for Christmas. 

   One, who’d driven from Dallas, drove his rental car down to Denver so he and his kids could dig out his own car that he’d left at Denver International when he’d left on a business trip.  It took three hours.  Only then did they realize that they had one licensed driver, one driver with a learner’s permit, and two cars.  They took the chance, broke the law just long enough to turn in the rental, and headed for home.

   On the plus side, ski resorts that had cancellations from people who couldn’t make it through the airport offered major discounts to anyone who could, so the student couple next door boarded the dogs, left the cat with me, and took off for a luxury holiday in Steamboat a day before storm #2 would have prevented their getting there.

   Comic touches:  Lacking snowplows, the town sent construction equipment:  front end loaders with backhoes, walling in every car that was parked on the street.  The markets got milk and eggs, but no produce or flowers, before Christmas.  The gas station on the corner was selling premium gas, all they had left, at a 20% discount.  The local merchants had a very bad few days, but good sales afterwards. 

   I dug out a second time to go to an after-Christmas sale with my gift certificates.  What did I buy?  No, not yarn; no, not a swift and ball winder.  A fitted picnic backpack for summer concerts and hiking trips—a thing so handsome, so unnecessary, and so entirely frivolous that I fell in love with it.  It has wineglasses, napkins that match the plates, salt and pepper shakers, and a cheese board and knife--everything neatly matched and compact.  Think spring!

And confining weather gave me knitting time.  I’m almost done with the red sweater, and ordered more yarn so it can have two sleeves instead of one.  Isn’t that cheerful?

   I am a firm believer that a red sweater or red mittens or whatever are warmer than the same thing made in any other color.

    And I received the gift of a pound and a half of hand-dyed handspun, wound it all into balls, and am making another shawl, which I’ll show you when it’s finished.  This is wonderfully easy, mindless knitting, started from the wide end, so the rows get shorter; going the other way can make a great shawl, but the widening rows can be a little discouraging.

   Then the second snowstorm, on top of the piles of unmelted snow from the first.  This was the view this morning through my office window, to my garage, with about

eight inches of fresh snow on top of about ten left from the last storm.  We are running out of places to put this stuff, where it has to be shovelled.

  Next week, I will mail my contribution to the Red Scarf project, with a gift card.

   I wish you all a happy, healthy 2007, full of useful and beautiful things to knit, old friends and new, and time to make a few things for one of the many charities that need knitters to help.

   Now, back to my snow shovel!

 Knit on,

 Pat