Sunday, August 26, 2007

Knitting in Fairplay

Our Friday adventure began with a dental appointment. Although I don't enjoy going to the dentist, I do enjoy the fact that my dentist is in the same town as the nearest yarn shop. I suppose it is more than a coincidence, since I found out about this dentist when I met his wife at the yarn shop's knitting group. So a visit to dentist became a trip to the yarn shop, and the bead shop. Disappointed at the bead shop, I wanted to go to another one nearby, in Fairplay, Co. I vaguely remembered that there was something else interesting in Fairplay.

South Park City is a restored 1880s town. Actually, it is a most unusual museum. You pay, you walk out the back door of the visitor's center, and there you are--

In town. Virtually alone. The entire town, some of the buildings original to the site, some moved in, is restored and fully furnished.

There's a house or two, a railroad, a train, a blacksmith shop, a general store, the bank, the assay office, the stage coach stop, with lodging and the table set for a meal. There's stables, most of the mining equipment, even some gold nuggets (well, they look real), everything you would expect in a town, even the hearse:

The amazing thing is that it is all full of antique items and most of it is just there, no ropes, no bars, just there for you to pick up and look at. There's typewriters, tools, beds, washstands, tables, kitchens, I could go on and on. All there to touch, sit on, lie on (Well, who would want to do that? The beds looked like they were stuffed with cornhusks 100 years ago.) Some of it is roped off, but not much. It was all quite interesting. There was crochet and knitting, of course. The only thing I missed seeing was the saloon, with its painting of an appropriately 'clad' woman.
I took K's word on the painting. By then, I was more interested in the beads. The bead shop in Fairplay is a good one. There's lots of funky beads, besides the nice stuff, and the lady in charge was very nice.

I've been on a quest for certain size and shape beads. I'm making a knitting row counter bracelet. Of course, you can buy these on Etsy, and there are tutorials on their construction on line, but me, I had to figure it out on my own.

At first, I thought these were silly. I have row counters, and they work better and are easier to read than these bracelets. Even if the bracelets are prettier. But I was interested. Once I got bored enough (read: work has declined a bit, and we are bored). I looked and thought I'd figure it out. Scale is hard to judge with these, from what I've seen so far, so I thought I'd show you one in my fingers for scale.
It is quite nifty, actually. I find it easy to use for a short row count, even easier than the counters which must be dialed back to the beginning. Probably not as easy to read, but certainly prettier. Comfortable enough to wear for hours. Simple to make. Cheap to buy, whether you are buying from Etsy or buying the beads to make one yourself.

If you are unfamiliar with them, I'll explain: It's memory wire, with nine beads each of two different colors. One color bead represents ones, the other color represents tens, abacus style. There's a circlet (or in this case, a square) of beads on elastic cord that is large enough to let you pop a bead through. Knit a row, pop a bead. Knit ten rows, pop one of the darker beads, pop the others back. In the photo above, the count is 14 rows--one blue bead, four orange beads.


Patricia said...

Great photos. I love the bracelet, abacus as jewelry. I must have one.
Prism yarns is located a mere 2 hours away in St. Pete. Talk about shockingly expensive yarn. Some of their skeins are just shy of a C-note.

Iris G said...

Happy Birthday!
I totally agree with you; Lima would drape beautifully and give a very casual look to the sweater.
BTW, EXCEL can give you very pretty cable charts--exactly the same as those in Interweave ;-). I wonder if IK people used EXCEL too!