I wish I could say that my near-total blog silence this summer has been due to being too busy building houses for the homeless, or traveling to distant lands, or inventing a perpetual motion machine, but I don’t really have anything too exciting to attribute it to. Just long, lazy summer days and sunny evenings… and there’s a certain measure of ill-defined guilt built up in there as well. I’m not sure what the cause of it is, psychologically, but sometimes I feel like I have all the free time in the world, and other times I feel like I have no time at all and all the minor complications of life–bills, housecleaning, laundry–are bearing down on me like the boulder from Indiana Jones. The actual, objective amount of work or complications that may be involved is irrelevant.

Anyway, this weekend, I’m trying to chip away at the nagging items on my to-do list and reduce the size of the boulder. Today I spent a few hours sitting in a cafe and catching up on work, and after finishing, instead of heading straight out to enjoy the sunny day, decided to stop and write this quick blog post.

Yesterday was maybe even more productive: I cleaned the kitchen, re-seasoned all our cast iron pans, harvested the green beans from the garden, and did a lot of packing and throwing stuff away. We’re moving in two weeks to a place a few blocks away, and trying to get a head start on getting everything packed, furniture dismantled, and the apartment cleaned so it’s less of a mad dash on the day of the move. The packing process is stressful–as I was sitting there sorting stuff, there was a lot of yelling from the other room of “what the hell is this [insert random craft item]” and “do you really need to keep all these knitting magazines” (answer: yes). But I’ve put together several boxes of things to get rid of and that feels good.

Anyway, I thought I might post a few yarn-related pictures from a family trip I took about a month ago. I went to Taos and Santa Fe with my mom, stepdad, and sister, and while we were wandering in Taos, we accidentally stumbled across La Lana Wools! (well, semi-accidentally… I found a tourist brochure called something like “The Fiber Arts Trail in New Mexico” and contrived to stop by when I realized from the address that we were right around the corner.)

All of La Lana’s yarns are naturally plant-dyed, and many of them are handspun. I bought some pretty yarn from the sale bin–this is Phat Silk, a 50/50 wool-silk blend:

There were lots of other gorgeous, if horribly expensive, yarns to choose from:

The highlight, though, was getting to see and handle THE original Lady Eleanor entrelac stole from Scarf Style. Unfortunately, it was kind of dark in there, so I had to take this picture with flash, which kind of ruins the colors. It’s a huge stole, though, much bigger than I’d thought.

Both Taos and Santa Fe were really pretty. The clouds and mountains are gorgeous, and there are hollyhocks growing everywhere. I always associated hollyhocks with England and France, but I guess they’re pretty happy in hot climates, too. Like Georgia O’Keeffe, who, I found out at the O’Keeffe Museum in Santa Fe, was from Sun Prairie, WI and went to high school in Madison, right up the street from where I live.

Santa Fe was also surprisingly small and walkable, a really gorgeous and friendly little city. I think it would be a really great place to live if you didn’t feel like the sun was punching you in the face every time you stepped outside. (I guess maybe it’s not as fiercely hot when it’s not the middle of summer.)