Thursday, August 3

Big Trees

I mentioned in my last post that I'd waffled a bit about going to Lambtown because we were having a family picnic up at Armstrong Woods, near the Russian River on Sunday. This was all planned by my lovely Grandmother. Now Grandmother is the person who first taught me how to knit, and when I was about 7 we moved to the same town where she and my Granddad lived, so my brother and I spent a very good proportion of time at their house.

Grandmother was small and quiet. Granddad was large and very loud. He was always working out in his garage, whistling and building things. He had a couple of huge table saws out there, and boy what a racket he would make. He had a big loud booming voice, and liked to make me jump! I was very slightly terrified of my Granddad when I was little, so I'd hang out in the house with Grandmother a lot. (Not that he was scary or mean in any way - just loud and boisterous).

Now my grandmother just could not abide having bored whining kids around. She was very good at organising projects for us. She is totally and absolutely responsible for teaching me how to knit. It's funny though because my dad and my mom both knit as well - but they knit continental, and GM taught me how to knit in a throwing style. If I'd get stuck at home and ask my mom how to purl or something I'd get really frustrated because she just didn't do it "right".

When we'd go over to her house she'd have little lists of chores for my brother and I to do. I remember that I got to do a lot of dusting at her house. I don't know how many times I'd be in their room quietly dusting nicknacks when my Granddad would walk down the hall, and yell - "My mamma don't allow no jumping on dat bed!" Used to scare the daylights outta me, and boy I sure would jump (not on the bed of course). It was just his way.

Anyway - enough of the backstory. Back to Sunday and we had a family picnic up at Armstrong Woods. GM's nephew was out visiting from Illinois, with his wife, their two sons and daughters-in-law. I don't really know that side of the family too well - but my dad, and my mom and step-dad - all 3 of my brothers, my sister and her boyfriend, and my daughter and the Boo were all there too. And of course we can't forget about the baby of the family - little Zane - here he is being held by my brother Jared (his uncle). Isn't he just the cutest?

We all went for a walk from the picnic area to the outdoor ampitheater. We found a fallen tree on the way. It's so hard to give any kind of a sense of the hugeness of the redwoods - I mean saying that some of the trees are 300 feet tall says something - but I don't know - those numbers just don't mean as much as seeing what a fallen tree looks like with people walking along the top of it.

Here I am with my daughter and my sister at the ampitheater. We sure had fun!

It's very hard to explain - but there's just something that is so soul fulfilling by going and spending even an afternoon in the big trees like this. It had been a while since I had gone.

And yes, I did knit the top - I call it my galloping horse top - because it's got so many mistakes that you need to be riding a galloping horse to get away with it - but it's Colinette Wigwam - my own pattern, which I'm thinking of updating.

Just wait till you see the new yarn - I haven't started knitting anything with it yet - but it's going to be beautiful. The silk spinning is coming along nicely - both on the wheel, and on my spindle. And I just plied up the confetti wool that I'm spinning on my new Skipper wheel - three ply!


Sarah said...

Big trees are wonderful.

I love them too.

What a great family you have! I miss my grandparents so much, cherish yours!

Leah said...

Hi Abi! Gorgeous photos, esp the first one! I remember being in Big Sur and being amazed at the redwoods. I have a pic of me sitting on top of a stump and I looked so teeny (I *was* teeny then too but not THAT teeny!) If you've tried to email me lately, try again because I do believe my herbilady email is not acting very nice lately or use