I am totally on board with this whole knamping thing. Knitting in the great outdoors? I’ll take it.
We had the opportunity last week for a little road trip out to Nashville for a friend’s backyard wedding. We drove from NYC to Nashville along the major highways, but on the way back we took the long way via the Blue Ridge Parkway. We cut off the main road after Knoxville, drove southeast through the Great Smoky Mountains and then jumped onto the windy, stunning parkway. It’s hands down one of the most incredible things we’ve ever done. The views from the many viewpoints along the parkway are just stunning, with mountain ridges extending out for miles and miles. The verdant broad leaf trees lining the road between the viewpoints are mixed with seemingly ancient rhododendrons growing tall in all the nooks and crannies of the forest floor.
And, because I’m a fiber nut, I mapped out all the local yarn shops along the way. One of these was the Smoky Mountain Spinnery in Gatlinburg, TN. In addition to the amazing handmade llama mug my husband spotted, I scored some lovely locally sourced, hand-dyed wool fingering weight yarn by Tale Spun Yarns. The colorway is called rustic spiceberry, and it’s the loveliest shade of muted red. It has just the right amount of rusticity to make up a warm winter cap and I found the perfect pattern for it as part of the Fringe Association’s latest hatalong (more on that later).
We camped two nights along the way, the first night on Mount Pisagh in North Carolina and then the second night at Peaks of Otter in Virginia. We somehow managed to evade the passing thunderstorms and I had a great time knamping my heart out. The hat pattern I had in mind called for a worsted weight yarn, so I balled up the yarn double by hand while sitting at our camping spot’s assigned picnic table. At our next spot, I cast on for the hat and then just kept on knitting in the car all the way home. There’s really just nothing better than convening with fiber and nature at the same time. The sound of the rustling trees, the smell of the clean air, the sight of the fireflies flickering among the grasses as the sun goes down, and the feel of the wool running through your hands, it’s just priceless.
I can’t say enough good things about the Blue Ridge Parkway, but sometimes a photo conveys more than words ever could. So I leave you with a few more views of this incredible corner of the world.