When I started this blog I wasn’t sure if I should call it NorCal Fiber TALES or Fiber TRAILS. But considering I’ll be talking about fiber and telling stories more than I’ll be going on adventures (because I live on a farm with animals and plants in Northern Calif. where it can easily be 113*F/45*C in the summertime) but I finally did get out for a little adventure.
In early Spring my husband and I went to the Ft. Bragg/Mendocino area and I found two wonderful yarn shops-Mendocino Yarn shop in Little River and Navarro River Knits in Ft. Bragg. I’ll share more about that trip some other time.
This trip we were headed to the Crescent City area to harvest seaweed with a friend-something we’ve never done before. It was a blast, and I loved the little town feel and the harbor at Crescent City. Sadly there was a yarn store there called A Perfect Yarn, but it is closed. But I laid out our trip ahead of time, and, knowing that I don’t enjoy windy roads for hours on end (I get very carsick) we decided to go the freeway route, up through Redding, Mt. Shasta City, Ashland, Medford, Grants Pass, Cave Junction and on down to Crescent City that way.
I decided to stretch my 150 mile Fibershed radius (Ashland is just outside of it) and stopped at Websters on the triangle in downtown Ashland, and I was not disappointed. The staff is very friendly and helpful, and they have a diverse range of yarns (be sure to ask if you don’t see the quantity you need-they frequently have more in back).
There is nothing like actually perusing a store full of yarn to feel and touch and discover new things you didn’t even know existed. The most exciting discovery here was the Ashland-based Silver Cloud Farm, and their gorgeous Romney wool. I spent every bit of my yarn budget while my husband wandered the stunningly beautiful and well loved Lithia Park just beyond the shop.
As you can see from the main photo,
above, I am rather obsessed lately with colors ranging from pale clay through adobe to rusty red, and the natural wool color that falls neatly between grey and brown. Blacker Yarn’s Polzeath cardigan (right) is on my short list of things to make this summer-precisely because of this color combination!
After we left Ashland we continued on around this scenic route, down through Cave Junction, stopping for dinner at Taylor’s Sausage (I call it the meat candy store) and made it to Crescent City in time to watch the sun go down.
The colors of the sun on the beach grass and the sunset behind the harbor were gorgeous. Word to the wise-if you’re from inland, no matter what time of year it is, bring a sweater and a wind breaker. And thanks Mom, I finally heeded your advice!
I was a bit nervous when I saw the sign to watch out for sea elephants (they’re VERY large) but we didn’t see any at all.
The next morning we were up at 5:30am so we could greet the low tide on a new moon and harvest seaweed. Never having done this sort of thing, or even really wading about in a tidal pool before, I was as interested in all of the creatures and rocks and driftwood as I was the seaweed. I was utterly fascinated by the browns and greys at the ocean’s edge. It was pretty magical.
My husband laughed at me though because I was apologizing to things I thought I was stepping on. There was literally hardly and room to step without something living being underfoot!
The funny thing is I used to hate everything about the ocean, including towns along it. I don’t like fish (except salmon and tuna) and just couldn’t even stand the smell. When I was a teen my parents would frequently drag me along because my mother absolutely loved spending a few days at the ocean-mostly to eat seafood in restaurants, but I remember back then I really didn’t like it. Although if you give me a book and some music I am content to travel, so I went.
Now though, I LOVE going to the ocean. Maybe it’s because I understand the age-old ancestral draw to the point at which “Land Sea and Sky” meet. Maybe it’s because I now appreciate the peace and calm that seems to always come with a visit to salt water, or just getting away from routine for a day or two.
And still, give me knitting and music and I am happy to travel anywhere. My husband loves the sea and all the creatures in it (to eat) so I’m happy to go with him, but I really love it now.
Although our trip was short it was full of wonderful sights and I couldn’t be happier with all of the goodies I found at Websters, so count this as a five-star FiberTrail adventure!