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Ivy's Pattern and Elaine's Car Ride

I have the opportunity today to tell a story about yarn, knitting and someone besides myself. I really don’t mind telling yarn stories, it’s the leaving me out of the story I don’t like.

This story is actually months in the making but I was not able to write it until now. Ivy, our daughter and the manager of Your Daily Fiber has designed and published ANOTHER sweater pattern for a major knitting magazine. I couldn’t be prouder.

I would have written about this months ago, but the magazine insists they get to debut the pattern. I don’t really know if that’s true, but Ivy thinks it is so I guess I need to believe her. One thing for certain, the process takes so long, I totally forgot about the pattern until she showed me the magazine came out with her pattern in it

I know I said I was proud but, actually; it is a little bittersweet for me. I had always thought Ivy might want to follow me into construction. It is getting apparent that following me into construction is not to be


From the time Ivy was in elementary school, I have been preparing her for a long and rewarding career in construction. During summer vacations I would take Ivy with me to work.

Just like her older brother, Ivy hated summer daycare and would rather go to work with me. I know it was against OSHA regulations but I have always taken my kids to the jobsites when they wanted to come.

I’m not sure if Ivy liked the work part of the day but we always had a great time on the drive home. We wrote new verses to that old classic, “Down by the Bay, where the Watermelons Grow” or stopped for ice cream driving home.

I can still hear Ivy laughing when I rewrote the words to that Judy Garland classic, “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”. “Up above the chimney tops; my mom looks like a big cyclops”. Elaine didn’t enjoy that as much as Ivy did. Hey, she should have been there to defend herself.

I guess those times didn’t inspire Ivy to find a job in construction. Personally, I don’t understand why she would aspire to be in a career dominated by men. Those knitting pattern designer are guys. There is this Jared guy and a couple Stephens. Why compete with that?

Ivy went everywhere with me to construction sites. On one of her Christmas school breaks, she asked to go to a job in Salt Lake City. We got caught in a horrible snow storm on the way to Salt Lake. We ended up getting the last room in a truck stop in Southern Wyoming to wait out the storm. We had another worker (Rick) with us. All of us in one room.

Days later, arriving in Salt Lake, I checked into a motel. One room for Ivy and myself, one room for the worker. We checked in the motel and drove across the parking lot to a liquor store. Driving back to the motel Rick and I opened a beer each.

As Rick and I were unpacking the truck to go into the motel, Ivy asked for the motel key. I gave her the key grabbed the luggage and followed her. Obviously Ivy got to the room first. She locked the door and told me I could not come in because, "You were drinking and driving", her words. She kept me in the hallway begging until she let me in, for at least ten minutes. Twenty-five years later, Rick still laughs.

Apparently, surrounding herself with yarn and knitters is more satisfying than being around hammers, nails and drywallers. Unfortunately for myself,, I found this out too late. Monner, this is not about you.

I might have smashed Ivy's desire for a career in construction, literally. About fifteen years ago, I was finishing a barn/office for some friends. Ivy was helping me. During the construction, I set a 500 pound beam on Ivy's thumb. We both cried that day.

Looking back, that might have been when she started liking yarn.

Ivy’s sweater is a pullover with a bunch of raised diamond shapes all over the sweater. Those of you that are surprised that I can describe so eloquently her sweater, you will be equally surprised to know I am probably wrong. Please keep in mind, that’s how I describe the sweater. I can guarantee it’s red, but you can pick any color you want. Check it out.

The pattern has been published by Interweave Knits, which is available online and the bookstore (B&N) across the road from Your Daily Fiber. Tell those other designers Jerry and Steve to stand back, there is a new kid in town.

Over the Independence Day weekend, Elaine and I took a couple of car rides into Wyoming. Since opening the store we have rarely taken a weekend off. Not to mention at home there is always hummingbird feeders to fill, decks to rebuild, poultry to feed, rattlesnakes to kill; you get it.

Anyway, this past Independence Day weekend, the stars aligned and we were able to spend some time just goofing off.

The kids politely declined Elaine's and my polite (and totally insincere) invitation to ride along. Oh come on, it's happened to you.

Our car ride took us to a small town in Wyoming called Saratoga. If you have never been to Saratoga, GOOD! You don't belong there. I can't have you going there, buying the available property before I have a chance get a piece for myself.

Seriously, Saratoga and the surrounding area could be the most beautiful place on earth. Shshhhhh! Keep that info to yourself.

Elaine and I drove into Saratoga to find it basically empty. If I had to guess, I would think the town was fly fishing on the river, that I am not telling you is just east of Saratoga. It didn't take long and Elaine thought she was in heaven. We found a boutique.

Elaine excitedly went into the boutique while I sat in the car. I've been to boutiques before. If you have seen one, wait there is one in Key West. No I'm not telling that story.

The car started to get hot and I was getting bored. I went inside. I found Elaine in one of the rooms. This was a big boutique. Elaine turned, smiling broadly and mouthed, "She wants to see my stuff." Elaine had turned our day off into a sales call.

This (construction language) beervirus has been hard on Elaine. The trade shows have been cancelled. Elaine loves trade shows, selling her garments and talking to people. She turned the car ride into a trade show.

If I sound bitter, Elaine sold her stuff to the boutique. How can I be bitter about that? If you have a chance to go to Saratoga yourself, just go to the boutique. Don't look at the river, the mountains, the hot springs, none of that stuff will interest you.

You know I can't leave a story without talking about me. I’ve been reading a book. OK, you caught me, I listened to a book. At least it was narrated by the author.

The book was the true story of a guy on the east coast that hired a Navy Seal to move into the author’s home to introduce the author to Navy Seal physical training. The book was intended to be entertaining, but I found it inspirational. I can barely lift my arm.

Check out Ivy's pattern in Interweave Knits. Buy yarn, we're counting on you! Use the website.

Our crazy lives!


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