Living Passion-KNIT-ly (Part 1)

When I abrubtly left The Corporation, a flooding of opportunities opened up for me. Visions (and advice from fellow knitters who happened to be retired HR Directors) encouraged me to take advantage of the next 6 months and stay unemployed this summer. Besides knit my heart away, I found time to do a few things:
1. Get that much wanted haircut for donating to Locks of Love
2. Celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day on the 17th like a Rhode Islander
3. Visit all the LYS during the weekdays that I could never see on the weekends
4. Attend Stephanie’s debut in New York City on the 2nd
5. Interview for a possible job in a new career path on the 3rd
6. Run away to Virginia from the 4th to the 11th

Wait, did I write “run away” as in “Monty Python’s Holy Grail” movie? Why yes, I did. :) The journey began when I decided I wanted to go back home on Friday the 4th. Since LizW from “Life as a Spectator Sport” posted a Ravelry Meet up thread at the Chateau Morrisette Vineyard, I just KNEW a trip was in store for me. I made a few phone calls. Voila! A sojourn appeared that enabled me to fly to Norfolk, drive to Blacksburg, back to Virginia Beach, and leave Norfolk — all in 8 days. To kick off this journey I brought only 1 project to accompany me, and I cast on Friday morning while waiting for my flight. Guess what it is? ;)
The journey begins
My sister greeted me when I flew into Norfolk on Friday. One reason why I was able to visit for the week was because I was borrowing my BIL’s car so I did not have to rent a vehicle. I hung out with my parents and sister’s family for a bit, then drove out west to Blacksburg. There I was going to crash at a friend’s to help save on money. After all, I would need it for yarn and wine souvenirs, right? The drive was long, but a bit different. My how the roads had changed! Roanoke and Floyd Counties are great examples of progress in the more rural areas of Virginia. Yet it is still peaceful and relaxing like it was just over 9 years ago when I was last there.
One side of the tablepaddingAnother side of the tablepaddingThe heart of the vineyardpaddingOne of the pressing machines
The Saturday morning of the tasting and tour involved lots of rushing over to the winery. In anticipation of meeting everyone, I became nervous. I had met Stephanie of “A day in the life of a k-nitter” before at the big Yarn Harlot Kick off last year, knew Nana Sadie Rose of “knitnana” from blogging (and she made my beloved Posy Sack), exchanged emails and goodies with Nikki of “My Fuzzy Life” from NASCAR knitting, and the others from Ravelry. What did I have to fear?? Taking deep breaths, I parked the car, walked up to the restaurant, and entered. I saw LizW in the lobby, and she greeted me with a hug and a name tag. We then entered the private dining room together and she introduced me to everyone. My online buddy Nana Sadie Rose had saved a seat right next to her. It was so awesome to see everyone in person and we involved ourselves in lively conversation. Needless to say, I (not sure if everyone else did, but I am on holiday…) treated myself to some delicious food and wine before the tour.
A shot of the fermenting tankspaddingThe dessert wine fermenting tankspaddingA few barrels of winepaddingBarrels against the ceiling
The tour was made light and lively with our guide. I cannot recall his name, but I do remember his one piece of advice, “Never open a bottle of wine if you will not be able to finish it in an evening. Find a friend to share it with you. If you do open a bottle by yourself, call me and I will help you.”
One of the bottling machinespaddingA basin for untasted winepaddingkrhylton from Ravelry and her cool mom ChrispaddingNana taking my photo while Nikki shows her tasting ticket
After the tour, we hung out in the large shop and tasting bar. Because the overall tasting group was so large, our little group had our own tasting. Except for meeting the very odd woman who was the most belligerent knitter we ever met, laughter and smiles filled the air. I renewed my Kennel Club Membership which allowed me to purchase 1-1/2 cases of wine, some fabulous Vosges chocolate bars and other items that I purchased as gifts at a discount.
My order being packed at the registerpaddingA dedication to The DogspaddingGoodies for the puppiespaddingA view into the shop and tasting bar
With our taste buds tickled, most of us headed off to the next part of the day — a visit to the Greenberry House Yarn Shop, owned by Leslie of “At the Top of Squirrel Spur” blog. When clicking on the first photograph below, what is in the larger photo is what greeted me when I walked into the shop. Clicking along the rest of the photos, other close ups show what was along the main wall, and what I ended up including in my purchase.
Look at what I first noticedpaddingBeautiful locally spun yarnpaddingA bevy of sock yarnpaddingA view into the shop and tasting bar
Now with our fibery needs fully sated, we all began to part ways. I decided to join Nikki, Stephanie, and Nana Sadie Rose for dinner. Nikki and Stephanie lead in their car while Sadie Rose and I followed behind in mine. Along the drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway, thick patches of fog and various deer crossing the road made the highway scary at times.
Can you see the dozen deer?
At one point (Sadie Rose is going to KILL me for telling everyone!), I spotted 2 more deer on the right side of the road and said “Oh! DEER!” To which Sadie Rose replied, “Oh yes!” All of a sudden, I hit 2 speed bumps in the road. Sadie Rose looked at me and asked, “Didn’t you see the sign about the bumps?” I responded, “Umm… No, I was paying attention to the deer on your side of the road. I pointed them out to you.” Realizing that I meant D-E-E-R instead of D-E-A-R, we both started laughing and giggling. And I still giggle at every incident the memory hits me! :)

When we drove into Roanoke, we decided to check out a new Indian restaurant that had recently opened — Taaza on 117 Duke of Gloucester. This restaurant is not only easy on the eyes with its architecture, but the heavily portioned food is as fabulous as it looks. Sitting down at our table, I took the pink paper wrapped yarn Sadie Rose handed to me and placed it on the table. I then spied a pretty green/yellow Chinese take-out box in front of Nikki. I exclaimed, “What a pretty box!” Nikki then answered, “Why thank you. It’s yours.” Both surprises were yarns that I love: Jaggerspun Zephyr in sky blue by Nikki and Zen String Harmony in Gina Silva by Sadie Rose. I think I will make Laminaria with the Zephyr but I am not sure which pattern to use with the Gina Silva — Cookie’s BFF or Lace Ribbon Scarf. Any ideas on which one to knit?
A surprise in pink-dotted paperpaddingThe pretty box of surprisepaddingA Great Set
Instead of dessert at Taaza, we opted to head out to Barnes and Noble for some chocolate goodness. We checked out some books and magazines and later parted ways for home. This long Saturday was almost over. I drove to The Inn at Virginia Tech where a tub full of hot water was going to pamper me. What a surprise I had when I discovered that I did not have a room because there were none left. Instead, I had a suite!
What I first noticedpaddingA view into the powder room and coat closetpaddingThe living areapaddingThe kitchenette bar with an empty fridge
Of course I took photos all over the place, and then I took a long relaxing soak in the tub. Please click on the photos to see other views in the room. Stay tuned for the next 2 days in Blacksburg and the rest of trip in Virginia Beach! =:8
What is behind the doors?paddingA tub just for ME!

3 Responses

  1. Debbie says:

    Good for you! Think that was excellent advice for you to renew your depleted energies.

  2. Nikki says:

    That really was a ton of fun!! And I know what that lovely purple yarn is going to be when it grows up!

  3. knitnana says:

    It was SOOOOOOOOOO much fun!!! I was so excited to finally meet you in person!!!
    :)
    And I think that waiter at Taaja just must really have been a photography buff – can you believe how well our group shot turned out?
    (((hugs)))