Sunday, March 16, 2008

Greetings from the Land of Nice

The sky is blue, the air is clean, and everybody keeps smiling at me. Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Eau Claire, Wisconsin.

I'm "chilling," as the youngsters say, after yesterday's 1,000 Knitters public shoot at Yellow Dog Knitting. We had about 65 knitters work on the Scarf That Ate America. I'm still not adept at this blogging-on-the-road thing; I forgot to bring my card reader so a fully-illustrated report will have to wait. But here are a few observations.
  • Eau Claire is adorable, but not what you would call a metropolis. Martha Stewart could probably fit the downtown area in her backyard and still have room for a swimming pool. And yet I'd say 3/4 of the sitters listed Eau Claire as their address. This town probably has more knitters per square inch than anywhere else in the country.

  • The knitters in Eau Claire are very nice. Everyone in Eau Claire is very nice. The hotel staff are very nice. The lady at the used bookshop down the street is very nice. The lady at the bakery across the street is very nice. The writer and the photographer from the local paper are very nice. I have a feeling if I'd been mugged on the way to the shop yesterday, the mugger would have wished me a pleasant morning.

  • If you like meat, you can get it in Eau Claire. Last night after the shoot, my effervescent and charismatic hostess, Dixie, took me to dinner at a restaurant where I was able to order a hamburger with BBQ pork on top. Meat on meat. Love it.

  • And how, indeed, can I not love a town where a little guy taking pictures of knitters is literally front page news? (Thank goodness I just got my hair done.) I'm tempted to have my books and yarn shipped north and just stay here forever.

56 comments:

Bobbi said...

Wisconsin IS the "Land of Nice"...how nice of you to notice!

Anonymous said...

You hadn't better move!!!
-Augie

amy said...

What a great article! Very, very nice. Because sometimes reporters tend to write about knitting and knitters rather tongue-in-cheek, I've noticed, and this reporter. Well, he was very nice. You are a wonderful ambassador for Knitting.

Annie said...

If you move to Eau Claire, Dolores might not be able to handle the move.....just sayin'. You decide if that's a plus or a minus!

Sandy said...

Very nice Franklin! The older I get the more I realize that it's the small things in life that make you happy and mean the most...knitting, meeting new people, living in a place that has nice people that know their manners...just common decency.

Sounds like you had a delightful time!

knitnzu said...

So, have you seen the original meaning of 'nice'? Wanton, foolish, coy, reticent, and I am sure I saw 'slatternly' someplace (which is my favorite). We grew up with everything being 'nice'... I told mom these obsolete def's and she was highly amused. See, Dolores IS nice!

dale-harriet said...

When I say "the pleasure was all mine" BOY do I mean it! And - I do love Eau Claire, but mean to lure you to Madison (you have a Family Reason to visit, 'member?). Here it's liberal, friendly, delicious...it's called "63 miles surrounded by Reality". Come see what that means! Oh, and there are enough brewpubs in the state to keep Dolores busy for a LONG time, sampling the locals. BEERS. The local BEERS.

Madam said...

I highly recommend a pit stop at The Sow's Ear in Verona (outside Madison) on your way back. Not just because they are the nicest, coolest people ever, but because I will be there this afternoon and am a dork like that :P

shannon said...

I like the photo that accompanied the article. Your hair looked smashing! :)

akabini said...

Well, you could pretty much *guarantee* that Dolores would find her own digs if you moved to the Land of Nice.

Unless there's a Crazy Horse in Eau Claire? with a Ladies' Thong Night?

Just sayin'.

kmkat said...

It was a total pleasure to meet you, Franklin, and thanks for the hug :-) I'm not sure that absolutely everyone in Eau Claire is as nice as you say; I think what you observed was the phenomenon of how all the nice ones are drawn in to the Yellow Dog orbit. Thanks for coming!

quiltparalegal said...

Glad you were able to come to the "Land of Nice" - Eau Claire is a great place to live, much better than the Chicago area where I grew up - we even have piped in music in downtown - did you notice? Pleasure to meet you too!

April said...

Oh my goodness, you get more and more famous every day! What a great article and I don't think I've ever seen your hair looking quite so lovely.

Carrie said...

I've been to Eau Claire! It is indeed very nice. I love Wisconsin. Moo!

Jenni said...

Eau Claire is an amazingly nice little town. Our camper broke down just outside Eau Claire on the way to drop me to college, and we couldn't have picked a better town to get stuck in (for two days, as the camper broke down a second time a few miles past the town). Glad you enjoyed the land of cheese.

Kit said...

Dude, did you click on the hotlink to your name in the article? "related news" was invasions and cancer and all kinds of nasty s**t. Holy crap, way to not know how to work the internet, local-paper folks!

Stacey in New haven said...

Ah, it makes me homesick! I miss nice people, but not the meat on meat sandwiches. I know you had a great time at the Yellow Dog, I went there last time I was in WI. Have some cheese curds for me!

Anonymous said...

"Thank goodness I just got my hair done."

snort, guffaw, whoot - too funny!

can't wait til you come to philly!

anne marie in philly

Knitting Star said...

When I clicked the link to the article, there was an add for "Mikes Meat" hehehe

Ted said...

Boy, you really do hate having your picture taken, don't you?

I think it's cold up there in Wisconsin in winter. Keep looking.

Rabbitch said...

Can I come too? I'll bring my looms and books and wheels and fibre and ...

oh, you said it was a small town. There may not be enough room for my "stuff"

Angie said...

If you get your 1,000 knitters and I don't get to sit with you, I'll just plotz! I think this book is going to be fabulous and I enjoy reading of your adventures as you collect the pictures.

Kristen said...

Since all of my maternal relatives reside in Wisconsin, I can confirm that WI is filled with mostly nice people. (Hey, there are crackpots everywhere.) I'll even confess to entertaining fantasies of getting a job in Madison, which harbors a nice pocket of leftist-liberal-wackism smack in the midwest. I'm glad you enjoyed your trip!

Aidan said...

It just hit me, my little Yonkele, that I learned to knit the year you were born.

I am so old.

Love the article. Love the hair. ;) Love you.

Linda said...

Well that is much more interesting than our local paper's front page about who won our local government elections.

Sue said...

nice, knitting, and meat. Sounds like my kind of town.

Donna Lee said...

I spent 6 months in Wisconsin when I was in high school as an exchange student. They are the nicest folks I have ever met, and very trusting. My parents sent me a check and the local bank cashed it for me without any ID. They said "oh, arent' you that little girl who's staying here from NJ?" and gave me money. My own bank in suspicious NJ made me use 2 forms of ID!

Stephanie said...

Do they still pipe in the music to downtown there? I loved that place.

Kath said...

Very innnerrestin' camera angle they got on you. But really, I don't think I needed to know that I'm older than you! ;)

Confessions of a Knitting Diva said...

It was so nice meeting you yesterday! I'm glad you liked Eau Claire and found everyone friendly. It is a nice place to live and raise a family. The article in the paper was fun, too. Maybe we can get a few of us together to road trip to Chicago!!

nosenabook said...

That's a great article, only they got the celebrity part wrong - you are a celebrity every day!

Dixie said...

Just for the record . . . I am more than an occasional reader!!!! Oh well, the rest of the article was great! We forgot to pick up a hard copy so I did and will send it to you. I'll keep my eye out for real estate for you maybe a renovated loft downtown?? I could probably find a place that will allow sheep but I don't know about talking balls . . . of yarn! jeez

Dodger says to say "Hi" to Dolores.

Anonymous said...

Wait till you get to MN......

Bronchitkat said...

Go Niceness!

There is much to be said in favour of Niceness. & it's not said often enough.

Gotta Knit! said...

Sounds like a divine place to go.

MLJ1954 said...

how very cool. It is good to know that there are areas that are still populated with overall nice people.

Rosi G. said...

Chico, es que you are so famoso now! How does it feel? :)

Marin (AntiM) said...

I'm related to half of Eau Claire, but I don't live there. Maybe I'm just not nice enough.

Alwen said...

Now I'm feeling really lucky I got in on the Threadbender shoot!

A hamburger with BBQ on top, yum, now I need lunch.

Corinne said...

I think of Wisconsin as the best kept secret. Driving anywhere i that state is my favorite getaway. All the views are picturesque on any highway! The rolling hills! The cows and sheep! It's all so peaceful and beautiful...and nice.

Anna-Liza said...

Being nice is a very underrated virtue, as is being polite. It sounds like a really nice break from late-winter Chicago!

TheAmpuT said...

My Aunt Janet labels everything (and I do mean *everything* nice). I thought it was because she runs a daycare center. Now I know that it's because she's from Wisconsin. I'm so glad you cleared that up.

Knitting Painter Woman said...

How Nice!
I think you'll find Austin "nice" too, but they say something more like "nah-y-ice." (I'm not native... but that's how it sounds to me.

MonicaPDX said...

Nice post, nice people, nice article, sounds like a wonderful time! And hurray for reaching nearly 500; great progress.

I guess we can be thankful Dolores didn't sneak along with you, eh? The whole town might have gone into shock when her hooves hit the streets. [g]

Liz said...

WI does have more bars than churches. Not that I'm suggesting that everyone is a bit tipsy, but it's a theory.

Glad you had a good visit! I'm so pleased that I am now a part of your project!

Holli said...

Wow! You were always famous to us, but now you're famous to the world. What a great day.

Sue said...

It was a pleasure to meet you. I hope to see you again at a book signing. I am very happy you enjoyed your time in the land of clear water.

Cindy G said...

Oh, another good thing about Wisconsin. Restaurants have to serve real butter. It's the law.

Anonymous said...

Somewhat disturbing that your article seems to be surrounded by ads for funerary items, and, of course, meat.
Maureen

Anonymous said...

It was a pleasure to meet you at Yellow Dog. I hope you will come back for a book signing.

Kate said...

Can't help but wonder if the paper's visit counter has gone through the roof since you posted that link! Well done you : )

Chelsea said...

The gnats in Eau Claire are not very nice. I know. I have tried to play tennis with my cousins on several Eau Claire spring/summer evening and it was awful.

Jess P. said...

mmm... Mike's Smokehouse. :) I'm glad you enjoyed your trip to Eau Claire. I unexpectedly went out of town, so I missed my time spot. Did you make it to the Just Desserts bakery?

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