Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Idle Questions of a Fevered Brain

While I await the return of my film (yes, film) from the lab so that I can do a proper post about this weekend's rip-snorting good time in Austin at The Knitting Nest, I offer the following points to ponder, transcribed from a page written in a shaky hand at 30,000 feet somewhere over Arkansas.

Q. If I were going to take down an entire jet plane with something in my knitting bag, what would be the best thing to use?
  1. Single metal dpn (fuchsia, US size 2) from Boye. (Have never, that I can recall, purchased set of fuchsia needles in any size.)
  2. 4-foot tape measure shaped like laughing sheep. (Squee, etc.)
  3. Scrap of paper with mysterious note in pencil to "yo2, k2tog, k6 at next m, dammit."
  4. Small plastic box containing eight two-inch-long T-pins for lace blocking demonstration.
(The TSA's answer is number four, because that's what they confiscated at the O'Hare security checkpoint.)

Q. Which of these is incompatible with lace knitting?
  1. Eating a BBQ Breakfast Taco from Salt Lick.
  2. Waiting for next available urinal in crowded airport men's room.
  3. Looking badass while seated at airport sports bar.
  4. Avoiding the attention of woman at Gate 17 who wants to talk to somebody about the emotional and gastrointestinal consequences of her Pomeranian's separation anxiety.
  5. All of the above.
Q. Which of the following is the best way to cope with the following announcement from the cockpit: "Folks, I need everyone including the flight attendants to be seated immediately, because we're heading into atmospheric conditions I haven't seen in twenty-five years of flying."
  1. Grip both armrests very firmly in order to hold the plane up in the air.
  2. Promise the Almighty Whatever Is Out There that if flight lands successfully, you will stop screening phone calls from Auntie Helen.
  3. Cast on Sharon Miller's Princess Shawl since it's something you've always said you'd like to knit before you die.

72 comments:

kerrylinnet said...

How did you ever get Dolores through the security clearance? Glad you are back!

duchessnyc said...

"Folks, I need everyone including the flight attendants to be seated immediately, because we're heading into atmospheric conditions I haven't seen in twenty-five years of flying."

swallow bottle of emergency klonopin?

maybe that's just me?

glad you made it safe and (fairly) sound

Abby said...

I took an small box full of about 32 T-Pins on an airplane just last Monday.

They really should get to allowing all knitting supplies on air planes, what with knitters posed to take over the world an all.

Sharon Rose said...

When they take away [insert random object here] it requires all my strength to NOT remind them that I could kill someone with a pencil.

melissaknits said...

Um. What is..."film"?

Also the wrong answer to the question (posed by TSA guy) "Ma'am. Is that a crochet hook in your bag?" is "Probably. How the hell should I know?"

(It was 5:30am. I had not had coffee. Luckily the guy had a sense of humor.)

Redford Phyl said...

And people wonder why I refuse to fly!

Anonymous said...

I don't usually laugh at other's misfortunes (good, no lightning strike!), but I have to say, thanx for the giggles here! Glad the trip ended with you safely at home.

hokgardner said...

I can't wait to see the pictures. It's always fun to look at Ausin from a visitor's view.

I would have been gripping the armrests to keep the plane in the air.

Lisa/knitnzu said...

Question 3 doesn't get an 'all of the above'?

So my Canadian (she's dual citizen, THAT probably explains it all) friend got held up in security because she left scratched knitting notes behind when she went to the toilet. "what is this?" "Come with us please". They wouldn't hear that those strange symbols and letters were really notes so she could make up the second sock like the first. I blathered about it at the end of this post, http://knitnzu.com/?p=364

Liz G. said...

I think I need to fly into Austin sometime since everyone was talkin' about those tacos out there. Glad you got one.

Anonymous said...

Yes, Franklin - TSA is a royal pain at times. They are so arbitrary in what they allow and disallow. I had one TSA guy ask me if a silver wrist bangle I've worn for 30 plus years would come off when I told him to expect a beep for it. "No." I replied,"My hand has grown so much that it is impossible to remove." Which is why I warned him in the first place. Oh well, that's how it goes. - Joe-in Wyoming

Carrie K said...

I'd've gone w/A. Silly TSA.

All of the above.

Cast on the Princess Shawl [note to self: purchase Princess Shawl pattern before flying to Sock Summit].

Roxie said...

Anarchist that I am, I have been known to surrender the aluminum dpns, then pull out the back-up bamboo set as soon as I'm seated in the waiting area. There's also the joy of knitting with ball-point pens just to screw with their tiny minds. Mostly though, I have no trouble taking knitting any and everywhere.

Hey, I could give someone a really viscious papercut using the in-flight magazine, but no one worries about that!.

Anonymous said...

"we're heading into atmospheric conditions I haven't seen in twenty-five years of flying"

Sweet Jesus.

And they choose THAT moment to stop the beverage cart? I don't even drink, and I'd be screaming for some vodka. Lots and lots of vodka.

Danielle in PEI

Jasmin said...

Alas, my favorite moment in flying is cooing at the drug dogs in my high-pitched-popular-with-the canines-voice.

"Who's a sweet little drug dog. YOOOOOU are!"

Katie K said...

Not long after 911, I swiped a first class free amenities bag as I departed from an international flight. When I got home and opened it I found that it included a complementary straight edge razor. This was either Air France of British Airways. So much for security!

quinn said...

So...how IS auntie Helen?

Anonymous said...

Obviously, whatever you chose for the last question was the right answer! For the first, despite the TSA, I think *any* size 2 double point would work, even if it wasn't fuschia!
Barb

(P.S. My verification is "hypod" - is that what you say when you grab your ipod to evade the woman with the Pomeranian?

lizzzknits said...

Last year I took my Harmony circular sock 40 inchers to outwit the TSA. Wouldn't you know it that while waiting for boarding, the tip snapped and I had to fly overseas without any knitting! Aarrgghh. It was just the Almighty chuckling at our efforts. Glad you only lost the T pins.

Mary deB said...

Mmm, the Salt Lick!

FiberQat said...

I find it so hard to cast on the Princess on #2 dpns while I'm gripping the arms of my seat and listening to Aunt Helen talk about her Pomeranian's boils. That's why I take the train.

(Glad to see you back.)

Joyce said...

I can't wait to see what they confiscate from me when we fly to Australia in Oct. I'm bringing size 1 dp's and sock yarn. I originally wanted to work on a lace shawl (22 hrs in the air, how often will I get that much uninterrupted knitting time?) but figured a long circular needle would taken. I've been warned the Australian equivalent of the TSA is more paranoid about knitting. The really sad part is I have a black belt in karate and know a pen or a pencil makes a wonderful weapon.

Steph said...

My goodness what a flight!! So glad you made it home safely, and you better not let that flight keep you from visiting again. :P

SuburbanCorrespondent said...

I envision garroting a would-be terrorist with some 29-inch circulars. Am I the only one who thinks this way?

alison said...

ahhh ahhhhhhhhhh ...princess!!


and that 25-year comment is in the need not to know category.

Anonymous said...

You are always good for a laugh Franklin. Wish I were brave enough to even try to take knitting on a flight.

Janet, resides in Dublin, visits in Seattle

Laura said...

Do they still sell the mini bottles of liquor at the airport anymore? It would help you answer some of the questions, I think.

As for needles being threatened with being taken, the Vatican almost took my size 8 addies that had 1/2 a EZ Pi shawl on them half way through my vacation. I promised the very nice men with guns that I do not possess the mad ninja skills to harm anyone with needles and besides, it would damage my knitting. Silly men. I kept the needles, but just barely.

Kelli Simone said...

Your post made me snort. I'm sitting at the airport in Vegas about to board the eastbound red-eye, waiting for the right time to pop a valium (I hate flying). I needed that. Thanks. ~ksp

Kristen said...

Uh, dude, how about not saying the "25 years" bit over the intercom! Sheesh. Well, apparently you survived and we are glad of it!

OTB said...

Knitters can be dangerous. Look at Madame Defarge.

Miss Sandra said...

So are you casting on the Princess Shawl in white?

Harriet said...

The only possible answer to number 3 is c) all of the above. As for question number 2, does the TSA think I can do less damage with #2 DPN's?

Helen said...

If the pilot made a statement like that when I was on the plane, I do think I would probably die of fright. Either that or make my peace with the Universe and hope it was painless. Ewwww. I have issues with turbulence - people being violently ill around me gives me the absolute heebie-jeebies for some reason. I think I have a phobia. Glad you made it back in one piece.

and yay for film! :-)

May said...

The Princess Shawl is breathtaking. Thanks for the inspiration.

Here's hoping all your flights are less stressful going forward.

daisy in the shenandoah valley said...

sigh... You would post this just as I'm trying to decide what knitting to pack for a flight. But I am not worried about "atmospheric conditions" because the Yarn Harlot has taught us that planes are held in the air by tight abdominal muscles.I've been doing crunches for weeks.

Carmel said...

O'Hare TSA delights in taking anything they want to just to be ornery. They confiscated my 1-inch Swiss Army knife in 2007. I had gone through SLC with no problem, but O'Hare told me "we aren't Salt Lake City." mleah.

Denise said...

I'm of the same mind as Helen (9:30AM commenter). Such an announcement by the pilot would likely have given me a coronary - which, I suppose, would have at least taken my mind off my impending doom. Glad you made it home safely, if a bit shaken.

KnitNana said...

Oh dear heaven. Now I'm even more worried about the flight to Portland in August. I hope Sharon has enough copies of the Princess!
(((hugs)))

Sarah JS said...

Joyce at 9:14pm - Had a friend travel back from Australia last year. They snipped the tips off 2 (more?) pairs of Addi Turbos for projects she had with her.

All - a fellow knitter uses an Altoids tin with all those small knitting supplies, including a small pair of folding scissors. She puts in the tray with her change that doesn't go thru xray & never had anyone question her about it. That may have saved your T-pins, Franklin.

melistress said...

"Scrap of paper with mysterious note in pencil to "yo2, k2tog, k6 at next m, dammit.""

I love that. Thanks for the giggle.

Linda said...

To my mind, that triangular, pointy part of the Princess is designed for the neck and shoulders, to insure that the item stays put and to decrease yanking. Thus, the set of photos showing it draped away from the neck rather miss the beauty of the design. Hmm.

ladysaphira said...

Since you're posting, you must have landed safely!

When do we get to see the Princess Shawl?

Guillermina said...

Hello Franklin, I´m a journalist for Paula Magazine (Chile) and I´m writing an article about knitters around the world. I would very much like to get in touch with you, please write to me at galtomonte@paula.cl

Thank you,
Guillermina.

Patricia in Victoria BC said...

Oh my. I now also aspire to knitting the Princess Shawl before I die. Although I may settle for trying someone else's on!

dana said...

so you travel with pattern, yarn and needles for the princess, just in case?

Alwen said...

Bet you're glad you weren't on Flight 61!

Liz said...

Glad someone else does the armrest thing...

Flying to Newark from Dallas nearly 8 years ago, I do remember being told we had a 200-mile-an-hour-tail-wind at that altitude at the tail-end of a hurricane (I'm sure that was the statistic), so that was good news because we'd be landing almost an hour early. I really wasn't that sure...

Pickyknitter said...

Number 3

mwknitter said...

OMG - we are flying to San Francisco the 30th. I have not flown for many, many years (pre 9/11). I haven't enjoyed flying for many years - I don't like that being herded like cattle feeling I get (back in the 60's I actually loved to fly - back when coach seats were as big as first class seats are now & there was actually room for your feet.) The last flight I was on was coming back to Chicago from New Orleans after visiting my DD. The seat belt sign was on the whole way. it seemed really rough to me - I was sitting in the tail &, looking forward, I could actually see the body of the plane torquing. I know that's to keep it from breaking up but still.... Then, when a guy got up to use the wash room, the flight attendant yelled at hi, "Stay in your seat,sir." The guy protested that he REALLY needed to use the washroom & the flight attendant (sitting right behind me) just repeated his insistence that they guy stay put (in a very high, tight sounding voice). I kept telling myself that my dislike for flying was making me see things as worse than they really were. While waiting in line to disembark I overheard that same flight attendant say to his fellow attendant, "That is the roughest weather I've ever seen; I didn't think we'd make it." And, to top it off, it took them an hour to find my bag! I choose Amtrak whenever I can - all personnel are friendly & relaxed & they treat you very nicely (esp if you travel 1st class) & you don't have to worry about falling out of the sky. Unfortunately my companion wants to get where we are going as fast as possible &, since we did just take the train to San Francisco (a trip I cannot recommend enough) in March, he won this one.

Alena said...

In self defense class we learned how to disembowel someone with your car key - and TSA cannot take your car keys. So I don't understand how they can get all uptight about knitting needles, et al. I guess I could poke an eye out. Glad you made it home. We are off to San Diego in a few weeks - Southwest didn't have issue with my sock needles in April so hopefully they won't in July.

Anne O'Nymous said...

I like Madame Harlot's response (and I paraphrase) that the world is safer when she knits than when she does not. I also like the idea of using ball point pens. On their own, they'd be a US size 8 or 9, and if you trusted the structural integrity enough, you could use the ink cartridge center alone as a 1 or 2. Preconditions: dark yarn, a delicate touch, not working on a Princess Shawl.

Maybe we could distract would-be terrorists by luring them into learning how to knit. While they are working on a mile-long garter-stitch scarf, we could make quick straitjacket-shrugs behind them, and presto!

Free "I (mostly) learned to knit in prison" T-shirt with each capture-conversion.

junior_goddess said...

O'Hare TSA took your pins because you could hurt people with them, right? Provided the victim didn't pummel you into smashed taters before you got to the second pin.

Glad you had fun in the Lone Star State. Yee-haw!

Bo... said...

awwwww..... you make me miss Austin. I lived there for years--it's a great place.

Anonymous said...

I have flown several times a year since 9/11, all over the US, Europe, and Australia, and I have never had any trouble with taking my knitting. I would recommend that you take bamboo or resin needles for socks, rather than metal, though. Also, if you go to the TSA website, you can print out the list that *specifically* says that knitting needles are allowed! I have it laminated, just in case, but have never had to use it. I'm not sure why people have had trouble in Australia - they let me keep my size 1 40 inch circular with no problem!

alana said...

Actual film to the actual lab? With real chemicals and silver nitrate and reactive paper? You ludite you. And all you'll have to show for that trouble is lovely, rich prints.

Sigh.

Digital is great for so many things but film is fading to quickly from the collective memory. T-Max we scarcely knew ya.

hookandneedlegirl said...

Completely unrelated to this post, but I wanted to ask if I could use a picture of you and maybe Delores on my site (www.hookandneedlegirl.com) I do a feature every Friday about Fiber artists and would like to feature you next Friday. I would of course give you full credit and link back to your site with each picture and in the text. Please let me know if this is possible.
Thank you and regards,
Holly B
HookandNeedleGirl@gmail.com

Frolickingturtle said...

So, the brother of a friend is a pilot. I have never met the man. He apparently told her, after she experienced an especially horrible spate of turbulence on a commercial flight, that turbulence is unpleasant, but it doesn't cause crashes. I have clung to that horribly slim shard of reassurance whenever hitting turbulence since then. Seeing as you apparently arrived relatively unscathed, I shall add your story to my stash of third-hand "turbulence doesn't make the plane crash" stories and carry on.

Pat said...

I too have a single metal dpn, fuchsia colored which I know I did not buy. It was hiding in my embroidery bag which I hadn't opened since before I learn to knit. Clearly it was put there by a person or persons unknown. I believe it is a conspiracy to make me think I am losing my mind.

Laia said...

Mmmm, the Salt Lick. I had a BBQ sandwich for lunch from them on my way through the airport.

Thanks for being in Austin at the same time that I had to take a depressing trip. Getting you to sign my copy of your book made the context of the trip just a little bit better.

Oregon is waiting for you.

Rabbitch said...

I believe you have my missing fuschia dpn.

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