My trips are not like that. I, too, begin at Point A; but the route to Point B skitters around like a jitterbug afflicted with St. Vitus's Dance. Back home, exhausted, I try to cajole the ducks into a single file conga line. But I get frustrated or fall asleep, the ducks scatter, and when I wake up I decide to forget it and go back to my knitting.
You want Grand Narrative? You won't find it here. You okay with random tidbits and souvenirs that tumble out of my bag along with torn boarding passes, Clif Bar crumbs and odd stitch markers? Read on. (If you start to feel dizzy, pop a Dramamine.)
Columbus: Knitters' Connection
Knitters' Connection is the brainchild of the lady who runs this place. She's a smart cookie. Every summer The National NeedleArts Association hosts one of its two annual conventions right there in her backyard. And while the convention attracts August Knitting Authorities like clover attracts honeybees, there's a catch: their classes aren't open to the general public.
So Jan (the smart cookie) decided to see if any of the August Knitting Authorities would like to stick around afterwards and teach the general public. It turns out they would, and the result (for the past four years) has been Knitters' Connection. This year, they let me join the can-can.
It was my first chance to offer almost every class in my repertoire, bangbangbang, for three days running. Some people signed up for the whole megillah. I wish I'd had little medals to pin on them at the end.
The second day was entirely occupied by a Tomten Jacket Bootcamp, at the end of which the students (a hearty bunch, not a bleeder among them) had produced a nubbly hillock of Tomtens-in-progress.
One of the students asked at the end of class whether I'd like to see an Elizabeth Zimmermann relic, and drew from her knitting bag an original copy of the newsletter in which Elizabeth first published the Baby Surprise Jacket.
Reports that I squealed like Smurfette when I touched the signature are slightly exaggerated.
But only slightly.
The Quotable Candace Eisner Strick
At the student reception/book signing: "I'm sorry, but I only wipe my lips on qiviut."
"Improve Your Knitting" Panel Discussion Agenda
Topics covered by the panel (ably moderated by the redoubtable Amy Detjen) included:
- blocking techniques
- the relative sizes of knitting needles and crochet hooks
- wet felting
- thong underwear
I had eleven scoops in four days and I don't care who knows it. Jeni's makes all other ice creams taste like library paste.
Cute, or Disturbing?
At the Knitters' Connection market, I had the opportunity to talk at length with the owners of Fiber Optic Yarn. One of them mentioned that her daughter (aged four) had adopted a pet sheep, and that the daughter had named the sheep Dolores after hearing numerous (expurgated) tales from this blog as bedtime stories.
I am not sure whether I ought to be flattered, or call Child Welfare.
(More on Fiber Optic in an upcoming post, by the way.)
Back to Texas
I left Columbus on Friday evening because I was scheduled to teach on Saturday morning at The Knitting Nest in Austin, Texas. This was my third gig at the Nest, because when they ask me to visit my only question is "When?"
They've just moved into a splendid new space at 8708 South Congress, but I knew I was in the right place when I saw the display of Lorna's Laces Shepherd Worsted in "Longhorn."
Austin Fun Fact
Austinites are constantly shouting "Hook 'em!" which leads one to assume that they are all simply mad for crochet.
When the Nesters moved, they had to leave behind the enormous drawing of Dolores on the wall of the old shop. I would have considered this a great relief, but Stacy said she'd like a new one.
Stacy's got an entire photo sequence of me in action (shut up) here, here, here, and here.
Now she can try to work while Dolores sits nearby, burping and smoking.
Welcome to my world, Stacy darling.