Thursday, January 27, 2011

Letter from Texas

I know I’m in Texas, because I can see a Lone Star flag out the window. Make that four Lone Star flags. Query: Is it accurate to call it a “lone” star when there’s a caboodle of them?

Houston is the first place I’ve been to in four months that isn’t suffering from the kind of frigid weather that makes headlines: HUNDREDS IN METRO AREA DEAD OF SNOWFLAKE POISONING.

The weather here is just fine, thanks; yet nobody seems to notice. A nice lady from the cafĂ© I’m sitting at as I type this came over and asked if I’d like to move to a table out of the sun. Get out of the sun? That’s like telling a famine victim he only gets one trip through the buffet line.

I tend to be slow on the uptake, so it’s hard to fathom that I’m sweating in Texas so soon after shivering in New York. Last weekend I was in Manhattan for the maiden voyage of Vogue Knitting Live!–me and something like 3,000 other knitters. The New York Hilton is a dim, grim Death Star of a hotel, but we warmed it right up.

Everybody was there. Tout le ever-loving monde. This was my first gig as part of an all-star cast; I almost went blind from the combined mega-wattage at the mandatory teachers’ meeting on Friday. Example: I was talking to Cat Bordhi when Stephanie Pearl-McPhee tapped me on the shoulder; so I turned around and almost tripped over Iris Schreier, who was sitting next to Carol Sulcoski and Cookie A, who were sitting next to Meg Swansen, who was talking to Beth Brown-Reinsel and Nancy Bush.

And there were donuts.

It would have made one hell of a picture, but I don’t photograph knitters I love at 7:30 in the morning, especially before the coffee kicks in. That's a great way to wind up with 23 needles stuck in your neck.

The last time I turned giddy from meeting knitters whose work I greatly admire (at TNNA), I caught flak from some folks (mostly guys, oddly enough) for the perceived sin of name-dropping. I expect that will happen this time, too. Know what? I don’t care. If you can meet Debbie Bliss, Mary Beth Temple or Catherne Lowe with indifference–good for you. This blog is my party and I'll squee if I want to.

Hit List

I have to get ready for tonight’s event (book signing, Twisted Yarns, 5:30–7:30, y’all come on down), but first a snippet of between-class conversation from VKL between myself and Melissa Morgan Oakes, noted author, designer, apiarist and chicken-killer.

Melissa has taught at the famous Knitter’s Review Retreats organized by Clara Parkes. When I mentioned that I’d like to do the same, she informed me (with a touch of nyah-nyah-nyah in her voice, may I add) that I have to wait for somebody to die before a slot will open up in the roster. It’s that sweet a gig.

I looked downcast. Melissa cheerfully suggested I could be pro-active and kill somebody, instead of waiting for the Grim Reaper to cull the herd. She then went down the list, teacher by teacher, trying to determine who should be the prime target.

“Not Cat Bordhi, obviously,” she said. “Ann Budd…no, definitely not.” And so on, until only one name, and one likely victim, remained: Melissa Morgan-Oakes.

“Wow,” she said wistfully. “I guess I’d be the one to kill. Dang.”

Never fear, Melissa. I’m Buddhist to the core. Plus, I hear from the chickens how good you are with that axe.

I'll just wait.

60 comments:

Donna Lee said...

I would totally sit there in the sun and soak up as much as I could. That woman obviously has never spent January in the Northeast.

Enjoy the heat.

Knit Purl Gurl said...

Lucky, lucky man! I betcha they were all name dropping as well and of course your name came up! :)

KellyD said...

OMG how funny... And how exciting to see all those celebrities!!

Jen said...

Oh thank goodness!! I was beginning to think you were "over" the whole blogging thing.

Carol said...

Always happy to see you pop up in my blog reader.

Except now I want a donut. That was mean.

Carrie#K said...

Squee all you want, you're one of them you know.

pencraftco said...

You get to squee whenever you want. I was vicariously squeeing here in fact.

cat@catbordhi.com Bordhi said...

I am greatly relieved to know I am not on your hit list. Or Melissa's (she is a sly and clever one, capable of anything, but we are great friends). And yes, VKL was a blast, although in my opinion not an arctic one. But I may have left before the most northern molecules arrived.

Robynn said...

A knitter who could be there and meet them and not squee would be... a very strange knitter indeed.

I've just been sitting here watching the VKL! blogs and tweets roll in, gnashing my teeth. Loudly. I am very, very ungracious when jealous.

Gail said...

I love your description of the Hilton "Death Star of a hotel!" so apt. (at least it wasn't a glitzy Trump ...)

and wasn't the lighting in the marketplace abysmal? so hard to see colors properly.

Soak up some sunshine for me -- we had (yet) more snow. And last I looked I live in NJ, not Chicago ....
Enjoy the warmth!

Mari said...

Franklin, I'm up outside of Dallas, was 62 here today and I was sitting outside on my deck this afternoon...after freezing all weekend in NYC for VK Live as well. I'm looking forward to 70 degrees tomorrow and more sitting out in the sun, no shade please!

Knits4Bears said...

Did the cafe happen to be the House of Pies?!? (a must visit anytime I'm in Houston) Wish I could have been there to see the squee-fest.

Sharon P said...

Sadly I will be missing you this time you are in Texas! But you are in my home town - keep soaking up that sun!

janna said...

Enjoy the warm, and tell Texas I miss it this time of year!

Small Town Knit Guy, Rusty Boyd said...

Wishing some of that warm weather were here in NC. But then I would not want to knit with chunky wool and create great knits for myself.

KT said...

I figure the anti-name-droppers were just jealous.

Painter Woman said...

I'm thinking Clara is democratic and fair. I've only been to 1 Knitter's Retreat... but you'd be a hit.

Eileen said...

I'm a New Yorker now in New England...and I am loving this snow. (Yes, you did read that correctly.)

But I'll come back and read this post in March and writhe with envy.

(I'm already envious about the event itself, not to mention the Vogue event. *sigh*)

...my word verification is 'filed'. See, it's official.

JelliDonut said...

Drop all the names you want--I personally would have them tattooed on my butt, with a little check mark next to each name.

Have a fabulous time in Houston, since you're there at the only time of year with decent weather. And tell Kenny Jelli said hi.

MBT said...

Can I squee now that you name-dropped me? I am not worthy :-)

Alwen said...

You squee away, baby!

(And as a word-loving person - that was a hard sentence to write.)

I knew you when!

Anonymous, too said...

The downstairs neighbors called to complain about the noise from all those names being dropped :-)!

Your comment that you're "Buddhist to the core" helps explain why you haven't strangled Ms. Van Hoofen yet.

And my word verification is "androtho". Androtho -- wasn't he the muse for male knitters?

Seanna Lea said...

I love the image of you in your leather jacket squeeing like a school girl. It just makes my day!

chellebelle said...

I'd name drop too.. but really I think it's your way of showing us your awe at being considered one of them.. and we do. You are one of the knitting greats.. no matter how many women in airports think you are a rock star musician, we know that you are a rock star knitter.

Miss Sandra said...

Franklin,
If you came to Melissa Morgan-Oakes side of the world, Northampton, MA, for an event (though you may want to put it off for a few months, the snowbanks are over our heads) I could come meet YOU and squee about you on my blog! I squeed on Pearl-McPhee when she appeared at "America's yarn store" Just something to think about...

Beetourist said...

I loved everything about this post, you've warmed up my frozen UK lunch hour, thanks Franklin :)

Hex said...

Squee away, Franklin. That's a lot of awesome in one place (yourself included)!

The rest of us have to squee by proxy and live vicariously through the various posts. I might have to molest some Malabrigo to soothe the envy. :D

Sungopolis said...

I think I just fell in love with Melissa Morgan Oakes.

Laura said...

I love your name-dropping but not your spelling of the word doughnut. Thanks for that, Dunkin,

Ang. said...

Welcome to Houston! You hit the weather just right because it's been bouncing up and down lately. Soak up the sun while it lasts because we're supposed to get rain tomorrow!

Niente said...

I just love reading the knitting folks squee about meeting each other. That's the kind of humble attitude to being a 'name' in the industry that makes it seem relatively cosy!

Laia said...

As a Texan who now lives in Oregon, I NEVER move out of the sun if I'm in it. I used to. Shade was the Thing. Not anymore!!

Also, since I believe in spreading this around as much as possible, Texas is the friendship state. Texas is a bastardized version of "Tejas," (tay-haas) the Native American word (from some tribe, I forget) for "Friend."

Pretty Knitty said...

The waiting is the hardest part! ~lol~

Lisa said...

SO glad that you graced our city and taught us a few things along the way! Can't wait for November....and you know you have a "special" driver if you want to see those things your freinds told you to check out!

Patti said...

If I were in the same room with all those wonderful knitters, first I would swoon. then I would squeeeee......

SallyT said...

Can't wait to meet you tomorrow at the photography workshop. Please don't laugh at my camera or me when I act like a tongue-tied fan girl.

KnitNana said...

I love your squees & name-dropping!

Maybe Clara could expand the Knitting Retreat? That way, no one has to die!
;)

pattianne said...

Love the Hilton as the "Death Star Hotel"! Boy it was a dim and dark place, but 3k knitters really made it shine. I enjoyed your lecture so much. You are definately squee worthy :) Good thing you left NY when you did, we were hit with about 16" of more snow, now making me feel like I reside on the Ice Planet Hoth!! Enjoy your sunshine.

Anonymous said...

I felt so bad even considering complaining that I was only cold in my office on a beautiful 70+ degree day in North Central Texas. I wish I could have been at VK Live but you can only live in one part of the country.

Dee said...

I was "squeeing" in my head today, Franklin! YOU are a knitting superstar wehether you know it or not! So glad our crazy Texas weather cooperated for you on your visit to the Lone Star state! I LOVED your class today and have been smiling ever since!

Diana L. Sullivan, CPA said...

Well, I'm in Austin and jealous of Houston. Welcome to Texas, Franklin! Enjoy!

Roxie said...

Lone Stars travel in posses not gaggles.

Ruby said...

It is always great to have you visit our great state of Texas. And thanks for letting us live vicariously through yourself and others for those of us not able to attend VKLive.

Squee-squee-squee

Custom Patches said...

Squee you all!:) Goo luck with your new book!

Anonymous said...

Better git the hell out of Texas! The ice is arriving tomorrow and these people cannot drive!! It's horrid!

Letha said...

I had such a great time at the Sat. morning class, which was also my very first knitting class ever. BTW the low tomorrow night is supposed to be in the 20s. But probably still better than Chicago.

Bonnita said...

Donuts make everything more exciting!

Shella said...

Thanks for the wonderful class Sat morning and the very interesting lecture Fri nite. We love having you in Texas! Hope you can come to Corpus Christi someday.

metterly said...

Here, on the west coast of Norway it is raining and its cold and windy, I would very much like to sit in the sun in a cafe :-) By the way I love your little book!

Linda said...

Loved your post! I would totally drop your name if I ever get the opportunity!

Dragons Knitting Lace said...

Would love to be in Austin. I understand Chicago set a record for snowfall in one day and closed the schools for the first time in 13 years! Enjoy the sun, the fun and the food!

India said...

Franklin, when you get back from Texas, would you consider mentioning Warm Hats Not Hot Heads, the knitters' campaign to restore civility in politics? There's a group on Ravelry and we're also on Facebook. The idea is to knit hats--which embody the concept of every stitch working for the common good--for every member of Congress and every Senator, to illustrate our desire for our representatives to put down the poison pens and take up the business of crafting solutions to the various problems and challenges facing our country. This campaign was begun by your fellow knitbloggers Twinsetellen (http://twinset.us/) and SpinDyeKnit (http://spindyeknit.com/). Thank you!

Sarah said...

Are you OK? I'm watching the news in the UK and they say Chicago has had 20 inches of snow in one blizzard. 20 inchhes of snow!!!

melissaknits said...

I can be voted off the island, you know. Lobby heavily, Clara votes me off and POOF! You're in!! I would love to see you there, too. Well. Not enough to volunteer to not go...

toeupknitter said...

The weather turned cold a few days after your visit...now I know I can knit with gloves on! :) It's warming up again though...hopefully back to normal now. :)

Spiminarian said...

Having read this post a little late, I'd like to note that Texas WAS hit by the evil winter weather. Up in Dallas/Fort Worth, we got a week of snow, ice, and no school. Ironic...

Anna-Liza said...

Dang, you were in hometown LYS (hometown in that it's where I went to high school and where my folks still live). And it wasn't while I was visiting!!

Kathleen said...

Franklin, it was a treat to take another class with you (and attend your lecture) - you are part of tout le knitting monde! Some day I hope to attend the Clara's Retreat, but first I want to go to Camp ;)

GuildWars2Items said...

When you're down, and the world seems dark and empty, your forever friend lifts you up in spirits and makes that dark and empty world suddenly seem bright and full Diablo iii Gold Sale, this is Forever Friendship Diablo III Gold, someone who convinces you that there really is an unlocked door just waiting for you to open it Diablo 3 Gold.

GuildWars2Items said...

aion kinah of all the wonderful gifts that we've been given, one of the greatest is freedom aion kinah, I will spare no efforts in doing things aion gold.