It’s stuffy in here. My eyes are shut, but the glare of cheap fluorescent lights is barely tempered. The air smells of exasperation, perspiration and panic. Every few minutes, a woman with a voice like a Valkyrie hoots directions sternly into my ear. I’m either in seventh grade, taking a math test; or I’m at the airport.
Eyes open. Airport.
Which is worse. Airport? Algebra? Not sure.
But it's worth it. I’ve had a week and then some of intense knitting out here in Seattle; including a talk to the Seattle Knitters Guild,* and classes at two shops I love: Fiber Gallery and Weaving Works.** For that, I will bear a security officer (whose career consists largely of looking at nude X-rays of strangers) telling me that traveling in a kilt is A Little Weird and Asking for Trouble.
The first four days were spent in the company of these fellows:
Those are the faces of the Men’s Fall Knitting Retreat 2011, which I look forward to the way I used to look forward to the arrival of the Sears-Roebuck holiday catalogue. So many shiny new toys to look at,*** and always something interesting to see in the underwear section.
This year, Show and Tell Night was combined with a parade of non-bifurcated men’s garments–also known as kilts and sarongs.
Then we had a tickle fight. No, not really. But feel free to imagine that we did.
* I presented a new talk, and they laughed at the jokes. I am so very grateful.
** I bought books at both. I almost bought a loom at the latter, because I don't spend enough of my life playing with fiber already.
***I was particularly taken, not for the first time, by a demonstration of the Pocket Wheel; and left Skacel Collection headquarters with a dreamy hank of something that will become a new design this winter.
Edited to add: By popular demand, a larger version of the kilt photo is available here.