I thought this was my first visit to Kansas, but my father has since corrected me. Turns out that in 1974 we drove through on our way to a new assignment at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson. We stopped at a rest area and had barely unfurled our picnic blanket when a sharp gust of wind carried it away. I weighed about as much as the blanket and was convinced I'd be next. I didn't stop screaming until we were back in the car heading for Oklahoma.
Now, Rodgers and Hammerstein said Oklahoma is where the wind comes sweeping down the plain, but they were native New Yorkers and knew bugger all about the Midwest. On this visit, Kansas gave Oklahoma a run for the money–there was one superfestive night when both states broke out in tornadoes–and if I hadn't been so busy I might have worried once again about blowing away.
However, I was too preoccupied with yarn-related joy inside the hotel to bother with what was happening outside. The Sunflower Knitters Guild (an amazingly good group of people, even by knitting standards) puts on their festival–Knitting in the Heartlands–biennially. This was a growth year for the event, and I was honored to be the featured teacher at the moment when they expanded to include a keynote address, more classes, and a marketplace that spilled out of one ballroom and into a second.
I love snooping around the vendors at regional events because you so often run into good stuff you haven't seen before. Here's some of what followed me home.
From top to bottom:
- Tencel/Merino blend freshly hand-spun by Yarn Geek Fibers,
- Oh Snap! sock yarn (Blue Faced Leicester/Nylon) in "Tenth Doctor" colorway from Nerd Girl Yarns,
- Two skeins of corn (yes, corn) yarn from Corny Goodness, and
- Alpaca/silk/cashmere lace weight by Treasure Goddess.
Not shown, but much coveted: Paco-Vicuñas yarns from Hickory Ridge Farms. Not for the budget-conscious, perhaps, but dammit that vicuña fiber makes cashmere feel like asphalt.
While I was in Kansas City I did very little knitting. I don't mean I didn't knit much, I mean my knitting was very small. I finished the "Double Rose Leaf" lace insertion for Ethel's petticoat.
That's all the lace I need for now, but I find myself feeling at a loss without something new on the US 00000 (1mm) needles. I may have to knit edges for a christening outfit just for the ducks of it, even though there's not an unchurched baby anywhere in the vicinity. Or maybe Ethel would like a fichu?
Meanwhile, the handkerchief linen is awaits cutting.
I'll also mention–in case you missed my jubilant screams on Twitter and Facebook–that while in Kansas City, I launched the pattern for the Anna Shawl.
And that meant I was able to send Iceland Sky to the tech editor. He's making quick work of it, so if all goes well it will launch before I leave for my next trip–the Downtown Knit Collective Knitter's Frolic in Toronto, Canada.
A Floundering Minstrel I
One more thing. I spend so much time using the visual part of my brain–what with the knitting and the drawing and the photography and so forth–that a wise person of my acquaintance suggested I give my brain a rest and a stretch by taking up a creative endeavor that puts a different clutch of cells to work.
Which is why I now own a ukulele, upon which at present I can play three shaky chords.
Life is full of interesting things to do. If you're bored, it's your own fault.