Knitters of Portland. I have to thank you. You freaked the muggles but good last night…but good. As badly as I feel for these poor bookstores, struggling to understand what happens to them, where the knitters come from, why there are so many, what they want, why they are so strange and furthermore, why they are so rowdy…(clearly, we knitters missed the memo on being quiet and sweet, sitting nicely with our knitting.) I have to admit that I find a perverse pleasure in watching them try to cope…with this.
See that?? Hoards of knitters. Scads even. The bookstore had y’all stuffed into the stacks. The bookstore my friends, did not know the ways of the knitter and the bookstore…well. They know now.
Last night rocked my socks. I started out deciding that I should see a little more of Portland.
I went for a walk intending to look around a little bit, then hail a cab (Portland hint #1- it is not a hail a cab sort of city. It is a call a cab sort of city. If you try to hail a cab you will stand in lovely downtown Portland for ages with your arm up in the air for no reason. Eventually you will say “What the (*&^%^?” to a Portland person, and they will explain hint #1)…I would hail a cab, take it over to a yarn shop and loiter there for a bit, then walk from the yarn shop to the bookstore. Mapquest said that this walk would be 1.28 miles. This sounded reasonable to me, despite the fact that I have only metric experience and therefore, no real concept of the distance a mile covers. None. (Before you mock me entirely as a raving moron, remember that the whole world – excepting the US, Liberia and Burma, uses metric. I may be a moron, but I’m not the only one. )
To my credit, before I enacted this plan I did call an American friend and ask them how long it takes to walk a mile. She told me 15-20 minutes. I added a little time for the extra .28 of a mile, decided the exercise of a little stroll would be a pleasant change from siting in cars and on planes and set out. Firstly, I learned a mile is long. Longer than I thought. (Next time, I shall ask an American friend with shorter legs.) Secondly, it is far warmer in Portland this time of year than it is in Toronto, and I was rather overdressed. Thirdly, and this is the big one…Mapquest needs to get a topography thing going on. There is a big difference between a walk of 1.28 miles, and a walk UPHILL of 1.28 miles. By the time I arrived at the store I was hot, sweaty and rather un-composed. (I try hard to be composed. It never goes my way.) Luckily for me, the knitters were charming, and plenty composed for all of us.
Elizabeth is four. Her knitting is on the left, my sock is on the right. I love her. I was four when I learned to knit, and aside from being a wee bit cuter, Elizabeth resembles me at that age. That wispy blonde hair, the tiny waiflike thing going on…
Did I mention I love her?
(Feel free to print out the picture of Elizabeth and her knitting to keep beside you while you knit. If that little charmer can knit…you can do anything.)
I met Monica PDX, and saw The Blue Moon Ladies far too briefly. (There is a “Harlotty” socks that rock colourway now, I’ll show you when I can get batteries for the camera, and a felted cowboy hat. I love those guys.) I saw Amanda (Her blog entry about the event is great) and Katrina, Chrissy, Chris, Lori and the fabulous Kathy who makes the best samosas ever. (I have eaten them twice now. They never dissapoint.) This is Sarah,
proud owner of Knot Another Hat. I took her picture because she was charming and owns a yarn shop. I love yarn shop owners. (That’s a very enthusiastic Sabrina next to her.) They came with Jeanine and Vonnie,
who gave me just the most beautiful beaded handspun. Mercy. I am outclassed by her as a spinner.
I passed Ayanna her first needles, assuring her future.
(You will note that she is beaming. This is a very positive reaction to ones first knitting needles and bodes well for the future. There is a slim chance that she is smiling not because I handed her needles, but because I am making a ridiculous face at her, but I prefer to think it a reaction to the wool.)
Knitting her first lace. I took her picture because one’s first lace is a significant thing, and because having your first lace not look like arse is a significant thing. All hail the new lace knitter.
I staggered out with the Knitpicks ladies for a pint,
and they tried to force the new catalogue on me. (They had read that I may have eaten the last one to prevent future purchases.) I told them to back off. I told them I would eat 10 catalogues because I am not the sort of knitter with no backbone. I told them….
fine. I took it. I took it and I read it. A better strategy may be to eat my credit card.
Defeated, I went back to the hotel and collapsed in a heap. (Sort of. I may have drunk a fabulous bottle of homebrew beer from Tammy and eaten about 14 samosas before falling asleep with crumbs on my knitting. I would rather keep these weak moments in hotel rooms to myself.)
For now I am in Eugene Oregon, having had a fabulous night at Books Without Borders, and I would tell you all about it, but I have to get up at 4am to head for Salt Lake City. I’m really happy about the Salt Lake City part. I’d rather not discuss 4am.