Catching up

All right. This is going to be a long entry, but at least it will get me back on “real time”. There’s something tremendously weird about writing about cities you left two days ago while flying through other ones…so I’m going to do LA and Wichita and get back on the horse that threw me. I’ll try not to leave too much out.

In Los Angeles….

I think that I can’t be the only one who finds LA a little hard on the ol’ self esteem. There is an alarmingly high ratio of tall, beautiful people compared to us ordinary souls, and it usually doesn’t take long for me, the shabby and usually bra-less to feel out of place. Add into this that I was in a downtown hotel on the eve of the Emmy’s (thus increasing the number of tall beautiful people) and you can see how it might get to you. It didn’t though, because this time when I was in LA…I got to walk among my people. (Not that they aren’t tall and beautiful…but you know what I mean.)

I spoke at the LA public Library in their Auditorium (The next speaker is Alan Alda. I’m feeling sort of flattered about that.) It’s a beautiful space.



The knitters, as always, were the very best part. A sampling….

Meet Kris and Andrew..representing for the um….Cute pre-knitters and their charming mothers.


Shirley. Representing for the Wool Pigs.


She gave me this one. It’s made out of her very own handspun. (It’s a finger puppet, and I have already used it to amuse a baby sitting in front of me on a flight. The baby was as charmed as I was.)

There was the first sock crew, representing for those taking the plunge everywhere. Here’s Robin,


Kate (her first socks are a Mens size 13.)


Laura (who also donated some beautiful stuff for Knitters Without Borders)


Rose’s first socks were her olympic project…


Anna’s 1st socks were shamelessly shredded by her husband.


Lynda’s first sock may have had some gauge problems.


Annette had potomatamus….(I am never going to be able to spell that)


Collen did just fine too.


Amanda had a whole pair of first socks…but I am too kind to post her picture. (Sorry Amanda. If you saw it you would thank me. ) Lori made me a washcloth with a golden snitch, and Kristie made me a California one.



Finally, the lovely and charming Jean, hat lady #1


and Wendy from the Sand and Sea Knitting Guild who was hat lady #2 . You know you gotta love a city where an abundance of hat ladies turns up.)


Exhausted by the good times and flurry of first socks, Wendy took me to Little Tokyo where I had a good beer, ate some awesome tempura, window shopped a Japanese dollar store,


and then returned to the hotel where I was in bed by 8:00 so the early morning rise wouldn’t hurt…which it did anyway. (The irony of missing the Emmys on TV when they are practically next door to you is still funny to me.)

It turns out that the thing about LA? It doesn’t count if you’re a knitter. All knitters are beautiful, and some of them are even short.

Wichita, Kansas.

I think I might be in love with this city, just a little bit. It’s nothing like home, which I always like, (not that I don’t like home, I just appreciate the differences a lot) and it is long and low and flat and a breeze blows all the time. (This is, I think, because there are no trees or hills to break it up.)

The other interesting thing about Wichita, is that it is “The Air Capital of The World” (I read that on a sign) because their have a massive number of airplane building companies and a big Air Force Base. The interesting-est thing about that?

They have a really, really little airport.

They do have really, really a lot of knitters.



They have Melissa and her entirely cutie-pie baby Ella (shown here simply because I cannot resist her little pixie face.)


and they have Ingrid.


Ingrid just finished basic training in the Army, and she had the following fantastic story to tell me. She was knitting during some period of waiting at a hospital, and her Sergeant came in and saw her.

“Are you KNITTING soldier? I have never seen a SOLDIER KNIT.”

Ingrid, without missing a beat, replied:

“Would the Sergeant rather I was wasting my time or being productive, SIR.”

He looked her up and down, thought about it, and replied:

“Carry on Soldier.”

Beth had a Missouri washcloth, which is excellent, since I don’t think I’ve ever been there. (Although I might have…things are a little blurry around my edges.)


(Beth appears to be a little blurry too. Sorry about that.)

Beverly knit me a Kansas washcloth with a buffalo on it….


Which I totally missed the point of and remarked on the incredible irony that Kansas, having so many bufffalo was also buffalo shaped! (It isn’t. I’m an idiot. To her credit, Beverly didn’t totally fall down laughing at the dumbass Canadian.) Her shirt reads ” I knit because the voices tell me to….” (I love that.)

Annell knit me a washcloth with the actual right shape of Kansas on it…


which turns out to be not at all buffalo shaped, but rather rectangular.

There were knitting kids galore, this is Miranda, sporting a “knit” tattoo.


(It’s not real. It came from Twist, which has such devoted fans that it must be one of the worlds great yarn shops.)

And this is the lovely trio of Avalon, Molly and Elodie.


Knitters all three.

There was more, much more, but dudes, I have got to get to the end of this. I am in New Orleans, and I have 3 hours free, and as much as I love you, love Kansas and have entire and wholehearted dedication to both, I am not so far gone as a blogger that I can miss a chance to see this place.

I’m going to leave you with this. It came via Carin (filling in as big helper over at Lime and Violet) was made by DragonMadKnitter, and is the brainchild of the aforementioned two podcasting terrors.



It’s a felted squirrel, and he has a note that reads:

Deer Harlot,

We, the members of the Squirrel Fleece Liberation Front, have your fleece.

If you ever wants to sees it again, leave six pounds of nuts beside the back door.

And No More Trapses!

PSes. Limes and Violets made us write this. They offered us sunflowers seeds and we cant’ resists them. They are going to sell you fleeces on ebays and make moneys to take over the world they says.

I really hope nobody searches my bag at customs. This one is going to be hard to explain.

From a moving target

You’ll have to forgive me if this entry doesn’t quite have it together. Location: Los Angeles, time:


Yee Gods. It is a wonder I am not weeping.

I’m up early to catch a flight (Los Angeles to Denver, Denver to Wichita) and I’m just a little bleary. I did the LA thing last night (more about that later) and I went to bed at 8pm knowing that my wake up call would be 3am and ….it’s still awful. (There may be no way for me to get up at 3am and be chipper about it. I am aiming for “civil”.) I’m going to try, despite the early hour and it’s basic incompatibility with my base personality (and there was 8 hours between the end of an event and when I had to get up, so Jayme is still sock worthy) to get caught on how it’s been going. Simply put, it’s been great. Totally great. Seattle was my first stop and it was a blast and a half. I kitchenered the toe of the first travelling sock and began the second in the cab on the way to Third Place Books


and the last person to hold the old one as well as the first person I got to hold it was my very nice cabbie. (I loved him. He didn’t even ask me why he should hold a sock.)


Hold on, gotta get in the cab to the airport……..

Okay. Location, some car in Los Angeles…time 3:45am.

Man, was it fun. That many people is always scary, but I got up there and looked around and noticed that I’ve been there enough times that the place and the people are starting to look familiar. This is my third or forth time to Third Place, and it’s a powerful and moving thing to feel at home in a bookstore. I spoke, I lived, I went to sign at the desk and then the big fun started.



This is Susan. She’s holding a picture of herself dangling her sock in progress over a rock ledge in Peru…showing it to a llama. (See? I told you there was nothing wrong with me.)


First socks Holly,


Baby Sarah, 4 weeks old and holding her first knitting needles. (Killing two birds with one stone actually. She is both holding the sock and holding her first needles. It can only improve the future of both.)


This is Carol.


I tried several ways to get her whole project into the frame but it’s impossible. The thing was HUGE. This cracked me up. Not because the sweater was huge, that happens all the time….but because it was so much huger than. Carol had intended, and she knew that and kept knitting and even sewed it up. I love knitterly denial.

Karen is getting married next week, and it couldn’t happen to a nicer gal.


She came with Karen Jo and Ann and they brought a big (symbolic) cheque for KWB. Karen had accepted donations instead of gifts at her shower.

Lovely thought. (Karen holds an exteemed positon amoung designers. Her Rock and Weave socks are the only hting I have ever knit more than once without ever changing hte pattern. Only Nancy Bush can also claim that honour. )

Ryan finally finished her Olympic sweater. She came with TMK.


She’s the late arrival of the Knitting Olympics. (In 2010 when we do it again, she’s going to try and get it down to a year.) Not surprisingly, It is a squirrel sweater,


which likely explains everything. Ryan also did us the honour of being the hat lady.


Sorry….hold on again – just have to stagger through LAX for a while.

Right. I’m back. I think I’m going to flip out a little though. Time: 4:35am, location: my gate at LAX, Situation: NO COFFEE. If it doesn’t open at 5am I am going to have some sort of an episode. It’s got to open at 5…right? I’m going to try not to think about it.

Meet Jimmy.


Jimmy is modelling his 2nd project. A binary code scarf knit in the round out of Jumper weight wool. Jimmy is what we in the business call an overachiever. So is Molly, since this is her first sock.


(These people have just never heard of a learning curve.)

Joan and Heather brought me a washcloth:


Which, since the knitter in question is a woman after my own heart, was still damp, having been blocked in the bathroom at the bookstore.

This is Marti’s daughter Shannon. She is a young and lovely knitter, and I don’t know if it shows in this picture,


but she’s keeping her yarn under her HAT.

Marcia is my stalker…I’ve met her a bunch of times. (Once even in Alaska. I half expect to see her today.)


Dawn demonstrates a fine and noble level of geekdom in her Jayne hat.


and Jacob….


Jacob likes to take pictures. Let’s just leave it at that.

Excuse me for a moment. It’s 5:02. I’m going to go check and see if the coffee place is open.

I’m back. Location: sitting on the floor in LAX. Time: 5:18. Situation: NO COFFEE. The place is open but the queue is so long that there is zero chance that I will get one before they call my flight. I have decided to sit here until they call the flight in 15 minutes and then resume hope that something caffeinated will appear.

I don’t know what will happen if that is not true.

After the signing, Ryan, The Mysterious K and I went out to dinner at — I’ve totally forgotten. Somewhere that brews their own beer. It’s awsome beer, and we were served by the charming CJ, who was extraordinarily good at his job. He knew good jokes, suggested wicked beer, could hold up his end of a coffee conversation, had excellent chocolate knowledge and


Had tried knitting in his past. All servers should have half the charm.

Oh, sorry. Calling my flight to Denver.

I’m back. Time: 9:17am. Location: Denver. Situation. I have had one cup of some brown water they called coffee on the flight, and just discovered that my fly has been open for who knows how long. Grand.

So, after taking leave of Seattle, I made my way to Los Angeles, where, within moments of arrival, I found out that I am very short. I have always suspected this, but Los Angeles confirmed it. I made my way to the……

Darn it….we’re boarding for the flight to Wichita…. more later, after I find some coffee.

Now I’m in Wichita…(with coffee). I’m leaving for the auditorium in two minutes. Forgive the lack of links…. I’m telling you. I’m a moving target. As soon as I find some wireless….I’ll post this.