On Leaving Texas

Last night brought me to a really great event at A Real Bookstore.  (Teri and the staff there made it really, really nice for me.) It was just one of those days where everything comes together, especially once I got there successfully.  (There was a moment where I realized that the desk clerk was calling me a cab to the wrong place when I was leaving the hotel, because I said I needed to go to "a real bookstore" and she was just going to hook me up with her favourite local. It took me a minute to convince her I needed a specific Real Bookstore.)   I was well rested, the knitters were supremely nice in that wonderful way that people in Texas are.  (Or maybe it’s just the way that knitters in Texas are.  I actually haven’t met many Texans who aren’t knitters.  I travel in tight circles.)  It’s like they’ve got all the charm and hospitality of the south, but wacky. You’d like it. In any case, I got there and did my thing – and these are the knitters who came. 

A special thanks to the lady in the blue tee shirt in the front row. She beamed so warmly at me the whole time that I felt so welcome and at ease – she single-handedly made me less nervous. There’s something special about every stop I make… each one has it’s own unique flavour- the theme in Dallas was knitters running in a pack.  Check these knitters out.  They’re the McKinney in Stitches group combined (see, even one pack isn’t enough for these knitters) with the Stich-N-Lit group out of the bookstore. 

They brought me that present sitting there, which had Texas wine (and a safe way to pack it for home so that Joe can enjoy it too…) and Texas chocolate, and Texas yarn… they were a ton of fun, and so kind too. 

We had our standard issue first sock knitters, only they weren’t so standard, really.  Kristina brought her first socks, which seems standard..

except that they’re her 2nd project ever. That’s right.  She made a scarf, like everyone does, and then bam.  Socks.  Straight out of the gate. That’s not normal, but she seemed nice enough.   Heather brought her first socks,

and her mentor, Anna – who brought her 2nd pair of socks, which seems about right for a mentor.  Anela brought her first socks…

(which are perfect.  Another overachiever who doesn’t know first socks are supposed to suck) and Erin has a similar problem. 

Perhaps Pasadena will have some appropriately crappy first socks tomorrow.  I can only hope.  In the meantime, we have Lynn, who was so proud of her first sock…

That she framed it.  That’s my kind of knitter, right there.

We had Emily and Thomas –

and I think that Emily was just as proud of the sweater that kid is wearing as she was the kid (I bet the sweater was just as hard to make. It’s beautiful) and then we had a parade of young knitters. 

Meet Ronan.  He’s four (almost 5) and he’s knitting a sweater for his Green Guy. (That’s his mum Cindy behind him.)

That’s the neckhole in the middle (it’s self designed) and I have been advised that it will have sleeves.  Later.

Then Sarah brought (and we’re back to the pack theme again) a whole brood she’s taught to knit.

That’s Mark (12) Josh (10) and Emma (8) all competent and skilled knitters.
Josh is holding my sock because he forgot his knitting and we agreed he should have a loaner. 

Finally, let me show you two knitters I love.  This is Tiny Tyrant

I see her on every tour, though usually not in Texas.  In fact, her presence in Texas threw me off for  a minute and made me wonder if I was in Texas at all, but it turned out that she moved.  She was thoughtful enough to bring me supper.  A simple little bag of bread, great cheeses and a good stout, and I was really grateful.  That area can be tricky for a vegetarian (as I learned when the only thing on the hotel menu I could eat was an iceberg wedge salad with no dressing and no bacon – which is sort of like a dinner of water…) and Tiny came through.  I see her every time I’m on tour, and it’s so nice.

Last – but never least, is Andrea.

Andrea’s been raising money for Doctors without Borders with her kids (she’s a teacher) for years and years now, and reporting those donations to KWB.  (With the earthquake in Turkey – now’s not a bad time to remind you guys about that either.)  I’m sure Natalie will be delighted to put a face with her cheerful emails in our KWB inbox… and with that…. I’m caught up. 

I started this post in the Dallas airport, and finished it up in the air on my way to Los Angeles.  (I’m looking out the plane window at some crazy desert action down there right now.)  It won’t be long until we land, and I make my way to Pasadena for tomorrow’s event, and yes – that’s right.  I typed tomorrow.  Today is a "rest day" on the tour, which means that I only have to travel, not travel and do an event, and even though I’ll spend six or seven hours doing that travelling, the fact that once I’m in my hotel room I can have a rest has me just about delirious with joy. (That’s when I’ll push send on this blog post too. I’ve got no internet up here.)  It’s just the break I needed to make me absolutely gung-ho and happy about the final days of the tour.  I’m chipper now when I think about Pasadena, Seattle and Portland.  Chipper I tell you, and the fact that I may have finally kicked the deserving arse of my Gwendolyn sweater may actually put me over the top. 

After I fixed the mis-crossed cables – I got a comment from Tamar (longtime friend of the show, as Colbert would say) and she congratulated me for fixing the front, and (ahem) encouraged me to fix the back.  After I contemplated all manner of unreasonable things, all of them involving public drunkenness, I bit the bullet, decided that after all this I should fix those too… and did so. 

Now I’ve sewn it all together, done the neckband and one buttonband, and I intend to put that bad boy to bed tonight.  
It’s a good day – and if you see something else wrong with the sweater, for the love of all that’s woolly, don’t tell me. 
I’m fragile.