Baltimore, Briefly

I arrived in Baltimore yesterday around 4pm, and I was up and gone to the airport by 8am this morning, and so what I am going to show you here is really all I saw of the place. I saw the airport, the bookstore and a hotel. (I can tell you one thing I learned – the place where I was? Not so walkable. I looked at the map when I was in the hotel, and figured out quickly that the easiest way to get to the bookstore was to walk. It was close, it would be easy, and it would be nice to be outside. Ten minutes later I’d trucked past a shocked doorman, who tried desperately to call me a cab, and I was walking along the side of an overpass and crossing ramps without lights, and five minutes later, someone actually stopped their car to ask me if I was okay. A few minutes after that, I realized there was no sidewalk into the mall, and got honked at twice while I was trying to cross the street legally. People were looking at me like I was a kangaroo. When the event was over last night, the store manager said that there was no way I should walk back to the hotel, and confirmed that he doesn’t expect any pedestrians, doesn’t look for them, and that it wasn’t smart to be one. Driving is the way it works. Coming from a city like I do, it was a really surprising thing to hear. A city where everyone has a car? Heck, half of the people I know don’t even have a driver’s license – never mind a car. I chose life and accepted the lift back to the hotel.)  While you might not be able to walk there, it’s pretty clear that the joint is chock full of really nice people. Behold! Our people of Baltimore!

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Hey, also behold this! I finished my pair of socks, that’s a new one in those pictures: 

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The pair I’ve been plugging along on turned up finished while I was in Boston – and that was days ahead of the sock deadline for this month. The finished ones are Trekking XXL colour 538, and my basic sock pattern from Knitting Rules.

Baltimore was a treat, and the knitters couldn’t have been nicer. There was the now ritual parade of first socks, and as always, most of them came with a twist.

This is Judi, who finished her first pair of socks, only because she found a way to knit them flat. (Atta girl. Work what you have.)

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Here’s Kathy, with an appropriately tiny and bedraggled first pair.

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Sarah arrived with her first sock (she didn’t quite make it through the first one, and that was quite some time ago – like, years) but she brought her mum’s first pair to prove that she’s genetically predisposed for success.

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Jessica had a first pair that had.. umm, “interesting” toes? (She’s better at toes now.)

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And last but not least, Cindy’s son got deployed, and she got custody of his husky, who promptly ate the better part of her first pair.

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We had knitting sisters, coming along to the reading together… Meet Carol, Phylis and Mary. (That’s a lot of mojo in one family)knitsisterscarolphyllismary 2014-03-15

Then there was Melissa. She had one of those sock blankets that seem to be viral again:

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But my friends, Melissa got a crazy case of it.  I don’t even want to think what her viral load is like, because ladies and gentlemen, she’s not even halfway done.

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What a sight. That’s five knitters holding it up, and Melissa’s just getting into the blues.

It’s was a miraculous thing. Several of us almost fainted dead away.

And that was Baltimore. More tomorrow about Exton, I’ll write about it tomorrow when I’m at the airport, because it was lovely (although we were sort of short on chairs) and I’ll have time in the morning… on my way home. What a beautiful word.