July 29, 2006

The speaking sky

(Sorry this post is so late guys, I'm about to do Ann Arbor, and I've already done Texas (Yee haw!) but I opted to sleep instead of post the morning after Albuquerque - rest is in short supply around here, and the internet in my room was not working in Austin and...well. It all sort of fell apart after that.)

This is how many cabs and lineups there are if you travel from Mesa, Arizona to Albuquerque, New Mexico.


This is how long the flight is.


On the plane to Albuquerque I couldn't get my eyes off the window. I leaned forward the whole time, my nose glued to the glass while for the first time in my life, I watched the true desert under me. These are terrible pictures, taken through the plane window through a little hazy cloud...but I hope you can see what I do.


It is like the moon. There are craters and cliffs and sand and ....


nothing. It is the most incredible absence of humans. Hundreds of square miles, hundreds, and one dirt road running through it.

The monsoon followed me, so it poured the light hours that I was here, and I was cautioned several times about being outside during the storm, since more people are struck by lightning in New Mexico than anywhere else in the US. (I wonder what the odds are if you are holding metal sticks all the time?) I turned then, since I was unlikely to weather the downpour outside, to human entertainment.

Jamie/Scout picked me up and helped me find coffee (Thank you. From the bottom of my heart.) gave me personalized yarn from her shop...and we boogied off to the yarn shop and then to the event. (She also handed me bottles of water at pretty regular intervals, for which I am very grateful. You need to drink lots of water here, not just because it is so dry, but because of the altitude.) She helped me find more cactus...


and got me to the event on time. Here are my pictures of the crowd, though I have to apologize to the lovely knitters who were there last night, as these are the worst crowd pictures I have ever, ever taken. Clearly the strain of remembering to check my shoes for scorpions before I put them on is getting to me. You can click to make these knitters bigger. (What is up with the blur action on my camera? I'm starting to wonder if this particular camera has just been slung around one too many airports...)



Luckily, I have better pictures of some individual knitters. The Albuquerque knitters have personality. I tell you that for sure.

This is Kay and her mother Una.


I thought that they were going to tell me a gentle story of knitting passed from mother to daughter, that Una had taught Kay to knit socks. Wrong-o. This family went the other way, and the daughter taught her mother how to knit them recently. I thought Una's socks looked pretty sharp.

Noelle, with barry


(He travels, much like my sock.) Check out her socks knit from handspun. Really beautiful.

Jenny with her koigu sock


proving that the Canadian plan to take over the world through yarn continues apace.



Jeannine takes the prize for dedication in the pursuit of hanging out with knitters. This day was her birthday, and her first wedding anniversary, and she told her husband that she had to work so she could come play with knitters. She bailed on dinner, put on her work clothes and beat it out of there. I offered to disguise her.

It's Brooke,


the genius behind Widdershins (a toe up sock pattern than may solve one of my issues with toe up sock heels).

There was more. There was Mookitty, Adam, Mona, Carole, Beth, Lauren, Penny (Princess of the Dorks.) and Rebecca and I know I missed a bunch. (See previous disclaimer about exhaustion. My brain is no longer running full tilt.)

Here's representatives from the Albuquerque Stitch 'n' bitch,


They meet every Tuesday from 7-9 at the Flying Star on Rio Grand Blvd., and they would love to meet you. I'm here to tell you that they know where the good beer in Albuquerque is. (Trust them.)

After collapsing onto the hotel bed in my clothes, I got up the next morning to begin making my way to Austin, and saw the most incredible thing. The sky.


Now in the city where I live, the sky isn't something omnipresent. you see it in pieces, and there are buildings and hills and landscape that gets in the way of the sky. I need Sandy to remind me to look up and see it, even in small bits.


This is not true of the desert sky. It is a landscape all on it's own, and I found myself standing and looking at it often in Albuqueque.


I have never before been in a place where the sky could be a tourist attraction.


The sky against the mountain in the desert has a voice, and it's big. In the prairies the sky is huge, but in Albuquerque it is a remarkable blue, (is that the altitude?) and the clouds are near and mercurial and change often and with remarkable ability. All of these pictures were taken within an hour and a half. You could watch it all day. It's endless and magnificent, and it speaks to you. Sadly the sky had one last thing to say to me as I flew out of Albuquerque....


Help me.
This line of human made dirt hanging over this beautiful part of the world, invisible from the beautiful sky below, was a real buzz kill. If the sky could tell you to get out of your car...it would.

Posted by Stephanie at July 29, 2006 12:30 AM