This post is going to be seriously long...but the important thing is that at the end of it I'll be all mostly caught up, which is awesome, because I'm leaving in the morning again. (I feel like I just had a 48 hour layover with my family. Bizarre.)
After trying so hard for so long to get out of Chicago, it was with a great and burning fear that I went to the Detroit Airport the evening after Ann Arbor to make my way back to O'Hare. I tried not to flinch when I saw the customer service desks that had caused me so much pain the day before. This time it was uneventful, and I fell into my bed ASAP, which is awesome, since I had to be up at 3:30 to take the sock to a news thing at 5:00AM. I think that was the most difficult thing of this tour...the sleep deprivation and early mornings. (Actually, lets not kid ourselves. 3:30 isn't morning. That's night.) I am the exact opposite of a morning person, and being up at 7AM makes me feel like I've been mistreated. I went down to the studio as presentable as possible, but this whole thing must be getting to me because they kept saying "Are you camera ready?" sort of like maybe they thought I wasn't....
I don't remember what I said during the tv thing, all I know is that I staggered back to the hotel after, encounted the civil defence sirens and was totally awake after that. Awake enough that I should call Franklin and get on with my day. If you are ever in Chigago, I highly recommend asking Franklin to show you around. He's very good at it.
We went to the bean. I Love the bean. The bean fills me with a singular joy.
We looked at the totally trippy way that the trains run.
With the tracks above ground so that all the streets have trains for lids. (We did some other stuff too, things Franklin and I both enjoy. Any rumours you may have heard about Franklin and I in the American Girl store looking at dollies is grossly exaggerated. We were only there for a moment. We mistook it for...um...a yarn shop. Yeah. As soon as we had a good look around realized our error, we were right out of there. The very idea that Franklin and I would consider having lunch at the American Girl Cafe is laughable. No matter what he says.) Onward to the mighty Chicago knit huddle.
Yo. Knitters of Chicago!
Good looking bunch. There was Megan.
See that little scrap of knitting in her hand? That's her first knitting. First ever. Learned to knit while I was talking. I was so impressed.
There were 1st socks from Leslie,
and Nancy ,
There was Kris with a great shirt (Knit on: It's a lifestyle)
There were the Children of the corn. (You had to be there.)
And Ariel, from the Knitting club at U of I.
It's Jan with an Illinois dishcloth...
I met and thanked Chicago's hat lady, Mandy.
Johnathan and Meg. Repeat offenders (and the cutest knitting pairs team ever.)
and with that I went back to the hotel and put my head straight on a pillow...which was really the only think I could do, since I had to get up at 3:30 to catch a flight to..
Guess who was born in Minneapolis and grew up in St. Paul?
Yup. I got this shot as I rode towards the Yarnery for the event, chauffeured by MaryLou (a nicer drive was never had by two knitters.) I swear, there is something different about the stuff run by Yarn shops VS bookstores. Some of the bookstores do fantastic jobs, and there is something really, really fun about watching a couple of hundred knitters mess with their reality, but the yarn shops do it in a way that seems...I don't know. More knitterly? Yarn shops always do it in a way that makes the whole thing seem like a National Holiday in Knitting. The Yarnery had more than 400 knitters to manage, but when I got there, they seemed calm, co-ordinated and wonderfully cheerful. They had it well in hand. Jayme-the-wonder-publicist had sent out postcards for them with a typo on them.....They had referred to "The singing" instead of "The signing" and they fine ladies of the Yarnery had decided not to take any chances regarding truth in advertising, and therefore:
There was singing. (O Canada, both National Languages. Very moving for the Canadians in the room - I think there were six of us.) Hard act to follow, but follow I did. For better or for worse...
Holy knitters batman. Tons eh?
Here's Lisa...ready to produce another nice knitter to join our ranks.
Nice knitters everywhere: Flan and Kathleen, Kathleen's from Alabama.
this is Eileen and her Koigu and KSH blanket.
The young man is her son Brennan, who is so proud of his mum and her knitting that he insisted on showing me the blanket while his lovely mum blushed away. Took her a year to knit, and it's beautiful work. Brennan's right to be proud.
This is Chris!
(Don't tell me you never wondered what she looked like.) Chris has done an excellent job of doing the link-o-rama that I should have done and would have done if only I weren't home for so short a time and determined to spend at least some of it with the kids and Joe. Follow her links will ya? Awesome.
Here's Majka and Philip. See how happy they look?
Got nothing to do with me. They are on their honeymoon...married five days. Totally Charming. Gretchen with a North Dakota washcloth...
Thank you very much. The blanket is really, really beautiful,
and since I know that 500 of you are going to ask more about it, Shelly has a tutorial on her blog, and if you look at her sidebar you'll see it.
Susan was there in her beautiful Bohus. ( I don't know whether I was more star-struck by her - I read The Rainey sisters all the time, or her wild apples sweater. ) - but I was too stunned to meet her to get her picture. The evening wound on and on...the knitters kept coming and coming and the whole thing took on a surreal feeling of really only living in a world of knitters and knitting. Brilliant.
When it was over, I grabbed this shot of the brilliant Yarnery ladies who pulled it all together.
And went back to my hotel room, drank two beers, ate two cheese strings (thanks Cathy/cate room service was closed when I got back) and went to sleep, ready to get up at 6am (which totally felt like a treat after all the 3 and 4 Ams) to fly to Denver.
Which is what I will write about next, after Easter dinner with my family. (Assuming they recognize me.)