It would seem that I dropped a couple of days there, not quite sure what happened. My memories of the last few days really only seem to be a collection of vignettes of my computer screen, endless cups of coffee and database searches, and I see a lot of replies in my inbox, so I must be emailing people. Every day the number in there is lower, and hope is dawning on the horizon with a warm glow. In the meantime I'm knitting garter stitch (about a row a day, I'll show it to you later - it's a whole new project) wishing that my camera was fixed (I've done nothing to make that happen) and now... sitting in the airport again, on my way to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, and I'm thinking about Dallas (and about how I really, really wish I could teleport all these places because I am starting to be automatically cranky in airports) and how surprised I was there.
I don't know what I was expecting Dallas to be, but I'd never been there and I watched TV in the eighties, so its PR was really all I had to go on. I expected it to be flashy or something. I expected cowboy hats - maybe big jewellery. Absolutely an unusual standard of lipstick and hair and perhaps the tiniest little proclivity towards shoulder pads and evening dresses at lunchtime.
Nope. It looked like this. (As always, you may click to embiggen small knitters)
See that? Just the sort of knitters that you would expect. There they are, looking for all the world like I could be anywhere, and I found that really, really comforting. I know I say it all the time, but I can't tell you how much I like it that knitters are about the same everywhere I go. Their accent's change, what they're wearing changes, what they're knitting changes, but the basics stay just the same. Proof? There were lots of pre-knitters:
That's Erica/Tom/Nathanial, Michelle with wee Joseph (very serious guy) Emily and Isaac, Cindy and Connor, and Nancy and Evie - with Evie modelling a very nice February Baby sweater. (Rav Link.)
There were lots of first sock knitters, brutally honest about the perils that lurk in the depths of a first pair of socks.
It went reasonably well for Cynthia, Diana, Randi,Joanna, and our resident overachiever, Sabina. (Perfect, patterned knee socks that fit - right out of the gate. Don't hate her because her socks are beautiful.)
Then there were these 1st sock knitters, sent here by the fates to make all of us feel better about our own mistakes.
Christy knit a beautiful pair of first socks...
but the bind off is too tight, and they cannot be placed on human feet.
This is Sharon, who knit two beautiful first socks...
that came out two entirely unrelated sizes.
and this is Trisha, who's first socks are absolutely perfect...
if you live in the Arctic, which Dallas is not, even if you do jack up the AC.
Finally, this is Stacia, who is not displaying her first socks, as they had fallen prey to another really common problem knitters have.
Her husband stole them and won't give them back.
People brought me things ( I never thought people would bring me things, and I know that I should probably love it less for the sake of being humble and less consumerist and all that, but I really, really love it. It's charming and thoughtful and makes me feel less lonely and far from home, and I just love it. I'm thrilled and surprised everytime someone does it. I never expect it, and I think it's unbelievably kind. I'm also really, really glad that not everyone does it, because I would be buried in really great stuff really fast, so I'm glad it's just the occasional things here and there.) Mary Kay brought me a Boa, in case there was some sort of Texas accessory emergency, for which I am, by nature... woefully unprepared.
Enid brought me a totally great Hawaii washcloth to add to my collection.
Lara brought me a seriously funky little fertility doll that her mum Ruth dyed the fibre for, and she spun,knit and wrote the pattern for. (It's my fault she's making that face. Sorry.)
Lissa and Magnolia brought me DINNER, which was really grand, since vegetarian feed can be in short supply in Texas...
I totally got a "private" beer. (This was in response to a twitter I wrote earlier in the day about a very kind person who wrote to me to let me know that I was in grave spiritual danger (I believe that means I'm going to hell, not sure) because I am a role model for people and therefore shouldn't speak of drinking alcohol in public. Apparently this person believes that my influence is far greater than anyone had ever imagined.)
She need not worry. I drank this one in private. It was very good.
This here, now this is a good one. Its a Texas Knitters' 6-pack from Ron and his lovely wife Theresa at Buffalo Gold (That, all by itself is almost enough of a reason to want to live there) it's a little bit of their lovely yarn, and ... um....
"Coffee". Yeah. That's what was in that cup. Absolutely.
I got to meet Melanie from Pink Lemon Twist , creator of the mystery stole series and wearing a shawl of her own devising - I think it's Flamenco. (I wonder if she realizes how many people she influenced?)
I met Harrison (11) and Stuart (7) both competent knitters,
and that's Kimberlyn in the picture with Stuart, holding open Knitting Rules to the page where I explain how to measure gauge, which I signed for her, because she claims that page changed a very great deal about how well gauge was working for her. Kimberlyn apparently was shocked to see gauge being measured horizontally across the stitches in that picture. Up until that exact moment, she had been measuring it VERTICALLY - like row gauge, which would totally make it hard to "get gauge" ... well. Ever. Things are better now. I think I love her for copping to it.
Finally, there was Laura with a good old fashioned knitting tatoo. (I love that sentence.)
See? Totally normal - at least for knitters.
In fact, the only thing that I was shocked by in Dallas, television didn't help me prepare for, and if you're Canadian you might want to sturdy up, or take a deep breath or something before you look at this. It's a little hard to imagine, and certainly not something you expect to see.
A guy in a zamboni, WEARING SHORTS.
I may never recover from the juxtaposition.