Chop chop.

My grandparents used to say that to hurry us. “Chop, chop darling”. It means “hurry up” or “move along”. I heard it a lot. I never really wondered about the origin of the phrase until today, but was suddenly possessed of a desperate need to know after I typed it. (That’s the book deadline talking. I’m actually sort of proud of my brains ability to protect me from the truth with this remarkable denial. No matter how much book remains to be dealt with, my brain is shielding me from the horrible details by making me look stuff up. Very nice.)

I’m going to whip through this today, get all caught up and go pack for NYC this weekend. Chop chop.

1. I am an idiot.

Yesterday, I was clearly off my game. A list of errors?

Bobbie, who I said was from Wyoming, but then realized my error and changed it to Montana? She’s from Wyoming.

(The other knitters that I said were from Wyoming and then Montana? Really Montana (Although they gave me a gift that was Yellowstone stuff, so I thought it must be where Yellowstone Park is. Turns out there’s a river. (Note to self: take better notes on tour in case your laptop blows up and you have to wait so long to post that your memory fails you.) I linked the lovely Marlene to Kate’s blog. (I also linked Kate to Kate…so I guess I got one of them right.) Marlene’s correct link is here. Other than trashing the pictures and mangling the second half, did I screw anything else up? (Perennial grammatical errors excused?) Right. Moving along.

2. I still knit.

Shropshire shawl among the morning glories, which I’m loving madly, all the more for knowing that the frost will take them any day.


I’m geared to do seven repeats of the leaves on this shawl, then evaluate. If it measures my wingspan along the top edge, I’ll stop and add my lace bit along the bottom. (Still haven’t worked out how that’s going to work, but I’ll worry about that later. Maybe it will be easy.) I’m on the seventh repeat now and it’s pretty clear that seven isn’t big enough, but denial ain’t just a river in Egypt, so I’m still thinking it could work out.

The gansey? Just a taste.


I finished knitting the body up to the ends of the gussets, and now I’ve divided the work into front and back and I’m knitting flat. I’ll go into more detail later, but essentially it’s big, brown/grey and slow moving.

3. The MacBook can stay. Photoshop has to start running right though. I’m going to re-install it, and if it still doesn’t work I’m going to break the software CDs into a thousand little pieces with my teeth. I shall use pliers if I can’t get them small enough to mask my pain.

4. Los Altos was a fantastic event.


The sock and a lime. A lime growing on a tree. Outside. California is so surprising.

I admit that when I heard how many knitters Hollis at Full Thread Ahead was expecting…I got worried. More than 300 knitters? That can’t go well. I sweated all the way there. I shouldn’t have. Hollis and her team (including a concierge) had the most startlingly well put together event of all time. From Hollis running contests for the knitters who were waiting, to the kids running gopher for her, to the “Zones” for signing, (just like seating on an airplane) they seriously had it going on. To round out the whole thing, the knitters in California, together with Full Thread Ahead even raised $850 for Knitters Without Borders. Good times, good times.

The knitters?



Let’s see if I can get it right today. (Much of my handwriting from towards the end of that day is unintelligible to me. This could be tricky. Also, some of the photos are…well. Bad. I’m not posting them. If I took your picture and it’s not here? Thank me later.)

First there was Makaela.


Makaela was the first of the California knitters to give me a California washcloth. (My United States washcloth collection is really coming along.)


This is Cookie and her buddy Kristi. Together they write This Blog. Cookie is the knitter who designed the brilliant Poto-mato-whatsis socks. (She also pointed out that I didn’t finish mine. I would have felt bad, but it turns out she didn’t finish hers either! Burn.


It’s Nathania! There are two things you need to know about her. 1. It is impossible to take a bad picture of her. 2. She’s opening her own yarn shop. (That’s it baby. Live the dream.)


Louise from Minnesota who was there with Margaret.


Dee from Berkeley (Professional commenter.)


The lovely and charming Alison Hyde.


Jeni, and look Julia…she’s got ARRRGGYLES.


Emy came to show me the way of the dress Birkenstock. (Be still my beating heart. A birkie for high class events. My mother will be thrilled.) She brought her S&B, Abigail, Seltsame, more, more more.)

Esmerel and her amazing Peacock shawl…


(That one is SO on the to do list.)


This is Kathleen. See what she’s wearing? It’s her Knitting Olympics project. A beaded jacket (lined beautifully) knit out of the finest wool, the most stunning beads and wee butterflies.


To answer the inevitable question, No. She did not knit it in sixteen days. Breathe. Kathleen now admits that thinking it could be done in that amount of time was sheer folly.


Moshknits! Hostess of the podcast by the same name. A treat to meet her.

There were more. So many. Beadlizard. Jennie, Aija, Amelia

Jenipurr (travelling with a pack) Abigail, Cindy….The knitters just kept coming. (It actually seemed endless at one point.)

The Minions of The Pointy Sticks.


(Wish I’d thought of that name.)

There was Kristin (Who brought me a fabulous knitting languages book. I will be unstoppable now.) Molly, The AmpuT, There were Canadians. (The passed the test. If you are a Canadian living in the States and we meet? Ask me about the test. Americans can’t do it. It’s weird.) It wend on and on, and I have doubtless missed many knitters, but I can link no longer. I do think though, that it’s worth noting that this whole thing moves me completely.

It’s not that this many people would turn up (although that’s pretty moving) it’s that this…insanity, the sheer numbers of knitters welling up in spots like this speaks to something way cooler than a knitting book. It represents a community, and to see such a diverse crowd of people hanging out together happily, when all they have in common is knitting…It’s moving. I bet a whole bunch of these people have disparate political and religious views, different cultures, different languages, and the whole thing just works out. Nobody has ever sucker punched somebody at one of these things. We have yarn in common and I’ll be darned, it’s enough.

I’m off now, I was going to do Eau Claire before I left for NYC for tomorrows event in Brooklyn (details here) and Saturday at the Knit Out and Knitty City (That’s a stitch n’ bitch, not a talk) but I’ve run out of time. (The linking really takes it out of a knitter.) If you see me on the weekend, be gentle with me. I’m a little dodgy around the edges.