Last stop on the train

You know how when you travel, all you can think about is home and everyone there and how much you miss them, then you walk through the door and the kids are fighting and the house is a mess and you think “This is what I was missing? Was I out of my mind?” Not this time. Sure, the house is trashed and the daughters are engaged in a perennial argument about clothing possession, and I can’t tell you how badly we need a trip to the grocery store (I suspect that if the Wanigan box were not delivered without anyone doing anything, they would all be dead) and I don’t know what they have against the vacuum (you could make a whole new cat out of the dust buffalo roaming the dining room) …but for the most part, I am still so glad to see them…and near as I can tell, although with teenagers it’s tremendously complex…I think they missed me. I certainly feel appreciated by Joe. I’m hoping the general gratitude they all have lasts long enough for me to finish the book before the spell breaks.

Now, imagine if you will, that I am not home, that I am back in Virginia, and that I am still doing that part of my job.

I made my way from Atlanta, Georgia to Bailey’s Crossroads, Virginia, which is right smack next door to Washington DC. (That’s the Federal City, sort of like Vatican City. It’s it’s own whole place. ) My hotel was close to the event, rather than DC, but I had an interview there so I got to have a bit of a poke around. (Especially since I was lost, briefly.) It’s a beautiful city, and there is something spectacular everywhere you look, but it’s very hard to get close to all the really interesting stuff. (Like the White House, or the President. Pity. There are some questions I would like to ask him. ) Many, many things have fancy eagles on them:


(This is another city where I have to be extra aware of poles and trees because the architecture you are looking “up” at puts you at risk of a nasty bonking.) I also saw the Pentagon, though it’s really hard to get at too.


In real life it is bigger. Much bigger. Huge in fact. (Interesting facts I learned from my cab driver (I checked. He’s right about this stuff.) 23 000 people work there, it was built on a swamp/dump/wasteland in only 16 months, and it has twice as many bathrooms and drinking fountains as it needs because when it was built in 1941, Virginia required separated facilities for “coloured” and “white” personnel.)

That evening, after rewashing my hair to get the alarming amount of hairspray out of it, I turned up at the Borders and what should I find?





Knitters. The place was filthy with ’em. (The staff was right freaked.) Knitters in general, and knitters in specific.

Felicia and Brooklyn


Laverne knit my Tiptoe socks


The first sock brigade: Meghan, Laverne, Susan, Dale, Jaclyn, Lori, Becca, Jeni, Lee, Mazhalai, Meghan (another one) and finally Jo, with her 1st socks, version 3.0.




Sharon outdid herself in the Bad First Sock Department:


Seriously, the worst first sock ever. Sharon is competing at the Olympic level. Luckily, she recovered on the second pair, demonstrating that no matter how badly that first pair went,


You can totally live to knit another day.

Speaking of competing at the Olympic level, Johann knit this in just about 16 days for the olympics.


Amanda made a Virginia Washcloth, Gillian came up with “Virginia is for knitters” and Jane knit me one with a crab on it to be Maryland. (Maryland is not crab shaped. It’s another symbolic thing.)


This is Mum Tamara, her baby Annabelle and her 3 and a half year old son Edison.


Brace yourselves….


Edison brought his knitting. (All together now… Awwww…)

Betsy and Ken were celebrating their 32 years of marriage.


This is Crazy Lanae. (I’m pretty flipped out to meet her.) She brought me Black Sheep Ale, and conquered sock modelling right there.


and I completed my set of Rainey sister meetings, since this is Sally.


Michael turned up, Author of Knitting With Balls


Dawn rocked it out with her yarn based tattoo


Marseille knits tiny, tiny things…


Our Esteemed hat lady, Claire.


and finally, Daniel, who ran the gig for Borders, and I think everyone there will agree was totally Captain Charisma.


When all was said and done I went to grab a pint with Eunny, MamaE and a few others, where, after the fantastic evening, I swear to you that I think I managed to Kinnear Barry Gibb.


What he was doing in that place, I cannot say, but I have witnesses.