Tickle trunk

The girls and I have been “doing” their room. Doing is the all purpose term I’m bandying about in the place of decluttering or cleaning or some other scary word that could possibly be associated with chores. There is no small power in being vague, and doing makes it sound like it could be a dance or something. “Doing” your room. See? Could be fun, couldn’t it? If you were a teenager and your mother said “be sure and come home right after school, we’re going to start doing your room” then you might think, for one glorious and gracious moment that doing your room might not actually be cleaning your room and throwing away half of your stuff.

If you were a teenager and I was your mother, I might even get a couple of hours of labour out of you when you came home from school before you and your sister figured out that “doing” isn’t really that much fun and you should start making up reasons why you can’t help me, your mother. You might say that you can’t help because exams are coming up and you have to read Frankenstein and Brave New World so you can compare them, or you might say that you really, really have to practice guitar, an activity that you ordinarily have to be tied to a kitchen chair to perform. You might in fact, if you were my husband, even break your leg on a canoe trip to get out of it, once you figured out what “doing meant, and once your wife said something like “we’re going to be “doing” all the rooms!” and looked suspiciously at the box of old and musty “High Times” magazines in the basement. (Having seen the level of avoidance developing around here, I am beginning to wonder if Joe’s injury is a coincidence or if he suddenly thought it might be worth it to fling himself onto a dock with enough force to shatter bone. Anybody’s call really. I’m about to begin considering giving myself an injury to avoid cleaning another closet… so who am I to judge.)

In any case, we have been doing the rooms, and two of the girls share a room. I know, I know. It’s practically an offence under the Geneva convention, but they share a room anyway. (At our trial for the war crime of forcing prisoners to share a bedroom, their lawyer will also point out that we have one TV and one bathroom that doesn’t have a shower. Joe and I are prepared to flee the country.) Once I got them pinned down, the two of them have been incredible. Totally awesome. De-cluttering machines. They each easily filled a big, big bag to go to charity and things are looking way up in there. Floor space has been revealed. Closet space has been regained. Tremendously exciting times, although, there have been a few stumbling blocks. Sam can’t part with some of her soft toys and Meg flatly refused to negotiate the Barbies. Now, at 14 and 16, I did not think these were going to be what resonated for them, but this isn’t about getting rid of your stuff, it’s about freeing up space. I’m not asking them to get rid of anything they love, just to sort out what it is that they love enough to keep… and with this lack of pressure, with knowing that they won’t have anything taken from them, they’ve found it very easy to let go… as have I….

right up until we got to the bins under the bed.

Under their bed are two bins, entirely filled with the dress-up clothes representing the entire childhood of my three girls. If you’re Canadian and grew up watching Mr. Dressup, then you will know that this is our Tickle Trunk, even though it is two Ikea underbed storage bins and not a trunk. In the bins are wonderful things. A bridal veil, a peignoir. A vest crocheted out of wire, a santa hat. A dinosaur costume, a ball gown, a chef’s hat… you could be anything with what’s in there. There are boots and high heels and a devil costume and a pair of wings…


I sewed things, my mum rustled things up at garage sales, The girls got gifts just to fill the tickle trunk and they played with it all the time. Wee girls trouping all around my house exploring the world of possibility without leaving the house – but it wasn’t our house. It was a castle, and a swamp and then an airplane and they were pirates and princess and ladybirds and monsters. They were ladies and faithful servants and mothers and criminals. They ran bakeries, butterfly lemonade stands, did heart transplants and drove pretend jeeps in the desert. They were everything and anything and they played and played and sorted difficulties, ran empires and put on musicals in the living room. (I know this, because I bought a lot of tickets in order to attend.)


The stuff that was in those boxes was the basis of virtually all play in this house for years and years and years. The ladies were still hauling stuff out of those boxes until they were 12 or so. I don’t know if kids still play dress-up, or if these sorts of toys and games have been abandoned in favour of WII and Ipods. I also don’t know if there is any difference between kids who grow up with props like this feeding their imaginations and kids who don’t, but I do know that when the moment came to pull out those ratty boxes, nobody moved.


Nothing in there fits my now adult sized children, it won’t be used again here. It’s taking up space for no reason, and those two boxes should be the first victims when a family is “doing” a room. I know that those boxes of clothes and costumes have outlived their usefulness, were they ever useful, and I know that absolutely nobody is going to want to have a pirate lunch (Joe excepted, but this stuff won’t fit him) ever again. This box is full of useless old stuff… We are on a mission to get rid of useless old stuff. That room is so tiny and is shared by two kids and there’s nowhere to put anything…so can you tell me why not a single person in this family, not one of us… is willing to take a single item, not even a toddler size mouse costume, out of the tickle trunk?


I’m leaving it for today, mostly because I’m leaving. I’ve got a plane to Philadelphia today, and the Philadelphia book fair tomorrow. I‘m speaking at 12, inside on the main stage, and signing after. Should be tons of fun, and hey, if you don’t want to hear me? Barbara Walters is on the same stage at 5. (You need a free ticket to see her though.) If you’re near there, please come and say Hi.

(Ps. Chicago has been rebooked and we’re having a do-over. Details here, and on the tour page as soon as I can manage.)

Well seriously

Interspersed with fetching and carrying for Joe (still feeling rather rugged, but at least adjusting somewhat to his circumstances) I managed to have a lovely visit with one of my favourite knitters. Much beloved That Laurie made her way to Toronto for a funeral, and while the cirucumstances of her flight northward were unfortuanate, the time together was anything but. I made it my personal mission to make sure she got a good dose of fibre while she was here. I took her to Romni and Lettuce Knit (and the Big Fat Burrito, that Toronto knit night institution) and we drank coffee and had a grand catching up.


She let me try on a single quviut handwarmer that was the most beautiful thing ever. She had a pair but wisely only let me put on one, suspecting, in her brilliance, that if she let me put on both I would have pilfered them in a heartbeat. (I’d have a picture, but I couldn’t work my camera and keep rubbing my hands together.) We had a wonderful, wonderful day, and as always, one of the best parts of being with That Laurie was what she was wearing.


This time it was the Celtic Lattice Vest (from Cherl Oberle’s Folk Vests) which is a total stunner worked in the two colours the pattern calls for..but That Laurie, being the dye and spin brainiac she is was totally over the top. That Laurie dyed the roving in her own fantastical rainbow way (remember – she did some guest posts her on how she does it? Links here, here, here and here.) and then spun it to preserve the changes and worked it in the vest against her own dark brown handspun.


(There’s a ravelry link to her page about this project here.) It’s gorgeous. Simply gobsmackingly gorgeous.

Then the wonder dyer/spinner/knitter left me and I returned home to keep working on the Flow tank (Norah Gaughan Berroco book 2) only to reach the armholes and discover that I have made a mistake. A huge mistake. Here the whole thing was, bustling along at a great pace and I got to the armhole shaping and did as Norah said. It is worth noting here, that I did do what Norah said, and that Norah did not make any mistakes. That said…. it didn’t work.

The instructions called for a proscribed prescribed (that’s a very funny typo) series of decreases, which I worked, and then said to work straight after that until I had 3 inches. When I finished those decreases though, I already had 4 inches, which makes it very hard to work straight to 3, if you know what I mean.

Very maturely, I decided to curse a blue streak and keep knitting, in the fond hopes that the entire problem would go away, which…big surprise, it didn’t. Rat Bastard. I have a feeling that there are two words at fault here (Honk if you HATE ROW GAUGE) and that the whole thing is going to need to be reworked, ripped back or snipped into bits and eaten.

When I wake up tomorrow, I want to be That Laurie.

(PS. Romni has lots of copies of Patons Street Smart on the floor in a box at the bottom left of the book wall.)

Things I am trying to get a grip on

(An abbreviated list)

1. Joe. Many thanks for the messages of sympathy, though at this point, I’m not sure which of us is being driven crazier by the state of affairs. He did indeed injure it at the end of his canoe trip, and two trips to the hospital later, we still aren’t sure of the degree of injury. There seems to be a vertical break in the shin bone (tibia) but he’ll have to have a bone scan on Friday (something about needing to have it start to calcify to see something) to discover the extent. Then he’ll go back to the fracture clinic on Tuesday and we’ll find out what we’re in for. In the meantime, he’s awfully swollen, awfully slow on the crutches, and has instructions not to put any weight on it at all – thus making the walking cast sort of a cruel taunt. Cross your fingers for a good answer on Tuesday, and I’ll try not to kill him before then. He’s actually a pretty good patient, but have you heard that old saying “You can’t keep a good man down”? Just know that Joe’s a very good man.

2. The house. We keep an untidy house. Every member of this family is either sentimental or frugal, so we save things because we love them (that’s mostly the kids) or we worry we might need it someday and won’t be able afford another (that’s me and Joe). The only one living here with any sort of cleaning up urges is me, and I usually manage to ignore those and knit instead. Having been gone for 5 weeks, the house is in a state that I am loathe to speak of publicly. Joe and I had decided that it was time for a total top-to-bottom declutter, fix and tidy festival, knowing that if we had less stuff it would be easier. and well, now it’s just me. I need a plan. Anybody ever do one of these?

3. My sister’s sweater. The knitting is just about finished, just a few rows on the collar to go. I blocked the pieces and am now doing all the sewing up, because I feel like that’s a better way to handle the zipper thing. I wouldn’t want to sew in a zipper and then block it, because things often change when wool hits water (and they did.)


Now that the sweater is in more or less it’s final shape, I can go buy another zipper (the first one is the wrong length due to aforementioned sweater hitting the water type of changes) and sew it in. Zippers come in fixed lengths, so I’ve left the collar undone so I can knit to fit.


4. I started a new something. It’s very unlike me. When I was at WEBS there was a sample of “Flow” from Norah Gaughan Collection #2 hanging up and I fell for it hard. Totally hard.


(That’s sort of a crappy picture I took of the picture in the Berroco book CLICK if you want to see it bigger.) It’s a trapeze sort of top, really sheer, knit out of Berroco Seduce,


which is exactly the sort of yarn I would never, ever buy. Yet, something about it got me, and the next thing I know I’m handing Steve my credit card and shaking my head. Until I started it, I was worried that it was the colour that got me and I was going to hate knitting with it, but I told myself it was at least a wee little top, and it would be over quickly and I’d have the finished thing, which is totally what I want this time. (Every once in a while I surprise myself by being a product knitter. It’s out of character, but there you have it.)


I’m delighted though, since the knitting is quick and pleasant – or maybe pleasant because it’s quick. Whatever the case, I’ve only been knitting it for a couple of days and it’s just about knitting itself.

5. I’m not going to knit though, because (I already did during today’s Dr. Appt.) it is Tuesday, and I’m back to Tuesdays are for spinning.


See? 4.oz of Merino from MaryJane’s Attic, bought at the Maker Faire.


Just my colours.

Confounding Variable

Joe just spent five days up in Algonquin, canoeing and hanging out in the woods, and returned last night with…



Yup. Unbelievably, considering that he dumps canoes, traipses over cliffs and rewires the house without shutting the power off, he’s done himself damage jumping off a boat on the way home.

This is going to make life more complex for a little while.

Knitting Guilty

Before I left, I had done one of those things knitters do, and had wrapped up the half-finished Urban Aran (cardiganized version) for my sister and given it to her for her birthday. I felt really bad that I hadn’t finished, but apparently not badly enough that I was willing to either A) not finish the book I was writing at the time or B) carry a heavy project around with me from city to city for a while to get it done. Yesterday when I was thinking over a sweater and looking at the choices and fondling new yarn while I pondered new books (I am thoroughly besotted with Norah Gaughan’s Berroco stuff right now – which isn’t surprising, since I have a fetish for this book too) I had a sudden pang of guilt.


Rather uncharacteristically, since knitting guilt doesn’t move me much, feeling as I do – that people who get whole sweaters from knitters are pretty lucky folk… I pulled it out from the basket and took stock. I had knit the back, both sleeves and a front, and all that remains is a single front and the collar, making up and (much dreaded) zipper insertion, I pledged that I would finish this before starting something for myself. That’s how much I love my sister. (Kindly overlook the six pairs of socks knit in the meantime.) I’m delaying my own wardrobe and gratification for her. (Again, with the exception of those socks.) With a little luck, I can finish it this weekend, and totally relieve myself of the burden of knowing that I’m slacking on her present, and present her with a chunky wool sweater just in time for the steamy Toronto summer.

I might still feel just a little guilty.

Socks Socks Socks

I’ve spoken (probably a lot) about my strong preference for socks as the ideal travel project, at least for me. They are small, light, easy to keep track of and come in a charming variety of difficulties. There’s a seemingly endless parade of sock yarns out there, and at the beginning of April, when I decided to only work on socks while I was on tour for the next 36 days, I relished the opportunity to make it through a bunch of patterns I’ve been meaning to work on. I thought that considering that there are lace socks, cabled socks, plain socks, large socks, little socks, socks with picots and socks with ribbing… I thought it would be really hard to get sick of them. Wrong. You can stick a fork in me folks because I. Am. Done.

This tour I knit the Rivendell socks out of “I am the Eggpant” Dyed in the Wool Handmade sock yarn.


I knit a pair of plain vanilla socks from the forthcoming “Sock Ease” from Lion Brand Yarn.


I knit another plain pair in Blue Moon Heavyweight (forthcoming colour “Grimm’s Garden”


Then I finished a pair I haven’t told you about, because I knit them all stealth so Rachel H wouldn’t find out, what with them being a birthday present for her. These are the lovely Leyburn pattern, knit up in the new STR colourway “Knitters without Borders“. ($3 per skein going to the good guys.)


I love the stitch pattern on this one. The stranded pattern does very, very interesting things with a handpainted yarn. (They fit Rachel H too…so it was a win-win.)


Then I finished the Loksins socks, knit from Unwind Yarn Company’s superwash merino (colour “Northshore”)


(She’s a little handdyer, so remember that as with all works of art there are going to be limited numbers.)

Coming in close to the end of the tour then, I started a pair of Francie socks (I LOVE this pattern. It’s wildly interesting without being at all as difficult as it looks like it might be.)


The yarn there is another one I hadn’t used before, Classic Elite’s Alpaca Sox (60% Alpaca, 20% Merino Wool, 20% Nylon) in a colour I adore, what with my fetish for 70’s appliance colours.


This is 1843 “Cornsilk”…


and they fit Ken perfectly, which is awesome, because that was the plan.

Now? Now I think that I might knit a sweater.

Salt Lake City

I have flown twice to Salt Lake City, and I don’t know why I didn’t see it last time. About a half hour before we landed, I stopped the flight attendant as he offered me (and I accepted) another cup of coffee, (You wouldn’t believe how much coffee has fuelled this long trip. Outrageous, crazy, hair tingling amounts.) and I asked him what I was seeing below. “Looks like the moon” I said, “Do you know what it is?”


“Salt Flats” is what he said. In the photo above, the white flats are giving way to a mountain,


but they go on forever and ever. In the summertime, they do speed trials for race cars there, just because it’s so flat and big. They are white and weird. In time, the flats start to become the Great Salt Lake, and it is an awesome thing to see from the sky.




Crazy weird beautiful. I don’t know why I didn’t see it last time, or why people aren’t talking about this all the time.

Dudes, It’s one of the most beautiful things ever. I landed, got in a cab and went straight to the hotel, because I only had a few hours before I had to be at the event, and I know that the lack of oxygen in Salt Lake City totally slows me down. Bath, dress, curse internet that won’t let me send email, and then walk to the Public Library and see this:


Tons of knitters, especially for Salt Lake City on a Sunday. There were young knitters, like Piper (7) Maya (almost 9) and bike riding Evelyn. (8)


There were knitters with babies, like Angela and her sweetie (can’t read my handwriting…is it Lira?) and Rachel, who brought pictures of her twin babies. (She pumped for the occasion. I bet that took a little pre-planning.)


There were first sock knitters, like Emily, Corey and Amanda.


There were washcloth bringers, like Amber, Karin and Jennifer.


There were knitters who came a long way, like Casi, Carolyn and Sharon from Boise.


or Tama (do you read her blog? It’s a good one) Who came by herself on a train for 750 miles, just to have an adventure all on her own.


Marlene brought me a beer to make sure I didn’t run into any Beer/Utah/Sunday problems.

(I didn’t, but it was very good to have a backup plan.)


Caitlin brought me a little teapot so I could always get a proper cuppa when I’m on the road,


and Nancy Bush inspected my knitting,


teased me about being a needle short (I like a set of four, she prefers five) and she and Vonnie both gave me point protectors off of their own sock knitting, so distressed were they (not really ) about my lack of them.

When the whole thing was over and done, I got to go out with some of my favourite Utah people.


That’s Miriam (Yup. The designer herself) Margene, Shelly, Cheryl, Susan and Chris. We had pizza and hung out and I got to play with Miriam’s super-cool camera (now I think mine sucks) and to top it all off?


Margene had a trunk full of fiber and despite my weakened condition (no oxygen, end of tour) I didn’t steal a thing from her. Not a thing.

That’s it. All done and accounted for. Tomorrow, three, count ’em, three pairs of socks I’ve finished since we last really talked about knitting, and maybe some spinning, because I’ve really missed my wheel.

If you’re in the Toronto Area, don’t forget that there is a “discussion” that I’m leading at the North York Public Library tonight at 7, it’s free (of course) but if you want to come you should call the library at 416-395-5639 to register. I will be shlepping my usual post-tour exhausted and weird look, but Rachel H. is going to wear her big girl boots. She promised.

Home and rewinding

So, I’m home. Home, home, home. It’s dirty, disorganized, full of people and a cat who resent that I ever left at all, and I have a ton of work to do and an inbox that’s so scary that I can’t hardly look at it, but I’ve never, ever been happier to see this little hovel. This morning marks the first morning of the rest of my life, it feels like, with the book tour over, and just a few little stops (The North York Public Library tomorrow, Philadelphia Book Fair, A retry (I hope) of Chicago, BEA, TNNA….) left to go, like there is tons of room in my life, just as soon as I get caught up…which I know is unrealistic, but I could be closer…right? Right. First steps, getting caught up on the blogging. I owe San Francisco a post about the Maker Faire and Salt Lake City a post about how wonderful that was, so I’d better get a move on.

San Francisco. I love that place. It’s home to two podcasts I know and love, Stash and burn


Oh look…It’s Nicole and Jenny! We found a quiet corner of the hotel and did a podcast that I think went pretty well. (Neither one of them looked angry when we were done, so I think I did an okay job) both of them are lovely and super nice, and when they were done they handed me off to Stephen and WonderMike from YKnit, and I did another one…which sort of came apart at the seams a few times, but there’s only so much I can do in the face of their particular brand of silliness.


(By the way? We went to dinner after at Millennium. Go there now. After a month of hotel and airport food Stephen and Mike can both verify that I almost wept into my dinner out of sheer relief and joy.)

The next morning I got up and got in a car to go to San Mateo, where the Maker Faire was at. The Faire is a seriouly cool undertaking. It’s just a whole fairgrounds of people….making. Making all sorts of stuff. Music, art, tools, sculpture, code, toys…. It was very, very brilliant to see knitting lumped in with that sort of crowd.

I took a bunch of pictures of some of the Makers. You’ve just got to click to embiggen.




There was tons of fibre related stuff too. Aside from the free range knitters and spinners who were everywhere, there was this guy who was knitting and drumming at the same time, which was totally cool except he looked miserable.


There was a lovely booth with Tactile and A Verb for Keeping Warm (which may be the best name ever)


and I saw Imagiknit and Lion Brand were both there, and I talked to the Yarn Craft blog gals for two minutes… I saw cool knit tats,


along with Ceallach Dyes, who was out in the sunshine, making what she makes, which is solar dyeing of yarn. (Beautiful yarn.)


I saw a multitude of knitter/makers. Although they were a little hard to photograph, because there were these lights shining on me that were like looking into the sun.


They were easier to see afterwards. Knitters came (of course) with babies and little kids, since this was family/kid heaven. Meet Cindy and Zoe (she’s wearing a fabulous sweater), Elizabeth and Nathan (Nathan is showing me his monkey that his mama made for him at sock camp. The pattern for the monkey is up and available here.) Michelle and Katherine, Kimber and Sarah, Anabel and Freya. There was a young knitter too, Kelsey, but she was a very pretty 12 years old, and 12 years old isn’t old enough to understand bad pictures of yourself on the internet. The photo I took was nowhere near as lovely as she was, so I skipped it.


Team Unraveled, walking the three day. (That link will take you to a place to pledge them)


Carrie brought her monkey and her Monkey Kaw Kaw


Shane came for his wife, Amanda


and Jessica knit me a beer. (Two of my favourite things in one combo.)


There was the first sock brigade: Anne, Kelly, Katie and Jan (Katie’s the one with the first sock) Yellay, Rhiannon, No-blog Rachel, Julie, Sue, Ruth, Sarah and Jennie.




and there were even Washcloths (I do love the washcloths) from Lynne, Robin and Madeleine.


Whew! I’d love to write about what happened next, how I went to Salt Lake City (still has no air there) but I’m two hours gone working on this blog entry now, and frankly, I need to clean the house for at least that long just to get it to it’s usual level of squalor. I’ll write about SLC tomorrow.

If you’d like to come to see me at the North York Central Library tomorrow, (May 7th) I’m speaking at 7:00 as part of the Uptown Authors series. I’ll be doing something a little different for this event, more discussion and interaction with the audience, which I think will be smaller and more intimate than other events. If you’ve been burning to ask me a question and you live anywhere near Toronto, here’s your chance to pester me publicly for an answer. Call 416-395-5639 to register, and I’ll see you there.

I’ll will have to do

41 hours at home. I had this conversation with a musician a while ago, talking about being on tour and leaving for a long time and going through phases when you’re not home, and we talked about the phenomena of coming home for just one or two days… and he said he wasn’t a fan. “The expectations are too high” he felt. “You walk in the door and everyone wants you to make up for being gone, but you can’t make up for it, because you’re so tired and empty yourself. You’re disappointed that your family turns out to be more people who want you to deliver, and they end up being disappointed because you’ve come home to rest and they think you’ve come home to make up for being gone.”

It would almost be better, he maintained, to take the two days lying in a hotel room watching tv and getting room service, punctuating your sloth by going for he occasional walk in the park. That, he felt, would be more restorative than running in the door, throwing your stuff (along with their stuff because nobody has done laundry in weeks) into the washing machine, cleaning the kitchen and hitting reset on all of your relationships before going back out the door with clean pants 41 hours later.

Dude has a point, I’ve discovered, although I think that his warning has served me really well. I don’t come home expecting a rest. I come home expecting that there will be people who need things and me, and that I have come home to give them a little bit before I leave again. It has helped enormously to lower my expectations….as it almost always does. Plus, while I am giving them what they need…


I can knit. Loksins (link to pattern in the right sidebar) sock in the entirely delicious superwash merino from Dana. Every person I show this yarn to has boggled that it’s wool. We have even conducted a few experiments to see that it is. (It is.) It’s lustrous and a little shiny and bouncy and elastic and I’m a fan. I think these socks are going to be rather hard wearing too. I started another pair too…


Classic Elite Alpaca Sox in a gorgeous gold, being knit into the charming Francie socks. Should both be excellent entertainment for the plane. I’ll be in San Fran by dinner time.


I actually did end up with people explaining where Indianapolis is, well enough anyway. (It’s in the middle of Indiana, and if you’re Canadian and still confused, Indianapolis is directly south (a ways) of Sault Ste. Marie, below Lakes Michigan and Erie.) It’s a nice place. I had no idea it was as big as it is, nor that there’s busloads of history there. (I am also ashamed to admit that it took me a pathetically long time to make the link between the “Indy 500” and the Indianapolis 500. Same thing. Very famous. Duh.) Reggie, the most charming car driver in the world, explained all about Indianapolis to me as we drove out to the bookstore. I saw the Governors mansion, the beautiful old buildings, and Reggie told me lots of stuff. (We also had one of the most astute political conversations I have been privy too in a long time.) Then we arrived. I staggered in, I signed books in the back, I drank coffee. I admired the staff at the Barnes and Noble who were truly chipper, enthusiastic and helpful, and then I stepped out and saw this.




Now, aside from how lovely and funny all those knitters are, there is one knitter in particular that I spotted right away, and my heart flew. Our lady Rams of the Comments is there, in the second picture, right near the front. It was the most wonderful surprise. (Apparently the other thing I didn’t know about Indianapolis is that it is close (relatively) to Notre Dame – where Rams is enduring the trials and enlightenment of an MFA.) Very good surprise Lady Rams. Touché.

When I was done talking, I got down to the business of meeting other knitters. As always, a selection follows.


This is Laura (aka Stashmuffin from the comments) and she’s a clever lady. She brought me a really nice little pack of something healthy and vegetarian to eat (along with a beer) and I really appreciated it. Healthy fresh food is hard to find on the road. I’m not sure I’ll ever get over the longing I feel now for the pumpkinseed and cheddar cracker things she gave me. They’re awesome.

These are knitters in matching tee shirts (always a danger sign for me)


Cami (owner of Clementines Dry Goods) there all wearing fab tee’s that read “It’s okay. I’m with the sock.” (Snork.)

Mandie is a Neuroscientist with a broken needle.


This is Cheryl, you’ll know her better after you see Interweave Felts.


Greg came to collect a book for Katie, a knitter well known in these parts.


The Young Knitters, Seth (son of Judy), Maya and Katherine (I’ve met Katherine before, she’s older and taller than the last time she graced this bandwidth) and Caitlin and Rebecca (with adult chauffeur, Debbie)


Knitters with wonderful washcloths: Laura, Patti, Rachael (marking where I am in Indiana) Jennifer and Claire (double qualifying with a pair of first socks)


Beautiful babies:


Cara and Sabine (check out the contest on her blog) and Jessica’s absolutely charming daughter Olivia. (She was captivating. What a lovely little sweet pea.)

Requisite first sock knitters out in force. Mary Ann, Suzy, Jenn, Sherri, Lisa (who instigated “the wave” in the crowd. Just the best sort of troublemaker)Melanie, Lauren, Snarglemom (also with her Olympic piece) Anita (those first socks are 35 years old) Andrea (double qualifying with first knitted socks, and first crocheted socks) and finally Rachel…who’s first socks are a reassuring two different sizes.



Right after noting all the first sock knitters, I need to show you Leslie, who turned up with her 110th pair of socks.

Dudes. Even knowing what number they are is darned respectable.


There was my salwart stalker Brooke, who tried to tell me she was the best stalker ever, but frankly, that’s her best friend Wendy with her, and the best stalker wouldn’t have another friend…would she?


Here’s Laura, who’s only up here because she’s wearing a crack silk haze top that I want to remember I liked.

(What was the pattern again?)


Jane and a squirrel of doom, contributing to the strangeness that is my luggage contents.


Finally, The Arkansas Travellers are a group of knitters led by Nikki the pretty one on the left holding her first sock.


See that cluster of knitters? Nikkie converted created them all. Nikki is a force to be reckoned with.

After that, decidedly tired and worn out, I staggered out to discover that even though I was way, way late in being done (like more than an hour) Reggie, the worlds most charming driver, was still waiting for me. I’ve never been more grateful, except when he drove me three minutes out of our way so that I could get a sock picture he felt (and rightly so) was required.


The dinosaurs at the Indianapolis Children’s Museum. Thanks Reggie. You know how to show a sock a good time.


That was Indianapolis, and I assure you I won’t ever not know where it is again. I like it a lot.

I’m home now, having knit my way back to this country yesterday (and promptly had a nap)


That’s a gratuitous sock picture to prove that I do still knit. It’s a beautiful yarn gifted to me by hand-dyer Dana when I was in Atlanta, and I really like it- her base yarn is really nice. I’m knitting it up into another pair of Loksins.

Tomorrow morning I’m on a plane again, this time for the Makers Faire in San Francisco on Saturday, and Salt Lake City (Hi Margene!) on Sunday.