From the Kansas City Airport

(Where I simply cannot recommend Cinnabon’s coffee.) My plane – the third in 24 hours, to be immediately followed by the fourth, is leaving really soon, but there’s free wifi here, so I thought I’d take a run at reporting on last night. I’m going straight from the airport in NYC to the Brooklyn Barnes and Noble where I’m speaking tonight, unless there’s time to pop in at the hotel – so I feel like I should make hay while the sun shines. I have 26 minutes.

This tour doesn’t have a lot of time for absorbing and reflecting all of the places I’m going. Some times people say that they think it might be fun to be on a book tour and see all these places, and for sure, some parts are totally fun, but the thing that it is least of all, is a visit with the city I’m going to. I see the airport. A cab. A hotel and a book/yarn store – and then I’m onto the next one. I can tell you that there is a river in Kansas City. I can tell you it’s beautiful. There are indeed, cows near the airport, as promised – and no tornados, as Sam feared. (I was a little nervous too, but it turns out that the tornadoes are mostly in the spring. It was a little windy. I asked. ) Beyond that – all I saw was the bookstore owners (Roger and Vivien – who are lovely, well organized souls) and the knitters.



(Note here. Now I’m on a plane, (where I also can’t recommend United’s coffee) I totally ran out of time, so I’m now writing from very high up – somewhere between Kansas City and Chicago. Does Chicago have free wifi?)

There were charming young knitters, like Amy (6) and Kathryn (seen here with her mum Carissa and her little brother Ryan, exhausted from his good behaviour) and there was Liz, celebrating her 13th Birthday.


Cheryl brought a fantastic washcloth. (Wait until you see what I do with all of these.)


There were first sock knitters… like Karen and Hattie Lynn, who actually showed up with one first sock and photographic proof that at one time there was a second first sock, except that she showed the gory evidence that her dog had eaten its mate. Horrific thing to see. Shivers down my spine. The total reason I have a cat. Next is Melissa, Shari, Nicole and finally Emily – all forming a fine first sock brigade indeed.



( 12: 40 – Now I’m in Chicago, but there isn’t free wifi, and I’m not buying it for the 10 minutes I have here. I’m boarding for NYC in a couple of minutes. Maybe I’ll make it to the hotel before the event to post. No time for coffee.)

(2:04 – or maybe 3:04. When does a time change start if you’re flying? Back up in the air, eating chex mix (which I think is one of the best things about the USA) and an apple, which is what is serving as lunch today, and were the only two things I had time to buy in Chicago. Breakfast was the aforementioned Cinnabon coffee and half of what was pretending to be a cinnamon bun, but in reality was a diabetic coma in baked form. It was the only vegetarian thing to eat on the security side of the Kansas City Airport. Nutrition is a pretty big problem on the road. )

I want you to meet three other knitters. This one is knitting his own kilt hose, which is the only responsible thing to do, since he’s a big enough knitter that he shouldn’t ask it of another…


This knitter brought pictures of her very own hand knit (by her) wedding dress – so beautiful you could cry over it. The skirt was so full that I bet the cast off took DAYS. Mind bending, traumatic, I can’t believe I’m doing this sort of days. Looks totally worth it.


This knitter brought me a wee wool pig (currently in the belly of the airplane – I have been hoping all day that my bag got searched and someone wondered what he was doing perched on the top of my belongings. )


Some knitters brought me babies, though I didn’t get to keep them… There’s Emily and Evelyn, and Rebekah and Samantha


Then the last knitters trickled off into the night….


I signed more books for mail order and other mysterious bookstore reasons, and I drifted off, back to the hotel and into my bed for the night. I managed to knit about 3 rows on my new project before I was entirely unconscious, and it occurred to me as I wrote that I haven’t shown you what I started for this round of plane knitting. I know I said it would be lace, and it sort of is..

It’s a skirt that I’ve been enchanted with for a while. It’s designed by Ruth Sørensen, and I bought the yarn at Madrona last year after seeing an example of it in Ruth’s class. (If you click this link, I’ve got a picture of it in a couple of samples in that entry.) Her example was knit of Evilla, a yarn with even longer repeats than Kauni, which is what I’m using, so I’m messing with things a little bit to make sure that I get only one repeat of the run all the way through the skirt. If things go well, it will be black near the waist, graduations of grey through the skirt, fading to palest grey at the hem.


I want equal proportions of each – more or less, but the skirt gets wider as it gets longer. Therefore, I’ve gutted and gored several balls of Kauni, dividing them each into one run of the repeat. At the beginning I used three balls, knitting one round from each of them in turn to extend the repeat. Now I’m at the grey, and I’m using four balls.


I imagine that as I get down towards the palest part things shall become very complex indeed, but I’m trying not to worry about it just yet. I’m just knitting and drinking bad airline coffee until I get to Brooklyn.

(PS. Happy election day to Canadians – I know we’re all thrilled that today concludes the six weeks of campaigning and releases us from any more conversations about bad sweaters, earnest moustaches and which national language you’re telling the truth in. Don’t forget to go vote. I did the advance poll thing – I’ve been counted. Remember that all you need to vote, even if you didn’t get your voter card (or you lost it – or you just decided today that you really do care who runs this country) is to turn up at your local polling station with something that proves your address (like a bill) and your identification. Takes two minutes and gives you the right to complain about politicians until the next go ’round – and considering our current crop… you wouldn’t want to be left out of that… would you?)

(PPS, if anybody at tonight’s talk is the sort who would know, I would love an election update from home.)

(PPPS – posted from the hotel – where I just have time to make this go before I do.)