Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The Good, the Bad and the Plain Silly

Hi Knitters,
So last Wednesday as I was hoping to leave for Cincinnati and connecting through Chicago I was told that O'Hare was a complete mess and that flights were getting cancelled left and right. A chill went down my spine. The kind man saw my angst and quickly found a straight flight for me leaving later that afternoon on a different airline. Lo and behold there was one measly seat left just for me. Oh yeah! My husband drove me back home where I happily hung out for a couple of hours before he drove me back to the airport again. I love him for driving me and picking me up.
I get on that new flight, nestle into the last window seat in the last row of the plane and the woman sitting next to me sits down and pulls out her Cherry Tree Hill sock and starts knitting. Okay, I had to laugh to myself. This was meant to be. I pulled out my Regia Kaffe Fassett sock and we had a good old time chatting up the Madison knit shops and patterns and so on.
See those holes up there on my gusset pick up? So do I. It was a little dark back there in that seat. The holes make me laugh. I finished up my first ankle sock and started the next. The knitter's name I was sitting with is Molly and she was knitting a pair of socks from the Favorite Socks book from Interweave. They were beautiful and complicated. That was a good thing.
I read this IK Holiday Gifts issue on my way home to Madison. It is a good one and it is on the new stands right now. If you subscribe to IK you don't get this in the mail so pick it up if you are interested. The cap on the cover is beautiful thanks to Mary Jane Mucklestone, Jared Flood (aka brooklyn tweed) has a phenomenal hat inside, and Kate Gilbert knits a fantastically complicated fair isle stocking. There are some lovely socks and scarves, too.
I check two suitcases everywhere I go. The small suitcase has my clothes and the larger suitcase carries my trunk show. It is jam packed to the brim with knitted samples and demo stuff. After every leg of the trip when I open my suitcases there is an inspection notice on top. I am telling you I wish I could see the inspector's face when he opens my bag of samples and then has to close it, not an easy feat. There are feathers, pillows, knitted animals and a mobile for that matter. I am sure they must think I am insane.
As I was waiting to fly home through a connecting flight from Dallas (I flew through Dallas four times in three days) I noticed a feuding couple at the gate. They were middle-aged and the husband was extremely agitated with his wife. He was berating her for shopping 24/7 in a loud voice. I thought to my tired self, please don't let me sit near them. Please. You know what I am going to say next.
I quietly sit in my aisle seat as the couple passes me by, phew. Not to last, the woman who was no shrinking violet herself, comes back to sit in the window seat next to me. She keeps shouting to her husband and complaining about her travel agent for seating them separately. Her husband announces to the plane that he is going to "sit in the toilet." Okay by me. I offer to let her husband sit next to her, no really, I am happy to move, really. She likes this offer and begins beckoning her husband to come forward.
Guess what? Her husband does not want to sit with her! Not kidding. He yells up for us to have a good time together. Oh yeah, it's true. I am now right in the middle of an embarrassing domestic squabble. I am so exhausted at this point I can barely keep my eyes open. The wife is completely humiliated. I am embarrassed for her. She then goes on to kind of whine at me how everyone is just so crabby around here and how she just wants to get home to see her dogs. Then the wife states loudly, "I was just going to sleep anyway!"
There is a God!!
I snuck in a bit of knitting here and there on my sKnitches breath mint sock that I started months ago. It is lovely yarn that I got here.
When I arrived in Lexington the wonderful Diane from Magpie Yarns met me at the airport and it was midnight when she picked me up. What a sweetheart. The guilt I felt was apparent but then I did something else that was so silly to add to it. I had mentioned briefly that I am having some lower back issues. I am on the mend but the help I received from kind knitters and drivers was so appreciated. Diane wanted to help me pull my big suitcase off the baggage claim. I pointed out my bag and she pulled it off and we quickly started heading toward the door. A woman came frantically chasing after us and I looked down and saw that Diane was pulling a bag along that wasn't mine. Oh gosh, Susan, you fool! The woman was kind and I was apologetic to everyone involved, but poor Diane. We went back and sure enough my bag was still on the conveyor belt. Oy. We laughed about that one.
On the way to Little Rock, through Dallas of course, I pulled out this fantastic Noro Silk Garden Lite I got at the Woolie Ewe. When I saw this yarn I remembered seeing someone knit a pair of socks somewhere and thinking I would like to do that. I cast on 48 stitches on size 4 dpns and look what I got! I love them. I did a 5 1/2 inch cuff in knit 3, purl 1 rib. I bought 3 balls of the silk garden #2011 and I only needed two, but that's okay. I think I may have enough for another complete pair. I love and adore the mismatched look of these, so fun.
I actually finished an entire sock on the flights from Lexington to Dallas and then Dallas to Little Rock. Let me tell you why. The first part of the trip went fine, I think I got through the heel turn. The second part of the trip got a bit dicey. After we boarded the plane we sat for quite awhile. Finally, an announcement from the strangest flight attendant I have ever encountered came over the speaker. She told us the plane was having maintenance issues and we were to remain seated. She also gave a brief and sarcastic lecture about how purses are actually carry on items and were not to be stored on one's lap or in the pocket of the seat in front of you. I have never seen anyone do either of those things but apparently she had. All of sudden I knew things were going downhill and fast.
As we are seated the pilot comes on and tells us they basically need to re-boot the plane just like a computer. We were informed that we would be sitting in the dark for several minutes (it was at least 10) as they turned off the plane. Ugh. All I could think of was that Jet Blue flight where people were stuck on a runway for 11 hours and how I should have used the restroom one more time before boarding.
Passengers quickly scrambled for their phones and began a series of loud phone calls telling their people of the situation. One woman was particularly loud and it was clear she was making sure the entire plane could hear her call. It was a cringe-inducing call that included a lot of "baby" and orders about what to do and who to bring to the airport. I muttered something in a hushed whisper to myself like, "Please, God." It wasn't meant to be out loud but I heard the cute woman next to me chuckle when I did it. I knew I liked her.
We were then instructed after they turned the plane back on that it was a no go. We had to de-board the plane and wait at the gate for instruction. The flight attendant had a lengthy talk about not going anywhere away from the gate. I am not kidding, she was a fake. She was wearing a loud patchwork Halloween vest. Much to my delight my seatmate, Jill, pointed out that in the dark plane this vest was strangely illuminated by the fasten your seatbelt sign as she stood in the aisle. This vest is not part of their uniform selection I am sure. She also sported a pair of sunglasses propped up on her head holding back her incredibly ungroomed hair. She gave the most unscripted talks the entire time the flight went on. I kept saying to Jill that she was an impostor flight attendant. We could not stop laughing at one point.
Fortunately, we quickly got on another plane at another gate. I continued to knit on my silk garden sock and finished it, pretty fun stuff (I finished the second one today). Jill, it turns out, is a pediatric doc at the Arkansas Children's Hospital, where she figured out I was going for the Knitting for Noggins event. Her mom is a knitter and donates to the event. Even better, her mom, who I met last year at the event, has an uncle who owns the Octopus car wash in Madison. Okay all of you native Madisonians, who hasn't been to the Octopus car wash? It is a staple here in town. Jill joined her mom at the event the next day and we had a good laugh about the crazy plane stuff. I really enjoyed Jill and her mom.
Very quickly, Debbie Bliss's Essential Baby is a wonderful new knitting book. You should really take a look at this one. In Plano I bought yarn for a project in here.
I bought the makings for this adorable toy lamb at the Woolie Ewe. They have the most fantastic selection of Debbie Bliss yarns at this shop. If you are interested it is the place to shop for Debbie Bliss yarns. The yarn is the Cashmerino Astrakhan in ivory and Cathay in black. I'll show you when I am done. It should be a quick knit and isn't that cute? Debbie wins again with this book.
Lastly, I snagged these bag handles I have been wanting forever and a day. Woolie Ewe has a great selection of these Grayson E leather handles that are distributed by Meunch Yarns. I can't wait to put these to use!

One last note, tomorrow I am going to be at the St. Mary's Care Center in Madison at 1:00. This is going to be so great. Carmela asked if I would visit their knitting group that meets on Thursdays and I jumped at the chance. Apparently there is one member who is 101 years old and she is still on fire with her knitting. She teaches new knitters, too. I don't know anything about the other members but I am looking forward to a nice knitterly afternoon with them.

I would do anything for St. Mary's Hospital or care center. St. Mary's is where I was born and my youngest daughter was born, and where both my mother and father were cared for extensively during their sicknesses. Just the thought of those kind, hardworking doctors and nurses brings tears to my eyes.

I will be there with bells on!

Phew, I didn't even tell it all! More to come!

best, susie