It is 10 p.m. I am picking over the contents of my knitting bag, suspicious that items packed four days ago and since checked 37 times will have jumped out and hid themselves.
Yarns: check. US3 and US8 needles: check. Folding scissors: check. Familiar, comforting copy of Mary Thomas’s Knitting Book: check. I’m crossing items off the list when I’m suddenly swamped by a rolling wave of déja-vu.
I am 10 or 11 years old. I am loading my backpack for what will be my first and last trip to Boy Scout camp. I am unaware that the next five days will be a giddy whirl of bad cooking, illicit drinking, flunked swim tests, thunderstorms, skunk attacks, poison ivy and suspiciously friendly camp counselors.
Maybe Stitches will be different. There will at least be flush toilets.
I go to bed. I want to say a prayer but don’t know who the patron saint of knitters is. I decide on St. Clare of Assisi – she’s the patroness of embroiderers and can always pass along the message – and the Virgin Mary, who is obviously fond of shawls.
I sleep fitfully, dreaming that Nancy Bush is chasing me around a classroom with with a Brittany needle the size of a baseball bat.
To be continued.