So, where have I been?
Let's get this bit out of the way first.
It’s been more than a month since I’ve written because the tiny black dog (see illustration) who almost always trots along behind me got out in front, teeth bared in an unambiguous snarl, and backed me into a corner.
It happens. It’s been happening for years. I was overdue. And now I seem to have put the little nipper back in his place, at least for the time being. And while I’m terribly sorry not to have been in touch, and I've missed you intensely. But better silence out of me than grouching. Trust me. Where I grouch, no grass grows.
While I Was Out
It was for the best that just when I was most inclined to hide under the bed with a copy of Sartre, scribbling you said it, brother and oh, mais oui in the margins, I had promised to leave the apartment and mix with knitters.
And oh, Sweet Nancy Bush, have I ever been mixing. I should have KITCHEN AID stamped on my forehead and a dough hook stuck in my mouth.
I mixed close to home, teaching three classes on home turf at Loopy Yarns. And then I mixed far, far from home in Washington, at Renaissance Yarns (Kent), Paradise Fibers (Spokane), and an all-male knitting retreat in a decommissoned convent.
There’s no way I’m going to try to cram all of it into a single entry. I know I’ll run out of energy halfway through and wind up back under the bed listening to a bootleg of Diamanda Galas/Fiona Apple mash-ups.
The only thing is to rummage about in the filigreed bonbon box of memory and proffer random sweet bits to you as I grab them.
Crochet for Mixed Marriages
The genius behind my trip west was Brian Kohler, who works at (and designs for) Skacel, Inc.–the nice people who have grown spoiled and indolent on all the money I spend on Addi knitting needles.
Brian is doubtless familiar to some of you as That Guy Who is Knitting Seven Pairs of Socks at One Time on Two Circular Needles, because he is in fact knitting seven pairs of socks at one time on two circular needles. You can read about it here.
When he is not knitting seven pairs of socks at one time on two circular needles, Brian creates designs that are not only clever and beautiful but may even help us realize the fugitive vision of Peace in Our Time. Don’t believe me? Have a gander at this enigmatic little number.
It’s a crocheted Easter Yarmulke, perfect for those who have to dash from a Seder to the Egg Roll on the White House lawn without time to change outfits. All you do is give it a spin. Brian, would you be so kind as to demonstrate?
The coalition-building power of millinery. It gives one hope, don't you agree?
Back and There Again
Until this month, the Pacific Northwest was the one part of the United States I’d never visited. And I’m going back again¬–this time, to Portland. (I've only been trying to get out there for twenty years. It's about bloody time.)
If you’d like to hang out, and I so dearly hope you will, I’ll be at Knit Purl for a full-day class (Elizabeth Zimmermann’s Tomten Jacket and Garter Stitch Jacquard) and book signing on September 27, and a brand-spanking-new illustrated talk on September 28.
And then from the west, I head east. More on that (and so much else, my dears) tomorrow.