I ran away to the lake this week, and I did something I haven’t done in years: I went offline. I set up a vacation auto-reply on my business email and resisted the urge to say “I will check my email occasionally, so…” or “I’ll be responding more slowly than usual, but…” With surprising difficulty, I left it at “I will be away and offline until Thursday.” I did use a bird identification app* a few times, which seemed like an okay thing to do as there were so many birds and I wanted to know what they were.
Here we are, back in Birmingham. After a day of sleep and a day of running errands (including replacing my phone, lost, presumed stolen, in the wilds of Toronto), I’m ready to tackle Mount Laundry, put the luggage away, and get back to work. Though I moved away so long ago, Toronto still feels like home to me: my big city face and fast-walking feet snapped into place like they were just waiting to come out and play. Still, it’s nice to be back where things move more slowly, in the place where I keep my tea things and my knitting chair and my cats and my deck full of plants and my own bathroom with a shower that doesn’t require a pilot’s license to operate. (Seriously, y’all should’ve seen the shower at the last place we stayed.)
In between family time and wedding chuppah-holding and birthdaying (the day after one sister’s wedding was the other sister’s birthday) and such, I managed to visit a few yarn shops, exhibiting admirable restraint (in my humble opinion), at least until the end. Unfortunately, that restraint extended to taking photos, for which I’m kicking myself now. However, here’s the rundown, in the order visited: Continue reading →
…than I’m off again. It feels like I just got back from DC (wait, I did just get back—I’ve only been home a week), and I’m packing to head up to Toronto. This trip is for fun: my sister, who lives up in the T dot, is getting married to a lovely man, and the clan is gathering for the event. My other sister has rented a cottage, so there will be city time and lake time and family time and time with old friends from the punk rock stompin’ around town years. Many of my internet friends are gathering while we’re there (for another wedding—apparently it’s the thing to do right now), so there will also be time with old friends I’ve never met in real life. And there will be knitting. I got shockingly little knitting done during TNNA, and hooboy, am I going to make up for that in the next couple of weeks. (See above re: lake time: there’s a whole nine glorious days of it.) Of course, most of it will be work knitting, but that’s my favourite kind of work, so I don’t mind one bit. Continue reading →
Well, SAFF was wonderful. Of course. I only tasted a bit of it, because I didn’t get it together to book classes and my non-fibre-obsessed friend had taken the weekend off for my visit, so I mostly wandered around on Friday and took everything in and got a feel for the thing. The thing, let me tell you, can be pretty overwhelming. A lot of the classes looked amazing, though: the schedule’s gone from the site now, but I remember seeing spinning instructors like AbbyFranquemont and Judith MacKenzie, and a colour theory class with Franklin Habit, so that should give you some idea of the lineup. Fortunately, the fleece judging was open to all attendees, so I spent a very happy hour watching Judith MacKenzie walk us through many, many primitive breed fleeces.
I spent last weekend at TNNA‘s summer show, and I think I’ve finally recovered from the sensory overload. Any description I try to write comes out as word salad—it was a lot to take in for this near-hermit—so here are some highlights in pictures. There’s a terrifying clown further down the page, so if you have a thing about scary clowns, you have been warned. Continue reading →
I don’t often get out to local yarn stores. I know, I know: shock, horror, the collapse of the institution, etcetera. The thing is, I live in the ass end of nowhere that is 70s era American suburbia, and I don’t get out much. Instead, I buy online from…wait for it…local yarn stores. They’re just not local to me, except in the more abstract, internet-as-global-community kind of way. When I get the chance, though, I do like to stick my head into an actual bricks-and-mortar store to admire the yarn in person and geek out with fellow knitters using my voice, rather than my keyboard. If such a chance arises while traveling, well, souvenir yarn makes for some good, guilt-free stash enhancement. Continue reading →
We’re back from Asheville, and back to the home repairs. Asheville (indeed, all of that part of North Carolina) is just gorgeous, the people we met were delightful, the weather was at least 10F cooler than Birmingham, and the occasional rain made for many pleasant hours spent knitting on my friend’s back porch. Continue reading →
Tomorrow, we head out on another road trip, this time to visit a good friend in Asheville, NC. I’m excited for all sorts of reasons: I haven’t seen this friend in a couple of years; it’s a chance to see a whole new swathe of the South (anything east of Atlanta on this trip will be new to me); my friend knits, and knows where to go in Asheville for local yarn and fibre (woo!); and the drive is about 6 hours each way. That’s twelve whole hours in the car. That’s some serious knitting time, folks. So right now, my brain looks something like this: