The Bruins lost today.
They lost Thursday night, too. Blew leads both games.
That's what you came here for, right?
Okay, just kidding. I said I'd tell you all about my trip to the big scary city to Represent with the Yarn Harlot, and so I shall. I went, I Represented, it was fabulouso, and I wore myself out completely in less than two days (thank heavens for the weekend). The Bruins have all but eliminated themselves from the playoffs, the cats are acting like I've been gone for weeks, it may snow in the morning ... life reverts to brutal normality quickly, doesn't it?
But ah, I can relive it for a little while. It was such fun! Well worth the nerves. I left home Thursday morning and stopped at a favorite deli for a sub lunch to bring on the train. You know how finding a penny is supposed to bring good luck? I parked, got out of the car, and found a quarter
on the ground. Twenty-five times good luck! Such a nice omen. And a really good sub, too. With chips, a cookie, and cream soda (despite the cream soda debacle
recently, I felt that as long as I watched this one for a few minutes before opening it, I should be safe, and so it proved), I was set for food.
The drive to the station, south of Boston, was uneventful, only one small accident (that I passed
, not that I had
, I mean), and traffic not too bad getting by it. The parking garage was nearly full, now there's something I hadn't even thought to worry about! But they didn't have the roof level open, so maybe they only open it when they need to? I had to drive around for a few minutes to find a spot that wasn't between two drivers who either didn't know or didn't care that you're supposed to park between
the lines, not on or over them, but I was still there in plenty of time, so no problem.
In fact, I was even in the station in enough time to hear them announce the earlier, Acela express train (which I chose not to take, as being half again as expensive and not that much faster), with its business class and
its quiet zone car: no cell phones, no laptops. I don't think of laptops as particularly loud, though no doubt I could be proved wrong, but especially looking back, the idea of the no phone car might be worth the extra price. Because there was no such zone announcement for my train. This trip made me quite nostalgic for the days when you only heard conversations of people who were actually around you.
Anyway, I had eaten half my lunch in the station (and would eat the other half shortly before arrival), so I did some knitting on the train, alternately sock (through the heel gusset and into the plain vanilla of the foot at last) and scarf, which after all does need to be turned in on Monday for the auction no matter how long it is. I read the magazine, you can't call it an in-flight magazine, can you, but whatever, it was good, it had quite an interesting article on Charlie Rose. I brought the mag with me last night to give my friend who's a journalist, as I think she might enjoy that.
I watched the landscape go by and mused on how you don't see the best of urban areas from the train, but mostly a lot of garbage and graffiti. Of course, one doesn't build the best, most expensive, most lovely stuff along railroad tracks, it's going to be warehouses more than bungalows, and if you have beautiful property, you probably fight pretty hard when the railroad comes through town not to have it abut your property. It still makes for unappealing watching, and on a gray day more depressing than most. There are parts of RI and CT that are prettier, but in a somewhat bleak way at this time of year. Winter still has a grip on even the endless marshes and trackless forests. The best hope I could see was in a faint yellow-green glow to the underbrush, a hint of pre-Spring in the midst of the detritus of autumn leaves and winter's fallen branches. There were a few swans, ducks, and geese, and the sun came out for moments at a time, so it could have been worse.
Anyway, enough of this nature nonsense. On with the show! I had been hoping for the train not to be late, so that I could get to the hall in time for the tour of the knitting lab (knitting lab!) that one of the professors (knitting professors!) was giving, and in fact, the train was a few minutes early, hooray. It was a pleasant afternoon, enough that I could take my coat off as I walked the few blocks from Penn Station to FIT (whoever put them so close together, thank you, that was very helpful for me). In front of the C building were the usual crowd of smokers that you see outside any building in this day and age, but also a dozen or so people holding needles and yarn instead. A-ha, knitters!
Emboldened by my sense of purpose, I walked up to them and said, "Are you waiting for the tour?" and received an affirmative answer (thank heavens, although I wasn't feeling tentative enough that a brush-off would have sent me scuttling away, or at least not very far). So I pulled out my own knitting and waited, amused by the sight of the growing group of knitters receiving, so far as I could tell, no particular attention. You callous New Yorkers.
Isn't that pretty yarn, there in the middle? (I wish I'd asked her what it was. Oh well. We'll pretend it's very expensive, or fussy, or hard to find, and move on.) After a little while, we were herded into the lobby, and a few minutes later, downstairs. I would estimate 50 people went on the tour, and I was the only one I saw who stopped to take a photo of this sign, but who could resist?
The lab was quite large, full of all different sizes of commercial knitting machines that have been donated to the school. I particularly liked the wall of yarn cones, since the colors laid out like that always appeal:
So pretty! The machines were interesting, and impressive (and I did take more photos of them if anyone wants
to see them, but they aren't making the cut tonight), but did not stir in me a desire to learn more myself. Which is fine. I'm quite glad to have seen them, though. I mean, the things that there are in the world, that I knew not of. Two different people, to whom I mentioned the Yarn Council of America (more on that in a moment), replied with the exact same phrase: "Who knew?" Exactly!
After we saw the machines, and the class learning to program some of them (one word: wow), we were shown the way upstairs to the auditorium and, outside, the table where The Book was being sold. A line formed at once, and we stood knitting and talking as we waited. When it was my turn to pay, I picked up my copy and found that I hugged it without planning to. Even without the whole knitting element, sending me to a book release for a book I've been waiting for is no small thing*. I love that in the picture on the cover, she's knitting, and I don't mean holding knitting in her hands. I mean, her hands are blurred, like she wouldn't--couldn't-- even hold them still to have the picture taken. That's perfect. Nothing else would suit.
*Of course, most of the time I wouldn't then put the book into my bag and not take it out until I was on the train the next night! That's not normal behavior for me. What is normal is that I finished it today. It's really good. I can't wait to read a few key bits to the friend I'm teaching to knit, that I think will help inspire her through the first, difficult times (like, "You're not defusing a bomb"), and I enjoyed watching Alice's story develop (read it yourself, you'll see).I sat down in the auditorium next to Melissa, who I had been talking to in the book line (and the ladies room, if that's not too much information). We made the woman in front of us laugh when we sat down, talking, talking, talking, and in the middle of it paused to introduce ourselves.
It was only about 5, so we had time to kill until the talk started at about 6, but somehow that wasn't a problem. Melissa told me about, and showed me, a way to knit a tube on two straight needles that I can't wait to try (finish the scarf first, finish the scarf), and I'll share when I do try it. Watching the room fill with knitters (and the occasional tolerant muggle, I'm sure) was amazing. There was a screen at the front of the room showing slides, photos from the blog, the travelling sock, etcetera, which set the mood nicely. Lookit all the knitters!
These were taken at about twenty to 6, so more people came before it started. The red spots on the seats were the little goodie bags from the Yarn Council of America (everyone repeat after me: who knew?), who provided yarn, needles, and info about knitting squares for the Warm Up America project. After she came out, Stephanie told us that if everyone made a square that night, there would be enough for 15 blankets. I finished one:And Melissa finished one and started another (speedy!). I noticed a man a couple of rows ahead of us knitting with great determination and not a lot of flow, shall we say, and afterward when I went up to the stage, I heard him tell Stephanie that he lost his virginity that night: his wife finally got him knitting. Stephanie's whole face beamed.
When she did come out, the applause was loud enough to freak her out a bit, although she was relieved that some of it was for the Bohus, which looked amazing by the way, even from a distance. Even my camera was overpowered, overwhelmed by the occasion:
I got better shots of her after, though by then she wasn't wearing Bohus, having decided against heatstroke for some reason. It was kind of funny, actually: she apologized for taking it off, but said it was really too warm in there for it, then peeled it over her head and dropped it on the stage, which provoked much dismay in the crowd: not as much as when the Socks That Rock bank was discussed, but a lot. A woman near me called out for her to pick it up, and she protested that it's wool, it's washable. I couldn't help myself, I called out, "At least fold
it!" (I mean, it was lying in a heap, the poor thing, after all that work, and the first time it was worn...) Saying something about how knitters are ... is bossy the word she used? ... she picked it up and gave it to a friend in the front to take care of.
And not Joe, although he was there! It turned out that the whole "Joe's going to Montreal for a gig" was a wee fib, not hers but his, he was plotting and came to surprise her. Sweet, eh? She sure was surprised.
So, she's a great speaker, no surprise there, right? Everyone's said so, her books are great, and funny, and although she sounded ever so slightly nervous -- well, she said outright that she was nervous -- she spoke well, and clearly, and was funny, and moving, and if you can go see her, do. Like you didn't know that, if you're here for the knitting at all, but I think it had to be said.
Now, this post is already huge long, and it's late and I want to stop, so I think I'll break, post this on its own, and continue tomorrow or Monday with the rest, which includes the Radical Lace & Subversive Knitting exhibit, so y'all come back, y'hear?
Labels: knit, read