The Life and Times of Florence Knitingale

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

We're Not in Kansas Any More....(part 1)

Okay, so that's kinda obvious....but I've always wanted to be able to say that. Anyhow....we did get back safe if not utterly sound (something about arriving home at midnight in the middle of a howling windstorm sort of discourages the use of the word "sound"....) and I suspect it may take more than a post to tell you all about it. But, since I know what you REALLY want to know:

Okay, so maybe this seems excessive (and maybe there's a cat buried under there now that I think about it....but they know the hazards of living with knitters, right?). But I have an excuse (and for once, it's actually a legitimate excuse). My dear mother-in-law is a crocheter who knits only occasionally (I keep trying to lure her over to the dark side with us, but no luck so far) and told me at one point during our trip that she had "a bunch of wool yarn that someone gave me" and, since she doesn't knit with wool, she wondered if I could use it. The picture above is that bunch of yarn. It's piled up so you really can't see all of it....but it's beautiful stuff. Mostly Lopi, a bit of Lamb's Pride in a heavenly shade of blue, some unlabelled sock weight stuff, some odds and ends. My mother-in-law (really, my other mom) said she thought there wasn't enough of any one color to do anything with...but the colors are so complimentary, I can see a sweater of many colors in my knitting future without too much trouble. (Yeah, yeah--when it comes to color, I really am a magpie on crack. I don't think my tastes have mellowed or matured much since I was four and wanted everything that touched me to be either bright red, bright red, or bright red. Except now I like teal and purple, too.) Anyway, you'd think that would be enough....but then, you're mostly knitters so perhaps the mere notion of putting the words "yarn" and "enough" in the same sentence (without the word "not") seems as ludicrous to you as it does to me. In any case, check this out:

Yep, you're seeing right. That's batting. See, while I was in Kansas I had the opportunity to (yarn crawl with) meet the absolutely delightful Marianne from Marianne's Knotminding while I was in the midwest (however cool, smart, funny, and just plain awesome you think she might be, multiply that by about 57 and you'll have a start--she rocks) and we found this place:

Yeah, I know--"yarn" and "barn". You just KNOW it's got to be good, don't you? And it was. They wouldn't let us take photos inside or I'd show you the huge assortment of yarn, batting, cones, spinning wheels, looms, etc. (Turns out they were afraid we'd take pictures of patterns and thus use them without paying for them. I love Marianne all the more for her comment that "knitters wouldn't do that!" How true.) ANYHOW (yes, I'm getting to the point, honest), Marianne wanted to get herself a spindle and some batting so she could try her hand at spinning. Given that I have the coordination of a moose in cement slippers--in a room full of crystal--I have always assumed that spinning would be beyond my talents (I fear I'm using them all up making all these sweaters and shawls and socks and such) so I regretfully decided not to do the same, although I admit that I fingered the batting quite wistfully. (Should the owner of the Yarn Barn be reading this, I thank you for not calling me a pervert or throwing me out just because I spent so much time with my entire hand thrust into the center of a bag of alpaca fiber and moaning quietly to myself.) But Marianne surprised me later by presenting me with the lovely batting you see above AND a drop spindle. Marianne, I love that you believe in me. And you can bet that I'm not giving up until I have spun and knitted something that will make me think of you (like I need anything to remind me to do THAT!!).

All in all, we had a lovely time and I only wish we'd had more of it. I have pictures but I'm giving her the chance to veto any that she hates before I post them. (Doesn't that make me sound terribly nice and considerate? I really hate having to admit that she did the same for me first...otherwise, I might not have thought of it. But the pics of her are so good!) I'll get the approved photos up tomorrow when I do part 2. 'Cause I really did do more than yarn.

Oh, but speaking of yarn:

My lovely and talented niece (she's the pretty one without fur--the fur person is Haley). In the chair is my equally lovely sister-in-law (also without fur). Joanie took to knitting like a duck to water (or, more properly, a sheep to....whatever sheep are drawn to....), and I resisted the urge to rub my hands together and utter a sinister laugh (bwa-ha-ha-ha!) as another one saw the way of the wool. I did tell her, though, that I had to get a picture for proof, as I'm pretty sure I'm close to having recruited enough to get a free toaster. And her mother was very pleased that I taught her the process but not the profanity. Hey, I can be reasonable.

There's so much more....but I'll tell you more next time. In general, it was a lovely trip with loads of loving family and a tremendous day with Marianne. You just can't ask for more than that.

By the way, I went to PT today and he noted that my neck seemed looser. He asked if I'd been knitting much and I told him, truthfully, that I had not had a chance to knit all weekend. At which point, he uttered it: "We really need to take those knitting needles away from you." Yeah, you just try it, Buddy. There's more than one thing to do with a pair of sharp, pointy sticks. And don't think I won't let loose the flying monkeys.


  • At 3:04 PM, Blogger Marianne said…

    Oh yeah, those flying monkeys...
    Dear Florence, my head is swelling up to the size of a huge watermellon,whoa.......
    People, Ms.K is so incredibly awesome, multiply what *you're* thinking by....oh say, a kergillion and you've got a good start. ;)
    I had so much fun, we made good time.

  • At 3:22 PM, Blogger Peg said…

    Lucky you to meet Marianne. She is the best swapper! I am currently knitting with the cashmere she sent to me, and it is like butter in my hand. It will be difficult to go back to the charity knitting - I believe that knitting needs to be able to stand a washing machine!! Glad you had so much fun and added to the stash!

  • At 9:22 PM, Blogger Faren said…

    Yeah, I thought you two were meeting up. Where in KS was the yarn barn? Seems like Whicita or KC would be the only places big enough. It looks like someplace I really need to visit. Glad you guys got to meet and have so much fun!

  • At 11:44 PM, Anonymous angie cox said…

    Oh my ...all that yarn ,a lovely neice ,S.I.L ,meeting Marianne and a barn...not a shop but a barn ( faints) .Holly gets out smelling salts ..I'm back. I am sure yarn store owners know we must fondle after all feel is a big part as some-one is going to waer the stuff.I don't feel baked bean tins but I do veg. to make sure it is fresh. I look forward to seeing Marianne .

  • At 7:10 AM, Anonymous kcsis said…

    Hey, I don't get a chance to approve the photos of us! Luckily, most of me was hidden! Your niece on the other hand photographs nicely, but I am a little prejudice! It was a very nice visit. I don't get to see Ms.K very much, so I do enjoy the time we had together even though she is turning my daughter to the dark side! By the way, the next time you turn someone to the dark side try to live closer for the frustrating moments like last night when we had to go visit grandma to help correct the problem! Anyway, she is trying to make a scarf for her friend for Christmas! Hopefully I will have pictures to share!

  • At 7:27 AM, Blogger Ms. Knitingale said…

    Hey, my sis in Kansas is online! Hi, kcsis! You're right, I should have given you veto rights...but that's such a sweet photo! And your beautiful daughter did inherit that out of nowhere. Yep, it was you. Sorry about last night...but tell her she can e-mail me anytime. I may turn them to the dark side, but I do provide a support line. Loved the visit...wish we lived closer together and could see each other more often. Hugs your way.

  • At 1:21 PM, Blogger Jo said…

    Oh hell, I wish I'd been along on that trip, that I do! And Marianne was absolutely right in her instincts to get you that spindle and batting. Believe me Ms. K, it is the most relaxing, fulfilling thing you can do (no, really, better than that, honestly!) It would be my relaxation of choice anytime (if I just didn't have all this yarn to use up and all these WIPs to look after. Hey, you think I need to organise a babysitter for the WIPs when I'm out?)
    Jealous of trip, jealous of yarn hunt, jealous of new stash. AND you have access to Ghirardelli!
    Send chocolate.
    Celtic Memory Yarns.


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