Posted on September 12, 2004 at 8:33 pm

For those of us New Englanders who couldn’t make it to Manhattan for Kay and Ann’s afghan seaming party, there was the Knit Out on Boston Common near the gazebo. A fashion show, speed contests, show and tell, and local shops set up with their most enticing samples to show off . . . but refusing to sell me anything. Imagine this. It’s Sunday. I get special dispensation from the husband to leave him and the boy alone and jolly into Boston with Kim and the Divine Miss C for a Fiber Event, and I have cash and a credit card wearing springs in my wallet, and there, spread before me in a festival tent, is an anthology of great yarn shops from the greater Boston area (we Yank knitters are so very lucky) all boasting what to a starving man is the equivalent of freshly baked bread and hot buttered popcorn, nay, rubbing our very noses in all of the fibery lusciousness, and they weren’t allowed to sell me anything. And I know that two stores there happen to stock the very Lorna’s Laces Lion and Lamb I need to make Kate’s Clapotis scarf. But they weren’t allowed to see me anything. Not even a stitch marker! Who do I need to give a serious frogging?
Alas. I comforted myself with other things. Like sitting in on a few rows of Circles Knitting Salon’s Empathy Shawl, where three knitters work on the piece simultaneously. That’s the picture you see here, of me in the middle, with my new knitting friends Jen on the right and Ellen on the left. It’s going to be a gift for a friend of the shop who is very much in need of some prayers and good feelings. I was grateful to be a part of it.

I also got to enjoy the rare treat of sitting with blogging buddies and actually talking and knitting together, like it were the sort of thing we do together all the time. Virtual is fun, but the real treat is to frolic through other people’s knitting projects in person. Johanna had her vintage lace yoke cardigan with her, knitting in Silky Wool in that lovely ashes of roses colour that makes me think of Maggie’s dress from the Thorn Birds. When I read that book at 12 (my mother wasn’t too careful about leaving those books around–Thanks Mom!), I thought “ashes of roses” was the most poetic of colours. I longed for it. I rolled it over my tongue like a worry pebble. I cheered when my mother ordered carpet for the foyer in that colour so I could say it out loud. And yesterday, Johanna had a whole sweater in it. *sigh*

Kerstin was knitting a cozy scrunchie neck poncho in her Linie Iceland, which of all the yarns I have ever seen in my knittin’ life, is the one that is most evocative of snowglobes and sleighrides. I wanted to affect a Swedish accent just looking at it. And Sandy had her second pair of Nancy Bush Conwy socks going. I think that this is going to be my next pair. I love how the pattern is interesting and yet doesn’t get erased by the variations in colour of handpainted yarn.

We also rode the elevator up from the parking garage with favorites Don and Janet–owners of Puttin’ on the Knitz–and ran into Teresa and her daughter Meg in between auditions. Teresa had “work” knitting with her, but she was wearing her Victoria Tank, which was about as perfect a piece of knitting as I’ve ever seen. She is amazing.

Oh, did I mention Sprocket? Kim’s new baby Shitzu? Everywhere we went, people are pointing, and touching, and asking “what is it?” Kim answered variously, it’s a puppy, it’s a shitzu, it’s a guinea pig, it’s a squirrel, and my personal favorite answer of the day: “It’s a skein of Berroco Furz.” As an owner of a 80 pound standard poodle, it is hard to believe that something so small has the same basic genetic code as my dog. But he was cute. I had a hard time not talking in a high squeeky voice through pursed lips every time I got within three feet of him. oooooh, widdle sprocket is sooo fuzzy wuzzy. . . .

Someone slap me.