Monday, June 30, 2008

Why is this a threat to Bud?

The photo, above, is of an Addi Turbo Lace needle.  Addi Turbo Lace needles are a beautiful thing, particularly if you are knitting lace.  The one's I was carrying were size five and connected to a skein of Creamy, a milk based yarn, in the natural colorway.  This is becoming attempt two at my niece's wedding shawl.  (We don't talk about what happened with the first attempt -- it resulted in gnashing of teeth, wailing and much language which is not fit for a family blog!)  

So, last week, I found out that these needles are a threat to the great Busch Entertainment Corporation, which is related in some fashion, to the ever large Clydesdale pulled Anheuser Busch (aka Budweiser, Bud Light, Michelob, etc.) beer wagon.  We went on vacation with the girls to Busch Gardens and Water Country USA.  (Yes, we went to the water park despite Daughter 2's broken arm -- she didn't let the cast stop the fun.)  

Now, these days when one goes to a theme park, you must go through a security checkpoint.  Here we are at the check point on the way in to Water Country when a nice, young security guard says:  "I'm sorry, ma'am.  You can't bring those knitting needles into the park.  We don't allow them."  The look on my face was clearly "What?!"  I responded very calmly, "I can bring them on an airplane, but I can't bring them into a water park?  If you had inflatable pools, I could see your concern, but I don't see how my needles can hurt your concrete pools."  The knitter in me was saying under my breath -- If I have the guts to bring my good yarn and needles to somewhere there is this much chlorine, I should be rewarded for my fortitude."  I did not utter that part aloud.

Darling husband took the ziploc bag of yarn, pattern and needles away from me and walked it back to the car, while I muttered all the while.  

I'm sending a letter to Busch Entertainment asking for an explanation, because my sock in progress had a wonderful time at Busch Gardens Europe.  It rode the skyride across the park a few times, the carousel, kept me sane while waiting for people to ride rollercoasters.  Now, it is possible the sock was never detected because rather than being in a plain, see through ziploc bag, it was in a Go Knit! pouch (blue ripstop nylon -- I love them.)  However, many Busch Gardens employees saw me knitting in the park -- including in the Emerald Beat Irish Dancing show (which was quite good).  

So, what should we do.  As the Yarn Harlot says (and has proven), knitters can be motivated. We are a multitude.  We out number golfers in North America.  Most knitters I know are motivated by beer.  We need to let the folks feeding the Clydesdales know how we feel.  I, personally, will not be drinking another Busch product until such time as knitting is allowed in all Busch theme parks (Sesame Place and Sea World included.) You can let them know how you feel by dialing 1-800-DIAL-BUD. If you expected us to endure endless lines with good humor, the least you can do is let us have our knitting.

BTW -- other than the needle incident, we had a great time. 

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

When Past Becomes Present

So, yesterday was just another day at the shop.  Had a yarn rep in to finish up fall orders.  Hear one of my employees say -- I'm sorry she's in a meeting.  Then I hear this deep voice say, I'm a very old friend of hers.  Boy, was that an understatement.  With tears in my eyes, I gave a dear old friend from college a hug.

I was a member of a 40 voice touring choir in college -- the Hendricks Chapel Choir at Syracuse University.  We rehearsed every Thursday night followed by beer and pizza at the Varsity.  We dragged ourselves out of bed on Sunday mornings to sing at the non-denominational Protestant service, fueled by Abe's Donuts.  We finished the morning by letting spirituals echo over the quad from the Chapel steps.  

These were some of my closest friends -- particularly when you realize we went on tour (usually 2-3 weeks at a time) together on a bus.  

A few months ago, I was "found" by one of the members who had started an alumni site.  I am now emailing to some old friends about things that I had forgotten which both make me laugh and cry.

Keith stopped by the shop with his family (lovely wife Cheryl and two beautiful daughters) as they were "On the Way to Cape May" for vacation.  It was as if the more than 25 years had not passed (except for the grey hair, rickety bones, gained weight, etc.)  We laughed and talked.   I wished I had more time.  

There is something to be said for surprises.  Especially those that bring back memories that make us smile. 

Monday, June 9, 2008

The Yarn Equivalent of a Sugar High

I'm tired this morning.  I got back last night from TNNA, the big yarn show and I feel like a five-year-old crashing from a sugar high.  I touched yarn. I looked at new patterns.  I learned new techniques.  In the words of my eight-year-old "Mommy met a celebrity!"

I'm pawing the yarn at Southwest Trading Company (the Tofutsies people), when I bump into someone behind me.  I turn to say "Excuse me" and who do I see, but Vicki Howell.  Vicki is the reason my older daughter knits.  She thinks Vicki is a rock star.  It's because of Knitty Gritty that she knits.  I mention this to Vicki who tells me about a book signing later in the day and says I should stop by so she can sign a copy of Knit Aid to my daughter.  I get the book and autograph.  I call home to tell Daughter 1 I met Vicki Howell.  She promptly drops the phone and yells, "Mommy met a celebrity".  

After my somewhat surreal Yarn Harlot experience on Thursday night, I find myself chatting with Cat Bordhi on Sunday afternoon at one of the booths for a product we both like.   Very weird for me.

I got books signed by the Big Girls of More Big Girls Knit.  I took classes with Lucy Neatby and Lilly Chin.  

And even though they are all knitting celebrities, the knit and purl one stitch at a time just like the rest of us.  

How totally cool!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Going Up with the Harlot

OK.  My flight gets into Columbus 20 minutes early.  I catch a cab to the hotel and check in.  The cabbie had the windows in the cab open, because its 90+ degrees here.  I look like Medusa on a bad hair day.  Who gets onto the elevator with me?  The Yarn Harlot.  Oh. My. God.  We start to chat and that's when I realized -- I have lost my opportunity to Kinnear her.  We're both grumbling about flying when it dawns on me that I cannot possible pull out a cell phone camera and click a photo without being noticed. 

But it's too cool.  I'm at the Harlot's hotel.  This yarn store thing is getting very real now.  I'm ready to have some serious yarn fun.

Off to Columbus

When I was practicing law, I tried cases in some odd places.  Hattiesburg, Miss.  Des Moines, IA. Fort Wayne, IN. Abingdon, Va. just to name a few.  Generally, I would not get excited for traveling to these spots.  Excitement was reserved for places like Chicago, San Francisco, Seattle and Miami.  Well, my days of trying cases on the road are over.  I have a trip in the works and I'm excited.  

I'm going to Columbus, Ohio!  Yep.  Columbus.  Why?  TNNA,  the National Needle Arts Associations big show where all the fall yarns will be out, other shop owners will be there and a chance to take classes on running your shop and sharpening your knitting technique.  I have signed up for three classes and have completed my homework for each.  

Hotel -- check.
Plane ticket -- check.
Extra bag to bring home yarn samples and goodies -- check.

The family thinks I'm nuts, but I can't wait to get on that plane tonight.  A full day of toe-up socks is a dream come true for me (maybe I'll finally find a toe-up toe who's look I like!)

Off to the big city!