Sunday, March 22, 2009

A Little Update

Spent last weekend and some in Florida.

Glorious warm weather. Windows open in the car, sliding doors open in the apartment. Mornings at the beach and afternoons at the pool. Soft-shelled crab and lobster and flounder. My favorite part of the day at the beach: the afternoon, when the sun starts to quiet and there is nothing that you need to do but sit in a chair and read a book. I worked my way through the first sixty pages of Austen's Mansfield Park as well as several wonderfully trashy magazines. It's hard to say which is the best reading material for vacation. There's something about Austen that requires large blocks of undemanded time, particularly while encapsulated on an airplane.

Did some knitting, including coaching my seatmate on the plane down, row by row, in a combination of English, Spanish, and pigeon sign language, through the knitting of a Swallowtail shawl . This is the first time that I've had someone literally take the needles out of my hands to work on a piece. At first, I thought that she was yet another knitter on a mission to teach me to knit faster. But no, she just really wanted to knit.

Each row, I would repeat the row, stitch by stitch, as she worked the knitting. (It is very hard to explain slip one knit two together, pass the slipped stitch over in sign language.) By the end of the flight, I'd learned to say (and these may not be the words, but this is what it sounded like and my seatmate nicely honored my effort to try the Spanish): knit (cruz), purl (punto), yarnover (aosto), pass over (passado) and slipslipknit in Spanish. Very sweetly, she said "amigas?" I said yes, and then we managed to converse, somehow, about our children and her parents and a bit of her life in Ecuador and the financial meltdown and Chicago and brothers and sisters. And even though I'd finally found the right project for the beautiful red-orange Solo silk and wool from Brooks Farm that I bought last year at Stitches Midwest, I decided to give the yarn, needles and pattern to my seatmate at the end of the flight. She was on her way to Ecuador, and I liked the thought that she could continue to knit as she traveled toward home.

Went to a very intense knitting shop near my mom's apartment to replenish supplies. It may be reasonable, but yet, after a Midwestern winter, it seemed odd to find plenty of eyelash yarn, cotton, and florid colors and very little wool. I chose a skein of Colinette Jitterbug in a khaki green and managed to knit half a sock on the plane home.

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