Learn how to crawl: the New York City Yarn CrawlΒ is on through Sunday, September 25.

Getting Home

Dear Kay,
O! Many moons have passed since I last picked up my quill and ink.
Right this minute I’m eating a hazelnut biscotti which the ultrakind yarn shop owner Jamie gave us when we visited North Fork Stitches. I’m touched that she thought we weren’t getting enough snackage these days. I’ve already made short work of those North Fork chocolate turtle things and the North Fork potato chips. I trust that you are saving the North Fork honey and the North Fork chardonnay for me, because I decided my plan for getting them through security just wasn’t going to work. “It’s formula.” [uncork bottle, take swig] “See?”
It was great to see you and your wounded foot, if only for a day. Meeting so many great knitters was a ton of fun. (You can go see what we were up to here and here and here.)
I flew home to Nashville next to a poor guy who was just trying to finish his Michael Connelly novel. He shouldn’t have said anything about the sock I was knitting. If he’d kept it to himself . . . but he didn’t. He asked the question–you know: “So what are you making?”
I snapped. “Mister. I’m TIRED of these mutha%*$&#* SOCKS on this mutha@$+*$(% plane.”
OK not really. But I was so weary and so bored that I started talking. What was he going to do? Switch seats? I talked and talked, about knitting and blogging and meeting people and writing books and having imaginary friends and motherhood. I concluded with a lame “Well, it’s a funny little world.”
He said, “I can’t believe people get so involved with their knitting. It’s like this guy I met who’s really into spelunking. Cave people are really protective of their discoveries.” I told him my theory that everybody has that thing they’re nuts about, and I asked him what his thing is. “Golf,” he said, then launched into what it is about golf that gets him. He likes old golf, historical golf. He told me about his attempts to get on the list for tickets to the Masters golf tournament, which is the hardest ticket in all of sportendom. By the end of his tale, I had stopped knitting, hanging on his story, waiting to hear if he ever hit Lotto and got the tickets.
Everybody has that secret thing, you know?
Home home HOME
It’s been an amazing summer for me, but I’m glad to be home. Sweet, sweet home, where there are bags and bags filled with bags all over the place. What is all this stuff?
I have so much to write that it’s going to take me days to dump it all out. My life is a big old vinyl pocketbook loaded with pressed powder compacts, packets of Kleenex, and Teaberry gum. I’ve got all these blog entries half written on the back of Piggly Wiggly receipts–when my bandwidth was wanting, I figured I ought to keep the blog fires burning somehow. Here’s one scrap of paper I just found: “Socks and sculpture. Pretentious? Get ant poison. Call Kay. ”
Books I Am Most Excited About This Fall
OK, there are two. I met a writer this summer, Claire Messud, whose fourth novel is due out on August 29. The Emperor’s Children. A big, New Yorky novel–my favorite kind. It’s going to be great, y’all. She writes so, so beautifully. I can’t wait to read it.
The other is a memoir that was just published this summer. I’ve just started reading it. How’s this for a barn-burner of a title: Hillbilly Gothic: A Tale of Motherhood and Madness by Adrienne Martini. It’s her memoir of overcoming post-partum depression and her exploration of the women in her family. Adrienne’s a knitter, people. She has a blog here which is a real bento box of tasty snacks. We need to encourage this sort of thing.
I went to Florida, people. I haven’t even written about going to Florida. After seven weeks in Monteagle, we headed south for the now-traditional week with Hubbo’s sister and brother’s famblies. We’re up to eleven humans, with the latest addition celebrating her first birthday during our stay.
While other members of the family parasailed, inadvertently caught shells instead of fish, and grossed me out with the whole issue of bait (“GOOD EATING TOO”?), I made a pair of Koigu socks for my sissy-in-law:
These are not shiny socks. Really. They’re normal old Koigu. Would I knit a shiny sock? Who wants a shiny sock?
I collected sunsets the way my fellas collected shells. Here you go–a week of Captiva sunsets to save you the buggy trouble of collecting them yourself:
At our last writing, I was receiving boatloads of help from everybody regarding the dire state of my rocking chair cushion. In particular, the best way to end the knitted cover I’d cooked up. How do you close up such a thing so that you can take it off to wash after it’s been marinating in the 80% humidity of a Grundy County summer? Thank you, everybody, for suggestions which ranged from zippers to buttons to ribbons to shoelaces to monkeyfist buttons to hot glue and staple guns. I’m going to use them all. This cover is never, ever coming off this cushion.
PS Am I caught up on Project Runway? Yes! Working on my neck tattoo like Jeffrey’s.
PSS Did my plane companion get his Masters tickets? Yes!
PSSS Did he swap his Masters tickets for my socks? I’ll never tell.




  1. You completely lost me to nostalgia after “Teaberry Gum.”
    I’ll come back later and re-read after my reverie ends.

  2. OMG! Ann’s back! I can’t believe you were just to the west of were I live. D@^….we’re never gonna get a famous person down here πŸ˜‰

  3. oh! those sunsets! and storing up your posts has yielded a post to be savored again and again. welcome back to civilization!

  4. Right, reverie over. A fan of Project Runway? Do you know the Manolo and his uproarious take on the show? If not, oh, please, go here to experience such gems as “Speaking of the Laura, the Manolo is now waiting for her to show up one day in the coat made from the fur of the 101 dalmatians.” Priceless!

  5. yowza! that is some bright koigu πŸ™‚
    thank you for answering the masters question! I was so bummed when you let it hang … πŸ˜‰
    I am so ready to go back to our place on Sanibel! We went down in May and caught a mess of fish. Thanks for the sunsets. πŸ™‚

  6. Oh Ann! So glad to see you back among the land of the high speed internet. Nature is wonderful and beautiful and a thing to be savored – but so is a wireless connection! πŸ™‚
    Now that you and Kay are both settling back in to home and coming fall routines, maybe ya’ll will have time to start planning a visit to the west coast.

  7. Ehwhwhwhwwweew. Books! My favorite. Thanks for the recomendations!

  8. I just love those sunsets. Thanks for sharing – the bugs would’ve killed me!

  9. Great pictures!
    I need to thank you both for the wonderful book, which has made my life very full this summer!

  10. Beautiful sunsets. I had a bit of fun imagining the kind of day that led up to the point at which the photograph was taken. Hmm… vacation-time.

  11. On Bait – that is why we fish with clams or squid if you don’t catch anything you still have dinner πŸ˜€

  12. Love those Captiva sunsets too – have spent many happy times on Sanibel right down the road. Very upset when the trees went in that hurricane, but hey now you can see more of both islands, right?
    You sound like a nice lot of nutcases. That’s good. We like nutcases over here in Ireland.

  13. Welcome back, Ann! Loved today’s post. That vinyl purse with the Teaberry gum? Aren’t there supposed to be Butterscotch Disks in there, too? Or at least Lemon Drops?

  14. Well, we sure loved having you over — please come again, any time! We don’t have South Fork potato chips, though. Or do we?

  15. TEABERRY GUM??? Where in the hell did you get it? I hoard that stuff like mad. I must have it. Please tell me where you procured it. Oh, and welcome back! I have children in school now and lots of free time if you need a knit friend.

  16. If the socks fit him as only handknit socks can, he would have done well to trade.
    Thanks for the book recommendations. I love having an excuse to get out of my book rut!

  17. I’m here in the city of those Master’s tickets. I’ll bet he did NOT swap for the socks. As much as I love hand knit socks and love to knit them, the price is just too high on those tickets to let them go!

  18. Wow, I love the sunset that looks like heaven is reaching down for the tree. I hope he swapped the tix, but I doubt it. That would be something my husband would GUSH over.

  19. Teaberry gum? Grandma, is that you? Probably not, but put a roll of Pep-O-mint lifesavers in there, too, and you would be! (You’d also be knitting with harvest gold acrylic, but I loved my grandma anyway.)
    And — your bait is from Aransas Pass, TX, right across from my favorite beachy place, Port Aransas. It’s not the Riviera, but I like it! Although this also begs the question – why does Florida have to import bait shrimp from Texas?

  20. I need to know whether the sunset series removes the Incomplete from Ann’s grade report. Please don’t keep me hanging.

  21. Such Beautiful Sunsets! Thank you for those – you’re very considerate. πŸ™‚
    I’ve just found your book and your blog, and wondered if you had a tour schedule I cannot find here on the blog? I’d love to meetchy’all, and attend a reading/knitting demo? I’m up in New England, but I think you were just up here…
    Thanks very much for a cool book, and a hysterical blog!

  22. Oh, wonderful, wonderful!! Thanks for so wonderful a read!

  23. Love the sky shots and I totally understand the bag “thing”. I thought that was just teachers that had bags full of things… even bags.
    I wish Jeffery would hold still long enough and slowly rotate so I could read what is on his neck… had to hurt to have that done… and of course I have that hanging, swinging chin thing that would totally ruin the effect….hmmm what would I say??? Anybody know a good plastic surgeon to remove the sag from under my chin?

  24. Yum, Teaberry gum! I’m glad you let the other shoe drop on your single-serving-friend’s Masters tickets – worrying about it was distracting me from the rest of the post and the lovely pictures!

  25. Incredible photos!
    People are always looking at me like I have 3 heads when I get all excited telling a knitting story; but your are so right – EVERYONE has their one thing. If not, how sad for them.

  26. Thanks for providing a link to solve the Jeffrey tattoo mystery for me! I missed seasons one and two but am loving this third season.
    Sounds like you’ve had a great summer.

  27. Seeing as you brought up the subject of wonderful books… I have 2 “things” knitting and books. Bar none, the best novel I have read in a long time is “Broken for You” by Stephanie Kallos. It’s set in Seattle. It’s fantastic.
    Fantastic Sunsets!

  28. I love Captiva! I’m from Naples, and I miss it soooo much. (Just moved to Indy, IN).

  29. Your Socks on a Plane line cracked me up, lady.

  30. I think I met that guy once. He was spending a whole semester of college in St. Andrew, Scotland, to learn about golf history. He was also very much into strategy games, like Risk, only much more complex.
    My latest challenge was to explain knitting, and the act of creating, to someone who is a confessed hedonist and is primarily out to consume. I don’t know that I got through: somehow I promised to make a pair of socks, which I guess serves us both.

  31. Your story about the guy on the place was funny, and I think it is so wonderful that you found his secret interest and let him talk your ear off, too. What a wonderful way to connect with a stranger.

  32. >>I snapped. “Mister. I’m TIRED of these
    mutha%*$&#* SOCKS on this mutha@$+*$(% plane.”< I'm now cleaning coffee off of my keyboard. Girl, you are not right. (Tee-heeeee!!!)

  33. You Are Cool !!!
    Cool Stuff!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    From Jack


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