Aw look! One pattern, 364 versions of the MDK New Ancestral Christmas Stocking.

On the Road. Literally.

Dear Kay,
I have a correction to make to our book.
On page 90, under “Places We Have Tried to Knit and Failed,” I wrote: “Even the stretch of I-24 between Murfreesboro and Winchester is not straight enough to allow for driving with the knees.”
I am here to tell you that as of Sunday afternoon, that stretch of I-24 can now officially be put in the category of “Places We Have Tried to Knit and Succeeded.”
As you may have heard on CNN (Mom Held Hostage Day 4 Continuing Coverage), our family is in the midst of spring break. In a desperate gambit, I took wee David up to our mountain hideout for an overnight jaunt filled with DVDs, knitting, and wanton Pop-Tarts.
(With my Vermeer fever stewing, I re-watched Girl with a Pearl Earring–oh, I’ve read the book, seen the movie–and while it’s not a great movie, it’s a Colin Firth movie, and that’s plenty when you’re in Grundy County, Tennessee, on a Saturday night.)
On the way home, about fifteen miles south of Murfreesboro, I crested a hill and just about slammed into this:
trafficballoon1.jpg
This hot-air balloon trailer had stopped because, in front of it, another 2,000 vehicles had stopped, too.
trafficline.jpg
Like, stopped.
As in, I’m-ditching-this-mess-and-going-back-to-Pulaski stopped:
trafficballoon2.jpg
This became a popular thing to do, but we didn’t really have anyplace we wanted to go except west on I-24. So David and I started to look around at the people who were suddenly our neighbors.
Not going 70 miles an hour gives you time to notice things. When a guy six cars up got out of his pickup to root around in back for something, I wondered if we were heading into one of those situations where the National Guard has to bring in water trucks and diapers.
trafficcheetos.jpg
When I saw this well-provisioned fella, I knew where to go when times got rough. “He’s got Cheetos, Mom,” David pointed out.
David then noticed this:
trafficMDKtruck.jpg
pretty much at the same moment I looked over in the passenger seat and saw this:
trafficknittingbag.jpg
After a peek through the camera obscura at what a traffic jam might look like to Vermeer, it took about a second to start this:
trafficknitting.jpg
After a good hour and the finest knitting of my life, we made it to an exit to nowhere and wandered around long enough that we saw some awesome yard art. And we thought hard about calling up this one:
trafficbondgirl.jpg
But the fact was, we had such a fine time stuck in traffic that we didn’t really want to be sprung.
Love,
Ann

41 Comments

41 Comments

  1. I’ve never been first to comment before! Glad your road trip turned out all right. What is that dangling from your rearview mirror? Enquiring minds need to know!

  2. That’s Elastigirl, my patron saint and favorite superhero from The Incredibles. Her superpower is her flexibility. I just wish I had superstretchy arms like hers.

  3. Knitting makes those traffic jam a little brighter. I was stuck in a 3 hour line somewhere in KY, and thank god for a sock.
    I thought the bail bonds was going to be a sign for a strip joint! I guess that’s where the Angel of Freedom takes you.

  4. Wow. I want to go on a road-trip with your family. You can make even 3 hours of dead traffic seem like a good time.
    My family there would be bloodshed and mayhem.
    No knitting would be accomplished, because the needles would be needed for offense, and the yarn for defense. (don’t ask me how I know about defensive yarn)

  5. Those are supposed to be wings? Looks kind of like a dead animal that didn’t quite make a fur coat.
    So… Whatch knitting there?

  6. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been stuck on that exact same piece of asphalt, driving between hometown Georgia and college town Memphis more than 10 years ago. And it always seems to storm when I drive through Cheatam County – is there a reason for that?!?

  7. Isn’t “wanton pop-tarts” redundant?

  8. You had to stop rolling to knit in the car? Chicken!! Nothing like rolling down I-5 at 65 MPH, with a sock on the needles!!

  9. You had to taunt us with the secret knitting, huh? At my house, you’d be called a meany-head. Just sayin’.

  10. This is neither here nor there…but HELP! I can’t seem to find anything written anywhere about how it is difficult to sew the mitered squares together at the tips. Am I alone here? My seams are all nice and perfect and then you get up to that super-decreased tip and it all goes to heck. I thought maybe once I sewed the two, two square sections together to make a bigger square (is this making sense?) that it would kind of clean itself up or hide in the seam, but no luck! Any thoughts?

  11. You are way too funny and calm for a hostage mom. Isn’t it wonderful how you can find the humor in a traffic snafu? I hope I have your patience when I drive to the Carolinas this week.

  12. we got caught in bannaroo traffic there one year. we were stymied by all the hippies until we callled ahead to nashville and got the response, “uh oh, is that this weekend?” Excellent for people watching, tho.

  13. Okay, Ann, I know that is secret knitting and all, but I need to know the yarn and colors. Please? I am 1/2 done with my kid’s bathroom and the walls are that “Placid Blue” in your knitting and I have red towels. Love the bright combo! That yarn wouldn’t happen to be appropriate for a towel or other bathroom accessory, would it? If I promise not to do a tissue box cover, will you tell me?
    BTW, nice calm reaction to the traffic jam. With my luck I would have just finished a 20 oz. diet coke and would have been turning around in the ditch to find a restroom.

  14. God, I so miss the south!!!! But, I have to thank you, you have just proved “Point 2″, always have knitting because you never know when your going to hit traffic. I have forwarded this to “the beast that believes there is too much yarn” commonly known as my husband.

  15. Why I always have knitting with me now (along with books incase the wait is sooo long I need something else to do too)
    A GPS is good too for when you have to take those exits to nowhere.

  16. LOL It’s good to have Grumpy’s number in case I ever get out that way.

  17. Tennessee is the only place I”ve been where I”ve witnessed u turns on the grassy median of the Interstate. Heck, it’s the only place where I’ve MADE a u turn on the grassy median of the Interstate!

  18. Score another one for knitting. Thank you for taming that piece of road for other knitters. I feel better about future road trips.

  19. Having just wailed at my phone “do NOT complicate my life ANY MORE” the thought of being stuck in traffic for an hour with a patient co-passenger (a key qualifier) sounds like heaven on earth! Thanks for the virtual respite. There will be knitting tonight (I’m thinking long, soothing stockinette on little needles) and all will be well with the universe once again…

  20. Angel of Freedom? Oh my.

  21. Oh for heaven’s sake. We u-turn in the grassy median all the time here in the Buckeye State. We’d do it nearly every day at the I70-I75 junction if there wasn’t a concrete barrier between.
    And my hubbo makes comments when I pack a bunch of extra knitting along. Sheesh!

  22. You want yard art?
    http://www.roadsideamerica.com/attract/WIPHIconcrete.html
    This was real, live yard art. Rumor has it that when Fred passed on, his wife wanted to bulldoze the place.
    The town that this is located in is starting to carry on the tradition. Some beautiful sculptures in the yards.
    One of the many reasons I love the tundra.

  23. That looks extremely familiar. Every time we drove that stretch of highway while my husband was in seminary at Sewanee, there was a traffic “situation”. Every time–it was always some place between just north/west of Nashville and Murfreesboro!
    Thanks, I think, for a trip down memory lane!

  24. Here in Texas, it’s so common to drive across the median (or ditch) that doing so is called a “texit” (get it? Texas and exit?)
    Many, many years ago, when I was a teenager and my sibs were in grade school, my family got stuck in traffic for hours on one of those long bridges in the Florida Keys. Luckily, we were right behind an RV that had a bathroom!

  25. Heh- I once got caught in the Ozarks in a snow storm while trying to drive from Springfield MO to St Louis. I was supposed to catch a plane and we sat for a good hour. To quell the panic I frantically knit a sock while parked on the highway and at one point looked up at the big trucker in the tractor-trailer parked next to me- he was staring in some sort of disbelief and I smiled and waved while I wondered if I was going to make it…. (I did make my plane back to Raleigh but the drive through the snow was hair-raising)

  26. Colin Firth…..Swoon!

  27. As a knitter …….. and a fervent scrapper (our last weekend crop had more knitters than scrappers!) might I suggest that the sheer number of, very good, photos, suggests that you are a latent scrapbooker. The only people I know who take photos of things such as hidden knitting stash …… are scrappers :)
    BTW I’m glad you had a good time in your traffic jam – I have printed off your post in order to try to explain to my fammily why I don’t drive without a book and/or my knitting needles!

  28. I don’t know what I love more about the Grumpy’s billboard: the fact that the Angel of Freedom is the owner of the company, or the fact that the caption on the billboard identifies her as a “Bond Girl.” Now, there’s a billboard with context, as the lit-critters would say.
    And I’ll join the chorus for Colin Firth. Mmmmmm, Colin Firth.

  29. getting stuck over spring break…
    several years ago, when the 2 boys were 14 and 12,
    the DH went for a 3 hr drive, for ‘an
    overnight’ in mid-march, to check on his mother,
    who was recovering from chemo. I said ok, each
    boy could have 1 -2 friends over that same night,
    as a sleepover, so long as they all stayed in
    the basement and let me watch ‘girl’ movies.
    (first mistake, but I was an assistant scoutmaster, I can handle it, right?)
    It snowed 3 feet overnight.
    no delivery, no driving, no roads, no DH.
    with 5 boys in my basement.
    they found the espresso machine and made espresso.
    they had already had soda and chips and cookies.
    they played capture the flag with the elderly cat.
    it was a while before I spoke to my DH…civilly.
    not his fault, true, but….

  30. Wow, driving and knitting, I think I would throw up–like reading in the car. Glad your travels were safe.

  31. Speaking of knitting…….I am halfway through the log cabin bath mat, having started with 3 full cones of dbl knit cotton, per the instructions, and I want to know if there will be enough to make the mat both bigger and more rectangular (by making the odd-numbered units longer)? What do you think? Don’t want to run out at some awkward point.

  32. Well, it could’ve been worse, you could’ve already finished the knitting.

  33. Looks like traffic here;) Isn’t that just one of the best things about knitting? Who in their right minds (muggles only) would WANT to be a traffic jam like that? Lucky you! A Mason Dixon truck the very thought:) I liked the Girl With the Pearl Earring, interesting times huh?

  34. Oh goodness. I too have a funny story about Mason Dixon Trucking today… My husband was wondering why knitters were calling him at work. lol! Thank goodness for top secret knitting in that traffic jam!

  35. Per your instruction, I will print your post and place it on page 90 of my book under “Places [You] Have Tried to Knit and Failed.” Thanks for the headzup! Here in North Dakota (the Red River Valley, the widest durn valley in the world), you can pretty much set the car on cruise before you leave Fargo, and crawl in the back seat and not worry a bit until you get to Medora…seriously..
    Much knitting can happen on our landing strip Interstate system. Keep on keepin’ on ladies!

  36. I just dropped by to alert to a sale item!
    Debbie Bliss Cotton Denim Aran for 3.79/ball.
    Here:
    http://yarn.com/webs/0/0/0/0-1300-1311-1320/0/0/3688/

  37. I just found your blog! I love it! My name is Kay and reading this feels like you’re talking directly to me (ha! I feel like such a stalker saying that). I’m new to knitting and I can see I have a long way to go but just wanted to than you for the thoughts and tips and wonderful photos. Kay x

  38. I haven’t seen a Mason Dixon truck in EONS. Maybe ’cause I live in NE now, maybe they don’t come up here?

  39. Gotta love those jams when the knittings there. I Work on the other side of the tracks…really. When i’ve got my sticks with me and I’m finally goin home I hope for a train. Getta knit.

  40. wow! i grew up in pulaski, and hearing (well, seeing) you mention it made me wanna go back!
    i live in knoxville now, which is good for my car knitting, because there is ALWAYS horrendous road construction.
    if you do stop in pulaski, make sure to have a meal at the hickory house – best barbecue in the south!

  41. Hilarious Ann. Thank you so much. A Mason Dixon truck. Cheerios. Sureptitious and satisfying knitting. But The Angel of Freedom, you ring, we spring!!!! It doesn’t get better than that!