Getting the bath products ready for your arrival. Lavender or grapefruit? Lavendy-grapefruit, you say? Okey-dokey!
To Silver Spring!
Your dear friend Pam, who I want to hijack as MY friend, helped us find our way around the devilish streets of Washington. (Let us pause to wish that in the Afterlife, all hub-and-spoke city planners, and especially Monsieur L’Enfant, are trapped in an eternal traffic circle, or perhaps a perpetual unintended drive through Rock Creek Park.) Pam’s son Robby is a grownup disguised as a second grader. He was brilliant company and a ton of fun. We tried to gently let him know that having his bed (and Pam’s lovely log cabin blankie) pictured in the book does not make him “famous” as that term is ordinarily understood. He was not having any of it. His bed is FAMOUS, okay? The kid sleeps in fame every night.
Pam bought a stack of books to give as presents, and they waited at Starbucks for us to do a radio interview. (By the way, congratulations on not mentioning the most embarrassing place you’ve ever knitted, the way you did on that Buzz Factor interview. I’m all for keepin’ it ray-all, hon, but not THAT ray-all.)
Robby set up a system:
for signing the books. As we sat on the Starbucks terrasse, loving the Silver Spring afternoon, with the books on the table, a lady walked up and said, “Are those for sale?” Holy crud, I thought. The Starbucks people are going to kick us out because they think we’re selling books on their patio. “NO,” I say. I realized that the lady wasn’t a barista; she was a Starbucks customer, and she was looking at the book.
“Are you a knitter?” I asked.
“Well, I’m thinking about it,” she said. “I used to. May I look at the book?” She wandered off with a copy, sat down, and started reading. After a while she brought it back: “Thanks.” Did she decide? Is she knitting? Was she grossed out? We will never know.
Memo to Robby: A lemonade stand is going to be a better moneymaker for you.
I have to tell you: being on the road is so disorienting, so completely out of my normal range of experience, that at this point nothing seems too weird. We’re walking along, and up walks Sarah, adorable Sarah whom we met at Politics and Prose the night before. Of COURSE we run into Sarah. It’s not like there are, you know, eight million people in the metro DC area. So kooky.
Here’s Bill Thompson. Such a nice guy. On his radio show, Eye on Books, he has interviewed 1,700 authors. It was only a matter of time before he dipped into craft books. He brought up the knitting-versus-crochet debate, and said he had recently interviewed a crochet author who indicated that there can sometimes be tension among the varieties of yarncrafters. We made like Switzerland and didn’t say a word other than “Crochet is nice.”
On Wednesday, we visited a shop I have long wished to see: Knit Happens, owned by our sister Rowanette Kristine Kirby. (AKA Kristine Jirby, but let’s not get into THAT, okaye?)
There we were, at last, in the fabulous Pink Room of Love.
Famous Knitter alert! Wendy was there! Knitting a sock! It was a trippy thing to meet her, after reading her blog for the past four years–like meeting the Easter Bunny. I resisted poking her in the arm to see if she was real, but at one point while we were doing our show and tell, I watched her working on that sock, just to see if she was as serious a knitter as I imagined her to be. Uh, YEAH. We saw an advance copy of her book! We carefully examined her jean jacket! We got a preview of her Book Tour Hairstyle 2006! What can I say, life is DAMN GOOD.
But wait–there’s more. Maggi popped in, if it’s possible to pop in all the way from Richmond.
Maggi ponders the seriousness of our rug-knitting “issue.”
Who has better shoes than Maggi?
If you have ever wondered how it looks in the back room of a yarn shop, I’m sorry to tell you that it’s even better than you thought.
Our stylist helped fix up the handknits. He modeled the felted boxes. He’s a mensch, I tell you.
On our Day of Culture wandering through the Smithsonian, we just about blew our circuits.
We could not get enough of Cuban superstar singer Celia Cruz’s fantastic costumes and joie de salsa. Her lyrics say it all.
The Handknit Tour of the Museum of American History included: Mr. Rogers’ cardigan. (Handknit by his ma, aw!) Carol Burnett’s charwoman costume. We pinched our ears at it.
We knitted during the First Ladies video. Ideas for combining tabletop decor with empire-building? Plenty! Light for knitting? Not so much.
And knitting in the Castle Cafe: three stars/worth a detour.
Lady walks up, says, “Excuse me, I know this sounds odd, but would you mind giving me a small piece of that yarn? I love that color.”
“Are you a knitter?” (Translation: Would you like to hear about OUR KNITTING BOOK?)
“Nooooo, I’m repainting the living room, and I love that color.”
Kay snips a piece, hands it to the lady, the lady wanders off. We’re here to help, people.
Farewell to Washington
Thursday night we capped off the week at the Capitol Hill outpost of the vast Stitch DC empire. We were regaled with mini-burgers, onion rings, and a denim capelet from Wrap Style that blew the mind of one of us, modeled with elan by by Stephy.
We met KT of Great Falls (not to be confused with KT of Arizona) (and yes, they correspond, which seems like a good basis for a blog if you ask me: All KT All the Time). KTOGF totally outstyled us–her wrap made from a length of vintage Chanel bouclé made me think vintage Chanel bouclé is what we all need. Meeting fellow online knitters is proving to be endlessly fun.
And guess what? Handknit Dishrag Fever is sweeping the nation!
Well, okay, it’s sweeping Carida. Carida improved upon Brooks Jones’ fantastic Mason-Dixon Washcloth by adding batting and a hand-quilted lining to make it into a proper potholder. Go Carida!
Carida’s iPod. If you don’t have a blog because you are in grad school and you are supposed to be writing about something else, you can put your favorite dishrag images on your iPod. Just a tip.
Must run–you’ll be here any minute, and I gotta clean the squirrels for the brunswick stew.