Seeing as how Kay and I have been fighting for two days about who’s going to get to blog our travels, we have made the rare decision to simulblog. You’ll just have to sort out who’s saying what here.
Nashville! O Nashville!
Ann draws strength from the Vince Lombardi quote she just read in the NewsChannel 5 break room.
There was a real fambly reunion of Hubbo’s relatives at Davis-Kidd Booksellers on Monday. So supportive! They bought half the print run and ran home to order the other half on Amazon. Think what would happen if I started selling Amway! KaCHING!
Cousin Kay and Cousin Tim, who won the all-time distance award for coming from Vietnam to hear about felted boxes.
The Napoleon Dynamite Quote Book kicked our butt with a certain demographic. We called our agent to get her to pitch our next book, Knit for Pedro to our publisher.
Here’s Angela with her superhunky husband Jim. See what Jim does when he’s not tolerating a Monday night knitting event.
And so to Huntsville!
Anybody who drives south on I-65 knows that there’s a Saturn 5 rocket at the state line rest stop. Some people have the Statue of Liberty; Alabama has a giant rocket.
Kay just about busted an O-ring knitting under that thing.
When we arrived at Yarn Expressions, we discovered that Huntsville’s only yarn shop happens to be an incredibly well-edited shop. All the good stuff, but only the good stuff. Meg, the (brilliant) owner of Yarn Expressions, models her version of the Nina shawl.
The chartreuse takes this to a whole new place called SPRINGTIME!
This Koigu Oriental Jacket is by Sara, who was too modest to pose for us but suffice it to say she is adorable. This close up shows you how artfully Sara managed the uproarious Koigu shade card. When your LYS gives you a
wall of Koigu, it is daunting to sift through all the options. Sara’s jacket, which is a pattern available from the Koigu people, left us feeling all shivery and delighted.
We had a different sort of shivery reaction when we got an eyeful of
this handknit hand grenade. Pull the kilt pin, and BLAMMO! It blows up into a giant cloud of itchy wool.
Beth and J.P., allied knitters in search of a better way. J.P. won a distance award for coming from Tuscaloosa (Roll Tide, people!); we have it on good authority that J.P. stands for Just Perfect. Beth, a brand-new blogger, is cooking up her own patterns based on Celtic motifs:
And this hat is a prime example of her open-ended knitting.
Head South: Birmingham, or the Day We Wore Lipstick ALL DAY
Birmingham proved to be the ultimate test of our mettle. If you happened to be the sort of person who likes to watch local Birmingham TV, in the morning, at midday, and in the afternoon, on Wednesday you probably learned about log cabin knitting.
To be on TV in Birmingham, you have to go waaaay up Red Mountain:
You’re in a Hitchcock movie. The Channel 6 studio looks like a set from Vertigo, or some 1957 country club. Who has a chandelier at a TV station???? We had breakfast, then waited.
Between the weather and the saucy shrimp . . . that’s where you’ll find us. Once we learned that President Bush was coming to Montgomery, an hour south of Birmingham, we figured we’d be bumped by the wall-to-wall live feeds of the Montgomery airport. But there’s no drama like the drama of two dorky handknitters having bad hair days.
Rachel, dear Rachel came up from Ocean Springs, Mississippi, and gave us a tour around her old stomping grounds. We snagged the final limeades of the day from Gilchrist’s soda shop. We slurped limeades while touring the Mountain Brook shops that made us realize that we are seriously underdressing our dining tables. We gabbed as if we would be paid by the word. It was great.
After braving the rush hour traffic to Helena (Ha-LEE-na), we were rewarded with Knit Nouveau’s youngest customer, baby Elise, who is only one week old. Her proud ma showed us a picture of herself knitting a Ballband Dishcloth during labor last week. This was during the transitional stage of labor known in the medical literature as “Post-Fair-Isle, But Still Able To Slip a Stitch WYIB”. Oh, and by the way, Elise is wearing a bib from the book. Note that if the baby is young enough, the bib makes a fine blanket.
Elise demonstrates a healthy newborn “startle” reflex at the sight of a gorgeous baby kimono that Mercedes, Knit Nouveau’s owner and muse, knitted for her. She’ll wear it . . . someday.
We met other, larger friends: Clare and her mother-in-law Carol. Clare’s wedding bouquet was felted calla lilies. Carol knits lace, weaves expertly, and makes bobbin lace. Bobbin lace, I tell you.
Here are delightful friends Jane and Kathryn, who met on a bus in Birmingham, knitting. Aw! Jane is in love with Euroflax linen yarn, and is going to experiment with pre-washing the yarn to soften it before knitting. We made her promise to give us a FULL report.
A brand-new Mercedes design: a skirt in Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece.
The hemline is fair-isled with bobbles. Bobble-isle!
Knit Nouveau is a fantastic shop with the coziest feel: three stars, worth a detour!
The next day, after all this fun, we faced the long drive from Birmingham to Nashville.
We had lunch.
It is a lucky thing that earlier in our parallel lives, as pasty parallel teenagers, we each had committed to memory every meaning-drenched syllable of the Jackson Browne song “The Load-Out.” We now know that the reason we memorized this song was not to further our future careers as back-up singers as we had planned, but so that in our 40s, on the road between knitting gigs, we could just WAIL IT, as one.
When that last guitar’s been packed away
You know that I still wanna play.
Just make sure you’ve got it all set to go
Before you come for my piano.
Love, Ann and Kay
P.S. We’re not done with Nashville yet.