After a few days away from home I start to hallucinate. I think I see my kids in different places, or someone turns their head in a car ahead of me and I swear it’s Gerry. That’s when I know how much I miss them and how much I want to be with them. No doppleganger Atticus sightings yet, though. I find myself not calling home as much as I should because I get so sad – and I don’t want to cry on the phone when I talk to the kids. Silly, huh? My phone has also been wonky (losing it’s charge in just a few hours) and it’s off been more than it’s been on.

Missing my family aside, I am having a terrific time here in Minneapolis and tomorrow I’m getting a private, escorted tour of at least a section of the Twin Cities to help me figure out if I’m really in love, or if it’s just another case of infatuation (into love and out again, one town after another, I’m such a geography ho’)

Yesterday I drove around Minnesota after checking into the Motel 6. Then I left on my own little visit to open houses, dropping in coffee shops, just getting a feeling in a few neighborhoods for this area. Even when I’m NOT thinking about relocating to a place I do that – it’s one of the joys of traveling, seeing new places and how folks interact in their surroundings. I’m very lucky that I get to see this.

Then back to Motel 6 where disappointment waited. I’ve been a huge fan of the chain because the rooms are clean, inexpensive and – at least for me for the past year – I’ve been able to log on in any room I stay in. The one in Rosedale, MN, though, doesn’t have wireless and I couldn’t use the dataport because I didn’t have the right cord. Dang. Frustrated, I looked online for another cheapo place and found a Comfort Inn south of Minneapolis with wireless (and more cable channels – woohoo!) so I moved there today after teaching at Yarnzilla.

I felt like I was searching for the mystical, disappearing Brigadoon as I drove around and around the Yellow Circle Drive, Blue Circle Drive, Red Circle Drive, Chartruese Circle Drive – but finally I found the place. I kept catching glimpses, then I’d be forced to turn on a one-way street and suddenly I was miles away again. Frustrating, but it did feel beautiful when I finally found the location and pulled in. Linda’s map at her website is very good, I just don’t think there’s any way to map the roads in that area and simplify it!

I was ungodly early (as I am wont to do) so once I’d scoped out the location I zipped back to a local Caribou Coffee and had a nice chai and checked my email.

I’d never visited Caribou Coffee before coming out here, and I’ve been missing something good. We don’t have them in New Jersey, but the atmosphere is friendly and warm with excellent furniture and classic jazzy music. (The fact that I can connect to the internet much cheaper than I can at Starbucks is also a draw.)

Linda, the owner at Yarnzilla, was so wonderful! I’m stunned at the wide variety of yarns she stocks – just amazing – and apparently she does a real bang-up business in mail order for Malabrigo Yarn and carries so many colors I was totally blown away. I had to stop and catch my breath! I had not been familiar with this yarn and let me tell you that it’s absolutely STUNNING, soft as a cloud, lofty and bright!

The rep for the yarn happened to be in the class I taught there today, so I was lucky enough to get loaded up with some sample yarn before I left (knit, knit, knit!) Gerry is going to be real happy to see me arriving home with MORE yarn. (The yarn is coming from INSIDE the house!)

Tomorrow I’ll blog in more detail about the yarn (lots of Misti Alpaca as well as some Norweigan Spirit in addition to the Malabrigo) when I have a chance to fiddle around with the skeins. I love my job.

I varied from my usual teaching at Yarnzilla. Linda had asked if I’d put together a bit from three of my classes (instead of the usual two – 3 hour classes, I taught three – 2 hour mini-classes) and I was happy with the change! I didn’t go as in depth as I usually do, but I was able to do the detail teaching I like to do (be afraid, be very afraid…)

We started with Combination – always fun – and a chance for me to settle the students into my odd sense of humor and solidify us as a group. We did some increasing, then broke for a delicious lunch (they brought deli in from NJ!) and on with Cables, more cables and some colorwork.

Once again, the rain, the afternoon lull and the HARD brain work that I was forcing everyone to do took it’s toll and we needed a bit of a break, so Natalie ran out for candy bars (!) while Joan ran out for Chai Latte (I don’t know what anyone else had, I was too busy slurping my own!) They drink a lot of coffee out here. Must be that Mrs. Olsen connection (“Mountain grown is the richest most aromatic kind of coffee.”)

It’s so cool how every class – just like every shop – has it’s very own personality. One of the skills that I’m trying to hone as a teacher is to listen to what the class needs and not just shove in what I may want to do. An extension of the Happy Stitches theory of teaching, huh?

This class was quite good- lots of fun and TONS of personality – but they wanted less hard-core teaching than the YO crowd seemed to desire. Every student was wonderful, but some of them weren’t aware of HOW wonderful they were (are!) and that is always the most gratifying point of any class – to allow the student to see (to HOPE they can see) how extraordinary they are as a knitter. We are SO intuitively gifted – sometimes all we have to do is accept how our hands really know! Our brains are strong, but they’re not always our best friends.

Linda is so engaging and full of love and warm energy – it’s obvious that she’s been able to bring this group of supportive and loving students into her shop because they feel comfortable there – I did, too! Thank you, Linda, for inviting me to be part of your little group for a day! AND thank you for sharing the Freakonomics book with me (Linda’s brother WROTE the book – Linda came up with the title – is that COOL or what!!!)

I have some crochet and some swatching to do tonight – I’m finishing up a skirt for IK Crochet (which is such fun!) and doing some more swatching for the Romantic Knits book. I’m watching Unsolved Mysteries (that used to be a favorite show – LOVE Robert Stack) and it’s exceptionally good knittin’ TV.

Speaking of which, in my first Yarnover class one woman’s husband was distantly related to Robert Stack, and another woman was distantly related to Gil Hodges – very groovy.

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About Annie

I knit weird and I enjoy showing others how to find the joy and intuitiveness within their OWN knitting! We don't knit to make THINGS, we knit to make OURSELVES HAPPY!

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