If It's Monday, It Must Be Minneapolis

TNNA is a blur. A hazy,
gin-and-tonic induced flashback of hugging lots of folks, caressing yarn, teaching young’uns to knit and something called a saki bomber. Hi Ken. Hi Drew.

Arriving Thurs night just in time for my class at The Grove (Hi Ann!), I was greeted by 16 enthusiastic knitters and a delicious Gin & Tonic (Thanks Sue!) The class was a blast, the knitters astoundingly adventurous and karmically divine (it is California, after all!) with a very low stress level and a great feeling of being one with the wire.

Back to my room at the Bristol (the kids in Bristol are sharp as a pistol…) where I crashed while watching CSpan, because I’m a hip wonk. (gin, tonic & roses lime in a brown paper bag from the good folks at the Grove – who needs a mini bar?)

I dragged my sorry jet-lagging butt over to the Convention Center for my cables and lace class at 8:00. There should be a law.

The class was astounding. 30 women, all fit to be cabled, all skilled and fun loving and eager to laugh and learn. We had a magnificent time. Flip Knits were passed out (and collected, I have a limited number) and the comments were excellent and helpful. I will do a flip knit for cabling without a cable needle!

Then Lunch, a set up of my “Have Annie Teach At Your Shop” display, and back for a Mutt Luk class. I really, really wish this class had gone better. It was fine – just fine – but it could have been killer. There was some discrepancy in the needles I’d requested folks bring and what they had, the instructions seemed to have an error (although upon later reflection I realized that the instructions WERE right – I’d worked up 4 of these mutt luks at home to test the pattern)

But I get so insecure when a mistake is caught in a class that I’m quite often very ready to just jump in and say, “Yes, you’re right – I’m wrong!” Which can be an even bigger mistake.

Ah, well, every class is a learning experience. However, the folks in the class – 30 of them – were lovely, kind, open and willing to go on Mr. Toads Wild Mutt Luk ride with me. If anyone was in the class and would like a cleaned up and double-checked copy of the handout, please email me and I’ll send it right to you as a pdf file!

I met Shannon Okey for drinks after classes on Friday, we had a great time exchanging ideas and frustrations of knit publishing, then back to the Bristol (Sharp! Pistol!) for another fine night of CSpan and sleep. Bzzzzzzzz.

I signed my name about 50,000 times – just practicing – then I left the hotel and Drew and I signed copies of Men Who Knit at the Vogue Knitting booth and accomplished our goal of making every person in line laugh at least once. We also urged folks who were knitting for dogs or other pets to send us photos so we can upload them onto our website (still not updated…)

I hovered at the Artyarns booth – I love them so much, love their yarn and LOVE the new items that Iris had from her new book, Lacy Little Knits – and ran into a lot of new and old friends. Evidently the Artyarns booth was the place to be.

Actually, the attendance at TNNA seemed light – but
more focused. There seemed to be more room to walk around, but I saw more serious shopping by the store owners. The San Diego show never seems to be as crowded as the June show, less folks buy for Summer than for Winter. My gut feeling is that there are less new shops opening up, and those that came to the show came loaded for yarn.

Saturday evening was the party evening, and who am I to say no to several G&T’s? (I did give one of mine to Nicky Epstein, so I wasn’t as smashed as I might have been…) From the Interweave party to the Potter party, then to dinner with some folks from Sterling and then home for – guess what? – Cspan!

Ah, life doesn’t get any better than that!

Wrapping up day – book signing at the Unicorn Booth (I kept one back for my friend, Jen, but just then Brandon Mabley walked up and said, “Where can I get one of those books!” so I gave it to him. Sorry Jen. I told her I’d send her one) more passing out of Flip Knit books to unsuspecting knitters, more chatting with old friends. Hangovers and yarns, perfect together.

I lost my ipod. I could cry. (Eh – worse things have happened in life, but it was definitely a bummer. If anyone finds it, could you return it? yeah, right… I don’t know if anyone remembers, but last year I lost my cell phone at TNNA San Diego?)

Traveling is very hard – always trying to remember the really intelligent place you’ve stored your stuff. I half expect to get home and find the little ipod somewhere in my luggage.

I shipped a box of my little “Hire me to teach!” post cards back to NJ (actually, they’re quite BIG!) and then high-tailed it to the airport for my flight to Phoenix / Minneapolis.


  • When I left San Diego at 6:ish on Sunday evening I was in shirtsleeves and running on borrowed energy.
  • When I arrived in Phoenix at 11:00 I was hot from the flight, tired and a little cranky.
  • When I arrived in Minneapolis at 2:30 I was jazzed, buzzing and child-happy with the snow.
  • When I got to our friend’s house at 4:00 I crashed with Gerry in bed and slept until his alarm went off at 8:30 – then we were up to look at 6+ houses.

Then we saw the house of our dreams.

We both loved it, we both saw the drawbacks and still loved it. Moving in will be hard (not a lot of room for the PODS, we need to see if we can get a permit to have them in the parking lane in front of the house to unload them) but this would have been a problem in several of the homes we looked at. Small yards, narrow alleyways and not always the easiest access were features in several of our best-liked houses.

We had our agent put in a bid – we were the third to bid on this house and it had only been on the market for 5 days.

Yes, the market is soft, but when a good property comes up folks gravitate toward it! We definitely think of resale when we buy something, and in this case even though it’s on a sort of busy street, it’s a VERY desireable neighborhood and the several bids made us feel good about resale potential some day.

We went out to dinner at Town Hall and tried not to think of the other two bids. We planned contingencies, talked up other homes we’d seen, and contemplated renting a house for a bit if we couldn’t find a good fit. I had some AMAZING beer. Lovely stuff. Our host, Joe, used to be a master brewer (perhaps still is? do you ever ‘lose it’?) and we indulged. As I’d had perhaps 8 hours of sleep over the past 48 hours, I was an easy drunk.

Up early, off
for more house hunting – looking for backups and revisiting the runner ups. We didn’t say much to each other, but it was clear that neither Gerry nor I liked anything as much as we did the Dream House.
It’s absolutely lovely, warm, inviting, there’s room for an office and the house has an excellent floor plan. The down side is it only has a one-car garage, a very tiny yard, and the initial unpacking/unloading is going to be EVIL hard, but when we’re in the home, we’ll be HOME. It was, happily, cheaper than we thought we’d find. Yay.

As of this evening we’re in contract!! – and we’re stunned, gratified and hoping that all goes well with our two closings.

Now the real work starts – the MOVE. Gerry’s back has been very sore lately – he was barely able to move last weekend – so we’ll be hiring folks to do more moving than we normally would – we deserve it.

Gerry left to go back to NJ this afternoon, I’ll fly back tomorrow evening. In between now and then I’ll visit the house again with our Agent (THANKS, Joe!) and his lovely wife (Hey Jennie!) and take lots of pictures and measurements. I’ll also try to visit the three schools that may be possibilities for our kids, set up a PO box so I can transfer my business mail easily, and see about that PODS permit. Busy day.

According to the weather forecast it’s supposed to warm up tomorrow. It may hit 25F. This is living.

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