Hugs & Chugs

WHAT a long month this has been.

Tomorrow would be 4 weeks from when I left on May 20 for my teaching extravaganza, culminating with the TNNA Convention in Columbus, OH.

It was VERY hard to be away – yes, indeed – but it was a good trip for many reasons.

#1 – Money
Yes, this is my job, and earning 5 months of mortgage by working for 4 weeks is a decent trade off. Our mortgage is very low, by the way…

#2 – Inspiration
I find so much to excite me and make me think when I’m on the road – plus I just crave the “white line meditation” time that driving gives me.

With a good amount of non-expectant thinking time, good thoughts, intricate plans, seem to sift up to the top of my head where I’m able to pluck them when I need them.

Thinking time is precious, I’m lucky I can get mine in a car.

#3 – Visibility
This sort of goes with #1, but when folks know I’m out there teaching, my book and pattern sales do better and folks want to take more classes. When I go through months of not teaching I feel rusty, and scared to get ‘back on the horse’ – but after these 4 weeks of interacting with all types of students, shop owners and fiberistas I’m feeling in good form.

Breathing aside, it was a perfect trip. Oh, and that incident of getting a speeding ticket a mere 35 miles away from home. Damn.

I’d obviously jinxed myself when I bragged to Cecil at Buffalo Gold that I’d gone 4,000 miles without a ticket.

I don’t speed much, I’m a cruise control gal, but I was SO eager to get home last night I slacked off and now I will pay. Damn. Teaches me a lesson, that’s for sure!

Waking up in my own bed – heavenly! This morning Max and I rode our bikes over to Lookout Park, then met Hannah and Gerry for Breakfast at the Louisiana Cafe.

We arrived first so we played a new game, That’s not Hannah…” snapping surreptitious photos of folks at the door who were NOT Hannah.

Afterward G & H went to the library, Max and I rode home, but I was smacked by a car (young driver, she didn’t see me) and fell. Boom.

I’m absolutely fine! Minorly scraped leg and arm, that’s all. A little jittery, but fine.

Max was scared, but handled it well.

Most shaken up was the driver, and all in all I think it was a pretty good, inexpensive lesson for her.

She gets the fear of god put into her, and no one was hurt badly – we all need an accident like that when we’re young drivers. I hugged her, she cried, we both felt better.

I will definitely need a new basket on my bike, though.

But it’s nothing that a little Jeni’s ice cream – brought home in dry ice – won’t cure…

Hmmm, could it be THAT was why I was speeding last night?

As I drove away from Columbus, Jeni’s ice cream firmly wedged in the back seat and happy memories of hugging everyone and their cousin dancing in my mind, I realized that I’d left out mentioning some of my favorite things from the show in my post yesterday.

Here are some amazing things from TNNA that I was too tired / frazzled / burned out to mention in my post yesterday.

Abundant Yarns Dyeworks
One of my favorite yarn shops in Portland went all TNNA-boothy this time and had some BEAUTIFUL stuff to show off! Between them and Knit Purl with their ShiBui yarns in the same town I have a very hard time choosing. So I won’t.

Miriam Felton (Mim Knits)
I hadn’t had a chance to see a lot of Miriam’s patterns and shawls up close and personal – they’re LOVELY! I absolutely fell in love with this red one – stunning. The girl designs and knits as well as she cooks, baby.

Kitchen Sink Dyeworks
Mercedes has more cool, neat-o ness and Moxie than one girl should be able to hold, and I am STOKED to use her new yarn. I’ve been a huge KIVA micro loan supporter for years, and was so thrilled to see her choosing them as a recipient of a portion of proceeds from her new yarn. Mercedes has excellent taste and color sense – I want to see EVERYTHING she does – now!

And, more to the point, she had the foresight to provide keychain / beer bottle openers with each skein of yarn. The woman reads minds…

Malabrigo Sock Weight Yarn
I’d heard about it, but hadn’t played with it yet – but the Malabrigo sock yarn is stunning, lucious and very well dyed (of course!) I’m looking forward to using a nice amount of it in a design for History on Two Needles (a sort of tank/wrap based on a South American sculpture) and cannot wait to get it in my hot little hands!

Glow In The Dark Yarn
When I travel I bring things home for the kids; T-shirts, pins, just silly stuff. What was the thing Max was most excited about in my bag las
t night? This Nightlights Glow In The Dark yarn from Woolstock Yarn Shop in Maryland.

I hadn’t seen it before, I’m giddily excited to play with it, and Max has made me promise to make him a mask. Fair enough! It’s supposed to be machine washable – I’ll report on how it does. This is going to get a LOT of attention in our house!

Mango Moon Elements & Zing String
One of the happiest yarns I’ve played with recently was Mango Moon’s Dharma, and when I stopped by their booth what did I see but a really cool beaded hold-along string that I may be able to use for further projects. It’s not as bling-y as what Tilli Tomas, Artyarns or Trendsetter is doing, it’s chunkier and more low-glitz, but it fills a niche that’s open right now (and works beautifully with their existing yarns.)

Nicky Epstein
I love Nicky. Is there anyone I love as much? Hard to say. Just getting to spend 20 minutes with her for coffee and a short walk made my weekend. And she gave me a scarf. Nicky loves me, too!

Pam Allen
Okay, I may just love Pam as much as I love Nicky. Oy. So many fabulous friends, so many choices! I never get enough time to spend with Pam. One of these days we’re going to have to do a trip together so we can get good and sick of each other.

Pam’s doing stellar things at Classic Elite, I have to get my hands on the Chesapeak yarn – it looks amazing!

I love how CE’s working with Jared (one of my favorites) and Veronik Avery (an ALL TIME favorite designer of mine!) and it was thrilling to get to see them all in one place.

Veronik’s Yarn, St. Denis Nordique, is a beautiful, lovely-feeling workhorse of a yarn that I MUST find some great place

Mission Falls 136
This is what everyone’s been waiting for – a lovely Mission Falls yarn that is machine washable! I KNOW I will have some place for this in my future!

I know I’ll get more notes to myself in the near future – I’ll do continuous updates of TNNA stuff that I’ve thus missed. Oy.

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