Friday, October 24, 2008

Middle Of Nowhere??

Sorry to be silent for so long but I've been sorta busy. I’ve just returned from a knitting road trip. Sometimes I wonder what makes me do what I do... Here’s what I did this past week. Last Thursday, the 16th, I got up at 3 am and set off to drive to the Middle Of Nowhere, Indiana, 800 miles away. I set off that early because I wanted to get through Chicago before rush hour but I would still have a couple of hours to my final destination. You might wonder why was I going to the M.O.N.? Well, Lea-Ann at ‘Knitting Today’ in Wolcottville, IN and I go way back. I did my first workshop for her in 1995 -1996 - or somewhere around there and I’ve been back several times since. We always have a great time. Anyway, back in June this year, she asked me to do a ‘hands-on beginner ribber class’ and I said sure. I drove instead of flying because, coming from the middle of nowhere and going to another middle of nowhere, it’s easier to drive than fly - at least when you talk about it - and I wouldn’t have to rely on airline schedules - had to make sure I got No 47 off to the printers before I left - and I could come and go whenever, take whatever I wanted, not have to worry about load/size restrictions - my own table, extra yarn, 2 full suitcases of samples and garments...you get the picture. Also, this road trip would give me the opportunity to get in a visit with my favourite Hoosier, Donna, in Goshen, IN., (30 miles from Lea-Ann’s shop) whom I met when on a wool tour of Scotland back in 1990 and the real reason I do so much at ‘Knitting Today’.
So, after a day’s visit with Donna, I get to the hotel for the workshop. While setting up and meeting the ‘students’, it suddenly dawned on me, I’m the oldest person in the room!!! *&%#!!! first time that’s ever happened!!! Usually at these machine knitting events if I see one person whom I think may be younger than me, I get pretty excited!! My next thought was, wow!! this is great!!! There is hope in the world - we do have new, younger, machine knitters. And I’ll be honest here, those 12 gals were great. Talk about enthusiastic and willing to learn, many of them being less than 1 year machine knitters - some from almost as far away as me (New York state)- I had a great time, watching them absorb and try new things - after I got over the shock of starting at 8 am!!! We ended the second day with most everyone completing at least one circular sock - it was the most successful hands-on class I’ve ever participated in and though I never had to pick up one dropped stitch or fix someone’s mistake, I was exhausted, answering questions and supervising!
The next day I was on the road again to another MON, Elliot Lake in Northern Ontario, another 550 miles/9 hours of driving. Driving up to Canada through Michigan gave me a different outlook on coming home. After being out of MY country - a foreigner, really - away from home cooking and all that - there is the trepidation of crossing the border, back through customs, trying to recall what I need to declare and what to hope they don’t find if they did decide to search - though nowhere near the gut-wrenching experience going down...
So, coming into Sault Ste Marie, Canada, the border crossing is virtually right in town. After the relief of getting through customs with no problem, the welcome sight of the familiar ‘Canadian Tire’ store sign, with ‘Tim Horton’s’ almost beside it, homecoming felt really good!! I could stop for duct tape AND coffee and donuts!!! On to Elliot Lake, 2 days of lecturing and demos; back on the road for the 900km/550 mile/9 hour drive to Thunder Bay over the toughest stretch of the TransCanada Highway in the entire country, arriving home at midnight Wednesday - who ever thought this was a glamourous job???

2 comments:

Heather Thompson said...

I don't think that was a simple beginner's class. I learned a great deal, and needed those lessons! The NY Contingent returned triumphant and more confident in their ribber skills. MAO ROCKS!!!
Thank you for a wonderful weekend.

Lea-Ann said...

Mary Anne . . . I'm sooo thankful Donna lives near here! I learned soo much from your intensive and can't wait to try some more out on the ribber. Surprisingly, I learned more about how to read your patterns and how to understand the magazine. I came home and devoured back issues like you wouldn't believe. Thanks again! Lea-Ann