Thursday, June 5, 2008
Knitting in Seattle
Katie and I flew into Seattle last weekend for the Rhetoric Society of America conference. Within hours of arriving, and checking into our kick ass hotel room in the Westin, (see view from our room above), what did we do? Register for the conference? Meet up with professional acquaintances? Hells no! We got our priorities in line and headed straight for So Much Yarn, a great little shop just down the street from our hotel. Katie had forgotten her size 5 needles, which she needed to work on a secret new project she's designing, so we hightailed it to the store for our first visit. We were greeted by Ginger and Teresa, who (little did they know) were about to receive daily visits from us.
The store is well stocked and organized by type of fiber--wools, cottons, etc. The dark woods make it a cozy store, and there's a nook in the back with books to consult and chairs to sit and knit in. Ginger and Teresa were super friendly and glad just to chat. I ended up buying five skeins of Araucania Patagonia Nature Cotton in a light emerald green shade, while Katie bought some gorgeous plum-colored Takhi Sierra to make Plath.
At the conference, we tried our best to live up to the Knitty Professors name. I was working mainly on a pale blue version of Plath for my sister's birthday and Dalloway, while Katie was working on her secret project, Plath, and Desdemona (pattern coming soon). One of the surprising things about knitting at the conference was the number of people who came up to talk to us. The reactions varied, but were mostly positive. One woman came and showed us a pair of bright blue and green socks she was working on. Steven Mailloux sitting next to me at a featured session mentioned that he wished he had something similar to work on--his wife is an avid knitter. Greg Wilson--my fellow panel member for our presentation on nuclear rhetorics--mentioned that he's a quilter, an equally engaging (if less portable) activity. There were a few skeptics who wondered how we could knit and concentrate on a talk at the same time, but we both replied--truthfully--that knitting actually makes it easier to listen attentively. I'm not sure what the scientific reason for this might be, but it is definitely true. I started knitting during a long series of job talks in my department last year, and while I think some of the candidates were a little unnerved at the site of someone knitting in the audience, I definitely found that I was able to follow the talk better if I had something to do with my hands.
Our second visit to So Much Yarn occurred on the second day of the conference, when Katie realized that she hadn't bought enough of the Takhi yarn for Plath. Teresa was working on a Noro Silk Garden project, and we persuaded her to check out Xylem instead--which will look gorgeous in Silk Garden. We can't wait to see how it turns out! We also showed off some of our patterns--Plath and Dalloway, namely.
All in all, it was a happy knitting conference. I took off for the San Juan Islands on Monday and brought all my knitting projects--but unfortunately my time was taken up with hiking, biking, and swimming in the freezing waters of Puget Sound. There are tons of sheep on Lopez Island (and goats and cows), and I had hoped to come across some local spinners/dyers/yarnies, but to no avail. Had I done my research, I would've come across this. Definitely a reason to go back to Seattle/Puget Sound sometime soon!