Archive for the ‘tripping’ Category

On the train to Berlin

Sunday, May 18th, 2008

I just pulled out of Albany, heading to NYC then Newark to fly across the Atlantic pond. The Men’s Spring Knitting Retreat just ended and my head is reeling.

I’ve been very lucky and had many opportunities to have fun as a knitter and otherwise, but this was beyond any expectations I could have imagined. Never before have I been around so many incredible, talented and hilarious men. QueerJoe and KnitterguyTed created a new piece of knitting culture. One that I hope will continue for many years to come. Thank you both, from the bottom of my heart. I hope to return for years to come.

I’m typing this oh my phone, so I can’t link to everyone I’ve met and tell you stories about each right now. There was some recording for YKnit that you’ll eventually hear, but nothing could capture the joy and peace (sounds too Christmas-y) or the silly merriment and fibery inspiration I just experienced. I loved seeing Dr. Mel and meeting his David, finding out Guido is just like he sounds (if not feisty-er) and getting to hug and laugh with Michael (after years of email and his launching my “career”). Everyone who was there was a fine and fabulous fellow who I’d to hang out with (pardon my dangling participle).

But there was one guy who is my new best friend and retreat roomie for life: Sean of the Soapbox out of Boston. I’m relieved we live on opposite coasts, because we’d be a terror if we spent any more time together! Thank you for the ride to Albany and unending laughs. Read him, love him and find him at Woolcott & Co if you’re ever in Cambridge. I liked him online, but now that I’ve met him, I may tattoo his face on my bum-bum. In a platonic kinda way. (Mom, this is a joke.)

OK. This thumb typing is boring me. I’m going to get back to savoring my memories. It was awsome to spend the weekend with everyone. We simply must do it again. If you’re reading this and have testes, do consider coming new time!

Ich liebe Käse

Sunday, May 11th, 2008

Getting ready for the trip, we enjoyed a German breakfast of bread and cheese this morning. I’ve been drinking lots of coffee, too.

Only three days at the office this week then off to travel for two weeks.

I’m still accepting Berlin recommendations. Y’all were so good for Paris… any thoughts on Deutschland?

Letter from camp

Thursday, April 17th, 2008

I don’t need to write my mom, because she’s here with me at sock knitting camp, so I’m writing y’all.

I’m having a swell time with all my new friends, returning campers and the counsolers. There’s so much to say and pictures to share and conversations to podcast, but interweb access is spotty.

Just wanted to say that I miss you and access to the wider world. I gotta run, ’cause we need to eat before tonight’s underwater knitting competition!

Oh, and thank you a thousand times for all the super birthday wishes! It was so rad to have loads of love coming in from the wide wide world of the web.

PS I’m hanging out with three hot babes, only one of whom is my mom.

SXSWi 2008

Saturday, March 22nd, 2008
Knitting Nest

What’s not to love about Austin? For the past two years, I’ve headed to Texas for South by Southwest. People’s eyes light up when I say that until I qualify it with, “the nerd one, not the music part.” Last year, I met Jenny of Stash and Burn there, but, alas, she wasn’t there this year.

Julia, of to the rescue! I also met her last year, but this year she took me under her wing and we ran all over town and the conference. Thank you, Julia! (and happy birthday, one day late) It’s sad that I don’t have a picture of us together!

Conference-wise, the first few days weren’t impressive. Maybe I picked the wrong panels, but by the end, I was glad work sent me. The most interesting thing I saw was Go forth, knitters, and let’s take it over!

Sadly, the High-Tech Craft: Why Sewing and Knitting Still Matter panel, moderated by Natalie Zee Drieu from CRAFT magazine was a disappointment. At least on the knitting front. It was more about sewing technology onto garments or toys, not how technology is changing knitting and sewing or how knitting and sewing hold their own in this modern age. Hear for yourself: .mp3 of the panel.

Mike Essl at SXSWi

It just so happened a good friend from high school was presenting at the conference. Mike Essl was a year behind me, and I used to mock him for wanting to be a graphic designer, only we called it commercial artist back then. Who knew copying heavy metal album covers would result in becoming a ? When I wasn’t with Julia, I pal’ed around with him and his girlfriend, the lovely Mia.

This is getting long, but I couldn’t recap the trip without mentioning eating. If you’re ever headed there, be sure to snack on queso, try migas for breakfast, drink Lone Star, and get your vegan on at Veggie Heaven.

Austin Knitters

Finally, there was knitting. A lot more knitting than I get done at home. I was working on a secret sock the entire time, test knitting an INSANELY handsome design. I dropped in to the Sunday morning Hill Country Weavers where I met all the Texas knit bloggers last year. However, on Monday, Julia and I went to the Knitting Nest, my new favorite Austin LYS. Stacy has a fabulous shop. Her talented daughter Amanda took the photo of me above (Thanks for the shirt!). And I met some cool kids, MissKate (on Rav), pickardhuff (on Rav) and TwistedString. Next time, I’ll bring something easier to knit, so I’m more chatty.

Phew! That’s it. If you want more, check out a few more photos.

Eugene, ho!

Wednesday, July 11th, 2007

On the road today to visit the in-laws in Eugene, OR. I’ll be there until Saturday, if you know of any stuff I need to check out!

Bonjour, croissants

Monday, May 21st, 2007

Our breakfast this morning, procured by my non-Frenchie manfriend. We still haven’t figured out the coffee situation. Any recommendations of French brands?

He went off to take some exquisite photos around the neighborhood this morning as I researched running routes. Found a great run, but didn’t make it out yet (à demain, la promenade plantee).

For Mr. Man’s photo fans, I’m not letting him post his pictures, for fear of him loading up my computer with gigs of gigantor files! You’re just going to have to deal with my cameraphone for now. Our delightful friend and fellow synchronaut just flew in this morning, so we’ve got to take him to his apartment around the corner. A bientôt!

We’re here

Monday, May 21st, 2007

Made it to Paris yesterday, after what felt like an entire day of flying. Good thing Mr. Man called to confirm our flights at 10pm the night before the 8am departure. It had been cancelled. They had been trying to contact me for months, but were using a wrong telephone number, nevermind that they have the correct phone number and email address in my Mileage Plus account.

Luckily, they were still able to get us to Philadelphia (where I finished the second of my ugliest socks ever) for the flight to Paris, but with a lay-over in Chicago. Oh, did I mention the new flight was at 6:15am in San Francisco? They rearranged our flights home, making it one flight less and arriving 3 hours earlier (but still not early enough to pick up Janie from Pet Camp on Saturday).

Thanks to cashed-in miles, we were flying business class on all flights. It was my first time flying non-freight internationally, and I highly recommend it. They feed you non-stop and there’s plenty of room in the wide chairs (which you need from all the food and wine). One of the flight attendants out of Philly recognized me from my college year, some 13 years ago. He was a student at Temple while I was at Penn. (It’s a small gay activist town.) Thanks to him, we walked off the plane with an unopened bottle of wine and a whole bunch of little vodkas and gins. (Scout, I need to learn the word for pomegranate to raise a glass to you and use ’em up!)

We landed in Paris at 7am, having barely slept myself. It was nice to finally see Pan’s Labyrinth and Stranger than Fiction, but I certainly paid for it as I was in a daze all day. We made our way in the rain to our rented apartment in the Marais. I barely conversed in French with Fanny (French isn’t her mother tongue either!) and we signed the contract and handed over our Euros and we were “home” by 10am.

We wandered around the neighborhood (I promise better descriptions) and had an adequate meal at a cafe before I passed out on the couch at 7. Therefore, I was up by 3am and forced myself to listen to tourism podcasts and not get out of bed until 6. I read up in the Rough Guide, as this trip has been completely unplanned—I’m going to decide on what I’m doing as we go.

Our first swimming commitment is Wednesday, with practices on Thurday and Friday morning, with competition on Saturday and Sunday. That leaves today and tomorrow for wandering, shopping and drinking in the beauty that is this city. Then, another week to try to see as much as we can.

TX knttr blggrs

Tuesday, March 13th, 2007

Wireless has been spotty at my hotel, but, then again, so has my down time to craft lengthy posts detailing the goings on my first South By. Yeah, that’s what the locals call it. I’m so down. Let’s talk knitting…

I went to Hill Country Weavers Knit ‘n Nosh, local knitting bloggers edition. My travel companions (and the kind people I’ve hung out with most while here): Harold and Jenny (of Stash&Burn). I met a whole lotta fun women from Austin, Houston and beyond… and now I have more blogs and podcasts to follow!

Sadly, I didn’t get to talk to everyone (next time, Rhonda and Staci?). I was kind of overwhelmed and uncharacteristically shy. I’m really much more fun, loud and spazzy. Trying to keep track of who was who and ripping out 6 stitch/8 row panels to fix, kept me pretty quiet. Trust me, I can be more of a party… just ask Jenny. I did my best to charm and woo her (in French, even) at Hotel San Jose the previous night (with our friend Alan Cummings—who was pretending he didn’t know us.)

So much more to report… music this morning, a gay bloggerati’s karaoke triumph, more Alan Cummings sightings, and a crazy coincidence of friends of friends of friends that prove that the Checks are meant to be my new BFF’s.

edited to crorrect an error: Yarn and Order is not adorably pregnant to my knowledge. She is adorable—I confused her with Yarn Bar.

Socks by Southwest

Saturday, March 10th, 2007

I’m here in Austin, wandering from panel to panel at SXSW, right now typing this in a session about Web Hacks and current usage trends. Some of this stuff is way over my head, but it’s fun to see what’s out there and where things may go in the future. Pretty much a dorkfest (in a positive way)… I feel at home, though somewhat under-geeky. I only wish I was as smart as many of the men and women here.

So, there I was, lying naked (I forgot my ‘jammies) in my bed last night, reading about today’s panels, so I could plan what to see. There, among the Internet-erati that I read about was a name I recognized, someone I knew. She’s a knit-erati (or is it knit-erata?)—Ms. Vickie Howell! Her panel is the one I’m off to next. Courtesy of MySpace, I let her know I was in town and I’ve already run into her (and her dreamy man). However, I couldn’t chat much because I was running late. I didn’t get a chance to congratulate her or see the ring!

I didn’t know how much time I’d have on my hands while here, so I brought a bunch of socks in progress to keep me busy. And I have three on the needles right now. On the flight here, I finished the toe of the Gentleman’s Fancy Sock from Nancy Bush. Last week, I realized that I was closing in on the halfway point of my yarn, but still inches away from the toe decreases. Thank you, postal scale at work!

The next sock is number two of a Lisa Souza. It’s a joy to knit, compared to the Opal stuff on the other guys. Instead of just black and orange, it’s a wide range of richer blacks, warm maroons and flickers of fire and gold. Straight up merino is one of the yummiest things for my digits. I could finish this over the next few days.

Last, and certainly not least, my favorite of the three is a blue toe-up baby of my own design… well, my design input on Rachael‘s sock-a-go-go. I guess I’m man enough to take on a lace-based sock and sub in some cables. I’m missing Rachael’s knit-one-one class (chez Sile’s) because I’m deep in the heart of Texas. The furtherest I can get on them is to the heel on the second sock, ’cause I don’t know what’s next!

Mr. Man told me that a package arrived today from Scout, so there’s more socks in my future. It’ll be waiting alongside the Rockin’ Sock Club shipment that came earlier in the week from Blue Moon Fiber Arts. So expect prettier colored socks in progress in the near future.

written this afternoon, posted after midnight, pictures to come

Austin, TX

Wednesday, March 7th, 2007

I’m headed to SXSW Interactive on Friday. It’s held the week before South by Southwest’s music festival. Work is sending me to check out how cool and geeky the Interwebs can be. I hope to post, as I’ll have a lot of knitting time with no doggie to walk. Maybe I’ll even post (when I’m not attending panels or running).

Got any advice for a week in Austin? Know any groovy people there, knitters or otherwise? Do you live there? Help a homo out… so far all I’ve heard is Hill Country Weavers. Coffee, grub and off-the-beaten-path destinations would be appreciated.