Settle-in, readers. It’s going to take a week’s worth of posts to fill you in on my three days at the Madrona Fiber Arts retreat in Tacoma.
First, however, a knitting tale of desperation, inspiration and challenge worthy of an olympic knitting athlete.
The stage: SeaTac airport, Sunday, 7 a.m.
My luggage has been successfully checked and, thanks to the airport shuttle service’s extreme overkill in the estimate of how long it would take to drive to the airport, I have plenty of time to take up my olympic knitting project. In an insufficiently caffeinated fog (that I am trying to remedy with a Venti Starbucks), I am serenely progressing to the tip of glove finger #1, when the caffeine hits. I have no darning needle in my carry-on with which to secure my stitches at the finger tip.
I search every pocket and zippered compartment for anything I might employ to hold the stitches. I need to release my needles for continuing with the remaining glove fingers on the long flight east. Nothing. Nada. No stitch holders. No safety pins. I make a point of traveling with minimal carry-on items and this time I’ve done a particularly good job of it.
In the fifteen minutes remaining before I need to board the plane, I scour the newstand/crappy gift shop for ANYTHING that might work. The TSA would be proud. There is absolutely nothing here that is long, narrow, pointy or in any other way useful to an olympic knitter. I momentarily consider a pack of Twizzlers, but they look more like a size 8 needle, not the size 2 I’m using. Stumped, I keep circling the gate area looking for inspiration.
Finally, they are calling my row for boarding. I’m in line with my boarding pass, cursing the wasted hours of perfectly good knitting time ahead of me because I did not adequately anticipate my athletic needs. Then it happens. I turn slowly to survey the fast food counters behind me. And I swear, at that very instant, a sliver of sun illuminates the paper cup at the Burger King stand holding COFFEE STIRRING STRAWS.
I jolt out of line, skitter up to the counter and abscond with a handful of teeny straws.
“Citius, Alitius Fortius”
And, here’s the other incredibly cool thing I discovered. These tiny straws make transferring stitches a breeze.
Another perfect marriage of coffee and yarn.