Stranger in a strange land

So….I spent the weekend in Michigan. On the surface it may not sound like much fun to anyone else. Get up before dawn, ride (and never drive) across parts of three states to go to a tool show, pass within a stone’s throw of the University of Michigan (for a Columbus, Ohio, native this is somewhat creepy), watch a Will Ferrell movie, and eat takeout in the hotel room. But I think if you had met us, and all our children, and understood exactly how long it’s been since Velcro Boy (Jack, dear, I’m talking about you) was pried from my leg, you’d know how special we could make this.

Light truck

Here’s what we rode in. Every time people were staring at us and I thought it was because I was knitting in public, I had to stop and think, oh wait, it’s probably just the truck. It even had California plates, so we were utterly conspicuous wherever we went. When the engine got revved it sounded like a chainsaw convention. However, the amenities were terrific. Dual climate controls, heated seats, a GPS navigation system, neon interior lighting…. once I got over thinking I had to haul myself into the cab via a knotted rope, it was quite comfortable.

I got a TON of knitting done riding in the truck. I took only two projects: Kelp Forest, and the supplies for my second salt and pepper sock. And all I worked on was Kelp Forest. As we cruised towards Ann Arbor the first time, I was doing a felted join in the car. As by the time we were cruising past it headed west on Sunday, I realized I really had memorized the pattern. I got 20 repeats out of the first skein, and probably won’t need more than two skeins. It feels great to know I’m more than halfway done.

I also had a secret — not one but two pairs of socks for Mr. Beth, to be given as anniversary presents. To skip ahead, he loves them, and has declared them The Best Socks In The World, even if they don’t fit exactly (or, in the case of the Patons Kroy jacquard, don’t match exactly).

The tool show was…a tool show. It was kind of like going to a quilt vendor expo in a fabric mill’s warehouse, without a show of finished quilts. So at least I had something to compare it to, as DH worked the booths and found sales guys to talk to about their latest boxes, tools, and hardware.

That didn’t take long, and when we were done it was off to Howell to visit Beth at The Spinning Loft.

A spinning class had just finished when I let myself in, so I just wandered around and talked to her friends while she took care of business. I wanted to touch everything, but managed to restrain myself.

There was fiber:

Dyed fiber, The Spinning Loft

And there were many bags of woolen locks:

Bags of wool, The Spinning Loft

There were skeins of locally spun yarn:

Locally spun skeins

There were spindles:

Spindles galore!

And there was Beth, who didn’t want her picture taken again:

Beth Three Sheeps

And the very first thing she asked me, when we got to sit down, was: “Have you seen what’s been happening on the Mystical Creations Yarn thread on Ravelry?”

We had a good meetup (even though I discovered I had to get to know my spinning goddesses better), and then it was time to buy a souvenir. I finally decided on the winter issue of Wild Fibers (always wanted to check it out, and it seemed like time) and a big fluffy cloud of BFL to spin up…someday. I knew it was the right one to buy when Beth rubbed it against her face before ringing it up.

BFL from Spinning Loft

Then, at the last second, she grabbed a baggie and put it in the bag too. “You just have to have this.” A little baggie stuffed with Merino top.

Merino top, Spinning Loft

Oh yeah…I gave her some chocolate, too. We’re good buddies now, Beth-her and Beth-me.

The rest of the evening included, but was not limited to, going out to see Semi-Pro without children, going to Meijer without children, and picking up carry-out from Outback to eat while we watched the Australian Grand Prix without children.

Ann Arbor? Yikes!

Sunday morning included going out to breakfast without children, driving within a stone’s throw of the University of Michigan stadium without children, and stopping at a winery for a tasting without children. And we bought wine too! I felt like such a grown up.

We got to talk, and plan, and just do stuff together. Maybe next year we can do it again.

ETA: I have been trying to post this all day. !@#$%!!

Published in: on March 17, 2008 at 4:19 pm  Comments (8)  

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8 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Isn’t it something that I have to read about a Michigan yarn store that is less than an hour away from me courtesy of a Wisconsin knitter! I live a stone’s throw from the green and white, M.S.U. (much better than blue and gold) and I’ve never heard of this store…looks like something I should check out! How appropriate that you picked a Michigan “based” movie to see while in Michigan. Did you plan that?

  2. Hope it doesn’t make you think differently of me, Beth, but I lived about a stone’s throw from your stone’s throw for four years when I lived in A2! My duplex was about a mile and a half from the stadium. The best time to go shopping was during the football games — every store was deserted.

    Isn’t it wild to get to remember why you married this man — and how to talk adult talk?! Yes, definitely, you have to do it again.

    That’s SOME Truck.

  3. That truck is, in my sons’ vocabulary, ACE COOL! I’m so glad you had a terrific time, and you know, there is much to be said for “without children”. I just LOVE eating take-out in a hotel. In fact, I like hotels, actually. We don’t often stay in them even when travelling, finding ourselves usually in our cozy little lodge in the 18th century – or snuggled into our Perfectly Adequate wayback of one car or t’other…so it’s a real treat when we do. I’m so glad you had a delicious foray like that (you’ll have to describe your Outback meal to me, I heart hearing about meals) Yeah, I know. Nevermind.

  4. As much as I love my children, that whole without them thing can be pretty awesome. Yesterday, we went to O’Donoghue’s Pub without children and now this morning I am without a truck since we had to call Jessica to pick us up. (The driving child is a good thing as is Guinness.)

    Maybe you can pick me up in that fancy dancy truck of yours!

  5. Sounds like you had a lovely trip. That truck is just too cool for school! Love the fleece! I’m am in a spinny state of mind recently. It’s all I want to do. It’s repetative and meditative and calms me from all of the hoo ha going on at work. How was Will Ferrell?

  6. Dual climate controls? Dude, that rocks!

    Why haven’t the other car companies picked up on that? Wait, maybe they have. Our cars are all either old or cheap.

  7. I obviously am late to this post, but I’m digging that truck! I think I need one to drive to work.

    And the store? Wow!! I don’t spin, but I’m still impressed. Sounds like a great trip!!

  8. How I’ve missed following along with your adventures… curse that computer-stealer!


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