Sunday, March 02, 2008


I'm becoming very familiar with the AM radio stations in Connecticut. I like to listen to talk radio (the wackier the better...) when I drive - it keeps me awake and it makes me laugh.

Sometimes I'll listen to an audio book, but when I'm between classes or even venues it just takes too much effort to re-engage myself into a plot or history. So talk radio it is - and there was a LOT of it driving up from Mystic to Saratoga Springs!

I loved both of my classes - what a terrific bunch of women!! I had pretty much the same group for both classes, which was lovely because THEY were lovely! Unfortunately I didn't have the time I would have liked to walk around such a beautiful town - maybe another time!

Spending a whole day with students is a luxury I don't usually have, and it almost feels as if we went on a trip together. I tend to work my students pretty hard, which is why I make them laugh so much - I don't want them to rush me, tie me up and start knitting washcloths just to show me who's in control...

In this case the first class was Combination Knitting, which I love to teach. I love all my classes, but this is one of my most tailor-able, meaning I'm able to add or take away things as I see the students absorbing it. If it seems like a class that is tuned into lace, I can toss some of that stuff in. If it seems a class that is intrigued by cables, I can spend more time with that.

I do this with all my classes - tailoring them to the group at hand - but Combo is one of the easiest. Actually, today I'm teaching a new class - Annie Potpourri - which will be a lot of combo, but I'm experimenting with tossing more theory in, sandwiched between a lot of tips and tricks.

Lunch was at a nearby cafe, but I desperately needed some alone time. So I went to a local juice bar/cafe and had a lovely salad and chicken sandwich (it was, as the sign promised, "yummy!" - so good to see truth in advertising!)

Then I stopped by CVS to pick up more airborne, zinc tablets and I made myself a little cocktail of the above with some Emergen-C. I'm doing this twice a day during this trip to keep my resistance up and fight any emerging bugs that might be sticking to the windshield of my Prius.

Meeting a lot of folks - and then touching their knitting, their hands, their needles - and then hugging them - well, it's an invitation to become a human petrie dish. So I try to be careful, as much for myself as for the classes that follow.

The afternoon class was Knitting with Wire - a very fun class, but an exceptionally weary-ing class for me to teach. That's how it is, though, with so many things we love. I had just about the whole group again (one had to leave early) and after the prodigal purse that one student had left at the restaurant was retrieved (you cannot IMAGINE the sigh of relief we ALL let out - everyone felt that poor woman's pain!) we settled into a really fun class.

Usually I make sure that everyone leaves with a finished bracelet - but I ran a bit over, so I only got two totally finished. I feel certain, however, that this very clever class will be able to get each bracelet done (the two that WERE finished were quite lovely - and they FIT!)

Off to my car, a quick "goodbye" to Lily (who I only saw for 3 minutes total all day - a shame since I like her very much!) and then off to the races!

I arrived around 8:30pm, but I couldn't find the hotel. Actually, I found it, but when I knocked on the door there was no answer. I was not as bold as I may have been because I had this sinking feeling that I was knocking on a private residence or a club or something, not a hotel. It's quite lovely - and yes, it DOES say Saratoga Arms over the door - but the locked door made me second guess myself.

If nothing else, this trip is a resounding wake-up call to stop second guessing myself.

So I drove around Saratoga - stopping at a few other hotels only to find they'd never heard of me - and then back to the Saratoga Arms for a bolder knock and this time I discovered I had the right place all along. Well, at least I got a nice tour of a beautiful city!

The room is lovely, the hotel itself (lobby pictured to the left) is just beautiful! My class today is at 10:00, which is a bit of a luxury in itself because

I can take time to have the hotel breakfast (yay!) and blog. (Signature Needles, they're not just for breakfast anymore...) What a nice start to the day.

I'm teaching just a few doors away - not at the sponsoring shop, Saratoga Needle Arts - so I even have time to go for a short stroll and see what trouble I can get into before class. If I'm not back by 10:00, send a search party. On horseback.

I'm REALLY looking forward to today - I've never taught the same class twice in a row on the same day, it will be an adventure - and the best part? I get to stay IN THE SAME BED TWO NIGHTS IN A ROW! Now that's what I call high living!

Monday I drive back to the NYC area so I can teach at Knitty City on Tuesday, and stay with some very good friends on Mon and Tues night.

Wed I drive back up to Harvard, MA for a lecture at the Nashoba Valley Knitters Guild. I've heard they're restricting this solely for their guild members, but I've also heard that they've suggested that one person join the guild so they can come to the workshop - See, I'll do anything to enhance guild membership!

Thurs I'm back to NJ to teach at Knit Knack in the evening, Friday I'm in a holding pattern, and on Saturday I add Angelfire Studios to my list of shops on this trip (they're celebrating their 4th Anniversary!) Sunday is recovery, Monday is HOME!

Gerry misses me like nuts (although not when I called him on the phone last night and yelled in frustration when I couldn't find my hotel... Sorry honey.) and the kids and animals miss me, too. I'm missed.

But not as much as I miss all of them.


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Anonymous quinn said...

I contacted the Guild in Harvard, MA, last week, and the very nice response (a week later) DID suggest that I join the Guild, but I was clearly NOT welcome to do so before your class...They were already concerned about not having enough room at the event for their existing membership.
I understand, of course, and think it's great that they are protecting the quality of the experience for the members. but rats! This is the first time you've been only a little over an hour away from me. Oh well - maybe next time. Have fun! You know you'll be much appreciated!

March 02, 2008 9:48 AM  
Anonymous Jeremy said...

So glad you made the trip without trouble. Yes, Mystic is a beautiful town, very walkable with a lot to see. Hope you come back to CT with more time to spend.

March 02, 2008 10:12 AM  
Anonymous Elizabeth said...

You are near my very favorite place in the whole world--the Saratoga Race Course. If you're in town, stop by Impressions of Saratoga. It's a charming shop full of horsey stuff. Really nice folks.
Never been there in winter--bet it's alot different than in racing season.......ENJOY!

March 02, 2008 2:06 PM  
Blogger Nancy said...

Our loveliness was a reflection of your awesomeness!
I've been reading this blog for over a year. I might have originally started because of the knitting but that quickly became secondary to you the person and your family.
Meeting you in person, sharing stories with you and taking a class was an amazing experience. Gerry, Hannah and Max are lucky people and a big THANK YOU to them for sharing you with us!

March 04, 2008 3:21 PM  

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