Katherine the Great
I like to think of myself as a storyteller. Mostly I tell stories about knitting.

On Sunday, The Husband and I were to cook Thanksgiving for my brother, his lovely wife, and their adorable little girl. We rolled out of bed early and got to work. The first step is to mix up the stuffing and get it in the bird. I’ve been involved with this for at least 2 holidays per year for the past 17 years. I’ve done it countless times on my own. It includes melting butter, adding chicken broth, heating to a boil and stirring in the Pepperidge Farm stuffing mix. We are not talking rocket science. We planned to get the turkey on the grill at 8am, so I was moving right along. I melted the butter, added broth, and brought it to a boil. At this point, I removed it from the heat and tried to pour the two bags of stuffing mix in at the same time while stirring because The Husband was busy getting the neck and innards out of the raw turkey. I was having trouble mixing the stuffing well, so I grabbed a huge plastic mixing bowl and dumped everything in. I was starting to really settle into my task when I realized I couldn’t pick up the mixing bowl. I’d set it on the hot stove. I believe my next words were, “oh, shit.” followed by a scary calm, “that’s not optimal.” I flung all of the stuffing off the hot eye, dumped the bottomless skeleton of the bowl in the trash, and grabbed a fork to scrape as much melted plastic up as quickly as possible. I wiped the plastic in the trash can and went back for another load of melted bowl, not realizing I was leaving tiny cobwebs of plastic across the kitchen. The Husband was wrist deep in raw turkey, so he just let me do my thing for a minute.

He soon appeared at my elbow with a container of razor blades and stared into my eyes, “hey, do NOT cut yourself and make a bad situation worse.” before handing me my first straight edged razor blade. In that moment, I was grateful he had them handy. Later, I would wonder what the heck he was expecting that he thought we’d need one hundred razor blades? My question was soon answered as he said, “use a blade and throw it away, trying to clean one to reuse it is how you’ll get cut” Ok, I began methodically and carefully scraping what looked plastic marshmallows off our glass cooktop with a razor. I soon realized that scraping a hot eye with a metal blade heats the blade and was grateful he’d bought in bulk.

As I cleaned, The Husband and I surveyed the plastic cobwebs and decided that we should not serve this dressing. So, he left for the HEB Grocery with me thanking my stars that we were not celebrating on Thanksgiving and they were definitely open. Once I had the majority of the gooey plastic off stove, I cleaned up the dressing I’d slung. By this point the cooktop had cooled off and I was able to use my Cooktop cleaner on the glass top. Ya’ll, by the time The Husband returned, it looked almost new. I felt like I was on the set of a commercial for glass stoves. People can say what they like about how gas is better, but when it comes to cleaning melted mixing bowl, I’ll choose my electric stovetop every day and twice on this particular Sunday.

Ps. When I told my father this story, his response was a nodding, “oh yes, single blades, they are cheaper by the hundred”. I guess girls really do marry boys like their fathers.


I like to think each knitter has moments when they feel like a Knitter. Not when others perceive them as advanced, but when they themselves believe they can handle anything knitting can dish out. It’s different for everyone and for me, this feeling wells up when non-knitters around me speak the language.

Yesterday, I was able to spend some time among my people at Kora Kora. The coffee was delicious and Elisa brought a smashing new knitting friend. As we chatted about the fiber arts, I shared that The Husband is now able to measure time in knitting:
How long until I’m ready to go to dinner? 40 stitches.
When will I be available to go to the grocery store? 3 rows.
What time will I be back from hanging out with knitting friends? Before dark. Probably.

So, if you’re a non-knitter and now know things like how many yards one needs for socks (350-400), I’d like to say thank you for listening. I appreciate you.

After coffee, we adjourned for lunch at The Gruene Door. I had a spinach salad that included strawberries and made more new knitting friends.

Next, we swung into the Lucky Ewe. This was my first visit and from the moment I stepped through the door, it felt like home. It’s a truly warm yarn shop with a vibe that I could not love more. This shop has plenty of indie dyed sock yarn as well as a wall of Malabrigo. The shopkeeper, Linda, was helpful and charming. I will be back.

Summary: It was glorious!

The Rest of the Story:
Thursday evening, Lisa drove us to Dallas while I knit on my sweater sleeve.
We pulled up to the Irving Convention Center at 8:09pm as I said, “I’m going to try the door.” Thankfully, it was unlocked and I was able to register and pick up our lovely bags so we could avoid the Friday morning line. We checked into the hotel, started knitting our homework and strategized for the Fiber Fest Market.

Friday –
Lisa and I ate a healthy breakfast and hit the market (I’m pointing out the healthy breakfast because I didn’t make a ton of healthy choices over the weekend.). The Must Stash booth was first on our list and we scored some lovely yarn. While in line, we each fell in love with a project bag. I’m usually not big on pink, but the coffees and donuts stole my heart.

We continued through the market until Lisa was distracted by Harry Potter socks in the Brazen Stitchery booth. Some baby blue and gray self striping yarn caught my eye while she was paying. We resisted further temptation until we reached White Birch Fiber Arts. Her self striping yarns displayed on clear jars caught our attention and we each left with Tanya’s Rainbow, among other things. A mug that states, “Winter is Coming, Knit Faster” found its way into my bag and then a hank of dark speckles on jewel tones called my name in the Quixotic Fibers booth. It was variegated and they didn’t have a sample at that time, so I promised to try back later. I’m a little OCD about yarn pooling, and have to give myself at least a chance at sanity.

Lisa and I hopped in the car and headed for Sulphur Springs. After a hot mess on I-30 where we ended up having to pull a u-turn in the middle of the main lanes (directed by police), we were on our way again. We swung into Fuzzy’s Tacos for lunch (YUM!) and then Collins Street Bakery (who KNEW fruit cake could be so good?!?). The down side (if it can be called that) is that eating a sample felt like I was mainlining sugar. I bought a couple of brownies and several cookies including the cherry ones (far far better than expected). We continued onto Sulphur Springs where we used the facilities in the square behind one way glass. If you’ve never tried this, I recommend it. Quite the novel experience. We moved on to admire the courthouse and snap a few (hundred) pictures. We encountered a man exiting the courthouse. He indicated that he used to work there and asked if we were from around there. We said no and Lisa volunteered the name of the East Texas town where she grew up. He crossed himself and offered to pray for her. We laughed and he continued on his way.

There are some cute shops in the area that we’d have enjoyed exploring if we’d had the time. Perhaps we’ll be back. We detoured to The Original Fried Pie shop to purchase several for tasting. I found myself slightly disappointed as I grew up eating Hutch’s fried pies. Research has since indicated that the people at Hutch’s know their business and we added a trip to Hutch’s to our bucket list.

We joined some knitting friends for dinner at Underground Indian Cuisine. I will sum up that experience by saying you do not need to add this establishment to your to-eat list.

Clara Park’s talk was informative. If by informative, you understand me to mean I may be trying The Brown Sheep Company yarn for my next sweater. She’s inspiring as always.

Saturday –
I swung by Quixotic and they said the sample was still out of pocket and I committed to swing back by.

As Lisa and I found our Two-faced Knitting Class, a ravelry friend and I happened upon each other and she generously gifted me some of her gorgeous celtic knot stitch markers. Thank you, Sarah!

After settling into our spots, Lisa and I began 3 hours of concentrated learning with Melissa Leapman. We’ve taken classes from her before, but years have passed and we forgot how she likes to stay on track and push her students. I am a fairly experienced knitter. It’s been a long time since my hands have sweated because I’m doing something uncomfortable. During that portion of the class, Melissa said, “This is not easy knitting.” and I wrote that down. Because I expect as I’m knitting a reversible scarf in the future, I’ll need reminding that someone as talented and skilled as Melissa is willing to admit that this is not easy. In addition to being a skilled knitting instructor, Melissa is really nice and was game for a sock in progress photo. I look forward to my next class with her.

Saturday afternoon, I did some shopping consulting with Tasha while knitting on my Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles sock (walking and knitting turned out not to be my smartest move, but I have no regrets). I also helped Jeanette find cashmere for her tulip shawl. (I’m calling it her tulip shawl because it’s pink, cream and green.) It’s going to be lovely. I tried out the 2.00mm Signature Needle Arts DPN’s. I liked them. They’re smooth but a little too pricey for me as I usually knit socks on 2.25mm DPN’s ($75 for 4 – this is a limited run, so if you want a set, now is the time).

I glanced into the Quixotic booth and they appeared to be sold out of the siren song yarn so I made peace with the fact that it wasn’t meant to be.

Lisa finished her class and we headed back to the hotel to charge our phones, knit on our pretty green/rainbow socks and relax a little bit before dinner. We met a group of vastly entertaining knitters at The Ranch in Las Calinas and proceeded to eat more than was sane. It was a spectacular evening.

Back at the hotel, while chatting and knitting, I was thrilled to be chilly so I could show off my (unblocked) sweater. We stayed up far too late considering my age (somewhere between 1 and 2am).

Sunday –
After a healthy breakfast, Lisa and I were departing for home. I glanced longingly towards Quixotic one last time and spied the bright speckled yarn!…and they had a sock knit up in similar yarn! The pooling was only bad around the heel, so I pulled out my piggy bank and a hammer to take their last hank home with me. As I chatted with the shopkeepers, it turns out they’d just put the last hank out after saving it for me because I’d visited it so many times. This was terribly sweet of them and I appreciate it GREATLY! So, if you’re near Whitesboro, swing into Quixotic, say hi, and please tell them the crazy girl that visited the Guatemalan yarn 5 times before buying it sent you.

My favorite things:
Must Stash Yarn – Perfect Sock – Eeyore’s Rainbow colorway (the hard part is going to be selecting a contrast heel/toe color! Suggestions welcome.)
Brazen Stitchery – Paparazzi Sock – Cyber Baby colorway
Pawley Studios – Gray “Winter is Coming, knit faster” mug
Diana Couture – Tardis Stitch Hoodie
Suburban Stitcher – coffee and donuts bag
White Birch Fiber Arts – Tanya’s Rainbow colorway
Quixotic Fibers – Yarn Rehab – Rockshelter Sock – Guatemalan colorway

On the way home, we stopped in West to get kolaches for lunch and then Lisa knit on her rainbow sock as I drove us through the wildflowers back to Austin.

Thank you SO MUCH to everyone who made DFW Fiber Fest possible! and Thanks my partner in crime, Lisa, for joining me!

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