I zoomed into Atlanta, gave an academic paper at a conference, hit two knitting stores, and flew out again.
The conference worked out well. I enjoyed practicing our paper over a glass of wine with my cowriter, about to move to Scotland for a new teaching position. For the holidays I gave her a Shetland Triangle shawl. Susan is always incredibly kind about anything I give her, especially something handmade. (And yes, she knows to say hello to Alice Starmore if she runs into her.)
Due to illness, neither my father nor brother were able to attend. (How nerdy is is that family reunions occur at every academic conference?!) My brother's girlfriend Rebecca was there and we got to have lunch together. Wish her luck on the job market!
I took MARTA to Buckhead and the walked about ten minutes to Why Knot Knit, a lovely shop. The store is a converted house right off the main drag. They carry everything from a wide selection of beautifully-displayed Cascade 220 to Helen's Lace, from Blue Sky Alpaca to Manos. The sales assistant at the time chatted amicably with me while she wound a skein of Handmaiden's glorious Sea Silk. Upscale but comfortable, the store is just lovely and the yarns easy to imagine knitted up.
I could not resist this classic alpaca, destined to become a classic scarf:
I then took a cab to the happening Virginia Highlands neighborhood, clearly the Takoma Park of Georgia. There I went to Knitch, a beautiful new store trying to appeal to a younger market. Wow. The store was full of not only gorgeous upscale commercial yarns (Jade Sapphire cashmere! Artyarns silk! Cool Tilli Thomas that I have never seen in person!) but hand-spun glories such as Insubordiknit Yarns and hand-dyed yarns like Claudia Hand Painted. They also carry limited spinning supplies, including a roving color called Lima Bean. It took a LOT not to buy that.
And, well, of course:
I came out with some Aloo--a spun nettle fiber. Gorgeous and fascinatingly rough. Could not resist. I'm thinking a little cabled purse? Any other ideas?
I took the bus to the subway--something the bus driver seemed to think no middle-class person would do in Atlanta. I don't drive for medical reasons and am therefore used to traveling all over the world without a car, so I risked it. What a great public transportation system you have there! With both that and at least these two stores, you Atlanta knitters are a lucky group. I'm so sorry I did not have enough time to meet some of you.
One of the best parts of the trip was the uninterrupted time to listen to podcasts and knit on the plane. More on both soon!