Monday, June 04, 2007

the upside of being a nervous flyer

A proud tale of what I learned enroute.
I am a nervous flyer. I wasn't always this way. Returning from vacation in August 2005,we flew through the edge of Hurricane Katrina. Nervous took on a whole new meaning. At the time I didn't make too big a deal. I was on a plane that bucked and fell thousands of feet a few times but in the end, my family was unharmed. Considering the folks on the ground below- what's a rough ride?

Ever since, I become a cartoon character as I walk through that boarding tunnel. If we hit so much as a pimple of turbulence: my heart sproings out of my chest on a coil, sweat spurts geyserlike from my palms. I make small choking noises and squirm. I am not fun to be near.

Turns out modern medicine has just the thing for me, so one pill per trip and presto change-o: I am calm, smile goofily and fall asleep while trying to knit cashmere lace. Cheerful indifference.

On my way to New Mexico a couple of weeks ago, having abandoned the lace project, I was approaching equanimity when I looked down at the needles and thought of the knitting maneuver that's eluded me since childhood: purling backwards. I try it once a year just in case I spontaneously develop the knack while I'm not paying attention.

So, up there feeling no worries, I thought, what's the big deal? I'll just put the yarn here, loop it around here...and walla. I am purling backwards.0607lrup_3 of 3
Maybe not with lightening speed but it makes knitting a long narrow tote bag strap more pleasant. Back, forth, back, forth. It was all I could do not to nudge the strangers on either side of me in 7a and 7c to share my joy.

I was going to link you to some places that show purling backwards - some call it knitting back- and to my surprise, ain't no one doing it just like me. I'm sure there are, they just didn't get a manicure and put it online. I knit in the combined method with the scooped purl, so my purl back is wrapped that way too, clockwise. (no, really, do go on, we need a chance to rest our eyes and dozeoff...)
Ok enough about me.I really want to tell you about the huge alpaca ranch up in the mountains of New Mexico where I bunked out for a few days. But not just now. Now let's talk about me and cupcakes.

We are having a great big party in a week . Dave and I and 3 of our closest friends are having the same big birthday in the same month. The five of us have been jawing about this for ten years, since our last round of big birthdays.
Unlike most of the stuff we jaw about for ten years, we took action. The main food is taken care of by this brilliance, The Big Green Pizza Truck. After gazillion emails planning a massive collaborative birthday cake creation (frighteningly, the group of 5 includes an architect, an artist , two photographers, and a massage therapist, we are so damn hands-on we can't help ourselves) we settled on having a cupcake tower, each of us baking up many crazy cupcakes. Then word leaked to my oldest dear friend, a restauranteur , and the call came . She will arrive with ALL of the cupcakes we could ever want. And then some.

If it was anyone other than her I'd say no, but her cupcakes taste better than you can imagine .cuppy Can you tell?
However. As a knitter, I can't help put have a moment of awe for the marzipan stockinette on these cupcakes. I wonder if you can purl back in confectionary materials?


Lauren said...

The Big Green Truck pizza is sooooo good. I'm jealous about the cupcakes!

Anonymous said...

I'm just catching up. so your party may have come and gone already. In any case, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!

Carole Knits said...

I learned to knit backwards when I was making one of those spiral type scarves. It went so much faster that way! Your birthday party sounds like it will be a fabulous time.

Anonymous said...

Hey, how did I miss this? Didn't show up in Googel reader till today -- Happy Birthday! I survived the big one last summer. But no cupcake tower. Next time for sure....

eyeleen said...

Those are some very yummy looking cupcakes! Happy Birthday!

kt said...

Happy Birthday Radius!

(That which is celebrated in The Before-Times or in The After-Times, as need be by celebrant and well-wishers with differnt skedjewels.)

Cupcakes look yummy.

(My word verification is "rubrrgr"-I can't decide if it's a frozen rhubarb treat or a veggie-based alternate to tofubrrgrs....)

Faith said...

I am a proudly drug-free individual, but sometimes, it's utterly necessary for travel! Glad to hear the cashmere and medication mixture didn't cause any great calamities!