Well, that's done. The short story:
Wednesday: Got up early. Flew all day. Ate really good Vietnamese food, went to bed late.
Thursday: Got up early. Presented paper. Was comforted by the presence of a knitter in the audience who knitted all the way through presentation. Wore Elektra. Was entertained by sudden looks of realization on people's faces afterward when people stopped and said, "Wait a minute. Did you knit that?" Yup.
Friday: Got up early (are we seeing a theme here?). Went to some panels before being rescued by Rachael, who came and got me, took me for a lovely walk through Philadelphia, then to coffee, and fabulous local yarn store (where I bought a small goodie, not yarn, which I'll show off once I dust the camera off and take pictures; I'll link to it then, too -- great place), and then to a wonderful Italian deli for lunch. Mmm... I had no camera, so I took no pictures, but it was a perfect outing, full of good yarn (not only was the yarn store full of many good things, but we both had to laugh when we realized that we're knitting socks out of the exact same colorway of Zauberball), good food, and excellent company. Thank you, Rachael!
Saturday: Got up marginally less early (hooray!). Went to more panels, then walked through the rain to the Liberty Bell ("It's cracked, you know", said Rick), sent cell phone pictures in a text message to the family ("You're right. Cracked."), walked back through the harder rain. Attended more panels. Went to a wonderful Thai lunch at the market there in the center of town. (Note to self: Inexpensive food is FAR better in Philly than expensive food.) Took train to airport through increasing rain. Took off in plane through serious snow.
And now I'm home, and so very very glad to be here. I knitted my way through the conference, and was not the only person to do so. As I ate dinner alone on Friday night (I knew I'd had enough of people when I started giving serious stink-eye to the person behind me at a business meeting who kept leaning on my chair and making me crazy; I realized that she was a big famous person just in time to keep from saying something snarky -- not like me, and clearly a sign that I'd been around too many people for too long), the woman next to me, also eating dinner alone, introduced herself as a knitter (I was wearing Elektra) and took me off to her room to show me her absolutely stunning double knitting. I'm inspired. I might have to try that trick my ownself. I had very little to show off reciprocally, as I'd only brought boring knitting, plus the unbloggable project for the plane. But I finished that, and I finished Rick's socks (I'll post pictures later; they turned out well), and I started the socks for my niece, so I did all right.
I came home to find the pattern for my next project waiting for me. I'll be knitting this, out of this yarn, in a robin's egg blue colorway that doesn't appear to be up on the site anymore (glad I got it when I did!), and I am absolutely, 100%, dying to cast on, but my swatch on size five needles last night was way off gauge, and I cannot, for the life of me, find my size fours. Poop. Looks like I'll need to go buy some today, because I feel an overwhelming need to cast on. This is the sweater, folks, that is going to fit the way it should. The first time. Hear me say it now. I have consulted with Anne on the size, and I am bound and determined that this sweater will not be too big. It will be curve-skimming if it kills me. (Which it may, and you have my permission to pre-laugh; we all know how well I do on this size thing...)
It's pouring outside right now, perfect weather to stay indoors and catch up on everything I've let slide over the past two weeks. (You may also pre-laugh about that now.) And if I am really fast, maybe I'll even get to knit a little.