I knew that The Yarnery was bringing Stephanie Pearl-McPhee to St. Paul on her current book tour, but I had completely forgotten about it, even as I was reading La Harlot's blog posts this week about the tour and her appearances in Charlotte and Lexington and New York. When her visit to our neighboring city to the east was announced back in January or so, I took one look at the date -- April 10, five days before Tax Day -- and knew there was no way I could contemplate going. So I forgot all about it.
Until I read Cursing Mama's blog post yesterday. And then read Jeanne's comment that she was planning to go, even though she didn't have a ticket -- she was counting on the weather to prevent some folks from showing up. (In case you don't have an RSS feed on Twin Cities weather, we are currently under a winter storm warning, with accumulations of s**w of up to 12" possible/likely. Sheesh. It's April. Anyway.)
I read all that at about 2:30 pm. At 4 pm I thought about it again. At 5 pm I surveyed my desk and decided I had about two hours of work left, which wasn't critical and could wait until Friday morning. So I left work. At 5 pm.
Wait, let me repeat that: I left work at 5 pm.
I have not left work that early since... ever. Even if I were done at 5, which I never am, I wouldn't leave then because I would end up sitting in traffic.
So I got my car and drove out of the ramp.
My plan to zoom over to St. Paul hit a couple glitches right away. Sorry, no photo of the ambulance that almost t-boned me. Oops.
The line of cars to get onto I-94 heading to St. Paul, above, was 4 or 5 blocks long, without even considering the lineup on the quarter-mile-long entrance ramp. Hmmmm.
I didn't live in the city of Minneapolis for 32 years without learning a thing or three about getting from Point A to Point B (even if Point B is in St Paul), so I plotted myself a course that did not involve the freeway and headed out.
Will she make it by 6, when the doors open?
There was still some significant traffic to deal with on the Franklin Avenue bridge.
From my vantage on on my bridge I could see the I-94 bridge, where the traffic wasn't moving very well. It's the left to right traffic, below, that is heading towards La Harlot; it wasn't as bad as the right to left traffic, but it wasn't good, either.
Once I got across the river, though, it was clear sailing, er, driving. Long ago I lived near downtown St. Paul for part of one year and biked to the University of Minnesota every day for summer school classes. I got to know the East River Road very well. That knowledge served me well last night.
Yes, I made it in plenty of time. Best of all, I ran into Cursing Mama, who had an extra ticket because her friend who had planned to go had decided that weather was too bad to drive *all the way from Hudson.* Thanks, Keri, for not coming! Thanks, O Profane Mother, for the ticket!
I had a sock OTN in my purse -- emergency knitting, the words of La Harlot. But it is destined for someone else and I didn't have her foot measurements with me so I just tried it on myself and decided it was time to start the short-row heel. Of which I have not done one for about 2 years, and it never worked very well when I did it, and I didn't have any instructions with me, so I just winged it. If it ain't right, I'll frog it; but at least I had something to do while I waited.
Do I have lots of photos of La Harlot and all the knitters and the gorgeous knitwear that I saw? No, because I forgot my camera in the car. (Duh.)You'll have to check out others' blogs to see it all. But I was there, clapping and singing "Oh , Canada" right with them.
And laughing along with The Yarnery Family Singers ("Argyles and fair isles and warm woolen mittens...", to the tune of "My Favorite Things from The Sound of Music; "Steph-aaaaaaah-nnnie, Steph-aaaaaaahh-nnnie..." to the tune of "Eidelweiss", ditto). Here are some videos courtesy of Shelley Kang that I found on YouTube:
Stephanie P-M confessed to having brought the nasty weather with her. This was the scene this morning:
But all is well. I saw La Harlot.