More Things I Know About Billings, Montana

So there I was in a snow storm:

So there I was in a snow storm:

* A Brief Sidebar Regarding Footwear:  Even someone like me, from the west coast, knows that it is want to snow from time to time in Montana.  So much so that I actually purchased snow boots in anticipation of my visit there.  The thing is, my snow boots, cute and furry though they were, cost $80.  $80, where I come from, could almost buy a month of ice skating lessons for a Smally.  $80 represents the electricity for a month's worth of assaults on Mount Washmore.  $80, as it happens, is the exact amount required for Phillip's latest grad school textbook.  So, it occurred to me that as cute and fuzzy as my new Montana snow boots were, they had the rotten luck to be made of suede, which in Portland, where it rains 300 days a year, is an unrealistic choice for footwear.  I decided that my old clogs could handle whatever Billings had to dish out for a couple of days - after all - it's not like they were going to make me teach classes in the parking lot.  I returned the sassy fuzzy snow boots unworn, congratulating myself on my responsible stewardship of resources. 

Second thing my host said after meeting me at the airport: "Are those the only shoes you brought?" 

And then, she graciously loaned me the real snow boots pictured above.  That's just how they roll in Billings.  *

Let me be clear:  The Knitters of Wild Purls are Mad, Bad, and Dangerous to Know.  They listened attentively while I told them what I know about making stranded colorwork.  And they gamely played along during an exercise calculated to help them handle two strands of yarn at the same time.  Hardly anyone got poked in the eye, and those who did were made of stout stuff, and didn't complain.

I know this also:  The knitters of Billings know a thing or two about Stash Management.  Lack those fancy-schmancy store fixtures to hold the bounty of your yarn collection?  No problem.  Use what is at hand:  Notably, buckets from the feed store.  Not only are they beautiful, they are functional.  They have even become something of an icon that describes the spirit of Wild Purls.  And yes, I got to touch ALL of That Yarn.

I told the Knitters lot of my secrets, and they told me a lot of theirs.  We made hats, and mittens, and I'm pretty sure that this was only the beginning of our adventures together.

They were such good sports that they even posed for the following picture:

Julia Warmer is the owner of Wild Purls.  She's down front with the apron on and my head in her lap.  And for the record, she is an instigator of Many Silly Things.  I hardly started any trouble at all.  Okay, there may have been one little incident involving a hotel bed sheet.  But mostly, I was the picture of restraint that you, Gentle Readers, all know me to be.  I was so good that I'm almost sure they will invite me back, with appropriate supervision.  One more thing I now know that you should too:

Billings Rocks.