Bad To The Bone

Is it hot out here, or is it just us?  Susie's in front, I'm in back.  Photo by Patricia Duff.

Is it hot out here, or is it just us?  Susie's in front, I'm in back.  Photo by Patricia Duff.

One of the delights of my vacation last week was being interviewed by Patricia Duff of the South Whidbey Record.  Susie and I saddled up the ponies to meet Patricia and took her for a wee joy ride, Dreadful Damsel-style. 

It seems that there aren't too many women motorcyclists living on the south end of Whidbey Island, WA, so intrepid reporter Patricia set out to meet us and find out what makes us tick.  Slow news day not withstanding, we had a lot of fun telling her stories of how we learned to ride, and how forming our own motorcycle gang changed all the other parts of our lives.

The best part of the interview was when Patricia learned that I'm a knitter and designer: Watching her try to square that image (and the piece of knitting I brought out to show her) with the woman in front of her in the very tall boots was a scream.  Books and their Covers, man - don't try to judge!

The weather was breathtaking, and Patricia was a great sport, blithely hopping onto Susie's passenger seat for a trip to the beach and back.  While we were stopped at the beach, Patricia took a turn in the drivers' seat, where she learned to balance the bike and understand its mass (this is the first lesson in MSF training).  I'm pretty sure we recruited her for future Damselhood.

In other news, I am pleased to report (and maybe even a little smug) that I've been on a Finishing Jag.  In addition to the Red Faery, I completed my secret Winter Retreat project for Madrona 2010, and (get this!) TWO WHOLE SOCKS.  I know.  Blows the mind.  I might even consider retiring as a knitter, just because for once I could actually say I quit while I was ahead.  I credit my success to being on vacay, and to my bangin' new Signature DPNs.  Those babies can really move some yarn.  Of course, if I did retire, people waiting in lines with me might be in real danger, and you might never get the Frog Prince pattern.  I have a feeling that one or two of you might come looking for me if I don't make good on that promise...

Ready, Set, time to Rock the Frog Prince!

Wish You Were Here

Greetings from my annual summer vacay!  Each August, My family and I make a wee pilgrimage to Whidbey Island, WA to celebrate my mom's birthday, and attend the Island County Fair.  The fair is about the biggest thing that happens on the island every year.  There is a ferris wheel, the Republicans have an ice cream booth, the Democrats sell pronto pups (insert smartass political remark here), and everbody gets heartburn in time to coincide with their ferris wheel nausea.  Big ol' slice of Americana Pie.

On Sunday, Susie and I went for a motorcycle ride:

Susie on the left, me on the right: visions of lovliness in helmet hair

Susie on the left, me on the right: visions of lovliness in helmet hair

Then we loaded all the kids, the husbands and the Grammy into the car and went to the fair.

Guess which exhibits I always hit first?  After fiber arts I go straight over and pet the sheep.

Guess which exhibits I always hit first?  After fiber arts I go straight over and pet the sheep.

Campbell made friends with the Island County firefighters and got to try out the big rig:

A great time was had by all, and continues for the rest of the week.  For those who are wondering, I did, in fact, complete the Red Faery in time for Mom's birthday - more on that next time (with art).

Yesterday I gave a talk at a local chapter meeting for the Philanthropic Education Organization.  I had a great time meeting knitters and non-knitters there.  It was a real ladies' lunch, with aspic and tea and wee dainty cookies.  Totally out of my element, you understand, but lovely just the same. 

Tonight we have plans to attend a real drive-in movie (can you imagine? The last drive-in in Portland closed down in the late 70's), which pleasure I can't wait to introduce to my smallies.

Small Town.  Big Fun.  Yes, I'm still knitting.

Of Bikes, Babes, and The Platters

Mildred:    What are you rebelling against, Johnny?
Johnny:     Whaddya got?

Marlon Brando as Johnny in "The Wild One" (1953)

Marlon Brando as Johnny in "The Wild One" (1953)

Johnny understood.  There are times when you just have to bust out and do something for the sake of doing it.  My sisters and I went on a motorcycle ride this weekend.  And by that I mean that the three of us got on our faithful steeds and headed for the hills.  We have the shiniest bikes.  We have the tallest boots.  We have attitude coming out of every pore.  And when we get where we are going, we pull into a parking space up front, in perfect formation.  Everywhere we go, people want to talk to us, and ask about our bikes, where we're going, and where we've been.  So we tell them.  And we make new friends, and we hope that we inspire others, especially other women, to enjoy riding too.

We didn't ride far, and we didn't ride long.  We did see a beautiful sunset though, and we heard some great music that we had forgotten how much we love.

Twilight Time, by The Platters, circa 1958

Twilight Time, by The Platters, circa 1958

And after all that we checked into a hotel with smooth sheets, where we slept like dead people.  Then there was breakfast, and coffee, and the promise of whatever is next.  When I am with my motorcycle gang, there is nothing we can't do.  And there is nothing we face alone.  Potholes and speed traps and a bee in your helmet.  None are as scary with the other Dreadful Damsels there.

Believe me when I tell you that bikers are just like knitters:  A little bit misunderstood, a little bit rebellious, and a whole lotta caring.  The only thing better than being a loner is running with a pack of other loners who understand you.

Just one thing, though;  When you and your biker sisters make that big entrance at your destination, you power down those big growling machines, and shake your hairstyles free of your helmets; when you swing your big leather boots over the saddle and begin your swagger across the parking lot;

Try to avoid having balls of yarn fall out of the pockets of your leather jacket.  It may tend to undermine your glamor.