In Which My Wife Communes With Sheep

My lovely bride is at the Black Sheep Gathering in Eugene, Oregon for the weekend, leaving all things domestic behind for four days of spinning and natural fiber exuberance. God speed Mrs., and PLEASE do not bring home an actual sheep. If you think I’m kidding, you must not be a regular reader. The over and under is about 50/50.  As I sip my coffee in her absence (thank you summer vacation!) I reflect that Eugene is the perfect place for such an event.  For those of you who don’t reside in our fair, extremely BLUE state…Eugene, right or wrong, is still perceived as hippie central. When I tell my friends that Mary is at a spinning festival in Eugene, many of them honestly think it’s a gathering of Grateful Dead/Phish concert goers (some folks simply twirl to the music, it is quite a sight).

Years ago, I took my girlfriend (now the author of this blog) to her first Grateful Dead concert. We drove the 100 miles to Eugene in her 1969 Volkswagen Beetle, which seemed appropriate.  Upon arrival, we were pulled over by one of Eugene’s finest, whose first question was “What are you in town for?”  There we were in an old bug, decked out in tie-dye (at least I was). I know that if I said Dead Show, they’re searching every inch of the car for contraband that we don't have. It’s late, and I’m tired, and I don’t want to go through the hassle.  In spite of all the revenue the Dead concerts brought to Eugene, many of the locals were HIGHLY annoyed by their followers, the DeadHeads.  I clear my throat, and tell the officer we’re staying with my brother, a college student at the Universtiy of Oregon (which was true). My conservative brother placed himself in the "highly annoyed" category when it came to the Dead and their followers.  The officer looked us over, told us our tail light was out and let us go. I know if it had been just me he would’ve taken the car apart looking for weed.  So, thank you, future wife, for lending me your credibility that time.  We had a great two days (apart from some unsold hats, but Mary can tell that story another time) and left Eugene late Sunday evening. 

About 45 miles from home, the old Beetle finally gave out and died. Like elephants knowing where to go to die, the old beast had succumbed to the hippie car graveyard after taking in one final Dead show.  It wasn't too long after that Jerry Garcia passed away, changing things for the hippies of Eugene and their highly annoyed brethren forever.


Here’s hoping for happy experiences on her current trip. We hope she has a great time, and anxiously wait her return to domestic bliss…without a sheep. Please.

*Contributor’s update.

The following phrase was uttered during the whirlwind which was my wife packing for her trip:  “I’ll call you on Friday from the festival to give you the instructions on how to post to the blog.”  She said this while staring intently at her spinning wheel, trying to calculate how that would fit into our little Honda, along with all of her other belongings. (No, I didn't’t help with the packing. I have serious spatial issues (the “It-will-all-fit-despite-the-basic-laws-of-physics” syndrome), so I was asked to stay out of this one. Fair enough.)  I knew this wasn't going to happen.  Once she became enthralled with all things ovine, she wasn’t calling with any instructions.  She did call, late (9pm +) to say good night to the smallies and tell me about her wondrous time in Eugene, but she forgot to tell me how to post my entry to the blog.  By that time I wasn’t thinking about the blog instructions either, hence the appearance of Friday's post, here on Monday.


To my admitted surprise, she did not bring home a sheep.

And Now, A Word From Our Sponsor

Good evening viewers.
In response to my desperate plea for backup/fresh horses. My esteemed associate and sometime spouse has gamely agreed (okay, I did have to throttle him) to write a guest post for me.  This is damned neighborly of him, as my whole life careens towards publication deadline.  Proof positive that backup is just another service P. Huff provides. So without further ado, the fascinating insights of my favorite non-knitter, to wit:

As she mentioned, my lovely wife is up to her eyeballs in fiber-related activities and emergencies, so fine readers, you get to hear her dutiful husband’s thoughts today.  Note to others: don’t acquire kittens while writing a knitting book. They cause serious yarn carnage…often.

My infrequent musings will ask questions and look at woolen joy from the Non-Knitters (NKs) perspective.  The idea is to stimulate conversation and further understanding between the thread enthusiasts and the prominent NKs in your life.

I’m a film-buff, always have been, always will be.  My tastes are quite eclectic and varied (insert film genre cliché here) and true viewing passions lean toward the geeky side (classic martial arts, midnight horror films, all things Star Trek and Wars.) One of the proudest moments of my life was watching Mary explain to a mutual friend why Star Trek: First Contact was superior to the final two films in the series.  I swear, I got tears in my eyes.  

This is the first movie I took her to when we started dating.
I had already seen it three times...she went out with me anyway.

With two young children and plenty to do we don’t make it to the theaters as much as we used to.  We see 90% of our films at home, and…watching fast-moving films with an avid knitter could actually drive me to…  I promise you, no one wants that.

Here’s my problem; film is a visual art.  It relies on images moving at a rapid pace, often if done well, without dialogue.  If a viewer of said film is focused on finishing “at least four more rows” logic dictates they will not be able to actually ‘watch’ the movie they are supposedly interested in seeing. How does my wife resolve this? By asking me every thirty seconds “what happened? What did I miss? Why are they there? Who’s that? Is THAT what they look like” etc. This gets veeeeeery old reeeeeeeeal fast.  I’m annoyed after the opening credits finish, and there’s two hours to go. I’ve made my concessions: marriage is all about the give and take, and I’m capable. I have grown used to watching movies with the lights on, it’s not my preferred method, but I am happy to ruin a little of the cinematic ambiance that darkness provides so the Mrs. can continue her projects.  I watch foreign films on my own on nights when she has gone to bed early.  Knitting and subtitles do NOT mix, and I acknowledge that listening to an unknown tongue for 120 minutes would be highly irritating. I’ve found that romantic comedies aren’t as taxing for either of us, as most of the conflict and resolution is through dialogue, and we all know how most of them end before they start. 

Knitters, I need some suggestions, from you and especially from your NKs.  Today’s question: “How do you get through a film without grabbing one of the knitter’s size ten needles and using it irresponsibly?!”

I’m not one to pose questions without offering at least one solution. Here’s mine: Two “what did I miss because I wasn’t watching” questions per half hour of film.  This keeps the knitter informed, and lets the NK focus on the film’s merits, or lack thereof.

Okay, my first post is almost finished.  Knitters? How do you watch movies with your NKs? Any comments or viewing tips are appreciated.




Greetings Knitters,

This is Mary's husband, Phillip, I've been asked to give you a quick update while conveying my bride's apologies for not posting as much as she wants to this week., AND to assure you she will be back on her regular blogging schedule very soon.

As I type this she is waiting at beautiful O'Hare airport in Chicago Ill (GO CUBBIES!!!!), on her way to Cleveland, Ohio. Tomorrow she tapes a spot for  the Knitting Daily TV show to promote her upcoming book. The taping is tomorrow, so please send all of your goodwill her way. She's going to be totally awesome-sauce, BUT she is nervous (which she's really not used to), so any help she can get is appreciated.

Just so you know, the emergency-I-have-to-knit-a-new-sweater-for-tv-because-what-I-planned-to-wear-doesn't-work-aaaaaaaarrrrggh-sweater, or the IHTKANSFTBWIPTWDWAS project as we call it, was completed on time, and it is amazing:

Thank you all,

Phillip Huff
Mary's Proxy