We have wanted to visit the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for a while, as well as the Cleveland Museum of Art and so, when Kate’s break from school coincided with Bruce’s end of semester lull, we decided to book a hotel, put Carmen the dog up at the doggy hostel, and drive the 4.5 hours along the shore of Lake Erie.
Being a knitter of questionable repute, I planned my knitting accordingly. I finished the fiddly thumb of the second mitten in the car in part so I wouldn’t drop needles and invite sanction in the Hall of Fame or the art museum. I was fairly sure pointy sets of 4 to 5 double pointed needles would invite more unwanted attention than a short circular needle would, so after finishing the mitten in the car, I moved onto the sleeves of Bruce’s sweater (pictured here: Brownstone with particulars here: Ravelry link). I worked both until they were large enough in circumference to work on the 16″ circular I’d brought with me, then slipped one onto that and the other to a stitch holder. Voilà! Fiddly and multi-needle knitting done. Mindless stockinette on a single circ ready to go.
We went to the Hall of Fame upon arrival in Cleveland. I knit the first sleeve past the elbow whilst walking around there. That evening, in the hotel, I bathed the mittens and gently blocked them to shape on a fluffy towel. In the morning I took them with us, hoping for a photo shoot at some point during the day — a rainy cold one, but a photo shoot nonetheless.
We went to the art museum first, and there I finished the increases and continued with 27 rounds of straight stockinette on one of Bruce’s sleeves. The guards were definitely more attentive to what I was doing there than they’d been at the Hall of Fame. Most observed that I kept the work close to my waist and away from the artwork and promptly lost interest. One, however, watched in fascination and then made a crack about idle hands. Shortly after that encounter, another guard followed me from one gallery to another, then boldly stepped up to me as I was clicking away whilst studying the color in a Childe Hassam painting, and told me that I was a very wise and beautiful woman as he touched my arm. We talked briefly about knitting and accomplishing something whilst doing something altogether different and how wonderful that is. He admired the knitting of the sweater I was wearing, and we parted ways.
And almost immediately after that delightful encounter, another guard told me to put away my crocheting. I thought better of the smart-alecky retort that instantly came to mind (something like “well, it’s a good thing I’m not crocheting then!”), and just bemusedly observed she was the first person to say anything against it and stopped working until I’d left her range of galleries. I’ve learned it’s best not to poke the crazy with pointy sticks!
I switched sleeves during a brief trip in the car to Little Italy, the Cleveland version. I had the mittens on my lap, ready to take them with me in case the light proved favorable for photographing them. In our search for a parking space, I forgot they were in my lap, and when it came time to dash through the rain from the car to a pastry shop for cappuccino, the mittens fell into a puddle in the street gutter. I didn’t realize I’d lost them until a good half hour later, but fortunately no one had taken them. After gently squeezing them in napkins, they were ready for photographing… sort of. They’ll need a good clean up when we get home.
After dinner, and during a performance of Bach’s St. Mark’s Passion at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, I made significant progress on sleeve number two. This morning we visited the science center, and then the public market, and I knit all the while, finishing the increases just before our tour of the Great Lakes Brewery. I’m still chugging along on the remainder of the straight stockinette this evening. On the car ride home tomorrow? Perhaps a little Celtic Knot Afghan action.