So last March, I attended Stitches United in Hartford, CT. It was my first (and only, to date) Stitches event. I registered for six classes and an evening lecture. Half of my classes and the lecture were to be taught by one of my knitting heroes, Franklin Habit. Long story short (you can read the whole saga here), due to a predicted Nor’Easter that never materialized, whatever airline the renowned Mr. Habit was flying cancelled all of their flights, so he couldn’t get to Connecticut. As a result, half my classes were cancelled within 15 minutes of me checking into my hotel. I regrouped, but it just wasn’t the same. (I did, however, come home with a lot more yarn, because hey…those refunded class fees had to be put to appropriate use, right?)
Flash forward a year, and I’m ecstatically preparing to head to the Edinburgh Yarn Festival. By some miracle of miracles – and by obsessive hitting of refresh on my web browser the second registration opened – back in October, I managed to register for FOUR classes at the festival in Scotland. (Aside – no joke, it’s practically impossible to register for classes at EYF, they sell out so damned fast. The class I most wanted to take sold out in TEN SECONDS. That is not an exaggeration of any kind. It’s freaking easier to get Beyoncé tickets when Ticketmaster puts them on sale than get into an EYF class.) I have been dreaming about this trip for months. By the first week of March, I had moved into complete and total EYF prep mode.
Less than two weeks out, I'm now into the minutiae of planning, having done all the yarn-related prep (class homework and materials acquisition, etc.). You know, figuring out clothes, travel toiletries, that sort of thing. Last night, my best friend, Christina (aka the Queen of clothes shopping bargains) took me to Macy’s for clothes for the trip, something that is normally stressful for me, but Christina makes not only bearable but FUN. Her mad bargain hunting skills exceeded my wildest expectations, and I came home with 5 pairs of pants and 5 tops for $128…I went to bed, secure and happy in the knowledge that not only would I have clothes that fit me for the first time in months, I was going to look AMAZING in Scotland. When I woke up in the morning, the first thing I saw (after gently redirecting my kitty Saffy out of my face) was my unopened email on my iPad. Since it was Saturday, I was looking forward to the weekly recap of all things Mason-Dixon Knitting. I grabbed my iPad from my beside table, ready to read some knitting happiness before facing the day ahead.
Alongside my MDK Snippets email, though, was horrifying news: the organizers of EYF regretted to inform me that the teacher of two of my classes couldn’t get a visa, and therefore both of my classes with her (3/5 of my total class time) were CANCELLED.
Are you f*#^ing KIDDING ME???? THIS CAN’T POSSIBLY BE HAPPENING AGAIN.
And yet, it was happening. The instructor for my Twined Knitting and Traditional Gansey Techniques (Ganseys are British fishermen’s sweaters, in case you didn’t know) classes wasn’t going to be able to teach due to visa issues. Sigh. Oh, well…it’s not like I had bought the latest edition of her Gansey sweaters book for her to autograph while I was there. Nor had I special ordered British Gansey yarn and had it delivered to my cousin’s house in Glasgow so it would be waiting for me when I arrived.
Oh, wait…I HAD done those things.
A simple choice confronted me: I could weep, wail, and gnash my teeth, or I could find the bright side. The latter seemed like the better choice. The most obvious positive is, like following the Stitches United debacle, my yarn budget for the festival marketplace has dramatically increased. I mean, what better use to put my class fees refund to than to buy yarns that aren’t easily acquired here in the U.S.? Second, as far as I can tell, my shiny new copy of Knitting Ganseys contains all of the information I would have gleaned from the day-long Traditional Gansey Knitting class. I can teach myself. And I WILL. Because now I’m freaking determined to.
Another positive: suddenly, I have a lot more free time in Edinburgh. So now I can do a couple of touristy things that I wouldn’t otherwise have had time to do. I can go see Edinburgh Castle (as recommended by one of my knitting cult buddies, Susan – who will also be at EYF). My sister’s buddy, Amanda, suggested I go to The Witchery for dinner and drinks. That sounds awesome. My sister told me about a mystery pub tour she went on in Edinburgh when she was there for Amanda’s wedding. That also sounds right up my alley. And of course, my cousin’s oldest daughter, Lucy, is a uni student in Edinburgh…if she’s not too embarrassed to be seen in public with her father’s crazy American cousin (and I really couldn’t blame her if she were), I can do something with her.
So, yeah…the trip isn’t going to be exactly as I planned. But it’ll still be awesome. I’ll have four days in Edinburgh, and the weekend with my cousins in Glasgow. I’ll come home with more knitting knowledge than I left with. And I’ll come home with more yarn than I originally planned. Not too shabby.