Riding the Bike with One Pedal.

Miniature Bottle Collectors, Prostitots, and Knitters.

It’s interesting to stay in a large hotel that caters to groups. Long, long ago, when I first started in advertising, I became aware of a whole universe of magazines that cater to what we call “vertical niche markets”. No, not those markets. Magazines like, “Spudman”, or “The Gobbler” – designed to communicate pertinent information to someone growing potatoes, or raising turkeys. There is absolutely something for everyone, and the internet only proves that more and more.

Hobbies have their own idiosyncracies. For instance, the very same weekend 100 devoted knitters descended on St. Charles, so did a group of international miniature bottle collectors.  And kiddie pageant-goers.  Now, I was intrigued by the little bottles – at first confusing the gathering with an opportunity to buy wee bottles of alcohol, but all their little rows of colored bottles, with unique stoppers and corks – it was a whole subculture devoted to their hobby. The other one? Dubbed “the prostitots” by those who had been there last year, I have to admit, it was disconcerting and a bit sickening, seeing the made-up face and hair of a 20-year-old woman wobbling above the body of a 7-year-old. I just don’t get it. Fortunately, most of those families were in the other hotel, so the cross-pollination was limited. Oh, and there was also a marching band there, and a few wedding/bachelor/bachelorette parties.  One of my weekend highlights came on the last day in the hotel, as I urged my fellow knitters to look to my left, so they could see the five-foot-tall inflatable penis passing through the lobby. (Next favorite highlight? My roommate Pat chirping, “I rode down the elevator with it! I’ve never seen one with a smiley face before!”)

I had a fantastic time. I took two sock-design classes, one with Cookie A. and the other with Wendy, of WendyKnits. I made new friends, connected the dots between Plurk and Ravelry friends to their real-live faces and voices, and got to shop at The Loopy Ewe. I drank margaritas made with Herradura, and snagged some Ted Drewes from the snack station. (They really spoiled us with the snacks. Ooof.) And then I returned to reality, and the re-entry into the atmosphere was tough. I’ve been slammed at work (thus no blog) and some of my mojo is missing. It’s like I’ve got a knitting-weekend hangover. A YarnOver, as it were. I’ve still got to organize and put descriptions on my photos, but I’ll give you the few I’ve done thus far….

Me with Wendy. She is a blast, and it was great to meet after all that Plurking:

Me with Wendy!

My roomie Pat. She rocks. She also now goes by Ricia. Ricia rocks, too.

Spring Fling Roomies!

Karen (I love this picture because not only do I adore Karen, it’s like she’s posing for this very beatific book cover, and I’m crowding in, ruining the shot. True to form, of course.)

Spring Fling

Kym (her husband joined us for dinners, and I adore him, too. They need to come visit us because JWo and Chuck would hit it off like nobody’s business.)

Spring Fling

Lori – I so wish I’d known her when I lived in St. Louis. Like-minded and boy howdy, could the two of us cook up some trouble together.
Spring Fling

Helena – what a fascinating life she’s had. After traveling the world with the Foreign Services department, she just wants to retire and settle down in Wisconsin. I also was witness to her first-ever shot of tequila (Patron, of course! Would I steer a gal wrong?)

Spring Fling

And then there was a little bit of Loopy Ewe shopping….

Spring Fling Purchases!

Duet sock yarn in Pickled Peck, YoYo CashSport in Hulk Smash, Scarlet Fleece in Poodle Skirt, and the miniature sock blocker peacock. WITH the gifted bag from Keri, 3AM Enchantments!

Keri is such a sweetheart, a couple months ago she emailed me about finding some skull beads. There’s nothing I enjoy more than a good online digging detective project (zombies!), and she was so happy with the results, she made me a project bag! Knitters are the awesomest. And I finally met Ms. YoYo (Alyson) and her hubby Travis. Stupidly, we didn’t take a picture together, but I have this one of her hanging out with Cookie:

Spring Fling

…and then we were spoiled with some Spring Fling swag….

Spring Fling Loot

Namaste Knitube bag, Loopy Ewe mug, Schaeffer Nichole yarn, WendyKnits pattern, Laura Nelkin pattern, temporary tattoos & Loopy Ewe pin.

That’s all I can muster for one post – of course, there are more stories (Trader Joe’s shopping!) (one cah-razay lady who had the hugest chip on her shoulder about Ravelry!) but that’s gonna have to wait! Howdy to all my new pals, and I really understand why you start waiting for next year the day you leave.


  1. Karen

    ok, so it wasn’t just me with the cah-razay lady – I thought at one point that she was shooting daggers at me with her eyes right into my heart. Thankfully, there are wonderful people like yourself that saved me 🙂

  2. Andrea (Off Her Cork)

    Hooray! Glad you had such a great time! It sounds like a lot of fun. 🙂 I love miniature anything so the bottles would have interested me. The pageant stuff, not so much. I don’t get that either, why can’t kids just be kids?

  3. May / Illiane

    Looks like you had a ton of fun! Love the sock blocker peacock, that’s ahdorable.

  4. Kym Hretz

    We did have a great time didn’t we! Ahh, a yarnover, I’ll never think of it the same!

  5. shannon in oregon

    i LOVE your gnome!!!

    yeah, cuz that doesn’t sound dirty at all?!

  6. sue

    Nice! So much fun had by all (it appears). 🙂

  7. morandia

    It was so great meeting you!!! I haven’t blogged either, but my home computer is still dead. I can’t even upload any of my photos!!

    We need to plan something before the next fling – we should all get together again!!!

  8. Spyder

    We need to talk! I may have to do this next year!

  9. Lynda Hitt

    So did it all work out? Did you, like everyone said, walk in and say “It’s my people?” No worries, we all Loved you (notice the capital L), well except one who shall remain nameless cuz I can’t work up the energy to remember her name.

  10. Lori

    Ahhh my dear. I love you more than all the Wollmeise in the world! That’s saying something isn’t it? I miss you terribly and so wished we lived closer. This weekend in FL I kept thinking it would have been perfect had you been there to enjoy the fun. The guys that were hanging out poolside weren’t bad either!

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