January brought me to two rather small states, but I had lovely visits to both of them. I flew into Little Rock on my way to Conway, which is about 30 minutes away. I’d been to Little Rock before for Feminisms and Rhetorics conference, and it was among my favorite conference destinations. We actually saw quite a bit of Little Rock for a 4 day trip: we visited the Clinton library, went on a boat on the last day, and I stayed with a local so I got to have Sunday dinner with her family. I really loved my trip to Little Rock, so I was excited for the visit.
The campus was gorgeous, despite the “snow” we had, which was really like more like slushy rain than snow. Snow of any kind shuts things down in Arkansas, but I managed to see almost everyone I was supposed to visit with. The people in Arkansas were absolutely lovely. The department is made of writing teachers in creative, academic, and professional writing, which made for very interesting conversation. I learned about the local folk music scene and got a recommendation to read the book The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, which I will definitely get as my next purchased Kindle book. I also learned that the county is a dry county, which means although you cannot purchase alcohol in grocery stores for example, you can get drinks at almost all of the main restaurants in town as long as you have a membership to the restaurant (which sometimes has a minimal cost and sometimes is free). Overall, my visit to Arkansas was a good time, a perfect start to my around the U.S. tour.
I flew back to Champaign on a Friday, and then flew out again to Philly on Saturday. My trip to Delaware fell on the day of my birthday, and since I was planning to fly into Philly anyway, I tacked a weekend trip to see my family on to the campus visit. This turned out to be a wonderful idea as I had a lot of fun in Philly. My brother called me out of the blue on Saturday when I arrived and took me to the Ritz, one of my favorite movie theaters of all time, to see The King’s Speech. I loved the movie–great story, wonderful acting, interesting characters. Then surprisingly the next day, my mom, who rarely likes to go to movies, wanted to see the Black Swan. I didn’t love this movie as much, but I’m glad I got a chance to see it, and I did think the acting was good and the story strange but interesting. The visuals in the movie were quite striking.
I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned this yet, but while listening to the Knitmore girls podcast, a knitting podcast that I love, Jasmin suggested that she knits in the movies. I thought this was a fabulous idea and great challenge, so I decided to give it a try, and I’ve been knitting stripey vanilla socks in movie theaters. I worked on these vanilla socks during Black Swan; these are socks I promised to knit as part of a swap on ravelry. The yarn is Knitterly Things Vesper sock, and the colorway is Masquerade.
My campus visit to Delaware was on the day of my actual birthday, Tues Jan 25. I had a wonderful time there and once again had the opportunity to meet great people. We had lunch at Stone Balloon Winehouse and I got the truffle fries, which were a wonderful lunch treat. My dad picked me up at my hotel when the visit was over and drove me back to Philly, which is only 45 minutes away. Then my family took me out to dinner at 10 Arts, the restaurant of Chef Eric Ripert and Jennifer Carroll of Top Chef. Dinner was amazing and delicious, and I got a lovely dessert especially for my birthday.
I wore a very special pair of socks for my birthday. Cookie A, one of my favorite sock designers, recently released a new book, knit.sock.love, and there are several KALs for the book on Ravelry. I knit almost all of the socks in Cookie’s last book, but I kept very few pairs of the socks for myself, so I decided this time around I would knit every pair in the book for me! This is the first pair I finished. The pattern is called Pointelle, and I am quite enamored with all of the patterns in the book that fall under the “diagonals” section, as I love the way these patterns move around the sock rather than working in vertical lines like ribbing. I knit these with what has become my favorite yarn as of late, skinny bugga, because of it’s softness due to a little bit of cashmere, and the wonderful creative colors of its dyers. The colorway is Peacock Parachute Spider. These socks were perfect for a campus visit on my birthday.
February is up next, and part 1 takes me to Florida and Kentucky!