When Kathy* announced that she wanted to come to Lexington (Kentucky) to visit Karen* in April, my first thought was… “Isn’t the Yarn Harlot going to Lexington for something?" Then I pointed out to them that the Bluegrass Festival of Books was going to be in Lexington on April 21st. Later, I mentioned that there was “this author” who writes “knitting books” that I might be interested in seeing at the festival. Subtle, eh? Karen ended up getting called out of town at the last minute (for all day on Saturday), but Kathy, Tim, & I still converged on her house for a fun weekend in Lexington.
None of us had been to a book festival before, so it was all a little confusing when we arrived at the festival on Saturday morning. Once we figured out where to go, we headed off to get my copy of Stephanie Pearl-McPhee Casts Off signed. Kathy & Tim (referred to as the muggles from this point forward) followed, the three of us dodging the hordes of little girls dressed in costumes matching their dolls lined up for the American Girl teas and the hordes of adult women queued up to have lunch with Paula Deen. Surreal is possibly a word that could be applied to this whole scene – knitters weren’t the only subculture represented at this book fair :)
The muggles even hung out in the book signing line with me, both of them making cracks about knitting and knitting humor books while we waited. As I was getting my book signed, the owner of a local knitting store (Magpie Yarn, no website) pointed out that there was a knitting author panel about to start, featuring Stefanie Japel (Glampyre, Fitted Knits), Susan Anderson (Itty Bitty Hats), and Ann Hood (The Knitting Circle). The panel was great! Both the muggles came along as well, and seemed to enjoy it.
We took a break from the book festival to run out and get some lunch (oh, and to stop at Magpie Yarns, LOL). Then we headed back to go to the Yarn Harlot’s talk. I wasn’t expecting the muggles to hang out with me during the talk or anything, I thought there’d be plenty of activities of interest to these particular muggles going on at the same time. Turns out, there really weren’t any other talks at the same time for them so they came along.
I think it was an interesting experience for both of them. They went in making a little bit of fun of the whole knitting thing and they both seemed to gain a new respect for it by the end. So, this is my lesson for the day: get your muggles involved in your knitting activities, they might actually really learn how to appreciate your knitting!
Other random things from Lexington:
1. Kathy, Karen, and I went to Keeneland, Lexington’s horse racing course, on Sunday afternoon for a couple of hours. Although it ended up costing me $20 (I apparently stink at betting on the ponies), it was a lot of fun. Quite an interesting scene.
ps Betting on a particular horse just because they have a cool name or are “pretty” is not a good way to make money at the track, but it makes the whole thing more fun.
2. The stretch of interstate 65 between Bowling Green and Elizabethtown (where you turn to head east on the Bluegrass Parkway) is some kind of freaky time warp. I swear this section of the trip takes 3-4 times longer than it should according to the miles. It’s bizarre. There is, however, a really good Dairy Queen not far from Elizabethtown that makes the never ending trip a little better. We've had this strange thing for DQ ever since we lived in Texas - where the DQ slogan (on billboards) is a picture of the Dairy Queen sign with the phrase "Texas Stop Sign". I think it's one of the most effective marketing slogans ever.
3. Lexington makes Nashville look like a fast-paced crazy large metropolis. That’s not to say that Lexington is bad (on the contrary, I really like Lexington), but it’s one of those places that almost demand that you kick back and take it easy.
4. When you start calling people muggles assuming they've read Harry Potter (since everyone has), they might be a bit clueless if they actually haven't read Harry Potter. Or seen any of the movies. I was stunned when both Kathy & Karen said they haven't read the books or seen the movies at all. Shocking! We remedied this by buying Kathy the first Harry Potter audiobook to listen to on her drive back up to Wisconsin. Glad to report she's halfway through it and is really enjoying it.
*Kathy and Karen are my older sisters. And yes, it is on purpose that all our names start with K. Our other sister's name is Karla. My brothers' names all start with G. No explanation for it, that's just the way things are.