This was my third (I think) Baltimore Stitches, and I was just beginning to get to know the city a little. Alas, the X-men are moving next year's Stitches way further north: to Hartford, Connecticut. They even had a guy from the Hartford Chamber of Commerce sitting at a table to give out literature about new locale. Bye-bye, Baltimore -- it's been fun.
While many of the regulars were there -- WEBS, thank God, and the Mannings, and Yarn Barn of Kansas -- some of the smaller yarn shops and many of the farms and smaller vendors weren't. Blue Moon Fiber Arts was one conspicuous absentee; Morehouse Merino and Green Mountain Spinnery and Kid Hollow were three more; I'm sure there were others. The crowds also seemed smaller. There were only a few times where I was aware of there being a long line at a vendor or more than one or two people looking in a booth. I guess the struggling economy had to affect the knitting world, too.
And while I enjoyed myself, I couldn't help but feel a bit bereft. Oh sure, we had a delightful lunch with the charming Mama E. I got to say hello to some of my faves, like Kathy from WEBS (her husband Steve is quite a hottie, too -- way to go, Kathy!), and Linda P., whom I dearly love, and Kristen Nicholas (maybe someday when her
But something was definitely missing.
At dinner, an empty chair at our table mocked me.
The maid left three pieces of chocolate in our room, when there were only two of us.
As I stared into a box of pastries that Mindy brought, I thought wistfully: Vé-vé would have loved these...
It wasn't that something was missing; it was someone.
I missed Vé-vé.
Yes, it was all coming clear now.
Here was the lonely, empty chair where she would have used my laptop to check her email and send saucy billets-doux to her sexy husband.
This would have been her wineglass, to share the impertinent yet inexpensive (with a hint of poir) bottle of red that we (finally) tracked down.
(I never thought I'd find a state with even more bizarre liquor laws than Pennsylvania, but Maryland is pretty weird. I mean, what kind of state sells wine at a Rite-Aid?)
Mindy would have (sniffle) showed her the Salt Peanuts she made from Vé-vé's pattern:
and I would have shown her this advance copy I just received of my new book:
When I saw Mindy's clothesbasket full of coffeemaking equipment -- Mindy brings her coffee press, spring water from her well, a heating source and saucepan, mugs and coffee with her on every trip -- I got morose, imagining how Vé-vé and I would have teased Mindy about her fancy "portmanteau" and about how seriously she takes her café americain.
And this architectural detail, on the outside of the Wharf Rat? We would have admired its decorative lines together as we supped on a light déjeuner.
Yep, Stitches East was fun and all. But it just wasn't the same without Vé-vé.
On my own
Pretending she's beside me
All alone, I walk with her till morning
In the rain the pavement shines like silver
All the lights are misty in the river
In the darkness, the trees are full of starlight
And all I see is she and me for ever and forever, knitting...