Friday, August 17, 2007

Lost in a Good Knitting Magazine

During a brief knitting phase in the late 1980s, I subscribed to Vogue Knitting. I think I may have attempted only one or two designs (probably never finished), but drooled over the intricate, stylish patterns.

After work tonight, I stopped in Borders. I was intending to buy a French dictionary for my cousin's birthday, but instead, ended up getting the 25th anniversary issue of Vogue Knitting. Afterwards, I met Theresa at the Black Orchid bookshop for their final anniversary party -- sadly, the shop is closing -- and then dinner. Since we were on the Upper East Side, I took the Second Ave. bus to 59th Street and walked over to Bloomingdale's to catch the N or the R train home. The N was pulling into the station just as I was walking down the stairs. Lucky me -- or so I thought. After a minute or so, I looked up -- the train was coming out of the tunnel onto elevated tracks. Uh oh! that's not supposed to be happening, at least not so soon. The N to Brooklyn goes over the Manhattan Bridge after Canal Street, but we weren't anywhere near there. Yes, dear reader, I took the train in the wrong direction and was now in Queens.

Okay, not too much harm done. I got off at Queensboro Plaza to wait for the Manhattan-bound train. After a couple of minutes, one arrives. I settle into a seat eager to peruse my magazine during the hour's ride ahead. I'm enjoying looking at the photos and the designs. I read the article, "Vogue Knitting Cover to Cover," about how an issue is put together -- envious of everyone who works on the magazine. Imagine spending your day choosing yarns for the designs that will be featured. That's the Yarn Coordinator's role. Where do I apply?

I looked more closely at a few patterns of the designs that caught my eye, including the anniversary scarf
embellished with Swarovski crystals that's on the cover. As intricate as this looks, it's really quite a simple pattern. I then moved on to "Knitting's Old Guard Speaks Out," a roundtable interview with designers and authors Kaffe Fasset, Mari Lynn Patrick, Alice Starmore and Meg Swansen, and "Chatting with Knitting's New Guard," which includes Vickie Howell from DIY Network's Knitty Gritty, and authors Shannon Okey aka knitgrrl, Stephanie Pearl-McPhee aka the Yarn Harlot, Clara Parkes and Debbie Stoller. Both were interesting discussions from different perspectives about how they all came to make a career out of knitting and how the knitting world has evolved.

As a native New Yorker, I'm able to immerse myself in what I'm reading and still know when I reach my stop. Dear reader, you know where I'm going with this. Tonight, my station-stop sonar was definitely out of whack. I registered that the train had stopped at 59th Street in Brooklyn, which means next stop I get off. Except for one minor detail -- I completely forgot I was on the N train. I needed to switch at 59th for the R. As the train pulls into the next station, I look up from my knitting reverie to see it was not my stop. Once again, I had to back track to get home. I've done this before. Once, before moving to Bay Ridge, when I was on my way to a friend's Christmas party, and another time a couple of months after moving into the neighborhood. The first time, I ended up in Coney Island. The train was skipping stops in the return direction because of track work. That meant I had to go all the way out to Coney Island so I could turn around and come back. The MTA has a lame slogan, something like "you may have to go our of your way while we make getting you to where you're going better," to explain the inconvenience. At least this time I was able to get off only one station away to switch to the other side for the train back. Alas, the subway gods still were not on my side. As we pulled into the 59th Street stop -- you guessed it -- the R train I needed to transfer to was pulling out.

It took a while for another train to come. In the mean time, I saw a transit cleaning crew pull some hoses onto the platform, and subway "wildlife" (rats) scampering on the tracks. (For any non-NYers reading, yes, there are rats in the subway tunnels, but you don't always see them. Believe me, the condition of the NYC subways is a hundred times better than it ever was in the 1970s.)

I finally made it home by 12:30 am. Luckily for me, I have the day off from work so I don't need to get up early. I'm also off Monday and Tuesday and will be away in the Poconos with my family. No subways, just car rides. Let's hope the traffic gods are more favorable than the subway gods were tonight.


Theresa said...

Guess you still didn't really want to go straight home! Oh my, screwing up more than once on the same trip. That might qualify for the Guinness Book of World Records!

Cynthia said...

Yeah, not to mention I hit 3 boroughs in a space of 2 hours. Maybe I should have gone for broke and made stops in the Bronx and Staten Island, too!

Shannon said...

That's really funny! Glad you liked the article... I've been known to miss stops due to knitting, too, but that was the Boston subway and not nearly as annoying to backtrack on...

May said...

I've got this issue from the newsstand too. I'm slowly working through the articles to prolong the enjoyment of an entertaining issue.