Off to Chicago with a brand new cowl

9pm is a strange time for me to write a knitting blog post, but I’m going to be up late tonight – in a couple of hours, I’ll be hoping on the overnight Amtrak to Chicago for the CCCC ’23 conference. I’m a lucky duck, because a friend had Amtrak points to spare, which meant I got to have a free roomette in the sleeper car, so I’m hoping it’ll be a more pleasant experience than the times we’ve done the overnight in coach. I’m especially glad to be in the roomette where I won’t be breathing anyone else’s air!

Yet another Willow Cowl!

This will be my first time traveling out of town since 2019. I kind of feel like I’ve forgotten how to be a person in places other than my own home! But I made a packing list (plenty of knitting: a partially-knit second purple sock, plus two other balls of sock yarn!) and I think I’m all set, and worst case, it’s not like Chicago doesn’t have stores. The thing I’m most anxious about, though, is the fact that we’re still in a pandemic and most folks are acting like that’s not the case. I’m sticking with being masked at all times in indoor public spaces, which is going to make things like group meals tricky; my tentative plan is to tag along when people want to go out for meals (since that’s where a lot of the goodness of being in the same place for a conference happens) but keep my mask on, and get food to bring back to my room. I’ll probably seem like a weirdo, but also…I’m pretty high-risk, and so is my spouse, and this will be the riskiest thing I’ve done since the pandemic started in terms of exposure to other people, especially since I suspect I will be in the masked minority. I’m just really not here for the health supremacy of deciding that people like me don’t deserve protection.

Yet another Willow Cowl!

Anyway, I wanted to make a post because I actually finished a project! I finished it before it ever got mentioned here on the blog, too. Basically, I recently got a secondhand mostly dark grey knit wool skirt that has a few thin bright blue stripes, and I liked the idea of wearing it at the conference, and it occurred to me that I had a skein of bright blue yarn (Dream in Color Smooshy Sock in “Vivid”, the same color as my first Musselburgh Hat, which seems to have never been blogged?) that could be turned into yet another Willow Cowl! I think it’s my 9th?

I was able to finish it quickly because last week was the online LingComm 23 conference, which meant that I was on my computer for quite a few hours every evening – I moderated one session (on LingComm and Art) and was in the audience for as many others as I could be, and even got brave and asked a few questions during some of them! But that much computer time = a LOT of knitting time. And so, I have a bright blue Willow Cowl to wear with my new skirt with its bright blue stripes as I head out to my second conference in as many weeks. Life’s been VERY full recently! I’m looking forward to things slowing down a little bit once I’m back home.


2 thoughts on “Off to Chicago with a brand new cowl”

  1. Good luck on your journey! Very jealous that you were able to snag a bunk for the overnight. My experience with 21-hour train rides in a seat was… not *so* terrible that I’d never do it again, but certainly not great. Horizontal sleeping is just so much better.

    But yes, good luck, and I hope you stay healthy. One small recommendation: throat lozenges. If you’re going to be talking to people in crowded-ish rooms with a mask on, I’ve found that can be really hard on the throat.

  2. Good luck! I “slept” on a train once but it was just in a normal seat and don’t recommend that so I’m sure your experience will be much better. Hope you enjoy the conference and manage to avoid any germs!

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