Thursday-Sunday was Stitches East, one of the conferences where I teach. It is a fun, comfortable environment, and I have good friends there. I had fantastic students and lots of good experiences in my classes. I truly do love teaching, so I'm grateful for this opportunity that I have. Thursday started at 11 am with a speed-dating style introduction to the teachers so I got to meet about 100 students in a very short time and give them a little information about myself. That same afternoon I taught my first three-hour class. After that I did an impromptu photo-shoot for another teacher friend who had to send a project off for publication. Some of us went out for dinner, then there were teacher meetings in the evening, then off to bed. Friday was a full day of teaching a quick succession of one-hour technique sessions in the market, then helping out at the industry fashion show. Because the whole experience involves thinking on my feet all day, being with people I like and being inspired by the beauty and camaraderie of knitting, I find these long days mostly energizing. I'm tired by the end, but in a way that tells me I've done my best all day long. I like that feeling.
The pace continued into Saturday with another full day of Market Sessions, then the student banquet, where folks show off their own knitting creations. Saturday night usually includes a little relaxing time with friends, and that was a fun time. On Sunday, the mood noticeably changes as many students and teachers have already gone home or are preparing to leave. My first class starts a little later, so the morning is slower. My Sunday afternoon class is a very quiet, relaxed class that I love teaching because it seems to actually help knitters solve some problems and feel more comfortable about certain techniques.
I admire how hard they work and how curious they are about the process.
As soon I was done teaching, I raced to get myself together and got on the road right when I wanted to-about 5:30. I saw some but not all of my pals before taking off, but it's all good-I'll see them again in February. The trip was a predictable 6 hours and thankfully, my hip behaved and the pain held off until right when I got home. That was what I was praying for since I was driving alone and didn't want to have to stop every hour to walk around. I got by with one stop for gas and lots of good music and a big bag of yummy junk food. Traffic was kind of bad in CT, but there were no problems at all around NYC and the NJ turnpike.
Getting home was so awesome. Eric and Johnathan were still up to help me haul in all my stuff, and my little house felt so warm and welcoming. I threw my stuff in a pile in the living room, let my mind wind down a bit and went to sleep, turning over all the fun times of the last 9 days, but so happy to be back.