Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Artistry In the Land of Lincoln

That's right. I'm here in Illinois, staying with old friends and promoting the new release in the Kelly Flynn Knitting Mysteries, SKEIN OF THE CRIME. I spent Friday evening and all day Saturday in the middle of Illinois farm country at Toulon, Illinois, for their all day author and fiber event. They had knitters, spinners, weavers, and fiber workers scattered all over town giving demonstrations of their artistry and sharing their mutual love of fiber. That was after a great big breakfast at the American Legion post, biscuits and gravy---which I had absolutely no reason for indulgence. I did so anyway. So, there, calories.

In fact, I was so stuffed, I couldn't manage the lunch that was served. Besides, I wanted to make sure I visited all the churches around the town square where examples of local women's handwork was displayed. Everywhere. In the Methodist, Baptist, and Congregationalist churches the pews were literally covered with some of the most gorgeous handwork I've seen in a long, long time. If ever. Exquisite crocheted table cloths and runners. Tatted doilies and table scarves. Delicate stitchery so fine that you simply had to bend over and examine it. Beautiful, simply beautiful.

And there was an amazing display of one woman's knitted artistry---pew after pew were covered with her knitted sweaters. Gorgeous designs and colors. Stunning work. I am in awe of her artistry and craftsmanship. Kudos to all the talented handworkers and crafters in Toulon, Illinois.

I was the after lunch invited guest speaker, and the Traditional Midwest Summer Thunderstorm held off long enough to get everyone into the high school gym before the heavens opened. Ahhhhhhhh. . .heat and humidity. Brought back lots of memories from the 15 years my family lived next door in Indiana as members of the Purdue University faculty community. Lots of memories. It was a wonderful and thoroughly enjoyable day and a half.

Sunday morning, I was back on the road again, driving the 3+ hours back to Chicago so I could participate in the Printers Row Lit Fest in downtown Chicago's Loop. Another enjoyable afternoon. And once again, the thunderstorm cooperated. Of course, we authors were under a great big tent. You might want to ask some Chicagoans how they coped with the Summer shower.

I"ll continue to enjoy my Illinois visit with friends who live in the Lake Barrington suburbs of Chicago and do a book signing at the Barnes & Noble--Oak Brook. If you live nearby, drop in and say hello.

How are you enjoying your summer so far?