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I Went to the Prom with Jesse Tyler Ferguson!

Normally I lead off with some discussion of knitting--and I pinky swear I'll get to it--but first, I wanted to take an unexpected detour.  You may not know this, but I went to the Prom with Jesse Tyler Ferguson.

 

This might come as a surprise to some people, including my husband, but I swear every word is true. When I first started seeing Jesse (he plays redheaded Mitchell on Modern Family, in case you don't know who he is), he was a young struggling actor who'd been cast in the offbeat musical The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. The show became a modest success, and soon Hollywood beckoned, and he ended up as one of the leads in The Class.  Long-distance relationship are difficult. Ultimately, he ended up being one of those people you remember fondly, but never expect to see in person again—especially once he showed up in Modern Family, a monster hit.

 

But maybe Fate wanted to throw us together, despite our age differences (he's 10 years younger).  Once we were both back in New York City at the same time we ended up attending the play Buyer and Cellar together, inches apart, in a darkened theatre.  I think he was a bit nervous—not because of me, I'm always pleasant and easy to get along with—but because he'd originally turned down the role, and Michael Urie was making a meal of it and getting the notices of his career. 

 

Are adult proms a thing where you live? I never expected that this year Jesse would ask me to go to the Prom with him. But somehow, there we were, soaking in the music, enjoying the dancing, and watching the other attendees—I always wonder if they're enjoying themselves half so much as I am.  But ultimately, I returned to my husband.  Jesse and I, we're not meant to be.

 

Once More, With Notes

 

Okay, April Fools, I couldn't resist it.  No, this famous sitcom star and I are not really kind of an item.  But here's the twist: every word was true. How can this be? I explain below:

 

When I first started seeing Jesse (he plays redheaded Mitchell on Modern Family, in case you don't know who he is), he was a young struggling actor who'd been cast in the offbeat musical The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.

 

(By seeing, I mean actually laying eyes on him.  We've never been introduced. He has no idea who I am, I'm sure.  But I definitely went to the musical and saw him in it).

 

The show became a modest success, and soon Hollywood beckoned, and he ended up as one of the leads in The Class.  Long-distance relationship are difficult. Ultimately, he ended up being one of those people you remember fondly, but never expect to see in person again—especially once he showed up in Modern Family, a monster hit.

 

(All of that is true, of course.  Long-distance relationships are indeed difficult, I just wasn't in one with him).

 

But maybe Fate wanted to throw us together, despite our age differences (he's 10 years younger).  Once we were both back in New York City at the same time we ended up attending the play Buyer and Cellar together, inches apart, in a darkened theatre.  

 

(By which I mean we went to see the same performance.  He was with several friends.  I didn't say hi, because I'm not that stalkery).

 

inches apart, in a darkened theatre. 

 

(It was a small theatre, with 199 seats, so even sitting apart a few rows back, he was inches away.  Everything in the world is inches away, if you count enough inches).

 

I think he was a bit nervous—not because of me, I'm always pleasant and easy to get along with

 

(And I am, and it's got nothing to do with him)

 

—but because he'd originally turned down the role, and Michael Urie was making a meal of it and getting the notices of his career. 

 

(All true.  This is common knowledge for extreme theatre buffs).

 

Are adult proms a thing where you live?

 

(Probably not. I don't think they're a thing anywhere).

 

I never expected that this year Jesse would ask me to go to the Prom with him.

 

(I never expected it because we're two adults who have never met, so that would have been super weird.  And he lived up to my expectation by not asking me.  Oh, and The Prom is a new musical on Broadway).

 

But somehow, there we were, soaking in the music, enjoying the dancing, and watching the other attendees—I always wonder if they're enjoying themselves half so much as I am.

 

(So there we were, attending the same performance of a show, yet again.  I'm often seeing celebrities in the audience with me (Lea Michelle, Andrew Rannells, Bradley Cooper, Donna McKechnie, etc.) but Jesse was my first double-sighting.  Because of that coincidence, I thought I'd save this story and be a bit cheeky today!)

 

Now on to the knitting section, where I wouldn't dream of lying to you, ever.

 

The Knitting Section

 

News Item #1

 

I've decided to really challenge myself.  Normally my idea of a challenge is something like:

  • knit an entrelac cowl, when I've never done entrelac before

  • knit a 24-hexagon Fair Isle blanket when I've only done stranded knitting once, three years ago

  • knit a hat somehow around an existing swatch, somehow

  • crochet a Queen-sized bedspread despite not knowing how to crochet

You get the picture. I like throwing myself in at the deep end and hoping I somehow master the technique along the way.  So, recognizing that this sort of so-called challenge is really par for the course, I'm really switching gears: I've signed up for The Knitting Guild Association Level One Master Knitter program.  

 

For a certain sum of money, they send you a pdf of instructions, and then you knit ... impeccably. Swatch after swatch, in a plain white worsted yarn.  You tuck the swatches into a binder filled with plastic page protectors, and mail it back to them, and then, apparently, they critique you. You will have to redo swatches that aren't up to their high standards.  Finally, there's a written report on blocking techniques required.  And once you pass, you can move on to Level 2 (for a separate fee), and Level 3 (ditto), and then you're a Master Knitter.

 

So that's my new goal: to become a TKGA-certified Master Knitter.  Yikes!

 

News Item #2

 

I'm going to the Netherlands and Brussels this week for almost two weeks, so if you don't hear from me that would be why. Apparently they do a lot of brioche knitting in that part of the world, so I am learning brioche to fit in:

I don't want to say it's hard (the actual mechanics are simple: slip 1, knit 2 together, repeat), but it does take some getting used to. I'm used to "normal non-brioche" knitting, so I actually had to sit at some point and relearn reading my knitting ... "hmm, okay, so when I brioche purl it falls to the back, and then I slip the knit stitch that will be brioche knit and come forward next round, got it."  I think it's magical that whether I'm brioche purling or brioche knitting, I'm definitely knitting/purling two different yarns at the same exact time, but for some reason only one of them shows: the knits, above, look light grey and the purls look dark grey, but I swear on my great-grandmother's life that each was accomplished by sticking my right needle through two different-coloured yarns.

 

After an increase/decrease row (pictured), I got tripped up because the increases threw my stitch pattern off.  I'd missd the note to just purl the middle stitch in the increase, not brioche purl it (i.e. purl it by itself instead of together with a neighbour).  I asked Ravelry, and the fine users of that site set me straight within minutes, and then the pattern worked out just right.  Thanks, fine Ravelry users!

 

Stephen West (probably currently the most famous male designer of knitting patterns) lives in Amsterdam, last I checked, as does Nancy Marchant (probably currently the most famous brioche-knitting expert) and I assumed there'd be a decent yarn store there.  Little did I know Stephen West has actually opened his own, "Stephen and Penelope," conveniently located five blocks from my hotel (I swear I don't pick hotels based on their proximity to fiber-related establishments or events, I'm just lucky that way: see New Orleans, Santa Clara, etc.)  So that's going to be fun!

 

On the Needles (and actively being worked on):

  • A swatch of stockinette in white worsted (third of three needle sizes) for my Master Knitting Course

  • Autumn Vibes (Brioche Hat, Round 2 after the first increase/decrease section)

  • Caldwell Vest (halfway through armhole shaping on the back)

  • Persian Dreams Blanket (round 6 of Hexagon 9) 

  • Itineris Shawl (I'll pretend it's a scarf. I've finished the third repeat)

 

 

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