Flight Connections at 24K Feet and Climbing

A shout-out to the folks in Rows 20-24 of AirTran flight 301 from ATL to DEN for helping me avert a in-flight near-disaster.

The story really starts last month, when I was traveling to Colorado for the Fall photo shoot (I know—it’s something shooting the fall issue in July.) Anyway, I was working on the Pretty Pleats Skirt by Annie Modesitt from the Summer 09 issue. It involves three balls of yarn that you can cut between using or not. I decided not, which translates, of course, to knot. I took a time-out to untwist the yarns. I put my crochet hook in my lap, unwound the yarn, got settled, reached for my hook – and no hook. I groped around under my seat. No hook. So I waited until I could get up, crouched under my seat, and VOILA! There it was nestled against the metal seat bracket. I went back to work.

(And yes, it's coming along nicely:
Thanks for asking.)

When I was traveling to Colorado yesterday for Fall press, I was working on another project (shhh! It's from the fall issue). I reached a point where I finished a row of crochet and stopped to count my stitches.

I'm a quick study (usually) and didn't want a repeat of the groping-under-the-seat thing, so I stashed my hook in my clipboard in the seat back in front of me.
I started counting and CLINK!

I looked at the seat back in front of me: No hook.

I groped under my seat. No hook.

My seatmate, who had witnessed the hook losing battle with gravity, groped under the seat. No hook.

I slouched down so my head was in an unseemly position in my seatmate's lap and groped (under the seat) more. No hook.

So I poked my head between the seats and psst'd to the guys behind me: Hey, do you see a purple crochet hook down there? They looked blank, then looked down, then back. No hook.

I resigned myself to waiting until the Fasten Seatbelt sign went off.

Then, an amazing thing happened. Like the Grinch standing on the cliff hearing Fa who fo-raze twittering up from the valley, I heard the words purple crochet hook behind me. The guys behind me had asked the folks behind them to look. I glanced back and saw six people doubled over looking at their feet. My crochet heart swelled. They didn't find it, but the gesture warmed me so much it really didn't matter if I crocheted. Not much, anyway.

The drink cart went by, and my seatmates (who had probably decided it was safest to reunite me with the crochet hook) declared that it was safe to clear the seats. All three of us got up. They stood in the aisle while I dove to the floor and peered under the seat. I saw no metal bar to nestle the hook. In fact, I could see lots of feet clear down the rows. But no hook. I stood up. Then my aisle seatmate—not a little guy, bless his heart—also dove to the floor to look.

About that time, I realized we'd been ascending when the hook Clinked to the floor, so it could be all the way to the loo by now. Since I was up, I asked the folks in the next four rows.

About this time, the PA kicked in.
“Attention passengers, I need to remind you that the Fasten Seatbelt sign is still on. All passengers should all be in their seats with seatbelts securely fastened.”
My seatmates and I looked sheepishly at one another in the aisle and I headed back to my window seat. I was nearly seated when I heard a whoop and looked back.

Five rows back, a purple crochet hook was clutched aloft in someone's hand. Hand over hand, row by row, the hook made it back to me.

crochet hook 001

Fa who fo-raze

Thanks to all my fellow travelers out there in Whoville.

Now, got any advice for keeping a rein on hooks while in transit?


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