January 10, 2007

There is no joy in Plattsville.

Well. That's not true I'm sure, it looked like a lovely town to Rachel H. and I as we wound up there last night as a direct result of shooting straight past Kitchener-Waterloo (the home of the Kitchener-Waterloo knitting guild) where I was to speak last night.

It would seem (as we found ourselves in Plattsville), that there was certainly no joy in Rachel's car at that exact moment. It turned out that there was a missing link in our instructions, something that would be totally obvious to any other two women in a car in Ontario that inexplicably, despite our age and experience, Rachel and I did not know. (Tip. Conestoga does not run off the 401. Continuing to look for Conestoga despite all hints that you are not going to find it lands you in a snowflurry in Plattsville, a charming hamlet really quite far past Kitchener-Waterloo.) It was at this point that Rachel and I really quite cleverly realized that we were unlikely to find an offramp that led to Kitchener now that we were really quite far past it (and headed in the direction of London....even further from our goal, but a darned nice city as well) and we pulled off in Plattsville and re-organized. (Or, we reorganized as much as two lost knitters in Plattsville nowhere near where they needed to be, hopelessly misguided, mapless and with an eye on the clock can possibly reorganize.) We turned right around and took a second swing at Kitchener-Waterloo and our destination....a restaurant on King Street where we would meet up with the executive of the guild.

Car neatly pointed in the other direction, hopes high, we sped along until we saw a sign for Hwy 8, which I remembered (somehow) turned into King Street. Gloriously we took the turn, happily found ourselves on King Street, just as predicted and noted that we were at 3200 King, a far cry from the 15 King we were looking for, but we didn't let that deflate us. We were in the right city, on the right street, headed (wonder of wonders) in the right direction. We drove on, Rachel watching the snowy road and me gleefully calling out the ever diminishing street numbers.

Our joy was short lived when just as we pulled up to an intersection (King and Weber I believe) and were suddenly no longer on King street. We cursed. We turned around, we tried again, suspiciously discovering King Street in another location and again made a run for #15. We failed. (Near what seemed to us to surely be another, different intersection of King and Weber.) At this point we pulled into a convenience store where my Vietnamese language skills failed me (or so I thought) as the owner pointed us in the direction of Kings Street....opposite where we knew it to lie.

We gave up. We called up the restaurant and asked for directions (and apologized to the starving guild executive) and set off with our new help...which quickly ended in a "no exit" version of ....you guessed it. King Street. Accepting defeat and humiliation, we called the restaurant back and this time, got an assisted landing, as the helpful waitress on the other end of the phone took us turn by turn into the parking lot.

Once seated, a peculiarity of Kitchener-Waterloo was revealed to us. Apparently (and I still don't know how this is possible) King Street runs (I swear that at least 30 people confirmed this) North, South, East AND West, and intersects with Weber no less than four times. (The guild put it in terms we could understand, explaining that King and Weber are, essentially.....cabled.)

Once we were through that, the rest of the evening was delightfully fun. Behold! The directionally brilliant knitters of the Kitchener-Waterloo Knitters Guild!

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That isn't even all of them. This, my wool-hoarding friends, is a big guild. I gave my talk and then chatted with the knitters. I was standing there, speaking with knitters and feeling like it was a very good day, when lo, I looked up and what knitter stood before me?

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Debbie New. (I am not at all surprised that she didn't come out blurry.)
I don't mind telling you, I was breathless. If you don't know who Debbie New is, then you're leading a poorer life for it. Debbie is the author of Unexpected Knitting, the knitter who knit a seaworthy lace coracle (scroll down), a ticking grandfather clock, the swirl socks and So. Much. More. She's some kind of freaking genius and, just to make sure we have you good and impressed, also raised 8 children. (I am not worthy.) It was a complete pleasure meeting her.

Now meet Angela. Angela has won the prize (I nominated and voted on it all by myself last night) for the funniest present ever given a washing machine.

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See? Angela has created "Mr. Washie's 2007 Pin-up Calendar, and it's just chock full of all the beefcake washers a tired old washing machine wants to see. Behold.

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Sexy young washers posed in exotic locations...not even a towel covering their firm enameled bodies...

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December is even a little risque. See?

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Her door is open.
Mission accomplished, my face hurting from laughing about appliances and boggling at genius our lady Lynne (Sadly, blogless)rescued Rachel and I, and in exchange for a beer...

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(That's Lynne, me, Rachel H.,Julia and Lisa)
made us a map with only one King Street on it so we could get home, since it turns out that Rachel and I are really only good at navigating one thing. Knitting.
Next time Rachel? The bus.

Posted by Stephanie at January 10, 2007 3:09 PM