Let's talk about knitting, shall we? When I was going to Colorado - Oh, man, wait. I have to go backwards for a minute, because now that the fog has (mostly) cleared and we can talk about all of this, we have to catch up. It was a great trip. Great knitters in the classes, great LYS (the Knit Knook, you should go if you're close by. They seem like they're really a tight, supportive group, and you gotta love a yarn shop with a coffee bar) and neatest of all, Sally took me and a very nice knitter named Marisa to her Alpaca place - Rivendale Farms. I took about a million pictures. I won't bore you with all of them, but I think you'd want to see a few. Wouldn't you? Thing the first: Alpacas are ridiculously cute.
Thing the second: They are curious.
(That's the lovely Sally) Curious enough that it's hard to take a picture of them without getting a bunch like this.
Thing the third: I think maybe they're sort of racist biased.
The only ones who followed me around the whole time were the ones who matched my hair colour. I'd just be standing there, minding my own business, and I'd feel their hot breath on my neck. Anyway, we had a pretty good time, considering that I knew pretty much straightaway that I was in a great place, but the wrong place. I'd taken some knitting with me, but I had been in such a crazy state of mind right before I left that all I could think of to do was grab some plain yarn, and just plow through. I went to the stash and scored this DeKay Duet yarn. It's cool stuff, one handpaint with a co-ordinating solid yarn for heel and toe, and I thought that it was just about the perfect thing. No brains required. I grabbed it, wound it and split.
That knitting, it turns out, was totally perfect. I plowed along on it, not thinking, not worrying, and by the time I landed, I had a decent chunk of a sock - and some really bad news. I sat there, trying to knit after finding out that Tupp had died, and as I knit the plain and lovely stitches, I realized that I was in a bad spot. What I needed to do was fall apart. To grieve and cry and be with my family... but I'd just landed in Colorado, and I had to stay and make the most of it. I would, be, I decided (rather bravely, I thought) deciding to keep calm and carry on. I would be home soon enough, and I would do what I needed to do then, but until then, I was going to put that whole thing out of my mind. I would work hard, stay distracted from it, and not leave myself any room to be upset. I've always used knitting to help moderate upset or stress, and this was going to be no different. I was going to put my head down and get it done, and as I made that decision, I looked at that plain good knitting, and I realized that it was not going to cut it. It was too plain. It was too easy - if I was going to use knitting to keep me from being the sort of person who sobbed through an weekend, then it was going to have to be a higher dose. The next day at the Knit Knook I bought four skeins of Isager Alpaca Merino 2 in Chartreuse, had Sally choose me a lace pattern and hunkered down.
Meet Nadira. It was much better. A thousand times better. Plain knitting is good, but if you're going to ask knitting to keep you from being really crazy in public, really far from home at a really bad time? You're going to need some charts to occupy the part of your brain that keeps considering booking a private plane with a stolen credit card. (There were no flights home, and the private plane thing seemed reasonable, expense excepted.) Every time I thought I might come of the rails, when I was alone, mostly, I just put all my attention there, and it kept me from losing it. I can tell that I'm feeling better, because for the last day or two it's been all about the rainbow socks (Regia Nation - Colourway 5399, sadly discontinued - a gift years ago when it was already discontinued) and while they are entertaining, they are simple, and that's enough again.
What happened to the duet socks? Good question. They're here somewhere.
(I actually think I lost them but I don't want to talk about it.)