November 13, 2006

Yarn can't walk

Before I tell you about how yarn can't walk I'm telling you about Thursday in Ottawa (our nations fine capitol) and Kanata (home of the Ottawa Senators.) I spent the trip to Ottawa noting how remarkably easy it was to tell I was travelling in Canada. Several things.

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Better cheap coffee. (By better I just mean stronger. This, to my way of thinking, makes it better, if still bad tasting no matter where in North America you buy coffee in a train station.)
Everything (including people) in English and French.

At 9:15 in the morning the TV in the waiting area the tv in the waiting area of the station was set to a hockey game and we were all watching. Furthermore, as I got on the train the guy ahead of me was carrying his full gear and stick.
I had a butter tart for breakfast.
Every person had a poppy on. (I kept knocking mine off with the strap of my bag and I was so worried about losing it that finally decided to move it to my right lapel for just two seconds while I boarded the train. I stood at the bottom of the steps, moved the poppy to the right side, walked up the five steps of the train and was very gently corrected by not one, but two people about my mis-placed poppy. Took less than a minute for someone to call me on it.)

I arrived at Yarn Forward in Ottawa were the knitters were all hanging out. I was just there to do a signing, but I had the best time. When Melinda asked me if I would put the travelling sock on her stuffed elephants nose (I didn't ask) I realized that this might be a good gig.

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Here you can see remnants of the flyaway nature of the lotion incidents. (Also...it would appear that whole chunks of my hair were freakishly straight...I'm wearing the finished Diarufran sweater. I forgot to tell you.)

Meet Judith.

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Begin runway voiceover here: Judith (in Ottawa - which is how she signs her comments) is wearing a beautiful example of the Flower basket shawl, knit as a square instead of a triangle. Twice the work, twice the fun. For extra points, Judith knit this shawl out of her own handspun, edging it with a small portion of my own handspun I mailed to her for her birthday some time ago. Isn't she lovely? Thank you Judith.

Here we have sweet wee Bailey...

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Who, although she did not wake up to look at the knitting needles I placed in her hand, did grasp them tightly. She'll be a fine knitter. I can tell.

From there I went to The Clocktower and had dinner with some nice knitters from the Museum of Nature (not nearly as geeky as you'd expect.) and rolled on to the Kanata Yarn Forward, where the hordes ravened knitters waited nicely.

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The Ottawa knitters are partially blurry. (I have managed to blur the sock as well. Clearly things are getting worse.) I staggered through the talk (holy cow the Ottawa knitters are funny.) and got on to the serious business of taking pictures of strangers with socks.

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This is Kit, and she's holding her brand new book (well, not just hers, but in the delightful glow of the newly published we gloss over things like the word "anthology" or "collection" and all is reduced to high pitched squeals of "my book! my book!" ) It's a good book too...and Kit's parts are my favourite bit, even if they don't have knitting in them.

Natalie brought me a gift.

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Colour coded conditioner and shampoo with a light up magnifying glass to use in the shower. I laughed and laughed and laughed. (I admit it was the light up part. I laughed at first, the little light really tore me.)

Here's Suzanne wearing a shawl knit out of (one of) my favourite sock yarns....

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Meilenweit Mega boot stretch by Lana Grossa. I used it to make these socks (scroll down), but I think that Suzanne's a genius. Beautiful shawl.

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Susan and Lisa were crocheters. I promised not to blow their cover until they were safely out of the car. Not that we knitters dislike crocheters (in fact, some of us are crocheters) but I knew that if thie jazzed up crowd discovered them they wouldn't be able to get out without a lesson. (or 30) Susan has since emailed me and said that she has dreamed of knitting socks for two days. (We got to her. Comrades, it is these small victories that make it all worth it .)

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Lissa, who had a yellow Mariah the last time I met her and totally tricked me (I am a simple person) by wearing another colour.

There was Heather, Leanne, Justine (I signed her hand and felt like Mic Jagger) Betsey, Tara, Orris and my lovely friend Sarah, and I found out that Louise at Yarn Forward is making something really good...

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and Holy Cow....
Mairi. Look what Mairi is knitting.

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Think it's cool? Look closer.

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Get it? It's a scarf being knit out of I-cord tubes, braided as she goes (according to a mathematical formula that I really couldn't follow....the minute she said "squared" my mind shut down) and she's handling the gap in the i-cord by crocheting up the backs of them so the don't have a right side and a wrong side and. ...

Well. Mairi is clearly out of her mind in the best possible way. Maybe when I grow up I can be Mairi.

Ottawa is seriously fun. Montréal was fun too....I'll get to that tomorrow.

I took the train home on Saturday night and yesterday I sort of cleared my head a little and looked at my work lists and in some sort of fit of anxiety and fear, I started doing the knitting I need to do for my visit to Knitty Gritty. I am very worried about my visit. I am worried because it is LA and I have bad clothes and questionable TV hair. I am worried because I'm pretty sure that I'm not the right sort of knitter. There is a difference between a designer and a knitter who has some good ideas and I am decidedly the latter. I also have some concerns about the shows "hipness" and my lack thereof. (I know that you are going to be tempted to say something reassuring about how hip I am....don't bother. I've only just now got the lotion out of my hair.) In any case, I took a deep breath yesterday and decided that the only thing that could be worse than yours truly having a meltdown on TV was yours truly having a meltdown on TV without the proper knitting. Now, I may not be hip, but I can knit damnit...and I will have the right stuff if it kills me.

Off to a roaring start, I knit the first of a kid sized pair of socks. Well, I mostly knit it.

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(Basic sock pattern, scaled down according to the rules) I did the cuff and heel in a contrasting grey and I ripped right along in a self congratulatory fashion. I used the grey for the heel, leaned forward, put it on the table, picked up the coloured one (Patons Kroy Socks...54573) knit the foot, leaned forward to get the grey for the toe and.....

To borrow a phrase from my Quebecois neighbours..."I look on the table and there it was....gone." I began a search. I looked all over the table. (My house is slightly untidy.) I looked all over the living room. I looked under the chesterfield, I looked by the chesterfield, I got on the floor and crawled around, I stood on the chair to see high places...I ranted. I screamed "Yarn Can't Walk" and "Things just don't disappear" and I essentially lost my cool. After a fairly shameful display I poured a glass of wine and started thinking. I tried to think like me. I retraced my steps. I had gone into the kitchen...did I put the yarn in the fridge instead of the coffee cream? Did I put it in the cupboard or the crisper when I put away the dinner stuff? Was it on the shelves with the dishes from unloading the dishwasher? I checked on Mr. Washie. I looked in the bathroom. I ripped up the cushions of the chesterfield in case it had slipped down. In a weaker moment I went downstairs and interrogated Joe, and I accused the children of theft. I asked if they had taken it, I offered amnesty. I told them that I was just going to go into the kitchen for a few minutes and that if, when I got back the yarn was simply on the table...no questions would be asked. (This, in properly trained family members, usually works very well.) No luck.

Bereft and furious I went to bed, seriously ticked off that the day had been wasted. I have no more of that yarn, I really do need a pair (especially for tv.) and that means that I need to yank back the whole thing. Stomping ensued.

This morning (while I continued to shred our house while screaming "yarn can't walk") Sam was putting her coat on to leave for school and ever so innocently... the ball of grey yarn fell out of her sleeve.
I have no explanation for this. (The horrified look on Sam's face as she realized that she was connected with this whole scene proved that she had not put it there.)

Maybe yarn can jump? I'm going to knit a toe now.

Posted by Stephanie at November 13, 2006 10:06 AM