Thursday, February 22, 2007

Why I Should Be Supervised at Stitches West

First off, quick responses to a couple of comments.

Batty, that's not a frozen beer. It's frozen mineral water. Don't attempt to replicate the disaster by freezing your beer! Freezing beer is not a crime, but it should be. There's nothing more wrong in the universe than beer slushies. There are things of equal wrongness, but none that exceed it.

Sara, I haven't found a way to shrink the silky Simple Knitted Bodice back to the more desirable size. Kind of bummed about it, but I'm still working on it. Tonight, we attempt throwing the dampened sweater in the dryer with a bunch of towels. I'll let you know how it works out.

Jo, the man in the orchard story is deliciously creepy. Yeah, I do often feel like something's darting out of a room just as I'm entering, which is strange as none of my rooms have more than one entrance. I'm not sure it's just the woman and the boy, either. More on that later.

I finished Three/Five/Seven Day Sweater, but I'm not taking pictures of it until I get the perfect shawl pin or button for the front. I'm pleased with the modifications. It came out even better than it would have if I'd, you know, knit it correctly in the first place.

And now, the meat of the matter.

Thirty-seven hundred yards of laceweight cotton. It looks variegated here, but it's actually a solid, dusty blue. It's beautiful. No, I won't get rid of it, but what the hell am I going to do with it? How do I even go about winding it?

560 yards of this lovely worsted wool. Not enough to make a sleeved sweater, but lovely and unusual enough that I don't want to attempt to pair it up with a solid color.

And oh, my friends, that's not all. I didn't take pictures of all of it, because it's in several bins in the Yarn Cave. These were the two most easily accessible skeins.

Daisy and I have a friend, let's call her Donatella, who does this thing when she gets distracted, or overwhelmed, or bored, or sleepy. She fugues out, just drifts right out of reality. You're talking to her, maybe asking where you should go for dinner, and she'll say, "Yeeeaaahhh...ummmm.....yeah....whaaattt?" Then she'll wander off in another direction, maybe to look at shoes in a store window, or into a shop to buy gelato. It's almost as if the responsive part of her brain has shut down, and she's having a different conversation with someone in her head, and you've interrupted her. "Donatella, why are we buying gelato?" She looks at you, barely aware of your presense until you spoke. "Ohhh...huuuhhh?" She's on autopilot, drifting down Fillmore street with a cup of gelato in her hand, muttering about pashminas. Somewhere in the recesses of her mind, she's thinking "I need to look at pashminas...", and while you might not have heard her mention one word about it, it's the priority, and she's going to stay on task. All you can do is follow along and keep her from stumbling out into traffic.

I understand it, because this thing happens to me at Stitches. I get in to the market, and I wander around, and I lose track of where I've been and where I intended to go. I'm entranced by the colors, and I feel the more active part of my mind shutting down. I wander past Interlacements seven times from six different directions, and I forget that I've been there already, so I look through everything again, and I end up buying another huge skein of yarn that I have no use for. I spend half an hour roaming around, trying to decide if I should try to find that booth with the camel again, because I've convinced myself that it's an excellent idea idea, making something out of camel. I ultimately don't buy the camel, but the roaming around leads me to buy a bunch of other stuff that is neither necessary or a good enough bargain to justify its purchase. Then, when I finally reach the point where I feel dizzy and disoriented enough to break away, when my arms are so heavy from the bags that I can't lift them, I go home. I usually don't feel happy about what I've done. It's more of a regretful nausea.

"My God, honey! This bag weighs fifty pounds. What did you buy?"


Daisy, and how I love this about her, has the opposite reaction to crowded scenes in general, Stitches in particular. When she gets overwhelmed, she leaves. Right then. No sticking around for even a minute longer. "You can stay and shop. I'm going to go sit in my car in the parking lot." When we're there together, this works out perfectly. I don't want her exile in the parking lot to last more than a couple of minutes, so I snap back to the present, finish up whatever I'm doing, and follow her out. It's not a passive-aggressive thing with her. She'd actually be content to sit in her car for an hour while I kept shopping. It's just not something I'd do to her, even if she wouldn't mind.

What have I learned from my four years of attending Stitches, with and without Daisy? I should not go to Stitches without Daisy. I may leave thinking, "I wish I'd stayed five minutes longer. I wonder if I should have bought that bargain bag of Wool-Cotton?", but that regret only lasts a minute or two. It's nothing like the regret that comes with thinking, "I wonder if I should turn auto-update off on my credit card in MS Money so Accountant Boy doesn't see the balance?"

This year, there's a plan. Daisy has created color-coded maps of the market floor, identifying our priority targets and route. We went over it in detail last night. It's beautiful, so explicit and well thought out. Accountant Boy thinks it's funny.

"Are you going to have little models you can push around on the table? Do you think you should call that guy who appears in all of those war movies?"

"Do you think he's available?"

It even includes a rendezvous point, in case we get separated. I'd upload it, but then you'd see where we're going, and that's classified information. And I mean you'd see EXACTLY where we're going, because Daisy assigned a rigid order to our journey.

Look at this instead. It's the ubiquitous 'Wicked', being knit from the frogged, ill-fated Bella. I realized at that point that I need to go up at least one needle size, probably two. I'm thinking that it's not going to make a difference. Let me put that another way. I'm HOPING that it's not going to make a difference.

This is Daisy's sweater, Minnie from Rowan 39. I'm sewing it up for her, and I'm doing a helluva job, if I do say so myself, and I guess I just did. Can you see the seam? I'm setting in the sleeves tonight so that she can wear it tomorrow. Looks like someone owes me a coffee, and maybe a hank of camel wool.


Batty said...

Nice pictures!

Don't worry, I won't freeze my beer. Stale, warm beer is worse, I suppose, although... beersicle?

Who needs supervision? What's the point if you don't come home without at least half a truck full?

Yes, we are enablers. How'd you guess?

knottygnome said...

wow, great seaming! i'm impressed.

i was very much entertained by your story. i've never been to a fiber festival-thing before, and your tale makes me think that i should probably continue to stay away...