Sunday, February 25, 2007

The Pleasure and The Pain

So Friday, I took most of the day off sick. Unfortunately – I really mean that. I wasn’t “sick”, I wasn’t “oh, *cough-cough*, yeah, it’s horrible”, and then off to Stitches.

I was sick. I spent most of the day in my hotel room wishing I felt better. My head was pounding! My back hurt! My sinuses felt…weird. Stuffed, yet, not-stuffed. My stomach was roiling. Fever-n-ague, people.

Then my nose started bleeding. I think what happened was this: aliens came in the night and laid eggs in my nose. The eggs hatched, and the alien larva made their way to my brains to continue growing. They ate my brains and pooped out this alien-snot stuff. And now? What was left of my brains, the alien snot and all the blood that was formerly feeding my brain was pouring out my nose.

That’s what happened, I’m pretty sure. It went on for about fifteen minutes – just long enough for the infamous hypochondriac over here to start nervously fretting about whether or not there was a cousin to the flesh-eating disease that ate brain matter and whether I should take myself to the nearest clinic to check for brain eating viruses.

And then it stopped. I felt tremendously better! So much better, in fact, that I began to feel hungry. So I went out, got some fast food, stopped at Fry’s to search for a power supply for my laptop (HA! Nine million assorted power-supply whatnots, but nothing for MY specific laptop…ooooh, if it had been a ‘D’ 627682 then yes, but the ‘C’ 627682? Nope.), went to Rite-Aid and got some medications.

Then, since I was in the neighborhood, I thought I’d swing by the Stitches market for some coffee.

What? Why are you looking at me like that? I’ll have you know that the coffee in the marketplace is pretty darned good. Much better than any of the sixteen places I passed between Rite-Aid and the convention center…

However, I had an unfortunate accident on my way to the coffee both. See, The Yarn Lady has these HUGE bins, right in the middle of Things, loaded with bags of yarn at 75% off. Well, I came bolting down the aisle, looking neither to the left nor the right, heading for the coffee, and WHAM!

Fell into the bin, came up with four bags of superwash baby yarn clinging to me like Velcro. I tried to scrape it off, but it just wouldn’t come off. It was horribly embarrassing, like some kind of wool-boil outbreak all over my hands. I had to use my credit card to scrape it off me, and was too embarrassed to explain to the cashier that I hadn’t meant for her to grab it and charge all this wool, that I was merely trying to get it off me. (It’s perfect for my charity knitting – it’s warm, soft, machine wash/dry and in great, coordinating colors. I can make stuff for everybody from teens to preemies with this stuff. SCORE!!!!)

Then I made the mistake of wandering past Lisa Souza’s booth. I’m not sure how it happened exactly, but I think it went something like this: I was walking past the booth, on my way to the coffee (as I’ve mentioned before, I was only there for the coffee), when SUDDENLY and WITHOUT WARNING, fifteen heavily armed ninjas leapt from behind the stacks of wool at Webs and, nun chucks whirling, hurled me into Lisa’s booth.

Somehow, three skeins of Printemps ended up in my bag (how exactly is a great mystery), and then another of What-a-Melon joined them. While bravely fending off the vicious ninja attack using my KIPer bag as a weapon, my wallet flew open and my Mastercard fell right on her machine; and then a ninja landed on top of the whole mess and somehow the right buttons were all pushed and the precise amount for the yarn (plus appropriate sales tax) was charged.

Amazing, huh? Yeah, I thought so too. A tale to tell my grandchildren, let me tell you.

But the strangest episode of all went like this. I was walking to the coffee when I came to a very crowded stretch of road. I stepped aside to allow an older lady to pass, because that is how I was brought up. And I ended up in Cheryl Oberle’s booth – She of the Fabulous Shawl Book, which is the one knitting book I would take with me to a desert island if I knew I was going to be stranded there for decades.

And I discovered that she has a ‘not a bit new’ book out, Folk Vests. Not to digress (she said, promptly doing so), but Google hath failed me. Yeah verily, it hath. Because I Googled Cheryl recently (along with Elsbeth Lavold) to see if there was anything new out from her. The only hit I got at that time was the shawls book – but no! The vest book has been out for four years…yet somehow, I missed it.

Not this time. I picked it up. And she signed it for me (I attempted not to be too simpering a dolt). And I wanted to make one of the vests (immediately, actually). It’s the one on the cover, the Celtic Lattice vest.

Now usually what happens when I open a knitting book and get the itchin’ and scritchin’ to make something therein is this: I get the book and then I start digging through my stash looking for a suitable yarn. When I realize I don’t have a suitable yarn (yet another great mystery of life, seeing as how I have enough yarn to put my local yarn store to shame not only in quantity, but quality and variety), I go shopping for the yarn used in the pattern. Then, when I realize that it will set me back $100-200-500-$nosebleed for that exact yarn, I substitute something cheaper.

Much. Cheaper.

And also usually a different weight entirely (it said ‘DK’ which rhymes with ‘bulk-ay’, right?), and the color is weird and I’m matching it with another substitution yarn of even weirder color.

And then, I am shocked when the final product doesn’t look much like the one in the pattern.

This time…I bought the yarn from Cheryl Oberle. Right then, right there, BAM! Slapped down a hundred bucks for the book, the hand-dyed yarn (which, by the way, she dyed herself – I didn’t know she did that, too!) and walked away feeling as though I had done exactly the right thing.

I think the brain-eating-aliens took control of my body. There can be no other explanation for this kind of behavior from me. I am usually way too…well, I over-think. I start examining the costs v. the benefits and then I hesitate and then? I end up with not what I wanted but it will have to do.

This time, I’ve got exactly what I need to make exactly what I want. I’m not only happy about it – I’m smug.

Also, Cheryl Oberle is a lovely, lovely lady. It was a great pleasure fawning all over speaking with her. She has a new book coming out around Fall-ish, which will be just perfect because Stephanie’s new book comes out at the end of March. Six months between knitting-book-purchases simply cannot be considered excessive, even by frugal standards.

The rest of the weekend? Kind of a bust. I went to the mall Saturday and got lots of clothes for my eternally-outgrowing-clothing children; but still felt kind of ‘eh’ so I went back to my room and ‘rested’, a word which should be pronounced, ‘collapsed on the sofa like a slug and only roused herself long enough to go downstairs for the manager’s reception, a bowl of onion soup and a turkey sandwich’.

And today my @*^&@ing arthritis reared up in a major way, the first real life-adjusting episode in a long time. I went to the market, oh yes I did, because it is ONLY ONCE A YEAR, and I was DETERMINED.

But…well. It wasn’t even a little bit fun for me today. My hip hurt so much I honestly wished I had a cane. Or possibly a wheelchair. Or the ability to simply float myself from place to place, using my brain. Or what was left of it, after the aliens ate it. I sat around hoping it would feel better ‘in a minute’ (oddly, a lot of times just getting up and out and about will help make it feel better), but it never did.

So I hobbled back out to my car and drove on home. A little disgruntled because things not only didn’t go according to plan, but kind of went anti-plan on me.

But then I got home and was swept up into the beautiful madness of the Den. Little piping voices, excited little girls trying on their own (and each other’s) clothes.

They tried to claim the yarn, too (make a shawl for me, mommy, a yellow one to match my yellow skirt!), but allowed that probably the babies needed it more because after all – they did have their new jackets.

Captain Adventure snuggled with his Number One Slave momma, and his hair smells so good. We watched Harry Potter and discussed report cards and I thought about how good I have things, really.

My Denizens drive me crazy because I’m so crazy about them. And they’re crazy about me. Which is crazy of them, really, because I’m not anywhere close to a perfect parent or spouse or anything else.

And that’s it. Stitches is over, and won’t be back for another year.

And now, I really mean it, I’m not buying any more yarn for, like, the next eighteen years

7 comments:

Marit Kostøl said...

Hilarious! I love your blog-have been reading it for a few weeks-I just wish I had the guts to "fall into" the yarn bin like you did...!My husband is very pleased with me knitting- as long as the yarn, and books, and accesoires won't cost him a dime...
Best wishes, Marit in Norway

Coach Susan said...

Man, I hate when that happens! Hey, somebody had to get the brain-slurping alien illness that causes yarn to jump into their personages and credit charging vehicles to fling themselves kamakazi into the waiting hands of cash register operators. I guess this weekend it had to be you. This is why I venture no farther than the public library these days. Their books don't require MasterCards and they don't stock yarn. Remember that when you're looking for a Retail Refuge safe house.

Bev in TN said...

You make me laugh. I too have been reading your blog for a few weeks (since yarn harlot recently put a hotlink to your blog in hers). Just wanted to tell you how much I enjoy the way your mind works ;-)

Renee said...

Wow! Those aliens can invade my body anytime if they'll enable yarn purchases.

Of course, it could also be a side effect of Mad Cow Disease (cousin to Flesh Eating Disease....what? You fretted - I provide answers!!!)

Judy said...

Those kinds of yarn accidents happen to me all the time, too. (Brain-eating aliens, too...)

Congratulations on getting just the right yarn for the project! I know what a big deal it is to treat yourself.

Amy Lane said...

Wow...you know, that place is just teeming with crawly things...you wouldn't BELIEVE the stuff I had to scrape off me with my credit card...and Lisa Souza's booth...I think she hires those ninjas...the got me too...

(LOL--hiLARious post...loved it!! If you were there on Saturday, I was the really big woman in the T-shirt with a saying from the Yarn Harlot on the back--I got a lot of compliments on that shirt...)

RM Kahn said...

Boy I wish I could come up with those good excuses when I go hog wild on something like... kitchen gadgets.