A View from Sierra County

Small town life and politics, lots of knitting, and travels with and without my five burros

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Location: In the Sierra Nevadas, United States

I blog about rural living and social issues, and the creativity that comes from knitting, as well as post random pictures of the Sierras and my burros. "In order to be an artist, one must be deeply rooted in the society" - Simone de Beauvoir


Wednesday, June 07, 2006

One of Those Days

Yup, it was one of those really embarassing days... when you do something stupid and there's just no way to hide it. This is one of my two teaching afternoons for adult ed, and I also usually take the morning to run into town to the main school site and program office. Even though I have not taught full time all year, I guess the stress of the end of the school year could still be blamed for what happened, as I was returning a box of textbooks.

As I pushed my truck door closed with my hip, balancing the box of books, I had a sinking feeling right as I heard the door click. Followed by immediate embarassment and feelings of ditzy blondness... I had left the car keys on the seat, along with my purse, and phone (or at least I thought the phone was in there; turns out it was on the kitchen table - lotta good it does there when we can't get cell service out at our place!).

So, as I go in to an office where the people barely know me yet, to be greeted with the usual "Hi, how are you"s, I have to repeatedly say "Fine, but I just locked my keys in the car"... I mean, how dumb is that? I remembered going through this about four years ago, when my DD was first driving on her own, but I have been behind the wheel as long as Moses...

One employee suggested that the school Police Officer could probably help me; he and I headed back out to the parking lot with his trusty Slim Jim. Now, it's a good thing for him that he is on the right side of the law, and not trying to make a living boosting cars, since the handle of the Slim Jim broke off in his hand while he was trying to get my passenger door open. He headed to the trunk of his patrol car to get another, then yelled that he had to go answer a call - an irate student was assualting a teacher. Yikes!

I had to drag myself back inside and ask to use a phone to call AAA. My supervisor was laughing and saying this story was better than a movie - now I know I will be remembered by the staff. Twenty minutes into my wait for a tow truck, the police officer came back, things under control, so I promised to return his Slim Jim when it got liberated from my car.

I was on my way once again in under an hour, but was now short of time to get the errands done and out to work, and my stomach was grumbling and asking for lunch. Plus, the temperature had climbed into the mid-80s already!

One of those errands was to try and find a longer size 4 cirular needle for Mountain Peaks; I didn't find the Bernat I have been so happy using and decided to continue on my 16-inch until I can get somewhere else, or until I go crazy trying to keep the stitches on. I also didn't find any Trekking yarn for the Trek Along With Me KAL - lucky it is still early in summer, as the search might be the primary Trek for me!

What I did end up succumbing to, at Meadowfarm Yarn Studio, my LYS, was Cat Bordi's book, Socks Soar on Two Circular Needles. I was looking for Trekking yarn when I overheard owner Ellen describing the process to a customer. Since so many of you have recommended socks for travel knitting (thanks!), I listened in, then went looking for the book. At the checkout, Ellen told me how she had converted her employee/instructor Eileen, who had claimed she was going to stick to good, old-fashioned DPs until she started getting requests from students to "show me how to do that circular sock thingie".

Now, I USED to knit socks, in fact lots of them for the whole family. I got to a point where my hands were rebelling, backed away from the DPs, and haven't returned in many years. Last year, I purchased an antique circular sock knitting machine and have been sporadically learning how to use it (I can make a very nice tube, for those who are nosy and want to know my progress). DH was looking very forlorn yesterday as I thumbed through the latest Sierra Trading Post Shoes catalog (I secretly adore shoes, which is why I was not aghast when DD reported the DES - dear eldest son - was aiming to acquire 30 shoes while he works this summer for a local sporting goods store, complete with significant discount; like Mother, like Son, I say). I pointed out a few different pairs of very functional work socks, on sale at terrific prices, to which he could only answer in a barely audible whisper, "want sock machine socks".

I read the entire introduction while waiting to pick up a prescription at the pharmacy, and decided to stop back by Meadowfarm on my way out of town to pick up a pair of 24-inch Addi Turbos in size 4 (wait, I could use one for my shawl if this doesn't work out - lightening is striking me and I will resume when the smoke settles), and give this great invention/"unvention" a whirl. DH will be surprised to discover that, if all goes well this weekend, he will end up with my first pair of circularly knitted socks, made in worsted for practice purposes... I know he will be happy with any socks that come from my needles - so nice to be cherished for my knitting. With DES, it's the hats. I guess I must have done something right in spite of being so ditzy.

I am happy to finally be able to reveal that the recipient of my Dye-O-Rama project is Margene. I knew that if I mentioned anything on the blog about dyeing yarn with cochineal, she would guess, since I had asked her at the beginning if she were vegetarian (cochineal dye comes from the insects of the same name, sacrificed in the name of the crimson dye they produced; that is how the fabric for "Redcoats" was originally dyed). I put together a photo essay/tutorial about the process for the Dye-O-Rama blog, which you can read here. Interestingly enough, although I used alum to mordant my Knitpicks Color Your Own fingering wool, I ended up with lavender yarn instead of crimson - luckily that was on her color wish list as well (whew!). I had ordered two skeins, just in case I screwed up the first one really badly, and so have one of my own to make a shawlette or pair of socks with later this summer... and I also dyed a skein of 300 yards of silk from Aurora Silk, where I got my cochineal bug powder, with the leftover bucket of dye - I have NO idea what I will do with it yet, but it is very decorative slowly drying in the bathroom.


Blogger Jennifer said...

The dyed yarn is very pretty! Margene is very lucky!

Bummer about your car keys. Oh well, it'll make a great story for years to come. ;)

7:16 PM  
Anonymous SpiderWomanKnits said...

Glad you got your keys out and despite the embarrassment at least it's one of those things we've all been through so people can relate.

The yarn you dyed looks lovely! Lucky Margene and lucky you. Can't wait to see what you guys make of it :-)

Have a great time at Estes!

8:49 PM  
Blogger beadlizard said...

I got some Trekking from Rumplestilstkin in Sacto. You might see if she has some? --Sylvia

12:28 AM  
Blogger margene said...

You can look at the experience as a great way to be remembered.
I love the yarn and your documentation on the DyeORama blog was a great read! Thank you for such a memorable yarn.

5:17 AM  
Blogger KnitNana said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

9:17 AM  
Blogger KnitNana said...

I'll never forget my mom locking her keys in the car when we were traveling in VT. At that time, you could use a wire coat hanger to unlock. We were in a McDonalds parking lot, she pulled out her change-purse to pay for food, and shut the door with the keys in the ignition. She was mortified. I thought it was a hoot, but I was a bratty teen at the time. Not sure I would laugh if it happened to me now. Fortunately they had a coathanger in the McD's! But in a way, I laughed b/c I knew my mom would take care of it - she was a competent woman. Like we all are!
Love your hand-dyed yarn! And am now wondering what you'll do with all those DPs you have stored in your Oressa DP case!

9:19 AM  
Blogger Stephanie said...

:) the yarn is gorgeous... I'm just now getting into natural dyes myself - I belive to get crimson, you need to add cream of tartar to the mordant bath to use with the bugs :D

Was wondering if you'd had a chance to experiment with mordanting using the sun for heat...

9:05 AM  

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