Thursday, January 08, 2009

Don't Let Me Forget My Teddy Bear.....

Oh, everybody have fun tonight,

Everybody wang chung tonight...

("Wang Chung", Peter Wolf)
* * I just love that song.

Okay, so I'm going to New York in the morning.

Which means that today is hectic while I do last-minute laundry and packing---while also trying to accomplish all the jotted reminders on my myriad of obsessive sticky-notes. Getting organized is difficult when trying to determine just how few clothes, cosmetics, and hair appliances I can get away with in an attempt to increase packing room for knitting stuff---especially since I've decided that since I can't predict what knitting mood I'll be in at any given time, I might as well take along ALL my knitting projects....

I volunteered to go to New York in order to help Blaine's step-father take care of Blaine's mother after her knee surgery. When I informed the other family members here in Kansas that I had volunteered for such duty, they genuflected at me. But I'm actually looking forward to a week in New York with Blaine's parents---except for the fact that they don't have a computer. I swear, I'll go through internet-withdrawal without a computer. But oh well....such is life. I will return around the 18th--- unless they spoil me so much up there that I decide to spend an extra week. (I am bribable.....)

(Is "bribable" a word?...)

Anyhoo, I'm going to New York by train--what fun!---because I adore riding the Amtrak train.

Hmmm.....what to pack....what to pack....

I have a long, loving history with Amtrak trains. I've ridden them all my life. I took trains to my grandmother's house while in the university. I took the train back and forth on holiday breaks when I was in nursing school. And then I took the train back and forth when I was in the process of divorcing Blaine a few years ago, but let's not go there...

(But I also returned to Kansas via train when I came back to Blaine last year, so it's okay to go there...)

Whenever I ride the Amtrak train I get a sleeper car so that I can spread out all my stuff. By stuff I mean paperback crime novels, knitting, crocheting, pattern books, and my alarm clock. I need an alarm clock because I'm always terrified on overnight trips that the conductor will forget to wake me up and I'll subsequently awaken to find myself 800 miles past wherever I was supposed to disembark.

The only problem with my train trip tomorrow is that I won't arrive in New York until Saturday afternoon, meaning I'll spend the night on the train--- which is always fun. But the reason the trip is so extended is because I'll have a 7-hour layover in Chicago tomorrow---which is not so fun.

I don't really like the Chicago Amtrak train station. It's as huge and confusing as the airport in Los Angeles, and it can get so crowded and busy in there that it's a veritable madhouse. Although as a First Class passenger I will be allowed to do my waiting in the station's Metroliner Lounge, that is of little comfort to me because a train station waiting room is still a waiting room after all--- even if it does have a wide-screen, high-definition TV and a coffee machine. Because you still end up sitting there forever while watching the clock tick.

And so, in the immortal words of my idol, Yul Brynner, in that good ole movie, "The Ten Commandments":

And so it is Googled, and so it shall be done.....

(Okay, okay, maybe he didn't say it in those EXACT words, but he would have if he'd had Google....)

Anyway, Google found a yarn store in Chicago and---PLEASE DON'T TELL BLAINE---but it's only a mile away from the train station. It's a temptingly-named place called "Loopy Yarns". And their website claims they have boat-loads of knitting supplies and yarn.

I would really like to go to Loopy Yarns.

But that being said, let us sincerely hope that if I did decide to make a little side excursion that I wouldn't get lost on the streets of Chicago or else tarry too long at Loopy Yarns, causing me to miss my connecting train--- because Blaine would absolutely have a conniption fit and kill-me-and-kill-me-and-kill-me-dead if he discovered that I'd left the safety of the train station to walk a mile in a huge city like Chicago simply to go to yet another yarn store.

It would irk him for three reasons:

1. Because if one misses one's train, then one forfeits one's ticket;

2. Because he is of the opinion that I already have "plenty of damn yarn"; and,

3. Because he thinks that somebody as absent-minded as me would most likely get into some sort of misfortune if I were to wander about alone in a "big city".

Blaine accuses me of being absent-minded simply because I sometimes bump into things with my shopping cart whenever we're in Walmart. But I can't help it if I don't always notice where I'm going in Walmart. There's so much sensory overload in there that I get totally lost.

So what if I knocked over a damn 6-foot pyramid of Folger's Coffee containers? And so what if I got my cart entangled in a stupid rack of men's NASCAR boxer shorts which shouldn't have been there in the first damn place? It could happen to anybody.

In order to help me endure the long, boring wait in Chicago's Metroliner Lounge, Blaine very kindly bought me some paperback crime novels to read. And he also turned over his treasured "Sprint" duffle bag for me to pack all my knitting into--- especially all the numerous colors of the Joker's Wild cardigan, for which I've gotta do the dang sleeves.

Blaine is a computer-guy at Sprint (God only knows what he does over there) and so our home is full of Sprint coffee cups, Sprint pens, Sprint keychains, Sprint notepads, and Sprint sweat-shirts--- most of which he doesn't mind me using or wearing. But he has always been territorial about his prized Sprint duffle bag, and so I can only assume that his sudden generosity means that he is DETERMINED that I have all the necessary items to ensure that I stay firmly rooted at the train station instead of meandering around urban Chicago.

And tonight he plans on making a fresh loaf of his homemade bread for me to take on the trip with me since I am partial to slabs of that wonderful bread slathered with creamery butter---a treat which he probably thinks might also diminish the chances of me getting the urge to leave the Metroliner Lounge, say, in search of snack food.

And so finally, after much lecturing from Blaine about the fact that Chicago is a "big city" in which a "lone female can fall prey to any number of dangers", and also the fact that "I'll have everything I need with me and thus no reason to leave the train station", I looked him right in the eyeballs and sincerely vowed NOT to leave the confines of the Metroliner Lounge in the Chicago train station for any reason whatsoever.

But I'm going to Loopy Yarns.

I need to check out their collection of self-patterning yarns to make entrelac stuff with---because I'm on an entrelac binge.

I started two pairs of entrelac socks out of fingering weight yarn from a totally fabulous sock pattern by Sandi Rosner (in the Winter 2008 edition of "Knitter's" magazine). I'm making one pair out of some blue Regia Jacquard--

and another in some pink Opal (both socks to which I added some contrast color to the top of their cuffs just for fun)---

I love seeing how the colors pattern out so interestingly, just as Sandi stated she intended in her sock design. I think Sandi Rosner is a genius to come up with this pattern.

I had never done anything in entrelac before these socks and I fell instantly in love with the technique. I am so enamored of this technique, in fact, that I'm trying to fiddle around and come up with a dk or worsted weight version for some boot, clog, or house socks. I'm using Checkheaton Country 8-ply ("Prints") with some stash Debbie Bliss Cashmerino for the contrast color.

Hell, I like this technique so much that I want to make a bigger project in entrelac---hence the need for some more colorful, self-patterning yarn.

So I'm going to Loopy Yarns.

But God help me if any unfortunate snafu happens to me in Chicago...

I used to be pretty skilled at making up what I thought were plausible "excuses" to Blaine for various misadventures. But I'm just not entirely sure that I've got anything left in the old excuse-repertoire anymore....

...because I used them all up in the old days during.... um.... some past escapades when I used to .... er... drink a lot. But, thankfully, I'm sober these days and rarely need any of those old "excuses" anymore....

Oh God, I'm still trying to forget the time, years ago, when I told Blaine I was going to the 7-11 store to "get a Chunky candy bar"--- but I really went to the liquor store instead---- and then accidentally locked my stupid keys in the car....

But dammit, I'm going to Loopy Yarns.

(And so it is Googled, and so it shall be done....)

(I'll see ya when I get back) *


Anonymous said...

Since you're determined to go to the yarn shop, maybe a taxi from the train station would be good. You could probably also call one to get you back to the station.

Lizardknits said...

I believe Chicago has taxi cabs available .....

Anonymous said...

damn, i wish i lived closer to chicago, i could meet you there.

Maggie said...

Oh, Bo, I didn't check my blog, the hat is in Fair Isle yarns, and I have plenty to share. . .and the magazine with the pattern, I could come up with a 'working copy' of the pattern to lend to you..and some yarn to 'practice' on...
I love Chicago, and yes, I do go there alone, down to the Mexican markets, the odd shops here and there and no one even tries to pan handle me. . .We won't let Blaine know about me, he would consider me a bad influence,...