Saturday, February 27, 2010
Man, this place is mental. Good mental, that is.
Knitters, weavers, spinners crocheters, young folks,
I'm having a hoot, although I'm becoming distressingly aware of exactly how hard concrete is.
If you're here at Stitches and haven't come by yet, please pop over to Booth 1242 and say "hey". I'll be the small demented rabbit standing at the front of the booth practicing my new obsession -- making cord on a Lucet.
No, srsly. It's the most fun I've had with my clothes on in weeks.
Thursday, February 25, 2010
The Bunnie Has Landed
Made it here to Stitches. It took forever and now I have to fall on my face. Setup is in um, six hours ...
Better report tomorrow -- I just wanted you to know I was alive, and stuff.
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Oh The People You Meet, When They're Flaming Down the Street
(with apologies to Sesame Street)
Today marked the day that the Olympians came flaming through our community, complete with honking cars, screaming school children and so forth. Despite my reservations (read: major opposition) to this whole Olympics thing going on, my daughter's school was going, and I figured it would be a good idea to go with her. I mean, this was the only time we were going to see this and it's not like my pointing out that while they're spending giant buckets of cash while we have people starving on our streets was going to make them slap their foreheads and say, "Dude, you're right! Thanks for telling us; we'll stop right away."
We stood at the side of the road waving little paper flags and shouting obscure cheers ("Eh, Oh, Canada Go" or some such nonsense) while endless cars paraded past. The flame finally came through, waved cheerily in the air by a completely-unrecognizable Karen Magnussen (to be fair, I don't think I'd seen her for 40 years), and about a minute later, the whole shebang was over.
I'm not entirely sure it was worth missing sleep for, however there you go. I've now got a little moment of history to share with Her Surreal Highness (who will have forgotten it in about six weeks).
I've now been up for over 24 hours and have to work again tonight, so tales of our trip to the farm (and mislabeled calves, confused goats and pissed-off geese) will have to wait while I catch up on my ugly sleep (yes, I'm so damned hot that beauty sleep is completely unnecessary, and instead I go for ugly sleep, just to even the field a little for mere mortals).
I have, however, managed to update my store a little (link on the sidebar to the left) and there are another six skeins of "SF3" and eight of "Aurora" available. I have a couple of other things I'm going to try to skein at work tonight (two skeins of a new colourway: Heart of Darkness, and some of the heavy sock yarn I had a month or two back. May not happen -- I'm busy knitting some samples and there's only so much I can get done while catering to the calls of the terminally confused (no rilly, you'd have thought there was a full moon or something last night) but I shall do my best.
And now, I think I'd better sleep before I do myself some sort of (further) injury. Off to dream of incendiary sporting events, my pretties ...
Saturday, February 06, 2010
Madness Takes Its Toll
Please have exact change ready.
It's all madness, all the time Chez Lapin these days.
The car situation has been resolved.
My parents, FSM bless their little addled noggins, decided to buy themselves a newer, smaller car, and give their old one to me. I am now the proud owner of a 2001 Chevy Cavalier -- the only North American car I've ever owned (apart from the Mercury Sable which blew up 8 days after I bought it, which has gone to the scrappers and about which we shall never again speak). It's too small, really, for business stuff, seeing yarn takes up a hell of a lot of room, however I'm going to see about having a trailer hitch installed and getting the wiring done so that I can just rent one of those little U-Haul trailers (and possibly eventually buy one).
It's got less than 100,000 km on it (60,000 miles for my friends south of the 49th), it has brakes, it's been maintained properly, and it has two scrapes (bumpers, nothing major) and a slightly-dented side panel (victim of last year's insane snows).
As for hauling, it's only a four-cylinder, but then again I'm hauling yarn, not lead ingots. It'll do us just fine.
You can't believe how grateful and relieved I am to have a reliable car.
As for the rest of the madness ... the main bathroom is fine, the second bathroom is completely festooned with brightly-dyed skeins of big fat singles which I will be selling as "weaving supplies", although they're also completely knittable. 100% New Zealand wool and I love it to death. I think I have another bunch of it that I'll dye today after I've had a little sleep, and then ship off to Seattle to my partner in crime, so I can haul it to California in just another couple of weeks.
I've discovered a hell of a lot of yarn that I skeined and then for some reason left on the loveseat (in the dining room ... we're about to get rid of it). I had thought I might be getting a little low on stock yarn, having spent a lot of my yarn $ on the blown-up car (oops, we weren't going to talk about that again). I moved some coats off the loveseat tonight and found skein after skein of undyed yarn. I just got another 12 cones in from my suppliers, so I suspect that I'll be fine. Right now the living room is piled high with many, many undyed skeins.
The box of dyed skeins that have to just be reskeined so they look tidy and then get ballbands put on them is huge. There has to be far more than 100 skeins in there now. My first 50 skeins that are ready to go have already hit Seattle. There's going to be a lot of yarn. I haven't even started on the fibre.
We can occasionally find a place to sit, but I think the entire family is resigned to the fact that for the next two weeks it's gonna be all yarn, all the time.
I'll try to get some pictures up later today. It's just utterly bonkers.
All I can say is that my family is just lucky I'm not trying to make them actually eat yarn. Or help me skein.
And now ... to sleep, perchance to skein ...
Monday, February 01, 2010
Today Is The Worst Day of the Rest of Your Life
Man, my car-ma is all messed up.
Remember that nice car I got a couple of years ago? The Nissan Altima?
Well, it's now got well over 387,000 km on it ($23.95 for my friends in the US, if I remember my conversion charts properly). Anyhow, it's tired as hell and rattles like a maniac and W (my friend and mechanic) thinks that the strut tower is broken. It's fixable, but it's no longer a long-distance car. The last trip I took to Portland in September was its last cross-border adventure.
So he'd been on the lookout for a good car for us, and found a Mercury Sable wagon that fit the bill. I had been given some $ for my birthday, and my parents lent me a little, and I used some loot I'd been saving up for yarn stock for Stitches, and I bought it about two weeks ago, thinking I'd finally gotten a car big enough to carry me, a helper, my event tent and display items and my yarn and roving. Finally, I had a car in which I could do it up right. It's big, it's clean, it has a new transmission and head gasket in it, and it's only got 167,000 km on it. In "Rabbitch speak", that's practically a new car.
Saturday, I had to go to Sumas, just over the border, to pick up a couple of cones of yarn. W said he'd like to get the car up on a hoist and check a couple of things out, but the place that had my yarn was only open until 1 so I said I'd go there first and see him around 2, 2:30.
If only he'd insisted that I wait. If only I had some sort of psychic ability.
If only the fucking car hadn't blown up.
I beetled along the highway to Exit 92 (and I'll tell you, that car handled NICELY at speed ... I wasn't exactly booking it, but we got to about 110, 120 ... that's 43 pounds for you folks in the US) and all was well. I took the exit, burbled along for a block or two and then there was this STENCH. And then I noticed that there was some smoke coming out from under the hood.
Now, I'm no mechanic, but this seemed wrong to me. I took a right (illegally) and hauled ass into a parking lot and switched off the car -- FAST. My hands were shaking, but at least nothing had actually gone on fire so I figured I was ahead of the game.
Dude, I set my kitchen on fire -- TWICE -- in November. My new rule is "if it's not visibly on fire you're likely ok."
But I was scared.
I went and got something to eat. I hadn't eaten yet that day and my blood sugar was low, plus I wanted to give the car time to cool down. When I got back, I noticed that in my panic I'd parked pretty badly, so I moved the car back a few feet into a more reasonable semblance of responsible parking. When I got out, I noticed that there was a puddle of cherry red fluid. Again, I'm no mechanic but I know what transmission fluid looks like. That, plus the ocean of oil around the car led me to believe that it would be unwise to try to drive it the 50 miles back home.
I called W, he didn't answer. I called Mr. Assmuppet, and he told me that possibly the transmission had blown so it would be a bad idea to try to drive home. He called W and the general consensus was that I should leave the car there and take transit home.
Mr. Assmuppet did offer to come get me in the Altima, but he had to sleep, he was working that night. I had packed my book and my knitting, thinking I might have to wait a long time at the border, so I was ok for amusement. I told him to go to sleep, and headed for transit.
Now, as disasters go, this wasn't so bad. I was parked right in front of the Autoplan place, so I could buy two days of insurance for the new van and leave it there. I was right in front of Wendy's, so I managed to get some food. I was also on the Canadian side of the border and right in front of Zeller's, which had a working pay phone. There was a bus stop right outside of Zeller's and I had a bus pass and some money in my pocket.
And I wasn't in Haiti.
It really wasn't that awful.
I broke down at 12:30. After a burger and a bunch of calls, I got on the bus about 2:00. I took one bus to the mall ... and then two hours later the next bus showed up. Yes, two hours. But I got a bottle of water and some chocolate and sat in the mall warm and dry and read my book until the bus showed up. And then I took that bus, and then another bus and then the skytrain and then another bus and then yet another (if you don't feel like doing the math, that's five buses and a skytrain.)
I finally got home at about 8:30pm.
So now I'm home and my new car is doing an Exxon Valdez in front of Zellers, about 80 km from here.
I'll find out in a few hours if we can find a way to tow it up here without bankrupting me.
The very worst thing about the whole event is that when I cleared all of my stuff out of the car, I discovered that the shopping bag that I had to put everything into was advertising Corona Light. I had to spend eight hours in public with people thinking that not only do I drink Corona, but that I drink Corona freaking Light. I may never live that one down.
All is well. I'm safe, and I'm still not in Haiti.
But MAN, it sort of sucked to be me this weekend.