Wednesday, March 31, 2010


The Kindness of Stranglers

(I may have used that post title before; if so, please forgive me, however it makes me snicker like the 12-year-old boy that I secretly am)

I don't know if I've mentioned it, but Carry and Tracy had decided to fly to Stitches (seeing it was considerably more sensible than driving) and we were going through all sorts of angst trying to figure out how to get our stock there without going bankrupt. This was truly a mad, mad undertaking for two small indies. In our defense, it had seemed like a good idea at the time. And we were drunk.

Mad or not, it was something I had to do. Now that I'm more well again (not completely well, I still go into the dark more often than I'd like, but I know how to get out again, and that's what keeps me whole) I was determined to play with the big dogs. I refuse to get back on the porch.

Faced with a lack of funds and some truly impossible logistics, I declared that the only thing that made sense would be for me to drive, as I had not yet booked a flight.

I was going to get a trailer hitch put on the car, but that was almost $300 and then renting a trailer on top of it was impossible. I decided to trust to the fates, and hope that my car could carry as much shit as I thought it could.

Turns out, it could.

I had decided that I couldn't possibly do the drive in one day (and this was before I had realized I wouldn't be sleeping ahead of time) so I needed to break my trip somewhere in Oregon.

I couldn't afford a hotel and had thought perhaps I'd just sleep in the rest stations on the I-5. It's quite possible, but it turned out not to be necessary.

At least, not this time. (please note here that this is once again the literary device known as foreshadowing.)

I flung out a comment on Facebook that I was driving and would need to sleep in Oregon at some point. Not five minutes later, one of the mad, lovely knitters who helps make our community such an amazing thing popped up with a message ... "Need a place to stay?" I'd never met her, and in fact we have precisely one friend in common. A friend (Duffy) who I had only met once in person.

I said "Yes, please!" and then we chatted a bit online and she decide that I was unlikely to steal her dog and rape her fridge and so on, and that it would be good if I stayed there on the Tuesday night. Um, I think it was Tuesday.

I'm not so good with days, apparently.

After picking up stock from Tracy, and re-starting the car, I then headed south. Tracy is wise beyond her years, and had bought me a cellphone so I wouldn't be stuck on the road without a way to get hold of anyone. Oh Tracphone, how I love thee! It saved my ass, without a doubt. (more foreshadowing)

I somehow lost two hours while in transit (not only am I shit with days, I'm also clearly shit with time) and pulled in to Portland (actually not Portland, some place off to the side that I think starts with an H) somewhere around 7, 8pm. It was now close to two days since I'd slept and I was starting to go stupid. Beth and I and a friend of hers whose name escapes me completely now went out for a burger and then after her littledog (Foco) had jumped all over me and kissed me, I slept for hours and hours in a very comfortable bed under one of the most beautiful blankets you've ever seen (from Guatemala, I think). I woke and Beth made me eggs and toast and some of The Best Coffee EVAR and was on my way again, warmed by the hospitality and kindness of stranglers ...

to be continued ...

Tuesday, March 30, 2010


Preparation Is Everything!

Clearly, therefore, I have nothing.

A week or two before Stitches I had the usual pre-show meltdown. I emailed both Jen Van Calcar and The Tsock Tsarina in a state of mild hysteria, only to be kindly (kind of) reminded that a) I do this before every show, b) I'm a bit of a twat and c) my yarn sucks and I won't sell anything so I should shut up, stop whining and have a beer. (OK, they didn't say the part about the yarn sucking. Beer may have been mentioned.)

I took their words to heart and relaxed, content in the knowledge that I had tons of yarn, I had always had tons of yarn and everything would be perfect.

The night before I left to drive to Stitches I realized that I DIDN'T HAVE ENOUGH YARN AND NEVER WOULD HAVE ENOUGH YARN AND WHAT WAS I THINKING AND I HAD TO DYE MORE YARN!!1! (before you ask, yes, I had run out of beer by that point).

Anyhow, so I stayed up all night and dyed yarn, partially dried it, packed it up along with the stuff that was already dry (separate bags, goofy), BOUNCED on the trunk of the car to get it shut 'cause it was so full, and headed out to Seattle. Without having had any sleep. None. At all.

Yet again I headed out to a 'fest with damp yarn in my car. Apparently I'm a rabbit of habit.

I arrived in Seattle way, way after I had planned (as usual) and after a little bumbling about and driving in circles I showed up at Tracy's house, ready to load her stock into the car. By this time I'd popped the back seat down and so there was lots of room for everything. That little car holds a hell of a lot.

That little car does not, alas, like being left parked outside for a couple of hours with the headlights left on.

My departure from Seattle was delayed slightly by the need to find jumper cables and get the car going again ...

to be continued ...

Monday, March 29, 2010


Do You Know The Way to San Jose?

I certainly do.

Anywhere else in California? Not so much. But San Jose, yes, indeedie -- and I'm telling you, that's an important place to know the way to.

That is unless, like me, you have no need whatsoever to be there.

The whole madness of Stitches almost killed me. I knew I was nowhere near ready to go play with the big kids, but I just wanted to go so bad, there was nothing going to stop me.

(Well, apart from San Jose.)

to be continued ...

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