I mean, really, three Lexie bags - two shown here with me, Lexie and my "classic" Parfait Lady B - at greater than 50% off each - how does this make me a 'ho? How? I think it makes me a smart shopper, a value shopper, like the coupon days and the dumpster diving days only without the paper cuts and three day old garbage. Mr. Steve called me a bag 'ho. Mr. Wonderful sighed a little and took the receipts and seemed to agree with Mr. Steve, but without coming right out and saying it. Girl and Miss Tray-Tray looked a little concerned. Acceptance is the key really. If you accept me for the bag magpie I am, then life is so much more . . . comfortable. I am weak in the presence of a good bag. I cannot resist. Resistance is futile, and unfulfilling. Fulfilling is a Darling, a Trinity and a Gem for $40, $45 and $12 respectively. Passing them up would have been equivalent to refusing Buy 1-Get 2 Free toilet paper. It would be a poor economic choice to keep walking. And with such an exceptional enabler in the personage of Cirilia Rose there was no way out for me. Although...I must say, even Cirilia looked a little concerned when I bought the third one. I shall make it up to Mr. Wonderful by buying him one of these - Lexie has a husband. He makes bags, too. Bags that are perfect for a laptop, or for carrying your personal defibrillator. If you need one.
But, as usual, I digress. I have mostly recovered from my jaunt to CGOA/TKGA Chain Link in Manchester, NH. The first day, Wednesday, was professional development day. I arrived at the Radisson early. I went to registration and received my Coats and Clark Goody Bag. There was yarn, some of which I traded for other yarn, so this picture is not really representative of the bag's original contents. I had some TLC Baby Sparkle that just does not feel good to me, so I gave it away. I kept the Moda-Dea Tweedle Dee, a "shaded effect yarn" (read Noro knock-off) made with acrylic and a little wool waved over the pot, and Washable Wool, which is a cabled 100% superwash wool that I think I should play with, and one skein of Red Heart Hula in a color called Limeade. Accurate, too. Yowza. Also a bunch of crochet hooks for my friends with the 12 kids who all do stuff like that. I did some swapping and trading so that I would end up with enough of the Tweedle Dee and Washable Wool to make into something, should I desire it. Professional development day was great. Although crochet-focused I gleaned a huge amount of information.
Thursday started badly. I got into the wrong room before class - I was supposed to be in Curriers, but ended up in Salon C. Guess what they were learning in Salon C??? Mittens, two at a time on one long circular. I left. I did not say "HEY!! Wait a second! I do that, too!! I just wrote a book on socks that way!!" I also did not have hooks, thinking it was knitting day, so was even later because I had to sprint to my room, grab hooks, and sprint back to the correct location. Persnickety was waiting for me. We learned beaded crochet flatwork from Melody Macduffee, who I hope comes to Webs soon to teach overlay crochet. Her beaded crochet jewelry is amazing and the overlay is just too cool. I am not sure about beads and crochet. Although I enjoyed it, it's time-consuming. I can see that in the future, when I have more time, I will enjoy this more. I want to make myself some jewelry. I don't like buying it, and this way it can be exactly what I want it to be. I tried on a cabochon bracelet that just spoke to me. It wants me to make it in different colors and with a different stone. It may become a long-term project I fiddle with now and then. These are not instant gratification projects. Here is Persnickety with her hook and beads. She's more dedicated than I. I took a lot of breaks. ADD Crocheter, that's me. ADD person, period. After class we went to Margaritas for dinner. I have been to the one in Keene, NH. What I did not know, or had forgotten, is that Thursday night is ladies night. 40% off your total tab if you sit in the lounge. For 40% I can sit about anywhere. They make a nice Margarita. Salsa is good although I'd like a fresher flavor myself. No pictures of dinner - what happens when margaritas are served stays where the margaritas are served. Until you make it a road trip and go shopping at the Market Street Preview. Ohhhh...hey - the bag thing makes much more sense now. Disinhibited by my tequila, I bought bags! Huh. That does not explain the cashmere though. That was Friday, and there was no margarita lunch. By the way, Thursday night in Manchester is also apparently "cruise the main drag with your Harleys till midnight" night. Just so you know. Ear plugs would have been beneficial.
At Thursday's Market Street Preview I found Lexie Barnes, the Dale of Norway baby book at Nordic Fiber Arts, Habu, and a scrabble tile with a little loop finding on it intended as a stitch marker. I also found - but did NOT buy an amazing amount of shiny, sparkly jewelry. Glass. Lots of beads. Shiny pretty beads. Persnickety bought a squiggle. I found tons of yarn that I did not buy, bags I did not buy, sock yarns I did not buy, books I did not buy, and generally, considering, did a huge amount of not buying. I did not, for example, buy the monstrous skein of bamboo from Habu which, when dyed, would make a lovely baby set. I did succumb to their stainless steel scarf materials. I still wish I'd bought the bamboo. Tragically Brooks Farm did not appear - tragically for me, but Mr. Wonderful should be eternally grateful for flooding in Texas.
Friday we had Twined Mittens with Beth Brown-Reinsel, who also should come to Webs. (Reinsel, by the way, is pronounced like pencil. Who knew?!) Wonderful class. Love the mittens, loved learning the technique. I knitted English for the whole day and no one died, although I was interminably SLOOOOOW which I found painful, especially after the slow progress on Thursday. I would love for her to come and teach some of her ethnic classes, or the gansey class, or just anything. She even has a class on reading your knitting which I think every knitter on earth should know how to do, and a Fair Isle Tam class. We spent lunch shopping more. This is where the biggest accident happened, and I am really lucky it was not worse. I bought cashmere. 100% cashmere that I cannot excuse under any heading other than "oh-my-god-it-feels-like-heaven-i-have-to-have-it". I blame Kathy for introducing me to the fiber. I have resisted for a very very long time. When people talk about cashmere I shrug a little, maybe even snicker internally, proud that I am not so weak as to fall in the face of fiber. My yarn strength is relatively good. I avoid full price. I avoid luxury fibers. I am fairly strong in the presence of most yarns. Color will get me long before texture does. But what happens when color and texture combine? How I managed to walk away with only one skein of this is still beyond me. Just Our Yarn, which spells JOY for those of us who love acronyms, has this...this...this delicacy. Delight. Dangerous decadent delectable delight. It is lace weight cashmere, 500 yards, hand-dyed, called Myne. (MYNE ALL MYNE!!!) They tell me one skein will do the Swallowtail shawl from Interweave Fall 2006. I hope so. I also fell hard for some Interlacements, but restricted my purchasing to two small skeins of Tiny Toes for sampling and swatching, colors 204 and 216. I almost ended up with a huge skein of their sock yarn in a color way that can't be reproduced. The dye did not take evenly and the result is this spattered tie-dye look that I LOVED. I resisted, because I love my husband. And that is the ONLY reason. In fact, any resisting I did has to do with that once simple fact. Some failure to resist as well. I saved a fortune on those Lexie bags.
After class and shopping I began my trek home. The drive back from Manchester always seems so much faster than the drive out. I suppose this is true of all drives, or most anyway, but it seemed to fly by. One minute I was in Bedford, the next Dublin. Five or six seconds passed and I was buying a latte in Keene, and then home - POOF - just like that.
Saturday I had class - Knitting 2, our fifth session, in which students cast on their hats on a circular needle, having learned how to use DPN the week before. After Knit 2, I had a new workshop, but one that I think I like. It was all about blocking. Students made their own blocking boards using foam and gingham and sticky tape and some special sticky board thing. Next time we're using cardboard and duct tape. The trouble with the first run of a class is that students are, to some extent canaries in a cage. I dump them down the mine of my rough outline and vague plan. Nobody died, so we tweak and move on. This was a great group, with Mary Frances and Leslie from my last sock class and Diane and Kathleen from...a bunch of stuff, and three new folks. Leslie brings her assistance dog Angie along. Angie is amazingly well behaved and spends the entire class under the table unless needed to fetch a dropped needle or swatch. I think she's beginning to know that when I sit down class must be nearly over. At the least it's time to come over for a pet and scratch. My next dog has to be primarily poodle. I adore this dog.
Sunday Mr. Wonderful and I went off in quest of Life Buoy soap. We are assured that this will aid us in our deer deterrent program. When we first got here, Mr. Wonderful loved the deer. He wanted to see the deer. He wanted to see them in the morning in the winter on the bank outside our room. He wanted to see them on his little jaunts in the woods. He wanted to see them up close and personal. They amble through the yard, feed on the bank behind the house, sip from the brook. Very back to nature, no? They also ate the tops off of our new fruit frees. I am all done with the deer. He's seen enough. Mr. Wonderful startled one in the front yard when he took the dog out the other day. Although I love them I did not buy apple trees to feed the deer. I was leaning more toward feeding, oh, ME?!?! We've also got a fox and/or raccoon and/or skunk and/or bear problem as evidenced by the removal of every single berry just as it reaches peak ripeness. We are assured that Life Buoy will cure the deer problem. The only place we could locate Life Buoy was the Vermont Country Store. This is not a hardship, just a quick zip up 91 north to exit 6, Rockingham. I love VCS. They've got samples of food. They have these crackers, Vermont Common Crackers, that everyone loves. I search till I find tortilla chips and use them for sampling dips and all. If you remember it from childhood, it's probably there. They've got all manner of old and cool gadgets, foods, etc. When the kids were little we'd stop here on the way to or from various places and let them eat their way through the samples. See how cheap I am?
I found a fantastic Welsh cheddar - well, Welsh being relative here as the cheese is made in Vermont not Wales, but you get the gist - made in the Welsh fashion; a Welsh style cheddar. I love this cheese. It's made by Cobb Hill and is called Four Corners Caerphilly.MmmMMmmMM. I also found the original Fisher Price chatter phone, and a whole host of old and very cool toys - reproductions, but still. They had a metal slinky!! And it makes the Slinky sound. It's painted, though - apparently we're all lucky to be alive as the original slinky was made of galvanized steel and had, as a result, lead on the outer surface. There were Rockem Sockem robots, and the little doll bottles that look like they're emptying when you use them. It was wonderful. I thought about getting myself a chatter phone. I figure Marvel might be jealous though, if I start talking to the chatter phone instead...
Oh, under the Cobb Hill cheese is the garment I am currently calling diamonds in my oatmeal. I am hoping the body will be done today. It's kind of cool and I like it a lot. There shall be a deeper V, the cables front and back, just simple but not dull.
Last but not least - Saturday I went into the mall for foam and fabric and such. I parked away from other cars which is my habit - more so since we were assaulted by the black Tahoe thing. When I came out I saw this - apparently they just can't stay away from each other. It's happened before. Usually it's a wave and a grin, or a point and wave and grin, etc. Once, on the highway, I was waving and grinning and nodding and thumbs-upping with another Fit owner who came zooming up behind me to beep and wave and grin and sign right back. They're social little cars and like to find new friends!