Filthy Lies

I know I promised information about a new sock pattern in this post.  Not only have I kept you waiting a shamefully long time, but it turns out I was full of lies about that new pattern bit.  There is a new pattern (there are actually several) and I will natter on about it shortly, but something else simply must be discussed first.

gaimanThat something is the illustrious Mr. Neil Gaiman and his astonishing proximity to my socks.  I have photographic proof (and yes this is a shameless homage to Madam Harlot and her traveling photogenic socks – good ideas are meant to be stolen).  Mr. Gaiman spoke this Sunday at a branch of my local library.  Cleveland (and Ohio in general) has a fantastic library system, but this time they outdid themselves.

Despite still having a bit of a cold, Mr. Gaiman read from both Odd and the Frost Giants and The Graveyard book (both delightful), and took two rounds of questions from the audience.  He followed the discussion with a signing, and was still quite cheerful an hour and a half into it when I made my way to get to the the front of the line.  Instead of having a book signed, I asked if I could take a picture of him with my sock.  I figured it wouldn’t take any longer than getting a signature, and would be ever so much more entertaining.  The woman who was helping to direct the line was a bit flummoxed (she seemed concerned about the needles) but Mr. Gaiman simply asked “will it explode?” and then struck a pose.  Completely charming.  I assured him it wouldn’t (hopefully without babbling too much) and proceeded to blind him with the flash of my camera.  Oops.

More about that new sock next time (and I might even mean it this time).  Also, for those playing along at home the second part of Crenellation is live.

Emergency Preparedness

I just pre-ordered this marvelous t shirt from the fine folks over at Wondermark.  You might want to do something similar.  The gentleman who designed it obviously has his priorities straight.

won-survival-big2

Twist Twist Twist

bines_2Sorry for the disappearing act.  I was off playing in the woods with The Boy and his family.  I don’t, as a general rule, do woods.  The woods are traditionally in that space known as outside, and I am philosophically opposed to outside.  Outside is where the evil scorching sun lives, and his minions (itchy) plants and (creepy) bugs can cause all sorts of mayhem if you spend too much time out there.  It is much safer to stay inside with the books and the air conditioning and the refreshing beverages. The knitting is also generally found inside.

I was, however, able to finish up the first of the newest pair of socks, Bines.  They do, at least, look woodsy, despite my concerted effort to keep them out of any actual woods.  Green and twisty and leafy.  Pretty, see?  And yes, they are full to the brim of twisted stitches (even twisted decreases).  I love twisted stitches and am using them with great abandon.bines_3

Things may be a bit quiet over the next week as I’m getting ready for Sock Summit.  Fear not though, I have procured a wee tiny laptop for taking with me to Sock Summit, so I can natter on endlessly while I’m there.

All that and he fixes cars too…

My car is, well, I don’t want to say elderly. Perhaps proto-vintage is a better term. He (His name is Theodoric and he does not truck with nicknames. In fact, he prefers you to use his full title, Theodoric King of the Ostrogoths, but I don’t encourage this.) will be ten this September. We have a complicated relationship. He’s not yet broken 60,000 miles, yet the total of his repair bills would basically finance a new car. I find this distressing. We’ve been in counseling, and seem to have reached an understanding, but, heeding the once burned twice shy theory of car maintenance, I still approach the mechanic’s shop with caution.

Theodoric just had his 50,000 mile service and passed with flying colors. He was rewarded with a nice soapy carwash of course. Alas, a few days after the service, I started noticing an exciting array of organic material whizzing out of the air vents. A pine needle to the cornea while zipping down the highway is rather distracting. Part of the service had involved a new air filter (or at least that’s what the sticker on the filthy thing they left on the seat in a plastic bag seemed to indicate). I called the mechanic and asked if the two could be related. He said something alarming about small animals building nests in cars which I promptly forgot (lest I suffer another fit of the vapors) and suggested I bring it in for them to take a look. I gathered up my courage (seriously, most mechanic’s trips run around $500) and headed in.

I had been assured it would be a 10-15 minute visit at most, so I planned to just wait. I had, of course, brought my knitting and proceeded to settle in and quietly knit. A few minutes into the wait, Mr. Dreadfully Important Businessman arrived. You could tell he was Dreadfully Important because he tried to cut in line and talked over the mechanic at least three times and was astonishingly huffy when he was told that his car would be ready at the agreed upon time, not at the instant he decided to show up. He flounced (seriously, best flouncing ever performed by a 40 year old bald guy in a suit, very amusing) over to the chair next to mine and proceeded to play with his four phones /organizers /electronic ego boosters.

These proved insufficient to hold his attention and he began to fidget and sigh. These were no ordinary sighs. They were truly epic. They involved every muscle in his body and stirred the leaves of the plant on the windowsill. These were pay – attention – to – me – lest – I – DIE – of – neglect sighs. Now it’s important to note that I have a younger sister. She, in her youth, was a master of this technique (sorry sis, you were a very sigh-prone six year old, mom will back me up). Thanks to heavy early exposure, I am generally immune to this tactic.

Sensing my resistance, Mr. Dreadfully Important Businessman changed his approach. He leaned way over into my personal space and asked what I was doing. Knitting, I replied. Not discouraged by my one word answer, he asked why. Because I like to, I answered. Then, further cementing my opinion of him, he asks “Oh, why don’t you do something useful instead?”

I glanced at his iphone, at that moment displaying his facebook page, then at another phone on which he seemed to be playing some sort of shooting game, then at him and said “Useful…like updating my facebook status and shooting aliens? Thank you, but I’ll pass.” He started to inflate preparatory to what would no doubt have been impressive blustering, but just the the mechanic came by to say my car was ready. Then, in a move that will forever endear him to me, the mechanic (having overheard the previous discussion) said rather loudly that he just loved handknit socks. Marvelous.

In a final stroke of good fortune, the detritus seemed to just have been crud shaken loose in the service and was not the result of nesting creatures. No charge to fix it.

Super Stealth Knitting

What’s that Mr. Security Guard, you’d like to look in my purse? Sure, go right ahead. That? Oh, that’s my knitting…would you like to see? Out comes 3/4 of a sock and scads of yarn. Thank you Mr. Security Guard, I will enjoy the concert.

Now it’s hardly my fault that he was so distracted by the knitting that he didn’t notice the wee tiny camera tucked discretely in the back of the knitting case. Nope, not my doing at all. Such lax security leads to picture taking opportunities. Presenting the charming Mr. Folds:

ben_folds

The Yarn Shop Next to the Brewery

The full phrase is “the yarn shop next to the brewery is open late on the night of the homebrewer’s meeting.” It has become our household’s way of saying serendipity. I realize that the phrase ‘the yarn shop next to the brewery’ is much longer than the word serendipity, but secret phrases needn’t be efficient.

We’ve actually encountered several yarn shops that are brewery adjacent (boy might say breweries that are yarn shop adjacent). We tend to find them on trips, one in New York and one in Bulgaria. Perhaps more importantly, there seems to be a yarn shop next to the brewery where boy’s monthly homebrew meetings are held. More impressively, he pointed it out to me as we were leaving one night (yup, he points out yarn shops). And, much to no one’s surprise, the evening of the meeting is the one night a week it’s open late. Serendipity indeed.

For a variety of reasons, I haven’t yet been able to actually visit the place. All that changes tonight. It simply has to be an auspicious event doesn’t it?