Saturday, November 18, 2006

Replenishing my stash

The week-long movie screening cram session, which put a serious crimp in my knitting time, came to a merciful end Friday morning. I realize that most people don't think seeing six movies in three days is work at all. Trust me, it is. You feel like you're constantly on the run, not to mention having to endure a good percentage of mediocre to bad stuff and dealing with a certain theater's shortcomings.

The place in question doesn't seem to be turning on the heat, which led Kristin and I to bring blankets after shivering through two screenings this week. (The blankets made a big difference.) And there was the extra day we had to make a return trip because they didn't have the print. The previous morning we waited for more than an hour for it to be delivered. At least we got a free lunch for the inconvenience.

Oh yeah, then you have to find time to write about the films, which has eluded me so far. I wouldn't do it if I didn't love it, but overbooked weeks like this test even my stamina. (I don't know how I pulled off consecutive days of watching seven films at the Cleveland International Film Festival earlier this year. Fourteen films in two days is the most I've ever--and will ever--watch.) Few colleagues attended all six, so I'm proud of Kristin for earning her film critic stripes. I think she's hesitated to give herself the title, but she deserves it after making it through this week.

With screenings out of the way, I finally had a chance to restock my yarn stash. I went to the LYS that Kristin introduced me to on my first yarn shopping adventure. I went inside and slowly made my way around the shop as I looked for the perfect yarn and color combination.

Keenly aware that I stand out in such a place, I was curious to see if I would receive an excessive amount of attention or the cold shoulder. I've gone into some national chain craft stores and not been able to find a soul to help me, but in a small, locally-owned shop, I expected I wouldn't have this problem. I took my time browsing the shelves while the employee behind the cash register was nattering about something business-related on the telephone. Eventually she got off the phone and asked if I needed assistance. I didn't, not at the point, but explained that I was looking for yarn for scarves. She said they had plenty of choices and to ask if I needed anything. She did steer me away from a section when I wandered into the area for sock yarn. It's a good thing because I was considering one of them.

I expected that the yarn shop might be a haven from the mass hysteria gripping this town over the college football game being played Saturday afternoon. It is impossible to live in Columbus and not have the big state university's football team shoved down your throat. I've lived in Ohio my entire life and been a fan of the scarlet and gray, but being in OSU's backyard is another thing entirely. The fans here are certifiably insane. I've put up with it since living in the area, but this year my patience snapped in regard to all things Buckeyes. I renounced any interest in them. I don't watch the games or read about them. But there's no escaping Michigan week, especially when everything is riding on this game like it never has.

Locals have an irrational hatred--we're talking foaming at the mouth contempt--not just for their rivals in maize and blue but for the whole state and anything from it. I remember reading complaints when a local shopping center's highway signs were painted blue. The same was true when the NHL franchise's nickname, the Blue Jackets, was announced. How dare the people of central Ohio have to cheer a team associated with anything blue! A recount of a local Congressional race was delayed so as not to pull workers away from today's game. Inmates at a Youngstown prison are being given pizza so they will keep the noise down during the game. Kristin told me that a grocery store employee giving away free apple slices was apologizing for the produce being from the state up north. These people are lunatics.

Anyway, the LYS was no different. A male employee told me that Michigan was going to be really motivated, as if they needed an extra push, because of news that former coach Bo Schembechler had died. I heard someone else laughing about provoking some Michigan fans. The same employee later said to me that he wondered if I was making a scarf for someone from that state up north--the name of it is treated like an epithet--because I was comparing dark blue yarns.

I didn't say anything, but this kind of craziness makes me want to break stuff. (God help me if OSU wins today.) Isn't it possible to be a fan and not go completely bonkers? Whatever happened to friendly rivalries? I don't crap sunshine and rainbows, but I can't help but feel that the cartoonish hatred for Michigan is poisonous. I feel bad about wanting to see the city's dreams crushed, but I'm hoping to get a heaping helping of schadenfreude today with a Michigan win. (I refuse to watch, though.)

Sorry for getting sidetracked... I found dark blue yarn with some gray flecks, not quite enough to be called variegated, that I'm going to use for my great aunt's scarf. I got two different skeins of tan yarn to double wrap for my youngest brother's scarf. The store employee didn't think the colors were different enough. I had my eyes checked about two weeks ago, and I passed all the color blindness tests. Check out the photo and tell me if those skeins look the same. Plus, I want a subtle difference, not something dramatic.

You see that I also bought my first circular needles, wooden US 11s. Kristin and I have talked a little about other projects I might work on once my holiday scarf-making concludes. These needles were a whopping 97 cents at JoAnn's, so why not add them to my knitting supplies? We met at JoAnn's after I was done at The Yarn Shop. Her friend is making a messenger bag for me, so we were checking out fabric for it and eventually wandered into the yarn section. We also browsed a sale at Hobby Lobby. I didn't buy anything else, but I'm finding that hearing her talk about the yarn and feeling the skeins is helping me understand the differences in them.

I knitted a lot last night, in part because of the unfortunate trend that finds the Blue Jackets buried by the start of the third period. I searched to no avail for the ends in the middle of the skeins. (As I knitted, I discovered that I need to learn how to pull the yarn from the middle.) I cast on fourteen stitches to my US 11s. I knitted a few rows and saw a spot that I didn't like. I undid a row--correctly, I might add--and then frogged the rest. I started over and liked what I saw. I knitted 20", which is probably about a third of this scarf's length. There is a very real possibility that I might finish it this weekend.

Next...more on scarf #5.


At 7:07 AM, Blogger Jennifer said...

i love the two tans together and can't wait to see how it looks knitted up - please tell me that's the one you started w/! : ) the blue looks nice, too and i love the encore yarn...i'm using it to knit a baby blanket for a charity project right now.
i hear ya w/ the osu craziness...i'm a fan, but not so much that the state of michigan should be banished from the country...geesh!

At 5:23 PM, Blogger the secret knitter said...

I started with the blue, but don't worry, I'll be working with the tan in no time. I like the Encore yarn better too. It's softer.

OSU fans who live in other parts of the state are very different from those in Columbus. Where I grew up people followed the Buckeyes but not with the maniacal fervor they do here. (I kept up with them but didn't view them as a way of life.) Ultimately that's what put me off. Sounds like it was a terrific game, though.

At 6:20 AM, Blogger Jennifer said...

ok, well bring on those knitting superpowers so u can get to that tan one...i think the colors are gonna look great together! and i'm excited to see the blue together, too - great choices!

At 9:19 AM, Blogger the secret knitter said...

I'm starting the tan one tonight. Depending on how much I get done, I may post a picture tomorrow. But I'm jumping ahead of today's eventual entry...


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