Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Looks like a fair to me...

For the sake of continuity, I'll take the first few minutes here to update the previous blog before getting to the meaty stuff.

I had mentioned knitting a hat for my mom's stepdaughter's new baby, John Calvin, who is in the hospital and has had to have fluid drawn off his brain. His poor mom was distressed because he has to be in a hat constantly, and the only hat the hospital could provide that would fit him was this pink and pastel number.

(Aint he CUTE??)

There are times when logic fails me, and this was one of those occasions. Considering the fluctuations of his poor wee head under such conditions, I assumed that a very stretchy rib stitch hat was what he needed.

I had some nice Sirdar Supersoft Toddler Aran in baby blue, and I had 4.5 DPN's that would do the trick, and a nice pattern from Ravelry for a rib baby hat. Yes, I dislike knitting with DPN's and am generally a magic loop convert, but this was a small commission, I wanted to get started immediately, and I saw no reason to buy Addi's in 4.5, and I don't like magic looping with my Denises, as the cords aren't as flexible as I like for ML.

So I got started, and had knit about 4.5 inches on the hat when a dear friend told me that rib was not the way to go, as some hospitals don't allow them because they mark the baby's head. I wasn't sure if this was the case, and at any rate it was a tiny project. Chris and I were going for short boat ride in the Footloose the morning I learned this, so I took the hat along (seen here in progress in Chris' car seat at the marina):

and finished the hat on the boat ride. I love river knitting, so pleasant.

This was last Friday, and I had really wanted to get the hat in the mail that day, but fates were now conspiring against me. We needed to go into town that day to celebrate Father's Day with Chris' dad. We had dinner with his folks, and then I went on to work. Chris spent the night with them, and I went back over the next morning after work to get him. He needed to go to the credit union, which opens at 9 on Saturdays, and there just happens to be a shop that sells Addi's on the way, so I broke down, stopped in and bought some 4.5 Addis. I simply couldn't face doing another hat on DPN's, so soon after the first one. After we got home, I cast on a new hat using the new needles and the same yarn, knit about 3 rows of rib for a border, and then did the rest of the hat in stockingnet stitch. I also did this hat a bit bigger, as it's not as stretchy.

Monday, finally, I got the package sent to mom. For those of you concerned, there's a good prognosis for little John Calvin. He'll be released from the hospital and coming home soon, although he'll still need to wear the hats for awhile. I wouldn't mind if he didn't need them, so long as he's home and reasonably healthy!

I did manage to get some work done on the "Thank God they're not black" socks. It wasn't always practical to take the hats with me, particularly during the complicated decrease rounds of the first one, but a sock..well...a sock goes anywhere. I'm about halfway thru the foot of the second sock now, about an inch before I need to start on the gussett.

Now, for an account of "The Big Day", otherwise known as my trip to the Adelaide Show. I had planned my day for Tuesday, as I worked Monday night, but didn't work Tuesday, so I figured I could go after work, without having to make a special trip to Adelaide (petrol costing what it does these days). Monday night wasn't a particularly rough night at work, but I was pretty tired, and I spent half the night trying to talk myself out of going. I kept reminding myself of how nice it is at home on Tuesdays, when I can potter around with my knitting and spinning, fool around on the computer, and have the excuse of being too tired to get any housework done. But then I thought that I had told someone that I would be there, and not wanting to disappoint, in the end, I made up my mind to go.

I got off work Tuesday morning, and decided that I would stop at McDonalds, change out of my workshirt, and get a bit to eat at reasonable prices, something I had heard was more or less impossible to do inside the showgrounds. I sat there, ate my brekky and then just sat listening to the ipod and knitting till around 8AM, when I decided it was about time to drive over to the showgrounds.

My drive there meant I had to head in towards the city, which of course was full of rush hour traffic at that time of day. It was a bit stop and go, but in the end I got there without too much hassle or incident. I'm blessed, on most days, with a good deal of patience for traffic. Finding a park was easy...paying for it was another story. Wow! They do get you coming and going. It was a good park, not far at all from the main entrance, but it was NOT the one advertised on the website as costing $10. Nope, it cost me $20. But once there, I just shut up and paid up, as it didn't seem worth $10 to me to fight my way back into traffic and try and find the cheaper parking. Live and learn.

I sat there in my car waiting until it was closer to 9AM before walking up to the gates. I put on a dab of makeup, and then knit and listened to the ipod for the rest of the time. At 8:45, I finally wandered up to the gates, bought my ticket, and then waited in line until the gates opened. While standing there waiting, my CNC (a boss) at work called and asked if I could come into work that night. I told her where I was, and what I was about to do. She gave that hesitation (they all do) as if waiting for me to say "I'll drop it, rush home and get some sleep and show up tonight". But I didn't. I told her "No" and offered a workmates name who I was fairly certain wasn't working that night. I hate leaving them in a lurch, but then also have to remind myself that I deserve a life away from that place too. Thankfully, as I was actually going through the gates, the workmate I had suggested called me to tell me she was taking the shift, and to gossip a bit about the circustances. I felt better then, because I knew everything was taken care of.

As I've previously mentioned, there was a lady I had planned to meet and say hello to, so I went in search of her first. (Well, nearly first. My first stop anywhere I go is the toilets.) She was supposed to be found at the SACSOS booth in the Goyder Building. It took me longer than I thought it would to find her, first because of some confusion as to which building I was in, and then because once getting lost, there was just ALL this other stuff to see. I saw some really cool woolen stuff, and one stand that sold cashmere clothing, yarn and fibre, so I made sure to get my bearings there so I could remember how to get back later, and then continued my search.

Finally I found the SACSOS booth, and full to the brim it was of all these georgeous fleeces, fibres and skeins of lovely wool.

The only thing it didn't have in it was the girl I came to see. I'm not sure what the problem was. She had been scheduled to work, but then someone else had been called in. One girl reckoned it might be a dentist appointment. They did say she would be in in the afternoon, but even then I held little hope of being able to stay that long.

But not being one to cry over disappointment, I decided instead to shop away my blues. I bought an entire fleece (yeah, like I need another fleece...I don't know what to do with the ones I have) of beautiful white merino. I bought two skeins of brown wool that will look good and work well, in an upcoming "striped" project I'm soon to start. I also bought two beautiful "ropes" of rovings Handpainted by Kathy, and some very dark brown carded slivers that will also look great (assuming I spin them up properly) in the same project. I also bought some really cute little greeting cards with sheep on them. All in all, not a bad haul, and they agreed to keep it there for me until I was ready to leave. I figured I would want to check back to see if my friend had gotten there before I left anyway.

I then started to wander. I was looking for the "Old Ram's Shed" where I had a suspicion I might find more woolie goodies. On my way, I came across the live broadcast of the ABC radio program. Next to them on their stage were these three ladies, doing a "back to back" project, where they took a project from fleece, thru spinning, plying and then finally knit into a scarf. I'd heard of folks who do this, but had never seen it, so I stood and watched awhile.

Then I continued on my way, finding the "Old Ram's Shed" without any difficulty. When I first came in, these two blokes were set up showing off their "old timey" crafting skills.

This guy making rope:

And this guy doing woodworking:

The SA Spinners and Weavers guild was set up in that building as well. There was a member plying up some wool as people watched. I had a look around and bought another skein of dark brown wool (all into browns right now). Once the ladies there found out I was a beginning spinner, they offered all sorts of kind encouragement and advice. I think I was so carried away by their friendliness and kindness that I forgot to take a picture.

It left, went back by and watched the "Back to back" ladies a bit more. By this time, they were getting along quite nicely with their scarf.

I was starting to get very tired, having worked all night, much of it on my feet, and then been on my feet all morning. Besides, anytime I stay after work like this, I worry about my ability to drive home safely. For my part, I can generally push my awake hours beyond common endurance, but when I need to drive at the end of the day, well, I get out on the safe side if at all possible.

With this in mind, I started wandering back up towards the Goyder building, which was located near the entrance that I parked closest to. I went back in, relocated my "cashmere man" and bought a bag of cashmere fleece. It's just too soft for words.

On my way to the SACSOS booth, I passed a man selling bags of Hazelnut biscuits (Australian for cookies), for a dollar a bag, a terrific bargain, so I got two bags. I had been looking for something to get Chris, but couldn't settle on anything, so he wound up with cheap hazelnut cookies!

I went back by SACSOS to pick up my stuff and check on my friends whereabouts. She still had not made it in, unfortunately, so I gathered up my goodies and headed for the gates. I was rather laden down with woolie things, like a Peruvian donkey. I had a full bag of fleece over my shoulder, and three bags of fleece, cards and cookies in my hands when a workmate shouted out and got my attention. They were having lunch and insisted I join them for a few minutes. Not being able to NOT notice my purchases,they did politely inquire as to what I had, and I showed off my things. Some of it, I could see, impressed them with it's pretty colors, but for the most part, their response was a puzzled "And what do you do with that again?". Ahhh well, normal people are just so clueless...

We chatted for about 15 minutes, but it was getting after noon by this time, and I had to excuse myself and head out the gate and on towards home.

Of course, I unpacked immediately, posed my purchases, and snapped a "group photo" of my woolie goodies:

The merino fleece, obviously, is to the left. The dark brown carded slivers are in the front middle, and above them are the most beautiful ropes of roving "Handpainted by Kathy". In the front, to the right, is the super soft cashmere fleece. Just above, and to the right of that is the dark brown yarn I bought from the SA Handspinners and Weavers Guild, and then, on the top right is two skeins of a lighter brown yarn from Moseley Park.

Having a night of work and walking around the show behind me, I didn't mind what I did next, so long as I could do it sitting down. After all the woolie inspiration of the show, I had the burning itch to spin. So I pulled out the wheel and began plying my pink silk with the pink wool, and as plying tends to go, I had the bobbin full in no time.

That's about it for yesterday. I put the pink silk/wool on the niddy noddy and then washed it to set the spin, and I've been taking pictures, but I reckon this is enough for one post, so I'll save the pictures for that and further spinning/knitting adventures for my next post. Until then...


Anonymous said...

The little caps are so very pretty, and so very much appreciated. He has to wear them for at least 2 months, because of the surgery and to maintain his little body heat. Grandpa and Mom are in Memphis as I write this, to pick him up and bring him home today!! There will be many more surgerys and hospital visits for several years, due to numerous health issues. Please keep him in your prayers, and we are looking forward to getting the caps, so that "girlie" looking cap can be replaced!

Sounds like you had a great deal of fun at the showgrounds. The photos are great.

Keep up your good work, and exect the Kool Aid soon.

Love You, MOM

Rosie said...

Can't wait to see an updated photo of little Calvin John in his BLUE cap. I would think the ribbed cap will be used too, isn't the one he's wearing now ribbed?

You are going great guns with the spinning! Keep it up!