Tuesday, January 24, 2006

A tale of two yarn stores

I've officially fired my coach. My coach for the 2006 Knitting Olympics, that is.

Yesterday I was delighted to find Gerald home from work early, and I quickly proclaimed: "I'm off to the yarn store!" With no objections from the boys, I headed into town to LYS (local yarn store) #2 - so named because it's the second yarn store that I discovered. My mission: acquire the equipment needed for the Olympics. Namely, sock yarn and US #1 dpns, preferably bamboo.

(N.B. - The swatch pinned to the armchair is not the beginning of the sock, it's me checking my guage. I'm not cheating, folks, I'm in training. My guage was spot on and the swatch has already been frogged.)

I was successful in the gathering of equipment, and seeing as the yarn lady was feeling chatty (and frankly - so was I) I decided to let her in on the story of my Olympic effort. I showed her the pattern, told her about the timeline, described that this will be my first attempt at socks, and listened as she deemed my goal unreachable.
  1. "You have to be careful of online patterns."
  2. "This seems like a hard pattern."
  3. "You'd better get started right away."
  4. "It wouldn't be cheating if you didn't tell anyone you started early."
First off, yes you have to be careful of patterns that you find online. But this particular pattern is very well regarded by the online knitting community and I know that because I spend lots of time online reading knitter's blogs. Second, it is actually not a hard pattern. It's not lace. It's a simple pattern involving increases (kfb) and decreases (sskp) that I have used before on other projects. The challenging part for me will be because it is a pair of socks and I've never done the whole turning the heel bit and all those other sock tricks. Third, suggesting that I cheat is just beyond me. I am a woman of integrity. The mere notion that I lie to the whole world just because YOU think I can't do it. Well, poo on you.

There are some important things that you don't know about me, knitting lady. Perhaps most telling, I was an athlete for many many years of my life. The competitive spirit that made me successful during those years hasn't softened. When I heard about the Olympics there was a spark in me that reminded me of my former self. I feel challenged and it feels good.

Also, knitting lady, do I seem stupid? Don't you think I've read through the pattern a hundred times making sure that I'm prepared for my sixteen days of intense sock knitting? Do you think I can't handle it? Do you think I should take advice from you just because you work in a yarn store? And suggesting I cheat! Blasphemy! I am intelligent and I've got that going for me.

I stood my ground while finishing my purchase. I told her I would not start early. I told her that even if I don't finish, I will have tried my hardest. I DID NOT tell her thanks for her encouragement. Poo on you, twice, lady. YOU'RE FIRED.

But why is this the tale of two yarn stores? Well, LYS #1 is much more homey and I think the knitters there are much more experienced. They just don't have the selection (yarn or needles) of LYS #2. The two stores are totally opposite, and I doubt they are friends. So I think I've made a horrible mistake by purchasing my yarn at LYS #2. I can't take a project using yarn bought at LYS #2 to LYS #1 to ask them for help. Or can I? Oh, who knows. And on top of it all, I'm 99% sure my Olympic efforts would have been understood and supported had I bought yarn at LYS #1.

I understand (maybe more today than I did yesterday, after the dumb lady's comments) that it will be a true challenge to finish this project in a mere 16 days. I won't be horribly upset if I don't finish. But I will try. I will knit my little heart out. I will prove all the disbelievers wrong. I will knit a pair of socks.

And I WILL NOT have a baby before February 26th.


Carpeacum said...

Good for you! Keep to your Olympic ideals! I'm no coach, but I'll be your cheerleader ;-)

I'm knitting Jaywalker for the Olympics, too. I'm holding off on going to get yarn, though--maybe next week.

Carpe acum! (Seize the needle!)
Saralyn in Seattle (Go 'Hawks!)

Sarah said...

I really hate it when strangers are casually negative. I mean, what the hell? That's probably the thing I hate the most in the world.

Hey, are you expecting to have a baby before Feb. 26th? I thought you were looking at March. If you are, tell me, because that means I need to send you more presents.

Mandy said...

No, due date is March 1, so Feb 26 would be fair game. Jerry was a week late....

You don't need to send presents! but they would be genuinely appreciated :)

H-SPO said...

i love that you are going to be able to drink booze at my wedding.

Mandy said...

drink booze and care for a small child. very small child.

hey. i'm thinking of making myself a little shawl, actually a capelet for my wedding attire. not for during the wedding attire, but for around and after wedding attire to facilitate in keeping the boobies hidden while i try to feed a small child and be drunk at the same time.

mom mentioned that there were to be no knitted things for the wedding. am i breaking your rules? like I said, i don't want to wear it during the wedding, just around and after.

i miss you, hols

H-SPO said...

i think that that is totally different. when i said that there were to be no knitted things i meant that you and i would NOT sit around for endless hours knitting dishclothes for wedding guests. come on! to me that is like saying. i'm getting married! let's celebrate the fact that one of our job duties as a couple is cleaning dirty dishes. no thank you. as far as i know, you won't be cleaning dirty dishes with a beautiful shawl. so knit away.

i am, however, all about bare boobies. and so are all my friends. so don't be afraid of showing them.

i miss you too.

Sarah said...

watch out for the nursing police - "should you be having that glass of wiiiinnne?"


Knit Wit said...

OK that lady should seriously relax. Sheesh.

oh, and just ignore the nursing police. It's perfectly fine to have a glass of wine while nursing. (So said all the lactation consultant courses I took back when I was going to become an IBCLC)