coff coff sniffle hack coff

I’ve been sick this week. It has set back my studio plans, my food plans, my grocery-buying and house-cleaning plans. Even my researching-Houston plans. Even (gasp!) the gardening plans.

About the one thing it hasn’t interfered with is my knitting, because knitting and watching Doctor Who is about all I can manage when I’m stuck in bed with a dish towel at my nose[1]. I finished up my NCECA socks (just in time for this year’s conference!) and my Folk Fest mitts. I started a new pair of mitts for when I’m being sniffly downstairs, and a “tumbling TARDIS” neck warmer thingy[2] for when I’m being sniffly upstairs. Because I am too whiney to haul my knitting up the stairs, apparently.

Still. The flood issuing forth from my nose has slowed to a slow trickle with only occasional bursts, so that’s an improvement.


[1] The handkerchiefs weren’t cutting it anymore.

[2] Pattern courtesy of Ravelry.

So… much… awesome.

I made the ultimate mistake of joining Ravelry yesterday afternoon. The rest of the day, and a good chunk of the night, was spent in knitting pattern overdose. Socks, lacy socks, looong socks, chunky cardigans, herringbone skirts, TARDIS socks, Longcat scarves, Totoro mittens… So many things to make, and so little time to do it in.

I have promised myself that I will finish the socks I started last year before starting a new project. I only have another few inches left.

The fact Wool Trends and A Good Yarn, my favourite wool supply establishments, are both closed on Mondays may even force me to keep that promise.

The Christmas Craft Fair

Set Up Day:
Mostly spent waiting for paint to dry. No, really. Had left painting of sign to Wednesday; organized sign and paint cans on Arts and Culture Centre lawn around 1:00, applied magical[9] primer, then discovered magical primer cannot be removed from brush with water. Left to find paint thinner, cleaned brush, returned. Painted coat of blue. Wandered around a bit, eventually decided blue would not dry outside (it was cold and not so sunny by then), wrestled sign indoors and hung[1] it up. Set up rest of booth. Waited around another while; once blue was dry, added “Blue Dragon Clay” in mostly authentic[2][3] 15th century Gothic script. Left around six or seven.

Day One:
Snuck in early to stencil a blue dragon onto sign. Sold a Robot mug straight away to Erin McArthur, who buys a mug at the start of every craft fair she attends and uses it for the duration of the show. Sold several more Robot things and one cephalopot pate dish. Otherwise, fairly slow day.

Got some knitting done. Geeked knittery and yarns with Vicky Taylor-Hood[4] and Rilla Marshall. Noticed a few other people knitting; after so long keeping busy for this event, I guess we don’t know how to stand still anymore. Had to ask Molly the Hooker for help with turning the heel.

Have a kettle set up behind some of the pole and drape. Offer various teas, sugar and honey to fellow vendors; they can even use a mug, so long as they wash it out and put the price tag back on before returning it[8].

Day Two:
Knitting has spread. Erin, me, Rilla, someone from Rattling Books, Donna Clouston, Urve Manuel, and Molly White have hats, socks, and something that may or may not be a sweater underway. Most of the professional knitters are happily taking a break, except for one who is crocheting a giant granny square, and another who just can’t seem to stop making mittens.

Sold more than on the first day. Got an order for twelve(!) three-piece table settings. Also, a new wholesale customer.

Finished my sock, except for grafting the toe, which every knitter consulted avoids doing, can’t remember how to do, or doesn’t want to explain while busy with her booth. “Just search YouTube for it; there’s loads of how-tos there.”

Day Three:
Sock-knitter extraordinaire, Christine LeGrow, is back! Booth had been manned in her absence by Derrick, a lovely man who is unfortunately useless at turning a heel or grafting a toe. She showed me how to do it. Then I messed up, and she whisked my sock away to fix, despite feeble protestations of “But I know how now; I can undo it myself! You don’t have to bother!” because she is very particular about socks, and about toes especially, and if it were known that she had been involved in the grafting of a bumpy sock toe she would have exploded from shame and frustration. She did compliment my tension, though, which is awesome because that’s what I have the most trouble with usually.

Sales quite brisk in morning and afternoon. Only three Robot mugs left, and very limited selection of colours for other Robot things. Other lines selling too, but much more slowly in comparison.

Got another wholesale order, from the afore-mentioned Janet Davis.

Was visited by various family members; some brought food, and youngest brother and girlfriend even brought teas. They know me well.

Got as far as the instep on the second sock.

The heat produced by floodlights and bodies, combined with fatigue and the extended stay in a closed environment, has made people go a bit silly. One woman was reportedly seen towards the end of the day with her knitting on her head, needles pointing up like antennae, and a bit of fleece on her chin like a beard. I do not know why.

Day four is tomorrow. Wish me luck, sanity, and smooth grafting.

[1] Thank you to Michelle Lambert‘s dad for holding up one end.
[2] Thank you to Peter Sobol for the lend of a stepladder.
[3] I say “mostly” because the C in Clay is a little wider than it should be.
[4] Who owns the teeniest umbrella[5] ever.
[5] The kind for making skeins of wool into balls of wool, not the kind for keeping you dry in the rain.[6]
[6] Those never work here anyways.[7]
[7] The kind for keeping you dry, I mean. The rain isn’t usually vertical enough for that.
[8] Sold one mug that way. :-)
[9] It lets you paint latex over oil. I had no idea such a thing existed.