Saturday, July 26, 2008

Road Trip

Remember back in the day when you and your pals used to pile into a car and head out to another state for some fun. Road trip, dude!

Well, I went on a road trip today. It all started a few weeks ago when one of my friends mentioned the annual Knit and Crochet Show in Manchester, New Hampshire. She'd been by herself last year and wanted some company this year. I immediately volunteered. Yarn shows and festivals are a lot of fun. You get to see, feel and smell fibers that you might have seen on the internet, but couldn't find locally. The people are generally friendly and helpful, and you run across knitting related fiber stuff you never even heard of.

About a week or so after the initial decision to go to the show, Jim started the nightmare car buying process. When I realized last weekend that we would actually have the car by today, I offered to drive. I thought it would be more like a college road trip that way -- three girls in a sporty little car heading out on the highway for some shopping adventures.

A few days ago, one of the girls mentioned that a wonderful yarn store in Nashua, New Hampshire called Ewe'll Love It! was moving its venue and having a 30-50% of sale to try and reduce its stock. Of course, my response to that was "How far is Nashua from Manchester? Can we do both?" Happily, we could!

So, at 8:30 this morning, I hopped into the Dorkmobile and headed off. My first stop was at Dunkin' Donuts for the requisite giant iced tea (I'm apparently a sucker for advertising and now believe I run on Dunkin' Donuts iced tea). I rolled up to the window to order and realized I had NO FREAKING IDEA how to open the window. There was no handle to roll it down manually. There was no button on the window. The girl at the register was looking at me like I was an idiot as I frantically searched for a button, switch or something to get the window down. I finally located a small button in front of the stick shift and got the window open, but not before a few cars had pulled up behind me. "Ha ha ha, it's my husband's car," I said feebly. I finished the drive through with no further incidents and headed onward.

I should have recognized the window incident as an omen of things to come. After I picked up the girls and we stashed some extra bags in the car boot (that's what the Mini manual calls it), we hit the atm machine and then I got on the highway. About 2 minutes later we heard a beep.

I was already familiar with the beep because it goes off when you don't wear a seatbelt. Everyone in the car was belted in, however. Then I noticed a small glowing circle on the speedometer. There was the symbol of what looked like a butt with spikes on the bottom.

"What does that mean?" I asked. One of the gals pulled out the manual and said "It's a flat tire warning. It says here 'Stop driving immediately.'" Oh GREAT.

I've had flat tires before. Usually you can tell by the way the car drives that something has gone wrong, but there was nothing different about the way the car was handling. We debated for a few minutes whether we should ignore the gauge (yarn road trip, remember?) or turn back. I pulled off at the next exit and we all got out (like clowns tumbling out of a clown car) to look at the tires. They looked just fine to me.

"Maybe now that you've turned the engine off, the warning light will go off." Nope. Warning light was still on. I found a little button next to the stick shift (why are there so many little buttons next to the stick shift in this car?) that had the spiked butt symbol on it and tried pressing it a couple of times. No change.

Since we've only owned the car for a little over 2 days, I ultimately felt it was prudent to drive back to the home of one of my fellow passengers, dump the Dorkmobile and take another car. Since we'd only driven about 3 miles from our original destination, this plan did not take long to execute. When we arrived to switch to another car, I looked at the tires again -- still no difference.

Fortunately, our little detour did not prevent us from arriving at the sale shortly after the store opened. We all bought a goodly amount of sale yarn and some regularly priced yarn, too (who could resist?) One of the gals got some gorgeous Blue Heron Rayon Metallic, but it was only because I somehow missed seeing it first. I'd like to think I would have had the restraint not to buy it, but I'm probably fooling myself on that account.

Next stop, yarn show. There were a lot of interesting booths. One booth had giant knitting needles (the size of a small baseball bat!) and giant yarn for sale. The Habu had a new type of yarn made from silk and stainless steel. I'd heard about it, so it was fun to touch it and see how it felt (a little stiff, frankly). Another booth had clear rubber boots for children, designed so you could see their lovely handmade socks through the boots! And then, there were a lot of gorgeous hand-painted yarns and beautiful luxury fibers. There was a whole lot of petting, stroking and cuddling of yarn going on.

The highlight of the day? We met Jess and Casey, Mama and Papa Rav! (The people who founded Ravelry). They are nice couple, and both are very friendly and sweet. At the yarn show, Jess and Casey were a little like two rock stars. One of the vendors came over and asked them to autograph her receipt booklet! We picked up some Ravelry buttons and a "daily dose of fiber" sticker from Jess, and I thanked Casey for programming such a great site.

I've already put all of the new yarn into my stash, but it will be a few days before I have time to photograph everything. I did get some funky hand-dyed nylon for making a really cute purse. I'll probably post pictures of that if I actually get to it in 2008 -- the Great Knitted Christmas Gift Marathon has begun and I'm going to try to focus only on knitting gifts until I've finished everything on my list. We'll see how long I manage that.

I'm working on a very cute Noro hat right now that's almost done. It's a great pattern for brainless knitting. More on that and other works in progress at a later date. Oh yeah, I got some awesome beads to make stitch markers for my store! More on that later as well.

Finally, because I promised my friend Kelly:

GETTING MARRIED? NEED DESIGN HELP? Get some awesome wedding related items at Busy Bride Designs. Kelly will help create a customized look for your wedding without busting your budget. She's got some monogram designs up already and I happen to know she has a lot of other great wedding designs and favors in the works. Check it out!

1 comment:

Beth Goldman said...

Wendy,
What happened when you got back to your car? Where the Tyres(spelled the british way) flat or what? Do tell!
Beth