Thursday, March 25, 2010

In Stitches

I attract crazies. It's true. I hold a reputation for it at work even. Weird, random people and circumstances. I can't tell you the number of them that have happened while pumping gas. My mother is even worse. I should have known my grandmother would be exponentially so.

A few weeks ago my Grandma and Grandpa drove up to visit so Grandma and I could attend Stitches. Stitches is like THE premiere, um.. fiber show? I think it has been decided to go with the term "Fiber Show". "Knitting Convention" conjures up too many images of Trekkies in costume. But if you knit, spin, crochet, or need a reason to spend inordinate amounts of money on hobbies you're not likely to actually pursue, Google "Stitches West" and you'll soon realize why I looked forward to it for months.

The plan was for Grandma and I to take the train to Santa Clara, two hours away. Now I need to back up and remind you that I am a slight control freak (also a genetic trait) when it comes to leaving my house and knowing where I am going. I just never know who I'm going to meet. I'm not ashamed to admit that I was on the verge of tears when Mike my GPS was abducted from my vehicle a year ago. Mapquest, Google maps, whatever...I'm on it. The word "lost" raises my blood pressure lots.

Back to the story-

We're going to drive to the train station, leave the car, take the train where we will arrive within walking distance of the convention center. This will also require that we drive from my home to downtown and will need to leave at the butt-crack of dawn.

The night before we decide that we should really drive the car to the light rail station (much closer to home), leave the car there, take the light rail to the train station down town, then take the train.

Our plan looked to be going brilliantly. We arrived at the light rail in time to figure out how to purchase our tickets and not a single crazy even attempted to approach us. We arrived at the train station in plenty of time to confirm and print our tickets and find the restroom. Still not a single crazy thing had happened and we'd been up for almost three hours. A record considering we had just taken public transportation. We knew we were in the right place based on the number of women knitting in the station and wearing scarves, shawls, and sweaters many in patterns that I recognized.

Then we found out our train was canceled. Other arrangements were made for us. You don't mess with thirty plus women carrying sharp and pointy sticks. The not so short version of the story is that we woke up at 4:30am to take the Light rail station where we left the car, took the light rail to the train station, took the train to one town, got off the train onto a bus, realized it was the wrong bus, got off the bus onto the right one, then onto another train where we arrived in Santa Clara at almost 11:00 am.

Now, the convention center would have been within walking distance had my grandma not been a grandma and me not been seven months pregnant and up since 4:30am. We ended up taking a taxi and setting a record for the types and number of times I'd taken public transportation not just in one day, but in my entire life.

We only met a couple of crazies, but I'm not counting any of them. It turns out who I thought was a crazy dude knitting on the train actually knew his stuff and was extremely helpful. I even took his card, have read his blog, and have put my dad to work making me a knitting sheath to increase my knitting speed and tension so I can make my husband a wicked pair of hiking socks.

The other was our taxi driver. If Queen Latifah had a sister that outweighed her by a hundred and fifty pounds, it would have been her. When she saw that I was pregnant she cut us a deal. She also told me at least forty times to "Just look at that belly!" "What a beautiful belly!" and that I had the most beautiful body. I was having a boy she just knew it! She also gave me the best advice about childbirth I've received up to this point. "It's a piece of cake!" she exclaimed. "I dunno why these womens like to spread them horror stories. It's a piece of cake! You just get rid of thems who say otherwise until you pop that baby out." I would not have minded riding around with her the entire day. Total crazy, but a crack up.

The show itself was everything I'd hoped for. I do not have the English writing skills to do the yarns, fibers, notions, etc. justice. Let's just say that Grandma and I have already begun plotting our strategy for next year. We still plan on taking the train again, and plan to expect the unexpected. For as crazy as it was, it was remarkably tame. The craziest thing about the whole day was that I didn't buy any yarn to knit with at a Knitting Convention, um..I mean Fiber Show.

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