Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Instant Car-ma

Let's hear it for all of us who deserve a good swift kick in the pants from Fate now and then. I got one Saturday. And how my butt still smarts.

The tyke had a baseball game, and boy, were we anticipating the outcome; couldn't wait to see whether his team would ferociously defend its title of League Most Defeated. Ultimately, they won--therefore losing their perfect losing streak--but I digress. Going to a baseball game means schlepping stuff. Blanket, folding chairs, diverting work, numerous huge water bottles. The diverting work I took was my knitting, which was tucked in a plastic tote bag along with a couple of other speculative UFOs, three balls of priceless pure organic black wool that I had bought from a North Carolina spinner, measuring tapes, a Yarnmarket receipt, a new crochet hook, a small learning project my kid had just finished, and three-and-a-half pairs of needles.

Throughout the game, in 90+ degree humid weather with thunder clapping overhead, I knitted away at yet another scarf (I'm a beginner, and am not leaping on to the next challenge until I have made some things with no errors). I had at least a foot of this ribbed scarf for G finished, and it was flawless. For the first time! Id' figured out how to avoid mistakes, and finally the learning I'd tried to do was beginning to percolate from brain to fingers! It was a very loud, cheap, multicolored acrylic yarn (good ol' Red Heart "Mexicana," which I remember from my own childhood) that worked up with a fantastically bright, kitchy plaid-like pattern. It's a matter of taste, and my taste is baaaaad, so this was a pleasurable project. No yarn snobs here. Excellent for a theatre-arts kid like G. G pronounced it "Awesome!" and I was feeling pretty good with the lack of mistakes and the kid approval rating and all.

After the game we were taking two cars home, since the family had met at the park after separate two-by-two activities. I picked up everything but the tyke's water bottle, which I made him carry himself. When we got to the car, I couldn't get to my keys because I was holding too much stuff. I had to set some things down. I put the knitting bag on the car roof and fumbled around for the keys, let the tyke in, and tossed the remaining items in the front seat. Then I went around to the driver's side, got in, and we turned left out of the parking lot toward home.

It is about a two-to-three minute ride home--very close. The instant I pulled into the garage, I knew something was missing. Taking inventory, I realized the knitting bag wasn't there. And let me tell you I actually felt my heart stop. The very blood drained from my head, and I felt a little dizzy. KNITTRAGEDY 911!!! Immediately, I unlocked the house door for the tyke and yelled for him to get out of the car. I high-tailed it down the street and [felt like] I was speeding. (I doubt I was. Under normal circumstances I drive like a nerve-impaired snail, so under extreme circumstances I might have barely approached the speed limit). My eyes covered every single inch of ground between home and the park parking lot. I got out and looked around, scouring every blade of grass, shaking like Jell-o in a hurricane. No one had hung it on a sign or set it on a bench or leaned it up against a tree. Not a shred of evidence remained after barely five minutes of abandonment. Not a dropped measuring tape, not a lone needle, not a snipped off yarn tail. Certainly not a frigging $15 book that HAS BECOME MY BIBLE and had my entire curriculum plan in it!

No choice but to go home in defeat. So that I did. And slammed all the doors. And came in. and stomped upstairs looking as green as Linda Blair in Exorcist. I was feeling a surge of POWER. People got out of my way PRONTO. Being inside felt useless, so I went back out to the all-cement basement-level garage, shut all the doors, and re-enacted an old college tradition.

[A vintage Aside] When I was living in undergrad housing at UCLA, my room was next to a stairwell. That was good--it meant I had a fire wall. But during finals week, I learned about a strange ritual. The public stairwell was lined with cinderblock and echoed nicely. When students were at the ends of their ropes, frustrated and exhausted and certain they would fail finals, they went in there and did what I did in the garage: screamed my bloody heart out, as loudly as possible and as long as I had breath.

I wandered aimlessly around the garage, and couldn't stand the pointlessness, so started a new load of laundry and pretended to "keep busy." The only cure for a hopeless moment is action.

Back inside, I sat on the guest bedroom floor next to the plastic chest where I keep yarn, and tried to calm down enough to think of exactly what had been in the bag that was now missing. Item #1: figure out what needles from the complete inventory are gone. Look at the list . . . no, the frigging list is in the Stitch N' Bitch book, which is GONE!!! Settle. Quiet mind. Visualize. Now pull out all the remaining needles that are safely put away, and write down what is there. That was as much as I could do for then.

Throughout the evening it all came back to me (well, not literally, more's the pity). To great relief I discovered that for some reason I had removed three sets of needles from the bag and set them on the dining room table before the baseball game, so it was better than I'd thought. Next, I found that the ugly but cute and fairly mistake-free purple mohair scarf with eyelash ends, which I'd just finished, had also been retrieved from the bag and was hanging safely on a dining room chair. (See preceding post.) Whew! So, all told, the damage came down to the book; 7, 8 and 9 gauge needles which I'd had since I was seven years old (sorry, Mrs. Ryan! my childhood neighbor and first knitting teacher); a huge stitch-relearning project made of the beautiful irreplaceable black NC wool and which took innumerable hours for me to figure out when I was getting my knit back on; and a 24" long, 10 st wide woolen thing that was the tyke's first FO. He called it his "cool tie." Yep, let me shout it loud and clear: I lost my little kid's new pride and joy, his first finished object! So sue me. No, don't bother. I'll just sue myself into oblivion, thankyouverymuch.

And I lost the remaining half-ball of little flowers eyelash which I was saving to make Tuesday a knitted amulet bag. Oh, and the one last oddball thing! I lost ONE brand-new Takumi bamboo #10. Why one? Because it was attached to another beautiful, organic, hand-spun, non-died NC sheep remnant that I was noodling with for gauge and appearance. It wasn't going to ever be anything because the remnant was too small, but Lord the way that yarn felt was sinful. Maybe that's why it was taken away . . .

It is precisely this sort of experience which makes me finally understand medieval self-flagellation.

I'm lone-lee-ee, oh so lone-lee-ee!

Last but not least, you'd think I'd know not to EVER put something on top of the car, since I've had many such warnings before.


At 6/17/2005 9:20 AM, Blogger Tuesday said...

OH NO! You lost the eyelast yarn for the crystal bag????


I even had a stone to go in there.

And I mean no one returned it or turned it into the coach or anything? It must have been lifted by another crafty woman!


Post a Comment

<< Home