Heaven and Hell

It was the best of trips, it was the worst of trips…. and as the cartoon caption says, “Come now, Mr. Dickens, it could hardly have been both.”

Yesterday “we” (he was driving, I was knitting on Red Scarf) got Mr. Beth to the airport in the nick of time to catch a westward flight, then I took off (with three little ones) in search of the elusive but talked-up Susan’s Fiber Shop. The short version is that I found it. The slightly longer version was that this shop is one of those that is so packed with every kind of fiber goodness that as soon as you step inside and see some of it, you’re attacked by wool-induced amnesia and you have no idea what you came in for. (I have had this happen in bead, scrapbooking, rubber stamp, and quilt shops, too…. as well as the grocery store and the thrift store…. hmm, maybe I should look into that fish oil thing. Maybe it’s just me.)

Anyway, it was wonderful. Wheels, books, yarn, sock yarn, needles, beads, videos, bags of fiber, braids of roving, back issues of magazines, kits, niddy noddies, dyes…. There were whole yarn sections I didn’t even get a chance to look at. I got my hackle, some colorful BFL to spin up, a new spindle, and a pair of knitting needles with little brown sheep on the ends. Susan herself wasn’t there (she had to pick up a ram) but she’s been e-mailing me since the visit. (Thanks Donna for all your help!)

After I got home, James the Eldest helped me make chocolate chip cookies so we could take snack to the Scout meeting. I dropped him off and bought backing fabric from the local quilt store, for a T-shirt quilt I really super super need to finish (i.e. for someone else). Then I went back to the meeting and took the other kids in with me, at which point I started having a killer migraine. The medicine was at home, of course. Somehow I made it home and got my meds in, but it was about an hour before they even seemed to start to kick in. I felt really sick to my stomach, so I took my nausea med too (warning: may cause upset stomach WTF???).

The kids helped by putting themselves to bed. The pain was horrible. I couldn’t even bear to think about knitting even though it usually calms me down. So I took out the new hackle and a gallon-bag of llama fiber and started dehairing. I got almost the whole bag done before Tom woke up and needed a goodnight snack.

It turned out to be the perfect thing to do during a migraine. I wasn’t sure I was doing it right, but this is very simple technology — basically, pulling chunks of fur through two rows of nails — so there weren’t very many ways I could botch it up. Eventually two piles started forming: soft fiber I could pull through over and over, and shorter, coarser fiber that didn’t want to do it.

The next step will be carding, after I’ve dehaired all that I have. And I’m thinking that that I will probably card the coarser fibers too, after I’m done with the fine ones. Practice is practice, and we can’t all be Mohair. (It’s especially hard when you’re a llama.)

Anyway, today I’m feeling a little better. My mouth feels like I chewed on cotton all night, and I could use some more sleep, but couldn’t we all. Maybe I’ll be able to knit today.

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Published in: on October 17, 2007 at 7:18 am  Comments (9)  

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9 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Um, no, it isn’t just you. Happens to me in any store filled with a wide variety of fascinating stuff. I’m embarrassed to say that it even happened to me my first few times in Home Despot. HD no longer carries that Special Thrill – the newness has worn off, I guess – but a really good local hardware store can always do it to me, as can any wonderful array of colors and textures. Yarn, fabric, fiber, paper, beads… oh, it’s a good thing I’m going to be exhausted by the time I reach Rhinebeck, or I’m a sitting duck there. OTOH, exhaustion makes one all the more vulnerable to the fumes, doesn’t it.

    So sorry about your migraine – glad you’re feeling better and that you found a good occupation to keep you from ripping your own head off while waiting for the meds to do their thing. (Dehairing does sound oddly restful, I must say – though maybe that’s just the sleep-dep talking.)

  2. I’ve been wanting to make the visit to Susan’s Fiber Shop. Now I know that I MUST go. You’re not the only one who gets fiber over-load and fiber fondling. I think it happens to the best of us.

  3. Ooo! I hate migraines. I get them about 4 times a year that totally take me out of the game. I am ‘lucky’ though that I get a flashy light kind of warning thing out of the corners of my eyes first so I know I have 15 minutes to get in bed and pull the covers over my head! glad you’re feeling a little better today!

  4. umm, that should read fiber over-load and in need of fiber fondling. Once again the brain working faster than I can type.

  5. Those combs and hackles look like such brutal weapons don’t they? I barely trust my kids round my carders – scared they will ruin them before I figure out how to use them properly.

  6. I am going to have to check out this shop:) I always love a field trip to someplace new. I am sorry about your migraine, they can be so incredibly debilitating – take care of yourself!

  7. I suffer from Shopping Amnesia, too, especially at Trader Joe’s. I go in for milk and spaghetti sauce, and come out with spaghetti sauce, graham crackers, satay noodles, English muffins, naan, macaroni and cheese, and a bag of salad. And no milk. 🙂

    So sorry about your migraine – Lord, they are horrible. (I am able to avoid them now that I know mine are brought on by – wait for it – Smarties. My former favorite Halloween candy. Early November was a nightmare for a few years there!) Hope you’re feeling better today!

  8. D’oh!! My husband has a killer headache today also. (and he’s at home with the kids!) Glad to hear you are feeling better today. I haven’t been to Susan’s yet but am planning to go sometime soon.

  9. Wouldn’t it be funny of all of us (count me in!) descended on Susan’s all at once? I’ve never heard of it either, but I am SO going to look for it. And migraines? Lordy, me too….I have a palliative medication, but it does get away from me now and then and I spend two or three days a couple times a year under the covers trying to breathe quietly. Good news: they lessen as you age. Mine are rare now…..


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