Tuesday, May 10, 2005

So, thanks to the combination of a digital camera and laziness I was spared the effort of more eloquent writing - Bess posted lots of details about the MD weekend and saved me the effort. I will simply mention that the bag of fiber she hauled away was big enough to hide a body in, and delicious enough to make this stubborn non-spinner consider it - if I hadn't bought a loom to play with, that is. Spinning will have to wait. Years.

I will say a bit about my friendship with the women I got to hang with this weekend. We know each other online, I very rarely see them IRL, and yet, when we are together it's so comfortable and there is never a loss for conversation and laughter and bitching and bitchiness, it's like we see each other every day, which, I guess, in a sense we do. Bess, especially - Bess and I are separated at birth in some ways and polar opposites in others - she's the country mouse to my city mouse, she's the "I'll take the back roads, I HATE the interstate!" to my "I LOVE the interstate, it's so relaxing! I'll be on I-95, cruising at 85 (with occasional stretches at 90) and the stereo blasting when I'm not on my cellphone (with headset)." Yet we are scarily alike in most ways, and share a lot of the same interests.

Though not spinning. She kept waving a spindle at me, causing it to flirt out of her pocket, over her shoulder, just waving it in my face, and honestly, when she gave a stranger an impromptu spinning lesson and advice on buying a first spindle in front of Jen's booth late on Saturday as the festival was shutting down for the evening, I was hypnotized both by the spinning and her charming and very effective teaching method. I felt the Urge to Spin stir, but I slapped it really hard and it shut up. I'm sorry my friend, I can't afford - either financially or otherwise - to take on another stay-at-home-ish pastime. Spinning is time I should be spending in the gym or elsewhere. I was housebound for 2 years and while things are certainly different/much better now, I need to get out and meet people and fight my naturally hermit-like tendencies.

And yet, I bought a loom. I really wanted a loom, because I have been a closet weaving groupie for many years. I have coveted a loom, vacillated over buying a loom, loom-shopped the way other people shop for foreign sports cars. Weaving fascinates me and I want to do it. I had to have a loom, and yet I know my own short attention span issues and worried about the Warping Part. I know enough about weaving to know that warping a loom properly is 1) really, really important; and 2) a tedious bitch. So the 32" rigid heddle is plenty for my experimental purposes; I will either get over my Warpophobia, master rigid heddle weaving and outgrow it and go on to bigger and more complex looms, or I will hit the Great Wall of Fuck It, and at least I will not be out a ton of money and will be able to pass it along/garage sale it with no great angst. This is my play loom, but I don't know how much playtime I will get on it because other things do eat my time.

The pizza dinner was a lot of fun, the very sharp wit flowed even more freely than the wine.

Sunday we were all somewhat subdued - not from excessive alcohol intake, because nobody overdid it, but the very long day on Saturday combined with enough pollen to coat every inch of our airways plus hotel sleeping took the edge off everybody. We were tired. I bought my loom Sunday morning and lugged that friggin'thing the entire length and breadth of the fairground and uphill to my car, panting and asking myself why I HAD to have the 32", and my back ached like a rotten tooth the rest of the day and into the night. Yeah, I work out, yeah, I'm not in totally shitty shape, but I'll be 47 next month and my back knows it. And punishes me brutally when I try to pretend I'm as fit as a 25 year old guy. That long heavy box of wood took it out of me. I'm fine today - and that I think is the big advantage of exercise, though I still suffer the pain I recover from it faster than I did in my non-exercising years.

Oh, and I brought an additional souvenir from MD - a busted windshield. I was on the phone with Girl (I use a headset and can multitask fine, thanks, and driving on the interstate is like folding laundry to me) while blasting through, I think it was SC - when something hit the windshield with a solid CRACK. I knew it was a rock kicked up by the truck I was passing. I looked and saw no damage, but the windshield was so bug-splattered nothing smaller than a deer would have shown up. In the overnight temp change last night the "bug spot" expanded into a sizeable crack in two directions. I called my friends at GEICO, and that darling gecko does have the best customer service folks around - three minutes on the phone and the glass guys will come to my house to fix it on Thursday. I will have to take Thursday off. How awful. Break my heart, twist my arm, kiss my ass while you're at it. Windshield replacement doesn't have a deductible in FL, so it's a freebie.

Dudley is bigger, badder and more fun than ever, though right now he is sleeping in his crate like the sweetest little angel. Girl and I were on the floor today as he demonstrated a new trick - TWO TOYS AT ONCE in his mouth. Murphy had one, he had the other, he took Murphy's away and paused while carefully stuffing both into his jaws (both are small stuffed toys) and hauling them both into the toy pile in my bedroom. Where he sprawled over them. He also discovered the secret cave of Murphy's treasures under my bed, and so far I have reclaimed three socks and some junk mail. I call "Dudley honey, where are you?" and he comes out with whatever he found under there in his mouth. He and Murphy got into it over who has the better tasting chewie, and there was a lot of growling and tussling, but Murphy was all bright and happy and having a ball. When Dudley is sleeping Murphy is bored and waits for him to come out and raise hell again. I'm so glad. I had thought Murphy would react to another dog this way but when the puppy first came home and he was so bummed and quiet, I was afraid I'd made a bad call. It took a week, but they are developing a relationship.


Janet said...

I am really looking forward to hearing about the weaving. I have a Kromski Mazurka wheel, and have been eyeing the loom...

Spinning, I find, is good for stressful times when knitting takes too much brainpower. The fiber just flows through my hands and I don't have to think.

But I'm nowhere near as good a knitter as you are! :-)

Anonymous said...

It was such a kick to hang out w/you! As part of the group of your faithful readers, I have said before that I love your blog & your writing. Your voice in person is way cool & fun too. Thanks for driving up & hanging out w/us.

Mia said...

I am sorry that I wasn't able to meet up with you. Maybe I will be able to plan things better next year. Actually I will start working on that in the next few months. (I know someone involved with the festival.) It sounds like you had fun. I would have been happy to help you carry the loom. My back is younger. And it sounds like Murphy is working things out. At least he has some one else to find all of the toys that he has forgotten about.

Catherine said...

Yeah, Firefighter Girl, I would have cheerfully handed you at least the other end of the loom box. It's not heavy at all for the first 15 minutes, it's the last 15 that made me regret the size of that sucker. Plus I live in the flat as a tabletop land, and uphill with a heavy weight was more than I get on the treadmill at the gym!

Catherine said...

Marfa, it was so great to spend time with you, I had no idea you were a "faithful reader!" I will no longer have angst before dropping an F Bomb as needed....

Anonymous said...

I've always wanted a loom, too, and received the Kromski Harp for Christmas.

It's a love/hate relationship. The loom is beautiful! The weaving is relaxing. But, the warping...oh my god...the warping will make you pull every piece of hair out of your head and then your entire body!

It took me all day to warp the loom...I was nearly in tears before I began weaving.

I thought I would weave more than knit...not so...only because of the warping. I don't want to finish what I have on the loom because I don't want to warp again!

I can't believe you carried your loom around with you! You do have endurance!

-Dawn (RipKo)

Catherine said...

I only carried the loom to the car, but the vendor was about as deep down in the fairground as possible, so it was a long, long walk uphill! The warping has me a bit concerned too, that I'll hate doing it so much I will never want to weave. But right now I don't have time to even open the box!

Lulu said...

sounds like you had great time..