You wouldn’t think that Rainer having a meeting which involved over 4 hours of driving would be a chance for adventure, a feeling of luxury, a day of sweet, romantic time. But it was. Yesterday was one of the best days I can remember.
I found playdates for the kids and called my sister in to manage in the in-between times. Knowing that they had a fabulous day set before them, I knew I could relax and indulge. I popped a big bucket of popcorn, made tea, and drove to pick Rainer up from his office. The trip into Winnipeg was wonderful. Bright blue skies, sun bounding off new snow, clear roads, and Making Money by Terry Pratchett making us giggle.
I had finished and blocked the Karius scarf, and wearing a new knit always feels good.
I cast on for my second vest as we left town, Devon from Magknits. The pattern’s not available anymore, sadly. It’s a super simple, classic vest knit in fingering weight yarn. I’m making mine a solid black, in Jaeger’s Matchmaker Merino – the only time I truly scored in a second-hand shop. It was the first time I’d thought to look for yarn in Value Village, and I found nearly a sweater’s worth of fabulous wool for $3.99. And haven’t found a thing worth buying since. Beginner’s luck.
Once in Winnipeg, we did something I’ve been trying to do since Tias was a baby: eat in a Thai food restaurant. Foiled first by having no money and being parents of small children, and later by having no Thai food for over 200 km, I have finally eaten Thai food made by someone who knows what they are doing. Delish! And it’s another item off the list of 101 Things.
Munching on the largest chocolate macaroon I’d ever seen, we made our way to Wolseley Wardrobe. An hour or more of mindful living followed: each yarn contemplated, touched, mentally knit into a dozen projects. Rainer’s a great yarn shop companion. He’s encouraging, full of great ideas, loves colours, and likes to see me happy. Generally, we just like being together – even grocery shopping – and a day of wandering with no time pressures made it that much better.
The Queensland Collection #9 caught both our eyes. There are so few good pattern books for men. So many North American patterns are just dowdy. This book, though, had an incredible mix of patterns that walked the perfect line of being stylish without being too forward. Tom was a big hit with Rainer, possibly the first hoodie to ever catch his eye. Strangely, we didn’t buy the book. That’ll have to be fixed, and soon.
We bought three yarns. Lorna’s Laces for a family Christmas gift project, orange baby llama (!) for the Eyelet Front Vest that I covet so much, and a skein of Noro Silk Garden Sock just for fun.
Rainer’s meeting was from 5-8, but I was in a library with more knitting books than I had time for. I settled in with a stack of knitting books among all the super-intense students doing their homework and started to knit. I’m adding a false-argyle stitch pattern to my version of Devon, but as it’s just a panel running up the center front, there’s lots of stockinette that I can do while my eyes linger on patterns.
Oh, creativity! The ideas, the sparks of delight as a new concept races through the connections between neurons. The way that each new colour, each new texture, each new pattern can be a sudden mental journey into possibility… I think I made it through 6 books. “Fitted Knits”, “Knit 2 Together”, “The Yarn Stash Workbook”, “Son of Stitch and Bitch”, “Modular Knits”, and one whose name escapes me. I’ll definitely be buying “Fitted Knits”. My Forecast sweater by Stephanie Japel is my favourite cardigan and there are a few patterns in the the book I know I’ll like. “The Yarn Stash Workbook” had some great ideas, particularly the idea of ‘colour weight’. The whole book made me realize that while I love texture and projects that use more than one yarn together, I mostly knit with just one yarn per project. I’ll have to work on being more adventurous. I didn’t have pencil and paper, so I had to resort to photo note-taking.
Those of you with a good library, be sure to enjoy what you have and be sure to let someone know that you appreciate it.
The luxury of time. A whole day’s worth. The luxury of ideas and inspiration. Months worth. The luxury of a relationship that’s almost 19 years old. Yesterday was a day of possibility fulfilled.