The Life and Times of Florence Knitingale

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Full Moon Over Washington

I'd have been better off if I hadn't seen this. The catalogue people know this, of course--this is why they send them to me, poised to arrive at my weakest moment: the end of a long day, when I am weary and worn and tired of being nice to idiot insurance companies and idiot pharmacies and doctors who would rather walk down the hall and interrupt me to press one button on the computer than simply do it themselves (I imagine it's supposed to help me "build character". Yeah, well, my character looks like Goliath on steroids, push your own damned button.). At such moments, it would be possible to convince me to take out my credit card to purchase 16 pounds of cow manure if it was photographed attractively and the 17th pound was free. Never mind the tools of my obsession (okay, OUR obsession--I know you understand all this).

And since I am a yarn-weakened creature (and you make take this to mean "yarn and anything to do with yarn"--hell, standing too close to a field of sheep could probably do it), I went immediately from the shiny, glossy catalogue to the shiny, glossy website and found the set of needles and clicked the shiney, glossy "add to stash" button. And hugged myself gleefully. I love those needles. And then I realized something: it would cost $10.79 to ship those bad boys....but if I bought just $10.01 more worth of merchandise, shipping would be free.
Folks, I tried hard. I mean, I tried HARD to make myself just order the needles, pay the shipping, and be done with it. But I have relatives and ancestors who did things like save and re-use wrapping paper and scotch tape, wash aluminum foil in the dishwasher and re-use it, make popsicles in ice cube trays out of the 1/4 teaspoon of juice left at the bottom of a dish of sliced peaches and for all I know I might have had ancestors who read the newpaper one article at a time for a month so they didn't have to order the newspaper as often. All I know is that the dead ones would have spun in their graves like tops if I'd paid $10.75 to get nothing when I could have paid $10.01 and gotten something. Anything.

This meant that I spent the next hour selecting and rejecting items, trying to get a little over the minimum for free shipping without getting WAY over. It's no good saving $10 if you have to spend $30 to do it. I worked on it last night. I worked on it this morning. I angsted over this, all the while realizing that the needles are on a first-come-first-serve basis and that if I wanted to receive them before my mind goes and I no longer recall what they're for (a day which seems closer at times than at others), I'd best make a decision before the start of the next decade.

Finally, I chose some sock yarns in two colors (don't ask me which ones--it could be old twine wrapped around a toilet-paper roll at this point for all I remember) and set about putting in my order. And, after a frustrating 20 minutes trying to get my computer to enable cookies so I could complete my order (since when did COOKIES become bad??? Seriously, if they're bad for your computer, shouldn't they be called something like "pattern mistakes" or "moths" or "unmatched dye lots" or something?), I finally got in and triumphantly hit the right button to complete my order. Which is when I finally realized what I probably should have realized the LAST time I ordered from Knitpicks.
How did I not know that Knitpicks is right here in my own state? Vancouver, Washington, to be precise (not to be confused with Vancouver, B.C., although that's a common mistake), which means that for all my finagling and strife, I got to pay for no shipping--but plenty of Washington State sales tax. I hate sales tax. And honestly, though I keep asking, no one in the governer's office seems interested in sending me a clear and concise accounting of what they're doing with all the money they've been tacking onto my purchases since I was old enough to push my own quarter across the counter for a candy bar (yes, I am old enough to remember when you could buy a candy bar for a quarter. No, I do not care to discuss this.).
To ease my troubled mind I went down and spread out the envelopes that all the lovely squares came in, and I asked Miss Gracie to make another couple of picks (Ed was out doing cat stuff and opted not to be bothered with stupid human tricks). Interestingly, Grace seemed to have some sort of understanding of her mission this time--I spread them out and she approached them carefully, sniffed each one in turn before carefully laying a paw on first one (Karen in Utah) and then another (Vivienne in Great Yarmouth). I have some fine sock yarn heading both your ways as soon as I can get to the post office (likely Saturday, although I'll do it sooner if I can). Here is the booty to be had--I'll let you be surprised as to who gets what:

There's a skein of Monarch sport weight in Ruby Redmond, and a skein of Opal handpaint. I'm hoping you might send me a photo of what you make.
Lastly, I have to show you the sock I've been working on when I'm on the exercise bike. I can't work on the blankets there--not enough room, plus they're quite heavy--so I do get to do a little something else from time to time. This is a little arrowhead sock made from the beautiful yarn Celtic Jo sent me:

It's not really a weird shape--I just sort of arranged it badly. I was still annoyed at the governer at that point.

I did end up placing my order as it was, by the way, and I'm looking forward to getting the needles. But I'm still thinking I might have to go up to Olympia so I can moon the governer's mansion. Or something.


  • At 10:01 PM, Blogger J. Denae said…

    The needles are soooooo smooth. I love them and I am a true metal sock needle freak.

  • At 4:52 AM, Blogger Marianne said…

    Yay! you DID end up ordering the yarn! (I knew I could count on you to do the 'right' thing)
    Dang... I need to get me some of those dpns... so pretty... and EVERYBODY is getting them!

  • At 6:10 AM, Blogger Heide said…

    I live in Vancouver, WA and although the company takes orders here they are shipped from elsewhere so it still takes forever (all yarn and accessory orders seem to take forever in my opinion) for them to arrive. I'd sure like to find their location and drive by sometime just to see what's really there. Hope you don't get blown away with the rain and wind. It's pretty blustery down here already. Cheers!

  • At 8:53 AM, Blogger Kitty Mommy said…

    Oh, those needles are so gorgeous...haven't had the budget to find out how they work though!

    Major suckage on the sales tax! Especially since you don't even get the advantage of quick shipping from somewhere close. I think everything ships from Cleveland or something. My mom (in the Portland area) got all excited on my behalf that my favorite on-line shop was just across the river until she found out there wasn't any yarn there!

  • At 11:04 AM, Anonymous marti said…

    i would have been better off not seeing that too! really.

  • At 12:59 PM, Blogger Vivienne said…

    I am going to be all of a quiver now. The poor postman won't know what's hit him (and he's only just finished being on strike too).

    Those needles are absolutely beautiful too.

  • At 12:48 AM, Anonymous Jean from Cornwall said…

    Point #1 Knitpicks should give you a discount for the free advertising you are giving them
    Point #2 Knitpicks don't ship to the UK - Double damn!

  • At 5:05 AM, Anonymous MonicaPDX said…

    Gracie is obviously a superior cat of intelligence and deep intuition, who has finally translated the weird mouth noises you insist on using, instead of whisker quivers, ear position, strategic washing and tail movements to--

    Oh. Wait. You don't have whiskers or a tail; your ears can hardly move at all; and for some insane reason you stand under rain falling inside, instead of sensibly using your tongue to wash with. I keep forgetting the obstacles feline-kind have to contend with when trying to communicate with humans. Gracie's smarter than I thought!

    I'm with kitty mommy. We may not have to pay the sales tax, but it's a real disappointment to live just across the river from Vancouver and still have to get stuff from Ohio!

  • At 10:34 AM, Blogger Misty The Kneedler said…

    I'm having trouble with those too, having recently suckered in on the set of metal needles, but I really prefer wooden ones for socks. And did you see the set of cable needles too??!! Sigh. I'm so weak.

  • At 3:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    These are the only wood needles on my "want to use" list. The only trouble I had with them was while working with a dark handpaint sock yarn. It was hard for my old eyes to see against the beautiful colors in the needles. The tips are nice and pointy, and they are strong - I knit tight, and they haven't even groaned!
    I'll have to get some more of them soon in other sizes...


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