Sunday, May 22, 2011

Letters From Home

These past few weeks have been quite... well... unexpected.

My short jaunt to Minnesota began as planned.  I arrived and spent several days with my little nephews.

Finn, the cute one that will put anything in his mouth at least once
Darby, the cute one who is too busy digging for treasure to look at the camera
and Xander, the cute one who has so much energy you don't want to see what the blurry pictures look like (that's another nephew in the background, Josh.  Really, they're everywhere.  He's the one too busy being a teenager to show emotion and would kill me if I called him cute.)

When I wasn't pretending to be a babysitter (and I really was pretending.  I fully admit to sitting on the couch and letting them run amok unsupervised for most of the day), I attended my brother's final high school theater production and my little sister's circus show.

Here's a video of her if you want to see.  She's the one on the right:

(Um... that's my first time trying to embed a video.  I'm assuming it doesn't work right.  Let me know.  Here's a link to the YouTube thingamajig.)

Where was I?  Oh dear, this is becoming random.  Let's move on to works in progress.

Tina asked to see a close up of my handspun from my last post and, um, Tina?  You're going to be disappointed.  Here's the best I could get.  It's a 2-ply merino.

The color is about as accurate as a drunk man playing darts blindfolded, as is the focus.  I haven't knit on this one in weeks which is a shame because clearly I'm almost done (not much yarn left) and it's going to be so freaking awesome when it's finished.

I've also been ignoring a vest that I started at the beginning of March.  It's the Latvian Vest by Kieran Foley published in Knitty and I'm using Knit Picks Palette.  (No reason to use expensive yarn on my first full-sized colorwork project, right?  I mean, it could end up being a total disaster.)

Oh, and I'm also knitting another vest out of that Manos that I showed you in my last post and the back is almost done, but now I'm ignoring that, too.  And the pictures I took sucked.  You'll have to wait to see that.

Anyway, my plans that were going so wonderfully at the beginning of this trip have been totally derailed and I'm BACK in Minnesota again instead of in Pittsburgh, where, had my plans been executed without a hitch, I would have been a week ago.  Instead of re-telling my tale, I shall just copy and paste an email (excessively edited) I just wrote to a friend whining about my recent adventures:

Dear friend,

The story begins when I went home to Minnesota on May 6.  I was only going to stay until the 13th, at which time I was going to drive to Appleton, WI for a few days and then head back to Pittsburgh.  Well, the 13th being a Friday and the superstitious bringer of bad luck,  my car needed some repairs and the shop had no openings on Friday, so I had to stay in Minnesota until Monday and change around my plans for going to Wisconsin.  My car went into the shop on Monday and then after figuring things out with my Wisconsing friend, I left for WI on Wednesday with the plan that I would stay there for only a day and then leave for Pittsburgh on Friday the 20th.

Well, that didn't go so well.  Several circumstanced kept me in Appleton longer than expected and soon it was clear that I wouldn't be leaving until Sunday morning.  I got up in the morning, went out for breakfast with my old clarinet professor, and then hit the road around noon.

When I stopped to get gas, I couldn't shake the feeling that I had forgotten something.  Something important like my clarinets or my computer or something.  I double-checked that I had everything, but didn't feel reassured.  I casually glanced over at my apartment keys and... GASP!...  they were gone!  My apartment keys were nowhere to be found!  I searched all my bags, the pockets of all my pants, everywhere in the car, and I couldn't find them.  I made some calls and finally, after giving up hope, I was overcome by that awful feeling.   That terrible feeling like you're going to throw up and pass out and cry and your vision starts to blur around the edges.  You know the one?  It was at that moment that I knew where my keys were.  I could visualize them perfectly in my mind.  But it couldn't be... no.  It just couldn't be.

I made a quick phone call, described what all four keys looked like, what kind of keychain they were on, I even described the little ripped brown tag that's hanging on for dear life and I was met with a confident, "Yep.  They're here." apartment keys were at my parents' house in Minnesota!

I had no choice but to turn around and drive back.  I was finally, a week later than planned, on my way back to Pittsburgh and the fates threw one last, cruel twist.  After driving through the first severe thunderstorm, I got a call from my mother.  "It looks like there are some pretty nasty storms heading your way.  Tornadoes and everything.  Be careful!"  Well, three storms later, watching cows crowd under the trees and deer run for their lives I was finally reunited with my keys and here I sit, ready to scream at the top of my lungs while cursing the universe for this cruel joke.  I am more stressed and anxiety-ridden than ever before.  I fear that Brittany has died and shriveled up under her heat lamp because her water dried up two weeks ago, or maybe her lamp burnt out and she froze to death.  Maybe my mailbox is overflowing, or there are boxes waiting outside my apartment door (if they haven't already been stolen).  Maybe the ant infestation I so primitively dealt with using a lint roller before I left has returned while the moldy tofu I forgot to get rid of in my fridge continues its slow evolution into a sentient being.  I haven't played my clarinet in a week and it's very possible that someone has broken into my apartment and stolen all of my valuables and... I'M STILL IN MINNESOTA!!!!!!!!!!!

There, I feel better now.  Let's look at some flowers and pretend all is right with the world.


  1. 1) Awww...those boys are so cute. I'm looking forward to visiting them in four weeks. :D

    2) Also, I just noticed that you have a shit-ton of WIPs on your side bar.

    3) Maybe you subconsciously left your keys in StP because you really want to just stay there for the summer, or at least for another month so we can hang out?

  2. 4) I forgot to mention that you embedded that video just fine. Way to go!

  3. First thing's first. Where in god's name does your family go to school that they get to be in a circus?! Where do they even TRAIN to be in a circus? And how awesome IS your family? o_O

    As for the rest of it... of course I love your handspun. Do you think mine looks perfect every inch of it? Years of Rhinebeck judges would beg to differ and do every time. It's beautiful. Now get off your ass and finish it up so you can be the most sylin' clarinetist there ever was.

    And lastly, Fate really is cruel. Wouldn't it have been easier to have your parents over night the keys? You could have just slept on the front stoop until they got there.

    Oh, and do you have a lizard too?

  4. Sorry to read of your ordeal. Minnesota and Wisconsin can do that to you. I assume things are somewhat back to normal now. Pick up your knitting and your clarinet. Both will sooth you tremendously. btw, your handpsun is beautiful!

  5. Ugh. Sucko. I hope things improve quickly! On the bright side, your nephews are cute, just as you described them. Also, you're funny.

  6. I'm very sorry to hear that you've had to go through so much crap! I also really hope that your apartment hasn't been broken into (not that likely, right?) and that Brittany is ok.

    On the plus side, your knitting is gorgeous and your nephews are insanely cute! Hopefully things get back on track soon...

  7. Later when the sting wears off you'll have a "I can top THAT" story about your keys. :) Lovely knitting, handspun, and nephews.

  8. You appear to have a thing with keys. I seem to recall a flushing incident from a year or two ago? Hope all ends well ....

  9. Virtual chocolate and virtual hugs on the way to you, wherever you are right now.
    I am reading this sequence of events and thinking Oh, poor Peter, til I get to the end and now of course all I can picture is you lint rolling a small army of ants in your kitchen. :D

  10. Oh honey! I hope things improve quickly and you get back to PGH quickly and safely.


  11. I did steal a couple packages from your stoop, and am holding them ransom until you come pick them up.

    I'm also stealing and patenting your solution to ant infestations.

    I love how well you conveyed the drama of your cruel tragedy, and brought something beautiful up to relieve the angst. You crack me up.

    I do hope you find the silver lining. It's all water under the bridge now.

  12. Great post as always! So fun to see everything thats going on! You are sooooo close to FO's! And of course they look amazing!