Sunday, May 27, 2007

Fire Prevention

Friday morning was SSK. Since I am loathe to leave my studio and venture into the world, I use the *I'm already dressed and out* excuse to also run errands, buy groceries, pay bills etc., on the same trip. After my big outing (it's a small town) I arrived home to a phone message from my LYS that the Addi lace needles were in.

I've been waiting for them. This deserved an unprecedented second trip out. I hopped in the car and took off with just my keys and purse only to see, not too far away as country miles go, a fat plume of white smoke: a fire just starting.

I hesitated for a moment, watching the smoke billow.

I live down a long two lane highway, the only road in this direction, which has been known to be closed in times of fire, to allow fire equipment and personnel unencumbered access.

I might not be able to get home.

Several thoughts were in play: if it's a bad fire, I might want to evacuate, and save a few of my possessions.

If I can't get home, I'd be sitting out on the roadway, with all the neighbors, perhaps for several hours, with no knitting.

In favor of continuing: Friday was the start of a three day weekend here (Memorial Day for those not in the US). I wanted all my errands done so I did not have to leave the house for the next three days.

I wanted those knitting needles. I have a project going now, on 3's in bamboo, wherein I have been cursing said bamboos at every k2tog.

I've been waiting for those needles. I've been known to drop in to my LYS periodically, for the last several months, asking if the needles had arrived yet. The owner and employee at the LYS have been known, in recent months, to announce as I arrive at the shop that the needles had not arrived yet, even when I was there to buy something else.

I had been a pain. I had been bugging them. I had them hold a few sets of needles for me, and I was afraid they'd make a mistake and sell them to someone else.

What was more important, fire or knitting?

Obviously, knitting.

I continued on. I ruminated on the validity of my decision while I drove down the road. As I made my way towards town, emergency vehicles, fire trucks and pumpers, raced past me going the other way, to the fire. There was still time to turn around.

The road was not closed yet.

I had no knitting with me.

Food and water, you will note, were not a thought. That's because when the road closes, a local grocery store has been known to drive out with bottled water and sandwiches for the stranded. I was kind of looking forward to a turkey sandwich or something. Such is my calumny that I would eat and drink while Rome, er, Peardale burned.

But I had no knitting.

But! (and you all knew there would be a happy ending, right?) I was going to a knitting store. I could buy a new project! I was buying needles anyway, why not buy yarn! And a book of patterns! New projects! I drove on, in confidence, planning what I wanted to buy to entertain myself while Peardale burned.

Here is what Eileen (at the LYS) and I decided on:

bearfoot yarn

I would learn to do 2 socks on 2 circs while Peardale burned. Red yarn! Fun! (Mountain Colors Bearfoot, I think, but Eileen ran it into a ball for me, and I don't have the label).

Driving towards home, I scanned the skyline for billows of smoke. I couldn't see any. We live in an area with ridges and valleys though, and around every corner is a new vista. I kept a wary eye, all the way home. Note that: All the way home. The fire was out. The fire trucks were driving out as I came in. It's still spring, with a little moisture in the grasses and leaves, so the dry conditions of high fire season are not yet fully here. This fire was out.

I drove all the way home with my new needles, a ball of new yarn, and, alas, no turkey sandwich.

So now I am happily knitting with my new needles, instead of the bamboos:

alpaca scarf

The review? mixed results: the tips are fabulous, the joins are great, the needles are slippery and the yarn is slippery. Sigh. I've dropped a few stitches getting used to the new needles.

I think I will invent bamboo needles with sharp points and good joins. And then bug my LYS until they stock them. Also, make a turkey sandwich.


Blogger Spindlers2 said...

Evil thoughts passed through my mind when I saw the title of this blog entry.......

I am very relieved to know that yurt, cabin etc are all safe, as is the surrounding area. (Speaking of which, I think the yurt can just be seen on Google Earth, but that could be wishful thinking.)

Great yarn colour. I, however, will stick to five bamboos as my needles-of-choice for socks.

9:47 AM  
Blogger Shelia said...

I have to agree with Carol - I'm a DP kind of gal. I, also, think that the Addi Lace needles are nice, but only useful for non-slippery yarns, and I probably won't buy more unless I need something really, really longer than any needles I already have.

10:34 AM  
Blogger Marcy said...

I, for one, am very relieved that you have your priorities straight.

6:06 PM  
Blogger Caroline M said...

I have a lace needle on order so I can see for myself the difference. I too would have driven to the store and returned suitably equipped. The alternative would have been to have spent the whole (long) weekend wishing that is what you had done.

11:52 PM  
Blogger cindy said...

What a great story that only a knitter could truly appreciate!!You were ready for every eventuality;you never can underestimate a knitter's tenacity in such circumstances.

12:16 PM  
Blogger Sharon said...

This is the season of road work, and this is what I have discovered. To avoid getting caught in construction delays, if I have knitting on the passenger seat of my car that I would love to knit on, I get waved right on through behind the pilot car. It works like a charm, rather like garlic with vampires.

6:48 PM  
Blogger claudia said...

Great story! But you learned your lesson....always throw the knitting in the car.

I like the point on the Addi lace needles, but the texture of the needles is different from the old ones. Jury is still out.

7:37 AM  
Blogger Nancy said...

Yes, the Addis take a bit of getting used to. But you're right - the lack of a bumpy join is worth the effort.

And I always keep a pair of socks-in-progress in the car, just in case.

7:13 AM  

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