Wednesday, March 25, 2009

in which the author attempts to argue that buying yarn is an indispensable step in preparing to move

It's like this. Almost exactly four years ago, my mother went to Aylin's Woolgatherer in search of a birthday present for me. She came back with two balls of a lovely orange wool, and a gift certificate for twice as many dollars as I had years. Aylin's being, as it is, in Northern VA, and I being, as I was, in Atlanta, I knew I wouldn't be able to use it right away, so I tucked it somewhere safe and planned to use it in a couple of months when I was back home.

Fast forward four years. That gift certificate has been rattling among my papers all this time. Many, many things have happened since then. I've bought two cars, moved five times, held two full-time jobs and two part-time, taken the LSAT, decided not to apply to law school, and had a handful each of religious and romantic crises. Oh, and shaved my head. With all this going on, is it any wonder I never found time to use that gift certificate?

Anyhow, now as my NoVA time is running out, I realized that I'd better spend that gift certificate now or it would forever be a reproachful paper in my file box. And since this was the week I had scheduled to pack up most of my crafty things, I decided this was a good week to buy more crafty things for me to pack up.

So I went down to Aylin's on Monday. This, I should mention, was my very first experience of the Local Yarn Store, an entity so well known among knitters that knitbloggers just use the acronym. It is a very, very different thing from your craft store that carries yarn. It is a lush haven of -- actually, I'm not going to do that, because I'm sure many, many people have already written up poetic descriptions of the Local Yarn Store and I don't feel like trying to match the eloquence I'm sure they attained. I wandered around the store with my inner monologue on a one-word loop: "pretty-pretty-pretty-pretty..."

One thing I wasn't prepared for was that none of the yarn was marked with a price. After browsing for a while, though, I understood the wisdom of this: how kind and thoughtful of them it was, because if I knew how much each skein cost I would have been plagued with tiresome thoughts like, "If I buy one of these I can only get one other small thing, and what should it be, but if I buy this instead I can get three, only I don't like any of the colors that much" (that would have been a lie, by the way: I liked ALL of the colors of EVERYTHING; it was only a question of which ones made me say "pretty-pretty-pretty" and which ones made me melt into a puddle of love and longing right there). Holy cow, can you believe that was all one sentence? Anyway, knitting is all about peace and calm and releasing nervous tension (except the week before Christmas), and putting price tags on the yarn would have totally gone against the spirit of the thing. (There was also a sign reading, Your husband called: he said buy whatever you want! which I thought was terribly cute and revealed in a new light how this and all my other hobbies might someday affect the poor bloke who ends up sharing a bank account with me.)

At long last, I went to the desk with three skeins of yarn and a set of needles, which I hoped would come out to more or less the amount of the gift certificate. I had also picked out in my head exactly which skeins I would dash back and grab in the event that I came out under-par. (Note the plural there: I can only describe this as "wishfully stupid.") Turns out I picked out yarn for the exact right amount: the total of the gift certificate plus nearly all my lunch money for the rest of the week.*

So now I have three skeins more to deal with than I had before, which is no problem at all when they're so pretty, and in fact I have another gift certificate that I got last Christmas, just to A. C. Moore this time, and I am totally going to buy more yarn there this very afternoon, because that way I'll have all the yarn I'm going to buy before moving, and I can organize my projects-to-keep-out and projects-to-pack later this very afternoon, and anyway I don't think there's an A. C. Moore in Atlanta so I need to use it before I move, and I have carefully avoided looking it up online to see if that's true.

*The cleverer of you may ask, "What if the yarn you picked had cost the total of your gift certificate plus your lunch money for the next two weeks? Would that have also been the exact right amount?" Yes, yes it would. Shut up.