Monday, June 2, 2008

Field Trip!

On Friday, my boss came by my office and was chatting with my subordinates and I. He asked what my plans were for the weekend, and I talked excitedly about the Ottawa Knitting Guild field trip coming up on Sunday. I told him how we'd travel to Perth to see a yarn store I hadn't seen before, how there would be reps there from two different yarn companies and a trunk shop of their latest wares, how there would be alpacas from Victory Alpaca to feed and adore, and how we'd cap the day off at a local organic bakery. I could see his face grow increasingly disbelieving as I talked, so I injected more and more detail about the fun we'd have and the fiber we'd find.

Strangely, the more animated I got in trying to get across to him that this was for me a really cool day and a big adventure, the more he got "that look" on his face. You know the look. The "holy crap, I didn't realize you utterly had no life" look. The "so that's how the other half lives" look. The "you're much stranger and less interesting than I thought" look.

Eventually, much later than I should have, I realized I simply wouldn't convince him, and just shut up and bore the mocking with a smile.

It was indeed as cool as I thought it would be. Kate and I showed up at the meeting place, a Tim Horton's in Stittsville, defiantly brandishing our Starbucks lattes. There were a good 20 women with their needles and elbows at the ready. We drove, more or less in convoy, to Perth and turned off onto Glen Tay road to visit Janie H Knits. More guildies were already at Janie's, presumably to buy the good stuff before the rest of us had a chance.

Her shop is simply amazing and absolutely worth the drive. She has friendly, helpful staff, boatloads of exciting fiber, all sorts of interesting tools and accessories, a sizable library of books, baskets of on-sale sock yarn, and a lovely serene swing, overlooking a river out back... perfect to curl up with a good book on. The baby alpacas and their endearing little hums charmed me utterly, and I bet I wasn't the only one.

It was acceptable in the 80's... these charming young lads do a mean Bowie impersonation.

Kate, looking very glam, blowing kisses to the curious lads.

I spent my "allowance" and more, having fallen hard for a pretty little vest knit of Freedom Spirit wool and somehow acquired the yarn and booklet with which to make it. Also falling into my basket was a skein of Prairie Fibre sock yarn (which I think is made in Saskatchewan), some Handmaiden Casbah wool/cashmere sock yarn (to be made into a pair of socks for my Grandma, whose feet won't know what hit them), and some bargain-bin yet lovely and soft wool/bamboo sock yarn.

Even though Janie gave us Guildies a nice discount on our loot, I'm pretty sure she made a killing on us. Some ladies filled bags with yarn, went outside, fed the alpacas, remembered "just one more thing" that they needed, and came out with another full bag and a dazed look on their faces. It was like a feeding frenzy.

Afterwards, we drove to Perth and had lunch at Fiddleheads, as the bakery was closed. Good yarn, good food and good company made the day an utter pleasure from beginning to end.

A hard day all round: Ginger crashed in my pile of handbags. She's still in quarantine until this weekend.


~V said...

Oh my goodness!!!!!!! The alpacas would be worth the drive itself, even if I am pretty much a non-knitter at the moment (no focus) -- thanks for sharing the details of your splendid day. Photos of your scrumptious buys coming soon perhaps?

Leanne said...

Thanks for the trip report. Sounds like a fabulous day. I'm so sorry I missed it. I had been really looking forward to going as well, but wasn't able to.

Amazing, isn't it, the reactions of non-knitters when we talk about these things. They really don't get it. I experienced the same thing last summer when I went with some friends on a yarn crawl to Montreal. Had I told people that four of us took the train to Montreal for the day to hit a bunch of clothing stores, nobody would have thought twice. But substitute clothing store by yarn store, and all of a sudden they get that look. And they say we're the strange ones :-)

Five Ferns Fibreholic said...

Some people just don't get it do they. You can't imagine how glad I am to have married a man who gets it.

I would have loved to have gone with you and the rest of the guildies but I'm trying to save up for my massive spending spree in August.

knitjo said...

I am so GREEN with envy!! I'm glad you and Kate could go...should have called in sick (my sick days are GONE and it's only June!) The worse thing is I used them all on I-really-don't-want-to-go-to-work-today!! You won't tell will you?

Susan said...

Knitjo... isn't that the best possible use of "sick" days? :)

Bergère de Lochaber said...

Great shot of the alpacas! I forgot my camera...sigh