Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Down on the Farm

Believe it or not, I did actually spend maybe a few hours in Connecticut between my 2 disaster Amtrak trips. And, to make up for the lack of livestock, foliage pictures from Rhinebeck - here's a taste of CT:
One of our big excursions over the weekend, was the long trip down the road to Five Pond Farm, where Kathryn buys her milk straight from the cow. The Farm was having a fundraiser, and I bought some lavender sachets and a few bars of soap. Also available were handknit felted bags, based on the Noni patterns, selling for $175 - only in CT!!!
Five Pond Farm also sells wool spun from its sheep - but it was basically a scratchy Shetland, and after Rhinebeck, the last thing I need is wool in my stash that I bought just because of atmosphere.

And what else does one do in suburban CT? Go to the mall, of course. At some point, Kath had to buy shoes for her husband. We were walking through the mall, and this guy at a flat iron kiosk whisked me aside, and told me he could straighten my hair in 15 minutes. Since I had no desire to shop for shoes for Kath's husband, I was like, buddy, if you can straighten my hair in 15 minutes, I'm buying that flat iron.

We all want what we can't have. Sometimes, that turns out to be a blessing in disguise - for example, all of you who are my age, and spent your teen years with that Tom Cruise poster from Risky Business or Top Gun on your wall - aren't you relieved that you can't have him! And sometimes, what we thought we wanted, we really didn't want at all once we had it, i.e., my straight hair.

When I was little, my daddy made me promise that I would never never never cut my hair. My hair was long, and wavy, and down to my ass, and around 4th grade, I rebelled and cut it all off. Mistake - daddy was right. No one knew what to do with my hair, and I spent my junior high and high school with a total 'fro. At Penn State, I finally found a hairdresser, who could cut my hair so that my curls would curl instead of frizz, but all I wanted was straight hair.

I have tried every product on the market to straighten my curls. First, I had some straightening process that burned the top of my head, and turned the color of my hair orange. Then, I did this thing called Paul Brown processing - which was supposedly gentle, from Hawaii. This torture session took 5 hours, and the ordeal entailed having every one of my curls matted down onto a long plastic board, until when my head was completely covered, it weighed at least 25 pounds, and I sat there with all of the fumes in my face for a good hour. Then, there was the Japanese thermal processing invasion - much like Barbra Streisand in the Way We Were - I had my hair ironed. The Japanese thermal processing took several hours, cost a gazillion dollars, and was completely permanent.

No more curls.

And, for about a year, I wore my hair completely straight. I did the process 3 times - and on the last time - my hair broke. That's right - broke, in the middle of the back of my head, and I had to cut my very long hair to just below my ear. And back came the curls.

And I was happy. I was me again. I was free - and so was my hair - no more ironing, no more blowdrying, no more straight hair.

But, it's always nice to do something different for a change. And, this new flat iron gets hotter than Hades, and I don't even have to blow dry my hair with all of that pulling with the roll brush. It's amazing. My best purchase in CT!

I also finally gave Kathryn her birthday present, the Shetland triangle from Wrap Style. I don't know why blogger flipped the one picture, but it did - of course, this is in Anne - ah Anne! I knit Shetland Triangle last Passover - this was the shawl/scarf that I swatched in bed - making for interesting bedfellows - hello pin! Oopsy. Based on the pattern, the shawl can be as big or as small as you want it to be - you just keep doing the pattern repeat over and over again. My bed swatching didn't work out so well, and I totally wasn't on gauge - although I liked the gauge that I was at with Anne - the problem was yarddage. How far could I really go? So, I sat in front of the t.v. all weekend with my mother's Weight Watcher scale, weighing my skein every repeat or so. The scale never changed - hmm, maybe that's why Weight Watchers never works out so well for me.
For me, I probably would have used 2 skeins of Anne, and made it bigger, but I only had one, and it was a race to see if I would have enough yarn to finish each repeat. Ah, the suspense of knitting!

So to pass the time in CT, because that's what one seems to do in CT, pass time, I taught Kathryn to knit. We went to her yarn store, a Stitch in Time, and bought Manos, the yarn I used for my first knitting project. I have to say, either I'm an awesome teacher, or Kath is a natural, because she cast on without blinking an eye, and didn't drop nary a stitch while I was there. Hopefully, she can keep up the good work -

And, besides Amtrak, there was one other disaster over the weekend. I showed Kath my blog, and she really liked the wire bracelet, and asked if I would make one for her boss to give to her at Christmas. So, we went to Walmart and bought supplies. Walmart was out of straight metal knitting needles, so I decided to use my Addi's that I had brought with me.
For train knitting, as I've already said, I finished Maude, and had brought what I needed to start my Wallabee in the Brooks Farm Four Play (more on that tomorrow, because there's a disaster in the making there, too) - a circular 5, a circular 7, 5 double points, and 7 double points. Over the weekend, I made pretty good headway on the ribbing at the bottom of the sweater, and was getting ready to switch to the 7's - when diaster struck! I broke my addi 7's with the wire. Panic set in - I had a premonition about the train being late again - what would I do if I had no knitting. So, I tried melting the Addi's back together again -
Clearly, that didn't work. Luckily, after the trip to Five Pond Farm, we were able to go back to a Stitch N Time and procure another 7. I can't even imagine that Amtrak trip if I hadn't solved that problem.


Sherry W said...

Whoa, that must have been some serious wire.

I like your hair curly, but indeed it's nice to have options. After letting mine grow out a couple inches, I discovered that my hair had developed a wave. Now I'm using every scrucning gel and spray in the world to make it curl more. Your never happy with what you have!

Dorothy said...

I like my curls too. Although they are mostly waves now that my hair is so short.

Too bad about your Addi's. That is some scary wire!

Molly said...

oh god, I was accosted in a mall by one of those hair straightening guys a couple of months ago. He only straightened one section of my hair (in the front, of course), to show me how well it worked. Yeah, it worked great. Even 3 months later, that one section is *still* straight, while the rest of my hair is curly as ever. Not cute.
You're just lucky you took the time to have him do your whole head, and if it's the same type of flat iron, it is pretty darn permanent!!

Kathy said...

No picture of the hair? That's always the way, we want what we do not have...

I can't imagine the hell that the trip would have been had you not gotten new needles! Scary!

Theresa said...

I once tried to superglue some circular needles. It was similarly, er, successful.

s t a c i said...

I have matchstick-straight hair that I'm always trying to make curly. My dream hair is a head full of curly, curly, curls.

I can't believe you broke an Addi!! I've always imagined them to be so strong...that wire really did a number on it!

Kniterella said...

I'm with Kathy - where is the picture?

buttercup said...

I always wanted my stick straight hair to be curly too. And I got my wish... My gray hairs have decided to start curling.

A true example of "be careful what you wish for".