Monday, January 27, 2014

While-U-Wait knitting

Even a minimally-heated train station waiting room is an excellent place for knitting.

Recognize these socks?  They're the ones in gorgeous but now-discontinued Viola yarn I so bravely started lo these many months ago (like, 18 maybe?) and then stopped working on because they were coming out smaller than my usual size and I didn't know how many rounds to do before starting the toe.  Yes, I am logical.

A 'knitting while waiting' story

This past weekend, I went off on a little train holiday to Stratford, Ontario.

If you've never been to Stratford, you probably don't know what a beautiful place it is, especially in the warmer months of the year when the Stratford Festival is open.  It's a very compact and walkable community with gorgeous parkland and swan-filled river at its heart, in addition to the theatre and all the Bed and Breakfasts and restaurants serving patrons of same.

It's still pretty in winter, but there can be rather a lot more snow.

Which explains why I opted not to sit out on my balcony at the Duggan Place Heritage Inn.

During a happier part of the holiday, I even managed to buy some knitting supplies, owing to their being two yarn stores right downtown.  Thank you, Knitmap!

I bought this yarn from Estelle for absolutely no good reason from String Fever on Ontario Street, but yarn frolicking is also an option at Close Knit Quality Yarns, on Wellington.  (if you're waiting for a pattern for my handspun hat, you'll be happy to know that this yarn is about the right weight for making one.  I'll keep you posted.)

And let's not forget chocolate, easily procurable at either Rheo Thompson or at Chocolate Barr's, where I bought this sweet gift for a neighbour:

Pretty sure that is the cutest bird in the world.

On our last evening though, it was becoming clear that there was storminess afoot.

This tree, which astonishingly was enough taller than the very large house to be visible through the 3rd floor skylight, kept swaying.  And there were so many clickings and gustings going on while it did so, I was pretty sure we were in for it.

The next morning revealed several inches of snow blocking all the paths and sidewalks, making the trip to the train station a bit of an adventure, and when we got to the station we discovered that our train would be perhaps 30 minutes late.  Word was that heavy snow on the tracks was preventing the trains from running, and that a plow would be needed to clear the way from London, where our train was trapped, to Toronto.

For the next little while, we watched the numbers on the arrivals and departures board change.  40 minutes late - no, only 35 minutes late. Wait, let's say an hour and ten minutes.  Okay, maybe another 45 minutes from now.  Sometimes we'd go to look at the board and see the numbers change right in front of us.  It got pretty depressing, even though we did get to watch the snowplow leave Stratford for the rescue in London, leaving mounds of snow in its wake.

Fortunately, I had my knitting (plus two slices of leftover pizza from the incomparable Pazzo in a cooler bag, which came in handy as our wait stretched out over lunchtime.)

As I continued knitting, I snuck a lot of shy glances at a woman in the other half of the room who was making the. most. beautiful. something I have ever seen.  I think it was a sock.  It was a colourblock knit - several inches of brown, then of an earthy grey, then of a rich wine red, and the red section was a 2x2 ribbing, which I think is just genius because the sock would stay snug without your having to go crazypants doing 6-8 inches of straight ribbing.  And where each colour changed, there appeared to be one round of a fourth colour, something very dark, to make a border.  So elegant! The whole thing appeared to be knit in heavy fingering. Just stunning, both in terms of design, and also of my being able to see all of this from where I was sitting.  Ah, if only I had been brave enough to go over and ask about it... but before I could work up the nerve, she had given up waiting and left the building.

Meanwhile, I worked diligently away and got my sock onto the heel flap.

Outside, the snow started again, and I reminded myself that the people taking our place at the bed and breakfast for that night had had to cancel owing to the highways being closed... so there was space for us to come back if necessary.  In other good news, the vending machine in the station had not yet exhausted its supply of sustenance.

Because you know how hungry a chompy sock gets as it's turning around into a gusset.

And the board went on looking pretty much like this:

Then suddenly - we could hardly believe it!  The snowplow came back, with our train not at all far behind.  Yay!

Sitting down on those comfy upholstered seats with heat zooming out of panels into the cosy train car was pretty much heaven.  Outside, the storm continued:

And inside, I carried on with my sock.

Because of course, train rides are especially perfect for knitting.

Tomorrow, I have a cute knit to show you.  For now: still warming up and catching up from my unexpectedly long break!  I sure hope your weekend was just peaceful without all the cold and wind and waiting.

(ps: the other one of this pair of socks is already finished, so it's just possible the two might go on active service before their two-year anniversary of being started.  yay!)

No comments: