Monday, May 30, 2016

Socks on a train: the colour course

Okay, one sock.  How much sock can you knit on a train?

Compare my five hour ride to Ottawa last month (zero sock) to six 25 minute trips to and from the airport:

Tons of sock.  Tons!  I am all the way up to the heel flap here people, and I have no idea how this was possible, especially since I was super tired the whole time.  Conferences do that to you, have you noticed?  You go into a training meeting and between the presentations and the peer conversations, you walk out like a Halloween pumpkin that's had all the seeds from every other pumpkin on the block loaded in with the ones you started with.

Complete with slightly crazed, lopsided grin, if we're going to be honest here.

Now, about this train ride.  It's a long way between its final stop and the conference hotel, and I was ferried either way by means of a complimentary shuttle - five times out of the six, by Nazeer.  He could not have been nicer.  And while we were chatting on one of those rides he said he still hadn't tried the train from the airport to the train station downtown.

Oh, I said, the view when you're leaving the airport is amazing.  You're right up over all the highway loops and overpasses and they're so beautiful it's like sculpture.

Did you take a picture? he asked.

No, I said, the train moves too fast to get your camera out.

But once I was on the last ride I thought - Nazeer is right, I should take a picture.  So I grabbed my camera and got these shots.

The conductor caught me doing this and said Hey, if you want pictures, sit on the other side of the train because there's a great view of the skyline from there, and I heard myself say "Oh, it's okay, I wanted pictures of THE HIGHWAY."

Who says this??

But seriously: it's gorgeous, isn't it.

I learned loads more in the three days of Maria Killam's colour training than I can share here, but I do have some highlights.

1) Renovating, designing, and decorating is not magically easy just because you are a professional with years of experience and easy access to loads of fabulous suppliers.  Sometimes, the problem to solve is big enough to be hard for anybody.  It makes me feel SO much better to know this, and if you've been reading Hugs over the last year, You Know Why.

2) Tiramisu is actually made of clouds.  Clouds of delicious sugar.

3) Once you've learned to recognize the undertones in colour you can't unsee them, thereby ruining every walk past buildings for the rest of your life because most buildings have really bad colour combinations right down to their brick and stone.

4) I am so grateful Pete did not want a stone facade on our house to go with our brick because that practically never works and is sometimes deeply awful.

5) Although I have never given much thought to interior design or trends in same, I don't need to worry as much as I do about messing up our very expensive house project.  It turns out I'm a lot better at it than I thought and do have a real, live personal style, which I can summarize as Anything Old That Will Hold Books And My Teacup.  What can I say?  Because I am the daughter of parents who were children during the Depression, of course my default policy for my first few apartments was to accept castoff furniture when my friends were upgrading from what their parents cast off to them - all of it pre-1960.  Then when I had more choice, because I was by then drawn to every look prior to 1960, I never fell into any of the trends that cause problems later.  I just always had a white kitchen and bathroom because that was safest, and never fell into a furniture trend because I never had the money to buy a sofa when trends were most actively in play.  Whew.

6) I really, really like meeting new people.  I met SO many people over the weekend - not just the ones in the course, who I loved and wish I could see again, but people traveling into the city who needed help finding their transfer point or calling their hotel for a shuttle.  It felt great to be part of their days as well as my own.  Must remember this about myself the next time I am settling blissfully into a two-day run of not having to leave the house At. All - I am not 100% Hermit but only a sort of Hermit Hybrid.

7) I desperately want a pink bedroom this time, which is odd because I had a semi- pink bedroom as a little girl and didn't like it (except for the ballerina curtains which were a constant source of interest, imagining little faces in the ballerinas' drawn figures, and thinking about what the ballerinas might be doing next if they were real).  BUT it turns out I don't like any of the pinks in the fan deck I got to take home.

8) I have my own fan deck for paint, just like a grownup!!!

9) Okay, #8 isn't really a thing I learned, it's just a thing, but it was REALLY exciting especially now that we don't live a ten minute walk from the paint store.  From here on, it's just instant gratification when I want to check a colour.  Yaaaaay!

10) Andy - my kitchen designer, in case you can no longer keep all the names straight - is a very, very patient man and even though he was on the brink of putting in our order, he did not flip when I asked whether we could change from screaming white to not-really-white-at-all (technical terms compliments of moi).  Instead he talked with me for about forty minutes on a Saturday night no less, completely agreed with my reasoning, and backed me up with related experience of his other installations.  Thank you Andy!

The women at my table were also super patient because they had to sit near me while I slowly froze from the head down over two days prior to me talking to Andy, looking at pictures of unsuccessfully decorated rooms that featured the white paint I asked for alongside the other colours I've picked.  After a few hours I was entirely still from panic except, you know, for my mouth, through which I kept muttering random remarks like Cloud white? Simply white? Chantilly Lace?  Arg?  My table-mates were very comforting and offered advice which was super helpful and I am so grateful to them.

Of course I kept agonizing even after all this input, but I've now accepted that this is a question without a clear answer, and that at some point today I will finish my Eenie Meenie Minie Moe exercise and just hand Andy the final choice while averting my eyes.

But before I do that, let's take one more look at this very pretty sock, shall we?

Heel flap complete.  It's pretty, but the colourway is called 'Kiss Me Deadly' and oh, look!  it's another Chompy Sock!  watch out, knitting bag. 

Oh I do love a good Chompy Sock.  Wouldn't it be nice if they stayed that size forever?

Okay, gotta go seal my doom - you have a good day, and I'll see you tomorrow.

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