A little bit of writing, a little bit of knitting...

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Still Recovering...

Wow! What a weekend!

It all started on Thursday night, when the local critics met up for drinks before making our way over to Snakes on a Plane. We were all so excited. Most of the gang was wearing their very own Snakes T-shirts. And one of the guys brought some plastic toy snakes -- which, upon getting to the theater, he was forced to return to his car. The theater people said there were no snakes allowed in the theater. They didn't want anyone getting riled up, you know. Of course, despite all their threats and warnings, there were still plastic snakes and gummy worms *everywhere*.

I've been to a lot of movies, but the only time I've seen a crowd this rowdy was opening night of Star Wars: Episode I. There were costumes and T-shirts. One guy led a cheer. People did the wave. And once the movie started, it got even louder. People cheered and laughed and screamed and hissed through the whole thing. It was the greatest movie-going experience of the year. As for the movie, it was exactly as I expected: campy and hilarious, yet totally gruesome. For my full review, you can check out NightsAndWeekends.com tomorrow morning.

I got home well past midnight, and, of course, I couldn't sleep. So by the time I picked Chandra up at a little after 9 on Friday morning, I was already beat -- and the weekend hadn't even begun yet! We spent much of the day driving, getting more and more excited as we drove. And we finally made it to the sale around 4.

When we entered the tent, we were greeted by a box of "shopping bags" -- which were actually giant black garbage bags. And it took no time at all to fill them. There were bins and bins and bins of full bags of yarn, giant cones, huge hanks, and 1-pound bags of various other stuff. I was in heaven. It didn't take long at all for me to fill my bag with so much yarn that I could barely carry it.

Then we loaded up the car and prepared to actually go inside the store:

Inside the store, we found a few more goodies. Then, while Chandra was admiring a bag of something, a woman walked up behind her and said, "There are huge hanks of that in the tent -- they just put them out." Chandra dropped what she was looking at, we paid for our purchases, and we went straight back to the tent.

It's amazing how much damage we did in a little over an hour.

That night, we didn't actually have a place to stay. Our arrangements had fallen through (*long* story), so we decided to wing it. Finally, after a couple of hours of finding only hotels that were well beyond our budget, hotels that were full, and hotels where pimps bargained for two-hour stays (as it turns out, there was a big lacrosse tournament in the area), we found a somewhat decent place. Granted, we could only get a smoking room. And, after we wandered through the mall down the street and had Pizza Pizza for dinner, we came back to our room to discover that a band of wandering hippies had set up a bunch of chairs by the pool -- right outside our room -- and they sat around playing a guitar and singing until at least midnight.

But we were too tired to care.

We were so overwhelmed by the day's activities that we didn't even knit. We just set our purchases out on the bed and admired them. And played with them. And talked about what we were going to do with them. Next year, I'm bringing my swift and ball-winder -- because I would have had everything balled and ready to go by the end of the night.

The next morning, we woke up with all the after-effects of a long night of smoking, thanks to our room. By that time, we were eager to get the heck out of there, so we showered, ate some muffins, and hit the road. We took our time, stopping for a couple of hours at a giant farmers' market, where we admired all kinds of vegetables that we'd never even seen before. We wished we hadn't eaten breakfast -- because there were so many fresh baked goods there. But we'll be back next year -- and we'll be prepared.

After the market stop, we headed back to the store -- because, of course, overnight, we'd had our regrets. I regretted not buying a couple of bags of random stuff, and Chandra wanted to get some more dyeable yarn ($9CDN/bag of 5 223-yd balls). When we got there, the place was packed. The parking lot was full, and there was a stand set up, selling drinks and hot dogs. Inside the tent, there was a long line of people waiting to pay for their haul. But I braved it out and bought a couple more bags of yarn.

Once we'd hit the road, we decided to head for the lake -- to knit by the water for a while. But after we'd been on the road for about ten minutes, it started to pour. So we ended up changing our plans and heading to London. There, we ate poutine in the mall before heading to Chapters to drink coffee and knit. We didn't stay *too* long, though -- because we knew that we might be in for another hotel hunt.

Fortunately, our second night's search wasn't nearly as painful. We eventually found a great place that had non-smoking rooms available -- and it was even cheaper than the dump we'd been in the night before. So we unpacked, settled in, and did some knitting in our room before venturing out again. We did a little shopping at the mall (we found a lot of malls this weekend...), then we stuffed ourselves at Jack Astor's before heading back to our room and knitting in front of the TV for the rest of the night. In the morning, we loaded up, stopped at Tim Horton's for coffee and bagels (and TimBits), and hit the road. I was home by about 5.

I couldn't wait to dump everything out on the living room floor:

So here's what I got (clockwise, from top):
2lbs of Cotton Tots: $2
2lbs of Shetland Chunky Tweed: $2
2lbs of, I think, Max, which is just new: $2
1 bag of Matrix: $6
1 bag of Katrina: $12
3 bags of Classic Wool: $22.50
2lb cone of cotton: $4
1lb Brilliant: $5.99
1 bag Fresco: $2
1 bag LuLu: $3

The total in US$: around $55

The estimated total value (including the Max, which isn't available yet, though I got 12.3 balls of it -- and it's got to be, estimating low, worth at least $5 a ball, right?): around $500.

Not bad, huh? Even with the hotel costs and food and gas, I still ended up saving lots -- and I didn't even expect to.

I've already made a scarf for my sister-in-law out of the Matrix. And I wound the Cotton Tots into two giant balls, each roughly the size of my head. Though I'd really just like to sit around and look at it, I'm gradually finding places for all of it. And I'm coming up with all kinds of project ideas. So far, I've got a million baby sweaters, two million dishcloths, maybe some felted clogs, Tempting, and a few other various sweaters. That should keep me busy for a while, don't you think?

I had such a great time this weekend. I'm beat, but I had so much fun. I can't wait till next year!


Blogger Sourire11 said...

Wow. Just wow. I'm swooning over the bags of classic wool... and the cotton tots... I'm so not missing this sale next year!

Snakes on a Plane!!! That's really all I've got on that...

11:56 AM

Anonymous Beth M. said...

what deals!!!!
Do 'show and tell'...
We're meeting Thursday at the coffee house... what to join us and make us envy you?

4:36 PM

Anonymous mitten maven said...

Glad you made it back safe and sound and not too broke!

7:49 PM

Anonymous Ruth said...

What a super lot of yarn you scored, you know you're giving the rest of us yarn envy...lol

9:17 AM

Blogger auntgerry said...

Hey Jill, Sounds like a fun trip with all the bargains. You'll have to show us at Thursday morn knitting. I won't be there tomorrow as I will be in Chicago, but maybe next week.
Also can you give me the details on that great knitting book. Something about Knitting Nature. I need the authour name and publisher and do I have the title correct? Please put it on my blog or answer here. Thanks.

5:28 PM

Anonymous Emily said...

I am in AWE.

6:50 PM

Anonymous meg said...

Holey smokes, I'm envious! Sounds like heaven! Where is this magical place?

4:39 PM

Blogger kdk said...

Hi Meg -- the store in Ontario (check out the site). Where in Michigan are you? Maybe you can meet up with us for next year's tent sale...

5:04 PM


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