The Yarn Gourmet Important Information

Location: 2915 Mishawaka Ave, South Bend IN 46615 (across from River Park Furniture)
Phone: 574-232-9276

Hours: Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday: 10 - 5
Friday: 10 - 8
Saturday: 9 - 3
Closed Sunday & Monday

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Storm carnage

The following was written Saturday morning when I had no phone or internet.

And how did all of you enjoy the storm last night?

My drive home was interesting, to say the least. Everything was fine and dandy when I left the shop at about 6. Sunny but hazy, warm verging on to hot. I went up Ironwood and stopped at Martin’s for salad bar, as I usually do. Takes me all of ten minutes.

In those ten minutes the whole complexion of the weather changed. When I came outside the sky was pitch black to the west, and moving fast. I decided it may be good to expedite getting home. It wasn’t raining yet, but it was obvious that it would soon.

I headed up Ironwood, and the world started coming to an end. Trees whipping to and fro like kelp in a tide, small branches and twigs coming down. And rain – it began to rain in earnest. I decided discretion being the better part of valor, I would take a left onto Cleveland and then go up 933.

As I was headed down Cleveland the wind and rain picked up. Now there were some very large branches down in various yards, and the wind was so bad that a couple times I thought I was going to be pushed into the car beside me. I headed up 933, and when I got to the traffic light at Auten it was flashing instead of cycling. I construed this as a bad omen.

I turned onto Auten and all hell broke loose. Huge limbs down across the road, leaving just enough room to maneuver around them. Rain driving so hard that at idle speed I couldn’t see five feet in front of me, and the water on the road was fearsome. Even in an SUV there were a few times that I thought I might not make it through the water. I was, however, on a mission to get home.

I turned up Lilac and within 150 yards there was a big branch across the road. I could have gotten around it with a little off-roading onto a lawn, but 50 yards past that there was a whole tree across the road, and I guessed that these two would not be the only ones and I might not be able to get around the others. So I turned around.

I headed west on Auten again, and what a rodeo that was, mainly from a water on the road perspective. But the bull riding portion of the rodeo began when I turned up Portage – it was like running a giant slalom, with branches across the road just enough that I had to go off the shoulder to get past them. One van ahead of me got stuck in the mud off the shoulder and very nearly blocked everything for the rest of us.

I made it to my house about an hour after I left Martin’s, a drive that only should have taken 15 minutes. I pulled into the yard and up under the front deck as far as I could go, since I knew the power was out and I would have to go inside to open the garage door. I forgot, though, that when one opens the garage door manually it does not open completely, leaving it just about two inches too low for me to pull the Toyota into the garage. Horsefeathers, as my father would say.

So the Toyota stayed outside and my salad and I went inside. I went to the front windows to see what damage had been done, and discovered that the top half of the tree on the west side of the driveway was now the world’s largest widow-maker, having hung up on the oak on the other side of the driveway. It was also directly over where Bob normally parks. From the back windows I could see that my patio table was lying on its side on the deck, but my umbrella was halfway across the backyard.

I went up to my neighbor’s house and she graciously let me use her cell to call Bob at work and warn him not to park in his usual spot. A good thing, too, as by morning the largest branch of the widow-maker collection had dropped at least three more feet.

A charming fact about being without electric at my house is that we have a well, so no electricity to run the pump, no water for a shower. When Bob got home last night from working in a machine shop and reeking of machine oil, he couldn’t take his usual pre-bed shower. He said he would sleep on the couch rather than bring his fragrant self to bed, but I lovingly pointed out that it was still raining, and that rain makes a dandy shower. So at my behest my darling husband went outside buck naked and stood in the rain. I love that man.

Alas, I, too, was shower-less this morning, but did not have rain to use as an ersatz shower. I put some cosmetics in a sandwich bag and came to the shop early, and used the restroom to freshen up. It is a sad reality that the lighting in the restroom is adequate for its intended purpose – piddling and hand washing – but leaves a bit to be desired for applying make-up. I fear I may resemble either Tammy Baker or The Joker this morning.

It is sunny and glorious outside; one would hardly know that last night was a frog’s whisker short of a tornado. As I sit here typing this I have electricity at the shop, but no phone or internet – I’m actually typing this in Word. But the yarn is all safe and dry, which is the most important thing.

By the way, the Malabrigo Rasta came in, as well as some lace weight. The Rasta is incredible, such rich colors. I have 9 of the 16 available colors. I knitted up a hat as a shop model in just a couple hours (probably would have been less without interruption). The Malabrigo lace weight is lovely, too.

Speaking of lace, one of my customers had a very interesting idea yesterday. She was perusing the book of Herbert Neibling lace patterns, and I said I wanted to make at least one of them, just so I could say I did it and survived. She suggested we start a club of people who had successfully knitted a Neibling pattern – kind of like the Mile High Club, without the airplane and partner. So I propose the following: anyone who knits a Neibling pattern that is large enough to be used as a shawl will become part of an exclusive club. I will even look into getting enameled pins made up to commemorate the accomplishment. There is no time limit within which to finish the project – just finish it and bring it in for a photo.

The one thing I cannot come up with is a good name for this exclusive group. “The Neibling Knitters”? “Neibling Survivors”? Please submit your suggestions.

Remember, it isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass – it’s about learning to knit in the dark. Till next time – knit happy!


  1. LOL Your husband showering in the rain - made me laugh. Glad that you're both safe! How about "Neibling Needlers"?

  2. Oh I like the "Neibling Needlers".

  3. I recently bought a translation of Gestrickte Spitzendecken - a bunch of Herbert Niebling's patterns. My one big is "shawl sized"? Are we talking 30", 40", 60" in diameter?