June 10, 2007
parades of two varieties

This year I went on a yarn diet to help pay for luxuries like food and water. If you're not familiar with the concept, a yarn diet is like any other type of diet: you slow down or stop yourself from buying yarn in all but a very few circumstances. This has been very successful and makes me very happy, because I already have lots of yarn that I love, so why not enjoy it?

It just so happened that the spring TTC Knitalong happened yesterday in the wake of the worst week this year. So what did I do? Answer: I fell off the wagon so hard that they felt the tremors in Sri Lanka. I bought so much yarn that I'm surprised you didn't buy yarn in sympathy. I, Little Miss Diet, won the "Needs A Sherpa" Award for most items purchased.

It was probably the most glorious Saturday I've spent in a long time. Nearly all of my very favourite knittas were there, the weather was gee-orgeous, and I got to prance around town in my sunhat & Vendetta shirt. (This KAL is the only group of people I've ever met to recognize her. Four people commented on the shirt, two of which started singing the song; a far cry from my other most popular comment, which is "how did you get a shirt with you on it?") My knitting friends not only did not mention the ridiculous amounts of fibre collecting in my free paper bag; they also went out of their way to reassure me and build my self-confidence following this week of slash n' burn to the same. Both Amy and Michelle said, "I don't understand why anyone wouldn't like you," which was amazing to hear on a day that offered so many other amazements.

All this, plus I inadvertently stole yarn. It dropped into my bag, people, and I didn't notice until I was on the streetcar. Holy Zimmerman, what an embarrassment. I called Knit-O-Matic immediately to report my theft and find a way to return the yarn. Several team members took pictures of me and my purloined ball; others wondered aloud why I had told anyone. I would have heard the unravelling in the night, I thought. It is the knitting of her hideous yarn!! (The yarn wasn't hideous, just my guilt.) And for my honesty and general stupidity, I also won a prize for being a cleptoknitiac.

Pictures of my immense haul tomorrow, when I figure out why my camera's batteries hate me.

There was another glorious event this week, one that had nothing to do with yarn. Friendly Rich does an annual event with the city's Grade 4 students called the Parade of Noises. He does a 4-lesson seminar with each class on constructing instruments and composing music; then they're left to compose and conduct a short piece. It all comes together in the PoN, which starts at a school and concludes at the big park downtown. All of the Lollipop People were there leading the parade, plus Soot, plus, well, me & Blake.

The Boy was on the lake with his co-workers and somebody's boat, so I was flying solo. The thought of taking Blake to the parade was a little hair-raising, but it seemed like exactly what I needed after my crummy week. So we went and we brought noisemakers and we marched in the parade as if we had a right to be there.

It was gloriously chaotic, a swirling, stamping, clumping, dancing river of kids, their teachers, their parents. Everyone assumed that we had a kid in the parade somewhere and my gothmom outfit went unnoticed. Once we got to the park, Rich's story was read out and each class performed their piece in turn. It was a story about a man who grafted fantastical things to a tree in his yard; the classes each played a piece about another thing grafted to the tree (ex. the ocean, Canada, a dragon, etc.) While they did this, Soot attached their visual representation to the tree sculpture. Eventually the man got in trouble with his neighbours and they cut down the tree, during which we were encouraged to make a cacophony that represented each thing crashing to the ground. I screamed my head off, feeling lighter and better with each scream, bobbing in the ocean of noise. Then the man's wife rose up from the rubble (having been grafted onto the tree some time ago) and the reunited couple left town, never to return, carrying only a seed.

I spent a fair amount of time during the recitals chasing Blake around the grass, as he is easily bored. He liked the parade and he liked running around; he just thought the part with the tree-cutting was a little sad. I walked him back to the car, took him home and tucked him into bed, amazed that I had taken him through this chaotic event with nary a scratch. I'm still amazed.

It was the most glorious way possible for me to spend a Wednesday evening. I am deeply grateful to Rich for giving me the chance to yell my head off in public; all catharsis and gratitude is owed him.

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Don't make me send out the Blake. He doesn't listen to *anyone.*