Sunday, February 22, 2004


It was the second consecutive fiberrrriffic Saturday! Today Gram, TinyTuna, BSTuna and I ventured to Eagle, Michigan for some fiber classes at the Eagle Convention Center.

One of these is an old brick church. The other is the Eagle Convention Center.

OK, it's not REALLY a Convention Center. But maybe you knew that...

Of course, TinyTuna didn't know she was going to have to spend yet another Saturday as a prisoner of the sheepishly-obsessed. I planned it so I delivered the blow two minutes before a very late bedtime last night, and immediately followed the bad news with "but if we hurry we can have breakfast with Lou and the Grilldogs in the morning." I tell you, it's all in the timing.

So, after a quickie breakfast, we bundled into the car and made our way to Eagle, Michigan. My morning class was a dyeing class, and TinyTuna was enlisted to be my "helper". Well, she had an absolute blast. Between choosing colors, filling syringes, dripping them oh-so-artistically across the fiber and single-handedly running the microwave, she kept herself very busy all morning.

After lunch things were a little different. We moved on to new classes, and this particular class provided little opportunities for my "helper." Fortunately she came armed with a book, two journals, and an activity pad, a miniature Barbie that does double-duty as a pen, several chap sticks, and other doodads. This of course, lasted her about 15 minutes before the shifting and the sighing and the "how much longer?" kicked in.

GramTuna and I took a class in "Locker Hooking", which turns this

into this

Cool eh? It's absolutely amazing how those alpacas can lie so flat. Actually "locker hooking" is a kind of rug hooking that creates a Berber kind of rug and "locks" the wool loops with a length of twine or yarn. But with any new craft or skill, the first attempt is always really awkward as you learn how to manipulate the different tools and fibers to create whatever it is you're creating. My first attempt was no different. The first several rows had stitches that were too tight, then a few rows had stitches that were too loose, and then finally a few Baby Bear rows had stitches that were just right. Well, more or less...

As I'm sitting there fighting with my wool and my locker hooking thingee and my canvas, TinyTuna wanders over, looks over my pathetic attempt, and asks, "Is this the front or the back?" Yowch! Strike One. General hilarity ensues. After a few minutes she left us to return to the "basket people" because, well -- they had M&Ms.

After a bit more struggle on my part, and several more handfuls of M&Ms on her part, she wanders back and remarks loudly, "Gee. You sure have a lot of crevices in your picture." Yowch! Strike Two. Crevices? She was, of course, referring to my earliest too-tight uneven loops that resulted in some canvas being visible. Before I could put her in a loving headlock, she skipped off again.

Several ladies in our group were incorporating pictures and patterns in their masterpieces. I decided that I just needed to get the basics down, so I shot a look at GramTuna and said, "I'm making a trivet." She started laughing. I started laughing. Then I added, "A trivet for all my hot llamas." We both started laughing so hard at something so blatantly not-that-funny that I had to get up and leave the table. As I wander over to BSTuna, she looks at me and says, "I hear you're having crevice trouble." Yowch! Strike Three. It took me about five more minutes to stop laughing.

I returned to the table to finish my project. I looked at GramTuna and said, "It's a prayer rug. It's a Llama prayer rug. That's what it is." She started laughing. I started laughing again. I had to leave again. It was obvious that I had lost what was left of my mind, and that all serious crafting was over. I packed up Joseph the Technicolor Sheep and my sad brown Berber Barbie blankie and waved goodbye to the Eagle Convention Center.

Until the next special class. Baaaaaa.

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