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I had to kill two hours in Independence, MO yesterday while a glass specialty shop there was replacing the cracked windshield of our car. Speaking of which, the Volkswagen dealership was giving us another inflated estimate, wherein I was given to understand that it would be approximately $700 to replace the windshield, whereas my bill from Santa Fe Glass Company was about half that at $362.81.

So, the car was in the shop, and I had no intention of sitting around their boring lobby for two hours, and since the weather was reasonably decent, I decided to hoof around town for a while. The shop is near historic Independence Square, so I moseyed around window-shopping. What with the Square being basically a tourist stop, almost nothing opens there until around 10, and I was there between 8:40 and 10:40. I started getting a little bit chilly and needing to pee after about 45 minutes outside, and noticed a yarn shop with the lights on and the “open” sign in the door. I went in to look around, and see if they had any other types of craft crap in there, and maybe look at their “how to” books.

Their how-to books were probably perfectly adequate as far as teaching technique goes, but their projects were dreadful: circa 1985 raglan-sleeve, drop-shouldered pullovers, worn by models with feathered hair and pearl eyeshadow. Clothes that would have been naff in their day, and are simply intolerable out of their proper era. Stuff even the thrift shops can't unload.

I've eyeballed the Stitch-n-bitch books, and their stuff is definitely cuter, so I may get one of those sometime, but I'm a little off-put by the whole “Girls' Own Crafts Club” subculture. I didn't do the Girl Scouts when I was a kid, I didn't join a sorority when I was a student, and I'm not liable to be joining the Ladies Auxiliary of the B.P.O.E. anytime soon. I'm just a bit sketchy about formal social clubs, and SnB seems to be a bit geared toward that.

Yes, folks, this is me being unnecessarily cranky and irrational. Especially when I'd totally join a knitting group if Cynthia and her mad-knitter friends get one going.

Tangential to that, I have signed up for a beginner's knitting course run by this yarn shop. They're not sure when the next series of Saturday sessions are going to start, but it is a course of four 2-hour sessions, for $25, plus materials. Doesn't sound like a terribly bad idea to me, and I reckon that if I get the basics taught to me, in person, I should be able to follow up and learn more from books, be they the Dorktastic Knit Your Own Shame series from the fabric shop, or Stitch-n-Bitch, or stuff off of Knitty.com. I'd tried fucking around with instruction books from the library and from stuff online, but I need somebody to physically show me what in the hell I am supposed to be doing. Once I have a good idea of how to manipulate all of this jumped-up, posh string, I should be good to go.

So yes, yes, I, non-joiner extraordinaire and stubborn anti-trend-whore am likely to be joining the legions of 20-to-30-something knitters swarming across the country. Pheer me and my infernal dorkitude.

In other news, I found a bead shop two doors up from the auto-glass shop, and they had the shade of maroon seed beads I have been looking for for ages, and I learned some cool crap about beads. The size I bought was size 14, which are about the size of the poppyseeds you get on a Lemon-Poppyseed bagel. The size I usually work with is 11, which are about the size of sesame seeds, and I use 8s quite a bit, which are about the size of acini di pepe. Before, I hadn't known there was a sizing system to seed beads, and now I do, and know what the size numbers signify. Basically, with seed beads, the smaller the number, the bigger the bead. They also had some very cool ceramic beads, lampwork beads, metal beads of all descriptions, and just about every color and finish of Swarovski bicones you could ever want to imagine. Their color selection of seed beads was irreproachable. They market mostly toward folks who do Native American style bead embroidery and loom-woven beadwork. I use seed beads differently from most people these days, but I have good results with what I do.

I'd stopped buying snacks at work about a month ago, but kept my habit of keeping $5-10 out in cash per paycheck, so I had some $15 rattling around in my purse, so I bought the aforementioned maroon beads, some darker puce hex beads (also 14s), some 11s in a green/copper glaze, some 11s in a brown/gold/copper glaze, and some 8s in a matte finish of the earth-tone scheme and some in 8s in a green/black/foiled finish. I'm using the maroon 14s and a few of the green, foiled 8s in my current project, which is re-stringing some cool old beads that had been part of a necklace my mom had back in the 1960s.

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