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Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Carrie's amazing technicolor dream scarf -- (or how a trip to the auto body shop restored my faith in humanity)

Some knits are supposed to be multi-colored. Some are not. Fortunately, this one falls into the former category.

This is my amazing technicolor yada yada yada scarf, aka the shell and wave shawl pattern in Brooks Farm Yarn Harmony in the Xanadu colorway. It's so warm and soft and cozy but sheds like crazy. Small price to pay for rainbow-colored fabulousness, right?

Now I can finally allow myself to catch Zimmermania -- I'm knitting the February baby sweater from Knitter's Almanac for a co-worker's new baby girl. And I'm also gearing up for my very first-ever trip to Rhinebeck! I'm not sure what I'm shopping for, but I have this vision of a belted cardigan kind of like this in a fancy pants variegated yarn. Any pattern suggestions?


Bad luck seems to come in waves with me, like this summer, when my identity was stolen, my bathroom ceiling collapsed and I had no electricity. Last week was a little like that.

First, of course, was the coffee disaster. Then on Friday, I took a crowded C train to work and had no choice but to reach for the overhead bar. Now, I'm *just* tall enough to reach the bar, but it hurts like crazy after about five minutes. So somewhere near Broadway/Lafayette, I lost my grip and completely wiped out. With nothing to grab onto, I fell with the full force of my body weight onto the guy next to me, who mercifully caught me. And, for reasons that I don't completely understand, I screamed, "Oh Christ!" I was so humiliated that I got off at the next stop and, of course, proceeded to board a train going in the wrong direction.

So I shouldn't have been surprised Saturday when I walked up to my car and found that some heartless jerk had knocked off its sideview mirror.

See, I've had this car for nearly 10 years, so to see it mauled is actually painful. And I was even more despondent because I'm driving some Spiders up to Rhinebeck this weekend. How could I do that with a dangling mirror? I'd probably need to go to a dealership, would probably have to spend my whole Sunday there. They might have to order parts. And that could take days or weeks.

But nothing was stopping me from getting an oil change, tune-up and desperately needed car wash. I thought I'd feel better if I accomplished something. So I drove to the Manhattan Bridge Car Wash, kind of teary eyed and frustrated, and agreed to have all sorts of things flushed and replaced. I was so ashamed that I had no power windows or doors, that my car was filthy, that my mirror was held up with duct tape. They promised to fix everything but simply didn't have the equipment to fix the mirror. I sighed, "Oh, my poor car." But one of the workers said, "Your car is not poor. Your car is fine."

For about a half hour, I sat in the waiting area drinking coffee and watching CNN, which was downright pleasant. Then the kindly worker came in and asked me to follow him, which is never good at the auto body shop. They might as well send in the Grim Reaper to deliver all the bad news. But I walked outside and the kindly worker was proudly standing next to my car -- and its reattached sideview mirror. For no reason other than to be kind, he had drilled a few screws into the mirror and wrapped the rest in electrical tape. Is it ghetto? A little. But it warmed my heart in a way that I can't describe. And my luck has been all good ever since.

(I treated myself to these autumnal flowers that night. The apartment will never be without fresh flowers again.)


Blogger Angela said...

Little kindnesses can mean so much. What a very nice thing for him to do. Have a great trip to Rhinebeck. I always go to an arts festival in Alabama the same weekend every year, but I gotta go in 2007.

10:22 PM  
Blogger Amy said...

That's very sweet. Have a wonderful trip!

11:35 PM  
Blogger Liz K. said...

I try to have both duct tape and fresh flowers on hand at all times.

Have a great time at Rhinebeck. Be sure to wear your beautiful scarf, and be a good reporter and bring us back a full report.

11:36 PM  
Blogger Leah said...

What a sweet end to a dreary day!! I love to hear stories of such kindness! :)

Have a great time at rhinebeck! I can't wait to hear all about it!

11:47 PM  
Blogger Mayarn said...

Ah bad weeks--I know them well. I have a feeling the auto body shop won't be able to use electrical tape to mend the massive dent some evil person left on my rear side panel in a heinous hit and run. Oh--I don't even want to think about it!

Awesome--you're going to Rheinbeck! Me too! Hope to see you there...

11:50 PM  
Anonymous Angela said...

That is so, so sweeet! Have fun at Rhinebeck!

11:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A place where nobody dared to go
The love that we came to know
They call it Xanadu

And now
Open your eyes and see
What we have made is real
We are in Xanadu

A million lights are dancing
And there you are
A shooting star
An everlasting world
And you're here with me

Xanadu, Xanadu,
(now we are here)
In Xanadu
Xanadu, Xanadu,
(now we are here)
In Xanadu

Xanadu, your neon lights will shine
For you, Xanadu

The love
The echoes of long ago
You needed the world to know
They are in Xanadu

The dream
That came through a million years
That lived on through all the tears
It came to Xanadu

A million lights are dancing
And there you are
A shooting star
An everlasting world
And you're here with me

Xanadu, Xanadu,
(now we are here)
In Xanadu
Xanadu, Xanadu,
(now we are here)
In Xanadu

Now that I'm here
Now that you're near in Xanadu
Now that I'm here
Now that you're near in Xanadu

12:02 AM  
Blogger Saun said...

There is still some good in the world. Have fun at Rhinebeck.

I just saw a book at the store that may have a decent pattern for that cardigan. It's Modern Classics by Louisa Harding.

12:03 AM  
Blogger schrodinger said...

Sounds like some week for you so far (and it's only Tuesday). Glad to hear kindness is still around. Love the scarf btw.

It'll be my first time at Rhinebeck too. Am I excited? Without a doubt.

12:05 AM  
Blogger Dorothy said...

That is a real prince of a guy. I think I would have hugged the heck out of him for something that sweet.

When I live in Winnipeg, I used to take the transit all the time. One time I got on the bus at the front door, tripped over someone's bag and fell flat on my face on my way to try to find a seat, walked right back off the bus out the back door then got on a bus going across the city the wrong way. For some reason I did not get the job I was going to interview for and it took me all day to figure out how to get home again.

I wish I was going to Rhinebeck. Maybe in a few years though.

12:11 AM  
Blogger elizabooth said...

I love the car story. I know how it feels when a car is hurt. Our car is named Remy and we love him and it's always nice when the repair guy appreciates that.

I love the scarf too. Very pretty. And go for the belted cardigan -- it'd look great on you!

12:52 AM  
Blogger Erica B. said...

Very sweet! Have a great trip!

12:54 AM  
Blogger Nettie said...

Ahh and they say we're all assholes in NYC, it's nice when we run into the nice guys too. I wish I was going to Rhinebeck my B-day is next week and it would be a nice gift. But I have a homebuyer seminar on saturday. Place to live or yarn? It shouldn't come down to that should it? Have enouh fun for me too!

1:07 AM  
Blogger Wanda said...

Now that right there is a heart warmer! There is good in people and it's so nice when it shows. Hope you have a great time at Rhinebeck!

1:07 AM  
Blogger michelleknits said...

Such a sweet post! Reading this makes me miss you even more...

2:47 AM  
Blogger Sachi said...

I'm working on the same scarf... sort of. It's a shelly, ripple pattern but totally not-as-cool-as-yours yarn and one pattern repeat wider.

I'm happy someone took care of your mirror for you... even if it is temporary.

5:26 AM  
Blogger gleek said...

aw!! how totally sweet and kind of that guy to fix your mirror like that! i'm sure you'll go there again for service. that was so nice of him.

yeah rhinebeck! only a few days away!

8:24 AM  
Anonymous Carrie said...

OMG! The sideview mirror is PAINFUL.
That is so sweet that they fixed your mirror. I'm actually tearing up a little. Dear Lord.

YAYAYAY RHINEBECK! I can't wait to meet ya!

9:18 AM  
Anonymous lisa said...

Wow!! What a nice thing to do! Now your car is ready for a trip to Rhinebeck! Yay!

9:22 AM  
Blogger Cara said...

If you're looking for awesome variegated yarn at Rheinbeck, make sure to check out Ellen's Half-Pint Farm. She sell GOR-geous yarns, and the best part is that you can buy them in gigantic sweater-sized hanks. I got one last year, and I'm still sitting on it, looking for the perfect pattern. In fact, I'd settle for something like you are envisioning, and in fact (part 2), there is a very similar sweater in the current Winter Vogue, in the purpley-designer section. You'd have to add a belt, but that would be incredibly easy.

Have fun at Rheinbeck! Maybe I'll see you there.

9:53 AM  
Blogger Miss Scarlett said...

That's so nice! What a decent guy.
Oh I would totally have got off the train too. I would probably have got right on the next one I saw - you know, in case anyone who exited at the same time as me was still watching.
Poor you!
Have a great time in Rhinebeck - that should help!

10:43 AM  
Blogger Melissa said...

duct tape works every time!

maybe we'll cross paths in rhinebeck! have fun!

11:18 AM  
Blogger KnitsnPieces said...

what a nice ray of sunshine during your crap week! how did the yarn bath turn out? see you at rhinebeck!

12:59 PM  
Blogger jessie said...

And the spiders drove to Rhinbeck happily ever after. I loved that story - a little kindness goes a long way in a city like ours.

1:03 PM  
Blogger Karin said...

Aw, that's a cute story!! Enjoy the trip to Rhinebeck, I have never been there either.

1:14 PM  
Blogger Kym said...

sorry about your car! but that's cool that that guy was so nice to you- you never hear stories about people being nice.

if it makes you feel better, on one of my former cars that i loved, the muffler was held on for 2 years by a wire coat hanger :)

have a nice trip!

9:02 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

There's nothing like the simple kindness of strangers that perks a week right up.

Have a good trip!

9:31 PM  
Blogger Jessica said...

That is so darned sweet! Wow, there really are nice people out there, how cool.

11:38 PM  
Blogger Lolly said...

Carrie dear, it is a story with a (mostly) happy ending. That is sweet that the guy fixed it for you!

What a lovely scarf you have! A perfect fashion statement for Rhinebeck! Unfortunately I will not be there this year (I have never been!) but I hope you have a great time. I like what Liz said - be a good reporter and tell us all about it when you get back! :)

8:12 AM  
Anonymous Katie said...

It's those Random Acts of Kindness that can turn around a whole string of bad luck and really open our eyes to the good in people. I'm glad that your little car is all fixed up now. And you have a cheerful scarf and perky flowers to further brighten your day!

12:11 PM  
Blogger Kathy said...

I've been planning for months for mom just called and the heats busted at her place. Do we want to stay there anyway? I'm going to make the best of it and do a day trip - 4 hours each way but I'll be warm at night! Love it when someone does something nice! What a run of "luck" you've been having.

8:35 PM  
Blogger KnitPastis said...

Samething happened to me during a snowy day with a new car yrs ago. I was parked on the side of road in front of a friend's house and I came out to my mirror just dangling. Might have been the snow plow. On a lighter note, I love your fresh flowers. Perfect to brighten your spirits.

8:49 AM  
Blogger Brooklyn Handspun said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your week but it's amazing how such a little act cam make things just feel so much better. I'm so excited about our trip - less than 24hrs to go!

1:12 PM  
Anonymous Marissa said...

Oh Carrie,
Everytime I read your posts I am taken back to the days of blissful silliness in New Haven. We still miss you. We still hope to see you. I am assuming you heard (you do keep up with our local news, Right???) that Dave McClendon is leaving? Friday was his last day. We are having drinks tonight at the Playwright in NH to send him off. He is relocating to Michigan. Poor Reg. Soon poor, lonely Bill will be writing, editing and printing the paper solo.
Our home e-mail is W(our last name) at Stay in touch....

8:54 AM  
Blogger Jen said...

Random acts of kindness are so good at getting the funk out of you. Thanks auto shop guy! and the flowers and scarf are beautiful! Hope you enjoyed Rhinebeck.

5:52 PM  
Blogger marie in florida said...


don't ya just love that word? i do. and avuncular. is there a word like avuncular for the female? just asking cuz you; as a words-smith might know.

hug hug

hope you're feeling ok;i've been reading although not comenting; spending a lot of time knitting my younger daughter's wedding shawl. i'm four rows and the blocking from finishing it and the wedding is next week.

10:27 AM  
Anonymous frecklegirl jess said...

Oh man, we had the exact same thing happen to our car a couple weeks ago... Except our side mirror was smashed on the ground.

They didn't leave us a note either. Bastards.

Flowers do make life just seem better somehow, don't they?

8:40 PM  

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