>The Deer or the Hairpin?

>My crochet life chugs along nicely. I sweat a gang of design projects and patterns, agonize over new crochet proposals, tinker with yarns and tools, write a few lines here and there, terrorize a few editors just for fun. Any breaks from these activities are for the mundane chores of my life-outside-crochet. Like eating. Sleeping. Treating my hair to the most magical leave-in serum on the planet. Vacuuming dog fur. Eating. Laundry. Nothing exciting here.

Tonight, two extraordinary things happened. I am still reeling over the experiences and am not sure which was worse.

It began as what I planned to be a quiet but busy night at home finishing up a design. I thought I had enough sets of hooks and eyes for a jacket front closure. UH-OH. I tossed the place searching for the ones I’d squirreled away the last time I needed them. I found three sets. Shoot. This jacket must have five, and it has to ship in the morning. The nearest purveyor of such things, the place I am reasonably sure will have in stock what I so desperately require tonight, is a craft store eight miles away. For me, this is a road trip.

How I cherish autumn evenings. There’s a luscious quality to the air and the light at dusk that I simply can’t get enough of. So I am tooling along at well past 7 pm, headlights slicing into the dimness of the wooded, winding road I must travel to get to the Valhalla, the shining place where sewing notion dreams are made real.

O-M-G, I clipped a deer. I swear I was watching for wildlife. This season I’ve already seen so much roadkill that I could cry. By my ghoulish count I have mourned for dozens of possum, raccoons, skunks (“…stinkin’ to high heaven!”). But tonight I was focused on my own side of the road, not the side with oncoming traffic. The deer leaped across the road from the left and mercifully kept on leaping, for had she frozen and gone tharn in the glare of my headlights, she would have been a goner and my automobile a sad wreck.

She (for in that flash of brown hide, white belly and huge gleaming eyes, I noticed no antlers) was the size of a big dog and stunningly agile. I barely had time to glance into the rearview mirror to make sure no one was on my tail before I braked hard. YIKES! I heard a soft clunk as she bounded past and out of the headlight beam. A sickening sort of soft clunk. Maybe she kicked out with her hoof as she ran. Please tell me what I heard was the sound of hoof meets bumper. By the time I whipped my head around to follow her flight, she had disappeared into the tangle of trees.

I wanted to stop and see if she was OK. There were cars behind me, no shoulder in the road, and no option for me but to keep driving and try to stop worrying. It wasn’t until I pulled into a well-lit space of the parking lot at the craft store that I could breathe again and examine my car. In my mind I tried to reconstruct the incident. I could find no evidence that it had ever happened. I began to wonder, had it really happened?

How I love shopping at night when the stores are empty save for the other night-persons who also like to shop at night when the stores are empty. By the time I had thrown the hooks and eyes and some matching sewing thread into the hand-basket I wasn’t feeling the need to rush home. So I did a recreational fly-by in the yarn aisles.

Hey! A new hairpin loom was in stock, calling to me. It’s from Boye, features clip-on spacer bars, is adjustable up to 4 inches and includes an I-9 crochet hook. $5.99. WTF. I threw one into the basket. I will offer a review here eventually.

The checkout line was empty. The checkout person, a twenty-something girl with goth-black braids and only half-heartedly concealed tats and piercings, was friendly and chatty. Probably bored. So when she picked up the hairpin loom to scan it, she asked me if it was hard to do. I hemmed and waffled. Heck, I really did not want to get into a dissertation about hairpin at that hour. But I finally admitted that hairpin could be annoying if you have to make long strips.

During the bit of conversation that followed, she revealed that she had volunteered to demonstrate this tool for a Saturday store event in a couple of weeks. There were instructions on the back and inside of the packaging and she felt confident that she could master this stuff by then. I tried to explain how the task of making hairpin strips was only the very beginning, and that she would need to choose among the million thousand ways of joining strips in order to create fabric. I pointed out the crochet hook in the package. She shot me a surprised look. Crochet? She doesn’t know how to crochet.

I had to restrain myself to keep from climbing over the counter and grabbing her by the braids. What were you thinking, girl? Obviously, nobody at this store, at least not the manager who was coordinating and staffing this Saturday event, knows that hairpin is a crochet technique. My cashier thinks that maybe there is someone here who crochets, but she’s not sure. So she’s going to be the designated demonstrator.

I paid up and hurried out of the store. On another day, in another life, I might have stopped at customer service and asked to speak to the manager. How can you hope to show customers the delirious beauty of hairpin crochet if you don’t have a crocheter there, I would rail. How can you be so ignorant (oops, that’s too harsh, even for a rant… I mean uninformed), I would rant. You are not doing hairpin or crochet the service they are due, I would scream. In another reality, I might have volunteered to do the demonstration myself, just to ease the knots in my stomach.

So, which event strikes me as the most horrifying? The deer… or the hairpin. Deer or hairpin. Deer or hairpin.


8 thoughts on “>The Deer or the Hairpin?

  1. >I've been there, Doris, in both places. In the end, I just laugh as I laughed with your post. If the woman is blessed enough, she will learn crochet. Otherwise, she will live a life less-blessed without it.

  2. >You could call it deerpin. My sad attempt at witticism today. I have to stop myself all the time from getting into the fray. I especially love how some of my friends think knitting and crochet are the same thing, and so call my crochet fabulousness knitting. 'sighI'm sure the deer was fine, they are resilient creatures. And as for the hairpin teacher, I'd love to be a fly in that class, it sounds comical! Hopefully she doesn't turn people off to the craft! 🙂

  3. >Oh no! how terrible! Unfortunately, hitting a deer is how I learned that my husband was a "keeper". When we were dating, I hit a deer. Traumatized, crying, I drove right to his house. He took me out, washed my car for me and bought me ice cream. Yep. A keeper. I hope today is better.

  4. >From what I know of deer it does sound like a glancing blow. Hopefully she is okay and you are too. As for that so-called class, I hope they are not paying for this, was all I could think.

  5. >Oh Doris! We have deer all over the place in our little town. They ate all my flowers and left me, this summer, only the flowers on the pots on my porch. And then last week — it could only have been the deer — they came 4 steps up onto the wood porch to eat the petunias and geraniums! (My husband calls them "rats on stilts," but he's an alien anway [English]). Early this summer, momma deer stopped in the middle of the street in front of my car, and her 2 bambis started nursing right there in the road! After a bit, momma hopped her back legs over them to continue across the street. All that is beside the point: what I wanted to tell you is that I have seen a car hit a deer in front of my house; I heard the thump! the driver was horrified! She stopped her car and sat there with her hand to her mouth. But the deer just kept walking and then hopped over the picket fence into my yard. They ARE fairly sturdy! As for the hairpin lace … despite my earnest resistance (because I really don't have time to do the projects I already sort of know how to do), you ARE eventually going to lure me into learning to make hairpin lace, aren't you?? — Skeinfest

  6. >Aaaaah…deer damage on the back roads….sigh. Oh so familiar with "critter kill" as I am a country gal living 40 miles from the nearest civilized craft sales haven. From dusk to dawn I tend to putt along at a snail's pace in my old Impala should I find myself in desperate need of a road trip.Now the "demo clerk" with no understanding, familiarity or love of the skill of crochet is more than a bit maddening. Two questions: why would someone volunteer to demonstate a tool when they have no clue as to it's purpose and is there any chance that the store management has even a minimal knowledge of any of the skills for which they sell products?????Somedays it's better to hide in the closet with your hook and yarn than to venture into the strange world on the other side of one's front door.

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