Once upon a time there was an average 30-something mother of two who went to a Halloween party.
M arrived and said, “Did you check your email today? I have something in my trunk for you.”
“No…” I fumbled for my schamncy new smartphone, trying to get to my email as I trailed behind M to her friend’s car.
You will not believe what she pulled out of the trunk! It was just about the last thing I could have imagined. Right after a dead body…
For me! For free! I was speechless. I may have skipped across a leaf-strewn field and pumped my fist in the air. (There is some backstory to heighten the dramatic unveiling, involving a near purchase a year ago of a beautiful loom for $150, over which my husband and I exchanged harsh words.)
Welcome to my new baby, a 1976 TIA 20″ rigid heddle loom, complete with a stand gifted to me by my weaving enabler (and ultimately the person responsible for turning M and her free loom in my direction), G. A week later, G taught me how to warp her and I was off and weaving a sari silk scarf.
This beautiful skein of sari silk is almost one of my oldest pieces of stash. I foolishly bought just one skein and have never been able to settle on a project for it. Nor apparently just go buy another skein, don’t ask me why.
The sari silk is working out well as a scarf. The warp is Paton’s Kroy sock yarn and some leftover yellow cotton, Classic Elite I think.
Enough with the sins, now for the graces: I am putting a dent into my basket of Wool-Ease! In addition to this new project, I have also given away a couple of skeins to a friend. Abbey is not just any friend but a crocheter whom I have recently brought over to the knit-side. That was a few weeks ago. Fast forward to today: Charlotte and I were knitting and chatting and I showed her this pattern (scroll down to see a few examples), deciding on the spot that I would make this blanket per pattern, but I would challenge myself to only get yarn for it by trading or buying inexpensively via Ravelry. No going to the store, not even for a sale.
Charlotte then left and I was alone with these threads of ideas swimming around in my head. In a flash, the basket was out and yarn was lining up on the table. It all happened so fast, almost of its own accord. I quickly perceived that I had a veritable rainbow of partial skeins. I made one or two adjustments and then, simply, began. I won’t lie; it may only be a granny square, which I have made before, but it was slow-going for a few rounds because I had to relearn how to double crochet and how to create a granny square.
Granny square: NOT like a bicycle. But still not so hard at all. Just as happened gradually with knitting, I find I am able to “read” my crochet better now that I have been playing with it for a few years (two, I think). That’s exciting. It’s progress. It gives me hope that I may someday have a decent grasp of this. But I can never be brilliant at crochet because that is my sister’s domain, you understand.
My other grace? After much hawing and heming, the zipper has been ordered for the Urban Aran Cardi.
And to close with wise words from EZ herself: “This just goes to show you…people will wear anything on their heads!”
(Matthew in his ubiquitous Greek fisherman’s cap and Elinor in a cotton cap knit by grandma with yarn she dyed herself. This is a much cuter picture than the one I considered of Zander wearing his underwear on his head.)
Jenny, Chloe, and I went to the 4th annual Ann Arbor Fiber Expo this past Sunday. My first time out there despite it being but a short jaunt to the other side of our fair but wee city. Past attempts have been foiled by family plans and the like but this year I was all selfishness.
What’s a good fiber festival without running into friends? We had the pleasure of seeing Charlotte (girlfriend, why don’t you have a blog yet?) and her husband. While we chit-chatted, we were standing right next to the most enormous angora bunny I have ever seen. Full disclosure: I have not seen a lot of angora bunnies. But this guy was larger than a Jack Russell terrier! We all commented on the largeness and how it was probably mostly hair but I am hear to tell you – especially you, Charlotte! – Jenny and I saw the bunny on our way out a few hours later and it had been shaved. It was still a VERY big bunny. I think more to the Thanksgiving end of the scale rather than the Sunday family dinner end. Not that I want to eat rabbit. Anyway.
I got some things. More than I planned but by no means a crazy splurge. As is only right and proper, first was a gift for my husband. All I can tell you, since he does lurk here sometimes, is that it came from an animal and will keep him very warm. Hopefully that isn’t much of a clue at all since I was at a FIBER festival, shah.
Second was a delightful felted pumpkin from Wooly Pett’s Creations (no website, sorry and my picture is total crap but do you like our scaaaary dinosaur-themed mantel decor? Guess who though of that). I could go in for a whole army of these pumpkins, seriously. Roxanne Pett’s fibery goodies were fantastic and by no means limited to needlefelting. She is very talented and industrious. I look forward to seeing Wooly Pett’s Creations again at the Spinner’s Flock Fleece Fair in Chelsea every February and September. (The magenta price labels were a dead giveaway!)
Moving on, there was some awesome licorice twist yarn – how to describe it? Handpainted in gently shifting hues of blue and purple (some skeins also had green) but the yarn had a dark wrapping strand so it had an overall light-dark spiral going on. Why was this suddenly so beautiful to me? I don’t know. I don’t generally like the mash of strong contrasts like seen in a marl. This website has an example of what I am talking about in general although it is not the same vendor. I missed who that was. Jenny might now because she did not resist, good patron that she is!
Next piece sans resistance was Studio June Yarn (website coming soon, they say). Their colors were so saturated and delicious. Jenny and I were both taken with the Bamboo La La yarn and bought some. I was originally thinking Clapotis for this plummy delight but I have another idea for that pattern thanks to the new Webs catalog. The Studio June ladies, both mad scientists, were fun to talk to. They also had Fleece Maiden! I have never seen Fleece Maiden in person, so wow! I know who I am calling when I am ready for that Fleece Maiden fix.
Finally, my moment of crazy was had over a booth that specialized in punch needle embroidery and rug hooking. The small pieces (not rugs despite the words on the package) were so completely freakin’ cute, it made my fingers itch to not make one or a dozen! This booth was near the entrance so I had the entire expo to hem and haw. Jenny not so gently pushed me over the edge as we were readying to leave. Now I have a NEW HOBBY. Bwahahaha!
I have yet to start, though. Sadness! If you spend time with children under the age of 5, you have probably had a moment or two of terror that their bodies could come to harm by way of your knitting tools. Imagine that, plus a pencil-sized punch needle. Oy.
Also, it might not be fair to my long suffering husband if I start an absorbing new project with his birthday sweater, the Urban Aran Cardigan, finally in the sewing up stage. Sewing is not my strength or interest but I am by no means incapable. More on this later.
Nevermind that my holiday-themed punch needle piece will likely not be done for Halloween this year. Because the boy-child is ill and if it is the flu and just starting today, he might not be well enough for Halloween. Sob! Cross your fingers and toes for my little dinosaur.