We're Not in Kansas Any More....(part 1)
Okay, so maybe this seems excessive (and maybe there's a cat buried under there now that I think about it....but they know the hazards of living with knitters, right?). But I have an excuse (and for once, it's actually a legitimate excuse). My dear mother-in-law is a crocheter who knits only occasionally (I keep trying to lure her over to the dark side with us, but no luck so far) and told me at one point during our trip that she had "a bunch of wool yarn that someone gave me" and, since she doesn't knit with wool, she wondered if I could use it. The picture above is that bunch of yarn. It's piled up so you really can't see all of it....but it's beautiful stuff. Mostly Lopi, a bit of Lamb's Pride in a heavenly shade of blue, some unlabelled sock weight stuff, some odds and ends. My mother-in-law (really, my other mom) said she thought there wasn't enough of any one color to do anything with...but the colors are so complimentary, I can see a sweater of many colors in my knitting future without too much trouble. (Yeah, yeah--when it comes to color, I really am a magpie on crack. I don't think my tastes have mellowed or matured much since I was four and wanted everything that touched me to be either bright red, bright red, or bright red. Except now I like teal and purple, too.) Anyway, you'd think that would be enough....but then, you're mostly knitters so perhaps the mere notion of putting the words "yarn" and "enough" in the same sentence (without the word "not") seems as ludicrous to you as it does to me. In any case, check this out:
Yep, you're seeing right. That's batting. See, while I was in Kansas I had the opportunity to (yarn crawl with) meet the absolutely delightful Marianne from Marianne's Knotminding while I was in the midwest (however cool, smart, funny, and just plain awesome you think she might be, multiply that by about 57 and you'll have a start--she rocks) and we found this place:
Yeah, I know--"yarn" and "barn". You just KNOW it's got to be good, don't you? And it was. They wouldn't let us take photos inside or I'd show you the huge assortment of yarn, batting, cones, spinning wheels, looms, etc. (Turns out they were afraid we'd take pictures of patterns and thus use them without paying for them. I love Marianne all the more for her comment that "knitters wouldn't do that!" How true.) ANYHOW (yes, I'm getting to the point, honest), Marianne wanted to get herself a spindle and some batting so she could try her hand at spinning. Given that I have the coordination of a moose in cement slippers--in a room full of crystal--I have always assumed that spinning would be beyond my talents (I fear I'm using them all up making all these sweaters and shawls and socks and such) so I regretfully decided not to do the same, although I admit that I fingered the batting quite wistfully. (Should the owner of the Yarn Barn be reading this, I thank you for not calling me a pervert or throwing me out just because I spent so much time with my entire hand thrust into the center of a bag of alpaca fiber and moaning quietly to myself.) But Marianne surprised me later by presenting me with the lovely batting you see above AND a drop spindle. Marianne, I love that you believe in me. And you can bet that I'm not giving up until I have spun and knitted something that will make me think of you (like I need anything to remind me to do THAT!!).
All in all, we had a lovely time and I only wish we'd had more of it. I have pictures but I'm giving her the chance to veto any that she hates before I post them. (Doesn't that make me sound terribly nice and considerate? I really hate having to admit that she did the same for me first...otherwise, I might not have thought of it. But the pics of her are so good!) I'll get the approved photos up tomorrow when I do part 2. 'Cause I really did do more than yarn.
Oh, but speaking of yarn:
My lovely and talented niece (she's the pretty one without fur--the fur person is Haley). In the chair is my equally lovely sister-in-law (also without fur). Joanie took to knitting like a duck to water (or, more properly, a sheep to....whatever sheep are drawn to....), and I resisted the urge to rub my hands together and utter a sinister laugh (bwa-ha-ha-ha!) as another one saw the way of the wool. I did tell her, though, that I had to get a picture for proof, as I'm pretty sure I'm close to having recruited enough to get a free toaster. And her mother was very pleased that I taught her the process but not the profanity. Hey, I can be reasonable.
There's so much more....but I'll tell you more next time. In general, it was a lovely trip with loads of loving family and a tremendous day with Marianne. You just can't ask for more than that.
By the way, I went to PT today and he noted that my neck seemed looser. He asked if I'd been knitting much and I told him, truthfully, that I had not had a chance to knit all weekend. At which point, he uttered it: "We really need to take those knitting needles away from you." Yeah, you just try it, Buddy. There's more than one thing to do with a pair of sharp, pointy sticks. And don't think I won't let loose the flying monkeys.