The first thing you should know is that Sharon waited for me. Though it would certainly not be a hardship to knit for an indeterminate amount of time in the lovely space that is Threadbear Fiber Arts, I was an hour late meeting Sharon last Friday afternoon. As a person who is ordinarily both punctual and considerate, being late for a new friend is enough to make me break out in hives.
The second thing you should know is that Sharon is nice enough that I was immediately at ease, and we chatted away like friends who had known each other awhile (though admittedly, there were gaps that needed filling in, because, dear reader, I have the memory of a sieve). Also? Meeting Internet strangers is not nearly as strange as you might think. I am not on Stephanie’s Meet Every Knitter in America book tour plan, but every blogger of the few I have met has been a fascinating and fun person. Internet does not equal stalker. [At this time, in the “full disclosure, non-stalking department” I should mention that I met LynnH the next day while she was teaching a buttonmaking class – I knew who she was, but she didn’t know that I knew, and it seemed like an interruption to say “I read your blog and I’m a blogger too! Aren’t we cool?” Instead, I just contented myself with saying “Those buttons are so cool I would come back to take a class with you,” which was totally true, and I totally would. Hi, LynnH! — Ed.]
The third thing you should know is that Threadbear is huge, as yarn stores go. And while Rob certainly has a hard time resisting the charms of any self-respecting novelty yarn, the thing that popped out at me was the color, everywhere. You could tell that they had chosen many, many of their yarns not (just) because they were the latest and the greatest, but because the colors available were extraordinary. They had Manos del Uruguay so beautiful it make me weak in the knees, but they also had a more “ordinary” Jo Sharp DK Wool in a tweedy forest green so lovely I let out an involuntary gasp when I saw it. [No, I do not know what the deal is with me and green; apparently it’s become my go-to color without me even realizing it — Ed.] To the heartbreakingly gorgeous skeins of Manos I left on the shelf, I say “we shall meet again, my friends”. To the DK Wool now in my knitting basket, I say “You’ll make a good swatch or the Must Have Cardigan (which I still must have).”
The fourth thing you should know is that I think I have yarn for my SockaPal2za pal – Alison’s favorite, the Artyarns’ Supermerino in what I am referring to as “hokey smokes, that’s pink” pink. Sharon and I, both color fiends, went “ooh,” so I knew I was on the right track. I’m swatching now with an eye toward something simple and lacy that doesn’t compete with the beautiful variegation. It’s harder to find a lace pattern for what is essentially worsted yarn than you’d think – but the worsted-ness will almost guarantee these socks are finished by September. In the photo you’ll see a little flower motif I swiped from a sweater in the Green Mountain Spinnery book. They work well enough, but 1. They’d be upside down on a cuff-down sock (thanks to Knit One, Purl Too’s flower orientation specialist – a.k.a my husband – for pointing this out) and I’m not prepared to experiment with toe-up socks for the very first time for my pal. And 2. I was unable to consistently finish a flower row without adding an extra stitch that wasn’t supposed to be there. An extra stitch here or there among friends is not a big deal, but I’d hate to send socks that start out as one size and end up as another by the time you get to the end.
The fifth thing you should know is that much as I am trying to ignore spinning as a hobby, I am now also ignoring quilting. [Seriously, though I love handspun yarn, I feel that handspinning itself should be called “the slowest way ever to make yarn, suitable only for those with nearly infinite patience.” For some reason, quilting seems much faster. — Ed.] Threadbear’s Matt and I ignored quilting together by having a nice chat about how much we liked it. Okay, Matt talked about how much he liked it, and I, who cannot operate a sewing machine and considered it a personal victory when I reattached a button to a shirt last week, talked about how much I would like to do it. Can you blame me? If I had known quilting was not all about gingham, I would have been interested much sooner. I look terrible in gingham.
Speaking of the end, I was truly sorry to say goodbye to Sharon, Rob, Matt, Connor, and my man Tate – the only dog I know who speaks fluent knitting (“What are you knitting? Can I lean against you while you knit? Your yarn smells like dog and cat – that’s awesome!”). See you all soon – I promise!