Tuesday, 7 February 2012

We haven't met but...

...I think I know a little about you now. Do you ever walk into someone's house for the first time and take a sneaky glance at their book shelves?  No books? Horrors! Well perhaps they prefer a Kindle.

A few years ago I worked in the city of London as a locum solicitor.  A young woman had left her office on an ordinary Friday night and was not going to be back for a while.  I never met her but when I opened the bottom drawer of her filing cabinet I suddenly felt I knew her quite well.  She had left behind twenty pairs of shoes (it was a big drawer but as time went on I found shoes everywhere).  You can tell a lot about a person from their shoes.

But what about a Knitters stash?  When a friend, the poet Joanne Limburg asked me  if I would like some yarn that had once belonged to her late mother my first thought was TREASURE.  My second was how to get it from Cambridge to Hampshire..  But among my friends there is a steady flow of traffic between Cambridge and our now far flung homes and another kind friend played courier.  A few days later she and I met in a car park in Hungerford.

Imagine the scene...

Lizzie:  I know nothing of course, but the colour and texture -  like jewels

Me;  ooh hand dyed lace weight

Lizzie: Joanne and I have no idea what you can do with it but this is her favourite

Me: AND Rowan tweed

Lizzie:  I spread it out on my bed when I got it home and just gazed at all the silky sheeny ones - its all so evocative - there's a story here (Lizzie is very good at stories)

Me: this will be perfect for ... #thinksofadozenprojects

We eventually transferred the treasure to my car and went for lunch

And it was such treasure

This is the hand-dyed lace weight

The Araucania (also hand-dyed)

The Rowan

And much more as you can see from the picture above of my new hoard laid out on my kitchen table.

This lady was not just a knitter she was a Knitter.  Her quiet appreciation of beauty demonstrated in the careful way she conserved her collection (there were lavender seeds among the yarn balls to keep the moths away).  And her skill with her needles evident by the variety of weights and textures she bought.  Even her travels could be guessed at, with some yarn only available in the United States and Italy hinting of holidays and journeys to see friends and family.

How to say thank you to this lady's daughter for her generous gift?  By making her something to keep herself warm, to remind her of her  mother's love.  Something suitable for the yarn I knew was her favourite.

And as I am a bit of a show off kind of Knitter who loves trying out new techniques, a moebius with i-cord bind off.

I posted it yesterday, I hope it arrives soon and that this blog will not spoil the surprise




Stitched Together said...

Oh my - what an amazing stash this woman had. You know that if you had met, you would have had so much to talk about. I felt that when I received some stash in a similar way. It makes me sad that I never met the woman, but at least I can do her stash justice. It looks like you will do the same.

Vandy Massey said...

I'm not sure what's more beautiful - the stash or the gift for your friend. Proper treasure this is!

janet said...

what wonderful wool! Our local wool shop has the araucania and wool like the hand dyed lace weight. What a joy to possess such wool!

Tracy said...

Absolute treasure indeed! Your gift to the giver is beautiful and the perfect thank you. I can just imagine how much you are going to enjoy the rest of the stash.

Lululoves said...

What a fabulous stash! And what a lovely gift to make her :)