January 25, 2012 § 2 Comments
What could be in this fine little brown paper bag?
I insisted that we walk down to the north edge of Oakland to visit A Verb for Keeping Warm. Right next to a place called the Actual Cafe (which promises “Hot Coffee, Good Food, Nice Folks”), on a street corner which must be one of the most literal places in all the world, I walked in and found the Nicest Yarns There Are, in person.
A wall of J+S jumperweight. All the Madeleinetosh and Malabrigo you could stand. FYBERSPATES. Lots of breed-specific wool from local farms. Mushroom-dyed yarns. Physical copies of self-published bestsellers. A full rack of gorgeous samples. It was heaven. I wanted it all. Also, they were hiring.
I didn’t know what to do, so Zac went next door to the Actual Cafe, and I went up to the counter and said, “I’m on vacation from Virginia, and I’d like to buy a souvenir. What’s your favorite thing here?”
Immediately, as is my self-effacing habit, I apologized for asking such a strange/personal/hard question, but she said, “Actually, that’s an easy question.” She walked me over to the yarn they dyed in-house (I asked about their processes, but she told me they were secret), and showed me something beautiful.
This is Shimmering, and the gerunds-as-naming-convention reminds me of nothing else but Stella McCartney lingerie.
I wanted to make friends and keep chatting, so I asked them if they could please skein all 1093 yards?
They hadn’t heard of the farm (You’re a fiber CSA? You give them yarn, in with the vegetables?), but, well, humbled.
Since visiting, I’ve been reading Kristine’s blog, where she writes daily about dyeing, teaching, traveling, and the daily realities of managing a crafty business– taking inventory, coming up with new products, having to knit instead of getting to knit, dealing with negative feedback– and that’s just this month! It’s so nice to hear a familiar story (Although– the kind of smarts, bravery, responsibility, and hustle that running, owning, and founding a successful business require? Dear Lord. I haven’t worked nearly as hard!).
I’ve definitely got plans for little Shimmering, and they’re called Pi Shawl, and, as such, will have to wait until July (my birthday?).
Until then, secreted away in the yarn cabinet. There’s nothing I like more than an actually useful souvenir (Brown leather bag? Best dress of all time? Berlin, 2008.), and I think this fits the bill.