Filed under: Knit
Plymouth’s Brushed Baby Alpaca and Knitpicks.com’s Suri Dream are two yarns I find useful for when I want to knit up a soft scarf in a small amount of time for somebody, as they take no more than a couple of hours: the fluff fills up some of the yarnover space, so you use a bigger needle than you otherwise would. And they are so very soft. Think close to angora, without the allergens or the high cost. The Plymouth has a shorter, denser fluff and a steadier spinning to it.
So: when Knitpicks came out with their new line of multicolored Suri Dream, I decided to try a ball in a couple of colors; I figured, at $5 each, even if I don’t like them, I can always find someone who does, and I haven’t lost much. And baby alpaca at what some pay for acrylics, well, hey.
Sunrise Suri Dream looks a lovely medium blue on my screen, almost uniform. What I got, though, was repeating streaks of very grayish light blue, darker grayish blue, and light mauve. Huh. The problem with finding just the right recipient, when you don’t care for the colorway to begin with, is, you still have to look at that yarn for the time spent working on it. Well, surely there had to be someone somewhere… And then I found my someone. Mary came to church happily wearing a new outfit, and one look at her and I knew exactly where that yarn was going. Anticipating seeing her reaction, both to the scarf and to being noticed that she had had on something new, made it worth working with, most definitely.
That’s the thing, isn’t it? Going from trying to please oneself to knowing you’ll be pleasing someone else. It takes all the chore out of the job.
Mary is the kind of sweet old lady I aspire to be someday, someone who never complains and who always has a nice word to say about anybody. Which is rather amazing, when I think about it: I have no idea what it was like to grow up a black woman in the South under Jim Crow, but one of these days I’d like to sit her down, tape recorder in hand, and ask away so that another generation can learn from the wisdom of her compassion.
I finished the scarf, went to church last week, but, no Mary. Went to church this past Sunday, again, didn’t see her. But her 12-year-old great-granddaughter was there. So I gave her the scarf, looking at her and thinking, and it would look nice on you, too. I told her it was for her grandma and the look in that granddaughter’s expression was sheer wonderment as she held it and then started stroking the thing. Feel this! And you’re just giving it to us? Why! Wow! Being an adolescent, she didn’t say all that, not quite out loud; having been busy raising adolescents the last dozen years, I understood all that, loud and clear.
That one little $5 ball is stretching a long way. I weighed the leftover from her scarf, done in a simple trellis lace, and found I had enough to make a second scarf, albeit narrower and shorter. This time, I don’t have to wonder who it’s for. Any teenage daughter and mom, I know better than to make match each other. But to match with her grandma? Rock on, dudes, Grandma’s cool.
I can’t help but wonder if that child will look back someday as Sunday having been the moment she knew she wanted to learn to knit.
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