Handspun cashmere
Tuesday January 02nd 2007, 9:01 pm
Filed under: Knit

Once upon a time, I bought some cashmere roving from Kate Painter, not long after she’d opened her Paradise Fibers store. About eighteen months later, I called her back on a long shot: I had finally spun it up and started a sweater, but I was running short, something I never do (I highly disbelieve in starting knitting a project you’re not sure you have enough yarn for.) By any wild chance?…

Turns out she knew exactly what batch I’d ordered from, and she did indeed have more; she would check to see how much she had and get back to me.

What I didn’t know then was that she had some because she’d put it aside for her own private stash, and that she spent hours going through her basement looking for that cashmere that she knew, just knew, she had. She so much empathized with that helpless feeling of a beautiful project, almost done, which can’t quite come to be, unless… She found the rest of that roving.

Rather than leave her with too small an amount herself to do much with, we talked, and I ended up buying the pound and a half or so that she had down there, and she reordered however much she wanted from her supplier. I had enough for my project, and then some, so.

…come Stitches West the next February, I gave her a lace scarf out of it as a thank you. The funny thing is, I was the second very happy customer to surprise her with a scarf that day, and she happily put mine on over the other one, knowing people would ask, knowing she’d get to brag on her friends all day long that way. Kate is so cool. She has since sold her store, and I missed seeing her this last year’s Stitches. A lot.

Meantime, I still have plenty, some of it spun up, some of it not yet. Stash yarn is wonderful stuff: you can get an idea and be able to just jump in and run with it. Knit it up fast when you need it.

And in the case of this thing I started last night, beat the plane coming in at ten pm here.

7 Comments so far
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I bought my spinning wheel from Kate. I was sorry to see her sell the business.

Comment by CarolineF 01.03.07 @ 5:08 am

That is absolutely gorgeous.

I was trying to think of something more clever to say, but I’m struck dumb by the gorgeousness. Wow.

Comment by Kristine 01.03.07 @ 6:17 am

That’s gorgeous Alison. You should put the pattern online or sell it to a magazine.

I miss Kate, too. I never met her in person but I enjoyed chatting with her whenever I bougth anything from Paradise Fibers.

Comment by Donna 01.03.07 @ 6:57 am

The scarf is just so beautiful Alison.

Comment by Joni 01.03.07 @ 7:08 am

This. This is why we need simulated feelers for computers. I want to touch that scarf. Cashmere…. Mmmmm. Yes please.

Comment by Regina 01.03.07 @ 10:39 am

Beautiful scarf and great story as usual. I’m currently spinning my first cashmere; it’s cashmere silk and I’m going the spindle route so I can play with it longer.

Comment by Alison 01.03.07 @ 1:05 pm

Anybody know how to tell Kate how much we all miss her?

Comment by AlisonH 01.03.07 @ 4:54 pm

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