Chocolate to start the day: as we sat down with our hot chocolate just after his shop opened, Timothy custom-made some truffles on the spot with fresh apricots because Michelle had told him I like them (I do!) and he set some in front of us to try. (I really do!) Exquisite.
As was his violet truffle: I grew up in a house in the Maryland woods with wild violets growing in the grass, with parents with the good sense to consider them the flowers that they were, beautiful purple treasures with perfect leaves. This was the essence in chocolate of a happy childhood. Seriously, if you’re ever in this area you need to try this man’s handiwork.
We swung by the next block on our way home.
It was Mr. M who opened the door. I was very glad to see him; he hadn’t been at the annual block party the last two years as far as I knew and I wasn’t sure he was still with us but I’d been afraid to ask. His wife had once asked me, Do you remember, in this neighborhood in ’53 when…
And I’d grinned, I wasn’t born yet.
So yeah, they were homeowners here 62 years ago.
We had a perfectly lovely conversation. I offered to hoist that errant tree branch back over the fence to our side and to help trim back some of their heavenly bamboo that’s up against the fence if they would like some help with it. (I didn’t say, you’ve always kept everything just so and it’s growing wild this year; are you guys okay?)
He laughed off the part about my tree branch and said it was fine and that I was welcome to trim any time, not to worry, and he thanked me for the offer to help. He’s a lovely old gentleman. I woke up this morning after yesterday’s angst feeling like it was going to be no biggie, and it was way better than no biggie: he was a delight.
Off to Purlescence‘s knit swap. Bring some, take some, the only rule at the table is be nice. One of the skeins I was bringing was a pre-wound cake of hand dyed sock yarn, and it was a perfectly nice sock yarn but it was shades of taupe and beige on the orange side and I was never going to knit those colors no matter how much I liked the person who’d dyed them (who has since closed her business. I’ve had it awhile.) I knew Kevin would love it, though.
I walked in through those doors and Kevin was right there on the other side. I told him as I dug it out of my purse that I’d pulled it out of my stash thinking specifically of him and he held out his hands for it with a big grin, not letting it even land on the table, proclaiming it his favorite colors and that he was going to knit himself socks out of it.
Next thing I knew, though, Kathy had that distinctive cake in her hands. I grinned; she told me Kevin knew it would be her favorite, it was, and so he’d instantly passed it along to her.
You can see where this is going.
There were quite a few quite nice yarns and people were admiring them but waiting to see: if someone clearly wanted to pounce on something, then it was clearly meant for them and there you go. People were giving others a chance first, again and again.
I ended up with a skein of Malabrigo that I knew exactly what sale that dyelot had come from. I’d used up all of mine from it. Malabrigo was still a new company then. And there on the floor was the back of a large cotton sweater that had been going to have drop shoulders, i.e. it was knit straight up from the bottom with no armscyes. The shoulder stitches were cast off and the back of the neck stitches were on a holder with two more big skeins of very soft cotton stuffed in the bag with it.
All I had to do was rip back two rows and then cast off and voila! A washable baby carseat blanket, there you go.
I tried to find out whose it had been so they could have that near-instant baby gift; after all, they’d done the work. I got nowhere. When I wistfully mentioned that to someone, they said most of the projects on that table were there because their knitters never wanted to work on them again.
This was true: I had dropped off six or seven skeins of a yarn I’d ordered from China that the seller had claimed was silk/cashmere. It most emphatically was not. It was bamboo, maybe with some acrylic and the very barest amount of animal hair of undistinguishable source. But given what it was really made of, whatever that was, the lacework I’d done in it utterly refused to block out of being a crumpled rag.
I’d put a note in the bag describing why I’d bought it, what it wasn’t, and how it had (mis)behaved. The yarn was nice to the touch but I had put hours into the lie that it was to me. If someone else took it with fiber-reality expectations, it actually could work out quite nicely for them.
Me, I never wanted to see it again.
Someone else definitely did–it disappeared off that table in no time. That was gratifying. I hope they love it.
And there was a sock. A small, single sock. Its mate had apparently never been knit and there was no yarn there that matched it–it was on its own.
I have cold feet in the winter but don’t like it that when I finally warm up enough not to need warm socks on my feet, it wakes me up to kick them off. A single sock insulating my cold feet from each other as I fall asleep is all I need.
And so someone’s sock found a happy home where its wooly handknittedness is keenly appreciated. It even fits. (I think I actually have a matching skein…Stitches West a few years ago and that Canadian guy, right? What was his name? Shelridge Farm! Yeah I bought some too. Here let me go look in my stash…)
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