Green Planet Yarn had a meet-and-greet today: TNNA, the Stitches-type get-together for wholesalers and yarn store owners, was going to be here this weekend and thus the owners of several yarn dyeing companies had agreed to come to Beth’s shop with samples of new lines and just to get to meet some of the people who actually use what they create.
My going would mean being at least an hour and a half late picking Richard up from work. He encouraged me not to worry about it and just go. (A co-worker offered him a ride home in the end.)
It wasn’t just that I wanted to see the yarns: I specifically wanted to thank the folks at Blue Sky Fibers. I’m sure I’ve told the story here before, but not recently I don’t think, so here goes.
I was in the early stages of working on my lace shawls book. Meantime, Stephanie Pearl-McPhee was coming to Berkeley for her first-ever book signing in California–Stash, I think was the name of the place–and Jocelyn and Cris and I carpooled together to go. After knowing Stephanie via the Knitlist since our kids had been little, I finally got to meet her for the first time.
Stash did a brisk business in books and yarn that night, and I came across some Blue Sky baby alpaca/silk that was both new and like nothing else out there. Wow. SO soft. Luminous, too, just gorgeous (and it is still one of the nicest yarns I know, all these years later.) I snapped up two skeins but definitely needed more to make a shawl.
Please, they told me: we know we have more of it in the back. We’re swamped. Can we just mail it to you in the morning?
I got a very embarrassed phone call the next day: no, actually, they did not have any more, and there was about zero chance of getting an exact match on the next order. They were so sorry.
And that set off the great yarn hunt. I needed more and it needed to be that dyelot. There weren’t as many yarn stores online then nor that carried that particular yarn, but I called a few and emailed more and did what I could.
I’d seen ads in Interweave magazines for a particular shop back East that seemed to have a good inventory, and they said they would check and they asked for my phone number.
It did not occur to me to mention to them that I was three time zones away.
And thus the infamous story within the family of their starting the day by making sure I knew before I should head out for work that I had to keep looking.
Richard groaned awake in the dark, one of many times when being able to take my ears off at night has been nice for me but for him, not so much, and he reached over my head for the old Princess phone placed there on the small chance I might hear it ring if I really really had to.
“It’s your New York City boiler-room yarn pushers,” he growled as he shoved the handset my way at 5 a.m. “They want you to know they don’t have your dye lot.”
At that, I gave up and appealed to Blue Sky directly: did they have it? I was quite sure they didn’t do retail, but could I buy it from them anyway?
They actually had an exact match. I asked for two, they sent me three, and they refused to let me pay them a dime. Even when I protested.
I thanked them but it didn’t seem enough. Today was my chance.
Linda, the owner, was not there, but three of her staff were. As I found them one by one in the crowd, I showed them the shawl that had come of their generosity and gave them each an autographed copy of Wrapped in Comfort. Each one, independent of the others, asked to see what page it was on. They let me tell them what a difference they’d made to me and were delighted to take a fourth copy home for Linda.
Ran into old friends–including Jocelyn and Cris. Caught up a bit, had fun…
And noticed that one guy had been standing off by himself for awhile now and nobody was talking to him. Well that wouldn’t do, these things are supposed to be fun. Turns out he wasn’t a knitter. Turns out he was Michael, a businessman who was the husband of the Mrs. Crosby of Lorna’s Laces fame.
And as we talked, old friend and Green Planet employee Laura came by with a bag and offered me my pick. She worked the room and then came back towards me with another bag.
“It’s not my turn!”
She laughed. “Goodies for all! Take one!”
One brown hat and one bluegreen cowl as the next carry-around projects. (I had my oversized afghan project shoved halfway down into my tote, where it did not want to stay. It was a little ridiculous. But it did prove that I do like blues and greens together.)
And then the event was officially done and it was time to beat it home quick before the next downpour.
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