Piuma wanderings
Thursday March 23rd 2023, 5:25 pm
Filed under: Friends,Knitting a Gift,Life

It was one of those times when a yarn leaped onto the needles of itself. Probably because I’d made Nanci a cowl out of that peach cashmere and she’d so exclaimed over it that I made a second one. That’s probably why I bought more of it, for that matter. I have some memory of thinking I was going to overdye some, till I decided it seemed too fragile to risk having the strands felt together.

(This is as close to Piuma as they have now. That price makes me feel like I really got a bargain. Anyway.)

The second cowl sat there quietly waiting to find its person, and as the pandemic came on and our  interactions with friends died off and felt far away it became utterly forgotten.

Last year someone mentioned on Ravelry–and I rarely read the threads on Ravelry, it’s like trying to catch up on every conversation with every knitter everywhere–that she’d made her daughter a sweater out of this glorious braided Piuma cashmere from Colourmart and had wanted ever since to make herself one to match. She had some of the peach, which she loved, but that mill end was long since sold out.

How much did she need? I went looking. I did! I had a cone and now I knew why, and dye lot would never be an issue from them. I mailed it to her. She insisted on paying me. I’d gotten it on sale. I told her, how about paying it forward instead by buying something from someone in Ukraine? With Etsy waiving fees there, it all goes to them. She really liked that idea, and did, and made a point of telling me what she’d ordered so as to share that happy anticipation and sense of reaching out to good people far away who were going through so much.

And I thought, I haven’t met you, but I feel like we would be instant old friends if we ever did.

Awhile later I found two more cones, offered them in case it would help–very much so, thanks!–and I let her pay me back that time.

Months later, I found out she still hadn’t started her sweater. (I totally get that there’s this fear of losing at yarn chicken that can get a project shoved to the end of the queue.) I only know because I went looking for that conversation again to see if she had her sweater yet, because, put away in the wrong spot, I’d found one more cone of that lusciously soft Piuma. I’d had no idea I’d bought that much of it, because it was never my color. It had always been planned to be for other people, so, hey, it was for her.

So that was around Thanksgiving.

Late February, I was rearranging yarns and finished projects, going through seeing what hats and cowls were in the stash ready to go, which ones needed ends woven in–when I discovered, smushed between other things inside a ziplock, that long-forgotten twin to Nanci’s.

It could be backup to the backup to the backup, but what it would be would be the matching-yarn cowl to get that sweater off the ground because I knew how much she wanted to have it. Sometimes you just need a nudge to get started.

Not that it’s any of my business whether she ever does or not. I just enable.

I wrote her a note telling her happy birthday–I was sure she was having one some time this year–and that no, she could not pay me back this time. This was from me, it had been waiting all this time to go where it had been meant to go and now I finally knew. If by chance she lost at yarn chicken on her sweater, I was entirely fine with her unraveling this for it.

I mailed it off.

I didn’t hear back, which was unusual, because in our earlier emails back and forth she’d always been quick to respond.

Then I did, I got a note saying she was out of town helping her mom move into her (likely final) address (my heart instantly went out to them both), and her husband had told her a package had come for her from me and that it felt like yarn and she was pretty excited about that and he was going to fly shortly to come help with her mom and bring it for her to open then. She couldn’t wait to find out what it was.

And then I didn’t hear back.

And I didn’t hear back.

And I thought, well that’s fine. I got the satisfaction of sending it off and knowing she would love it and that it went to the right place and that she’s happy, that’s certainly all I needed.

You know all this weather we’ve been having? You’ve seen the pictures of the 600+ inches of snow covering everything up in the mountains near Tahoe–burying the ski lifts!–and how impassable everything’s been?

Turns out her husband had not made that flight. Nor the next nor the next nor (repeat repeat repeat.) He was snowed in, without power or water or heat for some of that and no way out but with neighbors who needed help so he did. For three weeks. How he managed through all that I do not know, and I am in awe.

Finally, finally, he got out and to where she was and handed her her long-anticipated package.

I’m picturing that moment of all those weeks of anticipation, of hard physical and emotional work for the both of them, unable to be there for each other in person through it all, all the worry, all the goodwill towards those around them that kept them going: finally getting to be back together.

And opening my silly little package as something they’d both been looking forward to.

And finding it wasn’t just yarn. It was the time of a stranger, just a little, but offered freely as they had offered their own.

And that is why I hadn’t found that cowl earlier: this was when they needed the experience of it.

While I marvel at the project that would have looked good on several people along the way but refused to be so much as thought of until the right one at the right time. At the Love that answered his and her love.

As far as I know (with a nod towards Stitches West) I’ve never met her nor she me, but oh we have. We have. As best as we know how.

4 Comments so far
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Lovely story

Comment by Jayleen Hatmaker 03.24.23 @ 8:08 am

My goodness, how crazy!

Comment by ccr in MA 03.24.23 @ 11:41 am

And the cowl fairy strikes again! 🙂

Comment by DebbieR 03.25.23 @ 7:23 am

Oh what perfect timing! I love that the cowl waited for exactly the right person just when they needed it.

Comment by Pegi F 03.26.23 @ 5:43 am

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