Like The Queen
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Sunday, December 14, 2003  

Why God Gave Us Yarn Shops

Just in case you needed the answer immediately - in case you didn’t know - in case you haven’t time to read the entire post in order to achieve enlightenment -

It is so that one can find comfort - of course.

Like - when your soon to be ex-MIL is picking up your daughter and the last time you saw her was at your kid’s school and she ripped you up one side and down, in front of all the parents of your child’s schoolmates, most of whom have met your soon-to-be-ex and wonder how you two ever got together in the first place - and you aren’t sure if she’s going to even bring your kid back, but your lawyer said you can’t refuse her request and so you get your cousin to be there with you and when you’re blinking back tears, as the car drives away, your cousin can say, “Wanna go to the yarn shop?”

That’s why.

And that is also why God gives other people a blank-slate sort of day - so you can take your cousin to the yarn shop.

Which we did after the Christmas Parade. There is something so festive, so happy about a Christmas Parade in a small town. In a teensy weensy town. Where half the people on the street watching are your cousins or your friends or your co-workers, and the other half are your clients or patrons or students. All the church Sunday schools have floats and there are umpteen Little Miss (and Mr.) Snow Queen (or King), all dressed in white and the local fire department’s Miss Flame - who gets her title not for her beauty, though she’s dressed in an evening gown and her mother’s wool coat (do you know a single teenager with a wool coat these days? of course not - it’s down jackets or parkas), but because she collected the most money for the fire department last summer. Of course they are beautiful the way anybody so young, and with access to the makeup counter at Wal*mart, is. Ahh - I used to go watch the sports events when LD was in high school and gape at the beauty of 16 year olds. How gorgeous their skin, their supple limbs, the plain and the ones with perfect bone structure - they all have this energetic glow of youth and ... lawsee - if they only had a clue of how gorgeous they really were - how much less angst they would suffer. Eh. And probably how awful it would be for us geezers to have perfectly beautiful youth combined with the power that comes with comprehension - but without the judgment that comes from survival.

Anyway - we waved and shouted Merry Christmas at everyone and met up with the S2BX MIL and after hugs and sighs and looks of determination - we toddled off to Fredericksburg. This was H‘s first trip to this shop - and it was the perfect shop to visit on a stiff upper lip sort of day. It’s in an old house on the dividing line between the commercial and the residential part of downtown. It’s also a straight line direct shot from Highway 17 to the block the shop is on so it’s really a breeze to get there. The architecture of the building is warm with lots of front room windows and a porch strung with icicle lights. At a little after 4 p.m. on a December afternoon, dusk was already hinting so the lighted windows looked particularly welcome. Inside are all the colors and textures of what looks rather like some millionaire’s private stash. I’ve always liked the way Nancy arranges the shop - What once was the living room has the trunk shows, rocking chairs by a fire place draped with shawls, one low set of shelves filled with yarns. She has a glass front counter where the cash register is and inside are the exotica - a little display of combinations of things - glitter yarn with mohair, or buttons laid atop a rich wool. The former dining room has the basic wools, a central display of samples, patterns, and perhaps a basket of yarns the samples were knit from, the Collinette stuff, the gorgeous classic elite - and this year - a lace merino that I really lusted after. In the room that was the former glassed in porch are the scarf yarns and books. In the passage between the living room and the back room are the sale things and needles plus a full length mirror where you can try on a sample and see if you like it. The back room has baby stuff - and baby books - and sample baby and kid sweaters and blankets.

The whole shop is warm and cozy and friendly and Nancy is as friendly as her shop. She’s a former gym teacher, tall and fit and athletic looking - and obviously having just so darn much fun in her new career. We spent an hour and a half touching, sitting on the floor, putting colors together, scrutinizing the needles, the buttons, the books and magazines. Lawsee me, the magic that texture and color can work on a wounded spirit. WE were giggling before we’d left the shop. A customer asked “are you actually buying or just getting a fix?” and we laughingly lifted our selections high.

Or rather, H’s selections, because I only bought one small ball of a novelty yarn I intend to knit into a scarf with some fluffy eyelash I have at home, though, not for me and not now. I just knew they were a perfect match. I am SO glad I did that inventory of my fiber stuff right after T’giving. It would be so easy to buy more yarn - there is so much beautiful stuff - and in fact - I’m not saying I am NOT buying more yarn - but just wee tad bits, not real buying as in $130 for that lust-inducing drop-dead gorgeous recycled silk and mohair sweater kit........ groaan

So - we toddled on home and spent the next couple hours knitting. H hasn’t knit in months so it was good to have her old teacher near by, in case she had any questions. She had a good 6 inches of the absolutely perfect scarf she’d been wanting to knit for her ogArchiveURL$>'><$BlogArchiveName$>

posted by Bess | 8:18 AM