28 June 2011

Shawl, revisited

Having finished the first shawl, the second should have been a piece of cake. Thicker yarn means faster knitting, and fewer color changes make for the kind of mindless knitting that equates a speedy project. In truth, the actual spinning and knitting went fairly quickly.

It was the delivery that took forever.

I made this shawl after a visit with a basket weaver friend at the Battle of Black Jack re-enactment last year. I had my drop spindle and some soft white wool, she had a table full of reeds and baskets. Curious glances turned into covetous thoughts, and we worked out a trade. A handspun shawl for a hand woven basket. Since I was already working on the yarn, and had everything I needed for the pattern, it seemed like a great plan.

The shawl worked up just the way I'd pictured it. The main body was an off-white, tweedy wool yarn with little nubs of raw silk and a fuzzy halo of angora. Imagine a hairy marshmallow, and you'll have a general idea. I added broad stripes of blue, green, and cranberry red near the bottom, and finished the piece with fringe. Now that the work was done, it was time to take the shawl to its new owner.

Easier said than done.

Having lost my friend's phone number, I had to wait until we were at an event together. After several near misses, I called up the folks at Constitution Hall in Lecompton. At the end of June, they host a big shindig called Territorial Days. It includes a street carnival, turtle races, and lots of historical-type demonstrators. We've been going for several years to play music and give spinning demos, and it's where I met my friend in the first place. Yes, they said. She'll be here.

The morning of the big day, we packed the car with our stuff and headed to my folks' place. Junior was spending the day with Grandma and Grandpa and his cousins while Mama and Daddy hung out with John Brown and Abe Lincoln. Mom admired the shawl, Dad poured the coffee, and the kids dug out every toy they could find. After a round of kisses and "bye-bye's", we were on the road. Halfway to Lecompton, I had a sudden thought.


"What? Whatsa matter?"

"I left the shawl at Mom and Dad's."

A quick phone call confirmed that yes, the shawl was still in its bag, still on the table, and still not delivered to its intended recipient. Alternately sulking and shouting, I almost didn't hear Himself's suggestion. We could just get the address and take the shawl to my friend the next day. This plan won out over my idea of violence and mayhem. The address was procured, the shawl was delivered, and the trade was made. Two happy crafters went their merry ways.

Oh, and my new basket is totally awesome.


Molly said...

Very nice! I clicked for a close up of the details but nothing happened....I had an acquaintance once who was very good at watercolors but I couldn't afford to buy one. She saw me wearing an Aran cardigan one day and we planned a trade. You know how long it takes to paint a picture in water colors? And of course you know how long it takes to knit an adult size Aran sweater......I love the painting but I definitely got the short end of the stick!

Judy said...

Lovely work, Audrey, but we would expect nothing less. :)