Sunday, November 18, 2007

Fiber Heals All

Yesterday morning we went to the Potomac Craftsmen Guild show and stash sale. Although there were beautiful handmade things there, what I was really drawn to was the cheap yarn:



I bought yarn to knit a vest (maybe this one?) and a shawl (maybe this one?)--plus enough raw silk lace weight for an as-yet-to-be-determined project.

The sale was fantastic: antique buttons, used handmade looms, old books of patterns, and lots of leftover yarn--combined with new products from gorgeous woven shawls to irresistible hand-dyed yarns.

* * *

My friend Martha met us at the show and was kind enough to introduce us to a local yarn store I had never before visited: Inez's Stitchery. Amazing! She had knitting patterns that have been in there for ages. While I was oggling the patterns for the exact Christmas stockings that my grandmother knit almost forty years ago, David called me from the other room. "You've got to see this!" he called from the cross-stitch room.

And what was there on prominent display? My father's cross-stitch pattern booklet, now out of print for 27 years:



My dad was an academic spending weeks of the summer with my knitting grandmother, my quilting other grandmother, and an embroidery-crazy wife at the beach. He sketched pictures of the seaside--then sketched on graph paper to make patterns that my business-minded mother eventually sold as patterns. Soon he turned not only the stunning physical environment but the folk craft traditions of the South into more patterns, including the ones above. While I am never shocked to see his academic books appear in libraries or bookstores, seeing his cross-stitch designs still for sale was stunning!

* * *

This evening we went to the twenty-fifth wedding anniversary of our friends Jennifer, a phenomenal knitter, and Bob, a banjo player extraordinaire. We had such a lovely time--chatting with knitter friends, getting to know new folks from the folk music scene in the area, listening to their niece yelp when the local football team scored, and watching Son learn how to play the banjo and how to yo-yo. And most amazingly, when Jennifer introduced me to one of her friends, she said, "He probably knows your father!" and asked him. He did--from many years ago, and from the academic folklorist side, not the stitchery side. Very cool.

Happy anniversary, Jennifer, and thanks again for the lovely party!

* * *

I came home and called my father. Mom and Dad got on the speaker phone (AARGH! I don't know if anyone can understand on speaker phones, but this slightly hard-of-hearing person sure can't!) and reminisced about the old days when crafts and music, and people who loved crafts and music, filled their house.

1 comment:

jennifer said...

I'm so touched by your comments on our party -- and delighted you all three came! It was really fun having you there -- and sometime you and Son (and partner too if he wants to come) need to come over and explore all the books we have!

jw

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