In August, she had gone to the Mary Maxim tent sale. I had asked her to look for some specific items for me. A cute, golfing Santa felt stocking kit was one. I had been kicking myself for months for not ordering it last year when I first saw it, as it had disappeared from the catalogue *and* website. It was the perfect item for Derek, and I had already purchased several similar kits a few years ago (one of which I mentioned back in October that I was working on it). Another was some Starlette yarn in a few colours so I could swatch with it for an afghan design I'm working on. Starlette is the only line of reasonably-priced machine-washable worsted yarn that has all 11 colours I need for this design. There were also 2 Harmony crochet books (the old ones!) which were the main reason she sent this when she did... I had whined about how in my now vast library of reference books, I had nothing to assist me in designing a crochet lace shawl!!! That's what I knew about!
Next there were several items I vaguely remember her mentioning at one point or another. There's some plain and purply-pink roving for thrums. The purply-pink should work perfectly with the rose and lavender Briggs & Little Regal I bought in the spring for thrummed mitts, and of course, natural goes with everything. There was the Creative Knitting special issue, Techniques, Tips & Tricks. CK is one of the (very) few knitting magazines that I consistently enjoy the projects from, so this was a must-have issue for me... and of course locating it here was impossible (until *after* she bought me a copy!). I dug out a ball of Mary Maxim Bamboo sock yarn... I forgot about that one! I have been purchasing samples of the various wool sock yarns from there, and due to the fibre content, hadn't tried this one yet. The colour she chose is like a rose garden of pink, purple, peach, and green... too nice for *just* socks IMO!!! One other item rang a bell... very soft ring mind you, but a ring nonetheless... a hank of a blue sherbet-like semi-solid hand painted sock yarn, packaged in a parfait cup (more like a slurpee, but that's splitting hairs!). It was for a cancer fund raiser a couple years back. Very cute and very smooshy!
Then came the complete surprises... A blue-grey-black ball of Mary Maxim Bounce, another sock yarn I hadn't tried yet, a *huge* stack of mostly colour-work patterns (I'm *really* needing a KP Palette sampler after looking through them!), a 101 stitch book of crochet stitches for afghans, and 2 *nearly* identical balls of deep blue jacquard sock yarn. Those 2 made me step back for a moment. The yardage on them is huge!!! 440m/ 481yds each! One ball should make even Derek a pair of socks *nearly* to the height he prefers! I later found out that it was in a bin for $2 each!!! I remembered seeing the *really* cheap sock yarn emails from Mary Maxim in the late summer, but this was still surprising... $2 for sock yarn that doesn't feel like it by any means! Usually you get what you pay for, but even Walmart charges more than that for a single pair of socks!!!
I've saved the very best for last... the item that made me cry, and truth be told, has me welling up as I write this. I could not believe my eyes when I pulled out a hank of "Cashmara" sock yarn in Petrol out of the mix. I remembered looking over the website that sold it (sorry, no linky) when Liz was ordering parts for her sock machine. She was doing to me what I do to her CONSTANTLY... making **me** look at yummy yarny goodness to help **her** pick out colours! Sock yarn wasn't the purpose of her order, the parts were, but she wanted some sock yarn too. I totally understood, as my KP orders have been mostly tools and reference, with yarn as an afterthought. I remember looking at the various yarn lines and colours, and how this one colourway grabbed me immediately. Even though the pics she sent me of her stash had a lot of these colours already, this combination was just too good to pass up.
All I remember clearly about that day is the two of us emailing back and forth (as always) and discussing the pros and cons of various colours. I also remember being so happy for her for having her machine finally, and looking forward to when she was practised enough with it to trust *good* yarn such as this to it. I've always lived vicariously through many of the things she does and can do that I can't. As jealous as I am of her being able to "crank out a sock" now, I also know that, for me, making nothing but stockinette, short row heel socks, is not what I want to do with my stash. Derek prefers his ribbed worsted weight Tuffy socks, and I like making patterns with nearly any yarn I have. Plus, heel flap socks are what work best for both of us! Regardless, I can't wait to see her socks once she gets off the current quilting marathon she's on! I love ya Liz!!!
PS: The Cashmara feels as good as it looks... it's not "too good" for socks, and not "too rough" for a wearable accessory... the perfect combination in any sock weight yarn!!!
Sent from my BlackBerry® powered by Virgin Mobile.