unexpected treasures

Posted on Posted in designing, food and garden, projects

(i’ll never not be fascinated by the coleus)

a few days ago i got a nice email from my friend abby, who chatted a bit about the garden and then added cryptically I desperately need your snail mail address. It’s urgent!. ok then . . . not wanting to stress her one iota if i could help it, i shot the address right back to her.

a few hours later, i got a notice from the USPS that abby franquemont was mailing me something. hmm, completely intriguing, but since i love surprises, i didn’t press for more info.

and then today there was this in my mailbox

holy cow.
i know you can’t feel this but can you see how soft it is? cuz it is. and fine—very, very fine (there are over 400 yards in that 1 ounce skein). and that color—this kind of color is my very favorite natural brown . . kind of a moorit/buff. i think we are calling it butterscotch.

and if all that wasn’t enough, she spun it on a drop spindle. with her very own precious hands.
the magnitude of it overwhelms.

abby is a most incredible fiber artist . . . she teaches and make batts, and spins yarns and writes and all that good stuff; some day i want to take classes from her (i had so hoped to go to SOAR this year but it’s not to be . . .).

this skein is gonna be a little nothing for sure. very soon. if i can ever find a stitch that does it justice (however will i bring myself to swatch it? to cut it??).
thank you abby that was incredibly incredible of you!

it’s sitting here on my desk where i can pet it whenever i want. and when i need my hand back, i have this to take its place

another surprise that arrived in today’s mail—is that not the most bodacious hamsa?
as you well know, my wonderful friend kim and i often exchange fun packages (we really do have to restart our chocolate exchange kim).

well, recently while in NYC with her son, she was in an east village shop and came across this spectacular piece. it is so over the top as to be mesmerizing—it pleases me no end and kim knew it was just the thing for me. and that was before she saw my scarf.
it’s a hand (i collect them), it’s a hamsa, it gorgeous, and (oooh, those of you that have similar fetishes will love this part)

it’s a BOX!
omg i almost swooned when i saw it was a box, too (it started with my dad’s matchboxes when i was small and the allure has never waned). so much excitement in one day—i can hardly take it. thank you kim . . . you know me so well.

after all that my blood sugar was low . . . so i made a sandwich with the first big tomatoes of the year

mmm. ain’t nothin’ like the real thing, baby.

i’m also working out the lacewing motif for the shawl

and i’m getting close. i don’t want it to be overly literal . . . just a little more detail than the ones in my initial swatches. the one on the far left here is very close to what i’m searching for.

i dunno about you, but i like things to be neat and tidy. however, i am not always neat and tidy, especially when i’m focused on work. in fact, it’s really easy for me to develop a sense that tidiness exists because there is one clean spot right in front of me while the immediate surroundings of my desk become extremely cluttered.

but oof; while taking pictures at my desk today i couldn’t help but see it for what it is—an absolute sty. the camera never lies.

there is stuff scattered here still from when i came home from TNNA in early june. and don’t even mention my work room—an even worse situation.
something tells me a little housekeeping is in order. i’m not feeling the bug in full force yet, but the worm is turning in my mind, and i think soon i may have to take a couple of days off to straighten up my “creative tableaux”. it will be good for me right?

31 thoughts on “unexpected treasures

  1. Sorry for focussing on the food, but I love your tomato and soybean sprout sandwich! Makes my mouth water…. what kind of dressing did you put in with it, may I ask?
    Yes, I bow my head in shame for admiring your sandwich, instead of the yarn, samples and hansa, which are beautiful. But I love good food too!

  2. OMG…I am no longer allowed to eat alfalfa sprouts. They look sooooooo good with those ‘maters! (sigh) I hope you enjoyed it for me?
    The hamsa is just amazing! I love boxes, too – since my dad’s wonderful oak chest that he built with little drawers in it…
    (I wish I had that)

  3. I really love that lacewing motif. I’m wondering where I am going to get the patience to wait for the pattern to come out…

  4. You little Vixen, going and packing the picnic hamper again… and you do it SO well.
    You had me drooling over the ‘butterscotch’, which is my kind of colour, just a tiny bit muted? Gorgeous, and hats off to Abby, spun so fine.
    AND I nearly wet my pants when I saw the Hamsa is a wee bitty box!! (wool, rocks, and boxes…)
    The sammich? sigh… mmmmm… ’nuff said.
    I also have ‘ain’t nothin’ like the real thing, baby’ floating around in my head, niiiice.

    I cleared off my desk this morning, whoooie, did it ever need it!
    Thank you Anne, just lovely.

  5. I’ve always thought the Coleus resembled plant leaves knit with variegated yarn. If that’s not the kernel of inspiration for a scarf/shawl, I don’t know what is!

  6. I feel your pain on the mess. In fact, I just finished cleaning off my desk (sort of. ok, part-way.) before I sat down to read your post. I feel another big “stuff” purge coming on very soon.

    Boy do I wish my handspun looked that soft and springy!

  7. Beautiful yarn and that sandwich.. mmmmm.. I brought in the first of the tomatoes today – not quite ripe but they will be in a few days.

  8. Like you, I love and collect hamsas. I actually have on tattooed on my hip. The craftiness of the hand and its other meanings have always so appealed to me. Nice to know I’m in good company!

  9. I’m just delighted that your desk is “busy”. That means you are designing, which means, for us Knitspotophiles, there are new patterns in our future. Please, Anne, don’t clean it up too much. 🙂

  10. I figure if you can see what color the top of the desk is, you don’t need to clean it up – yet.

  11. You know, although my desk contains many similar things — okay, arguably even some of the exact same things — it doesn’t look NEARLY so enticing.

    FWIW, the yarn should hold up to several froggings, and one end even has some flaws in the 20 yards or so closest to the ends. Look for the end that has a funny bumpy spot in one ply maybe 5 or 6 yards in, and swatch from that end; it’s the crummy end. 😉

    If you really need something the same size and general handle to swatch with, sheesh, I’ll send you some. 😉

  12. You know, I’ve got all this time off lying out ahead of me like a lovely still ocean. And the one thing I have NOT thought about doing (that truly needs to be done) is tidy up. Heh.

  13. It’s a box. OMG. A box. Little bitty boxes are the best things in the whole wide world. Love it. And that laceweight is gorgeous! I will never in a million years be able to spin like that… The lacewings are looking good!

  14. I like neat and tidy, too (I said I like it, not that I’m able to maintain it!), but a wooly sty is a good thing!

  15. Tomatoes, pretty boxes and beautiful yarn! This post has it all. I’m jealous. 😉 (I really, really want a homegrown tomato, and soon!!)

  16. What wonderful friends you have! I’ll try not to be jealous. LOL Not to mention that glorious sandwich…my tomatoes are so small this year and late as well. It’ll be another 3 weeks before I get to indulge. *sigh*

    About your desk: That’s a “sty”?? Mercy, woman! My desk at least 2 layers deep, 3 or 4 in some places! Is it any wonder I can’t find my scissors and my Kleenex box keeps falling onto the floor?!?

  17. That spindle-spun laceweight is a beauty–enough to make one weep tears of joy!… And I am certain that if anybody could do it justice, it would have to be you. 🙂

  18. I understand that you see your desk as a mess, but if you look at that photo again with fresh eyes…what a gorgeous mess to behold – riches 🙂

    Just wanted to say how delighted I am everytime my bloglines announces a new knitspot post. I really look forward to seeing them.


  19. This is the way I look at it: if my studio is neat, I am NOT producing. If it looks like something a fabric factory puked up, I’m good.

    Usually once the urge to set it all on fire just to find an empty surface comes over me, I know the mess has progressed too far and I stop to clean it.

    But I always equate mess with work so its not always a bad thing! 🙂

  20. Anne, I think you have hit upon the perfect motif for the lacewing. I’m really looking forward to this one. The color you are working it up in is perfect as well. sigh. My daily knitspot fix is taken care of!

  21. the bug will bite…and after it’s bitten you in the ass, send it my way! my house is rather sty like, too. (and with a husband who is currently at home…a lot…harumph)

  22. You have tomatoes?! Mine are still coming along and green. Mmmm, it makes my mouth water! I can’t believe the dedication and passion that went into the drop spindle yarn. I have nothing but respect for people like that. What a treasure, is right. The hand is so grand!

  23. You know the trouble with cleaning up though, right? It invariably leads to stash diving, and we all know how THAT can go.

  24. Oooh pretty yarn. And I love your handy new box. (Sorry, I live with a punster – it rubs off.) But, that the desk you label a “sty” is what mine looks like when it’s clean? LOL

  25. Oh my, those are fabulous gifts! Abby’s yarn is simply gorgeous: the spinning is perfect, of course, and the colour is delightful.

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