Saturday, December 25, 2010
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
There is no friend like an old friend.
Almost 26 years ago, I made friends with a very dear and very talented person who absolutely changed the course of my life.
We were venturing through New Zealand and a friend had given me the name of someone on a small slip of paper in a letter, which had been from another friend of hers, when they heard mention that I was to be traveling through New Zealand. I had learned to knit (as an adult versus my feeble attempts as a child) from another good friend only weeks previously, when that friend heard I was to be traveling through New Zealand, so I was a fresh out of the stable knitter still wrestling with the needles, as my husband, Bob, and I wove to and fro through the countryside with our then three year old daughter Rosemary. I had been making hand made dolls at the time and I was on the lookout for yarn for doll hair, and whatever else struck my fancy. The endless green countryside was lovely and the friendly and hospitable faces of the Kiwi folks were even lovelier. Anna was a kind soul, and the day we spent at her yarn shed, I bought my first batch of her beautiful handyed multicolor New Zealand wool, as well as the wonderful naturally colored shades that have been our staple, sturdy, well wearing wool ever since. On that same trip I purchased yarn and fibers from a variety of sources, but none surpassed the quality and special touch of those from Anna. And so, our relationship across the miles began, and continues to this day. It is not often that I get to spend a morning and cup of deliciously strong coffee with rich New Zealand cream in the courtyard of Anna's lovely garden, and so, as I sat face to face with her once again, I savored every single moment, and held in my heart and memory the sound of her voice and the features of her face and long hair as we discussed life both backwards and forwards. From there, we wandered through the yarn colors and behind the scene mill… the combers and spinners, machines to make hanks, and all the bins and bags that are the source of what eventually becomes that lovely yarn we have all come to know and love as Little Wool Company.
When I think of all that goes into what we run through our fingertips, and eventually we and our loved ones wear in Alaska and beyond, I am in awe. It is not often that the one who raises the sheep takes it from the sheep in the pen through the whole process, going all the way through to beautiful dyeing and on to the New Zealand post office and to us here in Alaska. It is a marvelous thing. It is wonderful to reconnect to the source of my love and passion for knitting, and for that which was the seed of The Net Loft’s growth into a full fledge yarn shop, and all from the making of a brand new friend from a tiny slip of paper.
Thank you Anna,
And thanks to those of you whose appreciation for Little Wool Company yarns through the years have helped keep Anna dyeing , as well as helped nurture the fledgling Net Loft into what it is today.
I hope you are enjoying this time of family and friends, of festival and celebration.
For, after all,
There is no friend, like an old friend.
Make new friends and keep the old..
One is silver and the other is gold.
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Monday, October 18, 2010
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Fall had beset us, and, thankfully, at least we had a brief spell of autumn sunshine to replace
When I look back and reflect upon the faces of summertime, in light of all technology has to offer, I do know what matters most to me...the joy and value of those moments when the shop is open and the smiles stream in, and the unmatched beauty of the physical presence of those that fill the shop. I may not always have time to write about it, or remember to take pictures of it, because, more than likely, I am too in the midst of it to stop. Whether I am busy running up and down the stairs, unpacking boxes, or better yet...doing my favorite thing, being with you, in person, face to face...happy to view a finished project or one in progress, or possibly one that needs a boost, I do believe that nothing can replace human physical contact and no digital media can duplicate the joy of being involved and immersed in experiencing all the colors and textures firsthand.
I am missing it now, and, as the outdoors prepares for dormancy, my days with the shop are unfortunately relinquished to a virtual connection. Having set all the spinning plates into motion, I now step away, knowing a part of me has been left behind. Yarn, boxes, and friends, that was my summer...though busy, the best part was hearing the jingle of the door chime...
Thank you for stepping in the door.
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
Knitting makes me happy
Even if I don’t do it myself
It makes me happy to see what others have made
It is why I buy yarn and put it on the shelves
It is my reward
I can think of no greater profit than to see a knitter knitting in the upstairs room
Or hear of a project sewn up and becoming a garment, loved and treasured.
It makes it all worthwhile
All the ordering would be for naught, if it wasn’t for a photo like this
Seeing it makes me smile
for it captures in time a special someone wrapped in the labor of a knitter’s love'
Show me the socks on your feet
Your husbands and babies and kids wrapped in the works of your hands
The hats on the heads of crewmen
The blankets in the cribs
The scarves that fend off the damp days
The washcloths in the sinks
The afghans gracing couches and couch potatoes
The little coin purses
The big felted bags
The mittens and gloves
Even the little dolls and beloved handknit bears
I want to see it all…
I think of the endless calls and the busy buying trips and the putting up shelves and the pricing and the bill paying and the setting the yarn on the shelves and all the time it takes for a skein of yarn and all the steps it has taken for that skein to land in someone’s bag
To see a photo like this.
don't you agree that the photo says it all?
Yes, I have come to realize
Knitting makes me happy
Even if it is through the hands of another
This holds true for the works of the crocheters and the cross stitchers,
the scrapbookers, the card makers the embroiderers, beaders, weavers and spinners, too.
It is a very big reason why we do what we do here…
And so, dear handworkers,
Thank you for your part… Keep up the good work.
photos graciously borrowed from Stephinie http://www.gypsyforest.com/welcome_to_gypsy_forest/