Sunday, September 16, 2012

Skeins in the Stacks


in just a single word


In the midst of the many things that don’t go right, I am in constant and active remembrance of an overwhelming  appreciation for all the things that do.

This summer they came like ocean waves.
swells after swells of them
Why yes, there was the retreat of them, but all I choose to see, feel and remember is the soft and gentle seafoam of those moments  that wrapped around my ankles and swept me  up.

I realized at one point that I had to start writing them down.  There  were just so many of them…these waves of gratitude for these exceptionally priceless moments that were there for a fleeting moment and then gone in the same way that a wave on the beach is there one brief moment and then  not the next.

Last week it was found in the moments preparing and creating these little felted mushrooms for our celebration of the local fungus festival.  I am such a pushover…give me a handful of  colorful wool,  some soapy water, fresh gathered green moss, sweet little alder cones, with a friend by my side, and I am in heaven.   I was thinking of this one thing.  It is the power of multiplication in handcrafts, and how it is actually an exponential process, for the passing of a new creative idea multiplies itself in unforeseen ways.  One idea always seems to expand itself into many more, above and beyond what I initially introduce. We ended up with a wonderful array of beautiful mushrooms under glass and globe.  I don’t know what it is about a bright red cap and a little white stalk that gets  to me, but it just does, and I was delighted to see purple ones and multicolor shaded ones appear and come to life in this amazing way when surrounded by fresh moss and miniature woodland gatherings.   A wave upon the shore.

Two nights ago ,  Anna Hernandez, our local librarian came by the shop.  Her arms were full of a heavy load; large bags overflowing with skeins of  beautiful hand dyed yarns.  We were to put together her new yarn launch, and so together, we visited and shared an evening filled with thoughts and ideas, as we prepared the upstairs Net Loft tables for the unveiling. 

As I scurried about, under my breath, I thought to myself,  “THIS moment… is one of those moments, don’t miss it”.  And so, paying close attention, I tried to keep my eyes wide open to all that was going on around me.

Anna’s new yarns are lovely, just like her, full of beauty and grace, both  sweet and thoughtful.
Read here and you will understand better the concept of  “Skeins in the Stacks”  and Anna’s first release.

True to her librarian roots, the yarns are organized in a Dewey Decimal sort of way,   100 being the finest laceweight, 200  Fingering,  300 Sportweight,  400 DK..etc.  Each weight is named after an author such as “Potter”,  which is a luxurious laceweight cloud-like angora with over 437 yards per 50 grams.  

The first release has two components.  The natural dyed component,  “First Frost Cranberries” is dyed with hand gathered low bush cranberries, gathered by Anna and her mother.   It has shades of soft ballerina pink,  that vary into a soft  pale magenta.  Natural dyed yarns have an essence unique to them alone.  The soft undertones of this plant dyed collection causes one to simply say, “Ahh..”   It has immersed within its fibers, walks in the woods on fall days with buckets filled with natures gems, ripe bright red cranberries.  These yarns have a few that are not part of her regular yarns including a fine 4 ply Corriedale, 50/50 Mohair Wool DK, and a 12ply Heavy Worsted Corriedale.  All yarns with great wearability.  They may not be as soft, but they are good wearing wools and make for articles that need that wearability factor.  Good old fashioned wool.  Some are on angora lace, and a few are on the Organic Dk.

"First Frost Cranberries"

The other component is a collection of conventionally dyed yarns that follow the book theme of the story of Peter Rabbit.  Named after different elements of the storybook,  Anna stays true to her librarian roots with displays that are a reflection of that aspect of her life using the old familiar card catalog trays for displaying her creations. 

Her colors are:
 "The Little Jacket and the Shoes"

"Flopsy, Mopsy, and Cotton-tail" 

"Camomile"   (we think this would make a lovely tea cozy)

The bases she uses for these are the following, which are all Anna’s invention:

Laceweight Yarns – “Potter”
   Long Staple Angora
   437 yards  50 g
Like a cloud.  If the fog could kiss you, this would be what it would be like. Ultimate luxury. Perfect for a fine lace scarf or cowl.  The bunny yarn.

Fingering Weight Yarns – “Herriot”
Superwash BFL 75%, Nylon 25%
   464 yards  100 g
Rarity, warm and durable Superwash Blue Faced Leicester is great for sweaters, socks, and wristers. Picture James Herriot pulling on his handknit socks from this yarn as he goes out on a late night winter call.

DK Weight Yarns – “Thoreau”
Ultrafine Organic Merino Wool
   246 yards  100 g
Ultrasoft, high quality organic yarn, as Thoreau would have appreciated. Very good stitch definition. Great for babywear and children’s clothing, men or women’s accessories such as  hats, mittens or wristers.

Worsted Weight Yarns – “Austen”
Merino Worsted Superwash
   218 yards  100 g
If Jane could have had a superwash wool,she would have chosen this yarn to knit herself a cozy shawl. 4 ply with great stitch detail, perfect for cable stitch patterns. Would make a beautiful sweater.

And so, we had a lovely party yesterday afternoon, complete with Anna’s delicious home baked carrot cake with yummy frosting decked with fresh juicy blackberries in true Beatrix Potter fashion.  We gathered around, oogled over her yarns, hand made dolls and knitted kitty cats, made lavender sachets with Anna’s trial skeins, drank chamomile tea and Net Loft punch and left the world beyond the doors of the classroom behind.

 I have recently begun to refer to this space as “La La Land”, where, for that moment I walk through the doorway, there is nothing left behind the doors that open into our classroom loft.  Paperwork, boxes of unpriced freight, piles of unfinished and unresolved merchandise issues and unopened mail, conveniently  disappear when you pass through the gateway to “Lala Land”.  And these past two weekends were a pleasant journey to this special place, where the waves lap up and wrap themselves around your ankles, and the pleasant sensation of the moments that make up these special times amongst the company of friends and fiber prevail. 

We are excited to be the launching site for Anna’s new yarns and hope you get the opportunity to swing by and take a peek and soak up her Peter Rabbit inspired collection.  For any of you whose childhood or parenthood included repetive readings of this familiar tale, it will conjure up memories of this sweet bunny and Beatrix Potter’s engaging watercolor drawings that often say as much as the words themselves.  We look forward with anticipation to Anna’s future releases and wonder… which book will she choose next? 

We hope you will join us, even if it be via the internet as we journey into that place where handcrafts and friendship intersect, and that you are able to sense and savor the waves of special moments in your own daily life that lap around your very own ankles, even if they be for brief moments as they retreat to the sea.

Truly blessed.

as always,

Happy Handcrafts

yours truly
net loft dotty

next week...the premiere of Sharon from Three Irish Girls Fall Collection..
All this wonderful yarn!
Knitting and Crochet Season is upon us.
Come see next week our cozy up and knit for fall table
the wools are waiting for you...


windinthewildwood said...


THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!


The Net Loft said...

Thank you Anna! The yarns are lovely and we are happy to have them at the shop.