A small day of huge delight

On the way home white paper birds flutter in the breeze near the Interplanetary Society. I turn and snap them quickly with my phone.

paper birds

On the train a discarded newspaper tells me a paper plane is to be launched from space.

This morning I popped in to F’s for a quick cup of coffee after dropping Secondspawn at school. Didn’t leave til three. Oh the delicious companionable delight of a kitchen table, gourmet food rustled out of the air, T joining the coven, the dogs trying to out-fart each other beneath our feet. The talk, the laughter. The knitting. Oh yes. The knitting.

Home to deposit the out-farted dog and then down to my first ever I Knit London weekly knitting club. A panicked mail to knittingdiva Pixeldiva expressing social inadequacy and fear of strangers had elicited sympathy and a companion experienced at these events.

Oh joy. Oh happiness. The tiny shop has hanks of multicoloured yarn hanging from rails on the ceiling so full is it of juicy multi-coloured fibre joy. The smell is a faint, subtle but unmistakable perfume. Of wool. And dye. And spun delight. The shop concentrates on hand-dyed yarns from small British producers as well as some of the standard brands. Everything is edible.

First I have to undertake my urgent and important mission – buy sock needles for F. Then the far more difficult task of not buying vast quantities of yarn. I succeed, mostly. I get (as I had planned and allowed myself to) a hank of the most divine alpaca/wool mix aran in a colour called “twilight” for a planned present for a friend and the needles to go with it. But then weakness crept in and so did a completely unnecessary skein of sock yarn. Hardly any time remained, after the transports of delight, for actual knitting before I had to rush to transport of a more prosaic variety in order to get back home before the children returned from their father’s. Which I very nearly succeeded in doing.

On the way back I gazed at the unbelievable colours, stroked the incredible texture and marvelled at the priceless pleasure something as simple as three friends and two skeins of wool can provide.

So. To sum up. Today I went round to a friend’s house and met another at a wool shop. Then I went home.

11 Replies to “A small day of huge delight”

  1. I love Alpaca wool. It doesn’t make me itch the way regular wool does, and not only does it look and feel soft on, but also, during the knitting process, it is a pleasure to work with. Of course, it’s not cheap, especially the baby Alpaca I prefer, so I am saving my stash for the time my skills will be a bit more considerable than they are now.

  2. It’s very dangerous living practically next door to a good yarn shop. And having you as a friend. Sitting next to me, whispering seductively, is a new skein of Kaffe Fassett Regia (for an exorbitant 9.50 CD) with tiny needles and the Jaywalker sock pattern, printed off the web. I do not need to do this. However, it’s just too tempting. Pica and Natali, watch out, the girl is a pusher.

  3. Hehehehehe. Beth, I think most pushers are both not addicted and in receipt of some financial reward for their endeavours. Therefore I deny pusherhood. But I’m delighted I’m an agent of sock love 🙂 I absolutely would love to see pictures not only of the Kaffe in konstruction but especially the black lace stockings. They sound sublime.

    “Need” is an interesting word in this context. I read somewhere recently (can’t remember where, botheration) that many women were forced to churn out socks for their male (and probably female) relatives and thus the knitting thereof was much more akin to a form of forced labour than the pleasure it gives certainly me and many others I know. I feel so grateful that knitting in general is for me a luxury with the benefit of producing something either of utility or beauty or allowing the pleasure of giving a gift to a friend. And yes, it is a luxury because as you mention the price of the raw materials is often exorbitant.

    Maria – I’m using the alpaca mix as I type! (well, you know what I mean). Seldom have I clapped eyes or fingers on anything so divinely pleasing. I want to wrap myself in this stuff from head to foot and float off to the setting sun.

    Dale – yes. I think that’s right. I think that the quotidian has the potential for almost limitless joy. What a wonderful thought.

    Dave – thank you 🙂 I have absolutely no doubt that non-knitting regular readers will find literal yarns distinctly lacking in, uh, tension after a while (for American knitters “tension” is the word we use for “gauge”) but hey ho, such is life.

  4. Thanks Dick. It’s actually the top deck of a bus, but the principle is the same. I took two pictures. The second had no bus, showed the origami nature of the birds and the threads they were attached by much more clearly but it was a much less interesting picture. As is so often the case, I find, when taking a second version of something.

  5. I believe the word, rather than pusher, is enabler and I’m so very glad I could “enable” you along to I Knit, which has become one of my very favourite places in the world to be.

    It’s only the relative proximity and availability that stops me from going buckwild and bonkers from the yarn fumes every time I step in the door, and to leave with only one more skein than you intended is willpower beyond any that I possessed on my first *cough*second, third, fourth, fifth… you get the picture*cough* visit(s).

    It was so wonderful to see you again. I do hope you can venture down south again soon.

    Love the photo of the cranes too. They are such a wonderful, unexpected thing.

  6. “Pix the Enabler”. How brilliant. (Not as good as “Pix the Pusher” obviously, but probably more accurate under the circumstances.) I am fortunate that Wednesdays are the days when I am, for a few hours, without child/ren and can therefore go out and play. So yes, let’s do it again soooooon! It was enormous fun, and I’m so grateful that you got me there 🙂

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