Those of you who were waiting – nay, slavering in gleeful anticipation – for me to get into trouble with this project?
Your wait is over.
It’s all subject to change, of course. But as of now you will be pleased to hear that I have – predictably – stepped in it. Up to my neck.
See, I asked Lauren to stop by here yesterday and, um, look at a few things. And I made a few mistakes.
First mistake: Before she got here, I couldn’t stop myself from hunting up the cream Shantung. I found it. It’s even more beautiful than I remembered.
And there’s actually enough to make the style of dress Lauren wants. (Yes, I’ve already compounded the felony by researching patterns and yardages and notions. Stop laughing. STOPPIT!)
Second mistake: I showed it to her. Not surprisingly, she loved it.
You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to see which way THIS is going.
Third mistake: I brought her into my, um, fiber room.
I should explain that technically I don’t HAVE a fiber room. I do have a fiber attic – ostensibly, anyway. My house is… well… it’s eccentric in a number of ways, among them the fact that it has two attics. A normal cavernous one, difficult of access, and a smaller one directly over the master bedroom, much easier to reach; the second of these is ostensibly devoted to stash storage – fabric, yarn, fiber.
Yeah, well. Literally none of my fiber stash has ever made it that far, and it’s been quite a while since I actually had to go up there for any of what I think of as “current” yarn.
See, the attic is uninsulated, see. It’s really better, in the cold weather, and also maybe at other times, to leave its heavy door unopened – and its ladder tucked away so it doesn’t block access to the bedroom itself. So though more accessible it still isn’t really as who should say convenient.
And see, there’s this guest room, see. Biggish. Has a queen-size bed, which is a highly convenient horizontal surface for lots of temporary uses. Time was, it was convenient for the accommodation of actual guests, for example. Or for the blocking of large lace shawls. Now? Not so much. Because somehow, bit by bit, more and more of my stash has managed to gravitate thither and pile up thereupon. And as the fiber part of the stash has grown it has also begun taking up real estate beyond the confines of the actual bed. Mind you, almost all of it is in plastic bins of various sizes and shapes, and it’s reasonably well organized according to category (or my own idiosyncratic notions of same). And in theory… at little more than a moment’s notice I could whisk all the bins attic-ward, freeing up the bed for purposes of sleepage, or indeed blockage, as the case might be.
In fact, however… well, let’s just say the occasion hasn’t arisen since the piling up began to be an issue, so I haven’t yet TESTED this theory. And meanwhile the drum carder has come to rest in that room – and to be used there – and the fiber drying apparatus resides there, as does the fiber washing ditto when not in use, not to mention sundry non-binned items like, well, a couple of fleeces, and a huge bag of raw fiber samples, and, you know, some other stuff. And the stacks, while quite neat, have also become quite tall.
Not the Fiber Room. There’s a bed under there somewhere. I don’t want to hear about it, OK?
So anyway, where was I? Oh yes, third mistake. This Not-Fiber-Room place happened to be where I had cat-proofed the Shantung and where I had been blocking the pygora swatches, not to mention that it is also where the pygora fiber I washed the other day was drying, and indeed where the still-unwashed pygora is also stored. So… I took Lauren up there to show her all of the above. I opened the door. She looked.
She said – and I quote – “You have a problem.”
Well. Yes. Tell me something I don’t know.
It was said without the slightest trace of judgment or disparagement. Lauren Gets It.
But still – it was said.
Fourth mistake: I showed her all the swatches. All of them.
She agreed with me in preferring the final, softer and fluffier, swatch to its smoother predecessor.
BUT… she also loved the first swatch, the superfine all-pygora one, best of all.
And I can’t argue with her. It really is the loveliest of the bunch, in every way.
So – guess who’s now frantically cornering the market on that particular color and type of raw pygora fiber? Yeah, you guessed it. And guess who apparently won’t be needing that already-ordered-and-shipped pound of tussah top? Yeah, you got that right too.
Actually, this is not terrible. The silk won’t go bad, and I bet it won’t go to waste.
I think I can do a pretty clean expeditious job with the pygora by itself, or maybe even get an effect that will please both of us by blending in a smaller amount of silk on the fly as I spin. Part of the problem with spinning the pygora/silk blend was that it was carded, and I gather that even if I were a lot more seasoned at carding than I am… be thou as chaste as ice, as pure as snow, thou shalt not escape neps altogether. Hence much of the unevenness in those last swatches. But the first all-pygora swatch was spun from the lock, and I can do that fairly quickly and evenly without having to do a huge amount of remedial de-nepping on every make. There’ll be less down in that yarn, because I’ll dehair with the flicker, but it will still halo nicely, and have plenty of loft and luster. (And I’ll save the down for… something. It won’t go to waste.)
Here endeth the worst of the trouble, for now. Lauren heartily endorsed the circle-shawl-jacket idea, which will save me an enormous amount of time and trouble, what with there being no wrong side to work. (Also, it’s a concept that has always appealed to me; I’ve long wanted to try my hand at something along those lines.) She also loves the pygora in its natural color (and yes…! after a brief heart-thumping moment of uncertainty I have secured a further supply from the same fleece) – and again I can’t disagree. Which can be construed either as letting Jennifer off the hook or as screwing her out of a conveniently pre-specified gift, depending on how you look at it. But it will also save at least a precious week, what with shipping back and forth and dyeing/drying time. It also means that beading-wise I can think in terms of pearls. Which I love.
And who knows… we may yet find an off-the-rack dress that “sends” us both.
Hey – a girl can dream, right?
You. You over there. Kwitcher cackling.