textiles · exploration · misadventure


Another Giant Bummer

Grogeous 400-yard skein of silver handspun yak and silk blend. Incredible drape.
Remember the 50/50 silk/yak I mentioned in my overdyeing post?

It’s beautiful. I purchased 4 ounces from Carolina Homespun at Lambtown last October, and have been slowly spinning it worsted the past few months. I recently finished spinning the singles, spent, oh, three or four hours plying two endless strands of yarn, skeined and washed it, and ended up with about 400 yards of fingering-weight.
Silk yak blend 016

It was beautiful in and of itself, because the materials used in its construction were so. It was beautiful in that it represented hundreds of hours of hard-earned skills and probably 20 hours of spinning the skein itself. But for me, personally, it was also beautiful because it represented a new level of personal achievement. It was the most purposefully planned, patiently spun, and consistently-sized yarn I’ve ever spun, and there was enough of it to DO something with it.

It was a stunning skein. I showed it off to my knitting friends. I took it to Stitches and showed it off to Morgaine. I put it in a plastic bag and took it to my spinning guild for show and tell.

It did not come home with me.

I don’t know if I accidentally left it out of my bag whilst packing or if somebody nicked it. The last two guild members to leave the room after cleanup didn’t find it. An email blast to the guild membership brought no results.

I feel philosophical. It’s replaceable, after all. I can spin more. I have more fluff.

I feel stupid. There were times at the meeting where I noticed it wasn’t in my bag, and I’d put it away. Then I’d dig something else out and have the skein out on the floor again. And the feeling a few days later when I finally unpacked my bags and realized it wasn’t there? Akin to horror.

I feel sad. Sad that I don’t get to play with it anymore, sad at the thought that somebody in a room full of people I barely know yet totally trust may have taken it. Sad at the thought that someone might have been covetous enough, self-rationalizing enough, disrespectful enough, and dismissive enough of the hard work and skill of others, to pinch it. Someone in that room, who of all people know how much work and love go into that kind of end result. And as much as I don’t want to believe that kind of thing about that crowd, it happens. Somebody stole Shelia January’s Optic Waves shawl right from the Brooks Farm booth at the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival. Somebody stole some of Franklin Habit’s knitted samples right off the table during one of his classes. I’m not famous, of course, or a talented designer, but my point is that there are textile folks who steal, little as we want to believe it of our people.

Truth is, too, it may not have been stolen at all. My own sadness may very easily be the result of my own neglect. I may have left it there, sitting all alone, to fend for itself. I need to find out more. Next step is to call the elementary school where our meeting is held, and see if the teachers who use the room or the janitors who clean it might have found it. It sucks to be in between these possibilities: theft, or my own carelessness. Either idea stinks.