Better late than never for an update, says I, and a week after Thanksgiving I finally have a few minutes in these wee hours that I should be sleeping that I can, instead, share our recent vacays with you. The holiday was spent mostly with my family (aside from a marathon of Lincoln and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter with the Osborns. That was special on a few levels).
My aunt and uncle hosted this year. For a few years now they’ve lived in the house where I grew up visiting my grandparents, on the front half of the property where my parents built their house. They’ve got their own little family compound thing going on. My aunt and uncle have put a lot of work into making it their own. I couldn’t help surfing around and taking a few pictures, and of course I forgot to take any pictures of the actual meal.
The meal was, of course, wonderful, and the day filled with those comfortable family eccentricities. Like my grandmother who makes two turkeys, because she wants to cut the turkey up ahead of time to serve at table, but also to have one on display. Or like deciding the day before to move dinner up to 2:00 so we could all walk back to my parents’ house and watch the ‘Skins game. THAT was one of the more gratifying parts of my week – watching the Redskins beat the Cowboys on Thanksgiving for the first time ever. Amazing. (More than makes up for the Steelers losing to the BROWNS on Sunday. Ugh.)
It is quickly becoming apparent, though, that Black Friday can compete for my affections with the day preceding it. This has only been true since I learned that a yarn store down in Alexandria has a Black Friday sale. (Yarns Unlimited has a great one too, shout out! I’m just almost never in PA for Thanksgiving.)
We got up impossibly early and drove the hour down to Alexandria, the town of my birth, to arrive soon after 5. By that time people were already lined up around the corner, and I was glad we remembered to bring the camp chairs.
Mom and Jared were happier than they look; there’s just only so happy you can look this early. And poor Jared was fighting off a nasty lingering cold, but came anyway.
The store opened at 6, and the line moved very quickly this time; we were in the door by 7:30 (the 30% discount cut off at 8).
This store is an excellent place to get things I can’t get anywhere else; the owner is very much into what’s new, hip, local, and independent. And everyone’s so happy to be there. There’s no trampling or arguing, just fun discussions with new acquaintances in line.
Once inside, I broke down and bought some Spud & Chloe for the first time (even with 30% off, it’s pricey stuff). Pictured below is the “sweater” yarn, which I will be using for Michelle’s order, and that’s all I’ll say about that.
The real reason I keep coming back is for Mr. Jared Flood of Brooklyn Tweed. It took a great effort of self-control not to buy another sweaters’ worth of Shelter. The chances are slim at best that I would find time to knit it before I could buy more next year, anyway.
I did, however, get the Loft I wanted last year (the fingering weight version of Shelter). My rule with big purchases like this is that if you’re not sure, wait a while and see if you still want it, then get it. I really wanted this last Black Friday, and I think a year of pining is enough.
These six colors are going to be for the “Rohan” capelet in the Lord of the Rings series. This purchase was a bit of a gamble; I’ve seen the chart so I know the pattern has four colors that I can translate to six. What I don’t yet know, since it hasn’t actually been released yet, is whether one skein of each color will be enough. But this stuff isn’t going anywhere (fingers crossed), so one can always call the store and order more.
These two skeins are for Jared’s Christmas present, a MCN (merino/cashmere/nylon) worsted weight. Dragonfly Fibers is a local company; I’ve met the dyer when we both had our stuff in Jolene’s booth at Sheep & Wool, but hadn’t gotten around to buying any of it yet. The dark blue is delicious, and the lighter blue will contrast nicely. (He bought yarn for my Christmas present too, and has been working on it feverishly; I’m wondering at what point either he’ll stop working on it in front of me or I’ll guess what it is.)
The last buy was a bit of impulse purchase while I was waiting in line. The “Barad Dur” pattern from the LotR series has been out for a while, and I don’t love the idea of doing it in the cotton blend Susan used. So I’ve had my eye out for a fingering-weight in a red. But not just any red – it would have to be a red that stopped me in my tracks, that spoke to me of the terrible all-seeing eye’s irrisistable draw. When I saw this colorway of Neighborhood Fiber Co.’s new mohair/silk blend (the yarn is ironically also called “Loft,” and the colorway iconically called “Old Town”), that was it; I had met my match. Neighborhood is a formally local company (I forget where she is now) who has sold with Jolene and who I’ve met at the booth. Every time I see her yarn, it’s even prettier.
So that’s Black Friday, also known as Christmas-shopping-for-myself day. Yes, I am following the holiday where we are thankful for what we have by buying a bunch more stuff I don’t need. This is the duality of the American dream, and since it’s yarn, I live into it without shame. But only as relates to yarn.