Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Hidden Treasure

I've been so busy - and so tired - lately that I haven't had the time or energy to do much knitting. I've been working 40 hours a week at my day job, and another 10 to 16 hours at night at a restaurant. Thank God I quit the restaurant job (conflicts with one of the managers - a woman), and since the semester is starting soon I've finished up my temporary assignment at my day job, too.

Today was graduate student orientation for the Biology department. Tomorrow, all day long, will be the general graduate student orientation. Then, Friday morning, will be the first TA meeting for the introductory biology course I'm going to be a TA for.

But it feels good to be going back to school. I was in such a positive mood that I decided to try and locate some local yarn shops, something I've been meaning to do since I moved up here in April. Well, the first one I couldn't find, after driving around for half an hour.

The second address I had was for Eastside Weavers, in Troy, NY. The directions were simple enough, but they landed me at a little dead-end street in front of a huge house with a lovely garden, and no signage at all. I didn't want to assault unwitting homeowners with, "Do you sell yarn?" so I was hesitant to try the doorbell. Not a person in sight to ask, either.

Then I noticed a "Come In, We're Open" sign on the garage door. I finally plucked up the courage to ring on the doorbell. I was about to leave when an elderly gentleman opened the door. As he was telling me, "She'll be right with you," the garage door started sliding upwards, and rows and rows of colour greeted my eyes. Yes, I had definitely found it.

Pat Bohrer - who, dyes her own rovings and yarns, spins, weaves and paints silk scarves - taught herself to spin almost 16 years ago. She went to a fiber festival where she saw someone spinning, and wanted to learn. Then her husband bought her a spindle for Christmas, and the rest is history.

Lining the walls of the garage and basement of the house, she has cottons and cotton blends, wools, alpacas, silks and even the hunk of wonder I bought, camel!!! Well, it's a 50% silk, 50% camel laceweight yarn in lovely shades of purple and grey. And Pat is so kind; she took me on a tour of her house to see her looms, and let me play (i.e. try to spin) with a drop spindle while she wound up the yarn into a centre-pull ball for me!

I'm hoping to squeeze out some time in between classes, TA-ing and research to learn how to spin, because Pat offers lessons. This yarn is so special (and a birthday gift to myself), I'm going to have to be on the lookout for an interesting shawl pattern to do it justice. I'm thinking I'll go look at A Gathering of Lace again; I seem to remember them having some spectacular patterns. There's almost 1600 yards in this ball, which should be enough for most shawl projects.

I have tried out a couple of interesting recipes lately, so stay tuned for that!

Posted by Lana to Bumbling Bees - Girls with Purls at 8/30/2006 08:34:00 PM

1 comment:

Kea said...

Camel yarn, eh? I was not aware that camels got hairy enough to shave. The colour's lovely. You have so much patience to work with such a fine yarn. I envy that.