It had been a particularly packed summer. During those long months of swimming, gardening, and travel, I had understandably fallen out of touch with some of my blogging pals. So just before the school year started again, I decided to visit an old friend's blog to touch base and, hopefully, reconnect.
I really should back up. I originally met Maya at her blog Springtree Road a little over a year ago. I instantly found delight in her personality and flare. Timidly, I participated in her 2008 November in Black and White photography project and learned so much through that experience. Her eye for detail was fantastic. Alluring, really. I appreciated her private emails that patiently answered my endless stream of questions and she had a way of making me feel like part of her inner circle, even though I was obviously an amateur.
On this particular end-of-summer visit, though, I discovered that Maya had started a new business creating hand spun yarn. You know, the real stuff where you gather wool from an animal (sheep, llama, etc.), dye it yourself, and tenderly hand spin it into silky skeins. Is that cool, or what?!
I think it was her post on "Tink" that first piqued my interest about the whole start-to-finish process. Her Etsy shop, now lined with beautiful skeins, kept me hopping from photo to photo imagining all of the potential projects that 'someone' might create with each one.
Quality hand spun yarn is a little pricey, but for obvious reasons. Having claimed to be a supporter of hand made, I figured I should really give this stuff a try before balking at the cost. Besides, this is about the most 'hand made' purchase I could make. I finally settled on a skein of 140 yards named 'Red Delicious.' It was 100% Bluefaced Leicester wool which honestly meant nothing to me at the time. But my daughter looks so lovely in red, and I knew that somehow, and some way, it would be used to create something special for her this winter.
Using this yarn was nothing like the many experiences I've had with the usual $3 to $4 acrylic (synthetic) skeins of yarn I've frequently purchased from places like Walmart, Michael's, Hobby Lobby or elsewhere which always make my hands sweat and sometimes even itchy after prolonged exposure. Nope. This hand spun yarn was soft, yet hefty...thick, yet not overly fluffy. There's something almost magical about working with yarn that's been carefully hand crafted. I'm convinced that it's got all of its creator's love and affection embedded deeply within its delicate fibers. And when crocheted, it had a natural luster that only further showcased its intricate detail.
And boy oh BOY...look what Maya just listed this last week. I noticed this blue mix (on sale) for the first time TODAY and it's exactly what I was looking for to start a similar hat for one of the little guys. I've already spent my budgeted December play money, but if it's still there on December 31st (pay day), this baby's mine! Can't you just see another tassle hat of this dark blue and gray? Next, I'll probably be looking for a dark green and grayish mix for my one remaining child. And I know that if anyone can do it, Maya can! :)
What about you? Have you ever knitted or crocheted with authentic hand spun yarn? Would you ever consider trying it? Just once? If you have any interest, whatsoever, in high-quality yarn for a very special (smallish) project, do be sure to check out her Springtree Road Etsy shop when you have a moment.