Saturday, January 31, 2009

Knitting: My Taos Chunky Vest

Some yarns are just beautiful. Beautiful to look at. Beautiful to touch. Beautiful to slip through your fingers under a little tension as you knit. Then some yarns are not only beautiful but they have a story to tell.

This Taos Chunky Vest is a project I had wanted to do for a while. I waited and waited, mostly because of the cost of the yarn. Finally, I was ready to place my order on-line at Tahki Stacy Charles.(
The order was then picked up by Janis who promptly mailed me my package of wool. As soon as I got home I poured the wool out on the table and just enjoyed the feast of colour for the eyes. I took pictures right away.
I waited patiently to start this project. I had wanted to make this vest for a while and it was an investment of wool, money and time. I was plesantly anticipating knitting this project.

Beautifully dyed, I had to unwind at least one ball to examine how the wool was dyed, transitioning from one colour to the next.

I noticed it had a fine black thread that it was plyed with, giving the spinner in me some ideas. I could try doing that myself.

I held off on plunging into the knitting. I wanted to draw out the sensation. The waiting, the anticipation.

Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, the Yarn Harlot ( talks in one of her books about how yarn and knitting is so much better to buy than other things. She even calculated out the cost of enjoyment per hour and I have to agree that when you add up the anticipation, the selection, the actual project itself, hour per hour, you get your money's worth when it comes to buying and knitting with wool.

Finally I started my project only to discover I had a few balls of the wrong colour. This ended up being a bit of a delay while the supplier shipped me more wool.
Then disaster struck! I lost my bag of knitting. Not only did I lose half the balls of wool for the project, I lost my knitting and my brand new 6.5 mm circular Addi Turbo needles and the pattern (even my back up photocopy of the pattern was missing)!

I looked for days. I did the usual, checking most likely spots and then widening my search from there. Nothing!
I checked at work, at home, everywhere I could think. I even called the bus company to see if I somehow left my knitting on the bus. No luck anywhere.

This loss was topped off with more really defeating days at the office and I then dragged myself home to once again check and re-check. I didn't just want to find my knitting. I needed to find it. This was supposed to be my fun stress releasing project. Something that I had looked forward to doing for months!
I considered the cost of starting over rebuying everything to be prohibitive. I sent Janis a dejected email to say I had given up on the vest and I didn't think it was meant to be. But Janis was more clever than I, she emailed back to say she was praying. Praying I would find my knitting. I had prayed too, albiet very briefly. But now I had a partner in this, praying from miles and miles away. I felt like I had help. She said if it was meant to be, I would find it. I agreed and finally let go. I let go of my frustration over it, my need to have this wool, the project, the whole shebang. I felt a whole lot better after that. It may have been gone, but I was moving on.

As I was entering the hallway a few hours later I had a thought--what about the coat tree? Could it be hanging there? I checked and indeed it was! There, under a sweater, was my shopping bag with my half knit project inside. I was estatic. I had to email Janis right away and thank her for her encouragement and prayers.

It may seem like such a small thing, God helping me find my silly knitting, but often isn't it the small things that we finally lose it over? His help with this small thing was like a huge reassurance and comfort--and a reminder that the world may be full of people, but I do matter. It reminds me that God puts people in your path for a reason, sometimes for a reminder. Thanks God.

The knitting project is progressing very nicely. I'm enjoying it, but I've got something more important brewing inside now. I needed help and God was there and that's way more important than anything else.


maureen said...

Where can I purchase this taos chunky vest pattern?

Barbara's Spot on the Blog said...

Hi Maureen. Here's an email from Janis. She sells the wool and the patterns for this vest. I got mine from her. She's great to deal with:

"Thank You Barbara!

I have updated my email list so you will still receive notices of my sales. I still have plenty of yarns for previous collections at 20% off. I have all of the new pattern books from Tahki Stacy charles which are quite fabulous. I have new Debbie Bliss Fall magazine for sale. All new season items are at 15% off.

Happy Knitting!

Janis P. Campbell
Janis Campbell Knitting Studio
424 Bluebird Drive, Russell, KY 41169
Phone: 606-494-2301