Thursday, May 28, 2009

Meeting Ysolda Teague

One of my favorite things about Purl Diva’s, aside from the amazing yarns Ellen stocks, is the little email updates that tell you who’s going to be around and when. (Yes, I know email updates are commonplace now. But I still appreciate them, okay? I lived a good chunk of life without a home computer, basically because there were no such things.) And this little email update informed me that Ysolda Teague would be at the shop.

I live a good distance from Purl Diva's, which means I usually reserve visits for “special occasions” so I can justify the trip. Meeting a designer whose work I like? Yep. It qualified.

So yes, I also tend to stock up when I go down there (Oy vey, what I spent when I took the Franklin Habit class), though with Thing 1 graduating high school and a family wedding in New York this June, I was minimalist to the extreme this trip.

That hurt. Badly. It was especially painful as there was more of the naturally-colored alpaca that I love (might need two skeins to make it a shawl, after all), and some beautiful beaded silk in soft pastels hanging right near the register, just begging me to take it home. (I can still hear it sniffling in the background. If it doesn’t give up soon I’m going to have to buy it some cold medicine, because I am under strict orders to myself NOT to call up Ellen and buy it instead. I hope I listen to me.)

I did have extra cash in my pocket, but it was given me by a friend with the understanding that I would pick up dinner at the Bombay Mahal and said friend might have been cranky if I had returned with alpaca and silk instead. Worse yet, he may have tried to eat them in lieu of the lamb bhuna he ordered. He is that kind of person.

So, cautious pocketbook notwithstanding, I ventured down to Purl Diva’s last Saturday. I had seen some of her work in Knitty; the Airsaig in particular caught my eye, in part because I’m a geek for the history of things, be it culture-wide or personal, and I loved the story of her grandfather’s talent for knitting, and of how she inherited his yarn. I peeked at her website, was bowled over by the new (to me) designs, and quickly talked my lovely Thing 2 into babysitting Things 3 & 4.

I’m always of two minds about attending these sorts of gatherings. It is nice to get out and show support for designers who do work you admire, but I nonetheless feel like I have about 15 left feet and am stuffing all them in my mouth simultaneously when it comes to actually talking to people. Stick me on a stage where I’m being somebody else and I’m fine. (Well, most days. I did have one mucked up dress rehearsal recently.) But in a room full of strangers as myself? I tank, baby, every time. I go very shy, which makes me nervously talkative, which makes me wish I would just shut up.

Fortunately, there were a lot of nice knitters there, as well as Ysolda

who very sweet, charming, and quietly helpful and who managed not to look as if she wanted to hit 911 any time I opened my mouth—I thought that very gracious of her. There was Sadie, who seemed to share my affinity for the color purple in all its shades, judging by the number of yarns we kept agreeing we liked. (Should I worry that I can now spot Noro and Brown Sheep's Lamb's Pride across a store and know what they are without getting closer? Nah. They’re both distinctive on the shelf, so it has nothing to do with me spending too much time around yarn, right? Right.) And there were an oddly high number of people who had once been Midwesterners, or who were current, traveling Midwesterners, in attendance. It makes me wonder what’s up with us all running back East. Blog for another day, I guess.

And, of course, there were the samples of Ysolda’s work. She is such a talented designer!

(this sweater is Matilda Jane)

Everything was beautiful, though I think I fell most in love with Vivian, which is a cabled hoodie. I’m still kicking myself for not taking a picture of the cuff detail, let alone the whole sweater--I had another attack of the shys about then. Anyway, Ysolda runs the cable down into the cuff itself, and said cuff has a lovely, soft flair to it. Fortunately, if you click on the picture of Vivian on Ysolda's website, you will be taken to Twist Collective, where they do have a picture of the sleeve detail. (And yes I am off to purchase that particular pattern from her website when I finish up here, because it’s not expensive and I decided it would be my treat to myself for catching up blogs—snow zombies, complete with pictures, are being written up next, woot—and surely I will be good enough to wait until later to purchase the yarn so don’t give me that look. I can be good. I can show restraint. Oh, quit laughing.)

The other thing that stood out for me was the casual speed at which Ysolda knits and crochets. To someone who does both slowly (that would be me, in case there was any doubt), it was sort of hypnotic to watch, especially since she throws her yarn when knitting. By the time I get enough experience to be that fast, I’ll be so old I won’t remember what the sticks, hook and strings are for, you know?

All in all, it was a lovely day. I walked away with Ysolda’s book and some stitch markers for the other project I’m a hairsbreadth from casting on. (Shhh, fuss at me later.) And that is all. Seriously. I stopped off at Bombay Mahal where I picked up the friend's order and some to-die-for lamb pasanda, along with two kinds of naan, cucumber raita and rice pudding, and went on my merry way. (Though I have to say that Shere Punjab is next on the To Try list--I've heard it's fabulous as well.)

I think all Saturdays should be like that one, don’t you? (Well, like that one, but with a bigger yarn purchase budgets and less feet stuffed into mouth.)

1 comment:

NeedleTart said...

Sounds like a lovely time. I hope to post about Annie Modisett over the weekend. Glad you saved your money. One of us should have.....