For the past month or so, I have been trying to get to Textiles a Mano. The shop is only open 2 days a week and by appointment. Laura, the owner and artist, hand dyes and hand paints yarn. I had heard some good things about her work and was eager to go see this shop, but since it is quite far from home and an appointment needed to be set, the logistics didn’t work out as quickly as I had hoped. I think I canceled on Laura twice before the stars aligned enough to get me there. Luckily, Laura was most gracious about date changes. I was really wanting to have a sitter as taking my daughter (who will from now on be referred to as The Bug) could have been quite the hassle! She loves yarn (echo’s of me with my Nana) and can’t keep her hands and face off it.
So on Saturday evening, J and I headed out to visit this lovely shop. To be honest, I wasn’t too positive that this would be a trip he could enjoy, as I have never taken him to a yarn boutique, but he has a great eye for color and contrast, as well as enjoying anything artistic. And he does indulge my desire to knit and to learn other fiber related crafts, so if nothing else, it might be a learning experience.
J, being also introverted but much more gregarious than myself, tagged along happily, knowing that we would get to go to Starbucks, TJ maxx, and a movie post haste. We found Laura’s shop with little trouble, worked through introductions, and I feasted my eyes (and hands) on some lovely silks. J, meanwhile, had her open up her studio within 3 minutes of arrival, so that he could see what the dye process looked like, and proceeded to question her about dying, her music choices, the art on her walls, and determined that her accent (which sounded American to me, though not midwestern) was not from here. She mentioned that she is originally from Argentina. He saw some pictures on her computer of her family drinking mate and was surprised, as it is something he is accustomed to enjoying at home as well. He then asked her where to get good mate here (she didn’t imagine there was anywhere except perhaps NYC) and then they went into lengthy discourse on their respective country’s habits and associated health problems/social concerns. Meanwhile I continued to enjoy looking around the shop and interjecting only when asked or when I truly had something to ask. Astounding how an introverted person can be so extroverted at times! J’s true advantage is his avid curiosity and desire to learn, causing him to question everything which in turn just draws people out, as they want to share what they know and love!
I picked out a pale green silk laceweight with subtle color variations, all within the pale green. There was certainly much more that caught my eye, but I could have dropped too much money there easily and knew I needed to have one specific project in mind before I walked in the door. Laura asked what I would dream of seeing in color, to which I told her I was very interested in seeing something in a lime/aqua colorway, to which she responded by showing me that she had JUST put something along those lines in and promised to send me a picture when it is completely painted. By the end of our time there, I had J whispering in my ear that I should ask if I could apprentice with her. (not to mention asking why I didn’t bring any of my own knitting to show off!) I think a shop that is a couple hours away from my house would be tough to apprentice at, but it was great to know he could have as enjoyable time as I did at this shop.
Laura is a very kind woman who has an eye for color, evidenced not only in her yarn but in the art which she has hanging on her walls. I look forward to buying from her in the future as well as sending as many knitters as possible her way. I would not have had trouble finding conversation with her myself, even if J was not there. Also, I have to say that her taste in music is impeccable, she has all of Yo Yo Ma’s CD’s and often plays opera in her studio. How can one go wrong?
Pictures of yarn purchase to follow.
Oh, also, in sad news, the completed sleeve of “project” is too short. I am going to do the next sleeve to better size specifications, then tear out the gusset and cast off to add to the one which is too short. I think I am looking at about 2 weeks more of work on it.