Wednesday, December 3, 2008

You Better Not Pout

But you will, if you're one of the crafty folk who read this blog. You won't be able to help it, but Mrs. Claus will help Santa understand.

Some background. As you can see at the bottom of the page, I own/moderate several Yahoo groups. Most are knitting or spinning, one is a list for Scottie owners or wanabees. We take other terriers too, as long as they know their place. ANYWAY...a Scottish (Orkney Isle) lady who was doing an instructional KAL (KnitALong) on the EZasPi list happened to mention that she was about to pick up a Scottie from a rescue group. I pounced on that and invited her to join AngelScot. Her name is Liz Lovick, and she is a master knitter who owns and operates Northern Lace.

Every year, our Scottie list does two programs. One is a secret pal-type program that we call Terrier Twins. Simple minimum requirements of four cards (ecards are fine) and a birthday gift, it's meant to be a friendship/support kinda dealy job. The other is a Secret Santa. This year, I've had Liz as my Terrier Twin (it's not reciprocal, she has someone else for hers) and she drew me for the Secret Santa.

Now, I'm no dummy. I'd have happily rigged this as my dear, chicken-fearing friend Tracey accused me of doing. But I didn't. It was pure serendipity-doodah. Liz sent my gift early, since we never know what international post will do. This time it did well. The Tyvek envelope got to me unharmed. Speaking of which, that is some of the most indestructible crap I've ever seen. Yes, you can cut it open, but tear it? Schwartzenegger in his heyday couldn't do it, I'm tellin' ya.

Being a polite lady, I asked on AngelScot when I might open the package. Before Liz could answer, Tracey egged me on to open it...guess eggs don't bother her, just chickens. But soon Liz came back to tell me to go ahead and open it, and her Scottie named Scottie (remember he's a rescue, she didn't do that to the puir boyo) said it would explode in ten minutes if I didn't open the package.

Well we couldn't be havin' that, now could we? Not after she went to all that trouble. So I opened the Tyvek and pulled out a longish white box and a tote bag. One note - when you send things out of this country, you must attach a customs form. The effect of this is basically government Scroogality, because you have to reveal the contents. So I knew from seeing it on the form that the package had a spindle in it, and some 'bits of wool'. I was excited; I love spindles, and if they are both beautiful and functional, they are absolutely for me. Not you. ME.
I opened the box, and a spindle like none I own came out. Beautifully square! For those of you who aren't spinsters (don't GO there), most spindles are round. There was a note from Liz saying the spindle was from the UK's premier spindle-maker, Michael Williams. You can see some of his beautiful wood turning work here. Not just the spindle was inside, but some utterly gorgeous wool (Jamieson & Smith Shetland top)and silk hankies for spinning, dyed in colors I love. My jaw dropped. I've been spinning the wool on it the past two evenings, getting a very fine singles that you can see here.

But generous Liz wasn't done. I turned to the tote. Scotties cavort on the outside - it's from the rescue group she supports, and I love it. But inside! -oh my!! There was a pattern for a Fair Isle hat designed by Liz, and bunches of partial balls of Jamieson & Smith 2 ply Jumper Weight to make the hat. Any knitter worth their purls knows that this is primo stuff. The Ganga of Wool. I was thrilled to bits. As Liz said, she felt I wouldn't mind having partial balls to do the project. Uh, kinda not.

After doing my happy, don't bother checking YouTube...I settled down to look at the pattern and saw this:

She had modified the pattern JUST FOR ME! I was flabbergasted. All these little motifs to replace those in the original pattern, and all Scottie-related. Different head and body studies, and even wee bones...all in my favorite colors again. I couldn't be more touched. Unless George Clooney were within touching distance, in which case all bets are off. Even then, I'd be doing the touching. Pretty sure he'd be running.

Seriously, it is one of the most thoughtful gifts I have received in my life. Right up there with my prayer shawl from Kristina. Think about it. Not only my favorite colors, hobbies, and doggies, but the sheer work of doing those designs. Did I mention? Just. For. ME! As soon as I finish the Fiesta mittens I'm doing, this hops on my needles.

I don't even think you have to be a knitter or spinner to appreciate that kind of effort. It's a better woman than I am that made it, too. Not that that takes much, mind you, but Liz is a pip!


Dayna said...

Liz is a sweet lady ain't she? She knew what would make ya happy to the point of tears and done did it. Brought that smile out on yer face. Now we need to see you modeling that there hat when you are done knitting it too!

Eugenia said...

Oooh,Diana, how lovely! The best gifts come straight from the heart and Liz has a big, generous heart.

Rosemarie Buchanan said...

Oh Diana! What a fabulous gift! Very lucky doggies to have their dedicated rescuers (speaking from experience, as we are owned by a rescued Malamute and six rescued cats ... ahem ...).
I second the motion to see that hat modeled!

MERRY CHRISTMAS, by the way, and thanks for the card!!

Rosemarie, from very snowy Vancouver Island (snow is an anomaly here!).