A good yarn

Some weeks back, I reported on my feeble attempts at learning to knit. It wasn’t an easy start, but I am beginning to appreciate the zen of the craft. Once you figure out the pattern, it transcends thought. There is a grace and rhythm that visits your fingers, and all you do is relax and let them take over. And then you wake up, and you have a hat.

Entangled in texture and color

Or maybe three or four or more. Once I figured out the nifty hat trick, I lost all self-control. Partly it was the yarn. I love a good yarn. I found this super-bulky woolly stuff in great colors on sale, so I bought piles and piles of it. But I had a reasonable justification: this coming weekend is the Rabun Rendezvous, the big annual fundraiser for the Rabun Chapter of Trout Unlimited, a wonderful natural resource conservation organization that my family has been involved with for nearly twenty-five years. Every year I try to come up with some interesting and creative items for the silent auction — a gift basket, some homemade goodies, one year I contributed two dozen eggs. This year, it’ll be hats and fingerless gloves.

Energized by my purchase, I started giving my creations names: a red hat was “Ruby,” a green child’s hat is “Li’l Peahead.” Then I began mixing and matching colors and bestowing flyfishing inspired names: “Riparian,” “The River,” “Hemlock Grove.”

"Keepin' Warm Kit"

I decided I needed to put together a couple of gift baskets. One is called a “Keepin’ Warm Kit,” and it includes a bundle of fatlighter (courtesy of my dad, who found it in his yard and split it up so it’s just like the stuff they sell at L.L. Bean), hot chocolate, some spicy cheese straws and a jar of homemade green tomato relish to go with them, and a knit wool cap. The other is “Sweet, Spicy, Savory”: the muscadine jam I made this summer with plain cheese straws (the “sweet”), homemade roasted tomatillo and tomato salsa with chips (the “spicy”), and more of the green tomato relish with some rosemary crackers (the “savory”). Bounty from the Southern Urban Homestead.

"Sweet • Spicy • Savory"

I still want to make a few more hats — I can probably turn out two or three before the weekend: “Foam is Home,” “Out Past Hiawassee.” And I’m making fingerless gloves to go with some of them (I actually sold a pair of those recently to a very gifted artist friend whose studio is not heated). I am trying hard not to turn into Madame Defarge or one of those sweet but dotty ladies with cats and a house full of precious knitted objects.

That’s why I keep giving things away. I am blessed with understanding friends who have accepted my slightly eccentric creations.

The Rabun Rendezvous is this Saturday, January 23, at the Dillard House in Rabun County. The Dillard House smokes a whole pig, and we’ll pick at it starting around 5 p.m. Come on up and join us — there’s a ton of good stuff on the auction and raffle tables, incredible food, fabulous entertainment, and a superb program.

Friend with slightly eccentric creation

Plus, you’re supporting a grassroots organization that does great work cultivating the next generation of  stewards of our region’s trout fisheries and conserving, protecting, and restoring its treasures.

And you’ll definitely hear a good yarn or two.



Filed under Community and Citizenship, Feasting, Making things, Putting Up

7 responses to “A good yarn

  1. mom

    Loved your new blog. And, yes, ya’ll come on up to the Rabun Rendezvous. As soon as you finish this last hat you could knit a liner for your basket.

  2. Dusty Matthews

    So proud of you and your knitting! It is so easy to lose control and before you know it you have 8 scarves. Getting into the rhythm and flow of a project brings deep peace to me. Enjoy yourself!

  3. Debbie

    I wanna come next year for sure! Mom, can I stay with you and Allison? I surely want to partake, and I’ll bring somethin’s to share as well. What a lovely post. Love from one who has loved Rabun County for decades, and who loves knowing a gal child from there as well. xoxoxoxo

  4. Lauri White

    Allison, reading your blog always makes me smile. I love that you’ve learned to knit — a skill that I had hoped to acquire while I was pregnant, but never found the time. I still plan to someday – perhaps when the kids go to college…Hope y’all raise tons of money at the festival this weekend!

  5. Thanks, everyone! Yes, please do come to the Rendezvous–this year or next or any year. We’ll all knit together!

  6. aileen

    Hi Alison and other commenting friends 🙂 I’m a Scottish woman who is new to Atlanta. I’ve been fiinding lots of lovely folks to share song, music and contra dance with in this lovely state you have.

    The Rabun Rendevous sounds like fun, but ouch it’s a bit far away. I wonder if we could get some ‘car pooling’ on the go?

    I have a big van which seats around 6/7 people (I will need to check out how many safety belts there are in the back). So I could happily be ‘driver if other would like to make a tiny donation towards fuel costs.

    Maybe we could drive up early and go for a walk in the mountains (nothing too strenuous) and agree a time to drive back down to Atlanta, so we are not getting home too too late….

    Alternatively I would be delighted if someone would offer me a place in their vehicle and I can contribute to your fuel costs. 🙂

    Cheers, Aileen (aileen.reid@gmail.com)

  7. I think this is my favorite post of yours yet… wonderful… makes me want to start knitting but I fear I might not be able to pull myself out of the good yarn. I don’t have the discipline to divvy up my time between zen activities and takin’ care of business that you do. Those baskets look delightful! Maybe another side business in the making, Allison.

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