Saturday, July 15, 2006

Bittersweet Memories of Brown Sheep Wool

I love Brown Sheep Wool. I love the entire line, the wool/mohair mixes, the 100% wool and the cotton/mohair mixes. It's not a fancy yarn, but the colors are appealing and besides that it's from Nebraska! I made Russ drive a hundred miles out of our way one time just so that I could go to the Brown Sheep Company Headquarters in Mitchell, Nebraska. If I remember right, we arrived about fifteen minutes until closing time. I don't think I even bought anything. It was kind of disappointing. I guess you don't get a lot of tourists in northwestern Nebraska. Anyway, my sister Gretchen was reminding me of several of my knitting successes after reading my entry about not having that much to show for twenty years of knitting. She's right I knit quite a few cute items for her and her family, all of them with Brown Sheep yarn. She also reminded me of a sweater that she says I knit for Stan but ended up majorly shrinking when I was trying to get it just a little smaller by putting it in the dryer. I honestly don't remember the details of that incident, BUT it reminded me of my saddest knitting "tragedy." The first Christmas that Russ and I were married, I secretly knit him a BEAUTIFUL patterned sweater out of Brown Sheep yarn. It was cream colored and denim (I don't think that they even make the denim anymore.) I worked so hard on it, and so proud to have kept it a secret, something I'm not too good at. I finished it on Christmas Eve. It was just ever so slightly too big, and knowing that it was wool and wool shrinks...I rinsed it in warm water and put it in the dryer! Even now I can't quite believe I was that oblivious. An hour later I removed my first "felted" project from the dryer. It was a very solid mass that would have fit an eight year old possibly if he didn't mind wearing armor. I was beside myself, and I remember calling Russ at work, which was quite an accomplishment in itself considering it was the days before cell phones and he was drywalling who knows where. While he tried to understand what I was blubbering about, I told him the pitiful story. I think that I may have given that sweater to Gretchen, but I can't imagine that she could have worn it much. I've made Russ a couple of other sweaters since then; but since we've lived in the desert for the last nineteen years, he hasn't been overly interested in wearing wool sweaters.

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