Saturday, November 1, 2008

Just Doing My Duty, Ma'am

When the economy is down, we all have to do our bit, don't we?

While I can't buy a house or take out a loan to get funds flowing, I can help in my own little way -- a couple of skeins of yarn here and there to provide the fiber festival booths of the United States with a little economic stimulus.

Here are some of the fruits of my personal efforts in that direction. These are some of the fun things I found at the Fall Fiber Festival, a few weeks ago. The big cushy grayish greenish bundle on the left in the back is some Kid Hollow Farm brushed mohair yarn. At least it was yarn. Now it's a half-knit-up project. As you see, I couldn't even hold back long enough to take a picture before casting on and starting work on the mock turtleneck pattern they were showing as a sample sweater. In the back on the right is another batch of the same yarn in a silvery gray. Scattered around are some small spinning-related accessories. In the front are a couple of skeins of Creatively Dyed yarn.

Here, I'll give you a closer look. Is that not beautiful?

Then, only a couple of weeks later, I administered the next phase of my stimulus package at the Shenandoah Valley Fiber Festival. Oh dear, it's so exhausting staving off financial mayhem. Maybe I'd better fan myself and go get some lemonade.

But, as you can see, I don't shrink from a challenge. At the bottom of the picture, you see three skeins of gorgeous hand-dyed sock yarn from Beyond Basic Knits, in lovely rich colors. Then, on the left with the luscious watermelon and canteloupe colors is some roving from Serendipitous Ewe -- Wensleydale, another new breed for me to try! Peeking out in the back are some rovings from Bitsyknits intended for spinning sock yarn, one in merino, and the other in a merino-alpaca blend. Only semi-visible are a merino-cashmere roving from the Brazen Sheep, a pretty handmade basket from the Foothills Spinners and Weavers Guild, and a bright turning-maple-leaves-colored roving from Wild Hare Fiber in Coopworth and llama. Oh my, I just don't know where to turn next.

There are a few more things as well that didn't make it into the pictures but will most likely be heard from here sooner or later. All my economic stimuli are in something of a jumble. One of the auditors must have been overexcited. And, perplexingly, in among the heap is a receipt that I have no earthly idea what it was for. Clearly I bought something, as I signed the slip, plain as day, but there aren't any legible clues as to what that might be! More evidence of economic disarray.

Well, I'll just distract myself with this picture of the one that got away. This is the fabulous new Noro sock yarn, with a sample sock that shows it off to stunning advantage. This little tableau pleases me to no end. It just glows, doesn't it? I'm afraid I can't find my show catalog just now, but I think it might have been in the Fibersmyth booth. (If not, my sincere apologies to whoever it was.)

Seriously, I do worry about the fate, in an economic downturn, of all of these very small businesses who bring us so many special treats. Small businesses and retailers often seem vulnerable when the economy tightens. If poor conditions last long, luxuries are likely to suffer. These things, on the one hand, are certainly luxurious. If we shop carefully, we can get our sweaters and socks, machine-made, much more cheaply.

But these knitting and spinning supplies aren't expensive cars or fancy resort vacations, either. With the entertainment and fulfillment that they afford the hand-crafter and the beautiful and useful objects that result, their cost is modest for the value they provide. When belts tighten, perhaps we will go out less and busy ourselves more with homely and comforting things. Perhaps these are not luxuries but necessities.

Yes, I'm half-serious about wanting to help support these farms and artisans, small entrepreneurs and craftspeople, at a time when things may be slowing down a little. But it's nice when inclination and duty coincide so well.


Bess said...

Beautiful purchases - beautiful yarns. Thank you for doing your bit for the economy. ;>

Robin said...

Great haul!

Anonymous said...

Wonderfully well said! Just the kind of tongue-in-cheek needed to calm pre-election jitters.

Torhild Reidardatter said...

Those two skeins are beatiful. deep, deep great colors.

Knittin' Diva said...

Though the economy may slow more extravagant spending, I'm happy to say, it's proven to be a boost to small businesses like my own ;-) A $20 skein of yarn provides entertainment for several days, for us slower knitters, several weeks. On the other hand, spending $20 at a movie theater, or restaurant, (need I say, you couldn't even consider concert or live theater tickets for $20) will only last a few hours, with nothing to show for it at the end. I think those of us who sell supplies for "hobbies" will fare okay through this downturn.

As a local entrepreneur, I thank you for your "stimulus".