For a decade now I have been offering my siblings a handwoven 50th birthday present. Yes they all got gifts in the 80s and then most of them got handwoven wedding gifts and baby blankets, but half century birthdays are momentous and merit another big gift.
My sixth sister turned 50 in April 2012. I was flush with joy at having a spinning wheel and when she asked for a shawl, I told her I would spin the yarn. At CNCH 2012 I bought gorgeous silk/merino fiber from RedFish Dyeworks. It was harder to spin than I expected and the two tops I bought didn’t seem to go together. I got bogged down in life. Nothing happened.
Last fall I began to spin again but still wasn’t happy with the colors. Couldn’t decide if I was spinning for singles or for a two ply. Didn’t have enough fiber. Finally I realized that something had to change and by sending samples of my yarn to RedFish I fortunately was able to buy another top that coordinated with the first two. There still was not enough yarn but I found a merino combed top that coordinated well and I was on my way.
Lat month my sister announced she was moving out of state and I felt devastated. We will miss her, but my immediate sorrow was that I had not completed her gift and was not going to be able to put in on her shoulders and see her wrapped in my love. So I began to spin seriously. Every night. Then I bought a selection of hand-dyed yarns for warp. Then the plying began. Bobbins were mixed from all four tops in an infinite variety of purples, blues and greens. Two weeks ago I was done spinning and the loom was warped. After two years it only took a week to weave my beautiful purple gift. A bit longer to finish it and then the frustration of not being able to capture the shimmering silk and brilliant colors in a photo.
But it is done. Tomorrow we make the 400 mile trek to her home to say goodbye and to wrap her in my love.