Monday, December 31, 2007

Conned again by the weak and aged

I spent Xmas visiting my grandpa at the hospital. He's 88, and apparently has very ironic luck, because he was speeding down the hall at my mom's and tripped on a carpet he made and broke his leg. A case of the revenge of the handicraft? Perhaps. (I can only hope that I live to be old enough for my knitting to attack me.)

So I'm visiting, hearing about his bladder and his violin making and his leg, just shooting the breeze, so to speak, when other relatives start talking about my knitting. (I guess it's hard not to, because I am covered in it.) Grandpa mentions the beautiful sweater I made him. (His adjective - I should have felt some kind of warning right then, but I was still unsuspecting. I've haven't been around Grandpa for about eight years, so I'd forgotten that he was wily.) My oldest brother immediately began angling for sweater, which I guess was a further distraction, because he's a big guy and that's a lot of knitting for me to think about. I managed to talk it down to some fingerless gloves, but while I was in the middle of doing that, my grandpa managed to get me to agree to make him another sweater out of some yarn he has. I was in the car already before it really sunk in.

Somehow, I had managed to agree to make an Aran sweater with a 48" chest out of unknown and unseen yarn that my grandpa has been hoarding for 25 years. (Do you see that "hoarding" link? That's worth a look.) Yesterday I was out at his house, trying to find the yarn. It wasn't easy. It wasn't easy even to find the bathroom. (Did I mention my family is a bit eccentric? Take a look at that "hoarding" link again, and then think about what happens if the person is crafty. Because Grandpa is crafty, in more ways than one.) I found a lot of yarn. Some of it dates back to the fifties or earlier. And I found the yarn in question.
I don't know what kind of wool this is. I'll have to ask Grandpa. But it was from a sheep he owned, and it was hand spun and plied. I think it's about Aran weight, fortunately, and frankly, it is awesome yarn. I hope it's enough.

Here's a blurry close-up:
I also scored a lot of other yarn, a ball winder, a rice cooker, vegetable steamer, vegetable chopper, hand held drink mixer, and a jar of olives. Because I was just skimming the surface of the Hoard. (Grandpa is a compulsive small appliance buyer.) I was a bit surprised there wasn't an airplane or something. (Do you think I'm kidding? Grandpa has a pilot's license. The last time we cleaned his house, my oldest brother scored a half-assembled ultralight.)

So stay tuned. I'm supposed to bring him the test swatch next weekend.


Jeanette said...

It looks like nice yarn to make a sweater from. For a minute I thought you were going to write that the yarn was fingering weight.

Vegan Pi said...

Glad that the yarn will be nice to knit with. You're keeping your needles plenty busy!

wenders said...

Wow. That IS WILY! To sneak in sweater commital... impressive.

Lissy said...

The yarn is lovely, only I worry about there being enough. If you run out, you can't find an LYS that carries 25-year-old yarn! I am shaking in my boots about checking that hoarding link, fearing that there is a section entitled Lissy.