Hooky, or Serious Business?

Allright, first things first.

The coffee is done and I have some so it’s safe to try to blog. It’s been a busy few days. Beth and I were talking Tuesday about how I’d be able to ship her some new batts around the end of the week. I think what happened was that she said I ought to just bring them up and drop them off, and then I said no, she should come down and pick them up, and then we went back and forth like that for a while, and next thing we knew we’d hatched a scheme.

But she totally started it. You can tell when you look at her that’s the kind of chick she is.

First, she was going to drive down Friday, with the kids, and then head back that night. We (Chad and I) told her we figured she ought to stay for the weekend and we’d all go to King’s Island, but alas, she had classes to teach Saturday, so that was out. But we continued to work on the scheme and ultimately, about 2:30 Thursday afternoon, she arrived with a 7-year-old daughter and 4-year-old son in tow… plus some fiber, spinning wheels, a little loom just in case, a few accessories and stuff. You know. Just the essentials for an overnight trip.

Like young Maggie’s wheel:

which of course looks totally at home in our family room, amidst Legos, Bionicles, the decorative bare playfield for Williams’ Earthshaker adorning the wall next to a giant speaker, with scattered items on the floor including a small trebuchet scale model, bedspread my grandmother made in the 1950s, and a Doctor Octopus robot arm which we acquired at Disneyland a number of years ago, and which Edward has used for every imaginable purpose to which a robotic arm might conceivably be put.

Allright, allright, so other parts of the family room sometimes look sort of like this.

You know, sometimes. Kind of. Depending who’s over.

Anyway, the Ladybug there is Maggie’s. She is 7, and an accomplished spinner and fiber person.

She helps her mother with many things around The Spinning Loft, and she’s been spinning for almost 2 years I think? I met her — as many spinning teachers have — while teaching workshops at Beth’s shop, and for me personally, it was really a thrill to meet her. While Maggie is almost certainly better behaved and quieter than I was at her age, I definitely remember helping my parents with fiber workshops and spending time learning fiber-related things at every opportunity. I remember that not everyone took me seriously as a weaver then (and by extension, spinner and knitter and crocheter and many other things), and that it was sometimes hard to have interests which no other kids participated in, while being so young that grownups often just assumed you wouldn’t want to interact with them.

Maggie’s totally a kid, but she’s serious and focused on her pursuits. She’s skilled and knowledgeable and aspires to be a spinning teacher, perhaps starting as soon as next summer. She wants to teach kids to spin, and this fall, she’ll be attending the Spin-Off Autumn Retreat as a scholarship recipient. She’s as interested in spinning as many kids are in Spongebob, Pokemon, Legos and the like.

She also makes Maggie Batts — from scraps and miscellany and samples — which she sells through her mother’s shop, and uses her earnings to fund her fiber pursuits (right now, she’s saving for another spindle). I was absolutely thrilled to be able to contribute to her Maggie Batt materials stash the other day, and get to hang out carding with her.

Her son Ryan came too.

Ryan’s a lot like Edward was at that age, and despite the age difference they got along famously. Everyone enjoyed the cats, and Kaylee out-cuted Paimei, somewhat to Paimei’s chagrin. It took Kaylee a day or so to recover from all the being-played-with — a day during which she was sedate and well behaved. The kids can come back whenever!

Everyone got to go feed the neighbour horses fistfuls of clover, and pat them on their velvety noses. When Ryan slowed down with the clover, one horse started nudging him in the head with her nose. Beth found a four-leaf clover; she says she finds them all the time. Me? I’d never even seen one before.

A few rides in Jeepy happened.

Just look at the carnage! And I showed Beth my favourite swift:

I think she might be trying to stock them in her shop. Oh, and I’ll have you know that while Beth did manage to find a picture to take that included not only a skein of Bernat acrylic but a Robert Jordan book on my shelves, it’s much more likely to see a shelf that looks like this:

So there. But it’s true: there is cheap yarn in my house. There’s a purpose for everything. I don’t recall why I have a skein of pastel ombre Bernat acrylic, but there was doubtless a reason. As for the Robert Jordan, I plead “airport bookstore.” Seriously though, the first one was fine. 2 and 3 were even allright. But since then, it’s as if 8,000 books have gone by and NOTHING HAPPENED. “And yet you bought them,” Chad always says. You see? I’m an optimist.

Anyway. There was much scheming and conspiring… and ultimately a spinning wheel hostage exchange.

Beth will be back next month to reclaim this (Lendrum Saxony) hostage from me, and when she returns she’ll be bringing back the Journey Wheel I let her and Maggie take with them.

Neither of these wheels is something people lend out! What’s amusing about it is that I have a Lendrum Saxony on order, and Beth has a Journey Wheel on order. So this is like a preview visit.

All in all, the question is, was this a day playing hooky — or a serious business trip? I vote “serious business trip.”

28 thoughts on “Hooky, or Serious Business?

  1. That was a lovely description of our visit and all I can think is -“I look so wrinkly” And “But my Wii fit age was 28 yesterday. How can I look so….old?”

    Yest the photo of the yarn wasn’t fair – but it was fun.

  2. I think you all managed to combine the best of all worlds. Business that was fun. I’m jealous of Megan growing up amid all the fiber. I only recently found an interest in fiber arts and am trying to make up for lost time.

  3. I am so jealous of all the children of fibery people . . . soooooo jealous . . . I mean, I did teach myself to spin when I was 12, but I didn’t know how to do anything with yarn except weave, and I didn’t have a loom, and it wasn’t like there was a person in my house who, you know, encouraged me . . .

    I tend to make this comment often on other people’s blogs; I think I may have made some variation of it on yours. Ah well, c’est la vie.

  4. Abby,

    Your visit sounds wonderful. I’m going to start a serious search for fiber friends here in Indiana.

    I’m a devoted reader of your blog and would love it if you would share a little insight into carding up layered batts.

  5. I would say serious business hooky, myself. I mean, you clearly got relevant spinning work done…but you also had way too much fun doing it. To say your day was both is not a stretch. 🙂

  6. I read Beth’s post yesterday and am really excited to meet her and Maggie at SOAR! And you, of course, but that goes without saying.

    I got to go to King’s Island on a band trip in high school, despite not being in the band. It was great – KC and the Sunshine Band performed (this was 1980 so they were still a big deal), but KC had laryngitis and could hardly croak out the songs! It didn’t matter, the sisters and I rocked out, we had a great time!

    “I’m your boogie man, that’s what I am…”

  7. Evil enabler Abby. I seriously have been longing for an Ann Grout spindle and not wanting to have to order from Great Britain. And now I don’t have that to hold me back anymore.
    Your all’s visit sounds so lovely.

  8. business woman. business. that you can combine it with what you love best… lucky lucky woman. now i have to figure out how to restructure and position myself so i can have fun…

  9. business in a Jeep??? come on.

    Was there ice cream involved?

    Will then.

    You can bill the boss for frozen treats.

  10. that chicken on top of the book shelf cracks me up big time.

  11. Hello,

    I am also a Maggie, and was touched to see the young Maggie you visited with. I started knitting when I was 7, and people did consider it to be a little odd. I used to get angry when I went to yarn shops and the owners didn’t treat me seriously.

    Anyway, I just started spinning and I am looking for a good first wheel. Ideally though I would like it to be my only wheel for a long time. Ie: I want something with a good range that will keep me happy. I have tried out a bunch and I am thinking about an Ashford Joy or Majacraft Rose, would you mind letting me know if this is a good idea?

  12. What a wonderful, wonderful day and visit!!!!! I gotta make my way up there for a visit and some lessons at Beth’s shop.

  13. Your family room looks like a torture chamber, what with Robot Octopus Arm or whatever it was. And Maggie is adorable. Hmm, my Carly is 19 months old. Is it too soon?

    Those Lendrum saxony wheels are gorgeous and spin like a dream. It was a toss-up between that one and the Schact-Reeves before the Jensen seduced me!!

    Sounds like you had a lovely time.

  14. Abby – great picture of Beth!! And, Beth – those are happy lines!! That show the happiness of your personality. I, personally, am unbelievably jealous of you – I want a Tantra Sofa and a guy to go with it. Lousmith rocks!

  15. Abby, are you sure we weren’t separated at birth? You love all fiber pursuits, Robert Jordan, and I know exactly where all the cat’s names are from.

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