Well, it’s not a Mrs. Claus ornament, but perhaps this little Tale of the City will put you in a holiday mood.
Yesterday, I ducked into one of those snooty Upper East Side yarn stores I usually avoid like the plague. I needed a couple of skeins of Crystal Palace Cotton Chenille for teacher presents, and I was in the neighborhood. So I went in, bracing for the usual ‘how dare you come in off the street and look at our yarn? what do you think this is, a yarn store?’ treatment.
(Once inside, I managed to pick up some Manos for the Next Great Rosie Project, but more about that later.)
While I was waiting for the lady to wind my skeins, a friendly, slightly harried young woman came breezing in. (Obviously, Not From Around Here, for she was quite pleasant.) She asked the 3 salesclerks, who were standing there sullenly (there were no other customers), ‘Do you carry Noro yarn?’
Being me, and having been there for 15 minutes looking over the shelves, I chimed in, ‘Yes, they do. Not a lot, but they have some over there.’
The woman, let’s call her Amy (since that is her name), looks and then asks, ‘Do you have any ‘Lotus’?’
Again, it seemed that the assembled yarn ladies had sworn an oath of silence.
Me: ‘I haven’t seen any!’
As one salesclerk ran off to ask somebody in the back, I eavesdropped on Amy as she told the others that she was knitting a sweater in some Lotus she had bought a while back, and that she was almost finished with the sleeves when she realized she did not have enough to finish. She was a ball short, the place she bought it from did not have any more, and she couldn’t find it anywhere.
‘What color was it?’ I asked, just to be sociable.
That is always a trick question, with Noro. ‘Well, it’s got red and hot pink in it.’
‘Does it have a metallic thread and maybe some brown, too?’ I asked.
‘Yes–that’s the one.’
‘I have a ball of that, ‘ I said. ‘Do you want it?’
Oh no, she couldn’t possibly, she lived downtown, it would be too much trouble, etc.
‘I live downtown, ‘ I said.
‘Whereabouts?’ she asked.
It turns out we live a few blocks from each other. It turns out we bought the Noro Lotus from the same wonderful store, Downtown Yarns, six months ago, so it’s likely the same dye lot.
That evening, Amy stopped by and picked up her Lotus. (You will recall that I had left for dead an experimental scarf I had started with it.)
Here is Amy, holding the Ziploc bag that saved her sweater:
Isn’t that a nice story?