In Spanish, souvenirs, are called recuerdos. Which literally translates to “memories”. I have most of my loved ones pretty well trained to bring me yarn and/or textiles as souvenirs.
So, I end up with beautifully interesting yarn from (I think) Brussels from Thing 1’s graduation trip. She was with her mom, so they just made a side jaunt to grab me something. As you can see, it’s a blue cabled yarn that’s also rainbow…so glad for pictures because this doesn’t make sense otherwise. I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with it for the longest time. I only ask for a skein of yarn because I never know what I’m going to get, and I want it to be something of reasonable cost. My MIL asked for a rainbow runner for her table. Finally, I knew what to use the yarn for! I wove this runner. There wasn’t enough of the yarn for either a full warp, or to use as weft. Generally speaking, warp is the long strands of fiber, whereas weft is what goes back and forth side to side. The lovely thing about weaving is that you are not constrained to use the same yarn for the whole project. Which is why knitters/crocheters often expand out into weaving.
When we get to playing with scraps, I’ll explore all sorts of different warps. I can’t wait…but I must buckle down and finish some things before I move on to new things. This responsibility crud is garbage. Back to the runner. I used the souvenir yarn for the center of the warp, and played with the color outside of that. We won’t tell her, but there’s actually a bit of…shall we call it asymmetry..to the piece. The weft, as you can see, is just the warm colors of the rainbow. Some of the reasoning is that that’s what I had left over from other projects to use for this one. Some of the reasoning is that the rest of her house is blue, so this color scheme would make the runner “pop” in her house. Most of the reason is that it is how I wanted to make it. I like how it turned out, and she does as well. This is the joy of crafting! I can do what I want (yes, I did say that with attitude)
Thing 2 went to Germany in high school, and knew I’d appreciate yarn. Keep in mind, she was a teenager with a bunch of other teenagers, and had to ask to stop by yarn stores. Poor thing. She got me various yarns in bright colors which got turned into Christmas tuques (I’m forever going to use that terminology now) this year. Slightly hilarious because Thing 2 gets grumbly about the folks who received the tuques. But…one of the yarns was actually for a kit for a scarf of some sort. It came with needles and a pattern. Written in German. If you can’t read German, it’s in Italian as well. Or French. I speak Spanish. The poor kid couldn’t even translate the German for me because conversational German is *vastly* different than knitting German. Don’t believe me? Look up a knitting pattern in English and tell me what it means. So, I stared at the photo, and thought it looked sort of like a 1×1 rib. I tried that. It didn’t really work. So, I tried to see if I could stare cross eyed at the Italian, and somehow figure out what it said. I mean, Italian is a romance language, and Spanish is a romance language… It wasn’t working that well. French is also a romance language… I stared, and stared, and stared. And then I saw the magic word–Brioche. Guess what, Dear Reader? I know what Brioche is. I didn’t know how to do it, mind you, but I can YouTube with the best of them. So I made the scarf. And gave it to Thing 2. I have asked her to send me a picture of it, so I can share it with you. She has forgotten. You will just have to believe me that it’s awesome.
On my honeymoon (I have SOOOO many stories of my honeymoon adventures, which I’m sure I’ll share), we went to Whitefish, MT. I stopped by a yarn store, and purchased a skein there, and then I made this lovely cowl.
Several years ago, we went to Hawaii. I purchased souvenir yarn then, as well. As you can expect, there aren’t many fiber animals in Hawaii. However, in Hanalei (I’m singing “Puff, the Magic Dragon”, and now you are too!), they have a store called Strings and Things. It’s half yarn store, and half guitar store. In that store, they have locally dyed yarn. By the smell and the colors, I believe that they are Kool Aid dyed. I turned that yarn into this cute little wrist bag for projects. As a side note, they also sell yarn at the Ace Hardware in Lihue, but that’s just generic yarn.
The lovely thing about these stories is how much use and memory will come with these yarns. Grandma has a runner that was made for her by me, with yarn supplied by her granddaughter from Europe. Thing 2 has a scarf made by me from her trip to Germany. The recipients of the tuques were told their yarn was German, but I’m sure they’ve forgotten. When I wear my cowl, I remember the adventures I had. While I can no longer smell the fruity smell of the dye on the project bag, I do think of Hawaii when I use it. For me, these make better souvenirs than tchochkes.
I share these stories with you today because Poopie and I went to Pendleton this weekend. The Pendleton. Home of the Woolen Mills. While Poopie made sure to book us a tour of the Underground, neither of us thought to make sure the Woolen Mills tour runs on the weekends. Spoiler alert…it doesn’t. That’s OK, we went to the store. It was…a store…but, in the back was a neat mini-museum. I was initially confused because the artifacts weren’t confined to Plateau Indians work. I’m impressed with myself to be able to recognize the difference between some of the First Nation’s works.
While I am sad that I went to the home of the Pendleton Woolen Mills, in the middle of historic sheep country, and didn’t get *any* fiber, I did bring home a recuerdo anyway. The featured image is the locally distilled coffee vodka that came home with me. It packs quite the wollop, let me tell you. Even when I can’t get fiber, I try to get something unique. I blame it on never finding my name on those racks of souvenirs. The benefit though, is that when people see *my* souvenirs, and tell me they are lovely, I get to tell them the story. Whereas, when they see me wearing a shirt that says “Lincoln Beach”, they usually don’t give me the chance to expound on my various adventures. I’m not saying it stops me…it’s just not as organic. I mean, I never turn down a chance to tell a story.