When I was in sixth grade my English teacher banned the word "nice" from his class. "Good" met the same fate. While I genuinely appreciated his attempts to expand my vocabulary, sometimes "nice" really is the best word for the job. Let me introduce you to two nice scarves that are on their way to meet their nice new owners. Scarf 57 and Scarf 58 couldn't be more different, but they both have nice stories.
Scarf 57 is a custom design for a friend who wanted a gift for her mother-in-law from West Texas. Wouldn't it be nice, she asked me, if we could find a local Texas yarn to make her scarf from? After asking on Facebook and calling around, we ended up at Gauge, a friendly little local yarn shop, where we picked out two lovely skeins of Texas Two Step from White Bear Fibers. This yarn comes from alpacas on the Bluebonnet Hills Alpaca Ranch in Navasota, Texas. As a dyed-in-the-alpaca Texan myself, I loved the concept of this gift and enjoyed every minute of making it. The yarn was perfect to weave with too - very thin but strong - making a lightweight scarf with elegant drape.
And aren't those colors beautiful? White Bear Fibers calls the sagey green "Cedar" and the variegated blue and green "Peaceful Cedar," but by any name they are soothing and sophisticated and subtly striped. (Thank you, Mr. Perryman - it's true that "nice" doesn't quite cut it when describing this yarn.)
But back to the nice stories. Ah, Scarf 58 - my elusive friend. Scarf 58 was dreamed up at the yoga studio where I teach. One of my students, in love with Scarf 17, asked if I could make a similar confection in sparkly pinks and purples. The scarf-to-be was for her niece, who was going through a very difficult time, and she felt the scarf might be a comfort to her. My goodness! What could I possibly love more than to make something comforting for someone who needs comforting?
I had recently heard about dyeing with Kool-Aid, so I thought that would be a fun project. Scarf 56 was the result and though it turned out rather well, it wasn't as sparkly or pink as desired. I started again, this time with pink cotton, purple wool, and lavender sparkles, and everything came out just right. Like some of the other ruffle scarves, Scarf 58 has a wool stripe running down the center, which, when felted, creates the ruffles. Here it is, still flat on the loom:
And here it is at last, all ruffled up:
I think my friend is just the nicest daughter-in-law and my yoga student is the nicest aunt. Not that they're the only nice ones around - I've had gift orders for friends, daughters, moms, newlywed-husbands, and soon-to-be-sister-in-laws, all from very nice people who were nice to buy my scarves. Sorry, Mr. Perryman, it's official: nice people are nice.