A Red-Letter Day
March 7, 2006
Red! The color of the day is RED! I had the best red-letter day I’ve had in ages when this came in the mail:
A red letter.
Last summer, I made a new friend. She and her husband and young son have just adopted a beautiful baby from China, and now that she’s here, the girl obviously needs a handknit and SOON.
In China, red is the color of happiness, good luck, and/or prosperity (at least, that’s what my Google search tells me).
I immediately went to my yarn archives in search of the proper red with which to decorate this adorable, and adored, child. It was hard to find a red that was RED enough.
Too itchy, too murky, too much made out of paper, too WRONG.
Then I came upon the reddest yarn I ever bought:
Scheepjes Java: 42% cotton/38% acrylic/14% viscose/6% nylon/100% WACKY.
Now THAT is some red yarn. Remember it, Kay? The yarn I bought when you were here in Nashville, when we were supposed to be fixing pattern directions but we decided it would be better for everyone if we went yarn shopping?
I think your words at the time were along the lines of, “That is the ugliest yarn I have ever seen.” Or maybe it was “What on earth would you ever do with such a doggish yarn?” Or “I need to rethink our entire friendship based on the yarn you have just chosen.”
I defended it by saying something like, “But look, it has little wrapped gold parts on it . . . it has cotton . . . it’s . . . red . . .”
The wrapped part is really cool. I loved the . . . novelty of it all. So I bought three balls despite your howls and left it to marinate in the stash.
I’m cooking up a little seed stitch cardigan, knit in one piece from the bottom until I get to the armholes at which point I’ll worry about sleeves. It’ll have one button, a RED one I expect, unless it’s a GOLD one. Once I find the right dress to go with it, our new Nashvillian will be all covered up in happiness, good luck, and/or prosperity.
I guess there really is a project for every yarn. Even a cotton/acrylic/viscose/nylon yarn. That’s rilly red.
PS Here’s a little quiz–name the eight red yarns that weren’t red enough for the baby sweater, and you’ll get a little prize. A hint: I have written about all these yarns except for #2 and #8. And Kay has written endlessly about those. Send your guesses to me via email. If more than one person gets them all right, we’ll have a drawing. Please send your entry before 11:48 pm, Central Standard Time, Thursday, March 9, 2006.
PSS And talk about good luck– I discover from Emma that making this red sweater puts me in good shape for Project Spectrum, Lolly’s six-month exploration of color. March = Red Month!