A quick note with two items:
1. I have a good lead on some fresh, young English Sheepdog hair. A neverending supply, from what I hear from my friends Skip and Betsy, who just added Harry to their family this Christmas. Skip innocently asked me, “Does anybody ever knit with dog hair?” to which I responded, “Oh jeepers, Skip, everybody knows Knitting with Dog Hair is a classic, especially the chapter on the Spinner’s Guide to Dog Breeds, although you have to be careful about the short-hair breeds because sometimes it’s hard to–” at which point I looked over and found Skip vacantly staring over my left shoulder into the middle distance.
Being not a spinner, nor likely to become one, nor likely to be collecting dog hair with intent to spin, nor collecting dog hair with any intent at all, I offer up Harry’s hair to anybody willing to do the deed.
2. Our Senior Fiber Arts Correspondent, Mary Neal, has just completed a Fair Isle sweater that makes me bow down. The design is all her own, the colors chosen from the Jamieson Spindrift shetlands (of which there are surely 140 shades), and the whole thing is a glory of stranding, steeking, and the knitterly arts.
She’s in a button quandary, however, so please help out by voting for the buttons that she ought to use:
Button 3 or Button 4
We will dip each voter’s finger in a vat of Eucalan to minimize voter fraud.
And, of course, Caucasian Fiber Arts!
As a free bonus, Mary Neal included recent acquisitions to the Fiber Arts Museum that she’s starting in her basement. From the former Soviet republic of Georgia, we see:
She writes: “This is me wearing a Caucasian vest. It’s two rectangles sewed together at the shoulders and has laces at the sides to hold it on/adjust it. The beauty of this thing (besides its beauty) is that since it’s made from that Caucasian mountain wool, it works as an exfoliator, too.”
“The Khevsureti tunic is a traditional man’s garment, but it does sort of fit me. It’s really really heavy; evidently it’s made from old fabric, recut and sewn, and newly embroidered. The fabric is woven in a twill, and it’s really obviously hand spun and woven;”
“and, the back of said tunic with Christian motifs, although the Khevsurs are not really all that, umm, Christian. They practice a kind of animism/shamanism or something. These people are so isolated that as late as the 1920s they were wearing chain mail and helmets that look just like Crusaders. Rumor has it that since some of them are blonde and blue-eyed, they are a remnant of a band of Crusaders who turned right instead of left when it was all over. I think that’s been disproved, but the ethnographic photos really do exist showing the armor. Anyway, there are hooks sewn onto the back of this, so it is clearly meant for display. I admired some of these at the (literallly palatial) home of a friend in Tbilisi. They were family heirlooms, and they were just hanging on the back of the dining room chairs. The women’s ones had coins sewn onto the front, as symbolic dowry I guess. There weren’t any women’s garments for sale at the antique Georgian stuff store in the underpass near the Opera. That’s the best store; now when you visit Tbilisi, you will know which store to go to.”
C’mon, everybody, we’re headed off to the antique Georgian stuff store in the underpass near the Opera!