Monday, June 29, 2009

Shirley's blue tam

This is my friend Shirley's blue tam story:
I have a little knitting story to share with you. It's about a blue tweedy beret that turned out too small for the adult for which it was intended. So I put it away. Then last summer when my husband rented the gallery space in Northeast Harbor, I became acquainted with the young Russian woman who had a shop next door. Her store was called "Blue" and she loved all things French and blue. It was filled with huge bunches of dried French lavender and large fancy pillows she sewed from cloth of elegant designs. I still remember the powerful smell of lavender wafting out onto the street from her store.

About half-way through the summer I thought of the blue child-sized beret and got up enough courage to see if she would take it on consignment. It really was a classic French style with a tassle on top, knitted from 100% wool from Bartlett Yarns in Maine. I was curious to see how much someone would be willing to pay for a handknitted, natural fiber hat. I have always been amazed at the low prices people put on hand knitted garments when you consider the cost of the yarn and the time and skill behind it. Well, my Russian, French-loving, shop keeping friend put a price of $95 on the hat. It sat there for the rest of the season until the last day in October when she sold it on sale for $62! I was overjoyed and suddenly felt like I was a great knitter! And all those "mistakes" that I have knitted in the past are seen in a new light!

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