my Day Off

way back in the mists of time, when the weather was not dissimilar to today, and it was Christmas, a lovely husband gave his wife a present.  his colleagues thought it was a last-minute cop-out of a present, but they clearly know nothing of how, after a challenging pregnancy, and a year of devoted new-baby care along with the standard toddler stuff, what a mother might just want most is a teeny window of time just to herself; to do whatever she felt like doing on that particular day and not to worry about responsibility or children’s demands or housework.  and so when the wife opened her gift she was thrilled at how well her husband knew her and at the thought of taking some time out.

on saturday i redeemed my voucher.  i adjusted the gift slightly (for those of you who can read the small print!) to extend the time limit and to release my sister from her part of it, as she’s pretty busy being the olympic transport genuis for the rowing venue at eton dorney. and also she wouldn’t want to spend the day squidging yarn at Fibre East, which is where i was headed.

i picked up some lunch from waitrose on the way and drove over to bedford, leaving the boys to their originally titled ‘boys day’!  once there i donned wellies for the grass was rapidly becoming a mudbath/worm massacre and set my mind to some serious yarny business.

there was lots to see and do but i have to be honest about the effects of the weather – if it had been warm and dry the sheep shearing demo would have held my attention much longer, i would have sat out and knitted on the grass, meandered more and browsed more. as it was, the rain just kept on pouring, the mud and puddles kept on appearing!

however, the highlight of the day was always going to be getting to meet debbie (aka the Skein Queen) and suzanne (alabamawhirly of knit happens).  despite all the challenges of selling beautiful yarn in a damp marquee and having been flooded out of their original pitch, they even allowed me to help out a bit!  debbie’s own account (and photos – i didn’t take any i’m afraid) of the weekend is on her blog here.  i could easily have whiled away the day chatting and knitting in their excellent company but there was yarn to be bought and sold too, so we snatched bits of conversation and the odd stitch or two here and there and hopefully i didn’t get in the way too much!

i found it incredibly difficult to choose just a few skeins from the Skein Queen stand to spend my pocket money on, everything was just so beautiful.  but after at least an hour of dithering and trying on one of suzanne’s cardigans i settled on enough grey Blush to knit a similar one myself (pattern: Audrey in Unst by Gudrun Johnston), a pair of skeins of Noble for a two coloured shawl, maybe Broughton by Amanda France, and very restrainedly only one skein of Oasis Grande in pewter – a gorgeous camel/silk blend – to go with my existing skein which is a deep red.

i also bought a tin of stitch markers by Fripperies and Bibbelots, a few extra knitpro needles and cables and then that sneaky blue skein on the end was a very kind gift from the Skein Queen herself at the end of the day!

the other highlight was being able to wear my only-just-finished-in-time Winter Thaw shawl.

six months in the making, it was a joy to knit (in Skein Queen Enchanting Lace) and wear.  indeed i received compliments on it from the moment i arrived at Fibre East!

and so the wife came home refreshed and very happy, but she’d also rather missed her boys and realised that although time off will always be important and enjoyable, coming home to her two small boys and lovely husband really couldn’t be much better.


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