Saturday, 9 October 2010

I may have unvented* Boucle.

Every now and then someone will ask if they can buy my knitting or spinning. It happened last week in a cafe in St Andrews while I sheltered from this year's worst rainstorm. The waitress loved my home made hat and asked to buy one. My reply is always the same,  I don't know how to put a monetary value on what I make  How on earth could I factor in the cost of my time, my knowledge, the years of practice and then subtract the fun that I have in the process in order to reach a sensible price?

That's what makes trading with another craft person so enjoyable,  you can be assured that each person knows the true value of the other's skills and appreciates the time it takes to make something by hand. My knife making chum Chris recently set me up on the trading equivalent of a blind date with one of his friends.  Jon makes the most beautiful hand carved wooden bowls and spoons and I fell in love with them the moment I laid eyes on them.  But would he have any use for a pile of handspun yarn?  Thankfully for me, Jon's partner Sarah is a knitter and she was really excited about the possibility of a swap. We chatted about what she would like and then I got down to the spinning.

The plan was to make some lightly felted single plied yarn and to dye it with walnut hulls. Unfortunately I erred on the side of heavy when felting. The yarn turned out kinkier than I'd hoped but a lovely colour, as if some boucle yarn had been dipped in a cup of milky cocoa. I trusted to serendipity and sent it off to Sarah with the promise of more ( and smoother ) yarn to follow.

In return for the milky boucle and an IOU for better things,  Jon made me the most beautiful spoons. One for measuring out my coffee a la TS Elliot and the other one slightly longer. All visitors to my house have to stop and admire them. I love the idea of the spoon spending time in the jar, every day absorbing more and more of the coffee smells.

The observant among you will notice that there are in fact no pictures of the wonderful coffee spoon. In fact, neither the spoon or the kuksa in the pics are mine. They belong to Chris.  I haven't used my coffee spoon yet. I'm holding off until I find the perfect jar to store it in. As most of my shopping is done in charity shops, this might take some time. Storage suggestions will be gratefully received. I don't want to show it off in public until I've found its perfect mate, although I am of course willing to trade handspun for coffee jars.


* Unvented? See Zimmerman,  Elizabeth.


Lucette said...

I think that trading is the ideal way for skilled crafters to go. Early this spring I traded some of my daffodils for some tomato seedlings from a friend. The wooden spoons are so unique, and I like your handspun a lot too.

Cindy G said...

Oh, the craft trade idea is a good one. Each one gives a gift of hands and spirit.