The Full Monty
It figures. I finally get to the point where my designing brain shuts down and I buy the yarn to just knit MYSELF something when a package arrives from Italy. I mean, I was set to just knit. I bought yarn from Simply Fibers (Cascade Venezia, a chunky merino/silk blend), picked a pattern (Jared Flood’s Umaro afghan), got halfway through the first ridiculously long chart, and the doorbell rang. I couldn’t help it. Even though I was rolling my eyes at the interruption of my first “just for me” project in a long time, I was giddy as I flung the door open and said, “I’m so happy you’re here!” to the FedEx guy.
“I’m so happy, too!” said the FedEx guy. “I got here as quickly as I could.”
“This is from Italy!” I hollered as I continued our exclaimed conversation.
“I know!” he hollered back. “I’m so jealous!”
“It’s just yarn,” I said, toning down the conversation a little. “You probably wouldn’t want it.”
“But it’s from Italy!” he said, retaining all his excitement. “That’s so cool! Do you want me to carry it inside for you?”
“No! I’ve got it!”
I went inside carrying the massive but manageable box of 20 lbs of yarn, and began tearing at the tape with my fingers. The whole time I was ripping it open, Alex was saying, “Wait. Wait! Let me get my camera.” There was no time for that. There was cashmere in that box. There was self-patterning yarn for a shop in Michigan. There was bamboo. And there, at the bottom, what my buddy Monty has waited for… blaze orange luxury yarn.
This is how the early service at church has gone for several years.
Me: “Good morning, and welcome to worship at Bois D’Arc UMC this fine morning.”
Monty: “Did you make me a hat?”
Monty wants a hand knitted hunting cap. It needs to be a standard stocking cap. It needs to have a little pizazz. Most of all, it needs to be regulation blaze orange. Yeah. Blaze orange: everyone’s favorite color. It’s not a color that luxury yarn makers produce or yarn shops carry. I know. I’ve checked every single yarn shop I’ve visited in the last five years to find yarn for Monty’s hat. I can find that color in acrylic, but, um… I’m a yarn snob. A few months ago, Monty said to me, “If Alex imports yarn from Italy, couldn’t he import blaze orange yarn?” Sometimes I forget how cool it is that Alex imports yarn. I forget until the doorbell rings and I find a FedEx guy trying to help me open the boxes.
Alex and I had just finished putting together an order from several producers when we ran into Monty and his lovely wife Katherine at Wal-Mart. I dragged Monty to the car, pulled out the color cards, and said, “Find it.” He was immediately able to identify blaze orange in three yarns Alex carries, so we added them to the order. If Monty has wanted a blaze orange handknit for so long, surely there are other hunters out there who would also like a stylish hunting cap.
Now I need to design it. The beautiful merino/silk blanket will have to sit (boo hoo!) while I figure out how to create the perfect hunting cap that will work for Monty and anyone who buys the yarn Monty picked out for Alex’s business. We agree that it needs to be a little sharp. Alex always says the Italians don’t have the best military; they have the best-dressed military. So how do I knit a hat that will leave Monty the best-dressed hunters around? Any ideas would be appreciated.