I visited J yesterday, driving to Sperryville through a suddenly winterized landscape. Hard to believe only 2 weeks ago we were still ooing and ahing over the vivid autumn colors. They're all gone now and soft grey skies etched with spidery tree limbs have taken their place. I love all the seasons, though I admit I can get tired of the extremes of summer and winter. But in December I want to see that spare combination of dark and light in the landscape. It makes me feel cozy and free to take it easy. I never feel like I can kick back in the summer but when darkness falls at 5 o'clock and the cold wind blows, I can pull into my cuddly little house with my knitting and my fire and my dogs ...and in December, a beautiful glittering tree, and feel loved.
Visiting Jennifer made me feel loved too. We met 8 years ago, at the first KRRetreat, our eyes connecting across the room, and we knew - we were kindred spirits. We are very different sorts, but we harmonize. I'm a good bit older than she is but at this stage in life it hardy matters. She is still in the child rearing phase of life while I am now getting fan mail from AARP, so the demands on our lives are different. She lives in an elf house her architect father designed for her and her artistic eye has enhanced what was already a charming place. I can't believe I never brought out my camera once yesterday!! We took a class on dyeing wool and yarn one spring and as we drove away she was obsessed with the idea of starting her own hand dyed yarn company while I couldn't wait to go home and teach all my friends what I'd learned. That's the biggest difference between us. But it is one of those things that only adds to our friendship
Of course, I couldn't visit J without bringing home some luscious yarns and fibers. She had a Jacob fleece that was the silkiest example of that springy bouncy fiber I've ever touched. She warned me that, spun up, it's not as soft, and I could tell there was a little scrunch to it when I squeezed a handful, but she had used it in the sweater she was wearing and it was soft enough for me.
And then we peeked into her tubs and there was The Red. The red I was looking for last month when I was planning my Soho Smocked Dress. Bright, vivid, red without any blue and really not too much yellow, but still a warm red. Best of all, it's one of her standard colors. I can do a special order for it. She could pop it in her dye pots while she's cooking up a batch for someone else.
My picture doesn't do any justice to the color at all. I'm only including it because you can read the label in this photo. But ooo la la - this is her superwash merino/cashmere blend called SUNNA and it is luscious. I am seeing a red lacy scarf to wear with my winter coat. Yum!
And so I drove home in the winter darkness all full of inspiration garnered from J's beautiful house, her gorgeous yarns and her fantastic cooking. I just love inspiring friends.