27 January 2011

Postal blues

I have a friend who is a brilliant silk artist.

She started out painting silk scarves as a hobby. Now, she does glorious hand-painted mandalas. I can't copy the pictures from her website, but I promise you it's well worth going and browsing for a while. (The site is in German text, but my friend speaks English like a native; I'm not sure why she's never gone bilingual with it.)

Over the years, as she has honed her talents, she has given me at least half a dozen stunning scarves. I blogged one of them here. But I also have elephants, seals, floral patterns, abstractions: a cornucopia of beautiful silkiness.

One day last summer, I looked at some fiber in the spinning pile, and realized that it wanted to be a shawl or scarf for my friend. (Never make a gift for someone unless the fiber tells you that's what it wants to be.)

Spunky club "Flowering Weeds"

The fiber came out in her colors. I got about 325 yards of chain-ply from three ounces of merino-mohair blend (Spunky Eclectic, once again, colorway "Flowering Weeds").
This being me, I started spinning in early June, thinking I might get it done for her birthday at the end of the month.

I finished knitting the shawl in October.

Flowering Ishbel

Before blocking. Note how little of the yarn is left over: it came out just exactly right.

Flowering Ishbel

During blocking.

Flowering Ishbel

After blocking.

The pattern is Ishbel, by Ysolda Teague. And I wish I had taken some better photos of it. But I blocked it, and then waited another month or so to weave in the two ends (would hate to rush anything), and then I just wanted to get it in the mail.

I sent it in mid-December, thinking that she might possibly have it in time for Christmas. Though I am usually pretty scattered about Christmas and gifts (I am great at thinking of nice things I would like to send people, and not very good about carrying through on my plans), I did manage to get a few things in the mail this year. Even a couple of Christmas cards, though only a couple.

Of course everything takes ages to arrive internationally, especially over the holidays. Still, thanks began to trickle in from people. But earlier this week, I realized I'd never heard from my friend. And after some thought - you hate to push someone to acknowledge a gift they might not have liked! - I wrote her on Facebook to ask if she had gotten a package from me.

Wouldn't you know: it never arrived.

She, being an optimist, assured me that she sent a friend in Florida a package at the start of December, and he only just got it this week. So we hope it went surface mail, and might show up in a week or two.

But wouldn't it just figure that when I finally get around to acting on a nice instinct and making something for someone who has made me so many nice things over the years, it vanishes without a trace...

UPDATE, Jan 31: All it took was a little griping for the postal gods to take note! It arrived today, about seven weeks after I mailed it, with the airmail sticker still on it. And the recipient was very happy.


rubbishknitter said...

oh, man.... I could weep for your beautiful lost shawl! heartbreaking.... it is stunning, and what a lovely gesture!

fingers crossed it turns up soon.

Shan said...

It's gorgeous: well done.

shelly said...

your friends website is down...
can you provide another link?

shelly said...

the link to your friends website is not active. can you provide an updated link? thx.

YTT said...

Shelly: Sure - her new, improved website is here: http://mandalas-auf-seide.com/

She also opened an Etsy shop, but so far she's only selling greeting cards there (still handpainted silk!). http://www.etsy.com/shop/MandalasAufSeide?ref=l2-shopheader-name

Maybe I should update the blog once in a while, hm? Thanks for asking!