On the evening I went to see S for the final dress fitting, she handed me an envelope, along with a very definitive statement that she was not to be argued with! Inside was a gift certificate to Loop, our favourite LYS and the source of all the yarn for the dress. Incredibly generous and totally unexpected! I had told her that making the dress was going to be my gift to her, but she says that she hadn't realized how many hours of labour it was going to take. We both got a bit weepy at that point, although the perry we'd been drinking might have had something to do with that too. :)
She'd timed it well, as that very Sunday I'd been planning a trip to Loop for a book launch. Cookie A, designer of my beloved Monkey socks, as well as the Poms and many other gorgeous designs, has just brought out a book of new sock designs. I couldn't miss meeting her and looking at the sample socks she'd brought, and with S's gift to me I didn't feel guilty shopping when I'm supposed to be saving money.
I got the book. It's called Sock Innovation, and has pages and pages of great patterns, beautiful photography and fabulous instructions on sock construction. Cookie A was charming and graciously signed my book, even checking the spelling of my name, and allowed me to pick her brains on sock ribbing. Plus the owner of Loop baked chocolate chip cookies and oatmeal raisin cookies. Yum!
Loop have recently started stocking KnitPro knitting needles as well. I was tempted by the interchangeable set, but then sense struck me and I remembered that I don't really like circular needles. I also remembered that I needed a few more sets of sock needles as well. So, the Harmony DPN set followed me home too. I haven't tried them out yet, but they are beautiful. And they come in sets of 6 needles in case one gets broken!
The final purchase of the day was sheer indulgence. I've often lusted over beautiful and pricey yarns, but ultimately bought more sensible and economic ones instead. Not that day. S wanted me to enjoy myself, so for once I bought the gorgeous, expensive, frivolous yarn that I've petted so many times in the past. Two perfect skeins of Handmaiden Lace Silk in the colourway 'Stardust'. Blue, silver, black, grey... More than any colourway I've ever seen, this yarn is me.
When it grows up, this yarn is going to become a Laminaria Shawl. I've pored over that pattern countless times and have never found a worthy yarn for something that pretty. Now I think this is going to be the perfect marriage of pattern and yarn. For the time being, though, I'm just going to pet my amazing yarn and be happy that it's finally mine.
Thank you, S. Your generosity has made this knitter very, very happy. And it was a privilege making your dress.