Saturday, 18 May 2013

Today I am planning to spend the afternoon at

knitting Guild I belong to. It is the one formal "social" group I have joined. I lead a knitting group at the local independent bookshop and do some teaching at the local library. The Guild group is slightly different. 
I believe there is a need to contribute to a group if you belong to it so I act as the Librarian for the several hundred books the Guild owns. It should not be a particularly onerous task but, unlike most libraries, I need to know the content of the books because I am more likely to be asked, "Cat have we got a pattern for..." or "I have X wool and I want to make..." etc. Yes, most people knit to patterns. There are very few people who do not. I understand that even though I last used a pattern (and adapted that) when I was in my teens. I am, quite simply, too lazy to use a pattern. It is too much work.
Today though the Guild is having a mini-market open to the public. The "library" will not be open.
I am hoping to sell some yarn, mostly wool and wool/silk mixtures. It was given to me some time ago. It was given to me by someone I did not know at all. A friend 'phoned and asked if she could pass on my number to someone "who's got some wool and stuff they want to get rid of. I suggested you might be able to use it for the kids".  
This sort of thing has happened before. It is usually because someone is clearing out a cupboard, has decided they are not going to knit whatever it was they had started, is going into a nursing home and will not have the space (or perhaps the time and energy) to go on knitting all they have. People give it to me "for the kids" - by which the mean the unaccompanied children my friend in Africa cares for. 
I have no idea how people believe I would actually be able to knit all they give me. I am not a fast knitter, not nearly as fast as people who have more time than I do to spend at the craft. Some people do understand that and I try to explain to others. I tell them I will try and sell whatever they have given me and donate the money instead. Nobody has objected so far. Most people seem more than happy it is going to be used in some way. 
This last time though even I was stunned. There was a knock at our door and someone stood there surrounded by four large black bags - the sort you use for garden rubbish. Each of them was about two thirds full and then tied at the top.
      " are the person who will take the wool?" he asked. I nodded and managed to say "Yes. Please come in."
He hestitated and then said, 
       "I have to get a box as well."
He dumped the four bags inside the front door and dashed off. A moment later he came back with a box, fortunately it was a small box.
      "That's just a few patterns and needles and stuff. If you can't use any of it then just give it to someone who can."
       "That's very generous of you," I told him.
He shrugged and said, "It belonged to my Mum and and my wife. It's nice to think it is going to be used for those kids.  I can't stop."
He was gone. The only thing I knew about him was his first name. He obviously did not want to hang around.
I thought the bags would be full of the usual cheap acrylics that people want to get rid of because they have discovered it is not nice to knit. We donate most of that to people who knit small blankets for animals. 
This time though it was different. There was some beautiful yarn there. Most of it was no more than a ball or two but there were several unopened packs of yarn and some other garment sized lots. I have sorted, labelled and priced. I hope I can sell at least some (and preferably most) of it today. 
I know that, if I do, there will be people who will be asking for patterns and help at our little library. I won't mind in the least. The money will be helping to keep "the kids" warm in other ways.

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