September 27th, 2007

Our house is set on the main road, although this is not as unpleasant as it sounds, since a) there is a long garden between the house and the road, and b) the road only leads to the beach, and is incredibly quiet now that the summer is over. But our village is a prime spot for walkers, and for most of the year they come toiling past our cottage. And inevitably, as they pass our gate, their heads swivel sideways, and they stare at the house. I really don’t know why, because although the cottage itself is lovely, there is nothing very picturesque about the outside, no climbing roses, no thatched roof. And the garden is plain to the point of embarrassment. But still people stare, and regularly stop at the gate and stand there pointing and looking. Which makes me cross, and I know that’s stingy and unreasonable of me, but I have a very over developed sense of privacy.

Now if you can imagine people stopping at the gate just to stare at a simple white cottage at the end of a raggedy lawn, imagine how much more attention we attract when we have yarn out to dry. Tony built a huge drying rack when we first came here (it doubles as a 15 foot table base for outdoor parties), and it sits on the lawn with the skeins slung over it. Its very practical. But its a gawker magnet. So I wasn’t very surprised to see a pair of walkers standing outside the gate looking at the yarn last week. We were just hanging it out to dry, and I did my usual antisocial trick of pretending not to see or hear them (you’d be surprised how well that works if you are really determined). 

But Tony is the complete opposite to me, sociable, friendly, and kindness personified. To my absolute horror, he turned to them and asked if they would like to come into the garden to look closer. I muttered things not fit to be printed, shot him a look that should have shrivelled him on the spot, and hoped that they would do the decent English thing and move on with an embarrassed refusal. They did not. They came into the garden. I was mortified. I was furious. I was stupid.

Because serendipity followed that act of friendliness by Tony.  It turned out that this couple had both spent their working lives in the dyeing industry. They knew everything there was to know about dyeing yarn and fabric, and they were delighted to share some of their knowledge with us. Which was very helpful, because when I once tried to discuss some dyeing issues we were having, with our dye supplier, he was so horrified by the methods we used, and so incredulous that they could possibly work, that I never tried talking technicalities with him again. These two were much more open-minded. “If it works for you,” they kept saying, “then good! But you might want to give this a go as well……”.

Tony was over the moon. He’s always up for trying new things, and the business is a work in progress as far as he’s concerned. I’m much more hidebound and cautious, more “if it ain’t broke, why fix it?” But he’s in charge of dyeing, so he got to try some of the suggestions out without my interference. And the results were spectacular.

I hope you’ll agree that one of the characteristics of Posh Yarn is the depth and brilliance of our colours. Well, you ain’t seen nothing yet, baby. With the new dye methods, the colours are even more intense, and much more importantly, even more colourfast. Just look at all these rich autumnal shades, warm, glowing, glorious reds and golds and browns. I want to knit a giant sized sweater out of it, and wrap it around the outside of the house so that it looks like a scene from a New England tourist advert.

Now that really would make people stop and look……..     

10 thoughts on “September 27th, 2007

  1. I just want to go out and roll in a pile of leaves now. Scratch that, I’d rather roll in a pile of that yarn– the colors are sumptuous!

  2. I am afraid to say I would totally stop and stare! The yarn is gorgeous! Can you perhaps think of it as free marketing?

  3. If I passed a house with huge amounts of skeins hanging up outside, I’m not sure I’d have the will power to wait outside until asked in!

    We have a long history to our house and one day last year I returned from work to find the whole of the village WI standing pointing at it. They were huddled on the pavement causing chaos, learning all about village history. Although slightly irked, I felt pleased that people thought our house was worth the attention. Think of it as a compliment – either that or prospective robbers casing the joint!

  4. I live right on the Pilgrims Way in Kent and we constantly have huge walking parties passing through the village. What annoys me most is when they help themselves to sprigs of Rosemary off my Rosemary bushes in the front garden. One of the bushes has nearly been plucked to death its been manhandled so much 🙂

    On the other hand, if I saw skeins of yarn hanging in your garden, not only would I stop, but you’d probably be phoning the police to tell them that some loony woman was in your garden sniffing your yarn!!!

  5. hmmm I do sympathise with the need for privacy, but its difficult if you’re on a walkers route ‘cos that’s what makes walks so interesting….those pretty cottages/houses along the way and you wonder what it would be like to live there….its a great cheek to pick things…but there’s no harm in looking! And then sometimes the people who stop are gifts really….like these two. Sounds like its good that you’ve got the extrovert Tony by your side!