My awesome and hilarious cousin JoAnna keeps an awesome and hilarious blog about life in a faraway land with her two adorable little kids. She has a category called "Currently Loving" in which she describes various things that have caught her fancy on any given day. Today, I'm going to rip her off and give you a couple of my "Currently Loving"s.
Exhibit A: Pretty Swedish Wool
Two of the coolest people I've ever met are my colleague, Göran, and his wife, Michelle, an astronomer and a philosopher. Besides being brilliant, Göran has two talents that I find fascinating: he can wear flip-flops no matter how cold it is outside, and he can sleep and participate in meetings at the same time. I'm not kidding. I sat next to him in a meeting once and could actually hear him snoring, but when someone said something he disagreed with, he sat right up in his chair, argued his point, and immediately started snoring again. It's amazing. Michelle is brilliant, too, and also a crafter. She recently made herself a Renaissance costume, which I'm dying to see. She also comes to talk to me about Ancient Greek and is quite possibly one of the nicest people ever.
Case in point: she and Göran took a trip to Finland (Göran's home country) and Sweden recently and asked me to babysit their African Violet. Upon returning home, Michelle gave me this gorgeous grey wool from the Gotlands Spinneri as a thank you. Honestly, this was not a fair exchange -- the African Violet did not act up once, and the wool is pretty freakin' awesome.
It's from a town called Fårö in Sweden, and Michelle said that when they bought it, the woman at the shop kept talking about her "cheap farm", and every time Michelle would try to correct her by saying something like, "Oh your SHeep farm?" the woman would repeat it with more emphasis on the "CH", obviously not knowing that there is a big difference between a "cheap farm" and a "sheep farm".
The wool is beautiful, with slight variations of grey, black, and white, and is long-fibered and wonderfully sticky. It's so special for me to have something from Sweden, both because it's from Michelle and Göran's trek, and also because that's where most of my ancestors are from. I'd like to think that the sheep that produced this wool may be distant relatives of the sheep that provided wool for my great-great-grandmothers to knit with.
What a thoughtful and meaningful gift.
Exhibit B: Cool Red Kitchen Scale
Immediately upon seeing this gorgeous Swedish wool, I started scheming. What to make? Of course, I needed to figure out exactly how much I had, first, so I used it as an excuse to get myself a kitchen scale from Amazon.com. It's the Escali Primo Digital Scale and it was $26.95. I love this thing. All I had to do was cut a length of five yards from one of the hanks of wool and weight it:
0.05oz. Then I weighed all the wool together:
7.00oz even. I then did this simple equation:
0.05oz/5yds = 7oz/x yds
After cross multiplying: 0.05x = 35
x = 700yds
Just enough for a wooly, autumn vest. Thank you Göran and Michelle, and thank you cool red scale!