For Ann

I am sure you know that silk is one of the strongest natural fibers. Mohair comes from the Angora goat, which produces a silk-like fiber, high in luster and strength, but lacking the fully developed scales found in sheep’s wool, meaning it lacks the “itch” factor of common wool, and does not felt like wool. It is very fine fiber, uncommon, soft, and still strong.
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The combination of a tiny strand of silk and the baby-soft haze of kid mohair results in a yarn that appears soft, delicate, feminine, and almost fragile. But it isn’t. It is actually as tough as steel and very resistant to friction.
Preblocking
(Taken before blocking.)
Washing
(Soaking in a warm, Euclan bubble bath.)
The yarn in question, this Kidsilk Haze, held up under the intense pressure of being fiercely blocked this weekend, when I pinned Ishbel within an inch of its life, all the while being “assisted” by a 3 year old who was sticking pins in it willy-nilly along with me. The stress of washing, pinning, stretching, pulling, tugging, and spreading did nothing but make the yarn and resulting fabric even more beautiful than before.
Blocking
(Yes, I really did let Grace help.)
And that is why Ishbel is for my dear friend, Ann. Ann is one of the most feminine people I know. And yet, she is a strong and empowered woman who is unafraid that her femininity will weaken her in the eyes of the rest of the world. She is a nurse, an A student almost finished getting her Masters, the mother of two beautiful and strong women, a devoted wife, and a tremendous mentor. She is even a “fairy god-mother,” as Grace has dubbed her, since she is also Grace’s actual god-mother.

In December, Ann invited us to join her with several other friends for a weekend get-away to Charleston, SC, to celebrate her 25th wedding anniversary with her husband, Les. Their generosity blew us away, and I decided I wanted to commemorate their Anniversary and their tremendous gift to us in yarn; yarn I sought out and purchased while on that trip. Obviously no yarn is worthy of 25 years of marriage or the trip to Charleston, but I wanted to make something that was deeply personalized and meaningful for Ann.

So, a yarn as delicate, soft, fluffy, and feminine as it is strong, resistant to failing under pressure, and only becomes more beautiful and defined after undergoing an intense trial, and purchased in her favorite city, seemed appropriate. And because it is for Ann, it had to be pink. And it had to have some sparkle. The outer visible edge is lacy, delicate, and beaded, but the core is solid, sturdy, and very strong.

It is so very Ann.
Ishbel
I love you very much, my friend.

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