I love a summer rain storm. When I am in Britain, I really miss the kind of earth-pummeling, window-rattling, bone-shaking thunderstorms that you get here in the States. There is nothing like the smell of a brewing storm carried on the breeze, building in the yellow air, pushing all the heat and humidity away in its path. I love the fierce flash of lighting, the answering crack of thunder, and the lovely hypnotic rhythm of the rain on the roof. And that they often come at night, when I am tucked cosily under the duvet and can listen to all the exciting madness outside from the safety of my bed, makes summer storms all the better.
Last Tuesday night, we got a fabulous storm — one with all the elements I love the most. The rain was hard, the lightening spectacular, the smell was earthy and gorgeous. As it rolled in, I got into bed with a grin on my face, and the duvet pulled up tight under my chin.
But this storm had more in store than I expected …or had ever experienced before. Instead of banging and crashing and then moving on, it stayed and it grew. At 8am I was abruptly woken by lightening and thunder that exploded simultaneously — directly over the house — and looked outside to see rain coming down so hard that it was actually being driven uphill on the street outside the house, by the sheer force of the storm. I rushed downstairs to check the drain outside our backdoor — it’s the only true weak spot around our house, which sits at the top of a hill and has otherwise excellent drainage all the way around.
And halfway across the family room my footsteps suddenly went SPLOSH. It was the distinct sound of a stepping into a puddle, except I was inside my house, walking across the carpet. The drain was draining as well as it could, but it simply couldn’t keep up with the sheer volume of the water, which was now cascading through under the door, where the carpet welcomed it like a thirsty sponge. I grabbed everything I could carry, and hastily moved it to drier ground.
The carpet is a total write-off — no surprise there — and, sadly, not covered by insurance. Also, within 24 hours, it was just about the stinkiest thing I have had the misfortune to share an enclosed space with. As much as I dread the expense of replacing it, never was I so happy to see something leave the house!
Unfortunately, when they lifted the carpet, we discovered that it wasn’t concrete underneath as we’d expected, but the the original tiles… made of asbestos. We’ve been told they’re fine so long as we don’t disturb them in any way, but I feel really quite freaked out just knowing they’re here. I don’t even like walking on them. *shudder* And honestly, I cannot wait to get them covered back up again.
But shall I tell you a small miracle? The water, which also cascaded down into our basement before it finally found the drain, ran right past but not into all the SpaceCadet yarn we had stored there. You could have seen my heart start up again when I realised that. Small miracles indeed!
So now, after dehumidifiers, air-scrubbbers, and fans — four days of living in a house that sounded an awful lot like an airplane taking off — and anti-microbial sprays and wall scrubbing and chaos, we are licking our wounds but realising it could have been a lot worse. Of course, we’re still scrambling over furniture and boxes that are all in the wrong places. And reeling from the cost of the clean up, and the price of new carpet (oh!!!), and dreading the future cost of boring a bigger hole for that drain.
And several customers and the Mini-Skein Club members have had to wait a little longer for us to get orders out — but that is probably the very best part of the whole story. Because when I sent out emails to my customers explaining what happened and offering my apologies, I got the most wonderful, caring, heartwarming replies in return. I got customers who answered me not as someone (not) supplying them with their yarn, but as a person facing a crisis, and offering sympathy and patience as we get things back together.
You guys, that meant the absolute world to me. Truly it did. Thank you.
Awww but heck, let’s not end this on a soppy note, right? Before the storm and the chaos, I’d been playing around with something that’s really been intriguing me lately: Ombre and Gradient Kits. I absolutely love the idea of creating a whole garment in colours that gently change from deep to light right before your eyes.
But I couldn’t leave well enough alone — even as I was dyeing some lovely semi-solid ombre kits, I was aching to pour more colour over them. So look closely at these kits and you’ll see that most of them are not flat colour. Not by any stretch! Crush (above) moves from reds to pinks to just a touch of purple and then bursts into warm oranges. Cove is deep teals that blend into kelly greens and then almost into yellows. And Thwack is exactly what it sounds like(!) — bright and bold blacks and blues and purples. Click here to check them out for yourself.
Dyeing these has been incredibly fun!!! I wanted to create kits where the colours changed not only in depth of shade, as you move vertically from skein to skein, but also across each row, as the yarn gently changes hue every few stitches. I think those two elements working together are going to create amazing, vibrant fabric — a wondrous adventure to create. I can’t wait to see the results!