07 January 2017


Well, 2017 is off to a wild start. I surmise the erratic ju-ju from 2016 is not exhausted?

My plan for yesterday was to stay home, drink hot chocolate, and knit. I knew the wintry weather was coming. I had already stocked up on groceries earlier in the week, checked in at The Whole Nine Yarns to be sure my Saturday classes would be canceled, and generally put things in order.

Then I went to the Thursday evening Atlanta Knitting Guild meeting. Elke and Lynne told me that Robinson Salvage out in Carrollton had received a shipment of items from a shop impacted by the fires in Tennessee. The shop's insurance had covered the inventory as a loss. The salvage store had items at 40% off, including weaving and spinning books.

So instead of staying put in my warm little house, I got up, cared for the feline electron cloud, got dressed, and headed out to Carrollton. It took not quite an hour to get out there; and that was from my advantageous starting position on the west side of town. I got on I-20 at exit 46 (Six Flags Drive) and drove to exit 24. So, yes, with a snowstorm imminent I drove halfway to Alabama. Priorities! The salvage store is about 15-20 minutes south after exiting the interstate. Robinson Salvage has a main store a mile or two up the road from the real address you want: 620 Bankhead Highway. This is their overflow warehouse. Walk in the doors and head back and to the left.

And there you are. There are two big rows of palette after palette of yarn, fiber, and books. I did not see any tools (wheels, looms, needles) or DVDs. There was a very nice selection of books. I was able to greatly fill out my library wish list (sorry, Interweave). There was plenty of yarn, including Cascade Fixation and Alpaca Lace, Liberty Wool, and Mountain Colors. There was mounds and mounds of spinning fiber. And there, on the spinning fiber in every color, was the proof I had feared. This was from Smoky Mountain Spinnery.

I mentioned Smoky Mountain Spinnery in a blog post back in the spring of 2015 when I enjoyed the great privilege of teaching at Fiber Forum, held at Arrowmont. Smoky Mountain Spinnery is a delightful destination shop. While it is not difficult to find yarn shops, it is much harder to find shops that carry spinning and weaving. This shop had a wall of rovings in every base color the dye manufacturers make. They had fiber from prize-winning sheep from major wool festivals. Looking at their website, they say they do intend to reopen, possibly as soon as later this month. Still, I can not fully imagine what a major undertaking it must be, even with insurance, to swap out an entire smoke-afflicted inventory. If you find yourself near Gatlinburg this year, please go check them out! After the loss of the Mannings a year ago, I do not want to see our community lose another major shop.

At Robinson Salvage items are just piled up in boxes, so you have to dig and sort. Sometimes matching skeins are not right next to each other. I spent more than an hour and way more money than I had intended. I have specific plans for reversible lace projects for all the knitting yarns. Several of the books were on my wish list. Maggie's Ireland was probably the last major XRX book that wasn't already in my library.

I did not see any equipment — no wheels, looms, or knitting needles. I'm thinking of going back next week to see if any appear. Employees were still unpacking weaving yarns while I was there. So while I was tempted to linger, I knew I needed to get my tail back home. Especially if you are a spinner, I can not stress enough this rare chance for significant stash enhancement. There were qualtities of undyed fiber that would be perfect if you wanted to make a whole sweater from scratch.

So, while there is joy (happy Epiphany!), there is also sorrow. I like Smoky Mountain Spinnery. There are mixed feelings to be benefiting from their horrible 2016.

The cold rain had just started when I left Carrollton after 1 PM. I got back to Mableton after 2 PM. I was grateful to use the inbound lanes on I-20, as the outbound lanes were crammed. Traffic was thick after I got off the expressway. Come to think of it, I'm not sure I've ever seen local traffic of that magnitude. It reminded me of the weekend before Christmas, but with the volume turned up another notch. I parked in my garage, unloaded, spoke to my mom (Thank you for checking on me!), ate, and then walked over to Kroger because I was out of whipped cream for hot chocolate. Yes, first world problems. I also picked up some Chinese food at the local family-run hole-in-the-wall restaurant. It was about 3:30 in the afternoon; and I have never seen the restaurant that busy. The snow emergency preparedness memo for Atlanta: Buy milk, bread, and Chinese food?

Jump to this morning and the beautiful view from my windows.

And I guess it is just as well that I've enhanced the stash, as I am not going anywhere.

Charlie Brown Christmas tree on left, Ewok Imperial driveway barrier in distance

I could hear the trees cracking last night. One of my friends has been talking about coming over some afternoon with his chain saw so as to trim the long branches off the pine tree. I think the ice beat him to it. It should be below freezing all day today. I am not going outside. When the ice is gone in a day or two, I'll see if I can drag the boughs off the street and into the side yard. I was going to get dressed this morning, but then reconsidered. I've made a pot of hot green tea and put on NPR. (Boo, hiss! "Wait, Wait, . . . Don't Tell Me" is a rerun clip show today.) I have leftover Chinese food for later today. And I am almost done with my latest reversible lace project (more on that soon, I hope!).

So much for 2017, week 1.