I feel like it’s ridiculous to keep putting “Yarn Giveaway” in the headline, and yet I want you guys to know that there’s yarn to be given away in this post, so…I’m torn. Anyone else have a preference?

The winners of the three yarn opportunities last week were Becky, Carolyn, and Lynn (Carolyn, if you have a blog or Twitter account, let me know!).  Funnily enough, I know each of these people personally.  As always, I used the Random Number Generator to pick the winners from among the post’s commentors (leaving my own comments out). The next yarn giveaway will be explained at the end of this post.  Scroll down if you must, but consider reading about some amazing woolen art first.

Mr. Trask and I took his mother to the Torpedo Factory a few weeks ago. It’s a special place for us; we got married there in 2006, and (before that, obviously) bought our rings there (from the illustrious Tony Man, a wonderful artist who, like Carolyn, has no internet presence). In the Target Gallery, we found The Nest Project, which included two pieces made of wool. Artist Gabrielle Duggan made them as part of her “spectrum” series of garments made of animal fibers, in which she strives to “honor the beings [the garments] are sourced from and connect the wearer to this source and the natural world.”

Wooleg by Gabrielle Duggan

Gabrielle Duggan’s Wooleg is made of sheep’s wool and is part of the Torpedo Factory’s Nest exhibition.

As knitters, we know more about the source of our clothing than most people. It’s not just wool; it’s alpaca, or cashmere, or merino. It’s that gorgeous blue we saw and knew we had to have, or the charcoal kettle dye that meant we had to alternate skeins. We know who made some of our clothing, because it was us – and we know how we did it, and how long it took.  This is one of the aspects of knitting I really love – the way it slows us down, and helps us remember that everything is created by someone, somehow (even if they’re running a machine). It gives us the pleasure of creation, too – that’s something our modern society doesn’t have all the time.

The Nest Project is interesting in general; several of the Torpedo Factory’s individual artists are building nests in their galleries, and there are ten outdoor installations as well. The exhibition is meant to ask the question, “What Does Home Mean To You?”

A friend and former colleague gave me a great tip long ago.  GG of GG/SG starts out interviews for articles by asking, “So, where’s home for you?” As he explained it to me, this gets the person to open up, to talk about a place that’s important to them, and to reflect a little bit on where they came from.  At the same time, it’s a fairly casual question, one you almost could hear at a cocktail party, so it sets the subject at ease.  Sneaky, right?

Particularly as Mr. Trask and I prepare to leave the DC area, this is an interesting question for me. I’ve lived on the East Coast for most of my life, and that looks pretty limited when I type it out. Home, though, as GG’s question highlights, is a flexible concept. For me, it’s what makes me feel safe, and loved, and known. This blog is home for me, and so is Mr. Trask, and so is (you knew this was coming) knitting.  Writing is home to me, and reading, and tea, and a nice fire in whatever fireplace I’m close to.  These things will be even more important to me next year, when we’re all the way across the ocean without most of our belongings. As we find new homes for the items we love, I’m reminded more of what’s really important: not the couch we bought when we first moved in together, but the person with whom I share the couch when we watch a movie. That kind of thing.

Yarn Giveaway: Blue Sky Alpacas and Crystal Palace

This week’s yarn giveaway: Blue Sky Alpacas Dyed Cotton and Crystal Palace Mochi Plus. Comment for a chance to win!

This brings me, in a roundabout, silly sort of way, to some of the belongings we’re letting go, namely…yarn.  This week’s yarn giveaway has two parts. From left to right, we have a skein of lovely Blue Sky Alpacas Dyed Cotton in color 632, a beautiful blue, and two balls of Crystal Palace Mochi Plus in Neptune Rainbow. Both yarns are gorgeous – soft and shiny, with beautiful deep blue tones. Both have lived in our one-cat, smoke-free home in an airtight plastic box since I purchased them at fibre space.

Comment on this post for a chance to win, and let me know if you contributed to the Cooperative Press Kickstarter campaign, too – a contribution of any amount will get you an extra entry in this drawing. I’ll select two comments at random from those made on this post between now and April 26 (Tuesday) at noon EST, and mail the yarn off to those people. Easy as pie!

So, tell me – where’s home for you?