January 28, 2011

Enjoy a glimpse into How to Knit a Heart Back Home, available for pre-order now.

 

Humble pie is a dish not unfamiliar to the new knitter. Sadly, it isn’t that unfamiliar to the veteran knitter, either. Miscrossed cables and dropped stitches lurk, waiting for a moment of vanity to showcase themselves in their full and obvious glory.
                                             --Eliza Carpenter
 
 
Chapter Thirteen


    An hour later, Lucy led Owen up the dirt driveway to Eliza’s, the yarn shop Abigail had named for her mentor and her husband’s great-aunt. She looked in her rearview mirror, still almost unable to believe that the same blue Mustang that could set her heart to racing as a teenager was rumbling behind her, hitting the same potholes that her trusty little compact car was barreling through.
    Lucy’s heart sank when she saw the small parking lot—it was full of cars, and heaven help them, there was a tour bus parked next to the alpaca shed.
    This was going to be trickier than she’d thought.
    She pulled into a spot next to a small red car with a license plate that read K2TOG and Owen barely fit into the last available space.
    Normally, she enjoyed the view. Cade ran sheep on the property he’d inherited from Eliza Carpenter, and they dotted the low green hills around them. Under an oak tree, a couple of Pygora goats, raised for fiber, grazed. A footpath was well worn into the grass between the main house and the smaller, matching cottage which housed Abigail’s yarn shop. Lucy had spent many a happy hour fondling the yarns, taking classes, just hanging out with other knitters. It had been too long since she’d been out here.
    Owen matched her stride as they walked toward the shop. "All these cars, are they employees of the sheep ranch?"
    Lucy said, "Nope."
    "This is all for the yarn."
    "You’re starting to get it now."
    "Damn."
    "Yep." Lucy pushed open the screen door of Eliza’s.
    Inside, it looked as it always did: like paradise. High bookshelves ran along the walls, filled with every colorway of yarn imaginable. Blues and reds and yellows, the softests Merinos next to coarser handspun local yarn made from Jacob sheep showing off their natural black and white coloring. Yarn was heaped on dark wood tables scattered throughout the large room, every shade imaginable, silk and angora, alpaca and bamboo. Baskets sat on the floor, filled with sale skeins, cast-offs that knitters hungrily pawed through.
    And everywhere there were women. Women chatting, moving, reaching, laughing, hugging, sitting, and knitting. Women on chairs, couches, and a few on the floor. Lucy knew a few of them by name, some by sight, but most of them she didn’t know at all. There had to be at least forty women in the room, as well as four or five men who were just as comfortable with the language of yarn as the women were.
    Owen, on the other hand, looked as if he’d put his shoes on the wrong feet. Lucy wanted to laugh but then decided it would be unkind, so she touched his elbow. He jumped.
    "It’s okay. None of them will hurt you. Not unless you stand in front of the cashmere, anyway."
    He turned his head to look behind him, even though it was obvious he didn’t know what he was looking to avoid. Lucy left her hand on his elbow for longer than was necessary. She liked the way his arm felt.
    She liked it too much. She drew her hand back.
    Mildred, popped out from behind a spinner rack of patterns. "Hello, you two crazy kids! Will you settle a bet between Greta and me?" Greta followed behind her, quieter, as usual.
    Owen smiled. "Hi, Greta," he said.
    Greta looked pleased to be noticed.
    Mildred steamed ahead, never stopping working on the sleeve dangling from her needles. "Did you, or did you not, date in high school? Greta says you didn’t, I say you most certainly did. And I’m always right about these kinds of things. So she’s going to owe me a milkshake at Tad’s Ice Cream."
    Lucy felt her face flush as red as the display Koigu shawl hanging over Owen’s head. Should she answer this? Or look to him to do so?
    "We didn’t…" Lucy started.
    "I kissed her once," said Owen. "Best kiss of my young life. Never forgot it. I should have dated her. But I didn’t. So I think both of you are wrong. No one gets the milkshake, except maybe for Lucy if she lets me buy her one."
    Both women looked pleased by his answer, and Lucy pretended interest in a row counter that she already had a million of at home.

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