Saturday, August 8, 2009

Square 46: Marian's endeavour

Square 046

The first time we walked into The Black Lamb I asked my daughters to pick out some yarn. Marian chose the variegated sea-green handspun yarn I have used as the predominant fibre in this square. It was her favourite colour.

My daughters lived in Port Hope. Danny and I had driven there to pick them up for a visit. He knew Laurie (who runs The Black Lamb) and wanted to drop into the store. We had no idea how important an event it would be.

We also picked out some small bundles of dyed fleece. In the car the girls began spinning them by hand, coached by Danny. Marian was particularly captivated. Back at Danny's house he gave her some dyed silk hankies he had on hand (these are not real hankies, but thin squares of silk fibre that can be pulled apart and spun into yarn). Marian spent the rest of the weekend working with these.

Over the next few weeks Marian returned to The Black Lamb on her own. During my next visit to Port Hope when we went back to the store Marian and Laurie carried on like old friends. Laurie was looking for a co-op student to help in the shop.

Marian was eager. This was early last year. Within a few more weeks she was working there for a high school credit, and had struck up an important relationship with Laurie. My daughter acquired a spinning wheel. She learned to spin and dye fibre. She had a knack for colour. Last summer she showed me how to felt wool.

This summer she received a government grant for young entrepreneurs, with plans to produce her own yarn at home to sell on an Etsy website. She has already received several commissions for custom yarn, and her business was reported in The Northumberland News. She is seventeen, fierce and resourceful, and I am proud of her.

[Late breaking news: Marian's business was featured last night on CBC's The National in a story about student unemployment and employment (go to the 11-minute mark).]