Then one day, I noticed it was not hanging in its usual spot. Everyone was asking everyone else what happened to it. No one had a clue. Apparently the scarf sprouted legs and walked off in the midst of the holiday crush.
These things happen more often than you'd think. Maybe in a big box store, it's less surprising, or if someone were starving and stole a loaf of bread, Les Misérables-like, it would be understandable, but a scarf? It isn't even cold in Southern California!
Everyone around here was and is amazed that someone would go into a small, independently owned shop and lift something, never knowing or caring that they are stealing someone's livelihood, and in this case, something that represents not only a lot of money in yarn, but hours and hours of time and effort, especially for something handmade.
I try to have compassion and not be filled with rage (especially since the shop sample was eventually going to be my pay for having made it.) Someone has to be pretty hard up, or pretty screwed up, or both, to do something like that, so, there but for the grace of God go I, right? I'd rather have my life than theirs. Sure, I loved the yarn (it's Anzula For Better or Worsted), but, well, if I need a skein, I can buy one. So my life is definitely better than theirs.
Well, guess what sprouted little legs and walked right back into the shop a few weeks later?
Suddenly the shawl was hanging on its peg as usual. No one saw it come in. It was just There.
But on closer inspection, I didn't think that it could possibly be the one I had made. It was pretty and all, but it looked like it had been dry cleaned or washed, and blocked somewhat severely. The stitches look looser and sort of worn, and it looked like two different dye lots were used. Which I know is not the case, because I kept the yarn labels and I checked.
At first, no one had any idea who brought it back, and so we made up stories:
Or: a lady nabbed it, wore it to an event, spilled something on it, washed it, brought it back....
Fill in the blank! The Mystery of the Cedar Leaf Shawlette!
But then I asked the boss, and found out that it is indeed NOT the shawl I made, but another made by another knitter at the shop, who used a different though similarly colored yarn, and who has a slightly different knitting gauge than I do, perhaps, and she clearly had worn and possibly washed it at some point. I mean, it's still pretty, but it's just not the same. I'm glad they have another shop sample, but sorry there isn't a more interesting ending to this mystery.
Such as: the thief, having come to his or her senses, secretly returns the shawl, with much inner repentance, never to steal again. Perhaps vowing to spend his/her life donating yarn and shawls to the needy.
Or how about this: the shawl, having been snatched and worn by a garden gnome on a whirlwind European tour, is returned somewhat the worse for wear to its original peg, and if only shawls could talk! Or garden gnomes.
Yes, that is a much better story!
Or wait, this is even better: the shawl I made is swept into a time-and-space-warping vortex that causes it to be molecularly exchanged in an alternate universe with another shawl almost exactly like it from another time-space-continuum, and there is another shop over there (or in there or out there, wherever it is) almost exactly like this one, only not quite as bright and cheerful, that now holds the sparkling gem of a shawl that I made, and we have it's echoing-in-time-and-space sister.
Or wait--the person who stole it is not actually a PERSON, per se, but a creature from another planet, and he, she, or it was on a scouting mission, and took this soft and beautiful shawl back to its home planet as an arty artifact to show his, her, or its advanced race that we humans are worthy and they should not destroy us!!!!
In fact, the more I think about it, the more I think that is the only plausible explanation for a theft of this magnitude.
So, if my shawlette saved the planet, I guess it was worth the sacrifice. You can thank me later.