It all started innocently enough with this:
Or was it this?
Or maybe it was this?
Perhaps I should start at the very beginning ( I hear it's a very good place to start!)
I got up on Saturday and intended a quite ordinary day - no portents, no plans beyond a little work on workbook materials and a decent cup of coffee. Scott was out of town at his thirtieth college reunion and Nick was at a friend's lake house (lucky Nick!) I had the house (and the day) all to myself. A luxury in and of itself.
But somewhere the day jumped its traces and never looked back.
First off, how could I be expected to concentrate on work when God provides a perfect day? I mean, look at how pretty the view from my window was.
The breeze was wafting, the birds were singing, the woods were beckoning me outside. So I went for a walk.
Upon returning, I checked my email and posted to the blog, then checked out a new yarn manufacturer that Lime & Violet mentioned last week. I was only going to look, honest! I had other things on my agenda.
Then I saw this:
Evolution Lace weight merino in Black Cherry by Chameleon Colorworks.
And immediately my mind went here:
This is family. This is heaven. This is where my heart rests. This is home.
This is Leelanau County Michigan (courtesy of Keith Burnham and the Leland Report.) The rolling hills are dotted with orchards (and vineyards, but that's another post.)
This is cherry country.
Ripe, juicy, eat out of your hand, spit the pits into the woods cherries. Can't get enough cherries. Stain your tongue red cherries. Marvel at God's bounty cherries.
And I started thinking (always an iffy proposition at best.)That led to this:
Barbara Walker's Knitting Patterns books (indispensable and endlessly fascinating to play with)
You can see where this is going, can't you?
Next came this:
Now came the hard part: THE MATH! (groan)
How do you fit patterns with differing repeats into a harmonious whole?
There was a lot of this:
And more of this:
Eventually I consulted the experts for advice on how to harmonize the designs and how to bend an edging around the corner
And wound up with this:
Cherry pattern for the main body of the shawl ( I think it may need to go down a size in needles. Guage is a little too open for my taste.)
Blossoming Branch to march along the sides, in straight rows like cherry trees in the orchard
Birch Leaf edging , to provide a soft curved edge reminischent of the hills on which the orchards are planted. White birches are quite common to the area.
Put it all together and you get: Drum roll please...
May I introduce you to the Cherry Country Stole?
Thanks to the Priority Mail box for standing in for my blocking board (wasn't going to haul it out just for this little wisp of lace.)
You may notice something wonky with the column in between the cherry pattern ( center part of the shawl) and Blossoming Branch. I originally tried a little vertical pattern called seagull tracks (for the gulls that inhabit Lake Michigan) but decided it was going to be one pattern too many and switched to faggoting stitch halfway up the swatch. That mirrors the faggoting at the inner edge of the Birch Leaf pattern.
Now all that's missing is the yarn...