women of a certain age are like sunflowers; they know how to turn their faces to the sun.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Dark Star

Dark star, I see you in the morning.
Dark star, a' sleeping next to me...
Dark star, let the memory of the evening
Be the first thing that you think of
When you open up your smile and see me, dark star.
-Crosby, Stills, & Nash

Let's pause a moment in our busy lives for a trip to the ...

(ominous music - shrieking violins - HEY! It worked for Hitchcock...)


After all, it IS almost Halloween.

(Cue the lightning flash)

Like most of my projects, it began with a little nag...

(No, not my teenager young adult. He's a Big nag. Six foot, one, to be precise)

You see, I wear a lot of charcoal gray in the winter months. I love the way it sets off my red hair, the way it quietly asserts itself. It's not drop dead sophisticated, like black, nor earthy like brown. It's just nicely subdued, forever chic, and always polished.

So I was contemplating what I wanted to wear to Writer's Colloquium at Earlham School of Religion (my alma mater) next weekend, when I see all my old classmates for the first time as a published writer (The book is HERE! More tomorrow...) I fell back upon my old standard - charcoal gray. But I was thinking, "You know? That gray flannel jacket would look so much better with a spiffy scarf to set it off!

(As opposed to a crappy scarf, of course.)

And, if it was one of my own design, so much the better. I could bask in the adulation of the masses (or at the very least the envy of my friends) as they realize just what a multi-talented individual I am.

Note: I realize how egotistical this all sounds, but let's remember this IS a reunion of sorts. And everybody wants to look like they're ten years younger, twenty pounds lighter, and thirty percent smarter good for that!

I went to my stash to see what I could dig up, and lo and behold, I spied this skein of Seduction from Blue Moon Fiber Arts, which I adopted acquired at Stitches in August. Maybe this skein of humble sock yarn aimed higher than my ankles. Maybe, it wanted to be a scarf when it grows knits up.

It was very businesslike with its shades of charcoal, silver, amethyst, and beige. I immediately began pondering how to beat that out of it. I mean, everything needs to play, right?

So I started thinking, "Lace" of course. What could be more feminine, less conservative than that?

There ensued two days of swatching...

(You knew there was a good reason you didn't hear from me towards the end of last week, didn't you? You didn't think I pulled another disappearing act, did you? Hmm?)

After much trial and error (trust me, you don't want to know how much froggin' went on) I settled on a star motif for the central portion of the scarf. Hence the name, "Dark Star."

Then I had to fiddle with the gauge, and figure out whether I had enough yarn (color - Carbon Dating - is not available at this time)

And then I had an earth-shattering revelation idea.



Now that would really give the yarn me something to play with!

So, Friday, off I went to the bead store (serious fun, people!)

After much waffling (so many beads and only one scarf !) I picked some gorgeous glass beads for the piece.

The camera doesn't really capture their fire and their gorgeous color. Sigh.

Back home over the weekend to play work extremely hard ...

Here it is one quarter of the way done:

(I know because my handy-dandy digital scale tells me so and the repeats line up perfectly. YAY!)

Unimpressive, right?

How about now?

It's hard to see in this picture, but there is a sparkly bead at the center of each star in the center portion as well as the larger beads lining up like little soldiers on each end...

Picture of a little soldier:

And three more:

Oooooh! Pretty...

(Would I lie?)

Finished piece will also sport a beaded fringe on each end, just for additional subversiveness fun. Pattern should be available sometime next week, just in time for the holiday rush.

So I am a quarter of the way to the most un-businesslike charcoal gray scarf in my immediate recall!

(Which limits it to fairly recent memory - another sigh. Peri-menopause is hell. folks!)

Now I ask you: Is that just not the most fun one knitter should be allowed to have in a weekend?

Serious fun. What an oxymoron...


margene said...

Now don't be disappointed if no one comments on your lovely scarf. They'll be gushing about themselves.
The scarf is a fabulous design. Good work!

amy said...

Hmm...I need to find a better bead store. I really like those beads. AND that yarn.

Can't wait to hear more about the book!!!!!!!!!!! (that deserves lots of exclamation points, no?)

Lisa said...

I totally sympathize with the peri-menopause. My memory sucks too! :(

Great looking scarf tho!

Ann said...

You actually designed a scarf & knit it over the weekend - that's incredible - it would have taken me ages. The scarf & the beads look so lovely & I love the colors.

Denise said...

Oh wow, it is just so beautiful - beads are a perfect addition! I'm sure your class mates will be green with envy, no, I mean very impressed ;)

Right with you on the peri-menopausal stuff, I hit that in my early 40s :(

Donna Lee said...

there's a reason I write everything down. That is a beautiful scarf. I,too, like grey. Black is too harsh for my skin tone but grey is soft enough so I don't look like a zombie. The subtle colors in the scarf will look great with grey.

Lucy said...

Love the scarf - I hope you'll be writing up the pattern one day. I'm sure you'll look fab for your reunion - whenever one comes up at my old school I don't dare to go, I keep thinking that I need to lose at least 6 stone (84 pounds!) and do something really impressive with my life before I could face all those kids who used to taunt and bully me about my size and geekiness... sad, really, isn't it?

TheBlackSheep said...

I have to admit, I was fairly unimpressed (I am not imaginative. I can't picture uncomplete things as complete, so I'm often unimpressed when looking at single components - I also have no colour coordination skills) until I saw it done, but WOW! You convinced me that you're totally right with all your choices! Beautiful!

Very, very impressive! I'f I even need advice, I'll know where to come!

La Cabeza Grande said...

Leave you to your own devices for a few days and this is what you do? Craft a beaded scarf from humble sock yarn? Aspirations higher than your ankles, indeed.

Very nice aspirations.

ikkinlala said...

Your designs are always impressive!

I like your description of charcoal gray, too. I may have to share it with my mother. She gets on my case about wearing gray because she thinks it's a boring colour.