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

Monday, September 8, 2008


The measure of achievement is not winning awards. It's doing something that you appreciate, something you believe is worthwhile. I think of my strawberry souffle. I did that at least twenty-eight times before I finally conquered it.

- Julia Child

"Girls just wanna have fun."

-Cyndi Lauper

I love to cook.

Sometimes I haul out my Julia Child, four bowls, two pots, all my measuring cups and spoons. I devote the day to my appetite for chocolate mousse.

It is delicious...

But also time consuming, fiddly, and rich beyond belief. You wouldn't want to eat it every day.

(Well, maybe you would, but you'd never admit it in writing.)

So I have a little sorbet, or a biscotti and a cappucino. Something light. frothy, easy, and quick.

Because sometimes, simple is better.

Most of my designs are intricately put together, tightly planned (dare I say, fiddly?) affairs. They are challenging and require attention to complete them properly. They also feature heavy beading. They are the knitting equivalent of the French Chef''s chocolate mousse.

As I pushed through the final rows of Zinnia last week, I felt the need to take a break now and again.

I had this yarn I had picked up at Threadbear in Lansing MI over the summer. Charming by Elegant Yarns is a two-ply fingering weight wool that stripes like Kauni or Noro. I wear a lot of green, so I picked a color that shaded from evergreen to olive to grassy to chartreuse, and everything in between.

I began to play with it. The yarn was so gorgeous by itself; it didn't need as lot of pattern to distract. And therein lies the beauty of it.

Once you get through the leaf pattern at the bottom, the lace pattern spools right out in eight easily memorized rows.

And the scarf served as a palate cleanser; the perfect balance to the more complex patterns in my basket.

I have several ideas for smaller projects (scarves, mitts, hats, etc.) rumbling around in my noggin, but they don't seem complicated enough to justify my usual fee.

And I thought, "What if I offer these little appeteasers on-line only (to keep costs down) for $4 a pop?" These simpler projects would be easily within anyone's budget and feature easily memorized and repetitive motifs. They would not neccesarily be lace, although this first one is.

So, here are first shots of Leaves of Grass, on its way out the door to Maria, the wonder knitter.

Soon to be followed by Rapunzel - a wrap out of Handmaiden's scrumtious new yarn Maidenhair;

Pumpkin Patch - a variegated solid scarf with a nifty little pumpkin cable design in Handmaiden's beautiful Camelspin;

and Mossy Glen - a scarf in a variegated sock yarn (Woodthrush) from Rio de la Plata.

I am calling them aperitifs, which I was introduced to in Paris as the answer to the question:

"How can I monopolize this table on the Champs Elysee for four hours, without ordering any actual food?"

I was a student. I was poor. I could sip my kir royale for hours.

Now my children are students and I am still poor, but that is the subject of another post...

A good aperitif whets the appetite for more substantial fare. I hope these patterns will serve as a good introduction and alternative to my more complex and difficult work.


Because sometimes you want chocolate mousse beaded lace (current projects: Sunflower, Drizzle, & Sherwood)

And sometimes you just wanna have fun.

Julia (and Cyndi) would be so proud...


Anonymous said...

Oooh! It's Monday. It's raining. I'm bored. I'm going to go dig for green yarn! How much do I need?

Ronni said...

Lovely! I am looking forward to seeing these as they debut.

Donna Lee said...

Clever. I like the leaves and lace. I don't wear a lot of green but am trying to expand beyond my neutral/blue/gray colors. Today I am wearing an orange shirt. To work. I feel outstanding.

Unknown said...

What colorway Is the Pumpkinpatch Camelspin?