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

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


The Story of Calicoin

There once was a powerful witch called Cerridwen who wished to make her son Afaggdu a powerful potion that would make him a wizard. She ordered her servant, a boy named Gwion, to make a potion that took a year and one day.

He stirred it until the very last day, when Gwion accidentally spilled three drops on his finger. His finger was burning, so he put it in his mouth and swallowed the drops. Gwion became a wizard instantly. Cerridwen found out, and began to chase Gwion.

Gwion first changed into a hare, and Cerridwen changed into a hound. The boy became a fish, and the woman an otter. He turned into a dove, she turned into a hawk. Finally Gwion transformed into a tiny grain of wheat, hiding with many other grains on a barn floor. Cerridwen transformed into a black hen and pecked up all the grains, including Gwion.

Nine days later Cerridwen gave birth to Gwion as a baby. She could not kill her own child, so she tied him up in a leather bag and threw him into the river. He was discovered by a kind man named Elphin, who had no children of his own.

Elphin named the boy Taliesin and raised him. As Taliesin grew, he remembered all that had happened before he was with Elphin, and retained his wizardly knowledge. It was said he became a very great wizard, maybe the greatest in the Islands of Britain before Merlin.

I first began looking at silk/wool blends, when I fell in love with the multicolors of Manos Del Uruguay's silk blend yarn. The colors are really gorgeous. You can see them here.

I wanted something that would blend the colors so I wouldn't get streaks. But I didn't want to overwhelm the pattern. And, of coourse I couldn't leave well enough alone, so I had to tack on a border for a little extra pizazz.

I began with the color stellar...

And a simple scarf pattern. A twisted stitch border and a diagonal windowpane pattern for the body of the scarf.

And then I thought, what about a hat for a Christmas gift?

In Olivewood.

But why stop there?

How about trying it in fingering weight for a baby hat?

Conner's Taliesin Hat in Socks that Rock, color: Fire on the Mountain.

Hmm... Michael needs a winter hat and I have a skein of mmmMalabrigo worsted lying around somewhere.

I was going to knit another one of Jared Flood's hats, but I just couldn't face all those twists...

Yup, the design works in worsted as well.

I took out the triangular inserts in the border for the guys, so it doesn't look too feminine. A plain twisted rib works just fine and will allow them to go about the neighborhood grunting their manhood, while keeping their noggin warm.

And the decreases form a nifty littel spiral at the top of the hat.

See what I mean?

Next up?

Taliesin fingerless mitts...

It's a shapeshifter. And the way it blends the colors is magic.

That's why I named it after the wizard in Welsh folklore

A versatile pattern is a good thing to have when you are knitting a lot of Christmas gifts.

Back to the workshop...


fleegle said...

Um, do you ever sleep? They are all stunning, naturally :)

Thanks for the fairy tale!

Anonymous said...

susan, you are a genius and a loving person. errata are nothing when we all have the need to connect. bless you.