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

Monday, January 5, 2009

Are We Having Fun Yet?

"Blessed is the man who has some congenial work, some occupation in which he can put his heart, and which affords a complete outlet to all the forces there are in him."

-John Burroughs



What did I do on my Christmas Vacation?

No, no, besides filling a ginormous amount of garden variety orders (thank you SO SO MUCH!)

I played.

Of course, my play looks a lot like work. With one critical difference...

I work on play with whatever I want to.

Not what my customers want most.
Not what my family wants most.
Not what is most delayed.

But whatever I darn well please.

What a concept!

Want some show and tell?

Of course you do!

I started with a couple balls I had floating around from the fall that never quite developed into full blown designs.

This is Classic Elite's Moorland in misty morning: a beautiful soft heathered single ply DK wool. It is deceptively simple. The slight halo tends to obscure fine patterning and texture stitches aren't as crisp as I'd like. But I loved the soft, foggy nature of it, if I could just find the right pattern for it.

After much knitting and subsequent frogging, I settled on this simple zigzag pattern, composed mostly of knit and purl stitches, with only one yarn over and decrease each repeat. I'm doing a stole. No name yet.

And this is Rowan's lovely Purelife organically dyed DK wool in Ivy: a very pale and subdued grey green. A natural for this leaf pattern. A scarf, I think...

Then I moved on to the hard stuff...

The Artyarn goodies Santa brought me. Simply the best. Loads of fun. Seriously drool worthy.

This is Ensemble, an absolutely pet-able fiber consisting of one strand of silk and one of (be still my heart) cashmere.

Excuse me for a moment. I'm getting all verklempt...

This one was a challenge. I loved the soft springlike colors, but I didn't want streaks. I settled on this pattern that combines cabling with lace work.

Once blocked out, I should have a lovely open early spring scarf. I think I'll call it Trellis.

Then there is the little lovely I showed you at the top of the post.

This is Drift: a pristine cream colored confection of Silk Rhapsody Glitter. The pattern is a combination of the gentle curves of a snow covered landscape, the tracks which form in the snow from our cars, the footprints of forest animals (or pets), and the schussing pattern of slalom skis.

See the little footprints between the tire tracks?

But the best part is the little silver filament that runs along with the silk and mohair strands. Its subtle sparkle reminds me so powerfully of the way new fallen snow sparkles in the sunlight.

This one just has to be a sumptuous stole. A brilliant bit of comforting warmth to wind around my shoulders on a cold midwinter day. I know it is indulgent, but I rushed right out and spent some of my ill gotten gains on three more skeins of this beauty. It is so yummy to work with and the pattern is just enough to be interesting, but not a pain in the rear.

But wait! There's more!

This is my icicle scarf, knit from Artyarns exquisite bead AND sequins silk mohair.






This stuff is like crack. It is that addictive. And that easy. No crochet hook required. Just knit.

When you have fiber this gorgeous, you really don't want the pattern to get in the way. I worked it with a simple four row, six stitch repeat lace pattern that results in a vertical wave that reminds me of melting ice. Just for panache, I did pointed ends, because that's what icicles do.

I made it thin since the yarn is so expensive, although it will block out a little wider. Besides, icicles are skinny little suckers.

You could get by with one skein for a short little scarf, but I am doing mine long and lean, with two. And this is so fast it is a turbo-aperitif. I knit the full skein in one day. Very gratifying after all those lo-o-o-ong projects...

Just look at that sparkle! I love this so much that I returned the green sweater my DH gave me for Xmas in favor of a light taupe one that will go with this scarf. Am I crazy, or what?

Now surely, I must be done, right?


The best thing I played with on vacation?

My grandson Conner, who accompanied us to the frozen north for a four day post-Christmas visit with family in Leland, MI and then came home with Grandma and Grandpa to stay another two days, while Mom & Dad celebrated the New Year in Chicago.

Six days...

Seriously drool worthy...

Can't say I didn't warn you...


momsue84 said...

Faint! You tease us so with new patterns, ideas, yarns. Sounds like you had the best holiday anyone could have. A beautiful grandson, knitting and gorgeous yarn.

fleegle said...

Boy, did you have fun on your vacation! I got a skein of that Art Yarns beaded silk/mohair for Christmas, but I haven't decided what to do with it yet besides stroke it.

Do you ever knit in the front of a stitch? :)

Anonymous said...

You are truly incredible! Each creation is a visual delight and serious temptation. How thankful I am your calling found you and that I found you. Blessings!

Anonymous said...

Are those patterns from the Japanese stitch dictionaries? I think I recognize at least 2 of them! I think the Ensemble one is my favorite. How gorgeous!

Anonymous said...

Conner is a doll!! So sweet. Man, are you talented or what? Love each of those projects!

Anonymous said...

Yep, you were right...drool worth items followed by an 'Awwww..how, sweet!' at the end.

Donna Lee said...

I've seen the ads for the beaded yarn and it looks sooooo beautiful but I've never seen it in person. I love the idea of the yarn already beaded.

Unknown said...

You are so right, everything on this post is gorgeous! But you saved the best for last -- Conner is adorable!