Fingerless glove

looking for what's missing... I'm a knitting, spinning, mother of teenagers with a big dog, a small cat, minus the lovely rabbit Meliflua.

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Location: Virginia, United States

Right now I'm listening to "Peace Is Every Step" by Thich Nhat Hanh, reading "How to Change Your Mind" by Michael Pollan, knitting mittens, and thinking about casting on a hat.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Much better than stuffed in a grocery bag on a shelf

I sent Azucena Plus off to Mom for Mother's Day. (I really should have invented a better name for it. Azucena means either "madonna lily" or is a Venezuelan telenovela. Neither fits.) I admit that although I was knitting it for Mom from the beginning, I had not started the project with this particular holiday in mind. It is just the way the planets seemed to align.

I am delighted that she thinks it is very beautiful, and happier yet that to her, beauty should be enjoyed. That means finding a place for it, not stuffing it in a plastic grocery bag where it will migrate over the years from a chair in the corner, to a spare room, eventually to retire to the attic.

I recently read that the self-storage business is bigger than Hollywood, and I am just this side of contributing to that industry (off-site storage, not entertainment), even after donating boxes of Stuff to the recent Boy Scout yard sale. Today, I am digging through more boxes and channeling William Morris: "Have nothing in your homes that you do not know to be useful and believe to be beautiful."

Of course, all yarn is useful and all books are beautiful. But does anyone need 6 Kimberly dolls? (One is packed away.) They accumulated because they are a pleasure to dress; just ask Martha Pullen. She wrote an entire book about dressing Kimberly in heirloom clothes and how this was the next Toni doll. So how come mine are mostly naked?

Numbers 2 and 4 are going to find a new home. (Baby steps...) Any takers?

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Azucena, from August to April

Done. Blocked. Ends sewn in. Photographed. I present Azucena, a shawl from a 153 round Christine Duchrow doily (plus a 45 round, 12" border of my own. That makes most of these stitches of my own design, pi and geometry being what they are and the outer rounds having so many more stitches than the inner rounds.) I cast on 612 stitches at the tree tops and knit to the center, then picked up stitches and knit to the outside edge. From an unnamed Italian cashmere/merino blend (60/40) purchased at Stitches East in Baltimore around 2006, on size 5 needles, 70" diameter, 1014 stitches in the final round (It ruffles a little. I could have gotten away with fewer, maybe 942). Here it is unblocked:

It is a mini-travelogue from my youth. The trees are a stand of pines on the drive to Hartman Creek, the borders are the mountains of Grand Teton, Rocky Mountain and Glacier National Parks, in between are little bubbly rows of DYCs -- the ubiquitous little yellow flowers of western National Parks. The center has the symmetry of the Corn Palace in Mitchell, South Dakota. (OK, so to see this connection you have to use your imagination. Love those domes: so unexpected.)

I might take a better picture of it once I have it off the alphabet blocks, but right now the white truck is gone. (The hood of a white car is my new favorite background. So big, so white, so nondescript!)
If I could have figured out a way, I would have included the Devil's Tower, pueblos of Mesa Verde, Yellowstone's mudpots, the hot asphalt of a Kansas A&W parking lot, Oregon's rocky coast and northern California's giant redwoods.

Maybe next time I'll knit some Great Sand Dunes.