knittingjuju

Julie knits and writes and knits.

Archive for lace

Guest room occupied…

Blocking. Sorry for the lousy iPhone pics, but my camera has grown feet and wandered…

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A great many pins…

Holy picot. It took a good chunk of the afternoon just to pin Girasole out after finally finding enough floor for the job!

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Christine’s Forest Canopy

My friend, Christine, is a knitter and a writer and a painter. And a lot of other things, too, but for the purposes of this story, let’s just stop the list right there. I guess I’ve known Christine for a million years. We met giving a reading of our work selected by a local literary magazine. We bumped into one another at local writing events. Two entirely separate strands of wool in the wash, follicles catching here and there. Then I started working with her dear husband. Then she helped me along when I started knitting. And now we’re more or less felted.

When Christine decided to get serious about painting again, not so very long ago, I wasn’t surprised to see an explosion of spectacular, moving, accomplished work in a very short time. Delighted, but not surprised, because this is how Christine would paint if Christine painted. Of course. Of course.

I asked her to consider making a portrait of my Mom. Some day. Maybe. If she wanted to, but no pressure. At all. Because, you know, maybe she wouldn’t want to, and that would be cool. I sent her a photo of my mom as a young woman. Expecting her to think and let me know.

Within, like, a week or so, Christine told me we had to meet at our LYS. I figured on some sort of hat emergency. Mittens gone wrong. Something. But no, she had this for me:


That’s my mom, Vivian. Absolutely. Amazing. Just… wow. Amazing. I was stunned. Thoroughly. Still am.

And immediately willing to hock the family jewels to pay for it, provided I could find the family jewels. Or a family with jewels. What could I possibly offer in return for this? Christine started talking trade. Knitting for art.

“Um… dood, you sure?”

She was sure.

She had a lace shawl firmly in mind, already. And all we had to do was find the right yarn…

The exact right wool was already in my stash. Cash Iroha, Noro’s cashmere, silk, wool blend, light and soft and shimmery, in a color…. This color is what red would be if it were made of chocolate. That’s about the best I can come up with. It’s a color I appear to love a lot, judging by the number of yarns in various weights resident in my stash in this exact hue. The Cash Iroha chocolate red is sort of a worsted weight, slubby yarn, dear and yummy.

Christine liked the Cherry Leaf shawl I had made in a fingering-weight yarn awhile ago, but that same pattern wouldn’t have translated to this yarn. Good old Ravelry made short work of finding a great, leafy shawl pattern in worsted for my little stash: Forest Canopy Shawl by Susan Pierce Lawrence.

Within a few minutes, I bought the pattern from her site, loaded the charts onto my iPhone, and cast on the few stitches at the top center from which all the rest of the shawl just blooms. Well, eventually it blooms, the rows getting longer and longer as you go, until you finish, casting off all those scallops.

A completely pleasant knit from first stitch to last. I made minor modifications, adding a few repeats of the main pattern to lengthen the piece, and a couple of extra rows in the edging pattern to balance the new length. This is four skeins of Noro.

The finished piece is light as air and really warm. Vivian would have loved it. The color and texture are pure Christine. A very good trade.

Pinkie Blockie


Well Pinkie Blankie (get the story behind the pattern here) is all done and blocked and ready to go to its new home. And I finished up the pattern (if clicking on this link doesn’t do anything, try right-clicking and choosing “save link as” to save the PDF document some place on your computer), including clever little details like finished measurements and stuff that the more curious of you have been asking for. And some pics. Because who doesn’t love pics? I’ll show you the scarf based on this pattern when it’s done and draped around its owner. Am about half finished with that. More to post soon. I have a very serious case of cast-on-itis, but no finish-philia rising…

Download Pinkie Blankie Pattern PDF

Pinkie Blankie In Progress

(Pudgy beaglish guy added for Scale)

Download Julie’s Pinkie Blankie pattern. (If clicking the link doesn’t work for you, try right-clicking and “saving link as” to put the file somewhere on your machine where you will find it again.)

Okay, the story behind Pinkie Blankie is this…

I had a security blanket when I was a little girl. Its name was pinkie blankie. It was a wool bit of a blanket, with satin edges. And I hung onto it for a very long time. A Very. Long. Time. When I was 8, and Pinkie Blankie wasn’t very pink any more, and we were preparing to move overseas, Pinkie Blankie… disappeared.

The story told in my family is that Richard Jason, the hateful and hated bully who lived next door, stole Pinkie Blankie and threw it into Glen Creek. It floated away, probably to the ocean. Anyway, it was gone forever.

Have I mentioned that my mother was a great fictionalist? A fictionalizer? A fabulist? Someone who used fictional devices to effect change in her family? She was a gifted liar. Always for good reason. For instance, there is the portrait of a Chinese mandarin, which hung in every house we ever lived in, who, mom claimed, was our great-great-great-great grandfather. She said later she lied so that we would never be prejudiced. Not bad, eh? It is unnerving, however, to know that most of our family history may be fabricated. We have no idea, actually, who we are, or what is true. But we are comfortable with mystery.

It wasn’t until I began, a few weeks ago, to think about a security blanket for a friend of mine, and stumbled over the large stash of pink Tahki I’ve been sitting on (which reminded me of this amazing gift of knitting)and put these things together, that I even remembered my Pinkie Blankie. And then began to wonder about the Richard Jason incident. How did he get into our house, upstairs to my room, steal my blankie, remove himself from the house, head a block away up the road to the creek, and throw it in, all without anyone noticing?

And it wasn’t his style. He was capable of terrible things, much worse, in fact, but he enjoyed torturing each of us in person. He wanted to read the humiliation in our eyes. This secret swiping of the blanket just didn’t add up. And that my mother delivered the news? How would she be the one to know? As somebody’s mother, she would be the last to know. The very last.

And the timing… just as we were going through a great purge in preparation for a move overseas… and my age. And… well… I think I’ve been blaming the wrong person for Pinkie Blankie’s demise for, oh, 40 years.

Mom’s gone. Pinkie Blankie’s gone. I will never know the truth. But I can raise Pinkie Blankie from the ashes. Maybe several, given how much of this yarn I have in my silly-big stash. The first will go to a friend who needs it even more than I do. The second may go straight into the creek I now live on, to float out into Lake Michigan, where my mother’s ashes rest. I’d like to let her know I’m on to her, finally.

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Panting toward a disappearing finish line…

Yes, it’s been awfully quiet here. So much to share. But… I…. just… can’t… yet.

Not that there’s all that MUCH holiday knitting going on. In fact, much procrastination. Very much. But meantime some good fun with my Stitch Painter. With it painted this:

Which is the basis for two gift projects, whose presence will be felt here after December 25… Though neither will actually be FINISHED… ahem. If you notice a remarkable similarity to Cherry Leaf shawl from Victorian Lace Today, you’d be right. The stitch pattern is the same, but all squared up.

(You would not believe how long it took me to figure out how to cut the pattern in half at the sides. I am THAT slow.. actually.)

Anyhoo, two projects, one in super bulky, and the other in, what else? Koigu. I have this pattern stuck in my head, so I might as well enjoy it, right? Would make a great baby blanket in a nice superwash worsted weight, methinks. Full pattern and story behind the name (Pinkie Blankie) coming soon… I double pinkie swear… Meantime, if you just can’t wait to knit off the chart, a nice big downloadable version is available at Flickr right this minute, along with a copy of the repeat and a symbol decoder.

Happy everything to you and yours!

Knittingjuju

Hey, did you catch Yarn Harlot in the Times today? Her verb “to kinnear” has been recorded in the nation’s newspaper. She’s our Shakespeare.

Cherry Leaf Shawl to Auction


Ah! It’s done, it’s beautiful, if I may say so, and it’s headed off to auction.

Could not have finished this without the generous support of Ravelry friends in GB and CT who sourced the last two skeins of yarn. This took four skeins of Jitterbug. It’s mostly the Cherry Leaf Shawl from Victorian Lace Today, knit up with maybe 6 more repeats of leaves, with a completely different border, which I edited down from another of her borders in the book.

So, it’s going to raise funds for a friend’s bone marrow transplant. What should I ask for an opening bid… Want to come to the super cool party? It’ll be great poetry and fiction readings and wonderful music and a good auction… This coming Sunday. Details here….