The Starry Night Cardigan is done! The design and colors were inspired by Vincent Van Gogh's famous painting (see the postcard in the photo below). In the photo above, the colors are a bit yellowed and you can't see the lovely and strange light green-yellow that adds a certain something to the design. The colors in the photo of the hanks of yarn (below) are quite true to life.
The yarn--Elemental Affects Shetland Fingering Weight--has a lovely drape. It's a bit smoother than the Jamieson Spindrift, with an ever so slightly heavier feel, although I use them interchangeably.
The sweater was knit in the round and cut up the front to make a cardigan. Two rows of I-cord form the button band. I love the little yellow buttons!
Better photos to come when the natural light picks up a bit around here (Gingko brought Seattle weather with her when she moved back home!).
I got home last night, after two weeks away from home. I'm still a little jittery--it takes me a while to get settled again. Quick summary:
The entire day was spent driving through a dismal yellowish fog, bare trees sketching dark brown squiggles against the mist. My worries about the pass through the Siskiyou mountains in southern Oregon proved baseless, and in my relief over what looked like an easy trip, I purchased a box of Red Vines at the gas station in Weed. You know how sometimes you look back at a series of events and think, "if only I could re-do that ONE thing"? Well, this was that event. Happily driving along I bit down on a Red Vine and a big chunk of a molar broke off. Spent some time worrying whether this was going to hurt or not. Not, thank goodness; I've got an appointment with my dentist to take care of things next week.
Personalized Fair Isle at Churchmouse Yarns & Teas
My goal for the weekend was Bainbridge Island (a short ferry ride from Seattle) to teach at Churchmouse Yarns & Teas, a wonderful shop. The early morning ferry ride offered a peak at the Olympic Mountain range--a soothing sight.
The 1.5-day workshop on color in Fair Isle was great (in my opinion). I love how adventurous my students are. Ryan was celebrating her 50th birthday--thus the pink crown (I can attest to the fact that she does not wear this every day).
Kit and John, the owners, always treat me so nicely that it is a joy to teach there. Churchmouse has recently produced a series of stylish shop patterns that are very well designed, edited and laid out--available on lovely heavy paper or as downloads. The photographs by Jared Flood make me believe that, if I were to knit any given item, my life would change for the better. So seductive! I've already begun the felted beret.
Madrona Fiber Arts
I visited with friends and family for a few days before heading off to the Madrona Fiber Arts Retreatin Tacoma. The Fair Isle Yoke Class was a pleasure to teach--I had worked hard to produce this new class, and of course had my worries about it. Here are a couple of great swatches that I got to see the next day (don't' be confused: swatches are for exploring different ways to approach color--they aren't meant to reflect the final yoke design):
(Stephanie brought swatches and a hat from last year's class.)
I thoroughly enjoyed Judith MacKenzie's class on Luster Longwool Fleeces and treated myself to her new DVD: Popular Wheel Mechanics. I've had the pleasure of taking this class, but it was so full ofinformation that I am happy to have it on DVD for future reference.
I was able to see many old friends from Seattle and meet up with my on-line community. Also, I had a chance to join my nephew and his wife plus their little 7-month-old girl Leah (my grand-niece!!!) for dinner. Of course, I bought more yarn to knit her a cardigan--these items from Fancy Image Yarn are always appreciated by new moms and are a kick to knit. It was wonderful to hear that Jake's deployment to Iraq has been postponed for a month or more.
After Madrona, I returned to Seattle to pack up Gingko for her move to Berkeley. We are still speaking to each other, but it was pretty close for a while! At one point, I sat in the shopping mall parking lot talking to John on the phone. I said, "Honey, I'm either going to eat 10,000 calories of cookies or spend $4,000 at the Apple Store." "Enjoy the cookies," he replied quickly. I put Gingko on a plane and drove home by myself, wanting to play the music I like and sing along at the top of my voice without criticism. In the two weeks since my drive north, the trees had begun to bloom: Pink cherries, white plums, and creamy almonds.
I'm heading to Bainbridge Island, Washington, to teach a 1+ day workshop at Churchmouse Yarns & Teas: Personalized Fair Isle. There are a couple of places left in the class, if you are interested! We will cover the full color deal with all shades of Jamieson Spindrift yarn: value sequences, speed swatches, and adding color to motifs. This will be an intimate workshop that I expect to be lots of fun. Plus, the second partial day offers the chance to get feedback on the swatches.
If you are going to the Madrona Fiber Arts Retreat in Tacoma next week, please stop by the Rotunda on Saturday, February 13th. I'll be offering a Dr. Feral clinic: trouble with your steek? unsure about the colors you've chosen? are those floats puckering? Stop on by, I'd love to see you and always welcome an opportunity to share my opinions.
Keep your fingers crossed that I don't get caught in a snowstorm in the Siskyous this year! That was enough adventure for me, thank you very much. Although I still remember the haunting beauty of the solitary drive over the pass at 20 miles per hour, chains crunching on the snow, headlights picking up the falling snow, no other vehicles in sight. It looked pretty benign at the start, until I noticed the jackknifed truck on the hill: