April 23, 2007
Help! Who knew there were so many rectangular stole patterns? (JennyRaye knew. Have you seen her listing of rectangular stole patterns? JennyRaye is a one-woman crusade against Jemima Puddle-Duck Syndrome.)
OK, so I’ve decided. I think. I thought long and hard about Sarcelle. I downloaded Sarcelle. I love wraps that are knit on the bias, like Clapotis and Argosy, two of my favorite knits ever. For these and many other reasons, I love Sarcelle. However. I have to admit that at this time in my life, and particularly when watching Scrubs from 11:30 to 12:30, a pattern without a relaxing purl-back row is probably not advisable. The old gray mare, she ain’t what she used to be, etc. Instead, Pam is going to get Hanami, a design by Pink Lemon Twist.
To give some insight as to why I found Hanami so compelling, I am going to quote the designer’s description, highlighting the Words That Make Kay Crazy.
“In 1912 the city of Tokyo gave 3000 cherry trees to the city of **Washington, DC** (Pam lives in the Washington area) as a gesture of friendship and goodwill. Today those trees, and others given later, still **bloom every Spring for a few short days** (Pam’s birthday is in early April), in a stunning display of nature’s beauty. Hanami is the **Japanese** word used for traditional cherry blossom viewing activities and it is the combination of this tradition and the gesture of friendship that inspired the design of the Hanami stole.
“**Asymmetrical** (hello!) in design, the stole begins with a **beaded cast on** (ruh-roh) and a basket weave lace design inspired by a traditional **Sashiko**, or Japanese **quilting** design. The basket weave symbolizes the **friendships and interweaving of our lives** (me + Pam=so interweavey with our lives!). The second half of the stole is dedicated to the cherry blossoms and the reminder they give us of the beauty of life. As anyone who has seen cherry blossoms blow in the wind can tell you, they make a beautiful pink and white cloud of blossoms. Starting out with just a scatter of blossoms, they get thicker until at the end of the stole, there is a full cloud of blossoms. The second end of the stole is finished with a simple, **flirty** (Pam would deny this) ruffle that is reminiscent of the delicate blossoms themselves.”
So, Jenn, come on down! Send me your address so I can send your Silk o’ the Sea. Thank you everybody, for nearly killing me with stole suggestions.
Meanwhile, back at the shmattah factory, I spent a delightful evening hunting through the scrap pile and cutting out bits of favorite fabrics to make some desperately needed coasters for the new apartment. (I’m still at Stage One of Having a New Piece of Furniture: Delusional Belief That Item Can Be Preserved Forever and Handed Down, Minty-Fresh, To One’s Heirs. Stage Two is Grief and the Removal of Plastic Coverings. Stage Three Is Acceptance and the Resumption of Snacks. Stage Four is Preference for Beat-to-Hell Furniture.)
The workmanship ranges from fair to poor, but I like the fabrics so much that I don’t care. My favorite is the one with the little bit of muslin from my London In A Bag set, a cherished possession.
I had only a half hour of sewing time on Sunday, due to beautiful weather. A gorgeous spring day is a dang nuisance. People will not let you stay in the basement sewing all day. They insist on eating their grilled cheese sandwiches al fresco and bouncing basketballs and jumping on the neighbors’ trampoline and other stuff that is not nearly as much fun as hunching over a sewing machine in the damp.
Forced out of the basement, and being an optimistic person, I thought that with any luck, I might hunt down a great handknit.
What’s this I see? A gathering of woodsmen (and woodswomen)?
Is that the scent of merino wool in the wind? Let’s move in closer.
[Shhhh. Don’t move a muscle. You might startle the handknit. If my Field Guide to North American Sweaters is correct, this is an elusive Dale of Norway pattern, not native to the woods north of Southampton, New York.]
Yes! It IS a Dale of Norway, even more exotic for being knitted in Jaeger Matchmaker Merino. If you are a knitter in Southampton, you probably know Hilary, who made this pullover for her husband Eric. As the Knitter of the Species, Hilary saw my camera and immediately began clucking about how she is not knitting as well as she used to, and the pattern did not come out exactly like she wanted etc etc. NONSENSE! Knitters, we must stop with the clucking. This is a beauty of a sweater, being voluntarily and happily worn by the knittee. Rejoice! Self-deprecation not permitted!