Happy July 4th!

  1. Pendant Stole
  2. Garden Shawl
  3. Fountain Pen Shawl

 

I don’t have anything special planned for today, and it has been a particularly wet weekend here, so I haven’t joined any of the community outdoor activities either.

But I began watching the “John Adams” miniseries, and while I don’t often feel particularly patriotic, the luxury of living in a free nation I suppose, it makes a big difference to watch a version of history that makes it real.  I feel more connected when I can connect to historical figures through their characters as they are represented on the screen, and to understand the reality of their daily circumstances in the months and years leading up to independence from Britain.

Of course, every account, especially one presented on the screen, is biased and fictionalized to some extent, but I believe that we can learn a lot from fiction, too, and many fiction writers write to teach and to convey a message.  In this case, it is to understand in a way that allows me to put myself in the shoes of some of these historical figures the reasons that they needed to express in a document the truths they held to be self-evident.

Having lived in countries in which people are less free, I know the struggle is important.  In this day and age, we as Americans are still struggling to ensure that these truths, about the rights of humans, that our forefathers held to be self-evident, are manifested in each citizen’s reality, regardless of race, ethnicity, sex, gender, religion or sexual orientation.

So it seems a little disingenuous to me to say “Happy” July 4th, but perhaps “July 4th observed and the struggle continued” is more appropriate to echo my sentiments.  Not as catchy, I realize…

Are you celebrating the 4th?  How are you connecting with the historical significance of the day?

 

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Dew Drops Shawl in Freia Handpaints Ombre Lace

Process knitter is the term people use for someone like me, I guess: I love to knit, but sometimes the finished product is not the motivation.  So, at any given time, I have 5, 10, or 20 projects on the needles, all in different stages of completion.  Over the past few months I have not been very disciplined in completing projects that were not intended for special events or holidays, but I’ve been on a tear recently to make some projects that had reached the bind-off stage actually wearable.  This past week has resulted in the blocking of four projects already, and there is a fifth underway.

Today I want to show you the project that made me fall in love with Freia Handpaints laceweight.  Originally I saw the Dew Drops Shawl worked up in the lichen colorway at Looped DC.  Sadly for me, Lichen was not available, so I chose South Beach instead.

 

Ravelry project link

I really love how this turned out.  The yarn feels magnificent, stretchy and cozy all at once, but also substantial: I’m not worried about wearing this shawl out and about because I know it can stand up to the wear.  It won’t have to be a special occasion item.  There was so much stretch that I could have taken the top border beyond the edges of my blocking board if I’d had the space.  As it is, the top edge is about 68″ across, and the point of the triangle is deep enough to cover my back, which will be fantastic for any trips to drafty or high-AC restaurants.

As I was knitting, my cat spent a lot of time with me.  I would gaze into his eyes to reassure him of my love – because after 11 years, he’s still a little insecure at times – and I realized that this colorway mirrors his face.  He has an orange-pink nose, blue-green eyes, and light- to medium-grey stripes.  People often comment on his beautiful markings, but he hasn’t let it go to his head because he’s the sweetest cat ever.

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One skein of Freia Handpaints Ombre Sport will get you…

I’ve knitted a shawl and a couple of diagonal scarves in Freia Handpaints that will appear here post-blocking, and now I tried the Ombre Sport for the first time with the Lunar Eclipse pattern.

I think this is the sixth version I’ve knitted so far, and the first one with shifting color.  The arc gives it the familiar stripe going in one direction, shifting from top to bottom, and the edging turns that perpendicular so the shifting color direction is more side to side (sort of – with a crescent shape, all bets are off, as anyone that has tried to drive around New Orleans without a map can tell you!).

Here is a gallery of photos of the hottest off the needles Lunar Eclipse!

 

 

 

Pokeberry Sappho!

Since I’m in the middle of nowhere, I may be behind the rest of the crew on receiving my shipment, but who cares – I am super excited at the arrival of my new yarn from The Sanguine Gryphon, two skeins of Sappho II specially dyed with natural pokeberry and auctioned off on Ravelry to raise money for Team Wench, who supports charities focusing on causes like breast cancer research.

Look how beautiful it is!

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You can see more of this special dye batch here.

I’m going to design something extra special for this – thoughts?

My Barbara Walker Vol 2 arrived in the mail as well so I’m going to spend the weekend nerding out on knitting design.

Happy Olympics!

Are you participating in a Ravelympics or the Knitting Olympics? What are you knitting/spinning/crocheting/crafting?

Since I live in a country that I can pretty much guarantee has no Winter Olympics contestants, and since I haven’t gotten a special box on my TV to access channels beyond very local, I’ve been out of the Olympics hoopla loop. In fact, if it weren’t for other crafty blogs like Knitting on Impulse, I probably would have entirely missed the Olympics.

The opening ceremony is between 3am and 5am Saturday morning here in Kinshasa, and since I don’t have any friends with satellite TV close enough to me to barge in at 3am, I will be snoozing away instead.

Spending time on Ravelry, I have of course seen Ravelympics mentions here and there – teams forming on the forums, etc. It’s amazing that registration deadlines passed back in mid-January, and I haven’t quite figured out the benefit of being on a team in the first place.

Therefore, I was chuffed to see that Stephanie McPhee is hosting her Knitting Olympics again, after some back and forth, polling for interest, and considering the value added.

For me, this is a personal challenge, not a competition with others, but since there is a sign-up list, I can feel the collective love and pain of others standing up to the challenge.

Back in 2006, I knitted a sweater for the Olympics, and although it was not colorwork and didn’t involve steeking like Hardangervidda, it was certainly a challenge to finish while working a full time job. Once again, I have chosen something that, technique-wise, is intriguing but not impossible, and the mere fact of finishing that last 5% that I typically have trouble with will be the real shining moment for me.

The project I’ve chosen has been in my Ravelry queue for some time. It’s a lovely combination of texture and lace in a flattering shape that I hope I can use for work and play: Broderie by Connie Chang Chinchio. The pattern is available at Twist Collective.

Broderie by Connie Chang Chinchio

My cardigan will be knit with Malabrigo Sock yarn in Tiziano Red, which on some websites looks nice and bright, but in person is a bit more toward the dark red side.

Last night I swatched, and I’ll be casting on tomorrow morning (later than 3am…!) and finishing by closing ceremonies on Feb 28th!