Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Midweek Meditation


“The sea does not reward those who are too anxious, too greedy, or too impatient. To dig for treasures shows not only impatience and greed, but lack of faith. Patience, patience, patience, is what the sea teaches. Patience and faith. One should lie empty, open, choiceless as a beach—waiting for a gift from the sea.”          
                                   ~  Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Gift from the Sea

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Angel Blue

A new color in the paintbox of my life is "Angel Blue".

I bought a new pair of sneakers (running shoes) last month.  I usually wear sneakers as my everyday shoes.  You might do so, as well, if you "worked out of your home", as I do.  Several years ago, I got into the habit of buying white walking-shoe type sneakers because they were comfortable and I liked how bright and clean they looked when they were new.  But my daughter (in her early 20's) called me out on this about three years ago.  She took me sneaker shopping, and I bought a silver, white and blue pair with a lot of mesh fabric and other layers of lattice-like cutout things.

A year later, I shopped on my own, and bought a somewhat similar pair.  She said that I did OK.

Then after another year (last month), I was on my own again, and I was surprised to see that most of the new sneakers are very colorful, as in neon.  Go look.  You will see what I am talking about.  At a Dick's Sporting Goods store near me all of the women's running and cross-sport shoes had way too much color for me.  In the last row there were a few pairs of those white walking-shoes.  I knew that they would be comfortable, but after my daughter's training, I thought that they looked too old for me.  I am not ready to be any older than I have to be.  I went back to the center display.  I tried on a shoe which had non-neon, softer colors, but there was  a whole lot of purple.

Someday I will talk about purple.  I am a firm believer that you cannot really have a favorite color because all colors depend on their surrounding colors... but, I do have to admit that for most of my life, if I had a least favorite color, it would be purple.

Those shoes by Brooks had some very vivid turquoise with the purple.  They were comfortable, but I did not buy them.

The next day I thought to look for the shoes, Brooks Ghost 5, online to see if they came in any other colors, and they did.  I liked the combination "Dark Denim, Angle Blue and Silver" quite I lot. I ordered them.  Here I am wearing them...


I am happy with my purchase.  I think that they look youthful enough.  I had not thought about "Angel Blue" before.  It generally means a pastel blue, but I also think it has a special brightness to it... closer to blue-green than blue-violet, but more like with a touch of turquoise or aqua...

When I was home from my final vacation of the summer, (We spent one week in August at the New Jersey shore.)  I saw more shades of angel blue around me.  On my little table near where I knit, there was this little book that I bought at a shop in Cape May.

GIFT FROM THE SEA by Anne Morrow Lindbergh

I have not read the book beyond the introduction, but I believe with all of my heart, that somewhere in there, I will find the words:  

"One cannot collect all the beautiful shells on the beach. One can collect only a few, and they are more beautiful if they are few." 

Which I quoted in a past blog post. In a neat connection... I began that last September post with, "As summer is slowly leaving us..."

Anyway, to get back on topic before I close this post, even one of the yarns I have been working with has some of that Angel Blue.

 
And once again summer is slowly leaving us...

         

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Colorwork Meditation #9



    “Every so often change your palette. Introduce new colours and discard others. You will gain knowledge of colour mixing and your work will have added variety.”

                                               ~ Kenneth Denton, English Painter

Photo credit:  http://www.flickr.com/photos/ashleymayes/4609488728/


Previous Colorwork Meditation: #8 (Blue)
 

Monday, September 9, 2013

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Tartan Mitts Spark

I knit in herringbone.



And, I knit in houndstooth.



 Both are traditional weaving patterns.
(That I knitted.)
(And that other knitters had knitted before me.)

How could I not want to take that further?
I looked at tartan plaids, and I learned that there have been many attempts to replicate them in knitting.

Most of them were aimed
(more)
at
replicating the tartan plaid
 rather than
creating a workable knitting pattern.

An example:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/35213081@N04/4608519430/in/photostream/

Most
(as in this example)
also involved adding vertical rows of duplicate stitch.
I do think this looks amazing,
but,
I also thought, why not do a two color tartan plaid?
Worked in stranded colorwork?
It would be easier to knit,
 and would not involve duplicate stitches,
or intarsia.

I spent (much) time with my charting software.
I think that it took seven attempts at charting,
and almost as many swatches,
until I got to this:


This is a photo of the actual swatch that I sent to Interweave Knits for their Call for Submissions for Holiday Gifts 2013.
The yarn is
The Fibre Company Canopy Fingering 
(50% Baby Alpaca, 30% Merino, 20% Viscose Bamboo; 200 yd [183m]/50g)
  in the colorways Sarsaparrilla and Acai.

I loved these colors together and I loved the yarn.

But I am glad that the Interweave editors selected the red and black colors:


© Interweave Knits/Harper Point

The yarn is
Brown Sheep Nature Spun Fingering
(100% Wool; 310 yd [283m]/50g)
 in the colorways Bougainvillea and Storm.
The pattern, my own,

For even more colorwork examples of knitted checks, plaids, and other patterns see the
"Workaday Color" story, pages 106-122, of