Yesterday just after writing the Blue entry, I received a package in the mail from my sister George-Anna. In it was a lovely card with words that made me cry and a 4-leaf clover from her yard (apparently my niece Channing has a 4-Leaf-Clover-Finding Gift). Also a wonderful lizard pin, beads down its spine, wrapped in shining green and golden threads. You see it above on the green shawl I recently finished, pictured below:
This is the 4th shawl I've knitted in this pattern. This is in SouthWest Trading Company Karaoke-50% soy silk/50% wool, with a carry-along yarn of Feza kid mohair in variegated blues. First time I've worked with Karaoke and I like it very much.
This is Shawl No. 3 -- the pattern designer calls it the "As You Like It Wrap"-- but I think of it as the Isis Wings Shawl because of the beautiful winged shape. She designed it to be small, something between a scarf and shawl. I make it in thicker yarn with size 11 needles, so it comes out to be a definite shawl that is on the small side of the shawl continuum.
I made No. 3 with the beautiful purple Cascade 220 Heather, and a carry-along of Gioello, which has mohair and sparkly glints of gold, red, green, blue.
So. This shawl has become the leitmotif knitting of my grief journey. Despite all the UFOs and zillions of patterns in my possession, I went to the yarn shop the week after Patrick's death feeling I needed to find something special to accompany me and comfort me in the strange new life in which I suddenly found myself. And it had to be something that required a bit of attention, but not a whole lot. I always have one on the needles.
This is shawl No. 5. I'm using SWTC Oasis, 100% soy silk in a variegated lavendar, green, butter colors. I'm knitting it up with a strand of the amazing Dewberry color (purple) in KidSilk Haze, which is kid mohair and silk. As you can imagine, the knitting of it is a tactile delight - soft, cool. It is also just barely slippery, just enough to slow down the knitting to a pace that seems to me to be ceremonial and mindful. In process, this shawl is the perfect knitting for the journey I'm on, for the boat ride on the river of sad....
As for Roses...I'm not sure I can properly convey this, but I'll try.
One of the spiritual practices I have now is to try to transform the sadness and grief feelings into more positive energies. When the deep sadness comes to me, I acknowledge it and try to stay present with it, but also take it as a cue to hold and send forth unconditional love to Patrick in spirit. I believe that imagery and feeling is the medium of spiritual connection and communications, so I wanted an image that would be able to carry a powerful love. The rose already has such symbolic and collective association with love that I decided it should be my image for this practice.
Right now, a wild and unkempt trellised rose bush is beginning to bloom against my screened back porch, so I can look upon those roses as I send love. But I also wanted rose pictures. I remembered the beautiful rose photographs taken by Steve Hartley, dad of the creative Luscious Gracious
family. Not only does he take glorious photographs, but he knits, too! Anyway, you can see dozens of his rose photographs (and right now, buy a bouquet of a dozen cards of your choice for $20ppd!) at the rose card sale page
. Lots of pictures on that page, so it needs a few minutes to load.
I made my selections and placed my order and received my cards the other day:
They are absolutely perfectly suited for my meditation and conveyance of love...
And Kiki sent me a wonderful gift, too - she tucked into the package this Ironstone "Little Loop" yarn which she dyed herself with Kool-Aid a few weeks ago. A yarn she called "Rose Garden"....
I was so touched by her generosity and thoughtfulness and so thrilled to have a Kiki-creation, then I remembered a yarn I'd spun on a drop spindle last fall, a yarn I thought of as Sunsetrose. And look, just look how it goes with the Kiki-yarn!
I have no idea what it will become, but it will have some power I think. Right now, it's all tucked away together plotting and planning its future form and will let me know when it's ready.
Meanwhile....on the needles, this scarf:
I started out to do a swatch of Iris Schreier's Trellis Stole from Exquisite Little Knits. I love the concept: a wrap made of a lacy, loopy open knit that carries a novelty yarn and looks like little flowers on a trellis, but haven't been pleased with the swatches I've made in this pattern...something about the yarn I've tried it with or the drop-stitch loops or the rows consisting of the novelty yarn only....I don't know exactly what didn't please me. Maybe it was just all of that together.
But I just got some amazingly beautiful Mountain Goat in greens (color Olive) and decided to try again. The novelty yarn is Trendsetter Flora #22. Wow. The combination is glorious to behold . But I still wasn't pleased with the stitch pattern and so I started my own, just a moss stitch, alternating two rows of the Mountain Goat alone with two rows of the Mountain Goat and the Flora. Yesssss! And the few rows I'd done of the Trellis Stole pattern look nice as a beginning and end to a scarf.
And so, I have rosy things all about - the real roses, the beautiful photos, the gestating yarns, and a lovely whimsical scarf in production. Oh, and I realized the scarf will qualify as an entry in Riverwools Novelty Yarn Challenge for June - it will be fun to have it displayed with the other entries and even more fun if I win the $75 gift certificate!
It's a beautiful day in Indiana today - I hope it's so where you are!