While I have been relatively quiet online, that hasn't been the case here around Slate Range Camp... I have been knitting for others. My last FO of 2008 was a chemo cap for a friend who is facing a rough haul over the next six months... please keep her in your healing thoughts and prayers.
Then, I agreed to offer to teach "A Year of Lace", using Nancy Bush's great book. My first class will be later this month at Fibers, on the Raha scarf (email me if you are interested and I will get you the date and time, as it still is undecided). I brought home a skein of Isager Wool 1, a crisp fingering weight yarn, and started my sample piece after finishing up my gift knitting. As I had made it through the first repeat, I was pondering which project would be on tap for February, and it occurred to me that I might want to make some into samples rather than full-fledged projects, so that I would be better prepared to help my students. Allison, the shop's owner, concurred, so on New Years Day, I finished off the Raha sample, and blocked it early this week.
As you can see, this yarn blocks up wonderfully and has very nice stitch definition... the charcoal is not a color you see on this blog, but adds a nice, traditional touch. Raha apparently translates into "coin" in Estonian, and the motifs are an interesting round shape... easy and fun pattern to knit.
I brought home two skeins of Isager 2, which is a fingering weight alpaca and wool blend, for the Triinu scarf, which will be class #2 in our series, in which I will teach my students how to make the classic "nupp", a hallmark of Estonian designs. I cast on last night, but have so little to show that it will have to wait to have a photo preview. The alpaca blend is heavenly sliding through the hands, and I chose a soft sage green that will help me to dream of spring as I knit, and complement the floral theme the nupps give to all their designs.
I also received some fluffy Bernat Bling as a gift back in early December from my quilt guild secret pal at our annual party. Now most of you already know that is not my usual style, but the three balls of yarn spent the rest of the month at the bottom of the stairs, where I passed them repeatedly as I went up and down. Their mixture of greens, blues and purples kept calling out to me, and so I finally cast on a Gossamer Shawl last Sunday (one of Allison's patterns that we sell in kits at the shop), even though I don't wear those colors much any longer.... they are a difficult match with my complexion. The project made for fast knitting, especially since I had a training to sit (and knit) through on Tuesday morning. Midway through the morning, it hit me that this was the blessing shawl I had been planning to give to honor a colleague and 'grandmother' of one of the local organizations I am a part of... so I deeply enjoyed the easy knitting and will delight in the giving.
This pattern is done on large needles and really needs a light, fluffy sort of yarn to be 'gossamer' in the end. It is designed so that it is longish with two pointed ends to wrap and tuck and stay put on you, and someday I will find the right yarn to make myself a summer version....
The light was just right this afternoon to catch the glow from the little fuzzy bits... almost makes you want to re-embrace fun fur... but not quite!
As you can tell, the weather has been much more benign this week, with periods of warm sunshine in mid-afternoon, though it rained a bit this morning, and we awaken to frozen lawns and windshields daily.
My knitting fantasies for the near future involve continuing along with Queen Silvia, working up the Triinu model, and finishing my February Lady sweater in time to wear her in February of this year. What are yours?!