Posts Tagged ‘mink’

Daisy chain

January 8, 2014

I am blessed to know fantastic women.  Smart women.  Funny women.  Talented women.  Above all, generous women.

I don’t know all of them as well as I would like.  In some cases, I simply know they are wonderful.

This story starts with L.  We have moved in parallel circles for many years, but we are barely acquainted.  Nonetheless, her recent cancer diagnosis caused me great sadness.  Word that she was leaving nothing to time and toxic medication, and instead, shaving her head clean of her long dark hair added to the shock.  I wanted to do something for this woman I hardly know, but it needed to be something worth doing.

Which brings me to Jane.  She is one of those very special women.  Being around Jane is like finding instant calm ~ instant transportation to a warm hearth somewhere you’ve not been to, but know you like very much to sit ’round.  Jane fought cancer and won.  She is comfortable discussing it on her blog and with others.  So I asked her, “What can I make?  What did you get, or wish you had, that made things one bit better?”

Jane told me of a cashmere cap knitted for her by Jennifer.  “It’s something no one thinks of – when you go to sleep at night, your head is exposed, and it’s cold.  I wore it to sleep, and around the house.  I still wear it.”  That cashmere hat is one of Jane’s most prized possessions, made for her with love from one of nature’s warmest and softest fibers by the hands of a friend who dyed it, too.

Of course, there was perfect symmetry in Jennifer having made it.  My good friend always overwhelms me by simply thinking of me, not to mention the unexpected gestures, big and small, that come my way from her Virginia home where Spirit Trail Fiberworks is located.  She does this while managing her business and raising two outstanding young people.  (Small wonder I stay up into the owl hours to finish booth samples for her.)

So I knew what to make.  Next, what yarn to use?

A harder question than it might seem, given that there are many colors one would not choose for a person who is not well.  Of course, one of the advantages of having a *cough cough* virtual yarn shop in your

Great Northern Yarns Chamonix - mink + cashmere

Great Northern Yarns Chamonix – mink + cashmere

house is that there’s plenty to shop from.  Which is where Luann comes in.  The skein of Great Northern Yarn Chamonix (color is true in project photo, not skein) was my “sherpa reward” for driving some of her stash to the Knitter’s Review Retreat last year.  Using yarn from the older sister I never had whose life and mine have been intertwined in more ways than coincidence could explain just fit.

Daisy Hat

Daisy Hat

The pattern marriage was simple: Daisy Hat by Irina Dmitrieva.  The pattern is written for a worsted-weight yarn on small needles.  I was knitting for a not-petite person, but one with no hair.  A head with no hair is far smaller than one with hair.

So I improvised.

Crowning the daisy chain

Crowning the daisy chain

The Chamonix – 70% mink, 30% cashmere – lacked much of anything in the way of natural elasticity.  It is a DK weight.  So I made the large size using this finer yarn and took the needles down to a US 1 and US 2 Addi Turbo.  It pretty much knitted itself while I got out of the way.  And after a bath, it softened and fluffed up just like Clara said it would.

Within a week of receiving her hat, L. was wearing it to work.  In addition to the most lovely note, she called me.  She talked about how good it felt.  The Yarn Goddess apparently smiled on the endeavor: my improvisation fit as if it was bespoken.

STF Elysium 100% cashmere in Ruby

STF Elysium 100% cashmere in Ruby

I asked if she’d like another.

It’ll be finished in the next day or so.

All because I know fantastic women.

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Mostly cloudy

June 26, 2009

I have not been anyone you’d want to spend time with this week.  For now, I’m blaming the weather.  We are sprouting webbing between the toes.  And I have been irritatedAnnoyed.  Not good company.  If you don’t have something nice to say …

So it’s time to make my own sunshine.

First, some additions to stash. I generally walk far behind bandwagons, whether it’s Clapotis, FLS, or any other oh-t00-hot online knitting discovery.

Sundara Silk Lace

Sundara Silk Lace

I usually can’t be bothered by all the fuss.  So you may be surprised by these.  Yes, it’s Sundara.  No, I did not engage in the monthly free-for-all, nor did I commit to a club.  I came across it on Ravelry’s ISO and Destash group – a very dangerous place for one to troll when one is looking for mood-enhancers.  The Silk Lace is called Mahogany over Marmalade, and

Sundara Fingering Silky Merino

Sundara Fingering Silky Merino

falls into my very favorite color range. The Fingering SilkyMerino is called Caramel Apple and involves russet and pale green – an unusual mix that works beautifully.  It is more squishy than I can begin to tell you.  So make your own sensory picture and give it a Charmin squeeze along with me.

Oh, and then I forgot to post this a couple of weeks ago.  This is 70% mink, 30% cashmere from Great Northern YarnsClara reviewed it, and I bit.  Not something I usually do, but it

Mink cashmere

Mink cashmere

was sometime unusual to try.  Based on my experience with cashmere – and Clara’s sage advice – I have a strong feeling that this is going to bloom like nobody’s business when it’s had its warm bath.

Let me say here and now that I am not interested in a debate about animal care.  I made my own consumer decision and I am fine with it.

As far as actual knitting: GetZiggy is finished and just needs seaming.  Hedgerow Mitts are done up to the thumbs, 2AAT, Blossom moving again with smaller needles.

Katie Bell's Baby Cardi

Katie Bell's Baby Cardi

Of course, the best ray of sunshine is the Darling Bebe.  She is able to make me smile like nobody’s business – and everything else just falls away.  When she got her little mitts on the Katie Bell Baby Cardi – still unblocked, I might add – I couldn’t just take it away.  So here she is in all of her mosquito-bitten (yes, that’s what’s on the bridge of her nose) glory.

And of course, it took all of two minutes for her to start to suck on those little pearl buttons.

You are my Sunshine ...

You are my Sunshine ...


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