We preserve that special place in our memory for reflections and thoughts of times of joy, and our happiness seems to depend on remembering these joyful events, which enables us to view the future with a positive mind as well. Our eyes are said to be the window to our soul, and our memories are our window to our heart and mind, which are the home of our memories. Let us try to regain that feeling of bliss, the happiness and gratitude by giving to those dear to us, to those in need.
Squirrels are busy burying walnuts, the cats sidle along the house protected from the wind, spiders stealthily fabricate their web in hidden corners – there is a touch of a Winter Breeze in the air! With the first frost I made this Crazy Lace wrap, using Jane Thornley ‘s lovely lacy Breeze pattern published in her newsletter and on Ravelry. The Austermann Fancy Mix yarn had been lingering in my stash for quite a while and waited for the right project to come along, and the long wait paid off: there was simply no other yarn to match the beauty of the frosty meadow in the early morning sunlight. I used the Navaho ply (also see here) in places where the yarn was too thin to keep within the overall weight and added random Crazy Lace rows (Navaho knitting). I think my friend Helga will like the colors and feel of this Breeze…
The Magic of Color expressed in two very different tops, using the same pattern and type of yarn.
This beautiful kidsilk haze from Rowan was bought spontaneously some years ago – two skeins were abandoned and lingered in a basket in front of a woolstore – can you believe? I put them safely away in my mohair box and there the twins waited for their great entrance into the world of favorite garments. With the lovely Minimalist Top pattern by Anna Kuduja they found their destination!
The pattern is very easy to follow and I did not change the stitch count, the mohair material is forgiving if one is not quite as slender as the designer.
Since I tend to knit tightly, I cast on double the number of stitches with 2 sizes smaller needles and knitted them together in the first round with the required needle size (US9). This way the edge is very elastic yet snaps back once the top is pulled over the head. One could of course also used the Magic CO method, which is very elastic. I kept track of the joining by setting four markers, a white one for the joining point and a blue one half-way through the round.
I did not want the bind-off to roll in as indeed I want the cast-on edge to roll in – so I am using a ”Surprisingly stretchy bind-off” by Cat Bordhi to finish this beautiful mohair top. The last five rounds are knit in moss stitch. Both methods combined led to a great straight and non-binding bottom edge of the Minimalist top.
It is exactly like the designer said: A Minimalist Top, as light as a feather and very versatile – it will definitely not stay single… (also see this post for more pictures of the Flaming Lobster Top)
Would I have chosen a color like that for myself to wear? Probably not. To my surprise though, people always comment on the color and how well it suits me – this proves that occasionally we should walk out of our self-imagined color cocoon and be open for new experiences!
There is a language for everything
A language for thinking, for speaking, for understanding, for expressing one’s feelings in music or paintings, for communicating in sign language and by demonstrating personal ideas or thoughts. One can mimic, imitate and impersonate, one can reduce one’s communication to a smile or a frown, to tears of joy or sadness. Every language has its own significant niche and speaks to the listener, spectator or an audience. Sometimes it helps to take flight into another language, verbally or in any other form of communication. Some languages are very structured and rigid, some are forgiving and easily comprehended.
Textile crafts speak a universal language transcending all levels of society. There is no need for a dictionary – a blanket, a hat, a wrap, mittens or socks – everybody knows these items and their individual worth. Patterns and colors convey an additional message just as easily. Cultural differences in the use of color are deeply rooted in societies and speak their own language, and as the world quickly grew into a global one with the advent of the internet, these differences became even more visible and at the same time much less separating.
Fascinating is the use of color in knitting. The best example is Ravelry: looking at one popular pattern and its realization in a hugely diverse array of yarn colors and structures demonstrates the versatility of colors – and the impact they have on the viewer and on the person wearing them, speaking to the viewer and calling for an intuitive reaction. A visual and richly rewarding conversation begins.
Often we remember fondly the special person in our childhood who opened doors to a new experience, a higher level knowledge, an introduction to a world hitherto hidden or unknown. We hold a special place in our heart for those people, frequently for a lifetime. Learning how to ride a bike. Jumping into a pool. Saying words in a different language and being understood. These early friends enabled, supported and believed in our fantasy and imagination. Most knitters remember their beginnings and how they ventured out, exploring new patterns and stitches, designs and alterations of them. A versatile language indeed!
There were throngs of people looking at this painting by Max Ernst, discussing and guessing its meaning, as it spoke to everyone in a different language and triggered thought many processes.
The title of the painting from about 1923 is “L’Autoritaire”.
It was shown at at the Museum Berggruen / Sammlung Scharf Gerstenberg. Most probably, each viewer will have a different interpretation of this enigmatic painting – but it talks to everybody!
In knitting, we have the option to speak through and paint with colors, as Jane Thornley does so masterfully. Through our knitting we communicate with others and are probably more open and honest and easily understood. What a beautiful and enriching gift to have!
Time for a project update: The unique pattern, Forest and Frills, by Tiny Owl Knits found its yarn in my stash: The blue Classic Elite Yarn Montera for the overall body and Berroco Optik Multicolor grabbed the chance to become the frills.
The knit was easy and fast – once finished I could not wait to try it on
and finally see how it draped into place. The combination of the two
yarns worked well and the Berocco Multicolor prepares the ground for
many T-shirts with different colors to go with it! An intensely blue mohair border highlights the outline of this bolero.
A Granny I am, but square ? I certainly hope not. Just a wee bit fickle-minded. On my way of knitting a granny square blanket with Drop yarns I decided I’d rather have a Kimono instead and get more personal use out of it! Selfish, isn’t it – but I wear the Kimono gleefully and happily.
The pattern is repetitive to say the least, and sewing the squares together calls for a mind-blinded evening in front of the TV. I embellished the border as suggested but added another row, using a crab stitch. The squares on the front are basically purple and pinks of various shades plus some turquoise, the back tends toward greens and browns and shows a black narrow gusset at the center between the two top-most squares, adapting to the neck curvature and allowing a better drape of the back . The added advantage about this Kimono is that one can wear it at many different occasions, mundane or fancy! If you want to see another Kimono of mine: click here.
We had the chance to see the amazing Heinz Berggruen collection of paintings in the Berggruen Museum in Berlin. Amongst the favorited painters was also Paul Klee. Here are two of his color block paintings, Color Blocks (top) and Ancient Sounds (bottom). Should you want to read a little bit more about our trip to Berlin click here.