I have not spent much time in 2011 knitting. I have focused on other projects like homeschooling my kids, teaching at a homeschool co-op, doing volunteer work, and then packing up and moving half way across the country.
After a ridiculous amount of imbalance with too much work and not enough play I decided to return to knitting this fall. Inspired by Jane Thornley and pushed by the deadline of an October knit-a-long on the JT forum on Ravelry, I started and finished this scarf in four weeks.
How this process with Jane's method works is: we start with a common general theme from nature. We were to use autumn's changing landscape as an inspiration. Having landed in the Houston area where there is not a glorious color display (which I am mourning) I chose a photo I took in my Connecticut yard last autumn. I used the (free) color palette generator at bighugelabs.com to find the colors.
This pattern is lace and it is from Jane Thornley's Branches and Dunes Evocative Guide. What we then do is take our unique photos and we pick our own yarns based on the color palette or the shapes (depending on the pattern). We usually work with yarns that vary in texture and thickness that range from wool to silk to acrylic to ribbon to anything and everything under the sun. The colors are usually varied and bright and anything but dull and boring. In the end every single project knitted from the same base pattern is truly a different creation. One of my favorite things about a knit-a-long is we chat through the process and we share progress photos along the way. We help each other when we are misunderstanding the stitch and when we need help getting past a stumbling block.
It felt great to knit again. I was off to a rough start, having started and frogged this scarf five or six times before understanding the new lace pattern enough to get it right. I did make an error on the end's decrease so my two ends are not the same. Oh well, that's okay. The ends look a bit boring and it is flat only because I steam ironed it due to it being bunched up and lumpy. I think I will (for the first time) add bead embellishments dangling off the ends. That will require finding where the local craft and bead shops are in the Houston area and going on a shopping spree, it's not something I can quickly dash off and do.
One thing I like about this scarf is it is loose and airy enough to wear in Texas. I kept it short and didn't make it too wide on purpose. It can get cold indoors, especially in the air conditioned restaurants and shops, so it will be good to have a light scarf around my neck this winter, I think.
Wild Cherry Tree Leaves
Photo above taken 10/26/10 by ChristineMM in Fairfield County, Connecticut (not digitally altered).