Plenty

Honey Locust 1Things just don’t feel orderly at the moment – my life isn’t out of control, but it’s tumbling like clothes in the dryer, in a good way. One of these days I’ll get to make order – fold the clothes, so to speak – but right now is not the time.

I’ve put the finishing touches on my new shawl pattern. It’s called Honey Locust, after the big old trees that shade my little office at Stony Hill. Though I didn’t get a chance to do a “real” photo shoot with one Remarkable R or the other, the photos I have manage to do the color and the lace some justice.

Honey Locust 4I’m pleased and excited that the pattern will be a part of the Rhinebeck experience at Spirit Trail Fiberworks. When you purchase a skein of Brigantia to make Honey Locust, you’ll receive a coupon code for a free Ravelry download of the pattern! Visit Jen’s booth in Building A early and often, because I hear that she’s debuting lots of new colorways, including this one, Purple Peacock.

There’s a lot of energy left here after the designing and knitting. Honey Locust wasn’t a struggle, but a catalyst. I have ideas, little notes scribbled in my book, and things I’d like to try. I want unspoken-for time, and a clear mind, and able fingers. I have all but the first thing.

I think that’s plenty.

Honey Locust 3Honey Locust Details

Honey Locust is knitted from the top down, with increases that create a gently-curved, wide crescent shawl. The lace panel is set into alternating bands of simple stockinette and Trellis Lace. It’s not complicated to work, and you’ll find a comfortable rhythm in the knitting.

Instructions are written, and a chart is included for the Honey Locust Lace Panel. The Chinese Waitress cast-on is new to me, and it’s perfect for this shawl, so I’ve included links to two instructional videos. Please be brave and try it!

The pattern will be available in my Ravelry Store beginning on Saturday, October 18 . It’s listed there now, so go on over and take a look!

Not Plain Jane’s Ravelry Store

Vibrant

Brigantia Shawl 5I had to close most of the windows last night, and brought out a pair of wool socks to keep my feet warm. This is my favorite weather — in between seasons. The sun is still strong, but the light is changing, and the temperature is perfect.

Now that summer is over I’ve been knitting again, and happily designing a new shawl. It’s almost finished, and it will be ready in time for Rhinebeck. When Jen asked me to help her debut a new color for Spirit Trail Fiberworks, my work-addled brain came to life.Brigantia Shawl 4

Here it is, in glorious color. It’s called Purple Peacock —and it’s the most beautiful, intense blue/purple that I’ve ever seen. It changes with the light, and I had a hard time photographing it. Jen was inspired by a trip to the zoo that she took with her family this summer.

It will be available in all her yarn bases, but my shawl is in Brigantia, a DK-weight blend of 85% Polwarth and 15% silk. It’s one of my favorite Spirit Trail yarns — sturdy, but with a lovely drape, and that little glow that the silk brings to the surface of the fabric.

I’d had something in mind for Brigantia a while back, and I reworked it a bit, changed some things here and there, and fine-tuned some techniques and stitches to create a generous shawl that will be comfortable and not too bulky, but still substantial. I like substantial shawls, as you might have noticed!Brigantia Shawl 3

I don’t want to show you everything, but this lump of knitting (all shawls have a lump-of-knitting stage) hints at a little lace, some stockinette, and a simple border. It’s a shawl, so it will take some time to knit — but in beautiful Brigantia on #7 needles the time will pass quickly!

You’ll need just one skein of Brigantia to make the shawl, and here’s something exciting: when you purchase a skein of Brigantia to make it at the Spirit Trail booth at Rhinebeck, you’ll receive a coupon for a free Ravelry download of the pattern!

(Stuck in my head right now: Ina Garten saying “How easy is that?”)

I’m thrilled to be collaborating with Jen, and to be working with her beautiful yarn in this exciting, vibrant color to bring you a pattern that I hope will be lovely to knit, lovely to wear, and that will make you smile throughout the process.

Evenings

Evening at Stony HillI’ve never had a job like this, one that is so tied to the outdoors. It was a while before I understood that one of the reasons I love to come to work is that I am in and outside all day long, in the fresh (or damp) air, needing a sweater on breezy days, and making sure my rain jacket is always in the car.

I might complain that papers keep blowing off the desk (there are stones to hold everything down), or that the floor is always either sandy or damp, and that the layers of sandy dust can never be completely wiped away, but they are small complaints.

Because when I close the door in the evening and walk to my car, this is what I see when I turn around and look back. I work long hours, and I’m bone-tired, but I leave knowing I’ve done good work, and with my soul intact.

Evening at Stony Hill 2

And on some evenings, after a long day at work, I’m the only person left there. I walk down to lock my files in the barn office. The barn is quiet except for the birds, so many birds, mostly sparrows. Dahli and Tiamo are there, nosey and interested—especially Dahli (on the left), who may as well be saying, “Hi! Hi! Hey, what’s new?” All the other horses are quiet, tucked in for the night.

Day Off 08.06.14Tuesdays and Wednesdays are my days off for now, so I treat them like a weekend. I do all my errands on one day, and rest on the other. I’ve been working on a shawl, the ingeniously-shaped Lory by Bristol Ivy. I’m using some Sundara Sport from Kris Jensen’s stash. It’s comfort knitting on my days off or on those rare evenings when I get home before 8:00.

And there’s something else in the works. The notebooks and pen are out again, and ideas and stitches and shapes are finding their way to the pages. I think while I knit Lory, and make the notations and scribbles that will lead to swatches and spreadsheets and a knitted thing.

Before long, summer will be over. I’ll be able to spend fewer hours at work, and less time getting there and back. I’ll get to spend more time concentrating on knitting and thinking up knitting. And I’ll be able to leave work in the evening with a less tired but still satisfied smile.

Landmark Update

I’m so grateful to all who have downloaded Landmark and Boxwood! There’s an updated version of the shawl (V1.1) that is available to everyone who purchased the original version. All downloads after July 23rd are the updated pattern.