I like the idea of mass migrations of knitters. More colorful than migrating wildebeest. Less liable to poop on your head than migrating birds. Far more pleasant than the roving swarms of locusts or beetles or whatever it is that has been eating the damn leaves in my flower bed. (Oy. Don't even ask, seriously.)
My schedule for the next three weeks may be summarized thus:
- Fly to London.
- Teach in London.
- Play in London.
- Leave London for Southampton.
- Leave Southampton for New York.
- Leave New York for Portland.
- Teach in Portland.
- Leave Portland for Chicago.
This will be a family event. Tom joins me for numbers 3 through 5; Dolores and Harry will be in attendance for the whole shebang.
(Shebang is, don't you think, an almost too-apt description of an undertaking in which Dolores becomes involved?)
Getting ready for all this has turned me into a terrible blogger, and I beg your indulgence. Will you think more kindly of me if I show you some actual knitting? No kidding, actual knitting. A whole shawl, in fact. I was going to wait until after this trip to post about it, but I can't stand it any more. It's been finished for yonks.
Tell you what, I'll show you some of the test photos; the pattern will be for sale via download come August. If you want to see it in person, I have it with me.
It's another in the series named for women in my family. This one's for my mother, so it'll be called Anna. Anna is Giovannina's daughter, Pauline's daughter-in-law and Sahar's mother.
The yarn is Cascade Heritage Silk, about which I do not believe there is yet enough happy screaming. I fell in love with it halfway through Swatch #1; and having completed one project in it I'm already in the mood for another.
This piece taught me something interesting, which is that you cannot sum up your mother in a couple of stitch motifs. Or at least I can't sum up my mother in a couple of stitch motifs. So there's less overt symbolism here than in, say, Pauline; and fewer outside references than in Giovannina.
While I was designing the lace patterns, I tried knitting Things That Spoke of Mother; and every time the results fell short. How could they not? A woman goes through very scary labor in order to bring you into the world, then spends decades dealing with your quirky child self and your weird teenage self and your annoying adult self. She never once complains, she never stops loving you. And then you turn around and say, "Hey, I put everything you are and have done into in this bunch of yarnovers that kind of looks like a flock of doves if you squint." Right.
In the end I set the whole idea of symbolism aside. I just played with the yarn until what was on the needles seemed to bear some kinship to my mother's spirit.
So almost every time I look at this shawl, I see different things. Once it was honeybees–very suitable for a mother who has uncomplainingly spent her life in near-constant motion, making things for other people. Another time, during the knitting, I realized that the little pair of yarn overs that pop up periodically reminded me of her eyes. Especially since they were all over the place. If there is anything that makes me think of my mother, it's all-seeing eyes. She was and is a modern Argus, only she's a hep chick from Detroit and she can dance better.
Mom, I hope you like it. In the end, I admit that I can't sum you up in one shawl. But what the heck. You know the truth. They're all dedicated to you, even when they don't have your name on them.