Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Whew.

Hi. I'm sitting at Logan Airport, in Boston, waiting for my flight to London for KnitNation. I saw on Facebook that Clara Parkes is getting ready to leave Dulles for the same, and I know other teachers are on the move as well. Most of us will hit Crumpetsville tomorrow.

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:
  1. Fly to London.
  2. Teach in London.
  3. Play in London.
  4. Leave London for Southampton.
  5. Leave Southampton for New York.
  6. Leave New York for Portland.
  7. Teach in Portland.
  8. Leave Portland for Chicago.
Packing took nine hours and six different lists, and I still left the apartment without my #@$%!* phone.

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.

Anna Shawl

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.

Anna Shawl

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.

Anna Shawl

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.

Anna Shawl

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.

97 comments:

Jani said...

I have a feeling she's gonna love it. And, sorry Billy Collins, but It's definitely better than a lanyard.

whirlybird said...

Wow, that's a lot of traveling. I hope you're not too worn out by the time you get to Sock Summit.

And all seeing eyes fit mothers to a T!

dottykatz said...

Gorgeous!

Anonymous said...

dear dear Franklin. i don't have the right words here...


marie in florida
marie stanley
mym

The Foggy Knitter said...

1. I can't believe you're going to be in the same city as me and I'm not going to be able to go to Knit Nation and meet you. Stupid body. Enjoy crumpetsville (I'd also put in a word for English muffins, a bit of a passion of mine currently). Also be sure to check out Hatchards bookshop on Piccadilly and a shop called Button Queen just north of Oxford St http://www.thebuttonqueen.co.uk/

2. Gorgeous shawl and a lovely and wonderful tribute to your Mom. It's gone in high up on my "list of shawls I want to knit".

Mary Ellen said...

Oh, Franklin--You've done it again. And btw, you had me at "want to see?"...sigh...

Colleen Fitzgerald said...

Wonderful ah wonderful, to quote Mr. Welk, about that beautiful shawl!! Have fun teaching and enjoy England !!!

anne marie in philly said...

sweet mother of pearl, that is one gorgeous shawl; and I love the colorway! this one goes on my purchase list fer sure!

have fun, breathe deeply, and make sure dolores and harry don't get arrested!

lindaroo said...

I love your mom, just because of that shawl. I wish I knew her.

Ann said...

Just to let you know that I love the shawl and I know that you made it with all your heart. Have fun and enjoy your trip.

Eileen said...

Franklin, it's exquisite.

Larissa said...

I lived in Southampton for 4 years. Say hi for me. LOL

I like mom's shawl.

Catherine said...

Oh my, I love that!

JelliDonut said...

Oh! This almost made me cry, it's so sweet! I do want to see it in person, so please do not let anyone with light fingers get near it until the shawl and you get to Portland.

Beth said...

I can't wait until I can download this in August. I have some silk yarn just dying to become this shawl!

KnitNana said...

Oh my. I'm pretty sure she's going to fall head-over-heels for this one...(like, no doubt, she is for her son)
It's scrumptious. Especially in that color!

Pretty Knitty said...

I LOVELOVELOVE the idea of a "mass migration of knitters"!!! And, as any good mom will tell you, be safe and have fun!

Jeremy said...

Holy god, Franklin, that's gorgeous. August just can't come soon enough.

Jamie Wang said...

I love this shawl. I love both lace patterns and would probably knit a shawl in either, but together they are spectacular.

You outdid yourself this time.

Katie K said...

This is so beautiful I'll have have have to knit it. Wish I could knit faster!

The Elusive Thread said...

Please tell me that you will publish the pattern. I need a new shawl on the needles, and the one you made for your mom is perfect!

Ruby said...

These patterns are so gorgeous. Am ready to get my hands on some of them. Cannot wait.

Ruby

Beth V. said...

A beautiful shawl and a beautiful written tribute. Your lucky Mom gets two Mother's Days this year!

Terry said...

Aw, your mom's going to love it, and what a lovely tribute. Hit it out of the park again, dint ya.

I love the idea of migrating knitters, too, and I sure hope some net-savvy knitter comes up with a Google Earth animation...

Brenda said...

Okay. All is forgiven for your slackenbloggen.

Sarah said...

The shawl is gorgeous and such a wonderful tribute to your Mom. Have a great time in England I will keep an eye out on Twitter for Dolores' and Harry's escapades.

Spikey said...

Stunning. Simply stunning. Congratulations.

LindaWD said...

What a beautiful tribute to your Mom...I hope my son feels about me someday the way you feel about her.

Anonymous, too said...

You've done it again! And you'll probably knit it again, and again, and again, as your mom will probably want one in each of her favorite colors -- plus neutrals. Even if she says just the original is more than enough.

These latest two patterns now have me trembling with anticipation as to what the Abigail pattern will look like. And trembling with fear as to what the Dolores pattern will look like.

Hope you, Harry and Tom have fun on the trip, despite whatever disasters the chain-smoking sheep causes.

Silvia M. said...

It's lovely. :)

Melissa in Oklahoma said...

How wonderful for the women in your family to have such a great son/grandson/brother/uncle. How fortunate for you to have such inspiring women to knit for. Anna's shawl is lovely.

Rogue Of Wool said...

I love it. All of it.

MaryjoO said...

Stunning shawl -- thanks for giving us a peek. And the download will be great ... speaking of downloads, have you persuaded Skacel to put your G shawl as a download? Please Please Please!!

Have a great time on your travels!

knitter said...

Absolutely stunning Franklin!

giffnockgirl said...

I'm one of the migrants- going to Knit Nation and am taking the Intro to Lace on Friday morning.

Really looking forward to meeting you and getting to see that new shawl in the wool, so to speak.

safe journey(s)

Tini said...

the shawl is lovely. Too bad that I won't be able to go to London (again :(). I bet Dolores is just coming to try the sheeps new cake flavoured gin (http://www.hoxtonhandmade.com/about/)

ruthcrafts said...

Lovely, lovely knitting, as always! Have a good flight - I'm in your class on Sunday pm :) (So, so excited. Yay!)

SusieQ100 said...

Franklin, you truly are a man of many talents - Knitter, Photographer, Writer etc etc.
What a wonderful tribute to your Mum, I'm sure she'll be thrilled.
Have a great time on your travels!

Jenny said...

Lovely shawl, I'm sure your mom will love it.

I look forward to meeting it (and you) on Sunday afternoon at your class at KnitNation. I'm hoping for much lace inspiration :)

Ruthcrafts - funny we chose the same class, looking forward to seeing you too :)

TuesdayFortnite said...

couldn't even let me finish one shawl before producing another could you? ;-)

It's gorgeous and straight to the queue....

chellebelle said...

Beautiful.. Of course it is complicated..it's motherhood. If we are very, very good, and very, very lucky, we get complicated children in the end... You've done momma proud.

Seanna Lea said...

I love the Cascade Heritage Silk. It is good yardage, quality yarn, nice sheen and good solid colors for not too much money. It is great for a knitter (socks or shawls or what have you) on a budget!

CeltChick said...

Whoa! That's gorgeous, and has my name on it, and I'm so glad it will be published! I've never knit with silk yarn, I imagine it's a bit slippy -- but certainly worth the effort. Have a ton of fun across the pond & in Portland, wish I could too but I'll have to go "virtually" through the various knitterly blogs I read (hint, hint!).

Gretchen said...

That is a beautiful shawl, and as a mother, I would feel so grateful that my child would design something that lovely for me.
I was wondering-will Dolores meet the electric sheep? I forsee quite a friendship(and alot of visits from the police.)

Winterhart said...

I love the shawl!

And oh my ...a Heritage Sock that now has silk in it? Be still, my beating heart!!

Northmoon said...

So glad you're back to the blog. Lovely shawl.

Picturing plane loads of knitters wending their way to London from around the globe. Mass migration indeed!

Terri Lynn said...

I really hope you are blessed on your trip, like I am every time I read your stories! This one was so special, about the eyes, you are so on target with mom's everywhere! But the real kicker is getting to see the shawl, and silk, squee! I too am into the silk thing, just makes you never want to turn back to anything else!

Anonymous said...

What a good son! Made this mother get all verklempt. Will save this post for my 7-year-old-boy to read when he's got his lace knitting down.

This work of art is exquisite but somehow this post reminds me of this poem: http://www.billy-collins.com/2005/06/the_lanyard.html

-Marianne

harriet said...

The shawl is just lovely. Can't wait for the pattern. Have a great time across the pond and then across the states. Wish I could be in either place. Someday...

stitchinpuffin said...

Beautiful shawl - guess I'll have to break down and learn to knit lace! BTW, I can't believe the UK is going to allow Dolores back in after what happened in April (royal wedding, tree-climbing, remember?!?) -- they may be less than thrilled with you for bringing her.....Harry, on the other hand, seems to have been quite the gentleman and good will ambassador, hope he has a great time! Oh, and you and Tom, too!

Knit Wit Knitter said...

This is stunning! I wish I could pet the yarn on the screen it looks so soft! Can't wait for the pattern.

Knit Wit Knitter said...

This is stunning, I think you did a wonderful job. The yarn looks amazingly soft. Can't wait for the pattern.

dana said...

way way better than a lanyard....
but i doubt that even this shawl will make you even. (can anything?)

i wish i could knit this for my mother. i suppose i could knit it for a daughter instead. maybe it will help make up for the complaining that i did during their childhood.

Glen said...

Franklin-

I rarely comment- but DAYUM that's a nice shawl. And I hope you have safe, fun travels!

(and I'll keep an eye out for the pattern....)

dclulu said...

So beautiful. Both the shawl and the sentiments expressed.

Pamela said...

Your mother is one lucky woman to have such a sweet man as her son. I am sure she appreciates and loves your talents as all mothers love their sons.

Best on your trip. Sounds like fun.

Katie said...

I think this is a brilliant idea, a series of shawls (or any knit pieces really) inspired by loved ones. And I have truly enjoyed your family tributes. As someone else said, I *cannot* wait to see Abigail and Dolores. However, I'm a long time reader, did Sahar get a write up? I feel like I know your Grandmas, but did I miss her? I tried searching with no luck. Sahar is your sister right?

Patti said...

that shwal is so beautiful, I MUST HAVE, I MUST KNIT IT. Enjoy your trip

Kath's Yarns said...

Beautiful - both the shawl and your comments. I love the eyes - I know they are filled with love for you and your family. Although I have never tried a lace pattern or knit with silk, I would like to try this pattern. Thank you.

kathy b said...

wishing you hassle free very safe travels Franklin.
LOve the shawl created for your MOM> Maybe you could create a flock of them for all her wonders....

Im still working on my photography homework!

HLL said...

Sounds like fun! Unfortunately I'm working this week instead of playing at knit nation, but I work at the natural history museum just around the corner from imperial so if you fancy a quick tour behind the scenes in between classes give me a hollar! Will make it to knit bingo though, looking forward to that, planning on winning big.

Shelda said...

That makes me think a bit of Billy Collins' poem "The Lanyard."

It's gorgeous!

Anonymous said...

Um, Dolores...with us....the entire...um....time. I think you might have failed to mention that. But now that I think of it, Harry was a bit quiet when I asked the other day. If there is an incident involving...oh never mind...I know where to hide.
-Tom

dakini.grl said...

Terrible blogger? Don't be silly, it's always a pleasure to hear from you. Write when you have time.

The shawl is smashing, I can't wait to read more about it.

It's also been a pleasure to read about all these amazing women in your family. Thanks for posting!

Karen said...

I love the shawl. I love the colorway, the sturdy finishing, the simple top portion and, of course, the lacy bits in between. Just beautiful. I haven't even touched a skein of the Heritage silk yet. I'll have to go on a hunt.
Enjoy Knit Nation!

Anonymous said...

I'm in tears & I'm not even your mother. She will dissolve (or already has) when she reads this post & sees the shawl.

begnrknitter said...

Wonderful Shawl!!! Dolores in London....Hope you have bail money

Karen said...

Dear Franklin,

I hope you realize that the best thing you have said with this shawl is that your mother is pretty. And the kind of pretty that makes other people believe that they are pretty too.

Have fun in London.

K

Cynthea G said...

The shawl is lovely and graceful. Where can we get the pattern?

Caroline said...

Thta is very beautiful. You're outdoing yourself with this lace series.

My verification word is 'barkimor' - That's a very apt name for my neighborhood, with its million barking mutts!

Dragons Knitting Lace said...

Simply gorgeous. I bow to your talent.

Robin said...

LOVE it! She will be proud to wear this I think.

knits now and then said...

One of the prettiest shawls I've ever seen, and I know your Mom is totally deserving of it. I sure wish I had a son who knits (but then I might get two left mittens.)

Beverly said...

Beautiful shawl! I look forward to buying it. Hope you have a great time teaching and traveling.

Merry Karma said...

This post made my eyes leak.

The shawl is beautiful beyond words.

Carol B said...

Beautiful shawl! I'll be waiting for the pattern.

Deb said...

Beautiful shawl and I'm sure your mom is proud. I would love to knit it. Now - have a fun trip and stay safe.

Gail (nosenabook) said...

Lovely shawl, I particularly like the back view.

brsmaryland said...

Beautiful! And that purple color is stunningly vibrant.
Safe travels and happy teaching/vacationing!

Nytate said...

I am anxiously waiting for my copy of Giovanna to get here, now I can't wait for this one to be out, it's just lovely Franklin.

nb said...

if you still need wooden clothespins let me know. I accidentally bought more than a lifetime supply at an auction. Just tell me where to mail them and they are yours. it wouldn't begin to thank you for the pleasure I've had here.

Anonymous said...

Dude, If you have time you should check out the Dale Chilhuly show at the MFA. It looks amazing.

Margaret said...

This is by far the most beautiful and meaningful tribute that I've seen. And they say it's just sticks and string...

How long,exactly, is a "yonk"?

Tricotchick said...

Franklin, it's gorgeous, lovely, and every other superlative. Your mama is a lucky lady. Way to go!

Anonymous said...

Awwww that last paragraph made this mom's day.
Have a great time in England.

rkr4cds said...

So pleased to see Mom's GORGEOUS, soft, with-beautiful-'hand', shawl finished.. I'll bet it no longer fit into that small 'satchel' which held it and the needles at MFF in June!!
Bobbie from the Tomten class (photographer in the group)

knitreadclick said...

Luscious!!!!!

Sahara said...

Gosh Franklin, your design is mind-bogglingly fabulous!!

I wish that I had had the same relationship with my mother. But, like our personalities our stitch tastes were diametrically opposed. But your mom will love this! And I'M running out to buy some Cascade Silk––the color is eyepopping!

Millie said...

The shawls are just too beautiful!
The design and powerful colors are breath taking! !!! Luv it!!!!!

Togel Bola Online said...

Wow, incredible blog structure! How lengthy have you been blogging for? you make running a blog glance easy. The overall glance of your web site is excellent, let alone the content!Togel Bola Online

Taruhan Bola said...

Because that's just how awesome he is. He can sing like an angel and at the same time and scream like a devil

onur said...

Very good and interesting site with very good look and perfect information I like it

sohbet
chat
sohbet odaları
sohbet odalari
mirc
Liseli Kizlar
sohbet
chat
mirc
sohbet
chat
sohbet odaları
sohbet odaları
sohbet
sohbet
Chat
sohbet
sohbet
Chat
Porno
Chat
Chat
Sohbet
Mynet Chat
sohbet
Mynet sohbet
Mynet
sohbet
Mynet sohbet
Chat
sohbet
Mynet sohbet
Mynet Chat
Mynet sohbet
Mynet Chat
sohbet
Mynet sohbet
sohbet
sohbet
sohbet
Chat
Chat
Chat

sohbet said...

good supers sohbet

ibcbet said...

Good design.. how i get that? hehehe..

Tosun Root said...

thanks you bloggers good
sohbet
sohbet
sohbet
sohbet
sohbet
sohbet
sohbet
sohbet
gabile
Golden BallsGolden Balls Bonuses No deposition incentive gambling casino

ibcbet said...

Good share

murat turan said...

thanks you bloggers good
türküler - türküler dinle - ilahiler - ilahi dinle - Diyet Listeleri - Güzel ilahiler - ilahiler - ilahi dinle