Wool, Alpaca and Cashmere, Oh My

Today I had lunch with a friend.  That sounds so ordinary, and in a way it was.  We made the date, we confirmed it this morning, we met at Olive Garden and ate and talked.  There was lots of laughter and second helpings of soup.  But this was a reunion of sorts.  We haven’t met or visited in many long months.  Yes, we live on opposite sides of town, and we’re busy, and I’m having sick times, but there’s no excuse for our absence from one another. 


Sometimes we are just lazy in our friendships, and without realizing it we are drifting further from the ones we care about.  I made a huge jump away from most of my friends with my last move.  I thought I was making it easier for complaining family members to visit; they hated the mountain drive.  In the end, there were only more complaints about the new location, and being with my closest friends was ten times harder.  In the end, some of the most geographically distant friends have worked the hardest to maintain the bond. 


Lunch today was different in another way.  I am in a flare, and I am not sitting at home.  I take pain medication when I need to, and I get out and move.  Sometimes it’s a little move, like going to take a gift to my neighbor instead of having her send a child to pick it up.  I haven’t had any increase in prednisone, but since the hips and knees haven’t stiffened, I can still move around.  That leaves just pain and fatigue as obstacles, and neither is keeping me sitting down.  It’s a very hard decision sometimes, whether to rest or move.  There’s not a strict rule that I can point to for support of either choice, so I’m relying on my mindset.  Move, move, move.


I am surrounded by finished or almost finished projects.  I finished the Noro Kureyon afghan while I was away, including crocheted edging in the tan/gray/pink Silk Garden.  I have hats and scarves that need posting.  I just made a hat this evening, South West Trading Company’s pink Gianna, with a knitted band with a big central cable, and a crocheted crown.  Fun.  Here’s some pitiful, spur-of-the-moment photography. 

I immediately reloaded my needles with aqua-colored Artesano Alpaca Inca Cloud.  It’s a beautiful dk weight soft alpaca that I have no recollection of purchasing.  It’s been on my shelf for a while, and I’ve walked by and touched it, but this is my first experience.  I’ve doubled it, put it on size 10s, and I’m making an original brim cap.  (My original pattern is here:  https://essiewb.wordpress.com/2008/04/20/original-band-hat/)   It is quick and fun, and I can get a feel for what this alpaca will do.  It’s lovely so far, with great elasticity.  The color is deeper than in the photo, quite a nice teal-ly blue.


I’ve been holding back on photos because the website was having some troubles handling visual media, but I think I can give them now.  Hang on a sec…yippee, this is the Bazic Wool hat.  It’s not blocked yet, and you can see how it has diagonal ridges that follow the purl blocks.  It’s an adorable hat.  I love the ear flaps.  I just picked up stitches on either side to knit those.  A fun anatomy fact:  your ears are closer to the middle of the back of your head than to the middle of your forehead.  You have to account for that when you make earflaps, otherwise they will not be in position to warm the ears, and they will look awkward.  I use the scientific method of trying on the hat and seeing where my ears are before I decide where to place the flaps. 


One more:  This is the black cashmere hat.  It fits loosely, the more to appreciate the softness and the unstructured crown with its tangle of cables.  I love designing this hat.  The crown began with evenly spaced cables, but they quickly took their own routes, with some crossing, others splitting or touching another and bouncing back.  Gestalt cables. 


Yes, I know, enough already.  Even if you’re a hard-core knitter, you’ve probably seen enough.  Speaking of hard-core, the knitting group I attend is going to get wild and crazy over Christmas.  We’re going to draw names and exchange inexpensive gifts.  We made some guidelines so that no one would give something really undesirable, like a canister of dehydrated dog food.  Oh yeah, break out the cider! 


Having this little short haircut sure makes it easy to give myself a scalp massage.  Ahhh, life is good.



One Response

  1. Hi, i found your blog quite by accident, but I wondered if you knit your items for sale and how do order a cap? Thank you…and Peace.

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