I’m home with aching lower extremities from a weekend filled with great dancing. I didn’t take pictures of the dancing, but perhaps you can get a feel for what my weekend was like by listening to this. Click on #7, the selection for Star Above. That’s the kind of music contradancers get to dance to. I got a full weekend of this particular band, and they know how to ratchet up the energy level of the dancers. When you get the band and the caller and the dancers all feeding into the collective energy pot, it’s an amazing experience.
At one point in a dance, I was interacting with a guy named Jim, from Chicago. Jim is also a knitter. As we executed a movement called a “hey for four” which involves four dancers weaving a figure eight, Jim commented to me, “This is like knitting. We’re knitting people.”
I use knitting as a metaphor for many things, but I hadn’t thought to apply it to contradancing before. It works quite well. Calls like “hands four, circle, chain the ladies, courtesy turn, balance and swing, star promenade, four in line…balance…balance, contra corners, “ all these movements have counterparts in knitting. The emphasis on patterns and connections in our knitted work evolves out of a basic rhythm of stitches building on each other to form a whole. We balance our knitting with paired increases and decreases. We often knit in the round. We wrap and turn. We knit some and purl some, and the yarn forms amazing kaleideoscopes of color and texture.
The term that kept coming to my mind all weekend was “harmonious cacophony.” So the Kersti socks that I worked on when I took rest breaks and just listened to the music were a perfect project for that environment. Take a look at this color blend…..more harmonious cacophony!
And if you want to see a visual representation of harmonious cacophony in the yarn shop world, you need to see the Threadbear operation BEFORE it moves to Lansing. These two men and a shop are an amazing explosion of fiber fireworks. There is yarn everywhere…I mean everywhere. The eye doesn’t know where to look first. I can personally attest to the fact that Matt and Rob are busy filling orders though (and strictly in the order in which they are received). Between the two of them, they pretty much know what’s in stock and what isn’t, and where it’s buried if they have it. So I came away with this treasure…..
Approximately 1600 yards of Little Toes by Interlacements. No, I’m not going to make 4 pairs of socks with it. This is enough for something even more splashy….it will eventually become a warm sweatery thing to brighten up the dreary Michigan winter.
And I picked up this shawl pattern…
I won’t be joining any Charlotte-alongs. I’ve been seduced by this unique creation instead, the Which Way Do We Go shawl, by Needlefingers. (The pattern gives credit to Lansing’s very own Irene Armock for test-knitting it. Good…now I know who to turn to when I run into trouble.) I had a chance to try on the shop model and it was instant “I want this!” at first touch.
But first, I will be knitting a shop model instead. Remember the New Century Poncho Pullover from Iknitiatives that I showed in the last entry? I did get the pattern, and since TB is not carrying my beloved Noro Silk Garden anymore, I substituted this luscious pile of Manos instead.
I lose the striping effect, but I think the variegation in the Manos will be equally interesting. This wants to be on the needles before the day is over. But only to be worked on in air-conditioned surroundings!
For my final accomplishment of the weekend, this is the start of my Sunburst Sling bag made out of Soy Silk...
(Rob, Matt, I know you’re dealing with Southwest Trading Company. You HAVE to carry this particular yarn.) It’s a dream to knit with…wonderfully soft to the touch, but knits up with a satisfying firmness to it. This yarn would be wonderful in just about anything….obviously a purse, but it would be equally great for a hat, a tank top, or a cardigan, I’m loving this pattern too…just enough of a four-row pattern to keep it interesting, but not so challenging that I have to be all alone to concentrate. It fascinates me how it forms the pie pieces and gradually knits itself into the circular sunburst shape. And notice how the colors are similar to the Kersti above. More visual harmonious cacophony.
One last visual display of harmonious cacophony; last night’s accomplishment by my Lynn, who is as passionate about his phototography as I am about my knitting…
On a final note, I came home from my weekend to find that I truly am having wonderful knitting karma. I won the Lorna’s Laces in Annie's drawing. My sock yarn basket is overflowing once again. In the interests of the Pay It Forward idea (pure Hollywood schmaltz, but I’m a sucker for schmaltz), I will also do a contest with a yarn prize. Keep watching this space for further developments. Thanks Annie, I’m so tickled. (Look at Annie's blog for her finished Charlotte's Web. It's breathtakingly beautiful.)