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Introducing Contorno

September 16th, 2011

This morning, I woke up at 5am to let the dogs out. Instead of going back to bed, and maybe getting another restless hour of sleep, I sat in the dining room with my computer and finished the last touches on this pattern.

I’ve been overloaded these past few weeks. My job is thrilling me – but it’s also consuming a lot of my thoughts in the hours I normally spend knitting or designing. Time to blog? Non-existent. And yet, I wanted to knit my mom something for her birthday on August 27th. Several years ago, I’d gifted her a Charlotte’s Web, and she’s always exclaimed over the colors and how it looks over a plain black coat.

So when this birthday rolled around – her first without dad in 40 years – I wanted to craft something really special. My lack of time has made it just a wee bit late… but more on that in a bit.

Contorno is a shawl/wrap/scarf that uses 3 colorways of Koigu, and short rows to shape the ripple edging into a curving kind of crescent. It can be scrunched around your neck, or wrapped over your shoulders.

The thing I loved about this design was how the handpaints play so well together. The yarns do coordinate, but so often with Koigu, it’s fun to add in quite a bit of contrast. The result? A spicy, ziggy-zaggy, cacophony of colors.

Full Pattern information >

Next week, I’m going to be teaching at Vogue Knitting Live in LA! I’m flying down for just a few days; teaching on Saturday and Sunday, and then heading to Santa Barbara to teach a sold-out Cloud Chaser class on Monday. After that? I’m swinging through Chicago so I can deliver Contorno in person.

Originally, I was just going overnight. Now, I’m staying with mom through the following Saturday. While it’s going to be lovely to spend time with her, the reason isn’t so lovely. A few weeks ago, Mom was diagnosed with Diffuse Large B-Cell Type Non-Hodgskins Lymphoma. It has spread to her bone marrow, so she’s classified as Stage 4. She’ll begin her first round of chemotheraphy on September 26, and I’ll be there for the days after to help out and keep her company as she goes through the first of 6 treatments.

Many people have asked what they can do. My answer? I don’t know.

My sisters over at AerysSports have started up several Light The Night groups to walk for Lymphoma and Leukemia research. Consider joining the Aerys team on a walk. I’m incredibly honoured that they’d organize this to support Mom and our family.

Right now I’m trying to process this news, and attempt to understand how life can be so cruel to hit us with this new challenge, so soon after losing Dad.

Lymphoma – even stage 4 – is treatable, and often responds very well to chemo. Still, there are no guarantees, and it’s going to be a tough 5 months, if not more.

Will giving my mom this design help make things easier? Probably not. But it can’t hurt for her to have a new reminder of my constant love.

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13 Responses to “Introducing Contorno”

  1. Mary Valle Says:

    This is gorgeous and I will keep you and your mom in my prayers. Knitting will serve you well as a cancer-caretaker.

  2. susan venable Says:

    Amy, I am so sorry for what you and your mum are about to go through. I just went through sometime similar, and you WILL come out on the other side. It just takes time, strength, and a whole lot of knitting to calm the nerves. See you in Santa Barbara on the 26th.

  3. Lesley Says:

    I’m glad you’ll be able to be there with her when she starts her treatments – praying for a positive outcome for both of you!! Thank you for the beautiful pattern 🙂

  4. Val Says:

    Amy this will be a hug for your Mom every time she puts it on..

    Take care.

  5. Lee Says:

    I’m so sorry to hear about this. Cancer treatment is an awful process, I’ll be hoping for the best outcome for you both. Take care.

  6. Annie Says:

    Oh sweetheart… Damn.

  7. Cecilia Says:

    I’m so sorry to hear about your mom. My sister was diagnosed with the same cancer, also stage 4, a little over a year ago. She is now in full remission. I’m hoping for the same result for your mom. And I know she’ll love the shawl!

  8. Carolyn Says:

    I’m so sorry – you are giving your mom the best gift of all – being with her during her initial treatments. I’m sure she knows you love her. The shawl is absolutely exquisite and I know she will feel your love every time she wears it. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

  9. Mandy Says:

    I’m so sorry to hear about your mom. My thoughts are with you and your family.

  10. juniperjune Says:

    oh, this is lovely! what a great way to show off handpainted yarn! and i’m so sorry to hear about your mother. FYI, my RSS reader just delivered your last four or five posts to me today– the problem may well be on my end and not yours, but to me it looked like you hadn’t posted anything in months! so i thought i’d mention it.

  11. While Tangerine Dreams Says:

    Amy, I’m so sorry about your mom’s challenge right now. I’ll be thinking of you and her and wishing your family much strength to get through this. Hugs to you love. xo

  12. Ana Says:

    Hi Amy,

    I´m so sorry about your mom´s health news. I´m also glad to see that the chances of recovery are high, and I´m pretty sure this shawl will make her feel accompanied.

    When people ask you what they can do to help, my suggestion is to sign up as bone marrow donors. There´s a worldwide database and they might as well be someone else´s super hero! 🙂 I signed up two years ago and the process is very simple.

    Hugs, all the best.

  13. Sharyn Lewis Says:

    Hi Amy–
    I’m currently working on a Contorno in Lorna’s Laces Lion and Lamb. It’s great so far–I love it.

    I have a question about the pattern that I am hoping you can help me with.

    I finished the first half of the chevron border, and I have placed my provisionally cast-on stitches on the needle, ready to begin the second half of the border. If I place the carrying edge of the work on the left side, as the pattern states, I will then be flipping the wrong side and the right side. Is this correct?

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