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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.

Design: One Step Forward, Five Steps Back

August 15th, 2011

I swear I cast on about seventeen times for this ‘simple’ project. Remember yesterday, when I said that I only write down what I need to get started? It’s true. However, the flip side of the coin is that the first few inches of knitting act like a swatch, and so, often get frogged. What […]

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New Project Alert: Process & Play

August 14th, 2011

This morning, as with most weekend mornings, I got up early to attempt to get caught up with emails and responsibilities, with responses and projects. I’m working on three ‘secret’ designs right now; one for a book, one for a yarn company, and one for myself. I can’t photograph them, or talk about them, despite […]

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