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Name: knitabulous
Location: Mt Keira, New South Wales, Australia

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For love of trout

9 May 2007

Lest you think this blog has lowered it's tone into nothing but negativity and contrary opinions, I had better share a project I've recently finished.

Just to give you an idea of the dimensions of this shawl, it is roughly a seven foot equilateral triangle. A seriously big wrapper.

A joy to knit, the yarn is called Bloomfield, and retails at this wonderful place called Heritage Spinning in Lake Irion Michigan. A 50/50 fingering weight silk/merino it has the smell, the hand, the drape and the softness of a seriously good quality yarn.

The handpainted colours have been deliberately knitted for contrast, to show their beauty. And beautiful they are.

I got the gig from the great Jae, who suggested me as a test knitter to the yarn store for whom she drafted the pattern (from a knitted prototype mind you, how clever is that?).

Anyhow I took possession of the yarn on the 27 April and here we are, almost a hundred thousand stitches later blocked and pressed and ready to fly home to roost.

One of the things I loved about making this shawl was the names of the colours. I know that a lot of people epitomise their 'America' - and clearly Joan must also, for she has named her colours after the local nature elements from which the colours were inspired. Lake Charlevoix, Up North, Trout (my favourite), Harvest, Lighthouse Road, Grand Traverse, nighthawk. Made me wish I could be there, drinking in that crisp mountain air, feasting on trout and cherries.

Each colour is knitted in a different lace pattern, and I fancied they matched the colours of the yarn. The stocking stitch centre in lake charlevoix was to me like the mirrorred surface of the still lake, with the reflections of clouds and sky on the surface, the trout colour was the scales from the wild trout in the lake, tall conifers from Up North, wheatsheafs in the Harvest, Leaves by the side of the lighthouse road, cherries from Grand Traverse and finally the dramatic feathers of the inky blue nighthawk.

It was those thoughts of the purity of the American landscape, the clarity of the colours and Joan's love of her environment that spawned their names that kept me going, even though the rows were long and the knitting grew heavy and large. I swear I could feel the lanscapes through these colours while I knitted them, so to Joan I does a little curtsey, '

I was honoured, it was a pleasure, and thank you for the opportunity m'lady.'

The final picture is of my knitting chair, in the gorgeous autumn sun one morning last week. I swear of all the sofas in this house, I spend most of my time sitting on this outdoor chair, knitting, knitting, knitting and drinking black tea. Or wine. It's not even that comfortable - it makes my bum numb - maybe I should invest in a better quality chair.

(now if I named colours after my local area they'd might get called Fairy Meadow, Puckey's Estate, North Gong pub and Unanderra railway station - hardly the same ring don't you think?)

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