Monday, September 9, 2013

Late Summer Knitting

Labor Day brought a touch of Fall. However, the last few days have been very summery with temps in the high nineties. Evenings I have been knitting with fingering weight yarn. In July, I finished a Shallows Cowl designed by Bonnie Sennott and am working on a sweater called Current by Cecily Glowik Macdonald. Both women are independent designers who use the internet to sell thoughtfully crafted and well written patterns. 

When my grandmother taught me to knit, needlework books and magazines contained projects identified by number. Patterns with corresponding numbers were printed in a separate section of the publication. These books record knitting history and I am glad they continue to be produced. Now and then I buy a hard copy knitting book but I also enjoy the convenience of browsing and buying individual patterns from independent designers.

Regardless of the way patterns are published, designers name them. The names, helpful in marketing, entertain me as well as give me an interesting way to refer to my projects. When sewing this cowl together, I noticed the short section of garter stitch rows rippling like water along the top and bottom of lace sections. The columns of lace resemble stalks of grass and reeds at the edge of a body of water. Sennott, the designer of the cowl, lives in Amherst, Massachusettes and perhaps considered these images when creating the design.

Early August I transitioned into full fledged retirement and began knitting Current, a sweater edged with a cabled rib reminiscent of a meandering stream. Macdonald, from Portland, Maine, might have been thinking about the ocean as she designed the pattern. To me, the word current suggests wind blowing across the Nebraska prairie or water flowing in the channels of the Platte and Elkhorn Rivers.

Some currents run deep and are hidden from view while others are quite visible on the surface of grasses or water. Although both are diverted by rock, sticks, tree branches, and land formations, they continue in a general direction. When the movement of a current increases during heavy rainfall or snow melt, areas of shallow water and/or plants buffer land and leave behind rich silt. The movement and change in currents promotes healthy ecosystems rich with plant and animal life. Kids and adults often enjoy poking around in spaces where land and water meet. These thoughts, meandering around and through this summer's end knitting, carry me into retirement toward cooler autumn weather.

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