Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Pattern Recognition I

Raphaella used to call the hydrangea bush in my old front yard "puff ball flower." It was a short, kind of squat bush that, after a couple seasons of serious pruning, produced tons of large, blue flowers. I see a lot of those around this neighborhood, along with what looks like another type of hydrangea:

Mauve Hortensias

Taller bushes with smaller, more loosely-packed flowers, these started out greenish-white or maybe cream-colored with a hint of blush. For Fall, they seem to have turned to anything from mauve to burgundy-colored. They have the same leaf positioning as the other hydrangeas. The Frenchie calls them hortensias.

As part of my "get over yourself, Be" campaign, decided to break out a knitting bible* and crack the code of something that, though very simple, has always given me a tough time: a vintage lace pattern called "feather and fan" or "old shale."

First attempts were met with failure and frustration due to miscounted yarnovers**. In desperation, grabbed a small ball of mauve (a color I normally dislike) and, gosh darnit, it worked:

Old Shale

I'm calling this Old Shale in Old Rose. The swatch is only about 16"-18" long, as I ran out of yarn. Absolutely don't want to frog*** it, though, because I think it's gorgeous and, well, I'm kind of proud of it. Maybe will just sew on a couple buttons and make it into a neckwarmer. Heck, I'd wear it.


* Mary Thomas and Elizabeth Zimmerman are my knitting go-tos, my gurus. Some day I'd like to try out and work a project in all the patterns in the above-mentioned book. Next year, I'm thinking of knitting every project from Zimmerman's Knitting Almanac. I stand to learn a lot from both ventures.

** First a mohair, as I thought that that would be neat. Big mistake. The next was a bit of wool that was smoother than the mohair but didn't show the pattern very well. The third time with the Wool Ease was the charm.

*** unravel

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