Saturday, January 10, 2009

Back in the Game

Well, I didn't fall off the face of the earth, but I did take a longer break from blogging than I had intended. During the interim my retired husband and I explored:

1. the coast of Maine. We stayed in Brooklin where E.B. White had a farm. If you wrote papers while in college you probably used his guide to writing and grammar called Elements of Style. Or, if you loved to read as a child or to your children you probably read Charlotte's Web--not the movie version. Here is the farm (now gussied up as a luxury vacation home):
And, here is the former pig pen at a neighboring farm that inspired the character of Wilbur:
2. the Bay of Fundy, location of the famous Tidal Bore. I wasn't so terribly impressed. I was looking for a wall of water similar to what is said to have occurred when Moses parted the sea, but the reality of nature sometimes is not as dramatic as the hype when on vacation.
3. Prince Edward Island (and Anne of Green Gables land). If you loved the Anne of Green Gables books, or even the movies, this is the place for you. Although Anne was a fictional character, thousands of tourists from around the world (particularly the Japanese!!??) look for the places that this young girl lived, went to school, first kissed Gilbert, etc. Great, great fun.

3. a bit of Nova Scotia. While in Halifax, I crossed the river and visited Lucy Neatby's home/office/studio. She was on tour but her able assistant showed me the yarn--impossible to resist. I loved handling the originals of her creations, seeing her piles of yarn and needles and stacks of her fabulous DVD's.

We also visited Seattle and the San Juan Island area where I purchased more yarn. (the summer was actually an Atlantic to Pacific knitting journey.)

Yarn purchased in Anacortes was destined for a blanket for my husband's daughter and her new husband, to keep warm in their vacation yurt on Decatur Island. I knit and knit and knit while on vacation--making uninspiring diagonal garter stitch squares out of Cascade's Ecological Wool. The result was better than I had dreamed:

I changed colors somewhat randomly in the first 24 squares, then duplicated them for the second 24 squares. I did not at all anticipate the star effect in the middle, but I love the unplanned surprise.

I cannot take credit for the idea of the blanket, as much as I would like to believe that I have such a high level of creativity. Rather, I brazenly took the idea from Anna in Finland, whose blankets are an absolute work of art. If you haven't seen her blog, check it out and stand in awe. She has made more than 125 blankets that she has given away to charities. I can no longer find the link to her gallery of blankets. Maybe if you sent her a message she would send you the link.

I love making blankets for other people. I think of the people wrapped in warmth, love and my best wishes for their well being. I certainly hope that the recipients find warmth, love and good wishes when keeping when wrapped in all that wool. But, blankets take a long, long time to make. I think the next one will be for me. But, I'm still looking for the perfect pattern whose color will go perfectly with my decor (or lack thereof).

Have you made a blanket for yourself? How did you select the color, yarn, pattern? Fancy or plain? In pieces or knit all in one large rectangle, square or circle?? How do I choose???


betty said...

I love the blanket! Love the colors and the motives, it turned out great!

Also, welcome back to blogland! We both took great breaks this year, didn't we? ;)

kate said...

The blanket is gorgeous!!

I have made a number of blankets, although the one for me is not yet finished. I usually pick a pattern that appeals to me and then find yarn I like for a blanket. I love making baby blankets, as they can be fun without getting too tedious! I have made two very large blankets, but they took a long time!

HPNY Knits said...

I love San Juan islands. its a wonderful place. and the blanket is stunning! I love it. give yourself a huge credit. sure, Anna's blankets are beautiful, but yours are just as amazing!

Anonymous said...

Your blanket is amazing! I've been thinking about a blanket for some time, and your's is truly inspiring. Would you be willing to share how you made it?


Binnie said...

Your blanket is beautiful. I have made quite a few blankets, some of them knit and some using felted sweater squares stitched together by hand (no more - I burned out!). I've had some experience knitting mitred squares - can you suggest needle size and yarn weight for your type of blanket?
Binnie, Halifax