One of my co-workers showed me the book she had recently bought, Arctic Lace: Knitted projects and stories inspired by Alaska’s Native knitters, by Donna Druchunas. The book is the result of her trip to Alaska to visit Oomingmak, the Musk Ox Producer's Co-operative and the Musk Ox Farm. It talks about qiviut, or musk ox down, which is supposed to be so luxurious, lightweight, and warm, that once you use it, you want to keep making more and more things with it! I didn't have a chance to read the book very closely, but it seemed to have some nice photographs and clear illustrations, and provided historical information about some of the native peoples of Alaska, as well as some lace patterns for the reader to try.
And once again, it struck me how people can make such beautiful and amazing things that look to be intricate and difficult, even if they are the simplest of patterns. My few attempts at lace have not been overly successful, though I'm getting better at it, and I am determined to successfully complete one lacy shawl in my life that I would actually wear out of the house ...
My friend Sue, is a lace knitter in a big way. She has made several lace shawls, and recently on her blog, she posted several shawls all from the same pattern, but with different weight yarns, and one was just more beautiful than the other. The other day, she posted a photo of her most recently completed project, which is a pattern called Peacock Feathers. I am constantly amazed at the beauty of her lace knitting, and how she seems to have an aptitude for it. (And come to think of it, I think she has used qiviut ...)
I may or may not have lace aptitude, but I am determined to learn how to knit lace well ... or at least, well enough to satisfy me! I'm sure a lot of it is just getting used to the pattern you are following (to quote my mother: "You get used to hanging if you hang long enough"), but at least at the moment, I can only work on lace knitting if I am doing absolutely nothing else. Seriously. I can't talk to anyone, watch TV, or even listen to music, or I keep losing my place! (Not to mention what happens if one of the cats decides to "help" me!)
I did successfully knit a few dishcloths in a pattern where the yarnovers created a tulip in the center. If I do say so myself, they turned out quite pretty. So maybe there's hope for me after all ...
Candles on the cake time
Moving to another set of birthdays, today we have two more to celebrate: my sister-in-law Sheila, and my Niece M.
Sheila is my husband's oldest sister, and she lives in Indianapolis with her husband Dave and their two pups, Tux and Ruby. Sheila is one of those people who is incredibly smart, and also a lot of fun. She also never forgets anyone's birthday or anniversary, and always sends a note and/or a card.
Happy Birthday, Sheila! We'll drink a glass of wine in your honor.
Maira is the second-to-the-youngest daughter of my husband's oldest brother. She is turning 17 today, and though we don't see her too often, she is absolutely beautiful. (If I had a picture of her alone, I'd post it. But I only have pictures of her in large groups of other family. Someday when I become more advanced with Photoshop, I'll figure out how to pull one person out of a picture, and post it. Until then, take my word for it, OK?) She apparently also attends the School of Rock out in one of the nearby 'burbs, so really - how could she NOT be a great kid???
Happy Birthday Maira, and rock on!