A little bit of this and, a little bit of that, makes a little bit of me.

This is one of the last exercises at Joan Sheridan’s SOAR Retreat 3-hour Make Wheel Do the Work Class on Saturday, October 31, 2009, spun on Pipy Wendy and Saxony, average tensioned, small whorl. The corriedale singles is even prettier plied with four varieties of silver-lined, green glass beads (Size 11) on Sulky Cotton thread.


260 yards of singles, out of 31 grams

Smoke rings make a wonderful gift in the giving and getting. They are versatile as both a fashion accent like a scarf and an elegant hood-like head covering that is lightweight and doesn’t flatten your hairdo. It can be worn pulled down around the neck to lay on the shoulders as a dressy draped neckline. A smoke ring is also sometimes referred to as a natchaq. The ring part refers to the tubular construction. Most often, the smoke is knitted circularly to make a seamless tube. Lace stitch patterns are often used in knitting smoke rings, giving this form of cowl/wimple a dressy, upscale look. And smoke refers to the light-as-air fibers, such as quiviut and cashmere, with superb warmth for their weight that are often used in making smoke rings.

November 6, 2009
BIND OFF: November 6, 2009
PATTERN: Vent d’est Vent d’ouest Smoke Ring by Marie Adeline Boyer, soon to be released in pattern form (I don’t know exactly when Marie is planning to publish this.)
MATERIAL: 234 yards of Handspun Beaded Corriedale (See above.)
NEEDLES: Sizes 5 and 7
MODIFICATION: Executed one more PURL Decrease on Chart D repeat and switched to Size 5 needles for more shaping. As test knitter, there is no place for creativity. I had to stick to the pattern (as much as I had to–PHEW, and that’s HARD to conform.)
COMMENT: I worked on the smoke ring at Bend Knit-Up on Friday morning and intermittently throughout the day. It’s finally done just before midnight, bathed, and blocked. Not only was it a non-traditional design–pattern work on every row–it’s It was clear, flows smoothly, and easy-to-memorize. In fact, there was no need for a stitch marker. I very enjoyed this fun, and quick knit for a lace cowl.

I consider it a ginormous compliment that Marie chose me to test knit for her. It is a validation of my knitting skills and a bit of an ego stroke. Those who know me well know I’m not all about the ego. I tend to under-estimate my skills and abilities in lots of areas, not just knitting. Not so much that I don’t think I have skills; more that I tend to consider my skills to be not that extraordinary. We all need a boost now and then and this provided a bit of one to me.

On a more esoteric level, I get to help out a fellow knitter whom I like and admire. I like helping others-–in work, in crafty endeavors, in life in general. I’m not the only one as this is one of the reasons for charitable acts and contributions. When you help someone else, you feel good about yourself.

I will be casting on another test-knit shawl by Marie in my handspun (due in end of the month) first after…a vest I have been drooling all over since its release.

Happy crafting and keep those creative juices running!


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