Monday September 03rd 2007, 12:55 pm
Filed under: Friends,Knit,Life

raspberry baby alpaca and cocoa MalabrigoI’ve been trading off between the big-stitch project and the little-stitch project, trying to wrap up the big one fast and get it out of the way so I can really get into my mug-o’-cocoa Malabrigo shawl. Scharffenberger, Dagoba organic–only the best in those stitches. I can just picture it on Alice Medrich: those who have her gorgeous “Cocolat” or “Bittersweet” books or ever ate one of her truffles at her Bay Area Cocolat shops before a fire closed down the plant and undid her business would understand what I’m talking about. Malabrigo? Something this soft, and with the swirls of different chocolates so artfully displayed? Absolutely. Only the best would do to represent her.

Not that I happen to know her, so that’s a totally moot point. But I can just picture it on her, the woman who pronounced that one must never cook the raspberries to make the raspberry sauce to go with your chocolate torte, or “You will assassinate them!”

But meantime, back in real life, Johnna wanted red. Johnna’s the friend who overhauled and updated my website, and I’ve owed her bigtime for a goodly while now. Hmm. Not that shade of dark-ripe raspberry sauce that I’ve been working on, which was heavier than she wanted anyway–it pleased me, but it wasn’t quite right. Not that finished Bigfoot shawl in a handpaint. Too variegated, too casual. Something vivid and splashy and formal and gorgeous. I had her come over yesterday to look, telling her, I’ve looked in all these yarn stores I’ve been doing booksignings in, and I just haven’t found something that quite declared itself to me as being the right yarn for you. But I’ve been looking!

She immediately asked me, Something I would like that you could stand to knit?

Alright, now, don’t put me on the spot like that… 😉

I showed her my Lisa Souza fine silk done in St. Valentine’s red; beautiful and bright, and I’d thought that one would do well on her, but so thin I would want to run it with another strand. I knew Johnna didn’t like the fuzzies; Kidsilk was out. (I showed her some. She wrinkled her nose.)

And then–I realized later I’d always kept it in a separate place from the silk, and somehow I had just never pulled the two out at the same time together: I showed her some 50/50 cashmere/lambswool I’d dyed, telling her I hadn’t found something to run with this one, either.

And she offered the absolutely obvious solution of, why don’t you just put those two together?

It was one of those stunning moments when you realize something so blatantly right there in front of your face, how on earth had you not thought of that yourself? I had never pulled them out together at the same time before, I’d never seen what could be. We twisted the strands together to see how they played off each other. Exquisite. And she was thrilled at the idea that her shawl would be hand dyed by me and by Lisa–not just something bought from some random shop (not that there’s anything wrong with that.) More personal than that.

So now I am about to go sit down and launch into the last four silly rows of that dark red to get it out of my way so I can wind up the 1000 yards of St Valentine’s so I can finally go make Johnna’s shawl so I can finish the Malabrigo after that so I can work on the… Carry on! Johnna’s project has totally changed for me: it’s no longer the angst of, this yarn or this? This pattern or this? Will I like it? Will she like it? Will this work? I will trade off with the Malabrigo when my hands need different needle sizes for a break, because it feels like it’s going to be hard to stop knitting either one–I’m too excited about both these. And just look at those reds! I love it. Johnna loves it. It will look fabulous on her–definitely just right. Yay!

I’m debating adding to this post… I’ve started fighting a cold, which has started my lupus and dysautonomia flaring. Last night I couldn’t breathe if I tried to sleep on my right side, a Bad Old Days symptom I emphatically do not want back. But I kept thinking, I refuse to get sick now. I refuse to give in. Johnna’s got her red shawl coming at last. I finally know just what to make her. I rolled onto my left side before my blood pressure dropped too low, deciding, so be it…

…And somehow, with all that happy anticipation to buoy me up, slept a good night’s sleep just the same.

If you could package knitting to make others happy into a pill, the drug companies would make a fortune. But it’s a whole lot more fun to be handing the medication money to people like Lisa Souza.Lisa Souza’s St. Valentine silk, and red cashmere blend

9 Comments so far
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See if you can get a hold of your doctor tomorrow. That sign of not being able to breathe is bad. I’m calling mine tomorrow for inhalers. *sigh* Get better!

Comment by Carina 09.03.07 @ 3:44 pm

I hope it’s not anythin gserious! If it’s “just” a cold, would Cold F/X help? It boosts the immune system and I’ve found it helpful

Comment by Carol 09.03.07 @ 5:21 pm

Anything that gets my immune system going wakes it up to attack me first and foremost; my antibodies can’t tell the difference. Don’t worry, though, it’s just a brief blip, I’ll be fine.

Comment by AlisonH 09.03.07 @ 9:14 pm

Gads. I’ll be thinking good thoughts and sending them your way. I, too, have just come down with some sort of chest virus and am fighting it like mad. Got my old fibro kicking in at the same time, so I understand your uphill battle. Get well soonest! BTW: That yarn is STUNNING!

Comment by Tracy J 09.04.07 @ 9:14 am

Oooooooooh. Such a lovely yarn. I have some sock yarn in that color. And perfectly fitting. 🙂

Comment by Romi 09.04.07 @ 9:57 am

And feel better soon!!!

Comment by Romi 09.04.07 @ 9:58 am

The reds are magnificent!. Take it easy, she has waited this long, she can wait just a little longer.

Comment by Sonya 09.04.07 @ 10:57 am

Awww, gee…you always have that sweet smile, even when you are getting woozy and topple over. You need to get that darned Lupus back under control so that you can wing your way east for some fun. Pretty silly that the only way to find each other this autumn is for both of us to fly to Maryland. :o)
as Sonya sez…take it easy, kiddo.

Comment by Lisa S 09.04.07 @ 11:14 am

AlisonH, I didn’t want you to hurt yourself!

Something vivid and splashy and formal and gorgeous.

It amazes me that you answered all my contradictions.

Comment by Johnna 10.01.07 @ 10:08 pm

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