Daily Archives: January 27, 2008

Raven Feather in the Snow

I promised to show you what I’d been working obsessively on this week, in between working, and caring for the smallish sick one (who is feeling MUCH better, thank you so much for all your good thoughts and words! To my surprise, she’s actually looking good to potentially go back to school tomorrow, though no gym or dance for a while, I think).

So, before I’d actually finished the second mitt, but while there was still light earlier today (SUNlight! Actual Visible Light from the Sun!), I took some photos of the first completed fingerless mitt on my too-small hands.

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(Almost too much Light from the Sun, hope you’re not blinded. Don’t worry, it went away again.)

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These are guitar-playing fingerless mitts like my husband’s, for our friend Bill*, an awesome Native American musician.

The feather motif echoes the eagle feather that hangs from Bill’s guitar. I designed the feather myself for this mitt, and am now rather fond of it. I first looked for a feather pattern in books and on the ‘Net. Those I found were lace patterns, but knit in black and on the hand, all you saw visually were the holes rather than the feathers (believe me, I tried a couple versions). And BTW, if you Google feather knitting pattern, you come up with a gajillion versions of feather and fan; very nice but not what I needed! So I modified an embossed leaf kind of idea to be more feathery, and on the third attempt, came up with this, which I am really liking. (Though blocking will improve it, some of the rippling, on the edges, is intentional, to evoke a feathery quality rather than leafy.)

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Here’s a perhaps better depiction of the color (Dream in Color “Black Parade”):

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The color is black overdyed with different colors, such as subtle greens and reds, and reminds me of the iridescence of a crow or raven feather. Like the Socks That Rock Raven Clan colorways which came out not long ago.

If it were the Knitting Olympics right now, I think I would deserve some sort of award** for: Knitting Black Yarn, in a Personally Unvented Pattern, with Coincident Shaping, in the Dark, at a Concert. With Aging Eyes. And not messing up (that I can tell). I still can’t believe it. I finished the second feather with the last chord of Bill’s last song, I kid you not. I had Bill try the first, finished mitt on, though, after the concert and before I finished the second mitt, so I could adjust or reknit if needed. (That’s my story and I’m sticking to it! No, really!) But he said they were perfect, so I’m just finishing #2 (if my hubris has not called down the knitting goddesses to strike my Addis with lightning) and he’ll get the finished pair tomorrow morning.

All this marathon knitting of black yarn Continental-style has left its mark.

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It’s hard to see in the photo, but the ring around my forefinger isn’t just shadowed, it’s black from dye transfer, despite hand-washing. The mark of an obsessive knitter.

*Hmm, here’s a quandary. My husband emphatically doesn’t want to be outed on my blog. But Bill, a working musician, would have no such qualms. All publicity is good when you’re playing for a living! Well, if you’re curious and want to hear some amazing songwriting and performing of original music with Native American/rock/blues roots, go ahead and set that Googlefier to Native American, Grammy & Bill, and you’ll come up with some wonderful music. Or leave a comment if you’re interested in learning more, and I’ll send you the info. A certain musician whom I live with, might have happened to play on, record, engineer and co-produce that Grammy-winning CD, but no names will be named here.

**I should also have earned an official reproof, however, for once again forgetting to take my watch off when photographing my left hand modeling mitts, leaving the impression of a significant wrist deformity or fugly knitting.