I needed some training for the Woodland sweater. What better training partners than owls?
Yes, I casted on for the owl mitts that I’ve been looking forward to knit for nearly a year now! First I couldn’t knit because I was seeing double. Then I couldn’t knit because I had no good yarn. Then I couldn’t knit because I was spinning. But now I finally had all things working for me so I cast on.
The good yarn I chose: the Zwartbles handspun that didn’t get spun in time for a KALshawl. Together with a Shetland type of white this will be a smashing contrast:
High contrast Snow Owls! With large snowy eyes! (and have you seen its butt? so cute!)
I casted on immediately, even though it was late in the evening and I was already in bed.
After a while I could no longer ignore the muttering and mumblings of the cats and my husband. Reluctantly I put it on the side table, put out the light and went to sleep. I dreamed a solid five hours about knitting those owls!
In my following customary two hour window of insomnia I surfed the net for stranded woodland creatures for the pullover. I found lots of squirrels!
I really look forward to design some squirrels into the Woodland cardigan. But first: owls!
After the insomnia I had another 2 hours of sleep and dreamed weird things, not knitting related. (I caused a huge pine tree to fall over in the middle of the city, just missing my neighbours’ 15yo who has Asperger and wasn’t phased one bit with the tree rustling by, inches from his body. Then well dressed bad guys got away after a heist and explosion, by helicopter from the roof of a tiny little bistro around the corner while I rode my bike on the wrong side of the street and shouted at 11 year olds to stop messing about in the street and use the sidewalk. You know, the usual.)
Then I woke up, quickly forgot about the weird things and rushed down to get started on those owls! Just a little more of cuff knitting and then: cute owl butt!
I set up my morning routine at the table: lap top, tea, owl mitts-to-be and in the back ground all the yarns and my two owl notebooks for the Woodland cardi, for constant peripheral inspiration.
And that’s when I saw it:
My handspun Zwartbles would be a very good contrast colour for the pullover…
It would be an excellent colour for beading squirrel eyes or nosey fox noses and also provide a much needed contrast in the dark brown of hedgehogs without making the overall resulting knitted fabric too light in colour. (which that other contrast colour, white, would do).
The Woodland cardi wanted the Zwartbles…
The Woodland cardi will get the Zwartbles.
SMALL ASIDE: OVERALL COLOUR
If that part about the overall resulting colour ending up too light in colour mistifies you, this is the site I had been reading that night’s insomnia time, it’s about colour in knitting. I found it via the knowlegde gathered in the pages of the Ravelry Group about stranding.
Suzyn Jackson shows this in Knitty Fall 2004 issue:
So. No owl mitts for me. No cute snowy butts. No Zwartbles. Because the squirrels have cast their beaded eyes on my yarn!
And now you know why I started the pink bird mittens last week instead. Because pink doesn’t go well with squirrels.
Those bird mittens go well, btw. One mitten is done and only needs a thumb. But it’s too small for my hand, gauge messed again with me. But I think I will make the other mitten nonetheless and sell them to someone who needs a nice x-mas present for their daughter. I love knitting the bird mittens.
And in my future there will be owl mitts. Perhaps in green? Something non-squirrely.
SMALL ASIDE THE SECOND:
Btw, the yarns for the cardi in the picture above is arranged by contrast. The white, Zwartbles, dark brown and orange are all high contrast. They go well together, they pop.
The white, dark brown and the two lighter browns form a harmonious contrast by themselves.
I plan to use this in the sweater: pop where it’s needed, mellow where it’s not. All the while keeping in mind what Suzyn teaches.
Let’s end with a picture from when I was spinning the Zwartbles, back when I still had faith in the wooly generosity of squirrels: