Update on the Traveling Shawl

News, 50th knitter, and Donations

The Traveling Shawl – benefitting Komen For The Cure and breast cancer research.

The shawl is now on it’s way to our 50th knitter! This week as I traded emails with our 50th knitter, Lynda in Wisconsin, I learned that she is a perfect person to put the final rows on the shawl. I’m sure that Lynda will soon have a post sharing her experience.

When the shawl was again on it’s way this week we also learned that The Traveling Shawl was highlighted in the News section of the Fall Issue of Vogue Knitting (page 18) in a lovely article titled Sister Stitchers. We hope that everyone who is following the shawl’s progress will take the opportunity to read this wonderful tribute to our project. A big thank you to the people at Vogue!

On the Donation front – we’ve surpassed our goal of $1000! Originally Kay and I had discussed and set a goal of $5000. Yes, it was quite an enthusiastic goal. As financial problems began to have a devastating affect on many citizens we realized that the economic struggle would impact donations to charitable contributions as people lost jobs and homes and we lowered our goal. As we all know though, cancer happens regardless of what the financial state is of the nation. Men and women are still being diagnosed, seeking treatment, recovering and dying of breast cancer. Because our goal of $1000 dollars has been achieved we hope that you will continue to donate and purchase the pattern of The Traveling Shawl in an effort to contribute to the research that will some day find a cure for this disease.

Thank you to everyone who has donated!

cross posted on The Traveling Shawl Blog

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Aeolian Take Two

This is how the day goes…

Good breakfast, great cup of coffee. Second cup of coffee.
Start two batches of soap in the studio.
Return to house to face…

The blue silk mess that was too much to face last night.

I grab the laptop for music.
The reading glasses for sight.
A glass of tea and the remains of a cookie.

A chocolate no-bake cookie.

Gently pulling the wad of blue that was in the middle results in some success. The little tendrils of unsnarled yarn get wrapped around toes and across legs to keep them from being tangled back up as I begin to reverse wind the yarn back on to the ball winder.


This is delicate work. Every so often I have to stop and gently work out the kinks and tangled bits to get another few yards of yarn that can be wound again. I am desperately trying not to take the scissors to the blue silk. This was expensive – but so lovely yarn. I begin trading emails with TeaBird who informs me that there is a group on Ravelry dedicated to detangling yarn. People who enjoy this detangling of yarn!

At some point I come to a spot where I cannot get the yarn undone. It’s pulled so tight that neither end slides and there is the tiniest of knots in the silk. So tiny that I cannot penetrate the knot. I breathe deep and reach for the scissors. I end up making two cuts to get to a point where I can again begin winding yarn back on the ball.

I have to walk away so I go over to the studio and pour my first two batches of soap.

Back at the house I make some progress and it feels like I’m home free. Life is good! The rest of the yarn will be salvaged and there will be enough to knit the second Aeolian shawl as planned! Then – suddenly the yarn on the winder pops off. Yes that is what I said! It pops off and flies over a foot away!

Again I gently set everything aside and walk away. Two more batches of soap are made.

Not for long though. I come back and begin reversing the reverse-wound ball of yarn back onto the winder. (Yes I know it’s confusing.) Before long I’m making good headway. Then I’m passed the original mess. I try not to get giddy. I slow down enough to double check the screw on the bottom of the winder to make sure it’s tight. All’s well.

Then back to winding. Finally – both balls are on the winder! There are two small bits of yarn that was snipped – one a few yards long and the other ten yards long – that litter the floor. I remove the ball from the winder and it’s a bit wonky but certainly workable. I try a pantyhose yarn bra on the ball but it just doesn’t pull as nicely as I like so off it comes.

Feeling some sense of relief I drive into Tahlequah to pick up a prescription at Walgreens. They also happen to carry the good chocolate. A bag of Ghirardelli Squares comes home with me. Dark Chocolate. The good stuff.

After a small dinner – I gather beads, glasses, a crochet hook, the blue silk and my KP Harmony needle and I cast on the second Aeolian Shawl.

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Reviving a lost art

In this fast paced crazy immediate gratification world when was the last time you wrote a letter?

Honestly for me it’s been a little while. Notecards yes – a week or two ago. I really do miss writing letters though. When I was younger I had numerous pen pals. My first must have been when I was ten and moved from Tulsa to the small town where my folks still live. My best friend in Tulsa, Patti, and I wrote weekly. We had oodles of stationary and notecards and each envelope contained a joy of words and pretty paper. Then later in life my cousin Patty in California and I traded letters. Often it was one notecard and pages and pages of lined colored paper. When my daughter lived with her father in Vegas for a year in high school I usually wrote weekly letters to her. I know she read the letters but she never wrote back – which wasn’t really necessary.

I lost track of Patti in the late 1970’s. Patty more recently. I miss them and the letter writing. Hillarey is back in Tulsa, we see each other and talk on the phone occasionally (neither of us are phone people). And if I were honest I’d admit I miss the practice of letter writing. It’s different from the journaling process. Maybe since we’re living further from Hillarey and I don’t see her as often I’ll begin writing her again…

Today I saw this website, Everyday Correspondence. If you’re a letter writer you might enjoy it too.

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Nightmare on 387 Road

This is the Baked Clay Aeolian blocking.

This is the Blue Silk Aeolian NOT being cast on tonight.

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Yarn Harlot

Apparently a woman/knitter/american is stalking the Yarn Harlot.

Let’s support the Harlot and hope the authorities stop the person from her evil unwarranted tirade and help with her mental health issues.

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Aeolian Fever

Really – it must be a disease – an exotic fever. Elizabeth Freeman brought it in from the Mojave Desert and infected countless knitters across the globe. We should have seen it coming after the Laminaria incident of 2008.

Needless to say – I’ve caught it. Aeolian Fever.

My first Aeolian, which I dearly love, is on Row 40 of the Edging Chart. I’m doing the Shoulderette size. This shawl has been pure joy to knit. Freeman has this uncanny ability to keep the knitter not just interested but devoted to the project. Boredom never sets in because the charts change at a nice pace. I’m hoping to finish the Baked Clay Aeolian sometime on Sunday.

It’s been such fun I decided to knit a second, and probably a third. I’ve been debating for several weeks on which yarn to use next and it seems the blue silk won out when the silver lined clear beads arrived. The blue silk is from MadelineTosh yarns and the beaded swatch below shimmers like sunlight on a clear blue lake. It’s slippery and beading isn’t second nature to me so this project will be a stay-at-home knit and another will be for car knitting. It’s lovely though – who wouldn’t be charmed?

The berry red zephyr (with only the partial amount of beads purchased so far) will be the third Aeolian.

I’ve never wanted to knit a pattern this many times. But I’m in good company because knitters on Ravelry are cranking them out like crazy.

Surely the cure for this is to just let it run its course….

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