Saturday, August 18, 2007

Fiber Festial and ONE FINISHED STOLE!

Today was the annual Michigan Fiber Festival in Allegan. I was so proud of myself, I only spent an arm instead of an arm and a leg! :tee hee: Seriously, I stayed under budget, even though I bought a skein of cashemere (and pattern) to make the most lucious scarf, a new bag, a shawl pin, and some wool wash. NOT BAD considering all of the high-ticket items I had my eye on. What I really want/need is a working spinning wheel so I can take advantage of the gorgeous fibers they have there every year.

This year, I brought a friend, a fellow teacher (who happens to be the art teacher, so you can imagine her excitement upon finding out about said festival!) and we had a great time ambling from booth to booth, enjoying the eye-candy Angora rabbits, petting an Alpaca or two and watching a sheep-shearing. She got TONS of supplies to do some felting (which it totally new to her, she's trying this as yet-another-hobby like most of us crafty/artsy folks!) both wet felting and needle felting.

In other news, Mystery Stole 3- White is DONE!
Knitted, washed, and blocked! I bought a 1-inch thick 4' x 8' sheet of insulation (with foil backing on both sides, so it doesn't absorb any water) at the mega-home center yesterday. THAT was a trick to get in the mini-van! Thank goodness I was alone (and that I'm short!) since I had to fold down the back bench, both of the kids mid-row seats, and put both front seats all the way forward to get it in and close the hatch. I covered one side of the insulation with an old twin sheet (pink, of course, from princess' collection!) using duct tape and now I have a portable blocking board! No more mattresses for MOI!

By the way, the "Mystery" theme is "Swan Lake." According to the designer,

"First performed in 1877 as The Lake of the Swans, in Moscow, Russia, it was not an immediate success. The score, written by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky was originally deemed "undanceable" and too complicated for a ballet. Several revisions and rewrites were made of the score and the one performed with today's productions of Swan Lake is a revision of Tchaikovsky's original score by Riccardo Drigo for an 1895 performance.
The story begins with Prince Siegfried's birthday. He receives a crossbow as a gift from his parents and is told that since he is of age, he must marry. His response to this is to take his crossbow and his friends and go into the woods to hunt. As he sees a flock of swans flying over, he waits near a lake for the swans to land. As the swans land however, he sees that they are in fact women. He learns that the evil sorcerer Von Rothbart has turned the princess Odette and her maidens into swans. By day they are swans, but at night they resume their human form, only to become swans again at dawn. Some versions have the swan to human transformation occurring at midnight. Prince Siegfried dances with Odette and falls in love with her. He intends to announce his love for her and declare his intention to marry her at the ball the following night to be held in his honor. This will break the spell on Odette and return her and her maidens to their human form permanently.
The following night at the ball Von Rothbart (who has found out about the Prince's intentions) arrives with his own daughter, Odile. Odile is dressed exactly as Odette, but she wears black instead of white. The prince doesn't recognize that Odile is not his love and, not paying attention to the time doesn't realize that Odette is still a swan even as he dances with Odile. He declares his love to Odile and pledges to marry her. At that moment he realizes that it is only now time for Odette to regain her human form and that he has been tricked. Odette, realizing that she has been condemned to live her life as a cursed swan, drowns herself in the lake. Prince Siegfried, in grief, also throws himself into the lake.
The stole begins with the traditional lace pattern “Wings of the Swan” that I used in Leda’s Dream. Only one repeat of the pattern is made before it is split in half and continues up the sides of the point and along the edges of the first two thirds of the stole as a border. The large decorative motif that many of you saw as faces, insects, dragons, and other creatures in is merely a decorative motif with swirls and curls to fill the space. The honeycomb pattern is another pattern used to fill the space and not necessarily symbolizing anything in particular. The following motif that has a floral appearance is the traditional Shetland lace design “Cat’s Paw.” This design is usually worked as a vertical insertion, but I used it as a scattered, all over design in this stole in reference to a particular dance in the Swan Lake ballet. Le Danse des Petits Cygnes or Dance of the Little Swans is one of the most famous parts of the ballet. When Siegfried meets Odette and her maidens, there are several dances by the swan maidens, but this one is done by four dancers, each holding to the next one, moving in unison doing the pas de chat step. Pas de Chat means literally step of the cat, so using the Cat’s Paw lace design seemed natural in this stole. The final third of the stole is a wing. It obviously fits as the swan part of the theme, but the single wing with the more formal first part of the stole also alludes to Odette’s cursed existence as both swan and princess."

Okay, eye candy pics!

1. Done- unblocked
2. Soaking in Euclan
3. Full view
4. Wing detail
5. Mid section & join
6. Tip

I can't wait to finish the black stole and show it off too! (It should show up better against the bubble-gum pink background!)

Until next time!


strikkegal said...

How lovely your stole came out! I need to get on with my knitting! :)

Nautical Knitter said...

It looks beautiful. I think the white is the best choice for this shawl.

Gammy aka Peggy said...

Your stole is gorgeous. Mine is in cream. I have black baby alpaca I was going to knit a second one out of but I just ordered Knitting Victorian Lace so I will probably use it for something out of it. I have fallen in love with knitting lace and with beads.

Qutecowgirl said...

Very Nice!!! I so need to get knitting on mine (still on clue one - heat finally broke).

stitchin' girl said...

Your stole is so-o lovely!! I have been wondering how to block mine and now I know. I will do the same as you. Thanks so much for the idea and enjoy wearing your stole!