Thursday, September 02, 2010

So Long Summer...Hello Fall

September has finally arrived and I can thankfully say so long to the summer of 2010. With a few wonderful exceptions, like my trip to the Rustic Tarts & Old Farts Knitting Gathering back in June, the rest of this summer has pretty much been lousy. I've been working with my health care team to make drastic changes in the medications I take to manage my fibromyalgia. The end result will be very positive, but the journey has been anything but. I've been sick as a dog pretty much all summer. Add to that the excessive heat and humidity we've had here in Smoky Mountain Country and, well, I'm ready for Fall to get here and for life to get better. Much better.

When I haven't been sleeping --or not-- I've been watching sports on TV and reading novels that have been collecting dust on my bookshelf for years. My knitting output, especially in August, has been minimal. I spent July watching Braves baseball, Wimbledon Tennis, and the Tour de France. My TDF KAL project was an amazing Estonian-inspired lace shawl called Aurantium Blossom, which I knit in a delicate pink baby alpaca laceweight yarn. The lace patterning is comprised of two different Estonian flower motifs, accented by a simple leaf motif edging. Never one to leave things as is, I chose to gild the lily just a wee bit by adding pale pink silver-lined AB 8-0 seed beads to the edging. When the light hits the beads just right they look like raindrops. Beautiful!!! AB is one of the prettiest shawls I've knit to date.

Inspired by the stunning outcome of AB, I cast-on another shaped Estonian Lace shawl, Echo Flowers, the last week of the TDF. Having mastered the 3-into-9 stitch flower cluster I figured I could whip out EF in no time at all. Yeah, right. NOT! I was so sick I hardly touched my knitting for 2+ weeks. I barely managed to finish EF before the start of the La Vuelta in Spain(another 3 week road cycling Grand Tour Race, another KAL hosted on Ravelry). A shawl that I could normally knit at my leisure in maybe 3 weeks took closer to 6 weeks to finish. SIGH!!! The good news is that EF is perhaps even more stunning than AB because of the wide nupp and flower border that finishes the bottom edge. Once again I used baby alpaca lace yarn, this time in a butter yellow with rosy pink heathered highlights, and added a touch of bling with a few champagne pink SL 8-0 seed beads. The shawl is blocked, but I have yet to take FO photos. Stay tuned!

In the meantime I have several knitting projects I'm working on in fits and starts. The Atlanta Braves are in the NL East pennant race and playing better. Tennis has moved on to the US Open in NYC, the Schleck brothers are cycling in the sweltering heat of Andalucia, and beginning this Saturday it's FOOTBALL TIME IN TENNESSEE! GO VOLS!!!

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