Sunday, August 31, 2008

Bon voyage, my friend (in your new sweater)

I finished the red mohair sweater I made (from this Dropps pattern) for my friend Alison who will be leaving this week for a year-long sailing adventure with her husband Kim. They'll sail down the Pacific Coast this fall and then once the seas are appropriate, they'll head across to Hawaii and perhaps even beyond. I'll miss her enormously for that year -- we've been friends for almost 20 years now, neighbours only 5 houses apart for the past 10 or so, running and walking partners, gardening buddies, and she feeds me constantly with ideas about books, film, art, politics, the environment. Already a published author (a book of poetry and another of creative non-fiction, check her website), she will keep working on her novel while at sea, and I hope she'll set up a blog of her own so we can follow her adventure (altho', of course, her internet connections will be sparse for longe periods). If that happens, I'll let you know the link. Meanwhile, here she is modelling her new sweater, which is going to make the Pacific Crossing with her. I substituted Rowan Kidsilk Aura for the Dropps Vivaldi, and I'm so glad I did. This is a beautiful yarn which blends kid mohair with silk yet which scarcely sheds at all. I've never knit with a mohair that left so little trace of its presence as I worked. I used the same needles called for but changed the pattern to knit in the round, so there are seams only at the armholes and shoulders.

I'm not generally a fan of the large-gauge sweater -- the same issues, I explained to Alison, as you find with a really low-pixel photo: that is, a lack of precision and finesse, really. But for what she wanted, a light mohair shell that could be pulled on easily for warmth over another layer, this pattern is perfect. In fact, I'm rather thinking I could use one of these myself!


  1. It's beautiful! What an ideal departing gift!

  2. Lovely sweater! It looks great with her coloring.

    I should send you my brother-in-law's e-mail address for her. He and his GF have sailed in the last year from LA down to Ecuador, then to the Galapagos, Easter Island, and they're now in French Polynesia. They might have some helpful tips about harbors, and contacts for your friend in some of the places they're headed. The sailing community is a tightly knit one, I've learned.

  3. It's hard to leave a friend (or have one leave you) who is easy to talk to and who you can exchange ideas with. But just think of all the tales she'll have to tell on her return! Patricia

  4. What a gorgeous gift. It is so nice that she will have a sweater to remind her of the warmth of your friendship.

    I have received a few amazing knitted gifts from friends and they mean so much to me---when I think of all the time, love and energy that was put into the item by the knitter and I am overwhelmed with gratitude. As a non-knitter I am astounded by what a ball of yarn, some knitting needles and a whole lot of talent and love can create.

  5. Thanks, Jillian, it was an enjoyable quick knit in a lovely yarn to work with.
    Pseu: Thanks -- I've sent her an e-mail letting her know of your offer. Whether she has time to get back to me before they take off, I don't know -- I can't imagine getting ready to leave for a year!
    Patricia: This must be familiar territory for you -- and you've got the tales to tell as well.
    LBR: Your knitting friends will appreciate having a Muggle who knows the value of the gifts they give you. We do truly knit love into the stitches when we're making gifts, and we don't usually do it unless the recipient means something to us.


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