Sunday, June 18, 2006

Supermodel Brawl

I ordinarily love using public statuary as garment models. Although it is often difficult to locate public sculptures of reasonably normal bodily proportions, it's always easy to find them again whenever I need them -- after all, it's not like they can run off to Italy with their boyfriends. Besides, they are quite good at standing still, I don't have to pay them anything (I don't even have to be nice to them), and the most temperamental thing I have to deal with on the average photo shoot is the weather.

But I suppose even bronze statues have their limits.

As soon as I draped these two models, who have worked for me for years, and who are usually quite cooperative with things like scarves and hats, all hell broke loose:

It started with a few testosterone-laden insults:

Model on left: "You like like a flamin' ninny in that shawl!"

Model on right: "Oh yeah? Well, you look like central casting for Queer Eye, and at least my shawl won't show your blood!"


And then it just went straight to fisticuffs, and there I was, darting around with my silly little camera, trying to stay out of the way, and wondering how I was going to explain all this to the perplexed people at the nearby bus stop, and possibly the police as well.

I decided just to let them duke it out ... get it out of their systems, ya know?

Besides, you just don't try to break up a brawl between a couple of enraged bronze statues if you have any sense about you.

The pale green one is the shawl I knitted during jury duty awhile back, a worsted weight five-skeiner done in GCH Samoa yarn, the GCH being for Garn GroBhandel-Hamburg GmbH, which is hopefully German for "cotton-wool blend made in Hamburg." I am worried, though, because something else on the label says, "Beanstandungen konnen nur bearbeitet werden, sofern alle Banderolen deises Garnen vorgelegt werden." I'm pretty confident this means either that the knitter can handwash the resulting garment, or that somebody is required to stand on a sack of beans in a dungeon near a bear who is beating up on a game warden, while the Rolling Stones douse someone named Garnen (probably the game warden) with vodka.

Anyway, regardless of the language barrier, this Samoa stuff is just as soft and cushy as a baby bunny's butt. It is a wonderful shade of the palest green, a green just barely past white, which the camera doesn't do justice to. The yarn was a gift from my dear friend Diann. She has a special word for this color, and describes it as the first hint of green in the heart of a white lily where the green ends down there deep inside the trumpet of the flower, and the white begins.

I was very happy with the shawl when it was finished, but it is such a pale green, so subtle, that I thought it required a border, something ribbony and pale, something to embellish the shawl and give it some movement, but without overpowering it. Being worsted weight, it also was asking me for a border to help lighten it up a little around the edges.

It is embellished with Trendsetter Pepita ribbon yarn. Pepita is an 86% polyamid, 14% polyester yarn. It is delightful and fun and translucent and weightless and slightly sparkly. It is expensive -- 14 US dollars a skein -- but one skein was enough to embellish a border and add some fringe on the pale, cotton-wool Samoa that needed to lose just a bit of its meekness so that it can be a terrific gift for a dear friend.

This is one of those great situations where a single skein of glitzy stuff is the perfect touch for fringe or a border, without hemorrhaging your piggy bank.

Knitting with Pepita is like knitting with fairy wings. It's a treat. Knit it on slightly blunt-tipped needles, though, if you try it. I started on narrow-point nylons -- my favorite for lace -- but they kept piercing the yarn, so I switched to my Pony Pearls which were perfect for this delicate, soft ribbon yarn.

I would love to make an entire shawl out of Pepita. I would also like to have a suitable place to wear an entire shawl made out of it, like on the beach at sunset somewhere in Hawaii, with the wind blowing, so all the delicate hints of sparkly stuff and all the subtle and translucent ocean hues could light up in the sunshine and all the ribbony fringe could dance in the breeze...

Oh, yes ... where was I?

And here's a rear view of the red shawl:

The blood-red shawl is also a gift for a friend. Yes, you are quite right -- it is the same stitch pattern as the pale green one done in Samoa. I used the same yarn for both versions of a shawl pattern I am working up for the book I am working on.

I wish I could tell you more about the cotton yarn. I wish I could tell you anything about the cotton yarn. It is a nameless sport-weight 2-ply perle cotton I bought on closeout at a New Orleans LYS (the Persian Cat) a number of years ago, and the fringe is a rainbow-colored ladder yarn of synthetic fibers.

Unfortunately, the fringe yarn is also anonymous, having been donated to me by a friend who had lost both the label and her patience, having thrown up her hands regarding the act of untangling it.

Oh, and one more thing...

Happy 64th birthday, Paul McCartney...

...yes, we still need you.



At 5:11 AM, Blogger Joan said...

Great shawls and great posts. I'm glad you're finally having some fun. You've had a rough time.

At 1:13 PM, Anonymous Susan said...

Aha! My bloglines showed you posted yesterday, but didn't show the feed--and I was disappointed. How nice to get both posts today!
Your shawls are beautiful, and your choice of models creative, to say the least. You could enter it in the Amazing Lace as "A fight broke out among the team members." :) That looks like arrowhead lace. ? Did you see the IK staff projects on that stitch pattern? (look at 'sweet somthings')

At 9:55 PM, Anonymous Barbara-Kay said...

Who knew knitting could be so "competitive"?! VBG!
Amazing how much you can change up a pattern with yarn choice, eh?


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