observed by Diane » photo journal for those who enjoy vignettes of an ordinary life

Pearl Blanket

Mohair blanket is finished.
mohair blanket ©Diane M Schullermohair knit blanket ©Diane M Schuller
I was inspired by a gal in Germany who goes by the online name space curry to create and knit this lovely blanket. When I first saw her lacy, lofty, delicate mohair and silk blankets, I knew I wanted to make one too. Here’s my first. More to come for sure. I am delighted with how it looks & feels, plus it’s also nice and warm despite being so lightweight. This one has a minor mistake so it’s going to stay here and be used in our guest room.

Recently when I go to my online photo catalog, one of the last photos I took of our dear Pearl (for those who don’t know, she died suddenly a short time ago) is sitting alongside one of my blanket photos. I can’t help but notice that the blanket resembles her coat so much both in the colours but also it’s texture. So I’ve named this my Pearl blanket.

In 2014, my first year knitting, I waited until October to begin knitting for my family’s Christmas presents. I’m starting now so I can take my time and have things made and on hold, ready to wrap for when the season arrives in 2015. The first  gift I’m working on is a funky little Hitchhiker scarf for one of my granddaughters in a fun coloured yarn by Madeline Tosh.

Hitchhiker in progress ©Diane M Schuller

When I first started knitting last year, I was surprised to learn just how expensive yarn costs. Originally I thought I could make all sorts of gifts for a fraction of what they cost in the store. Not so. A cashmere scarf I made for my son, for instance, cost over $65 plus tax just for the yarn. And this scarf for my granddaughter cost nearly $30 for the yarn only — in the store cheap scarves can be had for under $20. But none is as lovely, unique, or made with such quality and love as this. So, I simply dismiss the cost and carry on.

Oh and speaking of costs, all you knitters out there will be green with envy when I share this next little tidbit with you. I recently watched a promotional video by Staci of  Very Pink Knits demonstrating the newest line of interchangeable knitting needles by Knitter’s Pride. I’ve been saving so I can upgrade to something really nice that will last the rest of my lifetime so I ordered a set of the Knitter-s Pride Nova Platina Interchangeable Sets, Deluxe Set. I picked them up a few days ago at Mad About Ewe and the Hitchhiker scarf is the first project for which I’m using them. A knitter’s dream.

For the rest of my friends and family, I owe you some non-knitting content. We’ve already begun getting a head start on preparing our yard for the May garden tour. We’ve moved a few trees, a few shrubs, got rid of one shaggy misfit, and rearranged some of the perennials. We aren’t done yet but what a difference those few changes have already made. I’m going to move a few more perennials yet before the warm weather rolls in. We also had a load of fresh mulch brought in and spread it in a few strategic locations — now that looks spiffy. I still find it so amazing how early plants bloom here on the West Coast. In our yard, at this very moment, these are the items that are actually in bloom:

Helebores, winter heather, snowdrops, crocus, one pretty pink rhododendron, one of the camellia trees, plus the first daffodils look to be ready to pop within days. I know, I need to get busy taking photos again. I’ve been practicing indoors getting reacquainted with some of my technical skills. I realized I had not used the back button focus for ages, so actually had to look it up before I could change my camera settings. All the recent photos I’ve taken of knitting and yarn have been done with the back button focus. I’d like to refresh and practice some long exposures again as well. Perhaps I’ll get some practice in this week plus take a few photos of some of the blooms in our yard.

Oh yes, and one more little thing. I realize that with me not keeping current here, I’ve missed sharing my thoughts on several of the recent books I’ve read. I may simply do a dedicated post next time sharing books I’ve read along with my thoughts on them. Until then, however, I do have something to share. I’m currently reading Shantaram: A Noveland highly recommend it even though I am only at about the 200-page mark in the novel. I’m really enjoying the story and love how well it’s written. I promise to give more information once I actually finish it but gosh, I am really enjoying it so far. It’s my selection for our book club and it’s bound to provoke a lot of discussion.

So now it’s your turn. What my dear friend is the most creative thing you have ever done? Or, if you prefer, what is the most memorable novel you’ve ever read, and why has it been so memorable?

(PS: I can also be found over at Goodreads if you wish to see what I think of books I’ve read, good and bad.)

“What I say is, a town isn’t a town without a bookstore. It may call itself a town, but unless it’s got a bookstore it knows it’s not fooling a soul.” — Neil Gaiman, American Gods

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Celia - February 10, 2015 - 1:52 am

What a lovely comforting knit! And how wonderful to have ‘Rolls-Royce’ needles, non-knitters won’t understand the excitement of top quality circular needles – but I do and I am very very envious.

So, what’s the most creative thing I’ve ever done? That’s a difficult one! I could try to select a picture or book design? or something I’ve knitted, adapted from another pattern with leftover scraps of yarn? or how about that very tasty supper made from what happened to be in the fridge?
I hope something I do today might be ‘the most creative thing I’ve ever done’ up to now. But who am I to judge?

C xx

Leanne@cottagetails - February 10, 2015 - 7:43 am

The Pearl blanket looks soo cozy and soft. I’ve just added you to friends list on Goodreads. I tend to listen on audio more than read so I can multi task and a friend said she really enjoyed Shantaram so I should go check to see if it is on audio yet.
Love Leanne NZ

Susan - February 10, 2015 - 10:06 am

The most creative thing I’ve done today is getting the woodstove going. Two weekends ago I took another Homesteading workshop. This one was Fabric and Fibre. Not my forte but they had make do and mend which i thought would be useful. I dusted off my crochet skills and learned the new skill of rug hooking. Unfortunately crochet uses more wool than knitting for a piece the same size. The rug hooking turns out to be relatively inexpensive if you use fabric from old clothes. I’m also planning to buy end of season sheets to get enough of the same colour without having to get into dyeing. Your blanket is beautiful, almost ethereal.

andrea - February 10, 2015 - 12:45 pm

What gorgeous photos — I want to reach in and touch the scarves! So, so sorry to hear about your precious Pearl.

Gabriele - February 11, 2015 - 5:05 am

Your Pearl blanket is so beautiful. I love seeing your pictures again.

lisa - February 14, 2015 - 12:39 pm

Diane, your Pearl Blanket is not only beautiful, but my goodness, how very special. Truly, both you and your creations are so inspiring.

I would love to be able to move some trees/plants to ready for spring, but at the moment, we are buried under about 3 feet of snow, so I cannot find them!!! 🙂

Have a wonderful weekend, my friend. xo.

kate - February 16, 2015 - 8:12 am

hello diane~
your blanket is just beautiful & such a sweet memory it holds for you~
a hitchhiker is on my to do list but first need to finish up a few wips. your grandaughter is a lucky girl 🙂
looking forward to photos of your garden~

take care my friend~

Annie - February 24, 2015 - 7:26 am

More needle envy and blanket admiration from me … it looks fabulous and soooooo cosy!