Tag Archives: design

Machrie Moor

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Two weekends ago, my family hiked Mt. VanHovenberg near Lake Placid, New York. At the peak, I celebrated the completion of a new Memory Piece.

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This sweater has been in progress, mentally and then physically, since April 2015, when my sister and I visited the Machrie Moor standing stones on the Isle of Arran, Scotland.

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The Machrie Moor standing stones have been in place for ~4000 years. M and I have been to many historic places, but I felt particularly honored to be at Machrie Moor. We spent a beautiful, windy morning touching the rocks, breathing in the wind, and warming our face with the sun. Our experience was intimate, but also shared with an unknown number of other humans. There were settlers who lived on this land before there were stones, there were workers who erected the stones, there were  worshippers who gathered at the stones, there were and are farmers who have maintained the land around the stones, and, now, there are visitors like us, trying to understand our own places in history.DSC_0144
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This particular stone especially appealed to me, and I chose the yarn (Tormentil in Alice Starmore’s Hebridean 3-ply) for my sweater based on its tone and texture.DSC_0153 - Copy

The cables in my sweater represent the ridges, and the different front and back reflect the distinct sides of the stone.DSC_0155
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On Ravelry here.

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Wovember

For the past month, I have been following the WOVEMBER Blog, maintained by Felicity Ford and others. Wovember is all about WOOL and SHEEP. The goal of the Wovember campain is to increase awareness of what wool is and what it is not, and then to encourage people all over the world to wear thoughtfully raised and processed wool.

In the hiking world, wool clothing has been resurging in popularity due to the availability of Smartwool, Icebreaker, and other machine washable wool clothing. (“Superwash” wool is truly high-tech clothing, as it has gone through considerable processing.) I personally wear washable wool socks almost every day. Recently, I am also learning to knit wool garments for myself out of wool that is not “superwash”. Along with this, I am learning how to take care of these garments so that they can last for a long, long time. In general, it does not seem that many hikers put thought into where their high-tech wool clothing is sourced from, or how it came to be a shirt, socks, underwear, etc. I hope that campaigns like WOVEMBER and The Campain for Wool continue to reach new audiences in the UK and here in the US, to give us all a greater appreciation of processes that go into our being comfortable during winter walks.

On Sunday, the last day of Wovember/November, my brother and I went to Great Baehre Swamp for a few photos of my favorite new hat, which I knit as part of the 100% Wool Wovember Wool Along.

DSC_0372 The hat is a tribute to one of my favorite birds, the Loon, and I designed it last year. The fiber comes from sheep raised in the United States, and is spun into yarn in Maine for the Quince and Co. company. The hardest part of designing hats for me seems to be finalizing a PDF and posting it for sale on Ravelry, so I am sharing this here as incentive for myself.

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The hat is finished off with a little red eye…

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Here’s to wool and it’s amazing ability to keep me warm on winter walks!