On the subject of Good Luck, I'd have to say that seeing it, especially since there won't be another until 2011, and the sky was perfectly clear (nevermind the sub-zero temperatures) was pretty remarkable.
But the Good Luck didn't stop there. Remember how I'm down to TWO toques in my notebook, and when they're done I can actually knit something ELSE? These are the last two commissions I got in November at the North American Voyageurs' Council. For variation, I started the one requested in green; I was using Lamb's Pride for this one. I was knitting happily along, watching teevee, and I noticed I was coming to the end of the skein.
So when I could get up again, ....uhm....OK, here's the deal. Lately Evangeline has been creeping in behind me as I sit on the couch, under my shawl. She curls up against my butt and sleeps and purrs and sometimes I reach behind and rub her head. If I get up, it disarranges the shawl, disturbs her repose, and she gets all "you've abandoned me". So while she's tucked in there I try not to get up until a) I really HAVE to, as in a jog to the bif; b) I've fallen asleep on the keyboard and have to go to bed; c) something else happens that necessitates my doing so even if it disturbs her. What? I'm a slave to my spoiled, over-coddled, precious treasure of a feline goddess of a cat? And your point is...........??? Nevermind.
So! When I could get up again, I went down to root through the stash for the other skein of Lamb's Pride I knew was there. It WASN'T! So I began to root through the multitudinous baskets full of WIPs and oddments and new-stuff-not-yet-in-stash. NOPE! I repeated the above, twice, and then had to admit that somehow I had not Planned Ahead, and that I was OUT OF YARN. Well....not actually out of yarn, but apparently out of that particular color. What does a knitter do?
Cast on for the other - and this would be the LAST toque. I got about a third done while preparing for our program Saturday morning. We participated in a Girl Scout event where the girls learned about their communities by, among other things, hearing stories of "local lore" (as told by Mr Dearling and yours truly). I tried to put it out of my mind - the Worst-Case Scenario called "adding another color, finishing the green toque as a simple cap and then casting on ANOTHER toque in a different green ."
I duly knit on the blue toque during our time with the Sprouts, and when we got home, took another dash through all corners, baskets, bins where my yarns are
WEll, by now it was 4:30 on Saturday, and the Sow's Ear closes at 5:00 pm. I put on my coat and mitts, grabbed the toque and my purse....stopped to drop a few treats in Evangeline's bowl....shut UP, I always give her a few crunchies as I head out the door.... and rushed to the Sow's Ear.
Ladies and gentlemen, I don't call it MY LYS for nothing. I got there, rushed in (they were dusting and putting chairs back, although there were a couple of staunch knitters blithely pretending they had hours yet, which always happens). "DEB!" I shouted. "OUTTA GREEN! Lamb's Pride, green something -- Pine maybe??"
NOTE to self: Keep the ball bands, Dummy. Or write down the specs in your cute little Knitting Book. Or...knowing me as I do, BOTH. Thank you.
You guessed it: Deb had one skein of Lamb's Pride, "Deep Pine", color M-172. There was (coincidence? I think not ) a shaft of sunshine splashing on the floor; I draped a strand, and - as Deb noted - it appeared to even have been the same dye lot. That might have been too much to hope for, but I CAN tell you that it's as exact and perfect a match as can be discerned by the application of a human eyeball. Vive la Belle Cochon!
So I'm back in business - did you catch the teensy bit left attached to the toque? Now really, don't Reasonable Intelligent Knitters plan ahead a little better than that? Am I therefore probably NOT one of those things? Well, to my credit, while I may learn slow, I DO learn. (Remind me about this if it comes up again, ok?)
Therefore, on the Knitting Scene, I expect to have both of these toques wrapped up and ready to mail before the end of this coming week. Oooh, and then...and THEN! Where to start?
On Sunday we drove up to Oshkosh to the Trade Fair, as we do (almost) every year. It's usually the most terriblest weather, blowing, freezing, snowy -- this year it was sunny and dry! Colder than a .... well, your choice .... but no problem travelling. We did see a number of special friends, but didn't have nearly enough time for a proper chinwag with any of them, really. Along with purveyors of almost anything ANY reenactor might want, there are a series of lectures; we took in one by a gentleman named Daniel Youngbauer.
He portrays a Meskwakie man (Fox), and after getting a formal education in art and ceramics and that sort of thing, began to research the clay pots made here in Wisconsin by the Meskwakie people. Since then he has been making these clay pots, as close to 100% accurately as research and archaelogy can get him - and they are BEAUTIFUL! Mr Dearling bought me one from him some months ago, and I was very pleased to hear his program. The deal is, you see, he sells them as UTENSILS, and the idea is that they are to be used . While he talked to us about clay, construction, shaping, ornamentation, &c, he had one of his pots on a small brazier just out the door filled with wild rice, which he then shared with us, to prove a) that these pots CAN be used, and b) produce food yummier than you get outta Revereware on the stove. (Both true, by the way.)
Now, the truth is, MY Meskwakie pot has been sitting all artsy-fartsy on the end table. I love it! But I WILL cook in it next summer at events because it is so super-cool. (Also, lovely Mr Youngbauer said if it cracks or manifests some problem because of construction - which can certainly happen with such things - he'll replace it for me).
OK - a Truth here: when we're reenacting, all properly dressed and our little camp is all set up and all, I really relish a detail like cooking in Just Exactly the Right Pot, or using Just Exactly the Right Food. I cook wild rice with dried cranberries flavored with maple sugar, or dried peas and salt pork. It's all part of the fun, trying to replicate the scene properly for the visitors.
(Of course, there's a down side: at this point I can't document the Ojibway or Metis women knitting . I hide inside my lodge at night with my lantern, knitting surreptitiously, hiding it during the day under my wool blankets - feels sort of deliciously naughty. Nevermind.)
Anyway, we did buy a nice large pot for our Fur Post at the Museum; also a bunch of very gay ostrich feathers. There's good documentation (paintings, sketches) of the native men wearing silk scarf turbans bedecked with ostrich feathers, which look I personally favor over the stodgy beaver hats favored by the French!
And in conclusion - I added to my collection of fans (this is painted wood, truly delicious and with the most fabulous "action") and a neat, tidy little basket, just right for my necessaries and perhaps two (or three small) projects. It has a wooden floor, and is a close weave almost in the style of the Nantucket baskets.
I am about to begin a Marathon Knit; I mean to wrap up these toques lickety-quick. ....ehrm - wish me luck!
NOTE: Didn't see any of our voyageur friends at the Trade Fair - NO NEW TOQUE ORDERS! However, to be entirely honest - my friend Audrey asked if I'd knit her a pair of socks. Oh, Audrey, you have no IDEA how glad I'll be to knit you a pair o' socks!