In Broad Daylight

OK, so Lauren.


Yeah. Lauren.

My BFF, my go-to girl.

Lauren… is getting married.

This is very, very good news in and of itself. Good guy; good for her; good to her. I don’t see how I could possibly be more pleased.

But because it is All About Me, Comma, I gotta tell you… speaking as a blogger, I view this as a silver lining that has a gold lining all its own. Yes, it is good news for me even over and above the fact that I am so happy for my dear friend.

Because, let’s face it, lately I have really been UP AGAINST THE WALL with the blog foddder thing. You know? Every time I come up with something I want to show and tell…? WHAMMO! it gets slapped down under a Cone of Silence. Tstealth! We hates it! Annie Modesitt mentioned this on her blog just the other day, and I couldn’t agree more. I hate the gag order, even when it’s self-imposed. I love blathering on and on about my process, especially while it’s still hot and steaming and in full spate.

I’m still coming to terms with this as regards the Tsock Flock designs. In 2007 I kept things pretty transparent; never having had a club before I was pretty much feeling my way, and for the most part it was all out in the open, and that was fine. Then in 2008 we started off with Firebird, the sketch for which had been plastered all over our advertising for several months, so that wasn’t a surprise except as regards details of implementation. After that, I have to admit it was kind of fun making people guess about Frenchman’s Creek, and yes, I’m still having fun with the Tsuspense thing… but I still think overall we ended up raising the Tstealth quotient a little too high for my comfort in 2008. Somehow I hope to find a better balance for 2009… though so far, as we approach the transition between seasons, we seem to be heading for a pretty furtive beginning. Well, we shall see.

Meanwhile, there are all these things I’m working on that are gifts (yes, still with the belated Christmas knitting, don’t rub my nose in it thank you very much), so I have to be discreet if not silent about those. And then, just as I thought I had come up with a really interesting spinning project that I could talk about in detail – poof! damned if I didn’t get enjoined from blogging that too. (To be fair, BTW – this wasn’t really just because A Certain Person whined in the comments, though I really couldn’t resist ragging her about it, and I have to say she took it in good part. No, there was another reason, and a good one, as to which all will be revealed in good time, usual stealth schtick blah blah blah.) Phooey, the irony.

But now… now! Ha! Now I have something I can and will discuss freely and in excruciating detail. It’s a spinning project AND it’s a knitting project, it’s a floor wax AND it’s a dessert topping, it’s a gift for someone AND it is blessedly free of stealth. Because Lauren – oh yeah, right, this was about her, wasn’t it? – has asked me to make a Thingy for her to wear with her wedding dress. Than which request, I gotta say, nothing could delight me more.

I think the only thing I’m not going to disclose right now is the date of the wedding, because when I told Jennifer the news and the date she said, “That’s wonderful… wait a minute. You mean… THIS year? Um, that doesn’t leave us a lot of time to make something for her, does it.” Suffice it to say that even I am not quite quixotic enough to think I can make both the dress AND the Thingy in the time allotted. (Though I’m just crazy enough to go up to the fabric stash and look over that bolt of cream-colored Shantung and think… no! no! DOWN, girl!)

Why I love Jennifer, incidentally? (One of many reasons, that is.) It never occurred to her to think I might NOT spin as well as knit the Thingy. It also never occurred to her to say the obvious, i.e. “On top of everything else you need to do between now and then? Are you completely NUTS????” That last part goes without saying. But we are fiber people. We Get It.

Also – notice how she said “us”? Jennifer leapt at the opportunity to do the dyeing for this. I raised the idea a little diffidently, because I didn’t want to impose on her or to take her participation for granted. She has only met Lauren once, and yes they did hit it off, big-time, but… well, my friend, mycrazy project, my insane deadline… you get the idea. Heh. Not an issue for our Jen. She’s just thrilled she can contribute what she does best and not have to puzzle her head to invent some knitted object that she would then turn into a felted bowl through the magical powerz of her own self-doubt.

So. The Thingy. I’m not sure exactly what you’d call it. Sort of a jacket. More than a shrug. Some shawlish elements, but much more structured than a shawl. Very feminine and soft. (I can picture it clearly, but my sketch-fu hasn’t caught up with the brain yet – will show you when it does.)

Color: A marvelous range of rosy sunset shades. Red sky at night is the sailor’s delight, so – perfectly suited to a wedding at the beach. Lauren, like me, is a Long Island girl through and through.

Texture and style: Lacy, but warm – warm enough to be worn over a strapless empire-line dress in the chill of evening. Deep shawlish collar. Soft curved cutaway shaping. Longish in back, continuing the curve, with maybe a slight bustle feel. Long fitted sleeve, deep ruffle at the wrist.

And – what do you know – I just happen to have acquired a pound of beautiful type B pygora. Raw, but very clean and lovely and lustrous.

Yesterday I ordered a pound of natural tussah silk top to use with it. Don’t know yet whether we’re talking blend or ply; what percentage; what style of spinning; what kind of stitch patterns; what approach to structure.

But this I DO know: as I figure each of these things out, I will be telling you ALL about it, every step of the way!

Let the sampling begin.

(Actually… the sampling has already begun. So has the preliminary sample-swatching. But the swatches aren’t dry yet – I’ll start showing you pictures tomorrow.)