Friday, July 16, 2010

A Day at the Zoo

Some time back, I made a baby blanket for a colleague, to celebrate the fact that she was about to become a grandmother. It turned out fairly well, and she appreciated the gift.

My colleague serves on the Board of Directors of our local zoo, and after seeing the blanket she asked if I would consider making something to donate to their annual charity gala and auction. Of course I said yes, and set about trying to decide what to make.

Ultimately, I opted to make the India Stole – a pattern by Sylvie Beez. It is a relatively straightforward lace stole. Really the only tricky part is that it is knit from the center out. You use a provisional cast on, and knit outward. When you finish one side, you go back and pick up those provisional stitches and knit outward in the opposite direction.

Oh. And it is beaded. Not a few beads, mind you, but several hundred tiny, tiny beads of purplish-black.

I chose to do it in black Jaggerspun Zephyr, which is a 50/50 blend of superfine merino wool and tussah silk. It has a nice sheen to it, and is easy to work. The whole project was done on what are still my favorite needles, Addi Turbo Lace circulars. And the beads were threaded on, one at a time, with a crochet hook of microscopic proportions.

I finished the project in late June, blocked it, and brought it into the office. While here, we set about searching for an appropriate model for a few photos. Of course, we wanted to find someone wearing a bright enough color to show off the lacework. Ultimately, I couldn’t opt for just one model and ended up with three. And so, three beautiful friends: BL, NC and HO each took turns wrapping themselves in my work for the photos. It was a bit like a dream I remember having when I was about 15, except there was knitting involved and the three ladies in question were fully clothed.

Photos taken, I handed the stole off to my colleague.

The auction was last Friday. The stole was displayed as part of the silent auction – with a short write-up about it having been donated by a local oddball and blogger named The Straight Male Knitter. I’m pleased to report that the stole did well. It received only a single bid – but that bid was at the guaranteed purchase price amount – and so it cut off any additional bidding. That tickles me – the first person to bid decided she wanted to ensure purchase and not leave anything to chance.

The zoo got the cash for the stole and the stole got a new home. And, as luck would have it, the stole was actually purchased by the wife of a friend and former colleague.  Pretty cool.  Hopefully they'll let me do something similar again next year.

1 comment:

  1. I am surprised you managed to get that Stole back out of the Office and that your Models did not fight over keeping it!!! It is amazing!! And I am glad you got a good amount for the Zoo from it :)